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Posted by Gary Storck
Saturday, May 18, 2013
Three great studies linking cannabis consumption to health benefits this week inspired me to write this letter to the editor.
Following up on Johnny Green’s post on the UFC not punishing fighters for testosterone while vacating wins and seizing prize money over marijuana metabolites, we have some updates on the story. It seems that to add insult to injury, UFC President Dana White is taking the $65,000 “Submission of the Night” bonus forfeited by Pat [Continue Reading]
The bombings that took place in Boston were a heinous crime carried out by the Tsarnaev Brothers that killed and maimed American citizens. It seems the older brother had become radicalized in his hatred of US foreign policy and his younger brother, called Jahar, seemed to be along for the ride. How anyone could wreak [Continue Reading]
This afternoon, the Illinois State Senate voted 35 to 21 in favor of House Bill 1, which would establish a medical marijuana pilot program in the state. The measure had previously been approved by the House of Representatives and moves to the Governor Pat Quinn’s desk for his signature. While Governor Quinn hasn’t taken a firm stance on HB 1, Lt. Governor Sheila Simon has been open in regards to her support for this legislation.
You can read the full text of the measure here.
NORML will keep you updated as this story develops.
By Steve Elliott
Washington state's proposed rules for newly legal marijuana aren't even 24 hours old yet, but are already under attack by critics.
The draft regulations -- 46 pages of them -- were released on Thursday, reports Oregon Public Broadcasting, and they cover everything from where cannabis can be grown to the criminal history of those who apply for licenses.
Under the proposed rules, anyone who wants to be involved in the legal marijuana business would have to submit to a background check. This even includes the financial backers of marijuana businesses; any felony convictions in the past decade would likely disqualify applicants.
The locations where cannabis will be grown has resulted in much discussion. The Board wants to limit grows to secure buildings or greenhouses, indoor cultivation only.
Another limitation in the proposed rules -- a ban on hash, hash oil and other concentrates extracted from cannabis, unless they're infused into an edible product -- is generating lots of controversy.
"I believe that the products that we're producing have received a bad rap because of the nickname BHO, butane extracted hash oil," Jim Andersen, who works with a company called XTracted, said.
Butane is often used to extract the THC, Andersen said, but he claimed if it's done right it leaves no chemical traces; he plans to fight the ban on marijuana extracts.
Organization of American States Secretary General Presents Historic Drug Policy Report to President Santos of Colombia
By Steve Elliott
The Organization of American States (OAS) on Friday morning released a report that envisions possible scenarios for future drug control policy. The OAS secretary general, José Miguel Insulza, will present it Friday afternoon to Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos at the Casa de Nariño (the Colombian White House). The report – “Scenarios for the Drug Problem in the Americas, 2013-2025” – presents four possibilities for how drug policy could evolve in the Americas, most of which break from the current U.S.-led approach. The report is the first of its kind, providing a thoughtful and detailed visualization of alternatives to the existing drug prohibition regime.
The OAS received its mandate at last year’s Summit of the Americas in Cartagena following a discussion among the presidents about the need for new drug control policies that could better reduce the violence and other negative consequences of prohibitionist policies.
With some presidents speaking openly in favor of legal regulation of currently illegal drugs, President Obama acknowledged that ending prohibition is “a legitimate topic for debate” and also stated: “I think it is entirely legitimate to have a conversation about whether the laws in place are ones that are doing more harm than good in certain places.”
By Steve Elliott
Only six percent of Americans think minor marijuana possession should result in jail time, according to a new poll. The poll also found that a strong plurality of Americans think the use or possession of cannabis should not have any punishment at all.
When asked, "Which approach do you think government and law enforcement should take toward someone found smoking marijuana or in possession of a small amount of marijuana?", six percent said possession should be punishable with jail, 20 percent said it should result in mandatory substance abuse counseling, 32 percent said users should be fined, and 35 percent said people caught with small amounts of cannabis shouldn't be punished at all.
The results, according to Reason.com, suggest that Americans have grown comfortable with the idea of decriminalizing pot, that is, reducing the penalty for minor possession to a civil fine. They are also more sympathetic than ever to the idea of full legalization.
Reason-Rupe has just released new polling data that revealed only a minuscule percentage of Americans believe that marijuana use and possession should result in jail time. When asked which approach they thought the government and law enforcement should take toward someone found smoking marijuana or in possession of a small amount of marijuana, only 6% responded that they should be sent to jail. 35% of respondents said that these individuals shouldn’t be punished at all, 32% responded they should pay a fine, and 20% said they should have to attended substance abuse courses.
The survey also found that 52% of Americans favor federal legislation that would prevent the federal government from prosecuting people who grow, possess, or sell marijuana in the states that have legalized it. Recently, Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) introduced the “Respect State Marijuana Laws Act” which would do exactly that. You can click here to easily contact your Representative and urge him or her to support this measure.
Full results of this poll are available here.
By Steve Elliott
Research published online May 14 in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science has shown that marijuana buffers people from experiencing the pain of social exclusion.
"Prior work has shown that the analgesic acetaminophen, which acts indirectly through CB1 receptors, reduces the pain of social exclusion," lead researcher Timothy Deckman of the University of Kentucky and his colleagues wrote in the study, reports Eric W. Dolan of The Raw Story.
The four-part study, including a total of 7,040 participants and three methodologies, was based on previous studies that showed an overlap between physical and psychological pain. Acetaminophen, found in over-the-counter pain pills like Tylenol, has been found to reduce both social and physical pain.
Acetaminophen and marijuana both affect cannnabinoid (CB1) receptors in the brain and both are used to treat physical pain.
For the first two studies, researchers looked at cross-sectional data from major national surveys. The first used data from the National Comorbidity Study and found marijuana users who reported loneliness had higher levels of self-worth and mental health than non-marijuana users who reported being lonely.
By Steve Elliott
The online cannabis activism site Marijuana Majority has launched a new tool which makes it easy for people to contact their mayors in support of marijuana reform.
"We've seen a number of individual mayors speaking up in recent months about the negative impact that prohibition has on their cities and towns, and we thought a focused action trying to get more mayors to add their voices to the debate might be fruitful," Tom Angell of Marijuana Majority told Hemp News.
"After people send a letter using our tool, they are then prompted to tweet to their mayor and also given the option to be connected with the mayor's office by phone," Angell told us.
To use the tool for contacting your mayor, visit http://marijuanamajority.com/mayors/.
By Clarence Walker Dispensaries providing marijuana to doctor-approved patients operate in a number of states, but they are under assault by the federal government. SWAT-style raids by the DEA and finger-wagging press conferences by grim-faced federal prosecutors may garner greater attention, but the assault on medical marijuana providers extends to other branches of the government [Continue Reading]
According the latest Kentucky Health Issues Poll, 78% of Kentuckians support the legalization of medical marijuana, and 25% say they would be okay with regulating recreational use as well. Only 38% oppose any form of legalization. Proponents were split when it came to legislative action. Almost half thought the decision should be left up to voters, 23% [Continue Reading]
After months of discussion, debate and public input, Washington State’s Liquor Control Board - the regulatory body overseeing recreational marijuana sales in Washington State - has released its initial draft regulations for the newly-legal industry. The board will hold a public hearing on the regulations in the coming weeks as they finalize these rules, with the aim of [Continue Reading]
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) raised the threshold for a positive test for marijuana from 15 nanograms per milliliter to 150 nanograms per milliliter, significantly reducing the likelihood of detection for athletes who use the drug. “We wanted to focus on the athletes that abuse the substance in competition,” said Julie Masse, WADA’s director of communications. “This [Continue Reading]
By Doug Fine In September, 2011, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms banned state law-abiding medical cannabis patients from owning firearms. A bureaucratic decider simply swiped away hundreds of thousands of Americans’ Second Amendment rights by way of an added item on a pre-sale questionnaire. Using an ancient herb as recommended by your [Continue Reading]
Marriage equality has a new catchphrase. As the issue is gathering record momentum in the United States, support for the policy is repeatedly referred to as standing on “the right side of history.” Though the idiom wasn’t coined yesterday, it has been trending in the headlines for a year or so, almost consistently referring to advocating for [Continue Reading]
Schools that institute student drug testing programs are likely to experience a rise in students’ consumption of ‘hard’ drugs, according to observational trial data published this week in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Researchers at the University of Michigan, Institute for Social Research analyzed the impact of student drug testing programs in some 250,000 high-school and middle-school students over a 14 year period. Investigators reported that random drug testing programs of the student body and programs specifically targeting student athletes were associated with “moderately lower marijuana use,” but cautioned that drug testing programs overall were “associated with increased use of illicit drugs other than marijuana.”
An estimated 14 percent of middle school students and 28 per cent of US high school students are now subject to some form of drug testing.
Urinalysis, the most common form of student drug testing, screens for the presence of inert drug metabolites (breakdown products), not the actual parent drug. Because marijuana’s primary metabolite, carboxy-THC, is fat soluble, it may be present in urine for days, weeks, or in some cases even months after past use. By contrast, most other illicit drug metabolites are water soluble and will exit the body within a matter of hours. Authors of the study speculated that students subjected to drug screens were switching from cannabis to other illicit drugs which possessed shorter detection times.
“Random SDT (student drug testing) among the general high school student population, as well as middle and high school subgroups targeted for testing, was associated with moderately lower marijuana use; however, most forms of testing were associated with moderately higher use of other illicit drugs, particularly in high school,” the authors concluded. “These findings raise the question of whether SDT is worth this apparent tradeoff.”
Commenting on the findings, the study’s lead author affirmed, “It is clear that drug testing is not providing the solution for substance-use prevention that its advocates claim.”
Previous assessments of student drug testing programs have reported that those subjected to such programs are no less likely to report consuming illicit drugs, tobacco, or alcohol than their peers.
The abstract of the study, “Middle and High School Drug Testing and Student Illicit Drug Use: A National Study 1998–2011,” is available online here.
It looks like Ultimate Fighting Championship and the New Jersey Athletic Control Board have not caught on to the changes in marijuana testing thresholds proposed by the World Anti-Doping Agency. Fighter Pat Healy has been fined, suspended, and his win changed to a “no contest” after testing positive for marijuana after his victory over Jim Miller two weeks ago. According [Continue Reading]
Join us for our Cannabis Business Symposium May 16, 2013 at 7 pm at Casselmans in downtown Denver. . Listen to the industries most elite speakers as the State implements the First Recreational House Bill in the world. Speakers include Robert Corry Jr, Charles Houghton, Warren Edson, and Craig Small. We will discuss the implementation [Continue Reading]
The more people you know who use marijuana, the harder it becomes to say that they should be arrested for possessing it. After all, the vast majority of marijuana users are productive and otherwise law-abiding members of society. This fact has become increasingly evident as more and more people come out of the “cannabis closet” [Continue Reading]