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Colorado Highway Fatalities At Near-Historic Lows After Legalization

Category: News | Posted on Fri, August, 8th 2014 by THCFinder
highway-fatalities-at-low-in-coRemember when marijuana legalization opponents made claims before Colorado and Washington legalized that there would be an epidemic of stoned drivers on the roads after legalization? And remember when they made it sound like there would be all kinds of carnage on public roadways as a result? Even after legalization in Colorado and Washington, opponents continued to make those claims, and they are currently making those claims in Oregon and Alaska where voters will see marijuana legalization initiatives on the ballot in November.
 
I’m curious if these same opponents know that fatalities on Colorado highways are at near-historic lows after legalization? That’s right, not only is there not an epidemic of stoned driver related issues on Colorado highways, but fatalities have actually gone down. This is no doubt an inconvenient fact that opponents will have a hard time spinning in their favor. Per the Washington Post:
 
As you can see, roadway fatalities this year are down from last year, and down from the 13-year average. Of the seven months so far this year, five months saw a lower fatality figure this year than last, two months saw a slightly higher figure this year, and in one month the two figures were equal.
 
There have been studies that have shown that traffic fatalities have also dropped in states that have legalized medical marijuana. There are multiple studies out there that show that marijuana consumers are very defensive drivers, and that they ‘stoned driver epidemic’ is nothing more than reefer madness propaganda. I’d imagine opponents will continue to use their scare tactics during the 2014 Election and beyond, but I’m hopeful that people will do their own research and realize that claims by opponents are unfounded.
 

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Colorado Issues New Marijuana Edible Rules

Category: News | Posted on Tue, August, 5th 2014 by THCFinder
co-issues-new-mj-edible-rulesMarijuana edibles are nothing new. They have been around for decades, most commonly in the form of brownies and cookies. Marijuana edibles, if prepared properly, can be much stronger than marijuana in flower form. Whereas marijuana consumed in smoke or vapor form goes into your nervous system via the lungs, eaten marijuana goes into your blood stream via the digestive process. That’s why the high from eating marijuana can last so long, and can be felt throughout your entire body. Veteran marijuana consumers know this, and either take it easy on edibles, or if they are like me, prepare ahead of time for a mega-high.
 
I don’t like weak edibles. I have never consumed an edible that was ‘too strong.’ However, I am willing to recognize that not everyone is like me. A lot of people are either trying marijuana for the first time right now, or are trying marijuana again after a very long break. People that fit into those two categories should proceed with caution when consuming marijuana, in edible form or smoke or vapor. Unfortunately some people have tried to go from zero to hero on edibles in Colorado, which has resulted in some unfavorable media coverage for the industry.
 
New rules out in Colorado surrounding marijuana edibles will hopefully calm the media down and give opponents like Kevin Sabet less to talk about. The new rules include:
 
Products still have a 100 mg THC limit, but they have to be able to be separated into 10 mg or less servings.
 
Manufacturers have to put single serving edibles into child-resistant packages before shipping, instead of relying on retailers to do so.
 
Liquid items also have to be in similar packaging, with serving sizes clearly displayed.
 
Changes will become effective on November 1st after public comment has occurred. Even more changes may happen after public input. While I personally think that the individual consumer has a lot of responsibility to know what they are consuming, I don’t see the rule changes having that much affect on things and don’t think they will be a problem for the industry. I’m hopeful that now if a rookie eats too much, they can no longer play dumb and act like it wasn’t their fault that they got too high and acted the fool, and then try to blame it on an industry that is doing everything it can to be responsible.
 

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The White House Tries, Fails to Explain Why Marijuana Should Remain Illegal

Category: News | Posted on Fri, August, 1st 2014 by THCFinder
white-house-mj
No sooner had the Times published its opening editorials advocating legalization of marijuana than the White House fired back with an unconvincing response on its website. It argued that marijuana should remain illegal because of public health problems “associated” (always a slippery word) with increased marijuana use.
 
Careful readers will immediately see the White House statement for what it is: A pro forma response to a perceived public relations crisis, not a full-fledged review of all the scientific evidence, pro and con. The White House is actually required by law to oppose all efforts to legalize a banned drug.
 
Besides, it is hypocritical for the White House, whose chefs brew beer for the president, to oppose legalizing marijuana, which poses far less risk to consumers and society than does alcohol. Two recipes for the White House brew are posted on its website under the headline “Ale to the Chief.”
 
The White House lumped its public health argument under four main headings. Before addressing them individually, we should note that there was an enormous upsurge in marijuana use in the 1970s. So far as we know, no one has claimed that it produced calamitous health or societal harm in subsequent decades. The main metric that soared was arrests for possession of marijuana.
 
Here are our responses to the four main public health contentions made by the White House.
 
The first — that marijuana use affects the developing brain — is a concern for all parents of teenagers. That’s why we recommended regulations to keep marijuana out of the hands of young people. The White House cites a study by Australian researchers, published in 2012 in the journal Brain, which found that heavy cannabis use starting while young impairs connections between nerve fibers in the adult brain. It also cites a study which purports to show that heavy use by teenagers can lead to a big decline in intelligence in adult years. That study has been criticized as flawed by a Norwegian researcher who believes that socio-economic factors explain most of the apparent loss of IQ and that the true effect of marijuana could be zero. And remember: no responsible advocate of legalization is urging that marijuana be made available to teenagers.
 

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How the Federal Government Slows Marijuana Research

Category: News | Posted on Thu, July, 31st 2014 by THCFinder
fed-gov-slows-down-marijuana-research
Politicians who don’t want to take a clear position on marijuana legalization often say more research is needed on the effects of consuming the drug. Hillary Clinton called for more research just last month on CNN.
 
While existing scientific evidence shows that marijuana is less addictive and harmful than alcohol and tobacco, more research would be welcome and useful to the country. But what most politicians don’t acknowledge is that the federal government has made it incredibly hard to perform this research. Researchers have to go through a cumbersome process to obtain approval from multiple federal agencies before they are allowed to obtain and study the drug. Often their requests are denied and some researchers have had to sue the government before their projects were cleared.
 
In addition to the Food and Drug Administration, which has to approve all clinical trials, researchers studying marijuana also have to obtain approval from the Drug Enforcement Administration and the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which controls the country’s only legal source for research-grade marijuana. Independent researchers who are not funded by the National Institutes of Health also have to obtain approval from a Department of Health and Human Services scientific review panel.
 
The drug abuse institute says that it has funded and provided marijuana to researchers looking into the therapeutic benefits of the various chemicals found in the plant, and that it had 28 active grants in this area as of January. But it is far less charitable about providing marijuana to researchers who are independently funded. It has agreed to provide the drug to just 16 such projects since 1999.
 
One researcher, Lyle E. Craker a professor at the University of Massachusetts, grew so frustrated with the delays in getting access to marijuana that he sought to grow his own plants. But the Drug Enforcement Administration refused to grant him a license and a federal appeals court ruled in favor of the D.E.A. last year.
 
A big part of the problem is that marijuana is listed in the restrictive Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act along with much more dangerous drugs such as heroin and LSD. The law says Schedule I drugs have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” It is no wonder then that the American College of Physicians said in 2008 that marijuana’s inclusion in Schedule I “raises significant concerns for researchers, physicians, and patients” and urged “an evidence-based review of marijuana’s status as a Schedule I controlled substance to determine whether it should be reclassified.”
 

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The federal governments incredibly poor, misleading argument for marijuana prohibition

Category: News | Posted on Wed, July, 30th 2014 by THCFinder
marijuana-prohibitionThe New York Times editorial board is making news with a week-long series advocating for the full legalization of marijuana in the United States. In response, the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) published a blog post Monday purporting to lay out the federal government's case against marijuana reform.
 
That case, as it turns out, it surprisingly weak. It's built on half-truths and radically decontextualized facts, curated from social science research that is otherwise quite solid. I've gone through the ONDCP's arguments, and the research behind them, below.
 
The irony here is that with the coming wave of deregulation and legalization, we really do need a sane national discussion of the costs and benefits of widespread marijuana use. But the ONDCP's ideological insistence on prohibition prevents them from taking part in that conversation.
 
Here's what they have to say:
 
Marijuana use affects the developing brain. A recent study in Brain reveals impairment of the development of structures in some regions of the brain following prolonged marijuana use that began in adolescence or young adulthood.
 
The same is true for alcohol and tobacco. This is a great argument for restricting young peoples' access to the drugs (as Washington and Colorado have done with marijuana), but a poor one for banning it completely.
 
Moreover, the study cited was of a group of 59 individuals who had been heavy marijuana smokers for 16 years, and who had smoked an average of 4.5 joints every single day over that period.
 
This is far outside the realm of normal, moderate use. A recent Colorado Department of Revenue report found, for instance, that the majority of users in that state smoked five or fewer times per month. Again, what we have is not an argument against marijuana use, but an argument against overdoing it.
 

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RIVERSIDE COUNTY: Ordinance would impose $10 to $1,000 fines for growing marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Tue, July, 29th 2014 by THCFinder
growing-marijuana-fine-in-riversideGrowers of indoor and outdoor marijuana crops in unincorporated parts of Riverside County could be fined $10 to $1,000 under an ordinance before the county Board of Supervisors Tuesday.
 
Those who cultivate 12 or more plants also would face up to six months in jail if the ordinance offered by Supervisor Kevin Jeffries passes as written. Supervisors this week could set a Sept. 9 public hearing on the ordinance, after which they could vote on the proposed law.
Jeffries, who represents a district stretching from Riverside to Lake Elsinore, is sponsoring the ordinance to crack down on for-profit marijuana fields. More than 200 marijuana grows are in the Mead Valley, Good Hope and Meadowbrook areas of Jeffries’ district, according to county officials.
 
Authorities say solicitors offer thousands of dollars a month to property owners and renters if they let their backyards be used for growing marijuana.
 
Permits posted near the crops state the marijuana is being grown for medicinal use. Jeffries said he fears drug cartels are involved, though sheriff’s officials say they have not received specific reports on such activity. The crops increase the risk of crime, create noxious odors and lead to illegal power and water hookups, according to a county staff report on the ordinance.
 
Jeffries has said he doesn’t want to go after legitimate medical marijuana patients with small crops. Medical marijuana is legal in California, although it remains against federal law and many cities and counties – Riverside County among them – have banned dispensaries.
Technically, the county already outlaws marijuana cultivation. Jeffries’ ordinance would spell that out more clearly and impose $10 fines for anyone found guilty of cultivating six or fewer plants.
 
Those who grow more than six but fewer than a dozen plants would be subject to a fine not to exceed $200. Anyone who cultivates 12 or more plants would be guilty of a misdemeanor could be fined up to $1,000, face a jail sentence of up to six months or both.
Lanny Swerdlow, a marijuana legalization advocate from Whitewater, said the ordinance is deeply flawed.
 
“It’s nice that they lowered the fines,” he said. “They claim it’s to stop large-scale grows ... but it stops little teeny (grows) by patients, indoor or outdoor.
 
Read more: http://www.pe.com/

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