Over 10,000 Less Cannabis Arrests Made in NYC So Far in 2015 Compared to Same Period 2014

nycCannabis arrests are down significantly this year in New York City, following Mayor Bill de Blasio’s call for law enforcement to give citations to those possessing small amounts of cannabis rather than arresting and charging them with a criminal offense.

Through the end of October, there have been just over 18,000 cannabis-related arrests in New York City. This is down from the over 29,000 arrests made during the same period last year, which is an overall decrease of nearly 40%.

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Babies Exposed to Cannabis in the Womb Have Better Vision by Age 4, Finds New Study

babyBabies exposed to cannabis in the womb show a significant improvement in their ability to track moving objects at age four, according to a study published in the most recent issue of the journal Scientific Reports.

“We were surprised with this initial finding,” says Ben Thompson, a professor at the University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry and Vision Science. “It shows that marijuana and alcohol can have quite an impact on a fundamental aspect of the visual processing happening in our brains.”

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52% of U.S./Canada Population Live in Areas Where Medical Cannabis is Legally Available

By Rick Thomspon, The Compassion Chronicles

medical cannabis52% of the people living north of Mexico have access to legal medical marijuana.

Population tallies from the 24 US states with medical marijuana programs, one federal District and the country of Canada, which has a national program, show that the majority of those citizens are living in harmonious comfort with regulated medical marijuana production, distribution and use.

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5 Great Ways to Eat Hemp Seeds

hemp seeds

A pile of shelled hemp seeds.

Hemp seeds are one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. In addition to providing a massive amount of protein and other nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, studies have shown that they provide medical benefits such as treating and preventing high blood pressure. Given these benefits, and the simple fact that hemp seeds taste good, it’s always a good idea to include them in meals; they’re really incredibly versatile and can be added to almost anything.

With all of this in mind, here is a list of five of the best ways to consume hemp seeds (other than baking them into items or drinking hemp milk). Here they are:

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Oregon Officials Rejects Thanksgiving Donation from Cannabis Group

The Women Leaders in Cannabis

The Women Leaders in Cannabis had food donations to the Oregon Department of Human Services rejected.

The Oregon Department of Human Services has rejected food donations made by the Women Leaders in Cannabis, a Eugene-based trade organization, according to the group’s Executive Director Lindsey Jacobsen.

According to Jacobsen, the Department initially accepted the donations from the group (which is a registered nonprofit), only to reverse the decision several days later due to fears that it would come off as an endorsement of the cannabis group.

“It’s disheartening,” says Jacobsen. “We have lives just like everybody else, families, jobs. We’re just happy to be able to give back now that we have the opportunity to.”

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Alaska Officials Vote to Allow On-Site Cannabis Consumption at Retail Outlets

By Associated Press

alaskaThe board tasked with writing rules for Alaska’s recreational marijuana industry voted Friday to allow for people to use pot at certain stores that will sell it, a first among the four states that have legalized the drug.

The 3-2 vote by the Marijuana Control Board also changed the definition of the term “in public” to allow for consumption at some pot shops, none of which are open yet. Colorado, Washington and Oregon have legalized recreational marijuana but ban its public use, including in pot stores.

“This would put, I think, Alaska in the forefront on this issue,” said Chris Lindsey, a legislative analyst with the Marijuana Policy Project.

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U.S. Senate’s Top Democrat Signs Bill to Allow Cannabis Banking

Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking ActSenate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) has signed on as a cosponsor to legislation that would allow legal cannabis businesses to gain access to federal and state banking systems.

The Marijuana Businesses Access to Banking Act, which was introduced by Senator Jeff Merkley, would allow cannabis businesses that are legal under their state’s law to access banking systems, giving banks immunity from federal prosecution if they decide to work with such businesses.

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Bipartisan Group of Lawmakers Send Letter to President Obama Calling for DEA Chief to be Fired

DEA Chie.

DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg (photo source: Getty Images file).

Yesterday, U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer made comments on the House floor calling for DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg to be fired for calling medical cannabis “a joke”, Now, Blumenauer has sent a letter to President Obama, signed by a bipartisan group of lawmakers, asking him to replace Rosenberg.

“On November 4th, Chuck Rosenberg, Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in comments widely covered by the press, called the notion of smoking medical marijuana “a joke””, the letter begins. “His statements are indicative of a throwback ideology rooted in the failed War on Drugs. They do not reflect the overwhelming body of testimonial evidence, reforms happening across the country at the state level and in Congress, or the opinion of the American people – and they certainly don’t reflect statements you’ve made or actions you’ve directed your agencies to take. Rather, these statements demonstrate Mr. Rosenberg is not the right person to lead the DEA.”

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The Next 8 States That Could Legalize Marijuana Next Year

By Phillip Smith, StoptheDrugWar.org

legalize marijuanaBeginning in 2012, four states and the District of Columbia have voted to legalize marijuana. By this time next year, that number could well double, and then some. National polls now consistently show majorities in favor legalization, with a recent Gallup poll having 58% support—tied for the highest level in the poll’s history.

That doesn’t mean legalization is inevitable in any given state, as the case of Ohio earlier this month demonstrated. There, an initiative led by non-movement investors who sought monopolistic control of commercial pot cultivation got trounced despite spending millions of dollars.

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Pennsylvania House Rules Committee Passes Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis

pennYesterday Pennsylvania’s House Rules Committee gave approval to Senate Bill 3, a proposal to legalize medical cannabis. The roll-call vote was a conclusive 25 to 8.

Senate Bill 3, introduced by Senators Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer, has already been approved by the state’s full Senate with a 40 to 7 vote. The measure is now up for a full House vote, where its passage will send it to Governor Tom Wolf, who’s supportive of allowing the medical use of cannabis.

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Historic Sentencing Reform Bill Unanimously Passes U.S. House Judiciary Committee

drugwarjailEarlier today the United States House Judiciary Committee gave unanimous approval to the Sentencing Reform Act, a historic bill that would reduce mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses, expand judges discretions to give sentences lower than the mandatory minimums in some cases, while making most of the sentencing changes apply retroactively.

“This vote today is a significant step toward reducing the federal prison population,” says Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “We have a bill moving in the Senate, and now we have a companion bill moving in the House, so I’m optimistic we’ll have legislation on the President’s desk in a matter of months.”

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Utah: Legislative Committee Gives Approval to Medical Cannabis Oil Legalization Bill

oilA proposal to legalize the possession, use, production and distribution of medical cannabis oil in Utah has been given initial approval by the Health and Human Services Interim Committee. The vote was 10 to 5.

Currently in Utah, thanks to legislation passed last year, the possession of cannabis oil is legal in certain instances, but only for those with seizure disorders, and the medicine must be obtained from out of state. The new law would expand the law to allow those with other conditions such as HIV and cancer to use low-THC cannabis oil, while also allowing it to be produced and distributed in the state.

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Congressman Calls for Removal of DEA Chief for Calling Medical Cannabis a Joke


Congressman Earl Blumenauer.

On Sunday we reported on a Change.org petition with over 80,000 signatures asking for the removal of DEA Chief Chuck Rosenber for calling medical cannabis “a joke” (the petition currently has over 91,000 signatures). Now, Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) is also calling on Chuck Rosenberg to be replaced.

“Rosenberg is clearly not the right fit for the DEA in this administration,” said Blumenauer during a speech on the House floor. “What is a joke is the job Rosenberg is doing as acting DEA administrator.”

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Study: Cannabinoids are Safe, Effective for Pain Treatment

By Paul Armentano, NORML

Medical-MarijuanaCannabinoids are safe and effective for the treatment of chronic pain, according to the results of a systematic review of randomized controlled trials published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.

Investigators from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and McGill University in Montreal evaluated the results of 11 placebo-controlled trials conducted between the years 2010 and 2014. Trials assessed the use of various types of cannabinoid preparations, including herbal cannabis, liquid and oral cannabis extracts, and nabilone (a synthetic analog of THC), in pain treatment.

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Michigan Cops Use Medical Cannabis Money To Buy Themselves I-Pads, Truck, Shirts

By Rick Thompson, The Compassion Chronicles

michiganLAPEER- Much of the money allocated to law enforcement in 2015 from the Michigan Medical Marihuana Fund went unused, a governmental report shows, and those funds that were spent were used for questionable purposes.

Legislation passed in 2013 (HB 5313) and signed into law in 2014 by Governor Snyder allowed money from the state’s Medical Marihuana Fund (the Fund) to be used by local units of law enforcement “for the operation and oversight of the Michigan medical marihuana program… operation and oversight grants are for education, communication and enforcement of the Michigan medical marihuana act…”

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