Medicinal marijuana: Patients battle stigma and misunderstanding

New research examines the experiences of California residents who have been prescribed medical marijuana and the stigma they experience from public opinion.  The findings indicate that the stigma of using medical marijuana may contribute to the under-treatment of those who might benefit from medical marijuana. 

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Study: Smoking Still Remains Cannabis Consumers’ Preferred Method of Ingestion

Study: Smoking Still Remains Cannabis Consumers’ Preferred Method of Ingestion

ATLANTA, GA — The majority of people who self-report consuming cannabis do so by methods that involve smoking the substance, according to nationally representative survey data published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Investigators from the US Center for Disease Control and Emory University assessed survey data from those over the age of 18 in regard to their mode of marijuana ingestion and current reason for use.

Authors reported: “Overall, 7.2 percent of respondents reported current marijuana use;…

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DigiPath Labs Begins Generating Revenue as Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Open in Nevada

LAS VEGAS, NV — DigiPath Labs, the cannabis testing subsidiary of DigiPath, Inc. (OTCQB: DIGP), today announced that its medical marijuana safety and potency testing services are generating revenue as medical marijuana dispensaries open in Nevada.

The company’s Las Vegas testing facility is now testing cannabis products for a growing number of cultivators, cannabis-infused product makers, and even other cannabis testing labs.

DigiPath“We’ve been working on our diversification strategy since April, 2014, and now our investments in cannabis…

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Latest JAMA Studies Largely Fail to Support Past Claims About Marijuana and Brain Health

Latest JAMA Studies Largely Fail to Support Past Claims About Marijuana and Brain Health

Two new studies published online this week in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) Psychiatry provide little support for previous claims that cannabis exposure is significantly harmful to the developing brain.

The first study, which assessed the effects of cannabis exposure on brain volume in exposed and unexposed sibling pairs, reported that any identifiable differences “were attributable to common predispositional factors, genetic or environmental in origin.” By contrast, authors found “no evidence for the causal…

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Cannabis use may influence cortical maturation in adolescent males

Male teens who experiment with cannabis before age 16, and have a high genetic risk for schizophrenia, show a different brain development trajectory than low risk peers who use cannabis.

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Illinois Registers First Medical Marijuana Dispensary

Illinois Registers First Medical Marijuana Dispensary

SPRINGFIELD, IL — After years of delays, the first medical marijuana dispensary in Illinois has been registered by the state.  The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR), who is responsible for overseeing the state’s medical marijuana pilot program, announced the registration on Tuesday.

Harbory, which will be located in the southern part of the state in the city of Marion, was the first dispensary applicant in the state to successfully complete the registration and inspection processes, and is now licensed…

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Minnesota Seeks Public Input on Adding Intractable Pain as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Seeks Public Input on Adding Intractable Pain as Qualifying Condition for Medical Marijuana

Earlier this year, the Minnesota Legislature approved a bill requiring the state’s Department of Health to recommend by January 1, 2016, whether intractable pain should be added as a condition that qualifies for medical cannabis.

The department is currently seeking public input on this question and has created two opportunities to share your thoughts.

First, the department is accepting written comment on including intractable pain. There is currently no deadline for submitting comments. However, potential patients, their caregivers, and…

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Larry Harvey, Defendant in ‘Kettle Falls 5’ Medical Marijuana Case, Dies of Cancer

Larry Harvey, Defendant in ‘Kettle Falls 5’ Medical Marijuana Case, Dies of Cancer

COLVILLE, WA — A northeastern Washington man at the center of a nationally watched medical marijuana case has died of pancreatic cancer, six months after the federal government dropped charges against him.

Larry Harvey was 71. He died Thursday in a hospital in Colville, Washington.

Harvey and four others-including his wife, two relatives and a friend- faced charges after they were caught about three years ago growing about 70 pot plants on their rural property near Kettle Falls. They were known as the “Kettle Falls Five.”

Harvey said he…

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Vets Sue Colorado for Right to Use Medical Marijuana for PTSD

Vets Sue Colorado for Right to Use Medical Marijuana for PTSD

DENVER, CO — Four war veterans and a victim of sexual assault sued Colorado for refusing to allow medical marijuana to be prescribed for post-traumatic stress disorder — an odd case for a state that allows marijuana to be used for fun.

The plaintiffs include an Army sniper who served two tours of duty in Iraq, an 11-year veteran who worked in an explosive ordnance disposal unit in Iraq, an infantryman in an elite unit who suffered traumatic brain injuries in two tours of “heavy combat” in Afghanistan, and a woman who was sexually molested when she was 5.

All of them “self-medicated” after their trauma, and were prescribed drugs for PTSD. One tried to kill himself. All of them say medical marijuana has relieved their symptoms more effectively and with fewer side effects than…

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Oregon Releases Draft Rules for Early Recreational Marijuana Sales

Oregon Releases Draft Rules for Early Recreational Marijuana Sales

SALEM, OR — Limited retail sales of marijuana to adults 21 or older will begin in Oregon on October 1, and this week the government agency that oversees medical marijuana sales in the state released proposed regulations for the early recreational marijuana sales.

Earlier this year, the Oregon legislature passed a measure , Senate Bill 460, to allow recreational marijuana sales to adults beginning October 1.  On Wednesday, the Oregon Health Authority, who oversees the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, issued draft regulations for the…

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Judge Rules City of Oakland Can’t Challenge Feds’ Forfeiture Action Against Harborside

Judge Rules City of Oakland Can’t Challenge Feds’ Forfeiture Action Against Harborside

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Oakland cannot challenge the government’s forfeiture action against a medical marijuana dispensary because its collateral attack would “impermissibly disrupt” forfeiture framework, the Ninth Circuit ruled Thursday.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office accused Harborside Health Center’s two dispensary locations in Oakland and San Jose of selling marijuana in violation of the Controlled Substances Act in July 2012. Although medical marijuana is legal in California, is still illegal under federal law.

In late 2012 the dispensary pleaded with its landlord to stop upending the business amid the forfeiture proceedings.

The City of Oakland challenged the government by – rather than filing a claim in the forfeiture action – doing an end-run and seeking a declaratory…

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Colorado Rebrands Youth Anti-Pot Ad Campaign

Colorado Rebrands Youth Anti-Pot Ad Campaign

DENVER, CO — Marijuana isn’t evil, but teens aren’t ready for it: That’s the theme of a new effort by Colorado to educate youths about newly legal marijuana.

Colorado launched a rebranding effort Thursday that seeks to keep people under 21 away from pot. The “What’s Next” campaign aims to send the message that marijuana can keep youths from achieving their full potential.

The campaign shows kids being active and reminds them that their brains aren’t fully developed until they’re 25. The ads say that pot use can make it…

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Legalizing Marijuana in Arizona Could Earn $40 Million for Schools

Legalizing Marijuana in Arizona Could Earn $40 Million for Schools

The measure would enact a 15% tax on adult marijuana sales in addition to standard sales tax; funds would largely be allocated to public schools and full-day kindergarten programs

PHOENIX, AZ — Backers of a proposed 2016 ballot initiative to regulate and tax marijuana like alcohol in Arizona estimate the measure would raise more than $40 million annually for education in Arizona.

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol highlighted the potential revenue Wednesday by presenting the state with a jumbo-sized check during a…

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Marijuana pushes the limits in the inexact science of DUID | News21: America’s Weed Rush

Here’s another interesting article from News 21’s cannabis legalization project:

One of the biggest struggles for legalization regulation is how to…

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American Indian tribes plan to make marijuana a cash crop

From The Telegraph​, “American Indian tribes plan to make marijuana a cash crop”.

Due to tribal land’s unique legal status, many Native American…

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Case Report: Patient With Life-Threatening Angioedema Responds Favorably To Inhaled Cannabis

Case Report: Patient With Life-Threatening Angioedema Responds Favorably To Inhaled Cannabis:

RESEARCH UPDATE:

Paul Armentano, NORML’s Deputy Director, just posted to the NORML Blog about a new medical cannabis case study!

Read Paul’s blog post at the link above!

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Why Montana Is Going Backward on Medical Marijuana

From NBC News​ and News 21, “Why Montana Is Going Backward on Medical Marijuana”

In 2004, the medical marijuana industry in Montana was booming, with…

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Nicotine changes marijuana's effect on the brain

How scientists study the effects of marijuana on the brain is changing. Until recently marijuana research largely excluded tobacco users from its participant pool, but scientists have found reason to abandon this practice, uncovering significant differences in the brains of individuals who use both tobacco and marijuana and the brains of those who only use marijuana.

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East New York: It's still law enforcement target for marijuana possession | News21: America’s Weed Rush

Another article out of News 21’s cannabis project: “East New York: It’s still law enforcement target for marijuana possession”.

New York City Mayor…

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Pro-legalization groups prepare for marijuana measures in 2016

Check out this terrific article from News 21’s ‘America’s Weed Rush’ project!

Journalists from News 21 compiled this extremely thorough and…

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Make Medical Marijuana Legal In Wyoming

More good news from Wyoming!

The Wyoming Tribune Eagle​ has come out in support of NORML Wyoming​’s medical marijuana initiative. The paper had…

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Final update from the NORML Nation Chapter Contest!Here are your…

Final update from the NORML Nation Chapter Contest!

Here are your winners:

1st – Virginia NORML​ ($1,000)
2nd – Peachtree NORML​ ($500)
3rd – PhillyNORML​ ($250)

Thanks to all of our hardworking chapters for making the #NORMLnation Membership Drive a success! We’ll be working on getting the membership orders fulfilled in the coming weeks!

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Connecticut to Consider Adding CRPS to Medical Marijuana Law

Connecticut to Consider Adding CRPS to Medical Marijuana Law

HARTFORD, CT — On Wednesday, August 19, the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection’s Medical Marijuana Program Board of Physicians will meet to discuss adding complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) to the list of conditions covered under the state’s medical marijuana law.

Complex regional pain syndrome is a chronic pain condition that usually arises following a brain injury or a trauma. The symptoms of CRPS are prolonged or excessive pain and changes in skin color, temperature, and swelling of the affected area. It typically affects arms, legs, hands, and feet and is thought to be caused by damage to, or malfunction of, the peripheral and central nervous systems. Medical marijuana could provide much needed relief to Connecticut patients suffering with CRPS.

Earlier this…

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Colombia decriminalizes private marijuana cultivation

Here’s #MondayMotivation from #NORML!

Last Tuesday, Colombia’s Supreme Court decided that growing up to 20 cannabis plants in Colombia is no longer a…

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Public Meetings this Week to Determine New Hampishere Dispensary Locations

Public Meetings this Week to Determine New Hampishere Dispensary Locations

There will be a series of meetings over the next several days to discuss locations for where the state’s medical marijuana dispensaries and cultivation centers will be licensed. The meetings will take place in the towns of Plymouth, Peterborough, Lebanon, and Merrimack. We encourage you to attend these meetings and show your support for safe and legal access.

Medical marijuana businesses make good neighbors. Studies have shown that medical marijuana businesses do not cause an increase in crime. In fact, they have a minor impact in reducing crime by increasing foot traffic as well as the security cameras and other required safety features. You can learn more about dispensary safety in the community by reading ASA’s dispensary reports for Massachusetts and California.

Monday, August…

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Illinois Governor Sends Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Back to Lawmakers

Illinois Governor Sends Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Back to Lawmakers

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday issued an amendatory veto to House Bill 218, which seeks to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses.

As initially approved by the legislature in May, HB 218 reduced personal use possession penalties (up to 15 grams) from a Class A criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a $1,500 fine, and a criminal record, to a petty offense, punishable by a fine only (up to $125.00) – no arrest, and no criminal record.

Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto seeks to decrease the proposed possession limits from 15 grams to 10 grams, whole also seeking to raise fines to $200.00.

Governor Rauner also seeks to lower the state’s proposed per se THC/blood limit from 15ng/ml to 5ng/ml. Under present Illinois law, drivers with any detectable…

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Medical Marijuana and the Role of a Pharmacist: Top Tips to Read

Medical Marijuana and the Role of a Pharmacist: Top Tips to Read

While marijuana is classified as a Schedule I drug, its medicinal uses can be traced back to years. And as this drug’s reputation shifts from that of an illicit drug to that of a therapeutic one, pharmacists need to gear up to provide the best possible advice to their patients.

If you are worried about counseling your patients on the use of this medicinal drug, read on for some tips.

Know the Basics

As a pharmacist, you need to know all there is to know about medical marijuana so that you can counsel patients in the right way. Here are some basics.

What Is It?

The terms medical marijuana or medical cannabis refer to using the unprocessed marijuana plant as a whole or using its extracts to treat diseases or alleviate symptoms.

What Makes Marijuana Medicine?

Marijuana contains chemical…

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America’s Weed Rush

Good morning cannabis activists!

“‘America’s Weed Rush’ is the 2015 project of the Carnegie-Knight News21 program. 27 journalism students from 19…

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Medical Marijuana is Legal in Las Vegas, but Nowhere to Buy It

Medical Marijuana is Legal in Las Vegas, but Nowhere to Buy It

LAS VEGAS, NV — Nevada defrauds patients by charging annual fees for medical marijuana identification cards, but refuses to license dispensaries in and around Las Vegas, a medical marijuana cardholder claims in a federal class action lawsuit.

John Doe sued the state, the governor and the Department of Health and Human Services, which has the power to issue licenses for marijuana dispensaries but has not done so in Clark County.

The 2 million residents of Clark County, home to Las Vegas and Henderson, account for more than two-thirds of the population of Nevada.

Doe claims that forcing Nevadans to get prescription cards but forcing them to buy the drug on the street constitutes fraud, unjust enrichment, unequal taxation and violation of equal protections.

Nevada amended its constitution…

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Colorado pot sales spike in June, top $50M for first time

ECONOMIC UPDATE:

Great results out of Colorado! Cannabis sales spiked in June, breaking $50 million for the first time in the industry’s existence!…

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#NORML Nation Chapter Contest Update! Here is the…

#NORML Nation Chapter Contest Update! Here is the leaderboard:

1st – Virginia NORML (36)
2nd – Peachtree NORML (28)
3rd – Purdue NORML (15) and Philly NORML (15)
Runner Ups – Pittsburgh NORML (14), Roanoke Valley NORML (11), Northern WI NORML (8), San Antonio NORML (7), California NORML (6), Texas NORML (6), Waco NORML (5), and Kentucky NORML (5)

Remember, the #NORMLnation Membership Drive ends TONIGHT at 11:59pm PST! Less than 12 hours left to help your…

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Gov. Rauner’s Amendatory Veto Sends Illinois Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Back to General Assembly for Final Approval

Gov. Rauner’s Amendatory Veto Sends Illinois Marijuana Decriminalization Bill Back to General Assembly for Final Approval

State lawmakers have 15 days from next session date to approve the amended measure, which would make Illinois the 21st state in the nation to remove the threat of jail for simple marijuana possession

SPRINGFIELD — Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner issued an amendatory veto Friday of a bill that would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amount of marijuana, sending it back to the General Assembly for final approval.

The General Assembly has 15 days from the next session date to approve the amended version of House Bill 218, which needs to receive a simple majority vote in the House and then the Senate to officially become law.

The original version, introduced by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), was approved in the Senate (37-19) on May 21 and in the House (62-53) on April 23.

Gov….

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Medical marijuana initiative launches in Wyoming | WyoFile

Good news out of Wyoming, thanks to NORML Wyoming​!

This week, cannabis activists with Wyoming NORML will start collecting signatures for a medical…

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Do you follow #NORML on Periscope? If not, you should! Periscope…

Do you follow #NORML on Periscope? If not, you should!

Periscope is a live-streaming app, available for free on your smartphone or tablet! We have three great livestreams scheduled today, follow @NORML on Periscope to tune in!

Danielle’s First Livestream from the DC office     –    3pm EST
PeriToke Q&A with Chris in the Denver office      –    5pm EST
Live “Puff, Pass, and Paint” Class with Chris       –    9pm EST

Check out NORML’s…

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TODAY IS THE LAST DAY FOR THE NORML NATION MEMBERSHIP DRIVE!The…

TODAY IS THE LAST DAY FOR THE NORML NATION MEMBERSHIP DRIVE!

The drive will close TONIGHT at 11:59PM PST! (Of course you can join NORML anytime, but this will be your last chance to get all of the cool #NORMLnation stuff!)

Join the #NORMLnation before it’s too late: norml.org/normlnation

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Thanks again to the great sponsors from the cannabis industry,…

Thanks again to the great sponsors from the cannabis industry, the NORML Nation Membership Drive wouldn’t be possible without them!

Preferred Organic Therapy,​ MassRoots​, HempWick,​ Spliffin,​ 420goodybox,​ Freedom Leaf, and​ Weedmaps​!

Join the #NORMLnation: norml.org/normlnation

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Philly420: Marijuana arrests down 73 percent

Good news out of Philadelphia from PhillyNORML​!

Cannabis-related arrests are down 73% in Philly, compared to the first six months of last year. Chris…

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These amazing membership packages are only available until…

These amazing membership packages are only available until Friday at 11:59PM PST!

Join the #NORMLnation TODAY: norml.org/normlnation

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New York Returns to Failed Drug War Approaches to Address Synthetic Cannabinoids

New York Returns to Failed Drug War Approaches to Address Synthetic Cannabinoids

Advocates: New Yorkers Need a Public Education and Health Approach to Deal with Emerging Drugs

NEW YORK, NY — Earlier this week, Governor Cuomo issued regulations and the New York State Senate introduced a bill that would criminalize the sales of synthetic cannabinoids.

Recently, there have been several media reports of tragic episodes involving synthetic cannabinoids, such as spice and K2. Epidemiological reports suggest an increase in hospitalizations due to these substances.

Synthetic cannabinoids  are a class of cannabinoid chemicals…

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Study: Cannabis Users Less Likely To Be Obese, Possess Lower Diabetes Risk

Study: Cannabis Users Less Likely To Be Obese, Possess Lower Diabetes Risk

A history of cannabis use is associated with a lower likelihood of obesity and diabetes, according to population-based data published in the journal Obesity.

Investigators from the Conference of Quebec University Health Centers assessed cannabis use patterns and body mass index (BMI) in a cohort of 786 Inuit (Arctic aboriginal) adults ages 18 to 74. Researchers reported that subjects who consumed cannabis in the past year were more likely to possess a lower BMI, lower fasting insulin, and lower HOMA-IR (insulin resistance) as compared to…

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Houston NORML Calls on Harris County Sheriff, District Attorney to Act on Illegal Body Cavity Search

Houston NORML Calls on Harris County Sheriff, District Attorney to Act on Illegal Body Cavity Search

HOUSTON, TX – Representatives from two organizations advocating for criminal justice reform in Houston will hold a press conference Thursday calling for Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman to immediately take administrative action against three sheriff’s deputies who forcibly conducted an illegal body cavity search on a woman in Houston.

The organizations will also call for Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson to investigate the allegation and file any necessary criminal charges against the deputies involved.

The organizations…

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Colorado Releases Proposed Edible Labeling Requirements

Colorado Releases Proposed Edible Labeling Requirements

DENVER, CO — Edible marijuana products in Colorado may soon come labeled with a red stop sign, according to a draft of new rules released Wednesday by state marijuana regulators.

The state may also ban the word “candy” from edible pot products, even if they’re sweets such as suckers or gummy chews.

The new pot symbol – an octagon stop-sign shape with the letters “THC” to indicate marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient – would have to be on individual edible items, not just labels. Liquid marijuana products would be limited to…

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Denver Campaign for Social Marijuana Use Submits 10k Signatures

Denver Campaign for Social Marijuana Use Submits 10k Signatures

DENVER, CO — Supporters for a campaign to allow some social consumption of marijuana in Denver have submitted more than double the number of signatures needed to place the measure before voters this November.

The Denver Campaign for Limited Social Use submitted more than 10,000 signatures Monday in support of their proposed city-wide initiative that would allow limited social use — but not sale — of marijuana at commercial establishments in that are restricted to adults 21 and older.

The organization needs 4,726 valid signatures of registered city voters in order to qualify for the November 2015 ballot. The city clerk now has 25 days to certify the petition.

Under the proposed measure, businesses that have a licence to sell alcohol for onsite consumption, such as bars and…

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Missouri Man Serving Life in Prison for Marijuana Granted Parole

Missouri Man Serving Life in Prison for Marijuana Granted Parole

JEFFERSON CITY, MO — A  61 year old grandfather sentenced to life in prison for a marijuana-related offense has been granted parole, and will be released from prison within the next month.

Jeff Mizanskey was sentenced in 1996 as a “persistent drug offender” to life without the possibility of parole for his third marijuana conviction, but in May, following public outcry and a popular change.org petition,  Missouri Governor Jay Nixon commuted Mizanskey’s sentence, giving him the possibility of parole.

Mizanskey was granted a…

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Study: Adolescent Marijuana Use Not Associated With Health Problems In Early Adulthood

Study: Adolescent Marijuana Use Not Associated With Health Problems In Early Adulthood

Marijuana use by adolescents, including self-reported chronic use, is not associated with adverse health effects later in life, according to an assessment of longitudinal data published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors.

Investigators from the Pittsburgh School of Medicine and Rutgers University prospectively examined whether young men who consumed cannabis during adolescence and/or young adulthood experienced a heightened risk of developing physical and mental health problems in their mid-30s.

Researchers controlled for…

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Places with more marijuana dispensaries have more marijuana-related hospitalizations

People who live in areas of California with a higher density of marijuana dispensaries experience a greater number of hospitalizations involving marijuana abuse and dependence, an analysis has discovered.

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National Council of State Legislatures Passes Resolution “In Support of States Determining Their Own Marijuana and Hemp Policies”

National Council of State Legislatures Passes Resolution “In Support of States Determining Their Own Marijuana and Hemp Policies”

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Council of State Legislatures passed a resolution Thursday urging the federal government to amend the Controlled Substances Act and to refrain from interfering with state laws permitting the legal production and use of cannabis.

The National Council of State Legislatures is a bipartisan, non-governmental organization founded in 1975 to unite members of legislature’s from around the United States. The council works to improve the quality and effectiveness of state legislatures, promote innovative policy and communication among state legislatures, and to magnify their voice in the federal system.

The NCSL resolves “[S]tates and localities should be able to set whatever marijuana and hemp policies work best to improve the public safety, health, and…

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National Conference of State Legislatures Urges Federal Government to Respect State Marijuana Laws

National Conference of State Legislatures Urges Federal Government to Respect State Marijuana Laws

Resolution approved by state lawmakers from around the nation expresses support for amending the Controlled Substances Act and other federal laws ‘to explicitly allow states to set their own marijuana and hemp policies without federal interference;’ it also ‘urges the administration not to undermine state marijuana and hemp policies’

SEATTLE, WA — The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) approved a resolution Thursday urging the federal government to allow states to determine their own marijuana policies.

For a resolution to pass, it must be supported by a majority of participating legislators in each of 75% of the states represented at the conference’s general business meeting.

The preamble to the resolution, introduced by New Hampshire State Rep. Renny Cushing,…

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Arizona Marijuana Legalization Drive Collects 50k Signatures in 10 Weeks

Arizona Marijuana Legalization Drive Collects 50k Signatures in 10 Weeks

PHOENIX, AZ — Supporters hoping to place an initiative to legalize marijuana in Arizona on the 2016 ballot reached a major milestone in their signature gathering campaign this week.

AZ Marijuana Iniatitive progress Arizona’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol (CRMLA) announced Wednesday that they have collected 50,000 signatures in 10 weeks.

Organizers say the quick start to the signature campaign demonstrates that time has come to change Arizona’s marijuana laws.

“Adults of all ages and political stripes want to vote for this in November 2016,” campaign…

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