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Many Parents Would Switch Doctors Over Vaccination Policy, Poll Finds

MONDAY, Aug. 19, 2019 — Forty percent of U.S. parents say they would likely find a new doctor if their child’s primary care provider sees families who refuse childhood vaccines, a nationwide poll finds.

And three in 10 say their child’s primary care provider should not treat youngsters whose parents refuse all vaccines.

Those are key findings of the latest C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health from the University of Michigan. The findings, published Aug. 19, are based on responses from 2,032 parents of at least one child aged 18 or younger.

“When a family refuses all childhood vaccines, it puts providers in a challenging position,” poll co-director Sarah Clark said in a university news release announcing the findings.

Not only is an unvaccinated child unprotected against harmful and contagious diseases (such as measles, whooping cough and chickenpox), those who skip vaccines also pose a risk of transmitting diseases to other patients, she pointed out.

“This can be especially risky exposure for vulnerable populations, including infants too young to receive vaccines, elderly patients, patients with weakened immune systems or pregnant women,” Clark added.

But many parents were unaware of their health care provider’s policies, and some were unconcerned.

Thirty-nine percent said their child’s primary care provider requires patients to get all recommended vaccines; 8% said only some vaccines are required; and 15% said their provider has no policy. Almost four in 10 weren’t sure.

But 29% of respondents said they’d be “somewhat likely” to look for another doctor if theirs saw kids whose parents had refused all vaccines. Twelve percent would be “very likely” to switch, the findings showed.

Six percent said their provider doesn’t let unvaccinated kids use the common waiting room; 2% said they are allowed do so if they wear a mask. About one-quarter said their provider had no restrictions.

Many parents favor tighter controls: 17% said unvaccinated kids should be kept out of the waiting room and 27% said any allowed in should have to wear masks. Yet, 28% of parents favored no restrictions.

About 43% said they would want to know if other patients at their child’s primary care practice had received no vaccines, while 33% would not, according to the poll.

Clark said recent measles outbreaks underscore the need for parents and providers to consider policies for unvaccinated children.

“Parents may assume that when they take their child to the doctor, they are in a setting that will not expose their child to diseases,” she said. “Parents may not have considered that there could be another child in the waiting room whose parents have refused all vaccines.”

Clark said providers need to consider whether to adopt policies to prevent exposure to vaccine-preventable diseases and then communicate them to everyone in their practice.

“Any parent — and particularly parents of infants or immunocompromised children — should ask their child’s primary care provider about policies surrounding unvaccinated children,” she advised.

The poll, administered in February to a representative sample of parents, has a margin of error of plus or minus 1 to 3 percentage points.

More information

The American Academy of Pediatrics has more on vaccinations.

© 2019 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Posted: August 2019

Drugs.com – Daily MedNews

No-Tobacco Policy for New Workers in Ohio City

Aug. 2, 2019 — A strict no-tobacco policy for new city workers has been implemented by Dayton, Ohio.

Those hired after July 15 are prohibited from using nicotine or tobacco. Job candidates will be tested and those with positive results will have to undergo treatment to stop their tobacco/nicotine use. If they again test positive at the end of their probationary period, they’ll be fired, CNN reported.

There will be no random testing for nicotine or tobacco. Workers hired after July 15 will be tested only for “reasonable suspicion.”

An employee who tests positive for nicotine or tobacco must have treatment to help them quit, or they could be reprimanded or fired. A second positive test would lead to immediate dismissal, CNN reported.

The policy defines tobacco and nicotine use as “inhaling, exhaling, burning, vaping, any lighted cigar, cigarette, and e-cigarette or pipe, chewing or any other type of tobacco use.”

WebMD News from HealthDay

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Hemp Companies Call Out Facebook’s Advertising Policy

A coalition of hemp businesses are calling out two of the country’s most popular social media platforms for what they believe are unfair advertising policies. According to the Hemp Industries Association, algorithms lumping the plant into the same category as marijuana have prevented industrial hemp companies from advertising on Facebook and Instagram.

Although the 2018 federal Farm Bill legalized hemp for farming at the end of last year, there’s still plenty of confusion about the non-intoxicating version of marijuana, particularly with traditional media like television. But social media companies — a relatively new form of media — have also frustrated the emerging industry by deleting certain profiles and prohibiting hemp companies from advertising.

“[Facebook] sort of has a blanket over cannabis, and is unable to really differentiate between hemp, which is legal federally, and marijuana,” says HIA executive director Colleen Lanier. “We feel that it’s really unfortunate that Facebook is promoting this artificial intelligence to tell things apart, and they can not seem to get it right for cannabis, especially hemp. We can put a billboard up in Times Square, but we can’t pay for a boost on Facebook.”

Lanier isn’t joking: Since 2015, her organization has been trying to meet with Facebook representatives, but has been unsuccessful. Now the HIA has paid for a digital billboard in New York City’s Times Square that will run daily through August 24, reading “Facebook: Stop Censoring Hemp.”

The Hemp Industries Association's billboard will run until August 24.

The Hemp Industries Association’s billboard will run until August 24.

Courtesy of the Hemp Industries Association

“They ghosted us,” Lanier says. “We recognize it as somewhat of a systemic issue across all social media, but we also recognize Facebook is one of the largest out there.”

Marijuana Deals Near You

Facebook, which also owns Instagram under Facebook Inc., has held a firm anti-marijuana advertising policy despite social acceptance growing for the plant over the past several years. There are numerous cases of hemp advocacy posts, CBD brand pages, cannabis educational platforms, entertainment pages and medical marijuana groups being suspended, prohibited or banned by Facebook, either in individual circumstances or broad sweeps. Facebook Inc. was recently sued by a cannabis media and education company over its advertising policies, according to Forbes.

Asked about its policies, Facebook tells Westword that the website permits the advertisement of non-ingestible hemp products without CBD, such as clothes and plastics. Hemp-infused food and any products with CBD are still prohibited from advertising, according to Facebook’s media department, but the social media giant is considering the possibility of allowing hemp seeds, hemp milk and hemp oil (without CBD) to advertise on its platforms.

While THC-laden marijuana will likely stay on Facebook’s shit list until federal prohibition is lifted and CBD products are still waiting for approval from the Food and Drug Administration, industrial hemp companies think that they shouldn’t be stuck waiting.

“Congress has made the most powerful statement that it could: that hemp is lawful, and that this substance is not to be stigmatized any longer,” explains Hoban Law Group attorney Garrett Graff, who represents clients across the hemp industry. “There’s very little guidance provided in the rhyme or reason as to why these advertisements, pages and profiles are shut down.”

Since hemp was legalized, Graff says, the Facebook pages and profiles of industrial hemp companies have been allowed to operate with less interference, but advertisements or sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram related to hemp continue to be blocked. To avoid confusion or unnecessary red flags, Graff advises his clients to stay away from any phrases or images that might connect their hemp brands to marijuana.

“They all need to be cautious about the phrasing and imagery being used. For example, using a cannabis leaf could add to that stigmatization,” he points out, adding that traditional advertising routes through the internet, television and print are just as challenging. “There’s no one specific answer, because the answer could be different depending on the organization, and the state and platform they’re trying to advertise with, whether that’s Amazon or something else.”

Graff and Lanier believe the harsh treatment of the hemp industry is rooted in a misunderstanding of the plant’s new legality. However, state governments must still draft hemp-farming regulations or opt in to upcoming rules that will be released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture — and not everyone is on board. For example, South Dakota governor Kristi Noem vetoed a bill that would’ve legalized industrial hemp in her state, while three truck drivers hauling 7,000 pounds of hemp across the Oregon-Idaho border in early 2019 still face charges in Idaho, which does not differentiate between hemp and marijuana.

“It’s an unfair expectation that these advertising companies can cut through the BS and understand the true status of hemp,” Graff says. “We’ve certainly been encouraged by the recent passage of the 2018 Farm Bill — but the hope is to help compel a number of these outside stakeholders to be more embracing of the hemp industry.”


Toke of the Town

Drug Policy Alliance Closes Colorado Office

The Drug Policy Alliance, one of Colorado’s most vocal drug-reform organizations over the past decade, is closing the doors of its state office on May 22.

A proponent of drug and marijuana policy reform, the DPA opened a Colorado chapter in 2011. That office played a part in legalizing recreational pot statewide in 2012, and also worked on numerous efforts at the city and state levels, including during the most recent legislative session.

This year alone, the DPA helped push successful bills that would further decriminalize drug possession, expand medical marijuana access for autism patients and those looking for opioid alternatives, and create more diversity in the state’s medical and recreational marijuana industries.

“Since 2011, DPA has been a proud leader in the drug policy reform movement in Colorado. In that time, we have worked hard to ensure that our state’s drug policies are grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. The drug policy reform conversation has shifted and reached new levels as a result,” DPA Colorado director Art Way said in a statement announcing the Colorado chapter’s closure.

“It is with great regret that we announce that Drug Policy Alliance has restructured its operations and will be shutting down the Colorado office by the end of the month due to organizational need and budgetary considerations,” he continues. “This is a nationwide restructuring impacting nearly twenty people, and truly a sad day in more ways than one.”

Outside of marijuana policy reform, the DPA has advocated for progressive drug policies involving harm reduction and criminal-justice reform, such as supervised injection sites and the state’s law enforcement assisted diversion (LEAD) program, a pre-booking diversion initiative intended to end criminal recidivism.

According to Way, the closure came as the organization restructures its budget and resources, which also must cover chapters in California, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York. 


Toke of the Town

Vying for White House, Hickenlooper Looks Back on Marijuana Policy

Using cannabis legalization as a platform to popularity is all the rage for this latest round of Democratic presidential candidates. Nearly every candidate in the blue party has endorsed some form of cannabis-policy reform, ranging from full-scale legalization at the federal level to letting states decide on their own.

Former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, who announced his run for the White House on March 4, arguably has more experience with the issue than any other candidate in this primary race: He presided over the state’s implementation of recreational cannabis from the vote for Amendment 64 in November 2012 through early 2019, when he was term-limited out of the governor’s slot. Under Hickenlooper, Colorado has earned more tax revenue from legal pot than any other state so far and boasts one of the most advanced medical marijuana programs in the nation.

However, Hickenlooper’s relationship with the legal cannabis community has been largely lukewarm, as he initially opposed Amendment 64. Although he’s come around on legalization since then, Hickenlooper vetoed three bills during his last year in office that would have allowed out-of-state investment in legal pot companies, added autism to the state’s list of medical marijuana conditions, and started a licensing program for cannabis sampling rooms inside dispensaries. As he campaigns for the presidential nomination, the cannabis community hasn’t forgotten.

Marijuana Deals Near You

But members of the cannabis community should also remember when Hickenlooper stood up for them, including his back-and-forth with U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, after Sessions expressed interest in taking another look at federal enforcement of state-legal cannabis industries. Or when he slapped back at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie over Christie’s dismissive remarks about Colorado’s quality of life after pot was legalized.

Careful to keep a cautious but willing approach toward the plant, Hickenlooper readily admits that the sky hasn’t fallen on Colorado since retail pot shops first opened in January 2014. He hopes that centered way of thinking can blaze a way to the White House in 2020. To learn more about his relationship with legal cannabis and how it’s affected his political career, Westword caught up with Hickenlooper just before the 4/20 holiday:

Westword: With a few months for reflection and spending time around the country, how would you grade yourself on your cannabis policy while governor?

John Hickenlooper: I don’t grade myself — don’t be silly. If I gave myself a B, I’d be attacked by people for not giving myself an A. If I gave myself an A, I’d be attacked by people who thought I was conceited. Being the first in anything is the most difficult; certainly something like this, no other city, state or community anywhere in the world had ever created a regulatory framework for. Even Amsterdam only decriminalized it. They never, never taxed it and regulated it.

Are there any cannabis issues or resolutions you’re proud of, or wish you could take another crack at?

To put in a framework that we were able to get off the ground — our voters voted in favor of this the same time as Washington did, yet we were able to get ours off the ground a year before — and we never pushed the system past capacity. We never blew the circuit breakers on the framework we created. We had sufficient inspectors, we had a system that was inspectable, and we had regulations that work.

Now I’m told that we have the lowest black market of any states that have legalized. I’m glad about that. We spent the largest amount of our tax revenue on youth prevention, and I think we’ve seen the results of that. Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen statistically significant decreases in teenage consumption. The black market is much smaller, and our legal market is big. That’s how you get rid of a black market.

That’s all good, but is it perfect? No. We still do have a black market. It’s smaller than most other states, but it’s still there. There were things we didn’t get right the first time. We didn’t anticipate how rapidly edibles would come into the market.

How do you think Colorado’s cannabis community views your term, and your implementation of legal cannabis?

I have no idea. It’s not something I’ve ever done a poll on — but as Abraham Lincoln said, “I do the very best I know how.”

The hemp and CBD industries have really exploded over the last several years, with Colorado at the center of it. Did you see this coming at such a grand scale?

We did see it coming, because when Don Brown came in as secretary of agriculture, it was way up on his priority. He thought this would be a very useful crop in parts of the state that didn’t have enough moisture. He was very optimistic. I was probably one of the more skeptical ones, but I couldn’t see a downside. Any time we can find a way to give farmers in Colorado an additional tool to bring money into their communities, to get revenue off their land, we try to support it — and Don Brown’s been a great supporter of the hemp industry. (Note: Brown left his post as secretary of agriculture in January.)

What challenges do you see Colorado facing with legal cannabis going forward?

To a certain extent, the largest challenges have passed. We really felt it was important that we do this without bending the rules for one side or the other. There were a lot of people in Colorado who wanted this experiment to fail, and a lot of people who wanted it to succeed. We were the first state to do this, and since states essentially are the laboratories of democracy, we wanted the laboratory to have the right equipment — and it could prove, once and for all, that this could be a better system than the old system.

Everybody quickly forgets that the old system sent millions of kids, most of them from low-income neighborhoods, to prison. That in and of itself was a pretty powerful reason to take on the experiment. But we also wanted to make sure that we could demonstrate that we weren’t seeing increasing hazards to the rest of society — that we weren’t seeing more people driving while high, that we weren’t seeing more teenagers frequently using high-THC marijuana — and I think most of that stuff, we’ve demonstrated.

I realize there’s been pushback from parts of the media and certain other cities, where they say this hasn’t gone so well and we have all these problems. But when I talk with people who aren’t in the business, who are observing — maybe they’re occasional users, maybe not — when I talk with those people, they seem pretty receptive to this change that’s probably here for good.

A lot of those issues — driving stoned, learning more about teenage use and so on — were hard to compare to pre-legalization times because of the lack of baseline data that sufficiently and contextually measured crimes specific to cannabis. You were vocal about the need for more baseline data before making conclusions. Do you think we’ve reached a point where that data is becoming available?

We’re definitely getting some data on those questions, but we could still do a better job. Especially traffic fatalities and the connections to marijuana. The tests they’re doing are still predominantly a urine-based measurement, which could mean somebody used marijuana thirty or twenty days before, but it had no effect on the accident. The blood test is much more expensive. We offered to have the state pay for it, but in this state, we can’t force local medical personnel on what tests they’re going to do.

Some Democratic candidates have been pretty vocal in their desire for federal legalization, but you’ve been more tempered and have said it should be more of a states issue. Can you expound on that?

I think the federal government should decriminalize it in any state that has chosen to legalize it. In those states where it’s been legalized, the federal government should allow banking, and I think the federal government should de-certify it as a Schedule I narcotic, so we can actually begin testing it. I think that tomorrow, the federal government should empower and budget the FDA to get going on longitudinal testing, so we can actually see what medical circumstances marijuana is most useful for and make sure there aren’t — and I don’t think there are — but make sure there aren’t harmful side effects with certain populations. I really don’t see why the federal government can’t do that right now.

But I do believe that we shouldn’t go into Maine or Alabama and tell them they’ve got to legalize something that the vast majority of their populations don’t want to legalize. I just don’t think that’s the way our federal system is meant to work.

When you didn’t make a pro-cannabis decision as governor or don’t make a glowing endorsement of it while on the campaign trail, cannabis advocates like to bring up your past in the craft-beer industry and criticize you for what they see as hypocritical treatment. What do you think of that reasoning?

I’m not in the beer business anymore. I sold my stake in Wynkoop back in 2007, so that’s nonsense. But I’ve never been somebody who leads the fight that alcohol is safer or better than marijuana. I’ve been immersed in this issue for a number of years, and I recognize that there were, to my knowledge, no medical fatalities caused by cannabis in the country last year, when there was something close to 40,000 fatalities last year as a consequence of alcohol. I’m not defending one or the other, but our country decided many generations ago that beer was a legal way for people to relax, enjoy their meals or watch a ball game. We legalized alcohol in 1933, before I was alive.

The country has been adamantly against marijuana for a long, long time. When I was kid, they had all kinds of ridiculous movies to make the connection that marijuana was no different than heroin. And I can say that up until I was fifteen, I didn’t know that there was a difference between marijuana and heroin. That was the kind of language we saw. Now we’re going through a process that’s trying to change federal law that’s been in place from the beginning, and if it were easy, someone else would’ve done it.

What I think is more likely is that because I had experience with a highly regulated product like alcohol, I was a fairer witness and a better person to have at the controls to make sure this experiment wasn’t slanted one way or the other. I think there’s a legitimate argument that having that discipline allowed a lot of people who were unconcerned, in the middle or weren’t invested in either side to look at legal marijuana more favorably, because the way we implemented it was rigorous. We demonstrated a new framework where teenagers wouldn’t get high more often. In fact, I think because of the way we implemented it, there are fewer teenagers getting high.

Do you think it’s fair to compare alcohol and cannabis?

You can compare anything. You can compare apples and oranges, but obviously they’re different. But now, [marijuana and alcohol] are both highly regulated products that a broad range of people consume that help them relax and enjoy their lives. So in that sense, they’re similar.

They’re both highly regulated, consumed by a broad cross-section of people, and in both cases we try to remain especially rigorous that kids don’t get into it. Sixteen- and eighteen-year-olds shouldn’t be drinking any more than they should be getting high on THC.

As cannabis becomes more mainstream, how big of a part do you think it’s playing in state and national elections?

You know how politics are nowadays: Everybody’s looking for an advantage any way they can. I’ve had no shortage of wise political advisers who have pushed me to get in front of this and say I want to legalize it for the entire country. “Say this, do that, and talk about this. Brag about that.”

You know, I take it more seriously than that. We had a difficult challenge that no other city or state had ever done. I think the fact that we were rigorous and disciplined in how we implemented a framework of something that clearly hadn’t been regulated, I think that’s had a lot to do with the success of the program.


Toke of the Town

U.S. Rep. John Dingell, Health Policy Titan, Dies

By Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News

Feb. 8, 2019 — Former Rep. John Dingell, the Michigan Democrat who holds the record as the longest-serving member of the U.S. House, died Thursday night in Michigan. He was 92.

And while his name was not familiar to many, his impact on the nation, and on health care in particular, was immense.

For more than 16 years Dingell led the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, which is responsible for overseeing the Medicare and Medicaid programs, the U.S. Public Health Service, the Food and Drug Administration and the National Institutes of Health.

As a young legislator, he presided over the House during the vote to approve Medicare in 1965. As a tribute to his father, who served before him and who introduced the first congressional legislation to establish national health insurance during the New Deal, Dingell introduced his own national health insurance bill at the start of every Congress.

And when the House passed what would become the Affordable Care Act in 2009, leaders named the legislation after him. Dingell sat by the side of President Barack Obama when he signed the bill into law in 2010.

Dingell was “a beloved pillar of the Congress and one of the greatest legislators in American history,” said a statement from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. “Yet, among the vast array of historic legislative achievements, few hold greater meaning than his tireless commitment to the health of the American people.”

He was not always nice. He had a quick temper and a ferocious demeanor when he was displeased, which was often. Witnesses who testified before him could feel his wrath, as could Republican opponents and even other committee Democrats. And he was fiercely protective of his committee’s territory.

In 1993, during the effort by President Bill Clinton to pass major health reform, as the heads of the three main committees that oversee health issues argued over which would lead the effort, Dingell famously proclaimed of his panel, “We have health.”

Dingell and his health subcommittee chairman, California Democrat Henry Waxman, fought endlessly over energy and environmental issues. The Los Angeles-based Waxman was one of the House’s most active environmentalists. Dingell represented the powerful auto industry in southeastern Michigan and opposed many efforts to require safety equipment and fuel and emission standards.

Continued

In 2008, Waxman ousted Dingell from the chairmanship of the full committee.

But the two were of the same mind on most health issues, and together during the 1980s and early 1990s they expanded the Medicaid program, reshaped Medicare and modernized the FDA, NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“It was always a relief for me to know that when he and I met with the Senate in conference, we were talking from the same page, believed in the same things, and we were going to fight together,” Waxman said in 2009.

Dingell was succeeded in his seat by his wife, Rep. Debbie Dingell, herself a former auto industry lobbyist.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation which is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

WebMD News from Kaiser Health News

©2013-2018 Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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Pagination

WebMD Health

Utah Lawmakers’ Special Session To Hash Out Marijuana Policy

Utah lawmakers will convene in a special session Dec. 3, 2018, to discuss a medical marijuana “compromise” bill after voters approved a separate measure that faced opposition from the Mormon church, Utah Medical Association and political insiders. Republican Gov. Gary Herbert made the announcement on Friday. Here’s the letter @GovHerbert sent to the #utleg calling […]
Marijuana

Connecticut’s race for governor may determine state’s future on marijuana policy

Democrat Ned Lamont strongly supports ending marijuana prohibition, while Republican Bob Stefanowski says the issue shouldn’t be a priority.

The Connecticut general election will take place next Tuesday, November 6. If you’re not sure how or where to vote, please visit the Secretary of State’s website for more information.

Voters who care about marijuana policy reform should know that there is a very clear contrast between the candidates for governor:

  • Democratic candidate Ned Lamont strongly supports legalization, regulation, and taxation of marijuana. “It’s an idea whose time has come, and I’m going to push it in the first year,” he said.
  • Republican candidate Bob Stefanowski does not currently support legalization. “Maybe at some point we should look at legalizing marijuana … but we’ve got so many fundamental problems in this state… Let’s fix the economy first,” he said.

Please share this information with your friends and family and remind them to vote on Tuesday, November 6!

The post Connecticut’s race for governor may determine state’s future on marijuana policy appeared first on MPP Blog.


MPP Blog

Early voting underway in Nevada; find out where candidates stand on cannabis policy

Voters have important choices for governor and U.S. Senate that will affect cannabis policy

Early voting has already begun in Nevada, and current Gov. Brian Sandoval is term-limited and will step down in early 2019. Nevadans now have a choice between two major party candidates who have experience with the state’s regulatory cannabis program.

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, helped implement regulations for cannabis businesses in the state’s most populous county and for the McCarran International Airport. He is particularly concerned with finding a solution to banking-related challenges. His consistent support for sensible rules and interest in seeking solutions earns Steve Sisolak an A grade from MPP.

His opponent is Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R), whose office had the duty to defend the legalization program from those who sought to delay implementation, and he objected to the federal government’s withdrawal of guidance on federal policy toward regulatory standards. However, he opposed Measure 2 from the outset and also opposed allowing out-of-state patients from getting access to medical cannabis while in Nevada. His mixed support earns Adam Laxalt a C from MPP.

Turning to the U.S. Senate race, as a Congressman, Dean Heller (R) voted against prohibiting federal intervention in medical marijuana laws back in 2007. But more recently, he cosponsored a banking and a medical cannabis-related bill, the CARERS Act. Sen. Heller gets a B. In contrast, challenger Jacky Rosen (D) cosponsors numerous favorable bills, including the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act, earning Rep. Rosen an A.

Information on the election, including sample ballots, is available here. To verify you are registered to vote and to find your polling place, click here. Early voting locations are here.

This is an important election for Nevadans so please make sure you get out and vote! Early voting lasts until Friday, November 2 and Election Day is Tuesday, November 6.

The post Early voting underway in Nevada; find out where candidates stand on cannabis policy appeared first on MPP Blog.


MPP Blog

Texas: Marijuana policy voter guide released, early voting begins October 22

Our allies at Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy released a voter guide for the upcoming election. Early voting starts today, so please check it out, spread the word, and head to the polls!

Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy’s coalition partners surveyed state and federal candidates and provided their unedited responses. They also included voting records from the last two legislative sessions for state-level incumbents.

Find out where your candidates stand.

Early Voting: October 22 – November 2, 2018
Election Day: November 6, 2018

For more information on where, how, and when to vote, visit VoteTexas.Gov.

Unfortunately, Texas doesn’t allow voters to collect petitions to put initiatives on the ballot. Only state lawmakers can initiate changes to the state’s marijuana policies. Who gets elected in November will be key to deciding when and if Texas enacts a medical cannabis law and stops criminalizing cannabis consumers.

So, please get educated and get voting!

Many thanks to Heather Fazio of Texans for Responsible Marijuana Policy, Texas NORML, and everyone else who worked on the voter guide!

The post Texas: Marijuana policy voter guide released, early voting begins October 22 appeared first on MPP Blog.


MPP Blog

Read Before Boarding: LAX “Updates” Weed Policy

Given that a simple can of shaving cream can earn you a pat-down by handsy Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agents, it came as hugely welcome news that Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) travelers can carry marijuana throughout the 3,500-acre  facility — and even board flights with their stash. Word of the policy spread through social […]
Marijuana

Ask candidates for the Maryland Legislature to commit to supporting marijuana policy reform

The latest Goucher poll shows that 62% of Marylanders “support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.” Unfortunately, Maryland’s lawmakers have lagged behind the public on this issue — but this could change in November’s election. If you are a Maryland voter,  please let the candidates in your district know that this issue is important to you. (And don’t forget to check out the Maryland Cannabis Policy Coalition’s Voter Guide here.)

If you are interested in hearing more about MPP’s work — and meeting our new executive director, Steven Hawkins — please consider attending the Spark! Maryland networking event on October 4 at 6:30 p.m. at The Reserve at Two Rivers, 4105 Mountain Road, Pasadena, MD 21122. You can purchase tickets here.

Marylanders are ready to join the eight other states that have legalized and regulated marijuana for adults 21 and older. Click here to ask the people who want to represent you in the General Assembly if they’re ready too.

The post Ask candidates for the Maryland Legislature to commit to supporting marijuana policy reform appeared first on MPP Blog.


MPP Blog

Massachusetts Joint Committee on Marijuana Policy Plants Seeds for Legally Growing and Obtaining Weed

As Massachusetts lawmakers grapple with legalizing aspects of marijuana use and cultivation, they are addressing some vital issues. Growing cannabis requires the right environment to safely flourish. It can smell foul; it’s valuable, and it can occasionally attract some unsavory visitors. Home-grown cannabis may be the only legal choice for vast swaths of the population […]
Marijuana

Legal Weed: How Marijuana Policy Fared for June 4-8, 2018

Delaware and New Jersey lawmakers considered legislation to consider expungements of criminal record for certain cannabis-related convictions. Additionally, Delaware moved forward with proposed amendments to its list of qualifying medical conditions for medical marijuana patient eligibility. New Jersey’s A3620 would establish an expedited expungement process for certain marijuana or marijuana-related criminal offenses. The bill would […]
Marijuana

US Policy on Cannabis Tough on Public Companies, Opportunity for Canadian Ventures

Some credit for the “green rush” bringing Canadian companies into the US cannabis market is due to a snag that makes it difficult for American firms to go public and access waiting investment capital. US firms that deal in the cannabis market that wish to be publicly traded are highly scrutinized by the US Securities […]
Marijuana