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Latest Updates on Marijuana Legalization
By Jennifer Gladstone
We spend a lot to time writing about the legalization of marijuana on this blog. There’s a good reason for it. Laws are literally changing every single day. Here is a quick round-up of some of what’s been happening just this month.
Delaware Governor Jack Markell signed new legislation into law to permit terminally ill patients to access medical cannabis. House Bill 400, which is also known as “Bob’s Bill,” allows doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to sick adults as well as patients under 18 who are suffering from pain, anxiety or depression related to a terminal illness. The law goes into effect in November.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation that makes it easier for people with marijuana convictions to have their records expunged. In addition to marijuana arrests, more than 100 other non-violent and non-sexual crimes are covered by the new law. It shortens the waiting period for expungement to three years for misdemeanors and seven years for felonies.
U.S. Senators introduced the “Cannabidiol Research Expansion Act” to determine if cannabidiol (CBD) should be reclassified under the Controlled Substances Act. It would also expand research on the potential medical benefits of CBD and other marijuana components. Senators Charles Grassley (R-IA), Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Pat Leahy (D-VT) and Thom Tillis (R-NC) sponsored the bill.
Ohio’s new medical marijuana bill went into effect on September 8th, making Ohio the 26th state to legalize marijuana in some form. Patients suffering from 21 qualifying medical conditions can get a “recommendation” from their doctor to get the drug. Those conditions include, but are not limited to, cancer, epilepsy, AIDS, PTSD, fibromyalgia, inflammatory bowel disease and chronic pain.
Right after the Ohio bill went into effect, the Akron City Council passed a year-long moratorium on the cultivation, processing or sale of medical marijuana. The legislation was introduced by Mayor Dan Horrigan. He says state lawmakers legalized medical marijuana without issuing rules and regulations concerning licensing and doctor recommendations. He says his city needs time to study the new law. Several other Ohio cities are considering similar moratoriums.
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that a federal ban on the sale of guns to medical marijuana card holders does not violate the Second Amendment. The court decided that it was reasonable for federal regulators to assume that someone with a medical marijuana card was likely to be using the drug. They also pointed to a conclusion by Congress that stated the use of cannabis, like other illegal drugs, “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.”
Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) introduced a bill that would give states the option to require drug testing for people applying for unemployment benefits if they lost their job because of drug use. The drug tests would not be mandatory; it would be up to each state to decide. Brady says it is a common sense measure that makes sure those getting financial help from the government are willing and able to find a job.
The market for marijuana products is exploding. Former talk show host Montel Williams just launched his own line of medical marijuana products. Williams started using cannabis to treat pain from Multiple Sclerosis 17 years ago. The products will be marketed under the brand name LenitivLabs. Whoopi Goldberg, Melissa Etheridge and Willie Nelson have also launched lines of cannabis products.
This only scratches the surface. The Screening News Network will keep you posted as things continue to evolve.
About the Author
Jennifer Gladstone is a news anchor and journalist with more than 20 years of experience in front of the camera. She's worked in several markets, large and small, and has performed nearly every task needed in a newsroom. As EBI’s Screening News Editor, she keeps EBI’s customers and blog subscribers up to date on the latest screening news and legislative alerts affecting companies of all sizes.