Jan 072014
  1. Poll: Majority wants marijuana legalized
  2. Medical marijuana initiative likely headed for Florida ballot
  3. Parents with sick kids hope Florida paves way for medical marijuana
  4. Could Legal Marijuana Help Curb Prescription Pill Abuse?
  5. Fearing they will sell out, marijuana shops are rationing the amount of pot customers can purchase – Local Story

– Sorry, no video record of today’s news –

  1. The latest CNN Opinion Poll is out and it reveals what Gallup and Pew have already told us: Americans are ready to legalize marijuana.  A majority of 55% of people surveyed answered YES, “the use of marijuana should be made legal” while 44% said NO and only 1% had no opinion.  Opponents of legalization, like Kevin Sabet of Project SAM, will often counter by pointing out these polls indicate support for ending the worst aspects of the drug war, like incarcerating marijuana consumers, but if the people knew we were talking about sales and commercialization of marijuana, the support would drop.  He’s right, by a meager 1%.  Another majority, 54%, believe that “the sale of marijuana should be made legal” with 45% opposed.  So, who still supports arresting and incarcerating marijuana consumers?  People over age 65, Southerners, Conservatives, Republicans, and folks living in rural areas.  So, basically, George W. Bush.
  2. Ben Pollara, spokesman for People United for Medical Marijuana in Florida, told the Washington Post this week that his campaign will have gathered a million signatures to put a proposed medical marijuana amendment before the voters in 2014.  The campaign has until February 1st to turn in at least 683,000 valid signatures.  Organizers for initiative campaigns usually aim for 125% to 150% of the signatures required to cover those that will be disqualified for irregularities by the state.  The initiative will need 60% of the vote to become part of the Florida Constitution and the latest opinion polls show 82% of Floridians in favor.  The one hurdle still not cleared is the review by the state Supreme Court over the text of the ballot summary, which says marijuana will be legalized for “debilitating conditions”.  Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi complained that the actual language of the initiative would allow for less-than-debilitating conditions to qualify, a point the political watchdog group PolitiFact agreed was “mostly true.”
  3. Also in Florida, two state representatives, Katie Edwards and Matt Gaetz, are the latest to jump on the Alepsia bandwagon.  Alepsia is the name given to the high-CBD extract from the Charlotte’s Web strain of cannabis plant featured in the CNN documentary Weed with Dr. Sanjay Gupta.  Lawmakers in Utah have coined the term and suggest that since it contains only trace amounts of THC, the psychoactive chemical in marijuana, it should be as legal as the hemp milk on grocery store shelves.  The Florida reps worry that even if the proposed Constitutional amendment passes, the legislature would still have to write the laws.  Noting the families who’ve left Florida for Colorado to pursue this treatment, Edwards said, “It’s a glimmer of hope for these families. They look at something like Charlotte’s Web and wonder why we can’t do that in Florida.” On Thursday, the Florida House Criminal Justice Subcommittee will hold a workshop to discuss the options for legalization of Alepsia.
  4. West Virginia trails only Arizona in the rate of drug overdoses, with 25.8 per 100,000 people succumbing to overdose.  Now, a new poll released by Marijuana Policy Project shows increasing support for medical marijuana in the state, in part to combat the overdose epidemic.  In January of 2013, 53% of West Virginians supported medical marijuana; today’s poll shows support increased three points to 56%.  Opposition has fallen six points from 40% last year to 34% today.  Part of what may be driving support is recognition that cannabis is an effective painkilling adjunct or substitute for Oxycontin, one of the most abused painkillers leading to overdose.  When asked in 2013 which is safer for treating pain, 63% chose marijuana compared to 22% who chose OxyContin.  This year, those who picked Oxy as safer fell six points, to just 16%; however, this year’s poll offered the choice of “equally safe” which made up those six percentage points.
  5. Marijuana shops in Colorado are almost sold out.  Just one week into legal marijuana sales, many shops are rationing sales, limiting purchasers to just one-eighth of an ounce, even though locals can buy an ounce and tourists can buy a quarter-ounce legally.  “We thought we had enough supply to get us through January,” said a spokesman for Elixirs and Edibles, a marijuana infused products manufacturer. “We ran out in three days.”  Retailers racked up “well over $5 million in sales in the first five days of operation,” according to the National Cannabis Industries Association, much of that cash-only, as retailers still operate mostly without banking support.  The Denver City Council on Monday unanimously approved a resolution asking the federal government to allow these businesses to access banking.

420RADIO News for Tuesday, January 7, 2014