Monthly Archives: September 2018

Student’s Suspension for Smelling of Pot Provides Whiff of What’s Ahead for Schools After Legalization

On the first day of school, Tony stood outside the main office, in a lineup of students, waiting to pick up his timetable. He left with a three-day suspension slip. The reason? A vice-principal at Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic Secondary School in Rexdale smelled marijuana. “I was stunned,” recalled the 16-year-old, whose real name the Star agreed to withhold. “I said, ‘I haven’t been smoking’ … I asked her if she wanted to check my…

Source: https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2018/09/30/students-suspension-for-smelling-of-pot-provides-whiff-of-whats-ahead-for-schools-after-legalization/…

Student’s Suspension for Smelling of Pot Provides Whiff of What’s Ahead for Schools After Legalization

On the first day of school, Tony stood outside the main office, in a lineup of students, waiting to pick up his timetable. He left with a three-day suspension slip. The reason? A vice-principal at Monsignor Percy Johnson Catholic Secondary School in Rexdale smelled marijuana. “I was stunned,” recalled the 16-year-old, whose real name the Star agreed to withhold. “I said, ‘I haven’t been smoking’ … I asked her if she wanted to check my…

Source: https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2018/09/30/students-suspension-for-smelling-of-pot-provides-whiff-of-whats-ahead-for-schools-after-legalization/…

NORML Supports Florida Voting Restoration Amendment

NORML is pleased to support the grassroots Voting Restoration Amendment campaign in Florida, run by Second Chances Florida. Florida remains one of only four states with a lifetime ban on voting for people with past felony convictions, even after they have completed their full sentence – including any probation, parole, fines, and restitution. We at NORML believe in second chances, and it is vital that voters have the opportunity to restore voting eligibility for those who have served their time and paid their debts.

Sign up to make phone calls to Florida voters on October 1st!

Can’t make calls Monday? Click here to sign up to volunteer before the election. 

This statewide ballot measure, organized by the grassroots group Second Chances Florida, seeks to restore the voting eligibility of Floridians with felony convictions after they complete all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation. The amendment would not apply to those convicted of murder or sexual offenses, who would continue to be permanently barred from voting unless the Governor and Cabinet vote to restore their voting eligibility on a case by case basis.

“Ensuring that all Americans have the eligibility to vote is crucial to the wellbeing of our democracy and is the only way that we will have elected officials in office that truly represent the will of their constituents. There is no legitimate reason that, after serving their time and paying their debts, to continue to

Legalization: Is it Working?

We as advocates of marijuana law reforms have never been in a better position than we are today to further our cause. Prior to states like Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Nevada, and others, legalizing and regulating marijuana, there was very little data to support our arguments to end marijuana prohibition. But, things have changed.

So, is the legalization and regulation of marijuana working? Of course it is, but we must be able to articulate why it’s working to be successful in our efforts. We can start by looking at some of the data regarding the impact marijuana legalization is having on public health and safety. Study after study published by the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, the National Academies of Sciences, the Centers for Disease Control, the Journal of Adolescent Health and the American Journal of Public Health are providing us with all the information we need to make fact-based, data-driven arguments in support of ending marijuana prohibition.

Regardless if you’re looking at state-level data related to crime, teen access and use or the decline in opioid use, hospitalizations and overdose, the legalization and regulation of marijuana is having a positive impact. And this is no longer our opinion; it’s fact, backed by legitimate research and data. The information is there. We no longer have to speculate about the potential impacts marijuana legalization will have on public health and safety, and other areas of concern. We can now

Weekly Legislative Roundup 9/28/18

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

This week, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration placed CBD medication Epidiolex in Schedule V, the least restrictive category of the Controlled Substances Act. The move does not apply to CBD itself or other non-FDA-approved extracts containing it.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection released an official statement confirming the federal government’s policy of banning Canadians who work or invest in the marijuana industry from entering the country.

The U.S. House Rules Committee blocked yet another marijuana measure from advancing, this time an amendment to remove the 280E tax penalty on cannabis businesses.

At the state level, Pennsylvania state Rep. Jake Wheatley filed a bill that would legalize the possession, use, and retail sale of adult use marijuana and also expunge certain marijuana convictions.

New Jersey’s Senate president said he anticipates a vote on marijuana legalization legislation on October 29. The bill still has yet to be introduced.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced two new marijuana legalization listening sessions in addition to the 15 that had already been scheduled. See the full list of sessions here. Cuomo also signed a bill into law, adding acute pain management to the list of conditions for which medical cannabis can be recommended as an alternative to opioid use.

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed a bill to expand marijuana research. But he signed bills allowing local governments to approve temporary marijuana events …

Chart: The History of U.S. State Marijuana Ballot Initiatives


On the 2018 Ballot

Mormons Oppose Marijuana Initiative in Utah Despite History of Cannabis Use

Michigan Is Poised to Become the 10th State to Legalize It

Dueling Initiatives in Missouri Likely to Confuse Voters

Recreational Legalization on the North Dakota Ballot

If you enjoyed this Freedom Leaf article, subscribe to the magazine today!

The post Chart: The History of U.S. State Marijuana Ballot Initiatives appeared first on Freedom Leaf.

Source: https://www.freedomleaf.com/state-marijuana-ballot-initiatives/…

Ontario Government to Allow Pot Smoking Wherever Tobacco Smoking Allowed

Ontario residents will be able to smoke recreational cannabis wherever the smoking of tobacco is permitted, the Progressive Conservative government said Wednesday, loosening rules established by the previous Liberal regime. The government will also not put a cap on pot shops when it starts licensing and regulating the province’s private cannabis retail marketplace, and municipalities will have until January to opt out of hosting the stores. The details were announced by Ontario Attorney General Caroline…

Source: https://www.cannabisculture.com/content/2018/09/27/ontario-government-to-allow-pot-smoking-wherever-tobacco-smoking-allowed/…

DEA Reclassifies Plant-Derived Marijuana Medicine To Schedule V

Epidiolex, a prescription medicine containing a standardized formulation of plant-derived cannabidiol (CBD), has been reclassified today by the US Drug Enforcement Administration to Schedule V — the lowest restriction classification available under federal law. The US Food and Drug Administration had previously approved the product in June for the explicit treatment of two rare forms of severe epilepsy: Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome. It is the first botanically-derived medicine from cannabis to receive US market approval.

A spokesperson for the DEA affirmed that the change is only specific to Epidiolex, and does not amend the schedule I status of either whole-plant cannabis or CBD — stating: “As of right now, any other CBD product other than Epidiolex remains a Schedule I Controlled Substance, so it’s still illegal under federal law.”

The drug’s manufacturer estimates that physicians will likely be able to begin prescribing the medicine within six weeks. An annual prescription is anticipated to cost patients $32,500.

Commenting on the scheduling change, NORML’s Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “The DEA’s rescheduling of this plant-derived medicine provides an additional option to patients seeking the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. However, it remains to be seen to what degree physicians will be comfortable prescribing this new agent, and whether most patients can feasibly afford it.”

He added: “We anticipated that Epidiolex will be the first of many potential FDA-approved medicines based on the cannabis plant. These are welcome alternatives. But these …

North Dakota Is Ready To End Criminalization

Last week, I did something that I had never done before: I traveled to North Dakota.

This summer, the grassroots group LegalizeND successfully collected enough petition signatures to place a statewide marijuana legalization initiative (Measure 3) on this November’s general election. If enacted in November, North Dakota would become the tenth state — and by far the most politically conservative one — to legalize the adult use of marijuana in the United States.

And as if I need to tell you, that would be a game-changer in our country.

Measure 3 has a sort of beauty in its simplicity. Thirty days after passage, it removes the criminal and civil penalties for adults over the age of 21 to possess, privately consume, and privately cultivate personal possession of marijuana. Unlike initiatives in other states, that often possessed robust and sometimes overly-complicated and exclusionary regulatory schemes for the licensing of commercial marijuana market, Measure 3 focuses on the individual consumer — not commercial businesses. In short, it halts new arrests and expunges past convictions. It’s that simple.

If lawmakers in the future wish to enact specific regulations licensing and taxing the marijuana market, that decision will be up to them.

But can Measure 3 win this November? I went to North Dakota to see for myself.

The fundamentals are strong. In 2016, voters passed a medical cannabis regulatory program with 64% of the vote. But then the legislature gutted the law, rewrote

Cities Across Georgia Continue to Ease Penalties for Marijuana Possession

Following the lead of municipalities around the state, the City Council of Kingsland, Georgia, voted to approve a new ordinance to ease penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana.

“I’m glad to see the Kingsland City Council unanimously approve this ordinance. They join Clarkston, Atlanta, Savannah, Forest Park, South Fulton and Fulton County in enacting sensible marijuana ordinances here in Georgia,” said Tom McCain, executive director of Peachtree NORML.  

Citing concerns of racial profiling and the effects of the black market regarding teen access and use, Councilman Mike McClain was one of the most vocal proponents during Monday’s meeting to discuss the proposal.

“There is a definite amount of racial profiling with the outdated law. We need to be on the right side of history, and I want to do the right thing,” said Mclain. “We are a small town, but we are not afraid of change when it goes to correctly police our community.”

Read more here: https://www.allongeorgia.com/camden-local-news/kingsland-city-council-passes-relaxed-marijuana-rule/

As state lawmakers around the country continue to drag their feet on marijuana law reforms, municipalities are taking matters into their own hands. As a result, more than 50 localities in a dozen states have adopted municipal ordinances to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

“While they cannot change Georgia Law, they can indeed lower penalties for simple possession, and in doing so, send a message to the General Assembly that it needs to follow suit at the state-level,”

Mormons Oppose Marijuana Initiative in Utah Despite History of Cannabis Use

Mormons with Mexicans in Northern Mexico, 1908

In 1885, the prophet and president of the Mormon Church, John Taylor, purchased about 100,000 acres of land in Mexico—in Chihuahua and Sonora, to be exact, some 200 miles south of the US border. More than 300 polygamous Mormon families from Utah migrated south to settle the land and to proselytize (even today you see the traveling twosomes of fresh-faced young men in their white shirts, ties and black name tags) and, many theorize, to preserve the practice of polygamy.

At the time, Mormon polygamists were being jailed and having their property seized. Utah itself was denied statehood by the federal government to halt the practice. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is descended from the Mexican settlements; his father, George, and grandfather, Marion, were born in Colonia Dublán, Mexico, in 1907.

But in 1910, many who had settled in northern Mexico began an exodus back to Utah due to anti-American sentiment fueled by the Mexican Revolution. Some say they returned with a local plant introduced by the natives: cannabis.

The Mormon Church, formally known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), were and still are infamous for their teetotaler ways and as abstainers of vices of all kinds; hence, they didn’t look kindly on the brethren partaking of the plant, viewing it as a violation of Mormon scripture from the “Doctrine and Covenants,” section 89 (D&C 89), …

Mormons Oppose Marijuana Initiative in Utah Despite History of Cannabis Use

Mormons with Mexicans in Northern Mexico, 1908

In 1885, the prophet and president of the Mormon Church, John Taylor, purchased about 100,000 acres of land in Mexico—in Chihuahua and Sonora, to be exact, some 200 miles south of the US border. More than 300 polygamous Mormon families from Utah migrated south to settle the land and to proselytize (even today you see the traveling twosomes of fresh-faced young men in their white shirts, ties and black name tags) and, many theorize, to preserve the practice of polygamy.

At the time, Mormon polygamists were being jailed and having their property seized. Utah itself was denied statehood by the federal government to halt the practice. Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney is descended from the Mexican settlements; his father, George, and grandfather, Marion, were born in Colonia Dublán, Mexico, in 1907.

But in 1910, many who had settled in northern Mexico began an exodus back to Utah due to anti-American sentiment fueled by the Mexican Revolution. Some say they returned with a local plant introduced by the natives: cannabis.

The Mormon Church, formally known as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), were and still are infamous for their teetotaler ways and as abstainers of vices of all kinds; hence, they didn’t look kindly on the brethren partaking of the plant, viewing it as a violation of Mormon scripture from the “Doctrine and Covenants,” section 89 (D&C 89), …

Are you ready to #SmokeTheVote?

??Happy National Voter Registration Day!??

It’s critically important that we make sure all reform supporters are registered and turnout to vote for pro-cannabis candidates this year for the “Marijuana Midterms.”

With just six weeks until Election Day, NORML is proud to roll out the following educational tools for you to take with you to the ballot booth.

Smoke the Vote: NORML has graded every incumbent and major candidate for federal office throughout the country – making it easy for you to get the facts.

NORML chapters around the country have recorded many of the positions of candidates for state-level offices. This scorecard is meant to be a living document, and with over 10,000 legislators at the state and federal level across the nation, we NEED your help to keep it up to date. If you see that we’re missing a candidate’s position or a great quote from them regarding marijuana policy, send it our way.

NORML Election Central: Learn about the various ballot initiatives around the country and see all of the NORML PAC endorsed candidates.

NORML Voter Registration Tool: NORML has partnered with Rock the Vote making it easy and fast for you and your friends to register to vote!

We need more voices supporting reform in the political process. If our supporters are not registered and voting, lawmakers will not hear the need for legislative action. Make sure your friends, family, and neighbors

Exercise your civic duty on National Voter Registration Day

Are you ready to legalize marijuana? Registering to vote is the first step. Tomorrow is National Voter Registration Day, and you can help NORML make sure everyone knows voting is an essential part of the fight to end the prohibition. It is crucial that supporters of reform register to vote in time to cast their ballots in the November 6th election.

Are you registered to vote? Check the status of your voter registration here.

Ready to register to vote? You can do so by clicking here.

We need more voices supporting reform in the political process. If our supporters are not registered and voting, lawmakers are will not hear the need for legislative action. Make sure your friends, family, and neighbors are registered to vote.

Share our Voter Registration Tool on Facebook

Share our Voter Registration Tool on Twitter

As the old adage goes, elections are decided by those who show up. The 2018 midterm elections will be decisive for marijuana reform. NORML is working to bring as many supporters of responsible marijuana policy to the polls as possible. Will our communities voice be heard on November 6?

Let’s finish what we started. Let’s legalize it.

Source: http://blog.norml.org/2018/09/24/exercise-your-civic-duty-on-national-voter-registration-day/…

FBI: Marijuana Arrests Spike For Second Straight Year, Far Outpace Arrests For All Violent Crimes

The total number of persons arrested in the United States in 2017 rose for the second consecutive year, according to data released today by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, police made 659,700 arrests for marijuana-related violations last year. That total is more than 21 percent higher than the total number of persons arrests for the commission of violent crimes (518,617) in 2017.

Of those arrested for marijuana crimes, just under 91 percent (599,000) were arrested for marijuana possession offenses, a slight increase over last year’s annual totals. Total marijuana arrests in 2017 increased for the second straight year, after having fallen for nearly a decade. The uptick comes at a time when ten states, including California, have legalized the adult use of cannabis – leading to a significant decline in marijuana-related arrests in those jurisdictions.

“Actions by law enforcement run counter to both public support and basic morality,” NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. “In a day and age where twenty percent of the population lives in states which have legalized and nearly every state has some legal protections for medical cannabis or its extract, the time for lawmakers to end this senseless and cruel prohibition that ruins lives.”

As in previous years, marijuana possession arrests were least likely to occur in the western region of the United States, where possessing the plant has largely been either legalized or …

Gauging the Cannabis Industry at Green Market Summit

From left: Vivien Azer, Debra Borchardt, Emily Paxhia, Jessica Billingsly, Jeannette Ward Horton, Cynthia Salarizadeh and Tahira Rehmatullah

“This is the most interesting investment concept today,” TV personality Jim Cramer said about the high-flying cannabis industry as he kicked off the Green Market Summit at New York’s World Trade Center on Sept. 14.

Industry experts shared a vision of legal cannabis as a trillion dollar-plus disruptor of the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries as more Fortune 500 companies take aim at the sector. Panel topics focused on the economics of cannabis, reaching out to consumers and the potential for marijuana to become more mainstream.

One major theme of the one-day conference that drew about 200 people centered around the growing role of Fortune 500 companies in the space, such as Constellation Brands and Molson Coors.

“Rob Sands is a very smart guy,” Cramer said about Constellation’s CEO, who inked a $4 billion deal with Canopy Growth over the summer to produce non-alcoholic cannabis beverages in Canada. It’s the largest investment yet by any major company in cannabis, but more are expected. Constellation owns Corona, Mondavi and many other alcohol brands.

Weekly Legislative Roundup 9/21/18

Welcome to the latest edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

This week, reports circulated that  the US Customs and Border Protection Agency will enforce a federal policy denying entry into the United States any individual involved in Canada’s burgeoning marijuana market. Under the policy, US officials are to bar entry to Canadians who acknowledge having consumed marijuana at any time in their past, as well as those who are either employed or invested in legal cannabis enterprises. NORML responded here.

The U.S. Senate’s VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act of 2018 got one more cosponsor, for a total of five. And The U.S. House’s Fairness in Federal Drug Testing Under State Laws Act got two new cosponsors, for a total of three.

At the state level, the New Jersey Department of Health removed the ban that prohibited licensed medical cannabis dispensaries from selling concentrates to patients. Separately, details arose about New Jersey’s soon-to-be-filed marijuana legalization bill, which includes what would be the lowest tax rate in the country, home delivery, social consumption sites, and provisions benefiting small and minority owned businesses, but nothing about home cultivation. Nothing is final yet.

Several New York Assembly committees have scheduled the first of what will be four joint hearings this fall on the prospect of legalizing marijuana in the Empire State. This comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is holding a series of separate listening sessions across the state to gather public input …

Floyd Prozanski Wants to Divert Oregon’s Primo Weed to Other Legal States

State Senator Floyd Prozanski is one of the Oregon’s legislative leaders and chair of the State Senate’s judiciary committee. He’s been heavily involved in crafting the state’s social-use legislation as well as its retail medical-marijuana program. He’ll be appearing at the International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) in Portland on Sept. 28. We conducted this interview with on Sept. 14.

How is Oregon dealing with its reported marijuana surpluses and what some describe as excessive cultivation licensing?

In 2017, my Senate Bill 1042, which passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee that I chair, was going to give the governor what I call a tool in her toolbox to be able to enter into compacts with adjacent, adjoining states that had marijuana programs, either or both medical and recreational, and allow for the flow of cannabis products across state lines. I believe Oregon that the quality and the strains we produce in the medical arena would be in high demand for patients and individuals in the adjacent states. Unfortunately, the Senate leadership moved it to another committee for more consideration and it was not able to get out of that committee.

You’re talking about making Oregon-grown cannabis available in adjoining legal states like California and Washington?

Yes. Clearly, what we’d be doing at that point would be establishing a method to allow for these transfers to occur that would not be in violation of interstate commerce. To do that, we …

Marijuana Law Reform Advocates Head to Harrisburg

With a state legislative session spanning almost an entire calendar year, supporters of marijuana law reform efforts in Pennsylvania are working overtime to make sure their voices are heard. That’s why members of Lehigh Valley NORML, Pittsburgh NORML, Lancaster NORML and Philly NORML are teaming up with the Keystone Cannabis Coalition and ACLU of Pennsylvania for rally and lobby day next week in the state’s capital of Harrisburg.

Click Here to RSVP Today!

“Marijuana activists in Pennsylvania are poised to introduce an aggressive agenda for reform in 2019 when they fill the Capitol Rotunda at 10am on Monday, September 24,” said Jeff Riedy, Executive Director of Lehigh Valley NORML. “With cannabis arrest counts rising across the state and neighboring states threatening legalization, the time is right for this discussion in Pennsylvania.”

But activists in the Keystone State have come a very long way in just a short amount of time.

Local Victories

In late 2014 Philadelphia’s city council decriminalized simple possession of marijuana. Little did they know, their decision would trigger a wave of municipalities across the Commonwealth to adopt similar measures. In the years following, local lawmakers in Pittsburgh, State College, Harrisburg, York, Erie, and most recently, Bethlehem followed suit.

These local victories were celebrated not just by advocates, but also the Commonwealth’s Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who shared the following statement:

“Decriminalization saves millions of dollars spent yearly on marijuana prosecutions. Decriminalization also has human benefits