University Of Colorado Begins Mapping Cannabis Genome
Category: News | Posted on Mon, February, 17th 2014 by THCFinder
With cannabis recently legalized in parts of the country, scientists who have been sitting on their hands for years can now study the plant in its natural form – scientists like those at the University of Colorado Boulder, who have announced the launch of the Cannabis Genome Research Initiative. The goal of the eighteen-month endeavor is to map the DNA makeup of cannabis, and to provide more knowledge about the plant’s history.
“Despite the fact that cannabis is one of the most valuable and historically important crop species, we know comparatively little about the plant,” says Nolan Kane of CU‘s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who is leading the project. According to Kane, the data gathered through mapping the cannabis genome will allow growers to explore “more efficient and cost-effective cannabis breeding — choosing what to breed with what in smarter ways.” Kane doesn’t dismiss the progress already made by cannabis cultivators – far from it – but feels his research will make things easier.
“The tools I will develop will allow a better prediction of which plants are desired without the expense of growing, measuring, chemotyping, etc., all of those plants,” says Kane. “This is a huge additional expense and waste of time that can be avoided by modern, marker-assisted selection.” Kane says another major application of cannabis genome research is to breed more advanced, economical forms of hemp. “This is a potentially very valuable crop for agriculture in Colorado and other places,” he states. “It could be used for biofuels, food and fiber production for high-quality paper, clothing, rope, so many purposes.”
Quick to reassure that their research has nothing to do with Genetic Modification, or the production of GMOs, Kane explains that, “With our work, the genetic variation isn’t altered, you are just choosing what to breed with what in smarter ways. People have been breeding animals and plants for 10,000 years or more, so the basic approaches are not new, just substantially improved in terms of efficiency.”
Court Strikes Down Italy's Marijuana Law, 10,000 Inmates to be Set Free
Category: News | Posted on Fri, February, 14th 2014 by THCFinder
Italy’s constitutional court on Wednesday struck down a controversial drug law – approved in 2006 – that tripled sentences for selling, cultivating or possessing cannabis, making the penalty equivalent to “hard drugs” such as cocaine and heroin.
The constitutional court said the law was “illegitimate”, without going into further details.
According to Reuters, this new ruling could set free as many as 10,000 inmates who were imprisoned due to the nation’s harsh cannabis policies.
The 2006 law, which raised sentences for cannabis possession, cultivation and sales from 2-6 years, to 6-20 years, has led to a drastic increase in those in prison due to cannabis; in fact, 40% of Italy’s inmates are incarcerated for a cannabis-related offense.
After today’s ruling, the 2006 law will be repealed, reverting the nation’s cannabis policies back to 1993, when it was considered a “soft drug”, carrying significantly lower penalties than the possession, cultivation or sales of hard drugs.
“The so-called drug war as conceived in North America has been lost and it’s time to return to rational rules that distinguish between substances,” says Franco Corleon of Society of Reason, a human rights group that praised today’s ruling.
Members Of Congress Tell Obama To Remove Marijuana From Schedule 1
Category: News | Posted on Thu, February, 13th 2014 by THCFinder
Today 18 members of the United States Congress sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling on him to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. This issue has drawn a lot of press lately and there has been a lot of debate about what such a move would mean. On one end you have people like me that want it removed because it’s sound science. On the other end of the spectrum you have people like Kevin Sabet who think it will have zero impact, yet still want to keep things how they are.
The language of the letter is as follows:
We are encouraged by your recent comments in your interview with David Remnick in the January 27, 2014 issue of the New Yorker, about the shifting public opinion on the legalization of marijuana. We request that you take action to help alleviate the harms to society caused by the federal Schedule I classification of marijuana.
Lives and resources are wasted on enforcing harsh, unrealistic, and unfair marijuana laws. Nearly two-thirds of a million people every year are arrested for marijuana possession. We spend billions every year enforcing marijuana laws, which disproportionately impact minorities. According to the ACLU, black Americans are nearly four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession, despite comparable marijuana usage rates.
You said that you don’t believe marijuana is any more dangerous than alcohol; a fully legalized substance, and believe it to be less dangerous “in terms of its impact on the individual consumer.” This is true. Marijuana, however, remains listed in the federal Controlled Substances Act at Schedule I, the strictest classification, along with heroin and LSD. This is a higher listing than cocaine and methamphetamine, Schedule II substances that you gave as examples of harder drugs. This makes sense.
Classifying marijuana as Schedule I at the federal level perpetuates an unjust and irrational system. Schedule I recognizes no medical use, disregarding both medical evidence and the laws of nearly half of th estates that have legalized medical marijuana. A Schedule I or II classification also means that marijuana businesses in states where adult or medical use are legal cannot deduct business expenses from their taxes or take tax credits due to Section 280E of the federal tax code.
We request that you instruct Attorney General Holder to delist or classify marijuana in a more appropriate way, at the very least eliminating from Schedule I or II. Furthermore, one would hope that that (sic) your Administration officials publicly reflect your views on this matter. Statements such as the one from DEA chief of operations James L. Capra that the legalization of marijuana at the state level is “reckless and irresponsible” serve no purposes other than to inflame passions and misinform the public.
Uruguay President Nominated For Nobel Prize For Legalizing Marijuana
Category: News | Posted on Fri, February, 7th 2014 by THCFinder
Uruguay President José Mujica has been nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, with supporters of his nomination citing his work on legalizing cannabis as the primary factor.
Earlier this year the Uruguay President gained international fame when his nation became the first country in the world to legalize recreational cannabis, a move that Mujica not only supported, but introduced himself.
The move, which has already been officially approved into law (signed by Mujica in December), and simply awaits full implementation, legalizes cannabis possession and cultivation for anyone 18 and older, and authorizes government-run cannabis clubs to distribute cannabis (pharmacies will be allowed to distribute cannabis to patients).
Mujica’s candidacy was submitted by the left-wing political party Frente Amplio, and an unnamed German non-government organization, with added support from a Dutch organization called the Drugs Peace Institute.
“I’m very thankful to these people for honoring me,” Mujica said in a response to his nomination. “We are only proposing the right to try another path because the path of repression doesn’t work.”
Fire Anti-Marijuana DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart
Category: News | Posted on Thu, January, 30th 2014 by THCFinder
DEA Administrator Michele Leonhart recently stated that the lowest point of her career was seeing a hemp flag flying at the Colorado state capital. Not her co-workers that died in the line of fire. Not when the DEA was working with drug cartels helping them smuggle drugs into the United States. It was when a hemp flag flew over the capital in Colorado…It makes one wonder, does Michele Leonhart have a lot of hate in her heart towards our founding fathers, who used hemp for flags quite often?
Below is a petition that was started by the Marijuana Policy Project, which calls for Michele Leonhart to be removed as DEA administrator:
In a recent speech, DEA administrator Michele Leonhart criticized President Barack Obama for his acknowledgement that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol in terms of its impact on the consumer. Yet there is an abundance of research demonstrating that marijuana is in fact less harmful than alcohol.
Leonhart has consistently demonstrated a reckless disregard of such scientific evidence. Under her watch, the DEA has obstructed attempts to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act — a classification reserved for the most dangerous drugs — and at a 2012 House committee hearing, she refused to answer a congressman’s simple question about whether heroin and crack cocaine pose more harm to the consumer than marijuana.
Shortly after taking office, President Obama mandated, “Science and the scientific process must inform and guide decisions of [his] Administration …” Whether Leonhart is ignorant of the facts or intentionally disregarding them, she has fundamentally undermined the president’s directive and is clearly unfit for her current position.
We call on President Obama to immediately terminate DEA Administrator Leonhart and replace her with someone who recognizes the fact that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol.
Read more: http://www.theweedblog.com/
NFL Should Look Into Medical Marijuana, Says Seattle Seahawks Coach
Category: News | Posted on Wed, January, 29th 2014 by THCFinder
Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll believes that the NFL should look into allowing the use of medical cannabis, as a means of taking the best possible care of its players.
“I would say that we have to explore and find ways to make our game a better game and take care of our players in whatever way possible,”Carroll said in a press conference today, the first day of practice for the Seahawks prior to the Superbowl. “Regardless of what other stigmas might be involved, we have to do this because the world of medicine is doing this.”
The conversation surrounding medical cannabis in the NFL was brought to the forefront recently when Commissioner Roger Goodell stated that he’s open to eventually allowing players to use it.
“We will follow medicine, and if they determine this could be [of] proper usage in any context, we will consider that”, he said.
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