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Mississippi Supreme Court overturns voter-approved medical marijuana initiative

5/14/21--Of the 1.3 million people who cast ballots there in November, more than half — 766,000 — voted to establish a state medical marijuana program. In a 6-3 ruling, the Mississippi Supreme Court struck down struck down a medical marijuana initiative because of an odd flaw in the state constitution's voter initiative process — and the ruling is likely to doom other voter initiatives in the state as well. Read

23 Alabama district attorneys urge lawmakers to reject medical marijuana

4/28/21--Twenty-three of Alabama’s 42 district attorneys have sent a letter to lawmakers opposing the medical marijuana bill that the House of Representatives is expected to vote on soon. The district attorneys say marijuana is a gateway drug and that there is a dishonest effort to convince the public otherwise. Read

Safe and effective medicinal marijuana

2/12/21--This past week, legislative leaders in South Dakota announced their plan to guarantee a safe and effective program for medicinal marijuana. They are committed to respecting that vote that supported access to medicinal marijuana and making sure that South Dakota patients have access to safe and accessible medicinal marijuana. Read

Idaho Senator pushes back on legalization with proposed psychoactive drug ban

1/20/21--Senator C. Scott Grow, a Republican based in Eagle, is still trying to push back against possible legalization in his state by proposing a constitutional ban at the state level on psychoactive drugs. The amendment he has proposed would ban “the production, manufacture, transportation, sale, delivery, dispensing, distribution, possession, or use of a psychoactive drug.” Furthermore, it would officially amend the constitution, making it more difficult for advocates to legalize at the state level. Read

Personal freedom not part of Noem’s thinking on legal pot in South Dakota

10/26/20--Kristi Noem, the first-term governor of South Dakota, talks a lot about personal freedom while also defending her hands-off approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, she doesn't support a libertarian approach to the use of drugs such as marijuana, which voters will decide whether to legalize for both medical and recreational use in next week's election. Read

Personal freedom not part of Noem’s thinking on legal pot in South Dakota

10/26/20--Governor Kristi Noem of South Dakota doesn't support a libertarian approach to the use of drugs such as marijuana, which voters will decide whether to legalize for both medical and recreational use in next week's election. Noem said she opposes legalizing marijuana in any fashion because it would hurt South Dakota families in the long run. Read

Nebraska ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana challenged in court

8/31/20--The Nebraska Supreme Court will decide whether to allow residents to vote in November on the legalization of medical marijuana. Lancaster County Sheriff Terry Wagner on Friday filed a challenge to Secretary of State Bob Evnen’s ruling that the medical marijuana ballot initiative qualified to be on the ballot. Read

Medicinal cannabis: the hype is strong, but the evidence is weak

8/10/19--While there is high community and media interest in medicinal marijuana, the scientific community is approaching the drug with caution, noting that while there is some evidence to back it in some cases, the strength of the research into marijuana needs improvement. Read

If weed is medicine, so is Budweiser

1/17/19--Ten states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use, and another eight look likely to do so in 2019. In an editorial published in The Wall Street Journal by Peter Bach, Director of the Center for Health Policy and Outcomes at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Bach states that although he is in favor of the move, he is troubled by the gateway to it, and we should not pretend that legalized marijuana is therapeutic. Read

Should ‘medical marijuana’ be recommended for patients?

1/10/19--According to Paul Terpeluk, DO, Medical Director, Employee Health Services, there are better alternatives than 'medical marijuana' for patients. Terpeluk believes that patients deserve to know that whatever they are using to control their symptoms is safe and effective. And clinicians need to have confidence that a treatment will work as intended. The goal of the healthcare provider is to help patients, to treat their conditions, to improve their quality of life and to ease their suffering ― within the bounds of scientific evidence. Read

Higher costs, local bans have Montana’s small medical marijuana producers scaling up or shutting down

10/26/18--In Montana's new medical marijuana system, small growers are feeling the pinch. The number of providers in the state has been cut by more than a third so far this year. Some say that they're being priced out by huge operations that can absorb the additional costs. Small and mid-sized providers, who've already navigated an uncertain regulatory environment through the years, say they've been hit hard by the new costs. Read

Resident slams Birkner: Marijuana ban reinstated but sparks fly first

10/5/18--Several residents turned out to the governing body’s October 2 work session to rake Mayor John Birkner Jr. for his veto of their September 18 ban on medical and recreational marijuana. One resident called on the mayor to resign, saying he was putting political aspirations ahead of children’s safety—all of which Birkner vigorously denied. Read

Enforcement, regulatory gaps hamper crackdowns on youth vaping

10/4/18--The federal Food and Drug Administration is cracking down on retailers who sell vaping products to minors, tightening regulations on e-cigarettes and publicizing the health risks of vaping to teens. The FDA recently cited over 1,300 retailers across the country for selling vaping products to minors, including two in southeast Georgia. The FDA now requires all e-cigarette retailers to include a health warning label on vaping products that describe the addictive qualities of nicotine, similar to warnings that have been required on cigarette packs for years. Read

Canton City school board nixes medical marijuana use for employees

9/10/18--Canton City school district employees cannot use, possess, or be under the influence of marijuana for medical use at the workplace. Board member Eric Resnick said while some studies have shown that some medical uses of marijuana could help employees come to work, such as those with glaucoma or colitis, federal law currently does not allow its use and Ohio’s law is ambiguous. Read

Medical cannabis opponents make case

8/30/18--Impaired drivers, teenage addiction, the availability of other options, and workforce concerns are among reasons cited by those opposed to expanding access to marijuana-derived medicine. While most of the speakers who addressed state legislators at the first meeting of the The Joint Study Commission on Low THC Medical Oil Access on Wednesday were in favor of providing better access to the oils, there were also those opposed to any expansion. Read

Fort Lauderdale will enforce limit on marijuana clinics, despite state law saying it can’t

8/23/18--Fort Lauderdale officials said they will reject several medical marijuana dispensaries in the northeast part of the city, even while acknowledging that a city law limiting clinic numbers likely won’t hold up in court. The city’s law allows a maximum of four medical marijuana dispensaries citywide, one in each City Commission district. Four businesses are seeking to open in District 1, the Northeast. Read

Saying medical marijuana would do irreparable harm, opponents again try to block initiative from November ballot

6/30/18--Attorneys for Drug Safe Utah filed a motion for an emergency injunction, arguing the court should block Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox from approving the cannabis measure and placing it on the ballot, because the plant is illegal and would cause irreparable harm to the plaintiffs — Drug Safe Utah and three state residents — and all Utahns. The motion came as part of a lawsuit filed against Cox in May, which also seeks to block the initiative from appearing on the November ballot. Read

Democrats must seize on Jeff Sessions’ misguided marijuana policy

12/7/17--Despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions' focus on re-criminalizing, legalization activists are celebrating the widespread adoption of new marijuana laws. But, if history is any guide, declarations of legal marijuana’s permanence may be premature, according to Emily Dufton, author of Grass Roots: The Fall and Rise of Marijuana in America. Still, America’s previous experiments with both legalization and criminalization can provide clues for how to handle the country’s newest legal shift. Read

Commission weighs ban on medical marijuana dispensaries

3/18/18--St. Johns County commissioners will hear the first reading of a ban on medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facilities in the unincorporated areas of the county. Commissioners at their Feb. 20 meeting unanimously approved developing an ordinance to ban medical marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated St. Johns County, but clarified they are not restricting access to medical marijuana, just the dispensing facilities. They’ve said qualifying patients will still be able to have medical marijuana delivered to their homes. Read

Collier County lengthens marijuana dispensary ban

11/26/17--Medicinal marijuana dispensaries will be banned in Collier County for another six months as local commissioners try to wait for state lawmakers to change the rules surrounding them. County commissioners want control over the number of dispensaries that could open after voters approved a constitutional amendment in 2016 opening up rights for the use of medicinal marijuana. Read

Five out of five cities in Florida county ban medical marijuana

11/7/17--Palmetto solidified a unanimous medical marijuana ban in all cities within Manatee County, becoming the fifth, and last, city to initiate a ban on dispensaries. Bradenton, Holmes Beach, Anna Maria, and Bradenton Beach had already passed similar bans. Read

Jacksonville Beach leaders make moves to completely ban medical marijuana dispensaries in the city

11/6/17--Jacksonville Beach leaders have taken the first step in permanently banning medical marijuana shops. The state has said the marijuana dispensaries can either be regulated like pharmacies or be banned altogether. Given those two choices, it appears Jacksonville Beach leaders are going with the second option to ban. The council ultimately voted 4-3 to pass the ban on first reading. Read

Medical marijuana dispensaries blocked from opening by moratoriums, bans

11/3/17--Although Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment allowing the use of medical marijuana for cancer patients and others with a range of medical conditions, Brevard County and many of its cities and towns have enacted moratoriums or bans on the opening of medical marijuana dispensaries. Palm Bay has been an exception, as its City Council last month approved an ordinance to allow medical marijuana treatment centers where medical marijuana could be dispensed. Read

Florida congressman slams Gov. Chris Christie for “outrageous” medical marijuana position

11/2/17--Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) condemned New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for “outrageous” statements he made comparing medical cannabis legalization efforts to the origins of the current opioid epidemic. “It is shortsighted, it is inaccurate, and it is indefensible to suggest that the proliferation of medical cannabis — that is saving lives and improving quality of life for people — somehow is analogous to the plague of the opioid crisis,” expressed Gaetz. Read

City Council zoning ordinance blocks medical marijuana businesses in most of Cleveland

10/30/17--City Council voted Monday to approve new zoning requirements that will prevent the sale of medical marijuana in about 95 percent of the city. The legislation, approved 15-1, limits the location of marijuana dispensaries, cultivation sites, production and refining facilities, and research sites. Read

Shopping mall seeks to bar marijuana dispensary from opening nearby

10/19/17--Simon Property Group, owner of Philadelphia Mills, is trying to bar PharmaCann LLC from opening a medical marijuana dispensary near the mall. Simon Property Group says a deed restriction bars a drugstore, but PharmaCann attorneys deny that the dispensary would be a drugstore. Simon also argued that the deed forbids illegal activity on the premises, and since federal law doesn’t make an exception for medical use of cannabis, a medical marijuana facility would be prohibited. Read

Estero to consider banning medical marijuana dispensaries

10/15/17--The Village Planning and Zoning Board is expected to review an ordinance that would prevent the dispensing or cultivation of medical marijuana in Estero. Under the draft ordinance, the village would accept or approve no requests for development orders, building permits, or other applications for proposed medical marijuana facilities. Read

Deerfield Twp. won’t allow medical marijuana facilities

10/12/17--The Deerfield Township Board has considered its options and decided it doesn’t want medical marijuana facilities within its borders. According to Supervisor Ron Cousino, the lack of a full-time police force to protect and watch over such businesses was among the concerns. Read

Michigan raids lead to closure of 8 medical marijuana dispensaries

10/5/17--Eight medical cannabis dispensaries were raided and forced to close in northern Michigan. According to Traverse City Police Chief Jeff O’Brien, the raids were executed simultaneously after a monthlong investigation involving undercover officers who bought medical marijuana at the dispensaries despite not having “a patient-caregiver relationship.” Though no arrests were made, law enforcement agents seized cash, medical marijuana, cannabis plants, edibles, and wax. Read  

Choteau city officials say no to medical marijuana

8/25/17--Citizens in Choteau say officials are deliberately doing everything they can to stop Bloom Montana, a legal business, from opening. City officials voted abruptly to put a 90 day moratorium on any medical marijuana sales. Residents say this stops more jobs from coming to the city. Bloom Montana will still open up on Main Street but only take orders at that location. Read  

Medical extracts in the Netherlands: An uncertain tightrope

8/21/17--The Netherlands has one of the oldest medical cannabis laws in the world. However, the sale of any hard drugs in the Netherlands is strictly prohibited. THC and CBD oil are listed as “tetrahydrocannabinol” and “hemp oil” on List I of the Opium Act and are thus considered hard drugs by Dutch authorities. In contrast to most EU countries, toleration is fundamentally possible in the Netherlands in the case of offenses which are “not of public interest” in the opinion of the police and public prosecutor’s office. Read

Poland says no to medical marijuana

8/16/17--Although medical-marijuana sales now are legal in Ohio, trustees unanimously voted to prohibit cultivators, processors, and dispensaries in the village of Poland. The township also has banned such facilities from operating there. Read

Winter Garden first to ban medical marijuana shops — for now

7/27/17--Winter Garden became the first city in Central Florida to ban cannabis dispensaries. City Manager Mike Bollhoefer said the action was intended to address zoning, not the efficacy of medical marijuana as an alternative medical treatment. He said Winter Garden could change its stance later if the Legislature restores the city’s authority to zone and regulate dispensaries as it sees fit. Read

To ban or not to ban medical marijuana dispensaries

7/14/17--The City Commission has yet to decide whether to allow dispensaries or ban them, and it plans to have a community workshop later this summer to get feedback from the public. To ban the dispensaries, the City Commission would need to pass an ordinance prohibiting them, City Attorney Jim Messer said. If the commission bans dispensaries, it would join Vero Beach as the only city on the Treasure Coast to do so. Read

Collier County bans medical marijuana dispensaries, for now

7/12/17--Medicinal marijuana dispensaries will be banned from Collier County until at least the end of the year. Commissioners voted 4-1 to keep the dispensaries from opening in Collier until Dec. 31 to give the county a chance to lobby state lawmakers for more control over the number of dispensaries that could open. Read

Springfield extends medical marijuana moratorium until September

7/6/17--The moratorium on medical marijuana businesses opening in Springfield has been extended until Sept. 27. The state is expected to release final rules for dispensing and processing businesses on Sept. 8, which would give staff time to confirm the rules before the last meeting in September. Read

Fresno City Council votes to ban marijuana dispensaries, cultivation

6/23/17--Council President Clint Olivier surprisingly amended an ordinance banning recreational marijuana into one that would allow it. Supporters say allowing cultivation would ease violence and break a monopoly cartels have on the street, while religious leaders argue the drug will put youth at more risk. Read

Airport bans medical marijuana on property

6/22/17--Orlando International Airport is putting a policy in place banning pot from airport property. According to a TSA spokesperson, although officers are not specifically searching for marijuana, it will be turned over to police to handle if found during screening. Travelers busted with it could be arrested, but Orlando Police Department said it won't arrest passengers lawfully carrying medical marijuana. Read

Misconceptions of marijuana

6/22/17--In a published letter to the editor of Daily Light, Shari Phillips of IMPACT Communities in Waxahachie cleared up some misperceptions and even wrong information being spread by proponents of legalizing marijuana for “medical” purposes. IMPACT Communities exists to keep kids from using alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. The coalition educates the citizens of Ellis County in the best methods of communicating with teens and kids, and they mobilize the entire community to ensure that they are working together to keep kids safe. Read

Williams Township residents oppose proposed medical marijuana operation

6/15/17--Some Williams Township residents are on edge about their future because of a proposed medical marijuana growing and processing plant that might be moving in next door. However, it was only a sketch plan, and months away from coming before the supervisors. Supervisor George Washburn said the developer has quite a few hurdles to clear before such a place is operational, especially getting a state license. Read

Packed house, petition say no to marijuana ordinance

6/14/17--An overflow crowd at the Coldwater Township Hall told a township committee looking into a state law on medical marijuana that they want no part of it in their community. Petitions opposed to a medical marijuana facility in the township with over 500 signatures on them were presented to the committee. If the township decided to pursue medical marijuana, it would take nearly four months to have zoning ordinances be put together. Read

AG Sessions to Congress: Kill medical marijuana protections

6/13/17--U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asked four congressional leaders at the beginning of May to omit key medical marijuana industry protections from a new federal spending bill. Sessions specifically asked that language from the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment not be included in any appropriations bill, or similar provisions, that would “in any way inhibit the (Department of Justice’s) authority to enforce the Controlled Substances Act.” Read

Utah GOP rejects medical marijuana resolution

5/20/17--Delegates to the Utah Republican Party state convention rejected a resolution in support of medical marijuana. In a 70% to 29% vote on Saturday, the party delegates voted down the resolution in support of cannabis to treat a number of medical conditions. Read

Advocates respond after Utah sheriff’s office calls medical marijuana a ‘sham’

5/19/17--The Weber County Sheriff's Office is drawing some backlash for its thoughts on medicinal marijuana calling it a farce and a sham. The statement also addresses the department's views on recreational marijuana and how it has contributed to crime in other cities and states. These remarks caught many supporters of medicinal marijuana off-guard. Read

Cape Coral council considers medical marijuana moratorium

5/19/17--Cape Coral's city council is discussing putting a moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. The moratorium would mean pushing back the availability of medical marijuana in the Cape until December. One of the reasons for considering the temporary ban is to figure out rules for where dispensaries can set up. Read

Hamilton medical marijuana ban may get update

5/19/17--In February 2015, Hamilton City Council approved legislation that prohibited sales of medical marijuana in the city. More than a year later, the Ohio General Assembly approved a bill allowing use of medical marijuana and established the medical-marijuana control program, which took effect Sept. 8. Hamilton leaders are now considering updating their ban on medical marijuana facilities so city ordinances are better synced with state law. Read

Newark to consider medical marijuana dispensary ban

5/8/17--Newark City Council's economic development committee on Monday will consider a law that would change the zoning code to prohibit medical marijuana dispensaries from being anywhere inside the city limits. The rules for the program are still being written by people across several state agencies and are not expected to be implemented until September 2018. Read

Bills on guns, medical marijuana among those dead for year

5/7/17--South Carolina legislation that lets more people carry guns, legalizes medical marijuana, and borrows money to repair public buildings are among proposals dead for the year. Read

New York’s medical marijuana program suffers

5/6/17--Nearly 16 months after the New York launched its tightly controlled medical marijuana program, fewer than 1,000 medical practitioners have registered with the state to prescribe the drug. State Sen. Diane Savino (D-S.I.) and other advocates argued the lack of access to registered doctors and medical practitioners is a major reason why the program has struggled to get off the ground. Read

Medical marijuana activists give up on new law this year – again

4/25/17--Compassionate SC, a coalition that advocates for a medical marijuana program in South Carolina, said they expect for 2018 to be the year state lawmakers advance legislation that decriminalizes the plant’s use for medicinal purposes. Despite the progress of several state legislators to legalize medical marijuana, with fewer than three weeks left in this year’s legislative session, they said 2018 would be the year to enact a new law. Read

Liberty Twp. seeking more info on medical marijuana

4/24/17--Liberty Township Trustees aren't ruling out the possibility of allowing businesses related to medical marijuana to locate in the township, but they won’t lift a moratorium put on the industry last fall until they get more information on what other communities are doing and what the state regulations will be. Read

Key West could freeze medical marijuana sales

4/1/17--Key West city leaders will consider a nine-month moratorium on medical marijuana manufacturing, distribution, and sales since its zoning laws lack any regulations on the issue. According to interim Planning Director Patrick Wright, a moratorium for 270 days is intended to give the Planning Department, for zoning in progress purposes, time to draft and review land use regulations and hold public hearings over amending the city’s land development regulations. Read

Fairfield Township Board asked to remain open to medical marijuana

3/15/17--The Fairfield Township Board unanimously approved another year-long extension to its moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries. But township resident Aaron Westbrook asked the board to consider the possibilities of the new legislation regarding medical marijuana facilities. He said the legislation is an opportunity for the state and local communities to better organize and regulate this growing industry. Read

Despite Commissioner’s objection, Newberry delays marijuana dispensaries

2/15/17--The Newberry City Commission voted Monday to institute a six-month delay on the development and permitting of medical-marijuana dispensaries. The delay will last 180 days and is intended to give the commission time to review and decide locations for the dispensaries, according to the ordinance. Read

Miami Beach extends temporary ban on medical marijuana

1/25/17--Miami Beach commissioners voted Wednesday to extend a moratorium on dispensaries to give city planners time to develop local zoning laws to govern where such businesses can open. In a 4-3 vote on first reading, the commission extended the temporary ban until May 17. Read

Palm Beach County considers one-year moratorium on medical marijuana dispensaries

1/13/17--Palm Beach County is considering implementing a one-year hold on allowing medical marijuana treatment centers and dispensaries to open. Officials say the one-year moratorium is aimed at crafting the best regulations — not keeping medical marijuana out of the hands of patients. Read

As locals prep for medical marijuana dispensaries, moratoriums considered

1/13/17--Local governments across Northwest Florida are taking a variety of approaches as to the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries, and many are considering temporary moratoriums. Read

Proposal to delay medical-marijuana program advances

1/11/17--A House committee on Wednesday endorsed bills to delay implementation of the state’s medical-marijuana program and remove a requirement that doctors recommending the drug say its benefits outweigh its risks. Read

Volusia, Flagler cities approach medical marijuana with caution

1/8/17--In Volusia and Flagler counties, where eight doctors are licensed to prescribe medical cannabis, many municipalities are waiting for the Florida Legislature and the state Department of Health to act. State lawmakers and the agency still need to set rules for the constitutional amendment, and there is a six-month time limit for the health department to do so. Read

Bonita passes 6-month ban on marijuana dispensaries

1/5/17--Medical marijuana patients in south Lee County will have to wait six months before they can buy from any Bonita Springs dispensaries due to the City Council passing a moratorium to examine constitutional and legal issues in Bonita Springs. The moratorium will go into effect Feb. 3 and end Aug. 3, and an option to extend the moratorium another six months is included in the ordinance. Read