In another sign of the changing times, this past week two new polls have been released demonstrating majority support for allowing the medical use of marijuana in two southern states, a region historically less supportive of cannabis law reforms.
A poll conducted by Public Policy Polling revealed that most North Carolinians believe that a doctor should possess the legal option to authorize marijuana for patients. Support for legalizing medical marijuana is at 58% overall, with 33% opposed and 9% undecided. A majority of every age group under age 65 supports allowing for the medical use of marijuana. The poll surveyed 608 North Carolina voters between January 10 and January 13, 2013.
Another Public Policy Polling survey had the majority of West Virginians supporting the medical use of cannabis, 53% in favor to 40% opposed. Further, when asked which is a safer treatment for debilitating pain: the medical use of marijuana or Oxycontin, 63% responded medical marijuana. You can view more data from this poll here.
Legislation to allow for the medical use of cannabis is expected to be introduced in both states this year. If you live in North Carolina, you can currently use NORML’s Take Action Center to write your elected officials and tell them to support this legislation by clicking here.
These recent polls are indicative of the attitude shift towards cannabis that is occurring across the country. Check NORML’s Take Action Center to see if marijuana related legislation has been filed in your state and use our form to easily contact your elected officials in support of these important measures. Check back often, as new legislation is being introduced constantly.
With a current vote total of 63% in favor and 37% opposed (with 40% of the vote tallied), NORML projects that Massachuetts is set to become the eighteenth state to allow for the physician supervised use of marijuana. Massachusetts now joins its fellow Northeastern states of Connecticut, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Maine in recognizing and allowing for the medical use of cannabis.
When implemented, this law would eliminate state criminal and civil penalties for the medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients. To qualify, a patient must have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition, such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV-positive status or AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, or multiple sclerosis.
It will also allow patients to possess up to a 60-day supply of marijuana for their personal medical use, the amount of which will be determined by the Department of Public Health. A patient could designate a personal caregiver, at least 21 years old, who could assist with the patient’s medical use of marijuana but would be prohibited from consuming that marijuana. Patients and caregivers would have to register with DPH by submitting the physician’s certification. It will also allow for the approval of up to 35 non-profit medical marijuana treatment centers to grow, process and provide marijuana to patients or their caregivers.
NORML will have more information as this issue progresses. Stay tuned to norml.org for the latest and keep watching our live election coverage to see if our reform measures pass in other states.
The latest polling data coming out of Arkansas shows a rough fight ahead for their ballot initiative to legalize the medical use of marijuana. In a poll conducted Thursday, October 18th, by TalkBusiness and Hendrix College had support for Issue 5 at just 38%, with opposition at 54% and 8% are undecided. Another poll, conducted by the University of Arkansas between October 9th and October 14, had support for medical marijuana in Arkansas at 44%, opposition at 52%, and undecideds at 5%. Both of these polls show support down when compared to data released in July of this year, which had the issue in a dead heat with 47% support and 46% opposition.
For more information on the initiative and on how you can help legalize medical use of cannabis in Arkansas this November, please visit the campaign’s website at www.arcompassion.com
Federal authorities with the US Attorney’s Los Angeles office issued official warning letters to 68 Los Angeles medical cannabis dispensaries today, initiated forfeiture lawsuits against three properties that did business with dispensaries, and served search warrants on three further locations.
In an official statement on today’s action, US Attorney André Birotte Jr.stated:
“Over the past several years, we have seen an explosion of commercial marijuana stores -– an explosion that is being driven by the massive profits associated with marijuana distribution. As today’s operations make clear, the sale and distribution of marijuana violates federal law, and we intend to enforce the law. Even those stores not targeted today should understand that they cannot continue to profit in violation of the law.”
The LA Weekly is reporting that the list of targets included every single dispensary in the Downtown, Huntington, and Eagle Rock areas of the city. You can read more media coverage here and here. We will keep you updated as the situation develops.
In July, members of the LA City Council approved a blanket ban on marijuana dispensaries in the city. This ban has now been suspended for the time being thanks to the efforts of medicinal cannabis supporters in the City of Angels.
Today, medical marijuana advocates turned in nearly double the 27,425 signatures required to force a voter referendum on the dispensary ban. The ban has been suspended temporarily to allow the city clerk 15 days to verify the signatures and see if the referendum officially qualifies. If it does, the council must either repeal the ban entirely or place the issue before voters in March 2013.
NORML will keep you posted as this situation evolves.