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Author Topic: Legalized Marijuana and the Crime Question  (Read 78809 times)
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« Reply #575 on: December 01, 2015, 08:25:42 AM »

Smoking high-strength cannabis may damage nerve fibres in brain
Study suggests high levels of skunk use may affect the brain’s white matter, making communication between the right and left hemispheres less efficient
 Brain white matter scan

 The brain’s white matter seen from the front as obtained by diffusion tensor imaging. Photograph: Institute of Psychiatry

Ian Sample Science editor
@iansample














High-strength cannabis may damage nerve fibres that handle the flow of messages across the two halves of the brain, scientists claim. Brain scans of people who regularly smoked strong skunk-like cannabis revealed subtle differences in the white matter that connects the left and right hemispheres and carries signals from one side of the brain to the other.

The changes were not seen in those who never used cannabis or smoked only the less potent forms of the drug, the researchers found.

The study is thought to be the first to look at the effects of cannabis potency on brain structure, and suggests that greater use of skunk may cause more damage to the corpus callosum, making communications across the brain’s hemispheres less efficient.

Paola Dazzan, a neurobiologist at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, said the effects appeared to be linked to the level of active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in cannabis. While traditional forms of cannabis contain 2 to 4 % THC, the more potent varieties (of which there are about 100), can contain 10 to 14% THC, according to the DrugScope charity.

“If you look at the corpus callosum, what we’re seeing is a significant difference in the white matter between those who use high potency cannabis and those who never use the drug, or use the low-potency drug,” said Dazzan. The corpus callosum is rich in cannabinoid receptors, on which the THC chemical acts.


 A DTI image of the corpus callosum, as seen from the side, is shown in red on and superimposed on a background MRI image of the brain. Facebook Twitter Pinterest

“The difference is there whether you have psychosis or not, and we think this is strictly related to the potency of the cannabis,” she added. Details of the study are reported in the journal Psychological Medicine.

The researchers used two scanning techniques, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), to examine the corpus callosum, the largest region of white matter, in the brains of 56 patients who had reported a first episode of psychosis, and 43 healthy volunteers from the local community.

The scans found that daily users of high-potency cannabis had a slightly greater – by about 2% – “mean diffusivity” in the corpus callosum. “That reflects a problem in the white matter that ultimately makes it less efficient,” Dazzan told the Guardian. “We don’t know exactly what it means for the person, but it suggests there is less efficient transfer of information.”

The study cannot confirm that high levels of THC in cannabis cause changes to white matter. As Dazzan notes, it is may be that people with damaged white matter are more likely to smoke skunk in the first place.

“It is possible that these people already have a different brain and they are more likely to use cannabis. But what we can say is if it’s high potency, and if you smoke frequently, your brain is different from the brain of someone who smokes normal cannabis, and from someone who doesn’t smoke cannabis at all,” she said.

But even with the uncertainty over cause and effect, she urged users and public health workers to change how they think about cannabis use. “When it comes to alcohol, we are used to thinking about how much people drink, and whether they are drinking wine, beer, or whisky. We should think of cannabis in a similar way, in terms of THC and the different contents cannabis can have, and potentially the effects on health will be different,” she said.

“As we have suggested previously, when assessing cannabis use, it is extremely important to gather information on how often and what type of cannabis is being used. These details can help quantify the risk of mental health problems and increase awareness of the type of damage these substances can do to the brain,” she added.

In February, Dazzan and others at the Institute of Psychiatry reported that the ready availability of skunk in south London might be behind a rise in the proportion of new cases of psychosis being attributed to cannabis.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2015/nov/27/smoking-high-strength-cannabis-skunk-may-damage-nerves-brain

A couple of things

No other differences were found, that is a huge benefits, ie the claims that it fucks up the brain appear to be greatly overstated, they compared smokers before 15 and after, only difference was mild alteration in the CC, which they infer as inherently negative, it may not be.


The actual study

S. Riguccia1a2 c1, T. R. Marquesa2 †, M. Di Fortia2, H. Taylora2, F. Dell'Acquaa3, V. Mondellia4a5, S. Bonaccorsoa2, A. Simmonsa3, A. S. Davida2a5, P. Girardia1, C. M. Pariantea4a5, R. M. Murraya2a5 and P. Dazzana2a5
a1 Department of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Sensory Organs, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy

a2 Department of Psychosis Studies, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK

a3 Centre for Neuroimaging Sciences, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK

a4 Department of Psychological Medicine, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London, London, UK

a5 National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre at South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and King's College London, London, UK

Abstract

Background The use of cannabis with higher Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol content has been associated with greater risk, and earlier onset, of psychosis. However, the effect of cannabis potency on brain morphology has never been explored. Here, we investigated whether cannabis potency and pattern of use are associated with changes in corpus callosum (CC) microstructural organization, in patients with first-episode psychosis (FEP) and individuals without psychosis, cannabis users and non-users.

Method The CC of 56 FEP (37 cannabis users) and 43 individuals without psychosis (22 cannabis users) was virtually dissected and segmented using diffusion tensor imaging tractography. The diffusion index of fractional anisotropy, mean diffusivity (MD), axial diffusivity (AD) and radial diffusivity was calculated for each segment.

Results Across the whole sample, users of high-potency cannabis had higher total CC MD and higher total CC AD than both low-potency users and those who never used (p = 0.005 and p = 0.004, respectively). Daily users also had higher total CC MD and higher total CC AD than both occasional users and those who never used (p = 0.001 and p < 0.001, respectively). However, there was no effect of group (patient/individuals without psychosis) or group x potency

interaction for either potency or frequency of use. The within-group analysis showed in fact that the effects of potency and frequency were similar in FEP users and in users without psychosis.

Conclusions Frequent use of high-potency cannabis is associated with disturbed callosal microstructural organization in individuals with and without psychosis. Since high-potency preparations are now replacing traditional herbal drugs in many European countries, raising awareness about the risks of high-potency cannabis is crucial.



Kinda hard to infer that is the only variable here isn't it? small sample size, how are they defining potency? so again, it is drug abusers, you will find altered brain function in caffeine addicts, what does that mean is the question.

This study supports the idea that the negatives are far overblown, they found NO other differences, nothing and regular/occasional users were exact to the controls.

I think the study is right, it does do something to the CC, it increases connectivity, rational thought with creativity, likely due to the hemispheres communicating more intimately.

The cannabinoids need to be seperated from weed also.
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« Reply #576 on: December 22, 2015, 02:14:44 PM »

Congress Quietly Ends Federal Medical Marijuana Prohibition
by Terry Turner -  Dec 22, 2015

Medical-marijuana-sign CC Laurie Avocado

Buried in the 1,600 pages of Congress’ new spending plan is a quiet little passage that radically alters the way America treats medical marijuana.

The provision ends the federal prohibition on medical marijuana and bans federal agents from policing its users or raiding dispensaries in any state or district where it is legal.

The spending plan, and the medical pot provision within it, became law on Friday, with President Obama’s signature.

Thirty-two of the 50 states and the District of Columbia have already legalized some form of marijuana use, or its ingredients, for medication.

Federal law still designates cannabis in any form as an illegal drug and, since federal law takes precedent over the states, federal law enforcement agents have been allowed, until now, to persecute people using or distributing medical marijuana even in states that had legalized it.

This provision shuts down those operations and signals a shift in federal drug policy. For the first time, there was significant Republican support for easing of pot laws

CHECKOUT:  14 Years After Decriminalizing Heroin, Here’s What Portugal Looks Like

“This is a victory for so many,” Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican and co-author of the provision, said after it passed. “The first time in decades that the federal government has curtailed its oppressive prohibition of marijuana.”

Medical marijuana has been used to treat glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, nerve and seizure disorders, and chronic pain. Check out this Special to GNN from last month: Marijuana Fills Dire Medical Needs of Families, States Try to Catch Up.

http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/congress-quietly-ends-federal-medical-marijuana-prohibition/
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« Reply #577 on: January 28, 2016, 11:58:13 AM »

'Hypocrisy' of legalizing pot undermines America's war on hard-core drugs, general says
By Andrew deGrandpre, Military Times
January 16, 2016

Some U.S. states' softening stance on marijuana is complicating a broad federal effort to curtail the influx of cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine from Latin America, according to the four-star Marine Corps general who oversaw military activity in that region for the last three years.

"The actual legalization does cause us problems because — the hypocrisy," said Gen. John Kelly, who retires next month after completing his final assignment as the head of U.S. Southern Command, which is headquartered in Miami. "... Where you stand is where you sit. So if you're a Latin American, and we're harping on them to do more to stop the flow of drugs, they say: 'Wait a minute. As we look north, the real problem is the demand. So why don't you do more to stop the demand for drugs. ... Why would we do more when you seem to be legalizing this stuff?'"

Gen. John Kelly, who led U.S. Southern Command for three years, calls pot "a gateway" and that legalization within the United States hinders efforts to abate the trafficking of more dangerous drugs. Video by Daniel Woolfolk/Staff

Kelly spoke to Military Times on Jan. 8 at SOUTHCOM's satellite office in the Pentagon. Days later, he passed command of the organization to Adm. Kurt Tidd.

SOUTHCOM deploys U.S. military personnel throughout Central America, South America and the Caribbean, where they partner with other federal agencies in training foreign militaries and law enforcement to counter the region's powerful drug cartels, and improve local governance where criminal organizations operate. Mexico lies outside SOUTHCOM's area of oversight, but the network of illicit activity that begins in Latin America runs directly to the United States' southern border. The notorious Mexican drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman Loera, whose arrest this month and interview with actor Sean Penn have been the subject of intense media coverage, built a billion-dollar criminal enterprise from the cocaine produced Colombia.

Drug trafficking. Human trafficking. Weapons trafficking. It's all connected, Kelly said.

Most marijuana consumed in the U.S. is grown here or in Mexico, Kelly noted. Its recreational use is legal in Colorado, Oregon, Washington state and Washington, D.C. At least a dozen additional states have decriminalized pot, and more than a dozen others allow people to consume it with a doctor's prescription. Increasingly, those individuals include military veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress and other service-connected injuries or illnesses. That doesn't bother the general, who led combat forces in Iraq as a one- and two-star general.

"I'm not a doctor," said Kelly, an infantry officer whose military career dates back to the Vietnam era, "but I'm told it has a medical use. So whether it's veterans or anyone else, if it helps those people, then fine. Medicine is medicine. Every medicine is probably illegal unless you take it medicinally."

Marijuana use is up in Latin America, translating to more busts there year over year, according to the U.N.'s Office on Drugs and Crime. Yet most of the pot intercepts made by U.S. personnel in that region are "incidental," Kelly said. And it's often being moved into Latin America.

"If it's heading away from the United States, I don't care about it," he added. "I mean, we take it, we seize it, we take the people and put them in the legal justice system." Rather, the most intense focus is on the movement north of cocaine, heroin and meth. "When I talk drugs," Kelly said, "I talk hard drugs."

Drug cartels reap "insane profits" from the consumption of narcotics and stimulants in North America and Western Europe, Kelly said. And they do business with terrorist organizations. The French, in particular, monitor cocaine trafficking out of Martinique, an island nation in the Caribbean, he noted.

"We know," Kelly said, "that as that cocaine [bound for Europe] moves up through [Africa], ... some of the old al Qaida type organizations allow it to pass but charge a fare just like we know that some large amount of the money that comes out of the United States is laundered by banks and organizations in the Caribbean and Latin America that had relationships with Lebanese banks, and there's a certain skimming that we know goes into certain Islamic terrorist group coffers."

In its most recent report on the global drug trade, the U.N. estimates that cartels dealing in marijuana specifically have lost at least $3 billion in profit — a 20- to 30-percent cut — since Colorado and Washington moved to legalize pot. If a larger state like California were to go the same route, driving down prices in other parts of the U.S., there could be more serious consequences for traffickers in Mexico particularly, it says. What's unclear is how that could affect drug-related violence there.

To Kelly, pot is the gateway to more serious drug use. "There's no doubt," he said. Ripple effects can be seen in that region's horrific violence. El Salvador now has the world's highest murder rate, the worst experienced by any nation in the last two decades, according to the World Bank. That, in turn, drives the flood of migrants seeking refuge in the U.S.

"If Americans understood," Kelly said, "what doing a little blow on the weekends — on a college campus or here on Capitol Hill — was doing to Honduras or El Salvador, or what it's doing to Colombia, I think they'd responsibly realize that this is not a good thing."

http://www.militarytimes.com/story/military/2016/01/16/legalizing-marijuana-hamstrings-war-on-drugs-general-says/78849996/
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« Reply #578 on: January 28, 2016, 02:39:54 PM »

"If Americans understood," Kelly said, "what doing a little blow on the weekends — on a college campus or here on Capitol Hill — was doing to Honduras or El Salvador, or what it's doing to Colombia, I think they'd responsibly realize that this is not a good thing."

Obviously an out of touch person, who has spent too much time and earned too much money in the war on drugs. Americans don't care.. 
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« Reply #579 on: February 08, 2016, 05:05:07 PM »

Legal Marijuana Sales Hit $5.4 Billion in 2015, Report Says

Boxes of marijuana in Denver destined for a dispensary.
BENJAMIN RASMUSSEN FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES
By CHRISTINE HAUSER
FEBRUARY 4, 2016

It’s not just heat lamps in closets and nickel bags anymore: Marijuana is getting some respect as legal sales take off.

This week two marijuana analysis and investment firms released a summary of a report that appeared to confirm that the industry has become a gold rush. National legal sales of cannabis grew to $5.4 billion in 2015, up from $4.6 billion in 2014, according to the firms, the ArcView Group, based in San Francisco, and New Frontier, based in Washington.

Demand is expected to remain strong this year, with a forecast of $6.7 billion in legal sales, the report said.


The promises and headwinds of the industry are potentially far-reaching and attracting notice on Wall Street. As more states legalize marijuana sales, analysts are weighing the stock market benefits of new businesses as cannabis goes corporate. Funds are considering the ethics of investing in marijuana. Parents are even debating whether to allow their children to buy the stocks.

And say goodbye to the common resealable bags and heat lamps in the closet. Lucrative legal side businesses are spinning off, like the climate systems for growers built by a company in Boulder, Colo., and the FunkSac odor-proof and child-resistant marijuana bags produced in Denver.

“There is still a certain stigma around it,” said Brandy Keen, a co-founder of Surna, which makes technology for indoor cultivation. “This is an industry that came out of the basement. It grew out of closets and basements and hidden facilities in cinder-block buildings.”


Nonmedicinal adult use accounted for $998 million of the total sales in 2015, up from $351 million in 2014, according to the ArcView/New Frontier report summary. The estimates are based partly on state tax receipts and data on medical and recreational sales.

The report summary said that by 2020, legal market sales were forecast to be $21.8 billion.

The summary, released before a full report scheduled for the end of February, was one of the latest by market analysts to scrutinize the emerging marijuana industry. Merrill Lynch said in a report cited by Philly.com in December that it expected the cannabis market and associated testing technologies to grow if legalized.

GreenWave Advisors said in its latest annual report in November that it estimated revenues of $4.8 billion in 2015, compared with about $3.2 billion in 2014. It expects further growth in 2016 and a “surge” in 2017 and 2018.

The latest report defined three types of legal marijuana use: adult recreational use; medical use of cannabis; and medicinal use of a cannabis product from which the compound that gets a consumer high has been extracted.

It said 2016 would be the “tipping point” at which a majority of states transition from cannabis prohibition to some form of regulated legal market.

John Kagia, New Frontier’s director of industry analytics, said he has spoken at investment meetings about legal marijuana where it was “standing room only” with investors trying to “figure out angles” given the regulatory climate.

Four states and the District of Columbia allow full adult use, and this year, seven more will vote on allowing it: California, Nevada, Arizona, Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island and Vermont.


Twenty-three states already permit medical cannabis use, and four others — Florida, Ohio, Missouri and Pennsylvania — are positioned to advance medical laws, the report said.

Some federal regulatory barriers are easing, and federal interest in research into medical marijuana use is growing. But there are headwinds, the report cautioned.

Cannabis businesses face a higher tax burden. They are also unable to use banks because of federal laws, which can hinder efficiency and pose security risks, forcing the businesses to invest heavily in security measures. Increased competition across state lines could pose new challenges as more states legalize the trade.


Marijuana stocks underperformed on the market in 2015 compared with the Nasdaq and Standard & Poor’s indexes, tempering some of the enthusiasm of investors, the report said.

Legalization is also a hot topic of national debate, making the industry vulnerable in an election year.

“Though public opinion is shifting toward embracing cannabis reform, presidential candidates are more reticent to support legalization,” the report said.

The plant’s business potential has deep and roots, as the rapper Snoop Dogg, the country singer Willie Nelson and the actor Tommy Chong have demonstrated by leveraging their celebrity status to establish new brands in the market, the report noted.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/02/05/business/legal-marijuana-sales-2015-report.html?_r=0
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« Reply #580 on: February 08, 2016, 05:06:43 PM »

Woody Harrelson Applies To Open A Marijuana Dispensary
He wants to bring the Hunger Games to Hawaii.
02/06/2016
Andy Campbell
Reporter, The Huffington Post

Woody Harrelson is high on Hawaii.

The actor and marijuana advocate was one of almost 60 applicants vying to open up one of Honolulu County's first medical dispensaries. He'd open under his company name, Simple Organic Living, according to a state Department of Health statement.

The state will review applications and award them to eight applicants in April, about a year after the Hawaii Legislature passed a bill allowing dispensaries to open. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state for more than 15 years, but there had never been a way for patients to obtain it legally.

If selected, the "Cheers" and "Hunger Games" star will be able to open two production centers and two dispensaries, according to The Associated Press. Harrelson could also be up for some significant tax breaks using a loophole. He could set up in an "enterprise zone," which is used to reward employers who set up in economically depressed areas.

But for now, Harrelson appears to be in it for the weed rights. He's an outspoken advocate of marijuana and hemp. He even narrated a documentary called "Grass."

The AP reports:

Dispensaries are set to open in July. Six are allowed on Oahu, four on Hawaii Island, four on Maui and two on Kauai.

Hawaii became the first to legalize medical marijuana through the legislative process 16 years ago. Lawmakers have introduced laws to legalize recreational marijuana; however they don't think they're likely to pass this year.

The applicants included Henk Rogers, the developer of the video game "Tetris," and "Hawaii Stars" producer Dirk Fukushima.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/woody-harrelson-wants-to-open-a-weed-dispensary-in-hawaii_us_56b63595e4b08069c7a77deb
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« Reply #581 on: February 25, 2016, 09:21:44 AM »

Eric Holder Says It's Ridiculous To Treat Weed Like Heroin, But He Can't Do Anything About It Now
Only one of these drugs belongs among the most dangerous substances.
 02/24/2016
Nick Wing
Senior Viral Editor, The Huffington Post

SLAVEN VLASIC VIA GETTY IMAGES
Former Attorney General Eric Holder believes marijuana should no longer be classified as a Schedule I drug, he said in a recently published interview.
Former Attorney General Eric Holder believes marijuana should no longer be considered a Schedule I substance -- a classification reserved for the most dangerous drugs with no medical use -- he said in a recently published interview with PBS's "Frontline."

"You know, we treat marijuana in the same way that we treat heroin now, and that clearly is not appropriate," he said. "So at a minimum, I think Congress needs to do that. Then I think we need to look at what happens in Colorado and what happens in Washington."

Colorado and Washington have legalized recreational marijuana use over the past few years, and Alaska, Oregon and Washington, D.C., have since followed suit. A number of other states have decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.

"Frontline" conducted the wide-ranging interview on drug policy last year after Holder's departure from the administration, and released it Tuesday along with the program's most recent documentary on the heroin crisis.

Holder has signaled support for rescheduling marijuana in the past, as far back as 2014, when he was still attorney general. During an interview with Katie Couric, he similarly questioned the wisdom of keeping marijuana in the same category as heroin, a drug that is rightly considered to have a high potential for abuse and dependence.

But while the nation's former chief law enforcement officer has expressed disagreement with marijuana's current scheduling, he has been hesitant to propose aggressive action to change it.

At a congressional hearing in 2014, Holder said he'd be "more than glad to work with Congress" to reclassify weed. He echoed those comments in his "Frontline" interview, saying any move to adjust the federal classification of marijuana would have to come from Congress. President Barack Obama has taken a similar stance, while current Attorney General Loretta Lynch has been relatively silent on rescheduling efforts.

But some legal experts say the executive branch -- and more specifically, the attorney general -- actually has the power to reschedule a drug unilaterally. Here's a quick and easy breakdown of how that would work, via the Brookings Institution.



Tom Angell, chairman of the advocacy group Marijuana Majority, believes Holder could have done more to address rescheduling as attorney general.

“It’s nice to have Holder’s support for this sensible policy change, but it would have been a lot better if he’d exercised the power to get marijuana rescheduling done while he was still in office," Angell said. "We know that Holder and President Obama are good friends, so I hope the former attorney general encourages his former boss and his successor Loretta Lynch to follow through during these final months of the administration and get the job done."

Moving marijuana into a lower schedule wouldn't make it legal under federal law, but it would, among other changes, open the door for further scientific research that advocates say would lead to a fuller understanding of the drug's medical benefits.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/eric-holder-marijuana-rescheduling_us_56ce0329e4b041136f193350?section=politics
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« Reply #582 on: February 26, 2016, 09:02:48 AM »

Medical marijuana bill heading to Utah House after passing 17-12 in Senate
BY MARK GREEN AND BEN WINSLOW
FEBRUARY 25, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY -- Against all odds, a medical marijuana bill is advancing in the Utah State Legislature.

The Utah State Senate voted 17-12 to approve Senate Bill 73, sponsored by Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs. It allows patients with certain ailments (such as cancer, AIDS, epilepsy and chronic pain) to use marijuana edibles, extracts and oils under the direction of a doctor.

Madsen said during Thursday's debate his latest version of the bill clears up the definition of "cannabis", and adds child-proofing standards, dosing regulations and other considerations.

FOX 13 News' Ben Winslow reports a huge cheer erupted among those watching from the gallery as the vote was passed, and the topic has been the subject of several heated debates this legislative session.

Some supporters of the bill, like Enedina Stanger, were emotional after the vote.

"I am so excited, this is such a miracle, this is all because of God," Stanger said through tears. "It was a hard battle, but it was just because of the miracles and by the love of human beings that we got this through today. I'm so excited."

http://fox13now.com/2016/02/25/medical-marijuana-bill-heading-to-utah-house-after-passing-17-12-in-senate/
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« Reply #583 on: April 04, 2016, 09:17:41 AM »

Marijuana Activists to Light Up in Front of White House Saturday
High (after)noon.
PR 01, 2016 | By CHRIS DEATON

A group of marijuana activists advocating for the decriminalization of marijuana will light up across the street from the White House Saturday afternoon.

The Reschedule 4/20 event -- so-named for the push to reschedule cannabis from a Schedule 1 drug -- is being put on by the D.C. Cannabis Campaign, and advertises "civil disobedience: mass cannabis consumption" beginning at 4:20 p.m.

"Join us in demanding President Obama use his authority to stop the marijuana arrests, pardon offenders, give partients access to their medicine, and deschedule cannabis," a poster for the smoke show reads.

According to a Facebook event page, nearly 400 people have RSVP'd.

While the spectacle has attracted some interest, it's also invited criticism from at least one activist. ThinkProgress has more:

Saturday afternoon, a large group of marijuana activists and advocates will consume cannabis en masse outside the White House in hopes of spurring federal reform. But Tom Angell, founder of Marijuana Majority, argues lighting up in front of the first family's abode isn't a good look for the movement.

"Smoking in a public park where families and children are vacationing is not going to be the way to encourage the president or member of Congress to do what we need them to do," Angell told ThinkProgress. "It also sends a message to those voters from all around the country who are visiting D.C. that legalizing means huge clouds of smoke in public parks."
Needless to say, toking marijuana on federal property or D.C. public land is decidedly not legal. However, the hosts have a more optimistic outlook for certain edible consumables.

"Do you think the National Park Service will go after your brownies, gummies, rice crispy treats, or cookies? Doubtful," DCMJ.org's website reads. "[W]e encourage people who do not want to smoke or vape their cannabis to eat it as a form of protest. So in the misquoted words of Marie Antoinette, LET THEM EAT CAKE!"

http://www.weeklystandard.com/marijuana-activists-to-light-up-in-front-of-white-house-saturday/article/2001817
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« Reply #584 on: April 05, 2016, 02:47:36 AM »

According to a Facebook event page, nearly 400 people have RSVP'd.

LOL.  Let's just assume fewer than 400 will show up and get arrested for smoking pot. 

Easy to click "attending".  Let's see how many of these stoners show up.
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« Reply #585 on: April 12, 2016, 12:01:47 PM »

In Spokane County, marijuana outsells wine, milk and bread — but not beer
Updated April 11, 2016
Monthly sales topped $5 million for the first time in March, according to state figures.
By Kip Hill
The Spokesman-Review

Legal marijuana sales in Spokane County topped retail sales of wine and kitchen staples such as bread and milk last year.

That’s according to sales numbers from the Washington Liquor and Cannabis Board and a survey of household expenses by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Not all marijuana sold in Spokane County is consumed by county residents. State law allows the 17 state-licensed pot shops in the area to sell to anyone older than 21, regardless of where they live.

But with monthly sales topping $5 million for the first time in March, retailers in the county are selling marijuana at an ever-quickening pace — on track to top receipts at area bookstores, museums and live-music venues, according to figures released by the Washington Department of Revenue.

Spokane County marijuana retailers reported a little more than $43 million in sales last year, according to the state Liquor and Cannabis Board. That’s an average $225.64 per household.

By comparison, retail beer sales were $232.70 per Spokane County household last year, according to the Consumer Expenditure Survey administered by the Census Bureau. The average household spent $154.85 on wine, $155.37 on milk and $109.71 on bread in 2015.

The calculated marijuana average ignores the “80/20 rule” — 20 percent of people are responsible for 80 percent of an effect, said Brian Smith, Liquor and Cannabis Board spokesman. An independent study by the Rand Corp. in 2013 found the rule applied to Washington’s nascent marijuana market — that roughly one-fifth of the population accounted for the vast majority of marijuana sales.

The Liquor and Cannabis Board tracks marijuana sales of $2.8 million a day statewide, Smith said. “That seems pretty robust,” he said.

Grant Forsyth, chief economist at Avista and an adviser on industry trends to local governments, said it’s difficult with available data to compare spending on marijuana with other household items. The federal government administers the Consumer Expenses Survey and also classifies marijuana as a controlled substance, hindering efforts to study the purchase of pot with the same rigor as other household expenditures.

“We don’t have a lot of consumption data, so it’s hard to see how the market is going to evolve,” Forsyth said.

Smith said comparing total marijuana revenues to receipts reported by the Department of Revenue might provide a clearer comparison of marijuana’s economic effect on the region.

For the third quarter of 2015 — July through September — marijuana sales in Spokane County reached $12.4 million. That’s slightly less than bookstore revenue of $12.6 million and is below the $15.8 million from arts, entertainment and recreation, including live-music venues and museums, during that period — the most recent for which the comparative data are available.

Marijuana sales rose further in the county in the first quarter of 2016 to $14.5 million. That includes a slight decline in sales in January over December. Total revenues are likely to continue to increase, as medical-marijuana dispensaries will come under Liquor and Cannabis Board control in July.

Because state laws were rewritten last year to enable tax-revenue sharing with local governments based on sales, more revenue means more money for cities and counties.

Spokane County can expect to receive $442,917 from the state in excise taxes on marijuana this year, according to the most recent Liquor and Cannabis Board estimates. The city of Spokane will be allotted $123,011; Spokane Valley, with its moratorium on new businesses, will be capped at $75,824.

http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/in-spokane-county-marijuana-outsells-wine-milk-and-bread-but-not-beer/
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« Reply #586 on: May 03, 2016, 08:22:55 AM »

Walgreens Broaches Possible Health Benefits Of Medical Marijuana
National brands haven’t taken a stance on weed yet, but they’ve been forced to acknowledge it.
04/30/2016
Andy Campbell
Reporter, The Huffington Post

Walgreens wants to talk about marijuana.

In what appears to be an unprecedented move for a company its size, Walgreens published a discussion of the possible health benefits of medical marijuana on its health and wellness blog this week.

In the post, titled “Clarifying Clinical Cannabis,” a resident pharmacist at the company takes a look at medical marijuana’s side effects, the debate about its medicinal properties and its legality:

“Research has indicated it may impair your lungs, memory and judgment. However, research has also shown marijuana provides pain relief in ways traditional pain medicines don’t. Medical marijuana can improve appetite and relieve nausea in those who have cancer and it may help relieve symptoms such as muscle stiffness in people who have multiple sclerosis.”

It’s not exactly clear what the company’s intentions are. Its parent company, Walgreen Co., isn’t ready to say it’s throwing its hat in the ring of an industry whose recreational and medical sales topped out at $5.4 billion in 2015.

“The content is strictly informative, and nowhere do we take any stance on the issue,” Jim Cohn, a spokesman for Walgreen Co., told The Huffington Post. “It was developed to address some of the questions we’ve received from patients and customers through various channels.”

Indeed, Americans want to talk about weed. Recent polling by CBS News suggests 56 percent of Americans want marijuana to be legalized across the board, and half of Americans have tried it.

Corporations, however, have tiptoed around the issue, especially when it comes to marijuana’s touted health applications. Companies like Target have faced fierce backlash for speaking out about hot-button issues at all. It’s interesting, then, that a pharmacy chain is joining the discussion about medical marijuana.

Advocates say it’s a low-risk move.

“In the corporate world one assumes the biggest risk for an institution like Walgreens is a backlash from the consuming public — but fear of the backlash from American consumers hasn’t been a realistic concern for a long time,” Paul Armentano, deputy director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, told HuffPost.

He went on:

“More than half of the public now resides in jurisdictions where the physician-supervised use of cannabis therapy for qualifying patients is legal, and over 85 percent of voters acknowledge that cannabis is a safe and effective treatment that ought to be permitted. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that those within the public health sphere are now publicly acknowledging and responding to this reality,” he said in an email.

While Walgreen may balk at the idea that its blog post represents a big change in national discourse, the company has always been tactful in its communications with consumers. In 2014 it scrapped a plan to move its headquarters to Switzerland to take advantage of low corporate tax rates — a move that would have cost taxpayers $4 billion over the following five years — in response to public pressure.

Its blog post was published on Tumblr, which targets marijuana’s most favorable audience: Young people. Seventy-one percent of adults under 35 think marijuana use should be legal, according to the CBS poll.

In any case, it’ll be a while before you’ll be picking up an ounce of purple haze at Walgreens or Duane Reade. Twenty-four states have legalized marijuana for medical use, and Washington, D.C., and four other states have legalized recreational use, but it’s still banned federally.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/walgreens-medical-marijuana_us_5724dcabe4b0f309baf107c7
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« Reply #587 on: June 06, 2016, 12:32:55 PM »

Poll: Voters Say Marijuana Should Be Legal for Vets With PTSD

Image: Poll: Voters Say Marijuana Should Be Legal for Vets With PTSD (Photo by NELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images) 
By Sandy Fitzgerald   |    Monday, 06 Jun 2016
 
American voters overwhelmingly agree that Veterans Administration doctors should be able to prescribe marijuana in pill form for veterans who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows.

According to the poll conducted between May 24-30, of 1,561 registered voters nationwide:

•87-9 percent overall agree.
•82-13 percent from military households agree.
•79 percent or higher from all parties agreed.

Voters also agreed overwhelmingly that adults should be able to use medical marijuana if prescribed from a doctor but agreed more on the issue of legalizing marijuana altogether:

•89-9 percent allowing adults to legally use medical marijuana.
•54-41 percent, making marijuana legal.
•Men support general legalization 60-37 percent.
•Women support, 48-46 percent.
•Republicans oppose, 62-36 percent.
•Voters over 65 years old oppose 57-37 percent.

The poll carried a margin of error of 2.5 percentage points.

http://www.newsmax.com/US/voters-marijuana-legal-vets/2016/06/06/id/732428/#ixzz4ApjGJaYg
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« Reply #588 on: July 26, 2016, 02:22:46 PM »

First medical marijuana dispensary to open in Florida
Published July 26, 2016 
Associated Press



The first medical marijuana dispensary in Florida is slated to open.

Trulieve, the approved organization in northwest Florida, is set to open a dispensary in Tallahassee on Tuesday, one week after being given dispensing authorization by Florida's health department.

The state's Office of Compassionate Use, which was formed to oversee state regulation of medical marijuana, projects that there will be dispensing locations in 19 cities by the time all six organizations are up and running.

The Legislature gave limited approval to medical marijuana in 2014, with many expecting it to be available early in 2015. The process was beset by administrative delays.

Patients suffering from cancer, epilepsy, chronic seizures and chronic muscle spasms can order medical marijuana by contacting their physician, as long as both are in a state registry.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/07/26/first-medical-marijuana-dispensary-to-open-in-florida.html
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« Reply #589 on: August 04, 2016, 09:42:40 AM »

9 States to Vote on Legalizing Marijuana in November

Image: 9 States to Vote on Legalizing Marijuana in November
By Cathy Burke   |   Thursday, 04 Aug 2016

Ballot measures to liberalize laws involving marijuana use will be on the ballot in nine states this November – and supporters and critics are stockpiling money for the fight ahead, The Hill reports.

Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada all will have measures on the ballot to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. Arkansas, Florida, Montana and Missouri, will decide whether to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana for medicinal use.

"What we have now on our side is actual experience in states like Colorado and Washington," Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, based in Denver, tells The Hill, referring to the states where pot is legal for recreational use.

"Now voters can actually see how these programs are working in these states. Before, there were prophecies of doom and gloom."

But it will come down to money.

"There's a real question about whether the movement can really raise enough money to support the [get-out-the-vote] efforts and the ad campaigns to ensure victory," Tom Angell, the founder of Marijuana Majority. "If we do see a significant number of losses, or a big loss in an important state like California, that could seriously interrupt our momentum."

In California, seven groups supporting Proposition 64 have raised more than $8 million, according to the most recent filings with the Secretary of State's office, The Hill reports.

The measure legalizing marijuana for medical use in Florida has attracted $3.8 million in contributions, most of it from trial attorney John Morgan, The Hill reports.

On the anti-legalization side, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a group founded by Kevin Sabet, director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida, former Rhode Island Democratic Rep. Patrick Kennedy and conservative columnist David Frum, has raised more than $2 million to oppose legalization measures in Arizona, California, Nevada, Massachusetts and Maine, The Hill reports.

And the family that founded the Publix supermarket chain in Florida has chipped in $800,000 to the campaign against medical marijuana there, The Hill reports.

"We're worried about the creation of the next Big Tobacco," Sabet tells The Hill. "It's about money. It's about Silicon Valley and Wall Street millionaires making a lot of money."

http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Legalizing-Marijuana-Ballot-November/2016/08/04/id/742121/#ixzz4GO1Zqj4v
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« Reply #590 on: September 05, 2016, 10:13:07 AM »

Smoking Marijuana Reduces Motivation to Work

Image: Smoking Marijuana Reduces Motivation to Work
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By Sylvia Booth Hubbard   |   Friday, 02 Sep 2016

If you smoke marijuana, you may be setting yourself up to be a loser. A British study found that smoking a single joint made people less willing to work for money. It is the first study to demonstrate the short-term effects of marijuana in humans.

Occasional cannabis users inhaled the equivalent of one cigarette through a balloon. They were then asked to choose between two computer tasks involving pressing the space bar with the little finger of their non-dominant hand for up to 21 seconds.

The test was designed to measure their motivation to work for money — an option that required little effort for a minimal amount of money, and a second that required more effort for up to four times the money.

The same group repeated the test at a later time, but inhaled a vapor that contained no marijuana, and the results of both sessions were compared.

"Repeatedly pressing keys with a single finger isn't difficult but it takes a reasonable amount of effort, making it a useful test of motivation," explained senior author Val Curran of University College London (UCL).

"We found that people on cannabis were significantly less likely to choose the high-effort option.

"On average, volunteers on placebo chose the high-effort option 50 percent of the time for a £2 reward, whereas volunteers on cannabis only chose the high-effort option 42 percent of the time."

The results may be due to levels of dopamine, the "feel good" chemical produced in the brain that's also linked to motivation. A earlier study at UCL found that levels of dopamine are lower in heavy users and those who began the drug at a younger age.

"Although cannabis is commonly thought to reduce motivation, this is the first time it has been reliably tested and quantified using an appropriate sample size and methodology," said lead author Dr. Will Law

The study was published in Psychopharmacology.

Marijuana use continues to rise in the United States. A recent survey found that the percentage of adult users rose from 21.9 million to 31.9 million between 2002 and 2014.

http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/smoking-marijuana-reduces-motivation/2016/09/02/id/746435/
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« Reply #591 on: September 08, 2016, 03:19:21 PM »

Smoking Marijuana Reduces Motivation to Work

Image: Smoking Marijuana Reduces Motivation to Work
(Copyright Fotolia)
By Sylvia Booth Hubbard   |   Friday, 02 Sep 2016

If you smoke marijuana, you may be setting yourself up to be a loser. A British study found that smoking a single joint made people less willing to work for money. It is the first study to demonstrate the short-term effects of marijuana in humans.

Occasional cannabis users inhaled the equivalent of one cigarette through a balloon. They were then asked to choose between two computer tasks involving pressing the space bar with the little finger of their non-dominant hand for up to 21 seconds.

The test was designed to measure their motivation to work for money — an option that required little effort for a minimal amount of money, and a second that required more effort for up to four times the money.

The same group repeated the test at a later time, but inhaled a vapor that contained no marijuana, and the results of both sessions were compared.

"Repeatedly pressing keys with a single finger isn't difficult but it takes a reasonable amount of effort, making it a useful test of motivation," explained senior author Val Curran of University College London (UCL).

"We found that people on cannabis were significantly less likely to choose the high-effort option.

"On average, volunteers on placebo chose the high-effort option 50 percent of the time for a £2 reward, whereas volunteers on cannabis only chose the high-effort option 42 percent of the time."

The results may be due to levels of dopamine, the "feel good" chemical produced in the brain that's also linked to motivation. A earlier study at UCL found that levels of dopamine are lower in heavy users and those who began the drug at a younger age.

"Although cannabis is commonly thought to reduce motivation, this is the first time it has been reliably tested and quantified using an appropriate sample size and methodology," said lead author Dr. Will Law

The study was published in Psychopharmacology.

Marijuana use continues to rise in the United States. A recent survey found that the percentage of adult users rose from 21.9 million to 31.9 million between 2002 and 2014.

http://www.newsmax.com/Health/Health-News/smoking-marijuana-reduces-motivation/2016/09/02/id/746435/

It is interesting you girl that MJ is a psychotic yet has an anti-psychotic effect on dopamine, reducing it.

It is also odd that it reduces boredom yet reduces dopamine, makes no sense.


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« Reply #592 on: September 30, 2016, 08:22:20 AM »

Chelsea Clinton Claims Marijuana Kills People
Posted on September 28, 2016 by Sean Adl-Tabatabai in News, US

Chelsea Clinton has claimed that marijuana kills people
   
Chelsea Clinton has gone on the record and denounced marijuana as a potentially lethal drug that she says may be killing people who take it for medical purposes.

Chelsea made a recent appearance at Youngstown State University campaigning for her mother, Hillary Clinton. She told the crowd of students that there are “public health concerns” associated with cannabis consumption due to recent deaths in Colorado.

Hightimes.com reports:

“We also have anecdotal evidence now from Colorado where some of the people who were taking marijuana for those purposes, the coroner believes, after they died, there was drug interactions with other things they were taking,” she said.

Although there is no documented evidence that marijuana has ever contributed to the death of a single human being in the thousands of years it has been used by civilizations across the globe, prohibitionists often dig deep into their sagging bags of propaganda to convince the average citizen that the effects of cannabis can be both devastating and deadly. But this is the first we have heard of marijuana potentially interacting with other drugs and causing people to suffer their untimely demise.

A recent article on InhaleMD indicates that while there can be some minor interactions when consuming cannabis in conjunction with other medications and food, there is no evidence to suggest that these types of concoctions can result in death.

“Cannabis is not known to produce any lethal interactions with other substances, including foods and beverages,” the article reads. “In fact, as natural and synthetic drugs go, cannabis is exceptionally gentle, with negative effects typically limited to: anxiety, dry mouth, increased thirst, [and] sore throat.”

The article, which was penned by Dr. Jordan Tishler, an expert in the field of cannabis medicine, goes on to explain that while marijuana “isn’t physically harmful,” when mixing it with alcohol, antidepressants, antihistamines and muscle relaxants, the stoned effects can be often amplified—giving the user the feeling of being more intoxicated or in a deeper state of relaxation.

But it does not appear that anyone has died as a direct result of mixing marijuana with other drugs, as Clinton seems to have implied in her speech over the weekend.

Using marijuana is combination with other substances is “substantially safer than blending most other types of medications,” the article continues.

Chelsea Clinton did, however, take the opportunity to reiterate her mother’s stance on states’ rights and the pursuit of more medical marijuana research. But, her comments, once again, seemed to imply that marijuana could be what the federal government claims—a dangerous drug.

“We just need so much more data than we have so that people who might benefit have the chance to benefit, people who might be in danger are protected,” Clinton said. “So absolutely, my mom strongly supports the need for more rigorous study and then subjecting it, as we do kind of everything else that might have a medicinal purpose, to FDA approval, scrutiny and ultimately regulation.”

Hillary Clinton has said throughout the majority of her campaign that she plans to remove cannabis from its Schedule I listing if she is elected into the presidency this November.

http://yournewswire.com/chelsea-clinton-claims-marijuana-kills-people/
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« Reply #593 on: October 02, 2016, 10:40:00 AM »



Former Alaska reporter faces 54 years in jail for pot club

(NEWSER) — Charlo Greene made headlines in 2014 when the then 26-year-old memorably quit her TV reporting gig on air while announcing her intention to push for the legalization of marijuana in Alaska: She said, "F--- it, I quit," before walking out of view. But as the Guardian reports, her ensuing off-screen plight has been largely ignored, even though she faces more than a half-century in prison. That's because Greene, whose legal name is Charlene Egbe, isn't just a cannabis advocate but the owner of the Alaska Cannabis Club, which she created on April 20, 2014, a full six months before Alaska voted to legalize the adult use of cannabis. In other words, she was receiving "donations" for marijuana through club "memberships" before it was legal to do so.

Police raided the club twice and detectives made several undercover purchases, and though Greene wasn't directly involved in them, state prosecutors are charging her because the club is registered under her name. She's pleaded not guilty to charges of "misconduct involving a controlled substance," and the original indictment listed eight offenses that amounted to a possible 24 years in jail. The Guardian broke the news to Greene that six offenses have since been added, raising the total to 54 years. In the Weed Blog, Greene calls this a "modern-day lynching," and tells High Times that she hopes the cannabis community rallies behind her. "I need help more than ever," she says. "Now that I could lose the rest of my life because of cannabis, it feels like the people I fought for have abandoned me."
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« Reply #594 on: October 10, 2016, 09:07:58 AM »

Pets on Pot: The Newest Customer Base for Medical Marijuana
By LAURA M. HOLSON
OCT. 8, 2016


When Lisa Mastramico needed relief for her ailing tabby, Little Kitty, she turned to an unlikely source: marijuana.

At 12 years old, the cat had arthritis. For a long while she spent her days hiding in a closet, where Ms. Mastramico had built her a bed of plush blankets. After trying various supplements that proved ineffectual, she went to a meeting for Women Grow, an industry group for cannabis entrepreneurs.

She was not sold on the idea right away. “My concern was that it’s not my place to get my cat high,” said Ms. Mastramico, the director of a public access television network in Long Beach, Calif.

But with Little Kitty becoming increasingly isolated, it was time to give it a try. She got a medical marijuana card and purchased two edible oils made for pets and derived from cannabis that she squirts into her pet’s mouth.

Little Kitty doesn’t hide anymore. In fact, she’s more like her old self: sunbathing on the living room carpet, playing with Ms. Mastramico’s other cat, Valentina. “When I’ve given it to her, she’s never acted high: falling face-first into her food bowl, chowing down,” Ms. Mastramico said. “She comes out and socializes, wants to be in your lap, wants to be petted. It’s a very noticeable difference.”

Other animal lovers who have turned to cannabis-based products to alleviate a host of pet maladies, including seizures, inflammation, anxiety and pain, are reporting similar results. Although they have not been approved by regulators, marijuana-based treatments are being used not only for cats and dogs, but for pigs, horses and domesticated wild animals.

Maria Ellis Perez, 55, a mold inspector from Pompano Beach, Fla., gives Treatibles chews made from hemp to one of her pets, a domesticated female skunk named Ricochet. At age 12, Ricochet limps and has cataracts. At one point, she had grown so withdrawn that she refused to eat. “We thought it was her time,” Ms. Ellis Perez said.

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But after a few days of nibbling hemp, Ricochet seemed more content. “She was turning her head and looking up with the good eye,” Ms. Ellis Perez said. “She showed up for breakfast.”

The Food and Drug Administration has not approved cannabis for pets, in part because there is little research showing its effectiveness. Veterinarians are not allowed to write prescriptions for the products and, in states where marijuana is illegal, are wary of discussing the idea. Last year, a proposed state law was defeated in Nevada that would have made it possible for veterinarians to prescribe cannabis to pets with chronic illnesses. Still, users swear by the products.

Cate Norton, 36, who lives in Springfield, Vt., and works at an animal rescue center, said she drives her two Rottweilers, Ruby and Leia, to a veterinarian in Hanover, N.H., where medical marijuana is permitted. “My vet would like to do it but can’t legally touch it,” she said.

Ms. Norton gives 3-year-old Leia a hemp-based product called Canna-Pet for seizures and anxiety. In the eight months of treatment, she said, “there has been a great reduction in the severity of her seizures.”

To understand the effect of cannabis on animals, it helps to know a little of the science. The cannabis plant contains dozens of cannabinoids, among them THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and CBD (cannabidiol). THC has the psychoactive properties that make people feel high but are toxic to animals.

CBD, on the other hand, offers the benefits without the buzz. Industrial hemp, used to make textiles and paper, is used in pet products, too, because its THC levels are negligible.

“Dogs are very sensitive to the effects of THC,” said Steve Blauvelt, a veterinarian in Bend, Ore. With the recent legalization of marijuana in some states, more pets have ended up in veterinary hospitals panting and in distress after digging into their owners’ stashes or pilfering a pot-laced cookie from the counter.

“Most pet owners who end up bringing their animal in are in denial,” Dr. Blauvelt said. But eventually, he said, “they come clean and say their dog ate one of their brownies.”

Pallas Weber, 53, a video editor in Los Angeles, was skeptical about giving cannabis to Emmett, a 12-year-old chow-shepherd mix who got a diagnosis of bone cancer in 2012, resulting in an amputated front left leg. But the painkiller her veterinarian prescribed left him too woozy to support his 75-pound frame on his other legs.

So last June, Ms. Weber bought Emmett a cannabis-based tincture called VETCBD, which is sold at California dispensaries. Four months later, she has reduced the painkillers, and Emmett moves with some of his old swagger. She uses it for Emmett’s anxiety, too, giving him an extra dose on the Fourth of July to keep him from diving headfirst into the closet. “Fireworks really freak him out,” she said.

Stephen Katz, the New York State assemblyman who is also a veterinarian, has teamed up with the University of Pennsylvania’s school of veterinary medicine to conduct clinical trials of Therabis, a trio of hemp-based powders he created for anxiety, mobility and itching.

“I had a lot of clients who did a lot of flying,” he said. “They wanted tranquilizers so they could carry their dogs in their lap.” He worried, though, about the harsh effect of sedatives on the dogs’ cardiovascular and respiratory systems and thought his clients’ animals would benefit from hemp.

At his practice in the Bronx, he said, he treats a number of pit bulls suffering from allergies and separation anxiety. “Those dogs scratch an itch down to the bone,” he said. The products’ cost is on par with prescription drugs, he said: about $20 to $40 a month.

Pet owners in California, where medical marijuana has been legal for two decades, are at the forefront of the trend. Rachel Martin, 32, a dog trainer, uses VETCBD for a variety of her dogs’ ailments. “All of them have very complex and detailed medical issues,” she said. A Jack Russell terrier named Shadow has had multiple surgeries; Sophie, a rat terrier, had a diagnosis of cancer; and Petri, a Chihuahua-mix, suffers from fear-based anxiety.

Ms. Weber had to get a medical marijuana card to buy products for her dog Emmett. That led her to an awkward conversation with a physician who solely prescribes medical marijuana for people.

“I went to the weed doctor and said, ‘I need a card so I can get it for my dog who had cancer,’” said Ms. Weber, who said she doesn’t smoke pot or drink. “He said, ‘I don’t have a solution for that.’ So I told him I had insomnia.”

Maureen McCormick, 54, lives in Newport Beach, Calif., and was persuaded of marijuana’s benefits after relatives used cannabis products for their own aches and pains. She thought they would benefit her 14-year-old cat, Bart, who has arthritis in his front legs. “I told the doctor I had a knee that aches, and my shoulder, too,” she said. “I also said I want to use it for my cat.” She got the card in July.

Ms. McCormick is using a tincture by Treatwell, a California company that also makes edibles for humans. So far, though, she said she has not seen much progress in Bart. “It’s frustrating, because cats are more challenging than dogs,” Ms. McCormick said. She has adjusted the dose three times, working with Melinda Hayes, 39, the founder of Sweet Leaf Shoppe, a medical cannabis delivery service based in Los Angeles.

Ms. Hayes, who opened her dispensary in 2014, started working with pet owners and their animals last year after consulting with cannabis product makers. “It’s a lot of going back and forth,” she said.

She said she now aids 40 animals, and about half of her calls these days are about pet care. “I go as often as I can to meet the pet,” Ms, Hayes said. “Owners look at their loved ones through rose-colored glasses. People can verbalize their reactions. Animals cannot.”

She also gives cannabis products to her own pets: her boxer-terrier mix, Diva, who tore a ligament in her right knee; Snoop, her pitbull-Shih Tzu mix, who has allergies and anxiety; and Tug, a box turtle who suffers from disorders of the shell and the bones. Ultimately, Ms. Hayes wants to have a full-service storefront where people can take their pets for consultations and care.

“This way,” she said, “I can combine my two favorite things: dogs and pot.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/09/fashion/pets-medical-marijuana-dogs-cats.html?_r=0
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« Reply #595 on: October 14, 2016, 11:52:01 AM »

Heavy Pot Use Increases Risk of Bone Disease

Image: Heavy Pot Use Increases Risk of Bone Disease 
Friday, 14 Oct 2016

Smoking large amounts of cannabis over a long period of time could lead to reduced bone density and a higher risk of fractures according to new UK research.

Carried out by the University of Edinburgh, UK, the study is the first to look at bone health amongst cannabis users.

For their research the team recruited 170 people who smoked cannabis regularly for recreational purposes and 114 who didn't use the drug at all.

The researchers defined heavy users as those who reported smoking cannabis on 5000 or more occasions in their lifetime, although in the study the average heavy cannabis user had taken the drug more than 47,000 times.

Those who had taken the drug about 1000 times were described as moderate users.

Whether heavy, moderate or non-users, all participants had their bone density measured using a specialized x-ray technique called a DEXA scan.

The results showed that the bone density of heavy cannabis users was about 5 percent lower than cigarette smokers who did not use cannabis, which the researchers say could put heavy users at an increased risk of developing osteoporosis later in life. The researchers also found that when compared to non-users, heavy users also experienced more fractures, however no difference was found between moderate users and non-users.

Perhaps surprisingly, as cannabis is known to increase appetite, the study also found that the heavy users had a lower body weight and a reduced body mass index (BMI), with the researchers suggesting that large amounts of the drug over a long period of time may actually reduce and not increase the appetite. That finding is also bad news for bone health, and could be one of the contributing factors to the lower bone density seen in this group of users.

Lead researcher Professor Stuart Ralston commented on the results saying, "We have known for a while that the components of cannabis can affect bone cell function but we had no idea up until now of what this might mean to people who use cannabis on a regular basis."

However the team did add that further research is needed to better understand the link between cannabis use and its negative effect on bone density.

The study, which was funded by Arthritis Research UK, is published in the American Journal of Medicine.

http://www.newsmax.com/Health-News/heavy-pot-use-increases/2016/10/14/id/753368/
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« Reply #596 on: October 14, 2016, 12:23:32 PM »

Quote
Most pet owners who end up bringing their animal in are in denial,” Dr. Blauvelt said. But eventually, he said, “they come clean and say their dog ate one of their brownies.”

Dogs shouldn't be allowed chocolate under any circumstances.
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« Reply #597 on: November 08, 2016, 10:18:17 AM »

9 States Are Voting On Marijuana On Election Day. Here’s Where They Stand Right Now.
Follow along here as voters decide.
 11/08/2016
Matt Ferner 
National Reporter, The Huffington Post
Nick Wing 
Senior Viral Editor, The Huffington Post

TVIRBICKIS/GETTY IMAGES
Marijuana legalization is on the ballot in a diverse set of states on Nov. 8.
Millions of voters across the United States are considering measures to roll back longstanding restrictions on marijuana this Election Day.

By the end of Tuesday night, five more states could fully legalize weed, which would put nearly one-quarter of the nation’s population in areas that have rejected prohibition and decided to tax and regulate the plant. An additional four states are voting on whether to legalize marijuana for medical use. If approved, pot would become legal in some form in 29 states and Washington D.C.

Marijuana policy reformers say this could be a watershed moment for their movement.

“Nov. 8 is the most important day in the history of the marijuana legalization movement,” Tom Angell, chairman of drug policy reform group Marijuana Majority, told The Huffington Post. “The stakes couldn’t be higher. Big wins will dramatically accelerate our push to finally end federal marijuana prohibition, perhaps as soon as 2017. But on the other hand, huge losses could interrupt the momentum we’ve been building for the last several years.”

Nov. 8 is the most important day in the history of the marijuana legalization movement.
Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority
National support for the legalization of marijuana has risen dramatically in recent years, reaching historic highs in multiple polls just last month. Acceptance of marijuana use has also been rising steadily, as the “Reefer Madness” hysteria of years past has begun to look increasingly absurd. States like Colorado have established regulated marijuana marketplaces, and successes there have debunked some lawmakers and law enforcers’ predictions that such polices would result in disaster.

The federal government still considers marijuana to be among the “most dangerous” drugs, alongside heroin and LSD, and argues that it has no “current accepted medical use.” But as the marijuana industry grows and as legalization spreads across the country, the movement’s increased political clout could help chip away at the federal ban.

While the measures proposed in each of these states are different, they’ll produce similar outcomes if approved. In states considering recreational measures, voters are deciding whether the possession, cultivation, use and sale of marijuana should be legal for adults 21 and over. In states considering medical measures, they’re voting to legalize marijuana only for qualifying patients.

The following states will vote on marijuana on Tuesday. We’ll keep this story updated throughout the election as results come in.

Recreational Marijuana Measures

Arizona

Medical marijuana has been legal in Arizona since 2010, but the push for broader legalization has been seen as one of the marijuana movement’s toughest battles. For months, polls in the state have shown voters largely split on Proposition 205, with two of the most recent polls suggesting a very slim lead for voters in favor of legalization.

California

With the sixth-largest economy in the world and about 40 million residents, the marijuana legalization movement has held up California as one of its biggest prizes. It was the first state to establish a legal medical marijuana program about 20 years ago, and since then, about two dozen states have followed.

In 2010, the state had the opportunity to become the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, but voters ultimately rejected that ballot initiative.

For most of 2016, polls found high support for Proposition 64, with recent polls hovering at just below 60 percent in favor of allowing California to join the ranks of Colorado, the District of Columbia, and three other Pacific states ―Washington, Oregon and Alaska ― in legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.

Maine

Maine has been a leader on marijuana policy for decades, and has been in a good position to roll back prohibition on the East Coast. In 1976, the state legislature voted to decriminalize possession of small amounts of weed, and in 1999, voters approved marijuana for medical use.

The latest polling on Question 1, a measure to legalize retail sales and recreational use statewide, placed support at around 50 percent, with nearly 10 percent of likely voters still undecided.

Massachusetts

The latest polls showed growing support for a measure to legalize marijuana in Massachusetts, leading advocates to see it as one of the most likely states to do so.

More than 60 percent of likely voters supported Question 4, according to one recent survey, with 34 percent opposed. Voters in Massachusetts previously approved medical marijuana in 2012 by a similar margin, four years after a successful 2008 effort to decriminalize possession of small amounts of weed.

Nevada

Recent Nevada polls showed support for Question 2 hovering around 50 percent, making it more of a nail-biter for proponents of marijuana legalization. Supporters of the measure include multiple Democratic state lawmakers and some unions, while opponents include a group of Republican state lawmakers.

Las Vegas casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson almost single-handedly funded the opposition campaign, giving it over $3 million, or roughly 97 percent of the total money the campaign raised, according to the Adelson-owned Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Medical Marijuana Measures

Arkansas

The latest polling on Issue 6, a measure to bring medical marijuana to deep-red Arkansas and the South on Election Day, showed support at around 50 percent ― further complicated by an aggressive opposition campaign and controversy surrounding a separate ballot initiative on medical marijuana.

Florida

Recent polling showed Floridians likely approve medical marijuana on Tuesday, leading to hopes that it could become the first state in the South to legalize weed for any purpose (polls close earlier in Florida than in Arkansas). One survey conducted in late October showed support for the state’s Amendment 2 at over 70 percent.

Florida’s campaign for medical marijuana attracted a number of high-profile supporters hoping the state’s voters would do what they failed to do in 2014, when they rejected a similar measure. But anti-drug groups and donors ― including Adelson, who donated $1,500,000 to oppose Amendment 2 ― were intent on pushing back against the apparent momentum.

Montana

Montana first legalized medical marijuana back in 2004, but five years ago, state lawmakers severely gutted that medical marijuana program, prompting a dramatic decline in medical marijuana providers for state-registered patients.

Some polling suggested a lack of support for Initiative 182, a measure to repeal limitations installed by state lawmakers and establish a robust program in the state once again.

North Dakota

Prior to Tuesday, there wasn’t any recent polling available on North Dakota’s Measure 5. In 2014, 47 percent of voters said they supported the legalization of medical marijuana, though they hadn’t gotten the chance to vote on it until this election.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/marijuana-legalization-9-states_us_5820c74ce4b0e80b02cba484
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« Reply #598 on: November 09, 2016, 12:06:45 PM »

Marijuana wins big on election night
By Christopher Ingraham
November 8, 2016

Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational marijuana initiatives while an initiative in Maine was leading in the polls Wednesday morning. The 2016 election has proved to be the biggest electoral victory for marijuana reform since 2012.  (Daron Taylor/The Washington Post)

Voters in California, Massachusetts and Nevada approved recreational marijuana initiatives Tuesday night, and several other states passed medical marijuana provisions, in what is turning out to be the biggest electoral victory for marijuana reform since 2012, when Colorado and Washington first approved the drug's recreational use.

In addition to the states above, local outlets in Maine are declaring victory for that state's legalization measure, but with 91 percent of precincts reporting just a few thousand votes separate the "Yes" and "No" columns.

A similar legalization measure in Arizona did not gain sufficient support to pass, with 52 percent of voters rejecting it.

On the medical side, voters in Florida, North Dakota and Arkansas have approved medical marijuana initiatives. Voters in in Montana also rolled back restrictions on an existing medical pot law.

Reformers were jubilant. “This represents a monumental victory for the marijuana reform movement,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “With California’s leadership now, the end of marijuana prohibition nationally, and even internationally, is fast approaching.”

Five states have marijuana legalization initiatives on their ballots. Here's what they can learn from Washington, Colorado and Oregon, states where marijuana use has already been legalized.  (Daron Taylor, Danielle Kunitz/The Washington Post)

California has long been seen as a bellwether by both supporters and opponents of marijuana reform. The state is home to about 12 percent of the U.S. population. Given the size of the state's economy and the economic impact of the marijuana industry there, California's adoption of legal marijuana could prompt federal authorities to rethink their decades-long prohibition on the use of marijuana.

 [A casino magnate is spending millions to fight legal marijuana in three states] 

In a recent interview with Bill Maher, President Obama said that passage of the legalization measures on Tuesday could make the current federal approach to the drug “untenable.”

Still, the likelihood of a Trump White House leaves a lot of uncertainty about the fate of marijuana measures in the next four years. Under Obama, federal authorities largely took a hands-off approach to state-level legalization efforts. But an incoming administration more skeptical of drug reform could easily reverse that approach.

“The prospect of Rudy Giuliani or Chris Christie as attorney general does not bode well,” the Drug Policy Alliance's Nadelmann said in an interview. “There are various ways in which a hostile White House could trip things up.”

Nadelmann pointed to the success of marijuana measures in the midst of an evident Republican wave as a sign that support for legalization now cuts deeply across party lines. And citing Trump's often contradictory statements on marijuana and drug use in the past, Nadelmann added that “Donald Trump personally could probably go any which way on this.”

With today's votes, legal marijuana is also making significant inroads in the Northeast. “Marijuana legalization has arrived on the East Coast,” said Tom Angell of the marijuana reform group Marijuana Majority in an email. “What Colorado and other states have already done is generating revenue, creating jobs and reducing crime, so it’s not surprising that voters in more places are eager to end prohibition.”

Opponents of legalization said they were disappointed by the outcomes. “We were outspent greatly in both California and Massachusetts, so this loss is disappointing, but not wholly unexpected,” said Kevin Sabet of the anti-legalization group Smart Approaches to Marijuana in a statement. “Despite having gained considerable ground in the last few weeks, the out-of-state interests determined to make money off of legalization put in too much money to overcome.”

Votes on medical marijuana in Florida and North Dakota were decisive. Florida's Amendment 2 passed with 71 percent support, according to the Associated Press. In North Dakota, the AP reports that 64 percent of voters approving of the medical marijuana measure.

 [One striking chart shows why pharma companies are fighting legal marijuana] 

Two years ago, a medical marijuana measure in Florida earned 58 percent of the vote, just shy of the 60 percent threshold needed for passage. Then, as now, opposition to the measure was fueled by multimillion-dollar donations from Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate and GOP donor. In 2014 Adelson spent $5.5 million to defeat the measure. This year he's spent $1.5 million in Florida, and several million more to defeat recreational marijuana measures in other states.

“This is a major tipping point,” said Tom Angell of Florida's vote. “With Florida's decision, a majority of states in the U.S. now have laws allowing patients to find relief with medical marijuana, and these protections and programs are no longer concentrated in certain regions of the country like the West and Northeast.”

The victory in North Dakota is something of a surprise as no polling was done on the measure.

The Florida amendment has the potential to be one of the more permissive medical marijuana regimes in the nation. In addition to diseases like HIV, cancer and PTSD, the measure also allows doctors to recommend medical pot for “other debilitating medical conditions of the same kind or class as or comparable to those enumerated, and for which a physician believes that the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the potential health risks for a patient.” While the 2014 measure allowed doctors to prescribe marijuana for any illness they believed it would be useful for, the new measure requires they show the illness is severe — though the wording gives physicians considerable leeway in determining which conditions would meet those criteria.

The medical pot measure in North Dakota allows doctors to recommend the drug for a number of severe medical conditions.

With the passage of Amendment 2, Florida will become the first Southern state to enact a robust medical marijuana regime. Medical marijuana is already legal in 25 other states and the District.

“Better late than never,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the drug reform group Drug Policy Alliance, in a statement. “Most states outside the South already have legal medical marijuana, but the overwhelming victory today in Florida is likely to accelerate the momentum for reform throughout the region.”

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/11/08/medical-marijuana-sails-to-victory-in-florida/
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« Reply #599 on: December 29, 2016, 07:23:36 PM »

Little-known illness tied to smoking weed on the rise
CBS News
Jonathan Lapook

NEW YORK -- For more than two years, Lance Crowder was having severe abdominal pain and vomiting, and no local doctor could figure out why. Finally, an emergency room physician in Indianapolis had an idea.

“The first question he asked was if I was taking hot showers to find relief. When he asked me that question, I basically fell into tears because I knew he had an answer,” Crowder said.

The answer was cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, or CHS. It’s caused by heavy, long-term use of various forms of marijuana. For unclear reasons, the nausea and vomiting are relieved by hot showers or baths.

“They’ll often present to the emergency department three, four, five different times before we can sort this out,” said Dr. Kennon Heard, an emergency room physician in Aurora, Colorado.

lapook-marijuana-1228en-transfer.jpg© Provided by CBS Interactive Inc. lapook-marijuana-1228en-transfer.jpg

He co-authored a study showing that since 2009, when medical marijuana became widely available, emergency room visits diagnoses for CHS in two Colorado hospitals nearly doubled. In 2012, the state legalized recreational marijuana.

“It is certainly something that, before legalization, we almost never saw,” Heard said. “Now we are seeing it quite frequently.”

Outside of Colorado, when patients do end up in an emergency room, the diagnosis is often missed. Partly because doctors don’t know about CHS, and partly because patients don’t want to admit to using a substance that’s illegal.

CHS can lead to dehydration and kidney failure, but usually resolves within days of stopping drug use. That’s what happened with Crowder, who has been off all forms of marijuana for seven months.

“Now all kinds of ambition has come back. I desire so much more in life and, at 37 years old, it’s a little late to do it, but better now than never,” he said.

CHS has only been recognized for about the past decade, and nobody knows exactly how many people suffer from it. But as more states move towards the legalization of marijuana, emergency room physicians like Dr. Heard are eager to make sure both doctors and patients have CHS on their radar.

http://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/little-known-illness-tied-to-smoking-weed-on-the-rise/ar-BBxF7iw?ocid=spartandhp
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