Data from recent polling conducted by George Washington University shows that a majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana. Specifically, 73% of those polled favor medical marijuana legalization and 53% favor decriminalization. The poll did not ask the respondents about legalization of recreational cannabis, which is unfortunate as that would have made for another interesting data point.
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Weed 2: Cannabis Madness: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports, an hour-long special on CNN last week did a fine job at showing us the human side of marijuana. Weed 2 does a great job showing how people/families are benefitting from cannabis. It also did a nice job discussing the science behind medical marijuana and the

In my home state of Iowa, voices of medical cannabis advocates have grown in recent months from mere whispers to outspoken support. In December, the Quad City Times ran a piece on the Faces of Medical Marijuana on Iowa, which received a lot of interest. A bill introduced in the Iowa Senate was killed the same day it was introduced back in February, but efforts have continued this week to educate lawmakers and to create awareness about the benefits of MMJ for the seriously ill. On Wednesday, the Iowa Senate’s Commerce and Ways and Means Committees heard from patients and their families (as well as from a neurosurgeon and a pharmacist), on the ways in which MMJ can give them a better life. Still, there is little promise that anything will come of these hearings in the current legislative session, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports. Instead, the legislature is occupying itself with legislation on fireworks and ATVs. Way to go, guys.
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As long as marijuana remains illegal under the Controlled Substances Act, there will be those uncomfortable with marijuana businesses, no matter how professional or (state) law-abiding they may be. This stigma is unfortunate, since it may be deterring serious, experienced entrepreneurs from getting into the game. This may be particularly true downstate, which has a deserved reputation for its conservatism.
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A recent Boston Globe article raises interesting questions about how medical cannabis licensing could shake out here in Illinois. Three weeks ago the Massachusetts Department of Public Health issued 20 of the 35 allotted licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries in that state. Now, according to Adrian Walker of the Globe, doubts are emerging about

Legalized cannabis has so far been confined only to certain states and cannabis remains illegal under federal law. If you have a marijuana business in a state where marijuana is legal, you need to draft your contracts so as to account for this state/federal dichotomy because if you don’t, you may find yourself unable to enforce your contract.
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Nothing much really new in this Fox News article, Colorado’s pot tax revenues could go up in smoke, says lawmaker, but it does a really nice job in laying out the banking issues legal cannabis businesses are facing. The article explains why the lack of banking for marijuana businesses is causing problems for both the businesses themselves and the states that would like to collect taxes on marijuana revenues. It also provides a concise update on where the federal government (as relayed by Eric Holder) stands on all this.
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We have seen this before and we fully expect to see it again. And again.

First a state legalizes medical cannabis, then as the realities of that start to sink in, there is a push for legalization of recreational cannabis as well, usually with an emphasis on the benefits of capturing tax dollars. The shift from medical cannabis to recreational marijuana used to be counted in more like half-decades, but with the acceleration of legalization nationwide, we anticipate these timelines accelerating.
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