Marijuana Weekly News Roundup

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Governor Tom Wolf will sign legislation Sunday creating a medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania, now the 24th state in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana.  The measure was finally passed by the state legislature on Wednesday and the governor, who has been pushing for passage, is wasting no time signing it.

Under the law, cannabis can be used to treat 17 qualified conditions, including “intractable” pain. The law does not allow the use of smokable marijuana, opting instead for a number of pills, oils, tinctures, and liquids (for vaporizers). Home cultivation is not allowed.

The state expects to take at least 18 months to set up its program to dispense medical marijuana. Doctors who want to recommend marijuana as a treatment will have to attend a state-approved training program. The law allows the state to license up to 25 growers and processors and up to 50 dispensaries and no dispensary can have more than 3 locations. Home cultivation is not allowed.

Here are excerpts from other recent cannabis-related news stories.

Jamaica May Axe Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State and Legalize Marijuana
Jamaica is still part of the Commonwealth, but may be dropping the Queen as Head of State this week and make the island a Republic. While they are at it, they will legalize marijuana, too.

If this does go ahead, it will be on the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II on April 21.

Reportedly the Governor-General of Jamaica, Sir Patrick Allen, has announced plans to make a constitutional amendment which would in effect replace Queen Elizabeth II with a president. Allen has already put forward a plan for the constitution amendment.

Jamaica remains in the Commonwealth, despite the fact that the country declared independence back in 1962. The role of the British monarchy in local affairs was carried over in the country’s constitution when independence was gained from Great Britain.

While the role of the Queen has been largely ceremonial, this hasn’t stopped critics in the country demanding over the years that action be taken to replace the British monarchy in island affairs.

Read more at Inquisitr.

More and More Doctors Want To Make Marijuana Legal
A group of more than 50 physicians, including a former surgeon general and faculty members at some of the nation’s leading medical schools, has formed the first national organization of doctors to call on states and the federal government to legalize and regulate the use of marijuana in the interest of public health.

The group — which is announcing its formation Monday, under the name Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR) — is endorsing the legalization of marijuana for adult recreational use, a break from the position of the American Medical Association, the largest organization of doctors in the country. DFCR argues that the prohibition and criminalization of marijuana use does more harm to the public than good. Citing hundreds of thousands of annual marijuana arrests, racial and economic disparities in marijuana enforcement, and the role of prohibition in keeping marijuana prices high and lucrative to violent drug dealers, the physicians say that creating a legal and regulated marijuana market is the best way to ensure public safety, combat the illicit drug trade and roll back the negative consequences of strict enforcement policies on disadvantaged communities.

The emergence of the group comes at a crucial moment in the national debate over marijuana legalization. More than 60 percent of the public now says that it supports marijuana legalization. Support for allowing medical use of marijuana with doctors’ supervision is closer to 90 percent. Over 35 million Americans use marijuana recreationally each year, according to the latest federal statistics. Research organizations, medical groups and even many national lawmakers have called on federal authorities to revisit policies toward marijuana that have remained essentially unchanged for nearly 50 years.

Read more at The Washington Post.