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US PA: Column: There's No Point In Continuing Ban On Pot

MAP - Hemp - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 07:00
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 29 Jul 2014 - Everyone reading this column must know someone who currently smokes or has smoked marijuana. They're family members, friends, loved ones, acquaintances, bosses, employees and people we sit next to on buses commuting to work every day. We don't spend a lot of time worrying about whether these people will become hard-core addicts. We'd be more worried about them if they were binge drinkers. They're not criminals, despite the shady ways many of them go about procuring what has been an illegal product for nearly half a century.

Study: Cannabis Use Doesn’t Worsen Symptoms of Schizophrenia

The Joint Blog - Tue, 07/29/2014 - 00:18

A study published this month by the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin has found that cannabis use doesn’t negatively impact the symptoms of schizophrenia in those with the condition. Although this may come as no surprise to many, it helps to combat the prohibitionist argument that cannabis use is a detriment to those with schizophrenia.

“There are inconsistencies in findings as to whether cannabis use has a negative impact on clinical outcomes for people with established psychosis”, says professor Christine Barrowclough, PhD, who led the study. Due to these inconsistencies, researchers at the University of Manchester and University of Lancaster investigated “the relationship between cannabis use and clinical outcome, including whether change in cannabis use affects psychotic symptoms, affective symptoms, functioning and psychotic relapse in a sample of people in early psychosis with comorbid cannabis abuse or dependence.”

Their study method; “One hundred and ten participants were examined prospectively with repeated measures of substance use antecedent to psychopathology at baseline, 4.5, 9, and 18 months. We used random intercept models to estimate the effects of cannabis dose on subsequent clinical outcomes and whether change in cannabis use was associated with change in outcomes.”

After conducting the study, it was found that; “There was no evidence of a specific association between cannabis use and positive symptoms, or negative symptoms, relapse or hospital admissions.”

Researchers did find that reducing cannabis use may be associated with decrease anxiety and increased patient functioning, though they admit that these findings are inconclusive and may be explained by other factors (for example, increased anxiety may be due to the laws surrounding cannabis, and not the cannabis use itself).

A study released earlier this year, published by the National Institute of Health, found that cannabis may actually provide a treatment option for the symptoms of schizophrenia. The results echo a study published last July in the journal Neuropschopharmacology. A study published in August in the journal Psychiatry Research found cannabis use to be associated with better emotional memory and brain function in those with schizophrenia.

- TheJointBlog

The post Study: Cannabis Use Doesn’t Worsen Symptoms of Schizophrenia appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Poll: Majority Of Floridians Support Legalized Marijuana; Super-Majority Endorse Medicalization

NORML Blog - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 20:29

Nearly nine out of ten Florida voters support legalizing the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes, and a majority of Floridians support allowing adults to possess the plant for any purpose, according to the results of a statewide Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Fifty-five percent of voters support “allowing adults in Florida to legally possess small amounts of marijuana for personal use.” Only 41 percent of respondents opposed the idea.

Voters between the age of 18 and 29 (72 percent), Democrats (64 percent), and men (61 percent) were most likely to endorse legalization, while and Republicans (41 percent) and respondents over the age of 65 (36 percent) were least likely to do so.

When asked whether patients ought to be able to access cannabis for medicinal purposes, public support rose to 88 percent, including super-majority support from respondents of all age groups and political affiliations. Seventy-one percent of respondents also expressed support for the establishment of medical cannabis dispensaries in their neighborhoods.

This November, Florida voters will decide on a proposed constitutional amendment (Amendment 2) that seeks to legalize and regulate the dispensing of cannabis to authorized patients. Because the measure seeks to amend the state constitution, 60 percent of voters must decide in favor of it before it may be enacted.

The survey possesses a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

Poll: 88% of Voters in Florida Support Legalizing Medical Cannabis

The Joint Blog - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 19:36

A new Quinnipiac University poll released today has found that an overwhelming majority of Florida voters are in support of legalizing medical cannabis, and a majority also supports the legalization of recreational cannabis.

According to the poll, an astonishing 88% of Florida voters favor medical cannabis being legalized, with just 10% opposed to the move. The poll results come with the general election in November being just around the corner, where Florida voters will have the opportunity to vote on Amendment 2, an initiative to legalize the possession, use and state-licensed distribution and cultivation of medical cannabis.

The survey found support for medical cannabis to be strong in all age groups, including being supported by 83% of those 65 and older. Although Democrats support the move more than Republican at 94%, eight out of ten Republicans were found to be in support.

“Forget the stereotypes of stodgy old folks living out their golden years playing canasta and golf,” says Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University poll. “Almost nine- in-ten Floridians favor legalizing medical marijuana and a small majority says adults should be able to possess small amounts of the drug for recreational purposes.” He continues; “Even though a proposal to legalize medical marijuana, on the ballot this November, must meet a 60 percent threshold, these numbers make a strong bet the referendum is likely to pass”.

When asked whether or not they would support a legal medical cannabis dispensary in their town, 71% of voters said yes, with 26% saying no.

“No ‘Not in My Backyard’ mentality here. By an almost 3-1 majority, Florida voters would allow a medical marijuana dispensary near where they live,” says Brown.

55% of Florida voters were also found to be in support of legalizing recreational, with 41% opposed.

The full poll can be found by clicking here.

- TheJointBlog

The post Poll: 88% of Voters in Florida Support Legalizing Medical Cannabis appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill Introduced in U.S. House

The Joint Blog - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 18:39

Representative Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania, introduced the Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014 on Monday, a federal proposal to legalize medical cannabis oil that’s low in the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although the measure is clearly limited in what it would do and the type of reform it would bring, its passage would mark the first time the federal government has altered their law in admittance that cannabis has medical value.

The bill is named after Charlotte Figi, a young girl from Colorado whose parents have been campaigning nationwide for easier access to medical cannabis after it successfully controlled their daughter’s seizures (she used cannabis oil).

This year alone, numerous states – including Kentucky, Iowa, Florida and Alabama – have approved measures legalizing low-THC, high-CBD (cannabidiol) cannabis (and/or cannabis extracts) for medical purposes. This new measure would do just that, but throughout the United States. The bill would amend the U.S. Controlled Substances Act to explicitly allow for the use of low-THC cannabis oil, when its recommended by a physician.

“No one should face a choice of having their child suffer or moving to Colorado and splitting up their family,” says Representative Perry. “We live in America, and if there’s something that would make my child better, and they can’t get it because of the government, that’s not right.”

- TheJointBlog

The post Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill Introduced in U.S. House appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Gary Storck: Examiner.com: The deep roots of the fight for medical cannabis in Wisconsin

Madison NORML News - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:52

Posted by Gary Storck
Monday, July 28, 2014

Thirty-five years ago the fight for medical cannabis was just getting started in Wisconsin.

Pot Protestivals and the Role They Play in the Legalization Movement

NORML Blog - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 17:39

As we approach the late summer/early fall festival season, I wanted to take a moment to discuss the annual pro-pot festivals, sometimes called “protestivals.”

In the early years of the marijuana legalization movement, pro-pot events in the same vein of the Civil Rights Movement’s lunch counter “sit-ins” occurred. These cannabis community events were called “smoke-ins,” a reference to the crowd of individuals willing to risk arrest and jail by protesting marijuana prohibition. The smoke-ins were intended as an exercise of one’s First Amendment right to publicly protest unjust policies.

While public smoking was never a regular NORML tactic, I did occasionally attend an event organized by others, including the 1977 July 4th Coalition in Washington, D.C., where I spoke in Lafayette Park across from the White House on more than one occasion. Surprisingly, even in D.C. in the 70s, most of us discovered we were safe smoking in the middle of a big crowd without being hassled by the police. Law enforcement lingered on the fringes of the event, observing the smoke-in and making sure nothing got out of hand; but there were few arrests, and those mostly involved attendees who had the bad fortune of smoking too close to the edge of the crowd, where they could be singled-out. I suppose we should have been paranoid about lighting up in public, but our idealism overruled our good sense. And all of us felt empowered by this act of civil-disobedience.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE ON MARIJUANA.COM

New York Times Calls for Ending Federal Ban On Marijuana

Youtube - Regulate Marijuana - Mon, 07/28/2014 - 05:08
New York Times Calls for Ending Federal Ban On Marijuana
The New York Times on Saturday called for the federal government to repeal its ban on marijuana, likening the federal law outlawing the drug to the failed pr... From: Regulate Marijuana Views: 2558 39 ratings Time: 02:42 More in Nonprofits & Activism

70% in Canada Support Legalizing or Decriminalizing Cannabis, According to Government Funded Poll

The Joint Blog - Sun, 07/27/2014 - 22:37

A newly released poll conducted for Canada’s Department of Justice has found that a strong majority of Canadians favor either the decriminalization or full legalization of cannabis, with less than 14% of respondents being in support of the status quo.

The survey, which included 3,000 participnants, was conducted by Ipsos-Reid, and commissioned by the nation’s Department of Justice; the poll cost around $175,000.

According to The Star, which obtained the poll early, Conservatives have been holding on to the results for months without releasing them to the public, though they apparently plan to do so at the end of this month.

The poll found that 37.3% favor legalizing cannabis, with an additional 33.4% favoring the decriminalization of cannabis. 13.7% say they support cannabis laws the way they are, and just 12% support harsher penalties for cannabis possession.

Surveyors did find that there was some confusion surrounding the current law, and the differences between decriminalization and legalization.

“There was a great deal of confusion about whether the possession of small amounts of marijuana is a crime, a ticketable offence, or completely legal,” claims the report. “Participants often used the two terms ‘legalization’ and ‘decriminalization’ interchangeably and did not demonstrate a clear understanding of the distinction between the two.”

Regardless of the confusion, the poll makes one thing clear; Canadians are fed up with current cannabis policies, and want a change in the law.

- TheJointBlog

The post 70% in Canada Support Legalizing or Decriminalizing Cannabis, According to Government Funded Poll appeared first on The Joint Blog.

PTSD: Reefer Madness & Dangerous Drugs

Salem-News.com Medical Marijuana - Sun, 07/27/2014 - 07:45
PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is one of the worst afflictions to hit us as thinking people. Although it has been recorded in history for about 4,000 years, it probably has been around longer than that. Even military dogs get it, so it must be much more universal for thinking critters than we have considered. We, as a country, have recorded PTSD in every war since our revolutionary war, but it certainly afflicted soldiers far before that time.

New York Times: End Prohibition, Again

NORML Blog - Sun, 07/27/2014 - 01:49

Tomorrow’s Sunday New York Times’ editorial calling for an end to cannabis prohibition in America, affirms in my mind, after nearly twenty four years publicly advocating for cannabis law reforms at NORML, the end of cannabis prohibition in our nation is nearly upon the rest of the country (beyond Colorado and Washington State, where cannabis is taxed and regulated like alcohol products for responsible adult use). This is the same editorial board and opinions page that would with great frequency in the 1980s/90s publish some of the most stridently pro-cannabis prohibition editorials and columns found anywhere in the world, let alone from the urbane and ‘liberal’ New York Times, led by ardent cannabis foe, former editor and columnist A.M. Rosenthal.

Also included, informative editorial writing and excellent up-to-date map of all of the variations on cannabis law reform that have happened at the state level, putting evermore upward political pressure on the federal government to both end cannabis prohibition and severely down schedule the herbal drug.

Lastly, the dramatic change in Americans’ public attitude in favor of ending cannabis prohibition is well documented here.

A great sign of the times…the multidimensional pro-reform editorial ends with this nod to cannabis culture: On Monday at 4:20 p.m. Eastern Time, Andrew Rosenthal, the editorial page editor, will be taking questions about marijuana legalization at facebook.com/nytimes.

Andrew Rosenthalthe son of A.M. Rosenthal.

Times in America regarding cannabis have changed, and, accordingly, so too has the New York Times.

New Study: Cannabinoid Receptor Stimulation Attenuates Early Brain Injury

The Joint Blog - Sat, 07/26/2014 - 17:14

A new study being published in next month’s issue of the journal Experimental Neurology, and published online this week by the U.S. National Institute of Health, has found that stimulation of the body’s cannabinoid receptors – such as through the consumption of cannabis – attenuates early brain injury.

For the study, researchers evaluated whether a cannabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) agonist (something which cannabis is) attenuates early brain injury (EBI) after SAH [subarachnoid hemorrhage], and “whether CB2R stimulation reduces pro-apoptotic caspase-3 via up-regulation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB)-Bcl-2 signaling pathway.”

“Male Sprague Dawley rats” were subjected to SAH by endovascular perforation, and received a CB2R agonist an hour afterward.

After doing so, “Neurological deficits and brain water content were evaluated at 24 hours after SAH. Western blot was performed to quantify phosphorylated CREB (pCREB), Bcl-2, and cleaved caspase-3 levels. Neuronal cell death was evaluated with terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated uridine 5′-triphosphate-biotin nick end-labeling staining. Additionally, CREB siRNA was administered to manipulate the proposed pathway.”

It was found that the CB2R agonist “improved neurological deficits and reduced brain water content in left hemisphere 24 hours after SAH.” It also “significantly increased activated CREB (pCREB) and Bcl-2 levels and significantly decreased cleaved caspase-3 levels in left hemisphere 24 hours after SAH.”

Researchers conclude; “TUNEL positive neurons in the cortex were reduced [with the CB2R treatment]. Thus, CB2R stimulation attenuated EBI after SAH possibly through activation of pCREB-Bcl-2 pathway.

The study was conducted by researchers at the Loma Linda University Department of Physiology and Department of Anesthesiology.

- TheJointBlog

The post New Study: Cannabinoid Receptor Stimulation Attenuates Early Brain Injury appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Cannabis Common Sense 746

Youtube - Cannabis Common Sense - Sat, 07/26/2014 - 10:34
Cannabis Common Sense 746
The show that tells truth about marijuana & the politics behind its prohibition. Live call in show http://www.ustream.tv/channel/cannabis-common-sense , Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time, 503-288-4442 From: willappel Views: 271 6 ratings Time: 56:07 More in Education

President of Chile Senate Introduces Bill to Legalize Recreational Cannabis

The Joint Blog - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 22:15

Isabelle Allende Bussi, President of Chile’s Senate, has introduced legislation to legalize the possession, use and private cultivation of recreational cannabis. Senators Fulvio Rossi, Alfonso de Urresti, Carlos Montes, and Juan Pablo Letelier are cosponsors of the motion.

“It is important to legislate on this matter and regarding fundamental rights we must catch up to be a modern and inclusive society”, says Bussi.

Under the proposed law, Chileans will be authorized to cultivate up to three maturing cannabis plants – and will be allowed to possess and use whatever those plants yield – as long as the cannabis is for personal use and not distribution. Cannabis sales, unfortunately, will remain prohibited.

The proposal is expected to be discussed by the nation’s Senate in the coming weeks.

- TheJointBlog

The post President of Chile Senate Introduces Bill to Legalize Recreational Cannabis appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Toke TV 51: Will Senate Protect Marijuana States? Oregon To Vote On Legalization! Chicago Hospital Wants To Sell Cannabis!

Toke Signals - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 20:20
Find out what you need to know about the week in cannabis/marijuana news, in just 24 minutes! Don’t forget to subscribe to the Toke TV channel on YouTube.   Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week Toke Signals Stories of the Week Rand Paul Files Measure To Protect Medical Marijuana States [...]

Enough Signatures Submitted to Put Cannabis Decriminalization to a Vote in Wichita, Kansas

The Joint Blog - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 04:01

At 4:20PM today, the group Kansas for Change submitted over twice the required amount of signatures needed to put their cannabis decriminalization initiative to a vote of the people this November. The group was required to collect 3,000 signatures from registered Wichita voters. The city now has 6 days to verify the signatures.

Here’s the full text of the petition:

BE IT ORDAINED that in Wichita, Kansas, the municipal code shall be amended to remove all criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of cannabis/marijuana for adult personal or medical use and possession of paraphernalia; and that a maximum civil fine of $25.00 shall be implemented for possession of cannabis/marijuana and possession of paraphernalia for adults

Under current Kansas law, the possession of any amount of cannabis is a misdemeanor with a potential year-long prison sentence. Subsequent charges are a mandatory 10 months, with the potential sentence of up to 3.5 years.

Wichita is the largest city in Kansas, and the 49th largest city in the United States.

- TheJointBlog

The post Enough Signatures Submitted to Put Cannabis Decriminalization to a Vote in Wichita, Kansas appeared first on The Joint Blog.

Prince of Pot Freed from US Clutches

Salem-News.com Medical Marijuana - Thu, 07/24/2014 - 07:33
In 2009, a dear friend to this reporter personally, Mr. Marc Emery, aka The Canadian "Prince of Pot" was extradited to the U.S. from his homeland Canada, where he pleaded guilty to one count of "Conspiracy to manufacture marihuana". The then 56-year old martyr publicly acknowledged that he had sold cannabis seeds to American customers via mail order since 1994, and quite frankly, gaining immense popularity as well as making a financial Killing as he did it. For that dung-smearing in ole Uncle Sam's face, he was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment in US federal corrections, which he's about finished having served in multiple facilities across the nation.

Marijuana Shows Great Promise For Alzheimer’s – But Research Is Stalled

Toke Signals - Wed, 07/23/2014 - 23:20
Early use of marijuana apparently delays — and might even prevent — the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a leading scientist in the field. But the work of longtime researcher Gary Wenk of Ohio State University has come to a halt, despite the promising results. “We found out that people who smoked dope in the [...]

It’s Official: Oregon Legalization Initiative Qualifies For The 2014 Ballot

NORML Blog - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 20:21

Oregon voters will decide this November in favor of a statewide initiative to regulate the commercial production and retail sale of marijuana.

State election officials today announced that petitioners, New Approach Oregon, had submitted enough valid signatures from registered voters to qualify the measure for the November ballot.

The proposed ballot initiative (Initiative Petition 53) seeks to regulate the personal possession, commercial cultivation, and retail sale of cannabis to adults. Taxes on the commercial sale of cannabis under the plan are estimated to raise some $88 million in revenue in the first two years following the law’s implementation. Adults who engage in the non-commercial cultivation of limited amounts of cannabis for personal use (up to four marijuana plants and eight ounces of usable marijuana at a given time) will not be subject to taxation or commercial regulations.

Passage of the initiative would not “amend or affect in any way the function, duties, and powers of the Oregon Health Authority under the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act.”

A statewide Survey USA poll released in June reported that 51 percent of Oregon adults support legalizing the personal use of marijuana. Forty-one percent of respondents, primarily Republicans and older voters, oppose the idea. The poll did not survey respondents as to whether they specifically supported the proposed 2014 initiative.

Alaska voters will decide on a similar legalization initiative in November. Florida voters will also decide in November on a constitutional amendment to allow for the physician-authorized use of cannabis therapy.

Marijuana, Reefer Madness, Fake Experts and Politicians

Salem-News.com Medical Marijuana - Tue, 07/22/2014 - 07:39
I was introduced to marijuana in 1928 when I discovered that the Mexican kids in my hometown, Klamath Falls, Oregon, were smoking it, which I believed to be “locoweed”! I discovered later that the rolled cigarettes they were enjoying were not Jimson weed, most commonly called locoweed, but marijuana. Jimson is not marijuana, but produces many similar effects.
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