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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 19 Jun 2018 04:20:21 PST

President Trump Expresses Support For Bipartisan Marijuana Fix

Washington, DC: President Donald Trump on Friday publicly expressed support for bi-partisan legislation that seeks to codify legal protections for state-sanctioned marijuana-related activities.

In response to a question from reporters, the President acknowledged that he "probably will end up supporting" The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act of 2018, introduced last week by Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO). Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has also reportedly promised to permit a vote on the legislation.


The bill mandates that the federal Controlled Substances Act "shall not apply to any person acting in compliance" the marijuana legalization laws of their state. It also amends federal law to explicitly remove industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. A bipartisan House companion bill, sponsored by Reps. David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), is also pending in the House of Representatives.

In April, Sen. Gardner acknowledged that he had spoken with the President regarding the intent of his bill and that Trump "assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states' rights issue once and for all."

The RESPECT Resolution Seeks Restorative Justice

Washington, DC: Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee introduced The "RESPECT Resolution: Realizing Equitable & Sustainable Participation in Emerging Cannabis Trades" to elevate the importance of equity within the legal cannabis marketplace. The RESPECT Resolution seeks both economic and reparative justice, ensuring that disenfranchised communities will be able to benefit equally in the emerging legal and regulated industry.

"There's no question that there is growing momentum – both within Congress and nationwide – for cannabis legalization. However, as we move into this new era, we must learn from the failed War on Drugs and ensure that entrepreneurs of color are included in this expanding industry. Due to unequal criminalization rates and disparities in access to capital, people of color are being locked out of the new and thriving legal cannabis trade," said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. "We need to address the systemic exclusion and discrimination at play. Otherwise, we will be prolonging and encouraging the injustices of the past – where brown men spend their lives in prison for cannabis, while white communities get rich off the industry. I encourage my colleagues to support the RESPECT Resolution, the first bill in Congress focused on building equity in the cannabis industry."

As more and more states dial back the war on marijuana consumers, it is important that those who were impacted by this oppressive criminalization are able to see previous harms remedied and be provided the opportunity to participate in the benefits that come along with legalization and regulation.

It is absolutely crucial that future legalization efforts include avenues to expunge prior criminal convictions for actions which are now 100% legal. We sincerely appreciate Congresswoman Lee's vision to facilitate those expungements at no cost to the individual. Currently, a complicated bureaucracy and unnecessary fees often prevent drug war victims from obtaining expungements and being able to fully participate in many aspects of civil society.


Canada: Senate Approves Historic Cannabis Regulation Measure

Ottawa, Canada: Members of the Canadian Senate voted late last week in favor of Bill C-45, sweeping legislation amending the federal Controlled Drugs and Substances Act so that those over the age of 18 may legally possess, purchase, and grow personal use quantities of cannabis.

Since Senate members added amendments to the bill, it now returns to the House for a concurrence vote. Members of the Canadian House of Commons had overwhelmingly voted in November in favor of a previous version of the measure.

Once reconciled by both chambers, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau - who campaigned on a pledge to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana sales - is expected to move promptly to enact the historic legislation. Legal cannabis retailers, acting in compliance with the forthcoming law, are anticipated to be operational by late summer/early fall.

Under the pending legislation, those age 18 and older will be legally permitted to possess and purchase personal use amounts of marijuana. Households will also be permitted to grow up to four cannabis plants for personal use, though provinces are empowered to establish alternative limits. Those who possess greater amounts will face civil sanctions. Commercial marijuana production will be licensed by the federal government, while retail distribution of marijuana will be regulated by individual provinces. The new law will not amend Canada's existing medical cannabis access regulations, which permit registered patients to grow or purchase cannabis from authorized licensed producers.

Case Reports: Topical Use Of CBD Addresses Painful Skin Condition

Stanford, CA: The topical administration of CBD oil is associated with reduced pain and faster wound healing in patients with the skin disease epidermolysis bullosa, according to case reports published in the journal Pediatric Dermatology. Epidermolysis bullosa is a rare genetic condition that results in blistering skin.

Researchers at Stanford University's School of Medicine and at West Virginia University's Department of Dermatology reported on the topical use of CBD in three patients with the disease: a six-month-old boy, a three-year-old girl, and a 10-year-old boy. Following CBD administration, "dramatic benefits" were reported by all three patients - including a "reduction in pain and blistering," "rapid wound healing," and "the objective need for less analgesic [medicines]." The case-series is the first set of reports to appear in the peer-reviewed literature specific to the use of CBD for the treatment of EB.

Full text of the study, "Self-initiated use of topical cannabidiol oil for epidermolysis bullosa," appears in Pediatric Dermatology.

Virginia: Crime Data Shows Surge In Marijuana Arrests

Richmond, VA: Marijuana-related arrests increased over 20 percent between the years 2016 and 2017, according to crime data compiled by the Virginia State Police.

Law enforcement officials made 27,852 arrests for marijuana violations, according to the report - up from 21,637 in 2016. At that time, Virginia ranked sixth in the nation for total marijuana arrests, and fifteenth overall in per capita marijuana arrests.

Overall, some 70 percent of all drug arrests in Virginia in 2017 were marijuana related.

Under state law, the possession of any amount of cannabis is defined as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a criminal record. A bill introduced during the 2017 legislative session that sought to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses was defeated in committee in January on a party line vote, with all Republicans voting against the bill.

"Eight out of ten Virginians support decriminalization, fines not crimes, for possession of small amounts of marijuana," said Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML. "This drastic increase in arrests is completely out of step with public opinion. Law enforcement resources would be better directed towards preventing and solving violent crimes with the passage of a decriminalization bill."

Polling data compiled by Quinnipiac University finds that 59 percent of Virginians support allowing adults to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

According to the findings of a 2017 Virginia Commonwealth University report, African Americans in Virginia are arrested for violating marijuana possession laws at a rate that is more than three times the rate of whites.

Pennsylvania: More Municipalities Push For Decriminalization Ordinances

Bethlehem, PA: Members of the Bethlehem city council have moved toward the enactment of a local ordinance that seeks to make first-time minor marijuana possession offenses punishable by a $25 fine. Members decided unanimously in favor of the proposal on its first reading. A final vote is anticipated in about two weeks.

However, it remains unclear if the city's mayor will sign it into law, or if police will follow the new ordinance. Both the mayor and the Bethlehem police chief have publicly expressed concerns that the ordinance conflicts with state penalties, which define cannabis possession as a criminal act.

The police chief for Allentown, Pennsylvania recently cited similar concerns upon failing to enforce that city's new decriminalization ordinance.

By contrast, several other cities in the state - including Philadelphia and Harrisburg - impose and enforce municipal decriminalization ordinances.

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