- SmoCAN Smoking System September 17, 2014
- CO Recreational Marijuana Sales Surpass Medical Marijuana September 16, 2014
- Congressman Seeks Finance Probe Over Anti-Marijuana Tour September 16, 2014
Marijuana News in MA and World
Colorado has reported that sales of recreational marijuana for the month of July have surpassed medical marijuana sales, marking the first time this has happened in the 9 months since recreational marijuana was legalized.
According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, customers bought $29.7 million worth of recreational marijuana, while medical marijuana sales came in at $28.9 million. Since retail sales first began,have sold roughly $145 million of marijuana. When combined with medical marijuana sales, the state of Colorado has sold a staggering $350 million worth of marijuana since January 2014.
Over 55% of residents support Colorado’s recreational marijuana movement.
A US congressman from Oregon has asked that the White House look into potential finance violations due to allegations that money to fund the upcoming Oregon marijuana “education tour” about the dangers of legalizing marijuana might have been donated by the federal government.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer referred to the tour as a “smokescreen” put on by anti-marijuana activists on a federal level to deter Oregon residents from voting for legalization. Oregon will join Alaska and the District of Columbia this November to vote on whether or not to legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older.
Blumenauer wrote in his letter to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy that, “the bias of the speakers selected, the overall one-sided focus of theand the proximity between these events and the upcoming election are cause for concern.”
Although Oregon fell short of recreational legalization a couple of years ago when Colorado and Washington became the first states to allow it, they are now favored to pass the law come November.
A new report published this week by former world leaders states that drug use should be decriminalized and governments should look into the idea of broad scale legalization.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy’s ideas are also shared by some of the leaders of the countries that have been most affected by the illegal drug market. They argue, that not only is the war on drugs pointless, it is also the main reason for the crime and violence it was originally set up to prevent.
Kofi Annan, the former United Nations secretary general says, “The facts speak for themselves. We need drug policies informed by evidence of what actually works, rather than policies that criminalize drug use while failing to provide access to effective prevention or treatment. This has led not only to overcrowded jails, but also to severe health and social problems.”
A report in 2011 came to a similar conclusion, and even went so far as to suggest some recommendations for the policy currently in place. They feel that drug use and possession in regards tothat disproportionately affect certain groups or minorities should be decriminalized. The report also suggests that experimental legalization, like in Colorado and Washington, should be done on a much larger scale in other countries. They believe that marijuana is a good place to start, but that it should not be limited there.
They go on to suggest that low level, non-violent drug dealers should not be sent to jail, but instead disciplined in a different and more humane way. The spokeswoman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Cameron Hardesty, seems to agree on this point. She says, “We agree that we should use science-based approaches, rely on alternatives to incarceration for non-violent drug offenders, and ensure access to pain medications. Our goals are not so dissimilar from the goals of the Global Commission. However, we disagree that legalization of drugs will make people healthier and communities safer.”
It will be great to see other states in the US following the example set by Colorado and Washington in the upcoming elections in regards to the recreational use of marijuana, as well as to see how Uruguay’s model of nationwide marijuana legalization works out. One thing is for certain - the current policy has to change.
While the majority of Americans are coming around to the idea that marijuana can be valuable, whether it be for recreational or medical purposes, the opposition is looking to a team of researchers in hopes that they can scare and influence policymakers into continuing to believe that marijuana is a dangerous substance. They claim the lack of testing that has been done on marijuana makes it a risky alternative to modern medicine.
It appears a great number of these researchers are receiving compensation by some of the biggest names in the pharmaceutical industry to remain anti-marijuana. The main reason being that marijuana could easily take the place of some of these companies’ highest grossing drugs.
Many crediblewho have spoken publicly about the “dangers” associated with marijuana use are getting paid by large-scale pharmaceutical manufacturers such as Purdue Pharma, creator of the painkiller, OcyContin.
People in the marijuana field feel that some of these doctors’ financial arrangements with big pharmaceutical companies should be considered a conflict of interest. Studies done on marijuana in association with pain relief have shown that it is a viable replacement for addictive opiates which mimic the effects of heroin. What they fail to mention, however, is that prescription painkillers are responsible for roughly 16,000 overdose deaths annually, while no one in recorded history has ever overdosed from marijuana use.
Nation magazine ran a story in July which stated that many of the largest anti-marijuana advocacy groups rely on funding from painkiller manufacturing companies such as Purdue Pharma. While these companies fill the general public’s heads with skewed opinions, they take away from one of the biggest problems facing the US, which is the over-prescribing of painkillers.
Meanwhile these companies pump more and more painkillers into the hands of the unsuspecting American public every single day because the media often tells them that opioids are a safer alternative to using the all-natural remedy, marijuana.
It appears the NFL will finally be looking towards changing their antiquated and overly severe drug policy. The NFLPA (NFL Players Association) will soon vote on some proposed changes to the NFL’s current policy.
If the changes are accepted, there would be an increased threshold for any player that tests positive for marijuana. Nate Jackson, a New York Times contributor, who was also a former NFL tight end, says that he medicated with marijuana for the majority of his career and feels that the way Cleveland Browns star wide receiver Josh Gordon was treated is unfair.
Jackson goes on to say, “Gordon has marijuana in his system. He broke the rules. I understand that. But this is a rule that absurdly equates marijuana with opiates, steroids, and PCP. The NFL’s threshold for disciplinary action for marijuana is 10 times higher than the one used by the International Olympic Committee.”
This is a long time coming for the NFL to take a look at the way they handle marijuana across the league. Morgan Fox of the marijuana policy project sums it up best by saying, “The NFL’s harsh marijuana penalties do nothing to promote the health and safety of the players.”
The Berkeley City Council in California has decided that medical marijuanashould give a break to patients who can’t afford to buy their marijuana at dispensaries.
The City Council unanimously voted on a measure that will force medicalto donate 2% of their inventory to state-approved medical marijuana patients who pull in less than $32,000 annually.
The program just passed and is expected to be underway by mid-2015.
Low income residents in need of medical marijuana are extremely pleased that this measure passed allowing them to get the relief they so desperately need, but struggle to afford.
California has allowed medical marijuana in the state for over 20 years and many California dispensaries have voluntarily provided medical marijuana to patients in need.
The Berkeley Patients group is athat has been giving marijuana to its patients for over 10 years. They believe that no one should be turned away based solely on their income.
A leading marijuana school is going from the classroom (sometimes held at Colorado University in ) to interactive online classes for the masses.
THC University has transformed all of its curriculum online as engaging interactive classes, making THC University the first massive open online courses (MOOC) school in the marijuana industry.
MOOC schools have lesson plans, quizzes, and get students to interact in classes which helps exercise the brain and increase memorization. MOOC schools also offer large amounts of free, or low cost, education when compared to other schools with all the benefits of being able to ask instructors questions and interact with students in an online community.
“We built the courses using the most modern education techniques to increase brain function, engagement and memory. We used the most advanced software to build our courses. We didn’t just make a Powerpoint presentation or make a bunch of YouTube videos like many other online cannabis schools. We knew why MOOC schools were successful, and we believe the cannabis community would benefit from this,” stated Matt Jones, President of THC University.
THC University provides marijuana education that can help people find a job in the marijuana industry at places such as , offices, edible makers, and elsewhere.
The federal government has decided to increase their marijuana supply for research purposes. The DEA announced last week that they will increase their marijuana production quota from a meager 21 kilograms to a whopping 650 kilograms in order to meet demand.
A farm at the University of Mississippi in Oxford is federally permitted to grow a set amount of marijuana to be used in clinical trials. All protocol must first be approved by the DEA, FDA, and the US National Institute on Drug Abuse before administering marijuana to human test subjects.
Marijuana advocates have been quick to point out that in the past the majority of the research being done by the federal government on marijuana has been designed to point out all the potential harms rather than the many therapeutic benefits.
A spokesman for the research said, “The additional supply of cannabis to be manufactured in 2014 is designed to meet the current and anticipated research efforts involving marijuana. This projection of increased demand is due in part to the recent increased interest in the possible therapeutic uses of marijuana.”
There are currently eight trials being done on marijuana’s effects on humans, but only two are devoted to researching the plant’s benefits.
A new hemp clothing company based out ofis enticing customers with an added gift of free marijuana with the purchase of their clothing.
Hemp House clothing announced that along with the clothing customers order they will also deliver an eighth of marijuana to the customers that are 21 years of age or older and that live in the Denver area. Upon delivery buyers will have to show a photo ID proving their age.
Anyone who does not live within the Denver metro area has been promised via the Hemp House website that they will not be excluded from the promotion. Instead they will be given “something special” in place of the eighth of marijuana.
For years, the federal government has subsidized studies designed to find negative effects from marijuana while blocking inquiry into its potential benefits. Ironically, their adamant search for downsides has created remarkable scientific insights that explain why marijuana is such a versatile remedy for many medical conditions and why it is the most sought-after “illegal” substance on earth.
There are over 100 unique cannabinoids identified in marijuana; of them, the best known is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s principal psychoactive component, and cannabidiol (CBD), marijuana’s anti-inflammatory component that can reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. In addition to the phytocannabinoids produced only by the cannabis (marijuana) plant, there are endogenous cannabinoids that occur naturally in the human brain and body.
Some highlights from the exploding field of cannabinoid science:
1. THC, CBD and other plant cannabinoids are not only effective for the management of cancer symptoms (nausea, pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, etc.), but they also aided a direct anti-tumoral effect, according to peer-reviewed studies by the Complutense University in Spain and the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.
2. The Scripps Research Institute in California found that THC inhibits an enzyme involved in the accumulation of beta amyloid plaque that disrupts communication between brain cells, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s-related dementia.
3. At Kings College in London, cannabinoid receptor signaling assisted neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells) in adult mammals and helped regulate the migration and differentiation of stem cells.
4. In China, scientists have shown that the pain-releiving effects of acupuncture are mediated by the same cannabinoid receptors that are activated by THC.
5. Pharmaceutical companies are attempting to induce therapeutic outcomes by manipulating levels of the body’s own cannabinoids. Animal studies indicate that it is possible to dissipate a wide range of pathological conditions (such as neuropathic pain, hypertension, colitis, and opiate withdrawal) by preventing/delaying the enzymatic breakdown of endogenous cannabinoids.