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Find out what you need to know about the week in cannabis/marijuana news, in just 28 minutes!

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Toke Signals Bud Pick of the Week

Strain: White Romulan (indica dominant; Romulan x The White) Found at MMJ Universe, Black Diamond, WA [Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]
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Strain: White Romulan (indica dominant; Romulan x The White)
Found at MMJ Universe, Black Diamond, WA
[Steve Elliott ~alapoet~]

Toke Signals Stories of  the Week

U.S.: Marijuana Use Increases As Concern Over Health Risks Declines

(Hemp News)

More Americans are using marijuana as their concerns over its health risk declines, according to a report released on Thursday from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Data in the 2014 World Drug Report reveals that more people in the United States are bucking a global trend towards less cannabis use, reports Reuters.

UNODC said it’s still too early to understand the impact of marijuana legalization in Colorado and Washington, as well as in the South American country of Uruguay, but research suggests that perceptions of risk have declined.


Pope Says Nope To Dope: Pontiff Opposes Marijuana Legalization

(Hemp News)

It’s Hail Mary, but hold the Jane, according to Pope Francis, who just proved that there are definite limits to how cool the “Cool New Pope” is willing to be. Could he who is without sin cast out the stoners?

The Pope has been taking social media by storm, bringing the Roman Catholic Church into the 21st Century, and has garnered an enormous amount of good publicity in doing so, reports Alexandra Petri at The Washington Post. But he isn’t willing to endorse the legalization of marijuana.

The Pontiff told members of a drug enforcement conference meeting in Rome on Friday that even limited attempts to legalize recreational drugs “are not only highly questionable from a legislative standpoint, but they fail to produce the desired effects,” reports the Associated Press.


House Committee Votes To Block Marijuana Decrim In Washington, D.C.

(Hemp News)

The House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday passed a Republican-sponsored amendment to the 2015 Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill intended to prevent the District of Columbia from implementing its recently passed law decriminalizing the possession of marijuana. It also has the potential to end the District’s medical marijuana program.

The amendment, offered by GOP Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), passed by a vote of 28-21. It prohibits D.C. from spending federal funds or even its locally raised funds to carry out any law, rule or regulation to legalize or otherwise reduce criminal penalties for marijuana.

The District of Columbia City Council passed a law in March replacing its criminal penalties for possession of less than an ounce of marijuana with a nominal $25 fine. It is scheduled to take effect July 17.


Christie Says He Wouldn’t Treat Marijuana States Well As President

(Hemp News)

Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said on Friday that states which have legalized marijuana “probably” wouldn’t be treated well if he is elected President.

The governor was campaigning with New Hampshire GOP gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein when he was asked by Brinck Slattery, a Republican running for state representative: “I know that you have some ambitions for D.C., perhaps. If you were President, how would you treat states that have legalized marijuana?”

“Probably not well,” Christie responded, walking away from the conversation, reports Matt Ferner at The Huffington Post. “Not well, but we’ll see. We’ll have to see what happens.” Christie’s statement was captured in a video shot by Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project.


Washington Retail Marijuana Stores Expected To Open July 8

(Hemp News)

The first group of about 20 retail marijuana stores will open in Washington state on July 8, if all goes according to plan. Of course, we were also told that the first stores would already be open by now, so a wait-and-see attitude might be best.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board plans to issue the first retail marijuana licenses on Monday, July 7, and the new licensees will use the first 24 hours to get the cannabis into their store tracing program, reports Jake Ellison at the Seattle P.I. Once that’s done, the stores can open on July 8, according to Brian Smith, communications director for the LCB.

Pricing at the stores, opening as part of the implementation of limited legalization measure I-502, isn’t expected to be very consumer-friendly. “I would assume $20 to $25 a gram until the producers reduce their prices,” said Michael Perkins, who said he expects to open a store in Seattle on July 8.

Minnesota Medical Marijuana Battle Turns To Patients In Chronic Pain

(Hemp News)

When Minnesota lawmakers passed a medical marijuana law last month, they left out the largest potential group of patients in the state: those with chronic pain. They did so on purpose.

But the debate isn’t over, reports John Welsh at MinnPost, and the outcome could determine whether Minnesota’s medical marijuana program helps a few thousand people — or a few hundred thousand.

Medical marijuana advocates got their first victory in the state last month after more than a decade of effort at the Capitol. The new law covers nine conditions, including cancer and epilepsy, with each category expected to generate from 100 to 1,000 patients.


Philadelphia City Council Votes To Decriminalize Marijuana

(Hemp News)

The Philadelphia City Council, with a veto-proof 13-3 majority, on Thursday voted to decriminalize marijuana. The Philadelphia Police Department could stop arresting people for possessing small amounts of cannabis under the bill, with every Democrat on the council voting in favor of it, and every Republican against it.

Democratic Michael Michael Nutter has until September to make a decision, reports WPVI-TV; even if he chose to veto it, there are enough votes to override his veto.

Mayor Nutter doesn’t have to take any action at all on the bill, according to Councilman Jim Kenney’s director of legislation, Jim Engler, until the Council is back in session in September. The mayor could either sign the bill, veto it, or do nothing, which would result in the bill becoming law without the mayor’s endorsement, reports Dan McQuade at Philadelphia Magazine.


Toke Signals Must Read of the Week

The Marijuana Rehab Scam and the Myth of Cannabis Addiction

(Hemp News)


“The number of children receiving treatment for addiction to cannabis has hit a record high, with one expert warning the age they try the drug for the first time has fallen which places them at great risk.” So begins the latest marijuana scare story in the U.K. edition of The Huffington PostSuch a bastion of liberal reportage wouldn’t lead us astray when it comes to accurate cannabis information, would it? Well, yes — it turns out that yes, they would.

In fact, according to the HuffPo UK story by Jack Sommers, 68 percent of all those under 18 who received medical treatment for “substance misuse” in England in 2012 and 2013 were children who cited cannabis as their “main problem drug.”

While apparently these 13,581 kids represent a cannabis crisis in Sommers’ mind, what they really signify is the good sense of British youth in choosing a non-lethal recreational drug — because marijuana won’t kill you as, for instance, alcohol or heroin could.

Think I’m bullshitting? The almost 50 percent increase in numbers being “treated” for cannabis (basically the poor kids who got caught and were required to face some sort of consequences, i.e., bogus “marijuana rehab”) was accompanied by a 29 percent drop in the number being treated for alcoholism. For heaven’s sakes, don’t send them to rehab — give these young people some accolades for making the healthier choice!

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