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Weekly Legislative Roundup 2/23/18

NORML Blog - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 19:13

Welcome to this week’s edition of NORML’s Weekly Legislative Roundup!

First, I want to bring your attention to some of the state level lobbying efforts progressing around the country.

Activists gathered in Denver, CO on Wednesday to try and change the conversation on employee drug testing and partner with local business. Several Denver board members and activists attended, building relationships and trust with legislators and other interest groups and lobbyists. Additionally, NORML of Florida chapters, along with Sensible Florida, Inc (the organization behind the constitutional initiative “To Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol”) supporters met in Tallahassee on Tuesday to host press conferences and lobby state lawmakers in support of marijuana law reforms.

Also at the state level, New Mexico’s state legislature has adjourned for this year, effectively killing a bill to legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana, a decriminalization bill, and one to allow doctors to recommend cannabis in place of opioids. Three Arizona bills are also dead for this year after failing to be voted on before last Friday’s crossover deadline, including one that would have put legalization on the ballot, a decriminalization bill, and one to obtain sanctuary state status for marijuana operators.

At a more local level, officials in various parts of the country are speaking out against the Trump administration’s crackdown on marijuana. The District Attorney for Alameda County in California has announced her intent to automatically vacate thousands of past marijuana convictions. And newly elected Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner also announced that his office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession offense violations. City officials in San Francisco recently announced plans to automatically expunge thousands of past marijuana possession convictions and Seattle officials have also announced a similar plan to dismiss past convictions.

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

Maryland

Introduced by state Senator Will Smith, SB 1039 would put an amendment to the Maryland Constitution on the ballot to be decided by voters to ensure that citizens have the right to possess, smoke, and cultivate marijuana. Delegate David Moon is sponsoring the House companion, HB 1264.

Update: SB 1039 was debated on the Senate floor on Tuesday, and HB 1264 is scheduled to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee on 3/13 at 1pm.

MD resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of leaving it up to the voters

Alabama

Senate Bill 251 and House Bill 272 reduce penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $6,000 fine, to a non-criminal violation, punishable by a fine of no more than $250 — no arrest and no criminal record. However, provisions in the bills also reclassify offenses involving quantities of marijuana above one ounce as felonies.

Update: Both bills were heard by the Judiciary Committees in their respective chambers on 2/21. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 251 by a 6 to 4 vote, however, the House committee rejected HB 272 by a 7 to 5 vote. HB 272 is now dead for this session.

AL resident? Click here to email your elected officials and urge them to amend SB 251 in a manner that benefits all marijuana possession offenders

West Virginia

Legislation is pending, House Bill 3035, to regulate the adult use and retail sale of marijuana. Senate Bill 593 is also pending and would allow adults over 21 years of age to possess up to four ounces of marijuana at home and two ounces in public. They could also grow four mature cannabis plants and four seedlings.

Update: New, similar legislation was introduced, HB 4491 to also regulate the adult use and retail sale of marijuana.

WV resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of legalization, taxation, and regulation

Tennessee

Earlier this year, Senator Sara Kyle (D) and Representative Larry Miller introduced legislation SB 2320 and HB 2391, seeking to place a ballot initiative before voters to let them decide on the legalization of medical marijuana.

Update: SB 2320 was put on the final calendar for The Senate State & Local Government Committee, the date is TBD. HB 2391 was placed on the House Local Government subcommittee calendar for 2/21, but then deferred to a later date, TBD.

TN resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of a medical marijuana ballot initiative

Missouri

New legislation is pending, HJR 86, to put the issue of depenalizing the adult use of marijuana before voters this November.

If enacted by lawmakers, voters would decide upon the following question: “That the possession or consumption of marijuana by a person twenty-one years of age or older shall not be a criminal offense in this state.”

MO resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of a depenalization ballot question

Virginia

SB 726 and HB 1251 are pending, seeking to expand the state’s limited medical CBD law. They both crossed over to the other chamber earlier this month.

Update: HB 1251 was approved by the Senate 40 to zero on 2/19 and is now being transmitted to Governor Northam, who has indicated that he plans on signing the bill. Also, HB 1251 succeeded unanimously in an Adoption Emergency Vote, meaning it will go into effect immediately upon Gov. Northam’s signature.

VA resident? Click here to email your Governor and tell him to sign HB 1251 into law

New York

A.8904 is pending, to permit practitioners’ discretion to recommend medical marijuana, without being limited by the existing list of qualifying conditions.

Update: A Senate companion bill was introduced late last week, S.7755.

NY resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of removing the list of qualifying conditions

Alaska

Legislation is pending, SB 6, to establish an agricultural pilot program to permit the cultivation, production, and sale of industrial hemp by registered providers.

Update: SB 6 was approved by both the House and Senate and now awaits action from Governor Walker.

AK resident? Click here to email your Governor and urge him to sign this bill into law

Kansas

Legislation is pending, SB 263, to establish a state-licensed industrial hemp research program.

Update: SB 263 was approved by the Senate by a 36-3 vote on 2/22, and it now awaits action from the House.

KS resident? Click here to email your representatives in support of hemp research

 

Additional Actions to Take

Arizona

Senate Bill 1420 seeks to enhance quality testing practices for medical marijuana products.

If passed, the bill would improve product testing procedures and requirements. It would also lower the costs of medical marijuana registration cards from $150 to $50 for an initial application, and to $25 for subsequent annual renewals.

Update: SB 1420 was approved by the Senate by a 27-3 vote on 2/22, and is now being transmitted to the House, where a vote is expected in the upcoming weeks.

AZ resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of better testing practices

Indiana

CBD
Legislation is pending, Senate Bill 52, to legalize the possession, use, manufacture, and retail sale of cannabidiol products.

The law defines products containing CBD and no more than 0.3 percent THC as legal to possess and sell. Indiana citizens would no longer need to be a part of a patient registry or to be diagnosed with a qualifying condition in order to legally possess or purchase CBD products. It also provides protections so that employers may not discriminate against anyone using CBD in compliance with the law.

Separate legislation further clarifying the legal status of CBD products in the state of Indiana for specific patients, House Bill 1214, is also pending. Both bills have already crossed over to the other chamber.

Update: SB 52 was heard by the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee on 2/21 and was then approved by a vote of 9 to zero. HB 1214 will be heard by the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law Committee at 11am on 2/27 in Room 130.

Hemp
Legislation is pending, House Bill 1137 to authorize the Indiana State Department of Agriculture to establish an agricultural pilot program to study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp and industrial hemp products. It was already approved by the House unanimously last month.

Update: HB 1137 was approved by the Senate Committee on Commerce on 2/19.

IN resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of greater CBD access, and click here to email them in support of hemp research.

New Hampshire

Legislation is pending, HB 1477, to permit those convicted of past marijuana convictions to seek expungement.

If passed, HB 1477 would allow individuals to file a petition with the court requesting that the court annul any past marijuana violations involving the possession of up to ¾ of an ounce of marijuana.

Update: HB 1477 was considered on the House floor on 2/22, and was then approved by the House by a 314-24 vote, and will now be transmitted to the Senate.

NH resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of expunging past records

Illinois

Legislation is pending, SB 336, to permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy as an alternative to opioid treatment.

Update: SB 336 is scheduled to be considered by the full Senate on 2/27.

IL resident? Click here to email your senators in support of this effort

Missouri

Legislation is pending, SB 547 and HB 2034, seeking to modify provisions relating to industrial hemp. SB 547 was approved by the Senate Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources Committee last month.

If passed, the bills would allow the Department of Agriculture to issue a registration or permit to growers and handlers of agricultural and industrial hemp. It would also create an industrial hemp agricultural pilot program to be implemented by the Department of Agriculture to study the growth, cultivation, and marketing of industrial hemp.

Update: HB 2034 was initially approved by the House on 2/20.

MO resident? Click here to email your elected officials in support of modifying industrial hemp provisions

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.

The measures permit 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: Both SB 1710 and HB 1749 were placed on the Criminal Justice Subcommittee calendar in their respective chambers for 2/27.

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

Michigan

Republican State Representative Peter Lucido introduced House Bill 4606, seeking to amend the Michigan Penal Code by removing the crime of registered medical patients traveling with marijuana. HB 4606 was already approved by the House last year.

If passed, the bill would repeal a 2012 law that makes it illegal to transport or possess marijuana unless it’s in a container secured in the trunk of a vehicle. If the vehicle does not have a trunk, the marijuana has to be in a case that is not readily accessible from the interior of the vehicle. Violators face up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Update: HB 4606 was approved by a Senate committee on 2/22.

MI resident? Click here to email your senators in support of removing travel restrictions for patients

Check back next Friday for more legislative updates!

New Hampshire Bill to Allow Patients and Caregivers to Grow Marijuana Approved by Committee

The Joint Blog - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 19:09
A New Hampshire House committee has voted in favor of legislation to allow patients or their caregiver to cultivate marijuana.

The House Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs Committee voted 13 to 8 this week to pass House Bill 1476, which was filed by Representative Robert Cushing along with over a dozen bipartisan cosponsors.

The proposal states that; “A qualifying patient shall not be subject to arrest by state or local law enforcement, prosecution or penalty under state or municipal law, or be denied any right or privilege for the therapeutic use of cannabis in accordance with this chapter, if the qualifying patient possesses or cultivates an amount of cannabis that does not exceed the following:

(a)  If the qualifying patient does not have a designated caregiver who is authorized to cultivate cannabis for him or her, for the possession or cultivation, or both, of cannabis that occurs at the cultivation location under the control of the patient reported to the department, or while transporting cannabis and cannabis plants and seedlings to a new cultivation location that has been reported to the department within the prior 21 days:

(1)  Six ounces of usable cannabis;

(2)  Any amount of unusable cannabis; and

(3)  Two mature cannabis plants and 12 seedlings, where the plants are subject to public view, including to view from another private property, without the use of optical aids, with a total canopy of no more than 50 square feet.

If more than one qualifying patient, designated caregiver, or both, share a cultivation location, the total canopy of all marijuana plants may not exceed 100 square feet at one dwelling.

The full text of House Bill 1476 can be found by clicking here.

The post New Hampshire Bill to Allow Patients and Caregivers to Grow Marijuana Approved by Committee appeared first on TheJointBlog.

US PA: Busiest Medical Marijuana Dispensary In N.J. Is In Tiny

MAP - Cannabis - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 08:00
Philadelphia Daily News, 23 Feb 2018 - The medical marijuana dispensary that opened in Camden County in September 2015 is the busiest of the five that have opened in New Jersey since the program began seven years ago, according to a Department of Health annual report. Compassionate Sciences Alternative Treatment Center, in an industrial park in tiny Bellmawr, served 2,762 patients and sold nearly 885 pounds of cannabis in 2016, the report said. The state had nearly 10,800 registered patients as of the end of last year.

Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee Votes to Approve Marijuana Decrim Bill

The Joint Blog - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 03:31
In a surprising move Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee has voted to approve a bill to decriminalize certain marijuana possession offenses.

The committee has voted 6 to 4 to pass Senate Bill 251, which was filed by Senator Dick Brewbaker. The proposal would “create the crime of possession of marijuana in the third degree for possession of one ounce or less of marijuana and would provide that a first or second conviction would be a violation with applicable fines that would not appear on a person’s criminal record and a third or subsequent offense would be a Class A misdemeanor.” Under current law, the possession of any amount of marijuana for personal use is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail.

Also, under current law a person who possesses marijuana for any other reason than personal use or who possesses marijuana for personal use and has previously been convicted of unlawful possession of marijuana in the second degree is guilty of a Class C felony and is guilty of a Class D felony for third or subsequent convictions. This bill “would revise the crime to require possession of two or more ounces of marijuana and would revise the penalties for violations.”

The full text of the measure can be found by clicking here.

The post Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee Votes to Approve Marijuana Decrim Bill appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Meta-Analysis: Studies Refute Claims That Medical Cannabis Access Encourages Teen Use

NORML Blog - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 20:07

The enactment of statewide laws regulating the use and distribution of cannabis for medical purposes is not associated with increased marijuana use among young people, according to a review of relevant studies published online ahead of print in the journal Addiction.

Investigators from Columbia University, the RAND Corporation, the University of California at Davis, and the Boston School of Public Health reviewed 11 studies developed from four ongoing national surveys. The studies were published between the years 1991 and 2014. None of the studies identified any significant changes in youth use patterns that could be attributable to changes in marijuana’s legal status.

Authors concluded: “[A]ll estimates of pre–post changes in past-month marijuana use within MML (medical marijuana law) states from these studies were non-significant. … In summary, current evidence does not support the hypothesis that MML passage is associated with increased marijuana use prevalence among adolescents in states that have passed such laws.”

One of the study’s senior authors, Dr. Deborah Hasin, further stated in an accompanying press release, “For now, there appears to be no basis for the argument that legalizing medical marijuana has increased teens’ use of the drug.”

The findings are consistent with those of numerous prior studies, including a federally funded 2015 study published in the journal Lancet Psychiatry that assessed marijuana use patterns of over one-million adolescents in 48 states. That paper concluded, [C]oncerns that increased marijuana use is an unintended effect of state marijuana laws seem unfounded.”

Separate studies report that teens’ use of marijuana and access to cannabis have declined significantly over the better part of the past two decades – during the same time that the majority of states enacted medical marijuana access programs. Data from states that regulate the adult use and sale of cannabis similarly fail to report any associated uptick in either youth use or marijuana access.

Text of the study, “Medical marijuana laws and adolescent marijuana use in the United States: A systematic review and meta-analysis,” is not yet available online.

Snoop Dogg Spaceship Review

The Joint Blog - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 15:07

By Barbara M.

Snoop Dogg is one of the one of the most recognisable faces in the world of Cannabis. From his connection with the G pen vaporizers to his own range of flower and concentrates with Leaf’s by Snoop, Snoop knows his stuff when it comes to Mary Jane. While Snoop may have his hand in many green pies, he was yet to release a glassware range with his name on it; until recently. With the release of the Pounds range of premium glassware, Snoop, together with Famous Brandz, have entered the glassware market, with a Bang. The Pounds collection are not only gaining a reputable name for the high quality of their builds but also for the high tech level of percolation taking place inside them.

From the Battleship, with its honeycomb perc sandwiched between two turbines to the Spaceship, with its much smaller Inline ruffle percolator, the quality of percolation is excellent. As legalization begins to take pace, the quality of the buds we have access to are a much higher quality than the past. Along with the much stronger flower available today, we now have access to concentrated forms of Cannabis only seen in recent times. These concentrates are generally much more potent than the conventional flower and can come in a range of forms from waxes to oils. A whole new style of enjoying Cannabis has been developed in recent years, named dabbing, which involves the easy use of concentrates. Dab rigs are similar in shape and size to your average bong, however, instead of using a bowl, Dab rigs use a nail. Once the nail is heated the concentrate is dabbed onto the nail where it then vaporizes and enters the water pipe. It then travels through the body of the piece until it reaches the mouthpiece. In this article we will take a closer look at how the Spaceship Bong by Snoop Dogg’s Pounds is revolutionising the dabbing world.

 

The Spaceship

The Spaceship is the smallest member of the Pounds collection by Snoop Dogg. Coming in at a very small 6.5 inches, this is one of the most compact water pipes on the market. Designed entirely with dabbing in mind, the Spaceship comes with two different kinds of nail, a quartz bucket and a bubble dome & nail. As the Spaceship was designed with solely concentrates in mind, it is certainly more suited to the serious stoner among us.The Spaceship bong uses a small Inline ruffle percolator to cleanse and filter your smoke, ensuring only the smoothest rips reach your lungs. All of this is held together with 5mm thick borosilicate glass, and added positive for an already premium piece.

Percolators

Percolators, in recent years, have become integral parts of the water pipe industry. While the style, size and shape of your percolator may vary, their overall use doesn’t change. Percolators are used to both filter and cool the smoke, as it travel towards the mouthpiece. The difference a percolator can make is sometimes underestimated, however the difference is definitely an issue. We have all felt the burn a dry bong or pipe can cause, that is how it makes such a difference. By using a percolator bong you are reducing the harshness in the smoke while ensuring only the smoothest hits reach your lungs. In the Spaceship Bong by Snoop Dogg’s Pounds the percolator is and Inline ruffle percolator. Inline percolators are very similar to downstems in terms of how it works. As the smoke enters the Inline percolator, it is separated through small openings where it is then spread throughout the water. By doing this, the smoke is cooled and the hits produced become much smoother. As the Spaceship Bong is considerably smaller than most dab rigs, its percolator is situated in a way which maximises the space available.

 

The Build

The quality of the build used in the Pounds collection by Snoop Dogg is what truly makes it a premium glassware range. Being its strongest attribute, the glass quality associated with the Pounds range is certainly gaining powerful reviews. As the entire Pounds range is built using 5mm thick borosilicate glass, the Spaceship Bong is no different. Easier than the others to transport, this perfectly sized Dab Rig is a pleasure to pass amongst friends. The weight and strength of the piece gives you peace of mind where others falter and it really is as easy as simply holding one to find out what the fuss about. By holding the Spaceship Bong, you can sense the quality of the design and build that went into it. It would appear that there are no weak points in the piece where the glass was joined, and it would seem the entire water pipe was formed the one piece of glass. An added bonus.

 

Overall, For Snoop Dogg to give it the green light, the Spaceship Bong had to be doing something right. I found the Spaceship bong to be very powerful for its size, its high quality build and it’s top notch percolation have together accumulated to create a truly impressive piece. The ergonomic mouthpiece is a welcome addition to a water pipe which is easily putting the norm firmly in the past. With the intricate designs displayed in the Spaceship Bong, you are certain to Blast off into space when you use this perfectly petite, premium Dab rig.

The post Snoop Dogg Spaceship Review appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Study: Cannabinoids May Prevent Depressive and PTSD-Like Symptoms Following Severe Stress

The Joint Blog - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 03:44
Cannabinoids may prevent both depressive and PTSD-like symptoms following exposure to severe stress, according to a new study being published by the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry.

“Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating condition highly comorbid with depression”, begins the abstract of the study, which was also published by the U.S. National Institute of Health. “The endocannabinoid (eCB) system and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) are suggestively involved in both disorders.” For the study, researchers “examined whether cannabinoids can prevent the long-term depressive-like symptoms induced by exposure to the shock and situational reminders (SRs) model of PTSD.”

Researchers administered a compound meant to mimic the effects of natural cannabinoids in rats two hours after a severe shock. “Cannabinoids prevented the shock/SRs-induced alterations in social recognition memory, locomotion, passive coping, anxiety-like behavior, anhedonia, fear retrieval, fear extinction and startle response as well as the decrease in BDNF levels in the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex (PFC)”, states the study. “Furthermore, significant correlations were found between depressive-like behaviors and BDNF levels in the brain.”

The study concludes; “The findings suggest that cannabinoids may prevent both depressive- and PTSD-like symptoms following exposure to severe stress and that alterations in BDNF levels in the brains’ fear circuit are involved in these effects.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at The Academic College Tel-Aviv-Yaffo and the University of Haifa (both in Israel), can be found by clicking here.

The post Study: Cannabinoids May Prevent Depressive and PTSD-Like Symptoms Following Severe Stress appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Smokin Js – Activism, Family, Culture

The Joint Blog - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 01:52

By Aaron A.

Cubicle life wasn’t what a young Jay Fratt saw for himself in 1997.  Production deadlines and endless engineering meetings did not fulfill his desire to be a part of the ever-evolving, independent alternative culture blossoming in the 90s.  He decided the monotony and repetition of the robotic corporate grind, was not for him.  So, Jay quit his 9-5 job in the plastics industry in order to create a different future, one in which he openly and actively pursued his greatest passion, the legalization of industrial hemp.  Thus was born the small hemp themed clothing store which over 20 years would grow and evolve into the oldest alternative pipe & tobacco store in SW Washington State … Smokin Js.

What a long strange trip it’s been!  Smokin Js has grown up as a business during substantial cultural changes in Washington State.  From medical cannabis legalization in 1998 to full recreational cannabis legalization in 2012, Smokin Js has participated in cannabis activism and education in Washington State the entire way.

 

Free Glass and Promotional Fun

The founder of Smokin Js grew up during the birth of the Internet.  Back then you were expected to contribute something to the Internet in trade for asking for something.  Jay has taken this idealistic philosophy to the advertising methods of Smokin Js.

 

  • Email List Promotion  

 

Smokin Js has an email list!  Like duh, but they do things a little differently than most.  With each email they send they give something away for free to a random person who opens the email.  Typically during the Christmas and 420 months the prize is sick, or should I say dope af.

Sign up Here

 

  • Instagram Photo Contest

 

Yeah Smokin Js is on Instagram.  Proud to have never paid for a service or bought a single follower, Smokin Js is legitimately connected to each person following the company feed.  One of the coolest promotions the company has ever created centers around the Instagram universe:  #JsSmokeSpot.  The hash tag promotion is a monthly 420 photography contest.  Each month the best smoke spot photo tagged on Instagram with #JsSmokeSpot wins a cool smoking prize pack for free.  The Smokin Js founder has been traipsing around the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years looking for cool smoke spots, and now he has created a way for other smokers to share their cool discoveries.  The promotion even has a website where every #JsSmokeSpot submission is displayed.

 

  • Street Team

 

Do you ever get annoyed at paid celebrity endorsements?  Like does Snoop Dogg really enjoy and use that crappy Chinese vape pen, or he is just counting duckets?  The Smokin Js Sreet Team was created by actual Smokin Js customers.  They wanted to know how they could get more involved with the company and participate in the cultural community Jay created.  So he created one of the most innovative word-of-mouth programs in the industry.  Smokin Js Street Team members compete for big prizes with special events during the year.  The goal is to have fun and spread the positive vibes of Smokin Js.  And membership does include added benefits!  Contributing street team members have access to the Smokin Js Grant Program.  From concert tickets to airfare, the Grant Program gives Smokin Js Street Team members the opportunity to customize their rewards.  The street team program helped “Tecate” go from an amateur downhill bomber to a professional skateboarder.  Yeah, pretty cool.

The post Smokin Js – Activism, Family, Culture appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Cannabis seen as safer than alcohol – or sugar

The Leaf Online - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 15:39

At least cannabis won’t give you cancer, liver damage, cavities or diabetes. And it turns out that it might even protect against some symptoms of alcohol abuse. Most Americans today recognize that consuming cannabis poses fewer harms to health than does the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, or sugar, according to the findings of a nationwide […]

The post Cannabis seen as safer than alcohol – or sugar appeared first on The Leaf Online.

Bill Allowing Financial Institutions to Work with Marijuana Industry Passes WA Senate Committee, Already Passed Full House

The Joint Blog - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 01:58
Legislation to explicitly give permission to financial institutions to provide services to licensed marijuana businesses has been approved by the Washington State Senate Committee on Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

The committee voted 5 to 1 today to pass House Bill 2098, which was filed by Representative David Sawyer (D) and is cosponsored by Representatives Brandon Bick (R), Steve Kirby (D) and Cary Condotta (R). The measure, which passed the full House of Representatives last month in an 82 to 12 vote, would provide “immunity from state criminal prosecution to a financial institution providing financial services to licensed marijuana businesses and qualifying patients, health care professionals, and providers under medical marijuana laws.”

For purposes of the bill, “financial institution” is defined as “a bank, trust company, mutual savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union authorized to do business and accept deposits in Washington under state or federal law. Financial institutions are generally regulated by the Department of Financial Institutions.”

The full text of House Bill 2098 can be found by clicking here. It must now be passed by the full Senate before it can be sent to Governor Jay Inslee for final consideration.

The post Bill Allowing Financial Institutions to Work with Marijuana Industry Passes WA Senate Committee, Already Passed Full House appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Israel Committee Gives Approval to Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

The Joint Blog - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 01:47
Israel’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation has approved a proposal that would decriminalize the possession and use of marijuana.

The measure, put forth by Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud), would make the possession of marijuana for personal use a maximum fine of 1,000 shekels ($282) for someone’s first offense. For a second offense, the fine would be doubled. For a third offense, individuals would be put on a mandatory probation period. A fourth offense would remain punishable by potential jail time. Consuming marijuana in public – as well as distributing the plant – would remain a crime for someone’s first offense.

“When we started our struggle, people disrespected us, but the Ministerial Committee’s decision today is proof that a real, persistent struggle succeeds in the end”, says MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), who heads the Knesset Committee on Drug and Alcohol abuse and supports legalization. “This bill is far from being perfect, but it is a foot in the door on the way to full legalization.”

The legislation must now go through Israel’s full Knesset (parliament) before it can become law.

The post Israel Committee Gives Approval to Marijuana Decriminalization Measure appeared first on TheJointBlog.

Top 7 Useful Tips for Vaping Beginners

The Joint Blog - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 01:16
Here’s a useful list of the top 7 useful tips for vaping beginners

By Barbara M.

Vaporizers are one of the fastest growing entities in the world today. Popularity is accumulating swiftly, and the green rush has certainly contributed. By introducing a new, modern and healthier means of enjoying your Cannabis, vaporizers were bound to succeed. From the Volcano all those years ago to the newest high tech models like the Pax 3, vaporizers continue to blow us away. While I could spend all day telling you how brilliant vapes are, I will instead guide you from vaping newbie to expert.

 

Don’t Rush into Purchasing – Read Reviews

First off, you must decide on what vaporizer you plan to purchase. While the selection is continually growing, there are predominantly two kinds of vape available, Portable & Desktop. Desktop vapes are mains powered bulkier units which are known for their high quality vapor whereas portable vapes are usually battery powered devices designed for easy transportability and discretion. It is highly recommended to read reviews to make the decision process that little bit easier. Each vape has its pros and cons so weigh them up and make the call, you won’t be long forgetting the bongs or blunts and the smoke that accompanies them. After much deliberation, I found the Crafty to be my favorite portable vape while I found the Plenty to be top desktop.

 

Always sterilize your Unit before Use

It is extremely important when you purchase your vaporizer, that you sterilize it before you use it. While this may sound daunting, it isn’t. Simply turn your unit on to the highest heating setting and allow it a few minutes to do its thing. During manufacture, oils and residues can be left behind. By sterilizing your unit before use you allow the unit to evaporate these toxins away, ensuring only the cleanest, tastiest vapor reaches your mouth. The flavors produced are one of the biggest benefits to vaping, don’t jeopardise them by ignoring this simple step.

 

Ensure you Grind your Green Sufficiently

Each Vaporizer works to its best under different circumstances. One of these circumstances is how finely you grind your green. While some portable vaporizers appreciate a bulkier grind, others require a fine sand like texture for optimum vapor production. Grab yourself a good quality grinder and work according to what your vaporizer requires. As we all know, Marijuana can come in with different characteristics, some is dry, some is damp. There is numerous reliable articles online about vaping temperatures for cannabis consistency. Have a look or have a play around and find out for yourself.

 

Long, Slow Draws – Best Results

While you may be used to the fast, powerful hits from your favorite bong, vaporizers are very different. To achieve the greatest results from your vaporizer try to take long, exaggerated draws. By doing this, you prevent the temperature in the chamber from dropping, allow the vapor production to be at its maximum while also preventing yourself from inhaling any break away fragments of weed through your mouthpiece. While this technique may take some practice getting used to, once you’ve mastered it you will quickly realise why it is such an important aspect of vaping.

 

Be Patient – Rome wasn’t Built in a Day

Like with most good things, vaping takes getting used to. Try not to revert straight back to your unhealthy smoking habits, as things will get easier. We all know the saying Rome wasn’t built in a day, the same applies to vaping. While it can be frustrating at times trying new things, vaping is certain to pay off. Some vaporizers like the Crafty, have mobile Apps for all its settings. Once you find your favorites temperature and settings it only leaves you finding your favorite chair! Since vaporizers can activate up to 20% more THC than smoking, you might get stuck there.

 

Take Good Care of your Vaporizer

Probably the most important tip I can give you is to take good care of your vaporizer. Like anything else, it is imperative to keep your vaporizer clean. Over time residue will begin to build up, leaving the vaporpath and unit itself tainted. While this can lead to short term problems such as poor quality flavors or vapor it is the long term issues which are the real trouble. By ignoring the upkeep or cleanliness of your vape you threaten the longevity of the device. If choosing a device like the Crafty or Plenty, you are sure to have a vape for life if you look after it. Storz & Bickel are world renowned for their high quality products, and for good reason.

While vaping may not be as straightforward as a click of a lighter or the strike of a match, the benefits are unquestionable. While you will use significantly less weed, you will be getting clearer, cleaner highs and big money savings to match. The constant introduction of new vapes to the market is ensuring that the once too expensive units are now readily affordable. Like I said earlier, the vapes I would recommend are the Crafty & Plenty, however, it is up to you to decide what vaporizer ticks the most boxes for you.

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California: Alameda County District Attorney To Vacate Thousands Of Past Marijuana Convictions

NORML Blog - Wed, 02/21/2018 - 00:10

The District Attorney for Alameda County has announced her intent to automatically vacate thousands of past marijuana convictions. Alameda County, which includes Oakland, is the 7th-most populous county in California.

According to the DA’s office, there are an estimated 6,000 marijuana convictions eligible for either a sentence reduction or a dismissal.

“California is offering a second chance to people convicted of cannabis crimes, from felonies to small infractions, with the opportunity to have their criminal records cleared,” Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Mally said in a press statement. “We … intend to reverse decades of cannabis convictions that can be a barrier for people to gain meaningful employment.”

The policy change comes weeks after the San Francisco District Attorney’s office announced that it will review, dismiss, and seal an estimated 3,000 misdemeanor marijuana convictions dating back to 1975.

Seattle officials have also announced a similar plan to dismiss past convictions, opining, “[T]his action is a necessary first step in righting the wrongs of the past and putting our progressive values into action.” Last week, newly elected Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner also announced that his office will no longer prosecute marijuana possession offense violations.

Virginia Senate Unanimously Approves Bill to Allow Medical Use of CBD and THC-A Oil

The Joint Blog - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 06:30
A proposal to allow for the medical use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil and tetrahydrocannabinol-acid (THC-A) oil for any medical condition deemed appropriate by a practitioner has been passed unanimously by Virginia’s Senate.

House Bill 1251 was approved today 40 to 0 by Virginia’s Senate, a little over two weeks it was passed 98 to 0 by the state’s House of Representatives.

According to its official summary, the measure; “Provides that a practitioner may issue a written certification for the use of cannabidiol oil or THC-A oil for the treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of any diagnosed condition or disease determined by the practitioner to benefit from such use.” Under current law, “a practitioner may only issue such certification for the treatment or to alleviate the symptoms of intractable epilepsy.” The bill also “increases the supply of CBD oil or THC-A oil a pharmaceutical processor may dispense from a 30-day supply to a 90-day supply”, and “reduces the minimum amount of cannabidiol or tetrahydrocannabinol acid per milliliter for a dilution of the Cannabis plant to fall under the definition of CBD oil or THC-A oil, respectively.”

The full text of House Bill 1251, filed by Delegate Benjamin Cline, can be found by clicking here.

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Alaska House Unanimously Approves Bill to Legalize Hemp

The Joint Blog - Tue, 02/20/2018 - 06:09
Alaska’s House of Representatives has given approval to a bill that would legalize industrial hemp. 

Senate Bill 6 was passed today by the House of Representatives in a unanimous 36 to 0 vote. Filed by Senator Shelley Hughes, the proposal would separate hemp from the definition of marijuana, removing it entirely from the Alaska list of controlled substances. This would legalize the plant, allowing it to be grown an agricultural commodity. The measure has already unanimously passed the state’s full Senate, but needs to go back for a final concurrence vote before it can be sent to Governor Bill Walker for consideration.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with today’s vote, and I thank the House of Representatives for their strong support”, Senator Hughes said following the House’s vote. “As an agricultural crop, hemp has significant economic potential for Alaska as its uses are widespread and varied. It is also quite appropriate that this bill passed on Presidents’ Day. Many of our founding fathers, including Presidents’ George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams, grew hemp.”

Senate Bill 6 also clarified that “cannabidiol oil is not included in the definition of “hashish oil””,and clarifies that “adding industrial hemp to food does not create an adulterated food product”.

The full text of Senate Bill 6 can be found by clicking here.

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Study: CBD May Help Treat, and Cause the Death of, Endometrial Cancer

The Joint Blog - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 17:26
CBD (cannabidiol) and CBD-rich extracts may provide a potential treatment option for endometrial cancer, according to a new study published by the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

Endometrial cancer,

“Among a variety of phytocannabinoids, Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the most promising therapeutic compounds”, begins the study’s abstract. “Besides the well-known palliative effects in cancer patients, cannabinoids have been shown to inhibit in vitro growth of tumor cells. Likewise, the major endocannabinoids (eCBs), anandamide (AEA) and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), induce tumor cell death.”

The purpose of the present study “was to characterize cannabinoid elements and evaluate the effect of cannabinoids in endometrial cancer cell viability.” Endometrial cancer is a variety of cancer that begins in the lining of the uterus.

After conducted a series of tests, researchers found that “these data indicate that cannabinoids modulate endometrial cancer cell death. Selective targeting of TPRV1 by AEA, CBD, or other stable analogues may be an attractive research area for the treatment of estrogen-dependent endometrial carcinoma.”

They conclude by stating that; “Our data further support the evaluation of CBD and CBD-rich extracts for the potential treatment of endometrial cancer, particularly, that has become non-responsive to common therapies.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at the Universidade do Porto in Portugal, can be found by clicking here.

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Federal government sued over its cannabis ban

The Leaf Online - Mon, 02/19/2018 - 15:47

A judge for the Federal District Court in Manhattan heard arguments on Valentine’s Day, Februrary 14, in a lawsuit that asserts the DEA has known since the 1972 Shafer Commission report that cannabis is wrongly classified as a Schedule 1 substance. The federal Commission’s review was launched with the passage of the Controlled Substances Act […]

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Maine first state to protect employment rights

The Leaf Online - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 19:19

Maine has become the first state to protect employment and other rights for cannabis consumers. Provisions in the state’s 2016 voter-initiated marijuana law that seek to limit employers from penalizing employees for their off-the-job marijuana use went into effect last week. The language stipulates: “A school, employer or landlord may not refuse to enroll or […]

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Legal Marijuana Sales Delayed in Canada

The Joint Blog - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 18:36
Despite Canada’s longstanding plan to begin legal marijuana sales in July, a Canadian official has conceded that they won’t actually begin until August, maybe a little later.

As recently as last week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government was insistent that it was still on track to begin legalization in July, which has been the plan for quite a while now. However,  Health Minister Ginette Petitpas said Thursday that this simply won’t happen, and sales aren’t going to begin in July. Instead, sales are likely to begin in August, or potentially shortly thereafter. The change in time-frame is based on the Senate’s updated timetable for considering the issue, which has already been passed by the House of Commons.

Petitpas Taylor says that provincial and territorial governments need eight to 12 weeks following senate passage and royal assent (final approval) to prepare for legal marijuana sales. This means that there won’t be enough time to begin sales in July. However, it looks as if September should be the latest that sales start, unless things are pushed back once again.

Once Canada’s legalization law takes effect, Canada will become just the second nation to allow recreational marijuana sales following Uruguay.

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Trump pushes prison over treatment for drugs

The Leaf Online - Fri, 02/16/2018 - 15:42

The Trump Administration’s 2019 budget, released February 12, has alarmed drug policy reform advocates by increasing funding for prisons and programs most associated with the harms of the Drug War. Two years ago, President Obama’s budget focused more money on treatment and prevention than enforcement and interdiction. Trump’s budget proposal once again appears to be a […]

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