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Helping leaders make informed decisions about marijuana

Alcohol smoking a new risk to youth

8/27/14–The mechanism for smoking alcohol presents risk and is a dangerous practice for any one and may be even more risky for young people. An impressive body of medical research has established that the adolescent brain is not yet fully developed and is especially vulnerable to the effects of drugs and alcohol. Read

Peake: Expand medical marijuana to more georgians

TMR_Pocket_Article313_8.29.148/27/14–Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon), who championed a bill that would legalize cannabis oil for patients with seizure disorders, met with other members of the new Medical Cannabis Study Committee for the first time at the state Capitol Wednesday. After the meeting, Peake said he was not sure how far state legislators would be willing to go, but he supported extending the law to more people who are suffering. Read

Maine’s U.S. Senate candidates disagree on marijuana legalization

TMR_Pocket_Article316_8.29.148/28/14–U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, doesn’t support making marijuana legal for recreational use at the national level. Her position is in sharp contrast to that of her Democratic opponent Shenna Bellows, former executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. Collins’ position on legalization is at odds not only with Bellows, but with several local Republicans, including at least two candidates hoping to win seats in the Maine Legislature. Read

Aurora awards licenses for 21 recreational marijuana stores

8/28/14–Aurora announced Thursday it has awarded licenses to 21 businesses as the city’s first recreational marijuana shops, which can open as soon as Oct. 1. Each of the city’s six wards are allowed up to four recreational pot shops. Read

Judge upholds local pot business ban in Washington state

TMR_Pocket_Article315_8.29.148/29/14–Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper said Friday that a small city can continue to ban state-licensed marijuana businesses, in a case with big implications for Washington’s experiment in legal pot. Judge Culpepper issued the ruling after extensive arguments over whether Initiative 502, the voter-approved state law that legalizes adults’ recreational use of marijuana, left any room for such local bans. Read

Judd, Morgan meet at forum on medical marijuana

TMR_Pocket_Article314_8.29.148/28/14–Two of central Florida’s most high-profile public figures met for a forum on one of the state’s hottest political debates Thursday night in Lakeland. Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd and attorney John Morgan were among a panel of experts with a variety of opinions about whether or not voters should approve Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana, in November. Read

Marijuana legalization in Virginia? Gov. McAuliffe won’t push for it despite potential revenue windfall

8/27/14–Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe deems the legalization of medical marijuana far, far down the list of priorities and that it probably isn’t even on the radar. During a radio interview he states, “I’ve supported the issue of medical marijuana. . .It’s something I would look at. . .I am willing to talk about any issue.” However, he’s definitely “not there yet” on actually legalizing marijuana. Read

Montana ballot measure to ban all marijuana approved for signatures

5/29/14–Backers of a proposed ballot measure that would make marijuana illegal in Montana can begin gathering signatures. Supporters need to obtain at least 24,175 signatures of registered Montana voters by June 20 to qualify I-174 for the ballot, including at least 5 percent of the voters in 34 of the 100 state House district. Read

Senators ask White House to clarify marijuana laws

7/29/14–Democratic Sens. Michael Bennet and Mark Udall of Colorado and Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray of Washington wrote a letter to White House chief of staff Denis McDonough and Attorney General Eric Holder to call for “a clear, consistent and uniform interpretation and application” of federal drug laws in relation to their home states. Read

China’s eye in the sky zooms In on illicit activity

8/25/14–The biggest tracts of cannabis to have been detected in China since the founding of the People’s Republic in 1949 are in the northern provinces of Jilin and Inner Mongolia. These and other discoveries were made possible by images transmitted from space by Gaofen-1, China’s first high-resolution imaging satellite, the official China News Service reported on Monday. Read

Study finds 100% increase in marijuana related fatal crashes

8/19/14–A study found the number of people killed in marijuana-related accidents increased 100 percent over five years where the state legalized marijuana in various forms. Read

Marijuana to be most popular illegal drug at Houston high school campuses

TRM_Pocket_Article289_8.22148/20/14–According to Constance Phillips, a licensed chemical dependency counselor at Odyssey House, marijuana is expected to be the fastest-growing, most popular illegal drug on Houston high school campuses this coming school year. “Their interest in school declines, they don’t want to do anything, they become lazy, they become uninterested in the activities they were interested in before,” she said. Video

Indianapolis reminds first responders of marijuana policy

8/14/14–Indianapolis’ Director of Public safety will be sending a memo to all of his employees explaining that if any of them ingests marijuana in any way, anywhere, they will be punished. And the problem boils down to inconsistencies in marijuana laws. Director Riggs says he is simply being proactive, and that this is not the result of any incidents in the city. Read

Marijuana addiction is rare, but very real

7/20/14–Most people can use marijuana without becoming addicted. But for users with vulnerabilities like stress, mental illness, or a genetic predisposition, the risk of dependence is real. Dr. Alex Stalcup, medical director of the New Leaf Treatment Center in Lafayette, CA, recommends a simple test for addiction. “To make the diagnosis, we propose an experiment. In the experiment, we ask you for a defined period of time not to use. The basic question that we ask is, ‘Okay, so you smoke pot, that’s not the issue. Can you not smoke pot?’ Someone who’s not an addict, that’s not a problem..” Read

Marijuana ad in The NYTs: All the news that’s fit to smoke

8/2/14–Apparently, the advertiser getting all the buzz is Leafly. Interestingly, although the context is legal, the ad isn’t about selling marijuana but rather people sharing information about marijuana. So  is it really news? Read

DEA warns about potent marijuana-based ‘wax’ substance in central Indiana

TMR_Pocket_Article281_8.20.148/22/14–Wax, a highly potent marijuana-based product, is becoming the new drug of choice for teens and young adults. It’s loaded with THC, the mind-altering ingredient found in marijuana. The DEA is sending out an alert in Indiana because the substance is showing up there. Read

Biotech researcher finds medical pot laced with feces

8/8/14– Jessica Tonani, co-founder of the DNA sequencing company GnuBIO, examined contaminants to determine where they’re introduced and how to control for them. The first two samples turned up a long list of nastiness, including the fecal bacteria Enterobacter asburiae and the vaginal bacteria Gardnerella vaginalis. What this means, politely, is that many people handling pot don’t wash their hands. Read

High Times turns 40

8/28/14–High Times, the magazine that’s all about marijuana, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in September. “It’s always so funny when people find out High Times has been around for 40 years,” says editorial director Dan Skye. “And people who are just beginning to find out about cannabis … they’re absolutely blown away that a magazine has been doing this, all these years.” Read

Why synthetic marijuana is more toxic to the brain than pot

8/28//14–Because of its deadly toxicity, chemist John W. Huffman, PhD compared trying synthetic marijuana to playing Russian roulette. One reason that synthetic cannabis can trigger everything from seizures to psychosis is how it acts in the brain, and the high efficacy and potency. The number of emergency room visits for overdose from the synthetic drug has jumped. One teen died earlier this month after slipping into a coma, reportedly from using the drug. Read

Cannabis cuisine rises in wake of legalizations

8/28/14–Cannabis cuisine is a small niche in the culinary world but one that is drawing more interest as the legalization movement moves pot closer to the mainstream.  Finding hard data on pot cookbook sales is tough, but Amazon’s rankings show that several are enjoyed renewed sales vigor, particularly considering their specialty status and that most are at least several years old. Read

Marijuana compound may offer treatment for Alzheimer’s disease

8/27/14–Extremely low levels of the compound in marijuana known as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, may slow or halt the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, a recent study from neuroscientists at the University of South Florida shows. Findings from the experiments, using a cellular model of Alzheimer’s disease, were reported online in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. Read

Self-service pot? Marijuana vending machines could grow

8/27/14–Automated pot-vending devices may be the future of self-service marijuana purchases. State regulation says the vending machines can only be used inside a dispensary, not a recreational shop. Customers whose age is verified at the front door must still use their ID to access the vending machine. Read

Investors take aim at Canada’s marijuana industry

8/16/14–Ever since Health Canada unveiled plans to open up the market in 2014, upstarts have been popping up everywhere, opening factories, setting up greenhouses, and wooing investors. Canada’s burgeoning marijuana sector is drawing comparisons to the dot-com boom of the late 1990s when investors rushed in to take advantage of a hot sector, and were duped by bold promises of future earnings that never materialized. Read

3 reasons why marijuana stock GW Pharmaceuticals could fall

TMR_Pocket_Article298_8.22.148/21/14–Although no one can predict with certainty whether shares in GW Pharma will rise or fall, three challenges may face the company that could weigh on the stock, and they are highlighted and addressed: (1) Buy the rumor, sell the news; (2) Crossing the moat in cancer pain; (3) Tempering enthusiasm over use in epilepsy. Read

Editorial: Toward sanity in marijuana laws

8/1/14–As stated in an editorial published in The Dallas Morning News, it is becoming clearer that the public is fed up with needless casualties and wasted money from the nation’s decades of waging war against marijuana –even in Texas. Polls in the state have shown that Texans are in line with national attitudes. The Marijuana Policy Project advocacy group, spearhead for national pot reforms, has hired a full-time political director in Texas to focus on changing laws there. The organization has also hired a lobbyist to work the state Capitol. Read

Children’s Hospital sees surge in kids accidentally eating marijuana

4/10/14–The number of children coming into Colorado’s largest pediatric emergency department after accidentally eating marijuana is on pace to more than double last year’s total. According to Michael DiStefano, the medical director of the Children’s Hospital Colorado emergency department, most of the children admitted are between 3 and 7 years old. Read

Santa Fe city council votes to decriminalizes marijuana

8/28/14–Santa Fe on Wednesday became the latest U.S. city to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana, with lawmakers in the New Mexico capital voting to change local statutes rather than put the issue to a public ballot in November. The Santa Fe City Council voted five to four in favor of revising a law classifying possession of less than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana as a misdemeanor. Read

Everyone’s doing it: what today’s teens think about marijuana

5/30/14–With the recent legalization for marijuana in states like Colorado and Washington, teens are beginning to change the way they feel about smoking weed. Studies conducted in the last two years are starting to show that teens consider marijuana a rite of passage in high school and its the safe alternative to harder drugs like heroine and meth. Read

Volcano Vaporizer

6/24/14–In depth operation guide to the Volcano Vaporizer, featuring the Digit, Classic, Easy Valve, and Solid Valve. Video

Commission says “no” to marijuana on tour buses

8/26/14–The Washington state Utilities and Transportation Commission recently issued a memo to tour bus companies saying “no marijuana on the bus”. Transportation and safety regulators told state charter and excursion bus operators that consumption or use of marijuana products on their buses or chartered vehicles are “prohibited by state law”. Read

News: New survey documents youth marijuana use, need for prevention

8/7/14–Preliminary results from the 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey show the percentage of students who perceived a moderate or great risk from marijuana use declined from 58 percent in 2011 to 54 percent in 2013. The survey also shows cigarette use among high school students trending downward, at a faster pace than marijuana. Read

What the Times did on marijuana was big!

8/7/14–Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, reveals his perspective on the recent Times endorsement of national legalization of marijuana in The Huffington Post. He states, “The Times’ editors have pulled off a feat of historic significance. Two states down, forty-eight to go. One country down, and 195 to go. Ultimate victory is far from assured. But its chances just took a good leap forward, courtesy of The New York Times.” Read

DEA ratifies spike in marijuana for research

8/26/14–The federal government affirmed Tuesday a large increase in the amount of marijuana it plans to grow for research this year. The Drug Enforcement Administration offered the production bump – from 46.3 pounds to 1,433 pounds – for public comment on May 5. Read

Medical marijuana research hits wall of U.S. law

TMR_Pocket_Article271_8.15.148/6/14–Though more than one million people are thought to use the drug to treat ailments, there are few rigorous studies showing whether the drug is a fruitful treatment for various medical conditions. A major reason is the federal government categorizes marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug, the most restrictive of five groups established by the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Drugs in this category are subject to tight restrictions on scientific study. Read

Ruling could help marijuana collectives

8/22/14–Members of medical marijuana collectives could have an easier time fighting criminal charges under a state appeals court ruling Friday. A jury convicted Borzou Baniani in 2013 of possession for sale of marijuana, and a judge sentenced him to three years’ probation. But the appeals court reversed the conviction and sent the case back for a possible new trial. Read

Medical marijuana patients squeezed out of product safety testing

TMR_Pocket_Article275_8.18.148/14/14–New rules for Colorado’s recreational marijuana industry are prohibiting state-licensed labs from testing medical marijuana patients’ products, including pot, edibles and infusions. Retail marijuana testing facilities are banned from accepting samples from patients, caregivers, consumer protection groups or anyone else outside of the licensed marijuana industry. Read

First medical marijuana dispensary in state opens

TMR_Pocket_Article290_8.22.148/20/14–Connecticut’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened Wednesday night in South Windsor. The grand opening of Prime Wellness of Connecticut gave potential customers and the public a chance to see its facilities, meet pharmacists and cannabis producers, and generally get information. Read

Ex-Carper aide to run marijuana dispensary

8/12/14–Delaware has signed a two-year contract with a company led by a lobbyist and former aide to U.S. Sen. Tom Carper to operate the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary, which should begin serving patients early next year. Read

Washington DC looks to throw MMJ businesses a lifeline

6/13/14–Lawmakers in Washington DC are poised to loosen the city’s restrictive medical marijuana program, which would provide a lifeline to local cannabis businesses that are struggling to survive. Read

Misconception an obstacle to opening medical marijuana facility

8/28/14–Chicago attorney Alex Thiersch said the biggest obstacles the company has faced in its attempt to secure a license to open a medical marijuana dispensary are misinformation and misconceptions. “The people purchasing medical marijuana are patients. They are, unfortunately, very sick and have no intention of committing any crime. All they want is to alleviate their pain and control their condition. Obviously, there may be someone who contradicts this, but there are state and police controls to diminish those instances.” Thiersch said. Read

York board rejects appeal to shut down marijuana growing operation

8/22/14–Over the objections of numerous abutters and residents who voiced concerns about increased traffic, safety and their quality of life, the York Appeals Board on Wednesday upheld a July 9 decision allowing a medical marijuana facility to continue operations. Read

Proposed medical marijuana rules under fire

8/27/14–Critics took aim Tuesday at proposed regulations to create a medical marijuana industry in Maryland as a state commission tasked with writing the rules rushed toward a deadline it might not meet. Physicians, patients, advocates and potential growers said the commission did not collect enough public input before drafting the rules — which they said appear to forbid a medical marijuana dispensary anywhere within Baltimore city limits. Read

Massachusetts sued for denying medical pot permit

8/26/14–A company that wanted to open one of Massachusetts’ first medical marijuana dispensaries wants a judge to overturn the state’s decision to reject its application. In a lawsuit filed in state Superior Court in Boston on Tuesday, Brighton Health Advocates argues that the state’s June 27 decision was not based on substantial evidence and should be voided. Read

Medical marijuana numbers decline

8/17/14–The number of medical marijuana patients in Livingston County has decreased. Proponents of medical marijuana say this is due to intimidation by law enforcement. Read

Mom charged after giving son medical marijuana

TMR_Pocket_Article289_8.22.148/20/14–A Lac Qui Parle County mother is charged with giving her son medical cannabis oil before the state’s new medical marijuana law takes effect next summer. Angela Brown, of Madison, Minnesota faces two gross misdemeanors, including child endangerment, for giving her 15-year-old son marijuana oil to relieve pain from a traumatic brain injury. Read

Sparks OKs fees for medical marijuana businesses

8/26/14–Sparks City Council members passed amendments on medical marijuana business licenses in a 4-1 vote on Monday. Councilman Mike Carrigan voted down the amendments, which set fees for applicants looking to open a pot establishment such as a growing facility, testing lab or dispensary. Read

New Hampshire celebrates bittersweet anniversary of medical marijuana program

7/24/14–Instead of rejoicing, medical marijuana patients and advocates “celebrated” the first anniversary of the state’s decision to legalize the drug by holding a demonstration to raise awareness for the delays the state’s medical marijuana program has faced. They also delivered a list of grievances and requests to New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan’s office. Read

Atlantic City to host grow-your-own marijuana seminar

8/18/14–The $1,000, four-day course will be offered by a California-based marijuana school at Bally’s Casino this weekend, starting Saturday. Oaksterdam University chancellor Dale Jones told The Philadelphia Inquirer basil will be used in demonstrations. Discussions will also include the business and legal aspect of the marijuana industry. Read

Families push to get medical marijuana on the market right away

8/18/14–State lawmakers passed legislation earlier this year, the Compassionate Care Act, which would allow the legal use of medical marijuana, and Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the measure on July 7. When Governor Andrew Cuomo signed medical marijuana into law, it was a milestone for many seriously ill patients in New York and their families. But the waiting period has turned out to be too long for other patients. Read

State releases first marijuana dispensary inspections

8/15/14–Regulations crafted by the Oregon Health Department. to enforce Oregon’s 2013 medical marijuana dispensary law require on-site inspection of each facility within six months of the date it receives a license, and an annual inspection thereafter. Problems with labeling, testing and tracking inventory were common violations found by medical marijuana dispensary inspectors, according to data released Thursday by the Oregon Health Department. Read

Alzheimer’s patients denied medical marijuana

8/28/14–Thousands of New Mexicans who have Alzheimer’s will not eligible for medical marijuana. The state health secretary has denied a petition to add Alzheimer’s and other kinds of dementia to the list of medical conditions eligible for the program. Read

Chafee signs legislation that changes Rhode Island’s medical marijuana law

7/9/14–Legislation that amends Rhode Island’s medical marijuana law, resetting the amounts of marijuana that can be grown in some settings and establishing new regulatory mechanisms, has been signed by Governor Chafee. Read

Marijuana edibles sales heat up

7/21/14–The proliferation of marijuana edibles for both medical and recreational purposes is giving rise to a cottage industry. It includes baked goods, candies, infused oils, cookbooks and classes. Edibles and infused products such as snack bars, olive oils and tinctures popular with medical marijuana users have flourished into a gourmet market of chocolate truffles, whoopie pies and hard candies as Colorado and Washington legalized the recreational use of marijuana in the past year. Read

Seattle police uncover historic marijuana grow operation

6/4/14–Seattle police on Tuesday uncovered one of the largest marijuana grow operations in recent memory, but after they confiscated most of the 2,663 plants, officers let the grower go. After getting several complaints from neighbors about “an overwhelming smell” of marijuana coming from a home and warehouse in West Seattle, police served a search warrant on the property. Read

Emmys 2014: Sarah Silverman’s pot-filled e-cigarette brings marijuana into the 21st century

8/26/14–One day after the comic showed off her pot-filled e-cigarette on the Emmys red carpet, the future of marijuana moved from the back of a VW microbus to the cutting edge of technology. Read