NEW JERSEY: Most cameras in Trenton were fixed on Governor Christie’s scandal hearings last week. The “Bridge-gate” controversy as well as allegations that he misused Sandy Relief funds has been so dominant in the news that the excellent work of our legislature was being overlooked. Controversy hearings dominated our capitol last week, and the Governor’s second term inauguration events were also well covered. So as usual, mainstream media was too pre-occupied to report Chris Christie’s actions to double-down on our state’s draconian cannabis laws.
Last week, two cannabis reform bills were passed through the NJ Legislature: S1220 would have “required registered qualifying patient’s authorized use of medical marijuana to be considered equivalent to use of any other prescribed medication and not the use of an illicit substance that would otherwise disqualify a qualifying patient from needed medical care, including organ transplants.” Continue reading
EDITOR’S NOTE: As part of our series on 50+ Second Careers in Cannabis, we profile Jake Dimmock, master gardener and co-owner of Northwest Patient Resource Center, a leading medical marijuana dispensary in Seattle, WA.
Jake Dimmock is an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman, and he looks the part. His wide grin and happy round glasses fill a face framed by long, rock-star blonde-grey hair. Sporting a dark blazer over clean blue jeans, a black shirt and bolo tie when we meet up, Jake is a big guy who exudes a gentle calmness and cheerful politeness that lets you know right away that you’re going to like him. And you do.
“I’m the Jerry Garcia of the cannabis community,” he jokes, and the physical resemblance is unmistakable, “I’m the guy you want to have a beer with.” The 55 year-old former merchant seaman from Norfolk, Virginia, carries a quiet confidence, in contrast to the strong egos that define so many of his peers. Continue reading
The stage is set, the contenders are in place and we either cross that finish line by legitimizing medicinal use, cultivation and dispensing of medical cannabis in law or it’s finished all together.
A dedicated group striving to protect medical cannabis access in Washington State gathered on Thursday as starters in a sprint. Kari Boiter, the Americans for Safe Access National Advocate of the Year, lead the discussion with bullet strength detail.
The bottom line? This grassroots effort needs funds to hire a lobbyist to represent interests in Olympia. That’s the way it works and Boiter knows just the woman for the job who’ll deliver the communities’ message.
Any legislation presented in 2014 that meets these Core Values has stakeholder support. Here’s the message, in its simple detail:
Patients must maintain the ability to possess and cultivate a 60 day supply as previously defined by the Department of Health.
Small, private non-commercial cooperatives must be preserved with clear guidelines.
Affirmative defense must be retained as it is in current law.
Commercial MMJ enterprises must be licensed and regulated by the State.
Medical cannabis must follow the same guidelines of taxation as other botanical medicines as per current WA State law.
Health care professionals must maintain the flexibility to adapt treatment plans to suit individual patients needs.
A dedicate workgroup of knowledgeable stakeholders must first study the impact of a patient registry before any action is taken to establish one.
Civil rights need granted so that no medical cannabis patients lose their housing nor their jobs nor should a patient be denied an organ transplant because of their cannabis use. PTSD needs added as a qualifying condition as supported by evolving science proving it’s benefits.
The small crowd quickly pledged and departed with weekend commitments to gather the initial $25,000 in funds that will secure the Olympian influence and organization required to move forward. The time to cross the finish line is within a short 45 day legislative session beginning Monday January 13th.
The procrastination to make a difference ends now.
Cannabis activists are getting many exciting gifts this December. Uruguay became the first nation ever to legalize the production and sale of marijuana. We are celebrating the one year anniversary of the votes that legalized recreational MJ in Washington and Colorado. New York representatives announced the introduction of a tax and regulate bill.
Here in New Jersey, the state legislature had 2 related votes this week. The New Jersey industrial hemp bill is progressing virtually unopposed through the state legislature. But another bill amending NJ’s medical marijuana law is getting opposition from the governor. This means 2 & 1/2 year old Vivian Wilson is going to have a difficult holiday because Governor Christie is trying to deny her access to her seizure medicine.
The NJ Governor stated: “Every time you sign one expansion then the advocates come back and ask for another. Here…
The legalization of the sale of recreational marijuana is expected to lead to a rush of business people are hoping to cash in. Pastry Chef Marla Molly Poiset, Nana’s Secret owner Cecilia Sivertson, and Cannabis Foundation owner Angel Swanson talk with Craig Melvin.
FLORIDA: Peter Lewis, chairman of Progressive Insurance, died on Saturday afternoon at his home in Coconut Grove Florida apparently due to natural causes. He had just celebrated his 80th birthday on November 11.
Colorado and Washington State made history in 2012 by legalizing the personal possession of marijuana and establishing recreational marijuana markets. Both states also allow for medical marijuana, but the effect legalization has had on medical marijuana patients in those states is vastly different. As Oregon seeks to legalize marijuana in 2014, it benefits from the successes in Colorado and fights to avoid the mistakes made in Washington.
Successes in Colorado
In Colorado, activists behind the Amendment 64 campaign to legalize marijuana created a legalization framework that respects Colorado’s highly successful medical marijuana program. Existing dispensaries are given first dibs at the new recreational marijuana business licenses and regulations for the recreational market will mirror some of the medical regulations. A single state agency — the Marijuana Enforcement Division — will oversee compliance for both medical and…