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Medical Marijuana is Finally Legal in Ireland — and Insurance Covers It, Too:
This week, Irish Health Minister Simon Harris signed legislation beginning a five-year medical marijuana pilot program that will span the entire country. Once established, the program will import cannabis products from companies outside of Ireland, and empower local doctors and pharmacists to prescribe the plant for a select number of serious ailments.
“The purpose of this program is to facilitate compassionate access to cannabis for medical reasons, where conventional treatment has failed,” Harris said during a press conference announcing the medical marijuana legalization law, The Journal reported Wednesday.
Despite the groundbreaking step in cannabis reform for Ireland, Harris also made it abundantly clear that the medical program was not a skipping stone to full-scale recreational legalization.
“It is important to state that there are no plans to legalise cannabis in this country,” Harris told reporters.
Ireland’s medical marijuana pilot program will run unimpeded by the health minister for the next five years, and will be reassessed in 2024.
Nevada Bans Employment Discrimination Against Cannabis Consumers:
On Wednesday, Gov. Steve Sisolak signed AB 132, which bars (most) employers from denying jobs to cannabis consumers after drug pre-screenings. Safety-sensitive positions — like cops, fire fighters, doctors, and construction workers — weren’t included in the bill.
Barring discrimination didn’t stop at the workplace, either. AB 140set new rules for child custody cases and adoption applications where state agencies cannot deny applicants because they are medical marijuana patients. Previously, state agencies could cite a parent’s medical marijuana use as evidence that she or he is unfit to care for a child.
Other pro-cannabis bills recently signed by the governor included one to restore voting rights to convicted felons, another to expunge criminal records for low-level pot offenses, and another to create an experimental banking system for Nevada’s cannabis industry.
Illinois Officially Becomes the 11th State to Legalize
Last year, JB Pritzker ran for the Illinois governor’s office on a promise to legalize weed. On Tuesday, June 25, he made that promise a reality by signing HB 1438 into law.
Illinois is now the 11th state to legalize cultivation, sales, and possession of recreational, or adult-use, cannabis. But it’s the first state to do so through its legislature rather than ballot question left to the voters.
While it’s going to take time to implement the bill’s social justice provisions, launching legal weed sales is on a tight deadline. By law, the program must be up and running by January 2020. The legislature officially approved legalization on May 31, and although the governor said then that he’d sign the bill as soon as he possibly could, it took nearly a month for HB 1438 to receive his signature.
Why did the signing take so long? According to Rep. Cassidy, the governor joked that he wanted to hold off on signing it until “Snoop comes to the State Fair.”
Uncle Snoop is set to perform in Illinois in August, so it’s probably best that Pritzker didn’t wait.
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