Utah Activists Push for Medical Marijuana on Ballot

Medical marijuana supporters in Utah received a green light from state election officials on Thursday to start gathering the 113,143 signatures required to qualify their MMJ measure for the November 2018 ballot.

The political issues committee Utah Patients Coalition’s spokesperson said they will begin collecting signatures next week—with a stated goal of gathering all the signatures required before the beginning of the legislative session in January 2018.

According to UTP, in 2014 HB 105 made it legal for patients to possess and use low-THC cannabidiol when directed by a doctor. Since this initial victory for patients, cannabis legislation has barely progressed.

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State Lawmakers’ Group Demands Feds Remove Cannabis from Controlled Substances Act

Photo by Justin Cannabis. 

An influential organization representing lawmakers all over the United States is calling for the federal government to eliminate the cannabis plant from the confines of the Controlled Substances Act.

In a resolution published on Monday, a group known as the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) went to the mat for cannabis reform, pushing for marijuana to be removed from its Schedule I classification. The goal is to give the cannabis industry easier access to banking solutions, while improving public safety by making it more difficult for criminal organizations to target dispensaries and other all-cash businesses.

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SoCal Cannabis Activists to Appeal to Voters

A cannabis industry trade group has filed paperwork in eight of San Diego County’s 18 cities to let voters decide if marijuana business activities should be permitted in those jurisdictions.

On July 27 and 28, the Association of Cannabis Professionals (ACP) indicated its intent to collect signatures for ballot propositions to city clerk’s offices in Oceanside, Vista, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Santee, Lemon Grove, Chula Vista and Imperial Beach.

The propositions aim to permit and regulate commercial cannabis operations in accordance with Proposition 64, which was passed in 2016 and legalized the adult use of marijuana in California. Prop. 64 allows for cultivation, manufacturing, distribution and retail sales of marijuana products to begin in 2018—subject to local regulation. The cities that were targeted for a local initiative showed strong voter support for Prop. 64 and have residents and business owners eager for regulated commerce.

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Philippines: Youth Protest Drug War ‘Dictatorship’

Some 7,000 protesters marched on the Philippines’ House of Representatives in the Batasan district of Manila on Monday as ultra-hardline President Rodrigo Duterte gave his second State of the Nation Address—in which he pledged to keep pursuing his bloody drug war.

“The fight will not stop,” said Duterte. “There is a jungle out there. There are beasts and vultures preying on the helpless. We will not be disheartened, we will not be cowed, we will not be overwhelmed.” He offered drug dealers and users a choice of “jail or hell.”

Clearly addressing the protesters, he said: “Your efforts will be better spent if you use it to educate people instead of condemning people.”

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Activists Celebrates Milestone Moment, One Step Closer to Hemp Legalization

The National Hemp Association (NHA) recently announced that it had reached its goal of gathering over 130,000 signatures on its petition to Congress to “Allow American Farmers to Grow Industrial Hemp.”

The signature drive campaign began on January 20 through Change.org and related campaigns established to legalize industrial hemp cultivation in the United States.

The NHA will present its petition at the annual “Hemp on the Hill Expo and Conversation” to be held in Washington, D.C. on February 28, hosted by several congress people including Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Senator Ron Wyden, both Democrats from Oregon, and Kentucky Democrat, Congressman James Comer.

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