Author: Ian

No Leniency for Canada From US Border Patrol

Despite the fact that Canadians trying to cross the U.S. border are being asked if they have ever smoked cannabis — resulting in a lifetime travel ban for some Canadians — Prime Minister Trudeau has no plans to request changes to that policy. During a press conference in Ottawa on Tuesday, Canada’s leader said he will not address the issue with the U.S. government. Currently, U.S. border guards can ask Canadians about their marijuana use and then deny that person entry for life based on their answers. This denial requires the traveler to apply for a waiver if they...

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Opioids, Addiction and Death: 41 State AGs Demand Answers

America’s opioid manufacturers may soon reap what they’ve sown. A collaborative effort by the attorneys general (AG) in 41 states seeks to investigate the manufacturers and distributors of America’s highly addictive opioids. The state attorney generals have subpoenaed five major opioid manufacturers and three drug distributors, requesting background on how these companies marketed and distributed their prescription opioids throughout the country. Opioid manufacturers and distributors investigated Initiated by New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Tuesday, the bipartisan coalition of state AGs issued subpoenas to the following pharmaceutical manufacturers and their related subsidiaries:      Allergan Inc.      Endo International plc...

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SFV OG Marijuana Strain Review

Strain Overview The Scoop: California’s San Fernando Valley is a sprawling suburbia that’s famous, or infamous, for its inherent opportunities under the sun. Of which, the cultivation of the unique San Fernando Valley OG (SFV OG) is among the finest. First enhanced by Swerve from the Cali Connection, this modified OG Kush strain disarms the repressed psyche and relaxes the overstimulated intellect. The Result: Not to be confused with the Cali Connection’s SFV OG Kush, the two variants of OG Kush are considered unique and distinct. While the SFV OG is a Sativa-dominant strain, the SFV OG Kush is...

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MA Supreme Court Rules Field Sobriety Tests Can’t Determine Marijuana Intoxication

A monumental ruling in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on Tuesday declared that police officers are unable to testify whether a driver was under the influence of marijuana while operating a vehicle based on the results of a field sobriety test (FST). According to the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, “Unlike alcohol, marijuana does not act as a general central nervous system depressant, impairing functions throughout the body. Nonetheless, the primary psychoactive substance in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is known to have an impact on several functions of the brain that are relevant to driving ability, including the capacity to divide...

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Ontario May Sell Legal Cannabis for $10 a Gram

The Government of Ontario is considering setting legal cannabis prices at $10 a gram, CBC News reported today. Prior to the release of this information, the provincial and federal governments have been tight-lipped regarding the proposed average price of cannabis when it becomes legal next July. Finance Minister Charles Sousa said the price of $10 per gram is “certainly something we’re giving consideration to.” The minister added that “the intent is to have some uniformity with these prices across Canada.” Marijuana.com contacted Canopy Growth Corporation to get their take on the proposed retail price of cannabis and if they have...

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The Loss of an Activist, the Passing of a Friend, James Bell

by Tom McCain, Executive Director, Peachtree NORML September 20, 2017 Awful News My friend Stephen Bradley called me on Friday, September 14th and asked if I was sitting down. I knew it couldn’t be good news, but when he told me our mutual friend James Bell had died suddenly, I experienced several moments of simple denial. This just can’t be true, I thought. Then the enormity of the news dropped on me like a heavy stone as I realized how large a hole James’ death leaves in the politics of Marijuana Law Reform in Georgia. The James Bell I Knew I met James in the fall of 2014 in Dublin, Georgia. He was there videoing a Justice for David Hooks rally. David had been killed in his own home during the execution of a fruitless search warrant, based on the word of an addict/thief who had burglarized David’s property the night before his death. Soon after, I met James again when I testified against the term no-knock warrant being written into black letter Georgia Law before a Senate Committee. We had an opportunity to talk for a while that day, discovering that we had several interests in common. We became friends and allies and called each other often. Over time, James shared the tragic story of his niece, Lori Knowles with me, and I understood his interest in David...

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New Study Finds Legal Cannabis Equals Fewer Pharmaceuticals

“Legal access to cannabis may reduce the use of multiple classes of dangerous prescription medications in certain patient populations,” according to the results of a new study. Regardless of what some officials in the Trump administration believe, Americans have a major problem with pharmaceutical narcotics, and that’s something cannabis can help mitigate, according to the conclusion of a recent University of New Mexico study. From 2014 to 2015, the following states witnessed a double-digit increase in their overdose mortality rates, thanks primarily to pharmaceutical narcotics: Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North...

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Peru is Drafting a Medical Marijuana Bill

The South American country of Peru is drafting legislation for medical marijuana in response to an outcry from its citizens. The Congressional Committee on National Defence has agreed to the creation of a bill, which will outline a framework for medical cannabis in the nation. “The Commission on Defense has unanimously decided to propose the law that decriminalizes the medicinal use of cannabis,” said Congressman Alberto de Belaunde. The congressman clarified that the government is not interested in legalizing smokeable cannabis products like flower or shatter, policymakers are instead looking specifically at cannabis oil for the treatment of diseases...

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This Weed in Hollywood

Gwyneth Paltrow has portrayed a wide range of characters on the big screen for years, but her latest project finds her telling her own story. In the debut issue of goop magazine, a physical iteration of Paltrow’s lifestyle and wellness blog of the same name, the celebrated actress offers a strong show of support for marijuana legalization and the utilization of the plant for healing. “What’s really interesting to see, with all the legalization of marijuana happening, is how there’s evidence that it can be helpful in a medicinal sense for people. That it can really be an alternative...

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Pennsylvania Democratic Party Adopts Marijuana Legalization Into Policy Platform

Resolution – Platform Policy on the Legalization of Marijuana/Cannabis WHEREAS, The prohibition of cannabis was based on racism and bigotry, but not science or sound reasoning [Testimony of Harry J. Anslinger – Marihuana Tax Act of 1937; Findings of LaGuardia Committee & Shafer Commission] WHEREAS, The government, at all levels, regulates the legal sale of substances known through scientific rigor to be harmful or deadly to humans, by means other than the Controlled Substances Act WHEREAS, Cannabis is one of the most well-studied plants in human history [Google Scholar search for `”cannabis sativa” OR marijuana` produces 556,000 results] WHEREAS, As of September, 2017, the People and legislatures of 28 states, including the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, have already legalized cannabis for medical purposes; 8 states (plus Washington D.C.) have ended prohibition on cannabis and have legalized, regulated markets for adult recreational use WHEREAS, Cannabis is regularly used safely and responsibly without medical supervision by almost two million Pennsylvanians [SAMHSA 2012: 20.2% respondents aged 15 and older use cannabis; PA 2010 Census 9,861,456 aged 15 or older] WHEREAS, Cannabis does not fit any of the criteria to be placed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act [Act of Apr. 14, 1972 P.L. 233, No. 64; Section 4-1] WHEREAS, Approximately 25,000 People are arrested per year for possession, sale, or cultivation of cannabis on a State and local level in Pennsylvania...

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Arkansas Medical Marijuana Applications Due Today

Monday marks the final day the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration (DFA) will be accepting applications to cultivate or sell medical marijuana in The Natural State. Mindful that it’s crunch time in the South, a spokesman for the DFA noted, “everyone is bracing themselves for Monday knowing it’s going to be an extremely busy day,” according to the Associated Press. Arkansas’ Green Crawl: Why Farmers Don’t See Cannabis as a Cash Crop To be considered for the Arkansas program, “a complete response to the state application must be hand-delivered to the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission before 4:30 PM...

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Why Cannabis Prohibition is a Significant Factor for Meth Use in Southeast Germany

In the Czech Republic, you can find cannabis, methamphetamine, cheap souvenirs, tobacco, and more in one convenient place. While this may sound like an anarchist’s dream, the availability of dangerous drugs alongside everyday merchandise has been having a negative impact on a small German region that borders the country. While the number of methamphetamine users in Germany has been relatively low since 2010, the federal states of Saxony and Bavaria, which border the Czech Republic, show a drastically high concentration of meth consumption and fatalities compared to the rest of the country. In Bavaria, an average of 16 people...

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Arkansas Marijuana: Who’s in Charge in Little Rock?

Now that the Sept. 18 deadline for cultivator and dispensary applications has passed, it’s time for the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission to review each of the 227 cultivator and dispensary applications filed as of 4:57 p.m. local time. The members of the Arkansas Medical Marijuana Commission were appointed in December 2016 by Governor Asa Hutchinson, President Pro Tempore of the Arkansas Senate, Sen. Jonathan Dismang, and the Speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives, Rep. Jeremy Gillam. None of the three appointing members of the state government supported the passage of Issue 6, and Gov. Hutchinson is a former...

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Toronto’s Dispensaries and Lounges Address the City Council

Several members of Toronto’s cannabis community addressed the city council today to voice their opposition to the proposed moratorium on unlicensed dispensaries and cannabis lounges. This gathering was in response to announcements made on Sep. 8 by the Ontario Provincial Government, which stated that law enforcement will make efforts to close all unlicensed cannabis operations within one year. The closure of these establishments will clear the way for a fully government-run system overseen by the Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). Abi Roach speaking to the Toronto City Council. Credit Colin Bambury. Abi Roach, owner of one of the...

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Study: Medical Cannabis Registrants Reduce Their Prescription Drug Use

by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 18, 2017 Chronic pain patients enrolled in a statewide medical marijuana program are more likely to reduce their use of prescription drugs than are those patients who don’t use cannabis, according to data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine. Investigators from the University of New Mexico compared prescription drug use patterns over a 24-month period in 83 pain patients enrolled in the state’s medical cannabis program and 42 non-enrolled patients. Researchers reported that, on average, program registrants significantly reduced their prescription drug intake while non-registrants did not. Specifically, 34 percent of registered patients eliminated their use of prescription drugs altogether by the study’s end, while an additional 36 percent of participants used fewer medications by the end of the sample period. “Legal access to cannabis may reduce the use of multiple classes of dangerous prescription medications in certain patient populations,” authors concluded. “[A] shift from prescriptions for other scheduled drugs to cannabis may result in less frequent interactions with our conventional healthcare system and potentially improved patient health.” A pair of studies published in the journal Health Affairs previously reported that medical cannabis access is associated with lower Medicaid expenditures and reduced spending on Medicare Part D approved prescription medications. Separate studies have reported that patients with legal access to medical marijuana reduce their...

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