The medical marijuana industry is well on its way to being cut lose from the short leash of the federal government, which will allow dispensaries the freedom to operate in legal states without being bullied by Uncle Sam’s henchmen. The US House of Representative presented marijuana advocates with an olive branch last week, when they voted in favor of an amendment that would make it illegal for the Drug Enforcement Administration to utilize federal funds to raid state approved medical marijuana operations.
This historical decision, which was made in a vote of 218-189, is more than just a sign of increasing bipartisan support for the 22 states and the District of Columbia that have legalized medical marijuana, but it is also a bright light in the eyes of opposing forces. However, while the passing of this anti-raid amendment is undoubtedly a huge nationwide victory, it must still go before the Senate where it could either be met with green enthusiasm or be snuffed out and buried in front of the Capitol Building -- no one appears to be certain which is more likely.
Regardless of the outcome, the legislative wheels continue to turn, with four more states making national headlines with either proposed or approved measures to legalize medical marijuana.
Minnesota: Medical marijuana is now legal in Minnesota, making it the 22nd state to do so. However, the law was passed under the bizarre stipulation that patients not be allowed to smoke flowers -- only the use of edibles, oils and vaporizers are permitted.
New York: Earlier last month, the Senate Health committee narrowly passed a measure to legalize medical marijuana. It must now go before the finance committee and then it is off to the full Senate. There is pressure for the Senate to make a decision on this issue before the legislative session ends in June.
South Carolina: Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill into law this week that will give epileptic children access to non-psychoactive CBD oils. The law was signed on June 2.
Florida: Last month, lawmakers put their seal of approval on the “Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act of 2014,” which will allow cannabis oil (CBD) prescriptions to be written for epileptic patients. The question of a full medical marijuana program will be up to the state’s voters in the upcoming November election.
For more news about the fight to legal marijuana, be sure to read the HIGH TIMES Legislation Roundup every Monday.
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.