The 21st episode of Toke Signals TV with host Steve Elliott takes a look at some of the biggest marijuana news stories of the week.
Find out what you need to know about the week in cannabis/marijuana news, in 30 minutes!
Don’t forget to subscribe to the Toke TV channel on YouTube.
Toke TV Bud Pick of the Week
Toke TV Stories of the WeekWashington Liquor Board Reverses Itself; Recommends Medical Marijuana Patients Can Grow At Home
In a major victory for the medical marijuana community, the Washington State Liquor Control Board, under heavy patient pressure, on Wednesday reversed itself, signaling they will recommend to lawmakers that medical marijuana patients continue to be allowed to grow cannabis in their homes.
The LCB’s previous recommendation that home growing be outlawed, in order to force patients to conform to recreational legalization measure I-502, had produced outrage in Washington’s medical marijuana community. I-502 is the recreational cannabis legalization measure approved last year by state voters.
Board members now say they recommend that patients, or their designated providers, be allowed to grow up to six plants, three flowering and three nonflowering, reports Bob Young at The Seattle Times. Currently, patients are allowed to grow up to 15 plants at any stage of growth. Unexplained was why the 15-plant limit — reached by the Legislature after extensive discussion — was abandoned.
The celebration is in full swing in Uruguay, which became the first nation in modern times to legalize marijuana, but a drug agency overseen by the United Nations on Wednesday claimed that the move violates an international treaty on controlled substances.
Uruguay is violating 1961’s Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, according to the International Narcotics Control Board. That 52-year-old world treaty was designed to limit the possession, use, manufacture and production of “drugs” exclusively to medical and scientific purposes, reports Fox News Latino. According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the Single Convention combats drug trafficking through international cooperation.
Uruguay this week became the first country since the Single Convention to create a national marketplace for legal cannabis, with the government controlling the production and sales of marijuana in a bid to stymie the black market.
The American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP), in a historic move, on Wednesday released the first installation of a two-part Cannabis monograph that classifies cannabis (marijuana) as a botanical medicine, alongside many other widely accepted complementary and alternative medicines.
Written and reviewed by the world’s leading experts, the cannabis monograph brings together an authoritative compendium of scientific data, including long-awaited standards for the plant’s identity, purity, quality, and botanical properties. The monograph provides a foundation for health care professionals to integrate cannabis therapy into their practices on the basis of a full scientific understanding of the plant, its constituent components, and its biologic effects.
“The inclusion of cannabis in the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia returns the plant to its place alongside as a proven botanical medicine, which has been used for centuries by countries and cultures around the world,” said Steph Sherer, executive director of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), which helped support the development of the cannabis monograph.
New York State Senator Liz Krueger on Wednesday introduced a bill to tax and regulate marijuana for adult use. The bill would end the criminalization of adults 18 years and older who possess up to two ounces of marijuana and would create a regulatory system allowing for the retail sale of marijuana to those over the age of 21, much like the current system for regulating alcohol. Recent polls show a majority of Americans now support taxing and regulating marijuana.
New York’s current marijuana policies are widely recognized as broken. About 600,000 people, mostly young black and Latino men, have been arrested for marijuana possession in the state since 1997, saddling them with criminal records that impede their ability to obtain jobs, student loans, and housing.
“Prohibition of marijuana is a policy that just hasn’t worked, no matter how you look at it, and it’s time to have an honest conversation about what we should do next,” Sen. Krueger said. “The illegal marijuana economy is alive and well, and our unjust laws are branding nonviolent New Yorkers, especially young adults, as criminals, creating a vicious cycle that ruins lives and needlessly wastes taxpayer dollars.
In a 10-3 final vote, the council approved a measure eliminating the controversial front-yard cannabis smoking ban introduced last month, which had previously appeared poised to pass with a 7-5 vote, reports Matt Ferner at The Huffington Post.
“Fortunately, common sense ultimately prevailed,” said Mason Tvert, a key supporter of Amendment 64, which legalized marijuana in Colorado. “If adults are able to consume alcohol — and even smoke cigarettes — outside on their own property, there’s no logical reason why they should be prohibited from using a less harmful substance,” said Tvert, who is communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project.
Seattle City Council members in a Wednesday committee vote approved a $27 fine for public cannabis smoking.
The full council is expected to approve the action on Monday, reports Bob Young at The Seattle Times.
City Attorney Pete Holmes had at first suggested $50 fines. When administrative fees were added, the total cost of a public pot-smoking fine could have reached $103.
The lower fines, sponsored by Councilmember Nick Licata, were meant to match the penalty for illegally drinking alcohol in public.
The council asked that Seattle Police Department officers give people a warning before fining someone for smoking marijuana in public, which is prohibited under I-502.
Claims of a causal link between marijuana use and the development of schizophrenia have been some of the (literal) Reefer Madness claims hardest to extinguish, partly because of insistent coverage in the British tabloid press which actually led to the Brits re-criminalizing cannabis after briefly relaxing the laws. But yet another study, this one from Harvard Medical School, has found no association between smoking cannabis and going crazy.
Harvard researchers compared families with a history of schizophrenia to those without, reports John M. Grohol at PsychCentral.
“The results of the current study suggest that having an increased familial morbid risk for schizophrenia may be the underlying basis for schizophrenia in cannabis users and not cannabis use by itself,” the researchers found.
Toke TV Must Reads of the WeekThe Undergreen Railroad: Helping Marijuana Refugees Find Freedom
A new nonprofit organization, The Undergreen Railroad, has formed to help marijuana refugees relocate from states with unfriendly cannabis laws to more compassionate states.
Studies Spanning 12 Years: Medical Cannabis Works
A historic experiment in medical marijuana research spanning a dozen years, which brought new science to the debate on the place of cannabis in medicine, has found that the herb offers broad benefits for pain control from injuries, HIV, strokes and other conditions.
Toke TV is a joint production
of Toke Signals and Indie Media Weekly