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Marijuana Arrests Fall To Lowest Level Since 1996 Posted by on September 26, 2016 at 14:49:16 PT By Fenit Nirappil Source: Washington Post USA -- Arrests for simple marijuana possession in the United States fell to nearly a two-decade low last year, according to new statistics released Monday by the FBI.

The number of arrests for marijuana possession in 2015 -- 574,641 -- is the lowest number since 1996. It represents a 7 percent year-over-year drop, and roughly a 25 percent drop from the peak of close to 800,000 marijuana possession arrests in 2007. Read More... Ask the Candidates Are Ready to Legalize Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on September 24, 2016 at 07:45:10 PT By John Nichols Source: Nation Arizona -- Presidential debates, as organized by the lamentable Commission on Presidential Debates, are deliberately boring. Most of the questions asked of the candidates are little more than invitations to repeat their most shopworn talking points. And, worse yet, there has been a recent trend toward asking candidates to critique their opponents — literally asking for more of the talking-head punditry that extinguishes whatever enthusiasm might be generated by a clash of ideas.

What to do? Why not ask Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump some pointed questions about legalizing marijuana? Read More... Seniors Told MMJ Isn't Just Smoking a Joint Posted by CN Staff on September 21, 2016 at 17:14:50 PT By Linda Girardi, Aurora Beacon-News Source: Chicago Tribune Chicago -- Seniors filled the Oswego Senior Center community room Tuesday to learn more about medical marijuana, a treatment option defenders say often gets a bad rap.

"There are a lot of options for treatment - it isn't just smoking a joint," said Cat Stewart from Chicago-based Cresco Labs, a medical marijuana cultivator and processor. "A lot of people are used to taking a pill. We can extract the ingredients from the plant and place them in capsules so the patient receives the correct dosage." Read More... Gov. McAuliffe with Willie Nelson and Marijuana Posted by on September 21, 2016 at 07:29:30 PT By Andrew Blake, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Virginia -- A snapshot showing Gov. Terry McAuliffe, Willie Nelson and a can of the legendary country singer’s own brand of marijuana caused the Virginia Democrat’s office on Monday to quell any concerns about what unfolded when the two got together Saturday during a music festival in Bristow.

In a photograph posted to Twitter on Saturday by the musician’s wife, Annie Wilson, the unlikely pair are seen smiling for the camera while sitting at either side of a table on the singer’s tour bus. A canister of Mr. Nelson’s own “Willie’s Reserve” weed is apparent in front of them along with assorted items including a coffee mug, a cowboy hat, a remote control and what appears to be a marijuana grinder. Read More... Losing Maryland MMJ Grower Applicant Sues State Posted by on September 20, 2016 at 09:48:26 PT By Fenit Nirappil Source: Washington Post Maryland -- A company that lost its bid to grow medical marijuana in Maryland has filed a lawsuit alleging that regulators illegally rejected its application in favor of lower-ranked businesses from underrepresented parts of the state.

It’s the first legal challenge to the medical cannabis program, which has been embroiled in various controversies and remains in the early stages of making the drug available to patients more than three years after lawmakers first legalized its medical use. Read More... Passage of a Prop 64 is Long Overdue Posted by on September 19, 2016 at 06:16:54 PT Editorial Source: American Spectator California -- There’s a reason marijuana laws don’t work: There is no compelling reason for them to work.

Marijuana is not a dangerous drug. Used in moderation, cannabis has few ill effects; used in excess, the intoxicant has fewer and less severe side effects than alcohol. It’s not in a class with opioids that can kill users. There has been no known lethal human overdose of marijuana. The California Medical Association supports state Proposition 64, which would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana for recreational adult use. There is no compelling public-safety interest in government’s ban on adult recreational use — not in a free country. Read More... Like Its Music, Nashville May Soften on Marijuana Posted by on September 18, 2016 at 18:31:24 PT By Richard Fausset Source: New York Times Nashville -- Willie Nelson’s famous habit of smoking marijuana is not seen as a badge of outlaw courage here anymore, so much as the frivolous foible of an eccentric uncle. A popular FM station disgorging the Boomer rock hits of yesteryear calls itself Hippie Radio 94.5; one of its sponsors is a smoke shop that incessantly hawks glass pipes and detox kits. Even mainstream country acts mention smoking marijuana now and again among the litany of acceptable American pastimes.

So perhaps it is not surprising as much as telling that this city, which residents often refer to as the Buckle of the Bible Belt, may be on the cusp of joining the long roster of American cities, including New York, that have decriminalized the stuff. Read More... Supporters of Marijuana Fill The Common Posted by on September 18, 2016 at 08:24:25 PT By Laura Crimaldi Source: Boston Globe Boston -- As Massachusetts voters prepare to decide in November whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use, thousands of people who support use of the drug filled Boston Common on Saturday for an annual gathering featuring music, food, and plenty of smoking.

Volunteers who support the ballot initiative fanned out across the park to register voters while others held signs promoting Yes on 4, the campaign promoting the measure. Read More... Marijuana May Alleviate America’s Opioid Crisis Posted by on September 17, 2016 at 14:42:46 PT By Chris D’Angelo, Associate Editor Source: Huffington Post USA -- In a study, researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health analyzed traffic fatality data from 1999-2013 for 18 U.S states. They found that most states that passed medical marijuana laws saw an overall reduction in fatal crashes involving drivers who tested positive for opioids.

“We would expect the adverse consequences of opioid use to decrease over time in states where medical marijuana use is legal, as individuals substitute marijuana for opioids in the treatment of severe or chronic pain,” lead author June H. Kim, a doctoral student at Mailman, said in a statement. Read More... LA Times Editorial: Yes on Proposition 64 Posted by on September 16, 2016 at 14:44:32 PT Los Angeles Times Editorial Source: Los Angeles Times California -- Six years ago California voters were asked to make recreational marijuana legal under state law and they declined to do so. But the close decision — 46% voted “yes” on Proposition 19 — suggested that the battle was not yet over. At that time, The Times opposed Proposition 19 not because legalization was necessarily a bad idea, but because it was a poorly drafted mess that would have created a regulatory nightmare.

In the years since, a lot has changed. Four states, starting with Colorado and Washington, have legalized adult recreational use, without major problems. Half of the states now allow medical marijuana. Canada is working on legislation to legalize adult use next year. And Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have suggested that, if elected, they wouldn’t use the federal prohibition against marijuana to undermine state legalization efforts. Read More... California Voters Support Initiative To Legalize Posted by on September 13, 2016 at 06:43:09 PT By Patrick McGreevy Source: Los Angeles Times California -- Six years after a similar initiative was rejected, a clear majority of California voters supports a measure on the November ballot that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana in their state, according to a new USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll.

Proposition 64, which would legalize personal use, is backed by 58% of California voters, and that favorable view extends across most lines of age, race, income and gender, according to the survey. Read More... Canada To Urge U.S. for Changes To Border Law Posted by on September 10, 2016 at 16:03:42 PT By Andrew Blake, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Ottawa -- Canada will urge the United States to reconsider a border policy that has resulted in travel bans for Canadians who admit to having used marijuana, a senior government official said this week. Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale backed the change in an interview with CBC on Thursday in the wake of recent reports that have highlighted the cases of Canadians who have been barred from the U.S. for answers given at border crossings about their past marijuana use.

“We obviously need to intensify our discussions with our border authorities in the United States, including the Department of Homeland Security,” Mr. Goodale told CBC’s Power & Politics host Rosemary Barton. Read More... Maker of Deadly Painkillers Bankrolling Opposition Posted by on September 09, 2016 at 15:39:48 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Arizona -- The campaign against marijuana legalization in Arizona received a major infusion of cash last week from a synthetic cannabis drugmaker that has been investigated for alleged improper marketing of a highly addictive prescription painkiller, according to campaign finance reports.

The $500,000 donation from Insys Therapeutics, based in Chandler, Ariz., amounts to more than one-third of all money raised by Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, the group opposing legalization. It's one of the largest single contributions to any anti-legalization campaign ever, according to campaign finance records maintained by Read More... Fentanyl Maker Donates to Campaign Opposing Pot Posted by CN Staff on September 09, 2016 at 10:25:34 PT By Steven Nelson, Staff Writer Source: U.S. News & World Report Arizona -- An embattled pharmaceutical company that sells the powerful painkiller fentanyl has donated $500,000 toward defeating a ballot initiative that would make recreational use of marijuana legal under Arizona law.

It's hard to imagine a more sinister donor than Insys Therapeutics Inc. in the eyes of pot legalization proponents, who long have claimed drug companies want to keep cannabis illegal to corner the market for drugs, some addictive and dangerous, that relieve pain and other symptoms. Read More... Federal War on Marijuana is Hurting Veterans Posted by on September 08, 2016 at 05:58:16 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- The American Legion, a group representing 2.4 million U.S. military veterans, has called on Congress to remove marijuana from Schedule 1 of the federal Controlled Substances Act and "reclassify it in a category that, at a minimum will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value."

In a resolution passed at the Legion's annual convention last week, the organization said it hopes that better research into marijuana and an official acknowledgment of its potential medical benefits will hasten the development of new treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries, ailments that have plagued veterans returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read More... Why Medical Marijuana Patients Can’t Buy Guns Posted by on September 07, 2016 at 10:38:08 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- An appeals court ruled last week that a federal law prohibiting medical marijuana cardholders from purchasing guns does not violate their Second Amendment rights, because marijuana has been linked to "irrational or unpredictable behavior."

The ruling came in the case of a Nevada woman who attempted to purchase a handgun in 2011, but was denied when the gun store owner recognized her as a medical marijuana cardholder, according to court documents. S. Rowan Wilson maintained that she didn't actually use marijuana, but obtained a card to make a political statement in support of liberalizing marijuana law. Read More... Why Medical Marijuana Patients Can’t Buy Guns Posted by on September 07, 2016 at 10:26:51 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: New York Times USA -- An appeals court ruled last week that a federal law prohibiting medical marijuana cardholders from purchasing guns does not violate their Second Amendment rights, because marijuana has been linked to "irrational or unpredictable behavior."

The ruling came in the case of a Nevada woman who attempted to purchase a handgun in 2011, but was denied when the gun store owner recognized her as a medical marijuana cardholder, according to court documents. S. Rowan Wilson maintained that she didn't actually use marijuana, but obtained a card to make a political statement in support of liberalizing marijuana law. Read More... CO Marijuana Industry Finds Veterans as Protectors Posted by on September 07, 2016 at 09:52:46 PT By Julie Turkewitz Source: New York Times Denver -- It’s nighttime at the Herbal Cure, a south Denver marijuana shop and grow house tucked into a parking lot beside the highway. Inside is a marijuana bounty: thousands of dollars’ worth of cannabis plants, boxes of marijuana-infused chocolate, jars of $360-an-ounce weed with names like Frankenberry, Lemon Skunk and Purple Cheddar.

Chris Bowyer, a lanky combat veteran turned cannabis security guard, is outside. He has a .40-caliber pistol on his hip and a few extra magazines stored away, and he is talking about his work on the battlefield. Not the one in Iraq — the one in Colorado, where criminals seeking to breach marijuana businesses face veterans trying to stop them. Read More... The Hidden Political Conflicts in Marijuana Debate Posted by on September 05, 2016 at 08:41:49 PT By Adam Vaccaro Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- The central, obvious debate over marijuana policy that Massachusetts voters will decide in November is whether or not to legalize and allow companies to sell it. The factions on either side — Yes on 4, the pro-legalization campaign, and the opposition Campaign for a Safe and Healthy Massachusetts, which is backed by some of the state’s highest-profile politicians — have begun to present more nuanced arguments. But at its heart, the conflict boils down to the legality of toking up and the sale and taxation of pot.

But the dispute between the two campaigns is not the only marijuana conflict playing out ahead of Election Day. In some cases, people who are nominally for reforming marijuana laws are against the legalization effort. Read More... Will This Election End Marijuana Prohibition? Posted by on September 03, 2016 at 10:32:54 PT By Jason Kuznicki Source: Newsweek USA -- This November’s election could be a decisive turning point in the struggle to end U.S. marijuana prohibition. ​It’s been a long time coming.

As recently as the '90s, every major political faction was squarely in favor of prohibition. Only drug-addled hippies and libertarians thought otherwise. With just a few honorable exceptions, every significant public intellectual supported prohibition too. Read More... Middle-Aged Parents More Likely To Smoke Weed Posted by on September 03, 2016 at 05:42:44 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Smoking weed is often seen as an indulgence reserved for the young and the reckless: kids get high, in the popular imagination, but by and large their parents don't. But new federal data show a stunning reversal of that age-old stereotype. Middle-aged Americans are now slightly more likely to use marijuana than their teenage children.

The research, released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that only 7.4 percent of Americans aged 12 to 17 years old smoked marijuana regularly in 2014, a 10 percent decline since 2002. But 8 percent of 35 to 44 year olds used marijuana regularly in 2014, surpassing use among teens for the first time since at least 2002. (Survey data prior to that year aren't directly comparable, as the methodology changed.) Read More... Unprecedented Number of States Will Vote on MJ Posted by on September 02, 2016 at 13:49:12 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- This is a pivotal year for American drug policy. More states than ever will consider easing restrictions on marijuana use this November: Voters in five states will decide whether to fully legalize recreational use, while voters in four more will weigh in on whether to allow medical marijuana.

The outcome of these initiatives could set the tone for the national marijuana legalization discussion going forward. Big state victories for the pro-marijuana contingent -- recreational weed in California, medical marijuana in Florida -- could widen the gap between state and federal marijuana policies, ratcheting up pressure on Congress and the next presidential administration to provide a fix. Read More... CDC: More People Using Marijuana Fewer Abusing It Posted by on September 01, 2016 at 13:05:39 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Marijuana abuse and dependency are becoming less common, even as states roll back restrictions on the use of the drug, according to a new federal report.

In 2014, the number of Americans aged 12 and over meeting diagnostic criteria for marijuana abuse or dependency stood at 1.6 percent, a decline from 1.8 percent in 2002, according to the report released Thursday by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read More... More U.S. Adults Using Marijuana Than Ever Posted by CN Staff on September 01, 2016 at 05:55:03 PT By Steven Reinberg Source: United Press International USA -- As perceptions of marijuana change, more American adults are using pot than ever before, and they're using it more often, a new study finds. Over 13 percent of adults surveyed in 2014 said they'd used marijuana in the previous year, up from roughly 10 percent in 2002.

Also, daily or near daily use -- five days or more a week -- rose from less than 2 percent to almost 4 percent of adults during that time period. Read More... Difference in How Doctors and Government View MJ Posted by on August 29, 2016 at 08:59:12 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Nathaniel P. Morris is a resident physician at Stanford Hospital specializing in mental health. He recently penned a strongly worded op-ed for on the differences between how some in the medical community view marijuana, and how the federal government regulates it.

"The federal government's scheduling of marijuana bears little relationship to actual patient care," he wrote in the essay published last week. "The notion that marijuana is more dangerous or prone to abuse than alcohol (not scheduled), cocaine (Schedule II), methamphetamine (Schedule II), or prescription opioids (Schedules II, III, and IV) doesn't reflect what we see in clinical medicine." Read More... Democrats Hope Marijuana Will Help Elect Clinton Posted by on August 29, 2016 at 06:08:07 PT By Will Greenberg Source: Mother Jones USA -- With Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton both viewed unfavorably by the majority of Americans, Democrats are hoping that if the top of the ballot doesn't excite voters this November, maybe the bottom will. Marijuana liberalization and minimum-wage hikes will get a vote in a handful of swing states for the presidential candidates. But there's reason to think these issues might not galvanize voters the way they once did.

In previous presidential elections, down-ballot races have helped turn out voters in key states. In 2004, proposed same-sex marriage bans helped President George W. Bush secure reelection. President Barack Obama appears to have gotten a boost in Colorado in 2012 as residents there voted to legalize marijuana. Read More... A Doctor’s Take On Pot Posted by on August 28, 2016 at 06:07:05 PT By Nathaniel P. Morris Source: USA -- Scientific American On August 11th, the Drug Enforcement Administration announced its decision to keep marijuana classified as a Schedule I drug. The federal government has historically referred to this category as the “most dangerous” group of substances, including drugs like heroin and bath salts.

As a resident physician specializing in mental health, I can’t make much sense of this. Read More... Oregon State Fair: First Legal Pot Display in U.S Posted by CN Staff on August 27, 2016 at 04:59:17 PT By Tribune News Services Source: Chicago Tribune Salem, Oregon -- Living marijuana plants went on display Friday at the Oregon State Fair, with organizers saying it's the first state fair in the nation to allow cannabis for public viewing. The state voted to legalize recreational marijuana in late 2014. Here are a few things to know about legal pot in Oregon and the display at the fair:

WHAT'S THE BUZZ? Read More... Argument That Could Derail Legal Weed in CA Posted by on August 25, 2016 at 06:59:13 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post California's upcoming ballot initiative to legalize marijuana appears likely to pass, with recent polls showing support for the measure standing at 60 percent or higher. But opponents have lately seized on a new message that they hope will convince Californians on the fence to vote "no" in November: the idea that legalization would lead to a flood of marijuana advertising on television.

In a July news release for the campaign opposing legalization, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) claimed that the legalization measure, Prop. 64, "rolls back anti-smoking advertising protections we’ve had for decades and allows marijuana smoking ads in prime time, on programs with millions of children and teenage viewers." The No on 64 campaign similarly states on its website that "Proposition 64 would, in effect, end a 45-year ban on smoking ads on television." Read More... DEA Wins The Battle but Is Losing The War Posted by on August 25, 2016 at 05:35:38 PT By Gabrielle Gurley Source: AlterNet USA -- The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s refusal to decontrol marijuana has raised the hackles of doctors, patient advocacy groups, cannabis entrepreneurs, and potheads almost everywhere. Under the agency’s recent directive, marijuana remains an illegal, controlled substance like heroin and LSD that has no medical value. But unlike most federal regulations, the DEA move will have little to no effect on state-level marijuana politics.

Since Colorado and Washington state green-lighted recreational marijuana in 2012, the DEA has gotten swamped by a tidal wave of legalization campaigns across the country for recreational and medical marijuana. Read More...

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NIDA - Common Drugs of Abuse lists commonly abused psychotropics. U.S. National Library of Medicine is an execellent resource for medical information. For recreational use of psychotropics one will find Hyperreal informative.

Drug Sense, Marijuana Policy Project, Drug Reform Coordination Network, and NORML are among the many organizations seeking to reform cannabis laws.

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