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Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week
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Young adults who smoke marijuana occasionally show changes in two key areas of their brains related to emotion, motivation and decision making, with the degree of changes related to the amount of cannabis used per week, according to a new study by researchers in Boston. Other scientists quickly pointed out that the research was partially sponsored by the federal agency charged with keeping marijuana illegal.
The scientists did not study whether the brain changes were related to any declines in brain function. Any speculation by the scientists themselves, therefore, or especially by journalists who sensationalize the findings, about declines in cognition or functionality is therefore completely unsupported by any evidence.
But the scientists, unfortunately including lead author Jodi Gilman, did exactly that.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said he is “cautiously optimistic” about marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington state, but added it’s tough to predict where legalization will be in 10 years. In the same interview, Holder, the nation’s top law enforcement official, admitted he had tried pot in college.
“I think there might have been a burst of feeling that what happened in Washington and Colorado was going to be soon replicated across the country,” Holder told Ryan J. Reilly of The Huffington Post. “I’m not sure that is necessarily the case.
“I think a lot of states are going to be looking to see what happens in Washington, what happens in Colorado before those decisions are made in substantial parts of the country,” he said.
The Drug Policy Alliance on Wednesday filed an amicus brief urging the Louisiana Supreme Court to review the egregious prison sentence of Bernard Noble, a 48-year old man who was sentenced to 13.3 years of hard labor in prison without the opportunity for parole for possessing the equivalent of two marijuana cigarettes.
Two cops spotted Noble riding a bicycle down South Miro Street in New Orleans in 2010, reports Bruce Barcott at Rolling Stone. They ordered Noble to stop, and frisked him. They found a small bag containing less than three grams of marijuana.
Noble’s original sentencing judge considered the 13 and a third-year sentence egregious and imposed a sentence of five years of hard labor. But the Orleans Parish District Attorney wasn’t satisfied with this punishment and appealed the sentence. Ultimately, the district attorney sought and obtained a prison term of close to triple the sentence imposed by the original sentencing judge.
State officials had posted preliminary rules for the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program that barred medicinal cannabis patients or their caregivers from obtaining a FOID card if they were part of the program, reports Becky Schlikerman at the Chicago Sun-Times.
That provision has now been removed from rules that will be officially filed for review later this week, according to the Sun-Times. It was not immediately known if the same provision about Concealed Carry Weapons Permits had also been removed from the rules.
“I’m happy to see that they have changed the provision,” said Rep. Lou Lang (D-Skokie), who sponsored the medical marijuana legislation and sits on the committee that will vote on the official rules. “I did ask them to remove it. I’m not the only one who did.”
More medical marijuana dispensaries are open in Arizona than ever before, with nearly 80 shops now open throughout the state. The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act allows for up to 126 dispensaries to open.
Many more dispensaries plan to open in 2014, according to AZmarijuana.com, a medical marijuana industry website.
“As dispensaries become more common place in Arizona, the amount of interest and awareness by the public continues to increase,” said Dan Kingston, president of AZmarijuana.com. “Over the last 12 months our site has seen significant growth in the number of visitors searching for medical marijuana doctor offices, dispensaries, jobs, news, products, discounts and other information.
“We anticipate our traffic will continue to increase drastically as the Arizona medical marijuana industry continues to expand,” Kingston said.
The campaign manager of Florida’s medical marijuana ballot drive has expressed outrage after a woman last week was abruptly visited by Child Protective Services on an anonymous tip that she had been giving marijuana to her son, who suffers from a rare form of severe epilepsy.
Renee Petro, the advocate in question, wasn’t administering any cannabis to her 12-year-old son, Branden, reports Chris Joseph at Broward Palm Beach New Times. But that didn’t stop CPS agents coming into her home to interrogate Petro’s 9-year-old daughter and the nurse who helps take care of Branden.
“This is exactly why Floridians need teo pass Amendment 2 in November,” said Ben Pollara, campaign manager with United For Care, the main organization backing the ballot initiative. “And why we need everyone’s support to get word out about stories like Renee’s and her family’s.”
Prospective medicinal cannabis businesspeople in Illinois say the high cost of entry will prevent many with expertise from entering the new industry. Under proposed rules for the new law legalizing medical marijuana in Illinois, would-be cannabis farmers need a $2 million surety bond, $250,000 in liquid assets, $25,000 for an application fee, and $200,000 for a permit fee, as well as an approved site.
“We have the know-how,” said Robert Boyce, who grows vegetables, flowers and herbs in greenhouses in Lake Zurich, reports Robert McCoppin at The Chicago Tribune. “We have the manpower, the familiarity with growing herbal and medicinal plants, knowledge of building greenhouses. But right now, you’re looking at three to five million dollars in startup costs.”
Yes, it seems having a green thumb isn’t as important as having a lot of green, if you want to enter the medical marijuana industry in Illinois.
Toke Signals Must Read of the Week
By Jack Rikess
We’ve all been there. A 7/11 parking lot, late at night, where every Slurpee-buying shopper looks like an undercover cop. Or you’ve just parked your buddy’s car near an apartment downtown where all the neighbors know why you’re walking towards that particular door.
Or worse, a friend of a friend who just got out of jail has some killer stuff that will make the whole crosstown drive worth it.
You name it — we all have a variety of reasons why we will go the extra mile to procure the best stuff possible, sometimes even when the risks are higher than you are.
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