2028 Summer Olympics to be First to Occur in Area with Legal Marijuana

The Los Angeles Organizing Committee has reached an agreement with the International Olympic Committee to bring the 2028 Summer Olympics to Los Angeles, making it the first Olympic Games to occur in a region where marijuana is legal.

The agreement will make the 2028 Olympics the third to occur in California, with Los Angeles having hosted the games in 1984 and 1932. However, this will be the first time the Olympics has taken place in the city since California legalized marijuana last year.

As part of the deal, the International Olympic Committee will be given roughly $2.1 billion; money the city hopes to recoup through the heavy tourist traffic often brought forth by those attending the Olympics. It’s now expected that the 2024 Summer Olympics will take place in Paris, though that hasn’t been finalized.

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Federal Legislation Introduced to End Industrial Hemp Prohibition

Congressmen James Comer (R-KY), Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Jared Polis (D-CO), and Thomas Massie (R-KY) have introduced federal legislation to the federal prohibition on industrial hemp.

The Industrial Hemp Farming Act exempts industrial hemp from the Controlled Substance Act’s definition of marijuana, creates a new category for hemp research at universities and state departments of agriculture, and allows for further commercialization of industrial hemp crops.

“I am honored to sponsor the Industrial Hemp Farming Act because I know firsthand the economic viability of industrial hemp. Hemp has created new opportunities for family farmers and good paying jobs for American workers, especially in Kentucky,” said Representative Comer who led the successful industrial hemp efforts in Kentucky as the Kentucky Commissioner of Agriculture.

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Poll: 78% of Utah Voters Support Initiative to Legalize Medical Marijuana

According to new polling, 78% of voters in Utah are in favor of a proposed initiative that would legalize medical marijuana for those with certain medical conditions.

The initiative, proposed by the Utah Patients Coalition, would legalize marijuana medicines – including oils, edibles and topicals – for those with serious medical conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), chronic pain and autism.

According to a newly released poll, conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, 45% of voters “strongly support” the initiative, and 33% “somewhat support” the proposal. Just 10% oppose the initiative, with the final 10% remaining undecided. Among Republicans, 65% support legalizing medical cannabis, and among Democrats, support is almost unanimous, with 97% in favor. The poll, conducted between July 18th to July 20th, has a margin of error of +/- 3.95 percentage points.

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Lawmakers in York Pass Ordinance to Decriminalize Marijuana for Those 18+

The York City Council has given approval to an ordinance that decriminalizes the possession of slightly over an ounce of marijuana.

Marijuana StudiesThe ordinance, approved on a 4 to 1 vote, decriminalizes the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis for those 18 and older: The measure was introduced by Councilmember Judy Ritter-Dickson.

Under the approved law, those caught possessing marijuana – as long as it’s under 30 grams and not for distribution purposes – will be fined $100 for a first offense, rather than being arrested and charged with a criminal misdemeanor. For a second offense, the fine will be raised to $250, and $500 for a third offense. If someone commits more than three violations in a five year period, they can still face a misdemeanor charge and the potential of jail time.

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Massachusetts Governor Signs Marijuana Compromise Bill Into law

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law today a marijuana compromise bill sent to him last week by the Legislature, which sets the stage for creation of the regulatory structure to oversee legal marijuana sales in Massachusetts.

Cannabis Becomes Legal Tonight“We thank the governor for signing the bill and we urge all of the executive and legislative officials involved in the new regulatory system to make timely appointments and ensure proper funding so legal sales can begin on the timetable set by lawmakers last December,” said Matthew Schweich, director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project and one of the leaders of the 2016 campaign.

According to Schweich, this legislative outcome means that by January 2020, Massachusetts will be the only state in the country where all bans on adult-use marijuana businesses will require approval by local voters.

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U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Protect Medical Marijuana States

This morning the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations voted to include an amendment in a larger spending bill that prohibits the federal government from interfering with state-level medical cannabis laws.

The amendment, introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (R-VT), was included in the FY2018 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The amendment explicitly prevents the government from using federal funds to interfere with states that have legalized medical cannabis.

“This success of the Leahy medical cannabis amendment acknowledges, yet again, that the federal government should not interfere with state medical cannabis programs,” says Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access. “The passage of the Leahy medical cannabis amendment also shows that Senate support exists for the central elements of the CARERS Act. The CARERS Act would make the protections in Leahy medical cannabis amendment permanent and create a much needed framework for research and federal and state cooperation.”

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Former NFL Player Sues Department of Justice to Decriminalize Marijuana

A group of plaintiffs including former NFL defensive end Marvin Washington have filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, which includes the Drug Enforcement Administration, asking them to decriminalize marijuana.

Marvin Washington (#97) when he was playing for the New York Jets).

The lawsuit was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. Washington, who was a defensive end for the New York Jets, San Fransisco 49ers and Denver Broncos from 1989 to 1999, is joined by four other plaintiffs. They include Alexis Bortell, an 11-year-old whose family moved from Texas to Colorado so that she could receive medical cannabis as treatment for her epilepsy; Jagger Cotte, a 6-year-old from Georgia who uses medical cannabis to treat Leigh’s Disease; Jose Belen, a military veteran who uses marijuana for post-traumatic stress disorder; and the Cannabis Cultural Association.

“The record makes clear that the CSA [Controlled Substances Act] doesn’t make any rational sense, and the Federal Government knows it,” says Michael Hiller, who is serving as the plaintiffs’ lead counsel for the case. “If the Federal Government doesn’t believe in the rationality of its own statute, it’s unconstitutional to enforce it.”

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Hemp Bill Signed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law legislation that aims to boost hemp production in the state.

According to the Associated Press, Governor Cuomo announced $10 million in state funds to boost industrial hemp research and development. The bill signed by Cuomo formally adds hemp to the state’s list of agricultural commodities and creates a hemp advisory panel.

According to Governor Cuomo, hemp holds great potential for New York’s agricultural and biotechnology industries. A state program launched last year allows farmers to partner with universities to grow and research hemp.

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Cannabinoids May Help Recovery of Spinal Cord Injuries, Finds New Study

Cannabinoids may help people recover from a spinal cord injury, according to a new study.

The study is being published in the journal Brain Research, and has been e-published ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“The endocannabinoid system, including its receptors (CB1 and CB2), act as neuroprotective and immunomodulatory modulators in SCI [spinal cord injury]”, states the study’s abstract. “WIN55212-2, an agonist for CB1 and CB2 receptors, has been demonstrated with anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects in multiple neurological diseases.” Therefore, the present study “aimed to investigate whether WIN55212-2 could promote functional recovery after traumatic SCI via inhibition of the GAPDH/Siah1 signaling.”

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Medical Cannabis Legalized in Poland

Poland’s President Andrzej Duda has signed into law a bill that legalizes medical cannabis.

The legislation was approved by the Sejm (Poland’s legislative body) with 440 out of 460 members voting in favor, and was signed by President Duda on Friday. The new law allows medical marijuana to be prescribed by physicians, and sold in pharmacies. Qualifying conditions that allow for the medical use of cannabis includes chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and nausea and vomiting caused by chemotherapy.

The law allows cannabis to be imported from other countries in order to be sold by Poland pharmacies. Pharmacies will be authorized to sell dried cannabis, cannabis extracts and tinctures. A Polish Institute of Cannabis has been formed in order to educate the public, physicians and pharmacies on the details of the new law.

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