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Dispatches from the Highlands

Marijuana news from contributing authors and staff writers on the latest in marijuana and medical marijuana

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December 12, 2018
San Francisco, CA
Published on August 8, 2013
By: Morgan Fox

Dr. Sanjay Gupta

CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has spent the last year creating an investigative report on marijuana, and the former critic of marijuana policy reform has changed his mind drastically on the subject.

On Wednesday night, Dr. Gupta told Piers Morgan that “We’ve been terribly and systematically misled in this country for some time and I did part of that misleading,” when it comes to marijuana and its medical applications.

You can watch the segment here:

Dr. Gupta’s documentary, “Weed,” will premiere on CNN Sunday, August 11 at 8:00 pm ET.

Published on August 8, 2013
By: Morgan Fox

One of the more horrific examples of how the war on marijuana hurts families is making the rounds right now, and it illustrates just one of the more serious hypocrisies of prohibition.

Last week, the story broke that a two-year-old child had sustained fatal injuries at the hands of her foster care provider. After the parents were called to the hospital for the last days of their Alexandria Hill’s life, the death was ruled a homicide and the foster guardian charged with murder.

Alexandria Hill

This would be tragic by itself, if not for the additional circumstances surrounding the case. According to the parents, the child was removed from their custody because it was discovered that they used marijuana while the child was asleep. She was kept in state custody even after her father reported noticing bruises and other signs of abuse and neglect during their visits.

According to child…

Published on June 12, 2013
By: Matthew Jordan

MPP is happy to announce that Troy Dayton will be joining our board of directors later this month! He will serve a three-year term, during which time he will help guide the overall direction of the organization. Troy will be replacing Richard Miller, Ph.D., who has served since 2010 and done an outstanding job.

Troy Dayton was one of MPP’s first volunteers when MPP was founded in 1995. Since then, he has raised over $1 million to support MPP’s work — which is the second-largest sum of money that anyone has raised for MPP.

He also co-founded Students for Sensible Drug Policy and the National Cannabis Industry Association. And Troy made national headlines when he organized religious leaders to endorse MPP’s ballot initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Nevada.

Troy is currently the CEO of The ArcView Group, which was the focus of a recent cover story in “Fortune” magazine…

Poll: Majority of New Jersey Voters Support Decriminalization for Possession of Small Amounts of Marijuana
Published on June 12, 2013
By: Jessica Remington

A recent poll found that a majority of New Jersey voters believe people who are caught with small amounts of marijuana should pay a fine, but not go to prison.

Commissioned by the Drug Policy Alliance, the poll of 604 registered voters determined that 61 percent support the elimination of criminal penalties for minor possession (under two ounces).

The poll also found that 82 percent of voters either favor, or are neutral to, politicians who advocate for reducing criminal penalties for possession.

Rosanne Scotti, the New Jersey State director of the Drug Policy Alliance, said, “More than 22,000 individuals were arrested for marijuana possession in New Jersey in 2010 at a cost of more than $125 million dollars. New Jerseyans understand that current penalties for marijuana are unfair and wasteful.”

Despite this wave of public support, NJ Gov. Chris Christie has stated that he will veto any decriminalization bill.

Published on June 12, 2013
By: Catherine Fernández

In the latest issue of Nature Reviews Neuroscience, leading scientists argue that the UN conventions on drugs in the 1960s and 1970s, which outlawed drugs with psychoactive substances such as marijuana, is hindering research into potentially significant medicinal uses, estimating that research in key areas such as consciousness has been set back by decades.

Report authors Professor David Nutt and Professor David Nichols contend that the illegal status of psychoactive drugs makes it almost impossible to examine their mechanisms of action and potential therapeutic uses.

Prof. David Nutt

Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London, stated that the ban is “motivated by politics, not science” and characterized it as “the worst case of scientific censorship since the Catholic Church banned the works of Copernicus and Galileo.”

Nutt and Nichols, a professor at UNC Chapel Hill, have called for a more rational approach to drug regulation that…

Judge Strikes Down Colorado’s Proposed Regulations on Marijuana-Themed Magazines
Published on June 12, 2013
By: Jessica Remington

A federal judge struck down a provision of Colorado’s legalization law on Tuesday, which would have required marijuana-themed magazines to be treated like pornography and sold behind the counter.

Magazine publishers and local bookstores filed a lawsuit against the state in early June, arguing that such restrictions were not in place while marijuana use was illegal.

The ruling follows last week’s statement by anti-marijuana Attorney General John Suthers that the provision is unconstitutional.

The Colorado Department of Revenue, which is in the process of setting up the law’s regulatory framework, announced that it will not enforce the provision.

Mason Tvert, MPP’s communications director and a campaigner for Colorado’s 2012 referendum, said, “The idea that stores can prominently display magazines touting the joys of drinking wine and smoking cigars, yet banish those that discuss a far safer substance to behind the counter, is absolutely absurd. It is time for our elected…

Published on June 14, 2013
By: Jessica Remington

Medical marijuana patients in Nevada will finally have legal access to their medicine.

Gov. Brian Sandoval

On Wednesday, 13 years after Nevada voters approved the medical use of marijuana, Gov. Brian Sandoval signed SB 374 into law. The bill establishes the regulatory framework for medical marijuana dispensaries in the state, thereby putting an end to patients’ decade-long struggle to obtain their medicine safely. The bill will also allow patients to continue growing their own plants (and increases the number they may possess) until 2016.

The law allows the state to license up to 66 dispensaries throughout the state, distributed according to population density.

Additionally, the state will impose medical marijuana-specific taxes, of which 75% will fund education and 25% will be spent on implementing and enforcing the regulations.

The governor’s approval of the bill was sparked by Judge Donald Mosley’s critique last year of the state’s medical marijuana law. Mosley…

Father’s Day Has Passed, But It’s Not Too Late to Start a Conversation
Published on June 19, 2013
By: Morgan Fox

For Father’s Day, the Marijuana Policy Project created a video called “Dear Dad” in which a young man talks to his father about his preferences after a long day’s work. He explains how they’re a lot alike — they both work hard and have good jobs — but at the end of a long day, he prefers to use marijuana instead of having a drink.

It is these types of conversations that are going to build the support needed to end marijuana prohibition. This video is an opportunity to show your dad, granddad, or any loved one that enjoying marijuana can be a relaxing activity much like having a glass of alcohol. It is a way to bridge the gap between generations and their understanding of marijuana and its objectively safer effects.

You can also find MPP’s “Dear Mom“ video that addresses the same issue between a daughter and…

Published on June 19, 2013
By: Jessica Remington

Following the approval of a ballot initiative application on Friday, it seems that Alaska may be the next state to legalize marijuana for adults.

Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell

On June 14, Lt. Governor Mead Treadwell certified a ballot initiative application that would put the question of whether to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol up to state voters. In order to appear on next year’s ballot, the initiative must receive 30,169 signatures from qualified voters.

The proposal would create state-regulated marijuana stores, cultivation facilities, and the option for Alaska’s legislature to create a Marijuana Control Board tasked with overseeing the industry. It would also allow adults to grow up to six marijuana plants.

Petition sponsor Tim Hinterberger stated that advocates hope to finish collecting signatures by January in order to get the petition on the primary ballot.

If the proposal passes, it would help to clear up Alaskans’ confusion over…

Compromise Reached On New Hampshire Medical Marijuana Bill
Published on June 19, 2013
By: Matt Simon

Yesterday morning, after meeting with Gov. Hassan’s policy advisors, a special committee of seven representatives and senators agreed on the final language of HB 573 that will move medical marijuana forward to Gov. Hassan’s desk.

Then, Gov. Hassan issued a formal statement indicating that she intends to sign the bill after it is approved one last time by the House and Senate. She said the compromise “addresses the concerns that I have heard and expressed throughout this session, and provides the level of regulation needed for the use of medical marijuana…. I encourage the full legislature to pass this compromise so I can sign this legislation into law.”

Sadly, Gov. Hassan was not willing to agree to any significant changes, so only minor improvements were made by the committee. Home cultivation will remain a felony under all circumstances, and patients will have no legal protections until ID cards are issued…

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