SAN DIEGO, Oct. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Medical Marijuana, Inc. (OTC: MJNA), a leading hemp industry innovator, applauds the pioneering work that could change decriminalization and implementation of Medical Marijuana and Hemp laws in this country for the first in nearly 20 years.
The past 10 months have proven to be some of the strongest to date for the legalization, decriminalization and implementation of marijuana laws in the United States, along with a few other countries throughout the world. This momentum appears to be shifting in favor of pro-medical marijuana, as the most recent Gallup polls on the issue show that approximately 50% of Americans believe that marijuana should be legalized nationwide for recreational uses, along with an astounding 74% of Americans in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. With less than three weeks until Election Day, the medical marijuana debate has become even more of a hot topic, igniting talk of significant job creation, medicinal relief and millions of dollars in tax revenues for struggling state economies. Apart from the increased support for the end of marijuana prohibition, the industrial hemp movement has picked up significantly in the United States as well.
On October 16, something truly groundbreaking occurred in this country: medical marijuana patients and advocates convened in the Washington D.C. Circuit Court to present scientific evidence and question the federal government's classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 dangerous drug with no medical value. According to the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, marijuana has been categorized as "a high potential for abuse", "no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States", and no "accepted level of safety for use under medical supervision." Other drugs classified under Schedule I listing include heroin, PCP, LSD, and MDMA (ecstasy), while cocaine, opium and injected methamphetamine are listed as a Schedule II, which indicates medically beneficial but only under strict regulations.
The patient-based advocacy group out of California, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), led the movement to reverse the classification. For a full recap of the October 16 hearing, visit http://safeaccessnow.org/blog/blog/2012/10/16/appeals-court-hears-case-on-medical-value-of-marijuana/#more-3243.
"It's never obvious how a court will rule, but we believe we have satisfied the requirements for standing to bring such a lawsuit. By pointing to the plight of U.S. Air Force veteran Michael Krawitz, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) was able to show real harm by being denied treatment as a result of his status as a medical marijuana patient. This was one of many harms illustrated by ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who argued before the court in order to establish standing," stated Kris Hermes, representative for Americans for Safe Access (ASA). "Whether and how the court will decide on the merits is also unknown, but we believe we have science on our side. The court could either order the DEA to reschedule marijuana per the ASA lawsuit or call for a hearing on the scientific evidence in order to make a more thorough determination. Both of these outcomes would be beneficial for patients across the country. Yet, a ruling in the case Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration is not expected any time soon. The court will likely take weeks or months to render a decision, but we await it with hope and conviction."
Currently, there are 17 states as well as Washington, D.C. that have legal medical marijuana laws set in place. Another 16 states will have pending legislation on medical marijuana in 2012. From California passing Prop 215 in 1996 to Connecticut passing its Senate Bill just last week allowing medical marijuana, there has been tremendous headway in the implementation of these laws within each state. Patients with debilitating illnesses are receiving legal protection and many doctors have taken an outspoken stance on recommending medical marijuana as a vital treatment option.
Washington, Colorado and Oregon are spearheading the marijuana legalization front within the U.S., as all three states currently have initiatives that would help see legalization laws implemented by November's elections. In Colorado, Amendment 64 would legalize the use and possession of up to an ounce of marijuana for people over the age of 21 and it will be taxed similarly to tobacco and alcohol. Amendment 64 has gained continued support as 48% of the likely voters support the measure, while 43% oppose it.
In Washington, Initiative 502 would allow the state to regulate marijuana sales. This initiative will begin with the state lawmakers, but if legislators fail to endorse the measure its fate will lie in the hands of voters this November. The measure would remove criminal and civil penalties regarding the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults age 21 or over. It would not affect the already existing state prohibitions regarding the private cultivation of cannabis for non-medical patients. Similar to Colorado, Washington is hoping to enact statewide regulations allowing for the commercial production and sale of marijuana to adults in state licensed stores. This measure does not revise any existing regulations regarding the possession or cultivation of marijuana by qualified patients, who are already permitted under state law to grow up to 15 plants and possess up to 24 ounces of cannabis.
Finally, Measure 80 in Oregon would equally regulate cannabis like Washington and Colorado, while also placing an important emphasis on industrial hemp. Oregon is hoping to regulate both cannabis and industrial hemp, which it is predicting will generate nearly $140 million in tax revenue. Hemp, made from the seeds and stems of the cannabis plant, can be used for food products, clothing, fuel, paper and more. Measure 80 will create thousands of jobs within a severely suffering economy that continues to look for restoration.
It is important to note that although the October 16 reclassification hearing was monumental for all industrial hemp and medical marijuana advocates, the outcome in this ruling will not impact the future corporate strategy of Medical Marijuana, Inc. As a company, Medical Marijuana, Inc. focuses on hemp oil, derived from seed and stalk, with a strong concentration on the cannabinoid, CBD (cannabidiol). As Tuesday's hearing brought the empirical medical evidence about marijuana to light in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, its definitive decision will not change the frame of mind that 17 states, along with Washington D.C., have already determined. That is, medicinal marijuana is medically valuable and the D.E.A. must catch up with the future of alternative medication. In the next three weeks, the states of Washington, Colorado and Oregon may cross another federal barrier that no state has crossed before, by possibly approving the vote for legalized marijuana on a state-wide level.
About Medical Marijuana,Inc.
Our mission is to be the premier hemp industry innovators, leveraging our team of professionals to source, evaluate and purchase value-added companies and products, while allowing them to keep their integrity and entrepreneurial spirit. We strive to create awareness within our industry, develop environmentally friendly, economically sustainable businesses, while increasing shareholder value.
Medical Marijuana Inc. does not grow, sell or distribute any substances that violate United States Law or the controlled substance act.
For more information, please visit the company's website at: www.MedicalMarijuanaInc.com
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SOURCE Medical Marijuana, Inc.