Florida Supreme Court Cancels Arguments Against Initiative to Legalize Medical Cannabis

floridamedcanThe Florida Supreme Court has cancelled oral arguments against United for Care’s initiative to legalize the medical use of cannabis, in the wake of Attorney General Bondi’s lack of objection, according to Ben Pollara, Campaign Manager for the group.

“Should they formally approve the amendment language – that would mean the only thing standing in the way of medical marijuana’s return to the ballot is collecting enough validated signatures”, says Pollara. “We are literally halfway to our petition goal [of 1 million]”.

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Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Mandates the Legalization of Cannabis

canadaRecently elected Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued a letter of mandates to the nation’s Minister of Justice and Attorney General. Among the mandates is that the country must legalize and regulate the recreational use of cannabis, fulfilling a campaign promise by Trudeau that he would legalize cannabis if elected.

In the letter, Trudeau mandates that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General work “with the Ministers of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Health” to “create a federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.”

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Sign the Petition to Fire DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg for Calling Medical Cannabis a Joke

chuck roseberg

DEA Chief Chuck Rosenberg says calling cannabis medicine is “a joke”.

Recently Chuck Rosenberg, head of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), told reporters he believes that calling cannabis medicine is “a joke”. This has immediately drawn backlash from supporters of medical cannabis, including a Change.org petition put forth by Marijuana Majority which has over 80,000 signatures at the time of this article’s publication.

“What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal — because it’s not,” Rosenberg said last week. “We can have an intellectually honest debate about whether we should legalize something that is bad and dangerous, but don’t call it medicine — that is a joke.”

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Cannabis Consumption Can Help Prevent Metabolic Syndrome, Finds New Study

smokingjointA new study published in the November issue of the American Journal of Medicine, and published online by the National Institute of Health (NIH), has found that those who currently consume cannabis are considerably less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome than those who have never used it. Those who have never consumed cannabis are also more likely to have metabolic syndrome than previous cannabis consumers.

According to NIH, Metabolic syndrome is “the name for a group of risk factors that raises your risk for heart disease and other health problems, such as diabetes and stroke. Risk factors include a large waistline, a high triglyceride level, low HDL cholesterol level, high blood pressure and high fasting blood sugar.

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Texas’ Most Populous County Decriminalizing First Time Cannabis Possession on January 1st

harris countyBeginning January 1st, the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis will no longer be a criminal charge in Harris County, the most populous county in Texas and the third most populous county in the United States, District Attorney Devon Anderson announced today.

According to Anderson, when someone is caught possessing up to two ounces of cannabis for the first time, police officers will be mandated to offer a diversion program rather than arresting them and charging them with a misdemeanor that’s punishable by up to 180 days in jail.

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Colombia to Legalize Cultivation and Sale of Medical Cannabis Through Executive Order

The Colombia flag.

Colombia’s flag.

Colombia will soon legalize the cultivation and distribution of medical cannabis through an executive decree made by President Juan Manuel Santos, according to the Associated Press.

The new law will establish a regulatory system for everything from licenses for growers and retailers to establishing rules for export of products made from cannabis.

According to Senator Juan Manuel Galan, 400,000 Colombians currently suffer from epilepsy and other ailments and other ailments that could be benefited from the use of cannabis.

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Lawmakers in Broward County, Florida Unanimously Pass Cannabis Decriminalization Measure

browThe Broward County, Florida County Commission gave approval yesterday to a proposal that would establish an $150 ticket for those caught possessing up to 20 grams of cannabis. The move follows similar moves made in Miami-Dade, Florida’s largest county, as well as Key West, West Palm Beach and Hallandale Beach.

Under the new law, police officers will have the option of issuing a $150 civil citation to someone caught with 20 grams or less of cannabis rather than being legally forced to issue a misdemeanor (punishable by up to a year in prison) as the current law stands.

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Daily Cannabis Users Nearly Three Times More Likely to Have Sex Multiple Times a Day than Non-Consumers

legs2The SKYN Condoms 2015 Millennial Sex Study, which surveyed over 500,000 adults in the U.S aged 18 to 34 years old, has found that those who consume cannabis on a daily basis are nearly three times more likely to have sex multiple times a day than non-consumers.

According to the study, 14% of daily cannabis consumers report having sex “several times per day.” By comparison, just 5% of those who don’t consume cannabis daily reported having sex multiple times per day.

Daily cannabis consumers were also found to have had more sexual partners than non-consumers, with 37% saying they’ve had at least 15 partners, compared with 14% of those who have never consumed cannabis.

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New York Governor Signs Medical Cannabis Emergency Access Bill

medical cannabis emergency accessAfter months of pressure from medical cannabis advocates and public health officials, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a medical cannabis emergency access bill today that will expedite access to medical cannabis for critically ill patients.

Earlier this year New York’s full legislature gave approval to Assembly Bill 7060 and Senate Bill 5086, which directs the state to establish a program to help critically ill patients obtain emergency access to medical cannabis as soon as logistically possible. The bill was delivered to Governor Cuomo on October 30th, and he had signed on it the last possible day for him to do so.

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Over 100,000 Signatures Collected on Arizona Initiative to Legalize Cannabis

arizona initiative to legalize cannabisThe Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona announced yesterday that they’ve collected over 100,000 signatures for their initiative to legalize cannabis, just 50,000 signatures short of what’s required to place the measure on the 2016 general election ballot.

The Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, and the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, for those 21 and older. State-licensed cannabis retail outlets and cultivation centers would also be authoirzed.

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Oregon: 50,000 Residents Qualify To Have Cannabis Offenses Removed From Their Criminal Record

By Monterey Bud, Marijuana.com

Thanks to the recent implementation of a novel provision in Oregon’s Senate Bill 844, more than 50,000 residents can now apply to a new program that permits some offenders to expunge marijuana-related crimes from their criminal history.

pastThat’s right, according to the Oregon Cannabis Association, the Beaver State’s sweet new piece of legislation allows those with past marijuana-related indiscretions – including cultivation and distribution – to have their past improprieties purged from their permanent criminal record. Thereby making it easier for those convicted of past marijuana related crimes to find gainful employment.

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New Jersey Governor Chris Christie Signs Medical Marijuana School Access Bill Into Law

Medical Marijuana School Access Bill

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who is also a Republican presidential candidate.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has signed into law a bill that would allow medical cannabis to be legally administered to qualified adolescent patients while they’re attending school under certain circumstances.

The Medical Marijuana School Access Bill, which goes into effect immediately, requires schools and facilities that provide services to kids with disabilities to adopt policies to allow administration of non-smokable forms of medical cannabis to qualified patients while on school or facility ground.

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U.S. Senate Approves Bill to Give Veterans Access to Legal Medical Cannabis

The United States Senate today passed the FY2016 Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Bill, which includes language that would allow Veterans Administrationva (VA) doctors to recommend medical cannabis to their patients in states where medical cannabis is legal.

“Veterans in medical marijuana states should be treated the same as any other resident, and should be able to discuss marijuana with their doctor,” says Michael Collins, deputy director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance. “It makes no sense that a veteran can’t use medical marijuana if it helps them and it is legal in their state.”

The Veterans Equal Access Amendment was introduced with bipartisan support by Senator Steve Daines of Montana and Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon. The funding bill will now be negotiated with the House’s version as part of an omnibus spending bill.

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Georgia’s High Court Rules Imprisonment for Cannabis Possession is Unconstitutional

iowabudIn the case of Beka Tsikarishvili v. Parliament (application 592), the Constitutional Court of Georgia has ruled that it’s unconstitutional to imprison someone for purchasing and possessing cannabis for personal use.

In 2013, Beka Tsikarish was arrested and charged for purchasing and having in her possession 65 grams of cannabis. The court ruled that imprisoning her violates Article 17 § 2 of Georgia’s Constitution, which states that; “No one shall be subjected to torture, cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment”.

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Incoming Kentucky Governor Supports Medical Cannabis

Republican Matt Bevin, who’s Kentucky’s governor-elect after beating Democrat Jack Conway by a comfortable nine-point margin, is in complete support of legalizing medical cannabis, including establishing a system that allows patients safe access to the medicine.

During a debate on October 25, Bevin said that there is ‘unequivocal medical evidence’ that cannabis has medical value, and that he supports establishing a medical cannabis program which would allow the plant to be ‘prescribed like any other prescription drug.’ Conway, Bevin’s rival and the apparent loser of the race, disagreed, saying that legalizing medical cannabis would make it easier for children to get (an argument science has continually disproven).

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