As Louisiana's medical marijuana program takes shape some patients
might have to make a difficult choice: keep their gun ownership rights
or participate in the program.
Louisiana is one of 30 states that have approved medical marijuana
laws in some form. Although the state's nine dispensaries won't open
until later this year, patients who qualify for medical marijuana
under Louisiana law may be surprised to learn that federal law
restricts their ability to purchase a gun if they use marijuana.
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Medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania are bracing for a surge
in new customers when vaporizable "flower" -- the most popular and
recognizable form of cannabis -- goes on sale on Wednesday, Aug. 1.
"We're expecting 300 to 400 patients at our Abington store the first
day," said Chris Visco, co-founder of TerraVida Holistic Centers.
"People will likely be in line at 8 a.m. We're hiring an extra
security guard and an extra valet parking person. This is a
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Despite limited evidence, Americans have an increasingly positive view
of the health benefits of marijuana. Nearly two-thirds believe pot can
reduce pain, while close to half say it improves symptoms of anxiety,
depression, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis, according to a new
online survey of 9,003 adults.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey are among the 30 states, along with the
District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico, that have legalized
medical marijuana. But scientists say hard data on the health effects
of pot -- both positive and negative -- are largely missing. Because
marijuana is considered an illicit drug by the federal government,
research has been scant, though there are efforts underway in
Pennsylvania and nationally to remedy that.
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State lawmakers and advocates pushing to legalize marijuana this year
aren't just touting legalization as a way to raise tax revenue and
regulate an underground pot market. They're also talking about fixing
a broken criminal justice system and reinvesting in poor and minority
communities that have been battered by decades of the government's war
The focus on justice and equity has sharpened over time, longtime pot
advocates say, as it's become clear that such issues should be
addressed and that doing so won't alienate voters -- most of whom,
polls consistently show, support legal marijuana. Civil rights groups
also have raised their voices in legalization discussions.
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As bad as getting off opioids the first time was, nothing prepared
Briana Kline for trying to come back from relapse. She was in deep,
past the Percocets and other pills. This time it was heroin, even a
close brush with fentanyl. But the medicine that so helped slay her
cravings before didn't seem to be cutting it.
"The Suboxone didn't make me feel the way it usually does," said
Kline, 26, of Lancaster County. "I was struggling a lot with cravings.
I'd go a couple of days, be OK. Then I'd go use again."
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You can't take it with you. Actually, you can. But it's not a good
idea when you're traveling, especially for the risk-averse.
We speak, of course, of cannabis; its use was approved by 57% of
California voters in November 2016. Proposition 64, known as the Adult
Use of Marijuana Act, allows the recreational use of marijuana in the
Golden State; medical marijuana had been legal for about a decade
Legal, it should be noted, in California. Not legal according to
federal law, although President Trump has signaled his willingness to
support legislation that, according to an L.A. Times article, would
"end the federal ban on marijuana."
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July 1, a fated day in Massachusetts for advocates of recreational
marijuana, came and went. The first day that stores were allowed to
sell nonmedical cannabis passed without so much as a joint sold. No
retailers had been licensed, and July 1 turned out much like any other
day since December 15, 2016, when it became legal in Massachusetts to
possess, grow and give away small quantities of cannabis.
But in the intervening year-and-a-half, no retailers have begun
selling the drug. Advocates of its recreational use have grown
frustrated at the retail rollout's plodding pace.
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LOS ANGELES - A slight marijuana smell wafted out as a steady stream of
customers walked into a warehouse, its doors and windows covered by
Suddenly, police swooped in.
"Sheriff's department! Search warrant!" a Los Angeles County deputy
shouted as the team thundered through the front door and began hauling
out people in handcuffs.
The Compton 20 Cap Collective just south of Los Angeles that was
raided earlier this spring is one of hundreds of illegal marijuana
stores operating in LA County, where marijuana is legal for anyone 21
and over and retailers must be licensed to sell to them.
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Finding a place to house a medical marijuana dispensary is rarely an
easy task, but MariMed Advisors, which specializes in developing
cannabis businesses, encountered especially aggressive pushback
working for a client in Annapolis, Md., last year.
The company reviewed several hundred potential locations for the
client's proposed dispensary before finally finding one that met
nearly every one of the strict requirements demanded by officials of
Anne Arundel County. It had the proper zoning classification and the
necessary road access. It was not within 1,000 feet of a school. And,
as an added plus, the storefront was discreet, located below ground
level and behind another building.
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TALLAHASSEE -- Chiding a judge who sided with sick patients and saying
plaintiffs likely won't win on the merits of the case, an appellate
court on Tuesday refused to allow smokable medical marijuana while a
legal fight continues to play out.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal
came in a lawsuit initiated by Orlando trial attorney John Morgan and
others who maintain that a Florida law barring patients from smoking
their treatment runs afoul of a 2016 constitutional amendment that
broadly legalized medical marijuana.
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LINDSAY, Okla - Danny Daniels, an evangelical Christian in the rural
Oklahoma town of Lindsay, is reliably conservative on just about every
The 45-year-old church pastor is anti-abortion, voted for President
Donald Trump and is a member of the National Rifle Association who
owns an AR-15 rifle. He also came of age during the 1980s and believed
in the anti-drug mantra that labeled marijuana as a dangerous gateway
But his view on marijuana changed as his pastoral work extended into
hospice care and he saw patients at the end of their lives benefiting
from the use of cannabis.
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U.S. health regulators on Monday approved the first prescription drug
made from marijuana, a milestone that could spur more research into a
drug that remains illegal under federal law, despite growing
legalization for recreational and medical use.
The Food and Drug Administration approved the medication, called
Epidiolex, to treat two rare forms of epilepsy that begin in
childhood. But it's not quite medical marijuana.
The strawberry-flavored syrup is a purified form of a chemical
ingredient found in the cannabis plant -- but not the one that gets
users high. It's not yet clear why the ingredient, called cannabidiol,
or CBD, reduces seizures in some people with epilepsy.
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Jeff Greene, the Palm Beach billionaire who this week joined a crowded
slate of Democrats seeking to replace Gov. Rick Scott, shared his
thoughts about marijuana with Truth or Dara during a lengthy interview
that included some chit-chat about Willie Nelson and air pods.
(Spoiler alert: He's a fan of both the musician and the technology).
On medical marijuana, Greene's got the same take as his competitors,
who've all come out in support of allowing patients to smoke their
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A British pharmaceutical company is getting closer to a decision on
whether the U.S government will approve the first prescription drug
derived from the marijuana plant, but parents who for years have used
cannabis to treat severe forms of epilepsy in their children are
feeling more cautious than celebratory.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to decide by the end
of the month whether to approve GW Pharmaceuticals' Epidiolex. It's a
purified form of cannabidiol -- a component of cannabis that doesn't
get users high -- to treat Dravet and Lennox-Gastaut syndromes in
kids. Both forms of epilepsy are rare.
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A medical marijuana activist in Oklahoma says the county sheriff
forcibly escorted him out of a forum, but the sheriff says he thinks
the scuffle was an "orchestrated" deal with an attempt to rattle law
Chip Paul, co-founder of Oklahomans for Health, said he was attending
a forum about the proposed legislation for legalizing medical
marijuana when he was forced out by Rogers County Sheriff Scott
Walton. The organization is the official proponent of legalizing
medical cannabis in Oklahoma through State Question 788.
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State lawmakers moved Tuesday to reinstate the research provision of
Pennsylvania's medical marijuana law, a month after a court decision
left it in limbo.
The House voted 167-31 to change the law by laying out more explicitly
the goal of its provisions allowing medical schools to partner with
companies that grow the drug and provide it to patients.
"We worked very hard so that indeed real research not only will have
the opportunity to occur, but it's going to be required to occur,"
said Rep. Kathy Watson, R-Bucks, who sponsored the amendment.
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All marijuana users are forbidden from operating a car, truck, boat,
or an airplane under Pennsylvania statute. That poses a conundrum for
medical marijuana patients who need to drive and want to stay within
the bounds of law.
Pa. Rep. Sheryl M. Delozier (R., Cumberland) says she aims to fix
Delozier last week announced she'll introduce legislation that will
exempt medical marijuana patients as long as they are not driving
Driving under the influence is a crime in every state. But knowing
when a driver is too high to drive is nearly impossible to tell with a
test. Unlike with alcohol, there is nothing like a Breathalyzer devise
for cannabis that police can use. If an officer suspects a driver is
impaired, he can order a blood tests. But chemical compounds from
marijuana can remain in the blood for 15 days or more after use and
deliver an incriminating positive result.
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ALBANY -- A Cuomo administration panel will recommend New York State
legalize recreational use of marijuana, the state's health
commissioner said Monday.
But the long-awaited report by the group has still not been released
as the State Legislature looks to end its 2018 session on Wednesday --
leaving action for this year on the matter all but impossible.
Dr. Howard Zucker, the state's top health regulator, said public
health, law enforcement and others inside and outside government, have
been examining the issue of marijuana legalization since Gov. Andrew
M. Cuomo asked for a study on the issue in January.
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Cannabidiol products are coming back to Kansas after lawmakers
approved to bring back the marijuana extract often used as alternative
Lawmakers voted in April to exclude cannabidiol, or CBD, from the
state's definition of marijuana as long as the oil contains no THC,
the ingredient in marijuana that gets people high. The vote
effectively makes CBD an unrestricted substance, the Kansas City Star
The state's decision came after Attorney General Derek Schmidt issued
a January opinion saying any form of marijuana is against the law in
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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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