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Medical Marijuana Entrepreneurs Decry Fees Posted by CN Staff on April 17, 2014 at 06:02:16 PT By Robert McCoppin, Tribune Reporter Source: Chicago Tribune Illinois -- Vegetables, flowers and herbs grow in rows of green at Robert Boyce's greenhouses in Lake Zurich — but what he'd really like to grow is marijuana. Boyce, a horticulturist and landscape design architect, has run Natural Environments Greenhouses and Nursery and a florist shop for many years. He's done work for the Chicago Botanic Garden and several Chicago-area public parks.

Yet none of that is enough to qualify for a license to grow pot under the new state law allowing medical marijuana, for which having a green thumb may not be as important as having lot of green to put up. Read More... Eric Holder Cautiously Optimistic About Marijuana Posted by on April 16, 2014 at 07:22:32 PT By Ryan J. Reilly, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Charleston, S.C. -- Attorney General Eric Holder is "cautiously optimistic" about how things are going in Washington state and Colorado following the legalization and state regulation of marijuana.

But the nation's top law enforcement official, who spoke to The Huffington Post in an interview on Friday, also said it was tough to predict where marijuana legalization will be in 10 years. Read More... Study Finds Signs of Brain Changes in Pot Smokers Posted by CN Staff on April 16, 2014 at 06:07:20 PT By Malcolm Ritter, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press New York -- A small study of casual marijuana smokers has turned up evidence of changes in the brain, a possible sign of trouble ahead, researchers say. The young adults who volunteered for the study were not dependent on pot, nor did they show any marijuana-related problems.

"What we think we are seeing here is a very early indication of what becomes a problem later on with prolonged use," things like lack of focus and impaired judgment, said Dr. Hans Breiter, a study author. Read More... From Demon Weed To God’s Plant Posted by on April 16, 2014 at 05:45:32 PT By Matt Mellema Source: Slate Magazine Colorado -- Jesse Stanley sees marijuana as “God’s plant.” He is one of five brothers—all alums of an evangelical high school—who grow medical marijuana from their two dispensaries in Colorado Springs, Colo. As he put it to the website FaithStreet: “God is moving in the hearts of men and women and children around the world about this plant in ways that I never would’ve imagined.”

The Stanleys got into the marijuana business in 2009 because of a cousin who was in pain and wasn’t helped by conventional treatment. Several years in, they made an unexpected breakthrough. The mother of a 5-year-old girl named Charlotte came into their dispensary seeking help for her daughter’s severe epilepsy. Wary about giving marijuana to a young girl, the Stanleys took a strain called “Hippie’s disappointment” that was low in THC (the chemical that gives the buzz), and created a new blend, high in cannabidiol (the chemical with the medical potential). Charlotte could take it in small doses. Read More... Denver's 4/20 Rally Grows Up Posted by on April 15, 2014 at 16:22:53 PT By Jon Murray, The Denver Post Source: Denver Post Colorado -- Sales of recreational marijuana may be legal, but organizers of next weekend's 4/20 festival in Denver — billed as the largest in the world — have a fine line to walk.

They nearly got the two-day event canceled after the organizers' attorney asked the city to endorse public pot-smoking by attendees. Read More... Denver: Pot-Loving 420 Rally This Weekend Posted by on April 15, 2014 at 16:07:26 PT By Mary Forgione Source: Los Angeles Times Colorado -- If you're celebrating Easter this weekend in Denver, you might also ingest a bit of the city's pot-celebrating 420 Rally that has been expanded to a two-day event this year.

The 420 Rally, once an underground event but now very much above ground, embraces Colorado's Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana use when it was signed itno law last year. Read More... Oregon Cities Impose MMJ Dispensary Moratoriums Posted by CN Staff on April 15, 2014 at 14:58:40 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Portland -- At least 71 Oregon cities have moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries, and more than 40 others are considering bans, according to the League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties.

The Legislature allowed local governments to impose a one-year ban, if enacted by May 1. The law also gives local governments the ability to regulate when and where pot shops may operate. Read More... What Perfect Marijuana High Would Feel Like Posted by on April 15, 2014 at 05:26:31 PT By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post World -- Marijuana users really enjoy strong weed, but would prefer that it came without paranoia, memory loss and impaired ability to function. That's according to a new report from the Global Drug Survey in partnership with The Huffington Post, which anonymously surveyed more than 38,000 users around the globe.

All marijuana is not created equal. Effects can vary depending on the plant variety, cultivation, processing and blending. Cannabis has two major plant types -- indica and sativa -- and hundreds of hybrid strains with different characteristics. It's produced in forms that include dried flowers, oil and wax. Read More... A Step Toward Sanity on Marijuana Posted by on April 14, 2014 at 13:24:50 PT Baltimore Sun Editorial Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- In 2010, Baltimore City police made 64,525 arrests, and more than 7,000 of them — 11 percent of the total — were for simple possession of marijuana. That represents thousands of man-hours by Baltimore City police, Central Booking officials, prosecutors, public defenders, judges and others, all of whom had better things to do. That year Baltimore recorded 224 homicides, ranking it among the five deadliest cities in the nation. And the enforcement of laws against possession of marijuana isn't just an issue in Baltimore; overall, the state logged more than 22,000 marijuana possession arrests in 2010, the third most per capita of any state in the nation. Read More... Marijuana Measure Could Boost Florida Democrats Posted by CN Staff on April 14, 2014 at 06:34:00 PT By Michael J. Mishak, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Miami -- Democrats in the nation's largest swing-state see the question of whether to legalize medical marijuana as a rare source of hope and high voter turnout in this year's midterm elections.

Party operatives are pushing a constitutional amendment that would make Florida the first state in the South to legalize some pot use. Polls show the measure has widespread public support, and it's particularly popular among young voters — a critical part of the Democratic coalition with historically weak turnout in non-presidential election years. Read More... Are Baby Boomers Ready To Give MJ a Second Chance? Posted by on April 13, 2014 at 05:48:07 PT By Robert Weisman, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- Are aging baby boomers ready to rekindle a long-ago love affair with marijuana? That is a weighty question for cultural anthropologists and cool-eyed business analysts alike as the once celebrated, later maligned, but explicitly contraband cannabis plant goes legit — for the first time in nearly 80 years — in a new era of medical and recreational use.

For many who smoked marijuana in their dorms in the ’60s and ’70s, it was an act of rebellion, a communal experience, and maybe a political statement. Today’s product is more likely to be marketed as anti-inflammatory than anti-establishment. And, to the distinct discomfort of some, it may come in a neat corporate package rather than an illicit nickel bag. Read More... Nurse Practitioners Can Prescribe Med Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on April 12, 2014 at 18:50:54 PT By Nok-Noi Ricker, BDN Staff Source: Bangor Daily News Bangor, Maine -- The state’s medical marijuana law, first approved by Maine voters in 1999, has been amended, and the biggest change replaces the word physician with the words “medical provider.”

The amendment , which was signed into law by Gov. Paul LePage last week and goes into effect in August, will allow nurse practitioners to prescribe the medication, members of Medical Marijuana Caregivers of Maine announced Saturday. Read More... Northern Va. Families Move to Colorado Posted by on April 12, 2014 at 16:58:26 PT By Tom Jackman Source: Washington Post Colorado -- For the parents of children with intractable epilepsy, the stream of constant seizures, emergency room visits and powerful medications can become a demoralizing blur. Beth Collins of Fairfax County said her teenage daughter suffered as many as 300 epileptic seizures per day.

“There were days when I just laid in bed with her and prayed,” Collins said, “and watched her because I wasn’t sure what would happen.” Now, the seizures have all but stopped. Each day, Collins gives her daughter Jennifer a dose of medical marijuana oil from a syringe, as any parent might administer liquid medicine to a child. Read More... Md.'s Marijuana Laws Leave Unanswered Questions Posted by on April 12, 2014 at 12:10:57 PT By Mark Puente and Michael Dresser Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- Now that the state's medical marijuana program has been revived, officials say it will take about 15 months for the first patients to buy the drug legally in Maryland. Shannon Moore hopes her twin sons survive.

Her 3-year-olds Nicolas and Byron already have lived longer than expected while battling as many as 30 seizures a day from Miller-Dieker syndrome, a disease that causes brain deformities. Moore hopes a marijuana extract will reduce their seizures. Read More... CO Legalized MJ Tax Revs Ahead of Expectations Posted by CN Staff on April 12, 2014 at 07:59:42 PT By Robin Respaut, Reuters Source: Reuters Reuters -- Colorado, the first state to tax legalized recreational marijuana sales, expects to bring in an estimated $98 million in revenue this year, exceeding the state's original expectations by 40 percent. The state began levying sales and excise taxes on recreational marijuana on January 1, 2014.

Moody's Investors Service, in a report released Friday, said legal sales in Colorado will reduce the size of the black market and revenue from legal sales will mean more tax payments flowing into state coffers. Read More... U.S. Legal Pot Sales To Hit $8 Billion A Year Posted by on April 12, 2014 at 06:21:15 PT By Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post USA -- Combined sales of legal recreational and medical marijuana in the United States is projected to reach more than $8 billion in 2018. That's according to a new report by Marijuana Business Daily citing data from the Marijuana Business Factbook, which forecasts that the 2018 retail marijuana industry could see an estimated $7.4 to $8.2 billion in sales.

The projection is based on sales estimates from the state-legal medical and recreational marijuana markets that already exist, as well as 4-5 additional states that are expected to legalize recreational marijuana and 2-3 states expected to legalize medical marijuana by 2018. Read More... Medical Marijuana Inching To Legalization in NY Posted by CN Staff on April 11, 2014 at 15:10:16 PT By Josefa Velasquez, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Albany, N.Y. -- New York is inching toward legalizing some form of medical marijuana as support grows in the state Legislature and is likely to become one of a handful of issues taken up when lawmakers return later this month.

But it remains unclear where the drug would come from for either Gov. Andrew Cuomo's limited research program or broader, legalized use under a proposed medical marijuana bill. Read More... Why Do Democrats Scorn Legal Pot? Posted by CN Staff on April 10, 2014 at 18:52:39 PT By Steve Chapman Source: Chicago Tribune USA -- Legalizing marijuana is an issue made to order for the Democratic Party. A majority of Americans now support the idea, and so do two out of three Democrats. Two states have done it, and several more may vote on it in 2016.

The party could put the issue to use against Republicans, who have no desire to be the party of weed. Can you imagine Rick Santorum or Marco Rubio or Paul Ryan endorsing legalization? Even libertarian Rand Paul declines to go that far. Read More... Senators And Governors Who Support Legalizing MJ Posted by on April 10, 2014 at 04:58:15 PT By Nick Wing, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post USA -- Marijuana is now legal in two states, and local politicians across the nation seem eager to expand that number, so let's take a look at the kind of support these lawmakers are getting from their governors and U.S. senators. Here's a GIF showing every governor and senator who has come out publicly in favor of legalizing weed, a stance now shared by over half the nation, according to some polls:

That's right -- out of 50 governors and 100 U.S. senators, not a single one has announced support for full legalization, even in Colorado and Washington, which have already passed laws legalizing the sale of recreational marijuana. Read More... Medical Marijuana Patient Was Sent To Rehab Posted by on April 09, 2014 at 17:24:07 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post New Jersey -- Fifty-seven-year-old Charlie Davis, a medical marijuana patient in New Jersey, was recently suspended from his job at New Jersey Transit and ordered into drug rehabilitation for using medical cannabis while off-duty. Now Davis is suing, claiming that his former employer violated state discrimination laws that protect employees with disabilities.

"I'm not a junkie," Davis told the Record, a northern New Jersey newspaper. "I told them I was taking prescribed medical marijuana. I was not hiding anything from them." Read More... Bill Would Loosen MMJ Restrictions in D.C. Posted by on April 08, 2014 at 17:30:27 PT By Andrea Noble, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington, D.C. -- D.C. Council members introduced legislation Tuesday that would greatly expand the availability of medical marijuana to D.C. patients by doing away with the list of qualifying conditions that currently restrict access to the program.

A bill introduced by Council member Yvette M. Alexander, Ward 7 Democrat and chairman of the Committee on Health, would eliminate a list of four conditions that currently allow a patient to seek a doctor’s referral to use medical marijuana. Instead the bill would amend the definition of “qualifying medical condition” to mean any condition that would benefit from medical marijuana treatment as determined by the patient’s physician. Read More... How Can Congress Cure Political Ills? Smoke MJ Posted by on April 08, 2014 at 16:29:53 PT By Dana Milbank, Opinion Writer Source: Washington Post USA -- Legal marijuana is spreading like a weed across the land but it has yet to take root in the place where people might benefit most from inhaling: the U.S. Capitol.

The Maryland General Assembly finished work Monday on a marijuana decriminalization bill, joining two dozen other states and the District in some form of legalization. Colorado and Washington allow recreational pot, while most others have legalized only medical marijuana, but the combined campaign has redefined the meaning of a grass-roots movement. Read More... Retail Marijuana Sales in Washington Face Delays Posted by on April 08, 2014 at 14:08:26 PT By Reid Wilson Source: Washington Post Seattle -- Drive down virtually any thoroughfare in Seattle and you are likely to pass several medical marijuana dispensaries. On Rainier Avenue, in southeast Seattle, the Northwest Cannabis Market sits between a fish store and an Italian bakery. A mile or so down the road, another dispensary occupies an old drive-in burger stand. There are about half as many medical marijuana dispensaries in Seattle — about 200 — as Starbucks locations.

But unlike in Colorado, where retail sales of marijuana for recreational uses began on New Year’s Day, just months after voters passed a ballot initiative legalizing the drug, Washington state regulators have taken months to craft new rules, and to comb through the thousands of applications for growing and retail licenses. Months after voters approved legalization, anyone hoping to score some dope in Seattle still has to have a medical prescription. Read More... Md. Delegates Try To Revive Bill To Decriminalize Posted by on April 04, 2014 at 11:06:27 PT By Fredrick Kunkle and John Wagner Source: Washington Post Maryland -- Members of the Maryland House of Delegates moved Friday to resurrect a bill on the chamber’s floor that would decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana, just days after the measure was scuttled in committee. Del. Keiffer J. Mitchell, Jr. offered an amendment that would undo an attempt by the House Judiciary Committee to set up a task force to study the issue.

Debate on the measure was put off until Saturday at the request of House Judiciary Committee Chairman Joseph F. Vallario Jr. (D-Prince George’s), a staunch opponent of the bill. Read More... DEA: Marijuana Legalization Imperils Dogs Posted by on April 04, 2014 at 10:46:32 PT By Ilya Somin Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- It’s hard to come up with a new angle on a much-debated policy issue like the War on Drugs. But Drug Enforcement Administration head Michele Leonhart may have succeeded with her recent claim that we should oppose marijuana legalization because it poses a health risk for dogs. Unfortunately, her argument ignores the reality that the War on Drugs poses a far greater threat to dogs than marijuana does.

It is indeed true that ingesting marijuana creates some small risks for dogs. As Jacob Sullum notes, marijuana itself is not dangerous to canines; but ingesting it can sometimes lead them to be slower in vomiting up other dangerous foods in which it has been infused, such as chocolate (which is poisonous for dogs, when ingested in large quantities). Read More... Man Sues Over Medical Marijuana Job Suspension Posted by CN Staff on April 04, 2014 at 09:48:25 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Newark, N.J. -- A New Jersey Transit clerk who was suspended for using medical marijuana to treat his end-stage renal failure has sued the agency. The suit filed by Charlie Davis, 57, may be the first of its kind in New Jersey, where medical marijuana has been legally available since 2012.

Davis said the drug helps ease pain in his nerve-damaged legs and makes it easier to sleep. According to the lawsuit filed in March in state court in Newark, Davis was bumped from his job as a procurement clerk by a more senior employee in December. He applied for a position in the field as a railroad block operator. Read More... DEA Chief: MJ Legalization Makes Us Fight Harder Posted by on April 03, 2014 at 16:45:12 PT By Ryan J. Reilly, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- Far from being discouraged by the shifts in public opinion, state laws and even within the Obama administration on the legalization of marijuana, federal drug agents are now driven to "fight harder," Drug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart said Wednesday.

Leonhart, who reportedly criticized President Barack Obama for comparing marijuana to alcohol during a closed-door meeting with a law enforcement organization, suggested during testimony Wednesday before a House Appropriations subcommittee that voters in Washington state and Colorado were duped into legalizing marijuana. Read More... George Soros’ Real Crusade: Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on April 03, 2014 at 11:48:13 PT By Kelly Riddell, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington, D.C. -- Billionaire philanthropist George Soros hopes the U.S. goes to pot, and he is using his money to drive it there. With a cadre of like-minded, wealthy donors, Mr. Soros is dominating the pro-legalization side of the marijuana debate by funding grass-roots initiatives that begin in New York City and end up affecting local politics elsewhere.

Through a network of nonprofit groups, Mr. Soros has spent at least $80 million on the legalization effort since 1994, when he diverted a portion of his foundation’s funds to organizations exploring alternative drug policies, according to tax filings. Read More... With Pot Legal, Festival Trying To Go Mainstream Posted by CN Staff on April 03, 2014 at 06:36:11 PT By Nicholas Riccardi, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Denver -- Organizers of Denver's annual April 20 marijuana festival on Wednesday announced that rapper B.o.B and singer Wyclef Jean will headline the event as they try to draw a big post-legalization crowd and shake the memory of last year's event, which was marred by a still-unsolved shooting.

Reflecting the changes in Colorado since voters legalized the recreational use of the drug in 2012, organizers are trying to make the event less of an ad hoc political rally and more of an organized festival. Organizers have hired a professional event management firm. They also are fencing the perimeter of the park in front of the state capitol where the event occurs, relying on private security to screen entrants and are announcing acts ahead of time rather than handing over the mic to musicians who happen by. Read More... DEA: Think Of The Dogs Before You Legalize Pot Posted by on April 03, 2014 at 06:18:05 PT By Ryan J. Reilly, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- Michele Leonhart, the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, has a message for those considering legalizing marijuana: Please, think of Fido.

Testifying on the DEA budget during a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Leonhart said she expected a number of things to happen after Washington and Colorado were allowed to go forward with the legalization of marijuana last year. What she didn't anticipate was the impact on man's best friend. 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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