amendment

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Colorado: Group Forms To Oppose I-139, Which Would Limit THC To 16%

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A poorly drafted proposal that simply goes too far, and will have far reaching, unintended consequences harming Colorado’s medical marijuana patients, public safety, and economy

The Colorado Health Research Council (CHRC) on Friday announced that it has formed to oppose Amendment 139, a constitutional amendment that would order the Legislature to set a limit of no more than 16 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) of any cannabis product sold at a state-licensed retail store, while also putting packaging and labeling requirements that already exist directly into the state Constitution.

"While likely well-intended, proponents of the hastily drafted measure are suggesting that we amend our constitution in a way that would have devastating unintended consequences to the citizens and economy of Colorado," the group announced in a prepared statement.

Many Coloradans, including veterans suffering from PTSD, rely on cannabis as an effective and safe medicine. This bill would directly impact those using medical cannabis, including Jack Splitt, according to the CHRC.

Ohio: Legislature's Embrace of Medical Marijuana Bolsters Amendment Prospects

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With the approval of H.B. 523 by the Ohio Senate and expected concurrence by the Ohio House of Representatives, Ohioans for Medical Marijuana on Thursday announced it will move toward the November ballot with the issue of patient’s rights to medical marijuana supported by the Ohio General Assembly.

"This General Assembly has taken a step forward on this issue,” said Aaron Marshall, spokesman for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana. “Their support for medical marijuana speaks volumes for eliminating any remaining biases against allowing doctors to recommend this life-enhancing treatment to patients in need.”

"Our Constitutional amendment builds on the legislature’s work by incorporating national best practices and offers voters an opportunity to enact a law free of the horse-trading inherent in the legislative process," Marshall said. "Our amendment also protects the rights of patients in the Ohio Constitution, not leaving this important issue vulnerable to the reach of special interests."

While the legislative bill clears several important societal and policy-making hurdles, it omits a number of critical issues. They include:

Ohio: Group Releases Specifics of New Medical Marijuana Ballot Measure

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana could be on the November's ballot in Ohio if 305,291 signatures of registered voters are collected.

The plan, which could provide medicinal cannabis to an estimated 215,000 Ohioans with qualifying medical conditions by 2018, is backed by the D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, which has been successful with ballot initiatives in other states, reports Alan Johnson at The Columbus Dispatch.

A year after Ohioans overwhelmingly rejected a for-profit plan to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, the MPP is counting on the differences in the plans to mean success this time. ResponsibleOhio's plan would have handed over control of commercial cannabis cultivation in the state to a dozen wealthy investors who backed the campaign.

MPP will be working locally through a group called Ohioans for Medical Marijuana.

“The Ohio initiative is similar to the medical-marijuana laws in 23 states and the District of Columbia,” said Rob Kampia, executive director of the MPP, reports Meghan Matthews at WBNS-10TV. “The Ohio initiative will allow patients with a list of medical problems to use, possess, and grow their own medical marijuana if they have the approval of their physicians.”

Ohio: 3 of 4 Voters Support Making Medical Marijuana Legal

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About three out of four Ohio voters support amending the state constitution to make medical marijuana legal for patients with terminal or debilitating conditions, according to a new poll by Public Policy Polling.

The survey of 672 randomly selected Ohio voters was conducted February 17-18, just as advocates are preparing to launch a campaign in support of a constitutional ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana. It found 74 percent of voters in favor and only 22 percent opposed, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent.

“It’s become pretty common knowledge that marijuana can be incredibly beneficial in the treatment of a variety of medical conditions,” said Mason Tvert, a spokesperson for Ohioans for Medical Marijuana (OMM), a committee that has been formed to support the forthcoming initiative. “It’s not surprising that a vast majority of voters agree patients should be allowed to consume it if their doctors think it could be helpful.

"There are few laws still on the books that are as unpopular as those that prohibit sick and dying people from accessing medical marijuana,” Tvert said.

OMM is currently working with local advocates to draft the initiative and expects to initiate the petitioning process later this month. If the petition drive is successful, the measure will appear on the November ballot.

“Ohio’s current marijuana policy is antiquated and inhumane,” Tvert said. “We hope to give voters an opportunity to change that this November.

Michigan: Group Forms To Repeal Marijuana Prohibition

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A ballot question committee has been formed to make use of the cannabis/hemp plant legal in Michigan and repeal marijuana prohibition.

Abrogate Prohibition Michigan announced it "is driven by the need to repair one of the most ineffective and damaging policies introduced by legislators in the last 50 years, the prohibition of the Cannabis/Hemp plant."

"Abrogate Prohibition Michigan is very different from all other efforts because the group is proposing an amendment to the State Constitution repealing all prohibitions on the Cannabis/Hemp plant for use by the people, business, and industries alike," the prepared statement reads. "The proposal does not allow for any excise/luxury/sin taxes, nor allow fines or any other penalties whatsoever for the use of the Cannabis/Hemp plant by anyone in the state."

Abrogate Prohibition Michigan's petition was approved by the Board of Canvassers on Dec. 29th, 2015, and the group said it is prepared to kick off the signature campaign in about one week, finishing the 180-day campaign just after the July 4th Independence Day Holiday, in time for voters to address the issue in the 2016 Elections.

Missouri: New Medical Marijuana Petition Would Amend State Constitution

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A pro-marijuana coalition called New Approach Missouri filed an initiative petition last week to get a proposed constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot to legalize cannabis for medicinal use.

The new proposed initiative would replace a broader initiative proposal, already approved by the secretary of state for signature collection, that would have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes as well, reports Jo Mannies at St. Louis Public Radio.

Show-Me Cannabis is ending its broader legalization proposal because polling showed it would be challenging to to voter approval for recreational legalization, according to executive director John Payne. But Missouri voters are likely to overwhelmingly support medical marijuana, according to coalition consultant Jack Cardetti, who's running the campaign.

"It's what's good for patients in the state of Missouri, to be able to access medicine that's helpful to them without being treated like criminals," said Payne of the New Approach Missouri coalition's message.

The proposal would allow patients or caregivers to grow a limited number of their own plants, as long as they register their gardens with the Missouri Department of Health.

Oregon: Amendment Would Require Medical Marijuana Card Renewal Every 60 Days

There is a truth that must be heard!By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Medical marijuana patients in Oregon will have a lot more to worry about than just their health, if some lawmakers have their way. They'll also have to worry about getting their medical marijuana cards renewed every 60 days.

The Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday held a public hearing on SB 281, a bill that would allow people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying conditions for medicinal cannabis. But at the hearing, a number of amendments were proposed, including one by Sen. Jeff Kruse (R-Roseburg), that would require medical marijuana patients to renew their registry identification card every two months.

Currently, patients are required to renew their MMJ cards once a year.

Under the amendment, patients would be forced to provide the Oregon Health Authority "updated documentation" from their physician that medical cannabis could help them reduce their symptoms.

The supposed intent behind the onerous requirement of renewing every 60 days was to "make sure that cardholders see their doctor regularly just as they would if they were renewing any other prescription," legislative staff claimed.

It would be difficult for patients to schedule an appointment and continually renew their cards every 60 days, according to Iraq war veteran Jared Townsend, who told lawmakers he was opposed to the amendment to SB 281.

"I think it's just a ploy to clog the system," Townsend said.

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