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Cannabis Legalization

Louisiana to Provide Wider Access to MMJ Via New Law

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mmj expansion bill

Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards officially signed the expansion of the state’s therapeutic cannabis program into law last week. Edwards announced his action Monday evening, June 15, 2020. Under this, the in-state medical marijuana program will recognize an array of maladies and conditions beyond the initial set list approved by the legislature.

Slated to take effect by August 1, 2020, the new law would reportedly allow doctors to recommend medical marijuana-based treatment for any condition they see fit. Likewise, this would also take away the previous restrictions on cases which doctors can recommend this treatment.

The MMJ expansion bill was introduced and sponsored by Representative Larry Bagley. According to Marijuana Moment, Bagley initially only included traumatic brain injuries, as well as concussions, as part of the list. The bill, however, was amended to include what a doctor “considers debilitating to an individual patient.”

Moreover, ABC News reports that doctors will no longer have to sign up and register for a license to authorize or recommend cannabis treatment from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners.

Prior to this amendment, only licensed cannabis specialists are allowed to provide cannabis-based recommendations to their patients based on the 16 serious health conditions found under the legislature-approved list, reports Fox 8.

Despite these changes, Fox 8 states that physicians are still required to uphold the state reporting requirements that seek to support the Louisiana State University (LSU) and Southern University in its respective research efforts. Both universities are the only two institutions that are recognized and authorized to grow cannabis within the state.

mmj bill

Apart from signing the bill into law, Governor Edwards also signed another legislation that protects banks and credit unions catering to cannabis businesses from being penalized by state regulators, reports Marijuana Moment.

The Louisiana governor has also signed another bill that extends legal protection to medical professionals and doctors, as well as medical facilities, who opt for a medical marijuana-based treatment program and who have respective cannabis patients under their care and jurisdiction, notes Marijuana Moment.

The approval and signing of the aforementioned bills come after lawmakers brought the cannabis bills to Edwards’ office earlier this June. A hemp and CBD regulation proposal has yet to be approved or acted upon accordingly by the state governor.

In an interview with Fox 8, war veteran and medical cannabis user Gary Hess said that the recent legislation in Louisiana may serve as a model for nationwide implementation. However, Hess believes that this is only possible if stakeholders truly express vigilance and care for their patients, and if the state addresses the stigma surrounding the plant.

Cannabis Legalization

5 Ways to Support the Marijuana Legalization Movement

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Marijuana Legalization

The current state of cannabis legalization in the USA is a two-sided coin. On one side, 37 states have legalized medical marijuana, and on the other hand, 18 states where recreational use is legal. The fluctuation between these two numbers can be attributed to our country’s history with cannabis and their varying views on what should happen going forward. A recent report from CBS News found that 61% of Americans now favor legalization, up from 31% back in 2000. With public opinion shifting on this issue by leaps and bounds every year, there’s never been a better time than now to make your voice heard if you want to see an end to prohibition. 

As a cannabis enthusiast, you may be wondering how you can help the country push for 100% legalization (at least medically). We’ve prepared 5 ways you can actively support the legalization movement and get the country to a place where the fears and myths about this healing plant are trending in the right direction, which is legalization. 

1. Educate yourself about the benefits of marijuana

Marijuana is a plant that grows naturally in many regions of the world. It has been used for thousands of years as an herbal remedy and was first documented by ancient Chinese doctors as early as 2737 BC. The medicinal benefits of marijuana are now becoming more well known because it is now legal to use it medicinally in many states. Marijuana helps treat chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis or paraplegia (paralysis), seizures due to epilepsy, weight loss from HIV/AIDS or cancer treatment, PTSD symptoms, including flashbacks and nightmares related to trauma experienced during the military.

2. Let your voice be heard by contacting your representatives and letting them know how you feel

So you’re ready to do your civic duty and contact a representative about legalization? Great! Here are some tips on how to get the most out of your experience. 

Canberra Legalizes Cannabis
  • Find what issues matter most to you in this area of legislation, such as medical use or recreational use. Figure out which representatives cover these areas, then find their contact information and phone numbers.   
  • Call them up on the phone! Most importantly, be polite when speaking with them so they can understand where you’re coming from. It’s also important not to interrupt them while they are talking because it might make them feel like you don’t respect their opinion or time. 

3. Support local businesses that sell cannabis products

Cannabis products are now available in many stores and online. As cannabis becomes legalized, it is essential to support the communities that have been impacted by prohibition. One way you can do this is by supporting your local businesses that sell cannabis products. Another way is by raising awareness by wearing Legalize Marijuana Apparel to show your support!

4. Share articles on social media to raise awareness

Do you want to help legalize cannabis right now? If so, share articles like this one on social media! 

The reality is that cannabis prohibition has failed miserably to prevent the use of marijuana in society. Prohibition leads to a black market where consumers don’t know what they’re buying or who’s selling it, which causes serious health risks. Cannabis legalization will create jobs and generate revenue for states with legalized recreational marijuana while simultaneously reducing criminal activity associated with illegal drug distribution. These reasons are more than enough to warrant sharing posts like this on social media.

5. Vote for candidates who support marijuana legalization in the 2020 election 

America’s opioid epidemic is killing tens of thousands of people a year, and we are still struggling with the legalization of marijuana. It seems that the country has come to accept that medicinal marijuana can be a valuable treatment for specific conditions such as chronic pain or epilepsy. Still, there is a lot of confusion about whether it should be legal recreationally. The availability of medical cannabis could help reduce our dependence on these dangerous drugs. So do your civic duty and vote for candidates you align with and ones that support the legalization of cannabis. 

Conclusion

The movement to legalize marijuana is gaining momentum across the United States. More and more states are considering legalizing the recreational or medical use of cannabis, so we all need to support this change in the law to make a difference. We hope you take these 5 ways and create the change we wish to see in the world today!

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Cannabis Legalization

When Will Weed be Legal in Florida?

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When Will Weed be Legal in Florida

As of June 2021, 17 states in the United States have fully legalized the use of cannabis, including the District of Columbia. The rest, except four in which cannabis is fully illegal, have either decriminalized the plant, legalized medical cannabis, or a combination of both.

Florida is one of the states that has a mixed stand on the plant. It is legal for medicinal uses, but it is not yet decriminalized state-wide. So, for Floridians, the question is this: when will marijuana be legal in the state? Let us shed some light on this matter below.

The Current Status of Cannabis in Florida

When Will Weed be Legal in Florida

Today, only medical marijuana including medical cannabidiol (CBD) is legal in Florida. There are penalties and punishments in place for marijuana possession and sale offenders. People found with the plant can be charged with misdemeanor or felony, jail time of 1 year to 15 years, and a fine of $1,000 to $10,000 depending on the scale.

Those who are caught selling can also be penalized, incarcerated, and fined within the same range. Again, the intensity of the punishment will depend on how much weed or plant is found, and whether they are within 1,000 feet of a school, college, park, and other particular areas.

The good news is, some counties across the state have locally decriminalized the plant, the oldest being Miami-Dade County which passed the decriminalization law in June 2015 through a city council resolution. No criminal charges will be given to offenders found carrying 20 grams of cannabis. Instead, they will be given a fine of $100.

Other counties that passed similar laws include Alachua, Broward, Cocoa Beach, Hallandale Beach, Key West, Miami Beach, Orlando, Palm Beach, Port Richey, Sarasota, Tampa, Volusia, and West Palm Beach. All of them have a limit of 20 grams and penalizes offenders either through a $100 fine, cite and release, or 10 hours of community service.

Latest Attempts at Legalization

When Will Weed be Legal in FL

So When Will Weed be Legal in Florida?

Floridian advocates of legalization have campaigned for a ballot initiative for the 2022 elections through the Florida Marijuana Legalization Initiative. The proposal, sponsored by sensible Florida, Inc., sought to legalize the possession of up to one ounce of weed for residents aged 21 years and above. It also suggested to let residents own up to six plants, with only a maximum of three plants flowering or mature per household.

Ultimately, the ballot initiative sought to amend existing laws and regulate marijuana including the issuing, renewal, suspension, and revocation of licenses for cultivation, production, testing, and retail. If this initiative has been successfully added to the 2022 ballot, residents would be able to vote to legalize possession.

Unfortunately, the Florida Supreme Court voted 5-2 against the initiative. According to Chief Justice Charles Canady, the language used to write the proposal was misleading.

So, When Will Weed be Legal in Florida?

As mentioned, the latest attempts to legalize the possession of the plant in Florida failed. Keep in mind that this is only talking about the legalization of possession and not the full legalization of the plant. With this, it may take a few more years before Floridians can access legal weed in the state.

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Cannabis Legalization

Is Weed Legal in DC 2021?

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People often go to Google or ask Alexa for “weed delivery near me” in DC without knowing if it’s 100% legal. In 2021, weed laws can be somewhat confusing in the nation’s capital, and we hope that this article will help guide you through what is and what is not legal in the District of Columbia (DC). 

Weed has been consumed by many nations for centuries and has become a viable business opportunity for those willing to take on the legalities and red tape of owning a cannabis-based business. The ability to legally consume cannabis has opened up some lucrative opportunities for dispensaries, cultivation specialists, and smoke shops around the area, as well as weed delivery DC. To successfully navigate the space, you must know the laws. 

First off, let’s start with what is not a criminal violation in DC. 

In 2014, voters in the district approved to legalize the possession of small amounts of weed for personal use. This action is commonly known as the Personal Use Initiative or “Initiative 71”. The law was instated on February 26th of 2015. With the Personal Use Initiative in place, it is now legal for a person who is 21 years of age or older to:

  • Possess TWO (2) ounces of marijuana or less;
  • Transfer ONE ounce of marijuana or less to another person who is also at least 21 years of age or older, just as long as there is no payment made or any other exchange of goods or services. This is roughly interpreted as “gifting.” ;
  • Grow / Cultivate up to SIX (6) marijuana plants inside their residence. Of the 6, no more than THREE (3) can be mature;
  • Have in possession, marijuana-related products and paraphernalia such as rolling papers, blunt or cigar wrappers, pipes or bongs – that’s associated with an ounce or less of weed; or
  • Use marijuana on the grounds of private property.

Alternatively, here are a few points that people can still be arrested for under the current laws of DC:

  • The sale of any amount of marijuana to another person;
  • Having more than TWO (2) ounces of marijuana in one’s possession;
  • Operation of a motor vehicle or boat while under the influence of marijuana; or
  • Smoking, eating, or drinking marijuana in any public place such as public parks, streets, sidewalks, alleys, etc.

Those possessing marijuana that is not of the age of 21 or older can be arrested if they have more than 2 ounces of marijuana. If local authorities observe a person under the age of 21 with up to TWO (2) ounces of marijuana, it will be seized. Still, the person will not be arrested nor issued a citation or ticket. If a person states that they are 21 years of age or older but cannot prove their age with a valid identification card, they will be issued a warning ticket. The seized item(s) will be returned if the person brings in the warning ticket and proof of them being 21 years of age or older. This will need to be presented to the police station in the same district where the seizure occurred. This sequence should happen no sooner than 24 hours of seizure and no later than 21 days after. 

Individuals who have an authorized medical marijuana card (MMJ Card) from the District Department of Health can continue to possess up to TWO (2) ounces of medical marijuana per month. 

In Conclusion

It is always wise to be in the know when it comes to the laws in your area. For adults 21 years of age or older, the laws are more favorable than they have been in the past. Stay smart and consume marijuana under the guidance of local laws. You can safely and legally consume marijuana in DC and enjoy the many healing benefits of the cannabis Sativa plant.

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