Legal Marijuana is Saving Lives in Colorado Posted by on October 16, 2017 at 13:31:23 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Colorado -- Marijuana legalization in Colorado led to a “reversal” of opiate overdose deaths in that state, according to new research published in the American Journal of Public Health. “After Colorado’s legalization of recreational cannabis sale and use, opioid-related deaths decreased more than 6% in the following 2 years,” write authors Melvin D. Livingston, Tracey E. Barnett, Chris Delcher and Alexander C. Wagenaar.
The authors stress that their results are preliminary, given that their study encompasses only two years of data after the state's first recreational marijuana shops opened in 2014. Read More... Don't Let Sessions Turn Back Clock on Marijuana Posted by on October 14, 2017 at 08:00:51 PT Editorial Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- How ironic is it that conservatives who routinely criticize the federal government’s allegedly heavy-handed intrusions into state and local affairs seem to have no problem with such interventions when the overreach happens to advance policies dear to their own hearts?
This year we’ve seen a lot of this kind of back-and-forth, including the Trump administration’s insistence on punishing so-called “sanctuary cities” that refuse to go out of their way to assist in the White House’s harsh immigration policies. Another example surfaced last week with reports that U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is urging Congress to make medical marijuana programs illegal in Maryland and the 30 other jurisdictions that have approved legislation shielding use of the drug for medicinal purposes from criminal prosecution. Read More... Marijuana Is Burning in the California Wildfires Posted by on October 13, 2017 at 13:49:45 PT By Daniel Victor and Maya Salam Source: New York Times California -- Fatal fires that have consumed nearly 200,000 acres in Northern California, devastating the region’s vineyards particularly in Napa and Sonoma Counties, are also taking a toll on a fledgling industry just months before its debut: recreational marijuana.
Many of the region’s farms, including those that harvest cannabis, have been scorched, including those in Sonoma County and in Mendocino County, the center of California’s marijuana industry. Mendocino is one of three California counties that comprise Emerald Triangle, where much of the United States’ marijuana is produced. Read More... MMJ Shield Against a Crackdown is Under Assault Posted by on October 09, 2017 at 05:10:57 PT By Evan Halper Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- The 85 words almost seemed an afterthought when Congress hurriedly crammed them into a massive budget bill late in the Obama administration, as if lawmakers wanted to acknowledge America’s outlook on marijuana had changed, but not make a big deal of it.
Almost three years later, a multibillion-dollar industry and the freedom of millions to openly partake in its products without fear of federal prosecution hinge on that obscure budget clause. But now, Congress may throw it overboard amid pressure from an attorney general who views marijuana as a dangerous menace. Read More... MMJ Patients Report Reduction in Use of Drugs Posted by CN Staff on October 08, 2017 at 12:34:19 PT By Robert McCoppin Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- Some medical marijuana patients in Illinois say the drug has allowed them to reduce or eliminate their use of other prescription medication, a new study reports.
The study by DePaul and Rush universities was small, with 30 participants, and involved only those who volunteered to respond to the topic, so researchers conceded the results might be biased in favor of marijuana. But it's believed to be the first peer-reviewed, published research of medical marijuana patients in Illinois. Read More... Trudeau Vowed To Legalize Marijuana Across Canada Posted by on October 05, 2017 at 08:14:05 PT By Alan Freeman Source: Washington Post Ottawa -- Canada is set to become the first industrialized nation to legalize and regulate marijuana from production to consumption by next July, but increasingly, Canadians are wondering: What’s the hurry?
The government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is pressing ahead with legislation to legalize cannabis, a move that a majority of the Canadian public supports. But stakeholders such as police chiefs and psychiatrists are urging caution and even delay, worried that a rush to legalization will encourage consumption among young people and increase the incidence of impaired driving. Read More... L.A. Approves Marijuana Rules Posted by on September 27, 2017 at 12:50:26 PT By Melina Delkic Source: Newsweek Calif. -- Los Angeles may become one of America’s hottest marijuana markets soon, after city lawmakers approved new rules on Monday to regulate and legitimize the cannabis industry ahead of January’s full legalization of recreational use in the state of California.
The regulations, which were first drafted in March, spell out requirements for growers, manufacturers and sellers of marijuana, who would need a state license to operate and be required to follow rules about their operating hours, record-keeping and security measures. Read More... L.A. To Be a Hot Market for Marijuana Sales Posted by on September 25, 2017 at 17:19:08 PT By Emily Alpert Reyes Source: Los Angeles Times Calif. -- Los Angeles lawmakers are laying the groundwork for what is widely expected to be one of the hottest markets for marijuana in the country, one that could bring more than $50 million in taxes to city coffers next year. The city is drafting rules to allow greenhouses that grow cannabis, industrial facilities that process it, and new shops that sell it for recreational use, not just medical need.
But anyone expecting L.A. to become the next Amsterdam may be disappointed: It has held back, so far, on welcoming cafes or lounges where customers could smoke or consume cannabis. Read More... MJ Industry Looks To Get Minorities In Business Posted by on September 22, 2017 at 05:22:33 PT By Justin Wm. Moyer Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Compared with a year ago, times may seem tough for those banking on the legalization of marijuana.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has raised “serious questions” about legalization, appears less friendly to the cannabis industry than his predecessor. Even after the District of Columbia permitted recreational use of the drug in 2015, arrests in the city for public use of marijuana are on the rise. Read More... Sen. Al Franken Is Evolving On Marijuana Posted by on September 21, 2017 at 05:20:00 PT By Tom Angell Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- On Tuesday, the Democratic lawmaker from Minnesota became the fifth cosponsor of legislation to allow cannabis cultivators and sellers operating in accordance with state laws to be taxed just like any other business. The day before, he signed onto a bill that would allow those businesses to access financial services from banks.
Earlier this month, the former "Saturday Night Live" star was one of six senators to introduce a broad bipartisan bill that would amend federal laws so states can enact and implement their own medical cannabis laws without federal interference. Read More... Don't Blunt The Marijuana Revolution Posted by CN Staff on September 18, 2017 at 15:20:34 PT By Peter Roff, Contributing Editor Source: U.S. News & World Report Washington, D.C. -- America is undergoing a somewhat silent revolution concerning the prohibition of marijuana usage. A 2017 poll of 1,122 adults conducted by Marist found that only 14 percent of those surveyed still oppose medicinal marijuana, a number so overwhelming as to allow the suggestion a clear consensus exists among the American people.
On the issue of what is now called "recreational use," things are not as clear. The same poll found the nation divided "on whether they support or oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, 49 percent to 47 percent." Read More... Orrin Hatch Has Drug Puns Posted by on September 13, 2017 at 14:58:28 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Republican Senator Orrin Hatch on Wednesday will re-introduce the Marijuana Effective Drug Study (MEDS) Act of 2017 in the Senate. The bill, which has bipartisan sponsors, is similar to legislation Hatch introduced last year.
It contains a package of measures intended to make research into medical applications of the drug easier, including increasing the supply of marijuana available to researchers and cutting some red tape out of the currently onerous approval process researchers must go through to work with weed. Researchers have long complained that strict federal regulations on marijuana have made it all-but-impossible to do medical research on the drug. Read More... Legal Marijuana Is Almost Here Posted by on September 10, 2017 at 05:37:50 PT By Thomas Fuller Source: New York Times Laytonville, Calif. -- From the sky they look like citrus groves, neat rows of lush emerald-colored plants set amid the hills of Northern California. But as a police reconnaissance helicopter banked for a closer look on a recent afternoon, the pungent smell of marijuana plants filled the cabin, wafting up from 800 feet below.
“That’s all weed,” squawked a deputy with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s office over the helicopter intercom. “They’re not in the program.” More than nine months after California voted to legalize recreational marijuana, only a small share of the tens of thousands of cannabis farmers in Northern California have joined the system, according to law enforcement officers and cannabis growers. Read More... House GOP Blocks Vote Protecting MMJ States Posted by on September 06, 2017 at 15:55:24 PT By Molly K. Hooper Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Several lawmakers said Wednesday that GOP leaders won’t allow the full House to vote on an amendment that bars the Justice Department from pursuing states that have legalized medical marijuana.
Without legislation, states would lose protection they have enjoyed for the past four years, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions could begin his long-sought crackdown on the rapid expansion of legalized pot. Read More... Legalization Caused Price of Marijuana To Collapse Posted by on September 06, 2017 at 06:06:28 PT By Keith Humphreys Source: Washington Post USA -- All the diverse effects of legalizing recreational marijuana may not be clear for a number of years, but one consequence has become evident almost immediately: Pot has never been so cheap. Steven Davenport of the Pardee Rand Graduate School has analyzed marijuana retail prices in Washington state since legal recreational markets opened in July 2014. Remarkably, prices have fallen every single quarter since.
When Davenport spoke to me 18 months ago, retail marijuana prices had already fallen a stunning 58.5 percent. Yet he predicted correctly that the price collapse was not complete. The current retail price of $7.38 per gram (including tax) represents a 67 percent decrease in just three years of the legalization, with more decline likely in the future. Read More... Maryland’s Medical Marijuana is Finally Growing Posted by on September 03, 2017 at 04:55:22 PT By Fenit Nirappil and Aaron Gregg Source: Washington Post Maryland -- At long last, Maryland’s first legal marijuana crop is growing. With 19 companies cleared to grow, process and sell the plant, the seeds of the medical marijuana program have literally been planted, four years after the state legalized cannabis for medical use.
In coming months, plants will flower in heavily secured facilities, and be harvested and taken to an independent laboratory for quality testing, with some processed into oils, creams and capsules. They’ll end up available for purchase on dispensary shelves around the start of the new year, according to industry officials. Read More... Congress Appears Ready To Buck Sessions on MMJ Posted by on August 23, 2017 at 07:56:42 PT By Paige Winfield Cunningham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Congress will likely renew protections next month for state medical marijuana laws -- but pro-pot lawmakers and advocates are still watching nervously in case Attorney General Jeff Sessions launches a last-minute sabotage campaign.
For nearly three years now, Congress has maintained a policy prohibiting the Justice Department from using federal funds to prevent states allowing medical marijuana – which now number 29 plus the District of Columbia – from carrying out their own laws. Read More... Sessions Looks Set To Back Off Marijuana Crackdown Posted by on August 22, 2017 at 14:09:48 PT By Jacob Sullum Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- Despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions's well-known anti-pot prejudices, a broad federal crackdown on marijuana in states that have legalized it seems unlikely in light of the recommendations from a Justice Department subcommittee charged with studying the issue.
The Associated Press reports that the panel, part of the DOJ's Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, "has come up with no new policy recommendations to advance the attorney general's aggressively anti-marijuana views." Read More... City Council Approves New Cannabis Department Head Posted by on August 17, 2017 at 08:59:14 PT By Dakota Smith Source: Los Angeles Times Los Angeles, Calif. -- The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday backed Mayor Eric Garcetti’s picks to oversee City Hall’s new Department of Cannabis Regulation, a vote that comes as officials prepare for legalization of recreational marijuana in California.
Cat Packer, the former California coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance, will run the new city division. A five-member Cannabis Commission will provide input on cannabis rules. The council voted 13-0 to hire Packer, with council members Paul Koretz and Curren Price absent from Wednesday’s meeting. Read More... Marijuana Justice Act Legalizes MJ The Right Way Posted by on August 16, 2017 at 17:30:35 PT By Jim Patterson, Opinion Contributor Source: Hill Washington, D.C. --Earlier this month, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) introduced the Marijuana Justice Act. To some, this bill may look like another liberal attempt to push for widespread legalization of marijuana across the country. But for those of us who work in this industry and understand the complexities and inequities of current marijuana policies, the bill is a bold step forward in transforming the industry as we know it.
I recommend that anyone who questions why marijuana should no longer be illegal under federal law, take the time to watch Sen. Booker’s three-minute video explaining his legislation. It will shine a light on how marijuana policies have negatively impacted targeted communities, specifically low-income communities of color. This bill seeks to undo some of the damage that Booker aptly describes as, “the unjust application of the law and economic bias.” For example, the bill would expunge convictions for those with marijuana use and/or possession charges at the federal level which, in turn, will allow for greater access to education and economic opportunities. Read More... Marijuana May Help Ease Nerve Pain Posted by CN Staff on August 16, 2017 at 05:04:16 PT By Randy Dotinga, HealthDay Source: Chicago Tribune USA -- Marijuana may be slightly effective at reducing chronic nerve pain known as neuropathy. But there's little evidence on whether pot helps treat other types of pain or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a pair of new studies suggests.
The findings on neuropathy "fit generally well with what we know," said Dr. Sachin Patel of the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital in Nashville. Patel wrote a commentary accompanying the review in a recent online edition of Annals of Internal Medicine. Read More... No Reason for Marijuana To Be Illegal Posted by on August 09, 2017 at 11:53:48 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, among the most well-known living scientists this side of Stephen Hawking, said this week that “there's no reason for [marijuana] to ever have been made illegal.”
The remark came in response to a question submitted by Tom Angell of the pro-legalization group Marijuana Majority. Angell asked Tyson if he agreed with astrophysicist Carl Sagan that marijuana should be legalized. “If you really analyze it,” Tyson said, “relative to other things that are legal, there’s no reason for it to ever have been made illegal in the system of laws.” Read More... AG’s Pot Fury Not Echoed by Task Force Posted by CN Staff on August 05, 2017 at 15:25:20 PT By Sadie Gurman, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Washington, D.C. -- The betting was that law-and-order Attorney General Jeff Sessions would come out against the legalized marijuana industry with guns blazing. But the task force Sessions assembled to find the best legal strategy is giving him no ammunition, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.
The Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, a group of prosecutors and federal law enforcement officials, has come up with no new policy recommendations to advance the attorney general’s aggressively anti-marijuana views. The group’s report largely reiterates the current Justice Department policy on marijuana. Read More... Is Supporting Pot Becoming Politically Viable? Posted by on August 04, 2017 at 06:12:13 PT By Matt Laslo Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- It's no longer political suicide, or so it seems, to embrace legalizing marijuana. At least among the younger generation of prominent Democrats, though there seems to be cracks in the dam amongst Republicans too.
The latest evolution on the issue was on display this week as New Jersey Democratic Sen. Cory Booker – a former mayor of Newark who is a young, affable guy rumored to be considering a presidential bid in 2020 – unveiled the most sweeping proposal yet to the nation's marijuana policy. The bill, dubbed the Marijuana Justice Act, would end the federal prohibition on weed by removing the plant from the list of controlled, as in banned, substances where it currently sits next to drugs like heroine and LSD. Read More... Congress Heading for Confrontation With Sessions Posted by on August 03, 2017 at 10:02:31 PT By Nathan Howard Source: Bloomberg Washington, D.C. -- -- Congress is heading for a confrontation with Attorney General Jeff Sessions over pot. Sessions is seeking to crack down on marijuana use while lawmakers from both parties are pushing legislation that would do the opposite.
Measures have been attached to must-pass bills in the Senate that would allow Veterans Affairs doctors to counsel patients on the use of medical marijuana, and to continue blocking the Justice Department from pursuing cases against people who use medical marijuana in states that have legalized it. Read More... On the Cutting Edge of Cannabis Science Posted by on August 03, 2017 at 09:54:46 PT By Martin A. Lee, Project CBD Source: AlterNet Canada -- During the last week of June, more than 400 scientists from 25 countries met in Montreal for the 27th annual symposium of the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS). Several presentations and posters showcased new findings about cannabidiol (CBD), the non-euphoric component of the cannabis plant that is transforming the medical marijuana landscape.
In her Young Investigator Award Presentation, Saoirse O’Sullivan, associate professor at the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom, discussed the cardiovascular effects of cannabidiol: “CBD causes both acute and time dependent vasorelaxation of rat and human arteries … and can improve endothelial function and vasodilator responses in a rat model of type 2 diabetes.” Read More... When Will Marijuana Be Legal Federally? Posted by on August 01, 2017 at 15:15:43 PT By Janice Williams Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana would become legal at the federal level if Senator Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has it his way. The congressman introduced a bill aiming to remove marijuana’s Schedule I listing under the Controlled Substance Act and make the plant legal.
While the overall legislation seeks to make marijuana legal in all 50 states, the driving force behind Booker’s bill, called the Marijuana Justice Act, is the wish to rectify the unjust targeting of the African-American and low-income communities that have been most affected by marijuana arrests. Read More... Sen. Cory Booker Trying to End Federal Prohibition Posted by on August 01, 2017 at 15:04:22 PT By Matt Laslo Source: Rolling Stone Washington, D.C. -- While voters across the nation have legalized varying forms of marijuana, Congress has largely been silent on the issue, which is why a new bill introduced today by New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker is turning heads. The Democrat's legislation would end the federal prohibition on marijuana and incentivize states to as well.
The proposal, called the Marijuana Justice Act, removes marijuana from the federal list of Schedule I narcotics – think peyote, heroin and, yeah, weed – which is known as descheduling. It also punishes states that disproportionately lock up minorities and the poor for marijuana offenses, by cutting off some of their federal dollars for building jails and prisons, as well as other areas. Read More... Sessions is Going to Lose his War Against Cannabis Posted by on August 01, 2017 at 12:31:13 PT By Matt Bonesteel Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions will soon receive a report he has been waiting for. The document, from the President’s Task Force on Crime Reduction and Public Safety, is expected to clarify the federal government’s position on marijuana — and the conflicts that exist between state and federal laws. It clear what Sessions wants to do: Over the past month, he has asked Congress for permission to prosecute medical cannabis suppliers who are acting in accordance with their state’s laws, reauthorized civil asset forfeiture (a highly controversial practice used in drug cases), and announced his desire to start a new “war on drugs.” Read More... Senate Panel Advances Measure to Protect MMJ State Posted by on July 27, 2017 at 15:27:12 PT By Lydia Wheeler Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- The Senate Appropriations Committee approved an amendment to a budget bill on Thursday to protect medical marijuana programs from federal interference in states that have legalized the drug for medical use.
The amendment to the 2018 Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill passed by a voice vote and prohibits the Justice Department from using funds to prevent states from "implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana." Read More...
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