Tag: legislation

Massachusetts Cannabis Overhaul Could Prompt Legal Challenge

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is expected to sign a cannabis overhaul bill that the state Legislature sent to his desk on Thursday, but one Republican lawmaker is already warning that one of the bill’s provisions could invite a lawsuit.

The bill, H.3818, would effectively repeal and replace the law that voters passed in November to legalize adult-use cannabis. Cannabis would still be legal for adults 21 and older, but with new regulatory tweaks. The legislation would set a higher cannabis tax than what voters approved, merge government oversight of medical and adult-use systems, impose restrictions on advertising and change how cities and towns can ban retail cannabis stores and other facilities.

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Sens. Sonia Chang-Diaz and Linda Dorcena Forry tweeted this short video to explain the impact of the measure:

The bill’s approval marks a milestone for lawmakers, who have been at loggerheads for weeks over cannabis regulations and only recently struck a compromise.

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Even that compromise may not stand, though. According to the state Senate’s top Republican, Sen. Bruce E. Tarr of Gloucester, changes to how cities and counties ban cannabis facilities would set a “very dangerous precedent” and could spark a legal challenge.

“A group of people in Massachusetts will have their right to vote extinguished.”

Sen. Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester)

Under the law passed by voters in November, local voters were given the option of banning or otherwise restricting cannabis in their respective city or town. The Legislature’s new bill takes some of that control away from voters and puts it in the hands of elected officials.

Specifically, in municipalities that voted in favor of legalization, a vote would still be required to ban or severely limit cannabis businesses. But in cities and towns that voted against the measure, local officials could enact limits themselves.

“A group of people in Massachusetts will have their right to vote extinguished by virtue of the way they voted on a ballot question,” Tarr said on the Senate floor (“with incredulity,” according to the Boston Globe).

Tarr warned that by disenfranchising those voters, lawmakers could risk a constitutional challenge down the road that could potentially lead to “the incapacitation of this lawsuit.”

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Outside lawyers have reportedly questioned whether the provision might violate guarantees of equal protection of the law but that wasn’t enough to sway most lawmakers. Sen. William N. Brownsberger (D-Belmont), dismissed the worries as “nonsense.”

A spokeswoman for the governor has said that Baker “appreciates the Legislature’s work on this bill and will carefully review it in the coming days.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Sen. Positive Nelson Wants to Bring Medical Cannabis to the Virgin Islands

A senator in the US Virgin Islands is trying to bring medical marijuana to the islands.

Sen. Terrance “Positive” Nelson announced Thursday that he has submitted a medical marijuana legalization bill to the Legislature, according to the Virgin Island Consortium, which reports that the move has broad support in the US territory.

It’s the second time Nelson has submitted a medical marijuana bill. In 2014 he introduced a measure that also had majority support in the islands. However, then-Attorney General Claude Walker warned at the time that passing a law legalizing medical cannabis would put the islands in a precarious position with the federal government. Lawmakers ultimately scrapped the bill after a number of public forums and legislative hearings.

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“The new measure has been reviewed by policy advisors, industry leaders and others to ensure that we have a solid and comprehensive product,” Nelson said, according to the Consortium’s report. “We also included the pertinent changes made by various senators that surfaced last year when the measure was heard in the Committee on Health, Hospital and Human Services.”

Nelson said he reintroduced the bill to fulfill his obligation as a policymaker to the people of the Virgin Islands, who originally supported the 2014 legalization push.

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The new bill, would allow islanders to possess up to four ounces of cannabis. It would create a system of testing facilities, production facilities, and dispensaries, and patients would be issued registry identification cards.

Homegrow would also be permitted, with a cardholder able to cultivate up to 12 plants, mature or immature.

Medical conditions that would qualify for medical marijuana include the following:

• cancer
• glaucoma
• HIV/AIDS
• hepatitis C
• amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
• Crohn’s disease
• ulcerative colitis
• Alzheimer’s disease
• post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
• traumatic brain injury
• hospice care
• Parkinson’s disease
• Huntington’s disease
• arthritis
• diabetes
• chronic pain
• neuropathic pain
• muscle spasms


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

The Cannabis Lawyer: An Interview with Jack Lloyd

Toronto cannabis lawyer Jack Lloyd looks more like a roadie for the Grateful Dead than a trial lawyer—a fact that’s helped him earn the trust of his clients, who know he’s equally at home in either world and that his brain (not his hair) is what’s on display when he represents high-profile cannabis clients like Marc Emery. With years of tutelage under revered Canadian cannabis lawyer Paul Lewin and a peer group including cannabis-law giants Kirk Tousaw and John Conroy (with whom he volunteers for NORML), Jack Lloyd is destined to become a lion in this brave new world of Canadian cannabis law, as he follows his self-professed goal of helping to “legalize cannabis through the judicial branch of the government in Canada.” When I reach him on the phone, he’s running to catch a streetcar, sweating in his suit after a long day in court, listening to Hot Water Music, and headed home to tend his garden.

Cannabis law isn’t for everyone—how did you come to it?

I come from the world of publishing. I‘m an editor at a publishing company called Green Candy Press, which is the largest publisher of books about the cannabis plant in the world. Law school is very, very expensive. I have a unique focus to my legal practice, and if an individual wants to specialize as I have, they cannot carry a lot of debt after their education. I worked a lot of different jobs to pay for law school—I was a landscaper and a busboy—and as a result I’m able to practice law the way I like.

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How does your publishing work relate to your law work?

I’m a cannabis legalization activist and my editorial work has really been focused on sharing knowledge about the cannabis plant. My work as an editor is essentially about helping people tell their stories about the cannabis plant in an effective way. My legal work is just a different form of advocacy for a really large community of people who have been unfairly criminalized for a long period of time. Hopefully through hard work and perseverance we can correct a historical wrong by legalizing cannabis.

What will you be looking for during the yearlong countdown to Canadian legalization?

Local flavour in regard to cannabis offenses. You already see this to a lesser extent on a provincial level, with provincial or municipal governments making decisions in regard to how they want to deal with cannabis, cannabis venues, cannabis consumption, and even cannabis sales—I am thinking particularly of British Columbia. Over the next year provincial governments are going to be thinking very seriously about how they want to regulate this type of activity.

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What advice would you give to on-the-ground activists?

For the activist community I would recommend that they start speaking with their local government because never before have we had such a clear opportunity to voice our opinions about how we think this regulation should occur and what people want. Essentially people have voted with their feet as to how they want regulation to occur and it remains to be seen whether provincial governments accept that or whether they want to implement a different scheme. There may well be a variety of interest groups vying for a voice in that conversation. I think that is quite unique in that activists can get their point across in this liminal territory between the old system and the ne— these are definitely interesting times.

What do you hope will be achieved by cannabis legalization in Canada?

From the standpoint of simple cannabis charges, I would like to see simple possession of cannabis charges evaporate. Currently they still exist but could be generally dealt with by something called “diversion” in most courts. I think the time is right for a form of judicial activism in which the judicial branch of government and officers of the court, i.e. lawyers and judges, come to some sort of agreement that simple possession of cannabis is no longer constitutionally viable and therefore not a criminal offense. I’ve described it to people with this metaphor: “You don’t want to be the very last person to get shot just before the armistice.” Someone is going to be the very last person convicted of a cannabis offense and that is both heartwarming and sad all at the same time.

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In a utopian world where your cannabis activism services are no longer needed, where would we find you?

Right now there is a group called MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies). It’s a society that advocates for the use of certain hallucinogens for therapeutic purposes. They have a broad mandate but I’m thinking of a really interesting study that they’re doing in regards to psilocybin mushrooms as an effective treatment for a variety of mental health issues. I think that some really great legal work could be done in that space, and I’d be happy to do it.

Where will you be July 1, 2018?

Hopefully not in bail court!

Any last words?

I work with Tousaw Law Corporation and if folks are interested they can contact us to chat about their legal issues.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Can the Philippines Legalize Medical Marijuana Despite Duterte’s Violent Drug Crackdown?

The Philippines is a country rich in history and cultural significance, but President Rodrigo Duterte’s violent crackdown on drug offenders has created a deep divide in the international community.

“It’s effective. I will not deprive Filipinos of the benefits of medicinal marijuana.”

Rodrigo Duterte, President of the Philippines

Duterte won the Philippine presidential election on May 9, 2016, with 39% of the votes in his favor, running on a campaign promise to reduce crime–by killing tens of thousands of criminals. Indeed, after the election, he stuck to his word, authorizing law enforcement and civilians alike to kill anyone even suspected of being a drug dealer.

As of April 2017, there have been at least 7,000 recorded deaths of people accused of using or selling drugs. The main culprit behind the brutal extrajudicial killings is shabu, or methamphetamine.

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Amid the chaos, during this legislative session a bill was introduced in the House to legalize cannabis for medical use. While the country’s president orders the deaths of thousands of suspected drug users, the government is also actively trying to legalize medical marijuana.

The Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act

House Bill 180 is the successor to the former medical cannabis bill, House Bill 4477, known as the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act that was filed during the 16th Congress while former President of the Philippines, Corazon Aquino, was still in office. The bill, with 70 coauthors signed on, only made as far as the House Committee on Health before dying.

The bill had to be refiled under Duterte’s administration as “The Philippine Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act,” by the original author, Isabela Representative Congressman Rodito Albano III.

Shockingly, Duterte expressed support for the bill during his 2016 campaign, saying,“It’s effective. I will not deprive Filipinos of the benefits of medicinal marijuana.”

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We reached out to Kimmi del Prado of the Philippine Compassionate Society to learn more about cannabis in the Philippines and what kind of legislative change the country may see in the near future.

“I’ve never encountered any plant as controversial as cannabis,” Del Prado tells Leafly. “I did my fair share of research back in college to convince myself that cannabis has been wrongly placed in history as a dangerous drug.”

“And then I became a mom,” she adds. Del Prado explains the reasons behind her passion for medical cannabis legalization. “As a parent, it’s heartbreaking to see your child suffer. You are helpless as you see your kid in pain. It gave me a big wake up call. I get impatient with my kids when it’s one of ‘those days.’ But my kids are ‘normal,’ they’re healthy. I am grateful that my kids are, but there are others who are not as fortunate as me.”

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Fostering a Cannabis Community in the Philippines

It was during this time that del Prado discovered an international cannabis community for parents who support cannabis. She learned of Moms for Marijuana International, and founded the first local chapter in the Philippines as the chapter leader, establishing its Facebook page, coincidentally, on April 20, 2013.

“As a chapter leader, my task was to check what’s going on in the local cannabis community,” Del Prado says. “I discovered the community page where I met a couple who were looking for cannabis for their daughter. Imagine, in the middle of exchanges about getting high, growing, and other personal experiences, there was this post from a dad asking about cannabis; where to buy, how to process.”

“I got in touch with the dad to ask permission if I could share their story on Facebook. I didn’t know how else to help Jun and Myca and their daughter Moon Jaden,” she explains. The daughter’s name was Moon Jaden, MJ for short. “I posted their story on the Facebook page of Philippine Moms for Marijuana. I wanted people to go straight to them for any kind of help they can offer.”

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Under the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, marijuana remains illegal, classified as a dangerous drug. Possession is punishable by 6 to 12 years imprisonment, and a fine ranging from 50,000 pesos (about $1,000 USD) to 200,000 pesos (about $4,000 USD).

Moon Jaden Lugtu-Yutuc suffered from a rare form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome. Without any legal access to cannabis, her parents, Myca and Jun Yutuc, had to search the black market for suppliers. When a typhoon wiped out cannabis crops in the Philippines, MJ died before accessing cannabis for treatment.

“We lost Moon Jaden,” del Prado laments. “But her death was symbolic. It created a community of mostly parents, advocating for medical cannabis. One of my greatest achievement to date is bringing together advocates from all walks of life, and slowly breaking the stigma and prejudice against cannabis.”

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The Future of Cannabis in the Philippines

The current war on drugs in the Philippines generally targets drug users and dealers connected to shabu, or methamphetamine, but cannabis users are not immune to the government-sanctioned violence. Law enforcement has been given broad orders to shoot anyone resisting arrest and anyone suspected of being a drug user. As del Prado puts it, “In the absence of due process, how will we know whether they were guilty or not?”

More often than not, cannabis users fearful for their lives turn themselves into their local governments to avoid unwarranted arrests or shootings. Officials make them sign a statement saying they won’t do drugs again and they will usually be released.

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Cannabis, affectionately known as “toot-toot” by older generations, is widely used by indigenous Filipino tribes in rituals and traditional medicine and is mostly cultivated in the mountainous regions of Luzon and Mindanao. These areas are fertile and secluded, making them an ideal spot for discreet cannabis cultivation. There’s also an underground network of cannabis producers who provide cannabis to Filipinos suffering from various medical conditions, from cancer to arthritis to Dravet Syndrome.

Those who distribute cannabis, however, still face a great risk, particularly in urban areas such as Manila, where many of the drug-related arrests, raids, and extrajudicial killings occur.

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House Bill 180 (and What It Means)

“I’ve never encountered any plant as controversial as cannabis.”

Kimmi del Prado, Phillippine Compassionate Society

House Bill 180 is incredibly thorough. If the bill were to pass, it would establish a system of medical cannabis compassionate centers to distribute up to a one-month supply to registered medical cannabis patients. The patients would have the same medical protections as those afforded to individuals using prescribed pharmaceutical medication. This includes protection from discrimination as it pertains to employment, housing, education, and even child custody arrangements.

Additionally, if passed, the bill would authorize the National Institutes of Health to conduct medical research on the uses and benefits of cannabis. It would also establish an oversight committee to help implement the new program, and a new branch of the government to help enforce regulations.

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In order to qualify, patients must be diagnosed with one or more of the following conditions by a certifying physician:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord, with intractable spasticity
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Admission into hospice
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune disorders

House Bill 180 already passed through the House in April 2017. To date, it has 50 coauthors, but still sits in the Committee on Health, awaiting consideration and debate. The legislative session recently reconvened, and with Duterte’s allies holding a majority in Congress, the bill could easily be passed. Will it?


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Maine Wants Advice on How to Regulate Cannabis

Maine continues to take slow steps toward legalizing cannabis after voters in November passed an adult-use legalization. On Monday, members of the state’s Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee met with Colorado’s former marijuana czar to discuss how to craft Maine’s cannabis policies.

A key player in setting up Colorado’s billion-dollar cannabis industry, Andrew Freedman served as the state’s marijuana czar following voters’ approval adult-consumption in 2012. According to reports from local NBC affiliate WCSH6, he spent about an hour with the Maine committee, going over data he gathered since adult-consumption cannabis became legal in Colorado.

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Key findings included indications that legalization has not increased cannabis consumption by youth and adults, according to the local news report.

“Our expectations were, we worried we were going to see massive increases,” he said, according to WCSH6. “We’ve seen nothing of statistical significance yet.”

Freedman did tell the legalization committee that some of the biggest challenges in Colorado have been banking, identifying and combating dangerous pesticides, and setting up personal homegrow rules. Visits to hospital emergency rooms also increased, mainly due to people consuming too many edibles.

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Maine Legalization Faces Yet Another Challenge as Lawmakers Seek to Delay Cannabis Law

The state committee hopes to wrap up its work by the end of July, then have rules ready for a public hearing by September.

To that end, Maine’s financial and agricultural departments are asking for the public’s thoughts on how to regulate the state’s retail cannabis marketplace, as well as on the public health, budgetary, and enforcement aspects of the new market.

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Comments are due July 31.

Currently, possession of up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis is legal for all adults 21 and over in Maine, although there’s not yet a legal place to buy cannabis products. On the medical side, eight dispensaries and 3,000 caregivers serve roughly 37,000 patients.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Keep Canada’s Medical and Adult-Use Systems Separate, Researchers Say

As Canada works towards next year’s launch of an adult-use cannabis market, there are still some key regulatory issues to hammer out.

The post Keep Canada’s Medical and Adult-Use Systems Separate, Researchers Say appeared first on Leafly.


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Confirmed: Canadian Cannabis Patients Love Their (Imperiled) Dispensaries

As Canada heads to its proposed July 2018 passage of the recreational marijuana-legalizing Cannabis Act, the country remains peppered with illegal-yet-operational cannabis dispensaries, where adults can purchase marijuana products at will. According to a new study by the University of British Columbia, these imperiled dispensaries are beloved fixtures in the lives of Canada’s medical marijuana patients, many of whom prefer procuring their medicine from such unlicensed dispensaries rather than taking the legal mail-order route.

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“We know that about 80 per cent of patients use dispensaries, even those who are authorized to buy cannabis legally,” said UBC study leader Rielle Capler  to the Indo-Canadian Voice. “So what is interesting is to get some understanding of why. What we found is that patients who use dispensaries are highly satisfied with the services and products that they are getting.”

Among the areas of high customer satisfaction: quality, safety, availability, and efficiency. Less satisfying: dispensary products’ costs. “Cost is still a really important issue for patients,” said Capler. “If they can’t grow it themselves or have somebody grow it for them, they’re going to be getting it from a third party.”

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As for the place such dispensaries might find in post-legalization Canada, Capler is cautiously optimistic. “I hope this research can inform that by highlighting the role that dispensaries are currently playing, and the satisfaction that people have with these sources,” said Capler to the Voice. “Provincial regulators will be assessing storefront access, and I do think it would be instructive for them to look at the natural experiment that’s been happening for the past 20 years in Canada with dispensaries and seeing how effective it is, and using that data to inform their decisions. Clearly dispensaries are already playing a big role in cannabis access in Canada. They’ll have to either look at continuing that—licensing them and putting them into a legal framework—or drawing on what’s working and not working in dispensaries as they build a new model.”


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Michigan Group Has 100K Signatures for Legalization

A group in Michigan seeking to put adult-use cannabis legalization on the 2018 ballot is now 100,000 signatures closer to making the cut and now only needs 152,523 valid signatures.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) said Tuesday that more than 100,000 signatures have been collected in support of putting the measure on next year’s ballot. If it gets there, state voters would have a chance to weigh in on the proposal to legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis for adults 21 and older.

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“The support we are seeing across the state has been fantastic. We are getting calls and emails every day from people who understand that marijuana prohibition is a massive failure and asking where they can sign and how they can help,” said coalition spokesperson Josh Hovey. “If we can keep up this momentum, we will have all signatures in four months rather than the six months required by state law.”

To qualify, the measure needs 252,523 valid signatures. If it makes it to the 2018 ballot and voters approve it, the initiative would legalize personal possession, cultivation, and consumption of small amounts of cannabis. It would also set up a system of legal distribution, licensing businesses to cultivate, process, test, transport, and sell cannabis products. Retail sales would be subject to a 10% excise tax and 6% sales tax, which would support K-12 public schools, roads, and local governments. The measure would also legalize the cultivation of industrial hemp.

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In 2014, there were 35,762 drug arrests in Michigan. In 2015, there were 36,686. Approximately two-thirds of those arrests were for cannabis, and 85 percent of all cannabis arrests were for simple possession.

Michigan already has a medical marijuana law that was passed by voters in 2008. The resulting medical cannabis industry got off to a slow start, but it’s now is beginning to make profits—and even fund law enforcement.

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Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Drug Policy Alliance: Time to Decriminalize, NYC Racial Disparities Remain

The Drug Policy Alliance, a leading advocacy group, released a report Tuesday calling for an end to criminal penalties for drug use and possession. Once considered a radical approach, the position in the DPA report has already won the endorsement of more than 30 organizations and key stakeholders. Groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Latino Justice PRLDEF, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and various others have backed the report’s call for decriminalization, a policy that essentially removes the threat of arrest or criminal penalties in cases of simple possession.

The widespread support for decriminalization comes at a crucial time, as Attorney General Jeff Sessions call for ramping up the war on drugs in the face of the nation’s growing opioid epidemic.

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But despite the Trump administration’s shift toward more punative policies, Jag Davies, DPA’s communications director, said most Americans don’t realize how close to decriminalization many state policies already are.

“The US is closer to decriminalizing drugs than most people think, even in a red state like South Carolina,” he said on a conference call with reporters, noting that, in terms of public opinion, polls of presidential primary voters last year found that most support ending arrests for drug consumption and possession.

States included in the study were Maine (with 64% percent in favor of ending arrests), New Hampshire (66%), and South Carolina (59%).

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“Removing criminal penalties for drug use and possession will increase opportunities for people to get help,” said Emily Kaltenbach, the DPA’s senior director of national criminal justice strategy. “Today, people who need drug treatment or medical assistance may avoid it in order to hide their drug use.  If we decriminalize drugs, people can come out of the shadows and get the help they need.”

Extreme Racial Disparities Persist in New York Possession Arrests

The need to remove criminal penalties for cannabis consumption and possession persists in New York City, according to a second DPA report released today. It shows that arrests for marijuana possession under Mayor Bill de Blasio continue to be marked by high racial disparities.

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The report found that during the first three years of the De Blasio administration, the NYPD made more than 60,000 criminal arrests for cannabis possession. Nearly 86% of those arrests were of black or Latino individuals.

“We believe it’s time for a new approach, and that approach shouldn’t involve criminalizing New York’s most vulnerable populations.”

Alyssa Aguilera , co-executive director, Vocal NY

New York residents living in public housing constituted the single largest group of people arrested. Last year, in 2016, the NYPD housing police made 21% of the city’s 18,121 arrests for cannabis possession. Of those, 92% of arrests were of black or Latino residents.

The two groups make up about half the city’s population but account for 66% of the cannabis possession arrests. Of the city’s 76 neighborhood police precincts, black or Latino residents make up a majority in 37.

“Prohibition has played a significant role in devastating low-income communities of color through racially biased enforcement and has often come with steep collateral consequences,” said Alyssa Aguilera, co-executive director of the community activist group Vocal NY. “We believe it’s time for a new approach, and that approach shouldn’t involve criminalizing New York’s most vulnerable populations.”

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The following groups and individuals have endorsed the Drug Policy Alliance’s report, “It’s Time for the U.S. to Decriminalize Drug Use and Possession”:

  • A New PATH (Parents for Addiction Treatment & Healing)
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
  • American Friends Service Committee Colorado
  • Broken No More
  • Center for Juvenile and Criminal Justice
  • Center for Living and Learning
  • Centro Cáritas de Formación
  • Clergy for a New Drug Policy
  • Community Oriented Correctional Health Services
  • CURB Prison Spending
  • DanceSafe
  • Denver Justice Project
  • Drug Policy Australia
  • Drug Policy Forum of Hawai’i
  • Drug Truth Network
  • Grief Recovery After a Substance Passing (GRASP)
  • Harm Reduction Action Center
  • Harm Reduction Australia
  • Iglesia Evangélica Protestante de El Salvador
  • Intercambios Asociación Civil
  • International Centre for Science in Drug Policy
  • International Drug Policy Coalition
  • Junot Díaz
  • Latino Justice PRLDEF
  • Law Enforcement Action Partnership
  • Moms United to End the War on Drugs
  • National Advocates for Pregnant Women
  • New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyers Association
  • Progress Now NM
  • Protect Families First
  • Release
  • Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference
  • StopTheDrugWar.org
  • Students for Sensible Drug Policy
  • Transform Drug Policy Foundation
  • Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago
  • Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA)
  • Women With a Vision


Thank you for visiting MDMMCC.com, the premier Medical Marijuana Certification Center in Maryland. Our Mission at the Maryland Medical Marijuana Certification Clinics (MDMMCC) is to provide the certification necessary for qualified patients to obtain Medical Marijuana in compliance with the Maryland Medical Marijuana Laws in the State of Maryland.  MDMMCC will have offices open throughout Maryland.

Massachusetts Lawmakers Resume Talks on Cannabis Compromise Bill

BOSTON (AP) — House and Senate negotiators struck a cautious tone Monday as they resumed negotiations over legislation that would overhaul the state’s voter-approved recreational marijuana law.

The six-member conference committee met behind closed doors in a continued effort to resolve differences between the two chambers.

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Heading into the meeting, Sen. William Brownsberger, a Belmont Democrat, said the committee was “working hard” but added that it would be “dangerous” to make any predictions about the outcome of the latest round of talks.

The panel missed an earlier, self-imposed June 30 deadline to strike an agreement. The negotiations were later suspended at the request of Democratic House Speaker Robert DeLeo while the Legislature focused on finalizing a $40.2 billion state budget that was sent to Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk on Friday.

While both House and Senate leaders agreed that changes should be made to the marijuana law approved by 1.8 million Massachusetts voters in November, the two chambers differed sharply in approach.

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The House voted to repeal the law and replace it with a bill that called for raising the tax on legal cannabis sales from 12 to 28 percent and giving local governing bodies such as city councils and select boards more power to prohibit or restrict the opening of retail marijuana stores.

The Senate’s more narrowly focused bill keeps the voter-approved law in effect and calls for no changes in the tax rate or municipal control.

Both measures call for revamping the makeup of the Cannabis Control Commission, a new agency that will be created to regulate both recreational and medical marijuana in Massachusetts.

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Massachusetts House Passes Controversial Cannabis Bill, Setting up Showdown

Yes on 4, the group that sponsored the November ballot question, argues the current law is “well crafted” and not in need of major revisions.

Supporters of the law say further regulatory delays resulting from the legislative logjam could jeopardize plans to begin opening cannabis shops around the state in mid-2018.

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