Tomorrow Activists Smoke Out White House

Top Story – Activists Smoke Out White House

Smoke Out White House (Copyright: izanbar / 123RF Stock Photo)

WASHINGTON, DC (CRN) – DCMJ, a pro-marijuana legalization group led by longtime activist Adam Eidinger, will bring a 51-foot replica joint to the White House for a protest tomorrow afternoon. The group is encouraging a smoke out– a civil disobedience gathering where protesters will smoke, vaporize, and otherwise consume cannabis. While Washington DC legalized personal possession and cultivation of cannabis in 2014, public consumption is still forbidden. Additionally, the protest takes place in an area governed by federal law, which still maintains strict pot prohibition. “We’re tired of being ignored,” Eidinger told Washington City Paper. DCMJ’s website asks “[President Obama] smoked cannabis and became the president of the United States, and while he might think cannabis is a bad habit, does he seriously think it’s on par with heroin, nicotine, or alcohol?”

AUGUSTA, Maine (CRN) – An attempt to establish an unscientific 5 nanogram per milliliter THC impaired driving limit has stalled in Maine. The Maine House unanimously voted to defeat a bill passed by the Senate to establish the so-called “stoned driving limit” mirroring a similar law in Washington State. The co-chairwoman of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee confirms that disagreement between the Senate and House effectively dooms this bill for at least this year. Seventeen states have laws setting limits on THC in the bloodstream while driving at between 1 and 5 nanograms per milliliter or at zero tolerance where any amount confirms impairment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has said that it is “inadvisable to try and predict effects based on blood THC concentrations alone.”

DENVER, Colorado (CRN) – Legislators and citizens alike are attempting to place potency limits on marijuana products for adult consumers in Colorado. Rep. Kathleen Conti is the sponsor of an amendment in House Bill 1261 that would establish a 15 percent THC potency limit on marijuana flowers and edible products. Noting that “all the studies that have been done on THC levels have been done on THC levels between 2 and 8 percent,” Rep. Conti’s bill would also mandate a warning label explaining that “the health impacts of marijuana with a THC potency of above 10 percent are unknown” on all marijuana products. Meanwhile, two citizens named Ali Pruitt and Ron Castanga are proposing a ballot initiative to set a 16 percent limit on marijuana products with a warning label about marijuana risks such as “birth defects and reduced brain development” to long-term addiction.

KNOX COUNTY, Tennessee (CRN) – Residents of Knox County, Tennessee, may get the chance to vote on the issue of marijuana legalization this November. Steven Cooper is the man behind two initiative questions that were approved for petitioning in this county of over 400,000 people centered on Knoxville, the state’s third-largest city. The separate petitions ask residents to approve of the recreational use of marijuana and the medical use of marijuana. Each petition will need over 16,000 signatures to make the fall ballot. Even if passed, Tennessee state marijuana prohibition would render the measures ineffective.

MONTPELIER, Vermont (AP) — Vermonters for and against legalizing marijuana in Vermont are lining up at the Statehouse to testify on whether the state should take that step. The House Judiciary and Government Operations committees are taking testimony on a Senate-passed bill to legalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for people 21 and older. The House chamber is expected to be filled to capacity, and overflow areas have been set up with video hookups to the hearing in the Statehouse cafeteria and a first-floor hearing room. House Judiciary Committee Chairwoman Maxine Grad — a Moretown Democrat — says her panel hopes to finish its work on the bill next week. She says it’s unclear whether the panel will vote to support the measure.

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio House panel contemplating ways to legalize medical marijuana is wrapping up its business with a marathon session. Republican Rep. Kirk Schuring, of Canton, chairs the task force. He said 40 witnesses were scheduled Thursday and testimony was expected to last into the evening. The group was created after Ohio voters overwhelmingly defeated a sweeping ballot measure last fall that would’ve legalized cannabis for personal and medical use. Surveys at the time made clear most Ohioans favor medical marijuana. Schuring says he’ll meet with House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger next week, and a proposed bill could come soon. Separately Thursday, the Ohio Ballot Board cleared a medical-marijuana constitutional amendment as a single issue. Supporters now can begin gathering the roughly 306,000 needed signatures to get the proposal on 2016 ballots.