Saturday, August 2, 2014

Summer UPDATE from Columbia NORML



Summer & Recess 

As August gets underway, our federal legislators begin their 5-week vacation, and the midterm election countdown- 100 days away- starts, our transition back into activity begins. Since the end of the legislative session, we advocates have continued to make landmark strides and shift the mainstream debate into a more reasonable conversation. And, of course, the issue remained a hot news item:

- Two weeks after Governor Haley signed both the industrial hemp and CBD oil bills into law, GW Pharmaceuticals released preliminary efficacy and safety data of their proprietary CBD oil, Epidilex.

- The U.S. House attempted to stop Washington, D.C.'s move to decriminalize marijuana possession. The effort failed, and the police will now impose a $25 fine for possession of up to an ounce.

- In early July, Kentucky's first legal hemp grow in more than 50 years was looking real good.

- NORML launched the NORML Business Network, a kind of Better Business Bureau for the legal cannabis industry.

- The U.S. House actually addressed the issue of banking! That was a shocker.

- South Carolinians proved a readiness for legalization of medical marijuana!

These are just a few of the many stories and continuing efforts we now have an opportunity to build upon, especially after this coming election and into the next legislative session: Representative Todd Rutherford has already stated his intention to again file the "Put Patients First Act"; our new CBD oil law has a provision that creates a study committee to develop a plan for the use and sale of medical marijuana. We need to advocate for the formation of this committee because it has until March 15, 2015 to submit its findings and recommendations to the South Carolina House and Senate. And, we must remember that there are still several bills at the federal level that deserve a vote. It's a good thing our Congressmen are back home for their 5-week recess. Find out where your U.S. Representative will be speaking, and give them a reminder. They, like us, still have things to accomplish.

Enjoy your remaining summer,
 
Wayne Borders
Acting Executive Director & President

 
Dates to Remember
 
Chapter Meeting, Sunday, August 10, 3 P.M.: We meet at 2025 Marion Street, in the historic home of Modjeska Simkins. Our meetings are open to the public, and agendas will be available online and to those in attendance.

Adopt-A-Highway Pick-up, Saturday, August 16, 10 A.M.- 12 P.M.: We will meet at the Busted Plug statue, the giant fire hydrant by Palmetto Baptist. Our route is the length of Taylor between Bull and Huger. After our clean up, for those who feel up to it, we can go to Soda City Farmers' Market on Main.

Mid-term Election, Tuesday, November 4, 7 A.M.- 7 P.M.: VOTE! To update your voter registration and find your polling site, visit http://www.scvotes.org. Also, if you or someone you know has finished or will finish serving parole or probation before the election, they can re-register to vote. Contact your County Election Commission for details. The deadline for voter registration is October 4.