Iowa Rep. Clel Baudler has come out in favor of legalization of medical use of CBD, which he says is not “medical marijuana”. Rep. Baudler has infamously opposed every attempt to pass limited medical marijuana bills in Iowa. He was cleared of an ethics complaint filed in 2011 when he traveled to California and lied about having hemorrhoids to secure a medical marijuana recommendation. He then waved that recommendation around in the Iowa Legislature to “prove” how medical marijuana will be abused, despite the fact Iowa’s many bills would never have facilitated the use of medical marijuana for hemorrhoids. Iowa’s ethics committee could only address Rep. Baudler’s action in the Iowa House; they did not have the authority to rule on the fact he lied to get his recommendation, a violation of California law. But now, Rep. Baudler claims “It’s time” to pass this CBD bill, explaining that he had never heard of cannabidiol until this year.
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal is exploring options to provide CBD to patients who were let down by the legislature’s inability to pass a CBD-Only bill. Gov. Deal is considering executive action to allow Georgia Regents University to conduct clinical trials on CBD; however, as NORML’s Paul Armentano notes, that capability has existed for decades and requires no new laws. “Because CBD is acknowledged by federal regulators to be classified as a schedule I prohibited substance, multiple federal agencies — including the FDA, DEA, NIDA (US National Institute of Drug Abuse), and PHS (Public Health Service) must all sign off on any clinical investigation of the cannabinoid — a process that typically takes several years. A keyword search of FDA-approved clinical trials using the terms “cannabidiol” and “United States” yields fewer than ten ongoing human trials involving CBD — less than half of which are assessing its potential therapeutic application.”
Democrats in South Carolina will be voting on a referendum to express support for whole-plant medical marijuana. Rep. Todd Rutherford announced that the vote will be held in on the June Democratic Primary ballot, in case efforts to pass his whole-plant medical marijuana bill fail this session. Supporters of medical marijuana gathered Wednesday at the capitol in Columbia to urge lawmakers to pass the bill, which would allow patients to possess up to two ounces of usable marijuana, and, surprisingly for an East Coast state, allow patients to grow up to three mature marijuana plants. Recommendations by physicians would be allowed for the standard eight conditions almost all medical marijuana states cover – cancer, HIV/AIDS, cachexia, glaucoma, spasticity, seizures, pain, and nausea. Under the bill there would also be a patients registry, medical marijuana cards, and licensed marijuana dispensaries. Child custody, organ transplant, educational, and employment rights of patients would be protected.
A new report estimates that legalized marijuana in the state of Rhode Island could reap $21.5 million to $82 million dollars in tax revenue per year. The study by the non-profit OpenDoors, “Estimated Effects of the Tax and Regulate Legislation in Rhode Island,” examined current legislation that proposes a $50 per ounce wholesale tax and a 10 percent retail sales tax on marijuana sold in just ten stores statewide. Pat Oglesby, founder of the Center for New Tax Revenue, called Rhode Island’s proposes per-ounce tax “a significant improvement” over Colorado and Washington’s price-based tax structures, calling it “a better tax plan” and “more stable and harder to manipulate”. Rhode Island currently has around 7,000 medical marijuana patients and tax revenue from the state’s two operating dispensaries has amounted to $137,000 since last Spring.
The mayor of Boston is “dead set against medical marijuana dispensaries” in his city and is pressuring state regulators to find any technicality to reject dispensary applicants. Mayor Martin J. Walsh wrote to state health and medical marijuana departments urging they “immediately eliminate” the candidates for the city’s two dispensaries if “either application is confirmed to be inaccurate”. Speaking at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Dorchester this week, Mayor Walsh said, “I’m dead set against legalizing marijuana. I was dead set against the marijuana dispensaries, and I was dead set against all the marijuana laws because they are dangerous.” Mayor Walsh explained how marijuana is a “gateway drug” because friends of his who “started smoking weed” went on to abuse harder drugs. In 1999, the US Institute of Medicine stated “There is no conclusive evidence that the drug effects of marijuana are causally linked to the subsequent abuse of other illicit drugs,” a fact that has been confirmed by several independent research studies since.