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From Legalizing MJ at Ballot Box to Legalizing Posted by on February 21, 2017 at 06:16:44 PT By Kurtis Lee Source: Los Angeles Times USA -- The Rhode Island state senator has a reputation among colleagues as a cannabis crusader — a battle that, so far, he’s lost. For the last three years, Miller introduced legislation to legalize recreational pot, and for the last three years, his efforts have died in committee hearing rooms.

But now, in a turnaround, some of Miller’s colleagues are signaling an interest in legalized weed — and raking in the tax dollars that come with it. Read More... Just How Mainstream is Marijuana? Posted by on February 17, 2017 at 13:38:45 PT By Christopher Ingraham Source: Washington Post Washington, D.C. -- Time to dispel any doubts you may still have that marijuana reform is truly a mainstream political issue. This week, a bipartisan group of U.S. representatives formed the first-ever "Congressional Cannabis Caucus" to work on legislation related to marijuana legalization and regulation.

Democrats Earl Blumenauer of Oregon and Jared Polis of Colorado teamed up with Republicans Dana Rohrabacher of California and Don Young of Alaska to form the caucus. Not coincidentally, all four representatives hail from states where recreational marijuana use is legal. Read More... Colorado Governor says California Faces Challenges Posted by on February 16, 2017 at 12:57:06 PT By Patrick McGreevy Source: Los Angeles Times California -- Five years after Colorado voters approved a measure to legalize marijuana, Gov. John Hickenlooper warned California officials Tuesday that they face challenges now that voters have approved recreational use in the Golden State.

Legalization requires urgent attention to multiple public health issues that include preventing impaired driving and making sure edible pot products are not made to be attractive to minors, Hickenlooper told California lawmakers Tuesday at a legislative hearing at the Capitol. Read More... Marijuana Linked to Decreased Alcohol, Opioid Use Posted by on February 11, 2017 at 08:24:50 PT By Kelsey Drain Source: Newsweek USA -- Many people would typically open a bottle of post-work wine around 7 p.m., but, according to the 2016 report from Eaze, orders for medical marijuana spiked nightly at the same time.

The company examined its data from more than 250,000 cannabis consumers in 100 cities across California, in addition to more than 5,000 unique survey responses. The survey showed that 82 percent of people point to marijuana as the reason they drank less alcohol. Read More... Stand Up To Sessions On Pot Posted by CN Staff on February 08, 2017 at 15:35:11 PT By Adam Eidinger, Contributor Source: U.S. News & World Report Washington, D.C. -- Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions., is on the path to being confirmed as the next U.S. attorney general. Not surprisingly, the entire multibillion-dollar cannabis industry, which provides tens of thousands of good-paying jobs to American workers, along with hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue streams to support state and municipal services each year, has been left with a cloud of ambiguity hanging over the future of responsible marijuana reforms.

Millions of voters, who voted for sensible marijuana reforms in 28 states and the District of Columbia, along with tens of thousands of medical marijuana patients, workers, businesses, law enforcement, municipalities and others, are questioning whether Sessions will continue down the path of responsible reforms that was forged during the Obama years. Read More... Hundreds Speak Out on Medical Marijuana Posted by on February 07, 2017 at 14:02:05 PT By David Smiley Source: Miami Herald Florida -- New medical marijuana regulations proposed by state health officials would block patients from timely and affordable access to medication, restrict physicians in treating their patients, and potentially undercut the development and distribution of quality medicine, an overflow crowd told Florida Department of Health officials Tuesday morning in Fort Lauderdale.

Hundreds turned out for a public hearing off Marina Mile called to seek comment on the proposed rules for the regulation of a new constitutional amendment opening up the state’s limited medical marijuana program. By an overwhelming margin, they were critical. Read More... Marijuana Legalization Must Include Justice Reform Posted by on February 01, 2017 at 15:33:19 PT By David Dinenberg, Opinion Contributor Source: Hill USA -- Across our country, we routinely take a pledge that ends in “with liberty and justice for all.” Yet that fundamental promise has been broken in six of the eight states that have legalized recreational marijuana use, as tens of thousands of people remain in state prison for nonviolent marijuana crimes.

The majority of America is now cannabis friendly; nearly 60 percent of our nation’s population resides in states with some form of legalized marijuana. 29 states plus Washington, D.C. have legalized medical marijuana and eight of those states have also legalized marijuana for recreational use: Alaska, California, Colorado, Nevada, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Washington and Washington DC. Read More... Marijuana Lobby Goes Mainstream Posted by on February 01, 2017 at 05:15:40 PT By Reid Wilson Source: Hill USA -- State regulators and government officials involved in crafting rules for the budding legal and medical marijuana industry are going to pot.

In a sign that the budding marijuana industry is moving away from the fringes and into the political mainstream, into the political mainstream, a number of officials once tasked with managing the growing legal cannabis sector are leaving their government positions to take jobs in the sector. Read More... Industry Feels Jeff Sessions Won't Smoke Sector Posted by CN Staff on January 31, 2017 at 14:23:16 PT By Steven Nelson, Staff Writer Source: U.S. News & World Report Washington, D.C. -- Owners of state-legal cannabis businesses say they aren’t particularly concerned about the possibility that Sen. Jeff Sessions, considered by a Senate committee on Tuesday to be attorney general, will seek to crush the multibillion-dollar state-legal industry.

Legally speaking, the Alabama Republican -- a cannabis reform foe -- would have the power to greatly harm the industry if confirmed by the full Senate. But business owners say strong polling and economic arguments in their favor make such action unlikely. Read More... DA Stan Garnett Named To Advise Trump on Pot Posted by on January 30, 2017 at 15:29:41 PT By Mitchell Byars, Staff Writer Source: Daily Camera Colorado -- Boulder District Attorney Stan Garnett has been selected to join a group of prosecutors from across the country who will help advise the Donald Trump administration on policies regarding marijuana. The National District Attorney's Association created a policy group featuring 14 district attorneys who will issue advisements on possible law or policy changes regarding marijuana as more and more states legalize it.

Garnett said he is the only active prosecutor from Colorado in the group, but said there are also DAs from California and Oregon — other states with recreational marijuana — in the group. Read More... Marijuana Becomes Legal in Maine Posted by on January 30, 2017 at 09:41:11 PT By Reid Wilson Source: Hill Maine on Monday became the eighth state in the nation to allow adults over the age of 21 to possess and consume marijuana for recreational purposes.

Maine joins six Western states and neighboring Massachusetts in allowing recreational pot, after voters narrowly passed a ballot measure in November. Adults will be allowed to possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana and to grow up to 18 plants at home. Read More... Lawmakers Propose Revamping Maryland MMJ Panel Posted by on January 27, 2017 at 19:14:14 PT By Pamela Wood, The Baltimore Sun Source: Baltimore Sun Maryland -- State lawmakers are pushing to revamp the Maryland's medical cannabis commission and award additional licenses to prospective growers, processors and dispensaries in hopes of getting more minority-owned businesses involved in the fledgling industry.

Two bills backed by the Legislative Black Caucus of Maryland would make major changes to the state's cannabis program, including adding seven new licenses for growers, seven for processors and 25 for dispensaries. Read More... Marijuana and Gender Equity Posted by on January 26, 2017 at 15:36:57 PT By Lonnie Shekhtman Source: Christian Science Monitor USA -- Of all the industries that attract American women to their senior ranks, the marijuana business may not immediately spring to mind as a likely magnet.

But women fill 36 percent of executive positions in US companies that grow, test, sell, and market pot products in this ballooning, multi-billion-dollar industry. It spawned by the legalization of the plant for medical or recreational purposes in 26 states plus the District of Columbia (including recently passed ballot measures). Read More... NY Want To Know More About Canada's MJ Industry Posted by on January 25, 2017 at 07:10:28 PT By Debra Borchardt Source: Forbes USA -- Americans continue to watch Canada's approach to legalizing marijuana with great interest. Even in New York where only medical marijuana is legal in a very restrictive program, many people turned out to hear Michael Gorenstein, Chief Executive Officer of Canada's Cronos Group speak.

High NY is a cannabis community group that invited the company to speak to an audience that peppered the CEO with questions. Cronos Group, formerly known as PharmaCann Capital Corp. just received its second Health Canada license to sell medical marijuana for its wholly owned subsidiary In The Zone Produce. The company's flagship licensed producer is Peace Naturals Project and together the two cover 125 acres of agricultural land and are licensed to produce 2,600 kg of cannabis on an annual basis. Read More... 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...

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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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