On Greek TV, a Greek official calls for marijuana legalization for recreational purposes. The official in question is Yiannis Tsironis. He’s the Deputy Minister for Agriculture, originating from Greece’s Green Party. Yeah, we figured as much.
The Green in Green
Like many other countries, our own included, Greek federal policy outlaws cannabis.
Despite the country’s history of producing hashish, authorities officially criminalized the plant in 1890. Although the cultivation and possession of hashish were illegal, Greek citizens continued to use it. Particularly after the first World War.
This year, the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, thus becoming the latest European country to implement a nation-wide medical marijuana program. At the moment, weed is still illegal for recreational purposes.
But will it always be?
Continue Reading at High Times
TALLAHASSEE — Health officials won’t be able to meet a legislatively mandated Tuesday deadline to hand out five new medical-marijuana licenses, the head of the state’s Office of Medical Marijuana Use said Friday.
The law called for an overall increase of 10 licenses, some of which have already been awarded, by Oct. 3. It also specified that one license goes to a black farmer who had been part of settled lawsuits about discrimination by the federal government against black farmers.
In a letter to legislative leaders signed Friday, Bax wrote that his office has “worked diligently to implement” the new law, but that the issuance of five new medical marijuana licenses by Tuesday posed an “extraordinarily challenging deadline.”
Bax pointed out that 13 administrative challenges were filed after the agency issued the first medical-marijuana licenses in 2015. The agency is still in litigation over two of the challenges, he said.
The upcoming licenses will be the first time the state has opened the application process to businesses that did not participate in the first selection process in 2015, creating intense interest in what could be one of the biggest medical-marijuana markets in the nation.
Read more at Newsherald
The feds began monitoring the potency of the nation’s pot supply in the ‘70s by drawing samples from stashes seized by law enforcement, and boy was it schwag. The percentage of THC—the main psychoactive component in cannabis—averaged from less than 1% in 1975 to just under 3% a decade later, according to the data.
These notoriously low levels reflected the times, as the weed subculture in America was just starting to take root and could help explain why some of the most memorable old school brands have names like Acapulco Gold, Panama Red, Afghani, Thai stick, and Jamaican sensi; they were all originally cultivated outside of the country.
Now, as some critics have pointed out, it’s impossible to empirically confirm how strong domestically grown pot was back in the day due to inferior testing and sampling methods, however, there does seem to be enough prevailing research, firsthand testimony, and common sense to show that the illicit reefer from decades ago wasn’t nearly as powerful as today’s.
A recent federal study found that “the potency of illicit cannabis plant material has consistently risen over time since 1995 from approximately 4% in 1995 to approximately 12% in 2014.” This marked increase represents a shift when smokers began to pivot from dirt to mid-grade and hydro. In one standout bust from 2009, the DEA nabbed some sticky-icky that scored an impressive 33.12%, the highest concentration of THC the agency has ever seen in a domestic sample of weed.
Continue Reading at Gizmodo
Everyone’s endocannabinoid system is different, and therefore everyone responds to weed differently. In fact, according to recent research, estrogen might make you more sensitive to the effects of cannabis.
A study from Washington State University found that women are most receptive to the effects of THC when their estrogen has peaked and is on the descent, which happens about a day or two before ovulation.
“What we’re finding with THC is that you get a very clear spike in drug sensitivity right when the females are ovulating, right when their estrogen levels have peaked and are coming down,” says lead researcher Rebecca Craft.
Other research has shown that women also tend to experience an increased libido from cannabis more so than men do. If a heterosexual couple is going to use cannabis to enhance sex, it’s best for the man to stop smoking about half an hour beforehand and for the women to keep on smoking. However, increased libido only works for moderate amounts of cannabis. If the dose is too high, the consumer might get too tired.
According to the study from Washington State University, increased appetite is a side effect of cannabis more likely to be found in men than in women.
Read the full article at Jane Street
Cigarettes are good for your health. There’s no such thing as global warming, so keep on burning coal. Benzodiazepines like Valium are a godsend — “mother’s little helper.” “Anything’s possible when you learn to handle Smirnoff.” These are some of the vintage ads and canards that we look back upon today with wonder.
What’s stupid is our collective amnesia about what happens in a democracy when a forbidden fruit hits the market: namely, capitalism at its worst. The response of capitalism to legalized cannabis will be to capitalize, as is its nature. To imagine that there will be no Big Weed akin to Big Tobacco is stupid. Consolidation is assured, and Big Weed will be run by executives from the other Big Bad Wolves.
The health benefits of “medical marijuana” will one day be equated with the disservice done by a generation of doctors who overprescribed opiates and benzos, the previous generation of doctors being suckered into smoking and recommending Camel cigarettes as good for you.
Read more at The Star
Michigan’s medical marijuana industry has had a licensing authority—in this case, the Michigan Medical Marijuana Licensing Board—for less than three months. It took two meetings before the licensing board, in charge of overseeing and regulating the state’s cannabis landscape, suggested shutting it all down.
Medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan since 2008. Under state law, a caregiver is allowed to cultivate up to 72 marijuana plants—no more than 12 plants for no more than six patients.
Retail outlets offering cannabis in Michigan are technically illegal—and will be until the state starts issuing licenses, a development expected to come as soon as later this year—yet dispensaries have been operating with varying levels of transparency in select cities for years.
In Detroit, there are more than 70 dispensaries offering marijuana for sale that has completed or at least started the city licensing process, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“Every dispensary out there is open in violation of the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act,” Bailey said during a recent board meeting, according to the Detroit Free Press. “It’s a felony for every sale that occurs from a dispensary.”
Continue Reading at High Times
If you consume cannabis, you are three times more likely to die from high blood pressure than those who abstain, according to a shocking new study. What does this mean to your cardiovascular health?
The study, published on Tuesday in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, found:
“Compared with subjects who had never used marijuana, the results revealed that marijuana users were 3.42 times more likely to die from high blood pressure. For each year of marijuana use, the risk of death from hypertension increased by 1.04 times.”
“We found higher estimated cardiovascular risks associated with marijuana use than cigarette smoking,” said study author Barbara A. Yankey from Georgia State University. “This indicates that marijuana use may carry even heavier consequences on the cardiovascular system than that already established for cigarette smoking.”
The study’s methodology has been questioned by other cannabis researchers. One significant shortcoming in the study is that the researchers did not control for diet and exercise as a factor in cardiovascular risk. It also did not assess whether test subjects ate, vaporized or smoked cannabis.
Read the full article at The Fresh Toast
In November, legalization of recreational marijuana was approved. Possession of recreational marijuana became legal this year, while the Legislature pushed back the legalization until at least February.
The referendum included licensing fees as well as a 10 percent tax on sales by retail marijuana stores and social clubs.
“I think we’ll definitely be increasing (the tax) to some level,” said Democratic Rep. Teresa Pierce, co-chair of the Legislature’s joint marijuana legalization implementation committee.
Meanwhile, medical marijuana dispensaries and advocacy groups so far this year have reported spending more than $265,000 on lobbyists to sway officials. Legalize Maine has reported spending $32,000, while Maine Professionals for Regulating Marijuana has reported spending nearly $85,000.
The regulations will govern issues from the use of pesticides to grow for personal consumption, and the Legislature faces further votes on a bill to set up a system of labs to test marijuana. Pierce said that overall, the idea is to learn from states like Colorado.
Read the full article at Leafly
A CO Tyrone boy who became the first person to be prescribed medical cannabis on the NHS is to be the face of a new brand of oil derived from the marijuana plant.
Billy Caldwell (11), from Castlederg, made history earlier this year he was prescribed oil containing CBD – an extract from cannabis – to help with life-threatening epilepsy that caused him to suffer up to 100 seizures a day.
Now a medical cannabis firm, 710 Holdings MME, is launching ‘Billy’s Bud’ CBD oil, a product inspired by Billy’s bravery.
His mother Charlotte told the Irish News that she hoped the oil would help other families benefit from medical cannabis.
“We are overwhelmed with this, and the oil will be available all over the US, Ireland, the UK, and Europe,” she said.
The Irish News
The pharmaceutical and biotech industry is tasked with one purpose: to improve the quality of life for people. But, what if that task were being compromised by the medicines they’re creating?
In terms of their clinical results, opioids have shown demonstrably positive impacts on reducing pain associated with a chronic disease, and they are a staple therapy for certain diseases. In 2012, some 259 million prescriptions were written for prescription opioids, which would be enough to ensure that every adult in the U.S. received their own bottle.
Opioids are a highly addictive therapy that, according to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, led to 20,101 overdose-related deaths in 2015.
In fact, the dangers of opioid addiction and overdose-related death have become such a reality that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently requested Endo International take Opana ER, an opioid therapy, off the market.
Continue reading at The Motley Fool
Greece has become the latest European country to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said:
“From now on, the country is turning its page, as Greece is now included in countries where the delivery of medical cannabis to patients in need is legal.” Mr. Tsipras said at a press conference, as reported by the Greek Government Gazette.
The Prime Minister also said cannabis would be downgraded from a Table A drug – equivalent to class A in the UK – to a Table B drug, in which category are other drugs like methadone and opium with approved medical values, as reported by Dope Magazine.
Greece is the sixth EU country to take this action after the Czech Republic, Finland, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain have already legalised the drug for medical use.
It is yet to be seen whether Greece will go further to allow full-scale cannabis legislation, for recreational use as well as medical, joining Portugal, the only other European country to do so.
The number of women using medical marijuana to treat their pain is up drastically over the past five years, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.
The report says 25 percent of women in 2012 used medical marijuana compared to more than 37 percent as of May of this year.
Dr. Burns, the Director of the Southwest Medical Evaluation Center, says many people have a hard time getting over the stigma of using marijuana to treat medical ailments, especially women.
“People have a hard time jumping over the blurred line and looking at the medical and really looking at it through a filter or medical standpoint, a therapeutic standpoint,” Dr. Burns said.
But now, more and more women are using medical marijuana to treat their issues.
In the U.S., one square foot of indoor marijuana cultivation uses four times more energy than the same space in a hospital, eight times more energy than a commercial building, and 20 times more energy than a center for religious worship, according to a study by Lewis and Clark College.
In National Geographic magazine’s June 2015 edition, Editor-In-Chief Susan Goldberg wrote about the growing number of states that had legalizedmarijuana for medicinal and recreational use. At the time, less than half of the states in the U.S. had legalized the substance for medical use. Now, medical marijuana use is legal in 29 states and the District of Columbia.
“The disconnect between the willingness of some states to regulate, sell, and tax marijuana and the federal reluctance to allow research to progress leaves an increasing number of people without the knowledge to make informed, science-based choices.”
Click here for more Information National Geographic
Lawmakers and advocates are backing legislation that would regulate and tax an industry that would be open to those who are 21 years of age or older. It’s a recycled proposal that has not gained significant traction in past sessions. Whether it can overcome hurdles in the final two weeks of the legislative session, especially in the Republican-controlled state Senate, remains unclear.
The bill has undergone revision and was reintroduced just last week. It’s core tenants are: Marijuana would be removed from the list of Schedule 1 controlled substances in state law; New Yorkers 21 or older would be allowed to cultivate up to six plants at home, and those of age would be allowed to possess or transport up to two pounds of marijuana and four-and-a-half ounces of concentrated cannabis.
New York Democrats have toyed with the idea of modifying the law to legalize recreational marijuana in the past but efforts have fallen flat. Public support statewide for recreational marijuana has been mixed, polling has shown in recent years.
Continue Reading at Timesunion
Marijuana is a combination of shredded leaves, stems and flower buds of the Cannabis sativa plant. Marijuana can be smoked, eaten, vaporized, brewed and even taken topically, but most people smoke it.
According to research from the Potency Monitoring Project, the average THC content of marijuana has soared from less than 1 percent in 1972, to 3 to 4 percent in the 1990s, to nearly 13 percent in 2010. Today, some retail marijuana has 30 percent THC or more. The increased potency makes it difficult to determine the short- and long-term effects of marijuana.
How Cannabis is consumed
In a 2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 17.4 million people in the United States said they had used marijuana in the past month.
A 2016 Gallup poll found that one in eight people smoke marijuana and 43 percent of U.S. adults admit to trying it.
Read the full article at Live Science
One company with a cannabinoid product actually opposes marijuana legalization. Insys Therapeutics (NASDAQ: INSY) doesn’t want more states to legalize weed and has urged the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the past to not lower the bar for some marijuana laws. Here’s how marijuana legalization could hurt Insys’ fortunes — and perhaps those of other biotechs with cannabinoid products, especially GW Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: GWPH).
Why Insys wants to just say No?
Insys donated $500,000 in 2016 to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, a group opposing legalization of recreational marijuana in Arizona. The company’s investment paid off: Arizona voters rejected the proposition for legalizing recreational marijuana. However, the state’s voters narrowly approved the legal use of medical marijuana in 2010
Why did Insys Therapeutics fight against expanded marijuana legalization in its home state? The company’s official line was that the proposition on the ballot last year failed “to protect the safety of Arizona’s citizens, and particularly its children.” However, Insys also said that the company “firmly believes in the potential clinical benefits of cannabinoids.”
Continue Reading at Madison.com
Since California legalized recreational pot, thousands of people convicted of marijuana crimes have asked to get their records reduced.
Partial numbers released last week show more than 2,500 reduction requests were filed through March.
The state does not record outcomes, but prosecutors say they haven’t fought most petitions. The figures do not yet include data from more than half of counties from the first quarter of the year.
Marijuana legalization advocates, such as the Drug Policy Alliance, have held free legal clinics to help convicts get their records changed. Lawyers who specialize in pot defense have noted a steady flow of interest from new and former clients.
Eye Witness News
(CNS Business): Grand Cayman’s CTMH Doctors Hospital and Cayman Pharmacy Group has introduced medical cannabis for physician selected patients who are resident in the Cayman Islands. Case studies reveal life changing results for patients suffering with chronic pain, neuropathic pain and seizures, among other health related problems who are treated with cannabis oil. The medicine will, initially, be dispensed out of Professional Pharmacy to spearhead this strongly supported treatment.
The prescription of cannabis oil for many conditions, including cancer, was made possible after Dennie Warren Jr successfully lobbied government to change the misuse of drugs law and allow for what many believe is a near miraculous and natural way to treat many serious diseases.
he oil contains measurable combinations of the active ingredients of cannabis, Tetrahyrdocannabinol or THC and Cannabidiol or CBD. Hospital officials said that to begin with, only a limited supply of oil will be dispensed to a small number of physician selected patients. During this initial phase, the primary focus is to engage and educate these patients and track their progress to assist them to achieve desired outcomes and minimise side effects.
The hospital explained that specific cannabis oil product information will be circulated to physicians by CMD and Professional Pharmacy. As with all prescriptions, Professional Pharmacy provides free and confidential patient counselling on prescriptions they dispense.
The treatment is approved for use only in the Cayman Islands and cannot cross international borders legally. Patients cannot carry medical cannabis oils into the United States, UK or Canada, even with a prescription.
A medical marijuana company filed an emergency motion Monday asking a judge to forbid the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission from issuing any final licenses to grow the drug.
Alternative Medicine Maryland asked Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams to issue a temporary injunction against the commission, arguing the entire licensing process should be stopped because the commission appears poised to grant final licenses.
The request for an emergency halt to the process comes as the marijuana commission is scheduled to meet Wednesday to discuss the progress of 15 companies that did win initial approval to grow marijuana — a meeting that is among the final steps in the process to begin legal cultivation of medical marijuana.
“Time is of the essence,” Alternative Medicine Maryland’s lawyers wrote to Judge Williams. “It is undisputed that the commission made no attempt to … actively seek racial and ethnic diversity throughout the licensing process.”
The state law legalizing medical marijuana required the commission to “actively seek” racial diversity among approved growers and distributors. Alternative Medicine Maryland, which is led by an African-American and did not receive a preliminary license, filed a lawsuit last year alleging the commission broke the law by failing to use a race-conscious application process.
The commission’s failure to consider race when picking the winning companies also sparked a prolonged fight in the Maryland General Assembly over whether to expand the industry. The Legislative Black Caucus pushed for at least five more marijuana growing licenses to be issued, in order to make sure minority-owned firms had a fair shot a potentially lucrative industry. The issue was not resolved before the annual legislative session adjourned last month.
The governor and legislative leaders also are considering whether to recall lawmakers to Annapolis for a special legislative session to consider how to increase diversity among medical marijuana growers.
The state legalized medical marijuana in 2013, but it has taken more than four years for the program to launch.
The Baltimore Sun
A RANDOM breath test operation at Maclean has yielded an unexpected find, with close to half a kilogram of marijuana located in a van.
The van was subsequently searched and police allegedly found 474g of marijuana, a quantity of which was packaged into 16 resealable bags.
Police also located scales and a quantity of unused resealable bags. The driver, a 30-year-old man from Stokers Siding, near Murwillumbah, was arrested.
he alleged offender was arrested and taken to Maclean Police Station, where he was subsequently charged with supplying a prohibited drug, possession of marijuana, disqualified driving, and driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle.
According to Coffs/Clarence crime manager, Detective Inspector Darren Jameson, the marijuana had a potential street value of more than $14,000, and represented more than 450 street deals and equates to over 4500 individual dosage units.
“Cannabis remains at the root of crime here and recent media reports of tragic events out of Queensland, show that cannabis use can lead to violent and unimaginable crimes.”