Month: April 2017

Oregon Governor Signs Bill Altering Marijuana Penalties, Removing Marijuana from Controlled Substances Act

Legislation altering Oregon’s marijuana penalties, and removing marijuana from the Uniform Controlled Substances Act, has been signed into law by Governor Kate Brown

Senate Bill 302 was signed into law yesterday by Governor Kate Brown. It was passed by the Senate last month with a 21 to 8 vote, and approved by the House of Representatives 34 to 21 earlier this month. The proposal took effect immediately after being signed by Governor Brown.

The new law reduces the penalty for possessing more than the legal one ounce limit, but less than four times that limit. However, it would increase the penalty for possessing over 16 times the legal limit (anything over a pound. The measure also “repeals additional penalties for the possession, manufacture, or sale of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school”, and “moves criminal penalties and related provisions from the CSA [Controlled Substances Act] to the Control and Regulation of Marijuana Act”.

The full text of this bill can be found by clicking here.

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Iowa Legislature Approves Measure Legalizing Distribution of Medical Cannabis Oil

In a last-minute deal Iowa lawmakers gave approval today to legislation to expand the state’s limited medical cannabis oil law that passed in 2014.

House File 524 was approved by the House today at 3am (83 to 11), and was passed by the Senate exactly four hours later (33 to 7), sending it to Governor Terry Branstad for final consideration. The proposal would legalize the production and distribution of cannabis oil for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. Licensed dispensaries would be established to safely distribute the medicine to patients.

“There are many, many citizens, literally thousands of citizens, that could benefit from the use of this medication,” says Representative John Forbes, a Democratic pharmacist who voted in favor of the measure. “They’ll have access now to a treatment for debilitating diseases that are not very well treated sometimes with conventional medicine.”

“There are sick Iowans out there that need relief, bottom line,” said the bill’s floor manager, Representative Jarad Klein, R-Keota.

If approved into law, House File 524 would allow the Department of Public Health to approve up to two manufacturers and up to five distributors if cannabis oil. The cannabis oil will be limited to containing no more than 3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

The bill also would expands the list of qualifying conditions to use cannabis oil to include cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS and others. A medical Cannabidiol Advisory Board would be established within the Department of Public Health to recommend adding or removing qualifying conditions.

A separate, more liberal proposal to legalize medical cannabis recently passed the Iowa Senate.

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Colorado Legislature Approves Measure Adding PTSD and Acute Stress Disorder as Medical Cannabis Conditions

Colorado Legislation to expand the state’s list of qualifying medical cannabis conditions has been passed by the full legislature.

Senate Bill 017 would create “a statutory right to use medical marijuana for a patient with acute stress disorder or post-traumatic stress disorder.” The bill “creates the same rights, limitations, and criminal defenses and exceptions as the constitutional right to use medical marijuana” for all other conditions that currently qualify someone to become a legal medical cannabis patient.

The measure passed the Senate last month with a 34 to 1 vote, and was approved today by the House of Representatives. Given it was amended slightly in the House, it will need to go back for a final vote before being sent to Governor John Hickenlooper for consideration.

Senate Bill 17-017 is sponsored by Senator Irene Aguilar and Representative Jonathan Singer. It it becomes law, Colorado would join Minnesota, New Jersey, Michigan, California, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, Rhode Island and Oregon as states that allow those with PTSD or acute stress disorder to legally use medical cannabis.

Click here for the full text of the measure.

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