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New Study Shows Natural Marijuana Superior To Synthetic Cannabinoids

(Hemp News)

nature-marijuana-cures-weed-memes-1A new study called “Comparison of Outcome Expectancies for Synthetic Cannabinoids and Botanical Marijuana,” in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, shows that negative effects are significantly lower for natural, botanical cannabis than for synthetic cannabinoids.

In the study, 186 adults who had previously used both the synthetic and natural forms of marijuana, as well as 181 who had previously used only natural (botanical) marijuana, were surveyed about their expected outcomes of using either type of cannabinoid. The results showed that the expected negative effects were significantly higher for synthetic marijuana than for natural marijuana across both categories of use history.

Despite the more commonly expected negative effects of synthetic cannabinoids, the most cited reasons for using these compounds were wider availability, avoiding a positive drug test for cannabis, curiosity, perceived legality, and cost. For instance, synthetic cannabinoids are popular among members of the armed services, and in other occupations where a positive test for marijuana might get you fired, but synthetic cannabinoids would remain undetected.

“Given growing public acceptance of recreational and medical marijuana, coupled with negative perceptions and increasing regulation of synthetic cannabinoid compounds, botanical marijuana is likely to remain more available and more popular than synthetic cannabinoids,” Kirstin J. Lauritsen and Harold Rosenberg, the authors of the article reasonably concluded.

 

Study Shows Opioid Overdoses Fell With Medical Marijuana Legalization

(Hemp News)

dt_141212_pill_overdose_800x600_0Using state-level death certificate data from 1999 to 2010, a group of researchers discovered that the annual rate of opioid overdose deaths decreased substantially — an average of 25 percent — following the passage of medical marijuana laws, compared to states still under cannabis prohibition.

The increase of opioid prescriptions in the United States has had devastating public health consequences, including addiction, organ damage, and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently urged physicians to be “very cautious” in prescribing these drugs, reports Colleen Barry in an op-ed at The New York Times.

Marijuana, as pointed out in the comments to Barry’s article, “is infinitely safer than any prescription opioid, and it certainly should be available as an option … if it can save one life from an overdose it is worth it, never mind a massive 25% reduction.”

“As someone who has chronic skeletal joint pain once told me after years of tilting with opioids I have learned how to manage my pain with marijuana and I don’t have to feel like a zombie as I did with the pills,” offered one commenter. “Plus, I’m a lot happier as the depression associated with my constant pain is relieved as well. I know of many others who report the same success.”

 

Maine Marijuana Initiative Qualifies For November Ballot; Poll Shows Solid Support

(Hemp News)

maine-reg_0Maine state officials on Wednesday announced that a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine has officially qualified for the November ballot.

After a court-ordered review of petitions it had previously invalidated, the Maine Secretary of State’s Office determined the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted more than the 61,123 signatures that were needed to qualify.

Last month, the secretary of state informed the campaign that the initiative had been disqualified because only 51,543 valid signatures had been submitted. The campaign filed a lawsuit challenging the decision, and a Kennebec County Superior Court judge ruled in their favor earlier this month after learning state officials invalidated more than 5,000 petitions —which included more than 17,000 signatures from Maine voters that were validated by town clerks — without actually reviewing every petition in question. The petition was then remanded to the Secretary of State’s Office to review all of the disputed petitions and determine whether enough valid signatures were collected.

The initiative stands a good chance of passing. According to a new poll released this week by the Maine People’s Resource Center, nearly 54 percent of likely voters would approve the initiative if the election were held today. Only about 42 percent said they would oppose it.

 

Spain: Basque Parliament Urges Progress On Marijuana Legalization

(Hemp News)

_originalThe Basque Parliament has asked the Spanish Government, the Parliament and the Justice Administration for “solid progress” on marijuana legalization and regulation, criticizing the “setback” that led to Supreme Court judgments against Basque cannabis clubs.

The House defended a “regulated solution” to allow the operation of cannabis clubs, passed as the Basque Addictions Act on April 7. The text adopted on Monday invites cannabis clubs and associations existing in the Basque Country to go ahead and “establish self-regulatory mechanisms, good practices” and work with the Administration, even though no specific regulations yet exist.

Acting Health Minister Alfonso Alonso last June said the central government is studying an appeal against the Law on Addictions with the possibility that legalizing and regulating the cannabis clubs exceeded the authority of the Basque Country.

It was pointed out that these cannabis clubs have already been operating for some time in Basque Country, and, in general, are pretty good at regulating themselves in an “orderly and responsible” fashion.

 

Michigan Woman Who Ran 2 Marijuana Dispensaries Sentenced To Jail

(Hemp News)

EileenShawCropped-1A woman arrested two separate times for running medical marijuana dispensaries in Kent County, Michigan, was sentenced to jail on Monday by a judge who lectured her, telling her “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

Eileen Dee Shaw, 52, said she did everything possible to operate within Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act while running the dispensaries, which were located in Cascade and Plainfield townships, reports John Hogan at WZZM.

“I made every effort to try to understand the law and comply with it,” Shaw said. “I truly just wanted to help people,’’ she told Kent County Circuit Court Judge George Quist on Monday. “It was with every good intent that I approached this. I truly just wanted to help medical marijuana patients.’’

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse; you’ve probably heard that old adage and it’s true,’’ Judge Quist said.

 

California: Napa Jury Finds Vallejo Marijuana Dispensary Owner Not Guilty

(Hemp News)

57214ec675a92.imageA Napa County Superior Court jury on Tuesday acquitted the owner of a Vallejo medical marijuana dispensary of several cannabis-related charges.

Hakeem Mwata Brown, CEO of Life Enhancement Services, was charged with possessing marijuana for sale and cultivation of marijuana in Napa County, reports Maria Sestito at the Napa Valley Register. He was arrested in 2013, months after he was allegedly found on the site of a large marijuana grow in rural Napa County, according to court documents.

The jury trial began on April 18 before Judge Elia Ortiz, and drew marijuana supporters who picketed outside Criminal Courthouse on Third Street.

Brown was growing legally and the case should never have gone to trial, according to his lawyer, Scot Candell. “It was a complete waste of taxpayer money to put everybody through this,” he said.

 

 

Georgia: Battle Over ‘No Buzz’ Medical Marijuana Law Turns To Civil Disobedience

(Hemp News)

160404_142815_cannabis_9060_ada6a714ded413005e00ca5c22fc39d0.nbcnews-ux-2880-1000-1A civil disobedience campaign is now underway in Georgia to try to force legislators to expand the state’s weak CBD only medical marijuana law, which left a lot of suffering children without legal access to the medicine they need.

A Georgia mpom is helping lead that fight to expand the state’s extremely limited medical marijuana law, which she said unfairly excludes many patients with severe medical conditions, including her five-year-old autistic daughter, who could benefit from the medicinal properties of cannabis.

“There are some pretty tenacious parents who are fighting,” said Jennifer Conforti, whose daughter, Abby, isn’t covered by the current “CBD-only” law, written by lawmakers who understand neither the medicinal properties of cannabinoids, nor, according to Sue Rusche, president and CEO of the Atlanta-based drug prevention organization National Families in Action,m the process of drug approval.

Georgia is one of 17 conservative states in the South and the Midwest which have passed so-called “CBD only” medical marijuana laws since 2014, reports Mike Brunker at NBC News. The laws are a convenient way for cowardly state lawmakers to appear to be “doing something” about the need for medical marijuana in their states, especially by children, while remaining politically risk-free.

 

Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Gorilla Glue #4 Patient Cannabis Exchange Tacoma, Washington [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Gorilla Glue #4
Patient Cannabis Exchange
Tacoma, Washington
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

U.S. Senate Committee Prevents DEA From Undermining Medical Marijuana Laws

(Hemp News)

mikulski-2In yet another huge victory for marijuana reform, the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted by 21 to 8 to approve an amendment offered by Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Maryland) to protect state medical marijuana laws from federal interference by the Department of Justice and Drug Enforcement Administration.

“Marijuana reforms are repeatedly winning votes in Congress,” said Bill Piper, senior director of National Affairs at the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “Letting states set their own marijuana policies is now a mainstream, bipartisan issue.”

After decades of inactivity on marijuana reform, Congress has moved at lightning pace to advance marijuana reform in recent years. Last week the Senate Appropriations Committee voted to allow Veterans Administration doctors to recommend marijuana. The Committee approved similar amendments last year as well as an amendment to allow state-legalized marijuana businesses to access banks and other financial services.

The Mikulski Amendment is expected to pass the full Senate as well as the House. Similar amendments were passed by Congress last year and the year before.

 

Bernie Sanders Says Marijuana Shouldn’t Be A Federal Crime

(Hemp News)

bernie-sanders-mug_5fea106e0eb494469a75e60d8f2b18ea.nbcnews-fp-320-320-1Campaigning for President in liberal Madison, Wisconsin, U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) defended marijuana, saying it should not be a federal crime.

Sanders criticized the American War On Drugs, saying that millions of lives have been “ruined” because they got a police record, and sometimes prison sentences, for possessing marijuana, reports Tom Kertscher at Politifact.

“Today, under the federal Controlled Substances Act, marijuana is listed in the same Schedule I as heroin,” Sanders said. “That is nuts. Now people can argue — although I suspect in this audience, there may not be much of an argument — about the pluses and minuses of marijuana,” Sanders said, drawing cheers from the crowd of thousands at the Alliant Energy Center. “But everybody knows marijuana is not a killer drug like heroin.”

Sanders then pointed out he’s introduced legislation which would remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act — as in DEscheduling cannabis, not REscheduling it. (Merely moving marijuana to Schedule II would effectively hand over its control to Big Pharma.)

 

Washington Board Says Patients Can Grow 4 Plants Each, Up To 15 Per Household

(Hemp News)

MJ-2016-draft_0Multiple authorized medical cannabis patients living in the same residence in Washington state can grow up to four plants each, up to a total of 15 plants, without being on the patient registry, according to information received from the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board on Thursday.

In answers to a Washington state medical marijuana patient advocate, Brian E. Smith of the WSLCB clarified the home growing rules for patients in the state. Only medicinal patients with a physician’s authorization are allowed to cultivate cannabis in Washington without an I-502 cultivation license.

A qualifying patient not entered in the medical marijuana authorization database (Washington’s euphemism for a patient registry) is allowed to grow up to four plants and possess up to six ounces of useable marijuana in his or her domicile, according to the LCB. This possession limit is per patient (RCW 69.51A.210) (3)).

“If multiple qualifying patients reside in the same housing unit, no more than 15 plants may be located in that housing unit,” Smith told patient advocate Tracy Linderman Sirrine of Patients For Patients Medical. “The production and/or processing of marijuana cannot be in any portion of the house that can be readily seen or smelled from a public place or the private property of another housing unit (RCW 69.51A.260).”

 

Missouri: Brother, Sister Get 15 Years Each For Growing 20 Marijuana Plants

(Hemp News)

NatalieAndDavidDePriest[RiverFrontTimes]-1A brother and sister who were caught with 12 marijuana plants and eight seedlings inside their home have been sentenced to a total of 37 years in prison.

Natlie DePriest and David DePriest each received 15 years, the harshest possible sentence which can be given for cannabis cultivation in Missouri, reports Daniel Miller at the Daily Mail. The maximum punishment for manslaughter in Missouri is also 15 years.

A maintenance man entered the DePriests’ home in the city of Farmington, Missouri, in 2001, in order to “fit a fire extinguisher” while they were out, and photographed what he thought was a “pipe bomb” on the counter.

He informed the police, showing them the pictures, and they conducted a search, considering the photos probable cause. They found the marijuana plants inside a bedroom closet, along with three pounds of dried cannabis, a rifle which was a quarter-inch shorter then the legal limit, two legal pistols and two bulletproof vests. They also found ledgers they claimed contain sales record totaling up to $8,000 a month. The “pipe bomb,” basis of the entire search, turned out to be no such thing, and harmless.

 

Global Commission on Drug Policy ‘Profoundly Disappointed’ With UN

(Hemp News)

RuthDreifuss[GlobalCommissionOnDrugPolicy]-1On Thursday, April 21 – the last day of the United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) on drugs – several members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy held a press conference in New York. The Global Commission evaluate the outcome of the UN meeting and call for concrete steps to ensure more effective drug policy reform in the years ahead.

The UNGASS took place in New York from April 19-21 and was the first such gathering of governments in 18 years.

“Globally, we’re wasting too much money and precious resources on criminalizing people and sending them to jail when we should be spending this money on helping people – through proper medical care and education,” said Global Commission Member Sir Richard Branson. “From the perspective of an investor, the war on drugs has failed to deliver any returns. If it were one of my businesses, I would have shut it down many many years ago.”

Commissioner and former President of Switzerland, Ruth Dreifuss also noted that “many countries are already successfully adopting innovative harm reduction and treatment strategies such as needle exchange, substitution therapies, heroin prescription and safe consumption rooms”. She added that “for these efforts to be truly effective, governments must decriminalize the use of drugs for personal use.”

 

Pennsylvania Governor Says Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Mean Legalization

(Hemp News)

a_LoxtMWMedical marijuana is now legal in Pennsylvania, but Governor Tom Wolf has rushed to say that doesn’t mean full legalization, or even a pathway there.

“This is not a gateway to anything other than … reinforcing what we’ve always done and that is allow doctors, encourage doctors, to do what they can do to make the lives of their patients more comfortable,” Gov. Wolf told KDKA Morning News.

Implementing the newly legal medicinal cannabis programs is expected to take from 18 to 24 months, but Gov. Wolf said patients should get relief long before that.

“People should be able to start using these medicines quickly,” Gov. Wolf said. “If someone were to go to another state and buy it legally and bring it back for medicinal purposes, I kind of doubt that most prosecutors would pursue a case.”

 

Iceland Tops The World In Marijuana Use; USA Comes In #2

(Hemp News)

CountriesWithHighestMarijuanaUse2016[HealthGrove]-1Marijuana legalization has been a political issue in the United States for some time, and while it remains illegal in most states, others have softened their stance in recent years.

Colorado and Washington both passed initiatives by popular vote to decriminalize and legalize cannabis in 2012. In 2014, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., followed suit.

Many states including Massachusetts, California, Missouri, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada and Ohio have flirted with legalization for a few election cycles, with buzz growing.

The United States isn’t the only country where people use marijuana legally or illicitly. In fact, it isn’t even the country with the highest reported marijuana use.

 

 

 

The results are in, and they do not lie: If the United States were to legalize the sale of recreational marijuana throughout the country, the tax revenue that would accrue is absolutely mind blowing. The legalization of marijuana would not only benefit current users but the country as a whole, helping to pave the long road toward national debt recovery by creating a new source of massive revenue. Community Tax has crunched the numbers and the facts we uncovered are just staggering.

While four states have seen the actual revenue recreational marijuana is able to pull in, others are left to projections and the results? Electrifying. California alone is at the top of the rankings with a projected $519.3 million possible in tax revenue. Eight other states including New York and Texas are over the hundred million dollar mark in projected revenue. The lowest projected revenue by state was predicted to be $4.5 million in Wyoming — definitely not pocket change.

The impact of legalizing marijuana is both definite and immediate.  Between 2014 and 2015 Washington, Oregon and Colorado have gone legal and we took a look at the tax revenue gained in just the first month of sales alone.  The first state to go legal, Colorado made a whopping $2.9 million in their first month with Washington not far behind collecting 1 million.  Oregon gained $3.48 million in just their first month of sales after hoping on board the legal bandwagon and all of these states are putting their green to great uses.

The tax money earned by marijuana gets doled out according to the needs and wants of each individual state, as federal government still considers marijuana to be an illegal substance the states themselves have the power.

Colorado chooses to vote on how they spend their money; this past year $66.1 million was put into causes like school grants, education and substance abuse programs. Washington and Oregon both have set percentages for their earned money to funnel into certain programs and funds.  Alaska, the newest state to go legal, has yet to determine how to spend their money but as with the other legal states, the cash will without a doubt go to making Alaska a better place to live.

Leaving America’s top crops corn, oil crops and wheat in the dust, recreational marijuana is unparalleled to any other cash crop. If the United States were to go legal as a whole the projected yearly revenue stands at $3.1 billion.

Take a look for yourself at the stunning numbers we have rounded up for you in the infographic below:

Courtesy of: Community Tax


 

 

Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Grape Ape flowered 8 weeks [Photo by Eki Bird]

Grape Ape
flowered 8 weeks, HPS and LED
[Photo by Eki Bird]

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

DOJ Accepts Decision Saying It Can’t Target State-Legal Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

(Hemp News)

Lynnette Shaw, Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM) [Tim Porter/Marin Magazine]

Lynnette Shaw, Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM)
[Tim Porter/Marin Magazine]

The U.S. Department of Justice has abandoned its appeal of a ruling that said federal prosecutors are breaking the law when they go after medical marijuana dispensaries who are in compliance with state law.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer issued the ruling last October, when he said that enforcing an injunction against a state-legal dispensary would violate a spending rider prohibiting the Justice Department from spending funds to interfere with state laws allowing medicinal use of cannabis, reports Jacob Sullum at Reason.

Breyer’s ruling is left in force by the ruling in the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana (MAMM) casea, without establishing a circuit-wide precedent. The DOJ’s request to abandon the appeal probably came about because it feared the 9th Circuit would agree with Breyer’s reading of the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, which says the DOJ may not used funds to “prevent” states from “implementing” their medical marijuana laws.

The DOJ argued that prosecuting dispensaries, seizing their property, and shutting them down does not prevent implementation of laws which allow them. Judge Breyer rightly ruled that interpretation “defies language and logic.” Read Full Article →

Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Chocolope 7 weeks flowering [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Chocolope
7 weeks flowering
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

DEA Plans Decision On Rescheduling Marijuana By Mid-Year

(Hemp News)

Dean-Noris-trains-1The Drug Enforcement Administration plans to decide whether marijuana should be reclassified under federal law “in the first half of 2016,” according to a letter from the DEA to senators.

The agency was responding to a 2015 letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and seven other Democratic senators urging the federal government to stop blocking research into the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

If marijuana is reclassified at all, it would have to be moved to a “less dangerous” category, because it is currently considered Schedule I under federal law, the category of drugs considered the most dangerous of all. Schedule I drugs, by definition, supposedly have no medical value and a high potential for abuse. The insanity of including cannabis — which, of course, can be used to treat hundreds of conditions — should be obvious.

Read Full Article →

Parker and his mother, Tracy Coleman

Parker and his mother, Tracey Coleman

Cannabis POW of the Month
By Cheri Sicard (Cannabis Cheri)

Like many people serving egregiously long sentences for marijuana, Parker Coleman is the victim of America’s conspiracy laws, where it takes no actual evidence to  get a conviction, just the testimony of others who are “cooperating” in order to avoid prison time themselves.

He was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

At trial, no witnesses testified they had ever bought marijuana from Coleman. There was no violence involved in this case, although the police recovered 3 licensed guns from others in the case (who had concealed weapons permits). The guns did not belong to Coleman and he even passed a DNA test (with a 99 percent negative result) to prove that. 

Read Full Article →

Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Afgoo E WA Cannabis Market Spokane, WA [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Afgoo
E WA Cannabis Market
Spokane, WA
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

 

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

Ohio: Medical Marijuana Certified For Ballot; Supports Prepare To Gather Signatures

(Hemp News)

ohio_mmj_ballot-1The Ohio Ballot Board on Thursday certified an initiative that would establish a comprehensive medical marijuana program in Ohio. Ohioans for Medical Marijuana must now collect 305,591 valid signatures of Ohio voters by early July to qualify for the November 2016 ballot.

The five-member board reviews proposed ballot measures to ensure they represent only one issue.

Last week, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine confirmed the group submitted at least 1,000 valid signatures of Ohio voters and determined their initiative summary “is a fair and truthful statement of the proposed law.”

The summary and full text of the initiative are available online at https://www.ohioansformmj.org/initiative.

Read Full Article →

Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

U.S.: Support For Marijuana Legalization Hits All-Time High of 61%

(Hemp News)

_originalA new survey released on Friday by the Associated Press and the University of Chicago shows record support for marijuana legalization in the United States, at 61 percent.

The survey asks, “Do you think the use of marijuana should be made legal, or not?”, which is the same wording as previous Gallup surveys, which had shown a previous high of 58 percent support for legalization last October, reports Christopher Ingraham at The Washington Post.

The AP asked a follow-up question which showed that 24 percent of legalization supporters said cannabis should be made available “only with a medical prescription.” Another 43 percent wanted to restrict purchase amounts. One-third of legalization supporters said there should be “no restrictions” on purchase amounts.

“This is yet another demonstration of just how ready Americans are for the end of marijuana prohibition,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority. “The growing level of support for legalization that we see in poll after poll is exactly why we’re not in a situation — for the first time in history — where every major presidential candidate on both parties has pledged to let states set their own marijuana laws without federal interference.”

 

Read Full Article →

Q: When is it okay to take man from his home because he didn’t hand over an alleged cellphone that a person owns, or when is it okay to make a man a higher-level threat behind bars because people reached out to the authorities in support for him?

A: When they’ve been found guilty of believing they could support their families by “legally” selling marijuana in States that have medical marijuana laws.

The Drug War, and the archaic drug laws we have, make our country morally like North Korea, prosecuting innocent mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, neighbors… innocent Americans. The Drug War is a fine example of the idiocy that pervades America and why Trump could be president.

Read Full Article →

Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Taste Test Sampler Pack [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Taste Test Sampler Pack
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Toke Signals Stories of the Week

U.S.: New CDC Guidelines Instruct Pain Doctors Not To Test For THC

(Hemp News)

marijuana-drug-test-1Long-awaited guidelines on prescribing opioid medications for pain, from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, instruct physicians not to test patients for THC and its metabolites.

This is a much-needed development, particularly as many pain patients nationwide, especially veterans, have had their painkiller prescriptions canceled and care terminated because of showing up positive for marijuana.

“Urine drug testing results can be subject to misinterpretation and might sometimes be associated with practices that might harm patients (e.g., stigmatization, inappropriate termination from care),” the guidelines state, reports California NORML.

“Clinicians should not test for substances for which results would not affect patient management or for which implications for patient management are unclear,” the CDC guidelines state. “For example, experts noted that there might be uncertainty about the clinical implications of a positive urine drug test for tetrahyrdocannabinol (THC).”

 

Read Full Article →