Inside the political pit, there is a push right now to legalize marijuana in several states, with advocates eyeing the potential outcome of the November election and some even looking towards 2016. Florida is set to vote on a measure in the upcoming election that would make it the first Southern state to legalize the leaf, while Alaska will decide if the state will join the ranks of the recreational marijuana trade alongside of Colorado and Washington.
Last week, lawmakers gathered to discuss issues surrounding amendments to current marijuana laws, as well as medical marijuana and CBD bills. Here is a closer look at what your pot-friendly legislators were up to last week:
Florida: Limited Medical Marijuana Bill Approved
State lawmakers passed a measure earlier last week that would allow CBD oil to be distributed to children suffering from debilitating seizures. The House approved Senate Bill 1030 by a vote of 111-7, with final approval being made in a vote of 30-9. Republican Governor Rick Scott is expected to sign the bill into law, which will, in turn, allow the “Charlotte’s Web” strain to be distributed throughout Florida with the assistance of five state dispensaries.
Colorado: Changes to Marijuana Laws
Colorado lawmakers voted to approve some changes to the state marijuana laws last week: one to amend the possession limits for concentrates, and another that would allocate $10 million in medical marijuana fees for research purposes. The House cast a favorable vote of 60-5 allowing the Health Department to use excess fees for cannabis research. A bill limiting the possession of concentrated marijuana, like hash, was also sent to the governor for his approval.
Nevada: Gaming or Marijuana?
The Nevada Gaming Control Board is forcing gaming licensees to choose to either work in the casino industry or the marijuana industry. The board announced that it would not allow those who have applied for gaming approval to also apply for a license to run a medical marijuana operation.
Minnesota: Medical Marijuana Advances to the Senate
Last Monday, the Minnesota Finance Committee approved legislation that would allow patients to access medical marijuana. The measure is now slated for review by the Senate floor. Before passing the bill in a vote of 14-7, lawmakers discussed establishing a system that would track physicians as well as qualified condition.
Then on Tuesday, the state Senate advanced the bill that would allow medical marijuana to be prescribed by physicians. In a vote of 48-18, the measure could result in Minnesota becoming the next state to legalize medical marijuana. Under the proposal, patients would be allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounce of marijuana, but the medicine would only be allowed to be used orally or through a vaporizer. Smoking marijuana would be prohibited.
Missouri: Bill to Keep Marijuana Users Out of Jail
The state legislature recently passed a bill aimed at eliminating the possibility of jail for those caught in possession of up to 10 grams of weed. The measure has since been sent to Governor Jay Nixon for his approval… he has until May 13 to decide.
Several other marijuana-related bills are being considered. Senate Bill 951, which is a medical marijuana bill, is expected to receive a vote from the Senate in the near future. House Bill 2238, a measure that would allow patients suffering from seizures access to CBD oil is set to go before Governor Nixon for his signature.
Illinois: CBD Bill Approved
A House committee approved a measure last Wednesday that would give families access to cannabis oil for children suffering from seizures. The measure would add epilepsy to the state medical marijuana program’s list of qualified conditions.
Washington, DC: Congressional Hearing
Last Friday, a Congressional hearing was held to examine the marijuana decriminalization bill signed into law by Mayor Vincent Gray in March. Congress must give the law its seal of approval before it can go into effect. And while lawmakers did not suspect there would be any issues, there has been speculation that the law could be met with some resistance. So far, there does not appear to be any immediate plans to overturn the law.
Mike Adams writes for stoners and smut enthusiasts in HIGH TIMES, Playboy’s The Smoking Jacket and Hustler Magazine. You can follow him on Twitter @adamssoup and on Facebook/mikeadams73.