Thailand Lawmakers Unanimously Legalize Medical Marijuana

Thailand’s interim parliament has voted unanimously to legalize the use of medical cannabis, reports CNN.

Following the vote Lawmaker Somchai Sawangkarn said that the passage of medical marijuana legalization “could be considered as a New Year gift to Thais.” “The amendment (on the Narcotics Bill) was passed the second and third readings today. And will become effective once it is published on the Royal Gazette,” said Sawangkarn.

The National Legislative Assembly approved the change to the law by a vote of 153 to 0, with 13 members abstaining. This makes Thailand the first country in Southeast Asia to legally allow marijuana to be used for medical purposes. As noted by CNN, the region i”s notorious for its hardline approach to drugs and strict penalties for drug-related crimes.”

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South Carolina Bill Would Decriminalize Marijuana and Hash Possession

Legislation to decriminalize the possession of marijuana and hash has been prefiled in South Carolina’s Legislature.

South Carolina House Bill 3276 was prefiled by State Representative Ivory Thigpen last week for the upcoming legislative session which starts in January. The measure has been referred to the House Committee on Judiciary. If approved by the committee it would move towards a vote by the full House of Representatives, where passage would sent it to the Senate; passage in the Senate would put it before Governor Henry McMaster for final consideration.

House Bill 3276 would decriminalize, and thus remove the possibility of jail time or a criminal record, for the possession of up to 28 grams (one ounce) of marijuana, and up to 10 grams of hash.  As most, law enforcement would be able to issue a civil infraction similar to a speeding ticket.

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President Trump Signs Bill Legalizing Hemp Throughout The U.S.

President Trump has signed the 2018 Farm Bill into law, which includes a provision that legalizes hemp.

The 2018 Farm Bill was passed last week by the House of Representatives by a vote of 369 to 47. The vote came just a day after the Senate approved the same bill 87 to 13. Today, President Trump signed the measure into law, making hemp legal for the first time in decades.

The hemp provision, introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, removes hemp from the federal list of controlled substances. This effectively legalizes it throughout the country, allowing farmers to grow it as they can any other agricultural commodity such as corn and soybeans.

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Here Are the 5 States Most Likely to Legalize Marijuana Next

10 states have legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. Which state will be the 11th?

Below is a list of the top five states we believe are the most likely to legalize marijuana next, becoming the 11th in the U.S. to do so following Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, California, Vermont and Michigan.

New Jersey

Governor Phillip D. Murphy, elected last year to replace Chris Christie, has made the legalization of marijuana one of his primary goals, keeping with a campaign promise. Last month, by a vote of seven to two and six to one, the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Assembly Appropriations Committee approved legislation to legalize marijuana. Further discussion on the issues have been put off until next year, but even so there is very good reason to believe that New Jersey will be one of, it not the next state to legalize.

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Oregon Garners Over $11.6 Million in Taxes From Marijuana Sales in October, Setting New Monthly Record

Oregon garnered over $11 million in taxes from the legal sales of marijuana and marijuana products in October.

The $11,609,479 in marijuana taxes Oregon made in October is an over 10% increase from the previous monthly record of $10,114,594, which was set in August. The record before that was set in July (around $9.2). This is all according to data released by the Oregon Department of Revenue.

Of the $11.6 million in taxes Oregon brought in from October marijuana sales, $10,094,972 came from the statewide tax on marijuana; the remaining $1,514,507 came local marijuana taxes. Both numbers are the highest they’ve ever been in an individual month.

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo Calls for Marijuana to be Legalized

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo today called for marijuana to be legalized in his state as part of a “true justice agenda”.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (photo; Reuters).

“Let’s legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all,” said Cuomo. He said that he plans to push for the measure within 100 days, reports NBC New York. Cuomo didn’t provide a specific timeline for when he believes legalization would become a reality.

Cuomo’s comments marks the first time he’s ever stated support for legalizing marijuana; he shied away from the issue almost entirely during his first two terms (he won reelection last month), and once referred to cannabis as a “gateway drug”. In July he said that the “situation on marijuana is changing”, which was the first indication that he may eventually support legalization as he now says he does.

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Medical Cannabis Use Associated With Reduced Opioid Use In Pain Patients, Finds Study

The use of medical cannabis for at least a month is associated with reduced opioid use in pain patients, according to a new study.

The study, titled Opioid dose reduction and pain control with medical cannabis, was published by the Journal of Clinical Oncology. It was conducted by researchers at the Kymera Independent Physicians medical group.

For the study, “A retrospective cohort was evaluated to understand the pattern of care and QOL [quality of life] outcomes with MC [medical cannabis] use across rural multidisciplinary practices in New Mexico. ” QOL questionnaire included a graded pain scale, and “morphine equivalent (ME) dose was used to estimate changes in opioid dose.” ODR was defined “as any reduction of baseline opioid dose.” A chi-square was performed to evaluate associations.

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Study: Marijuana Stores Associated With Increased Home Values

Medical and recreational marijuana dispensaries are associated with a significant increase in home value, according to a new study published by the journal Contemporary Economic Policy.

(Photo: DenverHomeLender.com).

For the study, titled The effect of marijuana dispensary openings on housing prices, researchers evaluated “the effect of medical and recreational dispensary openings on housing prices in Denver, Colorado.” Using an “event study approach”, they found that “the introduction of a new dispensary within a half‐mile radius of a new home increases home prices by approximately 7.7% on average.”

The study notes that this effect “diminishes for homes further from new dispensaries but is consistent over time.” Researchers conclude by stating that “Our results provide important and timely empirical evidence on the socioeconomic impacts of marijuana legalization.”

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U.S. Congress Approves Bill to Legalize Hemp, Sending it to President Trump

Both the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have passed the 2018 Farm Bill, which includes a provision to legalize hemp throughout the country.

The 2018 Farm Bill was passed by the House today by a vote of 369 to 47. The vote comes a day after the Senate approved the same bill 87 to 13. Now that it’s been passed by the full Congress it will be sent to President Trump, who has said he will sign it into law once given the opportunity.

The legislation is a wide-reaching bill that covers many facets of the farming industry. A provision in the measure, put forth by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnel, removes hemp from the federal list of controlled substances. This effectively legalizes it throughout the country, allowing farmers to grow it as they can any other agricultural commodity such as tomatoes.

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New Zealand Parliament Approves Medical Marijuana Legislation

New Zealand’s parliament on Tuesday passed legislation to legalize medical marijuana through its third and final vote.

The legislation will now go through Royal Assent (a formality for a measure to become law), and will take effect the following day. Rules to regulate licensing and quality standards will be established in the next 12 months, reports the Marijuana Business Daily. The bill also removes cannabidiol as a controlled drug, instead making it a prescription medicine.

The initial bill would have allowed for cannabis use by anyone with a diagnosed terminal illness – which would have greatly limited its application. That was broadened in the final months of debate to include any patient requiring palliation.

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