Hawaii Cannabis logo

He ha! I haven’t done what I call a “medical cannabis round-up” in a long while. That is what I refer to as exciting recent cannabis news items that I just have to share with you, dear readers.

Those of you involved in Illinois’ medical cannabis program know how difficult it has been to get doctors on board to recommend medical cannabis which was a requirement in order to get a medical cannabis card. The list of excuses that doctors gave to avoid filling out applications for prospective patients was anywhere from ignorant, idiotic, just plain false to completely insulting. Thankfully, with the passage of SB 10, all that will be required of doctors is to verify that a patient has one of the qualifying conditions.

Lanikai Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

Because they were experiencing the same resistance by doctors in Hawaii, the Aloha State, they just passed a law that now enables nurses to sign recommendations for medical cannabis cards. Go Hawaii! Hey, Illinois, we need to follow in Hawaii’s footsteps. Strangely, even though medical cannabis has been legal since 2000, there were no dispensaries until now. People had to grow their own….Illinoisans…wouldn’t you just LOVE to be able to do that? They also could get it through a caregiver. Dispensaries legally opened on July 15, but dispensary owners have no product to sell, yet. They don’t expect to have any until year’s end. Kinda back to front, don’tcha think?

Next up is news coming out of Missouri. Governor Jay Nixon just signed a law that expunges almost all marijuana convictions from criminal records. Most non-violent, non-sexual crimes will be expunged with a dramatic decrease in the waiting time; a felony crime is reduced from 20 years to 7 years and a misdemeanor crime is reduced from 10 years to 3 years.

Governor Nixon made the following statement through a press release:

“This law will allow many thousands of people who have a marijuana conviction on their public records to escape the lifelong disabilities such a conviction has caused in the past. The stigma of a public criminal conviction is a major obstacle to those seeking to obtain employment, a place to live, or a loan to buy a home or car.”

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon

Let’s hope many more states follow suit. This was a long time coming and kudos to Governor Nixon for being one of the first legislators to recognize the injustice of the current system.

By far, the most fun story…I know this happened a few months ago, but I wanted to have an excuse to post the video. Protester bring 51-foot inflatable joint to the White House demanding that marijuana be rescheduled. Activists openly smoked marijuana which is legal in Washington, DC…although in public, not so much…while accompanying the 51-foot inflatable towards the White House. I have written frequently about the current status of marijuana on the Controlled Substance Act (CSA) as a Schedule I drug along with heroin, ecstacy, LSD, mescaline, peyote, yada, yada, yada. Ironically, medical cannabis is now found to relieve symptoms of opioid and alcohol addiction, yet it remains on the list of drugs with “no medicinal value and likely to be abused.”

In 2014, almost 700,000 Americans were arrested for simple marijuana possession. Protesters were demanding that President Obama sign an executive order to deschedule marijuana which would remove it altogether from the CSA, pardon marijuana prisoners and recognize the legality of medical marijuana in all 50 states as well as allow its consumption in public. Protests were peaceful and no arrests were made before the Secret Service put the kibosh on the entire event. President Obama was out of the country at the time of the event.

It looked like a really fun event

It looks like good things are coming out of the lawsuits filed by Illinois medical cannabis prospective patients whose conditions were vetoed by Governor Rauner several months ago. PTSD has already been approved and Migraines and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are being reviewed and reconsidered. All good!

And the best story is the fact that Governor Rauner FINALLY signed SB 2228 which makes Illinois the 21st state to decriminalize marijuana. I wrote a post about SB 2228 at the end of May….a fine instead of jail time for 10 grams of cannabis or less…activists tried to get 15 grams, but it was reduced to 10. It’s a start!

As always, I look forward to reading your thoughts and comments.

I’ve written a series of posts about medical marijuana. If you want to read more you can click on the “Medical Marijuana” tag at the top of my page.

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