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Medical Marijuana, Hemp Bills Introduced In Virgin Islands

Posted on  August 13, 2012 by  News Admin

 Bills which would legalize the production of industrial hemp and the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes will be considered on Monday and Tuesday, August 13 and 14, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Senator Terrance "Positive" Nelson, the first and only Rastafarian senator in the Virgin Islands, is bringing the bills forward. Senator Nelson has vowed to bring marijuana legislation before the Senate, and has other senators who have publicly supported him and these bills for ballot referendums. Senator Nelson has also said publicly that he is working on a marijuana decriminalization bill that will be presented before the end of this Senate session. Toke of the Town has seen a draft of the as yet unnumbered bill, which is not yet final. According to Linda Adler of USVI NORML, this year's decrim bill is much better than the one introduced last year. "This one will be a battle, but if armed with enough facts and specific information on how this will impact the Territory's financial crisis and reduce the effects and costs of keeping it criminalized, he stands a chance," Adler told Toke of the Town Friday morning. One hearing will be held on St. Thomas and the other on St. Croix, so that residents on each island will have a chance to testify and attend. Each hearing will cover both the medical marijuana bill (29-0349 [pdf]) and the industrial hemp bill (29-0350 [pdf]), according to Ronald E. Russell, president of the USVI 29th Legislature. Monday's hearing will be at...

Medical Marijuana Headed For November Ballot In Arkansas

Posted on  August 13, 2012 by  News Admin

  The Facebook page for Arkansas for Compassionate Care (ACC) has been alluding to big news all week. "If you have your ear to the ground in just the right place, you know the good news is coming. Arkansas get ready, greatness is upon you!" The group has reason to celebrate. At 2 p.m. EST on Monday they will travel to Little Rock to submit approximately 130,000 signatures, more than double the 62,000 needed to qualify, putting medical marijuana up for a vote in November.  If the Arkansas initiative passes, its supporters are confident that it will represent the dawn of a sea change in federal marijuana policy. They believe that by becoming the first Southern state to pass such a bill, the Federal government will be forced to address prohibition at a national level. "We are in the Bible Belt; this isn't generally one of the states that is a hotbed of marijuana reform or policy," said Ryan Denham, campaign director for ACC. "If passed, this will send a strong message nationally -- we did it before [bigger, more populated states such as] Illinois, Georgia and Texas." "Arkansans are leaders and we are going to set an example for the rest of the country," Denham said. "Marijuana is medicine and it is time we recognize that on a national level. We hope that [the passage of our initiative] sends a strong message to national elected officials." Denham is confident medical marijuana will pass in November. ACC is running a professional...

One More Month: Los Angeles Pot Dispensary Ban Starts September 6

Posted on  August 07, 2012 by  News Admin

 Medical marijuana patients in Los Angeles only have one more month of safe access to cannabis before a hare-brained scheme to ban dispensaries in the sprawling city goes into effect on September 6. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa signed the City Council's ban last Thursday, reports Dennis Romero of L.A. Weekly, and the ordinance was published on Monday, giving it 31 days -- until Thursday, September 6 -- to take effect, according to the City Clerk's office. While the hapless City Council has taken five years of wrangling with the issue since their 2007 moratorium -- giving a convincing portrayal of clueless incompetence -- it seems that now they're on the way to banning dispensaries, they've suddenly found a new sense of purpose. A second reading, or confirmatory vote, was unnecessary because, incredibly, the vote to ban pot shops was unanimous at 14-0, according to a spokesman for ban ordinance author Councilman Jose Huizar. But there still exists a competing proposal by Councilman Paul Koretz that would give a reprieve to 182 of the shops which existed before the 2007 moratorium. According to the L.A. Weekly, it appears there may not enough time for Koretz's competing (and more reasonable) proposal to be approved in time to stop the dispensary ban. The City Attorney's office is working on drafting the language of the Koretz proposal, according to his chief of staff Richard H. Llewellyn, Jr., with "no set timetable" for the office to complete its work. With the ban apparently headed for implementation, the patient advocacy group...

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