Where Texas politicians stand on marijuana - Cannabis News

More than half of Texas' registered voters believe marijuana should be legalized, a recent poll discovered. As is the case with other issues, it appears the attitude of Texas' lawmakers and the public may not align in the matter of cannabis.

With Texas Republicans already listing out their priorities for the upcoming legislative session — including the possibility of decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana possession — it's worth taking a look at where the state's top lawmakers stand on major aspects of marijuana reform.

Cannabis Voter Project, a group that tracks politicians' views on cannabis, shows that only four of the state's 36 members of Congress believe in ending cannabis prohibition at a federal level.

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Fernando Ramirez ~ Chron.com ~

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Georgia: An endorsement highlights slight GOP shift on medical marijuana - Cannabis News

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle and Secretary of State Brian Kemp are both open to researching new ways to expand access to medical marijuana if elected governor, though neither Republican candidate has explicitly endorsed legalizing the in-state cultivation of the drug.

That’s a shift that state Rep. Allen Peake, who wrote the state’s medical cannabis law, has long sought as essential for Georgian suffering from debilitating diseases.

And on Tuesday he endorsed Cagle as the best GOP candidate to solve “the medical cannabis access issue early in his first year in office.”

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Greg Bluestein ~ Atlanta Journal-Constitution ~

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The next state to legalize marijuana could be . . . North Dakota? - Cannabis News

Supporters of marijuana legalization in North Dakota have submitted more than 18,000 signatures to the secretary of state in support of a measure that would fully legalize the drug, well above the 13,452 signatures required to put the question on the November ballot.

Like a recent successful medical-marijuana measure in Oklahoma, the effort has largely flown under the radar, with no financial backing from national drug policy groups such as the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project.

And like Oklahoma, North Dakota is a deep-red state that hasn’t voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since 1964.

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Christopher Ingraham ~ WashingtonPost.com ~

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Could Legal Marijuana Tip the Senate for Democrats? - Cannabis News

Cautious incumbents are using it to shore up support from progressive voters and challengers are seizing on the issue’s high popularity to knock conservatives.

When Senator Bill Nelson came out squarely in favor of Floridians’ right to smoke medical marijuana, it surprised many political observers in the Sunshine State.

Nelson, a conservative Democrat who promotes his reputation as a ramrod former astronaut, has mostly kept out of the fray during the years-long battle over medical marijuana—both before it passed in 2016 with 71 percent of the vote and in the year and half since, as supporters have battled the state’s Republican leadership over how to implement the new law.

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James Higdon ~ Politico.com ~ 

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Maine Lawmakers Override Gov. LePage's Medical Marijuana Veto - Cannabis News

Maine physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants will be able to recommend medical marijuana for any patient they think would benefit under a new law.

Lawmakers overrode the governor's veto Monday with near-unanimous support.

The law eliminates the list of medical conditions that an individual would currently need to prove to receive medical marijuana.

The law allows qualifying patients and unregistered caregivers to possess eight pounds of medical marijuana, up from 2.5 ounces. 

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Marijuana politics evolving in red states - Cannabis News

Supporters and opponents of legalizing marijuana are preparing to fight over ballot measures in half a dozen states this year, shifting the political battleground away from traditionally liberal states and into some of the country’s most conservative areas.

Two measures are already scheduled to appear on November ballots: Michigan voters will decide whether to become the ninth state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, while the electorate in Utah will choose whether to join 22 other states by legalizing pot for medical use.

In Missouri, as many as three separate measures could make the ballot.

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Reid Wilson ~ TheHill.com ~ 

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Utah’s medical marijuana initiative appears headed for the November ballot after opponents drop their federal lawsuit - Cannabis News

The opponents seeking to block voters from weighing in on a ballot measure legalizing medical marijuana withdrew their lawsuit on Monday, after asking a judge in May for an emergency ruling to stop the initiative.

The withdrawal clears the path for what is perhaps the most contested measure that will be on Utah’s ballot in November, yet which has strong support among voters.

Blake T. Ostler, an attorney for the group Drug Safe Utah, which is led by the Utah Medical Association, said he believed there was an issue with challenging the measure before voters weigh in. The challenge lacked what, in legal terms, is called “ripeness.”

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Taylor W. Anderson ~ Salt Lake Tribune ~ 

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This New Website Tells You Where Every Politician Stands on Marijuana - Cannabis News

The Cannabis Voter Project is a website that helps track the marijuana views of members of Congress as well as governors for every state.

2018 is a major election year in the United States as Democrats try to retake control of Congress to stop President Donald Trump's agenda.

But now a new website will help you see where politicians stand on a more important issue: Marijuana.

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Joseph Misulonas ~ Civilized.Life ~ 

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Missouri ready for medical marijuana? - Cannabis News

With voters making Oklahoma the 30th state in the nation to legalize medical marijuana last Tuesday, advocacy groups in Missouri are hoping to ride the wave into the November election.

Four initiative petitions seeking legalization of medical marijuana were submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office for certification this year, and the group behind one of those is confident it will make it on the ballot.

New Approach Missouri is one of the leading medical marijuana advocacy groups in Missouri and has been working for years to get the question before voters.

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Tyler Wornell ~ JoplinGlobe.com ~ 

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Oklahoma votes to legalize medicinal marijuana - Cannabis News

The state of Oklahoma became the 30th in the nation to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes on Tuesday.

The Associated Press projected that State Question 778, which legalizes the growth, sale, and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, had been approved by voters.

According to Forbes, the measure was approved by a 10-point margin, with more than 85 percent of precincts reporting.

Gov. Mary Fallin (R), who opposed the measure because she believed it would create a gateway to legal marijuana for recreational use, said she would likely convene a special legislative session to design a framework for the law's implementation, The Associated Press reported.

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Oklahoma voters weigh 1st marijuana ballot question of 2018 - Cannabis News

Oklahoma primary voters were weighing Tuesday whether to approve one of the least-restrictive state laws allowing medical marijuana, the nation’s first cannabis ballot question of the year.

State Question 788 , the result of an activist-led signature drive launched more than two years ago, would make it legal to grow, sell and use marijuana for medicinal purposes.

The proposed law outlines no qualifying conditions, which would allow physicians to prescribe its use for a broad range of ailments — a fact that has sparked bitter opposition from law enforcement, business, faith and political leaders.

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Senate Approves Medical Marijuana For Military Veterans And Advances Hemp Legalization - Cannabis News

U.S. military veterans would be allowed to receive recommendations for medical marijuana from government doctors under legislation approved by the Senate on Monday.

The provision, part of large-scale legislation to fund parts of the federal government including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) through Fiscal Year 2019, would also protect veterans from losing their government benefits as a result of cannabis use that is legal under state law.

The Senate passed the bill by a vote of 86 to 5. The House and Senate have previously adopted versions of the cannabis recommendation rider, but it has never been enacted into law. 

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Tom Angell ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~

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Arizona Mothers Challenge State Over Autism and CBD Oil - Cannabis News

Only five states specifically allow autism patients to legally access whole plant cannabis, so long as they get the appropriate doctor recommendations.

The Arizona chapter of MAMMA, Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism, is working hard to make their state the sixth on the list—and they’ll take their case to state officials in Phoenix this week.

This will be the group’s second meeting with officials from the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS), which regulates the list of qualifying conditions.

In early May, MAMMA members convened for three days with ADHS officials to consider the organization’s petition to let medical professionals recommend medical cannabis for autistic children.

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New York Moves Toward Legal Marijuana With Health Dept. Endorsement - Cannabis News

New York moved a significant step closer to legalizing recreational marijuana, as a study commissioned by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will recommend that the state allow adults to consume marijuana legally, the governor’s health commissioner said on Monday.

The announcement by the commissioner, Howard Zucker, signals a broad turnaround for the administration of Mr. Cuomo, a second-term Democrat who said as recently as last year that marijuana was a “gateway drug.”

“We looked at the pros, we looked at the cons, and when we were done, we realized that the pros outweighed the cons,” Dr. Zucker said, adding, “we have new facts.”

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Jesse McKinley and Benjamin Mueller ~ NYTimes.com ~ 

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Medical marijuana passes by a landslide in South Carolina Democratic primary - Cannabis News

South Carolina Democrats gave medical marijuana a landslide victory Tuesday, with 82 percent declaring in an advisory vote that doctors should be allowed to prescribe the drug.

The question “Do you support passing a state law allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients?” was approved by Democrats in all of the state's 46 counties during Tuesday's primary.

The nonbinding ballot initiative is the latest boost for legalized medical marijuana, which has been embraced by key committees in both the S.C. House and Senate.

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Jeff Wilkinson ~ TheState.com ~ 

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Boehner, 7 U.S. Mayors Blast Feds on Marijuana Legalization: ‘Prohibition Has Failed’ – Cannabis News

Former Ohio Republican Congressman and Speaker of the House John Boehner joined several U.S. mayors this week in telling the federal government to get out of the way of marijuana legalization.

Boehner, a longtime staunch opponent of marijuana, joined the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a cannabis investment firm that pursues cultivation and dispensary businesses in addition to touting cannabis’s “transformational power to heal and change the world.”

Speaking with WCPO-TV on Monday, Boehner touted the effectiveness of medical marijuana treatment for military veterans, opioid addicts and children with epilepsy.

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Benjamin Fearnow ~ Newsweek.com ~ 

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Bill to End Federal Cannabis War Gathers Steam - Cannabis News

A strange-bedfellows mix of powerful state governors and members of Congress signed on to end the decades-old war on marijuana – via the newly introduced STATES Act.

Momentum seemed to build over the weekend for the bill, introduced Thursday by Sen. Corey Gardner (R-CO) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

On Friday, the governors of California and New York, as well as their counterparts in ten other states, urged Congressional leaders to advance the bill.

California Gov. Jerry Brown endorsed the plan to exempt legalization states from federal pot law in a joint letter with Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, Washington Gov. Jay Isnlee and others.

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Mayors From Across U.S. Call On Feds To Deschedule Marijuana - Cannabis News

A group representing mayors of cities across the country is pushing the federal government to enact a series of major marijuana law reforms.

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is also calling on cities in states that have legalized cannabis to expunge people’s past convictions.

“The looming threat of federal prosecution or shutdown lends uncertainty to states and local governments and legally compliant commercial cannabis business operators, patients and adult-use consumers, and harms state and local efforts to regulate cannabis for the safety and health of its residents,” reads one of the two measures adopted by the mayors group on Monday.

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Tom Angell ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~ 

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Senators Approve Medical Marijuana For Military Veterans - Cannabis News

A key U.S. Senate panel voted on Thursday to allow doctors with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to issue medical marijuana recommendations to military veterans.

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the amendment, offered by Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), on a voice vote.

The measure “simply allows veterans to discuss that option [medical cannabis] with their VA doc or physician,” Daines said during a brief debate.

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Tom Angell ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~ 

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With Trump’s Support, STATES Act Could End Nationwide Cannabis Prohibition - Cannabis News

A bipartisan group of senators and representatives introduced a bill  that could change the cannabis legalization landscape across the United States.

In a move that’s been anticipated for weeks, Sen. Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) introduced the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Entrusting States (STATES) Act this morning on Capitol Hill.

The measure would exempt state-legal marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, allowing every state to legalize and regulate cannabis (or keep it illegal) as they see fit.

In a joint press conference, Sen. Gardner emphasized that the Act would not mandate full nationwide legalization. Rather, it would allow each state to legalize or prohibit cannabis on its own. 

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Michigan voters will decide marijuana legalization after Legislature fails to act - Cannabis News

The Michigan Legislature on Tuesday decided to punt the issue of legalizing marijuana for recreational use to voters to decide in the November election.

Senate Republicans had wanted to take up and pass the measure so they could amend it and keep it off the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

But they deferred to the House of Representatives to see whether Republicans could muster the votes — 55 needed for passage — and they never got close.

"There's simply not support in the chamber to pass this right now. The voters are going to have to decide," said Speaker of the House Tom Leonard, R-Dewitt. 

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Pro-Cannabis Candidates Clean Up In California Primary Election 2018 - Cannabis News

With 61 percent of Americans now in support of cannabis legalization, it should come as little surprise that pot-positive candidates swept to victory in Tuesday’s Primary Election in the progressive bastion of California.

In every important race, winning politicians knew which way the cannabis smoke was blowing.

California’s June 5 primary vote determines which two top candidates face each other in the General Election in the Fall.

All 80 seats in the state Assembly, plus 20 of the 40 seats in the state Senate, all 53 US House seats, and one US Senate seat is up for grabs. 

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Nearly two-thirds of Americans say smoking marijuana is 'morally acceptable' - Cannabis News

Nearly two-thirds of Americans say that smoking marijuana is "morally acceptable," while 31 percent disapprove of pot on moral grounds, according to a new survey released Monday by Gallup.

That's a sharp jump from 2013, when a similarly worded question in a Public Religion Research Institute survey found that slightly fewer than half of Americans said it was morally acceptable to smoke marijuana.

The shift in moral acceptance of marijuana mirrors the shift in support for legalization over that time period, which rose from 48 percent at the end of 2012 to 64 percent last fall, according to Gallup.

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Washington Post via AL.com ~ 

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Congress Will Consider These Marijuana Amendments Next Week - Cannabis News

A powerful congressional panel is set to weigh four marijuana measures next week.

One proposal would allow military veterans to receive medical cannabis recommendations from their doctors at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Another would protect veterans from losing access to their VA benefits as a punishment for medical marijuana use.

A third would shield VA employees who are veterans and who use marijuana in accordance with state law from being fired. And another concerns water rights for marijuana and hemp growers. 

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Pot for All: How Congress Is Trying to Make Weed Legal - Cannabis News

From decriminalization to opening up the banking industry, both sides of Congress are preparing cannabis bills – but with much different approaches.

Over the past decade, marijuana legalization has happened at break-neck speed at the state and local level.

And yet, pot-related reforms have moved glacially at the federal level, especially since prohibitionist Jeff Sessions was confirmed as attorney general.

But his staunch opposition and attempt to roll back Obama-era protections for local marijuana businesses has actually attracted new support to a flurry of marijuana related bills that have been picking up support in this Congress.

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US Veteran’s Battle: Get VA to Accept Marijuana for PTSD Treatment - Cannabis News

Veterans groups across the country are building alliances to end cannabis prohibition in order to enable research and save lives.

Mike Krawitz, 56, is a disabled US Air Force veteran who believes in medical cannabis’ ability to save lives by keeping people off the drugs with dangerous and deadly side effects — primarily opioids.

Krawitz believes there is a correlation between the number of opioid prescriptions and suicides among veterans. “Use cannabis, die less,” Krawitz told Marijuana.com, his tone completely serious.

“The scientific community has confirmed that cannabis saves lives by avoiding overdoses. VA [Veterans Administration] doctors know this but are obliged not to recommend cannabis for pain and PTSD. And that is unethical.."

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Marijuana Business Owners Rally On Capitol Hill As Cannabis Bills Gain Momentum - Cannabis News

More than 200 cannabis industry leaders from almost half the states in the country are converging this week on Capitol Hill to tell lawmakers it’s time to modernize federal marijuana laws.

As part of the National Cannabis Industry Association’s (NCIA) lobby days, taking place Tuesday and Wednesday, marijuana business owners will hold at least 200 separate meetings with U.S. House and Senate offices.

They are seeking support for a number of far-reaching bills that would limit or end the federal government’s interference with state cannabis laws and allow state-legal businesses to use banking services and be taxed more fairly.

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Tom Angell ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~

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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Preparing City for Marijuana Legalization, Instructs NYPD to Halt Arrests – Cannabis News

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is set to instruct the New York Police Department to stop arrests of New Yorkers smoking weed in public while additionally forming a task force to ease what he sees as an inevitable full legalization of recreational marijuana.

De Blasio will direct the NYPD to hand out summonses to people caught smoking pot by officers in public areas across the city, but not arrest them, aides told the New York Daily News Sunday.

The move is partially a follow-up on his announcement last week to "overhaul and reform" enforcement that has created a wide racial disparity in marijuana arrests.

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Benjamin Fearnow ~ Newsweek.com ~ 

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Ohio recreational marijuana measure gets green light to collect signatures - Cannabis News

Supporters of an Ohio marijuana legalization measure can now collect signatures to put the proposed constitutional amendment on a future statewide ballot.

The Ohio Ballot Board on Thursday approved the "Marijuana Rights and Regulations" amendment as a single issue.

The amendment would give people age 21 and older a constitutional right to possess, produce, transport, use, and share cannabis.

The amendment allows the state legislature to regulate commercial marijuana cultivation and sales.

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Rohrabacher–Blumenauer Renewal OK’d by Congressional Committee - Cannabis News

A powerful Congressional committee on Thursday voted to extend federal protections for state-legal medical marijuana. It’s the latest example of how Congress is progressing on cannabis, one small step at a time.

The US House Appropriations Committee passed by voice vote an amendment introduced by US Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) that would ban the Department of Justice from using its funds to intervene with state laws that allow the growth, distribution, and use of cannabis for medical use.

The bill will now be considered by the full House of Representatives.

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Bruce Kennedy ~ Leafly.com ~ 

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Poll: Most Georgians now say recreational marijuana should be legal - Cannabis News

Most voters in Georgia now say that marijuana should be legal for recreational purposes, according to an exclusive poll commissioned by 11Alive News and conducted by SurveyUSA.

According to the poll, 55% of Georgia voters believe that recreational marijuana should be legalized, while 35% said it should remain against the law.

Two years ago, 48% supported legalizing recreational marijuana. At that time, opposition was at 38%.

Voters also overwhelmingly support the idea of state-regulated cultivation of marijuana in order to produce legal medical cannabis oil, according to the poll, with 71% saying they'd be in favor. 

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U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer Says Cannabis May Be De-Regulated Nationwide Within Four Years - Cannabis News

U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) believes the end of the battle to legalize marijuana across the United States is fewer than four years away.

"I made a bet that within five years, every state will be able to treat cannabis like alcohol and there will be universal access to medical marijuana," he told a crowd of cannabis business owners at Cultivation Classic in Revolution Hall Saturday afternoon.

"If we do our job, it's game over in 2 years." 

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Katie Shepherd ~ Willamette Week ~

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Wisconsin: Milwaukee Unanimously Votes to Put Marijuana on November Ballot - Cannabis News

A Milwaukee County Board committee has voted unanimously to put a marijuana referendum on the November ballot.

The Judiciary, Safety and General Services Committee gave their approval to the proposal yesterday.

Milwaukee County is the most populous county in the state of Wisconsin. The election would not by itself end the prohibition of marijuana.

It calls on the State of Wisconsin to legalize cannabis and allow for a regulated and taxed marijuana market. 

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State Marijuana Legalization Measures Headed For Passage, Polls Show - Cannabis News

A number of states are expected to vote on far-reaching marijuana ballot measures this year, and recent polling shows that all of them are poised to pass by substantial margins.

A survey released on Thursday, for example, found that 61% of Michigan adults said they favor legalizing cannabis, while only 34% are opposed.

Michigan officials determined last month that activists collected enough signatures to place a marijuana legalization measure on the general election ballot.

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Tom Angell ~ Forbes.com ~ 

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Senator Kamala Harris backs Booker bill to legalize marijuana - Cannabis News

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), a potential 2020 White House contender, is joining Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who is also speculated to be a possible presidential candidate, in the fight to legalize marijuana under federal law.

Harris announced Thursday that she will be co-sponsoring the Marijuana Justice Act, which Booker introduced in August.

The legislation would eliminate marijuana's status as a Schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substance Act. 

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Aris Folley ~ TheHill.com ~ 

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DEA Head Criticized Over Marijuana Stance By Lawmakers - Cannabis News

The acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) was put through the wringer by lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, pressed repeatedly to answer questions about the federal agency’s outdated marijuana policy.

Here’s a roundup of exchanges between DEA Acting Administrator Robert Patterson and members of the House Judiciary Committee during a hearing on the opioid epidemic.

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Kyle Jaeger ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~ 

 

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Medical marijuana for PTSD and pain signed into Georgia law - Cannabis News

Medical marijuana can be used by Georgians suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain, according to a bill signed by Gov. Nathan Deal on Monday.

The legislation, House Bill 65, adds PTSD and intractable pain to the list of conditions eligible for treatment by cannabis oil.

Georgia’s medical marijuana law, first passed in 2015, now covers more than a dozen conditions, including late-stage cancer and seizure disorders. The law allows patients approved by a physician to possess small amounts of cannabis oil.

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Mark Niesse ~ Politics.myajc.com ~

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These are the best and worst state governors for cannabis policy and legalization - Cannabis News

When it comes to cannabis legalization, local politics matter.

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has released it’s 2018 Gubernatorial Scorecard ahead of November’s election when many governors will face voters at the ballot box.

The scorecard is similar to NORML’s Congressional grading system which assigns a letter grade from A to F based on a politician’s cannabis-related remarks and legislative action.

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Miroslav Tomoski ~ Herb.co ~ 

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New Bill Would Allow Marijuana Delivery Throughout California, Even Cities That Ban It - Cannabis News

While the state of California legalized recreational marijuana earlier this year, cities and towns were still allowed to ban sales of the drug in their jurisdictions. But a new bill could get around some of those local bans.

A new bill in front of the California Senate would allow marijuana companies to deliver their products anywhere in the state, including cities where legal sales are still banned.

According to one analysis, around 40 percent of California residents live 60 miles or more from a legal marijuana dispensary thanks to cities and towns that have banned recreational sales.

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Joseph Misulonas ~ Civilized.Life ~ 

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Maine House overturns governor's veto of marijuana bill - Cannabis News

The Maine House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Wednesday to override Gov. Paul LePage's (R) veto of a measure to allow the commercial sale of marijuana in the state.

The House overrode the veto with a 109-39 vote, according to The Portland Press Herald.

The bill now heads to the state Senate, where lawmakers must vote by a two-thirds margin to overturn LePage's veto.

The newspaper previously reported that senators believe they have the support to overturn a veto. 

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Medical marijuana is one step closer to being legal in Missouri - Cannabis News

The Missouri House of Representatives voted 112-44 Tuesday to legalize medical marijuana for people with several health conditions, sending the measure to the Missouri Senate.

If enacted, House Bill 1554 would allow people with terminal illnesses verified by doctors to request a registration card from the state that would allow them to possess and use smokeless marijuana.

An amendment attached to the bill expanded access to people with other conditions, including cancer, Parkinson's and epilepsy, even if they're not considered terminal.

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Andy Marso ~ KansasCity.com ~ 

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Senator Feinstein drops opposition to legal pot, giving legal marijuana a new ally - Cannabis News

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a longtime opponent of legalizing recreational marijuana, now says the federal government should not interfere in California's legal marijuana market.

In comments to McClatchy Tuesday — in the middle of a 2018 campaign for her seat in a state that has settled into the legal pot market — the California Democrat said she was open to considering federal protection for state-legalized marijuana.

Feinstein's office said her views changed after meetings with constituents, particularly those with young children who have benefited from medical marijuana use.

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Kate Irby ~ McClatchyDC.com ~ 

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Nancy Pelosi Suggests Marijuana And Yoga As Opioid Alternatives - Cannabis News

The top Democrat in the U.S. House says that doctors should more often suggest medical marijuana and yoga to patients in pain instead of doling out so many prescription opioids.

“Doctors say, ‘Don’t tell us how many pills we can prescribe.’ Well maybe we should,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said at a press conference last week.

“Others say there are other ways to relieve stress and relieve pain and that you don’t need opioids in the first place. We are too reliant to transition from them. Marijuana, yoga, all kinds of other things that are homeopathic but are not addictive in this dangerous way.” 

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Tom Angell ~ MarijuanaMoment.net ~ 

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Michigan approves marijuana legalization vote for November - Cannabis News

The battle to free the weed officially started Thursday when the State Board of Canvassers ruled that a group pushing a proposal to legalize marijuana for recreational use got enough signatures to qualify for the Nov. 6 ballot.

The 4-0 decision by the board was met with cheers by advocates for the proposal.

"The people of Michigan deserve this. They earned it," said Rick Thompson, a board member of the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws or NORML.

"We've faced many trials and tribulations. We've had so many stop and go signs from the federal government. That's why states have to take the reins on the issue and really be the crucibles of democracy that they've always been intended to be."

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Republican Sen. Cory Gardner to introduce cannabis bill for states' rights with Elizabeth Warren - Cannabis News

Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., is teaming up with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., on a bill that could finally reconcile the current discrepancy between federal and state cannabis laws.

Earlier this year, Gardner protected thriving marijuana industries in states like Colorado by threatening to block all Justice Department nominees after Attorney General Jeff Sessions killed the 2013 “Cole memo,” which effectively allowed states to determine their own cannabis laws.

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Michael Walsh ~ Yahoo.com ~

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Legal Marijuana’s Big Moment - Cannabis News

In Washington, evolution on the marijuana issue is proceeding at warp speed in political terms.

A couple of weeks ago, John Boehner was dining at one of his favorite Washington haunts, Trattoria Alberto on Barracks Row, when in walked Earl Blumenauer, the Democrat from Oregon known as one of the most fervent advocates for legal marijuana in Congress.

In years past, the two men would have had little in common, but earlier that day Boehner announced he was joining the advisory board for Acreage Holdings, one of the largest marijuana corporations in the country.

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James Higdon ~ Politico.com ~ 

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Does Your Senator Think Weed Should Be Legal? - Cannabis News

We asked every US senator what they thought of marijuana legalization. Here's what we learned.

Last week, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told VICE News he would introduce a bill to "decriminalize" marijuana, a testament to the slow-but-steady mainstreaming of the drug in America.

Of course, if you live in the Pacific Northwest, California, Nevada, Colorado, DC, or any of the other handful of states that have legalized weed, chances are you've taken the idea of blazing in (relative) peace for granted for some time now.

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Eve Peyser ~ Vice.com ~ 

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Former Gov. of Massachusetts: De-scheduling marijuana is 'excellent politics for President Trump' - Cannabis News

Former Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld says it makes a lot of sense for Republicans, like President Donald Trump, to support de-scheduling marijuana.

"I would think it's excellent politics for President Trump. He did say during the campaign in 2016, adult recreation, full adult legalization, is a states' rights issue — and that goes down very well with Republicans," Weld said on CNBC's "Fast Money."

"Including this former Republican," Weld added, chuckling. The former Republican governor of Massachusetts-turned Libertarian has made his newfound feelings about marijuana well-known, since announcing last week he would join former House Speaker John Boehner on the board of medical marijuana company, Acreage Holdings.

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Chloe Aiello ~ CNBC.com ~ 

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On 4/20, Sen. Chuck Schumer To Introduce Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana - Cannabis News

Politics isn't always red or blue. Lately, it has been green.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., plans to introduce legislation on Friday to decriminalize marijuana on the federal level, adding a high-profile advocate in the effort to decriminalize, legalize and normalize marijuana use in America.

Schumer's legislation would remove marijuana from the list of scheduled substances under a 1970 law that classifies marijuana as dangerous as heroin for legal and regulatory purposes

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Susan Davis ~ NPR.org ~

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Bernie Sanders Backs Bill To Punish States With Harsh Marijuana Laws - Cannabis News

Several potential rival presidential candidates are teaming up on legislation to end the federal war on marijuana.

On Thursday, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is signing on as a co-sponsor of the Marijuana Justice Act, introduced last year by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ).

Many political observers expect that Booker and Sanders will compete for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2020. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), another rumored contender, is also a co-sponsor of the bill.

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Tom Angell ~ Forbes.com ~ 

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