Tag: US News

Presidential Candidate Calls for Descheduling Marijuana

Presidential Candidate Calls for Descheduling Marijuana

Vermont Senator and Democrat Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders this week pledged to get the federal government out of the marijuana enforcement business by removing the substance from the US Controlled Substances Act.

Senator Sanders called cannabis’ present schedule I status under federal law “absurd.” He added: “In my view, the time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana. … [S]tates should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern the sale of alcohol and tobacco.”

The Senator also said that state-compliant marijuana operations “should be fully able to use the banking system without fear of federal prosecution.”

Senator Sanders comments differ from those of Democrat opponent and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley who promised to use the executive powers of the President to “to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act.”  Republican candidate Rand Paul [R-KY] has also co-sponsored federal legislation, SB 683, that seeks to reclassify cannabis to Schedule II under federal law. However, simply rescheduling marijuana from I to II would not limit the federal government’s authority to prosecute marijuana offenders, including those who are in compliance with state law.

While several other Presidential candidates have called on federal officials to respect states’ marijuana policies, none have proposed amending federal marijuana laws.

Senator Sanders latest position is consistent with the view of most voters. According to a 2015 Pew poll, 60 percent of Americans agree that the government “should not enforce federal marijuana laws in states that allow use,” while recent Gallup survey data finds that 58 percent of US citizens over the age of 18 believe cannabis should be legal for adults.


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.

Double Standard? Marijuana or Hemp? DEA Raid on Indian Tribe Raises Questions

Taking advantage of a 2014 Justice Department memo giving Indian tribes a green light to participate in marijuana commerce, as well as a 2014 congressional vote allowing for industrial hemp pilot programs, Wisconsin’s Menominee Tribe earlier this year planted some 30,000 cannabis plants as part of a pilot project with the College of the Menominee Nation.

Last Friday, the DEA came and cut them all down.

The DEA says the plants were marijuana plants; the tribe says they were hemp plants. In either case, tribal officials and marijuana reform advocates don’t understand why the grow was raided. Even if it were marijuana, it appears to be an operation well within Justice Department guidelines. And that’s leading to some pointed questions about whether the feds have one standard for pot-legal states and another for the tribe-legal jurisdictions.

The memo that allows for marijuana commerce on the reservation includes eight potential enforcement triggers first formulated in a 2013 Justice Department memo (the Cole memo) advising federal prosecutors to lay off of recreational and medical marijuana operations in states where they are legal. Those triggers include diversion to other localities, money going to organized crime, and violence associated with the trade, among others.

The raid came after the tribe allowed a Bureau of Indian Affairs employee and local police to inspect the operation and take plant samples. And that visit came after a meeting between the BIA agent, the local cops, and an assistant US attorney.

According to the DEA affidavit for a search warrant, the samples tested positive for “marijuana,” although there was no measurement of THC levels in the plants.

Industrial hemp is high in fiber, but low in THC, with levels at 0.3% or less. Pot produced for the recreational market, by contrast, typically has THC levels of 15% to 20% and beyond. There is a possibility some of the plants could exceed the 0.3% limit, but not by much.

The DEA affidavit also attempted to make a case that the hemp grow was violating those Justice Department triggers. The tribe had hired Colorado cannabis consultant Brian Goldstein to consult on its grow, and Goldstein, along with Tribal Chairwoman Ruth Wapoose, had in fact guided the feds and the local cops on their tour of the operation.

But Goldstein was “white,” the affidavit noted, and several other people present appeared “non-native,” and some vehicles had Colorado plates. This, the affidavit somewhat tortuously argued, violated the memo’s provision about diversion from states where marijuana is legal to those where it is not. It seems to claim that hiring a cannabis consultant from a legal state is equivalent to importing pot from that state.

The affidavit also stretched to assert the operation was setting off other enforcement triggers. The lack of ventilation in a drying room “is a health and safety concern for the community and the individuals associated with the operation, which is a violation of the enumerated priorities listed in the Cole memorandum regarding adverse public health concerns of marijuana cultivation,” it argued.

But drying hemp stalks in closed barns is standard practice and is used by farmers around the country, including those who produced legal hemp crops this year in Colorado and Kentucky.

And security personnel guarding the property had guns, leading the BIA agent to question “the ability for the security team to have weapons for protection because it would violate the Cole memorandum.”

Now, the grow has been destroyed, any decision on criminal prosecution is in the hands of federal prosecutors, and the tribe and other observers are wondering just what is going on. After all, the Menominee aren’t the only tribe to take the Justice Department at its word, only to be raided down the road.

This past summer, the DEA hit two California tribes, the Pit River Tribe and the Alturas Indian Rancheria, seizing 12,000 plants. The feds alleged Cole memorandum violations including financing from a foreign entrepreneur and fears the marijuana would be distributed outside the reservations in ways that violated the state’s medical marijuana law. And the US attorney in South Dakota a month earlier refused to agree to lift an injunction barring Oglala Sioux tribal member Alex White Plume from growing hemp, which the Oglala Sioux Nation has legalized.

Are the tribes being held to a different standard than states where it is legal? Has there been a policy shift at Justice? Are individual federal prosecutors going off the reservation?

Menominee Tribal Chairman Gary Besaw doesn’t know, but he isn’t happy about it.

“I am deeply disappointed that the Obama administration has made the decision to utilize the full force of the DEA to raid our Tribe,” he said in a statement after the raid. “We offered to take any differences in the interpretation of the farm bill to federal court. Instead, the Obama administration sent agents to destroy our crop while allowing recreational marijuana in Colorado. I just wish the President would explain to tribes why we can’t grow industrial hemp like the states, and even more importantly, why we don’t deserve an opportunity to make our argument to a federal judge rather than having our community raided by the DEA?”

Neither was Eric Steenstra, head of the hemp industry advocacy organization Vote Hemp.

“The DEA action in this case is egregious, excessive and presents an unjust prejudice against Indian Country and the rights of sovereign tribal nations,” he said. “The Menominee Indian Tribe cultivated their industrial hemp in accordance with Federal Law, per the legislation put forth in the Farm Bill. This is a step backward, at a time when great progress has otherwise been made toward legalizing and regulating industrial hemp cultivation.”

In an interview with US News and World Report, tribal law expert Lance Morgan, a member of Nebraska’s Winnebago tribe who has worked with tribal governments pondering marijuana operations, said the Cole memorandum guidelines are not being applied consistently and warned the Menominee raid would be remembered as a historic betrayal.

“How can you allow people to buy marijuana in a retail environment in some states and then raid an industrial hemp operation of a tribe? The only difference is that there is a tribe involved,” he said. “This odd federal policy of encouraging investment and then raiding the new business sets us back a few decades in federal tribal trust and economic policy.”

The raids against tribal pot operations will kill investment in such ventures, Morgan said.

“The new federal policy of ‘sort of’ allowing tribes to get into the marijuana business is especially cruel and unusual because it encourages investment, but after the investment is made the federal government comes and shuts it down and the investors lose all their money.”

Tribal law expert and former head of New York’s Seneca Nation Robert Odawi Porter agreed that there is at least the appearance of a double standard.

“This certainly suggests a real divergence in policy approach for Indian country,” compared to the pot-legal states, which have been allowed to develop enormous marijuana industries, he said. “It increasingly looks like the Justice Department guidelines are not being interpreted in the same way as they were intended.”

It seems like the Justice Department has some explaining and clarifying to do. Can the tribes participate in the new marijuana economy like that states, or not? And does the DEA accept the legal definition and status of hemp? If not, why?


This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here.


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.

Bernie Sanders to Call for End to Federal Pot Prohibition

Presidential contender Bernie Sanders is set to announce his support for ending federal marijuana prohibition at a town hall at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia, tonight. He will announce a bill that would remove marijuana from the list of federally controlled substances, end federal marijuana prohibition, and let states set their own policies without federal interference.

“Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have a criminal record as a result of marijuana use,” Sanders said in prepared remarks for the event. “That’s wrong. That has got to change.”

No other presidential candidate in either party has gone as far as the independent Vermont senator. Democrat Martin O’Malley has called for placing marijuana on Schedule II, but Sanders wants it descheduled. Hillary Clinton has yet to stake out a position on marijuana reform, saying she wants to see how legalization is working in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington first.

The Sanders plan would not make marijuana legal in the states, but would remove the specter of federal interference for those states that choose to change their pot laws. His plan would also let pot businesses in legal states use financial services and take tax deductions currently unavailable to them under federal law.

Sanders is in line with national public opinion on the issue. Support for legalization has consistently polled at 50% or greater in recent years, and a Gallup poll this month had support at its highest level ever, 58%.

“Clearly Bernie Sanders has looked at the polls showing voter support for marijuana legalization,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Action, the political arm of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Marijuana reform was already moving forward in Congress but we expect this bill to give reform efforts a big boost.”

Look for Sanders’ bill to be filed as early as tomorrow.


This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license from StopTheDrugWar.org and was first published here


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.

Hemp Advocacy Organization Calls on Obama Administration and DOJ to Intervene in Favor of Menominee Indian Tribe

Hemp Advocacy Organization Calls on Obama Administration and DOJ to Intervene in Favor of Menominee Indian Tribe

WASHINGTON, DC — Vote Hemp, the nation’s leading grassroots hemp advocacy organization working to change state and federal laws to allow commercial hemp farming, has released a statement in response to the undue and wrongful raid of industrial hemp crops on the sovereign land of the Menominee Indian Tribe by the Drug Enforcement Administration, which occurred Friday October 23, 2015.

“The DEA action in this case is egregious, excessive and presents an unjust prejudice against Indian Country and the rights of sovereign tribal nations,” said Eric Steenstra, President of Vote Hemp. “The Menominee Indian Tribe cultivated their industrial hemp in accordance with Federal Law, per the legislation put forth in the Farm Bill. This is a step backward, at a time when great progress has otherwise been made toward legalizing and regulating industrial hemp cultivation.”

The affidavit for search and seizure warrant that authorized federal DEA agents to enter the Menominee Indian Reservation revealed a lack of DEA knowledge of hemp cultivation methods, incorrect information regarding means for identifying industrial hemp, and furthermore violated the Menominee Tribe’s sovereign rights per their status as Indian Country.

Specifically, though the Menominee Tribe had previously voluntarily submitted samples of their hemp crop for reliable laboratory testing of THC levels, the crop was destroyed by federal agents after first testing negative in a narcotics field test, and then testing positive on a second narcotics field test. Such tests are not designed to identify industrial hemp vs. “marijuana,” the former of which is federally defined as having less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) by dry weight.

Harvested industrial hemp had been hung for drying in a barn–a conventional, standard process that farmers around the country including those in Kentucky and Colorado have utilized for drying their 2015 hemp crops. Despite this being a ubiquitous practice for industrial hemp processing and the fact that the plants were non-toxic and harmless, the affidavit claimed this practice presented a “health and safety concern for the community and individuals associated with the operation.”

As part of Indian Country, the Menominee Indian Reservation is exempt from county and state criminal law of Wisconsin; rather, these tribal lands are subject to federal law. The affidavit erroneously claimed that the industrial hemp crop in question violated Wisconsin law, as the state of Wisconsin has not legalized industrial hemp cultivation; however Wisconsin State law does not govern the Menominee Indian Reservation.

“The outrageous course of action pursued by the DEA in this instance contradicts clear Congressional intent regarding the cultivation of industrial hemp laid out in the Farm Bill and confirmed in the hemp amendment to the Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations bill which prohibits DEA from spending money to block implementation of the Farm Bill hemp provision,” continued Eric Steenstra. “Vote Hemp calls on President Obama and the Department of Justice to intervene, such that no further DEA harassment takes place against sovereign tribal nations cultivating industrial hemp.”

To date, twenty-six states have defined industrial hemp as distinct and removed barriers to its production. These states are able to take immediate advantage of the industrial hemp research and pilot program provision, Section 7606 of the Farm Bill: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia.


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.

LEAP Announces Support of Ohio Issue 3 to Legalize Marijuana

LEAP Announces Support of Ohio Issue 3 to Legalize Marijuana

New Law Will Improve Public Safety, Reduce Justice System Burden

MEDFORD, MA — On Wednesday,  (LEAP), a group of police, prosecutors, judges, and other law enforcement professionals working to end marijuana prohibition, declared their support for Ohio’s Issue 3, the proposed constitutional amendment to tax and regulate marijuana in the state.

The law would legalize the production, sale, and adult consumption of marijuana products in the state and permit licenses for specific distribution companies. If passed, the law would permit home cultivation of up to four flowering plants and possession and sharing of up to eight ounces by adults 21 and older with a valid state license.

LEAPThe new law would also protect patients of any age with a doctor-certified debilitating condition by allowing safe access to regulated marijuana products.

“Legalization will take money away from the cartels, provide funding for public safety and health services, and reduce the violence associated with the illegal drug market. Passage of  Issue Three puts us in charge, not the dealers,” said Cincinnati Police Captain Howard Rahtz (Ret.).

Ohio arrested nearly 12,000 adults for marijuana possession and distribution in 2012. Almost all of those arrests were for possession alone. While most individuals don’t serve jail time for possession alone, an arrest is a costly, damaging, and time-consuming ordeal.

Marijuana arrests can cost steep fines, require defendants take time off work for court appearances, limit job and educational opportunities, and even take away rights from stable and nurturing parents. The process of an arrest is even more damaging to those in impoverished communities who often have less freedom with taking time off work, less cash for unplanned expenses, and fewer opportunities for economic mobility.

“Regulating marijuana is the only way we can be sure to keep it out of the hands of criminals, and ultimately, keep our kids and streets safer,” said Maj. Neill Franklin (Ret.), executive director for LEAP. “Controlling the drug has always been the goal – we’ve just been going about it the wrong way for a very long time.”

LEAP joins Issue 3 supporters that include former Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher, the American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio, and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

Ohio voters will make a decision on November 3rd, 2015.


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.

Report: Dramatic Increase in Marijuana Possession Arrests in Virginia, Especially in Black Communities

Report: Dramatic Increase in Marijuana Possession Arrests in Virginia, Especially in Black Communities

Black Virginians Arrested for Marijuana Possession at 3.3 Times the Rate of White Virginians, Despite Equal Rates of Marijuana Use; Virginia Moving in Wrong Direction as U.S. States and Congress Reform Marijuana Laws

A new report has found that marijuana possession arrests in Virginia have increased dramatically over the last ten years, especially in black communities. The report was authored by Shenandoah University professor and researcher Jon Gettman and released today by the Drug Policy Alliance.

“As states around the country pass reforms to scale back the role of criminalization in marijuana policy, Virginia appears to be moving in the wrong direction,” said Lindsey Lawson Battaglia, policy manager with the Drug Policy Alliance and former Virginia criminal defense attorney.  “This troubling report should encourage Virginia lawmakers to fix the Commonwealth’s broken marijuana policies.”

Using data compiled from the Uniform Crime (UCR) Program and the Virginia State Police, the report found that marijuana possession arrests in Virginia consistently increased from 2003 to 2013, as did the racial disparity in arrest rates.  Federal government data consistently shows that black and white people use marijuana at similar rates.

Adding insult to injury, Virginia’s massive number of marijuana arrests usurp scarce law enforcement, criminal justice and treatment resources at enormous cost to taxpayers.

Earlier this year, Virginia State Senator Adam Ebbin introduced a bill that would eliminate criminal penalties for possession of marijuana in Virginia, which received support from the Fairfax County NAACP and the ACLU of Virginia.

“The racial disparity in marijuana arrests in Virginia is deeply troubling, and the barriers that a criminal record brings are particularly worrisome. Studies show marijuana use does not vary significantly between whites and blacks, yet African-Americans are over three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana-related offenses,” said Senator Adam Ebbin.

The report’s key findings include:

  • In 2013, the ratio of marijuana possession arrests of black residents compared to white residents was 3.3 to 1.  This is an increase from 2003, when it was 2.4 to 1.
  • From 2003 to 2013 marijuana possession arrests in Virginia increased 57% from 13,032 to 22,948. In the three years from 2011 to 2013, marijuana possession arrests increased by 1,987, with black Virginians accounting for 82% (or 1,627) of this increase.
  • During the eleven-year period from 2003 to 2013, arrests of black people in Virginia for marijuana possession more than doubled from 4,991 to 10,293 – a 106% increase. By comparison, arrests of white people increased by 44% during this period.
  • In 2013, over half (54%) of the state’s marijuana possession arrests took place in the counties of Fairfax, Chesterfield and Prince William; and the cities of Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Richmond, Newport News, Norfolk, Roanoke and Lynchburg.  Some of the largest increases in arrests over the most recent three years (2011 to 2013) occurred in Rockbridge (188%), Bedford (166%), Franklin (140%), Manassas City (132%), Emporia City (83%), Arlington (81%), Botetourt (62%), Wythe (57%), and Norfolk City (49%).  Also of note are increases in Danville (31%), Chesapeake (30%), Richmond City (30%) and Virginia Beach City (13%).
  • These trends contradict the original intent of Virginia’s state legislature in enacting the Commonwealth’s current marijuana possession law back in 1979. At that time, the legislature intended to reinvest scarce resources wasted on marijuana possession arrests to more important priorities such as large scale drug trafficking.

The entire report can be read here.

Penalties for marijuana possession under Virginia law are no small matter and can haunt a person for the rest of their life. A marijuana arrest creates a permanent criminal record, easily available to banks, schools, employers, landlords, and licensing and other government agencies.  A person convicted of a marijuana law violation in Virginia can be punished by up to 30 days in jail or a fine of up to $500. A second or subsequent offense is the class 1 misdemeanor which is up to 12 months and/or up to a $2500 fine. For noncitizens, a marijuana arrest can trigger deportation, sometimes with almost no possibility of discretionary relief.

Twenty states have enacted various forms of marijuana decriminalization by reducing or eliminating penalties for minor marijuana offenses. Four states have taken the additional step of legally regulating the sale, cultivation and distribution of marijuana for adults over 21. Additionally, 23 states and D.C. have passed reforms to legalize medical marijuana.

In Virginia and nationally, public support for making marijuana legal has shifted dramatically in the last two decades, with recent polls showing greater than majority support. More than two-thirds believe those caught with marijuana should be fined or not punished at all. A Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll released in April 2015 found that a majority of Virginia voters support legalizing marijuana for adults, and a super-majority support allowing medical marijuana in the state.  Virginia voters strongly support allowing the medical use of marijuana, with 86% in favor and only 11% opposed. Support for legalizing recreational marijuana for adults was 54%, with just 41% opposed.

“These antiquated and extremely punitive laws, seemingly in a very targeted fashion, have served to devastate scores of individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches and houses of faith in too many of Virginia’s communities,” said Jesse Frierson, executive director of the Virginia Alliance Against Mass Incarceration.

The Drug Policy Alliance is hosting the International Drug Policy Reform Conference at the Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel on November 18-21 in Arlington, Virginia.  This conference brings together thousands of drug policy experts, health care and drug treatment professionals, elected officials, law enforcement, students, and formerly incarcerated people from around the United States and around the world who are working to end the war on drugs. Advocates from across the state of Virginia will convene a meeting at this conference to prepare for Virginia’s next legislative session in 2016.


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.

MPP Upgrades Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders in Voter Guide to 2016 Presidential Race

MPP Upgrades Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders in Voter Guide to 2016 Presidential Race

DENVER, CO — The nation’s largest marijuana policy organization, Marijuana Policy Project, has upgraded Mike Huckabee, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders in its report card-style voter guide to the 2016 major party presidential candidates.

More changes could follow the Republican candidate debate scheduled to take place Wednesday in Boulder, Colorado, where the candidates are likely to discuss the state’s laws that regulate marijuana for adult and medical use.

“Marijuana policy came up during the Democratic debate in Nevada, where a law similar to Colorado’s is set to appear on next year’s ballot,” said Mason Tvert, MPP’s Denver-based director of communications who co-directed the 2012 Colorado marijuana initiative campaign. “It stands to reason that the subject will come up in Boulder, where the victor would be free to celebrate with marijuana instead of champagne.

“Polls show that an even stronger majority of Colorado voters support the state’s marijuana laws now than did at the ballot box in 2012. The candidates need to be very clear about where they stand when it comes to the tension between state and federal marijuana laws. Will they protect our state’s decision to establish its own marijuana policy? Or will they use federal resources to interfere with it?”

MPP boosted Mike Huckabee’s grade from a “D” to a “B-” this month after he said that, as president, he would not attempt to interfere in states such as Colorado that have adopted laws regulating marijuana for adult use.

“[L]et’s let Colorado have at it for a few years and let’s see how that works out for them,” Huckabee said during a televised interview on KCCI in Iowa. “I’m willing to let states operate under the 10th Amendment, and I’m willing for the states, if they think that marijuana and the legalization of it is a great thing, you know, I’m willing for them to experiment and find out. And it if it works and it turns out that the presence of recreational marijuana makes them a more prosperous state…well heck, we may just all want to reach out there and grab that.”

MPP has also upgraded Bernie Sanders from a “B” to an “A” after he became the first-ever major party presidential candidate to express support for legalizing and regulating marijuana for adult use. During the Democratic candidate debate earlier this month, Sanders said he would likely vote in favor of a ballot initiative to regulate marijuana like alcohol in Nevada. MPP also upgraded Hillary Clinton from a “B-“ to a “B” after she expressed a heightened level of support for medical marijuana legislation.

“Coloradans rightfully want to know whether the candidates would attempt to roll back the progress that has been made here over the past decade,” Tvert said. “If they intend to shut down hundreds of state-legal businesses, put thousands of people out of work, deprive the state of tens of millions of dollars in tax revenue each year, and force marijuana back into the underground market, they better have a good explanation for 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.

Ohio: Recent Polls Show Voters Split On Issue 3

Ohio: Recent Polls Show Voters Split On Issue 3

Ohioans will decide next Tuesday on Issue 3, the Marijuana Legalization Amendment, and recent polls indicate that voters are evenly divided on the issue.

Bowling Green State University polling data released late last week finds 44 percent of respondents supporting the measure and 43 percent opposing it. Thirteen percent of respondents are undecided.

By contrast, the Bowling Green poll reports that 56 percent of respondents favor Issue 2, a counter-measure placed on the ballot by state lawmakers to prohibit state regulators from permitting the limited production of “any Schedule I controlled substance.”

A separate poll, conducted by the University of Akron, also reports that voters are split on Issue 3, with 46 percent of respondents favoring the measure and 46 percent opposing it. The poll reports that voters are far more informed about Issue 3 than other ballot issues, including Issue 2, which voters back by a margin of 40 percent to 28 percent (with 32 percent undecided).

The latest polling data differs from survey data released earlier this month by WKYC/Kent State Polling, which reported that 56 percent of voters backed Issue 3.

If both competing measures (Issue 3 and Issue 2) are passed by voters, it will likely be up to the courts to decide which initiative takes precedence.


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.

Constitutionality of California’s New Medical Marijuana Law Challenged in Court

Constitutionality of California’s New Medical Marijuana Law Challenged in Court

SAN JOSE, CA — California’s Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act, signed into law this month to regulate the state’s medical marijuana industry, violates the state’s constitution, a medical marijuana collective operator claims in court.

Governor Jerry Brown signed the law on Oct. 9, to establish a comprehensive legislative framework for the production, transportation and sale of medical marijuana in California.

The bipartisan group of legislators who drafted the laws says they will provide a licensing structure for the industry, establish security, worker and safety standards and protect patient access, under a combination of state and local control.

But David Armstrong claims the law violates the California Constitution because it amended a voter initiative- the 1996 Compassionate Use Act, which legalized doctor-recommended medical marijuana – without voter approval.

The Oct. 21 complaint also says federal law pre-empts the act in prohibiting possession of marijuana for any purpose. Armstrong made that claim, seemingly at odds with his job, to prevent federal complications should the state law stand, his attorney said.

Armstrong objects to the act’s restrictions on the amount of marijuana a person can grow for medical purposes, the amount of marijuana a patient’s primary caregiver can grow for medical use, and restrictions on the number of patients to whom a physician can recommend marijuana for medical use, among other things.

He also says the federal Controlled Substances Act conflicts with and pre-empts the act.

Armstrong’s attorney Nicholas Emanuel said in an interview that the full effects of the new legislation on medical marijuana dispensary operators are not yet clear, but his client thought it best to go ahead and file suit to “get a jump on things.”

“The law essentially changes everything [the operators] do,” Armstrong said. “It’s going to require the state government’s OK to participate in this activity at all, and it’s going to be up to the state’s discretion to determine who’s allowed to distribute.”

Emanuel said his client is not anti-regulation – in fact, he favors it – but he believes the act is “not the most effective way to do things,” since the act is “completely illegal under federal law.”

“To develop a coherent and realistic policy we need to have all levels of government working together, rather than this sort of patchwork regulation that we have now,” Armstrong said.

Assemblyman Rob Bonta, one of the act’s primary authors, was traveling Friday and not available for comment, but his spokesman said he would be able to soon.

Armstrong seeks declaratory judgment that the law violates the California Constitution and its Business and Profession Code, that it is pre-empted by federal law, and attorney’s fees.


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.

Competing Maine Marijuana Legalization Campaigns Unite Behind One Ballot Measure

Competing Maine Marijuana Legalization Campaigns Unite Behind One Ballot Measure

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will spearhead the campaign in support of the initiative filed by Legalize Maine to regulate and tax marijuana in Maine

PORTLAND, ME — Two competing marijuana initiative campaigns in Maine announced Friday they will unite behind one state ballot measure to end marijuana prohibition in 2016.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol will stop collecting signatures in support of the initiative it filed in March and spearhead the campaign in support of a similar initiative filed in February by Legalize Maine.

Each of the campaigns has collected approximately 40,000 signatures, and they will work together to collect the remaining signatures needed to qualify for the November 2016 ballot. They have until January to collect a total of approximately 61,000 valid signatures of registered Maine voters.

“Joining forces is the best step forward, not only for our respective campaigns, but for Maine as a whole,”said David Boyer, campaign manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol.” We all agree marijuana prohibition has been a colossal failure and that it must be replaced with a system in which marijuana is legal for adults and regulated like alcohol. We can more effectively accomplish our shared goal by combining our resources and working together instead of on parallel tracks.

“We had some differences of opinion on some of the specifics, but our initiatives were largely similar overall. We would not get behind this measure unless we were 100% confident that it will effectively and responsibly end prohibition in Maine. We’re also confident that the voters will agree,” Boyer added.

“This is a major milestone on the path to ending marijuana prohibition in Maine,” said Paul McCarrier, president of Legalize Maine. “Either of these campaigns could be successful on their own, but together we can put our best feet forward in 2016. The voters are ready to adopt a more sensible marijuana policy, and we’re committed to working with everyone who wants to help them do it.

“Both campaigns have done a great job of educating voters, organizing volunteers, and raising funds, and now we can ramp up those efforts even more. David and MPP have made some major strides here this past couple years, and they clearly share our commitment to doing what is best for the people of Maine. We’re looking forward to working with them to cross the finish line next year,” McCarrier added.


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.