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US TX: Medical Marijuana Will Be Sold In Texas Before End Of 2017

MAP - Cannabis - Fri, 11/24/2017 - 08:00
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, 24 Nov 2017 - In just a few weeks, medical marijuana will legally be sold in Texas. The plants are nearly finished growing in South-Central Texas, which means workers will soon harvest and cultivate them, drying them out and preparing to extract low-level cannibidiol.

Canada to legalize at age 18, ban traditional market

The Leaf Online - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 16:13

The transition is likely to be messy now that the Canadian government has announced that it will have legal marijuana available in July 2018. The rules are strict and the existing traditional supply stream will remain illegal. That means personal adult cultivation, purchase, possession and sharing of cannabis all will be legal at age 18. […]

The post Canada to legalize at age 18, ban traditional market appeared first on The Leaf Online.

US MI: Marijuana Butter Case Tossed Out By Michigan Appeals Court

MAP - Cannabis - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 08:00
Detroit Free Press, 23 Nov 2017 - GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A Michigan judge has thrown out a case against two former corrections officers who lost their jobs after being arrested and charged with possession of marijuana-infused butter. Michael Frederick and Todd VanDoorne were charged in 2014 following an early-morning, warrant-less search of their homes. Both were registered under the state's medical marijuana law to use the butter to control pain. Police allege they didn't comply with the law. They subsequently lost their jobs in Kent County.

Talk About Marijuana At Thanksgiving This Year

NORML Blog - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 21:29

We have much to be thankful for this year. Lawmakers in 26 states have passed legislation to advance cannabis reform, including New Hampshire becoming the 21nd state to decriminalize marijuana and West Virginia becoming the 30th state to pass a medical marijuana program.

This progress has come as a result of years of organizing and conversations with our fellow citizens about the role of government in relationship to a plant. Having the tough conversations about the scope of the government’s right to stop, search, and incarcerate individuals for possessing or consuming marijuana for either personal or medical benefits.

And now for the first time ever, Gallup polling recorded outright majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents supporting the legalization of marijuana. The only way to find out if this includes your aunts, uncles, cousins, and other relatives is if you bring it up.

So use us as a resource – NORML.org has FactsheetsTalking Points, and you can even pass your phone or computer around the table to have your friends and family contact their lawmakers right then and there to support reform in our Action Center.

As we look toward an uncertain future, we know we must work to both sustain our existing gains and to win future victories. With your continued financial support, we are confident that we can bring the era of marijuana prohibition to an end and usher in the new era of legalization. Together, we will be unstoppable. Together, we WILL legalize marijuana across this great country.

From all of us at NORML to all of you, we hope you have a hempy and happy Thanksgiving.



Over reliance on clones may taint cannabis

The Leaf Online - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 15:45

Since purity and potency testing of cannabis first become popular and now mandated, there has been a seemingly inexplicable increase in pesticides detected. Part of this is simply that cannabis has not traditionally been product tested, so there is no established baseline for comparison. The Department of Agriculture has not listed any approved levels of […]

The post Over reliance on clones may taint cannabis appeared first on The Leaf Online.

Study: Cannabis Associated With Decreased In-Hospital Mortality In Heart Failure Patients

The Joint Blog - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 03:28
A history of cannabis use among patients with heart failure is associated with reduced odds of in-hospital mortality compared to similarly matched individuals who don’t use the plant, according to a new study published online by the journal Circulation.

For the study, researchers examined data from over six million heart failure patients over a seven-year period. They found that patients with a history of cannabis use were less likely to suffer from atrial fibrillation (irregular heartbeat), experienced shorter hospital stays, and most importantly were less likely to die during hospitalization as compared to non-users.

“Our study showed that cannabis use lowered the odds of atrial fibrillation in patients with heart failure,” states researchers. “There was also reduced in-hospital mortality among patients admitted for the primary diagnosis of heart failure in DU (cannabis dependent users) and NDU (non-dependent cannabis users) which was not explained by comorbid conditions and demographic data. This study provides important opportunity to explore the preventive mechanism of cannabis on atrial fibrillation and its therapeutic potential in heart failure patients.”

The results of the study are similar to research published last year in the journal Cancer Medicine which found that the “Odds of in-hospital mortality were significantly reduced among marijuana users compared with non-users in all hospitalized patients as well as cancer patients.”

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Police Arrest Elderly Couple for Hibiscus Plant Mistaken for Marijuana, Couple Sues

The Joint Blog - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:46
A Pennsylvania couple is suing their local police department and Nationwide Insurance Co. after they were arrested when an insurance agent mistook their hibiscus plants for marijuana, reports the Associated Press.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday by 69-year-old Edward Cramer and his 66-year-old wife, Audrey, claims that an insurance agent showed up at their home in Buffalo Township on October 5th to investigate a fallen tree. According to the Cramers, the agent took photos of their flowering hibiscus plant and sent the images to police.

Two days later on October 7th police arrived up at their home brandishing assault rifles. Believing the hibiscus plant to be marijuana, police arrested the couple and held them for several hours inside a police cruiser. This is despite the Cramers telling the officers multiple times that the plants were hibiscus, not marjijuana.

According to the lawsuit the Cramers are seeking monetary and compensatory damages and court costs. Neither Buffalo Township police nor Nationwide provided comment.

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UK: CBD Use Doubles in One Year

The Joint Blog - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 09:32
According to a new report the number of people in the United Kingdom who use cannabidiol (CBD) oil has doubled since last year.

According to the report from the Cannabis Trades Association U.K. (CTAUK), 250,000 people currently use CBD oil to help treat a variety of medical conditions. These numbers are up from 125,000 last year, an 100% increase. According to CTAUK, there are approximately 1,000 new people each month who use CBD oil.

The increase comes after the U.K. government officially recognized CBD as medicine, stating that it has “restoring, correcting, or modifying” properties. The statement opened the door for companies to obtain licenses to distribute CBD oil.

According to CTAUK, 65% of those in the UK who use CBD oil are women, with some of the primary conditions its used to treat being epilepsy, anxiety and pain.

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US MA: State Pot Commission Aims To Have First Draft Of Rules Set By

MAP - Cannabis - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:00
Boston Globe, 21 Nov 2017 - Pot sales are expected to begin around July 1 in Massachusetts. The Cannabis Control Commission is pushing to write a first draft of new rules permitting the legal sale of marijuana in Massachusetts by the end of the year, setting up a frenetic month that will shape the recreational pot industry.

CN BC: Column: Smoking Pot Hard On Health

MAP - Cannabis - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:00
Prince George Citizen, 21 Nov 2017 - On a flight home last week, I was having a conversation about the introduction of Bill C-45 or the "Cannabis Act." The person I was talking to is working with local governments to sort out the multitude of bylaws and regulations which will be necessitated by the legislation. Different municipalities are taking varying approaches and have disparate points of view on the whole issue. After all, not everyone is in favour of legalizing marijuana nor sure what exactly that means.

Canada: Column: Which Provincial Pot Approach Is Best?

MAP - Cannabis - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:00
Globe and Mail, 21 Nov 2017 - Alberta and Quebec recently unveiled their strategies for the commercialization of legal marijuana The socialist NDP is embracing the free market, while the freemarket Liberals seem to prefer the old-style state monopoly.

US PA: Pa. Marijuana Growers And Doctors Get Creative With No Budget

MAP - Cannabis - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 21 Nov 2017 - Patient response to Pa. marijuana program 'extremely positive' What if Pennsylvania had a medical marijuana program but few people knew about it? With hundreds of millions of dollars invested in cannabis growing facilities and dispensaries -- and the health of thousands of prospective patients on the line -- alerting state residents to the program should be a priority. But there's effectively a gag order on nearly all players involved.

Michigan: Legalization Coalition Turns in 360,000 Signatures to Place Issue on 2018 Ballot

NORML Blog - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 19:42

Proponents of a Michigan voter initiative effort to legalize and regulate the personal use and retail sale of cannabis today turned in more than 360,000 signatures in an effort to qualify the measure for the November 2018 ballot. Advocates must possess a total of 252,523 valid signatures from registered voters in order to place the initiative — the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act — on next year’s ballot.

The initiative permits those over the age of 21 to possess and grow personal use quantities of cannabis and related concentrates, while also licensing activities related to the commercial marijuana production and retail marijuana sales.

Proponents of the effort, The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, include members of the Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights Association, Michigan NORML, MI Legalize, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, and lawyers from the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section. Today’s press conference is archived on the Coalition’s Facebook page here.

Advocates sought to place a similar measure on the Michigan ballot in 2016. That effort was ultimately turned back when lawmakers imposed and the courts upheld new rules limiting the time frame during which signatures could be collected.

Marijuana law reform advocates are presently gathering signatures for voter-initiated efforts in Missouri and Utah. Proponents of a medical marijuana initiative in South Dakota have turned in their signatures and are awaiting a review by the Secretary of State’s office. A statewide initiative legalizing the use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma has already qualified for the 2018 electoral ballot.

Study: Medical Cannabis Registrants More Likely To Cease Using Opioids Compared To Non-Participants

NORML Blog - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 18:20

Chronic pain patients enrolled in a statewide medical cannabis access program are significantly more likely to either reduce or cease their use of opioids as compared to non-enrolled patients suffering from similar pain conditions, according to data published online in the journal PLOS One.

A team of investigators at the University of New Mexico assessed opioid prescription use patterns over a 21-month period in 37 pain patients enrolled in the state’s medicinal cannabis program versus 29 non-enrolled patients.

Compared to non-users, medical cannabis enrollees “were more likely either to reduce daily opioid prescription dosages between the beginning and end of the sample period (83.8 percent versus 44.8 percent) or to cease filling opioid prescriptions altogether (40.5 percent versus 3.4 percent).” Enrollees were also more likely to report an improved quality of life.

Authors concluded, “The clinically and statistically significant evidence of an association between MCP enrollment and opioid prescription cessation and reductions and improved quality of life warrants further investigations on cannabis as a potential alternative to prescription opioids for treating chronic pain.”

Prior studies similarly report that patients enrolled in cannabis access programs are more likely to reduce their use of opioids and other prescription drugs.

Full text of the study, “Association between medical cannabis and prescription opioid use in chronic pain patients: A preliminary cohort study,” appears online here. NORML’s marijuana and opioids fact-sheet is online here.

New NJ governor promises legal adult cannabis

The Leaf Online - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 15:32

New Jersey Governor-Elect Phil Murphy campaigned on a pledge to legalize and regulate the adult use of cannabis in the state. The incoming Democrat governor replaces Chris Christie, a Trump Republican, who at least once said, “you’re d&*# right I’m the only impediment” to legalization in New Jersey. When marijuana policy reform was discussed during this […]

The post New NJ governor promises legal adult cannabis appeared first on The Leaf Online.

US MI: Marijuana Industry High On Prospect Of Michigan's Cannabis

MAP - Cannabis - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 08:00
Detroit Free Press, 20 Nov 2017 - LAS VEGAS -- For Hilary Dulany, long roots in Michigan and the prospect of expanding her Oregon marijuana business are luring her back to the Great Lakes State. For Nancy Whiteman, the prospect of taking her business national has her looking for partners in Michigan.

US FL: Sarasota Medical Marijuana Company Poised To Plant First Crop

MAP - Cannabis - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 08:00
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 20 Nov 2017 - Sarasota-based medical marijuana company AltMed Florida is poised to begin growing its first crop of marijuana at a facility in Apollo Beach. The Florida Department of Health authorized Plants of Ruskin -- the nursery that is partnering with AltMed -- to begin operating the cultivation facility.

US Hemp cultivation more than doubles in 2017

The Leaf Online - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 15:28

Domestic hemp production more than doubled from 2016 to 2017, according to data compiled by the advocacy organization Vote Hemp, which is dedicated to changing state and federal laws to allow commercial hemp farming. The group calculates that US farmers cultivated over 23,000 acres of hemp in 2017, up from fewer than 10,000 acres in 2016, […]

The post US Hemp cultivation more than doubles in 2017 appeared first on The Leaf Online.

US MT: Montana Drafts Medical Marijuana Regulations

MAP - Cannabis - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 08:00
Kansas City Star, 19 Nov 2017 - The state health department has drafted proposed regulations for the medical marijuana industry, setting rules for quality testing, tracking and increasing fees. The Billings Gazette reports the Department of Public Health and Human Services plans a public hearing in Helena on Nov. 30.

Peru President Signs Medical Cannabis Bill Into Law

The Joint Blog - Sun, 11/19/2017 - 05:58

A bill legalizing medical cannabis oil has been signed into law by Peru President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Peru’s flag.

President Kuczynski’s signing of the bill comes roughly a month after Peru’s Congress gave overwhelming approval to the measure with a vote of 68 to 5. The new law allows cannabis oil to be legally produced, imported and sold for throughout the South American country.

Passage of the new law comes with widespread support among Peru residents; a recent Ipsos poll found that 65% support legalizing cannabis for medical purposes. According to Alberty Belaunde, a lawmaker in the ruling party who supported the measure, regulations for producing and commercializing cannabis oil will be written within 60 days.

Peru now joins several of its Latin American neighbors who have also legalized cannabis for medical purposes, including Mexico, Chile and Colombia.

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