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New Study Shows Natural Marijuana Superior To Synthetic Cannabinoids

(Hemp News)

A new study called “Comparison of Outcome Expectancies for Synthetic Cannabinoids and Botanical Marijuana,” in The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, shows that negative effects are significantly lower for natural, botanical cannabis than for synthetic cannabinoids.

In the study, 186 adults who had previously used both the synthetic and natural forms of marijuana, as well as 181 who had previously used only natural (botanical) marijuana, were surveyed about their expected outcomes of using either type of cannabinoid. The results showed that the expected negative effects were significantly higher for synthetic marijuana than for natural marijuana across both categories of use history.

Despite the more commonly expected negative effects of synthetic cannabinoids, the most cited reasons for using these compounds were wider availability, avoiding a positive drug test for cannabis, curiosity, perceived legality, and cost. For instance, synthetic cannabinoids are popular among members of the armed services, and in other occupations where a positive test for marijuana might get you fired, but synthetic cannabinoids would remain undetected.

“Given growing public acceptance of recreational and medical marijuana, coupled with negative perceptions and increasing regulation of synthetic cannabinoid compounds, botanical marijuana is likely to remain more available and more popular than synthetic cannabinoids,” Kirstin J. Lauritsen and Harold Rosenberg, the authors of the article reasonably concluded.

Study Shows Opioid Overdoses Fell With Medical Marijuana Legalization

(Hemp News)

Using state-level death certificate data from 1999 to 2010, a group of researchers discovered that the annual rate of opioid overdose deaths decreased substantially — an average of 25 percent — following the passage of medical marijuana laws, compared to states still under cannabis prohibition.

The increase of opioid prescriptions in the United States has had devastating public health consequences, including addiction, organ damage, and death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently urged physicians to be “very cautious” in prescribing these drugs, reports Colleen Barry in an op-ed at The New York Times.

Marijuana, as pointed out in the comments to Barry’s article, “is infinitely safer than any prescription opioid, and it certainly should be available as an option … if it can save one life from an overdose it is worth it, never mind a massive 25% reduction.”

“As someone who has chronic skeletal joint pain once told me after years of tilting with opioids I have learned how to manage my pain with marijuana and I don’t have to feel like a zombie as I did with the pills,” offered one commenter. “Plus, I’m a lot happier as the depression associated with my constant pain is relieved as well. I know of many others who report the same success.”


Maine Marijuana Initiative Qualifies For November Ballot; Poll Shows Solid Support

(Hemp News)

Maine state officials on Wednesday announced that a proposed initiative to end marijuana prohibition in Maine has officially qualified for the November ballot.

After a court-ordered review of petitions it had previously invalidated, the Maine Secretary of State’s Office determined the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol submitted more than the 61,123 signatures that were needed to qualify.

Last month, the secretary of state informed the campaign that the initiative had been disqualified because only 51,543 valid signatures had been submitted. The campaign filed a lawsuit challenging the decision, and a Kennebec County Superior Court judge ruled in their favor earlier this month after learning state officials invalidated more than 5,000 petitions —which included more than 17,000 signatures from Maine voters that were validated by town clerks — without actually reviewing every petition in question. The petition was then remanded to the Secretary of State’s Office to review all of the disputed petitions and determine whether enough valid signatures were collected.

The initiative stands a good chance of passing. According to a new poll released this week by the Maine People’s Resource Center, nearly 54 percent of likely voters would approve the initiative if the election were held today. Only about 42 percent said they would oppose it.


Spain: Basque Parliament Urges Progress On Marijuana Legalization

(Hemp News)

The Basque Parliament has asked the Spanish Government, the Parliament and the Justice Administration for “solid progress” on marijuana legalization and regulation, criticizing the “setback” that led to Supreme Court judgments against Basque cannabis clubs.

The House defended a “regulated solution” to allow the operation of cannabis clubs, passed as the Basque Addictions Act on April 7. The text adopted on Monday invites cannabis clubs and associations existing in the Basque Country to go ahead and “establish self-regulatory mechanisms, good practices” and work with the Administration, even though no specific regulations yet exist.

Acting Health Minister Alfonso Alonso last June said the central government is studying an appeal against the Law on Addictions with the possibility that legalizing and regulating the cannabis clubs exceeded the authority of the Basque Country.

It was pointed out that these cannabis clubs have already been operating for some time in Basque Country, and, in general, are pretty good at regulating themselves in an “orderly and responsible” fashion.


Michigan Woman Who Ran 2 Marijuana Dispensaries Sentenced To Jail

(Hemp News)

A woman arrested two separate times for running medical marijuana dispensaries in Kent County, Michigan, was sentenced to jail on Monday by a judge who lectured her, telling her “ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

Eileen Dee Shaw, 52, said she did everything possible to operate within Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Act while running the dispensaries, which were located in Cascade and Plainfield townships, reports John Hogan at WZZM.

“I made every effort to try to understand the law and comply with it,” Shaw said. “I truly just wanted to help people,’’ she told Kent County Circuit Court Judge George Quist on Monday. “It was with every good intent that I approached this. I truly just wanted to help medical marijuana patients.’’

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse; you’ve probably heard that old adage and it’s true,’’ Judge Quist said.


California: Napa Jury Finds Vallejo Marijuana Dispensary Owner Not Guilty

(Hemp News)

A Napa County Superior Court jury on Tuesday acquitted the owner of a Vallejo medical marijuana dispensary of several cannabis-related charges.

Hakeem Mwata Brown, CEO of Life Enhancement Services, was charged with possessing marijuana for sale and cultivation of marijuana in Napa County, reports Maria Sestito at the Napa Valley Register. He was arrested in 2013, months after he was allegedly found on the site of a large marijuana grow in rural Napa County, according to court documents.

The jury trial began on April 18 before Judge Elia Ortiz, and drew marijuana supporters who picketed outside Criminal Courthouse on Third Street.

Brown was growing legally and the case should never have gone to trial, according to his lawyer, Scot Candell. “It was a complete waste of taxpayer money to put everybody through this,” he said.



Georgia: Battle Over ‘No Buzz’ Medical Marijuana Law Turns To Civil Disobedience

(Hemp News)

A civil disobedience campaign is now underway in Georgia to try to force legislators to expand the state’s weak CBD only medical marijuana law, which left a lot of suffering children without legal access to the medicine they need.

A Georgia mpom is helping lead that fight to expand the state’s extremely limited medical marijuana law, which she said unfairly excludes many patients with severe medical conditions, including her five-year-old autistic daughter, who could benefit from the medicinal properties of cannabis.

“There are some pretty tenacious parents who are fighting,” said Jennifer Conforti, whose daughter, Abby, isn’t covered by the current “CBD-only” law, written by lawmakers who understand neither the medicinal properties of cannabinoids, nor, according to Sue Rusche, president and CEO of the Atlanta-based drug prevention organization National Families in Action,m the process of drug approval.

Georgia is one of 17 conservative states in the South and the Midwest which have passed so-called “CBD only” medical marijuana laws since 2014, reports Mike Brunker at NBC News. The laws are a convenient way for cowardly state lawmakers to appear to be “doing something” about the need for medical marijuana in their states, especially by children, while remaining politically risk-free.


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