Kentucky is moving forward with a bill that would legalize the use of cannabidiol by patients. The Kentucky Senate unanimously approved a bill that would allow the medical schools at the state’s two public institutions to treat severe seizure disorders with CBD oil. Another Kentucky medical marijuana bill submitted in the House would legalize whole plant medical marijuana. That bill was moved to the Judiciary Committee rather than to the House floor for a vote, effectively killing it for the session, according to its sponsor, Rep. Mary Lou Marzian. Sen. Julie Denton, sponsor of the CBD-only bill, said her bill was the only one that could survive both legislative chambers and get the governor’s signature. There is still some question as to how the Universities of Kentucky and Louisville would acquire the CBD oil, as nothing in the bill provides for the production of cannabis plants, regardless of THC content.
The Georgia Legislature is also considering a CBD-only medical marijuana bill that was unanimously approved by a Senate panel Wednesday. The Georgia Senate Health and Human Services Committee amended the bill to allow for the possession of CBD oil by Georgia patients if they acquire it from out of state, which will be necessary, because they also eliminated the provision allowing Georgia’s public medical schools to grow and process cannabis oil. Crossing state lines with CBD oil is a federal crime, but Georgia lawmakers don’t see that as their problem. “Let’s leave that decision to the parents,” said bill sponsor Rep. Allen Peake. “If they are willing to take the risk that a TSA agent will arrest them with a vial of oil, let’s let them make the decision.” The Georgia Senate’s version of the CBD-only bill was written with the help of the Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council of Georgia, reviewed by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, and supported by the Georgia Sheriffs Association.
Voters in Maryland are slightly in support of legalization and strongly in support of decriminalization of marijuana. A new poll by Goucher finds that 50% of Marylanders support legalization with just 39% opposed. Interestingly, when asked about regulation of marijuana compared to alcohol, support jumps to 57% for treating the two substances similarly. If there are to be punishments for possession of marijuana, 45% of Marylanders prefer fines, 36% support rehab, and only 7% thought jail time was appropriate. A majority of Marylanders don’t believe marijuana is a “gateway drug” and their support for medical marijuana is at 90%. Senate Bill 364, which would decriminalize possession of 10 grams marijuana as a fine-only offense, passed its second reading. Senate Bill 658, which would legalize an ounce of bud, 5 grams of hash, a pound of edibles, and a six-pack of tincture, has been stuck in committee since February, but its companion bill, House Bill 880, had its first hearing today.
The Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled that defendants who were appealing their marijuana possession cases when Amendment 64 passed may have their convictions overturned. The second-highest court in the state ruled on the case of a woman whose multiple drug charges included possession of a third of an ounce of marijuana. The justices explained they had a duty to follow the will of the voters and defendants were eligible for post-conviction relief if “there has been significant change in the law.” The ruling could affect hundreds of minor pot possession convictions and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said his office is reviewing the decision.
The New York Assembly has attached a medical marijuana bill to the budget. The bill would authorize a patient to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana. Physicians would be able to recommend marijuana for “serious medical conditions” that include cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord damage, epilepsy, wasting syndrome, Crohn’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, neuropathy, arthritis, lupus, and diabetes. Medical marijuana would be taxed at 10% of the retail price and patients would have to join a state registry. The plan would allow for whole-plant marijuana and be more expansive than the proposal by Gov. Andrew Cuomo to simply revive a dormant 1980 medical marijuana law that critics contend would be unworkable. The Assembly’s Democratic majority believes medical marijuana fees and taxes would bring in over $65 million in revenue per year.