federal law

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U.S.: Veterans Increasingly Turning To Marijuana For PTSD Relief

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

More and more states and considering allowing military veterans and others with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to use medical marijuana for relief. But many veterans aren't waiting for permission.

Military veterans are increasingly using medicinal cannabis, although it remains illegal in most states and is frowned upon by the Department of Veterans Affairs, reports the Associated Press.

Marijuana does a lot better managing anxiety, insomnia and nightmares than the harsh pharmaceuticals approved by the federal government and handed out by the VA, according to many former members of the military. Prescription drugs such as Zoloft and Klonopin are often ineffective and make them feel like zombies, many veterans said.

"I went from being an anxious mess to numbing myself with the pills they were giving me," said 39-year-old former Marine Mike Whiter of Philadelphia, where marijuana is still illegal. "Cannabis helped me get out of the hole I was in. I started to talk to people and get over my social anxiety."

After Andy Zorn got home from serving with the Army in Iraq, he suffered from PTSD and self-medicated with cannabis. The VA diagnosed him with "marijuana dependence" as well as depression and bipolar disorder, according to his mother, Sally Schindel of Prescott, Arizona.

New Hampshire: House Kills Bill That Would Have Legalized Marijuana

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The New Hampshire House on Thursday killed a bill that would have legalized, regulated and taxed marijuana.

House Bill 1964 would legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older, and would impose a $15 tax per ounce on leaves, and a whopping $530 per ounce tax on flowers, reports Garry Rayno at the Union Leader.

The bill would allow adults to grow up to six plants; three could be mature plants.

“(HB 1694) would provide adult New Hampshire citizens with a controlled, tested, labeled, and less harmful alternative to alcohol,” said the bill's main sponsor, Rep. Geoffrey Hirsch (D-Bradford).

“How much more available can it be,” Hirsch said. “It's hard to imagine an environment where students have greater access to marijuana then they already do.”

But. Rep. John Tholl (R-Whitfield) wasn't having any of this marijuana business. "This is not the New Hampshire way, to say 'Yes you should use this federally illegal drug, while we are trying to stop the use of opioids," a nonsensical Tholl blathered.

The New Hampshire House several years ago approved a bill legalizing marijuana, but the bill died in the Senate. The House has approved decriminalization several times, but the more conservative Senate has also methodically killed all those bills.

U.S.: Democratic Congressman Wants To Defund DEA's Marijuana Eradication Program

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

U.S. Rep. Ted Lieu (D-California) is backing legislation to end funding for the Drug Enforcement Administration's wasteful marijuana eradication program.

“This is a ridiculous waste of precious federal resources, especially when multiple states and jurisdictions have already legalized marijuana,” Lieu said in a statement on Wednesday, reports Fox News. “It is time for the federal government to stop making marijuana use or possession a federal crime.”

Lieu's proposed amendment to a 2016 fiscal spending bill would cut in half the DEA's $18 million budget for eradicating cannabis grows, according to the report.

The $9 million in savings would fund domestic and sexual abuse support programs for children, reports Mark Hensch at The Hill.

Rep. Lieu on Wednesday said he intends to completely end the DEA's marijuana eradication program by fiscal 2017.

"Next year, I will bring another amendment to eliminate the program completely," he said.

Lieu called the program wasteful, given growing support for cannabis legalization nationwide.

Under the eradication program, DEA provides your tax dollars to state and local law enforcement agencies to confiscate and destroy growing marijuana plants. The program goes after both outdoor and indoor operations.

Washington: Cannabis Testing Lab Founder Dr. Michelle Sexton Interviewed

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As marijuana legalization has spread to new states and regions, the regulatory framework of the industry has struggled to adapt. How to ensure product safety via scientific testing has been a popular debate, and some legal markets have mandated testing for cannabis producers and retailers.

Ganjapreneur, a cannabis industry publication focused on business news and culture, recently published an interview with Dr. Michelle Sexton of PhytaLab about her take on cannabis testing regulations.

Dr. Sexton founded PhytaLab in 2010, and she has also served as a consultant to the Washington State Liquor Control Board on the implementation of I-502, the state’s bill which led to the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. She is a member of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines, and the Society of Cannabis Clinicians, and she is also an avid surfer and rock climber.

In the interview, Sexton explains how the lack of federal recognition of legal cannabis markets has made scientific research very difficult. "Due to the federal status, crowd-sourced science has virtually replaced clinical research, being 'loosely' conducted without the usual controls or theoretical frameworks," Dr. Sexton said.

Washington: Military Department Paying $110K To Settle Marijuana Activist's Suit

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Washington state Military Department has agreed to pay $110,000 to a King County marijuana activist and a Seattle attorney to settle a long-running public records lawsuit centered around the Washington National Guard's counterdrug task force.

Activist John Worthington of Renton and attorney William Crittenden sought the release of flight records and other documents, reports Adam Ashton at the Tacoma News Tribune.

Worthington, 51, had tried to get the records since 2008 under Washington's Public Records Act, which applies to state agencies. King County Sheriff's deputies seized six marijuana plants from Worthington's home in 2007.

"They went after me because I'm an activist, and I've been terrorized out of growing," Worthington told the Seattle PI at the time, reports Curtis Cartier at Seattle Weekly. "I can't have my kids frisked like they're criminals. That was disgusting. I'm not Al Capone -- I'm a dad."

The National Guard wasn't involved in that raid, but Worthington views the Guard's involvement as a federal entity in a state counterdrug task force as a violation of federal law prohibiting military authorities from participating in domestic law enforcement.

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