Archive for the ‘Politics’

Michigan Considers Medical Marijuana Dispensaries03.06.13

The medical marijuana industry could save the U.S. billions and generate billions in jobs and taxes.

The medical marijuana industry could save the U.S. billions and generate billions in jobs and taxes.

The Michigan House of Representatives is considering a bill that would allow the establishment of medical marijuana dispensaries. The Medical Marijuana Provisioning Center Regulation Act comes on the heels of a Michigan Supreme Court decision that ruled that the transfer of medical marijuana between patients that takes place in dispensaries is not included in the original Michigan Medical Marijuana Act passed in 2008.

Mike Callton (R-Nashville) said dispensaries are necessary in order for patients to have safe access to medicine.

“Frankly, the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling necessitated this legislation,” Callton said in a press release. “Now there are only two limited ways someone can access medical marijuana: grow their own, or contract with a caregiver. Therefore, we need to allow for provisioning centers or patients will continue to suffer. The more educated people become about this issue, the more they understand the pressing need before us.”

Robin Schneider, legislative liaison for the National Patient’s Rights Association, an advocacy group for medical marijuana patients, said the bill’s aim is to clear up the gray areas that are present in the original MMMA.

“What we saw were dispensaries popping up unregulated without rules, and that created conflict within communities,” Schneider said. “Without provisioning centers, medical marijuana is being distributed in our neighborhoods, in our parks, in parking lots … wherever people can meet, it’s being distributed.”

Allen Park was one community that conflicted with the illegal setup of dispensaries within city limits. In September, Allen Park police raided and shut down two dispensaries that were operating in the city. The new bill before the state House of Representatives would allow for cities such as Allen Park to zone or regulate the operation of provisioning centers.

“If it’s a legal business and it’s licensed to operate, then from my standpoint I don’t have a problem with that,” said Allen Park interim Police Chief James Wilkewicz. “(Dispensaries) would want to be registered (with the city) like all the other businesses are, so we know what’s going on at that location for public safety purposes — whether it be police or fire or whatever else.”

Ultimately, under the new bill cities are allowed to permit or deny dispensaries in the community, so it will be up to residents to decide.

“I would liken it a lot to cities that may operate adult entertainment clubs,” Wilkewicz said. “.… Not all citizens are on board with things like that, but what’s the actual impact for public safety? Sometimes, if it’s not a well-run facility there’s a lot of public safety impact, and other times if it is a well-run facility there’s no public safety impact.”

Source: http://www.pressandguide.com/articles/2013/03/06/news/doc5136175ab1568106621464.txt

Posted in Dispensaries, Legalization, Politicswith No Comments →

Snoop Dogg Lights Up During Interview02.10.13

SnoopDoggpot660

 

Snoop Dogg continues to advocate for marijuana legalization and mainstream use.  Music fans who turned out to BMI’s annual pre-Grammy Awards “How I Wrote That Song” discussion got a little more than they expected thanks to Snoop Dogg — a contact high.

The rapper smoked marijuana during Saturday’s panel discussion, lighting up a large, Kush-filled blunt on stage at The Roxy. He briefly passed it off to B.o.B before methodically reducing it to ash over a 15-minute period. The panel also included Busta Rhymes and songwriters Luke Laird and Evan Bogart, all of whom abstained — at least on stage.

Fittingly, the conversation eventually turned to Snoop’s groundbreaking work on “The Chronic.”

Laird recalled growing up at the end of a dirt road in a small town of 700 in rural Pennsylvania. Yet Snoop’s work with Dr. Dre still infiltrated his world and that of all the other country kids around him.

“Let me just say, the album everyone was listening to was `The Chronic,”‘ Laird said, noting how surreal it was to be sitting on stage with Snoop.

With acoustic guitar in hand, he played a bit of his Blake Shelton hit “Hillbilly Bone” in its original form: a rap song. The Nashville-based songwriter had everyone bobbing their heads to the beat.

“Now I feel like more than ever you see these influences crossing genres,” Laird said.

Meanwhile, discontent is apparently brewing over rapper Snoop Dogg‘s conversion to the Niyabinghi branch of Rastafarianism. This, you may recall, involved a name change to Snoop Lion – allegedly at the behest of a Rastafarian high priest – the growing of dreadlocks, a musical shift to reggae and the announcement that he was actually reincarnation of Bob Marley. Now, alas, the Jamaican Rasta community seems to suspect that all this was a publicity stunt rather a genuine spiritual conversion. Bunny Wailer, last surviving member of Bob Marley’s original band, has accused him of “outright fraudulent use of Rastafari Community’s personalities and symbolism” and claimed he has failed to meet “contractual, moral and verbal commitments”. The snappily named Ethio-Africa Diaspora Union Millennium Council, or Rasta Millennium Council has sent seven pages of demands to him. Among other things, it wants money and “moral support”, a public apology, an assurance that Snoop will stop calling himself Lion, and threatens to sue him if it doesn’t get them. “Smoking weed and loving Bob Marley and reggae music is not what defines the Rastafari Indigenous Culture,” it protests.

Lost in Showbiz doesn’t know what to believe. It wouldn’t claim to be an expert on the minutae of Rastafari. It did once cast an eye over The Holy Piby, one of the most important foundational texts of the religion, but gave up midway through chapter one of its Fourth Book when it appeared to start prophesying that a rooster would walk on the moon. Nevertheless, an examination of his recent activities does suggest that the Rasta Millennium Council might have a point: thus far, Snoop does seem to have largely concentrated on the whole smoking-weed aspect of Rastafari. This week it was reported that, as coach of the Orange County Junior All America Football League, he was planning to read his eight- and nine-year-old charges a book called Just a Plant: A Child’s Story of Marijuana. “It’s not that I would ever push weed on our kids, but if they wanted to, I would love to show them how,” he explained, nothing if not a blue-sky thinker in the world of sports training.

But on the other hand, film director Eli Roth, who went to Jamaica with Snoop Lion/Dogg has come to the rapper’s defence. “Look,” he opened, “I’m a fake rasta: I only own one Musical Youth album and I only listen to Pass the Dutchie.” Yes, that certainly seems like the kind of remark that’ll go a long way towards convincing the outraged members of the Millennium Council that everyone concerned isn’t just taking the piss out of their religion. Do carry on. “Snoop is for sure for real,” he added. “He really loves [Bob Marley] … he wants to have a message of positivity … he’s written a song about fruit juice.”

Posted in Legalization, News and Updates, Politics, Religion, Uncategorizedwith No Comments →

World’s Largest Medical Pot Dispensary, Wins Battle To Avoid Shutdown01.09.13

Medical marijuana is gaining understanding and acceptance across the U.S.

Medical marijuana is gaining understanding and acceptance across the U.S.

A federal magistrate on Monday ruled that the Harborside Health Center located in Oakland and San Jose, Calif., can continue to operate, despite a bid by federal prosecutors to shut it down. Harborside is widely considered the world’s largest medical cannabis dispensary.

The ruling comes as the latest move in a larger battle over the fate of medical marijuana dispensaries in California, where shops operating in full compliance with state law have come under pressure from the federal government.

Harborside’s landlords have called on the court to order an immediate halt of cannabis sales at their properties in Oakland and San Jose on the grounds that the activity is illegal under federal law. Meanwhile, the city of Oakland, which last year received more than $1 million in tax revenue from Harborside, has filed suit against the federal prosecutors to challenge the forfeiture action.

Chief Federal Magistrate Maria-Elena James ruled that it is the role of the government — not Harborside’s landlords — to determine whether the business should be shut down for its alleged violation of the Controlled Substances Act.

Landlords “are attempting to use a procedural rule in a civil forfeiture proceeding to bring what amounts to an enforcement action … against Harborside,” the 17-page ruling said. “This is a measure which the Government — the entity charged with enforcing the statute — has elected not to pursue.”

Judge James also declined to grant a motion from the City of Oakland to immediately prohibit the federal government’s legal efforts to close Harborside. A hearing is scheduled later this month to hear further arguments in the City of Oakland’s lawsuit.

Medical cannabis is currently legal in 18 states and the District of Columbia, but U.S. prosecutors have argued federal law — which forbids the substance — should take precedence.

Harborside’s lawyer, Henry Wykowski, underscored the importance of Monday’s decision.

“We are gratified that Judge James listened to and analyzed the parties’ arguments so thoroughly and has now rendered an opinion that will ensure Harborside has the right to present its case to a jury,” Wykowski said in a press release on Harborside’s website. “Despite the government’s efforts to shortcut the case, Harborside will now be able to fully defend itself at trial. That is all we had asked, and the court has now agreed. The stage is now set for a jury trial on the underlying issues of the litigation, which will probably take place in about one year.”

Posted in Dispensaries, Edibles, Education, Legalization, News and Updates, Politicswith No Comments →

National Marijuana Group To Endorse Obama For Second Term As President08.29.12

The medical marijuana industry could save the U.S. billions and generate billions in jobs and taxes.

 

The United States Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce, a 10,000 member-strong national business group with individual state chapters across the country, has officially endorsed President Barack Obama for a second term as President, it was announced today.

“Let’s not get distracted by the myriad of issues that will be brought to the forefront at the upcoming political conventions, the single most important election issue is getting our economy back on track,” remarked Thomas L. Leto III, President and Founder of the U.S. Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce.

“The Economic Potential of the Cannabis Business in the U.S. is Limitless and President Obama understands this,” “It is our impression that Mr. Romney just doesn’t get it.”

Leto says the Cannabis Industry has the potential to become a $100 billion annual industry and would create 5 million new jobs within the first year of Federal legalization, which would allow transportation of marijuana across state lines, making easier for businesses to operate.  Currently, the U.S. Government has delegated legalization of Cannabis to the state level where local legislatures have mostly failed to agree on a solution to legally cultivate the business for growth.

Posted in News and Updates, Politicswith No Comments →

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