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Seriously, this is the time to reevaluate Idaho’s cannabis laws

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Seriously, this is the time to reevaluate Idaho's cannabis laws

Congressional actions to legalize hemp signifies the Idaho Legislature and Gov. Brad Little will have great cause to face the nation’s cannabis coverage this winter. And it could not have come at a better time: Idaho currently finds itself surrounded on either side by lawful bud in 1 form or another. Utah has enacted medical marijuana laws. Residents of this Oregon city of Ontario simply voted to permit recreational marijuana, meaning each city on Idaho’s western border is only a heartbeat away from boatloads of authorized marijuana.

For this writing, President Trump is expected to sign the $867 billion farm bill which includes agriculture subsidies along with the national government’s food stamp plan. Also within the bill are provisions end the mistaken addition of hemp using the misguided and harmful War on drugs. The national laws make a regulatory framework for most countries that permit hemp farming, which is legal in all but nine states.

Also Read: Rhode Island may be peer pressured into legalizing marijuana by Neighbors says, Governor

Idaho is the sole hemp-prohibiting western country. Therefore, if Idaho farmers wish to gain from the new national legislation, Idaho lawmakers will need to upgrade its own no-tolerance coverage for THC, the substance in cannabis which receives a individual high. Hemp has minuscule quantities, which makes it useless from the illegal drug trade, but helpful for a whole lot of different programs, such as food and fabrics.

Idaho’s drug laws are so strict a set of truck drivers had been arrested in Boise for hauling hemp out of an authorized hemp farm in Colorado into a lawful farm in Oregon. Based on news reports, the two guys are law-abiding men and women, in their 20s, who face felonies that carry mandatory prison time under Idaho’s drug trafficking statute.

Idaho could readily integrate the farm bill provisions into legislation, which might be valuable to Idaho’s ag business. Legislators may try again to legalize any merchandise comprising cannabidiol (CBD) oil. The CBD course was tried twice, with no success. Lawmakers may also look at wider choices, such as decriminalization for marijuana possession or allowing medical marijuana.

The purpose is, using a national ag policy which enables hemp, a fresh Idaho governor and a fresh state Legislature, this is the best time to have a deep dialogue about, and also to do it on, our nation’s cannabis policy. We should be asking: what’s the outcome we seek, and what exactly do our existing drug legislation get us? Why should bark growing continue to get prohibited? Can we really wish to detain, prosecute and jail truck drivers, in this circumstance, for hauling a benign hemp plant from Point A to Point B? Can we actually want grandmother to face jail time for using marijuana as a portion of her arthritis therapy? Is it truly necessary for the well-being of the nation to criminalize a mother’s buy of CBD oil to take care of her kid’s intractable epilepsy?

Also Read: St. Vincent’s marijuana bill not for St. Lucia says Cannabis Movement

There is a side benefit of elected officials asking tough questions: ” It might spare additional truck drivers innocently hauling hemp throughout the country from confronting tough time behind bars in Idaho. Further, authorities could devote their time catching thieves, rapists, and murderers. Court system resources might be discharged to convict such offenders. And taxpayers may be spared the cost of incarcerating individuals that are simply engaged in peaceful, voluntary and fair pursuits.

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Texas Bill Receives The Green Signal Of Legalizing Hemp, Awaits Final Nod Of Legislature

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Texas Senate Hemp Bill

Amidst massive confusion pertaining to the sale of CBD products in Texas, a bill has been approved by state lawmakers for legalizing the production of industrial hemp. House Bill 1325 received unanimous votes in its favor from the Senate on Wednesday. The ultimate decision now rests upon the House lawmakers who can either agree or disagree to the amendments made by the Senate to the bill.

Possibilities Of The Bill

The bill would go straight to the desk of governor Greg Abbott for his signature or veto if the House agrees to the same or negotiators are named by both the chambers for hashing out their differences and ultimately signing off the deal. Rep. Tracy King is hopeful about Abbott signing the bill and giving it the recognition of a proper legislature in upcoming days.

King, D-Batesville announced after the Senate vote that, “I’m excited, I’m excited.” He further added that “A lot of folks around the state are looking forward to clarity on the issue — and the ability to grow and participate in industrial hemp.”

Controversy Surrounding CBD

Both marijuana and hemp fall under the same cannabis plant family. However, hemp has low levels of tetrahydrocannabinol or THC which is the psychoactive compound infamous for making us feel high following its consumption. Hemp has been removed by the federal government from its list of controlled substances and a similar move was replicated in Texas last month.

Unlike the 42 other states, Texas has not opted for industrial hemp production. Products having any form of THC content is still deemed to be illegal in Texas as the state law has defined both hemp and marijuana in similar lines. The only exception to this general philosophy happens when hemp or marijuana is used in accordance with the state medical cannabis laws.

What To Expect Next

A federally approved program is expected to be set up by the King’s bill for Texas farmers so that they can grow hemp as a crop. This shall include procedures of sampling, testing, and inspection. All hemp or hemp-derived products having less than 0.3% THC content will also receive the green signal of being legally purchased in Texas. CBD or cannabidiol will receive a legal standing once the bill turns into law and provided it contains a low level of THC

What About Marijuana

Marijuana, however, shall still remain illegal. This fact was especially underlined by the senators during Wednesday’s debate. Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, enquired the bill sponsor, “Can this stuff be smoked?” before adding that, “Nowadays people smoke anything.” Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, answered negatively to this question stating that the bill expressly prohibits both manufacture and processing of hemp products which are meant to be smoked. He further added that retailers who are selling CBD products meant for human consumption need specific registration with the state.

Perry was backed up in this point by his fellow Republicans. Sen. Pete Flores, R-San Antonio said, “This is no slippery slope toward marijuana.” GOP Sen. Charles Schwertner of Georgetown pointed out that, “I want to clarify so the people of Texas know — this is not legalized marijuana.”

Bottom Line

Perry feels that this bill is going to tremendously help farmers who can cash in on this craze for producing this drought-resistant crop. He was quoted as saying that, “When Texas does something and does it right, we usually become the market leaders.” Once this bill becomes a solid law, this will mark a meaningful change in hemp and marijuana legislation of Texas. Although this particular bill marks the beginning of a paradigm change in the cannabis industry, various other bills for expanding medical cannabis laws of the state and bringing down penalties for marijuana possession are in the pipeline of being implicated.

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New Zealand to become the first Asian-Pacific Country to legalize medicinal marijuana

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Medical marijuana

The world is shouting out loud for legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes! From the western skies of the United States to the royal United Kingdom’s and every member in between is deciding whether to make cannabis legal or not.

New Zealanders will be voting on cannabis legalization in a referendum next year. The draft law under consideration would permit people over the age of 20 to legally purchase the drug. The referendum will be held during the 2020 general election, the government announced on Tuesday.

Justice Minister Andrew Little said that the vote would be binding, but it will ultimately be in the hands of the next administration whether they want to enact the legislation or not.

 

Outline of the leaked cannabis paper for 2020 referendum

Andrew said that the voters would be asked a simple ‘Yes/No’ question on the basis of a draft piece of legislation. Questions in the draft would include some important things that will be considered after the legalisation of cannabis like-

  • The minimum age for using and purchasing recreational cannabis.
  • Regulatory framework and commercial supply controls, maintaining a balance in cannabis use and sales to licensed premises.
  • Marketing reforms about cannabis-based products and their advertising.
  • Checks on home-grown and private cultivation of cannabis.
  • A public education program to discuss about the safe use of cannabis for medical purposes and reduce the stigma associated with it.

These points were drawn from what seems to be the leaked cannabis paper which will be discussed in the referendum. It outlines the crucial points for discussion and voting, and also talks about the questions that will be asked in the referendum.

Paula Bennett, National’s Drug Reform spokesperson said that the cabinet will consider all the 4 questions laid out in the Cannabis paper, however it seems that irrespective of what option is chosen by the legislative, it will have huge loop holes. These loop holes will need to be filled in and taken care of before they adversely affect the consumers.

The leaked paper is quite light on the details and discusses about cannabis legalization briefly. It doesn’t talk about taxation imposed on marijuana, fiscal revenues related to the drug, consumption and distribution regulation and many other important things.

If the reform fails next year, cannabis legalization would be put on hold for another good amount of years making users wait and patients suffer.

 

Biggest opportunity for cannabis legalization reforms

Andrew said that the coalition government was committed “to a health-based approach to drugs, to minimize harm and take control away from criminals.” The referendum would bring more clarity on the subject. In fact, it was part of a confidence and supply agreement the Green party negotiated with the governing Labour party.

Green Party MP, Chloe Swarbrick said that the vote presented the “greatest opportunity for cannabis law reform our country has seen in 40 years.” She further added that the draft legislation will outline concise and clear regulatory regime to avoid any potential of a ‘Brexit’ situation because people will know how their actions would change the future course of action and how these changes will be implemented in their lives.

 

What if a the majority votes are a ‘yes’?

The situation about cannabis legalization is quite dicey in New Zealand, even if the motion gets majority votes to legalize cannabis, it is not imperative that the laws would be implemented right away. It could probably take years before the laws are enacted and come into action.

Andrew said that the voters choice would be binding because all the parties that form up the current government have committed to respect the outcome from the voting. Butthe poll is scheduled to take place during the 2020 election, which means it will be a new parliament that will finally decide whether to legalize cannabis or not. The opposition centre-right National Party has not yet said whether it will honor the referendum for cannabis legalization or not.

After the federal law which created a statutory defense for terminally ill patients to use cannabis without the fear of getting arrested or charged, New Zealand is also on its way to incorporate cannabis in their structure. A majority of ‘Yes’ votes in the next year’s referendum could make New Zealand the first Asian-Pacific country to approve of marijuana for recreational purposes.

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CBD oil will be seized at Bush and Hobby airports- Texas officials stay firm at the 0% THC rule

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CBD oil

Image Credits: Houston

Despite the federal law legalizing hemp derived cannabinoid, many airport officials have been seizing CBD oil and its products in the U.S. The federal agents have warned people using CBD oil that it could possibly land them in trouble if they try to take it with them to the airport.

According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents, at least 41 travellers at Bush and Hobby airports had their CBD oil seized by the federal agents in 2018 alone.

Alicia Tellez, a watch commander for U.S. Customs and Border Patrol at the Bush airport said that passengers should be aware of the stringent regulations against carrying CBD oil at the airport. She further added that even travellers crossing through the ports of the entry gate may have their luggage checked and searched for CBD oil, including their carry-ons.

TSA officials say that while their focus is not just searching illegal drugs on domestic flights, if in case, anything is found suspicious, they do involve the police officials. CBD is now a legal compound after the Farm bill passed in December 2018. It is known to be an anti-inflammatory compound which helps relieve pain, stress, anxiety, depression and improves sleep patterns.

CBD is derived from hemp plant, a cannabis genus plant which is non-psychoactive in nature. It is also known to treat severe ailments such as epilepsy, Alzheimer’s and cancer. But there are no recognized research or study backing up these claims, just real-life experiences from patients.

The federal law allows CBD with 0.3% of THC, tetrahydro cannabinoid, another compound found in cannabis plants which is a psychoactive chemical that alters the state of mind. It is also the main compound which is responsible for the ‘high’ that users get while smoking weed.

Despite of the legal threshold limit for THC concentration in CBD products, many states are following the previous limits – 0% THC concentration – which is making it difficult for people to buy and carry CBD products, especially through airports.

Airport Customs and Border Protection agents are armed with kits that can easily determine the purity of a bottle of CBD oil on the spot without any delay. Tellez said that if a passenger is suspected of carrying a controlled substance, they will test that substance and it would hardly take a few seconds to reveal the concentration of CBD and THC present.

If any traces of THC are detected, the Houston Police narcotics officials are called to the scene and arrests are possible.The Customs and Border Protection agents did not clarify on the amount of THC a passenger could get trouble in, but they said that even if someone is found carrying CBD oil, they could get arrested.

Fox 26 asked Houston Police about the seizing incidents and arrests for CBD oil at the Bush and Hobby airports. They didn’t have much information ready at the hand, but said they were working on it.

With different states taking CBD legalization differently, it is becoming quite confusing for people to understand whether CBD is legal in their state or not. Some states are boosting the decision by giving permits to universities for further research and study in CBD and its effects, others are putting massive barriers even for patients to get a bottle of CBD oil for their treatment.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows CBD in a drug which is used to treat two rare forms of epilepsy. The agency announced a public hearing in May to discuss the effects of the drug and how it could be safely implemented in the current market to serve to people’s needs. It will form a regulatory framework to monitor the use of CBD in products and also build an internal team of members which will ensure CBD is used effectively.

Till then, the confusions stay afloat amongst companies that are looking forward for creating CBD based products and for people who are looking out for CBD as an alternative treatment for their ailments.

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