MJ News for 03/02/2015

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs...ned-rabbits-if-utah-passes-medical-marijuana/





DEA warns of stoned rabbits if Utah passes medical marijuana




Utah is considering a bill that would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to be treated with edible forms of marijuana. If the bill passes, the state's wildlife may "cultivate a taste" for the plant, lose their fear of humans, and basically be high all the time. That's according to testimony presented to a Utah Senate panel (time stamp 58:00) last week by an agent of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

"I deal in facts. I deal in science," said special agent Matt Fairbanks, who's been working in the state for a deacade. He is member of the "marijuana eradication" team in Utah. Some of his colleagues in Georgia recently achieved notoriety by raiding a retiree's garden and seizing a number of okra plants.

Fairbanks spoke of his time eliminating back-country marijuana grows in the Utah mountains, specifically the environmental costs associated with large-scale weed cultivation on public land: "Personally, I have seen entire mountainsides subjected to pesticides, harmful chemicals, deforestation and erosion," he said. "The ramifications to the flora, the animal life, the contaminated water, are still unknown."

Fairbanks said that at some illegal marijuana grow sites he saw "rabbits that had cultivated a taste for the marijuana. ..." He continued: "One of them refused to leave us, and we took all the marijuana around him, but his natural instincts to run were somehow gone."

It's true that illegal pot farming can have harmful environmental consequences. Of course, nothing about these consequences is unique to marijuana. If corn were outlawed and cartels started growing it in national forests, the per-plant environmental toll would be about the same.

But backcountry marijuana grows are a direct result of marijuana's illegal status. If you're concerned about the environmental impact of these grows, an alternative is to legalize and regulate the plant so that people can grow it on farms and in their gardens, rather than on remote mountainsides.

Now, regarding rabbits. Some wild animals apparently do develop a taste for bud (and, yes, best to keep it away from your pets). But I don't know that the occasional high rabbit constitutes grounds for keeping marijuana prohibition in place, any more than drunk squirrels are an argument for outlawing alcohol. And let's not even get started on the nationwide epidemic of catnip abuse.

There was a time, not too long ago, when drug warriors terrified a nation with images of "the devil's weed" and "reefer madness." Now, it seems that enforcers of marijuana law conjuring up a stoned bunny?

Not scary enough for the Utah Senate, it seems: the panel approved the bill and sent it to the full Senate, where it will be debated this week.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://reason.com/archives/2015/03/02/why-congress-did-not-stop-marijuana-lega





Why Congress Did Not Stop Marijuana Legalization in Its Backyard





Last Tuesday, the chairman of the House committee that oversees the District of Columbia warned D.C. officials that they could go to prison if they insisted on implementing Initiative 71, the marijuana legalization measure that voters approved by an overwhelming margin last November. "There are very severe consequences," Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) told The Washington Post. "You can go to prison for this. We're not playing a little game here."

D.C. officials did not seem intimidated. "I would hope he is focused on doing his job," D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said. "Bullying the District is not what his constituents expect." D.C. Council Member Brianne Nadeau called it "offensive to the American value of self-governance" that "a representative from half a continent away is threatening to lock up our mayor for the crime of implementing the will of District voters."

Despite Chaffetz's considerable leverage over the District, his threats could not prevent Initiative 71 from taking effect, which happened automatically on Thursday morning. The powerful congressman's impotence in the face of an outcome he considers intolerable—people growing, possessing, and sharing marijuana without fear of arrest—highlights the waning influence of pot prohibitionists, who were unable to block marijuana legalization in the nation's capital even with Republicans controlling both houses of Congress.

Because most members of Congress are not clamoring to nullify Initiative 71, the prohibitionists' political weakness is reflected in the weakness of their legal arguments. In a letter he sent to Bowser on Tuesday night, Chaffetz claimed Initiative 71 had been nullified by the omnibus spending bill that Congress passed in December. The bill included a rider introduced by Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) that says "none of the funds contained in this Act may be used to enact any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance."

That language was never debated and never received a vote in either chamber; instead it was inserted during backroom negotiations over a must-pass bill at the end of the legislative session. Hence the Harris rider hardly signifies broad congressional support for overturning Initiative 71. In fact, Bowser and other local officials, including D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine, maintain that the amendment had no impact on Initiative 71 because the ballot measure was enacted when the vote for it was certified on December 3, two weeks before the spending bill was signed into law. Chaffetz disagrees, saying a D.C. law is not enacted until it survives the congressional review mandated by the District of Columbia Home Rule Act:

It is a basic legal tenet that legislation is not enacted and does not become law until the final act effectuating that process occurs. Under the plain terms of the Home Rule Act, a D.C. bill does not become law until the expiration of the 30- or 60-day layover period after the bill is transmitted to Congress. The D.C. Circuit has confirmed what constitutes enactment under the District of Columbia's initiative process. The Court stated "[t]he [D.C.] initiative process is subject to the same legislative restrictions as the D.C. Council, including the congressional veto power…." It is clear from the Court's statement that enactment of any initiative does not occur until the expiration of the 30- or 60-day layover period with Congress. Therefore, Initiative 71 was not enacted prior to the language in the Continuing Resolution preventing it from moving forward.

In the 2002 case to which Chaffetz refers, Marijuana Policy Project v. United States, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the Barr Amendment, a congressional spending restriction that blocked implementation of a medical marijuana initiative that D.C. voters approved in 1998 and prevented a similar initiative from appearing on the ballot in 2002. Notably, the Barr Amendment said D.C. could not "enact or carry out any law, rule, or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce penalties associated with the possession, use, or distribution of any schedule I substance." The Harris rider, by contrast, applies only to enactment, not to execution. Furthermore, the Barr Amendment was in effect before the 2002 initiative was proposed, which is why the D.C. Board of Elections refused to certify the measure so that its supporters could start collecting signatures to qualify it for the ballot. That was the decision at issue in the 2002 case. Initiative 71, by contrast, was approved by voters in November, and the vote was certified well before the Harris amendment took effect.

Chaffetz suggests that the D.C. Circuit's reference to "the congressional veto power" means D.C. laws are not really enacted until they survive review. But the implicit analogy to a president's veto power is misleading, since a bill passed by Congress does not become law unless the president signs it. Under the Home Rule Act, by contrast, a bill passed by the D.C. Council or an initiative passed by D.C. voters "shall take effect" at the end of the review period unless Congress exercises its (rarely used) veto power. If Congress passes a joint resolution of disapproval and gets the president to sign it before the end of the review period, the resolution "shall be deemed to have repealed such act, as of the date such resolution becomes law."

In other words, the Home Rule Act describes a piece of legislation submitted for congressional review as an "act" that "take effect" automatically if Congress does nothing and is "repealed" by a resolution of disapproval. That seems like pretty strong evidence that Chaffetz is wrong and Bowser et al. are right about the legal status of Initiative 71: It was enacted in early December, submitted to Congress by Mendelson on January 13, and took effect on Thursday, after 30 legislative days had passed without a resolution of disapproval.

If only Harris had thought to block implementation of the initiative, instead of trying to stop something that had already happened. Actually, he did think of that: Like the Barr Amendment, an earlier version of his rider would have barred the District from spending money "to enact or carry out" marijuana legalization. Those three words were dropped during negotiations over the spending bill. Harris's spokesman told The Washington Times he agreed to the excision to make it clear that he was not trying to reverse a 2014 law that decriminalized marijuana possession in the District. That law made possessing up to an ounce of marijuana a civil offense punishable by a $25 fine instead of a misdemeanor. Since Harris had tried and failed to override the decriminalization law earlier in the year, his concession was a notable sign of prohibitionist weakness, and it proved to be a disastrous tactical error.

Although neither Harris nor Chaffetz is willing to concede that point, there is little they can do about it now. It is doubtful that a federal court would agree to adjudicate the question, and it does not sound like anti-pot Republicans are eager to find out. In interviews with the Post, Chaffetz declined to say whether he would try to challenge Initiative 71 in court, and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), who chairs the House subcommittee with authority over D.C. and cosigned Chaffetz's letter to Bowser, said "there's no talk of litigation."

Chaffetz's threat of prison for D.C. officials who implement Initiative 71 was a desperate bluff. He argued that Mendelson, the D.C. Council chairman, violated the Harris amendment when he transmitted the initiative to Congress, since that action required some expenditure of public funds, if only to pay for the time that Mendelson and his staff devoted to it. Not only that, Chaffetz said, but "even the mere act of transmitting the Initiative by the District is likely in violation of the Anti-Deficiency Act," which authorizes criminal penalties, including fines up to $5,000 and up to two years in prison, for federal or D.C. officials who misuse money appropriated by Congress. Chaffetz even suggested that "developing rules for law enforcement or the general public" regarding the implications of Initiative 71 would be a felony.

According to a 2009 book published by the consulting firm Management Concepts, "no case has been documented in which anyone has been prosecuted for, much less convicted of, a violation of the Antideficiency Act." Making that threat even more remote, any prosecution would have to be pursued by an administration that opposes congressional interference with the District's marijuana policies. "I think the attorney general should prosecute people in the District who participate in this under the Anti-Deficiency Act," Harris told the Post. Don't hold your breath.

Harris and his allies still can punish the District for declining to punish cannabis consumers. "I think it plays out on the funding side of it," Meadows said. "There's a lot of funding questions, whether it's specifically about this or other related topics that become very difficult for D.C. to be able to address without the help and will of Congress." But it's not clear how much support anti-pot Republicans, who did not even bother to introduce a resolution of disapproval, will get from their colleagues.

Even Republicans who view marijuana with distaste are cognizant of polls showing that most Americans favor legalization and that support is especially strong among younger voters. Making a priority of forcing D.C. to reinstate penalties for possession, noncommercial transfers, and home cultivation would contradict the GOP's avowed commitment to local control and make Republicans look like a bunch of intolerant bullies.

If the difficulty of reversing Initiative 71 is making Chaffetz's head hurt, here is a proposal that will make it explode. It is widely assumed that the Harris rider stops the D.C. Council from pursuing its plans to legalize commercial production and distribution of marijuana, since that would require new legislation. But there may be a loophole for that as well. Walter Smith, executive director of the D.C. Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, notes that "Congress has prohibited the District only from [spending] funds appropriated for the current fiscal year on enacting marijuana reform." He says that means "the District would be well within its authority to enact new legislation, provided it uses funds outside Congress's appropriation for fiscal year 2015," such as its contingency reserve fund.

In fact, the District arguably could use current funds to pay for the regulatory system it creates, since that would amount to carrying out the new law instead of enacting it. So far D.C. officials have not publicly endorsed this strategy. Further legalization no doubt would enrage Chaffetz and his allies, who would redouble their efforts to re-impose pot prohibition on a city that has resoundingly rejected it. Why not let them try?
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/...l-marijuana-legalization-grow-trial/24223155/





Medical marijuana trial pits state vs. federal laws





SPOKANE, Wash. — Federal prosecutors are trying to persuade a jury that a cancer-stricken man and his family were illegally growing and distributing marijuana in the forest outside their northeastern Washington home despite claims by the "Kettle Falls Five" that they were instead raising legal medical cannabis for their personal use.

The case against Larry Harvey's family has become a cause celebre among the marijuana community, which sees it as a prime example of the continued disconnect between state and federal marijuana laws. Washington state last summer allowed legal recreational sales, although the raid on the Harvey's home happened in August 2012. And Congress late last year effectively barred the Justice Department from interfering with states that have medical marijuana systems.

Legalization advocates say it is a case of misguided federal marijuana laws and overzealous prosecutors unable or unwilling to accept the reality that most Americans would prefer to see pot users left alone.

"Some federal law enforcement officials are addicted to punishing people for marijuana-related offenses, and in this case the prosecutors are going on quite a bender," said Robert Capecchi, deputy director of state policies for the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project. "They appear to be going out of their way to bring the harshest penalties possible. Nobody should face years in prison for providing medical marijuana to seriously ill people whose doctors recommend it. Surely the DEA and federal prosecutors have more pressing matters to address than this."

Federal prosecutors argue the group's medical marijuana claims are just a cover. They say evidence shows the group had been growing far more marijuana than they admit, and seized records they say show the group was paying people to process marijuana for illegal distribution.

"This is clearly a for-profit marijuana grow operation and a criminal act by people who are trying to set up an affirmative defense to their crimes under state law," prosecutors wrote in rejecting the group's efforts to have the case dismissed. "The defendant seems to imply that all a person needs to do to avoid federal prosecution for manufacturing marijuana in the state of Washington is to claim that he was manufacturing medical marijuana. It is clear that the defendants are hiding behind the medical marijuana laws in Washington in order to profit from their manufacture of marijuana."

The judge on Feb. 18 dismissed the charges against Harvey, 71, because he's suffering from advanced pancreatic cancer, but allowed prosecutors to keep pressing their case against his wife, son and daughter-in-law. Family friend Jason Zucker on Feb. 24 agreed to a plea bargain, the details of which have been sealed. The three remaining defendants face lengthy prison sentences in part because police seized several firearms after spotting the outdoor grow from a helicopter.

"This president campaigned on respecting state medical marijuana and not going after individual patients who are acting in accordance with those laws," said Tom Angell of the pro-legalization Marijuana Majority. "The fact that his administration is prosecuting this case is shameful and contrary to his campaign pledges. These prosecutions need to be stopped, especially because Congress just passed an amendment in December that is supposed to prevent the Justice Department from interfering with state medical marijuana laws."

The federal judge in the case has barred the group from claiming protection under medical marijuana laws. In his order, the judge effectively said prosecutors simply had to prove the group was growing marijuana, and that growing and possessing marijuana remains against federal law.

"They can't put on a medical necessity defense. They can't talk about state medical marijuana law," said Kris Hermes of Americans for Safe Access, which supports the family but isn't paying for its defense. "Normally these cases don't go to trial, and people typically take plea bargains because they have no defense. Unfortunately, the Obama administration is continuing to aggressively try this case at considerable expense to taxpayers."

Hermes, who has been attending the trial, said the family is fighting the charges because they think it's the right thing to do. But he added: "I've never seen a jury acquit a federal medical marijuana defendant."

The trial is expected to last into next week.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way...republicans-favor-legal-marijuana-survey-says






6 In 10 Young Republicans Favor Legal Marijuana, Survey Says






Nearly two-thirds of Millennials who identify as Republican support legalizing marijuana, while almost half of older GOP Gen-Xers do, according to a recently released Pew survey that could be an indicator of where the debate is heading.

While the Pew Research Center survey published on Friday shows a 14 percentage point gap between Republicans and Democrats under the age of 34, six-in-10 GOP-leaning Millennials still said they favor legalizing cannabis. Seventy-seven percent of surveyed Democrats in the same age group held that view.

For those aged 35 to 50, the same 14 percentage point gap between Republicans and Democrats was evident, but the respective percentages were somewhat lower. In that age group, 47 percent of Republicans favored legalization, as opposed to 61 percent of Democrats.

As Pew notes: "The debate over marijuana also comes ahead of the 2016 presidential election, when both political parties are fighting over the coveted Millennial vote as this group of eligible voters swells in size, even if its members do not consistently show up on Election Day."

The survey follows controversial decisions in Alaska and the District of Colombia. They join Colorado and Washington State. Medical marijuana is legal in some other states, such as California and Minnesota.

The survey on attitudes on marijuana legalization by political affiliation largely mirrors a survey Pew conducted a year ago concerning same-sex marriage. It showed that 61 percent of self-identified Republicans under 30 favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry, as opposed to 77 percent of Democrats in the same age group.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/02/27/colorado-marijuana-sales_n_6772154.html





Colorado Sold 17 Tons Of Retail Marijuana In First Legal Year





DENVER, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Consumers in Colorado bought more than 17 tons of recreational marijuana buds during the first year of the state's new retail market, but sales of medicinal pot still outstripped that at almost 50 tons, officials said on Friday.

In a national first, voters in Colorado and Washington state opted to legalize recreational marijuana use by adults in landmark twin ballots in 2012. The first retail stores opened in Colorado on Jan 1, 2014.

States such as Oregon and Alaska that have now also voted to legalize recreational pot, and others where lawmakers face proposals to do so, are watching the Colorado results closely.

State tax officials say sales hit nearly $700 million last year, with medical marijuana accounting for $386 million and recreational pot bringing in $313 million.

In its first annual report, the Colorado Department of Revenue's Marijuana Enforcement Division said 109,578 pounds (49.7 tons) of medical marijuana flowers were sold in 2014, while 38,660 pounds (17.5 tons) were sold on the retail market.

But recreational sales of pot-infused edible products, such as candies and cookies, outstripped medical sales by about 2.85 million units to 1.96 million, the report said.

It said 322 retail stores were licensed at the end of last year, up from about 200 six months earlier, while 833 licenses were issued to retail businesses in general, and 1,416 medical marijuana businesses were approved by the state.

It said medical businesses were cultivating around 300,000 marijuana plants on average each month during 2014, while the number of retail plants rose steadily from fewer than 25,000 in January to nearly 217,000 during December.

The report noted that more than twice as many Colorado jurisdictions had "completely opted out" of allowing either retail or medicinal pot businesses to operate than had permitted them.

Sixty-seven jurisdictions allow medical and retail licensees, 21 permit only medical, and five only retail, while 228 jurisdictions prohibit them both.

The state's marijuana laws have been challenged in federal court by neighboring Nebraska and Oklahoma, which argue weed is smuggled across their borders, as well as by some Colorado residents who say the pot industry has hurt their families, businesses or property values.

Supporters say voters have chosen to take the trade out of the hands of criminals, and a Quinnipiac University Poll this week showed that 58 percent of Colorado residents support marijuana legalization, versus 38 percent against it.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/watch-moment-jennie-bond-stoned-5259538





(UK) Watch moment Jennie Bond got stoned: Ex-BBC royal correspondent smokes cannabis and gets 'munchies' in TV experiment





This is the hilarious moment former BBC royal correspondent Jennie Bond smoked cannabis and developed a love affair for 'red grapes' during a live TV experiment.

The 64-year-old signed up to the ground-breaking scientific trial where researchers asked the human guinea pigs questions in an MRI scan while under the influence.

Jennie admits to having smoked the drug at Warwick University while chilling out to 'Jimmy Hendrix' and lying back on velvet cusions.

But in the experiment users were given either a placebo, mild cannabis or 'skunk', which can be up to 10x more powerful than strains smoked in the 1960s.

They were then put through their paces with a series of cognitive tests and a questionnaire.

Speaking about the trial at University College London, she said: "I smoked a bit of cannabis as a student at University. I enjoyed the mellowing effect, the relaxation and sometimes the uncontrollable giggling.

"So the idea of taking skunk didn't frighten me and I was intrigued to see how it differed from the weaker cannabis I used to smoke.

The first thing to say is that it wasn't in the least like the old days... lying back on velvet cushions in a darkened room, smoking weed and listening to Jimi Hendrix!

"The laboratory conditions, the camera in your face and the prospect of inhaling what seemed like gallons of the stuff through a vaporiser and a huge plastic bag was far from relaxing."

Jennie underwent three trials, the first she thinks was a placebo, the second a mild cannabis strain and the last she believes may have been skunk.

She added: "It seemed much harsher in my throat and I did feel quite stoned after the first two bags. It wasn't particularly pleasant; it made me rather dizzy but I also felt super relaxed."

"In the MRI scanner, the tests seemed no more difficult than before, but I had one **** of a job staying awake.

"After the third bag of whatever it was, I had an insatiable thirst and a love affair with a bunch of grapes!

"My memory was appalling again, but I don't think my concentration was badly affected. Once again, my blood pressure went through the roof. That scared me and made me realise just how dangerous drugs can be."

Previously Channel 4 presenter Jon Snow was filmed getting stoned and he revealed it took him 4 hours to 'come down'.

Jennie Bond's results meanwhile, will be shown in Drugs Live: Cannabis on Trial on Tuesday, March 3rd at 10pm.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://cointelegraph.com/news/113580/dc-cannabis-legalization-victory-is-a-win-for-bitcoin-op-ed





DC Cannabis Legalization Victory is a Win for Bitcoin (Op-Ed)




A major milestone was achieved February 26, 2015 when Washington DC officially legalized cannabis for recreational use. Could this historic move in America’s capital also bolster the chances for another disruptive industry, namely cryptocurrencies?

Prohibition up in smoke
DC Mayor Muriel Bowser implemented the legalization initiative that was approved by almost 70 percent of voters back in November, 2014, despite threats of funding cuts, legal action, and even prison time from Congress.

Now, DC joins the ranks of Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Alaska, who all have legalized recreational use of the plant against the backdrop of a “dramatic” shift in public opinion in recent years, according to the Brookings Institute.

The new law, Initiative 71, allows adults over 21 years of age to possess, grow, smoke, and “share” marijuana. DC residents and visitors may possess up to 2 ounces of the drug, and can grow up to six plants, with no more than three mature plants at a single time. Smoking cannabis in public areas remains illegal.

Federal, local laws collide
This step forward marks another important victory on the road to overturning the federal prohibition of cannabis, and its classification as a Schedule-1 narcotic. The ongoing battle highlight the unique challenges America’s capital faces in a jurisdiction where state and federal laws often clash with confusing consequences.

“The ongoing squabbling between Congress and the DC government is par for the course,” DC Bitcoin Meetup organizer, Matt McKibbin, told CoinTelegraph. “The people voted by an overwhelming 70% to legalize the possession and personal use of marijuana on private property. The Republicans are just pandering to their base with empty threats and continue to be on the wrong side of history during the end of the war on drugs.”

McKibbin, of course, is referring to critics of the move such as Utah Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the Republican chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. He said that DC is in "willful violation of the law," while threatening the mayor in the Washington Post, stating "You can go to prison for this. We're not playing a little game here."

Nevertheless, Mayor Bowser defiantly announced the city's plans to go ahead with the legalization initiative while criticizing those who "bully" the District and its officials. "We believe that we're acting lawfully," said Bowser.

Crypto and cannabis
With the smoke clearing around the issue of cannabis in the District, another disruptive industry is waiting in the wings.

“We need a healthy, stable, bustling bitcoin economy,” said American Green President, Stephen Shearin, in a recent interview with CoinTelegraph. “We’ll support and promote and educate to drive adoption [of bitcoin] as we believe it’s safe, effective, and efficient.”

Due to the federal government’s current stance on cannabis, the fledgling industry is facing many problems with fund transfers and banking services, due to many major banks refusing to cooperate with cannabis businesses in states such as Colorado.

“Cannabis businesses are not permitted to bank in anything that looks traditional, including the use of credit cards, which presents another big challenge,” explained Shearin.

This is where cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin can shine, particularly with the help of bitcoin ATMs or payment processors such as Coinbase or BitPay who convert bitcoin in and out of US dollars, removing any volatility risk for the cannabis merchant.

McKibbin explained:

“I think we will see bitcoin being used more in the states where it is legal to sell recreational cannabis, as the banks and credit card companies refuse to do business with the dispensaries. This leaves a wide open spot for bitcoin ATMs to reduce the risk of having to carry and store large sums of cash.”
In addition to bitcoin, other cannabis specific cryptocurrencies such as CannabisCoin and PotCoin are already being accepted by some dispensaries in several US states. Thus, cryptocurrencies can offer a real solution, not only by presenting an additional payment option for buyers, but also a way to safely transfer funds, alongside the many other benefits of decentralized money.

Why DC matters
The latest victory in the nation’s capital highlights the growing momentum of the cannabis legalization movement as more and more people are beginning to realize that the repeal of the 78 years of prohibition is becoming a question not of if, but when.

"We’re the nation’s capital, so I feel like it just makes people uneasy,” said Ellen Bloom, a 24-year-old resident who said she voted for legalization but does not smoke pot, to the LA Times. “Maybe it’ll set the stage for the rest of the country, if D.C. has it legalized.”

Moreover, legalization in America’s capital could not only have reverberating and galvanizing effects across the United States, but around the entire world, since the US imposed its global War on Drugs policy back in the 1970’s.

While the Federal government and the majority of banks are still scratching their heads over how to approach cannabis, cryptocurrency might just be the perfect new technology to fill a much needed void for the nascent industry that is already raking in millions in tax revenue.

McKibbin concludes:

“There have also been two bills introduced into Congress, which would federally regulate and legalize the use of cannabis similar to alcohol. Nobody with their eyes open still believes continuing prohibition of cannabis is responsible, cost effective, or moral in this day in age.”
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
https://www.yahoo.com/parenting/idaho-considering-approval-of-cannabis-oil-after-112520439682.html





Idaho Considering Approval of Cannabis Oil After One Girl’s Story





BOISE, Idaho (AP) — Ten-year-old Alexis Carey has a rare but intractable form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome. The genetic disease causes severe and multiple seizures, which often leave parents guessing if the terror of watching their child seize up will pass or turn fatal.

Her Boise, Idaho, family learned that oil extracted from marijuana had helped other children and wanted to see if it would help Alexis too.

"Parent to parent, when you’re in a small community and 10 people that you know are all having success, that’s no longer anecdotal," Clare Carey, her mother, said. "That’s hope."

But Idaho’s stringent marijuana laws do not allow for medicinal use. The family began lobbying lawmakers to decriminalize the oil almost two years ago. Now, they’ve got some legislative backers and an upcoming hearing, as Idaho joins a larger movement to loosen laws to allow the use of marijuana extract oil.

Twelve states have legalized the oil while still banning medical marijuana. Virginia legalized the oil Feb. 26. In Utah, lawmakers have given initial approval to let those with chronic and debilitating diseases consume edible marijuana products, while still banning smoking.

Marijuana extract oil first received attention when a Colorado family fought and won for access for their daughter who also had Dravet Syndrome. It is similar to hemp oil, which is legal in Idaho and can be bought in grocery stores.

With no known cure for Dravet Syndrome, children are often prescribed a cocktail of medications to counter the seizures. However, the heavy drugs often come with side-effects that can permanently damage a child’s developing liver, kidneys and other organs.

Proponents of cannabidiol oil, a non-psychotropic extract of marijuana, argue that it reduces the amount and length of seizures in children.

Over time, Carey hopes that the oil would also reduce the number of medications her daughter relies on.

"Like any parent, you never give up hope that you can get complete seizure control," she said. "Children die from Dravet by any one of the seizures. Alexis could have a seizure that may not stop, we never really know."

Alexis began having seizures when she was two months old. But even in 2003, her mom says a lack of awareness of the disease led to many doctors not automatically suspecting it could be a rare, genetic disorder.

It wasn’t until Alexis lost all speech and potty control when she was 2 that doctors determined she had Dravet Syndrome, Carey said.

Since then, Alexis’ parents have put her on a variety of diets and medications to help reduce the seizures but the disease is tricky to manage. Dravet Syndrome often causes a variety of different kinds of seizures but medications typically target one particular type.

Alexis’ seizures usually occur at night, which means one of her parents regularly sleep with her and monitor her sleep patterns. During the day, Alexis requires constant supervision. While most 10-year-olds freely run and jump around, Alexis walks— albeit sometimes unstably and with help going up and down stairs.

Carey says working with Idaho’s Republican-controlled Legislature has been easier than anticipated.

Lawmakers who resisted the idea at first blush have warmed up to the idea, she said.

This year, the bill is endorsed by Republicans Sen. Curt McKenzie and Rep. Tom Leortscher. Both are chairs of the legislature’s State Affairs Committees, panels that often get tossed controversial legislation and have a high bar for clearance.

The measure unanimously passed the Senate committee during its introduction hearing, which means it now goes on to a full hearing in front of the committee.

Yet the bill must survive a Statehouse that approved a resolution in 2013 vowing never to legalize marijuana for any purpose.
 

7greeneyes

MedicalNLovingIt!
Joined
Jul 25, 2008
Messages
8,070
Reaction score
787
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...-hands-over-power-to-new-leader-10079256.html





Uruguay's cannabis-friendly president Jose Mujica hands over power to new leader





Uruguay’s liberal president – who proposed a state-run cannabis marketplace – handed his power over to a new leader yesterday.

Jose Mujica, who is known for giving away most of his salary and living humbly on a farm with his family and three-legged dog, presented his presidential sash to Tabare Vazquez on Sunday.

Vazquez, a 75-year-old oncologist, said he will retain the legal status of cannabis that was implemented in December 2013, but he said he will stop government supply if the scheme goes wrong.

Possession of cannabis currently carries no penalty and, since August last year, citizens have been allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at home.

Each registered person would be able to buy up to 1.4oz (40 grams) of cannabis from government-backed pharmacies per month in the near future.

Mujica, 79, is a farmer and former guerrilla fighter who is famous for driving a blue 1987 VW Beetle. He has left office to become a Senator.

Uruguay has experienced 12 years of booming economy, rising salaries and historically low unemployment while neighbouring Brazil and Argentina are experiencing economic downturns.

The Marxist former president, known as Pepe by Uruguayans and had spent 14 years in prison for fighting with the rebel Tupamaros National Liberation Movement during the 1960s and 70s, is also known for legislating abortions and gay marriage.

“He’s the best president we’ve ever had,” said Charo Baroni, a 66-year-old housewife who was in the crowd for the ceremony, according to AFP.

“I'm sorry to see him go. Tabare is good too. But Pepe is Pepe.”

Mujica wore his usual smart-casual attire of brown rubber-soled shoes, a black suit and a shirt with no tie for the ceremony.

New president Vazquez urged Uruguayans to work together to improve public education, health and housing, and he decried the violence haunting the world.

“Seldom in history has humanity been so shaken, so beaten, so overwhelmed as in these times. Violence, fear, terror, intolerance stalk different regions of our planet,” he said in his inaugural address.

The new leader is not a stranger to presidency as he was in power from 2005 to 2010. He ended 170 years of two-party dominance and left office with approval ratings of about 70 percent.

Both politicians represent the Broad Front coalition of parties that range from centre-left Christian Democrats to Communists.
 

Latest posts

Top