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Florida: Attorney Sues State Regarding Anti-Cannabis Smoking Legislation

Florida Medical Marijuana

House Majority Leader Ray Rodrigues, the legislator who sponsored the troublesome legislation and insisted on the smoking ban, defends lawmakers’ actions

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last Thursday, Orlando attorney John Morgan sued the state of Florida stating the new SB 8A law banning smoking medical cannabis is in violation of Amendment 2, the voter-initiated constitutional amendment that passed last November with 71 percent of the vote.

Utah: Medical Cannabis Initiative Moves Forward Towards 2018 Ballot

Utah Medical Cannabis

The ballot initiative would set up state-regulated cannabis growing and dispensing operations and allow the drug to be consumed in edible forms, in topical forms or as an oil, however, smoking cannabis would not be allowed, but vaping would

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Medical cannabis activists in Utah have filed the necessary paperwork to get the issue before voters in 2018. The Utah Lt. Governor's Office will review the language for legality and fiscal impact to taxpayers. Before qualifying for the November 2018 ballot, the Utah Patients Coalition must hold seven public hearings throughout Utah and collect 113,143 signatures from registered voters around the state.

New York: Former NFL Star Marvin Washington Advocating for Cannabis

Marvin Washington Cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Former NFL Defensive End Marvin Washington, who played 11 years in the NFL and won a Super Bowl with the Broncos in 1999, wants the NFL and the Players Association to embrace cannabis as a safe alternative to treat debilitating sports injuries.

United States: Toby Keith, Willie Nelson Celebrate Cannabis In New Hit Single

Wacky Tobaccy

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In 2003, country music artist Toby Keith sang his tribute “Weed With Willie,” and in the song, Keith sings “My party’s all over before its begins...I’ll never smoke weed with Willie again.”

This month, Keith released the song, “Wacky Tobaccy,” a song featuring Willie Nelson. Keith claims Red Hair Sinsemilla, a strain of cannabis from California, is his all-time favorite in his new song.

The song, which was co-written with his longtime songwriter Scotty Emerick, celebrates cannabis. The official video, shot on Nelson's bus before a Merle Haggard tribute in April, has become a viral hit.

Take Action: Support New Federal Legislation To Protect State Medical Marijuana Laws

Take Action: Support New Federal Legislation To Protect State Medical Marijuana Laws

CARERS Act would ensure patients have access to lifesaving care without fear of federal prosecution

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Recently U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent a letter to Congressional leadership demanding that Congress set aside the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which protects states that have lawfully enacted medical marijuana programs from federal interference.

Last week, medical cannabis proponents in the US House and Senate introduced The Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States (CARERS) Act of 2017, which would codify Rohrabacher-Blumenauer protections into law and forbid the Justice Department from overriding them.

Oklahoma: Medical Marijuana Qualifies for November 2018 Ballot

Oklahoma Cannabis

Oklahoma will become next state to vote on medical marijuana

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

State Question 788, a measure which would legalize marijuana for medical purposes, will be on Oklahoma ballot in 2018.

Oklahomans for Health collected enough valid signatures in 2016 to qualify for a statewide vote, but the measure was disputed by Attorney General Scott Pruitt (R) over the wording in the ballot measure's title.

Oklahomans for Health filed litigation against AG Pruitt in the Oklahoma Supreme Court. In March 2017, the court ruled in favor of Oklahomans for Health, restoring the original ballot title. Since the dispute extended past the 2016 election date, the measure is being placed on the November 8, 2018 ballot.

U.S.: Federal Bill Seeking To Reschedule Marijuana To Schedule III Gains Prominent Co-Sponsor

US Capitol

Rescheduling cannabis to Schedule III in the Controlled Substances Act would uphold states rights, allow for cannabis banking and create a path for research, says bill's sponsors

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On April 6, Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz (R) and Congressman Darren Soto (D) joined forces in a bipartisan effort to make it easier for ill-patients and scientific and medical researchers to obtain marijuana by introducing H.R. 2020, a federal bill rescheduling marijuana to Schedule III of the Controlled Substances Act. On May 24, California Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R), a member of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, joined on to co-sponsor the bill.

U.S.: Country Artist Jason Isbell Thinks Attorney General Sessions Should Smoke Marijuana

Jason Isbell

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Grammy Award-winning Country music artist Jason Isbell, who some consider the best talent in Nashville, thinks U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions should smoke marijuana. In a recent interview with Indy Weekly, a Raleigh-Durham publication, Isbell said, "I don’t know where to start with Sessions. I mean, his idea of marijuana, first of all. I think if maybe he would smoke some of the marijuana he would realize that people are all the same and that smoking a joint once is not going to kill you. There’s no crack rock in a joint."

Michigan: High Times Midwest Medical Cannabis Cup This Weekend In Clio

High Times Cannabis Cup 2017

Cannabis activists will be at the event gathering signatures for a recreational cannabis initiative for 2018

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

This weekend, on June 24-25, the Michigan cannabis community is coming together in Clio for the 4th Annual High Times Midwest Cannabis Cup. High Times, the organization sponsoring Cannabis Cups since 1988, has been working to unite cannabis freedom fighters since 1974.

Latin America: Mexico Legalizes Medical Marijuana

Mexico Cannabis 2017

Under the new law, cannabis cultivation for medical and scientific purposes are not punishable

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In 1920, Mexico banned the production, sale, and recreational use of cannabis. Yesterday, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto published an official decree that makes medical marijuana legal in Mexico. The historic change in policy, which passed Mexico’s lower house in parliament with a 374-7 vote on April 28, opens the door for medicinal cannabis as an option to treat ailments.

North Carolina: Industrial Hemp May Replace Tobacco As Cash Crop

NC Hemp

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In North Carolina this summer, farmers are experimenting with industrial hemp as a potential cash crop as an option to replace tobacco.

On Monday, Jay Foushee, a fourth-generation farmer, planted more than 6,000 industrial hemp plants. In 2014, a change in the law made the agricultural production of industrial hemp a reality.

"We call it Carolina Gold," Foushee said. "The potential income we can make on this crop is more than we can make on grain right now."

Ohio: Former NFL Linebacker, Reggie Williams, Says Cannabis Saved Leg

Reggie Willams, Cincinnati Bengals

Former NFL linebacker Reggie Williams has joined the growing list of former pro-athletes advocating for cannabis

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Reggie Williams, who played 14 seasons from '76 to '89 with the Cincinnati Bengals, has been using a cannabis Cannabidiol (CBD) patch to fight chronic leg pain. Williams decided against treating the pain with opioids that could lead to a lifetime of drug addiction while undergoing treatment for the leg injury. Williams stated, "I didn't want to go from all those surgeries to being an addict for the rest of my life in order to stay sane" while dealing with chronic pain.

Iowa: Medical Cannabis Program Expands, Accepting Applications

Iowa Cannabis

Thousands of Iowans one step closer to medicinal cannabis as an option

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

On Monday, registration cards for Iowa's new medicinal cannabis oil became available from the Iowa Department of Public Health. In a historic first, Iowans who suffer from a multitude of diseases, including Parkinson's disease, Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, seizures, AIDS or HIV, Crohn's disease, or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, as well as most terminal illnesses that involve a life expectancy of less than one year, will have the chance the to enroll in the state's new medical cannabis program. The new law, formerly House File 524, was signed by Gov. Terry Branstad in May.

Michigan: Effort to End Marijuana Prohibition Gathering Signatures, Seeking Volunteers

Michigan Cannabis

If passed, Michigan would tax cannabis at retail levels with a 10 percent excise tax and six percent sales tax, which would support K-12 public schools, roads, and local governments

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Last month, the Michigan Board of Canvassers approved a petition for a state ballot initiative that would regulate marijuana. If approved by voters, Michigan would legalize personal possession, cultivation, and use of cannabis for adults 21 and older, legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp, license cannabis businesses that cultivate, process, test, transport, and sell marijuana, and protect consumers with proper testing and safety regulations for retail cannabis.

U.S.: PA Governor Vows to Protect Medical Marijuana Patients From AG Sessions

Gov Wolf Letter To Jeff Sessions

"If you [Attorney General Sessions] seek to further disrupt our ability to establish a legal way to deliver relief of medical marijuana to our citizens, I will ask the Attorney General of Pennsylvania to take legal action to protect our residents and state sovereignty." Governor Tom Wolf

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In a letter to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf said the federal government should not get in the way of Pennsylvania delivering relief via medical marijuana to suffering children, families and veterans. The letter comes after reports that Attorney General Sessions had personally asked Congress to repeal an amendment that protected state-approved medical marijuana programs from disruption by the federal government.

Colorado: Cannabis Tax-Funded Program Awards Scholarships Totaling $420,000

Cannabis Tax-Funded Program

Each of the recipients will be getting $2,000 for the 2017-18 school year

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

The Pueblo Hispanic Education Foundation (PHEF) and Pueblo County Commissioners have awarded scholarships totaling $420,000 for the 2017-18 school year. The program, believed to be the world’s first cannabis tax-funded scholarship program, will award approximately $2,000 of it to 210 students on June 20.

The scholarship, which was made possible through cannabis revenue, raised an additional $50,000 by utilizing grant-matching from the Colorado Opportunity Scholarship Initiative.

United States: Prosecution of Cannabis Attorney May Impact Industry

Cannabis Law

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

In May, California attorney Jessica McElfresh was charged with multiple felonies, including conspiracy to commit a crime, obstructing justice, and manufacturing a controlled substance, by the San Diego County district attorney.

The 15-page felony complaint, filed by District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, accuses James Slatic, two of his executives, and McElfresh (Slatic's attorney) of conspiracy and manufacturing a controlled substance, alleging the attorney helped Slatic cover up a cannabis concentrate manufacturing operation.

Survey: 87 Percent of NFL Players Support Medical Cannabis Use

NFL Cannabis

The majority of NFL players use opiate-based painkillers, and most would rather try medical cannabis for pain relief, according to survey

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

A recent survey sent to current and former National Football League (NFL) players shows 87 percent of players think the league should change its stance on cannabis and allow players to utilize the herb for medical purposes.

The 38-page survey, which includes answers from 152 respondents, reveals 89 percent of players think medical cannabis could be used to effectively treat pain if the league allowed it. Approximately 45 percent of players surveyed said they felt pressured into using chemical painkillers by team doctors, staff, and teammates.

Global: Uruguay and Canada Moving Forward on Cannabis Legalization

International Cannabis

Canada and Uruguay currently honor the 1961 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances and the 1988 Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Uruguay‘s Ambassador to Ottawa, Martin Vidal, is working with Canada on the implementation of global cannabis regulations. To do so, Canada and Uruguay must comply with three United Nations drug control treaties, since they honor those treaties.

In April, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau introduced legislation with a goal of legalizing and regulating the use of recreational cannabis by July 2018.

Europe: Czech Republic and France Have More Cannabis Users Than Anywhere Else in Europe, Study Suggests

Cannabis In Europe

By Michael Bachara
Hemp News

Most people think of Amsterdam’s coffee shops when it comes European cannabis, but new data from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) says Paris and Prague have higher rates of cannabis consumers with 11% of respondents in each country admitting to cannabis use in the past year.

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