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VA Won't Study Marijuana's Effect on Veterans Posted by on January 17, 2018 at 05:20:46 PT By Katie Zezima Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The Department of Veterans Affairs says it will not conduct research into whether medical marijuana could help veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, as veterans groups are pushing for the use of the drug as an alternative to opioids and anti-depressants.

In a letter to U.S. Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minn.), Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin said VA’s ability to research medical marijuana is hampered by the fact that the drug is illegal federally. Shulkin’s letter came in response to an inquiry by 10 Democrats on the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. The letter asks Shulkin to commit the VA to investigating whether medical marijuana can help veterans suffering from PTSD and chronic pain and identify barriers to doing so. Read More... Family of Doctors Helps Reinvent Medical Marijuana Posted by on January 15, 2018 at 05:05:12 PT By Justin Wm. Moyer Source: Washington Post Oregon and California -- The Knoxes are a clan of four doctors living in Oregon and California who specialize in medical marijuana. They seem to be doing quite well selling something that is illegal in many states, working with those they know best.

“We’re all fighting the same fight,” said Janice Knox, the founding doctor behind American Cannabinoid Clinics in Portland, Ore. — and the mother of two fellow physicians and the wife of the other. “I think when they do see us they’re surprised at who we are,” she said of her patients. The family aims for something not always associated with medical marijuana: professionalism. Read More... Vermont Senate Passes Bill To Legalize Marijuana Posted by CN Staff on January 10, 2018 at 13:17:43 PT By Scott Malone Source: Reuters Vermont -- Republican Governor Phil Scott is expected to sign the bill, which passed the Democratic-controlled Senate by a voice vote. The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed the measure last week. Although Vermont is one of the most politically liberal states, it is also one of 23 in the nation that do not allow ballot initiatives.

The Vermont bill would allow those 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, two adult plants and four immature plants beginning on July 1. It does not immediately clear the way for retail sales of the drug, leaving that up to a commission created last year to study how to tax and regulate it. Read More... New Hampshire Lawmakers Approve MJ Legalization Posted by on January 09, 2018 at 16:41:43 PT By Tom Angell Source: Forbes N.H. -- The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to legalize marijuana on Tuesday, just five days after the Trump administration moved to rescind federal guidelines protecting state cannabis laws.

Under the bill, which is expected to soon move to the state Senate, people over 21 years of age would be allowed to legally possess three-quarters of an ounce of marijuana and grow up to three mature cannabis plants at home. Retail sales locations would not be allowed. Read More... Jeff Sessions’s Endless War on Marijuana Posted by on January 08, 2018 at 05:34:17 PT By The NYT Editorial Board Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- The key to understanding the Trump administration’s approach to policy, it seems, is to look at what most Americans want and then imagine the opposite.

Consider the new guidance on marijuana that Attorney General Jeff Sessions issued last week, which reverses Obama-era policy and gives prosecutors more leeway to enforce federal laws against the drug in states where it is legal. Mr. Sessions has been on a lifelong crusade against the plant, which he considers the root of many of society’s ills. Read More... DOJ's Memo Creates Big Decision for US Attorneys Posted by on January 07, 2018 at 07:31:38 PT By Lydia Wheeler Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions is leaving it up to federal prosecutors to decide whether to crack down on marijuana in states where medical and recreational use is legal.

In rescinding the Obama-era policy that relaxed enforcement of federal marijuana laws on Thursday, Sessions opened the door for federal prosecutors to begin pursuing cases. But the memo didn’t explicitly call for action, experts noted. Read More... NY Lawmakers Ask Congress to Pass Marijuana Law Posted by on January 06, 2018 at 12:39:54 PT By Josefa Velasquez Source: New York Law Journal New York -- The architects of New York’s medical marijuana program are asking Congress to pass legislation allowing medical and recreational use programs after U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Thursday that he is rescinding an Obama-era policy that generally kept federal law enforcement from interfering with states’ marijuana sales.

Assemblyman Richard Gottfried and state Sen. Diane Savino, both Democrats who helped craft New York’s medical marijuana program, are calling on U.S. Congress to enact legislation that would protect marijuana programs in the states that have them, which include New York and California, among others. Read More... Defiant Vermont Legislators Vote To Legalize MJ Posted by CN Staff on January 05, 2018 at 15:14:56 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Vermont -- The Vermont House of Representatives voted 83 to 61 Thursday in favor of a bill that would fully legalize the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana and allow individuals to grow up to six marijuana plants at home.

The bill is expected to win approval in the Senate, which passed a nearly identical version last year. The state's Republican governor, Phil Scott, has already said he is “comfortable” with the legislation and has signaled he'd sign it. Read More... California Defiant in Face of Federal Move Posted by on January 05, 2018 at 13:50:32 PT By Thomas Fuller Source: New York Times San Francisco -- The sale of recreational cannabis became legal in California on New Year’s Day. Just four days later, the Trump administration acted in effect to undermine that state law by allowing federal prosecutors to be more aggressive in prosecuting marijuana cases.

A memo by Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Thursday was widely interpreted in the nation’s most populous state as the latest example of Trump vs. California, a multifront battle of issues ranging from immigration to taxes to the environment. Read More... Legalized Marijuana Use Threatened Posted by on January 04, 2018 at 11:10:42 PT By Matt Zapotosky and Sari Horwitz Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded several Obama-era directives that discouraged enforcement of federal marijuana laws in states that had legalized the substance.

In a memo sent to U.S. attorneys Thursday, Sessions noted that federal law prohibits the possession and sale of marijuana, and he undid four previous Obama administration memos that advised against bringing weed prosecutions in states where it was legal to use for recreational or medical purposes. Sessions said prosecutors should use their own discretion — taking into consideration the department’s limited resources, the seriousness of the crime, and the deterrent effect that they could impose — in weighing whether charges were appropriate. Read More... Sessions Ending Federal Policy Posted by CN Staff on January 04, 2018 at 10:55:22 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Washington, D.C. -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions has rescinded an Obama-era policy that paved the way for legalized marijuana to flourish in states across the country, creating new confusion about enforcement and use just three days after a new legalization law went into effect in California.

President Donald Trump’s top law enforcement official announced the change Thursday. Instead of the previous lenient-federal-enforcement policy, Sessions’ new stance will instead let federal prosecutors where marijuana is legal decide how aggressively to enforce longstanding federal law prohibiting it. Read More... Trump Administration Threatens MJ Legalization Posted by on January 04, 2018 at 08:30:36 PT By Charlie Savage and Jack Healy Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- The Trump administration on Thursday will free federal prosecutors to more aggressively enforce marijuana laws, effectively threatening to undermine the legalization movement that has spread to six states, most recently California.

The Justice Department is expected to rescind an Obama-era policy of discouraging federal prosecutors from bringing charges of marijuana-related crimes in states that had legalized sales of the drug. Read More... California’s Marijuana-Tracking System Delayed Posted by CN Staff on January 02, 2018 at 18:20:25 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Los Angeles -- California’s legal pot economy was supposed to operate under the umbrella of a vast computerized system to track marijuana from seed to storefronts, ensuring that plants are followed throughout the supply chain and don’t drift into the black market.

But recreational cannabis sales began this week without the computer system. Instead, businesses are being asked to document sales and transfers of pot manually, using paper invoices or shipping manifests. That raises the potential that an unknown amount of weed will continue slipping into the illicit market, as it has for years. Read More... It's High Times as CA Makes Recreational Use Legal Posted by on January 02, 2018 at 06:57:01 PT By Marisa Gerber Source: Los Angeles Times California -- “Groove on! Groove on!” blared from speakers outside a gray warehouse in Santa Ana. Inside, a line of 60 people snaked through the shop, waiting to be helped by a budtender. “We were bombarded!” said Robert Taft Jr., founder of the marijuana dispensary 420 Central.

When the shop opened at 7 a.m. Monday — Day 1 of legal recreational pot sales in California — a handful of people had already lined up. Within two hours, more than 100 customers, some still nursing holiday hangovers, had made purchases. As they walked out, Taft shouted, “Enjoy your new freedom!” Read More... CA Pot: Smoke ’em or eat ’em if you can get ’em Posted by CN Staff on January 02, 2018 at 06:46:38 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Oakland, Calif. -- It wasn’t exactly reefer madness Monday as California launched the first legal sales of recreational marijuana, but those who could find the drug celebrated the historic day, lining up early for ribbon cuttings, freebies and offerings ranging from cookies to gummy bears to weed with names like “heaven mountain” and “alien rock candy.”

Jeff Deakin, 66, his wife Mary and their dog waited in the cold all night to be first in a line of 100 people when Harborside dispensary, a longtime medical pot shop in Oakland, opened at 6 a.m. and offered early customers joints for a penny and free T-shirts that read “Flower to the People — Cannabis for All.” Read More... Recreational Pot Is Officially Legal in California Posted by on January 01, 2018 at 15:22:53 PT By Thomas Fuller Source: New York Times Oakland, Calif. -- Retail cannabis shops in California opened their doors on Monday for the first time, inaugurating what proponents say will become the world’s largest market for legalized recreational marijuana.

A transaction that remains illegal in many parts of the country seemed almost banal on Monday for the customers at a dispensary in Oakland who picked out their marijuana, showed their driver’s licenses and walked into the brisk morning air with their drugs in a paper bag. Read More... Customers Line Up for Broad Legal Pot Sales Posted by CN Staff on January 01, 2018 at 09:46:20 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Los Angeles -- Customers hoping to be among the first in California to purchase marijuana legally lined up early Monday, as the arrival of the new year brought with it broad legalization of cannabis, two decades after the state was the first to allow pot for medical use.

Just after midnight, some raised joints instead of champagne glasses. Johnny Hernandez, a tattoo artist from Modesto, celebrated by smoking “Happy New Year blunts” with his cousins. “This is something we’ve all been waiting for,” he said. “It is something that can help so many people and there’s no reason why we should not be sharing that.” Read More... California Launches Legal Sale of Cannabis Posted by CN Staff on January 01, 2018 at 06:07:45 PT By Steve Gorman Source: Reuters Los Angeles -- California will launch the world's largest regulated commercial market for recreational marijuana on Monday, as dozens of newly licensed stores catering to adults who enjoy the drug for its psychoactive effects open for business up and down the state.

It becomes the sixth U.S. state, and by far the most populous, venturing beyond legalized medical marijuana to permit the sale of cannabis products of all types to customers at least 21 years old. Read More... A Monumental Moment for Fully Legal Marijuana Posted by on January 01, 2018 at 05:47:22 PT By Patrick McGreevy Source: Los Angeles Times California -- Will Senn has been waiting his whole life for this. Californians can now go to the store and buy marijuana, and his shop is opening its doors at 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day.

Senn’s Urbn Leaf in San Diego was among the first to get a state-issued license to sell pot for medical and recreational uses. He hired 15 more workers to accommodate what he expects to be a crush of new customers to flood into his shop, which had previously specialized in cannabis for medicinal purposes. Read More... Anticipation High as California Rolls Out Posted by CN Staff on December 31, 2017 at 11:21:10 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Los Angeles -- Californians may awake on New Year’s Day to a stronger-than-normal whiff of marijuana as America’s cannabis king lights up to celebrate the state’s first legal retail pot sales.

The historic day comes more than two decades after California paved the way for legal weed by passing the nation’s first medical marijuana law, though other states were quicker to allow the drug’s recreational use. Read More... Legal Recreational Pot in California Posted by CN Staff on December 31, 2017 at 08:14:46 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Los Angeles -- California on Monday becomes the nation’s largest state to offer legal recreational marijuana sales. Here’s a snapshot of how the market will work and how the state will regulate a pot economy estimated to be worth $7 billion:


California voted to legalize in 2016. The goal is to tighten regulation of the state’s long-running medical pot sales while encouraging operators in the vast black market to enter the legal system. Read More... The Nation's Capital The Wild West of Marijuana Posted by on December 29, 2017 at 07:05:22 PT By Evan Halper Source: Los Angeles Times Washington, D.C. -- It’s not the promise of prompt delivery that has residents of Washington, D.C., spending fifty bucks for nondescript glass jars, nor is it the small jars themselves, which resemble something found on the bottom shelf of a Dollar Tree.

It is the unmentioned “gift” which a local online upstart, Trendingleafs, tucks inside each jar: fragrant clusters of Grape Ape, Purple Kush or Woody Harrelson OG. Or it might be cannabis-laced snickerdoodles or a vial of Lemon Haze concentrate. Read More... The Lack of Health Research Into Marijuana Posted by on December 27, 2017 at 11:25:27 PT By Times Editorial Board Source: Los Angeles Times California -- In advance of the legalization of recreational marijuana sales on Jan. 1, there have been lots of debates over the details of the cannabis business. How many feet should pot shops be from schools or daycare centers? How many acres may a marijuana farmer cultivate? Who should be eligible for a license to sell and who shouldn’t?

But there’s been much less discussion over an equally important question raised by the end of prohibition in California: What is the right public health message to send to adults who can now legally buy and use marijuana? Voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 64 last year and polls continue to show broad support for legalization. But just because marijuana is legal doesn’t mean it is risk-free. Read More... States Likely To Legalize Marijuana In 2018 Posted by on December 27, 2017 at 10:15:45 PT By Tom Angell Source: Forbes USA -- After four of five statewide marijuana legalization ballot initiatives were approved by voters in 2016, no additional states ended cannabis prohibition in 2017 (though New Hampshire did decriminalize possession of the drug and West Virginia allowed its medical use). Now, a number of states are poised to legalize marijuana and approve other far-reaching cannabis measures in 2018.

If marijuana policy advocates' plans come to fruition in the new year, 2018 will bring about the first legalization laws passed by lawmakers; to date, all eight states to end cannabis prohibition did it through voter initiatives. Here's a look at the states that are most likely to enact marijuana reforms in 2018: Read More... Labor Unions See Organizing CA Marijuana Workers Posted by CN Staff on December 26, 2017 at 10:27:54 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press California -- Unions have caught a whiff of a rare opportunity to organize a whole new set of workers as recreational marijuana becomes legal in California.

The United Farm Workers, Teamsters and United Food and Commercial Workers are looking to unionize the tens of thousands of potential workers involved in the legal weed game, from planters to rollers to sellers. The move could provide a boost to organized labor’s lagging membership — if infighting doesn’t get in the way. Read More... California's Top Marijuana Regulator Talks Posted by CN Staff on December 25, 2017 at 13:55:00 PT By The Associated Press Source: Associated Press California's legal pot market opens for business on Jan. 1. The day will be a milestone, but what exactly will happen then and, especially, in the weeks and months to come is unclear.

Lori Ajax, the state's top pot regulator, has been at the center of the effort to establish rules for a legal pot economy valued at $7 billion. It’s a question many people are asking: Can I buy legal pot on Jan. 1? Read More... Marijuana Doomsday Didn't Come Posted by CN Staff on December 19, 2017 at 16:04:06 PT By Antony Davies and James R. Harrigan Source: U.S. News & World Report Colorado -- It's been a little more than five years since Colorado's voters approved Constitutional Amendment 64, which legalized recreational marijuana in the state. Sales commenced four years ago this January. Although the amendment passed by a comfortable 10-point margin, the debate in Colorado has continued in the years since prohibition ended, most recently flaring up with an editorial published in the Colorado Springs Gazette. Last month, the Gazette's editorial board referred to what has happened in Colorado as "an embarrassing cautionary tale," before presenting a laundry list of the purported ill-effects of the change in the law. Read More... California Considers Green Banking Posted by on December 17, 2017 at 07:04:15 PT By Patrick McGreevy Source: Los Angeles Times Los Angeles -- California has a possible solution to the problem of banks being unwilling to handle money from the state’s multibillion-dollar legal marijuana industry, one that officials say would be the first system of its kind in the nation.

Talks are underway between the state, banks and federal regulators on a plan to allow banks to serve a marijuana market that is expected to grow to $7 billion annually by 2020 in California. Starting Jan. 1, it will be legal to grow and sell marijuana for recreational and medical uses. Read More... Sessions and Christie Must Stop Telling Lies Posted by on December 13, 2017 at 07:35:13 PT By Ryan Jennemann Source: Newsweek Washington, D.C. -- Congress just gave the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, which bars the Department of Justice from using federal funds to prosecute people buying or selling medical marijuana in states that have legalized it, a temporary reprieve until Dec. 22.

However, as Rep. Earl Blumenauer, (D-Ore.) stated, “Two weeks is not enough certainty," especially when you are talking about patients’ well-being and a North American cannabis marketplace largely made up of small business owners and their employees that is expected to grow 33 percent to nearly $10 billion in 2017 and create tens of thousands of new jobs in the New Year. Read More... U.S. States Tried Decriminalizing Pot Before Posted by on December 09, 2017 at 12:47:45 PT By Emily Dufton Source: Time USA -- In the past five years, eight states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational marijuana for adults. Today, 68 million people live in areas where marijuana is treated like alcohol or tobacco. The drug is sold in stores, millions of tax dollars are being raised from its sale, and an increasing number of businesspeople are profiting in this lucrative new industry. Long seen as either a hippie accessory or a dangerous gateway drug, legal marijuana is booming. Pot is so popular that, in 2015, its sales surpassed Girl Scout cookies, Oreos, and Dasani bottled water. By 2026, analysts predict it will match, and eventually outpace, America’s $50 billion wedding industry. 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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