Congress Votes to Expand Federal Cannabis Protections

Members of Congress have re-authorized a federal provision prohibiting the Justice Department from interfering in state-authorized medical cannabis programs. The provision, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, was included in short-term spending legislation, House Resolution 2028, and will expire on April 28, 2017.

Initially enacted by Congress in 2014, the amendment maintains that federal funds cannot be used to prevent states from “implementing their own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession or cultivation of medical marijuana.” In August, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously ruled that the language bars the federal government from taking legal action against any individual involved in medical marijuana-related activity absent evidence that the defendant is in clear violation of state law.

Read moreCongress Votes to Expand Federal Cannabis Protections

Study: History Of Marijuana Use Associated With Reduced In-Hospital Mortality

Hospitalized patients who test positive for cannabis are less likely than non-users to suffer from heart failure or cardiac disease, and are less likely to die from cancer, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Cancer Medicine.

 In-Hospital Mortality

A team of researchers from the University of Northern Colorado, Colorado State University, and the University of Alabama assessed the relationship between marijuana use and health outcomes among a nationwide sample of 3.9 million hospitalized patients.

Researchers reported that marijuana-positive patients were more likely than non-users to seek hospitalization for stroke, but that they possessed lower odds of heart failure or cardiac disease, and that they possessed increased survival rates overall – especially among those patients with cancer. Authors concluded, “Odds of in-hospital mortality were significantly reduced among marijuana users compared with non-users in all hospitalized patients as well as cancer patients.”

Read moreStudy: History Of Marijuana Use Associated With Reduced In-Hospital Mortality

Kansas City Cannabis Decriminalization Initiative Qualifies for Ballot

Kansas CityPetitioners seeking to decriminalize municipal penalties specific to the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana have gathered sufficient signatures to qualify the measure for the ballot, a representative from the Kansas City Clerk’s office confirmed today.

The proposal, spearheaded by Kansas City NORML, amends citywide penalties from a criminal misdemeanor to a civil fine, punishable by a $25 fine. Similar municipal measures are currently in place in St. Louis and in Columbia, Missouri.

Read moreKansas City Cannabis Decriminalization Initiative Qualifies for Ballot