Cannitrol – Cannabis Control Agent

Marijuana news from around the world

Oklahoma

Legal marijuana industry had banner year in 2018

The last year was a 12-month champagne toast for the legal marijuana industry as the global market exploded and cannabis pushed its way further into the financial and cultural mainstream.

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Oklahoma quickly becoming medical marijuana hotbed

The rollout of statewide medical and recreational marijuana programs typically is a grindingly slow process that can take years. Not so in Oklahoma, which moved with lightning speed once voters approved medical cannabis in June.

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Democratic state gains may mean tighter gun, looser pot laws

From New York to New Mexico, residents in a number of states can expect a leftward push for expanded health care coverage, gun control, education funding and legalized recreational marijuana as Democrats who gained new or stronger powers in the midterm elections seek to put their stamp on public policy.

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Colorado marijuana activist arrested in Oklahoma for felony possession

Regina Nelson, a marijuana scholar and activist based out of Boulder, Colorado, was arrested for marijuana possession in Oklahoma.

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States’ fight against Colorado marijuana laws on tap in fed court

A Colorado marijuana lawsuit that includes a bid by Oklahoma and Nebraska to stamp out legalization is set to go before a federal appeals court Tuesday.

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Medical Marijuana Finally Breaking into Oklahoma?

Historically a state with severe and excessive marijuana laws, Oklahoma has finally made its voice heard through a petition for medical marijuana. Oklahoma Secretary of State, Chris Benge, announced yesterday that his office finished counting the signatures on Initiative Petition 412 — great news for Oklahoma patients — in just 90 days the petition exceeded […] Thanks to marijuana.com

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Marijuana Reform Moving Past Red vs. Blue States

electoral mapConventional Wisdom regarding “blue” and “red” states is no longer holding water.  Momentum for marijuana reform has moved south and inland with more than just the coastal states seeking change.   Medicine, relief, and happiness known no particular religion or political alliance.  Efforts in two new states give advocates and patients so much hope. Oklahoma for …continue reading

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Hashish

Hashish

The cannabis plant is consumable in many forms.  One of the most storied and controversial preparations of marijuana is hashish.  Hashish is a compressed and purified form of the resin that grows in the trichomes of the cannabis plant.  Historically, bud harvests were pressed between palms or other plant leaves until all excess plant matter, save the resin, was rubbed away.  This left a much finer substance, varying in consistency from fine powder to a paste of oily substance.  The final product has a much higher cannabinoid content than regular bud clippings.  Today, there are numerous ways of preparing hash, from mechanical tumblers, to ice baths, chemical separation treatments, and even vacuum distillation.  This can result in powdered hash, hard blocks, nuggets of goo (for lack of a better description), or even a resiny oil, often called “honey oil”.  These preparations can range from 30-90% in THC content, as opposed to untreated buds (up 27% THC).  Although, as marijuana research and development has progressed, growers are now using high CBD strains to produce hashish that offers medical benefits to a greater diversity of patients.

Though hashish has been found frequently in historic sites throughout the Near East, Middle East and Indian subcontinent, many historical sources tie the name “hashish” to the word assassin and the story of al-Hassan bin al-Sabbah, a warlord from the mountainous region south of the Caspian Sea.  In a nutshell, Hassan used hashish preparations in training and maintaining the loyalty of his warriors, often sent out to kill (assassinate) his enemies.  This story came to the West, compliments of Marco Polo’s travels in the late 13th Century.  This is the most accepted tale, but many scholars refute this story’s accuracy.  From the 13th through 18th centuries, the use and spread of hashish stayed mostly in the East.  But in the late 1700’s it began to spread West as Napoleon’s conquests into Egypt exposed his troops to it.  Despite his prohibition, use of hashish continued and expanded, finding its way to the New World.
By the start of the 20th century hashish production and trade was widespread, with centers in the Middle East, Chinese Turkestan, and on the Greek/Turkish borders.  However, as time marched on, many laws prohibiting hashish production and trade were passed across the world.  As quickly as it had risen to prominence, it was quickly blacklisted.  Today it can be found, in many places but is still castigated in others. In Amsterdam (home of the Ice-olater production method), many kinds of hash can be found, or in India and Nepal as “charas.”  In California, Colorado, and other compassionate use states, it can be found at dispensaries. And these cultivators are some of the pioneers pushing the strains in new directions to help benefit patients whose afflictions leave them with few treatments.

On the other end of the spectrum, Oklahoma recently passed a bill including sentencing for anywhere from two years to life for production, sales or distribution of hashish.  House Bill 1798 names a mandatory 2-year minimum sentence, as a felony, for first time convictions.  Subsequent offenders face sentences without leniency or parole to a lifetime sentence.  This is a newly-minted law for a cannabis-based product, not heroin, crack or cocaine (although those laws are just as strict).  By the way, Oklahoma and Colorado share approximately 100 miles of border.  At the same time, Colorado is looking into DUI laws for cannabis.  This may not be welcome news to most patients, but it is a key part of regulation and acceptance.  Most people rail against sobriety check points (for alcohol), but they deter drunk driving and therefore save lives. Hopefully Colorado’s legislators will spend time to review the science behind the detection of cannabis in the body. It is not as simple as a test as for alcohol inebriation.

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Politicians In Oklahoma Send Confusing Messages on Drug Policy

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We have all had authoritative figures in our lives tell us “I would never ask you to do anything that I was not willing to do myself.”  When we actually believe our parents or employers, it will usually result in a healthy level of respect for that individual.  Conversely, if you do not trust the hollow words, it can actually be antagonistic.

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have been sending confusing messages to residents of the Sooner State.  Oklahoma is known for its harsh stance on any drug conviction.  Low level first offense marijuana possession can result in one year in prison.  Even more baffling was a law passed last year aimed at those who convert marijuana into hash.  Although there have only been a handful of hash production cases in Oklahoma in the past decade, they felt compelled to enact one of the harshest drug laws in United States history.  Even the first conviction for hash production in Oklahoma now carries the potential for a life sentence (minimum 2 year sentence).  With an already overcrowded prison system, many legal analysts have been shocked at Oklahoma’s handling of marijuana and hash laws.

The hash law has created even more confusion.  Was there a hash epidemic we all missed?  In the class warfare we have seen developing over the past several years, it has become a popular idea (started first by Arizona) to target and require drug testing for those receiving government assistance.  These laws typically target the younger welfare recipients, but never require Medicare participants to prove their moral superiority via urine samples.  The whole concept sounds well and good until any financial analysis is performed, which is surprising because the financial guru candidate for president, Mitt Romney, has also championed the idea of drug testing welfare recipients.  However, further analysis shows that since drug tests are not free of charge, that it will actually cost taxpayers far more.

Oklahoma has joined over 20 other states that are considering this new legislative trend.  There was an interesting twist in the case of Oklahoma’s law.  The proposed legislation included provisions to also require anyone seeking public office to pass a drug test.  Democrats opposing the welfare recipient drug testing on the grounds of constitutionality, had added the provision.  GOP Sen. David Holt categorized the action as a “stunt” and removed the language from the bill that would require legislators to submit to drug tests.  Although it may indeed have been a bit of political grandstanding by state democrats, would it not have provided validity to the bill if those who sign it also abide by it?

According to politicians, the only people where drug abuse is a concern is for welfare recipients.  Thankfully no politicians or Medicare eligible members carry the potential for substance abuse.   Even those on welfare have voting rights and politicians work for the people.  If the legislation saved money it would be worth considering, though this still would not preclude it from the constitutionality discussion.  We should no longer allow our politicians to say “Do as I say and not do as I do.”  Elected officials often forget, but they work for us and should be abiding by the same guidelines we do.

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Families find Stress and Relief with Medical Marijuana Laws

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As we constantly hear about “family values” in this election year, we find ourselves questioning the sincerity of those statements.  The United States witnesses so many families struggling with healthcare, and even for those lucky enough to have access to pharmaceutical treatments it is often not enough to provide relief.  Two families have been featured in the news recently as they try their best to provide a better quality of life for their children.

A recent article entitled “Without Marijuana, I’d Probably Be Dead” describes 17 year old Chaz Moore’s health struggles.  Doctors say that Chaz is one of 50 people in the entire world who have been diagnosed with myoclonus diaphragmatic flutter.  The condition causes muscle spasms that can occur dozens of times in one day alone.  For most of his life, Chaz Moore was healthy, athletic, active and seemingly normal.  Several years ago this all changed drastically and Moore started to notice hives and spasms several times a week.  The symptoms became progressively worse as Chaz’s father recalled, “One week, we went nine times to the ER, we were going nuts, just totally freaking out. Nobody knew what was wrong.”  Traditional medicine proved to be ineffective until Chaz was taking a combination of 16 pills per day.

Although doctors were able to treat his symptoms at first with an aggressive pill cycle, eventually the spasms returned and were unable to be controlled.  Shan Moore eventually suggested to doctors that Chaz try marijuana as a way to regulate the attacks.  To date, it is the only treatment that has proved to be consistent.   Although Moore is one of 41 minors who possess a medical marijuana card in Colorado, he could benefit greatly from further marijuana legal reform.  His situation requires him to medicate during the day and this has put him at odds with school administrators.  Chaz Moore now takes online classes from his home.

Unfortunately, another family seeking relief for their child has even more legal hurdles to overcome.  Gill and Catherine Mejias are seeking an alternative approach toward their son Deacon’s autism.  Deacon is only seven years old which makes the situation even more sensitive.  While it may sound extremely controversial to use marijuana in treatment for young children, many parents are claiming it has helped their children who have autism (click here for a letter from a mother titled “Why I Give My 9 Year Old Pot”). Deacon’s parents claim that his teachers noticed a drastic turnaround in his behavior after he started taking Marinol.

However, Catherine Deacon says that Deacon typically builds up a tolerance to synthetics and the Marinol regimen has lost its effectiveness.  Oklahoma is not a state that permits medical marijuana although the Mejias family is hopeful that will soon change.  State Senator Constance Johnson (D-Oklahoma City) has proposed senate bill 573, which would allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana.  The Mejias family has stated they will move to another state if the bill does not pass. Oklahoma state governor Mary Fallin has indicated she would veto any bill to legalize medical marijuana.

We are a country that places an emphasis on “family”.  Is it not equally important that the word “compassion” closely accompanies family?  Current laws have forced little choice but to break the law for those who have true family values.

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