House Committee of the Whole Passes Arizona Hemp Legalization Measure

Legislation to legalize hemp has advanced in Arizona.

Senate Bill 1337 was passed by the House Committee of the Whole yesterday, exactly a week after it was given unanimous approval by the House Rules Committee; the proposal has already passed the full Senate with a vote of 26 to 4. The bill must now be passed through a third and final reading in the House of Representatives before it can be sent to Governor Doug Ducey for consideration.

The proposed law would legalize the production, processing, manufacturing, distribution and commerce of industrial hemp. The measure designates industrial hemp “as an agricultural product that is subject to regulation by the Department [of Agriculture]”, and would prohibit the state from “restricting a person from growing industrial hemp based on the legal status of industrial hemp under federal law.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Nevada Officials Approve Early Marijuana Sales, to Begin as Soon as July 1st

Nevada officials have approved an early start to legal marijuana sales.

The Nevada Tax Commission has given approval to temporary retail marijuana regulations, allowing recreational sales to begin as soon as July 1st. This is according to reporter Patrick Walker, who notes that the rules are “subject to local permits”.

Voters in Nevada approved the legalization of marijuana last year for those 21 and older. The initiative allows for a system of licensed and regulated cannabis retail outlets and cultivation centers; however, these outlets are set to be open until sometime next year. The rules approved by the tax commission allows legal sales to begin much earlier than expected, with the possibility of such sales starting on July 1st.

Read the rest of this entry »

Georgia Medical Marijuana Bill Signed Into Law by Governor

Georgia’s governor has signed into law a measure that significantly expands the state’s limited medical marijuana law.

Governor Nathan Deal signed Senate Bill 16 into law today, roughly a month and a week after it was passed by the full legislature; it passed the Senate with a 45 to 6 vote, and was passed by the House of Representatives with a vote of 167 to 4 vote

The new law greatly expands the list of conditions that qualify an individual to legally use low-THC marijuana medicines (such as oils and tinctures) to include Tourette’s Syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, epidermolysis bullosa, Alzheimer’s disease, AIDS (when “such syndrome is diagnosed as severe or end stage”) and peripheral neuropathy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Colorado House Approves Measure Allowing Marijuana Misdemeanors to be Sealed from Criminal Record

Colorado’s full House of Representatives and a Senate committee has passed legislation to allow those previously convicted of a marijuana possession misdemeanor to have the conviction sealed from their criminal record.

possession-of-marijuana-tampa-flWith a 58 to 5 vote Colorado’s House of Representatives gave approval to House Bill 1266 on May 3rd. Two days later late the Senate Finance Committee unanimously passed the measure to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Passage in that committee, and then the full Senate, would send it to Governor John Hickenlooper for consideration.

According to its official summary; “The bill allows persons who were convicted of misdemeanors for the use or possession of marijuana to petition for the sealing of criminal records relating to such convictions if their behavior would not have been a criminal offense if the behavior had occurred on or after December 10, 2012. The court shall order the record sealed after the filing fees are paid and the petitioner establishes the offense is eligible for sealing.”

Read the rest of this entry »

President Trump Threatens to Defy Congress to Go After Medical Marijuana

Congress recently passed a provision prohibiting the Justice Department from using federal funds to go after state medical marijuana laws, but now, President Trump says that doesn’t matter.

The president wants to ignore the will of Congress when it comes to funding for medical marijuana enforcement. (Gage Skidmore)

Even though Trump signed the spending bill into law last Friday, he included a signing statement objecting to numerous provisions in the bill—including the ban on funds to block the implementation of medical marijuana laws in those states.

Despite those state laws, marijuana remains illegal under federal law, which also does not recognize “medical marijuana.”

The president said he reserved the right to ignore that provision and left open the possibility the Trump administration could go after the 29 states, the District of Columbia, and the territories of Guam and Puerto Rico where medical marijuana use is allowed.

Read the rest of this entry »

Litecoin Grows 655% in Just Two Months

Litecoin, a cryptocurrency that enables instant payments to anyone in the world, is experiencing a massive level of rapid growth.

litecoinThe cryptocurrency has gained 655% in a two month period, growing from a value of $3.98 on March 7th, to 30.06 on May 7th.  This is according to Coinbase.com, one of the world’s most popular platforms for purchasing and selling cryptocurrency.

Litecoin’s single-month growth is also massive, gaining 183% from 10.59 on April 7th, to the previously mentioned 30.06 on May 7th.

Read the rest of this entry »

Study: Marijuana Reverses Aging Processes in the Brain

Although memory performance decreases with age, marijuana can reverse these aging processes in the brain. This is according to a new study published in the journal Nature Medicine.

In the study, old mice were able to regress to the state of two-month-old mice with a prolonged low-dose treatment with marijuana as its active ingredient. This has strong relevancy in the treatment of brain-related disorders such as dementia. The results are now presented in the journal Nature Medicine.

According to scientists at the University of Bonn and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, mice have a relatively short life expectancy in nature and display pronounced cognitive deficits even at twelve months of age. The researchers administered a small quantity of THC, the active ingredient in the hemp plant (cannabis), to mice aged two, twelve and 18 months over a period of four weeks.

Read the rest of this entry »

Texas Lawmakers Pass Medical Marijuana Bill

The Texas House Committee on Public Health approved a bill Friday afternoon (7-2) that would legalize medical marijuana by fixing what advocates call an “unworkable” medical cannabis program.

The bill will now be considered by the Calendars Committee, which will decide whether it receives a full House vote. The legislation gained significant traction after the committee heard testimony from patients, caregivers, medical professionals, and other advocates late into the evening on Tuesday. The number of representatives signed on as either joint or co-authors jumped from five to more than 70 on Wednesday.

House Bill 2107 would increase the number of medical conditions that qualify for the Texas Compassionate Use Program and allow patients to participate if they receive an official recommendation from their doctors. It would also improve the variety of medical marijuana available to patients. The program currently only permits patients suffering from intractable epilepsy to access specific types of medical marijuana that have been found to be ineffective for some patients. It also requires doctors to “prescribe” medical marijuana, which is not possible under federal law.

Read the rest of this entry »

President Trump Proposes Cutting Funding for Office of National Drug Policy Control by 95%

The Office of National Drug Policy Control (ONDCP) would be all but eliminated under a proposal put forth by the Trump Administration.

According to an Office of Management and Budget document obtained by The New York Times, “the White House is proposing to slash the drug policy office budget about 95 percent, to just $24 million from $388 million. The cuts would mean the office could lose up to 33 employees.”

The 2018 budget would also eliminate grant programs administered by the drug control office. Those include “the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program and the Drug-Free Communities Support Program, which, according to the document, the Trump administration thinks are duplicative with other federal and state programs.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Initiative Campaign to Legalize Marijuana Launched in Michigan

By Associated Press

Marijuana legalization proponents launched a 2018 ballot drive today to make Michigan the ninth state to legalize the plant for recreational use.

The initiative has the backing of state-based marijuana advocacy groups and a key national lobbying organization, which suggests the financial backing and coordination will be there to gather the roughly 252,000 valid voter signatures needed to qualify for a statewide vote.

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol said legalizing marijuana would boost tax collections, help industry and save some of the money spent prosecuting and imprisoning people for marijuana-related crimes.

Read the rest of this entry »