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Iowa Committee Votes to Reschedule Cannabis, Legalize its Medical Cultivation and Distribution

The Joint Blog - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 17:16

Iowa’s bipartisan, bicameral Cannabidiol Implementation Study Committee has voted in support of legalizing the distribution and private cultivation of cannabis for medical purposes. The committee also voted to recommend that the federal government and the Iowa Board of Pharmacy reschedule cannabis away from its current scheduling (schedule 1) which declares it as dangerous as heroin and other hard drugs.

The committee of five Republicans and five Democrats was established in response to a law which took effect in Iowa on July 1st; the law legalized the possession and use of cannabidiol for those with seizure disorders, though the law established no means for a patient to obtain the medicine legally.

The committee voted 6 to 4 (with just one Republican voting in favor) to recommend legalizing cannabis distribution and cultivation. The vote was much more conclusive – 9 to 1 – when calling for a rescheduling of cannabis to schedule 2.

Unfortunately the committee’s vote isn’t legally binding, and instead is meant as a recommendation to the legislative body as a whole. The vote, however, will certainly have an impact on the conversation moving forward, and will hopefully lead to further reform in the upcoming session.

TheJointBlog

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Alex Hitt and Sandi Kronick on the Community of Good Food

Youtube - Farm Aid - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:40
Alex Hitt and Sandi Kronick on the Community of Good Food
Farmer Alex Hitt and CEO of Eastern Carolina Organics Sandi Kronick talk about the importance of direct markets and the community that is built around good food. Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid's board of directors in 2001. For more information about Farm Aid, visit: http://farmaid.org/youtube From: farmaid Views: 67 1 ratings Time: 02:02 More in Nonprofits & Activism

Farmer Profiles: Russ Vollmer

Youtube - Farm Aid - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 12:37
Farmer Profiles: Russ Vollmer
Fifth-generation farmer Russ Vollmer returned to the family farm that his father John had transitioned from growing tobacco to growing good food. Today, Russ heads up Vollmer Farm, which serves the community with fresh, organic food and fun educational experiences via agritourism. Farm Aid was started by Willie Nelson, Neil Young and John Mellencamp in 1985 to keep family farmers on the land and has worked since then to make sure everyone has access to good food from family farmers. Dave Matthews joined Farm Aid's board of directors in 2001. For more information about Farm Aid, visit: http://farmaid.org/youtube From: farmaid Views: 56 0 ratings Time: 02:09 More in Nonprofits & Activism

Your Voice, Your Vote: Oregon Measure 91 (Tax and Regulate Social Cannabis)

Youtube - Regulate Marijuana - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 08:13
Your Voice, Your Vote: Oregon Measure 91 (Tax and Regulate Social Cannabis)
KATU's Chelsea Kopta, Salem Statesman Journal political reporter Anna Staver, Associated Press political reporter Jonathan J. Cooper, and Jim Moore, director... From: Regulate Marijuana Views: 1778 9 ratings Time: 05:50 More in Nonprofits & Activism

CN ON: Council Buzzing Over Smell From Grow-Op

MAP - Cannabis - Fri, 09/12/2014 - 07:00
The Niagara Falls Review, 12 Sep 2014 - The smell emanating from a medicinal marijuana grow-op on Lakeshore Rd. has prompted Niagara-on-the-Lake town council to send another complaint to Health Canada. Coun. Martin Mazza said the crop in the greenhouse at 1651 Lakeshore Rd. near Garrison Village will be harvested soon and already has a bad odour. The operation had been licensed under previous Health Canada regulations before new federal legislation took effect April 1.

Colorado: Over $29 Million in Legal Recreational Cannabis Sold in July

The Joint Blog - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 20:51

Over $29 million of legal recreational cannabis was sold in Colorado in July, surpassing the over $28 million in medical cannabis sold during the same month. In total $29.7 million of recreational cannabis was sold, compared to $28.9 of medical cannabis sold.

These sales brought in nearly $4 million in taxes for the state, $2.97 million from recreational sales, $838,711 from medical sales. This is according to data released by the Colorado Department of Revenue.

In Colorado the possession and state licensed distribution of up to an ounce of cannabis is legal for those 21 and older. Recreational cannabis sales officially began on January 1st.

-TheJointBlog

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US WA: Column: Legal Marijuana, Let It Be, Let It Be

MAP - Cannabis - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Walla Walla Union-Bulletin, 11 Sep 2014 - For the time being, your city can ban marijuana shops, just as it can ban other things that annoy its citizens and give its regulators palpitations. It can even ban things state law specifically accommodates and licenses, as long as it's not a head-to-head conflict or the Legislature didn't say shut up and take it. City-by-city NIMBYism gets a pass. Whether a ban is good or bad, beneficial or harmful, are separate questions. For now, they are local questions, between local voters and their municipal representatives, unless the Legislature or courts decide otherwise.

US AZ: Column: Patient Focused

MAP - Cannabis - Thu, 09/11/2014 - 07:00
Tucson Weekly, 11 Sep 2014 - Desert Bloom Re-Leaf Center on the Eastside Is Looking Toward the Future, While Helping Card-Holders in the Present "For the patients, by the patients." That's the slogan of Desert Bloom Re-Leaf Center, an innovative and progressive medical marijuana dispensary located on Tucson's east side at 8060 E. 22nd St.

CO Retail Pot Sales Surpassed Medical for the First Time in July

NORML Blog - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 18:00

Retail marijuana purchasers in July outspent medical cannabis buyers for the first time since the launch of Colorado’s adult-use market 9 months ago.

The state’s Department of Revenue recently reported that customers bought $29.7 million worth of legal marijuana last month ($5 million more than June), surpassing medical marijuana purchases which totaled $28.9 million in sales. Interestingly, this is despite the fact that medical dispensaries outnumber retail stores by a margin of 4 to 1.

According to Colorado Public Radio (CPR), there has been a 112% increase since sales first started, with more than 100 stores across the state having sold close to $145 million in pot. CPR further notes that, “Taken together, the medical and recreational marijuana industry have sold about $350 million worth of pot since January, contributing $37.5 million in taxes and fees to government coffers,” a portion of which is guaranteed to go to school construction.

With the exception of May, each month has set a new record in marijuana sales, so far showing that a legal marijuana regime not only works, but is proving to be valuable and growing source of revenue for the state – and its residents agree. A new NBC/Marist Poll found that Colorado’s retail cannabis market remains popular among Colorado residents, 55% of whom continue to support the passage and implementation of Amendment 64, the initiative that was passed in 2012 to tax and regulate sales to adults, aged 21 and over.

 

US FL: Florida A Step Closer To Medical Marijuana

MAP - Cannabis - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 07:00
The Palm Beach Post, 10 Sep 2014 - Barring Lawsuits, New Rule May Take Effect Late October. TALLAHASSEE - State health officials Tuesday started the countdown clock on a proposed rule governing the production and sale of a medical marijuana strain approved earlier this year by the Florida Legislature.

Seattle Hempfest 2014: Real One - Dab with Me (McWilliams Stage)

Youtube - Restore Hemp - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 05:45
Seattle Hempfest 2014: Real One - Dab with Me (McWilliams Stage)
Real One performs "Dab with Me" on the McWilliams Stage at Seattle Hempfest on August 16, 2014. Footage: Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) http://hemp.org From: RestoreHemp Views: 70 2 ratings Time: 02:13 More in Music

Ideal 420 Soil: This ‘Just Add Water’ Soil Works For Marijuana

Toke Signals - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 00:39
Like many who have grown their share of marijuana, I’m skeptical of claims that make the noble art of cannabis cultivation seem, well, too easy. Nurturing this weed through its vegetative cycle and then through flowering requires an attention to detail and a tuned-in way of being aware of the plant’s needs, and no product [...]

New Hampshire Man Acquitted of Cannabis Felonies Through Jury Nullification

The Joint Blog - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 19:12

A New Hampshire man facing felony charges for the cultivation of cannabis was declared “not guilty” on Friday because the jury found that punishing him would be unjust.

Doug Darrell, who’s 59-years-old, was arrested in 2009 after a National Guard helicopter found that he was cultivating 15 cannabis plants in his backyard. Despite there being undeniable evidence of the plants being grown, and despite Darrell admitting that the plants were his, the jury found him “not guilty” of all charges, effecting acquitting him of the offenses through jury nullification.

Jury nullification is the act of a jury acquitting someone of a charge by finding them “not guilty”, even if the evidence is clear that the individual did in fact commit the alleged crime. By doing this, jurors can literally ignore a law that they find unjust; for example, nonviolent crimes related to the drug war.

Although most judges prohibit attorneys from educating juries on the legality of jury nullification, at Darrell’s trial jurors were fully informed of this power. As per the recommendation of defense attorney Mark Sisti, Judges James O’Neill read aloud to the jury: “Even if you find that the State has proven each and every element of the offense charged beyond a reasonable doubt, you may still find the defendant not guilty if you have a conscientious feeling that a not guilty verdict would be a fair result in this case.”

Prior to the trial, Darrell rejected several plea deals, including one that included no jail time, because he felt he was doing nothing wrong (he argued he was using cannabis for religious purposes).

After deliberating for six hours, the jury unanimously declared Darrell not guilty.

Juror Cathleen Convers explained her reasoning in an interview with Free Talk Live, saying; “Mr. Darrell is a peaceful man. He grows for his own personal religious and medicinal use. I knew that my community would be poorer rather than better off had he been convicted.”

TheJointBlog

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Study: THC May Treat Symptoms of Diabetes

The Joint Blog - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 18:48

A study published this month by the journal Cell Biochemistry and Function, and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health, has found promising evidence to suggest that delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may provide a safe and effective treatment option for those with diabetes.

THC molecule.

For the study; “Rats were randomly divided into four groups: control, Δ9 -THC, diabetes and diabetes + Δ9 -THC groups. Δ9 -THC was administered intraperitoneally [through injection] at 3 mg/kg/day for 7 days. Body weights and blood glucose level of rats in all groups were measured on days 0, 7, 14 and 21.”

Researchers found that treatment with THC “significantly increased pancreas glutathione levels, enzyme activities of superoxide dismutase and catalase in diabetes compared with non-treatment diabetes group.. We can suggest that Δ9 -THC may be an important agent for the treatment of oxidative damages induced by diabetes.”

They continue; “Furthermore, the present study for the first time emphasizes that Δ9 -THC may improve pancreatic cells via cannabinoid receptors in diabetes.

The study concludes; “The curative effects of Δ9 -THC can be occurred via activation of cannabinoid receptors in diabetic rat pancreas. Moreover, it may provide a protective effect against oxidative damage induced by diabetes. Thus, it is suggested that Δ9 -THC can be a candidate for therapeutic alternatives of diabetes symptoms.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

TheJointBlog

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Philadelphia Mayor to Sign Cannabis Decriminalization Bill, After Some Changes

The Joint Blog - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 18:32

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter has announced that he will sign legislation to decriminalize cannabis possession, but only after the City Council makes some changes to a bill they approved in June with a 13 to 3 vote.

Under the proposal approved by the Council, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis would result in no more than a $25 ticket. Mayor Nutter, however, wants the bill to be amended so that the public consumption of cannabis is an $100 ticket, and so that anyone who receives a ticket would need to appear before a Municipal Court judge, though they would receive no criminal record.

According to Councilor Jim Kenney who introduced the bill, its approval would stop over 4,000 arrests for simple cannabis possession from occurring every year.

The City Council is expected to make the requested changes to the bill this Thursday once they return from recess, and it should receive one final vote a week later.

TheJointBlog

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Hempstalk Festival to be Held September 27-28th at Waterfront Park in Portland

Youtube - Regulate Marijuana - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 18:20
Hempstalk Festival to be Held September 27-28th at Waterfront Park in Portland
Hempstalk Festival is set for September 27-28th at Waterfront Park in Portland, Oregon. The annual event features bands, speakers, educational panels and foo... From: Regulate Marijuana Views: 139 2 ratings Time: 02:51 More in Nonprofits & Activism

Australia: Pot Of Gold

MAP - Hemp - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 07:00
The Mercury, 09 Sep 2014 - Government Finally Comes Around to Clinical Cannabis Trial MEDICINAL cannabis could rival the state's $100 million poppy industry if given the green light, the Opposition says, as the State Government finally throws its support behind a trial.

US GA: Column: Marijuana Legalization Has Many Benefits

MAP - Cannabis - Tue, 09/09/2014 - 07:00
Barrow County News, 09 Sep 2014 - "Reefer Madness" was a 1930's propaganda style film extolling the dangers of marijuana. The film has become infamous for its overdramatic portrayal that the drug would lead to chaos for its users. Decades later the rationale behind the effects of marijuana tends to be less extreme, but those people against its legalization should realize it's only a matter of time before other states decriminalize the substance.

Philadelphia: Mayor To Sign Marijuana Depenalization Measure

NORML Blog - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 22:16

City mayor Michael Nutter announced today that he will sign municipal legislation into law decriminalizing marijuana possession penalties.

Under the measure, penalties pertaining to the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis would be reduced from a criminal misdemeanor to a non-summary civil offense, punishable by a $25 fine – no arrest and no criminal record.

Members of the City Council in June voted 13 to 3 to reduce municipal marijuana penalties. A slightly amended version of this proposal is anticipated to be before the mayor by the end of this month. The revised language is expected to take effect on October 20.

Anyone cited under the pending ordinance would be required to make an appearance before a Municipal Court judge, but would not face criminal charges or a criminal record. Those caught smoking marijuana in public would face a $100 fine, which could be waived if the defendant agreed to perform several hours of public service.

Philadelphia NORML had long lobbied in support of a change in the city’s criminal classification of marijuana possession offenses. A 2013 review of marijuana arrest data by the organization reported that African Americans are arrested in Philadelphia for minor marijuana violations at five times the rate of whites despite both races consuming the substance at nearly equal rates.

“This will go a long way toward a much more saner and a much better policy for people in Philadelphia,” said Chris Goldstein, PhillyNORML co-chair. “This is something that should have happened earlier in the summer. It would have alleviated almost 1,000 people getting arrested.”

It remains to be seen to what extent local police will enforce the new ordinance, once enacted. In past statements, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey had publicly pledged to ignore the ordinance, stating, “State law trumps city ordinances.”

[UPDATE! It is now being reported that Chief Ramsey is on board with the amended ordinance.]

Italian Army to Grow Medical Cannabis

The Joint Blog - Mon, 09/08/2014 - 21:53

Italy’s army will soon begin growing cannabis to help meet the country’s needs for cannabis-derived medications.

The Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Defense have reached an agreement that will put the military in charge of operations to cultivate cannabis and to produce cannabis-based medicines, according to the Italian newspaper La Stampa.

According to the agreement, a military pharmaceutical plant in Florence that currently produces drugs for Italy’s armed forces, as well as other products for the market including cosmetics and spirits, is where the cannabis will be grown under strict-control.

Although the private cultivation of cannabis is currently illegal, cannabis-derived medicines, such as Sativex, are legally allowed for those with a prescription.

The Italian government is expected to make a formal announcement about the move at the end of September.

TheJointBlog

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