Canada Senate Gives Approval to Marijuana Legalization

A bill to legalize marijuana, proposed by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, has been passed by the Senate through its third and final reading.

The legislation – C-45 – has already been passed by the House of Commons, but will go back for one final vote on Senate amendments before being sent to the Governor General for Royal Assent (final approval). It was passed by the Senate 56 to 30.

Once the law takes effect, the possession and cultivation of personal amounts of marijuana will be legal for those 18 and older. The law authorizes licensed marijuana businesses to sell marijuana and marijuana products, and also allows online sales (which will be handled similarly to how the country currently allows online medical marijuana sales).

Continue reading

Study: CBD Induces “Fast and Sustained” Antidepressant-Like Effects

The findings of a new study published in the journal Molecular Neurobiology “support a promising therapeutic profile for CBD as a new fast-acting antidepressant drug.”

“Currently available antidepressants have a substantial time lag to induce therapeutic response and a relatively low efficacy”, states the study’s researchers, noting that “The development of drugs that addresses these limitations is critical to improving public health.”

Cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychotomimetic component of Cannabis sativa, “is a promising compound since it shows large-spectrum therapeutic potential in preclinical models and humans.” However, “its antidepressant properties have not been completely investigated.” Therefore, the aims of this study “were to investigate in male rodents (i) whether CBD could induce rapid and sustained antidepressant-like effects after a single administration and (ii) whether such effects could be related to changes in synaptic proteins/function.”

Continue reading

Marijuana Legalization Initiative Officially Placed on November Ballot in Michigan

An initiative to legalize marijuana in Michigan has been officially placed on this November’s general election ballot.

After proponents of the initiative submitted well more than the required number of signatures, the legislature was given the option of passing it into law, or placing it on the November ballot. Lawmakers today officially chose the latter option, cementing the opportunity for voters to make their state the 10th to legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

If passed into law, the initiative would legalize the possession and personal cultivation of marijuana for those 21 and older,  while establishing a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets. The possession limit would be set at 2.5 ounces, or 10 ounces at a private residence; the cultivation limit would be 12 plants.

Continue reading

United States Senate Unanimously Passes Hemp Resolution

The U.S. Senate has given approval to a resolution acknowledging the “growing economic potential of industrial hemp”.

The resolution was passed in commemoration of Hemp History Week, which is the largest national grassroots effort to restore strong support for industrial hemp farming in the United States.

“Despite the legitimate uses of hemp, many agricultural producers of the United States are prohibited under current law from growing hemp,” states the resolution. “Because most hemp cannot be grown legally in the United States, raw hemp material and hemp products are imported for sale in the United States.” The resolution makes notes of the “historical relevance” of hemp, as well as its “growing economic potential”.

Continue reading

Illinois Legislature Passes Legislation to Allow Those Who Could be Prescribed Opioids to Become Medical Cannabis Patients

Legislation to allow those who have been or could be prescribed opioids to join the state’s medical cannabis program has been passed by the Illinois Legislature and sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration.

Senate Bill 336 was filed by Senator Don Harmon along with a bipartisan group of 47 other lawmakers. The measure was passed by the Senate in April by a vote of 44 to 6; last week it passed the House of Representatives 77 to 38 (the same day the Senate voted 44 to 3 to concur with amendments passed by the House). The measure will now be considered by Governor Rauner.

The proposed law “includes in the definition of “debilitating medical condition” any other medical condition for which an opioid has been or could be prescribed by a physician based on generally accepted standards of care.”

Continue reading

Colorado Governor Signs Bill Allowing School Nurses to Administer Medical Cannabis

Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper has signed into law legislation allowing School nurses to legally administer medical cannabis to students who are qualified patients.

Representative Dylan Roberts, the primary sponsor of House Bill 1286, called the governor’s signature “a major win for Colorado kids and their families.”

According to its official summary; “The bill allows a school nurse or the school nurse’s designee, who may or may not be an employee of the school, to also possess and administer medical marijuana to a student at school.”

Continue reading

Louisiana Governor Signs Bill Adding Six New Medical Cannabis Conditions Including Autism

Two bills that would add six new conditions to Louisiana’s medical marijuana program has been signed into law by Governor John Bel Edwards.

Governor Bel Edwards has signed both House Bill 579 and House Bill 627 into law. HB 579 adds glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, intractable  pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Parkinson’s disease to the state’s list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions.  HB 627 adds autism spectrum disorders to the list.

House Bill 579, filed by Representative Edward James, was passed by the House of Representatives 60 to 40, and by the Senate 25 to 9. House Bill 627, filed by Representative Rodney Lyons, passed the House 71 to 21, and the Senate 21 to 10.

Continue reading

In Just Three Weeks Oklahoma Voters Will Have Opportunity to Legalize Medical Cannabis

On June 26 – just three weeks and a day from now – Oklahoma voters will have the opportunity to legalize medical cannabis.

Oklahoma would become the next state to legalize medical cannabis if voters approve State Question 788 on June 26. Put forth by the nonprofit Oklahomans for Health, the proposal would allow those with a doctor recommendation to legally possess and use medical cannabis and cannabis products. A state-licensed system of dispensaries would be authorized to sell the medicine to qualified patients.

Under the initiative patients would be allowed to purchase and possess up to three ounces of cannabis, and up to 72 ounces of cannabis-infused products such as edibles and topicals.

Continue reading

Poll: More People Think Having a Baby Outside of Marriage is Morally Wrong than Smoking Marijuana

According to a new Gallup poll, more Americans believe that having a baby outside of marriage is morally wrong than smoking marijuana.

The poll also found that more people believe smoking marijuana is morally acceptable than wearing animal fur, pornography, the death penalty and a wide range of other issues.

For the poll, “Attitudes about the morality of alcohol and marijuana items were measured for the first time in Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey, conducted May 1-10. The survey asked Americans to indicate whether they believe each of 22 different behaviors and practices are morally acceptable or morally wrong.”

Continue reading

Missouri Governor Signs Hemp Bill Into Law

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has signed into law legislation that legalizes industrial hemp.

House Bill 2034 was signed by Governor Greitens roughly a month after it was passed by the Senate in a 29 to 3 vote, and a little over three months after it initially passed the House of Representatives 141 to 4.

According to its official summary; “This bill exempts industrial hemp, which is defined as Cannabis sativa L. containing no greater than 0.3% THC, from the definition of marijuana and the list of controlled substances. In addition, it is legal for any person who has received an industrial hemp license to grow, harvest, cultivate, and process industrial hemp.”

Continue reading