Connect with us

Policy

Utah lawmakers approve medical pot changes, despite issues

mm

Published

on

Utah lawmakers approve medical pot changes, despite issues

Lawmakers in conservative Utah passed sweeping changes Monday into some new voter-approved medical-marijuana ballot measure under a projected compromise which procured the help of the powerful Mormon church but triggered a backlash from recommends.

Supporters of this undermine cheered the vote, saying it might help patients while creating defenses against wider recreational usage.

“I feel this arrangement proved to be a milestone day for our nation, and we’re helping people,” said incoming Republican House speaker Greg Hughes, who sponsored the legislation and helped bring together the gamers for discussions.

The plan for modifications was declared prior to Election Day as a part of a wide compromise which won the backing of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

The changes prohibit many marijuana edibles, stop individuals from developing their own marijuana if they live away from a dispensary and narrow down the list of qualified medical conditions where the medication can be gotten. Smoking marijuana was not permitted in the first ballot measure and will not be under the new edition.

Also Read: Philippine President jokes about smoking marijuana despite drug war killed thousands

Democrats contended the measure’s passing with 53 percent of the vote reveals people want it written, and they suggested leaving the initial language intact. Republicans overwhelmingly voted down the thought.

“We are rushing this. It is bad public policy and it is gloomy,” Democratic Sen. Luz Escamilla said.

The initial legalization step passed Nov. 6, placing Utah on a record of over 30 countries that allow medical marijuana. Experts say that the changes create important barriers to individuals that wish to acquire the medication and reduce the amount of places at which it would be accessible.

“It is an almost complete disregard for the will of the public,” lawyer Rocky Anderson explained.

They Intend to sue to block the compromise from going into effect, said Christine Stenquist together with the team Collectively for Responsible Use and Cannabis Education. She along with other medical marijuana advocates moved to the Republicans after decades of trying unsuccessfully to convince conservative legislators to pass a bill, and also the bands cleared a large bar to win a place on the ballot.

Compromise fans, however, argue it is an improvement on the first and won over largely Mormon lawmakers that have been reluctant to encourage any sort of medical marijuana.

“I’d like to accept this compromise is a massive step,” said Republican Sen. Allen Christensen.

Some medical marijuana advocates also confirm the arrangement. The Marijuana Policy Project commended the Monday vote, stating the revised step is”clearly inferior” to the ballot measure, but the vote on Election Day might have failed with no compromise.

Also Read: Vernon shifts closer to full cannabis regulations

“It is time to proceed,” Deputy Director Matthew Schweich said in a statement.

State law permits the Legislature to alter the terminology of legislation passed by Republicans.

“We’ve got the right to reevaluate what the folks do with initiative,” said Republican Rep. Merrill Nelson, however he mentioned, “we do not do this willy-nilly.”

Opponents of this program criticized the compromise talks held mostly from the public attention, also stated they’re still an illustration of the Utah-based religion exerts its influence on public policy. Mormons have frowned on marijuana usage due to a important church health code known as the”Word of Wisdom,” which prohibits the use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.

The church agreed to this pre-election deal to permit accessibility for those who have serious medical needs since the step appeared to obtain support. Church leaders also have said that they stand behind the job done to help manage a compromise it believes a safer medical marijuana plan.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Policy

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

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Policy

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

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Policy

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

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

Trending