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Marijuana news from around the world

chris christie

How the Supreme Court case on sports betting is related to marijuana legalization

In the justices’ comments and questions about New Jersey’s voter-approved law allowing sports betting, most touched on the same states’ rights theme.

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Outgoing NJ Gov. Christie calls marijuana taxes “blood money”

Christie, who adamantly opposes marijuana legalization, said “It’s blood money. It’s disgraceful and it’s disgusting,” on his regular radio call-in show last week.

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Opioid commission members pessimistic that Trump, Congress will act

Members of Trump’s commission to combat the opioid epidemic are increasingly worried the Trump administration will not have a robust response.

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Sick Children Finding Relief with Marijuana

children marijuana

It’s been an eventful week for marijuana updates.  We already discovered another new study that highlights ale cannabis to battle cancer cells. There are also updates on child patients looking for medicinal marijuana.

In Arizona, you will find no age limitations in being approved for legal medicinal marijuana use.  However, you will find strict rules regarding the meaning of cannabis.  Under Arizona law, any combination of created using dried marijuana flowers is suitable.  Jacob and Jennifer Welton’s boy needs medical cannabis.  The boy’s parents crush marijuana into applesauce for him to consume.  Regrettably, after nuclear physics this past year, his capability to eat has bee reduced.  Consequently, the Welton’s are trying to find marijuana extract, which may be given far simpler, sometimes in droplet form.  However, extracts are illegal and Maricopa County attorney, Bill Montgomery has formerly stated patients could be criminally punished for implementing extracts as they do not satisfy the strict meaning of “cannabis” in Arizona.  The Welton’s don’t want to go to the underground community to be able to obtain relief for his or her boy.  “We’re not crooks,” Ms. Welton lately stated.  “We simply want what’s perfect for our boy.”  They are attempting to bring awareness for their situation to be able to alter the strict meaning of marijuana in Arizona.


The Welton’s might find inspiration in the Wilson family in Nj.  Following a lengthy and public fight, which incorporated a plea from John Wilson to Governor Christie in a diner to make certain his daughter didn’t die,  New Jersey congress removed the majority of the obstacles stopping children from being able to access medicinal marijuana. The Wilson’s daughter, Vivian, is affected with an uncommon and debilitating from of epilepsy known as dravet syndrome.  Her seizures are intense and many traditional medications have produced virtually no results.  Limits around the strains allowed available were removed, and today the Wilson’s can buy strains which are effective against epilepsy.  However, food items continue to be unavailable at shops, so Vivian’s parents need to prepare the cannabis and infuse it into food.  Now the Wilson’s were finally in a position to legally buy the medicinal marijuana they require from Compassionate Care Foundation.

The thought of children medicating was but still is taboo in lots of circles.  However, the thought of watching children suffer when treatments can be found has become the growing taboo.  Epilepsy can devastate a child’s quality of existence, and it’s important to supply kids with every opportunity to live a proper and normal existence.

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Medical Marijuana Industry News October 19, 2012

35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards - Press Room

Montel Williams Calls Anti-Medical Marijuana Ads Racist in Arkansas…

Before it was cool for celebrities to come out and support marijuana reform, patients and activists always knew they could count on Montel Williams.  The former talk show host suffers from MS and has been very vocal about marijuana providing him with relief and has done a great deal of work to highlight marijuana’s medicinal benefits.  Now that medical marijuana is gaining acceptance, opposing groups are ratcheting up their efforts to promote propaganda.  Montel Williams is coming out against an ad that opposes the proposed medical marijuana program in Arkansas that will be voted on by residents in three weeks.  In the ad promoted by the Family Council Action Committee, a black man is shown dealing drugs as the narrator says “dope dealers” will be able to take advantage of legalized medical marijuana.  Yesterday Mr. Williams told a crowd in Little Rock that the ad was “the most egregiously false, racist statement you’ve ever seen in your life.”   Montel Williams said of his medical marijuana use that “For me, cannabis became a choice that my doctor and I had to make.”  Arkansas can become the first southern state to pass medical marijuana legislation.


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New Jersey Dispensary Receives Go Ahead to Start Selling Medical Marijuana…

For those who appreciate a good legal drama, New Jersey has provided a great deal of material.  New Jersey passed a bill permitting medical marijuana several years ago and has seen progress come in small intervals due to bureaucratic delays and challenges from Governor Chris Christie. No patients have been served in the years since the program received its initial approval.  However, that all appears ready to change as Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair has received a permit to distribute marijuana.  New Jersey Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd said “This permit marks a significant step forward in the implementation of New Jersey’s medicinal marijuana program.”  Patients who have been approved are expected to be receiving their medical marijuana cards any day.  Analysts are still unsure as to exactly when Greenleaf Compassion will open its doors but most feel it will be operation before the end of the year.


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Arizona Officials Keep Up Battle with Residents and Medical Marijuana….

Arizona has some of the strangest and maybe even most unfair laws on record.  However, officials only seem to be able to focus on two issues, immigration and marijuana.  Earlier this week reported on a story where Arizona police officers raided a patient’s home and arrested her on felony narcotic possession, seemingly because they were not familiar with what a marijuana tincture is.  Now, Maricopa County will be making its case in court as they refuse to provide zoning permits for medical marijuana dispensaries, despite a state law passed by residents that has legalize medical cannabis.  Officials in Maricopa County claim that the law is in violation of Federal law.  Ironically, many critics have made a similar accusation in regards to how Arizona handles immigration law.  The Arizona “show me your papers” and other parts of the state’s immigration laws seem to be at odds with Federal laws, though state lawmakers do not seem to mind.  Today a judge in Maricopa County will hear the opening arguments in a case filed by the ACLU.


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Medical Marijuana Industry News September 7, 2012

cannabis research

More and More Evidence Supporting Marijuana’s Ability to Fight Cancer… has extensively covered the constant updates on the ability of cannabis to provide medical relief.  One of the most promising areas of marijuana medicine is in its potential to reduce and fight cancer.   Many simply cannot believe this as the propaganda machine has told a very different  story.  However, research and even a government study has indicated that marijuana and hemp oils may be the future of cancer medication.  A new article on Daily Beast, highlights many of the marijuana medical breakthroughs over the course of the last 15 years, especially in cancer research.  The article avoids political talking points and tired discussion, rather, opting to describe studies and research conducted at prestigious educational institutions including Harvard and Lancaster University and research printed in medical journals such as British Journal of Pharmacology and Mini-Reviews in Medicinal Chemistry.


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Jimmy Carter’s Drug Czar Criticizes President’s Handling of Marijuana…

Every four years both major political parties in the United States hold conventions.  Jimmy Carter continuously serves as a punching bag for Republicans and a stepping stone to gush over former  Ronald Reagan.  Decades later, while still perhaps not viewed as a successful president, some forward thinking ideas from President Carter are gaining traction.  In 1977, President Carter wrote a letter to Congress urging re-prioritized efforts to focus on heroin and barbiturates as they were accounting for 90% of narcotic related deaths.  Redirecting the drug war still has not been properly done but the momentum for this 35 years later is at an all time high.  Echoing this are recent statements by Peter Bourne who served as the director of the National Drug Control Policy.  Mr. Bourne characterized President Obama’s approach to drug enforcement as “totally insane” and urged the president to enact executive orders if Congress was unwilling to amend laws.  The president is familiar with utilizing executive orders as the partisan gridlock of Capitol Hill has prevented many new laws from being passed.  The president most recently used an executive order with his new immigration directive, which will allow those who came to this country as children illegally to stay here without fear of deportation.  Bourne went on to say that federal raids of marijuana dispensaries and keeping marijuana as a schedule I drug (the same classification as heroin meth and other destructive narcotics) “doesn’t make any sense at all”.  Peter Bourne also praised legalization efforts such as Colorado’s Amendment 64 and Washington’s Initiative 502.


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More Marijuana Doctors than Patients In New Jersey…

The soap opera that is New Jersey’s medical marijuana program continues.  It has been well documented and publicized that New Jersey lawmakers have dragged their feet on the issue.  Medical marijuana was passed several years ago under exiting Governor Jim Corzine.  Still, there has not been one single patient served.  The current Governor, Chris Christie who delivered the keynote speech at the Republican National Convention, has tried to delay the program as much as he could.  Getting approved as a medical marijuana patient is extremely difficult and seems to require more vetting than becoming an approved doctor to prescribe marijuana.  Currently there are 130 approved patients who will eligible to receive marijuana prescriptions when the program finally gets underway.  However, there are over 160 doctors who have been approved to issue these prescriptions.  Conversely in Arizona, regarded as a tough state to receive a marijuana prescription, issued 700 prescriptions in its first year and has a significantly smaller population than New Jersey.  Another issue perplexing patients is even getting an appointment.  Of the 160 doctors, many are not even accepting patients.


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Marijuana Gets Political As GOP Convention Gets Underway

Republican National Convention

This week the Republican National Convention has commenced.  The goal of the convention will be to officially nominate former Governor Mitt Romney as the Republican candidate for president of the United States.  The convention has been forced to do a balancing act because Hurricane Isaac has been looming.  The guest speakers, which included Ann Romney, Rick Santorum and Chris Christie, were tasked with the goal of painting Mitt Romney as the man who can turn our country around.  Absent from any of the speeches was marijuana reform, even as it is becoming a large concern for many Americans.  The convention will continue throughout the week, however, since mainstream coverage will ignore the issue, would like to take this time to discuss some political updates that will not make it to the airwaves this week.

The two party system in the United States has disenfranchised many and created a sentiment that we have very limited choices.  This could explain why the United States Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce has now officially endorsed a president that has overseen the largest attack on medical marijuana patients in 16 years.  Fear of Mitt Romney seems to have prompted the endorsement.  Thomas L. Leto III, President and Founder of the group said in a statement this week “The Economic Potential of the Cannabis Business in the U.S. is Limitless and President Obama understands this, It is our impression that Mr. Romney just doesn’t get it.  Mitt Romney is known for his business success and would probably be able to forecast how large the legalized marijuana is set to grow in the coming years.  However, his campaign has been forced to embrace far right wing ideals which would likely prevent him from enacting reform measures.  Many are confident that an Obama second term would see a less toxic atmosphere for marijuana, while many fear the unknown with a Romney presidency.

We would also like to touch on another political issue that will likely fly under the radar this week.  The NAACP has announced their endorsement of Washington States Initiative 502.  New Approach Washington has been instrumental in collecting enough signatures from residents in order to get the issue of marijuana legalization and regulation in front of voters this November.  As reported by last week, the group also backed Colorado’s Ammendment 64, a ballot initiative that will also face a vote by residents and is similar to Washington’s Initiative 502.  NAACP President of the Alaska, Washington State, and Oregon chapter, Oscar Eason, Jr. said “Treating marijuana use as a crime has not only failed, it has perpetuated racial inequities through unequal enforcement.”  He also went on to say “African Americans are no more likely than whites to use marijuana, but we are much more likely to be arrested for it.”  This sentiment also matches the rationale for the NAACP backing of the Colorado legalization efforts.

As the road to the White House unfolds we will continue to provide updates.  Next week is the Democratic National Convention to be held in North Carolina.  While we expect a dodging of the marijuana issue there, we would like to remind the president that he could truly galvanize a large voting base by demonstrating some concern for reform and medical patients.  We would also hope that Hurricane Isaac passes through with minimal damage.  Our hearts, once again, are with the Gulf region.

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New Jersey Shows that the Wheels of Progression Cannot Be Stopped

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Despite the best efforts of Governor Chris Christie, state legislators, and local townships, New Jersey’s medical marijuana program is moving along.  Patients have clearly stated that they are in favor of the program that was passed several years ago only to see bureaucratic delays on every level.  However as marijuana becomes widely accepted and research confirms its medical usefulness and lack of side effects, those trying to slow the unstoppable force of progression seem to be accepting the futility of such action.

Other states have deployed similar political tactics to delay the start of their marijuana program.  Arizona’s governor Jan Brewer has tried several times to prevent dispensaries from serving patients.  The result has created a rift between voters and the governor.  Looking to avoid such tension New Jersey has given approval for patients to register and receive their medical marijuana identification cards.  Patients with terminal cancer, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, MS, and other qualifying conditions will have the opportunity to apply for the ID card.  Patients can go to the New Jersey Department of Health Website to register or call 609-292-0424.  A registration card costs $200 and will be valid for 2 years.

Patients in New Jersey may still have to wait a bit for their medication as only 6 dispensaries have been approved and only one seems close to opening its doors.  Greenleaf Compassion Center has previously stated that it would have a crop available to distribute by September.  However they still have not yet received the final approval to dispense marijuana.  While there still may be time before the program is serving patients around the state, it seems to finally be moving on the right track.  There are over 150 doctors have registered to be a part of the program.  State Assemblyman Assemblyman Reed Gusciora also felt the program was moving in the right direction and recently said “The opening of a patient registry is a crucial and welcome step. . . . This represents the light at the end of the tunnel.”

Our elected officials often forget they are expected to work for the people.  New Jersey officials have finally gotten the message but were close to facing lawsuits.  Democracy is all about abiding by the will of the people and right now the people are expecting progress.  Trying to stop that is as pointless as trying to stop the ocean currents.

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Medical Marijuana Industry News June 29, 2012

regulate marijuana like alcohol

New Billboard Featuring Father and Son for Marijuana Regulation put up in Colorado…

Supporters of Colorado’s Amendment 64 are starting to add up.  Amendment 64 will be voted on by the people of Colorado in November and would see marijuana regulated and taxed.  The group Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol was instrumental in getting the signatures required to get the issue to the ballots.  A new campaign that focuses on families was recently launched.  The group has placed a billboard close to the stadium that is home to the Denver Broncos.  Opponents were predictably critical and asserted that legalized marijuana will find its way into the hands of children.  Recent studies have shown this not to be the case in Sacramento for medical marijuana.  The group feels this is not the case and their billboard actually depicts a father and a son with the slogan “Please, Card My Son.”  Under that it says “Regulate the sale of marijuana and keep it out of his hands.”


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Chicago Passes Law to Ticket Small Level Marijuana Offenders…

Media outlets have been reporting on a plan to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana in the city of Chicago.  Aldermen (term used for Chicago City Legislators) had a long debate on the issue the other day but in the end overwhelmingly approved the measure, 43-3.  The law was supported by President Obama’s former Chief of Staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  In response to dissenters who claimed the law sent a poor message to children, the Mayor actually stated that no action would send a far more devastating signal.  Chicago has seen a tremendous rise in homicides, up 38% from this time last year.  Many are concerned with police resources being tied up combating low level marijuana cases instead of more serious crimes.  Alderman Will Burns said “The calls I get at 2 o’clock in the morning are not about marijuana possession, they’re about someone who’s been shot in my ward, I want those calls to cease and the way we do that is to make sure our police are fighting violent crime.”  Residents of Chicago are also concerned, like New York City, about the disproportionate amount of marijuana arrests for Black and Hispanics, compared with Whites who actually smoke more marijuana.


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New Jersey Assembly Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill…

New Jersey Lawmakers have been discussing a bill that would decriminalize marijuana for about a month.  Earlier this week they passed it as many residents feel their tax dollars are being wasted on low level marijuana possession arrests.  The New Jersey State Assembly passed measure A1465 by a margin of 44-30.  Unfortunately for marijuana advocates, New Jersey Mayor Chris Christie has already indicated that he will veto the measure.  Judging by the governor’s opposition to a medical marijuana program that was already passed before he came to office, New Jersey residents may be in store for a bitter battle over a sensible decriminalization debate.  Check back with us as we will be covering the Governor’s response and possible veto in further detail to the decriminalization bill.


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President Obama to Sign Bill Banning Synthetic Marijuana…

Momentum for outlawing synthetic marijuana has been building for over a year.  Many states have their own laws against products such as “K2” and “Spice” but now it appears a federal ban will be signed by President Barack Obama soon.  Recently a bill (led by NY Senator Charles Schumer) passed in the United States Senate and will make its way to the president’s desk soon.  Dangerous side effects, especially for teens have been reported.  Many feel a tightly regulated marijuana industry would have prevented the synthetic black market.  The bill comes at a time when advocates are desperate for the White House to engage in a serious marijuana reform conversation.  Many were offended when DEA officials refused to acknowledge that heroin and crack were more harmful than marijuana.


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Medicinal Marijuana Industry News Feb 3, 2012

new jersey

More Delays for Nj Medicinal Marijuana


Just when a few of the final roadblocks appeared to become removed, patients within the Garden Condition still might have to brace themselves for delays.  As the program finally made it the condition legislative process, local cities happen to be denying the zoning permits for that potential shops.  For individuals suffering, the delays took its toll.  Following a lengthy fight within the condition government, many expected Nj to begin showing empathy, but rather the ‘abnormal’ amounts of presidency are flexing their muscle, ensuring to not eco-friendly light shops.  Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R., Monmouth) features legislation that will avoid the local zoning boards  from rejecting the medicinal marijuana centers based only on local resident complaints.  Governor Chris Christie has established that he might veto this legislation.  It was already a difficult week when it comes to his status on civil privileges as Christie had some very questionable claims around the sixties civil privileges movement.


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Scientists in Israel say More Doctors ought to be Prescribing Medicinal Marijuana


Research conducted recently in Israel was carried out at Sheba Clinic in Tel Hashomer, demonstrated that 67% of participants reported these were in support of the therapy.  60 1 % mentioned that they significant enhancements within their quality of existence.  The director from the Israel Cancer Association, Miri Ziv mentioned that “Medicinal marijuana became one from the remedies open to cancer patients in Israel recently [and for that reason the association thinks the problem ought to be controlled through the professionals within the area.”  At the end of 2011, Israel approved a sizable expansion of the medicinal marijuana program and expect it to develop from 6,000 to 40,000 patients in in the future.


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Suit will endeavour to bar Medicinal Marijuana Prohibit in Fort Collins


An voter approved ordinance passed in November was targeted at suspending medicinal marijuana shops in Fort Collins Colorado.  The proprietors from the six Fort Collins shops have filed a suit challenging the experience.  The suit claims the ordinance is breaking the Colorado Metabolic rate due to freedom of expression, set up, property, and the authority to have fun playing the political process.  Attorney Brett Barney is representing the dispensary proprietors and was cited as saying “We are wishing to locate a judge who still thinks within the Metabolic rate.”


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