Bipartisan Bill Reduces Mandatory Minimums, Returns Some Discretion to Judges, Makes Reductions Retroactive
Legislation Now Moves to the House Floor Amid Momentum to End the Drug War and Mass Incarceration
The House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday voted unanimously to advance the Sentencing Reform Act. The bill, introduced by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Member John Conyers (D-MI), and sponsored by 30 other Representatives, would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, expand the federal "safety valve” (which allows judges to use their discretion to sentence people below statutory mandatory minimums), and make many of the sentencing reductions retroactive.
“This vote today is a significant step toward reducing the federal prison population,” said Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). “We have a bill moving in the Senate, and now we have a companion bill moving in the House, so I’m optimistic we’ll have legislation on the President’s desk in a matter of months.”
The vote comes a few weeks after Senate Judiciary Committee advanced its sentencing reform bill by a 15-5 vote. The Senate bill includes provisions around reentry and recidivism, which the House is expected to address in a separate bill.
Tommy Chong’s “Choice” Cannabis Brand, Upper Playground, SPARC, Christopher Willits, Lynette Shaw Added to San Francisco’s Cutting-Edge Disrupt Conference
This Friday, nationally-renowned technologists, venture capitalists, media publishers, entertainment brands, and leaders in the multi-billion dollar marijuana industry will converge at the groundbreaking New West Summit.
Tommy Chong’s cannabis brand Chong’s Choice, the iconic San Francisco apparel brand Upper Playground, the award-winning SPARC dispensary, musician Christopher Willits, iconic activist Lynette Shaw, and California Assemblyman Rob Bonta are among the many highlights at New West Summit, this Friday and Saturday Nov. 20-21 at the Parc 55 Hotel San Francisco.
New West Summit’s complete program, curated by David Downs, editor of "Smell the Truth" on SFGate.com, includes 30 panels or keynotes, and approximately 80 panelists from across the spectrum of tech, finance, media and the $10 billion marijuana sector.
“The event’s tight focus and expert programming has garnered us significant buzz, and we’re ecstatic at how well this first Summit has come together," said Summit co-organizers Dean Arbit and Jim McAlpine in a press release. "There’s no better time or place in the world to be discussing the intersection of these industries.”
• Special guest and Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana founder Lynette Shaw will receive Lifetime Achievement Honors Friday.
Food Drive Donations Are Being Collected At Participating Los Angeles Dispensaries For Food4Cannabis
By Steve Elliott
Cannabinoid preparations including herbal marijuana, liquid and oral cannabis extracts, and nabilone (a synthetic analog of THC) are effective in the treatment of chronic pain, according to the results of a systematic review of randomized, controlled trials published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.
Investigators from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and McGill University in Montreal evaluated the results of 11 placebo-controlled trials conducted between 2010 and 2014, reports Paul Armentano at NORML. Trials assessed the use of herbal cannabis, liquid and oral extracts, and synthetic THC.
Cannabinoids possess "significant analgesic effects" and were "well tolerated" in the majority of studies reviewed.
"The current systematic review provides further support that cannabinoids are safe, demonstrate a modest analgesic effect and provide a reasonable treatment option for treatment chronic non-cancer pain,” the authors concluded.
According to a 2011 review of 18 separate randomized trials evaluating the safety and effectiveness of cannabinoids for pain management, "[C]annabinoids are a modestly effective and safe treatment option for chronic non-cancer (predominantly neuropathic) pain."
Quigley's, described as "the first and only fast-acting cannabis drink," will be available in the Colorado market this Thanksgiving.
"Quigley’s patent-pending formula is considered uniquely safe due to its fast-acting effects and precise dosing formulation, providing a reliable solution for the rocky road of the edibles and drink market today," according to Dixie Elixirs, which will produce and distribute Quigley’s in Colorado.
Available in the 10mg and the 50mg - 2oz. bottle, the Quigley’s cannabis “shot” and multi-dose “shot” have zero calories, zero fat, no caffeine, and it's gluten-free. Plus, every bottle of Quigley's provides the same precisely measured dosage, according to the company.
"Quigley’s Formula is different from any edible and drink product in the cannabis industry, because it allows you to know the precise amount of THC to be ingested, without needing more,” said Quigley's inventor and co-founder Tony Alfiere. “For people who cannot, should not, or do not like to smoke, or do not want to wait up to two hours, this is a groundbreaking alternative.”
"Quigley's quality formula, delivers a reliable and unique experience in minutes unlike any other edible or drink currently on the market," the company claims in a press release. "In early testing, those who have tried Quigley’s say they’ve felt euphoric and uplifted, but grounded and assured. While invigorated, they describe a calming effect, and others claim clear-headedness and an enhanced sense of creativity."
Cannabinoids are safe and effective for the treatment of chronic pain, according to the results of a systematic review of randomized controlled trials published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.
Investigators from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and McGill University in Montreal evaluated the results of 11 placebo-controlled trials conducted between the years 2010 and 2014. Trials assessed the use of various types of cannabinoid preparations, including herbal cannabis, liquid and oral cannabis extracts, and nabilone (a synthetic analog of THC), in pain treatment.
Cannabinoids possessed “significant analgesic effects” and were “well tolerated” in the majority of studies reviewed.
Authors concluded, “The current systematic review provides further support that cannabinoids are safe, demonstrate a modest analgesic effect and provide a reasonable treatment option for treatment chronic non-cancer pain.”
A 2011 review of 18 separate randomized trials evaluating the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids for pain management similarly reported, “[C]annabinoids are a modestly effective and safe treatment option for chronic non-cancer (predominantly neuropathic) pain.”
In September, Canadian researchers reported that pain patients who consumed herbal cannabis daily for one-year experienced decreased analgesia and no increase in serious adverse side effects compared to matched controls.
An abstract of the study, “Cannabinoids for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain: An updated systematic review of randomized controlled trials,” appears online here.
More than 200 Attendees Will Meet with Lawmakers and Lunch with Members of Congress Who Have Championed Drug Law Reform in Congress
DPA-Led Constituent Lobby Day Occurs Just Hours before the Start of the International Drug Policy Reform Conference in Arlington, VA
The Drug Policy Alliance is hosting a Federal Lobby Day on Wednesday, November 18 that is expected to bring more than 200 people from nearly 25 U.S. states and 15 countries to Capitol Hill to urge lawmakers to pass legislation that would roll back some of the worst excesses of the failed War On Drugs.
The lobby day comes as numerous reform proposals gain momentum in Congress, including sentencing reform, marijuana law reform, and overdose prevention.
“Members of Congress are under a lot of pressure to reform punitive and ineffective drug policies and we’re turning the heat up,” said Bill Piper, senior director of national affairs of the Drug Policy Alliance. (DPA). “Our supporters will talk about what they’re doing in their community to reduce the harms associated with both drugs and the war on drugs.”
Lobby day participants will meet with lawmakers in roughly 70 meetings over the course of the day and attend a special luncheon with five members of Congress who have championed legislative efforts to reform federal marijuana and other drug laws. This historic constituent lobby day comes on the same day that House lawmakers are expected to vote on whether to advance major drug sentencing reform legislation.