Marijuana Group Passes Out Free Joints Posted by on January 20, 2017 at 09:15:10 PT By Jonah Engel Bromwich Source: New York Times Washington, D.C. -- Don’t be surprised if, shortly after Donald J. Trump begins his inaugural address on Friday, tiny streams of smoke begin to rise from the crowd. A marijuana advocacy group said it was giving away approximately 8,000 free joints on Friday. Early in the morning, hundreds were lined up in Dupont Circle in northwest Washington, where the cigarettes were being handed out.
The protest was planned by DCMJ, which was founded in 2013 in a successful effort to change laws regulating the drug in Washington. The group made its plan, to smoke at least 4,200 joints, known well in advance. Read More... Obama Commutes 330 Drug Sentences on Last Day Posted by CN Staff on January 20, 2017 at 06:10:03 PT By Josh Lederman, The Associated Press Source: Associated Press Washington, D.C. -- In a last major act as president, Barack Obama cut short the sentences of 330 federal inmates convicted of drug crimes on Thursday, bringing his bid to correct what he’s called a systematic injustice to a climactic close.
With his final offer of clemency, Obama brought his total number of commutations granted to 1,715, more than any other president in U.S. history, the White House said. During his presidency Obama ordered free 568 inmates who had been sentenced to life in prison. Read More... Group Has Rolled 5,500 Joints for Inauguration Posted by on January 19, 2017 at 07:17:04 PT By Charlotte Alter Source: Time Washington, D.C. -- Everyone prepares for the inauguration in their own special way. President-elect Donald Trump is writing his inaugural address. The Rockettes are practicing their dance moves. Women’s March protesters are painting their signs. And DCMJ is rolling joints.
The D.C.-based marijuana advocacy group that successfully lobbied for weed legalization in the district has already rolled more than 5,500 joints to hand out for free before the inauguration. DCMJ says the marijuana hand-out is not necessarily an anti-Trump protest, since both revelers and protesters are invited to partake. Instead, says DCMJ co-founder Nikolas Schiller, the event is supposed to be for anybody who supports cannabis reform. Read More... National Academy Of Sciences Wants Rescheduling Posted by on January 18, 2017 at 10:54:47 PT By Debra Borchardt Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) may believe marijuana is as harmful as heroin, but the science community is backing down on demonizing marijuana.
The National Academy of Sciences released a new report last week that reviewed 10,000 scientific abstracts and reached nearly 100 conclusions that found many medical uses for marijuana and cannabis-derived products. “For years the landscape of marijuana use has been rapidly shifting as more and more states are legalizing cannabis for the treatment of medical conditions and recreational use,” said Marie McCormick, chair of the committee and is a professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School in Cambridge, MA. “”We conducted an in-depth and broad review of the most recent research to establish firmly what the sciences says and to highlight areas that still need further examination.” Read More... Senseless Limits on Marijuana Research Posted by on January 17, 2017 at 06:00:00 PT By The NYT Editorial Board Source: New York Times USA -- Even as more and more states allow their residents to use marijuana, the federal government is continuing to obstruct scientists from studying whether the drug is good or bad for people’s health.
A report published last week by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine points out that scientists who want to study cannabis have to seek approvals from federal, state and local agencies and depend on just one lab, at the University of Mississippi, for samples. As a result, far too little is known about the health effects of a substance that 28 states have decided can be used as medicine and eight states and the District of Columbia have approved for recreational use. Read More... Guide To What Experts Know About Marijuana Posted by on January 13, 2017 at 17:08:18 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- As eight states plus the District of Columbia have moved to fully legalize recreational marijuana, debates on the merits of legalization have focused on the effects of marijuana use on individuals and society: Is marijuana bad for your lungs, or for your brain? Does it have therapeutic applications? Is it safer than alcohol or tobacco?
Marijuana is one of the most studied substances in scientific literature, but the answers are scattered across tens of thousands of scientific papers. The quality of evidence these papers offer can vary wildly and the results sometimes contradict each other. Read More... MJ Eases Pain, But Jury’s Out On Other Benefits Posted by on January 13, 2017 at 06:16:22 PT By Mary Papenfuss, Trends Reporter Source: Huffington Post USA -- Marijuana has proved to be a powerful aid in easing chronic pain and helping battle nausea, but results are mixed or largely inconclusive on other health benefits, as well as detriments, according to a massive new scientific review of cannabis studies.
The report, released Thursday by the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine, analyzes an astounding 10,000 scientific studies on the drug. “The Health Effects of Cannabis and Cannabinoids: The Current State of Evidence and Recommendations for Research” concludes that marijuana definitely provides some health benefits, though other claims about the drug are far less clear. The scientists note that much information could be determined if researchers didn’t have to battle restrictions caused by federal classification of cannabis as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it “currently” has “no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Read More... Sessions on Enforcing Federal Marijuana Laws Posted by on January 10, 2017 at 16:09:29 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- In his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, Sen. Jeff Sessions, President-elect Trump's nominee for attorney general, declined to say whether he'd adhere to the more lenient marijuana enforcement guidelines adopted by the Obama administration's Justice Department in states that have legalized medicinal or recreational marijuana use.
"Would you use our federal resources to investigate and prosecute sick people who are using marijuana in accordance with their state laws, even though it might violate federal laws?" Senator Patrick Leahy (D.-Vermont) asked. Read More... Marijuana Industry Fears If Sessions Is Confirmed Posted by on January 10, 2017 at 05:43:25 PT By Debra Borchardt Source: Forbes Washington, D.C. -- The marijuana industry will be listening intently to the confirmation hearings for Jeff Sessions for attorney general on Tuesday morning. While many people are focused on Sessions past positions on civil rights, the cannabis companies are very concerned that this marijuana critic could put the brakes on the legalization of marijuana.
Even though Sessions comes to the hearings with heavy baggage, the general consensus is that he will get confirmed. If he does get confirmed, then the industry will be watching to see whether President-elect Trump, who is generally in favor of states rights, will convince Sessions to his way of thinking or whether Sessions will be given a green light to pursue his anti-marijuana agenda. Read More... DEA’s Marijuana Program Still Targets Washington Posted by on January 07, 2017 at 06:02:48 PT By Drew Atkins, Special to The Seattle Times Source: Seattle Times Washington State -- It’s a scene that continues to unfold in Washington state: A helicopter hovers low over the trees, deep inside a park in the Cascade Mountains a SWAT team dressed in Kevlar rappels from the chopper to the ground other officers, federal agents and state environmental officials move toward the site on foot, alert for armed guards, booby traps and razor fencing.
The targets of these taxpayer funded efforts aren’t terrorism suspects or dangerous fugitives they are marijuana plants. Read More... America’s $6.7 Billion Marijuana Habit Posted by on January 06, 2017 at 06:36:21 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- The marijuana industry is at a crossroads. Voters have approved recreational marijuana measures in eight states plus the District of Columbia. When these laws become fully implemented in the next few years, more than one in five American adults will live in places where they can walk into a store and legally purchase marijuana.
According to one estimate by ArcView Group, a marijuana industry consulting firm, the legal marijuana market rang up $6.7 billion in sales in 2016. Read More... Marijuana Supporters To Hand Out 4,200 Joints Posted by on January 03, 2017 at 19:32:45 PT By Andrea Noble, The Washington Times Source: Washington Times Washington D.C. -- Marijuana legalization activists in the nation’s capital plan to hand out thousands of joints during President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration as a way to raise awareness of about the fragility of legal pot under his administration.The advocacy group behind the ballot initiative that legalized pot in Washington, D.C., in 2014 will take to the streets Jan. 20 to give away 4,200 joints — or somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 ounces of marijuana.
“We are forced to do this type of publicity stunt because the Trump administration hasn’t mentioned marijuana once since he was elected,” said DCMJ founder Adam Eidinger. “It reminds people that the public wants change, and the politicians aren’t doing it.” Read More... Sen. Warren: Pull Pot Shops Out of Banking Limbo Posted by CN Staff on January 02, 2017 at 06:40:03 PT By Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press Source: Associated Press Boston -- As marijuana shops sprout in states that have legalized the drug, they face a critical stumbling block — lack of access to the kind of routine banking services other businesses take for granted.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, is leading an effort to make sure vendors working with legal marijuana businesses, from chemists who test marijuana for harmful substances to firms that provide security, don’t have their banking services taken away. Read More... Massachusetts Delays Opening of Marijuana Shops Posted by on December 31, 2016 at 15:20:26 PT By The Associated Press Source: New York Times Boston -- Gov. Charlie Baker has signed a bill aimed at delaying the opening of marijuana shops in Massachusetts, approved by voters in a ballot initiative in November, until mid-2018.
A spokeswoman said Mr. Baker shared a desire with state lawmakers to thoroughly prepare for the start of a new industry distributing a controlled substance. But the spokeswoman, Lizzy Guyton, said the governor was “committed to adhering to the will of the voters by implementing the new law as effectively and responsibly as possible.” Read More... What Happened in WA State After Voters Legalized Posted by on December 30, 2016 at 06:32:37 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post USA -- The nation's first recreational marijuana shop opened nearly three years ago in Colorado. Since then, a growing body of research has shown that the availability of recreational marijuana — in Colorado and elsewhere — is having little to no effect on teens' propensity to smoke weed.
That's the conclusion, at least, of the official statistics out of Colorado through 2015. It's what federal data shows nationwide through this year. And it's also backed up by other federal surveys of drug use in the states where marijuana is legal. Read More... Inside DEA Ban on Marijuana Extracts Posted by on December 27, 2016 at 19:27:33 PT By Brenna Ehrlich Source: Rolling Stone USA -- Chris and Trish Thomas' Good Body Products table was a hotspot at the Cotton Mill Holiday Craft Fair in Brattleboro, Vermont, early this December – they managed to sell out of products both days of fair, hawking all-natural salves, body butters and scents to shoppers eager for stocking stuffers and office party gifts. The most popular items on their table? The Green Power Salve and Whipped Wonder Butter, two products that include hemp-derived cannabidiol, or CBD – a substance that the DEA has just clarified falls under Schedule I drug classification. Yes, this organic, mom-and-pop operation could arguably be breaking the law. Read More... Obama Should Reschedule Marijuana Now Posted by on December 24, 2016 at 08:06:01 PT By Chris Weigant Source: Huffington Post Washington, D.C. -- President Obama made some news the other day with another slew of pardons and commutations, adding to his record number as president. Obama has pardoned more people than all presidents back to Truman combined, which is both notable and commendable. Many of these pardons came for Draconian sentences handed out during the worst years of the War On Drugs, when people were routinely sentenced to long prison terms not so much for possessing cocaine but rather for possessing the wrong type of cocaine (when there was a 100-to-1 disparity between crack and powdered cocaine in federal sentencing laws). Obama is doing what he can for the cause of criminal justice reform, but there’s one more thing he really should do before he leaves office reschedule marijuana so that it is not considered more dangerous than methamphetamine and opium. Contrary to his statements in the past, he can achieve this by directing his attorney general to sign a piece of paper congressional approval is not required at all. So in the midst of correcting some abuses of the Drug War with last-minute pardons, Obama should take this proactive step to change the federal War On Weed as part of his presidential legacy. Read More... Is MJ Legalization in CA The Beginning of The End? Posted by on December 22, 2016 at 05:52:44 PT By Robin Abcarian Source: Los Angeles Times California -- The door to legalized marijuana in California cracked ajar in 1996, when voters approved the Compassionate Use Act, which allowed doctors to recommend cannabis to their patients. In November, the door flew open as voters approved Proposition 64 by a wide margin, a measure that legalizes marijuana for adult recreational use and could herald the beginning of the end of the federal government’s misbegotten war on weed.
Really though, for nearly two decades, pot has more or less been available to anyone 18 or older willing to pay for a medical recommendation, which you could get without ever leaving your bedroom. It’s as easy as signing onto a website, paying a few bucks, and Skyping with a physician. Dispensaries sprouted like weeds, bedeviling cities like Los Angeles, which has struggled to develop regulations. Read More... Why Trump is Unlikely To Kill Legal Marijuana Posted by on December 20, 2016 at 16:47:21 PT By Todd Mitchell, Contributor Source: Hill Washington, D.C. -- Due to the largely unfounded and negative speculations that have lately sprung up in the media, contemplating and trying to predict the new administration and its position on cannabis legalization, we are seeing much uncertainty around the country as it pertains to our industry. The fear perpetrated in media coverage like this, in a time when we should be waiting to see what will actually happen, is astonishing and not helpful. This is not the conversation that we should be having.
If you look at the facts, legal cannabis could be a great thing for the Trump administration, but it will take us working closely together. Read More... Colo. Pot Czar Seen as Possible Mass. Regulator Posted by on December 18, 2016 at 19:47:54 PT By Joshua Miller, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Denver -- Marijuana legalization brought unexpected challenges to Colorado, and it was rarely clear what part of state government was supposed to solve them, or how.
Marijuana businesses were selling pot-infused, animal-shaped candy attractive to kids. Residents home-growing pot were selling it illegally in other states. Growers were applying pesticides to cannabis plants even though no pesticides were specifically approved by the federal government for such use. Read More... Governor Tells States About Legalizing Marijuana Posted by on December 16, 2016 at 14:20:37 PT By Kurtis Lee Source: Los Angeles Times California -- Four years ago, in the hours after Colorado became one of the first states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, Gov. John Hickenlooper sounded a cautionary, if humorous, note: “Don’t break out the Cheetos or Goldfish too quickly.”
State voters overwhelmingly approved the measure, and Hickenlooper found himself wrestling with how to implement a law he had opposed. Read More... Marijuana or Marihuana? It’s All Weed To The DEA Posted by on December 16, 2016 at 05:17:58 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- The Drug Enforcement Administration published a rule in the Federal Register Wednesday clarifying that certain marijuana extracts — notably cannabidiol, or CBD — are indeed Schedule 1 controlled substances and just as illegal under federal law as whole-plant marijuana itself.
DEA spokesman Russell Baer says it is an administrative measure to help with record-keeping, but the rule drew attention for its use of the archaic spelling of “marihuana" -- with an “H” instead of a “J.” The rule is entitled “Establishment of a New Code for Marihuana Extract,” and uses the H spelling throughout. Read More... Free Marijuana Given Away Outside of State House Posted by on December 15, 2016 at 18:44:06 PT By Steve Annear, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- The smell of unsmoked “nuggets” wafted through the air outside the State House Thursday, as a small group of pot enthusiasts who had gathered to celebrate marijuana being legal brazenly gave away portions of the leafy drug to one another.
When a man passed RachelRamone Donlan a clear bag of pot seeds, and a “dab” — a concentrated form of cannabis that contains THC — she danced in place, shuffling her feet from side to side while twisting her body with joy. Read More... Marijuana Legal at Midnight in Massachusetts Posted by on December 14, 2016 at 14:42:45 PT By Joshua Miller, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- It’s official. Marijuana will be legal for possession, use, and home-growing Thursday for adults 21 and over. The Governor’s Council, a Colonial-era body that vets judges and accepts election results, formally certified the results of Question 4 Wednesday afternoon. The initiative passed last month with 1.8 million people voting for the measure, despite the opposition of top politicians, the Catholic Church, doctors and business groups, and an array of other civic leaders. About 1.5 million people voted against it.
Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito gaveled in the pro-forma session of the council to certify all state election results. Read More... Marijuana is The Talk of Many Towns This Week Posted by on December 12, 2016 at 11:34:57 PT By Leslie Anderson, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- Cannabis seems to be on everyone’s agenda as Massachusetts waits for the ballot measure legalizing recreational marijuana to take effect this week.
With medical marijuana already legal, Somerville residents will learn about a proposed dispensary in Davis Square at a community meeting Monday. Sage Cannabis wants to open it in the basement of a building at 240 Elm St., but needs both state and local permits. Read More... Marijuana To Be Legal Thursday in Massachusetts Posted by on December 09, 2016 at 16:38:45 PT By Joshua Miller, Globe Staff Source: Boston Globe Massachusetts -- Tokers of the Commonwealth, rejoice. Secretary of State William F. Galvin warned last week that the measure legalizing marijuana might have to be delayed, but now says that won’t be necessary.
Galvin’s office said Friday he will submit official results of the voter passed legalization measure to the Governor’s Council Wednesday for certification. Barring any unforeseen snafu or dramatic intervention by the Legislature to undo the will of the voters possessing, using, and growing marijuana at home will be legal on Thursday. Read More... Activists Offer Free Pot at Sessions Office Posted by CN Staff on December 09, 2016 at 14:44:05 PT By Steven Nelson, Staff Writer Source: U.S. News & World Report Washington, D.C. -- Marijuana legalization activists returned to the office of Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions on Thursday, successfully sneaking cannabis past a security checkpoint so they could offer it for use by the attorney general nominee or his staff.
Sessions communications director Chris Jackson deftly handled the two dozen office visitors, listening politely to stories about medical use of the plant and arguments against prohibition, but he declined to accept a sample of the drug that is increasingly legalized or decriminalized at the state level but remains illegal in the eyes of federal authorities. Read More... 7 Reasons Trump Is Unlikely to Fight Legal MJ Posted by on December 08, 2016 at 05:12:50 PT By Katy Steinmetz Source: Time USA -- With Donald Trump nominating Cabinet members who have spoken out against legal marijuana, some are arguing that the war on drugs may make a comeback. But while there’s reason for anxiety among those selling recreational marijuana legally in states like Colorado and Washington, an all-out war remains unlikely. Experts say that trying to undo legalization at this point would come with serious economic and political hurdles.
“It’s certainly come so far,” says Sam Kamin, a marijuana law expert at the University of Denver, “that it can’t be undone without a heavy cost.” Others are even more skeptical. Says Mike Vitiello, a marijuana law expert at the University of the Pacific, “It’s kind of like illegal immigration: You can’t build a wall high enough.” Read More... Trump’s DHS Pick is Cool with Medical Marijuana Posted by on December 07, 2016 at 16:18:49 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- President-elect Donald Trump will soon announce the selection of retired Marine Gen. John F. Kelly to lead the Department of Homeland Security, The Washington Post has confirmed.
Kelly served as the head of the U.S. Southern Command, a posting that gave him oversight of U.S. security operations for Central America, the Caribbean and the entirety of South America. Trump settled on Kelly in part for his Southwest border expertise, according to people familiar with the deliberations. Read More... Weed's Legal in CA, but Activists Fear Battle Posted by on December 01, 2016 at 09:29:42 PT By Patrick McGreevy Source: Los Angeles Times California -- Backers of laws allowing marijuana use in California are girding for a possible political and legal battle against President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, a staunch foe of pot legalization.
Marijuana industry leaders in the state and around the U.S. have launched an opposition campaign to the Senate confirmation of the Republican senator from Alabama and are appealing to the Trump camp to make sure the president-elect’s policies are consistent with his campaign comments that he favors allowing states to decide how to enforce marijuana laws. Read More...
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