MJ NEWS for 02/25/2015

7greeneyes

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http://fox2now.com/2015/02/24/cannabis-oil-to-be-sold-in-missouri-legally/





Cannabis oil to be sold in Missouri legally





ST. LOUIS (KTVI) – For the first time in nearly 80 years cannabis will be grown legally in Missouri.

Last July Governor Nixon signed into law the Missouri Medical Marijuana bill and this week licenses were granted by the Missouri Department of Agriculture to two non profits to grow cannabis plants for hemp extract.

The hemp extract law is extremely narrow. It allows people with severe, persistent epileptic seizures to use oil derived from cannabis plants as a medical treatment.

In an application process that took months, two non profits were chosen to grow the hemp. They must follow strict guild lines set up by the Missouri Health and Agriculture Departments.

Production is expected to begin in the summer and should be available by the fall.

The Missouri Health Department estimates about a thousand people will apply to use the treatment.

Although the treatment hasn`t undergone many clinical trials, many parents testified at state house and senate hearings last year, saying that using CBD oil has dramatically reduced the amount of seizures their children have. Like this little girl Charlotte who went from dozens of seizures a day to one a week.

With other broader medical marijuana bills being introduced in Jefferson City, Show Me Cannabis believes this could change the stigma associated with marijuana.

At Beleaf company that will grown cannabis in St. Peter’s they expect to initially employ 15 to 18 people.

Both company’s production will be allowed to dispense the oil at 3 different locations. Beleaf says they will likely dispense the oil in St. Louis, Columbia and the Kansas City area out of doctor’s offices.
 

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...ossession-are-twice-as-high-as-anywhere-else/






D.C.’s limits on legal marijuana possession are twice as high as anywhere else





When pot legalization kicks in at 12:01 a.m. Thursday morning in Washington, D.C., residents will be free to legally have twice as much marijuana as in the states that have legalized the drug.

In the four states that have so far approved legal weed—Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington—limits on possession are or will be set at an ounce. In D.C., the limit will be two ounces.

But, as we wrote Tuesday, D.C.’s legalization rules are similar in many ways to those in the states that approved legalization. Here’s a quick look at some of the ways in which they compare:

Consumption is banned in public and on federal land and property in all four states and D.C.
Home-growing limits are highest in D.C., Colorado and Alaska. Under the rules in both states and the capitol, adults may grow and keep the products of up to six plants at home, three of them mature.

Up to an ounce of the plant can be provided as a gift in D.C., Alaska, Colorado and Oregon.
Voter approval for legalization was higher in D.C. than in any of the states that legalized. The results were, in order:

D.C.: 64.9 percent

Oregon: 56.1 percent

Washington: 55.7 percent

Colorado: 55.3 percent

Alaska: 53.2 percent


But that’s where any comparisons end. Unlike the states, D.C. will have very few regulations beyond those basic rules mentioned. That’s because Congress in December denied it the funds to regulate the industry, under the assumption that doing so would stop legalization dead in its tracks. The Post’s Aaron C. Davis and Peter Hermann explain:

Instead of writing regulations governing how the drug would be bought, sold, tracked and taxed — a process that took more than a year in Colorado and Washington state — the District was quickly blocked from doing so by Congress. The city’s attorney general advised officials that even talking about how to allow pot sales could result in jail time for them.

D.C. officials contend that all Congress did was stop them from regulating legalization beyond what voters approved in November.
 

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/25/jamaica-weed-legal_n_6751000.html





Jamaica Decriminalizes Marijuana In Small Amounts





KINGSTON, Jamaica (AP) — Marijuana has been pervasive but illegal in Jamaica for decades, consumed as a medicinal herb, puffed as a sacrament by Rastafarians and sung about in the island's famed reggae music.

After many years of dialogue about the culturally entrenched drug, and emboldened by changes to drug laws in U.S. states, Jamaica's Parliament on Tuesday night gave final approval to an act decriminalizing small amounts of pot and establishing a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry.

The historic amendments pave the way for a "cannabis licensing authority" to be established to deal with regulating the cultivation and distribution of marijuana for medical and scientific purposes. Both houses of Jamaica's legislature have approved the legislation.

And in a victory for religious freedom, adherents of the homegrown Rastafari spiritual movement can now freely use marijuana for sacramental purposes for the first time on the tropical island.

The law makes possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana a petty offense that could result in a ticket but not in a criminal record. Cultivation of five or fewer plants on any premises would be permitted.

Tourists who are prescribed medical marijuana abroad will soon be able to apply for permits authorizing them to legally buy small amounts of Jamaican weed, or "ganja" as it is known locally.

Peter Bunting, the island's national security minister, said the legislation does not mean Jamaica plans to soften its stance on transnational drug trafficking or cultivation of illegal plots. Jamaica has long been considered the Caribbean's largest supplier of pot to the U.S. and regional islands.

"The passage of this legislation does not create a free-for-all in the growing, transporting, dealing or exporting of ganja. The security forces will continue to rigorously enforce Jamaican law consistent with our international treaty obligations," Bunting said in Parliament.

William Brownfield, the U.S. assistant secretary for counter-narcotics affairs, told The Associated Press days before the vote that "Jamaican law is of course Jamaica's own business, and Jamaica's sovereign decision." But he noted that the trafficking of marijuana into the U.S. remains against the law.

"We expect that Jamaica and all states party to the U.N. Drug Conventions will uphold their obligations, including a firm commitment to combating and dismantling criminal organizations involved in drug trafficking," he told AP in an email.

Debate has long raged in Jamaica over relaxing laws prohibiting ganja but previous calls to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana fizzled out because officials feared they would bring sanctions from Washington.

Jamaican officials now have high hopes that the island can become a player in the nascent medical marijuana industry, health tourism and the development of innovative pot-derived items. Local scientists already have a history of creating marijuana-derived products, such as "Canasol," which helps relieve pressure in the eyes of glaucoma patients.

Commerce Minister Anthony Hylton said the cannabis industry holds "great potential" for Jamaica, where marijuana has long been grown illegally on mountainsides and marshes.

The move by Jamaican lawmakers adds to an international trend of easing restrictions on marijuana for medical or personal use. More than 20 U.S. states allow some form of medical marijuana and last year Colorado and Washington legalized personal use. On Tuesday, Alaska became the third U.S. state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults.

In the Americas, Uruguay last year became the first nation to create a legal marijuana market. In Argentina, personal possession of marijuana was decriminalized under a 2009 Supreme Court ruling that jail time for small amounts of drugs violates the country's constitution. A law in Chile permits use of medical marijuana.

Details of Jamaica's licensing authority and its hoped-for medical marijuana sector will need to be refined in coming months. But for now, Jamaican cannabis crusaders applauded the amendments.

"This is a big step in the right direction, but there's still a lot of work to do," said Delano Seiveright, director of the Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Taskforce.
 

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http://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2015/02/24/maryland-continues-to-debate-legalizing-marijuana/





Maryland Continues To Debate Legalizing Marijuana





BALTIMORE (WJZ) — DC is about to legalize marijuana—which means that Marylanders could travel just minutes to legally buy marijuana.

Christie Ileto explains this comes as Maryland fights its own battle over legalizing the drug.

Pot is hours from being legal in DC, but here it’s still banned.

“That’s another reason to consider while we’re doing it here in Maryland,” said Councilman Curt Anderson.

The cannibis controversy heats up for round three in Annapolis. Advocates are pushing to make it legal for those over 21 to have up to one ounce or six marijuana plants.

For Kevin Cranford, it’s living a life in the cannibis closet.

“We’re respectable adults during the day but we have this closeted side where we can only tell our closest friends how we actually enjoy our recreational time,” Cranford said. “It’s time we change the face of what a recreational user is.”

“We’re telling kids it’s okay to smoke pot,” said Mike Gimbel.

Critics argue it sends the wrong message.

“All the kids are going to flock to Washington, buy their pot and then bring it home,” said Gimbel. “They’ll be driving under the influence, bringing it to school. It’s almost going to be like it’s legal in Maryland but it’s not.”

As of last October, possessing even the smallest amount of marijuana no longer comes with jail time but is a civil violation.

“[Decriminalization wasn’t enough] because it still left the criminal market,” said Sara Love, ACLU. “There are still criminals selling to our children and in our schools.”

Meaning regulation comes when it’s legalized.

“If we produce it, grow it, we would have control over that market, control we don’t have right now,” Anderson said.

An uphill battle won in DC and now center stage in Maryland.

Alaska joined Washington and Colorado in legalizing recreation use of marijuana Tuesday. Oregon also passed an initiative to legalize pot; that goes into effect in July.
 

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/24/marijuana-safer-than-alcohol-tobacco_n_6738572.html





Marijuana May Be The Least Dangerous Recreational Drug, Study Shows





Marijuana is far safer than alcohol, tobacco and multiple other illicit substances, researchers say, and strict, legal regulation of cannabis might be a more reasonable approach than current prohibitions.

Those are the findings of a new report published in Scientific Reports that compares the lethality of the recreational use of 10 common drugs, including marijuana, alcohol, tobacco, heroin, cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine, diazepam, amphetamine and methadone.

Researchers found that marijuana has the lowest risk of mortality and is safer than the commonly used alcohol and tobacco as well as the rest of the drugs in the study. They determined the risk of mortality by comparing the lethal dose of each substance with a commonly used amount of each substance.

The finding that marijuana has the lowest risk when compared with the other drugs is not surprising -- previous research had found that marijuana is a substantially safer recreational drug than other commonly used recreational drugs examined in this study. That finding stands in stark contrast to the lethal risk of alcohol, which the researchers found to be potentially more deadly than heroin.

Marijuana is so much less risky than alcohol and tobacco that the researchers say their results point toward developing policies that prioritize managing the risks associated with alcohol and tobacco, rather than the illicit drugs in the study. Further, the low risk of cannabis use suggests government should use "a strict legal regulatory approach rather than the current prohibition approach" to manage the substance, the researchers write.

http://big.assets.huffingtonpost.com/DrugRisk2.png

Many world governments, including the United States, tend to have more restrictive policies around drugs such as marijuana than they do for alcohol and tobacco. The researchers note that their results confirm that the risk of cannabis "may have been overestimated in the past" and that the risk of alcohol "may have been commonly underestimated."

Legislation around illicit substances often have a "lack of scientific basis," the researchers say, and that's a point that is reflected in U.S. drug laws.

Under the Controlled Substances Act, the U.S. has five "schedules" for drugs and chemicals that can be used to make drugs. Schedule I is reserved for drugs that the Drug Enforcement Administration considers to have the highest potential for abuse and are the "most dangerous." Marijuana has been classified as Schedule I for decades, along with other substances like heroin and LSD. Cocaine is Schedule II. Alcohol and tobacco are exempted from the CSA.

But if science dictated drug policy, where would alcohol and tobacco be placed in the CSA?

"Of course alcohol and tobacco would be Schedule I," said Mark Kleiman, professor of drug policy and criminal justice at New York University and co-author of Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs To Know.

"The whole scheduling system should be scrapped and replaced with something with more dimensions," Kleiman said, but he added that common reforms to drug policy can also come with problems.

Decriminalization, while good at reducing criminal punishment for nonviolent drug users, can still leave the drug supply in criminal hands, Kleiman said. And while legalization is less of a "kludge" than decriminalization, it's too early to tell if it is the most effective, at least with regard to marijuana, Kleiman explained. Four states, as well as Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational cannabis, and retail marijuana has been for sale for only a year in Colorado and Washington. Additionally, 23 states have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.

"For most currently prohibited drugs -- except cannabis and the hallucinogens -- it looks like smarter prohibition [is the answer]: less enforcement, more concentrated on bad illicit-market side-effects than on suppressing use, but sufficient to prevent flagrant open dealing," Kleiman said.

While marijuana may be safer than alcohol and tobacco, all of them have potential risks.

From heart disease to liver disease to elevated cancer risks, excessive alcohol consumption can indeed be devastating to a person's overall health. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are roughly 88,000 deaths attributable to alcohol use each year in the United States. In 2006, the CDC reported that there were 1.2 million emergency room visits and 2.7 million physician office visits due to excessive alcohol use.

Similarly, there's a laundry list of well-documented adverse health effects related to tobacco use, which harms nearly every organ in the body and causes the deaths of almost 480,000 people in the U.S. annually.

Of course, marijuana is not harmless either. Excessive use can lead to respiratory discomfort, although the drug itself has not been linked to lung damage. Studies have also shown cannabis can be addictive, however much less addictive than alcohol and even less than caffeine. That's not to say that marijuana can't be habit-forming: Between 4 and 9 percent of regular pot users can develop dependence on the drug, according to a frequently cited survey supported by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. That's compared with about 15 percent of drinkers who develop a dependence for alcohol.

Among people prone to the development of psychosis, research has shown that smoking pot can lead to an earlier onset of psychosis among those prone to the disorder. And there's understandable concern about adolescent marijuana use and its effects on the developing brain.

Still, in what is likely thousands of years of human consumption, there have been no documented deaths as a result of marijuana overdose. According to a 1988 ruling from the DEA, a marijuana user would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 times the amount of THC in a joint to be at risk of a fatal dose.
 

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http://www.sltrib.com/home/2220878-155/marijuana-bill-would-allow-growth-sale





Marijuana bill would allow growth, sale of pot for medical purposes in Utah





Newly released legislation would establish a network of marijuana greenhouses and medical dispensaries, all licensed by the state — the first time such a plan has been proposed in Utah.

Under SB259, sponsored by Sen. Mark Madsen, R-Saratoga Springs, businesses could register with the Utah Tax Commission and apply for licenses to grow cannabis under the supervision of the state Division of Occupational Licensing.

Individuals with chronic illnesses could purchase and use small amounts *— not more than 2 ounces at a time — of cannabis oils and edibles containing tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the active ingredient in marijuana. There would be a $100 fee to obtain a registration card from the state.

The plants would have to be tracked electronically, from planting to consumption and tested by a certified, independent testing laboratory.

Applicants would have to pay a $5,000 fee to obtain a license to grow or sell marijuana. There may be one licensed facility for every 200,000 residents in a county — so as many as five could operate in Salt Lake County.

The bill is scheduled for a public hearing — in the Senate Judiciary Committee of which Madsen is Chairman — Thursday morning.

Twenty-three states — including Utah's neighbors in Nevada, Arizona and Colorado — and the District of Columbia have legal medical marijuana.

Madsen's bill will face an uphill battle, not solely because of Utah's conservative, anti-drug Legislature, but because of opposition from Gov. Gary Herbert, who has expressed concerns that legal marijuana for medical purposes would lead to a slippery slope to recreational use of the drug.

"I mean, it's a sham," Herbert said. "It's not just being used for medical uses, it's being used for recreational purposes."
 

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