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hawaii

Workers’ comp insurance firm drops all 7 of Hawaii’s medical marijuana dispensaries over fear of feds

Hawaii’s largest workers’ compensation insurer is canceling insurance policies for seven medical marijuana dispensaries over fears of federal prosecution.

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Hawaii Medical Marijuana Moves Forward with Cultivator Licenses

Hawaii medical marijuana moves forward with cultivator licenses as the state just named it’s third cannabis cultivator, Manoa Botanicals. The company got the green light from officials to begin growing the plant in their production center on Oahu. That means the state of Hawaii says they can obtain seeds, and grow clones and marijuana plants – […]

The post Hawaii Medical Marijuana Moves Forward with Cultivator Licenses appeared first on The Weed Blog.

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An Exclusive Interview with Dustin Barca

Dustin Barca is more than a professional surfer who tackled some of the biggest waves on the planet. He’s more than an MMA fighter clawing his way up the ranks in hopes of reaching the UFC. He’s more than an environmental and agricultural advocate fighting some of the most powerful corporate entities in the world. […] Thanks to marijuana.com

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Hawaii Senate Votes to Decriminalize Marijuana

hawaii

New states seem to be joining the marijuana reform movement on a regular basis.  Last week we discussed that several states, including Maine and Maryland, are considering drastic changes to their marijuana laws.  This week another state joined the conversation.

The Hawaii Senate has voted in favor of decriminalizing marijuana.  The bill will now have to go before Hawaii House members.  If passed by the House, the bill will decriminalize possession marijuana up to one ounce.  For those charged with possession of less than one ounce, they will receive a civil citation and a $1,000 fine.  The fine was included in the bill because lawmakers wanted to stress that marijuana is still illegal.  A bill to legalize recreational marijuana was rejected several weeks ago by Hawaii lawmakers.

Hawaii state Senator, Clayton Hee, stated that the change in the law was not to legalize marijuana, but rather, an attempt to reduce the backlog of marijuana cases awaiting trial.  If the bill passes it is expected to save Hawaii taxpayers money that would normally be allocated toward arrest, incarcerations, and trials.  New Mexico lawmakers have also passed a similar bill, but former prosecutor and current Governor, Susana Martinez, has indicated that she is against relaxing any drug laws.

As economic struggles continue in America, there may be many other states that decide to re-consider how they allocate tax dollars.  This week we are starting to feel the effects of sequestration.  Unless Congress comes to an agreement soon, the sequestration cuts will have an even greater impact on our economy.  There may be no better time for activists to make the financial case for marijuana reform.

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Pennsylvania Senator Wants State to Regulate and Sell Legal Marijuana

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Inaction by the federal government has been prompting states to alter their marijuana laws for over 15 years.  Until November, state government officials and activists have mostly been discussing medical marijuana and decriminalization laws.  With residents voting to legalize recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington, the discussion has widened its scope.

Pennsylvania State State Senator Daylin Leach is seeking to have the state government regulate marijuana in the same way as alcohol.  This would increase tax revenues and place a system of control that officials currently do not have in regards to regulating marijuana.  As the idea of respecting state rights, individual freedoms, reducing incarcerations rates for non violent acts, and saving tax payer dollars grows in popularity, these proposals no longer seem so far fetched.

His plan to drastically update marijuana laws has certainly gained momentum.  The voter initiated plans in Colorado and Washington seems to have prompted state lawmakers across the country to propose similar measures.  Rhode Island lawmakers are also discussing a similar bill.  Although a recent bill has stalled among lawmakers in Hawaii earlier this week, the momentum appears to be gaining.  In West Virginia, a recent Marijuana Policy Project poll show that 53% of West Virginia residents support legalizing medical marijuana.  An even greater number (63%) decided feel that marijuana was a safer choice than oxycontin for debilitating pain.

Senator Leach feels legalization is only a matter of time because the majority of younger Americans “have very little interest in continuing prohibition.”  He also said the legislation was important because “There are other intoxicants that are far worse that we do not treat the same way. We do not accuse people of criminal offenses for consuming.”  Senator Leach is hoping to save Pennsylvania over $500 million per year with a combination of law enforcement savings and tax revenue.

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Mitch McConnell links Marijuana with Death as Santorum has big day in Primaries

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The information age is making it more difficult for politicians to make fraudulent statements and avoid any repercussions.  Years ago, a politician may have said something at a rally or to a local reporter that would not make it to the national discussion.  This has obviously changed drastically as those who try to regulate our social behavior do not even seem to understand quite how it works.

Mitch McConnell is the latest example of an out of touch representative who may be haunted by his impulse statements.  The Senate Minority Leader seemed to learn little from Lamar S. Smith’s failed crusade to crush the internet with the SOPA legislation which encountered an embarrassing political death.  The SOPA bill clearly appeared to suffer from a lack of research and analysis as to just how far reaching it would be.  Mr. McConnell recently told a constituent in a letter that he cannot support marijuana legalization because “it leads to death”.  He then also said that THC was available in pill form indicating that legalization is not necessary.  The Minority Leader was likely referring to Marinol, which has proven to ultimately not be nearly as effective medically as unprocessed natural marijuana.  McConnell took his statements even further and said he had concerns that marijuana legalization would not be following “the scientific process” of the FDA.

Advocates of marijuana will most certainly take offense to McConnell’s statement about the scientific process.  This has become the new criticism as decades of fear mongering talking points against marijuana have been proven hollow.  However, many are left to scratch their heads as to how exactly marijuana is supposed to closely follow “the scientific process” of the FDA if our government officials use every resource at their disposal to deny any such research.

Marijuana reform has the support of the majority of Americans and Mr. McConnell and those like him may regret their stubbornness on this issue.  This is not the only area where the GOP seems to be out of step with Americans.  The race for the Republican nomination for president has turned largely into a battle of antiquated ideologies.  The race is now about eliminating abortion rights, contraception, and women’s health.  Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973 and women (who vote in higher numbers than men) may not want our culture to backtrack 40 years and give up their privacy.  Many political analysts expected the Republicans to campaign on the economy, energy policy, and jobs.

The information age is here to stay and expand, our elected officials need to realize that there now can be a quick backlash for empty politically charged statements.  We will see if President Obama and those vying for his job will take note.

Speaking of those running against the president, Rick Santorum had a big day on Tuesday.  He was the winner in the coveted southern states of Mississippi and Alabama keeping himself in the race.  Mitt Romney won in Hawaii as Newt Gingrich was not victorious in any state yesterday.  Many are urging Gingrich to drop out of the race as his chances of rebounding seem slim.  Analysts predicted that Gingrich’s best chances resided in the south.  Although the day was a disappointment for Romney, who is still struggling to gain the support of conservative voters, he did get 1/3 of the delegates yesterday maintaining a healthy lead in the race.

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Calling All Activists!

tommy Chong

When the 2008 election was still up in the air, Barack Obama was campaigning as a medical marijuana-friendly candidate.  In that time, we have seen numerous states struggle towards legalizing medicinal marijuana, and still others that have already passed their legislation are finding constant resistance in the forms of unconstitutional bans and arbitrary paperwork that continually holds up the process of getting safe medicine to patients.

California has seen more dispensary raids from the IRS and DOJ during Obama’s reign than during all of GW Bush’s eight years.  Why is this happening?   We need to raise our voices, louder and more unified than ever.  America stands at a crossroads, but now more than ever patients and all citizens must stand behind what they believe in. In this modern era of instant communication, our country can have a stronger, more powerful voice, if only we are willing to use it.

For people who care about the laws of our land and the future it endows, there is so much that can be done.  Stand up and make your vote count!  Become active in your community.  Join a protest at city hall, help spread education and awareness about all the benefits of medical marijuana, or maybe even go as far as to head to D.C. and march on the state capital. Show them who we are by making our presence known through peaceful protests.  For those who are less inclined to leave the home, or who simply cannot, there is still much that can be done.  Concerned citizens should call their legislators, write a letter to your congressmen, sign petitions, send emails, start a blog and rile up some additional supporters and encourage them to get involved.

Dispensaries have flourished in recent times and have grown some of the finest medication in the world.  Colorado, California and other states have led by example, but make no mistake,we still have a long road ahead.  The medical marijuana system may not be perfect yet, but it is working in the right direction.  Other states, like New Jersey and Hawaii, have passed laws that allow for programs, yet their laws were poorly constructed and they remain unusable.  In Hawaii you can get a card to allow you to medicate legally, but there contain no provisions for legally procuring medicine.  It is legal to grow and own up to seven plants, but it is still illegal to purchase marijuana plants or seeds to begin a personal grow operation.  Also, many employers utilize zero tolerance drug policies that make no exceptions for people who are otherwise abiding by state laws.  How does a patient grow their own plants if they can’t hold down a job, therefore they have no income for a home to grow in, or even have money to feed themselves?

Americans need to stand up now and tell all the power-hungry naysayers that we will no longer tolerate the abuse of power and stifling of freedoms.  We the people have no more excuses for being lazy.  If you can’t figure out how to get involved, then look no further.  Marijuana.net will spell it out for you.

Are you in California?  Cypress Hill’s San Bernadino SmokeOut was Saturday March 3rd, and two days earlier was the March on LA’s City Hall to demonstrate unhappiness with how laws are being carried out.  Thank you to those who made it out. There is more for us to do.  Those near San Francisco will also have their opportunity to ensure Safe Access.  March will see several County Board Meetings that need people to help out.

Maryland is another state seeking to pass laws in favor of medical marijuana.  They need help to guarantee it passes. Furthermore, the right law needs to be passed so that Maryland does not become another New Jersey or Hawaii.  Want to help? Check this out.

Michigan is reviewing its current laws and is looking to alter them with several bills that will give its program a chance to grow into something as grand as California, and not stumble where the Golden state has.  Concerned citizens near Lansing are holding a forum on March 4th to coordinate a uniform front as they approach legislators and hope to pass a proper set of laws.

We can’t list what every state is doing right here, but we encourage you to find out and help wherever you are. Marijuana.net has been covering developments for some time so please check our archives to find what is relevant.  Here are a few other resources for anyone who wants to help.

Americans for Safe Access

Marijuana Policy Project

Drug Policy Alliance

New Approach Washington

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws

Law Enforcement Against Prohibition

One more thing.  For those who find that political activism is the right thing to do, don’t stop with marijuana laws.  This country needs more people to help it be the best it can be.  As more people stand up for what they believe in, America will find itself less dominated by the interests of corporations and power-grabbing politicians.  It is our country, fight for it.

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Don’t Let Yourself Be Mislead: Hawaii not too Relaxed Regarding Medicinal Marijuana Program

hawaii

Spotlight on Hawaii’s Medicinal Marijuana Laws and regulations

The majority of us are comfortable with the 16 states (and Washington D.C) that enable medicinal marijuana.  However, much of the profession coverage tends to pay attention to Colorado and California with states like Hawaii flying individually distinct.  In June of 2000, Governor Bill Cayetano signed Senate Bill 862 to determine the Hawaii Medicinal Marijuana Act. This bill removed condition-level criminal penalties for that use, possession and cultivation of medicinal marijuana by patients who’ve been given certification with a qualified physician.  This program is overseen by Hawaii’s Drugs Enforcement Division (NED).  Doctors should be licensed by NED and all sorts of patients must register with them also.  Bill 862 enables for patients (or their care providers) to own as much as three oz . of functional marijuana, and could cultivate seven marijuana plants, although a maximum of three might be mature previously.

The passage of 862 was praised like a great advance for that Medicinal Marijuana movement, consider there’s been hardly any progress in Hawaii.  In writing it appears fine when a patient has gotten their “Blue Card” they’re permitted to medicate using medicinal marijuana.  But that is where what’s promising finishes.  What the law states, because it stands, does absolutely nothing to help patients procure their medication.  Actually, doctors aren’t even permitted to prescribe marijuana or perhaps enable them to find any. They can’t supply seed products for growing nor send these to a dispensary.  You will find no shops in Hawaii, neither is it legal to possess or operate one.  In addition, someone having a blue card cannot supply marijuana to a different licensed patient.  Just how can these folks be treated should they have no use of medication?  And you will find many patients who’re not able to develop their very own supply.  Managing a private grow operation is costly, hard to continue, while offering a higher fail rate.  Lots of people who be eligible for a blue cards are extremely disabled they can’t work and for that reason don’t have any earnings to operate a grow op or purchase a health professional.  In addition, no insurance provider covers this kind of care.

You will find many factors making it even more complicated for patients in need of assistance.  To begin with, there’s hardly any when it comes to access and knowledge for patients.  You will find merely a couple of doctors inside the islands who’re licensed to award blue cards.  However, many people state they legally provide blue cards but they are frequently misleading patients to be able to produce a profit.  It ought to only cost you a $25 fee to try to get a blue card.  If a person ended up being to turn to the classified section for information, you’d see an array of advertisements from intermediate services offering to facilitate buying of the blue card.  These disadvantage-males offer “day treatment centers” that charge $200+ for any session to “help” people.  They run group critiques from leased spaces that clearly aren’t medical offices.  You will find even “doctors” offering blue cards within 24 hrs, if this typically takes 3-5 days for processing of the application.  Many of these ads appear patently false.  As though existence is not with enough contentration, someone seeking medical help shouldn’t have to be worried about being scammed while trying to legally navigate this method.

You will find a couple of other caveats to Hawaii’s law worth observing.  Someone might not medicate whether it “endangers the or well-being of some other person. Nor will the law permit you to medicate inside a moving vehicle, within the place of work, on school grounds, inside a public place, inside a correctional facility, or perhaps in any condition supervised facility.”  Which makes sense, although how self-medicating can “jeopardize” someone else is a little curious.  You will find some protections though.  If you’re legally licensed, what the law states states “You will not be punished by any means, or refused any right or privilege for that medical utilization of marijuana.” You can use to safeguard patients and care providers from losing their housing consequently of stated use.  Although if you reside in housing that’s funded through the Federal HUD you’ve got no protection.  That’s consistent with anything else the us government has been doing to persecute those who are following their condition laws and regulations.  You will find no protections for employment either.  It’s still considered an unlawful substance, so companies are inside their privileges to terminate patients who’re suspected useful, or individuals who fail physical tests.  Also, Hawaii doesn’t recognize any out-of-condition programs, and therefore any marijuana patients going to the hawaiian islands may have no to medication or legal protections while they’re in-condition.

Individuals individuals who might be thinking about moving towards the land of Maui Wowie and Moloka’i Miracle to treat qualified illnesses should think hard.  The passage of Bill 862 is like getting a fantastic lotto ticket, just the redemption office isn’t open.

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