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5 reasons why Jeff Sessions’ drug war reboot will fail

5/12/17--In US Attorney General Jeff Sessions' sentencing memo for cannabis enforcement, he orders US attorneys and their subordinates to “charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense” in nearly all cases, “including mandatory minimum sentences.” Sessions sees a nation keening with 52,000 overdose deaths every year, and he believes there is too much complacency about drugs. His answer? Bring back the days of D.A.R.E., “Just Say No,” and hard prison time for two joints. Sessions firmly believes a franchise reboot will fail, and outlines 5 reasons why. Read

President Trump signals: War on drugs back on in the USA

5/12/17--President Donald Trump and United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions signaled that the DOJ will enforce the laws, and seek maximum sentences for drug law violators. Apparently, the Drug War looks like it is back on, and as a result some marijuana industry stocks are heavily impacted by the news and the notion that the Drug War is back on in the U.S. Read

36 million Americans are allergic to marijuana – causing asthma, inflammation and rashes

5/12/17--More than 36 million Americans could be allergic to marijuana, figures show. According to a report on the nation's allergies, 73 percent of the 50 million people who react to pollen also have issues with cannabis - and the figure is rising. Scientists found in some cases exposure to marijuana pollen or cannabis smoke provoked symptoms of allergic rhinitis, caused by inflammation of the nasal passages, causing sneezing, congestion, itching, and a runny nose. They also found symptoms of conjunctivitis and asthma. Read

Coming soon: vending machines that scan your fingerprints and sell you pot

5/12/17--American Green, a Phoenix-based cannabis technology firm, recently developed a vending machine prototype that will check a customer's ID using biometric verification, and sell pot or other age-restricted items to anyone legally allowed to buy. The option is being presented as ideal for consumers hoping to get their hands on marijuana while avoiding face-to-face contact with a seller, or perhaps someone they know. Read

Banned driver back, but NASCAR says no to marijuana-like sponsor

5/12/17--Carl Long, who was last seen in a Cup race in 2009, before NASCAR fined him $200,000, returned to Kansas Speedway with Veedverks as a sponsor. NASCAR has since denied Veedverks as a sponsor but didn't state exactly why, albeit assumed. While Veedverks claims its products are legal in all 50 states, its three types of cartridges contain trace amounts of THC, the principal psychoactive in marijuana. Read 

Iowa looks to team up with Minnesota for medical marijuana

5/12/17--Top state lawmakers are trying to work out a system allowing Iowa residents to start buying medical marijuana oils and pills in Minnesota. The bill specifically allows Iowa residents to buy their supply from Minnesota and directs state regulators to contract with two licensed manufacturers in that state. Read

Marijuana use during pregnancy may affect child’s vision

5/7/17--A recent study finds that exposure to marijuana in the womb may affect the development of the offspring’s eye. These changes were found to persist as mice in this particular experiment aged. The scientists exposed pregnant mice to either marijuana or filtered air throughout their gestation. When their eyes were inspected, the mice whose mothers had been exposed to marijuana had significantly thinner retinas than those exposed to filtered air. Little is known about cannabis and its impact on retinal development, so this study is likely to pave the way for more in-depth research. Read

Gestational exposure to marijuana smoke may have lasting effects on the retina

5/8/17--Scientists have shown for the first time that gestational exposure to marijuana smoke in animals affects the development of the eye and these alterations seem to progress with age. Read

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell weighs in on marijuana

5/7/17--NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell weighed in on the possibility of medical and/or recreational marijuana use in the NFL. Goodell tore down any hope that the NFL would become the first major sport to allow its players to use marijuana without facing drug-testing repercussions. Read

Federal prosecutors may again push for harsher sentences

5/9/17--Justice Department officials have been weighing new guidance that would encourage prosecutors to charge suspects with the most serious offenses they can prove. If embraced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, this could result in an increased use of rigid mandatory minimum sentences that critics have called unnecessarily harsh. Read

Trump says he reserves right to ignore medical marijuana protection provision in spending bill

5/8/17--President Donald Trump signed his first piece of major legislation on Friday, despite his objections to numerous provisions included in the measure. One such provision prohibits the Justice Department from using any funds to block implementation of medical marijuana laws by states and U.S. territories. In a signed statement that accompanied the bill and outlined his objections, Trump said he reserved the right to ignore the provision. Read

Rohrabacher says he’ll take medical marijuana fight with Jeff Sessions to Supreme Court

5/5/17--Rep. Dana Rohrabacher hopes to convince Attorney General Jeff Sessions that good people smoke pot sometimes. But if he can’t, Rohrabacher said he'll make is argument in court with Sessions. The Republican congressmen believes, “If we have to take it all the way to the Supreme Court, we will win on this.” Rohrabacher, who has used cannabis himself to ease arthritis, has unexpectedly become a leading figure in the fight to legalize marijuana at the federal level. Read

Trump indicates where he stands on medical marijuana

5/6/17--President Donald Trump, who has stayed mum on the topic of marijuana since the election, finally gave an indication as to where he stands on the issue by stating: "Division B, section 537 provides that the Department of Justice may not use any funds to prevent implementation of medical marijuana laws by various States and territories. I will treat this provision consistently with my constitutional responsibility to take care that the laws be faithfully executed." Read

New York medical cannabis lawsuit, Vermont MMJ expansion & Texas’ preliminary CBD licensees

5/5/17--Marijuana Business Daily presents some of the notable developments in the marijuana industry over the past week, including New York medical marijuana dispensaries filing suit to prevent new competitors, Vermont lawmakers approving expanding the state’s MMJ program, and Texas awarding three preliminary licenses for its CBD program. Read

Criminal Justice

5/4/17--Scientific research since the mid-1970s shows that treatment can help many in the criminal justice system who use drugs change their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors toward drug use; avoid relapse; and successfully remove themselves from a life of substance use and crime. Treatment can be effective, whether voluntary or ordered by the court. Once in a treatment program, even those who are not motivated to change at first can eventually become engaged in a continuing treatment process. Read

Legal weed’s number 1 warrior puts down his pipe

4/28/17--Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, is stepping down after leading the organization for more than 20 years. On his last day, he sat down with The Daily Beast to reflect on his field’s remarkable past and uncertain future. Nadelmann himself played a role in most of the ballot referenda legalizing marijuana. His organization successfully promoted criminal-justice reforms in California, New Jersey, and New York. Read

Johns Hopkins pulls out of marijuana PTSD study

3/31/17--Eighteen months after joining a study on using marijuana to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, Johns Hopkins University has pulled out without enrolling any veterans. A Johns Hopkins spokeswoman said the university’s goals were no longer aligned with those of the administrator of the study, the Santa Cruz-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). A spokesman for MAPS said the dispute was over whether to openly challenge policy that say medical cannabis research must rely on federally-grown marijuana. Read

Marijuana industry relieved after Sessions signals no looming pot crackdown

4/29/17--The marijuana industry is feeling some relief after Attorney General Jeff Sessions met with Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and signaled he will leave state pot laws alone. Despite harsh rhetoric against marijuana since his confirmation as Attorney General, Sessions allegedly implied federal marijuana enforcement in legal states is not a real priority for the Department of Justice. Read

Your brain on drugs: Neuroscientists narc on legal marijuana

4/21/17--Laviolette, a professor at the University of Western Ontario's medical school, led a study to better understand the correlation between THC exposure and schizophrenia. He's found that "exposure to high levels of THC during the adolescent period of brain development increased the likelihood of developing schizophrenia-related symptoms into adulthood." Read

Drug-impaired driving: a guide for states, 2017 update

4/27/17--To confront the complex and evolving issue of drugged driving, GHSA and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility have produced a comprehensive update of their 2015 report about drug use on our nation’s roadways. Drug Impaired Driving: A Guide for States equips states and policymakers with the latest research, data, laws, and programs to help them address this growing problem. Read

Higher illicit pot use in states that OK medical marijuana

4/26/17--A new U.S. study reports that illicit pot use increased significantly more in states that passed medical marijuana laws compared to other states. States with medical marijuana laws also saw an increase in people who can't stop using pot even though it's interfering with many aspects of their lives, researchers said. Read

Illegal pot use is rising in states that have legalized medical marijuana

4/26/17--According to a new study led by Deborah Hasin, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University in New York City, illegal marijuana use has risen faster, in recent years, in states that have legalized medical marijuana than in states without such laws. In addition, the percentage of people with "marijuana use disorders" — people who use the drug in unhealthy ways, or abuse it — has also increased at a higher rate in these states. Read

For the first time, drug use more likely than alcohol in fatal crashes

4/26/17--For the first time, statistics show that drivers killed in crashes are more likely to be on drugs than drunk. Forty-three percent of drivers tested in fatal crashes in 2015 had used a legal or illegal drug, eclipsing the 37 percent who tested above the legal limit for alcohol, according to a report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) and the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility. Read

Creating standards for cannabis industry gets ASTM International board approval

4/25/17--ASTM International, a century-old standards organization, gave the official go-ahead to establish a standards-writing committee for the cannabis industry, officials announced. ASTM’s board of directors approved the formation of Committee D37, a group that will develop standards for cannabis, its products and processes. Read

Marijuana and erectile dysfunction: What is the connection?

4/25/17--There is a lot of debate about marijuana and its effect on sexual health. For some men, it does seem to be linked to erectile dysfunction (ED). At present, not enough is known about the relationship between marijuana and ED. Some men find that marijuana negatively affects their sexual ability, while others say that marijuana actually increases their sexual arousal. Read

US attorneys slam marijuana legalization in new report

4/25/17--A federal group of prosecutors in the United States has criticized efforts at the US state level to legalize marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, saying that legalization has led to greater access by children to pot and created further challenges for impaired driving enforcement. Read

Report: Medical marijuana patients outspent adult-use three to one last year

4/25/17--Medical patients made up a sizable portion of the market for marijuana in the U.S. last year, spending three times more money on the crop than recreational users, according to a report from New Frontier Data. Recreational customers last year spent an average of $49 on each transaction compared to patients who spent $136 on average, the report shows. To get those results, New Frontier said it accessed online ordering and loyalty information from markets such as Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, and California. Read

Chili peppers, marijuana may reduce gut inflammation

4/25/17--Researchers have found that chili peppers and marijuana may reduce gut inflammation. Capsaicin - the compound that gives chili peppers their heat - targets a receptor in the gut that produces a compound called anandamide, which is chemically similar to the compounds in marijuana. Read

Recreational cannabis states prepping for possible federal crackdown

4/25/17--California, Colorado, and Oregon have begun taking steps to protect recreational marijuana businesses and consumers against a possible federal crackdown under the new Trump administration. Many have urged the president and his attorney general, Jeff Sessions, to lay off marijuana businesses. Trump, however, has not articulated a policy stance on cannabis, so lawmakers in California, Colorado and Oregon – all three recreational cannabis states – have begun taking matters into their own hands. Read

Kicking pot to the curb

4/9/17--Renowned Alzheimer’s researcher Dr. Vincent Fortanasce says marijuana use may lead to the disease. For several years, Fortanasce has studied Alzheimer’s disease, its underlying causes, and treatments. Through his research, he believes there may be a link between chronic use of marijuana — especially when started at a young age — and Alzheimer’s. He is trying to convince the American Academy of Neurology to conduct a major survey to see if people diagnosed with dementia have also smoked marijuana. Read

Mexican cartels use Ford Fusions to smuggle marijuana into Minnesota

4/24/17--Between February and March of 2017, approximately 1100 lbs of marijuana with a street value of $1.4 million was found hidden in the trunks of at least 22 brand new Ford Fusions manufactured in Mexico. According to a St. Paul Police Department (SPPD) police report, Burlington Northern Sante Fe investigators speculated that the marijuana was likely placed in the Ford Fusions while still they were still in Mexico. They noted “the vehicles would get loaded onto the same railcar,” and then a US-based co-conspirator would “break into the rail cars and recover the narcotics” after the cars cross the border. Read

These mothers of suicides don’t think marijuana is harmless

4/17/17--Sally Schindel and Lori Robinson created Moms Strong, a support group that seeks to “unmask the marijuana charade.” The women often give talks at schools, juvenile detention centers, and community groups to aid in the organization’s mission to inform and educate people about those harmed by marijuana. Both mothers united because they believe that high-potency marijuana led their sons to suicide. Read

4/20 grew from humble roots to pot high holiday

4/20/17--With recreational pot now allowed in eight states and the nation's capital, marijuana culture's high holiday, 4/20, provides an occasion for pot activists to reflect on how far their movement has come. College quads and statehouse lawns are known for drawing 4/20 celebrants, but some of the celebrations are bigger than others. According to Vivian McPeak, one of Seattle's Hempfest founders, 4/20 is "half-celebration and half-call to action." Read

Some of the parts: Is marijuana’s “entourage effect” scientifically valid?

4/20/17--The so-called “entourage effect” refers to compounds supposedly working in concert to create what chemist Chris Emerson describes as “the sum of all the parts that leads to the magic or power of cannabis.” The conventional science on this topic is scant, but cannabis breeders have long been crossing plants to develop distinctive strains that purportedly do different things, and breeders are using genetics to make that process more precise and efficient. Read

People are picking marijuana over alcohol

4/21/17--According to a team of Cowen analysts led by Vivien Azer, consumers appear to be choosing marijuana over alcohol. They believe alcohol could be under pressure for the next decade, based on their data analysis covering 80 years of alcohol and 35 years of cannabis incidence in the U.S. Read

Teens tend to think marijuana use is no big deal, but they’re wrong.

4/20/17--According to the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, teenagers are engaging in fewer risky behaviors than their Gen X parents did. However, despite this news, 60 percent of high school seniors say they think marijuana is safe, yet research suggests that marijuana use can damage the developing teen brain. Marijuana is more potent now than what people were smoking 30 years ago. Read

Pot smoking common among pregnant teens

4/18/17--A large national survey found that more than twice as many pregnant 12- to 17-year-olds use marijuana as their non-pregnant peers. Evidence regarding pot’s effects on the developing fetus is limited, but the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that pregnant women stop using the drug. Read

Marijuana use in pregnant teens ‘worryingly’ high

4/20/17--New data show high rates of marijuana use among pregnant teenagers in the United States, especially in the first trimester. According to lead investigator Nora Volkow, MD, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the study adds important new details to the existing literature. Almost 4% of pregnant women reported marijuana use in the past month. This rate is a little over half the rate found among their non-pregnant counterparts. Read

Meta-analysis fails to find evidence that medical marijuana influences quality of life

4/10/17--Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of eleven scientific studies on cannabis or cannabinoids and quality of life. Findings indicate that marijuana has no impact on quality of life when used for many medical conditions. Read

Diego Sanchez believes medical marijuana caused heart problems

4/17/17--Diego Sanchez believes medical marijuana caused him to have serious heart problems that, for a time, left him concerned about the future of his fight career and even his life. In an interview, Sanchez described a recent sparring session that ended when he experienced serious discomfort in his chest. He did not initially seek medical treatment for the discomfort, but hypothesized that his heart was palpitating or not receiving enough oxygen. Read

New poll finds majority of Americans have smoked marijuana

4/17/17--According to a new poll, 52 percent of Americans over 18 have tried marijuana at some point in their lives. The survey conducted by Yahoo News and Marist Poll found that not only have most adults in the U.S. smoked pot, 44 percent of those who tried it once still use it today. The poll, titled Weed and the American Family, looks at everything from family views on marijuana use to regulation, entertainment, social acceptability, and more. Read

Canada, but not Jeff Sessions, moves boldly on marijuana

4/15/17--Although many Americans and Canadians believe marijuana should be legal, the governments of the two countries appear to be moving in very different directions. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who is a staunch opponent of legalization, recently ordered a review of an Obama-era policy under which the federal government agreed not to interfere with state laws on marijuana, as long as the states took steps to regulate its distribution and use. Sessions’s apparent goal is to make Washington the ultimate authority. Read

Wine industry finds a companion in a competitor: marijuana

4/14/17--The liquor industry opposed several marijuana legalization initiatives last year, and has expressed fears for its bottom line. The fine wine industry, however, has not panicked. Despite occasional efforts to pit wine and weed against each other, many in the wine business exude an air of mellow acceptance that the two substances can coexist in harmony. Read

Trump adviser urges him to keep Sessions from harassing state-legal pot suppliers

4/3/17--Roger Stone, the longtime Republican operative and adviser to Donald Trump, is publicly urging the president to reject Attorney General Jeff Sessions' "outmoded thinking on marijuana" and keep him from harassing state-licensed canna businesses. Read

$1 billion in marijuana taxes is addictive to state governors

4/11/17--According to a new report from New Frontier Data, states with legalized marijuana are on track to generate approximately $655 million in state taxes on retail sales in 2017. Within that tax figure, $559 million will come just from cannabis taxes. Many states view the cannabis industry as a vice and tax it at a high rate. The industry accepts it as a cost of doing business, and seemingly it has paid off handsomely for the states that have legalized marijuana. Read

Clergy for a New Drug Policy

4/12/17--Clergy for a New Drug Policy calls for an end to the War on Drugs which the United States has waged, at home and abroad, for over 40 years. The group believes this War has failed to achieve its stated objectives; deepened divisions between rich and poor, black, white, and brown; squandered over one trillion dollars; and turned the United States into a “prisoner” nation. Read

Trump’s apparent drug czar pick has strong “no” vote record on marijuana, including CBD oil

4/12/17--Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pa., will be President Trump’s drug czar, according to a report from CBS News. Marino’s congressional voting record is that of a hard-liner on marijuana issues, and he recently said that he’d like to put nonviolent drug offenders in some sort of “hospital-slash-prison.” As drug czar, Marino would oversee the Office of National Drug Control Policy, a branch of the White House that advises the president on drug policy issues. Read

Study shows marijuana use interrupts adolescent brain development

4/11/17--Regular marijuana use by teens can stop the brain from maturing, according to a new study by scientists at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science, North Chicago, IL. The study is the first to establish a causal link between repeated cannabinoid exposure during adolescence and an interruption of the normal maturation processes in the prefrontal cortex, a region in the brain's frontal lobe, which regulates decision ­making and working memory and undergoes critical development during adolescence. Read

How Jeff Sessions wants to bring back the war on drugs

4/8/17--Sessions has yet to announce specific policy changes, but law enforcement officials say that Sessions and one of his top lieutenants, Steven H. Cook, are preparing a plan to prosecute more drug and gun cases and pursue mandatory minimum sentences. The two men are eager to bring back the national crime strategy of the 1980s and ’90s from the peak of the drug war, an approach that had fallen out of favor in recent years as minority communities grappled with the effects of mass incarceration. Read

Florida Congressmen introduce bill to make pot easier to get

4/9/17--Two Florida Congressmen, Matt Gaetz (R) and Darren Soto (D), introduced legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives that would reclassify marijuana as a Schedule III drug. If the bill were to become law, the new classification would make it easier for people to obtain medical marijuana and easier for researchers to obtain cannabis for further study. Read

Legal marijuana advocates are uneasy with Sessions’ stance

4/6/17--Supporters of marijuana legalization are worried because new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been making tough comments about the drug, and there's a lot of uncertainty about how the Trump administration will enforce federal law. Marijuana legalization advocates say if the Trump Justice Department makes big changes, it will be in for a fight. Read

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones reportedly wants NFL to stop banning marijuana

4/2/17--According to an editorial by Forbes contributing writer Bruce Y. Lee, during the recent National Football League (NFL) owners-only meeting in Arizona, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones suggested a stop to banning marijuana use among NFL players. Any change would be part of the next collective bargaining process, which means that current policies are probably in place until at least 2020. But the players may now have an ally in Jones. Read

Lawmakers want weed federally regulated like every other industry

4/3/17--The inability to apply for tax breaks, and the lack of banking options for weed workers could change if a group of lawmakers can get a package of newly introduced bills passed, which would require the federal government to regulate the marijuana industry in the same manner as the alcohol and tobacco industries. Under the Marijuana Revenue and Regulation Act, the measures would prevent marijuana businesses from being punished for federal crimes and penalties regarding sale of the plant in legal states. Read

The DEA just gave a big boost to a cannabis-based seizure drug

4/4/17--A growing body of research suggests that cannabidiol (CBD) can reduce seizures in individuals with epileptic disorders, reducing the damage caused by these diseases as well as improving quality of life. The DEA is creating a separate classification for scheduling cannabis extracts, and specifically mentioned CBD as a potential example. The resulting legal framework would seem to allow CBD-derived medications to move to a less restrictive schedule while leaving marijuana on Schedule I. Read

Governors from 4 marijuana states ask feds to leave them alone

4/3/17--Governors from the first four states to legalize recreational marijuana (Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington) are asking the Trump administration to let the pot experiments continue. They say that marijuana legalization has expanded their economies. The governors also say that legal weed can be regulated to protect public safety, and that legalization reduces “inequitable incarceration,” or people of color being disproportionately jailed for pot crimes. Read

Proliferation of marijuana ads alarms addiction researchers

3/28/17--In a new study, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis report that more than half of young pot users they surveyed have seen marijuana ads — either online or in more traditional forms of advertising such as billboards and print media. Although the survey group only included people who said they used pot and was not a nationally representative sample, the study’s first author, Melissa J. Krauss, called it alarming that so many people had seen ads for pot, even in places where such ads are supposed to be prohibited. Read

John Oliver goes off on America’s most absurd marijuana laws

4/3/17--John Oliver exposes America’s most counter-productive and antiquated marijuana laws. In addition to detailing how the U.S. tax code jeopardizes marijuana businesses that operate legally within their states, Oliver showed how federal regulations put individuals who were complying with state laws at risk. Read

7 marijuana-related bills introduced in US Congress

4/2/17--A total of seven bills that would support the marijuana industry were introduced in Congress last Thursday, three in the Senate and four in the House. The new bills seek similar, but not identical, changes to U.S. laws related to the cannabis industry. Read

Veterans groups fight for marijuana access to curb opioid abuse

4/1/17--States with medical marijuana programs are beginning to open access to the drug for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, under mounting pressure from veterans groups advocating marijuana as an alternative to opioids. Many are unable to get relief from painkillers or traditional treatments allowed under current federal law, leaving them at the mercy of their particular state’s policy. Read

Maher, Roger Stone share marijuana cake on TV

4/1/17--HBO host Bill Maher and former Donald Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone shared a marijuana cake on “Real Time” on Friday night after finding common ground on marijuana policy. Maher later noted that it was the 420th episode of "Real Time" and asked Stone to bring out what he referred to earlier as a "420 cake." Read