Already Four States Have Marijuana Legalization Bills In Play; Californians To Vote On Legalization in 2010
It can readily be said that 2009 was one of the busiest and most productive years in cannabis law reform since NORML’s founding in 1970. However, it appears as if 2010 is going to be an even busier year–notably marked by the increasing number of actual state legalization bills and a voter initiative in America’s most important state.
Currently, there is legalization legislation pending in California, Massachusetts, Vermont, and a legalization bill was just introduced this week in Washington. Frankly, most of these bills do not have a strong prospect in passing this time out, however the immense public discussion that is generated is crucial for overall reform efforts.
The formula is simple: No public discussion or debate about legalization, obviously equates to no substantive law reforms. This is what regrettably happened in the United States, Canada and Europe from 1980-2000, buttressed by extreme federal anti-marijuanism in the form of the DARE program in the public school, the blitzkrieg of Partnership for a Drug-Free America ads polluting media airwaves and omnibus federal crime bills overloaded with severe and costly penalties (i.e., mandatory minimum sentencing, civil forfeiture, mass drug testing, etc…). However, since the turn of the century, there have been ever-increasing public discussions and debates about marijuana prohibition–principally driven by the creation and implementation of medical cannabis laws in thirteen states–which is leading to greater public support for reform.
Inside the green neon sign, which is shaped like a marijuana leaf, is a red cross. The cross serves the fiction that most transactions in the store -- which is what it really is -- involve medicine.
The U.S. Justice Department recently announced that federal laws against marijuana would not be enforced for possession of marijuana that conforms to states' laws. In 2000, Colorado legalized medical marijuana. Since Justice's decision, the average age of the 400 persons a day seeking "prescriptions" at Colorado's multiplying medical marijuana dispensaries has fallen precipitously. Many new customers are college students.
Customers -- this, not patients, is what most really are -- tell doctors at the dispensaries that they suffer from insomnia, anxiety, headaches, premenstrual syndrome, "chronic pain," whatever, and pay nominal fees for "prescriptions." Most really just want to smoke pot.
It seems like several Bay Area doctors who recommend medical marijuana for their patients made it public in recent interviews that their client base are expanding to include teenagers with psychiatric conditions including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.
"It's not everybody's medicine, but for some, it can make a profound difference," said Valerie Corral, a founder of the Wo/Men's Alliance for Medical Marijuana, a patients' collective in Santa Cruz who also has more than two dozen minors as registered clients some as young as fourteen.
The problem seems to be that California does not require doctors to report cases involving medical marijuana. There is no reliable data that exists for how many minors have been authorized to receive it. But Dr. Jean Talleyrand, who founded MediCann, a network in Oakland of 20 clinics who authorize patients to use the drug, said his staff members had treated as many as 50 patients ages 14 to 18 who had A.D.H.D.
The same day they rejected a gay marriage ballot measure, residents of Maine voted overwhelmingly to allow the sale of medical marijuana over the counter at state-licensed dispensaries.
Later in the month, the American Medical Association reversed a longtime position and urged the federal government to remove marijuana from Schedule One of the Controlled Substances Act, which equates it with heroin.
A few days later, advocates for easing marijuana laws left their biannual strategy conference with plans to press ahead on all fronts -- state law, ballot measures, and court -- in a movement that for the first time in decades appeared to be gaining ground.
Customs officials at the Los Angeles Harbor received a shipment from China listed as Christmas ornaments.
But when they opened the "presents" Tuesday, they found 316,000 bongs and pipes.
The Crown Princes of Cannabis Comedy – Cheech Marin and Canadian born Tommy Chong – are bringing their unique brand of dope humour back to North America – including dates in Canada.
Cheech & Chong: Get It Legal! tour is the follow-up to their hugely successful reunion tour, Cheech & Chong: Light Up America reunion tour.
Live Nation reports that the duo is scheduled to make 17 stops across North America including Canadian stops in Saskatoon at TCU Place Jan. 30 and Regina at Conexus Arts Centre Jan. 31.