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Texas House Approves Worthless Medical Marijuana Bill, Likely Will Become Law

Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 20th 2015 by THCFinder

Texas may be on its way to legalizing medical marijuana, but many proponents say the bill is completely worthless in its current form. Nevertheless, the state’s House of Representatives put their preliminarily seal of approval on a measure earlier this week, aimed at providing “low-THC” cannabis oil to patients suffering from epilepsy and other chronic conditions.

Senate Bill 339, which was introduced by Senator Kevin Eltife, was passed by the state Senate in early May. On Monday, the House announced its support for the measure in a vote of 96 to 34, a move that has earned the “Texas Compassionate Use Act” a ticket to Governor Greg Abbott’s office for either his signature or a veto.

Marijuana activists claim this toe-in-the-water approach to establishing a statewide medical marijuana program will do nothing to actually provide patients who qualify under its restrictive nature with the medicine they need. The Marijuana Policy Project’s Heather Fazio recently pointed out in an interview with CBS News that it will be impossible for patients to get their hands on cannabis oil because the legislation forces doctors to “prescribe” the herb rather than issue recommendations. This, of course, is a major cause for concern since it is illegal in the eyes of the federal government for physicians to “prescribe” cannabis. And doing so could result in the revocation of their license to prescribe all medications.

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/texas-house-approves-worthless-medical-marijuana-bill-likely-will-become-law


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Arrests disrupt medical pot convention in Las Vegas

Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 20th 2015 by THCFinder

Las Vegas police and federal agents arrested 10 people and seized drugs over the weekend at Hempcon, a marijuana education convention at the Cashman Center.

People who were there described seeing police dogs around the event, as well as officers on the roof of the building, apparently looking for people smoking marijuana.

The arrests outraged event organizers, and some attendees said they left patients frightened as Nevada’s first legal dispensaries prepare to open.

“It’s disheartening for our whole community,” said Jennifer Solis, who’s with Wellness Education Cannabis Advocates of Nevada, or WECAN, and was at the event.

From Friday to Sunday, officers shut down five booths, arrested 10 people and cited three others on charges including drug possession, possession with intent to sell and transporting a controlled substance, said officer Laura Meltzer, a Metro spokeswoman. She said officers seized marijuana, hashish, marijuana seeds, edible products containing THC and psilocybin mushrooms.

Meltzer said Metro narcotics detectives and Hempcon organizers had spoken before the event, and organizers told attendees they had to follow the law.

Nevada allows medical use of marijuana by patients with state-issued cards. But it’s illegal to sell the drug without a state dispensary license, and it’s illegal for anyone to use it in public.

Asked about the criticism of the arrests, Meltzer said, “It is incumbent upon the people who are attending this and who are conducting this to be aware of Nevada state law.”

Mark Saint, an activist who was at the convention Friday, said the police stance was hypocritical since officers have looked the other way at similar events while people used marijuana.

The arrests were made by a task force called Southern Nevada Cannabis Operation and Regional Enforcement, which includes Metro, Henderson police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. DEA spokeswoman Sarah Pullen said a federal agent is on the task force, but that Las Vegas police led the operation.

Read More:http://www.reviewjournal.com/news/las-vegas/arrests-disrupt-medical-pot-convention-las-vegas


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New DEA Chief Claims He Will Focus Less On Marijuana

Category: News | Posted on Wed, May, 20th 2015 by THCFinder
 
chuck rosenberg dea

(via The Cannabist)

The Obama Administration has been a mixed bag when it comes to marijuana policy. On one hand, the Obama Administration has dropped the ball on reclassifying/declassifying marijuana, punting the issue to Congress every chance the administration gets despite the fact that the administration could initiative the process unilaterally. The administration hasn’t done a good job when it comes to marijuana banking, but has stated that it will allow Native American tribes to cultivate and sell recreational marijuana if they choose to do so. The Obama administration has stepped up to try to prevent federal intervention in states that have progressive marijuana policies on the books combined with clear regulations, although, the former head of the DEA didn’t seem to get the memo on that one.

Michele Leonhart ‘resigned’ last month after she was basically forced out of the DEA amid quite a bit of controversy. Obama then picked Chuck Rosenberg to head the DEA. Marijuana activists and supporters have been holding their breath, waiting to see what kind of leader Mr. Rosenberg will be. This week Mr. Rosenberg made some comments that are encouraging. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

The incoming head of the Drug Enforcement Administration reportedly will focus less on marijuana and instead put more resources toward harder drugs such as heroin, which could relieve some pressure on cannabis businesses in states without strong regulations on the industry.

Chuck Rosenberg – who served as chief of staff to the director of the FBI – was named to the DEA’s top spot on an interim basis by newly appointed Attorney General Loretta Lynch. Rosenberg is expected to remain in the position while President Barack Obama is in office, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The new DEA chief will likely improve procedures on how to classify, declassify or reclassify marijuana, and he’ll also place less emphasis on cannabis in general, the Times reported.

These comments need to be taken with a grain of salt of course. The truth is, no one knows how Chuck Rosenberg will handle his new role at the DEA. Only time will tell. He can talk the talk, but can he walk the walk? Will he respect the fact that most Americans want marijuana prohibition to end, both for recreational purposes and medical purposes? Or will he try to inject his own views into the DEA, and continue to go after people that use and sell a substance that is safer than alcohol?

Source:http://www.theweedblog.com/new-dea-chief-claims-he-will-focus-less-on-marijuana/


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Marijuana extract now legal, but can you get it?

Category: News | Posted on Tue, May, 19th 2015 by THCFinder

The cause of medicinal marijuana seemingly took a step forward in Tennessee this month when Gov. Bill Haslam signed a measure making an extract of marijuana legal for use in treating intractable epileptic seizures.

Initially, the legalization of non-intoxicating cannabidiol oil (CBD) was sought for child victims of particularly severe forms of epilepsy, but the final version of the bill has made CBD available for anyone suffering from debilitating seizures.

There is enough evidence of CBD’s effectiveness to convince former opponents like Dr. Sanjay Gupta and local leaders like physician state Sen. Mark Green.

However, many Tennessee families are still in the dark about whether CBD is available, what the procedures are for legally obtaining and using it, and how the process of determining eligibility is supposed to work.

Adding problems these families don’t need are questions as to whether CBD is still illegal under federal law and whether out-of-state providers are violating the law. The answers are important because CBD cannot be made in Tennessee.

Unfortunately, with the issue of medical marijuana in flux and subject to a confusing number of laws at different levels of government and at cross-purposes, the answers are far from clear.

Read More:http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2015/05/18/marijuana-extract-now-legal-can-get/27517847/


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Texas Legislature Kills Marijuana Bills

Category: News | Posted on Tue, May, 19th 2015 by THCFinder

There has been a tremendous amount of enthusiasm for the reform of marijuana laws in the state of Texas over the past several weeks, but all hope has since been abandoned after the state legislaturetossed several pieces of legislation into the garbage.

Although the word on the street—as of last week—was that two bills aimed at decriminalizing and legalizing the leaf for recreational purposes were given the green light to appear this session before the House of Representatives, sources were unfamiliar with the cutthroat authority of the House Calendar Committee’s Todd Hunter. As the deadline approached, it became readily apparent that the legislative gatekeeper was simply refusing to submit the bills to the full House for their consideration—ultimately, killing both measures before they even got started.

The first bill to meet its unfortunate demise was House Bill 507, introduced by Representative Joe Moody, which would have eliminated the criminal penalties associated with petty pot possession and replaced them with a maximum fine of $250. Of course, the passing of this legislation would have had a significant impact on the way the state handles pot offenders, perhaps even laying the groundwork for fewer restrictions in the years to come. As it stands, anyone busted for possession of up to two ounces can spend six months in jail and receive a fine of as much as $2,000.

However, the biggest tragedy of the Lone Star State’s attempt at pot reform was the highly anticipated House Bill 2165, which would have put an end to the prohibition of marijuana across the state by allowing the cannabis plant to be regulated in a manner similar to tomatoes. This measure, which was proposed by Representative David Simpson, would have made Texas one of the next states to establish a fully legal cannabis industry, putting it in the same ranks as four other states where voters have made the decision to end the war on weed.

Read More:http://www.hightimes.com/read/texas-legislature-kills-marijuana-bills


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Will Marijuana for Sick Kids Get Government to Rethink Weed?

Category: News | Posted on Mon, May, 18th 2015 by THCFinder

For years, opponents of legalizing medical marijuana have built their case on the most powerful of political maxims: Think about the children. But today it’s the suffering of children that might eventually compel the federal government to relax its stance.

 

Thousands of kids across the United States are afflicted with Dravet Syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, rare forms of childhood-onset epilepsy that can cause dozens, even hundreds, of severe seizures each day. Conventional drugs have been ineffective.

Last year, however, the FDA approved a clinical trial of Epidiolex, a drug made from cannabidiol (CBD)—one of 85 active chemical compounds, called cannabinoids, in marijuana. The initial findings were promising. After 12 weeks of treatment, 54 percent of patients experienced fewer seizures and 9 percent saw their seizures cease. The trial has already moved to a double-blind, placebo-controlled study. (Read about the new science of marijuana.)

In addition, scientists are stepping up lab research to better understand the mechanisms of CBD, which, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), is not psychoactive. Joseph Sullivan, the director of the University of California Pediatric Epilepsy Center in San Francisco, who was also one of the investigators in the Epidiolex study, says that one of the most significant developments driving this research is that the medical community is no longer lumping cannabinoids together.

Read More:http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/05/150515-medical-marijuana-federal-policy-research/


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