Poll: 61% of New Hampshire Voters Support Legalizing Cannabis

newhampshireA new WMUR Granite State Poll has found that a strong majority of voters in New Hampshire support legalizing recreational cannabis. According to the poll, just 24% of voters in the state favor keeping cannabis illegal.

Unsurprisingly, support for legalization was strongest among liberals at 79%, and lowest among conservatives at 41%. Among those who consider themselves moderate, 75% state that they support legalization. Among all age groups only those 65 and older have more opposed to legalization than those in support of it, but it’s close; 43% to 48%. Males and females both had equal support for legalization at 61%.

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Florida’s First Medical Cannabis Dispensary to Open Next Week

tincThe first state-sanctioned medical cannabis dispensary in Florida’s history will open on Tuesday, July 26th in Tallahassee.

Trulieve announced today that they’ve received approval from the Florida Department of Health to begin dispensing low-THC cannabis products such as tinctures, oils and pills. They’re the first outlet in the state to receive such approval, which is possible due to the passage of the Compassionate Medical Cannabis Act (passed in 2014) which allows those with certain conditions such as cancer and epilepsy to use medical cannabis if they receive a recommendation from a physician.

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Alcohol Use Increases Aggression, Cannabis Use Decreases It, Finds Study

A study published in the most recent issue of the journal Psychopharmacology has found that alcohol significantly increases aggression whileaggression cannabis significantly decreases it. The study was a random controlled trial, typically refereed to as the “gold standard” for research studies.

“This study investigated the acute effects of alcohol and cannabis on subjective aggression in alcohol and cannabis users, respectively, following aggression exposure”, states the study’s abstract.” “Drug-free controls served as a reference.”

Prior to conducting the study, researchers hypothesized that “aggression exposure would increase subjective aggression in alcohol users during alcohol intoxication, whereas it was expected to decrease subjective aggression in cannabis users during cannabis intoxication.”

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Los Angeles County Lawmakers Vote to Help Homeless with Cannabis Tax

potThe Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors has voted 3 to 2 to give approval to an initiative that would establish a 10% tax on cannabis sales that would go towards homeless services, the Cannabist reports. The proposal now goes to a vote of the people this November.

The initiative would establish 10% tax on the gross receipts of businesses that grow or sell cannabis. This tax would apply to medical cannabis sales, but would also apply to recreational cannabis sales if voters approve the Adult Use of Marijuana Act this November. That initiative would legalize the possession and licensed distribution of cannabis for everyone 21 and older.

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2016 Marijuana-Related Statewide Ballot Proposals

By Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director

ballot_box_leafWe’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: 2016 is set to be a monumental year for marijuana law reform. There are currently nine pending ballot initiatives to either legalize adult marijuana use or to legalize the use of medical marijuana for qualifying medical conditions. The country could double the number of states that allow the recreational use of marijuana and could potentially expand the therapeutic benefits of marijuana use to millions of Americans come November.

Find below a summary of each of these pending initiatives, links to the campaign websites and to the initiative texts so you can be an informed voter this November. (A Michigan social use initiative effort is in litigation and is not included in the summary below.)

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Rhode Island Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Hemp

Plants-from-hempA bill legalizing hemp has been signed into law by Governor Gina Raimondo after being overwhelmingly approved by the state’s legislature with a 97 to 7 vote.

House Bill 8232 makes it so that hemp in Rhode Island “is an agricultural product which may be grown as a crop, produced, possessed, distributed, and commercially traded”. The Department of Business Regulations is tasked with handling licensing and regulations for the new industry.

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Study: Nevada Would Earn $460 Million In Taxes from Cannabis Tourism in Initial Years of Legalization

marijuana-legalizationIf Nevada voters legalize recreational cannabis this November, the state would see an estimated tax revenue of $464 million from cannabis tourism from 2018 to 2024.

The Initiative to Tax and Regulate Marijuana will be voted on this November as Question 2. If passed into law, it will legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, as well as the personal cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, for those 21 and older. Cannabis retail outlets – supplied by licensed cultivation centers – will also be legalized.

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Missouri Governor Signs Cannabis Expungement Bill

budGovernor Jay Nixon (D) has signed into law a bill that allows for the expungement of most cannabis convictions, both misdemeanors and felonies.

Senate Bill 588 would allow those convicted of cannabis misdemeanors to expunge (remove) it from their record after a three year period; this would mean that the charge would not appear on a criminal background check. Those convicted of felony possession would also be allowed to have the charge expunged, though they would need to wait seven years rather than three. In either instance, fines will need to be paid in full for an expungement to occur.

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U.S. Legislative Round Up July 15th, 2016

By Danielle Keane, NORML Political Director

Members of Congress this week heard testimony on the state of marijuana research, and leading members of the US map_leafSenate introduced legislation to potentially reclassify CBD. A medical marijuana initiative in Montana qualified for the November ballot and Governors in three states signed marijuana related bills into law. Keep reading below to get this week’s latest marijuana news and to find out how you can #TakeAction.

Federal:

On Wednesday, members of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, chaired by Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) held a hearing titled, “Researching Marijuana’s Potential Medical Benefits and Risks”. Testimony was provided by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ), who are co-sponsors of the CARERS Act, as well as by officials from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). While several witnesses were asked by the committee whether or not they expected to the DEA to reschedule cannabis, none provided a direct answer. An archive of the hearing is available online here.

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Free Cannabis Fair With Free Cannabis Samples Taking Place on July 24th in Portland

cannabis fairThe Oregon Cannabis Association is hosting a cannabis fair on July 24th at the North Warehouse (723 N Tillamook St.) in Portland, and the event will include free cannabis samples.

According to their website, “The Summer Fair invites the public to experience the diversity, craftsmanship and expertise of Oregon’s cannabis community. From beer and wine to cannabis, coffee, chocolate and other craft consumables, many of our state’s best products are produced by small, family-run businesses. In the spirit of Oregon’s beloved farmer’s markets and street fairs, The Summer Fair puts names and faces to the people behind an astonishing and growing variety of cannabis products.”

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PTSD Now a Qualifying Medical Cannabis Condition in Rhode Island

mmjGovernor Gina Raimondo has signed into law a bill that makes post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) a qualifying medical cannabis condition in Rhode Island. The signing comes after a unanimous vote in the Senate, and a 67 to 1 vote in the House of Representatives.

Under the new law, PTSD joins conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer and epilepsy as medical ailments that allow an individual to purchase, possess and use medical cannabis. As with all other conditions, those with PTSD will first need to receive a recommendation from a physician before they can legally use the medicine.

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Medical Cannabis Initiative Qualifies for November Ballot in Montana

montanaA bill to expand access to medical cannabis by reversing unreasonable restrictions will be voted on this November after proponents submitted thousands more signatures than necessary to put it to a vote.

In 2004 Montana voters legalized medical cannabis with 64% in support. This law was subsequently dismantled through legislative and legal action, leaving the current law just a shadow of what it once was. A new restriction going into effect on August 31st would limit medical cannabis providers to just three patients, which will lead to the closure of all currently operating medical cannabis cooperatives.

Initiative 182 would reverse these restrictions, which would greatly expand access to medical cannabis in the state.

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Poll: 59% of Wisconsin Voters Believe Cannabis Should be Legal

jarAccording to new polling conducted by Marquette Law School, a strong majority of voters in Wisconsin support legalizing cannabis and regulating it similarly to alcohol.

The poll asked the following question: “When it comes to marijuana, some people think that the drug should be fully legalized and regulated like alcohol. Do you agree or disagree with that view?”

59% stated they agree, with 39% opposed; just 2% remain undecided.

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Study Shows Availability of Medical Cannabis is Saving Millions in Public Health Costs

By Anna Bose, TheJointBlog.com Contributing Author

1edit_medical_marijuana1If medical marijuana were legally available in all 50 states, Medicare could save more than $470 million each year. That’s one of the conclusions of a recent study published in Health Affairs. The study, published on July 7, evaluated 2010 to 2013 data from Medicare Part D, which covers the costs of prescription medicines. In 2013 alone, Medicare saved $165 million, and there was a corresponding drop in doses of painkillers prescribed by doctors in states where marijuana is legally available.

Professor of Public Policy at the University of Georgia, W. David Bradshaw, one of the study’s authors, said he and his colleagues see “…pretty good evidence that people are using [marijuana] as medication.” The researchers noted that in states that had legalized the use of marijuana for therapeutic purposes, there was a corresponding drop in prescriptions used to treat symptoms for which marijuana is sometimes recommended, including chronic pain, anxiety, depression, psychosis, seizures and sleep disorders. On average, that drop amounted to about 1,800 doses per doctor each year.

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Study: Cannabinoids May Reduce Inflammation Caused by Mycobacterium

Marijuana_Plants-3Mycobacterium is a genus of Actinobacteria that is known to cause diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy. According to a new study published in the July issue of the journal Inflammation Research, and e-published ahead of print by the National Institute of Health, cannabinoids may reduce inflammation caused by the bacteria.

For the study, researchers investigated the anti-inflammatory effect of two cannabinoid receptor agonists (meant to mimic the effects of cannabinoids) “in inflammatory experimental model induced by Mycobacterium bovis (BCG).” Mice pretreated with the agonists were induced with “pleurisy or pulmonary inflammation”.

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