Cannabis Rules Challenged

Federal Government Seeking To Uphold MMAR Provisions

Ontario’s top court is hearing an appeal of a ruling that struck down key provisions of the law governing access to marijuana for medical use.

In asking that the decision be set aside, the federal government will rely on what it argues is a series of “palpable and overriding errors” by Superior Court Justice Donald Taliano, who last year stayed a production charge against Toronto marijuana activist Matthew Mernagh.

The appeal, scheduled to begin on May 7, is the latest legal battle over the federal government’s medical marijuana scheme, aspects of which have been ruled unconstitutional by courts a number of times over the past decade. The Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the B.C. Civil Liberties Association and a coalition of groups representing people who are HIV-positive have been granted intervener status by the Court of Appeal in R v. Mernagh.

In his decision,… Continue reading

Marijuana Prohibition: Required or Ridiculous?

Recently, the Huffington Post ran an article stating that according to more than 300 economists, the U.S. government could potentially save $13.7 billion dollars by not enforcing the prohibition and taxing it like tobacco and alcohol.

As someone who has always been pro-legalization, I found this interesting and saw it as a ray of light through the thunderstorm that is this ridiculous marijuana prohibition.

So, if it could potentially save the States billions of dollars, what about Canada?

According to the 2009 Angus Reid poll, 53% of Canadians were in favour of legalizing cannabis.

Obviously, possession, trafficking and growing of marijuana is illegal in Canada.

Simple possession ( anything under 30 grams ) can result in a maximum $1000 fine or six months in jail, and trafficking can result in anything from a slap on the wrist and a fine to jail time.

Drug prohibition in Canada started in 1908… Continue reading

Compassion for the sick, or indignity for the poor?

Ask Gov. Haslam to veto welfare drug testing bill.

Today we found out why Tennessee legislators couldn’t find time to pass a medical marijuana law: they were too busy insulting the poor. Two weeks ago, a hearing on a medical marijuana bill never got started because no Democrat showed up for the hearing, and Republicans in the room refused to call a motion to discuss it.

Yesterday though, on the last day of session when time is scarce and important bills are facing last minute deadlines, your elected officials found time to debate and pass a bill that forces Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients to pee in a cup and pay to do that themselves. Apparently, during the debate, no one bothered to discuss the fact that bills like SB 2580 have been found unconstitutional or that they cost more money than they save.

Please ask Gov.… Continue reading

Is Driving High on Marijuana Safer Than Driving Drunk?

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For decades, marijuana advocates have argued that pot has a significantly different effect on driving ability than alcohol. But if you take the word of one auto insurance company, stoned is actually the safest way to drive. is making that case based on years’ worth of scientific studies, including some from the US National Highway Transportation Safety Administration that found motorists under the influence of marijuana tended to drive slower and have accident responsibility rates lower than those of drug-free drivers. But the company’s interpretation of the data doesn’t tell the whole story.

“There is evidence that cannabis causes changes in performance, and some of these changes may make you less likely to have an accident,” said Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of NORML, The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. “For instance, you’re less likely to change lanes, so you’re less likely to have accidents occurring… Continue reading

Legalizing Medical Marijuana: Tennessee

There’s another attempt in Tennessee to try to legalize marijuana for medical use. Advocates say 25,000 sick Tennesseans use pot.

Medical marijuana bill on the move in Nashville

Exciting news: there are not one, but two hearings on medical marijuana in Tennessee today! In the House of Representatives, Rep. Jeanne Richardson’s bill, HB 294, was approved by a subcommittee of the Health and Human Resources Committee last week, and today it goes before the full panel for a hearing, and hopefully a vote. The bill has been amended to correct technical concerns and would now create an effective medical marijuana law.

Please ask your legislators to support this compassionate legislation.

Meanwhile, the Senate Government Operations Committee has scheduled a hearing on SB 251, the Senate companion to HB 294, sponsored by Sen. Beverly Marrero. While the progress in the House is nice, it’s not unprecedented — a study bill was approved in committee two years ago. A committee vote in the Tennessee Senate, however, would be a first.

There’s growing legitimacy behind this year’s push. Constance… Continue reading

Medical marijuana bill advances in Tennessee

In somewhat of a surprise, a medical marijuana bill was approved in a Tennessee legislative subcommittee by a voice vote yesterday. Next up is a vote in the full House Health and Human Resources Committee.

Please ask your legislators to support HB 294.

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Jeanne Richardson (D-Memphis), told reporters that the bill envisions perhaps the strictest medical marijuana program in the country. In fact, it may be a bit too strict. By requiring physicians to “prescribe” marijuana, the bill would not be workable under federal law.

There’s still time to amend the bill, though. For now, the important thing is the attention yesterday’s vote received. News outlets throughout the state reported on the bill’s progress, sending a clear message that medical marijuana is a legitimate topic for discussion in the Volunteer State. Please keep that discussion going by emailing your legislators now.

Thanks for all… Continue reading