Vermont House Speaker Announces Support for Legalizing Cannabis

Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith.

Vermont House Speaker Shap Smith.

Vermont Speaker of the House Shap Smith has announced that he’s in favor of moving forward legislation to legalize recreational cannabis.

“It’s clear to me in my discussions with Vermonters that in general, the people in this state probably favor legalization,” Smith said on VPR’s Vermont Edition. “And I certainly believe that we can legalize marijuana if we do it right … we’ve seen what has happened in Colorado and Washington, and we can learn from their experiences.”

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Study: THC May Prevent Organs From Being Rejected During Transplants

thcannabisTetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the primary compounds found in the cannabis plant, may prevent the rejection of organs during a transplant, according to a study published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology.

“We are excited to demonstrate for the first time that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in the prolongation of rejection of a foreign graft by suppressing immune response in the recipient,” says Mitzi Nagarkatti, Ph.D., a researcher from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. “This opens up a new area of research that would lead to better approaches to prevent transplant rejection as well as to treat other inflammatory diseases.”

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Massachusetts Attorney General Gives Approval to Cannabis Legalization Initiative

massAn initiative to legalize cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol in Massachusetts received approval Wednesday from the Attorney General’s office. The attorney general is required to review all initiative petitions to ensure they meet certain constitutional requirements and must prepare a “fair, concise summary of the proposed law” to appear on petitions and the ballot.

“Massachusetts is another step closer to ending marijuana prohibition and replacing it with a more sensible policy,” said Will Luzier, Campaign Manager for the Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol. “We’re already finding a lot of support and enthusiasm among voters. People are fed up with laws that punish adults simply for consuming a substance that is objectively less harmful than alcohol.”

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Campaign to Legalize Medical Cannabis in Florida Reaches Signature Goal, Triggers Supreme Court Review

floridaFlorida’s United for Care, a group working to place an initiative to legalize medical cannabis on next year’s general election ballot, has had 73, 713 signatures verified by the state’s Division of Elections. This is 5,000 over the required amount to trigger a Supreme Court review.

“We are thrilled at this timely accomplishment”, says United for Care Campaign Manager Ben Pollara. “This is the first major milestone to bringing medical marijuana before the Florida voters in November 2016. In the next election, voters will succeed where their elected have failed them, and pass a comprehensive, compassionate medical marijuana law to serve the hundreds of thousands of sick and suffering people who are desperate for relief in our state.”

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Study: Daily Cannabis Use Exceeds Daily Cigarette Use Among U.S. College Students

collegeDespite cannabis being illegal in many parts of the country, daily cannabis use among U.S. college students now exceeds daily cigarette use, according to a new study conducted by researchers at the University of Michigan.

According to the study, 6% of college students use cannabis on a daily basis, up from 3.5% in 2007.

As for cigarettes, 5% of college students report using them daily, down from 19% in 1999.

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Jeff Mizanskey is Free


Jeff Mizanksey (right), a free man for the first time in 21 years, with his attorney Dan Viets.

After 21 years in prison serving a life sentence without parole for cannabis, Jeff Mizanskey, 61, is now officially a free man.

In 1993, Jeff was charged with thirs third cannabis-related charge, and was sentenced to life without parole as part of the state’s “prior and persistent drug offender”, law which has since been repealed (though the repeal doesn’t take effect until 2017).

In May, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon commuted Jeff sentence after a massive public education campaign by activists, including a petition being submitted to him with over 400,000 signatures – including over 100 lawmakers – asking for Jeff’s freedom.

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10 Reasons to Legalize All Drugs

drugwarThe war on drugs has been an unequivocal failure. Although many people are hesitant when it comes to the idea of legalizing all drugs – which is understandable given the extreme dangers of certain substances – it’s truly the only solution to ending the pain, death and social regression that comes with the drug war.

Below are what we here at TheJointBlog believe to be ten of the most important reasons for why we should legalize all illegal substances, not just cannabis.

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Missouri Man Serving Life in Prison for Cannabis to be Set Free Tomorrow

Jeff Mizanksey.Jeff Mizanskey, a Missouri man who’s been in prison for over 20 years serving life without parole for a cannabis charge, will be set free tomorrow, September 1st.

Jeff, who was arrested in 1993 on his third non-violent cannabis-related charge, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole as part of the state’s three-strike law, had his sentence commuted by Governor Jay Nixon in May, which led to a parole hearing on August 6th. Officials quickly decided to grant Mizanskey parole after being imprisoned for 21 years. Jeff, who’s 61-years old, will officially walk free from Jefferson City Correctional Center between 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. tomorrow.

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Study: Hemp Seeds Can Treat and Prevent High Blood Pressure

hempseedsA widely unpublicized study published in the European Journal of Nutrition shows that hemp seeds may not only treat hypertension (high blood pressure), they may have the ability to prevent it as well.

“This work determined the ability of hemp seed meal protein hydrolysate (HMH)-containing diets to attenuate elevated blood pressure (hypertension) development in spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRs)”, states the study’s abstract.

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Decriminalizing Cannabis has Reduced Teen Crime, School Dropouts, Suicides and Drug Overdoses in California

jointsmokingCannabis being decriminalized in California has resulted in a reduction in crime, drug overdoses, driving under the influence, suicides and school dropouts among teenagers, according to a study released by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice (CJCJ).

According to the study, California saw a 22% reduction in school dropouts among teenagers two years after they decriminalized the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, which occurred in 2010. There was also a 20% reduction in drug overdose deaths (despite their being a 4% overall increase in overdose deaths in the U.S. during the same period), and an over 10% decrease in suicides. Overall, criminal arrests among teenagers went down a total of 30%.

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Study: Use of Pipes Most Common Consumption Method Among Cannabis Consumers

pipeA new study published online ahead of print in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine details what the most common consumption methods are among current cannabis consumers, finding that the use of pipes is the most common, followed closely (as in only a 0.3% difference) by the use of joints.

For the study, researchers from the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Emory University assessed survey data from thousands of people aged 18 and older in regards to their method of consumption for cannabis and their current reason for using the plant.

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Study: CBD Can Prevent Seizures in Those with Chronic Epilepsy, Decrease Neuronal Damage Caused by Seizures

purpleA new study published recently by the International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medicine has found that cannabidiol (CBD), a compound found in cannabis, can prevent seizures in those with chronic epilepsy, and can decreased neuronal damage caused by seizures. The study was also published by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“The study was designed to investigate the effect of various concentrations of cannabidiol (CBD) in rats with chronic epilepsy”, states the study’s abstract. “The chronic epilepsy rat model was prepared by intraperitoneally injecting pentylenetetrazole to the rats pre-treated with CBD (10, 20 and 50 mg/kg) for 28 consecutive days.”

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Recreational Cannabis Sales Begin in Less Than 5 Weeks in Oregon

1348595411-blue_dream_from_seven_starsIn less than 5 weeks, on October 1st, Oregon will become the the 3rd state in the U.S. to allow recreational cannabis to be legally sold to those 21 and older, following Colorado and Washington.

On July 1st, thanks to last year’s passage of Measure 91, the possession and personal cultivation of cannabis became legal for those 21 and older. Cannabis retail outlets, licensed and regulated by the state, were also legalized, though they aren’t expected to open until sometime next year. However, Governor Kate Riley in July signed a law allowing recreational cannabis to be sold in the over 300 medical cannabis dispensaries approved to operate in the state, beginning October 1st.

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Diseases on Marijuana Plants, and How to Treat Them

By Robert Bergman,

potplantDiseases on marijuana plants and infections usually create the worst possible issues for your plants. They have a tendency to be much harder to treat than pests. Diseases in your plants will usually come in one of two major categories: fungal or bacterial.

Fungal diseases are often caused by environments that are too damp or humid, or places which lack airflow. Fungal spores float around in the air looking for a suitably damp place to root down and if the environment is right, that suitably damp place might be on your cannabis plant.

Bacterial infections are often sneakier and harder to notice. They are spread by a number of different possible vehicles, ranging from insects and humans to rain and unclean soil or substrate. Bacteria can sometimes get into a plant and then leave it mostly untouched unless the plant is weakened by external stresses, at which point they can quickly take down the whole plant.

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Cannabis Can Cause Cancer Cells to Burst, According to Study

cannabinoidsCannabinoids can increase a cancer cell’s susceptibility to cytolysis, which occurs when a cell bursts due to an imbalance, according to a study published by the journal Biochemical Pharmacology, and published online by the National Institute of Health.

“Using lung cancer cell lines (A549, H460) and metastatic cells derived from a lung cancer patient, the present study addressed the impact of cannabinoid-induced ICAM-1 on cancer cell adhesion to lymphokine-activated killer (LAK) cells and LAK cell-mediated cytotoxicity”, the study’s abstract states.

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