Medical Marijuana Advocates Descend on Capitol Hill

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA:  Medical marijuana supporters flocked to Capitol Hill on Monday to push for legislation that would prohibit the federal government from restricting state medical-marijuana laws.

“We’re doing this work,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, a pro-medical-pot group that brought 152 people to Washington to lobby 300 members of Congress. “It’s not just a bunch of potheads [saying], Please let us do this.”

The House bill would offer legal clarity to the growing number of states that are legalizing medical marijuana even as it remains illegal under federal law. New York might become the 21st state to legalize medicinal marijuana this year, but the Drug Enforcement Agency considers marijuana a drug on the same level as heroin, and the Justice Department under the Obama Administration hasn’t always been consistent in its level of prosecutorial restraint and its willingness to defer to state laws.

 

Maryland Gov. O’Malley Will Sign Marijuana Decriminalization Bill, He Says

MARYLAND:  Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley said Monday that he will sign a bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana.

On a 34-to-8 vote, the Senate gave final approval to the legislation Monday afternoon. The bill would impose only civil fines, rather than criminal sanctions, on those caught with less than 10 grams of the drug.

At least 24 other states now have either decriminalized the use of marijuana, approved it for medicinal purposes or legalized it outright, according to a study by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

WA Liquor Control Board Approves Lottery Process for Retail Marijuana Stores

WASHINGTON: The Washington State Liquor Control Board has approved staff’s recommendation for a lottery that will select the apparent successful applicants for marijuana retail licenses. The independent, double-blind process will take place April 21-25, 2014, and will produce an ordered list of applicants that the agency will use to continue its retail licensing process. The agency expects to begin issuing retail licenses no later than the first week of July.

Initiative 502 directed the WSLCB to limit the number of marijuana retail stores by county. In its rules, the WSLCB limited the number of stores statewide to 334. The most populated cities within each county are allotted a maximum number of stores with the remainder at large within the county. [Read more…]

Money Is Flowing To A New Social Network For Weed Smokers

MASSACHUSETTS:  Although Isaac Dietrich didn’t win the top spot of The Peter Thiel Fellowship, he was among 40 finalists which was enough to encourage his dream to be an entrepreneur. While Thiel co-founded Paypal during the tech boom, Dietrich founded the cannabis social networking site MassRoots.com which secured funding from Boston-based hedge fund manager Doug Leighton.

“I didn’t go to college,” Dietrich told MainStreet. “I felt it was a waste of money, because I always wanted to be an entrepreneur.”

The 21-year old attended a legal studies academy in Virginia Beach for high school.

“You either have that entrepreneurial drive or you don’t,” said Dietrich, who is an unabashed pot smoker.

Massachusetts Sandwich Entrepreneur Fills Pot Seed Need

MASSACHUSETTS: Massachusetts residents with certain medical conditions have been able to obtain doctor certificates for medical marijuana for more than a year, but dispensaries are still months away from opening.

So a Sandwich entrepreneur has stepped into the breach, selling seeds that his customers can plant to produce marijuana crops for their own use.

Business is booming, according to Zachariah Kay, owner of Bay State Seed.

DEA Chief: Marijuana Legalization Just ‘Makes Us Fight Harder’

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: Far from being discouraged by the shifts in public opinion, state laws and even within the Obama administration on the legalization of marijuana, federal drug agents are now driven to “fight harder,” Drug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart said Wednesday.

Leonhart, who reportedly criticized President Barack Obama for comparing marijuana to alcohol during a closed-door meeting with a law enforcement organization, suggested during testimony Wednesday before a House Appropriations subcommittee that voters in Washington state and Colorado were duped into legalizing marijuana. [Read more…]

Cannabis Mom Worried About “Drug-Endangered Child” Bill

COLORADO: A mother growing marijuana at home to treat her child’s cancer is worried a new Colorado bill in the state senate could ban her from doing so.

It was introduced on April 1 trying to define what’s called a “drug-endangered child”. It’s all part of the Colorado Children’s Code, hoping to stop child abuse.

Sierra Riddle started growing marijuana in her home a couple weeks ago. She uses the magical butter machine. Her four-year-old son Landon takes cannabis oil for his leukemia. He’s been in remission for more than a year. [Read more…]

Maryland House Of Delegates Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Bill

MARYLAND: It’s not a law yet, but it’s right on the edge. If the governor goes along, getting busted for pot won’t mean jail, provided those joints don’t contain to too much marijuana.

Right now in Maryland, if you’re caught with enough marijuana to roll one joint or enough to fill a greenhouse, it’s a criminal offense. But in a Saturday night session, the House of Delegates took up a Senate bill that would change that law.

“They key is there will be civil penalties instead of criminal penalties for small amounts of marijuana,” said Del. Kieffer Mitchell Jr., (D) Baltimore.

Telluride Colorado Airport Clarifies Marijuana Rules

COLORADO: The Telluride Regional Airport Authority has decided to handle the issue of marijuana at the airport with an advisement to passengers.

The board voted at its March meeting to install signs at TEX that advise anyone boarding flights that they risk prosecution if they enter federal airspace with marijuana. The new warning signs will be placed in various locations at the airport.

Sales and possession of retail marijuana might be legal in Telluride, but marijuana is still federally illegal, which puts TEX in a tough position. According to TEX Board Chairman Jon Dwight, the board is attempting to walk a fine line between conflicting federal and state laws. [Read more…]

Despite Support In Party, Democratic Governors Resist Legalizing Marijuana

CALIFORNIA:  California voters strongly favor legalizing marijuana. The state Democratic Party adopted a platform last month urging California to follow Colorado and Washington in ending marijuana prohibition. The state’s lieutenant governor, Gavin Newsom, has called for legalizing the drug.

But not Gov. Jerry Brown. “I think we ought to kind of watch and see how things go in Colorado,” Mr. Brown, a Democrat, said curtly when asked the question as he was presenting his state budget this year. [Read more…]