Apr 302015

A Missouri woman indicted for growing marijuana in her home had asked the court to dismiss the charges since they violate Missouri’s new constitutional Right to Farm. Public Defender Justin Carver said in a six-page motion that the laws prohibiting marijuana cultivation “violate… the 1st, 5th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution and Sections 2, 10, and 35 of Article I of the Missouri Constitution.” Missouri voters last August narrowly approved the Right-to-Farm amendment by just over 2,000 votes out of almost a million, which says: “The right of farmers and ranchers to engage in farming and ranching practices shall be forever guaranteed in this state.” Carver added, “This constitutional amendment prohibits the legislature from passing laws that limit or restrict the rights of Missouri farmers and ranchers to engage in farming practices. The amendment prohibits the legislature from declaring what can and cannot be grown in Missouri.”

Medical marijuana is back on agendas in the Michigan Legislature. The Michigan House Judiciary Committee is to begin new hearings today for two medical-marijuana bills. Both passed the House overwhelmingly last year, then hit roadblocks in the lame-duck session of the state Senate last fall, when statewide police groups lobbied hard against them. The bills would allow two big additions to Michigan’s medical-marijuana landscape: dispensaries to sell tested medical marijuana in secure settings, so that users aren’t forced to buy whatever the local street-corner dealer is selling, and legalizing marijuana that is edible or consumed in various ways other than smoking, which many users say is vital because they can’t or won’t smoke the drug. After law-enforcement objections stymied the bills last year, new versions have been tweaked to please not only the police groups but Gov. Rick Snyder as well, Callton said.

A Pennsylvania Senate committee unanimously passed a bill, co-sponsored by Delaware County Sen. Daylin Leach, legalizing medical marijuana use. Once enacted, patients dealing with an array of mental and physical disorders, including children, are allowed to use medical marijuana for treatment. Cannabis dispensers and growers would sprout across the commonwealth to distribute doctor-prescribed marijuana. Strict regulations and licensing fees would monitor the distribution and use of the narcotic. Smoking cannabis is still banned under this bill. Leach said he’s not concerned with the governor signing off on a final version of the bill. Gov. Tom Wolf previously expressed his support for legalizing medical marijuana and the efforts behind compiling Senate Bill 3. A vote is expected to take place on the Senate floor during the second week in May. It has to make its way to the Senate Appropriations Committee before a full Senate vote.

Denver officials temporarily halted the sale of millions of dollars’ worth of legal marijuana because of concerns that unapproved pesticides or fungicides have contaminated it. This past Friday alone, city officials placed a “hold” on 60,000 plants at a single grow facility here after consulting with state agriculture inspectors and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. They previously had placed crops from six other facilities on similar holds, allowing the plants to keep growing but blocking their sale to consumers. Some growers have destroyed their crops instead of waiting for test results, which are still pending. A mature marijuana plant can be worth more than $4,000 but it’s unclear where these plants were in the growing process. Because marijuana is such a lucrative crop, many growers improve their harvest by spraying young plants with chemicals that haven’t been approved for use on marijuana. But no pesticides have been approved for use on marijuana.

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin has signed a bill allowing a medical pilot program for cannabis oil. The bill, known as “Katie and Cayman’s Law,” would allow medically supervised use of cannabis oil. Parents say that it is effective in treating children with epileptic seizures. “This bill will help get sick children potentially life-changing medicine,” said Fallin. “By crafting the legislation in a way that allows for tightly controlled medical studies, we can ensure we are researching possible treatments in a responsible and scientific way.” Fallin said she remains opposed to legalizing marijuana. “The CBD oil we are studying is a non-intoxicating derivative of marijuana,” said Fallin. “It is not marijuana, and it is not anything that can make you ‘high.’ This law has been narrowly crafted to support highly supervised medical trials for children with debilitating seizures. It is not a first step towards legalizing marijuana, and I will never support the legalization of marijuana in Oklahoma.”