Patterns: A Benefit of Legal Marijuana Posted by on September 02, 2014 at 05:36:26 PT By Nicholas Bakalar Source: New York Times USA -- Policy makers have suggested a variety of strategies to reduce injury and death from prescription opioid overdose, including drug-monitoring programs, scrutiny of doctors writing prescriptions and improved access to substance-abuse treatment.
Now a study has found evidence that legal access to marijuana is associated with fewer opioid overdose deaths. Researchers with the Department of Veterans Affairs found that in states where medical marijuana was legally available, death rates from opioid overdose were on average 24.8 percent lower than in states without medical marijuana. Read More... Legalization Complicates How To Talk About Pot Posted by on September 01, 2014 at 14:30:19 PT By Maria L. La Ganga Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- Laurie Ritchie prides herself on being an open-minded parent. She voted in favor of legalizing marijuana two years ago. She started talking to her daughters about drug use around the same time. She hasn't stopped.
Now that recreational pot is legal in Colorado and Washington state for people 21 and older, "it's everywhere," the 53-year-old said. Even on her patio in this Denver suburb, where her husband sneaks an occasional smoke. Read More... Will Draffic Deaths Rise as States Legalize Pot? Posted by CN Staff on September 01, 2014 at 06:19:30 PT By Joan Lowy, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Washington, D.C. -- As states liberalize their marijuana laws, public officials and safety advocates worry that more drivers high on pot will lead to a big increase in traffic deaths. Researchers who have studied the issue, though, are divided on the question.
Studies of marijuana's effects show that the drug can slow decision-making, decrease peripheral vision and impede multitasking, all of which are critical driving skills. But unlike with alcohol, drivers high on pot tend to be aware that they are impaired and they try to compensate by driving slowly, avoiding risky actions such as passing other cars, and allowing extra room between vehicles. Read More... Alaska Marijuana Legalization Initiative Posted by on September 01, 2014 at 06:10:28 PT By Laurel Andrews Source: Anchorage Daily News Alaska -- With two months left to sway Alaska voters, the dueling groups in support and opposition of a ballot measure to legalize, tax and regulate recreational marijuana in Alaska are ramping up their campaigns, and Friday they offered glimpses of what’s to come in the weeks leading to the general election.
The group backing the initiative -- the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Alaska -- gave insight into an upcoming advertising campaign and a new website to be unveiled in early September. Read More... Of Pot and Percocet Posted by on August 30, 2014 at 11:31:14 PT By Marcus Bachhuber Source: New York Times USA -- Prescription opioid painkillers like Percocet, Vicodin and OxyContin have come under intense scrutiny in recent years because of the drastic rise in overdose deaths associated with their prolonged use. Meanwhile, access to medical marijuana has been expanding — 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized its broad medical use — and chronic or severe pain is by far the most common condition reported among people using it.
Could the availability of medical marijuana reduce the hazards of prescription painkillers? If enough people opt to treat pain with medical marijuana instead of prescription painkillers in states where this is legal, it stands to reason that states with medical marijuana laws might experience an overall decrease in opioid painkiller overdoses and deaths. Read More... CO MMJ Research Grants Face Federal Uncertainty Posted by on August 30, 2014 at 05:10:03 PT By John Ingold, The Denver Post Source: Denver Post Colorado will begin handing out money for a groundbreaking medical-marijuana research grant program early next year. But the first meeting of a group that will review applications for the grants shows there's doubt over who will be able to accept the funding.
Next week, Colorado's health department will release the program's official request for applications. Starting early next year, the state expects to distribute $9 million for research on the medical effects of cannabis, making it the largest state-funded effort to study medical marijuana. Read More... Santa Fe City Council Votes to Decriminalize MJ Posted by CN Staff on August 28, 2014 at 10:23:02 PT By Josepk Kolb Source: Reuters New Mexico -- Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the New Mexico capital voting to change local statutes rather than put the issue to a public ballot in November.
The Santa Fe City Council voted five to four in favor of revising a law classifying possession of less than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana as a misdemeanor. Read More... U.S. Government To Grow 30 Times More Marijuana Posted by on August 27, 2014 at 20:18:30 PT By Lauren Raab Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. government has upped the quantity of marijuana it’s growing this year, to more than 1,400 pounds from the originally planned 46. The federal government classifies marijuana as a substance that has no medical use and is more dangerous than cocaine. But it’s willing to let researchers have access — under a few conditions.
One condition is that each project needs approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration. Another is that researchers get the substance from a particular source: the federal government. Read More... Marijuana Lowers the Risk of Domestic Violence Posted by on August 26, 2014 at 18:36:12 PT By Paul Armentano Source: AlterNet USA -- The use of alcohol significantly increases one’s likelihood of becoming either a perpetrator or a victim of a violent act, including acts of intimate partner violence. As for cannabis use -- that’s a different story. In fact, according to a just-published study in the journal Psychology and Addictive Behaviors, couples who use pot are particularly unlikely to engage in intimate partner violence. Read More... In States With MMJ, Painkiller Deaths Drop by 25% Posted by on August 26, 2014 at 04:44:50 PT By Douglas Main Source: Newsweek USA -- America has a major problem with prescription pain medications like Vicodin and OxyContin. Overdose deaths from these pharmaceutical opioids have approximately tripled since 1991, and every day 46 people die of such overdoses in the United States.
However, in the 13 states that passed laws allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25 percent fewer people die from opioid overdoses annually. Read More... Is MMJ The Answer To USA Painkiller Epidemic Posted by on August 25, 2014 at 14:16:56 PT By Jason Millman Source: Washington Post USA -- A new study suggests that medical marijuana could provide some relief from the national epidemic of prescription painkiller overdoses, which kills more Americans each year than car crashes do.
States with medical marijuana laws on the books saw 24.8 percent fewer deaths from painkiller overdoses compared to states that didn't have such laws, according to the study published in JAMA Internal Medicine. That meant 1,729 fewer deaths than expected in 2010 alone, and states saw their overdose rates generally improve each year after their medical marijuana laws were passed, researchers found. Read More... Cannabis Club Hopes To Provide Access to MMJ Posted by on August 25, 2014 at 05:07:41 PT By Laurel Andrews Source: Anchorage Daily News Alaska -- “The Alaska government is failing medical marijuana cardholders and forcing us to feed the black market. Not anymore,” proclaims the Alaska Cannabis Club's website.
Founded this spring, the Alaska Cannabis Club has one main goal: Provide medical marijuana patients with a safe, legal means of procuring the marijuana they are entitled to possess under state laws. Read More... Bid To Expand MMJ Business Faces Federal Hurdles Posted by on August 24, 2014 at 05:07:35 PT By Dave Philipps Source: New York Times Wray, Colo. — Behind a tall curtain of corn that hides their real cash crop from prying eyes, the Stanley family is undertaking an audacious effort to expand their medical marijuana business to a national market.
For years, the five Stanley brothers, who sell a nonintoxicating strain of cannabis that has gained national attention as a treatment for epilepsy, have grown medical marijuana in greenhouses, under tight state and federal regulations. But this year, they are not only growing marijuana outdoors by the acre, they also plan to ship an oil extracted from their plants to other states. Read More... Sponsors Cancel Drug Summit in Madras Posted by on August 22, 2014 at 12:07:03 PT By Jeff Mapes Source: Oregonian Oregon -- A nonprofit group has canceled an October anti-drug summit in Madras -- which was to feature a prominent opponent of marijuana legalization -- after complaints were raised by sponsors of the ballot measure that would permit recreational use of the drug.
The sponsors of the legalization initiative, Measure 91, charged this week that it was wrong for summit organizers to use federal funds to help pay for an appearance by Kevin Sabet, a former White House drug adviser who has formed an organization opposing marijuana legalization. Read More... MJ Prohibition Must Take a Historical Perspective Posted by on August 21, 2014 at 05:11:35 PT By Jelani Hayes, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post USA -- When the New York Times called for the federal government to repeal its prohibition of marijuana and let the states decide its fate -- for medicinal or recreational use, production, and sale -- it did not rely solely on issues of the here and now, such as economics, science, public safety, and current levels of racial disparities in arrests and incarceration rates (all of which are important considerations). Instead, through the publication of seven pieces, the editorial board provided a more comprehensive argument in support of their stance, connecting today's legalization movement to the past's criminalization crusade. For the New York Times, history matters -- as it should for the legalization campaign nationwide. Read More... Marijuana Regulators Have Done ‘A Very Good Job’ Posted by on August 19, 2014 at 10:50:22 PT By Reid Wilson Source: Washington Post Denver -- When Colorado voters passed a ballot measure in 2012 legalizing marijuana for recreational use, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) was in the minority voting no. But two years later, eight months into the legalization experiment, Hickenlooper says he’s pleased with the way his state has handled voters’ wishes.
“I think [state regulators have] done a pretty good job. Not perfect, but all things considered, I think they’ve done a very good job,” he said in an interview in his office at the state Capitol. “I’m a constant-improvement person, so I always see ways to make things better.” Read More... So What If Michael Brown Had MJ In His System Posted by on August 18, 2014 at 13:37:38 PT By Nick Wing and Matt Ferner, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Missouri -- The St. Louis County medical examiner's report on the body of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old killed by police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, on Aug. 9, found that Brown had "marijuana in his system" when he died, according to a Washington Post article Monday.
This development should not have come as a surprise to anyone who has ever been or known a teenager, but some still expected the toxicology report to be a "bombshell." It isn't. Read More... Connecticut Growers Tending Marijuana Crops Posted by on August 17, 2014 at 05:28:41 PT By Kenneth R. Gosselin, The Hartford Courant Source: Hartford Courant Connecticut -- For months, Advanced Grow Labs LLC — one of Connecticut's four medical marijuana growing companies — slogged through the process of competing for a state license, securing local zoning approvals, and outfitting a building to state regulations that are as a tough as those at any pharmaceutical manufacturer.
Now, managing partner David Lipton knows his West Haven company is getting close: He planted his first marijuana seeds almost three weeks ago. "I did my own tray, the D.L. tray," Lipton said last week. "My tray is looking pretty good; they're about 3 or 4 inches high now. Finally, we're not just buying stuff, we're dealing with something that grows." Read More... After Legalization, Hempfest More Celebration Posted by on August 16, 2014 at 05:26:54 PT By Katharine Schwab Source: Seattle Times Washington -- Seattle’s very own “protestival” is back — without much to protest. Hempfest 2014 has the usual tie-dye T-shirt-wearing, dread-headed, high-minded attendees, but with marijuana now legal in Washington state, the tone of the 23-year-old festival has shifted from dissent to celebration.
Still, the festival’s guide urges activists to “soldier on in the struggle for full legalization.” “This is the one plant that can revolutionize the world,” said Seattle resident Jacob Junkman, who spends much of his time volunteering at medical dispensaries and was wearing a T-shirt that read “Marijuana is safer than alcohol.” Read More... Public Support for MMJ is Reaching New Highs Posted by on August 15, 2014 at 14:49:50 PT By Sean Sullivan and Scott Clement Source: Washington Post USA -- The legalization of medical marijuana has broad support from the American public. But Republican presidential contenders aren't so high on the idea. Former governor Jeb Bush just came out against amending the Florida constitution to legalize medical marijuana. In a Thursday statement, the Republican said the move could reduce the number of tourists and businesses that come to the state.
“Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire,” Bush said. “Allowing large-scale, marijuana operations to take root across Florida, under the guise of using it for medicinal purposes, runs counter to all of these efforts." Read More... Jeb Bush Opposes Florida MMJ Initiative Posted by on August 14, 2014 at 17:23:51 PT By Alex Lazar, The Huffington Post Source: Huffington Post Florida -- Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) is urging Floridians to vote against a medical marijuana ballot measure, according to a statement published Thursday by the Tampa Bay Times.
"Florida leaders and citizens have worked for years to make the Sunshine State a world-class location to start or run a business, a family-friendly destination for tourism and a desirable place to raise a family or retire," the prospective 2016 GOP presidential candidate said. Read More... The MJ Legalization Movement Loses Pat Robertson Posted by on August 13, 2014 at 20:08:26 PT By Abby Ohlheiser Source: Washington Post USA -- Oh, well: televangelist Pat Robertson has apparently changed his mind on the subject of legal marijuana. Just two years after Robertson said that he thinks the U.S. should “treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” he and his 700 Club network went hard against Colorado’s legalization of the drug this week.
“The little kids are getting high,” Robertson said of the children of Colorado on his Wednesday show. He went on: “Do you want your little 8th grader to be stoned when he goes to school? Well, welcome to Colorado, where pot is legal.” Read More... Pro-Pot Push: The Next Gay Marriage Posted by CN Staff on August 13, 2014 at 17:54:05 PT By Susan Milligan Source: U.S. News & World Report USA -- The image makes supporters of marijuana legalization cringe: a zoned-out-looking, T-shirt-wearing Grateful Dead slacker, his hair long and unwashed and his brain cleansed of any ambition or coherent thought. The caricature is not dissimilar to the distorted images and stereotypes once attached to gay couples. Within the space of just a decade, those unrealistic images of same-sex partnerships quickly disappeared as more Americans embraced their gay colleagues and family members. And with startling alacrity, the law has followed with states adopting same-sex marriage statutes and courts across the country striking down bans on same-sex unions. Read More... Colorado's Marijuana Black Market Is Complicated Posted by on August 13, 2014 at 05:16:35 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post Colorado -- Depending on whom you ask, Colorado's marijuana black market has either vanished or expanded since weed was legalized in the state. Mexican pot farmers have anecdotally said they're taking a beating, but one illegal Colorado drug dealer told The Washington Post that his business was growing. So which is it?
Turns out that's a tough question to answer. A comprehensive market analysis, released by the Colorado Department of Revenue's Marijuana Enforcement Division in July, looked at supply and demand in the state's marijuana market, but the report did not offer granular detail about the supply side. Read More... Canada's 'Prince of Pot' Returns Home After 5 Year Posted by CN Staff on August 12, 2014 at 18:50:20 PT By Reuters Source: Reuters Toronto/ Vancouver -- -A Canadian man jailed for five years in a U.S. federal prison for shipping marijuana seeds across the border returned to his homeland on Tuesday, as laws regulating the drug in both countries have slowly been relaxed.
Marc Emery, Canada's self-proclaimed "Prince of Pot," crossed the border from Detroit, Michigan to Windsor, Ontario, and soon after addressed television cameras and supporters with his wife Jodie Emery by his side. Read More... Gavin Newsom Will Back 'The Right Initiative' Posted by on August 11, 2014 at 15:12:24 PT By Matt Ferner Source: Huffington Post California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who has made no secret of his overall support for marijuana legalization, has now said he's prepared to campaign for a ballot measure in 2016 to permit recreational pot use in the state. During a luncheon meeting for the Marin County Bar Association last week, Newsom said he would back a marijuana legalization measure "if it is the right initiative," The Marin Independent Journal reported.
"The 'right initiative' would be one that addresses age limits -- he doesn't want to see the drug in the hands of kids -- one that addresses advertising, driving under the influence," Andrea Koskey, communications director for Newsom, told The Huffington Post. Read More... Medical Marijuana Research Hits Wall of U.S. Law Posted by on August 09, 2014 at 15:26:21 PT By Serge F. Kovaleski Source: New York Times Arizona -- Nearly four years ago, Dr. Sue Sisley, a psychiatrist at the University of Arizona, sought federal approval to study marijuana’s effectiveness in treating military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. She had no idea how difficult it would be.
The proposal, which has the support of veterans groups, was hung up at several regulatory stages, requiring the research’s private sponsor to resubmit multiple times. After the proposed study received final approval in March from federal health officials, the lone federal supplier of research marijuana said it did not have the strains the study needed and would have to grow more — potentially delaying the project until at least early next year. Read More... Why Marijuana Won’t Become Another Big Tobacco Posted by on August 08, 2014 at 13:10:41 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- I wrote earlier this week about the sophisticated ad campaigns recently launched by supporters and opponents of marijuana legalization. The two camps agree that marijuana is going mainstream but part company on whether this is an ominous development or cause for celebration.
The argument put forth by the anti-legalization Grass Is Not Greener coalition is a novel one, and worth digging into. "If we’re not careful, the marijuana industry could quickly become the next Big Tobacco," its Web site warns. Read More... New Mexico Woman Sues Employer Over Medical Pot Posted by CN Staff on August 07, 2014 at 15:05:13 PT By Susan Montoya Bryan, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Albuquerque, N.M. -- A New Mexico physician’s assistant who also is a medical marijuana patient says one of the state’s largest health care providers violated her rights when it fired her following a positive drug test.
Donna Smith is the latest medical marijuana patient to go to court to seek protections for workers who have been fired due to their participation in the state’s medical marijuana program. She filed her lawsuit against Presbyterian Healthcare Services in state district court in June, and her attorney is now seeking a hearing date. Read More... Marijuana Issue on The Ballot for D.C. Posted by on August 07, 2014 at 06:12:03 PT By Andrea Noble, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington, D.C. -- D.C. residents will vote on legalizing the recreational use and possession of marijuana when they head to the polls in November. The D.C. Board of Elections voted unanimously Wednesday to allow the ballot initiative to go before voters.
If approved, Initiative 71 would allow an adult over the age of 21 to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana and to grow up to six plants in his or her home. However, it would not legalize the sale of marijuana. Read More...
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