Medical Marijuana Bill Advances in Mexico
On Friday, Mexico’s lower-house Chamber of Deputies approved a bill to allow use, production and distribution of cannabis for medical and scientific purposes. The vote was an overwhelming 371 in favor and seven against with 11 abstentions.
The legislation was already approved by the Mexican Senate in December and now goes to the desk of President Enrique Peña Nieto for his signature. The passage follows a national debate on the question in the media and various social forums across the country.
The text of the bill calls on the Secretary of Health to develop a regulatory framework for medical use of cannabis, while effectively freeing products that contain CBD but less than one percent THC from government control.
A family in Mexico’s northern industrial hub of Monterrey became a symbol of the medical marijuana fight last year when the parents of a young epileptic girl won a court battle to import CBD oil to ease her daily seizures. The girl’s father, Raúl Elizalde, told AFP that the legislation represents “great progress.”
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Federal Medical Marijuana Protections Extended Through September 2017
The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which prevents the U.S. Department of Justice from spending funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws, was included in the budget resolution that was released last night.
The amendment renewal extends protections until September, 2017 and also includes language that supports industrial hemp research as well, which is allowed under Section 7606 of the 2014 Farm Bill.
The Rohrabacher-Farr amendment was first passed in 2014, by Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, who introduced this legislation in 2003, along with colleagues Sam Farr & Maurice Hinchey. Their intention was to prohibit the use of state resources to prosecute legal businesses that were passed on the state level.
California Seeks Control of Unruly Medical Pot Industry
LOS ANGELES (AP) — California is trying to get control of its unruly medical marijuana industry.
State regulators released draft regulations Friday intended to impose order on the loosely organized marketplace created over two decades ago.
The proposal would establish the first comprehensive rules for growing, testing, transporting and selling medical pot in the state that is home to 1 in 8 Americans.
Voters last year agreed to legalize recreational marijuana use for adults in 2018. The state is faced with the challenging task of trying to govern a vast, emerging cannabis industry with a projected value of $7 billion.
Similar rules are being created for the recreational industry. There are differences, and a bill in the Legislature backed by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown seeks to square the recreational pot law with the rules for medical marijuana.
Hezekiah Allen, president of the California Growers Association, an industry group, called the draft rules “a major step toward a well-regulated cannabis industry.”
Pot use, abuse more likely in states with medical marijuana laws, study shows
DENVER — People living in states with legalized medical marijuana are more likely to use and abuse cannabis than people living in states where pot remains completely illegal, says a new study that cautions policymakers.
Sixty-four percent of Americans now live in states permitting medical marijuana use for a variety of conditions, from chronic pain to PTSD. That includes the newest state, West Virginia, which approved a legalization plan on April 19. An estimated 205 million Americans can now seek a recommendation from a doctor to use marijuana despite it remaining illegal at the federal level.
The study, published online Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry, says marijuana use by people without a doctor’s note increased in states with medical marijuana laws from 2001-2013, as did the number of people considered to have a marijuana use disorder. While most people who use marijuana suffer no ill effects from casual use, heavy users can become dependent, and some people can experience psychosis, according to emergency room doctors and drug treatment experts.
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