Every Friday – okay, okay, most Fridays – we at the Daily Leaf take a look at the major weed headlines of the past week. Sometimes, if they’re funny enough, we even look at the minor weed headlines. For those of you who don’t want to follow the marijuana news every day, this is your Weed in Review.
Minnesota Legislators Attempt to Put for Legalization Ballot Question
As we reported last week, states – such as Minnesota – who lack direct democracy through citizen initiative – struggle to move legalization forward. In all cases, American legalization has come directly from the voters, rather than from state legislatures. A group of eight Minnesota State Senate democrats has introduced legislation that would refer the legalization question to state voters. The Twin Cities Pioneer Press reports that the Senators recognize that the question is unlikely to appear on Minnesota ballots any time soon, but see this as a first step to push the idea forward.
Colorado Advances Plan to Dedicate Marijuana Taxes to Public Health
It’s no secret that approaches to drug abuse that focus heavily on incarceration are primarily of benefit to the private prison industry. Addiction is a health problem. Treating as a crime problem leads to more crime and fewer healthy citizens. If the previous three sentences don’t make sense to you, close this tab and immediately go watch The Wire. Colorado’s Governor and Department of Human Services has asked the state General Assembly to allocate $6,000,000 annually from the state’s marijuana tax fund to drug treatment programs. Under the new program, low-level drug offenders stopped by police will have the option of entering into treatment programs instead of being arrested. A detailed article and the text of the proposal can be found at Westword.
Researchers Identify Dangerous Microbes and Bacteria in Medical Marijuana in California
One of the scary parts of legalization has been realizing how unsafe the marijuana we’ve been smoking for years has been. With no testing in place, it’s hard to say what kind of molds and pesticides we might have smoked. A recent study conducted at the University of California at Davis found a number of potentially dangerous microbes present in cannabis samples they purchased at a California medical dispensary. Under Oregon state testing guidelines, most of these microorganisms are not tested for. Although they are unlikely to cause infection in healthy users, they may present infection risk for medical marijuana patients with compromised immune systems.
Legislation Introduced in US Congress to Allow States to Set Marijuana Policy
Republican Congressman Dana Rohrabacher has introduced legislation into the United States House of Representatives, Salon reports. The proposed law would permit states to set their own marijuana policies, resolving conflicts between state and federal laws on the substance. The conflict previously was immaterial, as the Obama White House made it clear that it would not pursue marijuana prosecutions in green states. The recent appointment of Senator Jeff Sessions as Attorney General puts that position in doubt. Senator Sessions has frequently publicly advocated strongly anti-marijuana positions.