The 26th 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 32 minutes!
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Toke TV Bud Pick of the Week
Toke TV Stories of the Week
Yet another national poll has shown Americans want legal cannabis. A solid majority — 55 percent — of Americans support marijuana legalization, according to a new poll from NBC News and the Wall Street Journal. That majority would back nationwide laws similar to the ones in Colorado and Washington state, which allow adults over 21 to possess limited amounts of cannabis for personal use.
While 24 percent of Americans polled don’t approve of marijuana legalization, they wouldn’t actively seek to repeal such laws if they were backed by state voters and Legislatures, reports Michael O’Brien at NBC News.
More states could go legal this year. Alaska voters will get a chance in August to decide on marijuana legalization; Florida’s Supreme Court on Monday approved a medical marijuana ballot initiative for November’s ballot. Petitioners in Washington, D.C., are trying to qualify a legalization measure for this fall’s ballot, as well.
The Farm Bill passed in the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday morning by a vote of 251 to 166, including the hemp provision. “This is a big first step towards allowing American farmers to once again grow industrial hemp,” according to VoteHemp.org.
The hemp provision was originally introduced as an amendment to the Farm Bill by Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colorado), Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Kentucky) and Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), all three of whom represent states which have legalized industrial hemp. The provision allows universities and state agriculture departments to grow hemp for academic or agricultural research purposes, but applies only to states where industrial hemp farming has already been legalized under state law.
“By including language easing restrictions on industrial hemp in states where it is legal, Congress sends an important message that we are ready to examine hemp in a more appropriate way,” Rep. Blumenauer said on Monday.
The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday passed bipartisan sentencing reform legislation that would reduce the federal prison population, decrease racial disparities, save taxpayer money, and reunite nonviolent drug law offenders with their families sooner.
The reforms are supported by a strange bedfellows group of senators, including Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah), Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Jeff Flake (R-Arizona), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Carl Levin (D-MI) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
“The tide has turned against punitive drug policies that destroy lives and tear families apart,“ said Bill Piper, director of national affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “From liberal stalwarts to Tea Party favorites there’s now consensus that our country incarcerates too many people, for too much time, at too much expense to taxpayers.”
(Toke Signals)How does one die from “poisoning” when the substance in question is one of the most non-toxic substances known to man? That’s a very relevant question to be asking today, as a British story of a woman dying supposedly of “cannabis poisoning” went viral on the web. Doctors and cannabis experts tell us that someone “overdosing on marijuana” is ridiculous, and virtually impossible.
The nonsense apparently first ran in The Telegraph, then it quickly spread to other British tabloids, such as The Daily Mail and the Mirror. Gemma Moss, a 31-year-old “devout Christian” and mother of three, “is believed to have become the first woman in Britain to die directly from cannabis poisoning,” The Telegraph‘s Sam Webb (who shall never again dwell in the land of factual journalists) gravely reported. Even Moss’ local paper, the Bournemouth Daily Echo, did her the disrespect of reporting her death as “the first woman in Britain to die of cannabis poisoning.”
Coroner Sheriff Payne reportedly found that Moss had “moderate to high levels of pot in her system” (remember, marijuana is non-toxic), thus attributed her death to “cannabis toxicity” (which is patent nonsense) after consulting with one Dr. Kudair Hussein, a pathologist. Since the postmortem could find no natural cause for her death, Payne claimed “with the balance of probability that it is more likely than not she died from the effects of cannabis” — thus launching a new pot myth and worldwide media firestorm.
Floridians will get to decide the medical marijuana question for themselves this November. A measure that would amend the state constitution to allow the medicinal use of cannabis in the Sunshine State cleared its final hurdle on Monday when the Florida Supreme Court approved its language.
The justices approved the language by a 4-3 vote in a huge defeat for Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi, who challenged the ballot language, claiming it was “misleading.” Bondi claimed the ballot language misleadingly said that the state can trump federal marijuana laws, and that the measure might allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for “non-critical” ailments.
Personal injury lawyer John Morgan, a political powerbroker in the state, has contributed about $4 million to the People United For Medical Marijuana campaign, to get the issue before voters, reports The Associated Press.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) will launch two new billboards Thursday night near MetLife stadium, where the Super Bowl will be played on Sunday, in response to the anti-marijuana billboard posted yesterday by Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a group led by Patrick Kennedy that is working to keep marijuana illegal.
One of the new ads is a spoof of the SAM billboard. The original SAM billboard features a football player under the text, “Motivation, Perseverance, Determination,” and a marijuana leaf under the text, “None of the Above.” It also reads: “Marijuana kills your drive. Don’t lose in the game of life.”
MPP’s spoof billboard features a shot of tequila under the text, “Overdose Deaths, Violent Crimes, Serious Injuries,” and a marijuana leaf under the text, “None of the Above.” It also reads: “Prohibiting adults from making the safer choice is NOT a smart approach.”
(Toke Signals)Checkpoints specifically to search for drugs are illegal, but that hasn’t stopped local cops in Mayfield Heights, Ohio, from still finding a way to violate people’s rights and conduct unreasonable searches — fake drug checkpoints.
Police placed the “DRUG CHECKPOINT AHEAD” signs along the freeway last year, “warning” motorists that the checkpoint was ahead, reports The Free Thought Project. The cops then gathered in the express lanes of Interstate 271. Of course, there was no checkpoint, just cops waiting for motorists to react suspiciously after seeing the signs.
It’s a lawful and legitimate way tactic in the War On Drugs, claimed Mayfield Heights Assistant Prosecutor Dominic Vitantonio, reports Mark Gillespie at the Cleveland Plain Dealer. “It’s a good thing.”
Toke TV Must Read of the Week
By Ron Marczyk (Toke Signals)
I have felt my own mortality and was humbled to learn that two long-time friends my age have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, both within the last few months of each other. My friends, and millions of others, are searching for any new treatment that could heal and restore brain homeostasis and halt the progression of this neurodegenerative disease.
Cannabinoids are neuroprotectants.
We all have fragile friends and family with very similar serious medical conditions whom we all wish we could help. How many times in your private thoughts did think of that person you love and say to yourself, I wish there was a medicine I could find that would heal them?
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