A new study has found that “blood levels of tetrahydrocannabinol do not correlate well with the level of impairment”, and heavy marijuana use doesn’t consistently lead to “cognitive and psychomotor impairment”.
“Marijuana is the most widely consumed illicit substance in the United States, and an increasing number of states have legalized it for both medicinal and recreational purposes”, begins the abstract of the study, which was published in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia, and epublished ahead of print by the National Institute of Health. “As it becomes more readily available, there will be a concurrent rise in the number of users and, consequently, the number of motor vehicle operators driving under the influence.”
With that in mind, the study examined “the cognitive and psychomotor effects of cannabis, as well as current policy concerning driving under the influence of drugs.” To do so, “The authors performed a MEDLINE search on the epidemiology of cannabis use, its cognitive and psychomotor effects, and policies regarding driving under the influence of drugs.”
Twenty-eight epidemiological studies, 16 acute cognitive and psychomotor studies, 8 chronic cognitive and psychomotor studies, and pertinent state and federal laws and policies were reviewed.
Researchers found that “Current evidence shows that blood levels of tetrahydrocannabinol do not correlate well with the level of impairment.” In addition, although acute infrequent use of cannabis typically leads to cognitive and psychomotor impairment, “this is not consistently the case for chronic heavy use.”
The study concludes by stating that “To establish the framework for driving under the influence of cannabis policy, we must review the current published evidence and examine existing policy at state and federal levels.”
The state with the country’s harshest marijuana laws can become the 30th to legalize medical cannabis on June 26 when Oklahoma voters go to the polls to decide on State Question 788.
The measure would allow licensed patients and/or caregivers (18 years old or older) to grow up to 12 plants and create a commercial market with dispensaries, cultivators, processors and testing labs. To apply for the latter licenses, you’ll have to be 25 years old. Read the text of SQ 788 here.
Currently in Oklahoma, possession of any amount of flower, hash, concentrates or paraphernalia are misdemeanors punishable by a maximum of one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Sale or distribution are felonies, punishable by a maximum penalty of life in prison and a $500,000 fine for flower and $50,000 for concentrates. See NORML’s guide to Oklahoma Laws & Penalties here.
YES ON 788’s WILLIAM JONES: “State Question 788 was designed to make Oklahoma the most patient-oriented and business friendly state for the medical marijuana industry.”
Predictably, Republican Oklahoma Senator James Lankford opposes the measure: “If you read it, it’s a recreational marijuana bill. It’s very clear the way it’s written, to allow people to have access to it, in quantities they can grow, they can store, they can have, and it’s very open on how you get a prescription and what it can be for. So, it’s most definitely an opening toward recreational marijuana. I do not think the best thing that we can do for our kids is to get their parents and grandparents to smoke more marijuana. I have yet to see a single employer come to me and say, ‘You know what I really need? I need more employees at lunch smoking marijuana before they come back for the afternoon. That’s what I really need more of in my workplace.’”
The Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission voted unanimously yesterday to approve the state’s first-ever recreational marijuana business license.
The commission approved granting the license to Sira Naturals, a marijuana cultivation facility (located in Milford). The company currently grows medical marijuana.
“We’re very excited about it and we are going to work very, very hard to continue our tradition of providing premium cannabis sustainably grown and sold with integrity,” saidSira Naturals CEO Michael Dundas following the commission’s approval of his company’s license.
Following yesterday’s meeting Steven Hoffman, Cannabis Control Commission Chairman, said that “Even though this is a significant milestone”, he wants “to stress it’s the beginning, not the end”. The commission is expected to reviews dozens more applications in the coming days.
Sira Naturals was granted a tier-3 license, allowing them to grow between 10,000 – 20,000 square feet. Although they can’t sell what they grow to consumers, they can sell it to licensed marijuana retail outlets, who in turn will supply it to anyone 21 and older who wishes to purchase it.
New York Health Commissioner Howard Zucker announced this week that a forthcoming report conducted by his office will recommend that the state legalize marijuana.
The Health Department report will recommend that “a regulated, legal marijuana program be available to adults in the state”, Commissioner Zucker said at a recent press conference. “We looked at the pros, we looked at the cons, and when were done, we realized that the pros outweighed the cons. We have new facts.” The complete report is expected to be released in the near future, potentially as soon as next week.
The announcement from Commissioner Zucker comes just weeks after the New York City Comptroller’s office stated that they estimate New York would garner $434 million in annual tax revenue if the state legalized marijuana for adults.
The upcoming Health Department report was commissioned by Governor Andrew Cuomo, who hasnt publicly endorsed legalization.
Legislation that would add two new conditions that qualify someone to become a medical cannabis patient has been passed by Delaware’s full legislature.
According to its official summary, House Bill 374 “adds glaucoma and chronic debilitating migraines to the list of debilitating medical conditions which may qualify a person, upon certification by a physician, to be eligible for the use of medical marijuana in accordance with the terms of the Delaware Medical Marijuana Act.”
The measure was passed by the House of Representatives last month in a unanimous 41 to 0 vote. It was passed by the Senate yesterday, also unanimously (19 to 0). The bill will now go to Governor John Carney for consideration. Although Carney has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without a signature, or vetoing it, the legislature can override a veto with 2/3rds vote.
Below is a list of the current conditions that authorize an individual to become a medical cannabis patient in Delware:
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Severe and persistent muscle spasms
House Bill 374 was introduced by Representative Peter Schwartzkopf with 23 cosponsors. Initially the measure would have also added “pediatric autism spectrum disorder” and “pediatric sensory processing disorder” to the state’s medical cannabis program, but the House amended the measure to remove these conditions.
While enthusiasm around the legal cannabis business continues to build, the hemp industry may be poised for explosive growth as well.
For now, however, public equity investors have relatively few options for hemp compared to the availability of cannabis stocks on the OTC market, such as Canadian companies that trade in Canada and the U.S. and larger companies with some exposure to the booming legal cannabis investors.
More of an agricultural and industrial product, hemp fiber and seeds are used in a wide variety of products; in addition, the plant contains CBD, a cannabinoid that can be extracted. Its use gaining in popularity for its purported health benefits.
Hemp is a close relative of cannabis, but does not contain psychoactive properties that make you feel high. Despite that fact, federal law classifies it under the Controlled Substances Act as a Schedule I drug.
Despite this, 38 states currently have pilot programs in place to grow hemp. Most were set up after Congress included a measure in the 2014 Farm Bill that laid out hemp guidelines for states to follow. Under those guidelines, 11 …
Here’s the summary of Bill C-45, the legislation passed by Canada’s Parliament on June 19 that legalizes marijuana:
“This enactment enacts the Cannabis Act to provide legal access to cannabis and to control and regulate its production, distribution and sale.
“The objectives of the Act are to prevent young persons from accessing cannabis, to protect public health and public safety by establishing strict product safety and product quality requirements and to deter criminal activity by imposing serious criminal penalties for those operating outside the legal framework. The Act is also intended to reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis.”
“(a) establishes criminal prohibitions such as the unlawful sale or distribution of cannabis, including its sale or distribution to young persons, and the unlawful possession, production, importation and exportation of cannabis;
“(b) enables the Minister to authorize the possession, production, distribution, sale, importation and exportation of cannabis, as well as to suspend, amend or revoke those authorizations when warranted;
“(c) authorizes persons to possess, sell or distribute cannabis if they are authorized to sell cannabis under a …
Marijuana prohibition is history in Canada. Last night, after months of negotiations, Parliament approved a bill to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adults. After one formality — Royal Assent — Canada will become the second nation to end marijuana prohibition and the first G7 country to do so.
Regulations vary by province, but most set age limits at 18 or 19 to match the legal age for alcohol and tobacco in Canada. Once the law takes effect, adults can possess up to 30 grams and grow up to four plants in their homes. Read more about this historic legislation.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government is expected to move quickly to implement the new policy, and retail marijuana stores will soon be opening just north of our border.
And that is all the more reason for our Congress to enact the STATES Act, which would allow American states to decide their own marijuana laws without federal interference.
This is an important day to acknowledge. After decades of harm caused by marijuana prohibition laws, nations around the world are beginning to come to their senses. Canadians should be proud that their country is leading the way among major governments.
The Health Commissioner of New York, Howard Zucker, recently announced that a long-awaited study by the Cuomo administration will recommend the legalization and regulation of marijuana for adult use. The study is believed to be at least partly in response to gubernatorial primary candidate Cynthia Nixon’s strong support of marijuana legalization.
Mr. Zucker also announced that the Health Department will issue regulations to allow patients who have been prescribed opioids to qualify for the state’s medical marijuana program. Not all patients can qualify under the existing chronic pain provision, since opioids may also be prescribed for severe but short-term pain, such as after surgery. The New York Senate also passed a bill to do the same, as well as to allow patients with opioid use disorder to qualify.
While the state’s legislative session is ending soon, New York is moving closer to ending marijuana prohibition!
In other news, New York City Mayor Bill DiBlasio, under increasing pressure to address the racial disparity in low-level marijuana arrests, announced a new policy designed to reduce arrests and give more tickets instead. Unfortunately, the policy, which will take effect September 1, has so many exceptions its impact may be limited.
With the passage of the Senate bill C-45 on June 19, Canada officially legalized marijuana.
Canada is the second country to make such a move. Uruguay legalized it in 2013.
“Our plan to legalize & regulate marijuana just passed the Senate,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted.
The margin in favor was an overwhelming 52 to 29, with two abstentions. The bill gives provinces eight to 12 weeks to begin selling marijuana commercially. Originally, the plan was to launch on July, but the legislation forced a delay.
The ICBC will take place in Vancouver.
It’s the perfect time to attend an event in Canada’s cannabis capitol, Vancouver, affectionately known as Vansterdam. The International Cannabis Business Conference (ICBC) there is scheduled for June 24-25. It’s not too late to register and book flights and hotel reservations at Sheraton Wall Centre.
“The ICBC is fortunate that our Vancouver event is occurring just five days after the first G7 nation on Earth legalized,” says Alex Rogers, ICBC founder and CEO.
Why Vancouver over Toronto as a choice of location? “Toronto is clearly the Canadian cannabis financial capital,” …
Canada’s full House of Commons and Senate has officially passed the same marijuana legalization bill, sending it towards Royal Assent.
C-45 was passed by the Senate today in a 52 to 29 vote. Having already passed the House of Commons, it will now be sent to the Governor General for Royal Assent (final approval). With Royal Assent essentially being a formality, it’s all but official that Canada has legalized marijuana, with the law expected to be in full swing by September.
Once the law does takes effect, those 18 and older will be allowed to legally possess and grow marijuana for personal use. They’ll be able to buy the plant through licensed marijuana stores, or by purchasing it online. Although the age limit is set at 18, some provinces are expected to set the limit at 19.
“We have witnessed today a very historic vote that ends 90 years of prohibition”, Senator Tony Dean said following the Senate’s vote. “It ends 90 years of needless criminalization, it ends a prohibition model that inhibited and discouraged public health, and community health approaches in favour of ‘just say no.’ Approaches that simply failed our young people miserably”.
Passage of the law makes Canada the second country to legalize marijuana, following Uruguay which legalized in 2013.
A bill that could restore the ability to provide free, untaxed cannabis to low- or no-income patients is now being considered in the California State Assembly. SB 829 would allow taxes to be waived for medical cannabis that is donated, free of charge, for medical cannabis patients. This is a welcome improvement for patients with limited means.
It is no surprise that seriously ill patients can be faced with little or no income. Combine that with the fact that medical insurance providers don’t cover medical cannabis, and it can create a serious financial burden on medical marijuana patients. Today in California, even cannabis that is donated free of charge must be taxed an excise tax. This is unfair to those in need. SB 829 aims to provide relief. For a look at the latest bill text, click here.
Under the bill, both cultivators and retail dispensaries would be excused from the tax burden on cannabis that is donated to those who qualify. It’s a simple change but an important one.
Massachusetts’ Cannabis Control Commission (CCC), tasked last June by the legislature and governor to draft and implement the establishment of a retail cannabis industry approved by Bay State voters in 2016, publicly indicated for the first-time last week that their self-directed date to open non-medical cannabis retail outlets of July 1 will not be realized.
The CCC will not issue licenses to cultivate, process or sell cannabis by July 1, explaining that the Commission’s intent is to avoid a specific date for implementation of rushed, mistake-laden employee background checks, consumer chaos and confusion and product inventory problems that incurred in the six previous states that have created commercial markets for cannabis (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Nevada and California).
Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission director Steve Hoffman: “We’re going to do this right.”
At a meeting on June 15, the CCC acknowledged that nearly 1,100 applications for cannabis-related businesses had been received by the state since the application process officially opened on June 1. However, only 53 applications had been fully completed (most of the first 28 applicants are, unsurprisingly, retail medical cannabis companies already operating in Massachusetts). The next meeting is scheduled for June 19.
CCC director Steve Hoffman says the Commission wants to maximize efforts to have safe, compliant and uniformly regulated cannabis retail shops across the entire state and not rush to hit an arbitrary deadline. “We’re going to do this right,” he stated. “If that means we have few or no stores on July 1 and it takes a few more weeks, I hope and expect that everybody in the state believes that’s the right thing to do. We certainly believe that’s the right thing to do.”
New polling shows that for the first time a majority of adults in France support legalizing marijuana, and a much larger majority support medical marijuana legalization.
According to the new poll from Institut français d’opinion publique (Ifop) for Terra Nova and Echo Citoyen, 51% of those in France support marijuana legalization, with 40% opposed; the remaining 9% are currently undecided on the issue.
Thierry Pech, head of Terra Nova, says the poll marks a “turning point”, saying that “French people made the finding that prohibition and repression did not work to preserve the health of users”.
The poll found that if taxes from legal marijuana were used to support the nation’s health system, 72% would be in favor.
In regards to medical marijuana, the new survey found 82% to be in favor, with 62% supporting the legal availability of the medicine through all forms.
On July 1, Vermont will officially become the ninth U.S. state where it’s legal for those 21 and older to possess marijuana for personal use.
The new law – which was signed by Governor Phil Scott in January – will also make Vermont the eighth state where it’s legal to cultivate marijuana for personal use, and the first to do so through state lawmakers (rather than a citizen’s initiative). Specifically, the law allows those 21 and older to grow up to two mature, and four immature plants in a private residence. The possession limit is set at an ounce, although the limit doesn’t apply to marijuana harvested from personally grown plants, as long as it remains stored on-site (in other words someone can grow and possess, say, four ounces, but they can’t leave their house with more than an ounce).
Unfortunately Vermont’s law doesn’t authorize marijuana retail outlets. This makes Vermont the only state where marijuana possession has been legalized that doesn’t allow marijuana stores. However, marijuana advocates continue to push lawmakers to allow such businesses, and are hopeful that lawmakers will get on board in the near future.
On July 1 Vermont will join Washington, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada, Massachusetts, Maine, California and Alaska as legal marijuana states; Washington D.C. has also legalized. Of these locations, only Washington doesn’t allow home cultivation of marijuana.
Roger Stone (left) and Michael Caputo (right) met with a Russian national in 2016.
Embattled Trump loyalist Roger Stone is among Robert Mueller’s targets as the special counsel continues his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential elections.
On June 17, it was revealed that Stone and former Trump campaign official Michael Caputo took a meeting in May 2016 with a Russian national in hopes of securing information harmful to Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.
Stone and Caputo conveniently did not remember attending the meeting. However, during his recent interview with Mueller, Caputo’s “recollection was refreshed regarding one brief interaction with a Russian national in May of 2016,” according to a letter to House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes sent by Caputo’s attorney.
“In the course of his interview with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, this specific contact was not discussed since at the time of this interview, Mr. Caputo had simply forgotten about this brief encounter in 2016,” the attorney added.
Roger Stone says his meeting with a Russian national in 2016 was “so ludicrous that I forgot about
Later in June, Oklahomans will head to the polls and decide whether patients with serious health conditions should be allowed to safely access medical marijuana. If you know anyone living in Oklahoma who supports sensible marijuana policies, make sure they go vote on June 26.
The grassroots group backing the initiative, Yes on 788, is doing an excellent job with a limited budget, and polls look encouraging. Roughly 60% of Oklahomans say they favor the initiative. But opponents are misleading voters about what the initiative would do, and this could be a close one.
Tens of thousands of patients in Oklahoma would see their lives and well-being improve if voters pass State Question 788. No family should have to watch a loved one suffer from a debilitating medical condition while a safe and effective treatment is available.
There’s a lot at stake. Let’s cheer on Oklahoma and support their effort to provide compassion and relief to patients who need it.
Next week, on June 26, an initiative to legalize medical marijuana will be up for a vote in Oklahoma.
State Question 788, to legalize medical cannabis, will be voted on June 26 in Oklahoma. Put forth by the nonprofit Oklahomans for Health, the initiative would allow those with a doctor recommendation to legally possess and use medical cannabis and cannabis products. A state-licensed system of dispensaries would be authorized to sell the plant to qualified patients. The proposal doesn’t establish a list of qualifying conditions, instead leaving it up to physicians to decide who can benefit from the medicine.
Under the initiative patients would be allowed to purchase and possess up to three ounces of cannabis, and up to 72 ounces of cannabis-infused products such as edibles and topicals.
Below are some further details on the measure:
Obtaining a state-issued medical marijuana license would require a board-certified physician’s signature.
People with licenses would be permitted to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana on their person and 8 ounces of marijuana in their residence.
A 7 percent tax would be levied on marijuana sales, with revenue being allocated to administrative costs, education, and drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
Licenses would be required to operate dispensaries, commercial growing operations, and processing operations. Municipalities would be prohibited from restricting zoning laws to prevent marijuana dispensaries
The full text of State Question 788 can be found by clicking here.
As American society evolves, can the concept of marriage evolve too? After my discussion with one punk-rock bride who opted to smoke pot at her recent wedding, it may be time to revisit our stereotypes.
Congratulations on your recent marriage. What was the planning process like?
It’s a rabbit hole. For instance, my mother-in-law was convinced that square tables would ruin the wedding. Apparently, round tables are more “intimate.” I knew everyone was going to get drunk and dance, and no one was going to care about the goddamn table shape. That’s when I realized planning a wedding isn’t about me or my partner’s love for each other, it’s about the fucking party.
Why didn’t you just elope then?
Trust me, that was our first thought. But family excitement won out and we decided to endure the craziness. So we went ahead knowing the wedding was for them, but the marriage is for us. We got really good at saying no to just about everything.
“I never thought of myself as a stereotypical anything, let alone bride.”
Where was the wedding?
It was outdoors, at a lakeside in the mountains in Pennsylvania, all DIY. It seemed fitting because we spent a ton of time up there working on an old cabin, a teardown we fixed room by room.
Portugal’s full parliament overwhelmingly approved a bill today that would legalize marijuana-based medicines, reports Reuters.
Only one party, the center-right CDS-PP, abstained in the vote. The bill would legalize prescription marijuana to treat chronic pain, post traumatic stress disorder, side effects from cancer therapy, and a list of other ailments. The bill now goes to President Marcelo Rebelo de Souza who can sign it into law, allow it to become law without a signature, or veto it.
Under the proposed law all marijuana medicines will need to be licenses from regulator Infarmed, the body which last year authorized a medical marijuana plantation in central Portugal for export.
“Portugal, on the Atlantic coast has a warm temperate subtropical climate, with mild winters, warm summers and lots of sunny days, which is often compared to that of California, making it an ideal place for cannabis cultivation”, states the Reuters report.
In Portugal the possession of all drugs, including marijuana, has been decriminalized since 2001. However, if President Souza signs the parliament-approved medical marijuana law, it would mark the first time the nation has legalized marijuana for recreational or medical use.
Voters using the Democratic ballot for yesterday’s South Carolina’s primary voted in support of medical marijuana by a whopping vote of 82-18%. This is an incredibly strong showing, and clearly voters are ready for this change. No doubt lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are taking notice.
Several candidates who support medical marijuana also did well. Congressional GOP candidate Katie Arrington, who supported this year’s medical cannabis bill as a House member, won her party’s primary with 51% of the vote, defeating incumbent Rep. Mark Sanford. Meanwhile, Democrat James Smith, a strong advocate for patients while serving in the House, won the primary contest for Democratic gubernatorial candidate with 62% of the vote.
In the state House races, supportive Republican lawmaker Rep. Jonathan Hill prevailed over his challenger. And challenger and supporter William Bailey won his contest against incumbent Rep. Greg Duckworth. On the Democrat side of the aisle, incumbent Reps. Leon Howard, Jerry Govan, Jr., and Cezar McKnight each prevailed against challengers.
Medical cannabis did well yesterday, as did many candidates who are supportive of change. For comprehensive election results, click here.
In the past 24 hours, there have been two significant advances toward modernizing Delaware’s marijuana laws. Yesterday, Rep. Helene Keeley put forth amendments to her marijuana legalization and regulation bill, HB 110, which address concerns and reduce the number of votes needed for passage. Then, this morning, the Senate unanimously approved a limited but important marijuana expungement bill!
Let them know it’s past time to end Delaware’s failed experiment with marijuana prohibition. Our software makes the process quick and easy. Just type in your contact info and your lawmakers’ names and phone numbers will appear — one at a time — along with some suggested talking points.
With the legislative session ending on June 30, there’s no time to waste. So, make a couple of calls to help make history! Then, spread the word on social media or by email, to ask other thoughtful Delawareans to speak out for sensible marijuana policies.
A detailed, peer-reviewed study published this week by the National Institute of Health found “no association between cannabis use and suicidal behavior in men or women with psychiatric disorders”.
The purpose of the study, which was also published by the journal Biology of Sex Differences, was to ” investigate the association between cannabis use and suicide attempts in men and women with psychiatric disorders.” To do so researchers “employed a multivariable logistic regression to assess the association between cannabis use and suicide attempts in men and women with psychiatric disorders.”
Researchers analyzed data from 465 men and 444 women. Amongst these, 112 men and 158 women had attempted suicide. The average age of our participants was 40 years.
“We found no significant association between suicide attempts and cannabis use in men or women”, states the study. “Our findings indicate that there is no association between cannabis use and suicidal behavior in men or women with psychiatric disorders”.
The study concludes by noting that “The impact of cannabis use in psychiatric disorders needs ongoing examination in light of its common use, impending legalization with expected increased access and the uncertainty about cannabis‘ effects on prognosis of psychiatric disorders. In addition, research should continue to investigate modifiable risk factors of SB in this population of which cannabis is not a significant factor based on this study.”
Oregon made nearly $9 million in taxes from legal marijuana sales in April.
According to Oregon’s Department of Revenue, the state garnered $8,868,932 in marijuana sales taxes in April of this year. This marks an over 70% increase from April, 2017, when the state brought in a little over $5 million in marijuana taxes.
Of the $8.8 million in taxes garnered in April, the vast majority – $7.6 million – came from Oregon’s 17% state tax on marijuana. The remaining $1.2 million came from local taxes, which can be up to 3%.
Based in the new figures for April, Oregon is on tract to garner around $100 million in marijuana taxes for 2018, which would be a large increase from the $68.6 million the state made in 2017.
In Oregon the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is legal for those 21 and older, who can buy the plant and products made from it at licensed marijuana retail outlets.