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Congressional bill to federally legalize marijuana filed by Republican lawmakers

5/12/21--A pair of congressional Republican lawmakers have introduced a bill to federally legalize marijuana, protect banks that service state-legal cannabis business and ensure that military veterans are specifically permitted to use marijuana in compliance with state laws. The Common Sense Cannabis Reform for Veterans, Small Businesses, and Medical Professionals Act is being sponsored by Reps. David Joyce (R-OH) and Don Young (R-AK). Read

Keel: SC ‘medical’ marijuana bill really is about legalizing marijuana

4/2/21--The 55-page medical marijuana bill in the S.C. Senate is an attempt to legislate around the FDA approval process by creating a complex scheme to cultivate, process and dispense marijuana that still violates federal law. The bill ultimately would allow people to vape, eat or ingest marijuana that has not had any traditional medical review and is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Read

Marijuana legalization bills introduced in Nebraska Legislature

1/17/21--The push to make marijuana legal, whether for medical or other purposes, picked up steam Friday in the Nebraska Legislature. State Sen. Terrell McKinney of Omaha offered Legislative Bill 481 that would strike marijuana from state laws criminalizing drugs and remove past convictions for marijuana possession from the record books. Sen. Anna Wishart of Lincoln also introduced a new version of her Medicinal Cannabis Act. LB 474 would set up a process to regulate the production, processing and distribution of marijuana for use by people with certain health conditions. Read

Election Poll: Presidential race and marijuana ballot issues

10/25/20--KELOLAND Media Group teamed up with the Argus Leader to conduct a scientific poll on the candidates and ballot issues. Between October 19-21, 625 likely voters in South Dakota were asked to respond to a series of questions regarding the upcoming election regarding two of the biggest issues: the Presidential Race and ballot issues about marijuana. Read

American Medical Association asks Mississippi voters to reject medical marijuana ballot initiative

9/28/20--The Mississippi State Medical Association (MSMA) and American Medical Association (AMA) are circulating a sample ballot that instructs voters on how to reject the activist-led measure Initiative 65. For supporters and opponents alike, the way the ballot is structured can be confusing—a product of the legislature approving an alternative that appears alongside Initiative 65. Read

Cannabis ballot measures finalized, Florida gets edibles, capital raises rebounding & more

8/29/20--A recreational marijuana legalization ballot measure in Arizona got the final go-ahead, while a medical cannabis legalization initiative in Nebraska is fighting to keep its place on the November ballot. And, the addition of edibles to Florida’s medical marijuana market became formal under state health department rules. Read

As signature deadlines approach, here’s where marijuana and drug policy reform campaigns stand

7/2/20--Several drug policy reform campaigns are in the final stretch as deadlines to submit signatures for proposed ballot initiatives loom this week and next. The proposed ballot measures would accomplish everything from legalizing cannabis to decriminalizing psychedelics such as psilocybin and ayahuasca. This article provides a status update on where they stand. Read

Idaho medical marijuana initiative could get new chance at ballot after federal court ruling

6/24/20--Idaho activists behind a medical marijuana legalization initiative could get a second wind after a federal judge said on Tuesday that the state must make accommodations for a separate ballot campaign due to signature gathering complications due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read

Which cannabis efforts survived the Coronavirus shutdowns?

06/18/20--Months after the novel coronavirus settled into communities across the country, states have begun to emerge from stay-at-home orders, with some legislatures powering through backlogged bills while others fade into recess. Cannabis Wire contacted public servants, elected officials, and activists from Rhode Island to Arizona to find out where legalization initiatives—for medical and adult use—stand as legislators head home for the summer and election boards prepare for November. Read

Iowa Senate passes medical marijuana legislation

6/3/20--Legislation for medical cannabidiol passed in the Iowa Senate 32-17 on Wednesday night. Those that support medical marijuana expansion in Iowa say the state's program is too stringent. Those that oppose it say more studies need to be done on using CBD oil as a treatment. Read

Florida Senate moves to cap THC potency for medical marijuana

2/28/20--After weeks of rumors that the Florida House was pushing an amendment that would put a cap on the amount of THC in all medical marijuana at 10% potency, the proposal was finally filed Friday afternoon in the Senate. Sen. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, filed the amendment to a larger health care package. The Senate Rules committee, the bill’s last stop, will take up the amendment Monday afternoon. Read

Nebraska property tax hawks aid fight to pass medical marijuana ballot measure

3/2/20--On Monday, Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana, a group campaigning to pass a medical cannabis ballot initiative in November, announced they are joining forces with a statewide coalition called Adopt a Decrease in Oppressive Property Taxes (ADOPT) to “grow the state’s economy and reduce high property tax”. ADOPT will help the cannabis campaign employ staffers and volunteers around the state to collect enough valid signatures to qualify the measure for ballot access. Read

UP IN SMOKE: A look at Indiana’s path to legalizing marijuana

3/3/20--Indiana State Sen. Karen Tallian who has authored, co-authored or supported medical or recreational marijuana legalization and/or decriminalization for around a decade, said Indiana legislators need to face the music. Any possession of marijuana in Indiana is a Class A misdemeanor, and can result in 180 days in jail with a maximum fine of $1,000. Tallian said she’s been slowly chipping away at cannabis restrictions, and isn’t giving up anytime soon. Read

Nebraska state senator pushing to get medical marijuana on the November ballot

3/3/20--Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana is working on a petition to make Nebraska the 34th state to legalize medical marijuana. The group is working with two different groups to get this on the ballot: ADOPT and 1st Tuesday Campaigns and needs 160,000 to 180,000 signatures by July to get it on the ballot. Read

Medical marijuana bill heads to first vote in Alabama Legislature

2/15/20--A medical marijuana bill is headed to its first vote in the Alabama Legislature as advocates hope to gain legislative traction after years of setbacks in Montgomery. The bill by Republican Sen. Tim Melson would allow people to be prescribed medical marijuana for certain conditions, including cancer, anxiety and chronic pain, and to purchase cannabis products at a dispensary licensed by the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission. Read

Alabama gets another shot at legalizing medical marijuana

2/3/20--There is a proposed bill in the state legislature that would make marijuana legal for medical purposes in Alabama. Twelve of the state’s 18-member Medical Cannabis Study Commission voted in support of the bill. However, Alabama's Attorney General and Mobile County District Attorney Ashley Rich are urging state lawmakers to oppose the bill this session. Read

Vaping, medical marijuana focus of Iowa’s 2020 legislative session

1/11/20--When state lawmakers return to Des Moines for the 2020 legislative session on Monday, two of the bills they will take on is vaping and medical marijuana. Several cities and counties across Iowa already have banned vaping or passed position statements in support of efforts to ban the product. Read

South Dakota groups file petitions to legalize marijuana

11/6/19--South Dakota groups submitted separate signed petitions Monday that would allow residents to vote next year on whether to legalize medical marijuana and recreational marijuana. Monday was the deadline for submitting signatures to the South Dakota secretary of state’s office for measures for the November 2020 ballot. Read

Idaho medical marijuana advocates can start gathering signatures for 2020 ballot initiative

8/10/19--Medical marijuana advocates have until April 30, 2020 to collect signatures from 55,057 registered Idaho voters to get an initiative on the general election ballot next year. Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney on Friday announced the petition filed by Idaho Cannabis Coalition has met all requirements, and petitioners are cleared to begin collecting signatures. Read

Oregon activists take next step to legalize psilocybin for medical use

8/12/19--Oregon activists are one step closer to getting a psilocybin legalization measure on the state’s 2020 ballot. The organizers behind it are putting their resources into an initiative that would create a regulatory framework for the legal use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes. Read

Marijuana reform could be key in 2020

8/12/19--Georgia State Representative Dar’shun Kendrick, (D – Lithonia) is addressing marijuana reform in the state, and she plans to introduce legislation regarding marijuana use in Georgia as well as record expungement for marijuana-related convictions in 2020. Kendrick also plans to introduce legislation in 2020 that would create a committee to study financing options, including low-interest loans to increase minority participation in the marijuana industry. Read

How would medical marijuana in Alabama compare to other states?

4/24/19--Medical marijuana is one step closer to being legal in Alabama. The Care Act would allow the use of marijuana to treat 33 conditions including addiction, anxiety, chronic pain, and cancer. If passed, the Care Act would establish a medical cannabis fund within the state's general fund. Which supports several state programs like child development and criminal justice. Read

Chestnut weighs in on medical pot proposal

3/22/19--A medical marijuana bill introduced by Rep. Mike Ball, R-Madison, is slated to go before the House Committee on Health next week and, if it receives a favorable vote, may go before the full House before the week is over. If so, Rep. Prince Chestnut, D-Selma, will have the opportunity to cast a vote on the measure. He believes it would be beneficial for the state, and he's open to legalizing medical marijuana under strict doctor supervision. Read

Proponent discusses medical marijuana bill for Kentucky

3/8/19--According to Jennifer Knapp, a member of Kentuckians for Medicinal Marijuana, another step is made in the fight for legalizing medical marijuana in the state with the passing of House Bill 136. The piece of legislation would give doctors the ability to prescribe marijuana to treat chronic conditions like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis with the properties provided by cannabis, like CBD and THC. Read

Proponent discusses medical marijuana bill for Kentucky

3/8/19--In Frankfort, the House Judiciary Committee approved House Bill 136. The legislation would give doctors the ability to prescribe marijuana to treat chronic conditions like epilepsy and multiple sclerosis with the properties provided by cannabis, like CBD and THC. Kentucky's Legislative Research Commission said the bill requires a second reading, which can be done as soon as Tuesday, March 12. After that, it would be able to go for a full vote in the House. Read

Effort underway to get medical marijuana and hemp initiative on Idaho ballot in 2020

3/8/19--Legalizing medical marijuana and industrial hemp in Idaho is the first citizen initiative proposal out of the gate for the 2020 election. A new marijuana advocacy group, Idaho Cannabis Coalition, is spearheading the effort. The group said it has filed a medical marijuana/industrial hemp petition with the Idaho Secretary of State’s Office to start the process. Read

General Assembly eyeing next step in medical marijuana

3/1/19--Georgia took the first step away from a total ban on marijuana four years ago with the passage of legislation legalizing possession of cannabis oil with a prescription for patients suffering from cancer, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, mitochondrial disease and sickle-cell anemia. Read

Nebraska medical marijuana ballot measure cleared for signature gathering

3/2/19--A petition to get medical marijuana on the 2020 ballot in Nebraska is officially available for voters to sign after the secretary of state approved the initiative’s language on Friday. Because the state legislature has rejected multiple legislative attempts to establish a medical marijuana program, Senators Adam Morfeld (D) and Anna Wishart (D) joined with activists to form a committee last year to put the issue before voters instead. Read

Gov. Matt Bevin shows support for medical marijuana

2/13/19--Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin says he'll be happy to sign a bill approving the use of medical marijuana after witnessing the death of a teenage nephew who had cancer who he believes could have been helped by marijuana. However, Gov. Bevin states he won't budge on his opposition to legalizing recreational marijuana in Kentucky. Read

Georgia bill seeks in-state medical marijuana growing and sales

2/14/19--Legislation filed Thursday would allow medical marijuana oil to be sold to patients in Georgia. The proposal calls for medical marijuana dispensaries to serve the state’s rising number of registered patients — more than 8,400 so far. The drug would be legally grown, manufactured, tested, tracked, and distributed for the first time if House Bill 324 passes. Read

Medical cannabis bill coming in a few weeks

1/30/19--Legislators introducing a bill expanding access to medical marijuana in Georgia is being crafted on the House side, and will go through the House of Representatives before heading over to the Senate, according to State Sen. Matt Brass, former co-chairman of the Joint Study Commission on Low THC Medical Oil Access. Read

Marijuana activist group says Indiana could see medical marijuana legalization by 2020

1/20/19--Now that Indiana has legalized CBD oil, Indiana NORML, a non-profit activist organization with focus of legalizing medicinal and recreational marijuana, thinks it's a first step in other forms of legalized marijuana. Support for the reform movement is growing in Indiana, and according to David Phipps, communications director of Indiana NORML, the state could see legalization of medical marijuana by 2020. Read

Indiana medical marijuana supporters call for governor’s backing

1/8/19--Advocates of medical marijuana said studies show that marijuana for medical use can help people battling serious illness and addiction, so they had a town hall meeting to discuss the legislation they hope gets passed this session. They also discussed why the idea should have Gov. Eric Holcomb's support. Read

Push on for in-state cannabis cultivation

1/6/19--Proponents of expanded medical marijuana access are gearing up for a push for in-state cultivation this month, when a new administration and more than two dozen new lawmakers converge under the Gold Dome for a new legislative session. The recommendations of the commission, issued last month, first urge Congress to act by rescheduling marijuana, freeing the low THC oil for distribution. Read

Making sense of Missouri’s 3 medical marijuana votes

10/27/18--Missouri voters are not only considering the legalization of medical marijuana, but they’ll have three General Election ballot measures to do it. Amendments 2 and 3 and Proposition C all give voters the choice of legalizing marijuana for medical treatments. Each ballot question varies from the others, though, in the taxation and regulation of the substance. Read

Six north central Wisconsin counties to vote on medical marijuana referendum

10/26/18--Six counties in north central Wisconsin will see a medical marijuana referendum on their ballot this November. Marathon, Lincoln, Langlade, Portage, Clark, and Forest counties will all vote on the non-binding referendum. If voters are in favor of marijuana for medical use, the state legislature will decide how to move forward. Read

Marijuana skeptics fear ‘de facto legalization’ in states

10/6/18--With nine states, and the District of Columbia, now allowing the recreational use of cannabis — and more in the pipeline — advocates on both sides of the issue say that medical cannabis programs are increasingly functioning as a Trojan horse for de facto legalization in the 40 states where the politics of legalization aren’t quite ripe yet. And that’s rapidly changing the political and policy dynamics surrounding the emerging industry. Read

Lawmaker will push for vote if Legislature punts on medical marijuana deal

10/5/18--Utah Republican lawmaker Rep. Brad Daw (R-Orem) fully expects the Legislature to approve the new proposed medical marijuana compromise, but if it is not approved Daw, who has sponsored medical marijuana legislation at the Capitol — and who supports the compromise, and opposes Prop 2, says he has backup plans. First, he would run the compromise as a bill in the upcoming 2019 session. Read

Fight to legalize medical marijuana in Missouri intensifies as groups battle over tax rates

10/5/18--With about one month left until voters head to the polls, things are heating up in the fight to legalize marijuana for medical use in Missouri. New Approach Missouri, Missouri NORML, St. Louis’s NAACP chapter, Freedom Incorporated, and the St. Louis American newspaper are all supporting Amendment 2. This amendment would tax retail marijuana sales at four percent, and the third initiative, Missourians for Patient Care-backed Proposition C, would impose a two percent sales tax rate. Read

Utah’s first set of proposed rules for medicalized marijuana regulates production and distribution of industrial hemp

8/31/18--The first set of draft rules for how the state would govern the cultivation and distribution of medicalized marijuana in Utah for terminally ill patients was inadvertently released Friday, outlining how the state would regulate the production, labeling, and sale of industrial hemp. Read

Missouri judge tosses lawsuit on measure that would legalize marijuana for medical use

8/31/18--Cole County Judge Patricia Joyce dismissed a lawsuit that sought to remove an initiative that would legalize marijuana for medical use from the November ballot. It was filed by a rival who is trying to remove two other competing proposals from the ballot. Read

Movement to legalize medical marijuana gains momentum after town hall

8/11/18--The movement to legalize medical marijuana in Indiana took on new momentum Saturday after lawmakers, veterans, and local citizens gathered for a cannabis town hall downtown. Nearly 100 people showed up for the town all at the Indiana State Library. Read

Speaker Ralston announces members of several study committees & commissions

7/3/18--Speaker David Ralston (R-Blue Ridge) today announced the members of three House study committees and three joint House-Senate committees/commissions established during the 2018 legislative session. Read

Doctor warns voters about supposed dangers of marijuana

3/8/18--Oklahoma is currently embroiled in a debate about whether or not to legalize medical marijuana. Voters in the state are set to vote on a medical marijuana bill this summer. Addiction psychiatrist Harold Urschel spoke to the Oklahoma Medical Board yesterday with a mission to convince everyone that cannabis is extremely dangerous. Most of Urschel’s complaints centered on the idea that cannabis is super addictive. Read

Fallin to set election date for vote on medical marijuana

12/28/17--After the start of the new year, Governor Mary Fallin has said she plans to set an election date for a medical marijuana ballot measure — State Question 788. The announcement has reignited conversations on both sides of the issue, but those lobbying for the measure and lawmakers agree – when it comes to a vote, the sooner the better. Governor Fallin will determine if the question will appear on the June primary ballot or during the general election in November. Read

The Savage Truth: Medical marijuana legislation awaits lawmakers

11/16/17--Two more medical marijuana proposals await Georgia lawmakers when they convene in Atlanta for their 2018 legislative session. In the last three sessions, lawmakers enacted legislation that legalized medical marijuana for several illnesses. However, it remains illegal to grow the plant in Georgia or to bring the medicine derived from it into Georgia from states where it's legal. Read

TN democrats vote to support medical marijuana

11/2/17--Tennessee Democrats have voted to support resolutions calling for the legalization of medical marijuana, wider health care coverage, and a $15 minimum wage. The state executive committee passed the resolutions aimed at expressing the positions of the state Democratic Party. Read

Councilman Trapp calls for Columbia to push legal medical marijuana

8/24/17--To combat the opioid epidemic and open a door for improved policing practices, Columbia Councilman Michael Trapp plans to push for legalization of medicinal marijuana. Trapp hopes to rally a majority of the city council behind an effort to add medicinal cannabis legalization to the city’s lobbying agenda. Alongside directing the city lobbyist to advance drug reform legislation, Trapp said he also plans to ask the council to approve a resolution supporting statewide legalization petitions. Read

Town hall to discuss medical marijuana

8/24/17--A panel of speakers will discuss medical marijuana at a town hall meeting. The session, open to the public but expected to be standing-room only, begins at noon at the Indiana State Library. The meeting is an attempt to provide legislators with facts, including scientific studies, emphasizing medical uses of cannabis. Read

Marijuana isn’t a medical treatment or moneymaker for Missouri, but that could change after 2018

6/27/17--All of the marijuana legalization initiative-petition proposals in Missouri seeking to amend the state constitution face a tough challenge. Roughly 190,000 signatures from registered voters in at least six congressional districts are required in order to get on the 2018 ballot. At the moment, the group that has the best chance is New Approach Missouri. It has raised the most money for its initiative petition drive to legalize marijuana for the treatment of dozens of diseases. Read

LDS Church calls for more study of medical marijuana

6/28/17--The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says more research on the benefits and risks of medical marijuana is necessary before it is approved for use by patients. The church believes that passing a ballot initiative in Utah to legalize medical marijuana would put state law at odds with U.S. law. Read

On medical marijuana, Hastings against growing but open to dispensing

6/16/17--Hillsboro Mayor Drew Hastings said he has mixed feelings on the new medical marijuana licensing and dispensing program in Ohio. According to The Times-Gazette, even if it’s not grown in the state, Hastings is less resistant to medical marijuana being dispensed locally. Read

Bill to ease pot restrictions introduced in US Senate

6/18/17--Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) on Friday introduced The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) in the U.S. Senate that would remove the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and ease restrictions on cannabis research. Senator Booker was the original sponsor of the bill when it was first introduced in 2015, but never got a hearing. Read

Group pushes to get marijuana measures on the ballot

4/23/17--New Approach South Dakota is pushing to legalize medical and recreational cannabis in the state. The organization says recreational and medical marijuana would boost tax revenue for South Dakota, and create a safe, alternative medicine for patients who may suffer from epilepsy, PTSD, and more. Read

On 4/20, SC’s medical marijuana bill looks unlikely to pass

4/20/17--As of 4/20, the medicinal use of the drug is still on hold in South Carolina. Legislators introduced the Compassionate Care Act this year in hopes of medical marijuana being allowed in the state. However, with only weeks to go in the 2017 session and more pressing issues on lawmakers’ calendars, it looks like the clock has run out on the medical marijuana movement for this year. Read

Legal medical marijuana passes Iowa Senate on 45-5 vote

4/17/17--Senate File 506, a wide-ranging bill authorizing the use of medical marijuana for ailments from cancer to post-traumatic stress disorder, was passed Monday night by the Iowa Senate. It would allow for patients with a range of medical conditions to obtain a medical cannabis registration card after receiving written approval from a doctor. Read

Medical marijuana legislation amended in West Virginia Senate

4/4/18--The use of medical marijuana in leaf form would be prohibited under an amendment to a legislation narrowly approved by the West Virginia House of Delegates. Senate Bill 386, a bill to legalize medical marijuana in the state, had its second of three required readings in the House of Delegates, but the measure must be read a third time before there is a vote for passage. Read

Medical marijuana uncertainty

4/2/17--The proposed West Virginia Medical Cannabis Act would make it legal for doctors to prescribe marijuana for medical treatment, which has already been legalized in 28 states. The act is scheduled for second reading Monday in the House, and at least two area legislators say they most likely will support it. Read

Medical pot bill in S. Carolina bolstered by conservatives

3/26/17--This year's renewed push in South Carolina for comprehensive medical marijuana programs is bolstered by some of the state's most conservative legislators whose opinions have shifted due to personal losses, or the pleadings of parents and pastors in their districts.

Medical marijuana advocates begin the process to put it on the 2018 ballot in Utah

3/20/17--Advocates for medical cannabis are beginning the process to put a proposed bill on the the 2018 ballot for Utah voters to decide. After a legislative session that saw only a handful of bills pass, patient advocates who want a more robust medical marijuana program plan to begin the process next month for a ballot initiative. Read