Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has given approval to an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis, put forth by the group ResponsibleOhio . The proposal would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, and the private cultivation of up to four cannabis plants, for those 21 and older. The measure would also legalize cannabis retail outlets which would be authorized to distribute the plant. A tax of 15% would be imposed on all gross revenue brought in by cultivation and production centers (which would supply retail outlets with the cannabis they would then sell to the public), with...Read more http://thejointblog.com/cannabis-legalization-initiative-approved-by-ohio-secretary-of-state/

Georgia’s Senate has voted 54 to 1 to approve a bill that would allow for the use of cannabis extracts in the treatment of epilepsy. The bill is a far more restrictive version of a measure approved by Georgia’s House of Representatives last month with an 158 to 2 vote. The sole no vote on the Senate bill, Senator Curth Thomson, calls the measure “virtually worthless” as it only allows for the possession and use of low-THC cannabis oil, and doesn’t authorize anyone but those with epilepsy to consume the medicine. Thompson has recently filed both a broader medical cannabis...Read more http://thejointblog.com/georgia-senate-votes-54-to-1-to-approve-medical-cannabis-bill/

Legislation to legalize medical cannabis was filed today in Texas’ House of Representatives, with a companion bill being filed next week in the state’s Senate. House Bill 3785 , introduced by Representative Marisa Márquez, would allow patients who receive a recommendation from a physician to legally possess and use up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis for medical purposes. Patients would also be able to cultivate up to six cannabis plants at their private residence, and the Department of State Health Services would be directed to establish a regulated system of licensed cannabis cultivators, processors, and dispensaries. Senator José Menéndez plans...Read more http://thejointblog.com/medical-cannabis-legalization-bill-filed-in-texas-legislature/

New Mexico’s full Senate has passed Senate Bill 383 , a proposal to decriminalize cannabis possession. The vote was 21 to 20. If approved into law, the proposed legislation would make the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, and the possession of any drug paraphernalia, a penalty with a fine of $50 rather than an arrestable misdemeanor as it currently stands. The measure would also takes away the potential for jail time for the possession of up to half  a pound (eight ounces). Under current New Mexico law, possession of up to eight ounces comes with a potential...Read more http://thejointblog.com/new-mexico-senate-passes-bill-to-decriminalize-cannabis/

By Phillip Smith, StoptheDrugWar.org An Afghan poppy field. Wealthy Western countries are undermining good governance and social and economic development in poor, drug-producing countries by pressuring them to enforce prohibitionist policies that exploit peasant farmers and waste millions of dollars a year on failed crop eradication and drug interdiction programs. That’s the conclusion of a recent report by the British advocacy group Health Poverty Action (HPA). In the report, Casualties of War: How the War on Drugs is Harming the World’s Poorest , HPA shows how the West exports much of the harms of drug prohibition — violence, corruption, environmental...Read more http://thejointblog.com/new-report-shows-how-western-imposed-prohibition-policies-hurt-poor-countries/

Cannabis tincture. Idaho’s Senate State Affairs Committee has approved an amended version of Senate Bill 1146 , a proposal to allow for the possession and use of low-THC cannabis extracts for medical purposes. The proposal, which is sponsored by Senator Curt McKenzie, Chairman of the Senate State Affairs Committee , was approved narrowly with a 5 to 4 vote. Senate Bill 1146 would allow those with ailments such as cancer, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy who receive a recommendation from a physician to use cannabis extracts that have low amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Senate Bill 1146 now heads towards a full...Read more http://thejointblog.com/bill-to-allow-medical-use-of-cannabis-extracts-passes-idaho-senate-committee/

North Dakota’s full Senate has voted 46 to 1 to legalize hemp through the passage of House Bill 1436 . The proposal has already been approved with an 87 to 5 vote by the state’s House of Representatives, meaning it’s been sent to Gov. Jack Dalrymple’s for consideration. Governor Dalrymple has the option of passing the measure into law, allowing it to become law without his signature or vetoing it, though the Legislature passed the bill with more than enough support to override a veto. House Bill 1436 would legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp (defined as having 0.3% THC or...Read more http://thejointblog.com/north-dakota-senate-passes-bill-to-explicitly-legalize-hemp-heads-to-governor/

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that those convicted of past cannabis possession misdemeanors can have the charges erased from their record because the state decriminalized the substance in 2011. The ruling was unanimous, 7 to 0. The court ruled in favor of Nicholas Menditto, overturning the ruling of a state Appellate Court which decided that Menditto couldn’t have his two cannabis possession convictions from 2009 removed from his record, despite the offenses no longer being criminal. In 2011 Connecticut’s Legislature approved a bill, signed by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, which decriminalized the possession of up to half an ounce...Read more http://thejointblog.com/connecticut-supreme-court-rules-past-cannabis-convictions-can-be-erased/

Ecstasy tablets. The Drug Enforcement Adminsitration ( DEA ) has approved a study of MDMA (ecstasy) for the treatment of anxiety associated with terminal illnesses. “On March 13, 2015, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration approved the Schedule I license for Phil Wolfson, M.D., the Principal Investigator for our upcoming study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness” , the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies ( MAPS ) said in a recent newsletter. “This was the final regulatory approval needed for the study, which was approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB) on September 16, 2014, the Research Advisory...Read more http://thejointblog.com/dea-approves-study-of-ecstasy-for-anxiety-associated-with-life-threatening-illness/

Over 60 members of Italy’s Parliament have signed a motion to legalize recreational cannabis. “It is a bipartisan proposition from members of the parliament of different political backgrounds.” says Senator Benedetto Della Vedova, a Parliamentary undersecretary in the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs . “This shows that even in Italy a pragmatic approach, based on a rigorous cost / benefit analysis, is now increasingly popular in the political and cultural debate, not only outside but also inside the Parliament.” According to Vedova; “In view of the failure of prohibition the group will draft a pragmatic, non-ideological bill regulating the use...Read more http://thejointblog.com/over-60-italian-lawmakers-sign-motion-to-legalize-cannabis/

By Arielle Duhaime-Ross, The Verge Scientists who study medical marijuana will soon have access to a wider variety of strains. The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) — the federal “dealer” that supplies the drug to scientists — has received numerous complaints from researchers that the drug they supply is too weak compared with what’s sold on the streets, legal or otherwise. But the complaints aren’t responsible for the change, Nature reports . NIDA’s willingness to expand the types of plants available to researchers is tied to the fact that legal marijuana is becoming increasingly available. “We want to be...Read more http://thejointblog.com/u-s-scientists-can-soon-run-experiments-on-stronger-cannabis-than-previously-allowed-says-nida/

Companion Cannabis, a medical cannabis tincture for dogs and cats by California-based Holistic Therapeutics. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File) Legislation that would make several changes to Nevada’s medical cannabis law has been introduced in the state’s Legislature. One of the changes the bill would make is to allow pets to use medical cannabis obtained by their owners, and to alter a law that finds a person guilty of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID) if they’re caught driving with THC in their system.
Senate Bill 372 , sponsored by Senator Tick Segerblom, would allow animal owners to obtain medical cannabis...Read more http://thejointblog.com/nevada-bill-would-legalize-medical-cannabis-for-pets-remove-per-se-cannabis-duid-law/

New polling released by the Benenson Strategy Group and SKDKnickerbocker shows that a strong majority of voters in the United States are in favor of legalizing cannabis, with an ever higher percentage in support of decriminalizing cannabis. According to the Beyond the Beltway poll, 61% of voters agree that state-regulated sales of cannabis should be legal; just 39% oppose the move. Support for decriminalization is considerably higher, with 72% saying they believe the possession of small amounts of cannabis should be reduced from a potential jail sentence to a simple fine of $25 to $100. According to the poll; “Even...Read more http://thejointblog.com/poll-61-of-american-voters-support-cannabis-legalization-72-support-decriminalization/

Legislation that would allow for the possession and use of low-THC cannabis oil has been approved by Tennessee’s House Criminal Justice Committee. House Bill 109 , filed by Representative Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby), would allow for the use of low-THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), high-CBD (cannabidiol) cannabis oil for those with seizure disorders such as epilepsy who receive a recommendation from a physician. The proposal unfortunately wouldn’t establish a legal means for patients to obtain the medicine. “For close to a decade we demonized a plant,” says Representative Faison. “We are in the early stages in America and in Tennessee in understanding there may...Read more http://thejointblog.com/cannabis-oil-bill-approved-by-tennessee-house-committee/

New Mexico’s House Judiciary Committee has voted 10 to 1 to approve the Industrial Hemp Farming Act , which would legalize the cultivation of hemp for research purposes, and pave the way for commercial hemp production once there’s a change in federal law. The proposal was approved last week with a unanimous vote by the state’s House Agriculture, Water and Wildlife Committee , and it was passed by the full Senate with a 33 to 8 vote earlier this month. If approved into law, the measure would establish a regulatory system for the cultivation and production of hemp, with hemp...Read more http://thejointblog.com/new-mexico-industrial-hemp-bill-approved-by-second-house-committee-already-passed-full-senate/

Washington State’s full Senate, with a 48 to 0 vote, has approved a bill to add PTSD as a qualifying medical cannabis conditions. Senate Bill 5379 was filed by Senator Steve Hobbs, an active member of the Army National Guard , and has been sent to the state’s House of Representatives. Its passage in the House will send it to Governor Jay Inslee for consideration. Nine other states – Michigan, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Arizona and Oregon – allow those with PTSD to use cannabis for medical purposes. According to a study published last year 2014 in...Read more http://thejointblog.com/washington-senate-passes-bill-to-add-ptsd-as-qualifying-medical-cannabis-condition/

By NORML LAS VEGAS, NV — Nevada voters will decide next November on ballot language that seeks to regulate the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults. Lawmakers had until late last week to act on the initiative petition, filed by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), but failed to do so – thus placing the measure on the 2016 electoral ballot. Proponents of the measure, “ The Initiative to Tax and Regulate Marijuana ,” turned in over 200,000 signatures from registered Nevada voters in December to qualify it for the ballot . The ballot language permits adults to...Read more http://thejointblog.com/nevada-voters-to-decide-on-legalizing-cannabis-in-2016/

Legislation to legalize the personal cultivation of recreational cannabis for those 21 and older has been filed in Washington’s House and Senate. Senate Bill 6083 , sponsored by Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles, and House Bill 2196 , sponsored by Representative Brian Blake, would both allow anyone 21 and older to cultivate up to six cannabis plants at their private residence, and would allow those who cultivate cannabis to possess up to eight ounces of usable cannabis obtained from their plants. Only one six-plant grow would be allowed per domicile. “This bill would protect patients as well as recreational users,” says Senator...Read more http://thejointblog.com/companion-bills-to-legalize-cannabis-cultivation-filed-in-washingtons-house-and-senate/

A bill to legalize the production and cultivation of industrial hemp in Missouri has been approved with a 6 to 1 vote by the state’s House Commerce Committee . The bill was approved last week with a 10 to 1 vote by the  House Economic Development and Business Attraction and Retention Committee . House Bill 830 would reclassify cannabis as a legal agricultural product in the state by removing it as a controlled substance. It would establish a system of licensing and regulations for those wishing to cultivate the crop, which would be defined as having no more than 0.3%...Read more http://thejointblog.com/missouri-bill-to-legalize-hemp-approved-by-house-commerce-committee/

Legislation to allow those with a variety of medical conditions to possess and use cannabis extracts to treat their ailment has been approved by Georgia’s Senate Health and Human Services Committee . The measure has already been approved by the full House of Representatives, and a more restrictive bill passed the Senate with a 54 to 1 vote earlier this month. House Bill 1 , titled the Haleigh’s Hope Act , would legalize the possession and use of up to 20 ounces of cannabis extracts (such as tinctures and oils) for those with certain medical conditions – such as cancer,...Read more http://thejointblog.com/georgia-medical-cannabis-bill-approved-by-senate-committee/

Utah’s full Senate has given approval to a proposal to legalize medical cannabis. The measure, filed by Republican State Senator Mark Madsen, was approved with a 16 to 13 vote. Senate Bill 259 would allow those with debilitating conditions such as HIV/AIDS and epilepsy to possess and use cannabis-infused products such as edibles, lotions, oils and tinctures. Smoking cannabis, however, would remain prohibited. Senate Bill 259 would authorize dispensaries to distribute cannabis products to qualified patients. These outlets would be licensed by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing . The measure will be required to receive one more vote...Read more http://thejointblog.com/utah-senate-approves-measure-to-legalize-medical-cannabis/

For the first time in the poll’s 43 years of existence, the Gold Society Survey has found that a majority of Americans support the legalization of recreational cannabis. The survey is considered by many to be the absolute gold standard in public opinion research, and is widely regarded as the single best source of data on societal trends. According to the poll, 52% of those in the United States support the legalization of cannabis, with just 42% opposed; the remaining 6% are undecided. This marks an almost 20% increase from 2004, when 33% of those in the U.S. responded that...Read more http://thejointblog.com/survey-majority-of-americans-support-legalizing-recreational-cannabis/

By Martin Austermuhle, American University Radio D.C. police often confiscate drugs during the course of searches and arrests, but now D.C. residents are legally allowed to ask for them back — and one recently did. According to D.C. Council member Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7), a resident walked into the Sixth District police station in Ward 7 on Monday and asked an officer on duty to return his marijuana to him, which had been confiscated during a prior arrest. “He walked in to recover his property from a recent arrest,” said Alexander, who was told of the exchange by a staff...Read more http://thejointblog.com/a-d-c-man-walks-into-a-police-station-and-asks-for-cannabis-and-gets-it/