Gov. Matt Mead believes Wyomingites are likely purchasing legal marijuana in Colorado and taking it home, and he blames the federal government, he said Friday. Mead said the attorney general studied the lawsuit Oklahoma and Nebraska filed in December against Colorado but decided it wasn’t the best way to proceed strategically. “I’m a states’ rights guy, and I believe in that,” Mead said. “My position, if we could get there, wouldn’t be to sue the state of Colorado. It would be to sue the federal government.” Mead said he was frustrated that the U.S. Department of Justice was ignoring portions of the law by allowing Colorado’s legalization experiment. “In effect you are changing the law, and that should be an act of Congress and not an act of an individual man,” he said. Mead acknowledged that Colorado may be sweeping in tens of millions in revenue, thanks to the taxes on marijuana.
The number of patients in Michigan’s medical marijuana program declined for the second year in a row in 2014, according to state statistics reviewed by The Detroit News. Last year, the number of identification cards for patients in the program totaled 96,408, according to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. That compares with 119,470 patients in 2011, and 118,368 in 2013. Officials with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs said the agency does not speculate on why the number of patients is down. Morgan Fox, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, said it’s not clear what’s behind the decline. “The number of patients in Michigan has been fluctuating and it’s tough to say if there’s a direct cause,” he said. Fox said many reasons may be driving the trend. A big one is probably that patients don’t feel the state law protects them from prosecution, he said.
The fifth annual “Hoosier Survey,” conducted in 2012 by Ball State University, found that 53 percent of Hoosiers supported decriminalizing marijuana by making it legal to possess small quantities. The 2013 “Hoosier Survey” found that 52 percent of Hoosiers supported making marijuana a regulated substance much like alcohol and tobacco, and that 78 percent of Hoosiers believed that marijuana should be taxed like cigarettes. But don’t expect those findings to result in action by the Indiana General Assembly this year. Democrats in Indiana are more supportive of regulating marijuana like alcohol and tobacco (64 percent), while Republicans are evenly divided (49 percent in favor, 51 percent opposed). Regardless, the speaker of the Indiana House assigned a limited marijuana bill to the Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee, also known as “the graveyard.” “Bills that go there usually don’t come back out,” said the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Sue Errington, D-Muncie.
The ResponsibleOhio political action group has finally released some details of their proposed constitutional amendment which will require over 300,000 signatures to place on the 2016 ballot. The group has been criticized for its proposal to implement an anti-competitive 10-grower marijuana cartel as marijuana is legalized. The amendment proposes that the Marijuana Control Commission will oversee the manufacturing, selling, distributing and taxing of marijuana; that marijuana will be grown at only 10 sites in Ohio to ensure the product is tightly regulated, and tested for safety and potency. These sites must be at least 1,000 feet from a school, public library, church or licensed day care. Marijuana will be taxed at 15 percent. Medical marijuana will be sold at a wholesale price to patients with a doctor recommendation. 85 percent of the tax revenue will go to municipalities, townships and counties.
Florida’s rules for medical marijuana will be crafted in part by a 12-member panel that includes nine members in position to make money from the law. The 12 make up a committee formed to help the Florida Department of Health determine how to select, license and regulate Florida companies to grow a non-euphoric cannabis, make a medicinal oil from it and sell it to patients. The law, approved last year, allows patients with intractable epilepsy and several other medical disabilities to use the cannabis oil. But the department’s efforts to write regulations bogged down in legal challenges from growers, court rulings and bureaucracy. So the committee was announced to negotiate rules the growers could accept. Five of the 12 seats on the panel were awarded to growers who could wind up winning one of the five regional licenses. At least four others are people representing other companies that could get involved in the budding Florida legal cannabis industry.