Support for medical marijuana in Florida ranges from 80 to 93 percent according to the latest Quinnipiac Poll. Overall, 88 percent of Floridians support “allowing adults in Florida to legally use marijuana for medical purposes if their doctor prescribes it,” with the lowest support at 80 percent among Republicans and the highest support at 93 percent among Democrats. No gender, age, or racial demographic showed less than 84 percent. Florida’s Question 2 is a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana in November that requires 60 percent of the vote. Additionally, 53 percent of Floridians support “allowing adults in Florida to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use”, with women’s support ten points behind men’s and only one third of Republicans and seniors in support. 45 percent of Floridians admit to having tried marijuana themselves, but 82 percent agree with the president that marijuana is no more harmful than alcohol and 54 percent do not believe it is a “gateway drug”.
Speaking of Florida, a quick correction – Florida’s Legislature has approved a CBD-only bill by 111-7 in the House and 30-9 in the Senate. Gov. Rick Scott has said he will sign the bill when it reaches his desk. Last week, we had reported Florida was racing Iowa and Missouri, whose legislatures also have passed CBD-only bills, to become the sixth CBD-only state. We regret our error as currently there are five CBD-only states – Alabama, Kentucky, Utah, Mississippi, and Wisconsin – and we had misidentified South Carolina in place of Kentucky. The bills in South Carolina, Iowa, Missouri, and Florida still await governor’s signature and could leave us with nine CBD-only states along with 21 whole plant medical marijuana states.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has given approval for the production of thirty times more government-grown marijuana than previously allotted for 2014. According to the DEA, the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA)”notified the DEA that it required additional supplies of marijuana to be manufactured in 2014 to provide for current and anticipated research efforts involving marijuana.” The DEA agreed that the quota should be increased from 21 kilograms to 650 kilograms “in order to provide a continuous and uninterrupted supply of marijuana in support of DEA-registered researchers who are approved by the Federal Government to utilize marijuana in their research protocols.” Trials involving medical marijuana and PTSD, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy are underway. GW Pharmaceuticals, a British drug firm, is working through FDA trials on Sativex, a balanced THC:CBD spray, and Epidiolex, a CBD extract for treatment of epilepsy. Four Americans also receive a tin of government marijuana for medicinal purposes, though the two in Iowa are currently in danger of falling out of the now-closed federal medical marijuana program as they have lost their recommending doctor.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer gave the keynote address it this year’s Global Cannabis March in Portland’s Pioneer Courthouse Square. Rep. Blumenauer called on Oregon to be “a leader of states” in legalization as it was in 1973 when it became the first state to decriminalize marijuana possession. Rep. Blumenauer told of a teetotaler legislative colleague from the 1970s that compared a carton of smokes, a fifth of Jack Daniels, and a joint, asking why the ones that killed you were illegal and the one that never killed anyone is a crime? Rep. Blumenauer said the political wisdom at the time was “if the 19 votes we got were joined by those legislators who voted no, but smoked dope, we’d have been the first state to legalize way back then!” Rep. Blumenauer also called for removing marijuana from Schedule I so researchers could better study its medical applications. “We have to a do a better job of breaking the stranglehold of this pernicious classification,” he said. We will present Rep. Blumenauer’s speech in its entirety shortly after 4:20pm today on Toker Talk Radio.
Uruguay released its rules today for commercial marijuana and as legalization goes, there are restrictions many consumers wouldn’t appreciate. The government will be in complete control of marijuana from “seed to sale”, emulating the Colorado program of bar-coding plants. But Uruguay takes it to a whole new level by only producing five varieties of cannabis that will be genetically identified and sold in radio-frequency tagged bags. Anyone caught in possession of marijuana not in an RFID-tagged bag will have it inspected by authorities, and if it is not one of the five government varieties, criminal penalties will apply. The five varieties also will be less than 15 percent THC and the people buying it from government stores must be registered with the government, supply their fingerprint for every purchase, and are limited to 10 grams per week. Registered citizens may grow up to six of the clones of government plants per household, not per resident. But hey, the government ganja only costs one dollar a gram…