Weekly Wrapup: High-Profile Support for Cannabis Legalization + MMJ Back on Track in Rhode Island
Televangelist Pat Robertson created some of the biggest news in the cannabis community last week – or at least the most interesting, judging from the huge number of stories, tweets and Facebook comments.
In an interview with the New York Times, the controversial conservative Christian broadcaster made his strongest statement yet on cannabis, saying that he thinks it should be legalized in light of the failed war on drugs.
Imagine that: Someone on the far right of the political spectrum in a position of influence – and a hard-core religious figure, to boot – actually siding with the stoners on the legalization issue.
As we said in our story on Robertson’s comments, the support comes from an unlikely corner, and it will surely bolster legalization efforts in Colorado, Washington and other states. Many Americans take everything he says on any issue as gospel, and Robertson followers who would have voted against legalization might now reconsider.
More importantly, however, Robertson’s comments create another chink in the anti-MMJ crowd’s armor.
Anything that changes perceptions about marijuana for the better provides an even bigger benefit to medical cannabis.
If someone like Robertson is calling for the legalization of marijuana, approving the use of medical cannabis should be a
no-brainer, the thinking goes.
At this point in the game, it’s all about perceptions. If the medical marijuana industry is to survive, perceptions of it will have to change. Having more prominent figures – be they religious leaders, politicians or both – support marijuana legalization in general is a step in that direction.
The other interesting MMJ story last week involved Rhode Island, which isn’t the first place you look for interesting stories.
None-the-less, we saw the governor stand up for the MMJ community by hammering out an agreement that will allow the state to start its medical cannabis program.
The governor should be congratulated and embraced by the medical marijuana industry.
Yes, he did initially halt the program amid threats from the federal government. But unlike other state leaders (most
notably Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer), Rhode Island’s governor actually worked toward a compromise rather than
attempt to stamp out the law.
Other top stories in MMJ Business Daily last week:
Conference on cannabis therapeutics benefits MMJ professionals
Former business partners settle feud
Colorado pushes back decision on ‘preferred vendor’ proposal
10 legal, business and regulatory predictions for 2012
New York cannabis entrepreneurs at long last have final regulations to scour. But they may [click to continue...]
Black farmers in Florida say wording in the state’s MMJ law excludes them from participating [click to continue...]
As marijuana use broadens across the age and culture spectrum, the products that will get [click to continue...]
A Kansas-based company will build an online portal allowing cannabis business owners to apply for [click to continue...]
Edibles and oils won’t be banned in Alaska when the state’s rec market opens. On [click to continue...]
The Oregon Liquor Control Commission (OLCC) says Tom Burns, the former head of marijuana programs [click to continue...]
Tommy Chong is expanding his marijuana empire. According to a press release, Bud Genius will [click to continue...]
Want to meet someone with whom you can share your life, and your marijuana? There’s [click to continue...]
A New York Assemblyman who was among the sponsors of the MMJ legalization law says [click to continue...]
A study released last week backs up what many in the marijuana industry view as [click to continue...]
Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman filed a formal response with the U.S. Supreme Court on [click to continue...]
Dispensary owners could find their own piece of paradise earlier than previously expected after a [click to continue...]
Tom Burns, director of marijuana programs in Oregon, was removed from his post Thursday. According [click to continue...]
Under a new bill in the Colorado Legislature, the state would create established testing standards [click to continue...]