By Mercedys M.

 

August 1: Uruguay may become the first country to legalize and regulate the production, sale, and consumption of Cannabis. A bill has already been passed by Uruguay’s Chamber of Deputies, and must next go through the Senate. The bill then must also be approved by President Jose Mujica, who introduced the bill in the first place and is likely to approve it.

 

August 1: Governor Pat Quinn signed a bill to make Illinois the 20th state to legalize medical Cannabis. The law will implement a four-year pilot program beginning on January 1, 2014 and will allow people with serious diseases to buy up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana at a time, after obtaining an ID card.

 

August 8: Prominent CNN-affiliated doctor, Sanjay Gupta apologized for misleading his viewers about the dangers of Cannabis. He stated that he: “mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof.” He pointed out that overdosing is a very real threat when it comes to prescription medication, but he did not encounter even one case of Cannabis overdose. Additionally, he overviewed the relatively low risk of a Cannabis consumer developing a dependency, outlined the proven medical potential, and called for the government to finally address the mislabeling which led to our current fiasco. The full text of his statement can be read here: http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/08/health/gupta-changed-mind-marijuana

 

August 14: Oregon became the 13th state to legalize dispensaries when Governor John Kitzhaber finally signed the twice-rejected bill. The bill directs the Oregon Health Authority to create a registry of all dispensaries and to regulate and inspect them. In order to register, a dispensary must pay a $4,000 annual fee.

 

August 16: Governor Chris Christie revealed he would agree to sign a bill that would relax medical Cannabis laws in the State of New Jersey, if a few changes were made. As it now stands, the bill would add edible Cannabis to the options for medical patients and remove the limit on the number of strains a dispensary can offer. However, the bill also contains a provision that would allow children access to medical marijuana with a doctor’s approval. In order to get a medical marijuana prescription for a child under the current law, both a pediatrician and a psychiatrist must approve. To the frustration of many concerned parents, Christie wants to eliminate that provision.

 

August 20: Hearings were held at the end of August to outline licensing specifics for both recreational and medical marijuana sellers in Colorado. Final regulations will not be set until mid-October, but the proposed application fees for recreational businesses would be $5,000 in addition to licensing fees ranging from $2,750 to $14,000. Operations that opt to sell both recreational and medical marijuana will be charged double. Officials justify the high prices with the projected costs for seed-to-sale tracking and extensive screening processes.

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