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Study: Cannabis is a Safe, Effective Palliative Treatment for Cancer Patients

The Joint Blog - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 02:26
According to a study of nearly 3,000 people, cannabis seems to be a safe, effective and well tolerated palliative treatment for cancer.

The study was published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health. The aim of the study “is to characterize the epidemiology of cancer patients receiving medical cannabis treatment and describe the safety and efficacy of this therapy.”

To do so, researchers “analyzed the data routinely collected as part of the treatment program of 2970 cancer patients treated with medical cannabis between 2015 and 2017.” Among the patients, the “average age was 59.5 ± 16.3 years, 54.6% women and 26.7% of the patients reported previous experience with cannabis.” The most frequent types of cancer were: “breast (20.7%), lung (13.6%), pancreatic (8.1%) and colorectal (7.9%) with 51.2% being at stage 4. “The main symptoms requiring therapy were: “sleep problems (78.4%), pain (77.7%, median intensity 8/10), weakness (72.7%), nausea (64.6%) and lack of appetite (48.9%).”

After six months of follow up, “902 patients (24.9%) died and 682 (18.8%) stopped the treatment. Of the remaining, 1211 (60.6%) responded; 95.9% reported an improvement in their condition, 45 patients (3.7%) reported no change and four patients (0.3%) reported deterioration in their medical condition.

The study concludes by stating that; “Cannabis as a palliative treatment for cancer patients seems to be well tolerated, effective and safe option to help patients cope with the malignancy related symptoms.

The full study and its abstract can be found by clicking here.

The post Study: Cannabis is a Safe, Effective Palliative Treatment for Cancer Patients appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Did Trump Just Argue For Drug Legalization (Again)?

Marijuana Moment - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 00:56

President Trump, in a meeting about gun policy, seemed to voice arguments that are commonly used by people advocating for drug legalization.

“The problem is you have a real black market. They don’t worry about anything. They don’t worry about anything that you’re saying. They sell a gun and the buyer doesn’t care and the seller — that’s one of the problems we are all going to have,” he said on Wednesday, surrounded by members of Congress from both parties.

“And you have that problem with drugs. You make the drugs illegal and they come, you’ve never had a problem like that. We’re fighting it hard, but you’ve never had a problem like this,” he continued. “So you have the same problem with guns.”

Activists campaigning against drug prohibition often argue that making drugs illegal prevents very few people from consuming them, and that they purchase their desired substances in an unregulated criminal market where cartels and gangs make the rules.

By explicitly invoking drugs in the debate about gun policy — in which some Democrats and others are pushing to ban certain categories of weapons — the president appears to be saying that prohibition just doesn’t work, whether it comes to drugs or firearms.

Or maybe he’s just confused. Here’s the video:

Trump explicitly argued for drug legalization in 1990.

“We’re losing badly the war on drugs. You have to legalize drugs to win that war,” he said at the time. “You have to take the profit away from these drug czars… What I’d like to do maybe by bringing it up is cause enough controversy that you get into a dialogue on the issue of drugs so people will start to realize that this is the only answer; there is no other answer.”

But more recently, he has floated harsh penalties including, according to reports, executing drug sellers.

Trump Wants Death Penalty For Drug Dealers, Report Says

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore.

The post Did Trump Just Argue For Drug Legalization (Again)? appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Investments in cannabis, flashy commodities overshadow gold

Cannabist - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 00:56
"While you've had the cryptocurrencies, you've had cannabis, you've had all kinds of industry exploding and the gold price flat, it's like watching paint dry. Why would anyone get excited?"

3 plead guilty in botched marijuana robbery that led to Denver man's murder

Cannabist - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 00:32
Two men and a woman have pleaded guilty for their roles in a botched marijuana heist in Denver in which one man was killed and another was shot in November of 2016, authorities say.

North Dakota accepting proposals from medical marijuana labs

Cannabist - Thu, 03/01/2018 - 00:09
North Dakota's Health Department on Wednesday began accepting proposals from laboratory companies that want to test medical marijuana in the state.

Use of CBD oil by prescription approved by Idaho House bill

Cannabist - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 23:13
Idaho's House has advanced a bill allowing residents to use oil extracted from cannabis plants as the product is prescribed by a licensed practitioner.

Arkansas names 5 companies picked to grow medical marijuana

Cannabist - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 22:48
Arkansas regulators named the five businesses they intend to license to grow marijuana for the state's new medical marijuana program.

Colorado cannabis firms could get publicly traded, out-of-state investors under proposed bill

Cannabist - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 21:57
A bill advancing through the Colorado legislature would open the doors for out-of-state individuals and publicly traded companies to invest or have ownership interest in state-licensed cannabis businesses.

Milkman accused of sneaking marijuana hidden inside milk cartons into Ohio prison

Cannabist - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 21:47
A longtime milkman has been accused of smuggling marijuana, tobacco and cellphones into an Ohio prison hidden inside milk cartons, a prosecutor said.

Colorado cannabis company to expand in Florida county despite marijuana moratorium

Cannabist - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 21:32
The Colorado-based cannabis business plans to open 3 medical dispensaries in Florida-- in a county with a moratorium on marijuana businesses.

American Legion Pushes Congress On Medical Marijuana At Hearing

Marijuana Moment - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 20:22

The leader of the U.S.’s largest military veterans organization pressed Congress to allow the use of medical marijuana during a hearing on Wednesday.

“The federal government continues to list cannabis as a Schedule I drug – the most addictive and dangerous – although its addiction rates are lower than alcohol, and the less-restrictive Schedule II classification applies to opioids, which kill 91 Americans every day,” American Legion National Commander Denise H. Rohan said in testimony for a joint hearing of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees.

“The American Legion calls for immediate reclassification of cannabis to allow research into its potential for medical application, and if no medical value is found, The American Legion advocates its return to Schedule I,” she said. “By continuing to consider accumulating evidence of the efficacy of cannabis-based medicines, the federal schedule fails patients fighting debilitating conditions, including PTSD and potentially lethal opioid addiction.”

The organization, which represents more than 2.4 million military veterans, released a poll last year finding that 81% percent of veterans said they “want to have cannabis as a federally-legal treatment.”

Marijuana Poll: Military Veterans Strongly Support Legal Access

The group has also adopted resolutions at its two most recent annual conferences calling on the federal government to reschedule marijuana and to let U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs doctors recommend medical cannabis to their patients in states where it is legal.

In written testimony prepared for the congressional committees, the Legion’s Rohan called on lawmakers and the Trump administration to take three specific steps:

Immediately reschedule cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III on the DEA Controlled Substance Act Scheduling. „

Direct departments and agencies within the administration to fully cooperate in all federally authorized scientific research and offer assistance as needed. „

Authorize extensive research, conduct oversight hearings and support legislation that enables research on cannabis and the medical impact it could have for Americans suffering from opioid over-prescription, pain, depression and a host of other known ailments.

While the Veterans Affairs Sec. David Shulkin has consistently maintained that the V.A. is barred by federal law from recommending medical cannabis or even participating in research on the drug, the department quietly updated its website this month to acknowledge that it “can look at marijuana as an option for treating Veterans.”

VA Admits It “Can Look At Marijuana As An Option For Treating Veterans”

Advocates have argued that there is no overarching federal law blocking the V.A. from changing its own internal policies on marijuana.

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN), who chaired the Wednesday hearing, said separately on Tuesday that he supports the V.A. researching marijuana.

“There is so much controversy about cannabis now,” Roe said. “We need to study that drug, like any other drug. Where there are benefits — if there are any — then we use it for what it’s researched for,” he told Stars and Stripes.

“I would support [Shulkin] if he did it,” the congressman said of cannabis research. “I will make that clear.”

WATCH: @AmericanLegion comes to Capitol Hill to push legislative agenda including easing marijuana laws. pic.twitter.com/8F8FGFgcuy

— Drew Petrimoulx (@DrewPetrimoulx) February 28, 2018

The post American Legion Pushes Congress On Medical Marijuana At Hearing appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Racial Disparities Persist Among NYC Marijuana Possession Arrestees

NORML Blog - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 19:20

New York City police are continuing to disproportionately arrest African Americans and Latinos for minor marijuana possession violations, despite ongoing pledges from Mayor Bill de Blasio to halt the practice.

In 2017, city police made an estimated 17,500 arrests for marijuana possession in the 5th degree — a class B misdemeanor. Consistent with past years, 86 percent percent of those arrested were either Black or Hispanic.

Since the de Blasio administration took office in 2014, city police have made over 75,000 misdemeanor marijuana possession arrests; 86 percent of arrestees were either Black or Latino.

Under state law, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis is a non-arrestable offense, except instances where the police contend that the substance was either being burned or was in public view.

During his mayoral campaign, de Blasio said that the city’s elevated marijuana arrest totals “demonstrate clear racial bias” and promised to “direct the NYPD to stop these misguided prosecutions.”

Despite consuming cannabis at rates comparable to whites, recent analyses of marijuana arrest data from multiple states find that African Americans are consistently arrested for marijuana possession offenses at at least three times the rate of Caucasians.

U.S. territories consider legal cannabis (Newsletter: Feb. 28, 2018)

Marijuana Moment - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 12:43

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Big marijuana focus in IL for March; NJ likely to reschedule marijuana; TN medical cannabis bill advances

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Subscribers who value this daily dispatch enough to show their support with a few dollars help me keep doing this. Please chip in and help ensure Marijuana Moment’s continued operations.
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW

March is going to be a huge month for marijuana in Illinois, with the state’s biggest county voting on a cannabis ballot question, pro-legalization candidates poised to win March 20 gubernatorial and attorney general primaries and state lawmakers considering legalization legislation.

Legal marijuana could be coming to U.S. territories soon. This week, Guam Gov. Eddie Calvo (R)  directed lawmakers to consider legalization to raise revenue in light of the tax cut signed into law by President Trump. And legislators in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands are holding hearings on a bill to end cannabis prohibition.

Arkansas TV anchor Donna Terrell disclosed her involvement with a medical cannabis business in an emotional on-air statement: “It’s because of her, my daughter Queah. She died from colon cancer seven years ago.”

/ FEDERAL

U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) called on the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to research medical cannabis.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions launched a new task force targeting opioid manufacturers and distributors that engage in unlawful practices.

Officials with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Office of National Drug Control Policy and National Institute on Drug Abuse spoke at an event on drugged driving hosted by the Heritage Foundation.

A new book reports that former President Ronald Reagan was upset about a “distasteful endorsement of pot smoking” in a movie he viewed. Turns out, Reagan actually wrote about it in his diary.

Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-FL) spoke about legislation he will soon introduced aimed at increasing marijuana research.

The U.S. House bill to allow marijuana businesses to access banks got four new cosponsors, for a total of 88.

The U.S. House bill to exempt state-legal marijuana activity from the Controlled Substances Act got one new cosponsor, for a total of 45.

The U.S. House bill to remove roadblocks to marijuana research got two new cosponsors, for a total of 13.

North Carolina Democratic congressional candidate Steve Woodsmall supports legalizing marijuana.

/ STATES

Nevada lawmakers approved permanent legal marijuana regulations.

The Michigan Senate defeated a bill to repeal a requirement that medical cannabis be transported in locked trunks of cars.

The Tennessee House Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted 4-3 to advance medical cannabis legislation.

New Jersey regulators announced they will not appeal a court ruling mandating that they reconsider marijuana’s Schedule I status under state law. Separately, a survey of lawmakers suggests that marijuana legalization legislation would be defeated if a vote were held now.

Massachusetts regulators approved more marijuana rules, including measures to ensure an adequate supply of medical cannabis after recreational sales begin.

Utah police charged two people paid to collect signatures for medical cannabis and other ballot measures with forging petitions.

A Maryland House subcommittee voted 6-2 to advance a bill to expand medical cannabis industry participation by people of color, women and small-business owners.

Colorado lawmakers filed legislation to let marijuana retailers allow limited on-site consumption.

Arkansas regulators announced the winners of medical cannabis cultivation licenses.

Delaware’s marijuana legalization task force is expected to approve its final report on Wednesday.

Vermont lawmakers are considering marijuana saliva testing legislation.

Oregon regulators released information about marijuana waste disposal.

/ LOCAL

The Lexington-Fayette, Kentucky Urban County Council unanimously approved a resolution urging state lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis.

A video emerged that appears to show Lumberton, Mississippi’s police chief smoking marijuana.

An Etowah County, Alabama man was arrested on drug trafficking charges just days after he criticized the sheriff in a news story. Police say he had “1,042 grams of cannabis,” which includes the weight of infused butter he had in addition to just a few grams of smokable marijuana.

/ INTERNATIONAL

The Canadian Senate Committee on Aboriginal Peoples held a hearing on marijuana legalization’s impact on the Indigenous peoples of Canada. Separately, the federal budget projects legal marijuana will generate $220 million per year in revenue by 2022, and allocates $62.5 million over five years for cannabis education.

/ ADVOCACY

The Anti-Defamation League criticized Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan for promoting a “Pot Plot” conspiracy that Jews and the U.S. government are manipulating strains of marijuana to feminize black men.

Americans for Safe Access released a report card on state medical cannabis laws.

/ SCIENCE & HEALTH

An analysis found that “the seven states (Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington) and DC that legalized recreational use of marijuana between 2012 and 2016 reported a collective 16.4 percent increase in pedestrian fatalities for the first six months of 2017 versus the first six months of 2016, whereas all other states reported a collective 5.8 percent decrease in pedestrian fatalities.”

A study concluded that “poorer outcome of anxiety disorders among cannabis users may be attributed mainly to differences in baseline factors and not cannabis use.”

A survey found that Ivy Leagues students are more likely than not to have consumed illegal drugs.

Here’s a profile of a researcher studying cannabidiol’s potential to reduce opioid relapses.

/ OPINION & ANALYSIS

A poll found that New Hampshire adults support legalizing marijuana, 56%-25%.

The Baltimore Sun editorial board is opposed to legalizing marijuana through a constitutional amendment.

Emerson College will “poll all angles of the marijuana issue” with surveys throughout March.

/ BUSINESS

Car insurance rates have increased in every state where recreational marijuana has been legalized, except for Massachusetts.

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The post U.S. territories consider legal cannabis (Newsletter: Feb. 28, 2018) appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

TV Anchor Discloses Medical Marijuana Involvement In Emotional On-Air Statement

Marijuana Moment - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 03:50

One of the five companies awarded a medical marijuana cultivation license by Arkansas regulators on Tuesday involves a prominent TV personality in the state, a fact she made public in an emotional on-air statement.

“I wanted to be the first to tell you, because this information will be made public soon,” Donna Terrell of Fox 13 said at the tail end of a segment about the new cannabis licenses. “I know this is a controversial subject, but let me show you why I wanted to be part of this. It’s because of her, my daughter Queah. She died from colon cancer seven years ago.”

Terrell, noting that Tuesday happens to be her daughter’s birthday, said medical cannabis could’ve helped ease some of her suffering.

“I know medical marijuana would not have saved her life, but based on my research and experience as her caregiver, I know she would have benefited greatly,” she said. “Medicinal marijuana would have made those last few months, weeks and days much more tolerable. I miss her every day.”

Tonight during @FOX16News at 9pm, @donnaterrell_tv disclosed the motivation behind her involvement with a medical marijuana cultivation group. #ARNews pic.twitter.com/y6GMtVrBqU

— FOX16 News (@FOX16News) February 28, 2018

Arkansas voters approved the medical cannabis measure in 2016.

.@FOX16News Project ISSUE 6 medical marijuana has passed.

— Donna Terrell (@donnaterrell_tv) November 9, 2016

The post TV Anchor Discloses Medical Marijuana Involvement In Emotional On-Air Statement appeared first on Marijuana Moment.

Oklahoma Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill

The Joint Blog - Wed, 02/28/2018 - 00:30
A fairly restrictive bill that would legalize the medical use of marijuana has been given approval by a key Senate committee in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma’s Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 6 to 5 today to pass Senate Bill 1120, which was filed by Senator Ervin Yen (R). The proposal is far more restrictive than a medical marijuana initiative (State Question 788) which is up for a public vote this November.

Senate Bill 1120 would allow those with certain medical conditions (such as neuropathic pain, persistent muscle spasms due to multiple sclerosis or paraplegia and intractable nausea or vomiting due to chemotherapy) to possess and use marijuana and marijuana products for medical purposes. Unfortunately the measure doesn’t allow marijuana to be smoked, requiring patients to consume the medicine through other means such as tinctures, edibles and vaping.

Senator Kay Floyd (D) expressed concerns about the measure,  saying she believes the proposal is far too restrictive in terms of the medical conditions that qualify an individual to use medical marijuana. State Question 788 is much more progressive, allowing those with other conditions such as PTSD and anxiety to become medical marijuana patients. Still, supporters of Senate Bill 1120 say it’s a step in the right direction, and would be better than nothing if State Question 788 was to fail.

Senate Bill 1120 must be approved by the full Senate and House of Representatives before it can go to Governor Mary Fallin for consideration.

The post Oklahoma Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Legalization Bill appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Saliva tests to screen drivers for marijuana proposed in Vermont

Cannabist - Tue, 02/27/2018 - 22:46
A bill that would allow police to test a driver's saliva for marijuana is being considered by Vermont lawmakers as the state prepares to legalize the drug.

Missouri: Medical Marijuana Initiative Effort Reaches Signature Milestone

NORML Blog - Tue, 02/27/2018 - 22:22

Proponents of a Missouri voter initiative effort to legalize and regulate the therapeutic use and distribution of cannabis statewide have surpassed over 200,000 signatures. Advocates must collect a total of 160,000 qualified signatures in six of Missouri’s eight congressional districts by May 6, 2018 in order to qualify the measure for the 2018 electoral ballot.

The initiative permits patients, at the discretion of a physician, to cultivate limited quantities of marijuana or to obtain cannabis and cannabis-infused products from licensed facilities.

The group behind the effort, New Approach Missouri, includes members of both national NORML as well as its state and local affiliates.

For more information about this initiative campaign or to become involved, click here.

Proponents sought to place a similar effort on the 2016 ballot. That effort failed after the courts upheld the decision of St. Louis-area election authorities to reject some 2,000 signatures in the state’s second Congressional district.

Missouri is one of several states where voters this year are anticipated to decide on cannabis-related ballot measures. In November, members of Michigan NORML and other coalition members turned in 360,000 signatures in an effort to qualify the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act for the November ballot. (Just over 252,000 valid signatures from registered voters are necessary.) Also in November, grassroots activists in South Dakota turned in over 15,000 signatures in an effort to place the South Dakota Medical Marijuana Initiative on the ballot. (Over 13,800 valid signatures are necessary.) In Utah, advocates are well on their way to gathering the necessary quantity of signatures necessary to place The Utah Medical Cannabis Act on the 2018 ballot. In Oklahoma, voters will decide on June 26 whether or not to approve State Question 788 — a broad-based initiative that permits physicians to recommend medical cannabis to patients at their sole discretion. NORML endorsed State Question 788 in January.

Charlize Theron waxes on her wake-and-bake days

Cannabist - Tue, 02/27/2018 - 19:28
"Yes, oh god yes, I was a wake-and-baker for most of my life," the Oscar-winning film actress told E!'s Sibley Scoles when asked about marijuana.

Bill licensing marijuana "tasting rooms" introduced in Colorado legislature

Cannabist - Tue, 02/27/2018 - 19:06
“This bill will help make sure people aren’t consuming more than they should and are doing it in an environment no different than what you would see at a winery or brewery,” sponsor Rep. Jonathan Singer said.

Maine: Lawmakers Push To Rewrite 2016 Voter-Approved Marijuana Law

NORML Blog - Tue, 02/27/2018 - 18:53

Gov LePage (R-Maine)

State lawmakers are moving forward with a legislative proposal to significantly amend various provisions of the state’s 2016 voter-approved cannabis law: The Marijuana Legalization Act.

Members of the Marijuana Legalization Implementation Committee have voted 16 to 1 in favor of overhauling the law, which has yet to be fully implemented. Lawmakers had initially voted last year to delay the enactment of provisions regulating the retail production and sale of cannabis. Then in November, Republican Gov. Paul LePage vetoed legislation that sought to license and regulate marijuana businesses and sales, stating: “Until I clearly understand how the federal government intends to treat states that seek to legalize marijuana, I cannot in good conscience support any scheme in state law to implement expansion of legal marijuana in Maine.” Lawmakers voted in favor of sustaining LePage’s veto.

Now lawmakers are pushing a plan to amend and repeal numerous provisions of the law, including provisions that have already taken effect. Specifically, language in the new proposal would limit the quantity of mature marijuana plants that an adult may legally grow in a private residence from six to three. Legislators are advocating for this change despite the fact that no regulated, commercial market yet exists for cannabis — leaving adults reliant exclusively upon home cultivation operations. Further, no data has been presented indicating that the state’s existing plant quotas are either being abused or that home-cultivated marijuana is being diverted into the criminal market. NORML opposes this proposed amendment.

“A majority of Maine voters decided in favor of legalizing and regulating the use of marijuana by adults,” NORML’s Political Director Justin Strekal said. “It is time for lawmakers to implement the will of the people, not undermine it.”

Other language in the new proposal would repeal language permitting for the operation of state-licensed social use facilities, and would eliminate provisions redirecting portions of marijuana-related tax revenue to localities that explicitly permit such operations. Separate language in the bill seeks to impose a new 21.5 percent excise tax on wholesale marijuana transactions. The bill also makes it easier for communities that wish to ban adult use operations to do so.

If you reside in Maine, you can use NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ to contact your lawmakers here.

A finalized version of the bill is anticipated to go before lawmakers in the House and Senate in late March. Rep. Teresa Pierce, D-Falmouth, the Implementation Committee’s House chairman, said that the so-called “compromises” in the plan are necessary because of the close nature of the 2016 vote and because the Governor has remained steadfastly opposed to the issue. Yet, even despite the proposed amendments, House Minority Leader Ken Fredette predicts that LePage will likely veto this committee bill too.

In Massachusetts, where voters approved a similar 2016 initiative regulating the adult use and retail sale of cannabis, regulators this week also announced delays and changes to the voter-approved law. On Monday, following pressure from the Governor and other lawmakers, members of the Cannabis Control Commission voted for a limited rollout of retail marijuana sales in July — postponing licenses for home delivery services, marijuana lounges, and other distribution channels until early next year. Commercial marijuana production and sales were initially slated to begin on January 1, 2018, but lawmakers last year passed emergency legislation postponing the enactment of those regulatory provisions until this summer.

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