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MJ News for 07/24/2014

7greeneyes

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http://www.latimes.com/nation/natio...ization-ballot-initiative-20140723-story.html




Oregon marijuana legalization measure makes November ballot


Oregonians will be able to vote in November on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

The initiative submitted by the marijuana reform group New Approach Oregon received at least 88,500 valid signatures to qualify for placement on the ballot, election workers announced Wednesday.

“Treating marijuana use as a crime has failed,” Peter Zuckerman, spokesman for New Approach Oregon, told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday. “We can’t afford to wait -- more lives are being ruined, more money is being blown into the black market and police are more distracted from issues like violent crime. Oregonians are open to a new approach to marijuana and we are going to fight for every vote.”

The measure needs a simple majority to pass.

If Oregon legalizes recreational marijuana, it would become the third state to do so, following Washington and Colorado, which both passed legalization initiatives in 2012. Alaska will also vote on a similar measure in November.

Twenty-four states and Washington, D.C., have passed laws permitting medicinal marijuana use.

The Oregon ballot measure, Initiative Petition 53, seeks to regulate the personal possession, commercial cultivation and retail sale of cannabis to adults. Under the plan, taxes on the sale of cannabis are estimated to raise about $88 million in the first two years following the law’s implementation.

The proposal would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and to cultivate up to four plants. It would also give the Oregon Liquor Control Commission authority to oversee and regulate recreational sales, which would start in January 2016.

Recreational marijuana would be taxed at $1.50 a gram or $35 an ounce, according to the initiative. That revenue from the taxes would go to schools, law enforcement, drug treatment programs and mental health programs.

In a June poll in Oregon, 51% of those surveyed said they supported allowing adults to use, possess and grow marijuana for their personal use while allowing the state to regulate and tax it.

A study released Tuesday by ECO Northwest, an economic analysis and advisory group, estimated that marijuana regulation in Oregon would generate $38.5 million in tax revenue in the first year of sales.
 

7greeneyes

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http://247wallst.com/investing/2014/07/22/what-a-marijuana-etf-would-look-like/




What a Marijuana ETF Would Look Like (Updated)


The changes taking place around marijuana for medical use and for recreational use are the biggest in almost everyone’s lifetime.

There are quite literally billions of dollars up for grabs for those who capitalize on the trend. There are also significant risks, both for investors and those who decide to get into the business. We might not be able to help those in the business with banking, tax, legal and security tips, but we do have a thought for the community who wants to invest passively in the massive growth potential of marijuana: How about a marijuana ETF!


An old saying that we keep using is that there is an exchange traded fund (ETF) for just about any investing theme you can think of. Still, marijuana is a relatively new legal industry regionally, with very few legitimate public companies in the sector that have generated revenues and that have been run by officers who know what it takes to be a public company.

A marijuana stock ETF may be quite a ways off. There are only two states with legalization in place, and we have identified the next nine states with efforts underway for 2014 to 2016 legalization. An ETF would aim to filter out all the penny-stock scam marijuana company risks to buffer investors and would set up criteria for how investors should evaluate them.

Before you think that this idea of a marijuana ETF is too outlandish to consider, look elsewhere at many of these crazy niche sectors. There are ETFs that mimic merger-arb investing, rare earths metals, lithium producers, companies run or dominated by women, uranium, wind energy, livestock and on and on. So, why would a marijuana ETF be out of the ordinary?

It seems likely that whichever fund family would launch a so-called marijuana ETF would not just be able to limit the focus to U.S.-only companies. That is common enough in ETFs.

Now, keep in mind that both the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have both gone as far as to issue formal warnings about marijuana stock and investing scams. Again, this means an ETF could buffer investors against the penny-stock scammers.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/07/23/anna-conte_n_5614774.html




9-Year-Old Girl's Death Shines A Tragic Light On Medical Marijuana Debate


NEW YORK -- Drug reform advocates across New York state are demanding emergency access to medical marijuana for critically ill patients after a 9-year-old girl who suffered from debilitating seizures died last week due to complications with her disorder.

Anna Conte, the child whose family has been at the center of New York's medical marijuana debate for months, had a rare condition called Dravet Syndrome that caused her to experience as many as hundreds of crippling seizures every day. Children with similar conditions have successfully treated their symptoms with cannabis in states that have legalized the drug for medicinal use.

New York lawmakers passed a medical marijuana bill last month, but the law won't go into effect for another year and a half. Since its passage, two other children with seizure disorders similar to Conte's have also died. Advocates say these tragedies exemplify the urgent need to implement the law, and are pressuring legislators to speed up the process so terminally ill patients will be able to access medical cannabis sooner than 18 months from now.

"Several more children are likely to die waiting for New York to implement its medical marijuana program," Judy Netherland, a spokesperson for the Drug Policy Alliance, said in a statement Tuesday. "While not all of these deaths can be prevented by medical marijuana, we have a moral obligation to make this medicine available as soon as possible."

New York's medical marijuana law came to fruition after years of resistance from both conservative state lawmakers and Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Conte's mother, Wendy, repeatedly lobbied legislators on behalf of her daughter, and her family's story is largely credited for ultimately getting the bill to pass.

"Her courage, and the courage of her family, directly led to my sponsorship of legalized medical marijuana in New York," said State Sen. Mark Grisanti (R-Buffalo), one of the first Republican lawmakers to publicly support the medical cannabis bill, in a statement following Conte's passing. "She was a courageous little girl, who suffered as no child ever should."

Strains of medical marijuana that are high in cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive ingredient that doesn't cause users to feel "high," have proven extremely effective in treating seizure disorders. Rather than smoking, patients ingest the drug in pill or liquid form, making it accessible for young people.

As a result, families are flocking to states like Colorado, where a special strain of cannabis known as "Charlotte's Web" has been used successfully by hundreds of children, and California, where kids are experiencing the benefits of similar treatments. (Conte's own family had been in the process of relocating to Colorado from Buffalo, New York, before New York's medical marijuana bill passed.)

Doctors who have used high-cannabidiol medical marijuana on their young patients have marveled at the drug's efficacy. "It's completely remarkable," Colorado-based Dr. Margaret Gedde told The Huffington Post earlier this year.

One of Gedde's patients, 10-year-old Zaki Jackson, used to endure thousands of seizures every day. He had been prescribed 17 different pharmaceutical medications, which caused side effects like weight gain and insomnia but failed to stop the seizures. He then tried the "Charlotte's Web" strain of cannabis, and has been seizure-free since beginning his medical marijuana treatment more than a year ago.

"He's now able to start developing as a normal child. He's a delightful, charming kid," Gedde said. "Before that he couldn't even be in contact with people. It was a dramatic, complete change."

Success stories like Jackson's have inspired other states to follow suit. In recent months, similar efforts have gained momentum even in conservative states: Georgia is exploring using medical marijuana in clinical trials to treat seizure disorders, and Florida passed a limited-access cannabis law earlier this month.

Through her grief, Wendy Conte vows to continue to fight on behalf of other sick children in New York, joining Judy Netherland's call for lawmakers to establish an emergency access program for patients with chronic conditions.

"They can figure out a way to get this done," she told the Buffalo News. "If they truly want to help these children, they’ll find a way."
 

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http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/268306792.html




Minnesota names new director of medical cannabis


Minnesota has hired a director to lead its newly created Office of Medical Cannabis.

The Legislature legalized the limited use of medical marijuana this year and on Wednesday the Minnesota Department of Health named Michelle Larson to oversee the program.

The new Office of Medical Cannabis has one year to set up a statewide system that can produce, distribute and regulate the use of medical marijuana. Larson comes to the job after serving as deputy director of the health department's Office of Statewide Health Improvement, which tackled hot-button issues like tobacco, obesity and nutrition.

Larson's to-do list for the next few months will include screening and selecting the manufacturers who will produce medical marijuana, developing rules to govern the operation of the dispensary system and building a patient registry.

Minnesota has one of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws among the 23 states that have legalized the drug for medical use. Starting in July 15, patients with certain doctor-certified conditions like cancer, seizure disorders, glaucoma or terminal illnesses, will be able to legally buy marijuana in liquid, pill or other non-smokable forms. The federal government still considers marijuana an illegal substance with no recognized medical use.

Two in-state manufacturers will produce all of Minnesota's medical cannabis, which in turn will be distributed at eight dispensaries around the state. Who those producers will be, and where those distribution centers will be located are among the first issues Larson and her 10-person staff will tackle this summer.

Minnesota Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger said the medical cannabis program will need to ramp up quickly and Larson -- an environmental health specialist who has also worked in the department's Office of Emergency Preparedness and served in the Minnesota Air National Guard's 148th Fighter Wing in Duluth -- has experience and skills for the job.

“This position requires a skilled administrator, but it also requires someone who can work with people from a range of backgrounds,” Ehlinger said in a statement Wednesday morning. “Michelle brings a strong background in public policy and administration, as well as a history of working with the public health community, law enforcement and security, pharmacists, health care providers and community members. She has the ability to work with people to get things done right.”

Larson starts work on Aug. 13. For more information about the medical cannabis program, visit:

www.health.state.mn.us/topics/cannabis/index.html.
 

7greeneyes

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http://www.watoday.com.au/wa-news/c...f-toddlers-transformation-20140724-zwlhc.html




(Australia) 'Cannabis saved my son': mother's story of toddler's transformation


A Perth mother has told of her toddler son's amazing transformation after taking cannabis to alleviate life-threatening seizures and how it also led to her being investigated by child welfare services.

Speaking to Paul Murray on Radio 6PR on Thursday afternoon, Kim said her son, who suffers from Jervell and Lange-Nielsen syndrome, went from being almost incapacitated to walking and talking after being administered cannabis.

“We started that in August of last year and he went from being a little boy who stumbled around everywhere and had to wear a helmet to being able to, within days, start walking very solidly and not bumping into things, to within a week running for the first time and it was just crazy.

“We were like standing back thinking this was unbelievable.

“Our little boy doesn’t just have a two-second seizure or a five-minute seizure, his seizures go for 20, 25 minutes plus and they are full body seizures which can be horrific.

“Some of these kids are having 200 times a day and that’s limiting their ability to have a great life as well.

“He went from saying just one or two words at a time to actually putting sentences together. We were all in amazement."

Unfortunately for Kim and her husband, that improvement led to her having to reveal the source of their son’s change in condition.

“I believe police have been informed," Kim said.

“Kids need to be looked after and you make sure the right thing is being done for any child, so I was completely open to talking to them about it.

“Like I said to them, this is something that I need medical professionals' help to navigate through this because this could be the answer for our little boy.”

Kim said the decision to administer illegal cannabis was not taken lightly but she could not believe the health improvements she saw.

“We’re from a very middle-class family who toe the line and follow the law, I 'spose just being normal people, we were sort of 'wow, this is crazy’.

“We’re looking at this but then to see the actual reaction or the difference that it made to him, I was like 'this is why we’re doing it'."

Kim said the medical cannabis was originally produced in liquid alcohol and now it was developed with triglyceride.

She said she obtained the product through other parents and on the east coast of Australia.

“It’s not something you can get on the internet and find," she said.

“I don’t pay for this product. It’s given to me by people out there who think this could be a fantastic medicine for all types of kids with epilepsy, with seizures and things.

“It’s not a medical cannabis that gives a high – they’re actually able to get the THC to a quite low dose.

“I tried it before I gave it to our son and it had no effect on me other than I had a really sound sleep.”

Kim said she understood the various opinions from people about administering cannabis to her child but, after enduring years of fearing for her son’s life, she said was willing to risk it.

“I can certainly understand how people can look at it and think number one, it’s an illegal substance and, number two, she’s giving it to her two-and-a-half-year-old son.

“But when you weigh it up with what the potential outcome for him could be and that one seizure could take him away from us - it could kill him or it could take his ability to walk, talk, eat, anything, away from him.

“You’ve got to weigh up the dangers of what you are actually giving him. Just the impact on our family to actually limit the seizures and to see our little boy come out, it’s just amazing and it gives us hope that he can be a productive member of society.”
 

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https://au.news.yahoo.com/a/2453394...er-peter-gutwein-tells-tasmanian-councillors/




Medicinal cannabis not ruled out, Treasurer Peter Gutwein tells Tasmanian councillors


The Tasmanian Government would be prepared to support the findings of an Upper House inquiry into medicinal cannabis, Treasurer Peter Gutwein has indicated.

Mr Gutwein made the suggestion at the annual Local Government Association conference, where several mayors took the opportunity to express their willingness to establish medical cannabis crops in their regions.

Early this month, the government rejected a medicinal cannabis trial after meeting the proponents, saying it was concerned about safety and security.

There had been a groundswell of council support for medical cannabis production in Tasmania, and some mayors were upset they were not consulted before the government dismissed the proposal.

"What really annoyed us ... [is] they haven't come and spoken to local government about, and I think that they should do," said Circular Head Mayor Darryl Quilliam.

But it appeared the Government had softened its hardline stance against the crop.

Mr Gutwein said the Government would not only take the findings of Upper House inquiry on board, but might well act on any recommendations.

"Are we prepared to look at and support the committee and then look at the outcome? Then, yes," he said.
 

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