Dedicated to promoting positive legal, social, and political change in support of cannabis and the many adults who use it.

Former U.S. Rep. Explains What Obama Can Do Right Now To Support Marijuana

The Weed Blog - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:00
In anticipation of President Obama’s delivery of the State of the Union address, former United States Representative Anthony Weiner published an article for Business Insider explaining that now is the time for President Obama to make a push for federal marijuana reforms. Mr. Weiner felt that such efforts should be laid out in the State

D.C. Police Chief: Marijuana Decriminalization Makes Jobs Easier

The Weed Blog - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 14:00
Last year Washington D.C. decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. People are no longer being arrested for possessing personal amounts of marijuana in Washington D.C.. Instead, they are given a $25 ticket. Washington D.C. has one of the best decriminalization laws in the country. This has freed up law enforcement to go after real

CN BC: Marijuana Bylaw Bans Terrible Odours

Medical Marijuana - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 05:00
Langley Advance, 20 Jan 2015 - MARIJUANA BYLAW BANS TERRIBLE ODOURS Langley Township can't ban medical pot growing, but it will regulate excessive odour. A bylaw that will penalize medical pot growers for foul odours was given preliminary approval by Langley Township council.

CN BC: Medical-Marijuana Adviser Opens Shop

Medical Marijuana - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 05:00
Peace Arch News, 20 Jan 2015 - Mostly Positive Reaction In White Rock, Entrepreneur Says You could say she's following in her father's footsteps. Tara Caine - daughter of Hempyz Gifts & Novelties owner and marijuana proponent Randy Caine - opened her own White Rock storefront in Five Corners Saturday, but instead of a hemp-themed retail store, the 35-year-old is working to provide public consultation and education for those who use medicinal marijuana.

CN BC: City Signs Land Deal

Medical Marijuana - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 05:00
Parksville Qualicum Beach News, 20 Jan 2015 - City signs land deal Parksville mayor Marc Lefebvre says the city secured a $20,000 non-refundable deposit from Wildflower Marijuana, a Vancouver-based company looking to set up a medical marijuana facility in the city's industrial park.

CN BC: Marijuana Bylaw Bans Terrible Odours

Cannabis News - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 05:00
Langley Advance, 20 Jan 2015 - MARIJUANA BYLAW BANS TERRIBLE ODOURS Langley Township can't ban medical pot growing, but it will regulate excessive odour. A bylaw that will penalize medical pot growers for foul odours was given preliminary approval by Langley Township council.

Want Legalization in Your State?

NORML Blog - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 13:17

How do we move from prohibition to legalization in my state?

That’s one of the most asked questions we hear every week at NORML.

With national media attention focusing on the favorable experience with legalization in Colorado and Washington, and on the not-yet-implemented legalization programs recently adopted in Oregon and Alaska, anyone living in a state that continues arresting and jailing marijuana smokers would naturally wonder why their state seems to have missed out on the drive to end marijuana prohibition.

More accurately, many of those states are lagging behind in the legalization movement, but that, too, will change. As we continue to gather data demonstrating these new laws are working as intended, with few unintended consequences, the drive to end marijuana prohibition will soon reach every state in the union, and beyond. We are no longer debating theory and conjecture; we now have real-life experiences that can be evaluated, and that data resource will grow with each new state.

Patience and persistence still required

We all need to accept the reality that changing public policy is a complex process that requires financial resources, re-education and political organizing. Following more than 75 years of criminal prohibition, and “reefer madness” propaganda by our state and federal governments, many Americans — especially older Americans — hold a negative view of marijuana and marijuana smoking, believing it presents a risk to health or public safety.

Since all but a few of us have lived under prohibition for our entire lives, it is understandable that many would presume there must have been some justification for those tens of millions of marijuana arrests. Surely our own government would not needlessly wreak havoc on all those lives and careers without a good reason.

To Read the Balance of This Column, please go to Marijuana.com.

Canada: Focus: Municipalities Grappling With Location Of Marijuana

Medical Marijuana - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 05:00
Law Times, 19 Jan 2015 - Issue emerges after federal government changes rules for medical production The promise of a fledgling industry about to burst onto the Canadian scene has led many to startups lining up to cash in on green gold.

US WA: OPED: Medical-Marijuana Patients Deserve A Regulated System

Medical Marijuana - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 05:00
Seattle Times, 19 Jan 2015 - It's time for the Legislature to fold the largely unregulated medical-marijuana community into Washington's existing marketplace for growing and selling legal marijuana, writes guest columnist Chris Marr. AS the Legislature moves this session to address the unregulated medical-marijuana market, all parties must agree on a common objective: safe, affordable patient access. While stakeholder concerns should be considered, they must be scrutinized and remain secondary to patient interests.

US OR: Oregon State University Offers A Pot Policy Class

Medical Marijuana - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 05:00
Capital Press, 19 Jan 2015 - Oregon's upcoming legalization of marijuana has an academic aspect to it. Talk about higher education. Oregon State University - once known as "Oregon Straight" compared to the supposedly hipper school 40 miles south - is offering a marijuana policy class this winter.

Canada: Focus: Municipalities Grappling With Location Of Marijuana

Cannabis News - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 05:00
Law Times, 19 Jan 2015 - Issue emerges after federal government changes rules for medical production The promise of a fledgling industry about to burst onto the Canadian scene has led many to startups lining up to cash in on green gold.

US CA: Mendocino County To Vote On Creation Of Pot Panel

Cannabis News - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 05:00
The Press Democrat, 19 Jan 2015 - Officials in pot-rich Mendocino County are thinking ahead to the potential economic impacts of what they see as the inevitable legalization of marijuana for general use. "Whether it's at the state Legislature or the ballot box, it is foreseeable that we will have legalization for personal recreational use within the next two years," said Supervisor John McCowen, one of two board members nominated to sit on a proposed committee that would study the issue. The county can either prepare for that event or wait on the sidelines, he said.

The L.K. Diaries: Jr.'s Farm

Oregon NORML Youtube - Sat, 01/17/2015 - 20:54
The L.K. Diaries: Jr.'s Farm
In this how-to video, L.K. visits Jr.s Farm (Big Stank Farms) to show curious green-thumbs how to cultivate premium outdoor cannabis. #FreeTheWeed #PlantTheSeed From: OregonNORML Views: 46 3 ratings Time: 58:38 More in News & Politics

Historic Footage of Oregon Measure 91 Election Night Coverage - KPDX

Oregon NORML Youtube - Sat, 01/17/2015 - 16:58
Historic Footage of Oregon Measure 91 Election Night Coverage - KPDX
Historic footage of Oregon becoming the 3rd state to legalize marijuana and restore hemp. The same night, Alaska and Washington D. C. ended cannabis prohibition. In 2012, Colorado and Washington residents voted to end the drug war. It is predicted, California, Montana and Nevada will follow Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and D.C. on the path to cannabis legalization. Footage: KPDX, 11-4-14 From: OregonNORML Views: 8 1 ratings Time: 04:15 More in News & Politics

US CO: Could Pot Boost Local AG Industry?

Medical Marijuana - Fri, 01/16/2015 - 05:00
The Cortez Journal, 16 Jan 2015 - Advocates say yes, release field report A local medical marijuana advocate says the area's agriculture industry could receive a boost if farmers were allowed to grow cannabis. Last summer, Montezuma County commissioners voted to prohibit licensed commercial grow operations, but one man is hopeful local officials will reconsider. Representing the Colorado Plateau Growers Association, Lu Nettleton recently released the group's first field and seed trials report for commercial marijuana, which reveals that cannabis could be an economic boon.

Washington, DC: District Officials Move Forward To Enact Municipal Depenalization Initiative

NORML Blog - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 17:21

District of Columbia city officials this week moved forward with their intentions to implement a voter-approved municipal initiative depenalizing marijuana possession and cultivation offenses.

On Tuesday, city officials confirmed that Initiative 71 was transmitted to Congress for review. Under federal law, all District laws are subject to a 30-day review process by Congress, during which time members may take action to halt the law’s implementation.

Speaking to Roll Call this week, House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said that language previously adopted by Congress in a December 2014 spending bill already prohibits DC officials from implementing I-71 and, thus, no further action by Congress is necessary. However, several District officials – including DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson – said that the federal provision in question in no way blocks city officials from enacting the new law.

“The District’s examination agrees with our analysis that the initiative was enacted when voters approved it and will take effect at the end of the 30-day congressional review period,” Del. Norton said in a statement.

Chairman Mendelson agreed, saying, “I happen to believe that the initiative was enacted so I think there’s no question that after the 30-day review it will be law.”

The District of Columbia Attorney General’s office has not yet commented in regard to how the District will respond if Congress does not address the initiative during the review process, Roll Call reported.

In November, 70 percent of District voters approved I-71, which removes criminal and civil penalties regarding the adult possession of up to two ounces of cannabis and/or the cultivation of up to six plants.

Separate DC municipal legislation – ‘The Marijuana Legalization and regulation Act’ – which seeks to regulate commercial cannabis production and retail sales, is also pending before the Council. If enacted, this legislation would also go before lawmakers for Congressional review and likely would force a federal challenge.

15 Jan 2015: New Richmond News: Gary Storck: Bring back cannabis hearings

Madison NORML - Thu, 01/15/2015 - 16:24

Posted by Gary Storck
Thursday Jan. 22, 2015

This is my response to an editorial in the New Richmond News, "Our View: Not everyone is on board with marijuana enforcement," (Dec. 31, 2014).

Study: Long Term Cannabis Exposure “Not Associated With Significant Effects On Lung Function”

NORML Blog - Wed, 01/14/2015 - 20:34

The inhalation of one marijuana cigarette per day over a 20-year period is not associated with adverse changes in lung health, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society.

Investigators at Emory University in Atlanta assessed marijuana smoke exposure and lung health in a large representative sample of US adults age 18 to 59. Researchers reported that cannabis exposure was not associated with FEV1 (forced expiratory volume) decline or deleterious change in spirometric values of small airways disease.

Authors further reported that marijuana smoke exposure may even be associated with some protective lung effects among long-term smokers of tobacco. Investigators acknowledged, “[T]he pattern of marijuana’s effects seems to be distinctly different when compared to that of tobacco use.”

Researchers also acknowledged that habitual cannabis consumers were more likely to self-report increased symptoms of bronchitis, a finding that is consistent with previous literature. Separate studies indicate that subjects who vaporize cannabis report fewer adverse respiratory symptoms than do those who inhale combustive marijuana smoke.

Authors concluded, “[I]n a large representative sample of US adults, ongoing use of marijuana is associated with increased respiratory symptoms of bronchitis without a significant functional abnormality in spirometry, and cumulative marijuana use under 20 joint-years is not associated with significant effects on lung function.”

This study is the largest cross-sectional analysis to date examining the relationship between marijuana use and spirometric parameters of lung health.

A separate study published in 2012 in The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) similarly reported that cumulative marijuana smoke exposure over a period of up to 7 joint-years (the equivalent of up to one marijuana cigarette per day for seven years) was not associated with adverse effects on pulmonary function.

A 2013 review also published in the Annals of the American Thoracic Society acknowledged that marijuana smoke exposure was not positively associated with the development of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), emphysema, or bullous lung disease. It concluded: “[H]abitual use of marijuana alone does not appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function. Findings from a limited number of well-designed epidemiological studies do not suggest an increased risk of either lung or upper airway cancer from light or moderate use. … Overall, the risks of pulmonary complications of regular use of marijuana appear to be relatively small and far lower than those of tobacco smoking.”

You may view an abstract of the study, “Effects of marijuana exposure on expiratory airflow: A study of adults who participated in the US National Health and Nutrition Examination Study,” here.

POLL: Majority of Michigan Voters Want to Legalize Marijuana

NORML Blog - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 16:37

From Michigan NORML:

The attitude of Michigan voters is evolving toward acceptance of legalizing and taxing marijuana use for adults, per a recent EPIC-MRA survey commissioned by the Michigan chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (MiNORML).

The poll shows 50% of Michigan adults would likely vote in favor of a system like those being utilized in Washington and Colorado, where marijuana is sold to adults and the proceeds are taxed by the state. 46% of respondents opposed the program. The results show a 3% increase in the acceptance of the tax and regulate legalization model from the previous survey, conducted in 2013 by the same firm.

The 2014 poll asked respondents if they would vote for a ballot proposal that would legalize marijuana use for adults 21 and over, create a system of licensed dispensaries to distribute the marijuana and tax its sale. 600 participants were surveyed on December 10 through 14, including 20% cell phone contact and the poll has a margin of error of ±4%.

“Michigan is a leader in the national trend toward reform of marijuana laws,” said Matthew Abel, attorney with Cannabis Counsel PLC in Detroit and the Executive Director of MiNORML. “This latest poll shows a major shift in attitude toward marijuana legalization over the last year. Legislators, take note: Michigan is ready for this.”

Support for legalized marijuana was greater among parents (52% likely YES) than among those voters without children (49%). Voters of all educational levels would approve a marijuana legalization ballot proposal; more than 50% of all the poll’s respondents (309) identify themselves as college-educated. 69% of those in the 18-34 age group responded as likely YES votes, as did 60% of all men age 18-49 and 70% of male Democrats. The largest demographic of opposition: Republican males (63% likely NO).

In conservative western Michigan the staunchest support for legalized marijuana was higher (40% definite YES), and opposition was lower (35% definite NO), than statewide averages (39% definite YES/36% definite NO). The statewide averages are skewed by numbers from the Bay Region that are significantly more negative toward legalization (38% likely YES/60% likely NO) than any other region surveyed.

Keith Stroup, national NORML founder and legal counsel, said “The latest Michigan polling results are in line with what we are seeing all across the country. Numerous polls have shown a majority of the public nationwide now support ending marijuana prohibition, and regulating and taxing the responsible use of marijuana by adults. It’s promising to see that voters in Michigan agree.”

Moving Legalization Forward in 2015

NORML Blog - Mon, 01/12/2015 - 11:59

 

The beginning of a new year provides an opportunity for reflection about what we hope to accomplish over the coming year, and whether there is a need to revise or fine-tune our tactics or strategy. It is also a time for allowing our hopes and dreams to take flight, even as we acknowledge we may not accomplish everything on our wish list within the next twelve months. By setting lofty goals, some of which may initially seem out-of-reach, we will surely move closer to our ultimate goal of full legalization all across the country.

Here are some strategies I propose we embrace for 2015.

1. Legalization is working well in Colorado and Washington, and we must continue to gather and spread the good news.

To read the balance of this column, please go to Marijuana.com