Honolulu Star-Advertiser, 04 Apr 2013 - The state House on Wednesday discarded a bill that would have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana after House leaders concluded they lacked the votes to advance the legislation. The bill would have made the possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana - less than an ounce - a civil penalty that would have drawn a $100 fine.
Tucson Weekly, 04 Apr 2013 - The Distribution System for Medical Marijuana Hasn't Evolved As Quickly As Most Expected If you build it they will come. Maybe. Back in the day (the day being late 2010), when a functional medical cannabis program was a gleam in our collective eye, there was hope spilling all over the ground where medical cannabis was concerned. There was hope that we would quickly have that functional system. Hope that dispensaries and patients would soon be trading green for green. Hope that a thriving cannabis economy would spring to life across the state, leaving relief and comfort in its wake. Or not.
Boston Herald, 04 Apr 2013 - Proposed Pot Rule Says Startups Must Have $500g Say hello to Big Weed, medical marijuana critics say - mom-and-pop startups are likely to be shut out in the Bay State, thanks to a proposed state provision that requires prospective pot peddlers to put $500,000 in escrow.
Seattle Times, 04 Apr 2013 - Hazy Marijuana Law Steps Taken After 2 Area Venues Allow Marijuana Smoking The state Liquor Control Board voted Wednesday to start making rules aimed at stopping the consumption of marijuana in bars.
Sacramento News & Review, 04 Apr 2013 - Medical pot's legal in California, so can I bring some on the plane when I fly to Los Angeles? - -Jet-Set Jeff Yes. Over the past 20-plus years of bringing weed with me dang near everywhere I go, I have had no real problems.
Reno News & Review, 04 Apr 2013 - This sudden spate of liberal legislation feels surreal. This newspaper has been advocating for the gay community, legalization of marijuana, increased taxes on foreign-owned businesses (like corporate casinos and mining), and a path to citizenship for immigrants for as long as we can remember.
Medical marijuana became legal Monday in the Czech Republic and is now available for sale in pharmacies. Monday was part of the Easter holiday there, so it didn't actually go on sale until Tuesday.
[image:1 align:left]Medical marijuana is available by prescription only and has been okayed for people suffering from cancer, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and psoriasis.
Medical marijuana is being imported -- either from Israel or the Netherlands -- for the first year, while the State Institute for Drug Control prepares regulations for national production. It must determine how much marijuana will need to be cultivated and organize tenders for marijuana purchases from Czech farmers. The regulatory body intends to issue licenses to local growers for a maximum of five years each.
Allowing the sale of medical marijuana is in line with the Czech Republic's overall soft stance toward soft drugs. Non-medical pot smokers can possess up to a half-ounce and grow five plants without facing criminal sanctions.
Other European countries that allow for medical marijuana use include Austria, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain. It is also legal in 18 US states and the District of Columbia.
Medical marijuana bills were laid to rest in two states this week, changes in the medical marijuana law went into effect in another, and Massachusetts now appears set to open dispensaries by year's end. There's more news, too. Let's get to it:
Last Friday, a retired San Diego couple were bound over for trial on marijuana charges even though the presiding judge said he believed they were not selling the medical marijuana they grew. Deborah and Dennis Little were raided by DEA agents after a San Diego Sheriff's Department helicopter spotted their garden. Although the Littles are qualified patients, medical marijuana foe San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis filed criminal charges against them anyway. In binding the Littles over for trial, the judge noted that their medical marijuana recommendations were one month out of date.
On Monday, supporters conceded that medical marijuana legislation was dead for this year. The legislation has been bottled up by hostile or indifferent legislative leaders. "Shame on us as a legislature for not taking the opportunity to hear this bill this year," House bill sponsor Rep. Katie Edwards (D-Plantation) said at a press conference on Monday.
On Monday, the House of Delegates approved a bill extending protections to caretakers. The measure had already passed the state Senate, so it now goes to Gov. Martin O'Malley (D), who has not said whether he will sign it. Under a 2011 law, patients are allowed to use medical necessity as an affirmative defense if caught with marijuana. This bill would expand that same protection to their caregivers.
Last Friday, the Department of Public Health filed draft regulations for medical marijuana. Under the proposed rules, dispensaries (or "Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers") could open in the Bay State by the end of this year. Dispensaries would have to grow their own product and would not be able to sell wholesale to other dispensaries. The regulations aim to minimize home grows by various means, including discounted prices for low-income patients, allowing secure home delivery, and encouraging caregivers to pick up product instead of grow it. The regs would also define a 60-day supply of medical marijuana as 10 ounces.
On Monday, changes to the medical marijuana laws passed last year went into effect. The law now defines and requires a "bona fide physician-patient relationship" -- which includes an in-person evaluation -- between a patient and recommending physician. Also, newly issued registry ID cards will be valid for two years instead of only one. A requirement that patients transporting marijuana by vehicle keep it in a case in the trunk took effect in January.
On Monday, a medical marijuana bill died after it failed to get a vote in the House. This marks the third consecutive year that bills filed by Del. Mike Manypenny (D) have been snuffed out in the House. At least this year, Manypenny managed to find some cosponsors, including Republicans. Maybe next year.
Commercial News, 03 Apr 2013 - Whether to allow sick people to use marijuana to alleviate their pain has been considered by Illinois lawmakers in session after session. The legislation has never passed because of a combination of political cowardice, hardened law enforcement opposition and fears about it being a steppingstone to legalization.
The News-Item, 02 Apr 2013 - It may be surprising, but no state is required to have a law making possession of marijuana, or any drug, a crime. Therefore, any state can legalize some or all marijuana possession if it chooses. The federal government, if it chooses, can enforce the federal law against its possession and use, but it is up to each state to decide what to criminally prohibit, based on the 10th Amendment. This basic insight has been lost in the public discussion about whether the initiatives legalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana passed by Colorado and Washington voters in November are preempted by federal law. The two states will soon finalize regulations to implement those initiatives, including how to tax and regulate marijuana. U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. told a recent meeting of state attorneys general that the Justice Department review of the initiatives was winding down, suggesting an imminent decision as to whether it intends to challenge the initiatives as being pre-empted by federal law.
Globe and Mail, 02 Apr 2013 - Sales: Success Likely To Attract Big Companies Business has been smokin' at one hydroponics shop and warehouse in Surrey, B.C., ever since two U.S. states legalized the possession of marijuana through ballot initiatives last November.
Lincoln Journal Star, 01 Apr 2013 - As the nation's capital prepares to open its first legal medicinal marijuana dispensary and Sen. Rand Paul's call for legalization basks in bipartisan praise, it's time for President Barack Obama to clear the air around his own passive-aggressive position on pot. Until now, Obama has been remarkably adept at taking positions that seemed to be ahead of their time -- and getting ahead of them.
News Herald, 01 Apr 2013 - Proponents Promise To Try Again Next Year TALLAHASSEE - Keep those pot plants hidden - at least for another year. A bill to legalize medical marijuana in the Legislature is all but dead, as Florida's 2013 legislative session approaches its halfway point and neither the House nor the Senate has given the bill a hearing.
Morning Sun, 01 Apr 2013 - LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Some of the first significant changes to Michigan's medical-marijuana law kick in Monday, including extending the one-year registry cards to two years and setting rules for the doctor patient relationship for medical-marijuana users. Voters endorsed the use of medical marijuana in 2008 to alleviate side effects of certain illnesses, such as cancer or chronic pain. But lawmakers said the law left too much open to interpretation and pushed through bipartisan measures at the end of last session designed to clarify the act. One of the biggest changes defines the type of doctor-patient relationship needed before medical marijuana use can be certified.
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 31 Mar 2013 - A Parrish man whose home was raided for the marijuana plants he cultivated to help treat his wife's disease said he has turned down a plea bargain proffered by the state. Robert Jordan, who grows marijuana to help treat Cathy Jordan's Lou Gehrig's disease, said he refused the state's plea deal because it required him to give up his right to a fair trial or stop cultivating the plant.
The Herald, 31 Mar 2013 - The State's New Marijuana Adviser Says It Can Expect About $100 Million in the First Year, Not the $400 Million Initially Estimated. SEATTLE - Estimates of how much money marijuana legalization can bring to the state's coffers have been way off, Washington's new marijuana consultant said.
Seattle Times, 31 Mar 2013 - Options Are Tricky Rules to Bar Smoking Where Liquor Is Sold Being Considered Gov. Jay Inslee wants the state Liquor Control Board to figure out how to stop the spread of bars allowing marijuana consumption.
The Day, 30 Mar 2013 - Providence- Rhode Island is reducing the penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana and preparing to open its first medical pot dispensaries as states around the nation reassess their stance on the country's most popular illicit drug. A new law decriminalizing the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana will take effect Monday. Instead of the threat of jail time or a $500 fine, those caught with marijuana will receive a $150 civil fine. The offender will have to forfeit the marijuana and appear in traffic court, but the incident won't appear on their criminal records.
Los Angeles Times, 30 Mar 2013 - John Melvin Walker is expected to plead guilty to drug and tax evasion charges. The marijuana shops evoked health and homeopathic care, with names like Dana Point Safe Harbor Collective, Belmont Shore Natural Care, Alternative Herbal Care and Costa Mesa Patients Assn.