Massachusetts Supreme Court Rules Roadside Drunk Driving Tests Not Valid for Marijuana

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled today that field sobriety tests used to determine if someone is drunk cannot be legally used as conclusive evidence that a motorist is under the influence of marijuana.

Cannabis Becomes Legal TonightAccording to the Associated Press, the Supreme Judicial Court said it was reasonable for police officers to testify — as non-expert witnesses — only to their observations about how individuals performed during sobriety tests. However, the court ruled that officers are not allowed to tell juries if defendants passed or failed such tests, nor offer their own opinions on whether a driver was too high to be behind the wheel.  The ruling came in a case of Thomas Gerhardt, who was charged with impaired driving in 2013.

The court noted there currently is no reliable scientific test for marijuana impairment comparable to tests for blood alcohol content. In drunken-driving cases, results of field sobriety tests can be correlated with blood alcohol readings as evidence of impairment. The lack of such a test for marijuana has taken on greater significance in states such as Massachusetts that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults, but where driving under the influence of cannabis remains a serious crime.

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Peru: Committee Unanimously Approves Bill to Legalize Medical Cannabis

Peru’s Congressional Committee on National Defense has given approval to legislation that would legalize medical cannabis.

According to Congressman Alberto de Belaunde saidö, “The Commission on Defense has unanimously decided to propose the law that decriminalizes the medicinal use of cannabis”. Approval of the measure comes amid public outcry over a police raid on a makeshift cannabis lab run by mothers seeking to soothe the symptoms of their sick children.

The bill – introduced by President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski – will now go before the nation’s full Congress for consideration.

According to Euro News, earlier this year, an Ipsos poll found that 65 percent of Peruvians support legalizing cannabis for medical purposes.

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Community “Heartbroken” After Washington Budtender Found Deceased, Two of Three Suspects in Police Custody

A budtender from Lucid Cannabis Company in Cheney, Washington has been found deceased after being abducted.

Cameron Smith

(Photo: Sofia Jaramillo, Leafly)

Cameron Smith’s body was discovered by Spokane County Rescue just off State Route 904 west of Cheney, on September 15 around 3 p.m., states Leafly. Police described the location of Smith’s body as being “concealed in heavy cover” several feet from the roadway. This was near where authorities last made contact with Smith’s cell phone and slightly south of where his vehicle was located.

According to Stacia Shirley, manager at Lucid, says the team is “heartbroken” from the news. “We’re just trying to push forward with a strong face, and that just shows what a strong influence he was on us. He would want us to stay strong,” she says.

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Federal Bill Introduced to Eliminate Mandatory Minimum Sentences for all Drug Offenses

Legislation to end mandatory minimum sentences for all drug offenses has been filed in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The legislation – H.R. 3800 – was introduced by Representative Maxine Walters, a Democrat from California’s 43rd legislative district. It would end the practice of applying mandatory minimum sentences to offenses involving illegal substances. Mandatory minimum sentences require judges to give offenders a specific – and typically harsh – sentence regardless of extenuating circumstances.

Mandatory minimum sentences for drug crimes was greatly scaled back under President Obama’s terms as president. However, current President Trump and his Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently reversed much of the changes made by the Obama Administration regarding mandatory minimums, making Representative Walters’ proposal incredibly important and relevant to the times.

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California Legislature Passes Resolution Urging Feds to Remove Marijuana from Schedule 1

A resolution urging U.S. Congress to remove marijuana as a schedule 1 controlled substance has been approved overwhelmingly by California’s Legislature.

Senate Joint Resolution 5, “Relative to federal rescheduling of marijuana from a Schedule I drug”, was introduced by Senator Jeff Stone with cosponsored Senator Scott Wiener and Senator John Moorlach. It was approved in the Senate in April with a 34 to 2 vote, and was approved by the Assembly last week with a vote of 60 to 10. The resolution reads:

“Resolved by the Senate and the Assembly of the State of California, jointly, That the Legislature urges the Congress of the United States to pass a law to reschedule marijuana or cannabis and it’s its derivatives from a Schedule I drug to an alternative schedule, therefore allowing the legal research and development of marijuana or cannabis for medical use and allowing for the legal commerce of marijuana or cannabis so that businesses dealing with marijuana or cannabis can use traditional banks or financial institutions for their banking needs, which would result in providing a legal vehicle for those businesses to pay their taxes, including, but not limited to, payroll taxes, unsecured property taxes, and applicable taxes on the products sold in accordance with state and local laws”.

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Study Finds Road Fatalities Unaffected by Marijuana Legalization

The legalization of marijuana in Washington and Colorado has had no impact on road fatality rates, according to a new study published by the American Journal of Public Health.

Researchers at the University of Texas evaluated “motor vehicle crash fatality rates in the first 2 states with recreational marijuana legalization” and compared them with “motor vehicle crash fatality rates in similar states without recreational marijuana legalization.”  They used the US Fatality Analysis Reporting System to determine the annual numbers of motor vehicle crash fatalities between 2009 and 2015 in Washington, Colorado, and 8 control states. They compared “year-over-year changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates (per billion vehicle miles traveled) before and after recreational marijuana legalization with a difference-in-differences approach that controlled for underlying time trends and state-specific population, economic, and traffic characteristics.”

It was found that; “Pre–recreational marijuana legalization annual changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado were similar to those for the control states.” Post–recreational marijuana legalization changes in motor vehicle crash fatality rates for Washington and Colorado also did not significantly differ from those for the control states.

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Delaware Governor Signs Medical Marijuana PTSD Bill

Delaware Governor John Carney has signed into law a bill that allows those with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to more easily become medical marijuana patients.

Governor Carney has signed the Bravery Bill into law, allowing those with PTSD to become legal medical marijuana patients if they receive a recommendation from a licensed physician. Before the new law those with PTSD could only get approval for medical marijuana use if they were recommended it by a licensed psychiatrist.

The Bravery Bill was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Margaret Rose Henry, and received strong bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

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New Hampshire Marijuana Decriminalization Law Takes Effect Tomorrow

A New Hampshire bill decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana officially takes effect tomorrow.

The bill makes New Hampshire the 22nd state in the nation to eliminate the possibility of jail time for simple marijuana possession.

“The governor and Legislature both deserve a lot of credit for moving the state forward with this commonsense reform,” said Matt Simon, the Manchester-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Unlike his predecessors, who opposed similar proposals, Gov. Sununu appears to understand that ‘Live Free or Die’ is more than just a motto on a license plate.”

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Single Dose of CBD Reduces Blood Pressure, Finds Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Crossover Study

Just a single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) reduces blood pressure, indicating it may play a role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, according to a new study published by the journal JCI Insight.

According to researchers, the aim of this study “was to investigate if CBD reduces BP [blood pressure] in humans.” To determine this, “Nine healthy male volunteers were given 600 mg of CBD or placebo in a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, crossover study. Cardiovascular parameters were monitored using a finometer and laser Doppler.”

CBD “reduced resting systolic BP (–6 mmHg; P < 0.05) and stroke volume (–8 ml; P < 0.05), with increased heart rate (HR) and maintained cardiac output. Subjects who had taken CBD had lower BP (–5 mmHg; P < 0.05, especially before and after stress), increased HR (+10 bpm; P < 0.01), decreased stroke volume (–13 ml; P < 0.01), and a blunted forearm skin blood flow response to isometric exercise.’ In response to cold stress, “subjects who had taken CBD had blunted BP (–6 mmHg; P < 0.01) and increased HR (+7 bpm; P < 0.05), with lower total peripheral resistance.”

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Can Marijuana Use Lead to Spontaneous Orgasms? A Case Study

Marijuana use combined with previous sexual activity resulted in spontaneous orgasms for a 40-year-old woman, according to a new case study published by the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, and published online by the National Institute of Health,

“A case is described of a 40 year old woman with persistent spontaneous orgasms after use of Cannabis and five hour hard pounding sexual activity”, begins the study’s abstract. “She presented with severe anxiety in particular to suffer from Restless Genital Syndrome (ReGS). However, she did not fulfill to any of the five criteria of ReGS.”

It was concluded that “her spontaneous orgasms were the result of the use of Cannabis combined with long duration of previous sexual activity.” researchers state that; “This is not only important for physicians but also for highly exposed subjects like those active in the sex industry.”

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