#1 NORML Sues to Halt Government’s Prosecution of Medical Cannabis Providers
In October, the United States Deputy Attorney General, along with the four US Attorneys from California, announced their to escalate federal efforts targeting the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries and providers. In response, members of the in November against the federal government arguing that its actions were in violation of the Ninth, Tenth, and Fourteenth Amendments of the US Constitution. Plaintiffs further argued, using the theory of judicial estoppel, that the Justice Department had previously affirmed in federal court that it would no longer use federal resources to prosecute cannabis patients or providers who are compliant with state law. NORML’s lawsuit remains pending. Read the full story .
#2 Members of Congress Introduce First Bill Since 1937 to Legalize Cannabis
House lawmakers legislation in Congress in June to end the federal criminalization of the personal use of – prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess cannabis by removing the plant and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the United States Controlled Substances Act of 1970. The bill awaits Congressional action. Read the full story .
#3 Gallup: Majority of Americans Support Legalizing Cannabis
A record 50 percent of Americans now believe that marijuana ought to be legalized for adult use, according to a of 1,005 adults published in October. The 2011 survey results mark the first time ever that Gallup has reported that more Americans support legalizing cannabis (50 percent) than oppose it (46 percent). Read the full story .
#4 Over One Million Americans Now Use Cannabis Legally Under State Law
Between one million to one-and-a-half million US citizens are legally authorized by the laws of their state to use marijuana, according to data compiled in May by NORML from state medical marijuana registries and patient estimates. Read the full story .
#5 Marijuana Prosecutions For 2010 Near Record High
Police made 853,838 arrests in 2010 for marijuana-related offenses according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s annual Uniform Crime Report, released in September. The annual arrest total is among the highest ever reported by the agency. Marijuana arrests now comprise more than one-half (52 percent) of all drug arrests in the United States. Read the full story .
#6 Largest State Doctors Association Calls For Legalizing Cannabis
The California Medical Association in October the “legalization and regulation” of cannabis for adults. The association, which represents some 35,000 physicians, that cannabis be taxed and regulated “in a manner similar to alcohol.” Read the full story .
#7 Connecticut Decriminalizes Cannabis Possession Offenses
Statewide took effect in July reducing the penalties for the adult possession of up to one-half ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by one year in jail and a $ 1,000 fine) to a non-criminal infraction, punishable by a $ 150 fine, no arrest or jail time, and no criminal record. Read the full story .
#8 Vaporized Cannabis Augments Analgesic Effect of Opiates in Humans
Vaporized cannabis significantly augments the analgesic effects of opiates in patients with chronic pain, according to clinical trial published online in the journal Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics in November. Investigators surmised that cannabis-specific interventions “may allow for opioid treatment at lower doses with fewer [patient] side effects.” Read the full story .
#9 State Governors Call on Obama Administration to Reclassify Cannabis
In December, governors from Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington the Obama administration to reclassify cannabis under federal law in a manner that would allow states to regulate its therapeutic use without federal interference. The administration in July had previously a nine-year-old calling on the agency to initiate hearings to reassess the present classification of marijuana as a controlled substance without any ‘accepted medical use in treatment.’ Read the full story .
#10 Delaware Becomes 16th State to Legalize Limited Medical Use of Marijuana
State lawmakers in May approved to allow patients with a qualifying illness may legally possess up to six ounces of cannabis, provided the cannabis is obtained from a state-licensed, not-for-profit ‘compassion center.’ The law is anticipated to be implemented in 2012. Read the full story .