Bipartisan STATES Act Reintroduced, Would Limit Federal Government’s Ability To Interfere State-Legal Marijuana Businesses

The STATES Act, which would protect marijuana businesses which are legal under their state’s law, has been reintroduced in the United States Congress.,

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), along with Representatives David Joyce (R-OH) and Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), have reintroduced The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act of 2019, reports NORML. This Act amends the Controlled Substances Act to reduce the number of instances in which federal law enforcement agencies could carry out legal actions against state-licensed cannabis businesses or other related enterprises.

“The majority of states now regulate either the medical use or the adult use of marijuana. It is time for the federal government to cease standing in the way of these voter-backed regulatory policies being implemented throughout the country,” said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. “Ultimately, however, we must remove marijuana from the federal Controlled Substances Act entirely in order to allow those in legal states to ultimately be free from undue federal discrimination and the fear of federal prosecution.”

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Marijuana Associated With Fewer Disease-Related Complications In Those With Crohn’s Disease, Finds Study

According to a study published in the journal Digestive Diseases and Sciences, marijuana consumers with Crohn’s disease who are seeking hospitalization possess fewer disease-related complications compared to those who don’t use cannabis.

For the study a team of investigators from the John H. Stroger Hospital in Chicago, the SUNY Downstate Medical Centre in New York City, and the Digestive Disease Institute in Cleveland assessed the relationship between cannabis use and the prevalence of Crohn’s disease-related complications and clinical outcomes in a nationwide cohort of hospitalized patients.

According to a NORML news release, authors reported that patients with a history of cannabis use possessed fewer complications and experienced better clinical outcomes as compared to abstainers.

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Colorado Governor Signs Bill Adding Autism Spectrum Disorder to Medical Marijuana Program

Colorado Governor Jared Polis has signed into law legislation that allows those with autism spectrum disorder to become legal medical marijuana patients.

“OK kids, that’s how we make a law,” Governor Polis said after signing House Bill 1028 into law. The measure was passed unanimously by both the House of Representatives and Senate (combined the vote was 96 to 0).

Under the new law, autism spectrum disorder joins the following qualifying medical cannabis conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Cachexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe pain
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

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Florida Legislation Would Limit THC of Medical Marijuana

A Florida bill would limit the THC percentage in smokeable medical marijuana, and would make it harder for sick children to obtain the medicine, reports the Orlando Sentinel.

The legislation was introduced by Representative Ray Rodrigues, who is the Chairman for the House Health and Human Services Committee. The measure would also set limits on the potency of medical marijuana in edibles and would fast-track the state health department’s rule making for the medical marijuana industry, which was legalized by voters in 2016.

“While the House bill would set what many consider a low cap of 10 percent on the level of THC in whole-flower products for smoking, the daily amount of THC that would be permitted in edible products — 7,000 mg for a 35-day supply, or 200 mg per day — is much higher than what most patients would consume, according to industry experts”, reports the Sentinel.

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Federal Legislation to Allow Banks to Work with State-Legal Marijuana Businesses Advances in the House

Federal legislation that would allow banks and other financial institutions to provide services to marijuana businesses that are legal under their state’s law has been passed by a key House panel.

According to Reuters, the bill would provide sought-after clarity to banks across the country that want to do business with the growing marijuana industry, where companies have struggled to gain access to the financial system. The issue is especially relevant now that 10 states in the U.S. have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes; over 30 have passed some form of medical marijuana legalization.

The measure was broadly backed by a mixture of Democrats and Republicans. It now proceeds to the full House, where it is expected to be passed by the Democrat-led chamber in the near future. However, the bill faces an uncertain future in the Republican-led Senate, according to analysts.

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Study: Washington Teens Not Using More Marijuana Following Legalization

The legalization of marijuana in Washington State is not associated with an increase in marijuana use by most teens, according to a study published in The Journal of Adolescent Health.

For the study researchers from Washington State University, the University of Massachusetts, and the Colorado School of Public Health assessed trends in teen marijuana use and employment in the years immediately prior to and immediately following the enactment of retail marijuana sales (2010 to 2016), reports NORML in a news release.

The study found that “marijuana use decreased significantly among working and non-working 8th and 10th graders.” Marijuana use similarly declined among 12th graders who were not employed, while among 12th graders who were employed more than eleven hours per week marijuana use actually increased over the study period, though just slightly. The study’s authors acknowledged that this latter finding was not unexpected because “the workplace may expose adolescents to peer or adult coworkers’ potentially unhealthy behaviors, including substance use.” Authors further acknowledged that working youth were also more likely to have reported using cannabis prior to the passage of legalization.

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Study: CBD May be Effective in the Treatment of Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

According to a new study being published by the journal Brain Research, and epublished online by the National Institute of Health,  cannabidiol (CBD) ” may be effective in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy “.

“Most diabetic patients describe moderate to severe pain symptoms whose pharmacological treatment is palliative and poorly effective”, states the study’s abstract. “Cannabidiol (CBD) has shown promising results in painful conditions.” With this in mind, researchers “aimed to investigate the potential antinociceptive effect of CBD over the mechanical allodynia in streptozotocin-induced diabetic (DBT) rats, as well as its involved mechanisms.”

For the study, “Wistar adult male diabetic rats were treated acutely or sub-chronically (for 14 days) with CBD (0.1, 0.3 or 3 mg/Kg, intraperitoneal; i.p.) and had their mechanical threshold assessed using the electronic Von Frey. ” Acute treatment with CBD (at doses of 0.3 and 3 mg/Kg) “exerted a significant anti-allodynic effect, which is not associated with locomotor impairment. “The antinociceptive effect of CBD (3 mg/Kg) was not altered by the pre-treatment with CB1 or CB2 receptor antagonists (AM251 and AM630; respectively; both at a dose of 1 mg/kg, i.p.) nor by glycine receptor antagonist (strychnine hydrochloride, 10 μg/rat, intrathecal, i.t.).”

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Connecticut Marijuana Legalization Bill Approved by Committee

Legislation to legalize marijuana was passed recently by the Connecticut Joint Committee on General Law.

House Bill 7371 was passed by the committee in a 10 to 8 vote, reports High Times. The measure must now be passed by the full Senate and House before it can go to the governor’s desk.

If the measure is passed into law it would legalize and regulate commercial marijuana cultivation, processing, and sales in the state, while companion measures to tax cannabis and allow for expungements of past convictions are being considered by different committees.

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Regular Marijuana Use Associated With Reduced BMI, Says Study

Marijuana use over time is inversely related to obesity, according to a new study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology.

For the study researchers assessed the relationship between cannabis use and body mass index (BMI) over time in a nationally representative sample of 33,000 subjects.

Investigators reported that cannabis-using subgroups exhibited “appreciably attenuated BMI gain” over the trial period as compared to non-users and quitters, “with the largest attenuation seen in the ‘persistent use’ group.”

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Smokeable Medical Marijuana Bill Passed by Florida Senate

Florida’s full Senate on Thursday passed a bill to repeal the state’s ban on smokeable medical marijuana.

The Senate passed Senate Bill 182 by a vote of 34 to 4, reports the Orlando Sentinel. The measure would allow medical marijuana patients to smoke marijuana, which was legalized by voters before being prohibited by lawmakers.

“Marijuana is now medicine in the state of Florida and how that medicine is administered should be between their doctor and that patient,” said Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Lighthouse Point.

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