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

Oregon NORML Hotline: 503-489-8792

US KY: Kentucky Lawmakers Urged To Say No To Medical Marijuana Bill

Cannabis News - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 05:00
Lexington Herald-Leader, 06 Mar 2018 - FRANKFORT -- Four law enforcement officials and a doctor urged state lawmakers Tuesday to say no to a bill that would legalize medical marijuana. For more than an hour, opponents of House Bill 166 told members of the House Judiciary Committee the ills they see in it.

CN ON: Column: To Reduce Stigma, Increase Research

Cannabis News - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 05:00
Hamilton Spectator, 06 Mar 2018 - Medical cannabis take-up hampered by lack of research and red tape I picked up a View magazine while I was waiting for the bus a few weeks back. There was an article on the 15 or so uses of cannabis, so after I caught up with CATCH (Citizens at City Hall), I turned to the article on cannabis looking for some useful information.

CN BC: Column: Legal Weed Coming, Time To Talk Rules

Cannabis News - Tue, 03/06/2018 - 05:00
Penticton Herald, 06 Mar 2018 - Can we put the words "illegal" and "marijuana" together and still be making a relevant statement in Canada? Marijuana is going to be legal as a recreation drug. The federal government has committed itself to legalization. The provincial government has stepped forward with a plan for legal marijuana, which included dispensaries as a component. They even went so far as to include early licence application for dispensaries.

Study: Cannabis Effective At Treating Symptoms Of Fibromyalgia

NORML Blog - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 14:38

Cannabis therapy mitigates symptoms of the chronic pain condition fibromyalgia and is associated with a reduction in the use of other prescription drugs, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology. An estimated 3 to 6 million Americans are afflicted by fibromyalgia, which is often poorly controlled by standard pain medications.

Israeli investigators assessed the safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis in a cohort of 26 patients with fibromyalgia. They reported that medical cannabis treatment “was associated with significant favorable outcomes in every item evaluated,” such as reductions in pain and increases in energy.

Most patients also reduced their use of conventional prescription drugs, such as opiates and benzodiazepines, during the trial period. Nearly half of the participants (46 percent) reduced their prescription drug intake by more than 50 percent during the study. Several patients were also able to return to work following the initiation of cannabis therapy.

Researchers concluded, “Medical cannabis treatment had a significant favorable effect on patients with fibromyalgia, with few adverse effects.”

Prior trials evaluating the use of either whole-plant cannabis or synthetic cannabinoids have similarly shown efficacy in patients with the disease. A summary of these prior studies is available here.

The abstract of the study, “Medical cannabis for the treatment of fibromyalgia,” is online here.

US NJ: New Jersey Lawmakers Weigh Legalizing Marijuana

Medical Marijuana - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 05:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 05 Mar 2018 - TRENTON -- The first New Jersey legislative hearing on the legalization of marijuana held since Gov. Murphy took office -- after he promised his support -- unfolded Monday before more than 100 people. More than a dozen experts traveled from as far as Colorado and Massachusetts to office advice on legalization, a topic gaining traction after Murphy, a Democrat, replaced Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican adamantly opposed to it, in January.

US NJ: New Jersey Lawmakers Weigh Legalizing Marijuana

Cannabis News - Mon, 03/05/2018 - 05:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 05 Mar 2018 - TRENTON -- The first New Jersey legislative hearing on the legalization of marijuana held since Gov. Murphy took office -- after he promised his support -- unfolded Monday before more than 100 people. More than a dozen experts traveled from as far as Colorado and Massachusetts to office advice on legalization, a topic gaining traction after Murphy, a Democrat, replaced Gov. Chris Christie, a Republican adamantly opposed to it, in January.

CN NF: Nipping It In The 'Bud'

Medical Marijuana - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 05:00
The Telegram, 03 Mar 2018 - Lawyer Denis Mahoney outlines a plan for employers surrounding the legalization of cannabis in Canada How are employers going to deal with the use of cannabis in the workplace once it becomes legal later this year?

CN ON: Proprietors Of Pot Dispensary Get Discharge From Court

Medical Marijuana - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 05:00
The Niagara Falls Review, 03 Mar 2018 - Two women arrested in April after police raided their medical marijuana dispensary in St. Catharines have been granted a conditional discharge. "I only wish I was able to help more people on the legal route," Abbigail Millar, 32, told Judge Tory Colvin in an Ontario Court of Justice in St. Catharines, Friday.

US PA: Your Taxes Pale Beside What Marijuana Businesses Pay

Medical Marijuana - Sat, 03/03/2018 - 05:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 03 Mar 2018 - You think your taxes are high? For medical marijuana dispensaries in the United States, they can be stratospheric. Cannabis retailers face an effective tax rate of up to 85 percent, and that won't be reduced by the new tax law.

Weekly Legislative Roundup 3/2/18

NORML Blog - Fri, 03/02/2018 - 16:15

Welcome to the March 2nd edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

First, I want to bring your attention to the dedicated activists lobbying in conjunction with Arizona NORML! Activists in Arizona lobbied state lawmakers in the capital on Monday 2/26 in favor of a bill that would require testing for potency and health and safety as well as certifications for independent testing labs.

Also at the state level, Massachusetts regulators agreed to delay considering proposed rules allowing marijuana social use areas and delivery services until a later date after receiving intense pressure over those license categories from state officials. But they also decided that when the Cannabis Control Commission does authorize the services, initial licenses will only be available to people with past drug convictions or who live in neighborhoods with high drug arrest rates. The commission also agreed to place caps on marijuana farmers and determined a threshold for how much marijuana product they have to sell.

New Jersey lawmakers are set to begin holding hearings on marijuana legalization this month, with the first one scheduled for this Monday March 5th at noon by the Assembly Oversight Committee. On the other hand, several NJ lawmakers are still skeptical about legalization. A survey of lawmakers suggests that marijuana legalization legislation would be defeated if a vote were held now.

On a brighter note, Arkansas regulators announced the winners of medical cannabis cultivation licenses, and Alaska raked in its biggest monthly haul in marijuana taxes, with just over $1 million collected in January. Proponents of a Missouri ballot initiative effort to legalize and regulate medical cannabis statewide reached a milestone by surpassing over 200,000 signatures, although they only needed 160,000.

Several marijuana related legislation died this week after failing to be voted on before crossover deadlines. These include legalization and medical expansion measures in Arizona, Georgia, West Virginia, and Kansas.

At a more local level, Denver, CO approved its first social use marijuana license, allowing vaping and edibles in a Lincoln Park coffee shop. Additionally, The Los Angeles City Council approved a resolution supporting a state Senate bill that seeks to create a state-chartered bank that could be used by the marijuana industry.

Following are the bills from around the country that we’ve tracked this week and as always, check http://norml.org/act for legislation pending in your state.

Don’t forget to sign up for our email list and we will keep you posted as these bills and more move through your home state legislature and at the federal level.

Your highness,
Carly

Priority Alerts

Federal

End Prohibition: Representatives Tom Garrett (R-VA) and Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) have introduced bipartisan legislation, HR 1227, to exclude marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act, thus leaving states the authority to regulate the plant how best they see fit.

The “Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2017” eliminates federal criminal penalties for possessing and growing the plant. This legislation gives states the power and flexibility to establish their own marijuana policies free from federal interference.

Click here to e-mail your Representative and urge them to support this important legislation

New Hampshire

The Legislature is considering HB 656, which would legalize and regulate the personal use of marijuana by those 21 and older.

The bill also allows the cultivation, possession, and use of hemp, and calls for retail sales and generation of state revenues through taxation, as well as authorizes the licensing of marijuana wholesale, retail, cultivation, and testing facilities.

Update: The House Ways and Means Committee may kill HB 656 even though it already passed the full chamber, and despite A February 2018 UNH Granite State poll finding that 56 percent of adults support the amended version of this bill. They’re having a full committee work session on 3/12 at 1pm.

NH resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of legalization

Maine

Lawmakers are moving forward with a proposal to amend a key provision of the state’s voter-initiated adult use marijuana law.

Under existing law, adults may legally cultivate as many as six mature marijuana plants on their property. Lawmakers are suggesting halving this amount. NORML opposes this law change.

To date, legislators have refused to enact provisions in the 2016 law permitting for the licensed commercial production and retail sale of cannabis. As a result, adults may only obtain marijuana via home cultivation. Further, no data has been presented indicating that this provision is either being abused or that home-cultivated marijuana is being diverted into the criminal market.

Other changes recommended by lawmakers include: banning any social use establishments and significantly increasing the proposed excise tax on wholesale marijuana products.

ME resident? Click here to email your elected officials and tell them to oppose this effort and implement the will of the people

Tennessee

State Representative Jeremy Faison (R) and State Senator Steve Dickerson (R) have introduced legislation, SB 1710 and HB 1749 to establish a limited medical marijuana access program in Tennessee.

The measure permits qualified patients to possess marijuana-infused oil products, as well as other non-herbal forms of cannabis, from state-licensed dispensaries. Both patients and physicians would be required to participate in a state registry.

Update: Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell (R-Nashville) and Chairman of the House Health Subcommittee Dr. Bryan Terry (R-Murfreesboro) signed on as co-sponsors to the Medical Cannabis Only Act on 2/26. The following day, the House Criminal Justice subcommittee voted 4-3 to approve HB 1749, with House Speaker Harwell casting the tie-breaking vote. HB 1749 is on the Criminal Justice Committee’s calendar for 3/7/18. SB 1710 is still posted in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

TN resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of medical cannabis access

Georgia

House Bill 764 seeks to expand Georgia’s limited medical cannabidiol (CBD) law.

The measure would permit for the first time patients with post traumatic stress disorder and intractable pain the option to engage in CBD therapy.

Update: HB 764 passed the House by a 145-17 vote, and now awaits action in the Senate.

GA resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of medical CBD expansion

Idaho

HB 410 is pending to provide “for the lawful use and possession of Cannabidiol Oil (CBD), if prescribed by a (licensed) practitioner.” Similar legislation, HB 577 is also pending.

Update: HB 577  passed the House by a 59-11 vote on 2/28, and now awaits action in the Senate. HB 410 is still posted in the House Health and Welfare Committee.

ID resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of CBD access

Hawaii

HB 1893 is pending, to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to those struggling with opioid abuse or dependence. HB 1893 was heard by the House Health and Human Services Committee on 2/15, and then approved with amendments, and passed on to the Judiciary Committee.

Update: HB 1893 was heard by the House Judiciary committee on Thursday, and then was approved unanimously 8 to zero.

HI resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of this effort

Indiana

House Bill 1214 is pending, further clarifying the legal status of CBD products in the state of Indiana for specific patients.

Despite the passage last year of limited language permitting certain patients to possess CBD, law enforcement has continued to take punitive action against those providing CBD products, and some officials have continued to questioned their legality. Passage of these measures will eliminate this legal confusion and greatly expand CBD access.

Update: HB 1214 was approved by the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee after it was heard on 2/27.

IN resident? Click here to email your elected officials in favor of greater CBD access

Maryland

House Bill 698 seeks to expand the state’s nascent industrial hemp pilot program.

The bill would “authorize and facilitate the research of industrial hemp and any aspect of growing, cultivating, harvesting, processing, manufacturing, transporting, marketing, or selling industrial hemp for agricultural, industrial, or commercial purposes.”

Update: HB 698 was approved by the House Environment and Transportation Committee with amendments on 2/26. The amendments were adopted and it passed the third reading by a 136-1 vote on 3/1.

MD resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of industrial hemp

 

Additional Actions to Take

New Hampshire

House Bill 1476 is pending,  to permit qualifying patients to cultivate small quantities of cannabis for their own therapeutic use.

Under the state’s existing medical marijuana program, patients are mandated to obtain cannabis from only a limited number of state-licensed dispensaries. Those who cultivate for themselves may be guilty of a felony offense.

Update: The Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee approved HB 1476 by a 13-8 vote on 2/23.

NH resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of home cultivation

Virginia

SB 726 and HB 1251, both introduced by Republican lawmakers, would permit doctors to recommend CBD and THC-A oils to any patient they believe would benefit.

Under present law, only a neurologist may recommend cannabis oils, and only for patients with intractable epilepsy.

Update: HB 1251 is already on Governor Northam’s desk awaiting his signature. SB 726 passed the House 96-0 on 2/28.

VA resident? Click here to email Gov. Northam urging him to sign these bills into law

Alaska

House Bill 376 was recently introduced, to establish a state bank that will help assist in financial matters related to marijuana businesses. It’s currently pending in the Labor and Commerce Committee.

Activities of the bank would include helping “marijuana-related businesses make deposits and to help other financial institutions receive deposits from marijuana-related businesses.”

AK resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of banking options for cannabis businesses

Check back next Friday for more legislative updates!

US PA: Growing Pains for Pa. Marijuana Program

Medical Marijuana - Fri, 03/02/2018 - 05:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 02 Mar 2018 - Too much demand. Not enough supply. Less than two weeks after it launched, Pennsylvania's medical marijuana program is a victim of its own success. The two open marijuana dispensaries in the Philadelphia region reported Friday they had sold out of most medicines and might not be restocked until after March 15.

Cannabis Access Consistently Linked With Lower Opioid Use: Studies

NORML Blog - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 16:26

Patients routinely reduce or eliminate their use of prescription opiates following the use of medical cannabis; two recently published studies reaffirm this relationship.

In the first study, published by the Minnesota Department of Health, investigators assessed the prescription drug use patterns of 2,245 intractable pain patients participating in the state’s medical cannabis access program. Among those patients known to be taking opiates for pain upon enrollment in the program, 63 percent “were able to reduce or eliminate opioid usage after six months.” The findings are similar to those of registered patients in other states’ medical cannabis programs, including Illinois, Michigan, and New Mexico, among others.

In the second study, Israeli researchers assessed the safety and efficacy of cannabis in a cohort of over 1,200 cancer patients over a period of six months. Ninety-six percent of patients “reported an improvement in their condition.” Nearly half of respondents reported either decreasing or eliminating their use of opioids during the treatment period.

A third recently published clinical trial provides insight into explaining this relationship. Investigators from the United States and Australia and assessed the efficacy of inhaled cannabis and sub-therapeutic doses of oxycodone on experimentally-induced pain in a double-blind, placebo-controlled model. Researchers assessed subjects’ pain tolerance after receiving both substances separately or in concert with one another. While neither the administration of cannabis nor oxycodone alone significantly mitigated subjects’ pain, the combined administration of both drugs did so effectively.

Authors determined, “Both active cannabis and a low dose of oxycodone (2.5 mg) were sub-therapeutic, failing to elicit analgesia on their own; however, when administered together, pain responses … were significantly reduced, pointing to the opioid-sparing effects of cannabis.” They concluded, “Smoked cannabis combined with an ineffective analgesic dose of oxycodone produced analgesia comparable to an effective opioid analgesic dose without significantly increasing cannabis’s abuse liability.”

The new studies add to the growing body of research finding that cannabis access is associated with reduced rates of opioid use and abuse, opioid-related hospitalizations, opioid-related traffic fatalities, opioid-related drug treatment admissions, and opioid-related overdose deaths.

Additional information regarding the association between cannabis and opioids is available from NORML’s fact-sheet here.

US FL: Ex-DEA Chief Blasts White-Collar Pushers

Medical Marijuana - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 05:00
Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 01 Mar 2018 - SARASOTA - When the Drug Enforcement Administration was formed in 1973, roughly 2,000 Americans were dying from overdoses each week, largely from heroin injections. In 2016 alone, thanks to a deregulated pharmaceutical industry, fatal overdoses -- 80 percent opioid related - -- claimed 63,000 lives. Or, as Peter Bensinger pointed out Thursday morning, opium-derived drugs have exacted a higher death toll in a single year than nearly two decades of fighting in the Vietnam War.

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