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Former U.S. Rep. Explains What Obama Can Do Right Now To Support Marijuana

The Weed Blog - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 18:00
In anticipation of President Obama’s delivery of the State of the Union address, former United States Representative Anthony Weiner published an article for Business Insider explaining that now is the time for President Obama to make a push for federal marijuana reforms. Mr. Weiner felt that such efforts should be laid out in the State

D.C. Police Chief: Marijuana Decriminalization Makes Jobs Easier

The Weed Blog - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 17:00
Last year Washington D.C. decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. People are no longer being arrested for possessing personal amounts of marijuana in Washington D.C.. Instead, they are given a $25 ticket. Washington D.C. has one of the best decriminalization laws in the country. This has freed up law enforcement to go after real

Minnesota Native American Tribe May Enter The Marijuana Industry

The Weed Blog - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 16:30
Recently the federal government came out and stated that they would not prevent tribes from growing and selling marijuana if the tribe decided to do so on tribal lands. Slowly but surely, some tribes are exploring the idea. One tribe in California has already stated that they will be growing marijuana, although the only sales

Arizona Medical Marijuana Sales Tripled In 2014

The Weed Blog - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 16:00
The medical marijuana industry is booming in states that allow sales of medical marijuana, especially in Arizona. The numbers are in for 2014, and it’s clear that Arizona’s medical marijuana industry had it’s biggest year to date. Sales of medical marijuana in Arizona tripled last year. Per the Arizona Daily Star: The Arizona Department of

Maine Senator Introduces Bill To Allow Medical Marijuana At Hospitals

The Weed Blog - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:26
Hospitals should be places where patients go to get better. Hospitals should be places where you are allowed to take medicine that helps your health. However, if a patient tries to consume medical marijuana at a hospital, they are likely to get kicked out, which is sad. One Senator in Maine wants to change that.

Oregon Marijuana Growers Scrambling For Real Estate

The Weed Blog - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 14:25
When I first started consuming marijuana in the mid-90’s (I’m 33 years old), there were tons of consumers for every marijuana grower in Oregon. I don’t have an exact ratio because obviously no one kept track of such things. However, marijuana was not nearly as easy as cheap and available as it is now in

State Of The Union Rhetoric Rings Hollow To Marijuana Activists

The Weed Blog - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 04:14
The 2015 State of the Union speech is in the history books, and television news shows and social media are all over it with reviews and opinions. I think I’m with most marijuana fans in that I’m disappointed that there was no mention of marijuana at all. I wasn’t expecting there to be a lot

International Cannabis Business Conference Focuses On Activism On Day 1

The Weed Blog - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 17:47
When we named the International Cannabis Business Conference The Weed Blog’s Marijuana Event of 2014, it wasn’t just because the event was a great time. Of course, it’s a great time with the cannabis community converges upon a cannabis friendly city to network and share ideas, but it’s because the event melds both activism and

Effort To Legalize Marijuana In Mississippi Is Underway

The Weed Blog - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 16:36
Mississippi is not a friendly place when it comes to marijuana policy. Get caught with even a little bit of marijuana for a second offense, and you could be looking at 3 years in prison and a hefty fine. Selling a small amount results in a similar penalty. Distributing or cultivating within 1500 feet of a

Donate To SAFER’s 10th Anniversary Party

The Weed Blog - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 15:31
I can’t believe it’s been ten years since S.A.F.E.R. was launched. They are trying to crowd fund $5,000 to throw an anniversary party, and they are very close. More information is below. Click here to donate: In January 2005, Steve Fox and Mason Tvert set out to change the culture in Colorado. They did so

Fury as Indonesia Executes Foreigners for Drug Trafficking

The Joint Blog - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 15:16

By Australian Associated Press

Indonesia.

Brazil and the Netherlands have recalled their ambassadors from Indonesia and expressed fury after Jakarta defied their pleas and executed two of their citizens along with four other drug offenders.

The other convicts to face a firing squad were from Vietnam, Malawi, Nigeria and Indonesia. The six were the first people executed under new President Joko Widodo.

Indonesia has tough anti-drugs laws and Widodo, who took office in October, has disappointed rights activists by voicing support for capital punishment despite his image as a reformist.

He defended the executions, saying drugs ruin lives.

A spokesman for Brazilian President Dilma Roussef said she was “distressed and outraged” after Indonesia ignored her last-ditch pleas and put to death Marco Archer Cardoso Moreira, who was convicted of smuggling cocaine into Indonesia in 2004.

“Using the death penalty, which is increasingly rejected by the international community, seriously affects relations between our countries,” the spokesman said in a statement.

The Brazilian ambassador to Jakarta was being recalled for consultations, the spokesman added.

Meanwhile Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said the Netherlands had also recalled its ambassador over the execution of Dutchman Ang Kiem Soei, and in a statement described all six deaths as “terribly sad”.

“My heart goes out to their families, for whom this marks a dramatic end to years of uncertainty,” Koenders said. “The Netherlands remains opposed to the death penalty.”

Dutch King Willem-Alexander and Prime Minister Mark Rutte had been in contact with the Indonesian president about the matter, he said, and the government had done “all in its power” to try to halt the execution.

Widodo on Sunday defended the death penalty in a Facebook post.

“The war against the drug mafia should not be half-hearted measures, because drugs have really ruined the good life of the drug users and their families,” he said.

“There is no happiness in life to be gained from drug abuse. The country must be present and fight with drug syndicates head-on,” he added.

“A healthy Indonesia is Indonesia without drugs.”

All the prisoners, who had been sentenced to death between 2000 and 2011, were executed shortly after midnight, the attorney general’s office said.

All had their appeals to the president for clemency rejected last month.

Jakarta had an unofficial moratorium on executions for several years from 2008 but resumed capital punishment again in 2013. There were no executions last year.

Widodo, known as Jokowi, has taken a particularly hard line towards people on death row for narcotics offences, insisting they will not receive a presidential pardon since Indonesia is facing an “emergency” over drug use.

Following Sunday’s executions, the number of people on death row for drugs-related offences stood at 60, around half of whom are foreigners, said a spokesman for the national narcotics agency.

Widodo’s tough stance has sparked concern for other foreigners sentenced to death, particularly two Australians who were part of the Bali Nine group caught trying to smuggle heroin out of Indonesia in 2005.

One of the pair, Myuran Sukumaran, also had his clemency appeal rejected last month but authorities say he will be executed with fellow Australian Andrew Chan as they committed their crime together.

Chan is still awaiting the outcome of his clemency appeal.

The post Fury as Indonesia Executes Foreigners for Drug Trafficking appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Cannabis May Prevent and Treat Non-Alcohol Related Fatty Liver Disease

The Joint Blog - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 14:46

Cannabis may treat as well as prevent non-alcohol related fatty liver disease, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Hepatology, and published online by the National Institute of Health.

According to researchers; “Obesity and associated metabolic syndrome have quickly become a pandemic and a major detriment to human health globally. The presence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD; hepatosteatosis) in obesity has been linked to the worsening of the metabolic syndrome, including the development of insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.”

They continue; “Currently, there are few options to treat NAFLD, including life style changes and insulin sensitizers. Recent evidence suggests that the cannabinoids Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) and cannabidiol (CBD) improve insulin sensitivity; we aimed at studying their effects on lipid levels.”

After examining the effects THCV and CBD on lipid levels using “a variety of in vitro and in vivo systems, with special emphasis on models of hepatosteatosis”, it was found that “THCV and CBD directly reduce accumulated lipid levels in vitro in a hepatosteatosis model and adipocytes. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance- (NMR) based metabolomics confirmed these results and further identified specific metabolic changes in THCV and CBD-treated hepatocytes.”

Researchers note that; “Treatment also induced post-translational changes in a variety of proteins such as CREB, PRAS40, AMPKa2 and several STATs indicating increased lipid metabolism and, possibly, mitochondrial activity. These results are supported by in vivo data from zebrafish and obese mice indicating that these cannabinoids are able to increase yolk lipid mobilization and inhibit the development of hepatosteatosis respectively.”

The study concludes; “Our results suggest that THCV and CBD might be used as new therapeutic agents for the pharmacological treatment of obesity- and metabolic syndrome-related NAFLD/hepatosteatosis.”

The study, conducted by researchers in Italy and the U.K, can be found by clicking here.

- TheJointBlog

The post Cannabis May Prevent and Treat Non-Alcohol Related Fatty Liver Disease appeared first on The Joint Blog.

US IL: Column: Medical Pot Is Not About Cheech & Chong or Drug

MAP - Cannabis - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 08:00
Chicago Sun-Times, 20 Jan 2015 - What a shame that it's not looking good for medical marijuana in Illinois. Illinois became the 20th state to allow medical marijuana under a pilot program approved Aug. 1, 2013. Yet, the process dragged on, and former Gov. Pat Quinn left office without finalizing it. Now our current governor has said, "I'm concerned about the process," so the waiting game continues.

US WA: OPED: Regulating Medical Marijuana

MAP - Cannabis - Tue, 01/20/2015 - 08:00
Seattle Times, 20 Jan 2015 - AS the Legislature moves this session to address the unregulated medical-marijuana market, all parties must agree on a common objective: safe, affordable patient access. While stakeholder concerns should be considered, they must be scrutinized and remain secondary to patient interests. As a Washington State Liquor Control Board member, I have a bias: I believe we have established a tightly regulated system that can provide high-quality, safe medical cannabis for patients, with little risk of youth access or federal intervention. While many in the medical-marijuana industry argue that a separate system could be established to do the same, the need for costly duplication must be proven. An evaluation would be hard-pressed to show that existing licensees, who have invested in good faith in our system, cannot meet the needs of medical cannabis patients.

Want Legalization in Your State?

NORML Blog - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 16:17

How do we move from prohibition to legalization in my state?

That’s one of the most asked questions we hear every week at NORML.

With national media attention focusing on the favorable experience with legalization in Colorado and Washington, and on the not-yet-implemented legalization programs recently adopted in Oregon and Alaska, anyone living in a state that continues arresting and jailing marijuana smokers would naturally wonder why their state seems to have missed out on the drive to end marijuana prohibition.

More accurately, many of those states are lagging behind in the legalization movement, but that, too, will change. As we continue to gather data demonstrating these new laws are working as intended, with few unintended consequences, the drive to end marijuana prohibition will soon reach every state in the union, and beyond. We are no longer debating theory and conjecture; we now have real-life experiences that can be evaluated, and that data resource will grow with each new state.

Patience and persistence still required

We all need to accept the reality that changing public policy is a complex process that requires financial resources, re-education and political organizing. Following more than 75 years of criminal prohibition, and “reefer madness” propaganda by our state and federal governments, many Americans — especially older Americans — hold a negative view of marijuana and marijuana smoking, believing it presents a risk to health or public safety.

Since all but a few of us have lived under prohibition for our entire lives, it is understandable that many would presume there must have been some justification for those tens of millions of marijuana arrests. Surely our own government would not needlessly wreak havoc on all those lives and careers without a good reason.

To Read the Balance of This Column, please go to Marijuana.com.

US FL: State Pot Committee Heavy With Commercial Interests

MAP - Cannabis - Mon, 01/19/2015 - 08:00
Orlando Sentinel, 19 Jan 2015 - Florida's rules for medical marijuana will be crafted in part by a 12-member panel that includes Winter Garden nurseryman Bruce Knox and at least eight others in position to make money from the law. The 12 make up a committee formed to help the Florida Department of Health determine how to select, license and regulate Florida companies to grow a non-euphoric cannabis, make a medicinal oil from it and sell it to patients.

U.S. Attorney General: Feds Can No Longer Accept Property Seized by State and Local Police

The Joint Blog - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 22:36

By Drug Policy Alliance

Property Seizures by Local and State Police Often Conducted Under Pretext that Property Is Connected to Illegal Drugs

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

WASHINGTON, DC — [On Friday], Attorney General Eric Holder issued an order establishing a new policy prohibiting federal agencies from accepting civil asset forfeiture assets seized by state and local law enforcement agencies unless the owner is convicted of a crime. The U.S. Treasury Department, which has its own forfeiture program, is issuing a similar policy.  The Department of Justice becomes involved after a state or local law enforcement agency seizes property pursuant to state law and requests that a federal agency take the seized asset and forfeit it under federal law.

For years, advocates have criticized the Department of Justice practice of accepting and processing seized assets such as cash, cars and other property from state and local law enforcement agencies through its Equitable Sharing Program, which retains 20 percent of the proceeds from the seizure received from a state or local law enforcement agency and returns 80 percent of the proceeds to the state or local law enforcement agency that initiated the seizure. The practice has enabled some state and local law enforcement to bypass state laws that prohibit police departments from keeping the proceeds from civil asset forfeiture or impose a stricter legal standard for seizing property.

The Washington Post has recently documented widespread abuse of this practice, usually as part of carrying out the war on drugs.

Bipartisan support for civil asset forfeiture reform is growing in Congress. Last week, key congressional leaders including Sens. Charles E. Grassley (R-IA) and Mike Lee (R-UT), signed a letter calling on Holder to end the Equitable Sharing program that was the subject of the policy change today.  Sen. Grassley, who chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, which has oversight over the Equitable Sharing Program, has named civil asset forfeiture as one of his top legislative priorities for this year.

In 2014, Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced legislation to reform asset forfeiture and is expected to soon reintroduce this legislation with bipartisan support. Advocates applaud Attorney General Holder’s decision to prohibit state and local law enforcement from utilizing the Equitable Sharing program for most civil asset forfeiture seizures but urge Congress to pass legislation that makes this reform permanent and fixes federal forfeiture more broadly.

“First, sentencing reform, then marijuana reform, and now asset forfeiture reform,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “Eric Holder will go down in history for his pivotal role in addressing the excesses and abuses of law enforcement in America.”

The post U.S. Attorney General: Feds Can No Longer Accept Property Seized by State and Local Police appeared first on The Joint Blog.

US CO: Marijuana Retailer Open In De Beque

MAP - Cannabis - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
The Daily Sentinel, 18 Jan 2015 - The first recreational marijuana store east-bound drivers encounter after crossing the Utah-Colorado border on Interstate 70 had a steady trickle of in-state and out-of-state traffic during its opening weekend. Shoppers holding driver's licenses from Colorado, Utah, Arizona, North Dakota, and Minnesota, to name a few states, came to Kush Gardens in De Beque after the shop opened its doors for the first time Saturday morning, according to employees. By Sunday afternoon, an estimated 300 to 400 adults had visited the store, according to Stephanie Swank, a bud tender at Kush Gardens.

US MI: State Supreme Court Hears Medical Marijuana Arguments

MAP - Cannabis - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
The Daily Tribune, 18 Jan 2015 - Justices of the Michigan Supreme Court spent Thursday morning listening to oral arguments in three medical marijuana cases that began in Oakland County. Up first was the case of Richard Hartwick, who was accused of illegally growing and possessing marijuana in September 2011 in Pontiac.

US MA: City Moves To Make Public Pot Smoking Criminal

MAP - Cannabis - Sun, 01/18/2015 - 08:00
The Eagle-Tribune, 18 Jan 2015 - Police Chief, Councilor Support Criminalizing Public Pot Smoking, but Mayor Opposes It HAVERHILL - City Council is expected soon to vote on a proposal to toughen the penalty for anyone caught smoking marijuana in public, including making it a criminal offense and increasing the fine from $100 to $300.
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