Source: High Times, By Mike Adams · Mon Mar 10, 2014
Last week, while California Governor Jerry Brown spoke out against the idea of legalized marijuana in his state, citing fears that an uprising of stoner society would destroy the ambition of modern America, lawmakers in our nation’s capital were doing the good work: voting in favor of decriminalizing marijuana possession.
Meanwhile, other pot proponents across country continued to wage war against prohibition by introducing a variety of legislative measures to legalize marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
Here is a glimpse at what your pot-friendly legislators were up to last week:
Florida: Joint Bills Introduced
A set of bills aimed at making marijuana legal for recreational use was introduced earlier last week in Florida.
Senate Bill 1562, which is sponsored by Senator Dwight Bullard, would serve to create a tax and regulatory system for a recreational marijuana trade, making it legal for adults 21 and over to possess up to two-and-a-half ounces of weed. Representative Randolph Bracy introduced an accompanying bill, House Bill 1039.
“We’ve spent billions and possibly trillions of dollars since this war on drugs has started to incarcerate so many people for the use of marijuana. I think its. and it really hasn’t had a positive effect. If anything marijuana use has increased since the war on drugs,” said Representative Bracy.
Minnesota: Medical Marijuana Bill Approved
Last Tuesday, a Minnesota House committee approved legislation to legalize medical marijuana. After hearing the testimony of patients and other concerned citizens, the House Health and Human Services Committee recommended the bill be advanced to another committee for consideration.
House Bill 1818 would allow patients suffering from debilitating ailments like cancer and HIV/AIDS to be prescribed select amounts of marijuana as well as cultivate a number of plants.
Medical marijuana legislation was approved by the state in 2009, but was vetoed by then Governor Tim Pawlenty.
Current Governor Mark Dayton says he would like supporters of the bill and law enforcement to negotiate a fair medical marijuana program.
South Carolina: Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced
House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford introduced a bill aimed at legalizing medical marijuana in South Carolina last week. The “Put Patients First Act,” would allow patients with debilitating conditions to obtain a prescription of marijuana. The bill would also allow patients and caregivers to cultivate their own supply.
“The time has come to put aside archaic misconceptions of medical marijuana and put patients first,” said Representative Rutherford. “I hear devastating stories every single day from people who are battling epilepsy or suffering from a brain tumor who desperately need medical marijuana to treat the debilitating symptoms. I want to help these people and the government should not be a barrier for them to get the medical services they need. Medical marijuana has been legal in South Carolina for three decades but the state has refused to initiate the process of allowing patients to obtain it and for licensed professionals to grow it. I refuse to let these people suffer any longer – it’s time to move forward and put the health of our citizens ahead of politics.”
New Mexico: Medical Marijuana Program Adds Conditions
New Mexico health officials announced last week that Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease will be added to the list of qualified ailments under the state’s medical marijuana program.
Supporters had been attempting to get these two neurological conditions listed since 2010, but their petitions were denied.
“It appears the Martinez Administration’s position on medical marijuana is evolving in support of increased access to medical marijuana,” said Emily Kaltenbach, director of the New Mexico chapter of the Drug Policy Alliance. “However, we will not rest until the Martinez Administration continues to demonstrate, as they did on Friday, that they will not turn their backs on medical marijuana patients.”
Full article source: http://www.hightimes.com/read/high-times-legislation-roundup-mar-10