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Arizona: Judge Rules DHS Wrongly Denied Hearing On Medical Marijuana For Parkinson's

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

An Arizona judge has ruled that the state Department of Health Services wrongly denied a hearing to petitioners who want people with Parkinson's disease to qualify for medical marijuana.

"In a desire for professionalism, the department has utilized a standard of proof that is higher than the rules call for," Administrative Law Judge Dorinda Lang wrote in an eight-page ruling signed May 24 and released publicly on Tuesday, reports Ray Stern at Phoenix New Times.

Arizona voters in 2010 approved a list of ailments that qualify state residents to legally use cannabis. Last year, the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association submitted eight petitions to add new qualifying ailments to the state's medical marijuana law, all of which were denied.

The group, led by Heather Manus, a registered nurse, appealed the denials for patients suffering from Parkinson's and Huntington's diseases. They got the pro bono help of San Diego attorney and former Tucson dispensary owner Ken Sobel.

Arizona: Marijuana Legalization Backers Outraged By Erroneous Op-Ed On Tax Revenue

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Backers of a plan to legalize marijuana in Arizona are outraged over an unsigned editorial in the Arizona Republic published on August 21 using inaccurate tax revenue figures to back its claim that campaign leaders are lying.

After being notified of the error by the Phoenix New Times, the Republic later issued a correction, reports Ray Stern.

The op-ed was responding to a claim made by the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol's message from August 19 at the state Capitol that its planned November 2016 ballot measure, if passed, could bring in $40 million or more annually to Arizona public schools.

The measure in question would create a system of retail cannabis stores where adults 21 and older would pay a 15 percent tax on marijuana sales. After taking the money needed to run a new bureaucracy to oversee that system, 80 percent of the remaining tax revenue would go to funding kindgartens and public schools.

The unsigned editorial claims the legalization campaign's figure is a "lie," suggesting that backers of the measure might be so high on weed that they'd try to deposit the fake check they used for a prop.

Study: Daily Marijuana Use Doesn't Change Brains Of Teens Or Adults

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

It's a repeating pattern. Last year, the mainstream press gave lots of attention to a study suggesting that daily marijuana use could cause abnormalities in the brain. But now that new research, using better techniques, indicates that claim simply isn't true, it doesn't get nearly as much coverage.

The authors of the new study, "Daily Marijuana Use Is Not Associated with Brain Morphometric Measures in Adolescents or Adults," which was published in the latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, suggest that alcohol use was actually responsible for the brain changes found in previous studies, reports Ray Stern at Phoenix New Times.

An abstract of the study describes how scientists could not replicate recent research that claimed cannabis use "is associated with volumetric and shape differences in subcortical structures."

The MRI brain-scan reports of 29 adults and 50 adolescents who use cannabis daily were compared with MRI scans of the same numbers of adult and teen non-users of cannabis.

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