The 24th episode of Toke Signals TV with host Steve Elliott takes a look at some of the biggest marijuana news stories of the week.
Find out what you need to know about the week in cannabis/marijuana news, in 25 minutes!
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The U.S. federal government’s classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug with no medical uses took another hit on Thursday, as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat, said cities in his state of Nevada should move toward making medicinal cannabis available.
“If you’d asked me this question a dozen years ago, it would have been easy to answer — I would have said no, because (marijuana) leads to other stuff,” Reid told the Las Vegas Sun. “But I can’t say that anymore.”
“I think we need to take a real close look at this,” the Senate Majority Leader said. “I think that there’s some medical reasons for marijuana.”
Washington state’s anemic marijuana legalization law is looking weaker by the minute. Now it appears much of the state won’t even have local access to cannabis — Attorney General Bob Ferguson has announced cities and counties can block licensed, legal marijuana businesses from operating.
Just how much of the state will have actual marijuana stores remains an open question after Atty. Gen. Ferguson issued the long-awaited opinion on Thursday.
Ferguson said Initiative 502, the limited legalization measure approved by state voters in 2012, allows local governments to ban retail marijuana shops, grow operations, and processing facilities from their jurisdictions.
Governor Tom Corbett has refused to sign any such bill until the federal Food and Drug Administration approves cannabis for medical purposes, reports John Kopp at Bucks Local News, but the bills bipartisan sponsors, state Senators Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer are working hard for its passage.
Sen. Leach has kicked off a social media campaign showing children who could benefit from medicinal cannabis. Sen. Folmer plans to hold a public hearing to educate his fellow lawmakers on the benefits of medical marijuana.
State lawmakers on Thursday launched an effort to pass a bill in this year’s legislative session that would regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Maryland. Sen. Jamie Raskin, Del. Curt Anderson, and Del. Sheila Hixson were joined at a news conference by leaders of several state and national organizations, who announced the formation of a broad coalition in support of the forthcoming legislation.
The Marijuana Control Act of 2014 would make the personal use, possession, and limited home-growing of marijuana legal for adults 21 years of age and older; establish a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol; and allow for the cultivation, processing, and sale of industrial hemp.
The new and expanding Marijuana Policy Coalition of Maryland includes the ACLU of Maryland, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, the League of Women Voters of Maryland, the Marijuana Policy Project, and the Maryland State Conference of NAACP Branches, among others.
Kander announced the approval of 13 initiative petitions regarding the use, sale and distribution of cannabis, reports Marie French at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. All of the proposals were filed by Columbia-based attorney Dan Viets, who is chairman of Show-Me Cannabis, a group advocatikng for marijuana legalization and regulation.
“Good people are being treated like criminals,” Viets said. “It’s the stupidest possible arrangement. We squander millions to enforce an unenforceable law and don’t see a penny from the people who are making money selling marijuana.”
The New Hampshire House of Representatives on Wednesday voted 170-162 in favor of passing HB 492, a bill to legalize, regulate and control marijuana for adults over 21, becoming the first state legislature to approve such a bill. Two other states, Colorado and Washington, have already legalized marijuana, but in both cases those laws were implemented through voter initiative.
From here the bill will be reviewed by the House Ways and Means Committee then be reconsidered by the House and, if it passes again, move to the Senate for consideration.
“By passing this bill, the New Hampshire House has proven the legalization of marijuana is a politically viable, mainstream issue with the potential to improve public safety and benefit the community in numerous ways,” said Cheshire County Superintendent of Corrections Richard Van Wickler, a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of law enforcement officials opposed to the War On Drugs. “This state now has an opportunity to modernize its views and recalibrate its moral compass in a way that provides an example of leadership the rest of the country will soon follow.”
The unanimous vote from the panel of five Councilmembers came during a meeting of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. The bill next goes before all 13 Councilmembers for final consideration.
The “Simple Possession of Small Quantities of Marijuana Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2013 (Council Bill 20-409)” would eliminate criminal penalties and instead subject a person in possession of one ounce or less of marijuana to a civil fine. The legislation was introduced in July 2013 by Councilmember Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) with the support of 10 out of 13 Councilmembers.
The “Mile 420″ sign found 148 miles outside of Denver on Interstate 70 East was stolen so often by souvenir-seeking stoners that the Colorado Department of Transportation has changed it to read “Mile 419.99″ in an attempt to fix the problem.
A photo of the new 419.99 mile market sign went viral on Twitter on Friday, reports Jeremy Jojola at 9 News.
“So this is our way to test it out,” said Amy Ford, spokesperson for the Colorado DOT. “So far, it’s working.”
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