In 2012, Washington State voted to legalize marijuana. By 2014, the
world's first system for legally growing, processing and retailing
cannabis was operating.
As Canada prepares to go live with pot sales in a few months, what can
we learn from four years of practical, hands-on experience in the
western United States?
The first take-away is that all the fretting about the impact on
children and teens is largely unwarranted.
Before legalization, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students in Washington
State said they had smoked pot in the previous month. Four years of
legal doobies later, 17 per cent of Grade 10 students say they have
smoked pot in the previous month.
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People who have post-traumatic stress disorder but do not medicate
with cannabis are far more likely to suffer from severe depression and
have suicidal thoughts than those who use marijuana, new national
Based on cross-country data from Statistics Canada, the observational
study by researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Substance Use
shows that Canadians with PTSD who use medicinal cannabis are 60 per
cent to 65 per cent less likely to have major depressive episodes or
thoughts of suicide compared with those who do not treat their
symptoms with medical marijuana. The study is the first national-scale
indication of the effectiveness of cannabis at mitigating the hallmark
symptoms of PTSD. It was presented on Thursday at the annual
conference of the Canadian Public Health Association in Montreal.
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SARASOTA COUNTY -- The county is moving to ban the cultivation and
sale of recreational marijuana if the practice is ever legalized in
The County Commission last week unanimously voted to authorize its
staff to draft an amendment to current county laws to prohibit the
growing, processing and sale of recreational marijuana should it ever
become legal in the state. Commission Chair Nancy Detert was absent
for the vote.
The move comes several weeks after the commission approved the
county's first two medical marijuana dispensaries. The commission on
April 10 voted to allow Trulieve to open a medical marijuana
dispensary in a freestanding building in the Venice Pines Shopping
Plaza on Jacaranda Boulevard -- the county's first approved
dispensary. A day later, the board approved a request by
Sarasota-based AltMed to open a medical marijuana dispensary at 5077
Fruitville Road in the Cobia Bay shopping plaza.
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State Rep. Kelly Alexander, D-Mecklenburg, introduced a bill this week
that would significantly increase the amount of marijuana a person
could have in his or her possession for personal use before being
charged with a misdemeanor or felony.
Under Alexander's bill, a person would not be charged with a
misdemeanor unless he or she had more than 4 ounces of marijuana.
Under current law, possession of more than a half-ounce is a
misdemeanor. A person would have to have more than 16 ounces -- more
than 10 times the current limit -- to be charged with a felony.
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Open letter sent to federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and
her B.C. counterpart David Eby
Jessika Villano sells a potent array of dried cannabis, oils, salves
and even bud-infused bath bombs at Buddha Barn Medicinal Society - all
grown and processed by small-scale British Columbia producers.
Villano doesn't want that to change when marijuana is legalized later
this year, and she's among the proponents of local craft cannabis who
are pushing the federal and provincial governments to ensure its survival.
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Charity Gates phones her contact each month to make an appointment.
When the time comes, she and a colleague drive around Denver,
collecting stacks of $20 bills she has stored in various safes since
the last delivery. She counts the cash and places it in small duffel
or sling bags, carrying up to $20,000 at a time.
She then drives to a gray two-story office building downtown and parks
on the street or in a pay lot nearby. Ms. Gates fears being robbed, so
the two dress simply to avoid attention and use different vehicles and
delivery days to vary their routine. "We hold our breath every time we
go," Ms. Gates said.
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Cathy Jordan credits pot with helping her defeat the odds in the
battle against Lou Gehrig's disease she's waged for more than 30 years.
And although she can now legally obtain the cannabis treatment she's
relied on for decades, Jordan is prohibited from what she and her
doctors swear is the best way for her to consume her medicine --
Jordan is among the plaintiffs challenging a state law that bans
smoking pot as a route of administration for the hundreds of thousands
of patients who are eligible for medical marijuana treatment in Florida.
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In Oregon and Denver, where marijuana is legal for recreational use,
activists are now pushing toward a psychedelic frontier: "magic mushrooms."
Groups in both states are sponsoring ballot measures that would
eliminate criminal penalties for possession of the mushrooms whose
active ingredient, psilocybin, can cause hallucinations, euphoria and
changes in perception. They point to research showing that psilocybin
might be helpful for people suffering from depression or anxiety.
"We don't want individuals to lose their freedom over something that's
natural and has health benefits," said Kevin Matthews, the campaign
director of Denver for Psilocybin, the group working to decriminalize
magic mushrooms in Colorado's capital.
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Amid budding efforts to research the medical benefits of marijuana, a
simple problem has emerged -- how do you research marijuana if no one
can produce it under federal law?
Despite a solution proposed in mid-2016, which allowed the Drug
Enforcement Administration to approve marijuana manufacturers, only
the University of Mississippi has been approved, despite dozens of
applications to do so. And there's no sign the DEA intends to approve
others anytime soon.
Advocates seem to blame one person for the delays: Attorney General
Jeff Sessions. Ian Prior, spokesman for the Department of Justice,
declined to comment on the issue.
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A Pennsylvania legislator introduced a bill Monday that would give
medical marijuana patients a chance of expunging a conviction of
marijuana possession if the charge resulted from their use of cannabis
for medical purposes.
The bill is sponsored by State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), and
does not have any support yet from Republicans who control the
legislature. To be expunged, patients would have to prove they had a
doctor's diagnosis for one of the 21 approved serious health
conditions at the time of the conviction. The patient would also have
to provide evidence they were using cannabis to treat the condition.
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From Wall Street to Silicon Valley, industries across America are
struggling to redress decades of discrimination and boost the ranks of
minorities and the disenfranchised in their workforces.
But what if you could design an industry from scratch? Could you
somehow bake in diversity and fairness?
We're about to find out.
Last month, Massachusetts rolled out the country's first statewide
marijuana industry "equity" program, giving preferential treatment to
people who are typically marginalized by the business world.
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Pennsylvania is gearing up to become a global center for cannabis
research. Yet for more than a decade, Philadelphia has been on the
forefront of investigations into the medicinal uses of marijuana.
Sara Jane Ward has built a reputation exploring marijuana's effects on
pain and addiction using animals at Temple University's Lewis Katz
School of Medicine.
Ward and her colleague Ronald Tuma, a professor of physiology and
neurosurgery, lead a team of 10 researchers at Temple's Center for
Substance Abuse in North Philadelphia.
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Canada's real estate industry organization is calling for a
moratorium on growing recreational marijuana at home until the
government sets out nationwide regulations for the practice.
Ottawa's proposed marijuana legalization regulations allow Canadians
to grow up to four marijuana plants at their residences. Medical users
are already allowed to grow at home after a federal court ruled in
2016 that the government cannot ban patients from growing their own
However, the Canadian Real Estate Association said the ban it is
requesting applies to home cultivation for recreational users when
marijuana legalized later this year.
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A cloud of smoke hung over Cal Expo Friday afternoon as thousands
gathered for the High Times Cannabis Cup, the first permitted event in
California to allow recreational use of marijuana.
Organizers expected upwards of 15,000 people over the course of the
two-day festival, which boasts musical performances from acclaimed
artists, including Lauryn Hill, Lil Wayne, Gucci Mane, Rich The Kid,
Cypress Hill, Rick Ross and Ludacris.
The event was at risk of becoming a music-only festival until the
Sacramento City Council approved a license for on-site consumption and
sales in a 6-2 vote Tuesday. Weeks earlier, a similar High Times event
had its permit denied by the San Bernardino City Council just before
it was scheduled to take place.
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"He was beautiful," said his mother, Bonnie. "He was perfect."
But when Micah turned 3, he began lining up his toy cars in a row and
just staring at them. His limited vocabulary became more limited. He
forgot how to go potty.
Jensen, 47, quit her job as an executive assistant to take care of and
Early one morning, she felt something shudder in her bed. Beside her,
Micah trembled uncontrollably and she saw his skin turn a deep shade
of blue and purple. He gasped for air.
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A group of Louisiana parents of children with severe autism had cause
for celebration Wednesday (May 2) as a bill (HB 627) that expands
medical marijuana as a treatment option for the condition cleared
another hurdle through the legislature.
It was one of two medical marijuana medicals aimed at expanding the
patient base in Louisiana that passed through the Senate Health and
Welfare committee. The other bill (HB 579) authored by Rep. Ted James,
D-Baton Rouge, adds glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic
pain and Parkinson's Disease to the roster of conditions already
approved for treatment with medical marijuana. Both bills will head to
the Senate for a full vote.
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WASHINGTON - FPI Management, a property company in California, wants
to hire dozens of people. Factories from New Hampshire to Michigan
need workers. Hotels in Las Vegas are desperate to fill jobs.
Those employers and many others are quietly taking what once would
have been a radical step: They're dropping marijuana from the drug
tests they require of prospective employees. Marijuana testing - a
fixture at large American employers for at least 30 years - excludes
too many potential workers, experts say, at a time when filling jobs
is more challenging than it's been in nearly two decades.
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It's already used to treat epilepsy in some children -- and now
researchers are examining whether a marijuana compound could also be
helpful for those with autism.
The University of California San Diego announced in a news release
that it will be conducting a test on children with "severe" autism to
see if cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD, can help treat some
of their symptoms.
The research, which will involve 30 children, was made possible thanks
to a $4.7 million donation from the Ray and Tye Noorda Foundation in
Lindon, Utah, according to The San Diego Tribune. The goal is to see
if CBD can lessen seizures, anxiety and self-harming.
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NEW YORK -- CNN's medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta has taken the
unusual step of publicly urging Attorney General Jeff Sessions to
reconsider his opposition to medical marijuana, particularly as a way
to fight the opioid epidemic.
Gupta wrote a public letter to Sessions, saying that he had changed
his mind on the use of medical marijuana, and he's certain Sessions
can, too. Research and talking to people who say marijuana has eased
pain and weaned them off opioids convinced him.
It's an unusual step for a journalist to move into advocacy, by
sending a letter to the attorney general. But Gupta says he believes
this falls into the category of telling truth to power.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a longtime opponent of legalizing recreational
marijuana, now says the federal government should not interfere in
California's legal marijuana market.
In comments to McClatchy Tuesday -- in the middle of a 2018 campaign
for her seat in a state that has settled into the legal pot market --
the California Democrat said she was open to considering federal
protection for state-legalized marijuana.
Feinstein's office said her views changed after meetings with
constituents, particularly those with young children who have
benefited from medical marijuana use.
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