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Illinois Lawmaker Determined to Breathe New Life Into Medical Marijuana Debate

Location: 
IL
United States
Nonprofit medical marijuana dispensaries could soon be supplying patients in Illinois, if state Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, is successful in his latest push to get the long-awaited measure through the state legislature. Lang said that he plans to place tighter restrictions on the amount of medical marijuana distributed to patients and take out the grow-your-own provisions that opponents railed against during the last General Assembly. If he is successful, the bill could be out of committee and on the state House floor late this week.
Publication/Source: 
St. Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)
URL: 
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/political-fix/article_d4e6e692-490e-11e0-937a-00127992bc8b.html

Save a Cop's Life: End the Drug War (Opinion)

Neill Franklin, who performed narcotics enforcement with the Maryland State Police and the Baltimore Police Department over a 34-year career, opines that we desperately need to end the "war on drugs" which has done so little to prevent people from using drugs but which has done so much to enrich organized criminals who do not hesitate to use violence to protect their black market profits. Franklin asks: How many more hardworking and brave law enforcers do we have to see killed in the line of duty before our elected officials will change this policy?
Publication/Source: 
The Baltimore Sun (MD)
URL: 
http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/opinion/bs-ed-drug-war-20110307,0,4938130.story

Save the Date for the 2011 International Drug Policy Reform Conference

vigil outside Albuquerque Convention Center, 2009 drug policy reform conference
November 2-5, 2011
Westin Bonaventure
Los Angeles, California

www.reformconference.org

This biennial event is the outstanding international conference that focuses on addressing drug policy issues from a reform perspective. Over a thousand people are expected to attend this year's gathering in Los Angeles. Presenters and other attendees include scholars, activists, government officials as well as specialists in treatment, prevention, harm reduction and drug law enforcement - primarily from around the United States but also from dozens of other countries.

If you believe that the war on drugs is doing more harm than good, you can't miss this extraordinary gathering.

Call for Proposals now open! Proposals accepted until March 18.

Click on the archive and web site links below to see the broad range of subjects addressed at the conference. Registration and Scholarship Application opening soon.

The International Drug Policy Reform Conference
NEXT: November 2-5, 2011, Los Angeles, CA: http://www.reformconference.org
PAST: November 12-14, 2009, Albuquerque, NM: http://www.drugpolicy.org/events/archive/conferences/reform2009

Los Angeles, CA
United States

Rallies to Legalize Marijuana in Louisiana

Location: 
LA
United States
A group called Legalize Louisiana is leading statewide marches seeking to change Louisiana laws and legalize marijuana.
Publication/Source: 
WWL (LA)
URL: 
http://www.wwl.com/pages/9312746.php?contentType=4&contentId=7752024

New Hampshire Bill Would Legalize Medical Marijuana

Location: 
NH
United States
A panel of New Hampshire lawmakers is considering a bill to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. Under the bill, possessing two ounces or less of medical marijuana would not be a crime. New Hampshire's legislature passed a medical marijuana bill two years ago, but Gov. John Lynch vetoed it.
Publication/Source: 
The Boston Globe (MA)
URL: 
http://www.boston.com/news/local/new_hampshire/articles/2011/03/01/nh_bill_would_legalize_medical_use_of_marijuana/

Marijuana Debate Reignites in Bay State

Location: 
MA
United States
A bill to legalize marijuana was quietly introduced last week. Sponsored by Amherst Democrat Ellen Story, the bill could reap thousands of dollars for the state in tax revenue. "Reps come up to me and say thank you so much for doing this Ellen. I support you, but I can't be public about it. Legislators are afraid of being seen as soft on drugs," Story says.
Publication/Source: 
WSHM (MA)
URL: 
http://www.cbs3springfield.com/news/local/Weed-117122948.html?skipthumb=Y

Rep. Barney Frank Speaks at Medical Marijuana Expo, Receives Award

Location: 
ME
United States
U.S. Rep. Barney Frank spoke at Maine’s first Medical Marijuana Expo and said that the current laws against marijuana use should be revoked. "People who make a personal decision to smoke marijuana should not be subject to prosecution," said Frank. "This is the kind of fight that's worth making. It's winnable. Most American people think it’s sensible, and are for it," said Frank to the standing-room only crowd as he received the first-ever Patients’ Choice Award — a glass trophy in the shape of a marijuana leaf.
Publication/Source: 
Boston Herald (MA)
URL: 
http://www.bostonherald.com/news/regional/view/2011_0228barneys_frank_talk_about_pot/srvc=home&position=also

Wasting Precious Time for Medicinal Marijuana Program (Opinion)

Ken Wolski, RN, MPA, executive director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana-New Jersey Inc., opines that Gov. Christie is solely to blame for the unconscionable delay in access to medical marijuana in New Jersey. The governor has insisted on unworkable and unconstitutional restrictions to the medical marijuana program. These restrictions have outraged patients, advocates and the entire New Jersey Legislature.
Publication/Source: 
The Times of Trenton (NJ)
URL: 
http://www.nj.com/opinion/times/oped/index.ssf?/base/news-1/1298875512214421.xml&coll=5

Leading Hemp Advocacy Groups Applaud Introduction of California Hemp Farming Bill SB 676 (Press Release)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 28, 2011

CONTACT: Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671 or adam@mintwood.com

California Businesses and Farmers Await Passage of New Bill to Allow Commercial Farming of Industrial Hemp

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The leading hemp advocacy organizations Vote Hemp and the Hemp Industries Association are applauding the introduction two weeks ago of SB 676 in support of hemp farming in the state of California. The bill clarifies that industrial hemp is separate and distinct from forms of Cannabis used to produce marijuana and if passed will allow commercial farming of industrial hemp, which occurred in the state up until shortly after World War II. Industrial hemp is the non-psychoactive, low-THC, oilseed and fiber varieties of the Cannabis sativa plant. Hemp has absolutely no value as a recreational drug.

SB 676 was introduced on Friday, February 18th by state Senator Mark Leno. Senator Leno believes that hemp farming will help revitalize California's economy, "The time is long over due for California farmers to be allowed to grow this sustainable and profitable crop once again. The passage of SB 676 will create new jobs and economic opportunities for many farmers and manufacturers throughout the state."

A variety of products made from industrial hemp, including healthy food and natural body care products as well as eco-friendly clothing, are made in California. "There are over 50 member businesses of the Hemp Industries Association

(HIA) that make or sell hemp products in the state of California alone that could benefit from an in-state source of hemp seed, fiber and oil," says Eric Steenstra, Executive Director of the HIA. "Because of an outdated federal policy these businesses are forced to import millions of dollars of industrial hemp from Canada, China and Europe."

"Dr. Bronner's currently purchases twenty tons of hemp oil each year from Canada. We look forward to the day that we can meet our supply needs from hemp produced right here in our home state," says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps of Escondido.  

To date, 17 states have passed pro-hemp laws or resolutions, including the California Assembly in 1999, when it passed a resolution declaring that "the Legislature should consider action to revise the legal status of industrial hemp to allow for its growth in California as an agricultural and industrial crop."

SB 676 would only allow farmers to produce and enter into the marketplace the parts of the industrial hemp plant already legal to import under state and federal law: its seed, oil, fiber and woody core. "SB 676 would not conflict with federal law or interfere with the enforcement of marijuana laws," explains Patrick Goggin, California Legal Counsel for Vote Hemp.  

The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. Vote Hemp is a national, single-issue, non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and a free market for low-THC industrial hemp and to changes in current law to allow U.S. farmers to once again grow this agricultural crop.  More information about hemp legislation and the crop's many uses may be found at www.VoteHemp.com and www.TheHIA.org.

Location: 
CA
United States

Keep the Pressure On (Action Alert)

We Are the Drug Policy Alliance.

Tell your Senators to approve spending cuts to the drug war!

Take Action!

Email the Senate

Dear Friends,

Thanks to the overwhelming response Congress received from supporters like you, huge drug war spending cuts have been approved by the House! Hundreds of millions of dollars used by state and local law enforcement agencies for ineffective drug war policies will be cut, and the ridiculous and ineffective national anti-marijuana ad campaign has been cut completely. Now we need to do the same for the Senate!

Tell your Senators to approve the House's spending cuts to failed drug war programs!

The new budget is still not set. The Senate has generally been unsupportive of scaling back the drug war in years past, so they need to hear from you! Now is the time to let your Senators know we cannot afford to wait any longer to end the drug war!

Please take a minute to write your Senators and tell them to approve these necessary spending cuts immediately!

Sincerely,

Bill Piper
Director, Office of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance

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