Bermuda House Passes Bill to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession

Bermuda’s House of Assembly has overwhelmingly approved legislation to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis.

The Misuse of Drugs (Decriminalization of Cannabis) Amendment Act, tabled by Minister of Social Development and Sport Zane DeSilva, would decriminalize the possession of up to seven grams of cannabis for personal use. The measure now goes to the Senate for consideration. Passage in the Senate would send it to Governor John Rankin who could sign it into law, allow it to become law without his signature, or veto it.

Although police would no longer be able to arrest individuals with up to seven grams of cannabis under the proposed law, they could still seize it. The minister would also be tasked with drawing up regulations for substance abuse education or treatment for those caught possessing cannabis.

According to a Profiles of Bermuda poll released in 2015, 79% of voters in Bermuda support either decriminalizing or legalizing cannabis.

The post Bermuda House Passes Bill to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/bermuda-house-passes-bill-decriminalize-cannabis-possession/…

Study: Cannabis May Help HIV Patients Keep Mental Stamina Longer

A new study published in the journal AIDS has found that THC can potentially slow the process in which mental decline can occur in up to 50% of HIV patients.

“It’s believed that cognitive function decreases in many of those with HIV partly due to chronic inflammation that occurs in the brain,” says Norbert Kaminski, lead author of the study which was conducted at Michigan State University. “This happens because the immune system is constantly being stimulated to fight off disease.”

According to Science Daily, Kaminski and his co-author, Mike Rizzo, a graduate student in toxicology, discovered that the compounds in marijuana were able to act as anti-inflammatory agents, reducing the number of inflammatory white blood cells, called monocytes, and decreasing the proteins they release in the body.

“This decrease of cells could slow down, or maybe even stop, the inflammatory process, potentially helping patients maintain their cognitive function longer,” Rizzo said.

The two researchers took blood samples from 40 HIV patients who reported whether or not they used marijuana. Then, they isolated the white blood cells from each donor and studied inflammatory cell levels and the effect marijuana had on the cells.

“The patients who didn’t smoke marijuana had a very high level of inflammatory cells compared to those who did use,” Kaminski said. “In fact, those who used marijuana had levels pretty close to a healthy person not infected with HIV.”

Kaminski, director of MSU’s Institute for Integrative Toxicology, has studied the effects of marijuana on the immune system since 1990. His lab was the first to identify the proteins that can bind marijuana compounds on the surface of immune cells. Up until then, it was unclear how these compounds, also known as cannabinoids, affected the immune system.

HIV, which stands for human immunodeficiency virus, infects and can destroy or change the functions of immune cells that defend the body. With antiretroviral therapy — a standard …

Pennsylvania: Permitted Hemp Crops to Grow From 50 to 5,000 Acres in 2018

Pennsylvania officials plan to increase the number of acres permitted for the cultivation of industrial hemp next year from less than 50 acres to over 5,000, reports 90.5 WESA, a National Public Radio station.

This year marked the first time since the 1930s that farmers in Pennsylvania could legally grow hemp, thanks to legislation approved by state lawmakers in 2016. Although less than 50 acres were permitted for hemp cultivation in 2017, State Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding says the agency plans to increase this 100-fold in 2018, to around 5,000 acres. Redding believes the crop could increase the productivity of existing farmland.

“Research … at Penn State (showed) that you can actually use industrial hemp as a double crop, behind wheat”, said Redding. “I think if that plays out to be real, that is a game changer. You immediately change what options farmers have and you open up new markets.”

Individual growers or higher education institutions can apply for permits to grow the crop, with applications for next year due by January 19th.

The post Pennsylvania: Permitted Hemp Crops to Grow From 50 to 5,000 Acres in 2018 appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/pennsylvania-permitted-hemp-crops-grow-50-5000-acres-2018/…

Over $4 Billion in Marijuana Sold in Colorado Since Start of Legal Sales

Effective today, the Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR) released statewide historical sales data on marijuana sales from January 2014 to present, and will release monthly reports going forward on the seventh business day of every month.

According to this data – dubbed the Marijuana Sales Report – there has been over $4 billion in marijuana and marijuana products sold since legal recreational sales began in 2014. The data shows that this year (up to the end of October) there has been $1,259,861,988 in marijuana sold, just shy of the $1,307,203,473 sold in 2016. In 2015, there was just shy of $1 billion sold ($995,591,255), and in 2014, the first year of legal sales, there was $683,523,739 sold. For comparison, there has been $2,951,855,447.08 in legal marijuana sold in Washington State, though sales there began in July of 2014, not January like Colorado.

According to the CDOR; “The Marijuana Sales Reports show unaudited monthly sales as self-reported by businesses on State sales returns and do not use Metrc® data (the Marijuana Enforcement Division’s Marijuana Inventory Tracking System). The Marijuana Tax Data reports show tax revenue collected monthly as posted in the State’s accounting system.”

Below is a marijuana sales chart provided by the CDOR:

The post Over $4 Billion in Marijuana Sold in Colorado Since Start of Legal Sales appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/4-billion-marijuana-sold-colorado-since-start-legal-sales/…

Hiding The Smoke Smell

Just because you enjoy a certain hobby doesn’t necessarily mean you want to broadcast it to the entire world. Many people like to keep their hobbies private, and when you’re talking smoking, you’re probably talking about some kind of stigma involved. Hence, when you enjoy legal herbs and concentrates for either recreational or pain management, you might not want the universe to know.

There are certainly eye drops you can get to minimize the redness but smell of smoke is one of those things that’s a bit harder to cover up. People who smoke tobacco run into the same issue: the smell can cling. It clings to your hair, your clothing, your shoes, vehicle; anything. There are ways to manage and minimize the smell while still enjoying your hobby to the fullest. Maybe you need to manage it for work or maybe you just don’t like the smell of it yourself. Whatever your reason, here are some handy tricks for you to try.

When It’s On Your Person

Having the smell of legal herbs clinging to your clothes can dampen anyone’s mood. You don’t necessarily want to broadcast to your office what you do on your spare time and maybe you just want to save yourself the sermon from a conservative relative.

The best option to remove the smell from your clothes, skin and hair is to have a shower and change your clothes. Sounds simple, right? It might be simple but it’s not always doable. If you’ve had a hit while on your lunch break you don’t want to smell of it when you get back to work. So what can you do?

A lot of the same things people who smoke tobacco do:

  • Brush your teeth right after smoking. If you can, chew some gum. This will help remove the smell from your breath.
  • Lotions and body sprays can help cover up the odor on your skin and

New Ohio Initiative Would Legalize Marijuana, Advocates Hope to Place it on 2018 Ballot

Proponents of legalizing marijuana in Ohio have announced a new initiative that would do just that.

Advocates of the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Amendment are attempting to put their measure to a vote of the people during the November, 2018 general election. The initiative, described by supporters as a “free market” approach, would allow anyone 21 and older to possess and use marijuana and hemp, while establishing a system of licensed retail outlets and cultivation centers. Home cultivation for personal use would also be allowed.

“If you can own a bar, or make beer, wine or spirits, you will be able to own a marijuana dispensary, processor or cultivation,” says initiative supporters, who need to collect 305,592 signatures from registered voters in order to place the issue on next year’s ballot.

Although those behind the initiative are the same as those behind a failed 2015 initiative to legalize marijuana, supporters say the measure is quite different, and was developed after months of research and discussion.

An overview of the initiative – uploaded to Scribd by marijuana journalist Tom Angell – can be found by clicking here.

The post New Ohio Initiative Would Legalize Marijuana, Advocates Hope to Place it on 2018 Ballot appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/new-ohio-initiative-legalize-marijuana-advocates-hope-place-2018-ballot/…

Federal Survey: Teen Marijuana Use Down in Colorado and Washington, Now Lower Than it Was Prior to Legalization

According to survey data released by the federal government on Monday, the current rate of marijuana use among Colorado and Washington teens is now lower than it was prior to the states legalizing marijuana for adult use.

The rate of past-month marijuana use by individuals ages 12-17 dropped nearly 20% from 11.13% in 2014-2015 to 9.08% in 2015-2016, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) performed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). It is now lower than it was in 2011-2012 (10.47%) and 2012-2013 (11.16%). Marijuana became legal for adults 21 and older in December 2012, and legal adult marijuana sales began in January 2014.

The rate of past-month marijuana use among 12-17-year-olds also dropped in Washington (from 9.17% in 2014-2015 to 7.93% in 2015-2016), and it is now lower than it was prior to legalization in 2012 (9.45% in 2011-2012 and 9.81% in 2012-2013).

“Colorado is effectively regulating marijuana for adult use”, says Brian Vicente, partner at Vicente Sederberg LLC, who was one of the lead drafters of Amendment 64 and co-director of the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “Teen use appears to be dropping now that state and local authorities are overseeing the production and sale of marijuana. There are serious penalties for selling to minors, and regulated cannabis businesses are being vigilant in checking IDs. The days of arresting thousands of adults in order to prevent teens from using marijuana are over.”

Vicente continues; “These survey results should come as welcome news to anyone who worried teen marijuana use would increase following legalization. As a proponent of Amendment 64 and a parent of two young children, they certainly came as welcome news to me.”

The post Federal Survey: Teen Marijuana

President Trump Signs Bill that Protects State Medical Marijuana Laws

A day after the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate approved legislation that extends protections for state-level medical marijuana laws, President Trump signed the measure into law.

President trump signed the legislation into law this morning, temporarily preventing a government shutdown. The measure extends legal protections that prevents the government from using funds to enforce federal cannabis laws in states that have legalized the substance for medical uses (including those with a licensed dispensary system). The extension, however, is temporary; it will be valid until December 22nd, at which point lawmakers will need to pass another extension to avoid a shutdown of most government funding and to prevent invalidity the medical marijuana protections.

These protections – passed in 2014 as the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment – prohibits the Department of Justice and DEA from using federal funding to enforce federal marijuana laws in a state that has legalized medical cannabis.

The bill signed into law by President Trump also extends protections on state-level hemp research programs.

The post President Trump Signs Bill that Protects State Medical Marijuana Laws appeared first on TheJointBlog.

from https://thejointblog.com/president-trump-signs-bill-protects-state-medical-marijuana-laws/…

Why Stop At One? Collecting Water Pipes & Dab Rigs

When you have a hobby that requires more than one piece of gear, it’s really easy to get caught up in collecting. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, friends. When it comes to recreational legal herbs there are many glass pipes that can not only add to your collection and serve a different functional purpose. This makes it pretty seriously easy to justify hitting up your wallet for another piece.

12" water pipe with matrix diffuserDifferent situations call for different water pipes and it’s nice to be able to handle anything that gets thrown your way. But there’s a difference in assembling a huge collection just for the hell of it, and creating somethign special. There are some basics you should think about in order to round out what you’ve got. We’ll walk you through what pieces are a must for any avid collector.

Basic is Best

If you’re into the herbs and smoke on a regular basis you’ll want to ensure you’re stocked with a basic water pipe like this. While there are many cool designs out there that work pretty awesome as a conversation starter, if you’re smoking alone that doesn’t really matter.

It’s a smart idea to have your basic water pipe be made of scientific glass and to try to keep the size under 15”. This glass beaker pipe, as an example, will let you see the amount of smoke and water inside which will help you control your hits.

Basic water pipes should meet basic needs: size, percolation and construction. Keeping all of this simplified will help you from getting too caught up with the flashy pieces that are available out there. Remember, we said basic. A piece that meets these needs will be easier to clean, store and go softer on the throat.

Dab It While It’s Hot

If you partake of concentrates along with your legal herbs then you want to make sure you have yourself …

Congress Extends Window for continuing Medical Marijuana Protections

On Thursday, Congress reached a deal that would continue current government spending for another two weeks while they work toward reaching a final deal on next year’s spending budget. This means that the amendment to the current budget, which prevents the Department of Justice from interfering in state medical marijuana programs, will remain in place for now.

In September, the amendment that would continue these protections for patients and providers who are in compliance with state law were included in the Senate version of the budget, but the House Rules Committee prevented the House from voting on it. Now, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees must decide if they will include this language.

Marijuana policy advocates were increasingly concerned at the end of this week. If the amendment had not been included in the budget, or if this deal had not been reached and the government shut down, it would have allowed Jeff Sessions to direct the Department of Justice to begin targeting state-legal medical marijuana programs for the first time since 2014. Sessions has been trying to get rid of these protections for months, and he sent a letter to Congress in May urging them to strip the amendment from the spending bill.

The new deadline is now December 22. Please contact your members of Congress, and urge them to protect state medical marijuana programs.

The post Congress Extends Window for continuing Medical Marijuana Protections appeared first on MPP Blog.

from https://blog.mpp.org/medical-marijuana/congress-extends-window-continuing-medical-marijuana-protections/…