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US Virgin Islands

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director December 20, 2009

    med_mj_map_poster
    Cannabis law reformers are going into 2010 strong:

    Arkansas:

    Looks like the ‘Natural State’ is joining the 20 or more states that will have cannabis law reform legislation in 2010 with a medical cannabis bill.

    Rhode Island:

    RI proposes new rules for medical marijuana stores

    PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Health officials have proposed new rules governing how up to three medical marijuana stores would operate in Rhode Island.

    The revised regulations released Friday explain in more detail how andwhen the stores would notify police and state officials in the event of emergencies. The public can comment on the draft rules during a Feb. 2 meeting.

    Rhode Island lawmakers voted in June over the objection of Gov. Don
    Carcieri (kuh-CHEHR’-ee) to allow up to three nonprofit stores to sell
    marijuana to registered patients who use it for pain relief. The state
    allowed patients to possess marijuana in 2006 but never made clear how they could legally get the drug.

    Once the rules are approved, applications will be accepted to open
    stores.

    Pennsylvania:

    Quinnipiac poll 59% say medical marijuana is a ‘good idea’

    Philadelphia- A majority of Pennsylvanians favor passage of the medical marijuana bill according to a new Quinnipiac Poll released yesterday. Specifically asked about the current legislation, this is the strongest indicator yet of the tremendous popular support for safe, therapeutic cannabis access here in PA.

    The greatest support came from Democrats with 67% in favor and from residents of the Northeast portion of PA who supported the issue at 72%.

    Republicans were more evenly divided on the question 49% positive and 47% not. Women strongly supported medical marijuana at 57% ‘good idea’ and just 36% saying ‘bad idea.’

    Nearly even support was found among all age groups 18 to 55+ and all income levels, with a close average of 60% saying ‘good idea’ to the concept of a state authorized medical cannabis program. The medical marijuana question was the last one posed to voters during the lengthy poll that mostly dealt with the PA gubernatorial candidates.

    Comparatively, medical marijuana is more positively favored by every single category of voter than any of the gubernatorial candidates.

    Therapeutic cannabis received significantly greater favorable poll support than Governor Rendell, Attorney General Tom Corbett or the job of the PA legislature.

    Asked ‘how satisfied are you with the way things are going in Pennsylvania today’ the totals were equal ‘Smmwt Satisfied’ 38%, ‘Smmwt Dissatisfied’ 38%.

    Pennsylvanians for Medical Marijuana (PA4MMJ) recently participated in the historic first hearings on HB 1393. The bill would legalize medical marijuana access in PA and create Compassion centers for cannabis to be sold, with a tax, to authorized patients.

    More about medical marijuana in pa at www.pa4mmj.org

    Wisconsin:

    Three great Wisconsin medical cannabis patient heroes: Ryan Nofsinger, Christine Harrington and Jacki Rickert testify at the medical cannabis bill’s hearing this Tuesday in a video Mickey Kienitz did for madison.com.

    Maryland:

    Doctor-legislator eyes new medical marijuana measure; Positive signs from D.C., legalization in other states buoy pot advocates

    by Alan Brody
    Staff Writer

    When Del. Dan K. Morhaim is in the emergency room, he can administer cocaine to anesthetize a patient. But he cannot write a prescription for marijuana as a pain reliever or nausea remedy.

    That’s just one of the flaws in Maryland’s narrow medical marijuana law that Morhaim (D-Dist. 11) of Owings Mills, an emergency physician at Sinai and Northwest hospitals in Baltimore, is out to fix during next year’s legislative session.

    “Physicians prescribe drugs that have risks and benefits, and we make those judgments all the time,” he said. “There’s a whole method of accountability and responsibility and constraints that control that.”

    While budget discussions will take center stage in Annapolis, medical marijuana advocates believe the momentum for their cause has never been greater.

    U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has said federal narcotics
    agents will not crack down on pot dispensaries or prosecute users in states where the drug is allowed for medicinal purposes, reversing a Bush administration policy.

    And last month the American Medical Association shifted its stance in urging the federal government to reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II controlled substance, which is less restrictive than the Schedule I group it is currently in, alongside Ecstasy, heroin and PCP.

    Under current state law, Marylanders can be arrested and charged for possession of marijuana, but they can avoid jail time and receive a maximum $100 fine if they can prove they have it for medicinal use.

    Morhaim’s proposal would be set up similar to the state’s slots
    legislation. Companies that want to grow the plant would have to bid for a license and be regulated by the state to ensure it is being done in a safe location and properly manufactured. The producers would then give a portion of its gross sales revenue to the state.

    More

    United States Virgin Islands

    USVI NORML Announces Citizens’ Initiative

    St. Thomas, USVI, 12/18/09– USVI NORML, a local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, is excited to announce the undertaking of a territory-wide petition to place the choice for the legal reform and legalization of cannabis on the November 2010 ballot.

    In order to collect the required amount of registered voter signatures the group will be hosting several voter registration drives so the voices of all Territorial citizens will be heard. Chapter President Linda Adler has stated that, “Although this will be a tremendous effort to empower the people of the Territory, it won’t take away from our continuing mission of education and independent economic development”.

    For more information on upcoming events, petition locations, or membership/donation opportunities please contact the NORML offices at (340) 244-9179 or visit http://www.usvinorml.org/. Please direct all correspondence and membership applications to:

    USVI NORML
    P.O. Box 535
    St. Thomas, USVI 00804

    USVI NORML is a non-profit organization based in the US Virgin Islands. Their mission is to de-criminalize cannabis in the Territory as well as educate, protect our youth, reduce crime, and promote a healthy and positive lifestyle.

    Contact Information:
    Linda Adler
    Executive Director, USVI NORML
    (340) 244 9179 P.O. Box 535
    St. Thomas, USVI 00804

  • by Russ Belville, NORML Outreach Coordinator July 29, 2009

    NORML is proud to announce the formation of its first Caribbean territory chapter in the United States Virgin Islands. USVI NORML will be working to change marijuana laws in the territory to respect the residents and tourists who choose to consume cannabis responsibly.

    Linda Adler, the founding executive director, is seeking to make the islands a prime destination for tourists from the mainland’s thirteen medical marijuana states, who lack protection for their medical use when vacationing (Hawaii’s medical marijuana law does not recognize medical recommendations from other states). “This is heavily about tourism,” she says. “We are planning to include wording that not only allows someone with a state issued medical card to come and use, but those world wide travelers that come to the Virgin Islands coming from legal countries will be able to get a temporary card for their stay providing they bring required documentation.

    “Just the decriminalization aspect of what we are pushing will allow any tourist to partake and risk only a civil fine of about $150 for up to 2 oz. of cannabis,” Adler continues. “Tourism makes up 70% of the GDP for the USVI. We will, as a chapter, promote before and after the fact to the domestic and international pro-cannabis sectors, both for financial support to get the law changed, but then to promote safe tourism for the so-inclined tourists.”

    Also a part of Adler’s plans, should they succeed with decriminalization in the islands, is the building of a NORML St. Thomas Hotel, a resort destination open only to NORML members (who may join at the front desk) that caters to the needs of cannabis-friendly clientele and returns a substantial donation for NORML annually.

    Virgin Islands residents interested in joining with USVI NORML can contact Linda at lovingadler ‘at’ gmail.com. More information can be found on the web at myspace.com/usvinorml.