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Headlines: Will Trump Sign the Right to Try Act?

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Headlines: Will Trump Sign the Right to Try Act?

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(MM) Seriously ill patients would finally be allowed to use marijuana — and potentially MDMA and psilocybin — without violating federal law under a congressionally approved bill now heading to President Trump’s desk. The bill, known as the “Right to Try Act,” would give certain patients access to drugs that have not yet received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval for broad use. In order to qualify under the new program, a drug must have completed a phase 1 clinical trial, be under active development, and meet certain other criteria. Marijuana, MDMA, commonly known as “ecstasy,” and psilocybin, the active ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, all meet those criteria. To qualify for use under the law, a patient must have been diagnosed with a life-threatening disease or condition, have exhausted approved treatment options, and be unable to participate in the clinical trials themselves.

(AP) The Arizona Supreme Court is scheduled to rule Wednesday on the legality of medical marijuana on higher education campuses. The decision scheduled for release Wednesday follows one in which a lower court ruled that colleges and universities can prohibit medical marijuana on campuses, but the state Legislature can’t make it a crime. Arizona’s 2010 voter-approved medical marijuana law allowed cardholders to possess small amounts of marijuana, but it prohibited possession in prisons, schools and on school buses. The Court of Appeals overturned the Legislature’s 2012 addition of college and university campuses to the off-limits list. The Court of Appeals said the 2012 law violated state constitutional protections for voter-approved laws. However, the ruling also said colleges and universities can use their own rules to forbid possession of medical marijuana.

Matt Flynn, the Democratic candidate for governor in Wisconsin, told the MKE Press Club about his support for marijuana law reform. [FLYNN CLIP: “I’ve advocated the full legalization of marijuana, tax and regulate it for people over 21.”] Flynn, a Navy veteran and former chair of the state Democratic Party, indicated that he’d offer relief to people saddled with past marijuana convictions. [FLYNN CLIP: “Anybody who puts in for a pardon for non-violent possession of marijuana is going to be pardoned and released.”] Flynn offered his estimate on legalization’s financial impact to the Badger State. [FLYNN CLIP: “We expect that the revenue from legalizing marijuana, if it’s similar to Colorado, will be over $200 million a year.”] Flynn also spoke to the broader issue of mass incarceration and so-called tough-on-crime judges. [FLYNN CLIP: “I’m going to put out a message to the judges of the state. If you convict them of marijuana possession at 10 in the morning, I’ll pardon and free them at 2 in the afternoon.”]

(AP) Federal prosecutors say an Oregon couple featured on the television show “Weed Country” has been indicted on marijuana-related charges in Tennessee. The U.S. attorney’s office in Jackson says Michael and Tawni Boutin, of Medford, Oregon, face charges including manufacturing and possessing marijuana with the intent to distribute. Narcotics agents said they found 20 pounds of marijuana and 3 pounds of hash oil in a house and the Boutins’ tour bus in Jackson. Agents also seized 11 firearms from the house. A federal complaint says the house belonged to William Cisco, who has been indicted on marijuana and weapons charges. The Boutins appeared on the Discovery Channel’s “Weed Country,” which is about the marijuana trade in California and Oregon. Court records don’t show if Cisco or the Boutins have lawyers.

(AP) Supporters and opponents of medical marijuana in Utah are preparing to square off in court over a proposed ballot initiative, opening a new front for what has been a contentious public battle. The Utah Patients Coalition, which drove medical marijuana initiatives, filed a challenge Monday seeking to intervene in a lawsuit brought by opponents citing federal drug law. In court papers, supporters said they had spent significant amounts of time and money to place the ballot before voters in November and should be able to defend it from legal attacks. The case was brought Thursday by Drug Safe Utah. The group asked for an emergency court order blocking the question from reaching the ballot. They allege that the prospect of Utah legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes would be illegal since the drug remains outlawed at the federal level.

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