This weeks’ legislative roundup in being typed out under extreme duress, as blizzard like conditions across Southern Indiana are currently threatening the stability of modern communication, while reports from law enforcement officials about a bizarre light in the sky followed by a statewide power surge has rumors of an alien invasion running rampant.
None of this, of course, has anything to do with last week’s madhouse efforts in the world of marijuana legislation, but it is important for you to understand that while I struggle to write my latest report wearing mittens, my editors have since packed up and relocated to Key West for a series of cocktail meetings on the beach.
Therefore, I have been reduced to using spit and duct tape technology to compile this important document, and if you are fortunate enough to be reading it first thing Monday morning, it means that I somehow managed to dig myself out of the snow, avoid being probed by aliens, and successfully track down a working fax machine.
Here is what your pot-friendly lawmakers were up to last week:
Missouri: Initiatives Filed to Legalize Marijuana
A string of initiatives were filed last week in Missouri by attorney Dan Viets that could serve to legalize marijuana through a constitutional amendment. If passed, the law would legalize marijuana for people 21 and over and allow them to possess a specific number of plants.
The initiative must first be approved by the Secretary of State’s office before it can begin securing the required 320,000 registered voter signatures it needs by May 4 to secure a spot on the ballot.
Michigan: Hearings to Change Medical Marijuana Law
Three bills were introduced in Michigan last week that supporters hope will change the state’s medical marijuana law. One is geared toward producing medical marijuana dispensaries that would be controlled locally; the other would allow marijuana edibles and topicals to be used by patients as medicine; the third is an attempt to get the federal classification of marijuana reduced from a Schedule I to a Schedule II.
The committee meets again this week.
Maine: Revamping Marijuana Bill for 2015
Representative Diane Russell is not wasting any time preparing to reintroduce legislation for the legalization of marijuana in 2015. However, she says she wants some additional input on the current draft in order to strengthen the proposal before that time comes.
Representative Russell has since opened the measure up for discussion and new suggestions in hopes that Mainers will voice their concerns and assist in developing a better bill.
Oregon: Signatures Turned in for Two Marijuana Initiatives
Marijuana supporters turned in tens of thousands of signatures last week for two initiatives aimed at getting the issue of marijuana legalization on the 2014 ballot. The first measure, Initiative 21, is a constitutional amendment to put an end to marijuana prohibition; the second, Initiative 22, serves to regulate and tax marijuana and allow farmers to cultivate hemp.
Signatures were turned in to the Oregon Secretary of State’s Election Division.
New York: Bill to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Introduced
State Senator Liz Krueger is set to introduce a bill sometime this week that would legalize recreational marijuana for New York State.
"We see the bill as the starting point for the conversation about a more rational marijuana policy, [one] that doesn’t result in a system that costs taxpayers an awful lot of money and generates racially discriminatory outcomes," said her spokesman Andrew Goldston.
The bill is coat-tailing another piece of legislation in the state aimed at legalizing medical marijuana.
Alabama: Legislation Being Drafted for Cannabis Oil
Representative Mike Ball is currently drafting a piece of legislation that may persuade the state to open up to the idea of legalized medical marijuana. Ball says that the proposal’s primary focus is helping children suffering from epileptic seizures with cannabis oil.
Representative Ball is working on the bill with Representative Patricia Todd. He believes the bill will be introduced after the first of the year.
The Denver City Council will vote on a bill this week that would limit the number of marijuana plants that can be grown in a residence. The council wants to permit six cannabis plants per person for recreational use, but set a cap at 12 plants per household.
While the bill has some people upset that the new limit would have a negative impact on veterans and extremely ill patients, Councilwoman Jeanne Robb says that the measure is all about public safety.
"The police are very worried about the home grows and the problems they could cause, fires, pesticide use, the mold, structural damage, children who might be living in these areas and THC on surface areas," she said. "They really want to be able to go in and have law enforcement ability to enforce our zoning."
The initial vote is scheduled for Monday during a public hearing.
Mike Adams writes for Playboy's The Smoking Jacket, BroBible and Hustler Magazine. Follow him: @adamssoup; facebook.com/mikeadams73.