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Medical Marijuana Articles 2018
Click on the links below to get the full story from its source

Medical Marijuana has shown positive results for:

  • Relieving the Horrible Pain and Misery of Chemotherapy
  • Treating Glaucoma and Helps Prevent Blindness
  • Relieving the Painful Symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis
  • Helping Control Epileptic Seizures and Parkinson's Disease
  • Relieving the Pain and Inflammation of Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Slowing Alzheimer's Disease and Reducing Dementia
  • And Other Less Well Known Medical Problems

But the scientific support for these benefits is not as unequivocal
as medical marijuana advocates would like. Read the articles below.

8-16-18 Corona beer owner to pour $4bn into weed
Corona beer owner Constellation Brands is set to pour some $4bn (£3.15bn) into Canada's top cannabis producer, Canopy Growth, in a deal marking the largest investment in the industry to date. Last year, Constellation injected $200m into Canopy in a deal to produce a non-alcoholic cannabis-based beverage. The alcohol firm wants to capitalise on the growing legalisation of the drug. On news of the deal, Canopy's Toronto-listed stock surged 30%, while on Wall Street, Constellation's fell 6%. The two firms said the investment would allow Canopy to expand its business reach "in the nearly 30 countries pursuing a federally permissible medical cannabis programme". Canopy, which has the largest legal cannabis production footprint in the world, currently produces cannabis-based oils and soft gel caps, among other products. With Constellation's latest injection of cash, Canopy plans to expand its suite of products to include edible bars, inhalers and pre-rolled items. It also wants to develop cannabinoid-based medicines that provide a safer alternative to some mainstream treatments for pain, anxiety, sleeplessness and psoriasis. "This [deal] marks the end of the warm-up in our sector... it's fully go-time," said Canopy's chief executive Bruce Linton on an investment call. Constellation, which makes and markets beer, wine and spirits in the US, Canada, Mexico, New Zealand and Italy, noted that governments around the world had already signalled a significant change in attitudes towards cannabis and cannabis-based products.

8-16-18 Dozens overdose in Connecticut park near Yale
Police have made three arrests after more than 70 people overdosed in a Connecticut city. Some 52 of the 71 overdoses happened on New Haven's downtown green, next to Yale University's campus, said Fire Chief John Alston. The first three overdoses were reported on Tuesday night and the tally steadily rose throughout Wednesday, officials said. New Haven officials said the substance was K2, a synthetic cannabinoid. The incident comes in the wake of a new report that found a record 72,000 Americans died of overdoses in 2017. One man arrested on Wednesday is suspected of a connection to some of the drugs that caused the overdoses, NBC News Connecticut reported. Dr Kathryn Hawk, an Emergency Department physician at Yale New Haven Hospital, said the K2 may have been laced with fentanyl, a potent painkiller, but police have yet to confirm this. No one has died, but two individuals were in a critical condition. On Tuesday night, emergency crews responded to three overdoses in New Haven Green park. Eighteen people collapsed on Wednesday morning within a span of three-and-a-half hours, officials said. Some of the people were unconscious - others were vomiting, hallucinating or experiencing high blood pressure and shallow breathing.

8-15-18 Snapshot: About One in Four Young Adults Use Marijuana
While 13% of Americans say they "regularly" or "occasionally" use or smoke marijuana, the rate is significantly higher among the 18 to 29 age group and is higher in the West than in other regions of the country. Marijuana is most popular among 18- to 29-year-olds -- about one in four (24%) adults in this age group report regularly or occasionally using it. This is on par with an average 22% of 18- to 29-year-olds across three surveys from 2015 to 2017 who answered "yes" when asked whether they do, or do not, "smoke marijuana." In both the latest and previous questions on the topic, use of marijuana is progressively lower in each older age bracket. Meanwhile, one in five adults living in the West (20%), where all coastal states have legalized recreational marijuana, use marijuana regularly or occasionally, which is about twice as high as in the other three regions of the country.

7-26-18 Cracking down on illegal cannabis with edible barcodes and blockchains
A start-up is tracing legal cannabis sold in the US to fight counterfeiting, using edible barcodes and a blockchain – the technology behind cryptocurrencies. The software behind the cryptocurrency bitcoin has found an unlikely use – stopping counterfeit drugs. Using edible barcodes and a blockchain, TruTag Technologies, based in Hawaii, believes it can track cannabis sold legally in the US. The firm tags cannabis edibles, such as brownies or lollipops, with tiny silica particles described as edible barcodes. The idea is that these barcodes are very difficult to imitate and can be scanned to reveal that a particular product is legitimate. Similar tags have been used for medication since 2016, and TruTag will carry out small-scale pilot projects with cannabis later this year once engineering development is complete. The company is discussing partnerships with several local and state legislators. The tags are created by etching a thin silicon wafer with a coded pattern of tiny holes. The wafer is ground into microscopic particles that retain the optical code of the original wafer, which are attached to the surface of the cannabis. Anyone can then read the codes with a special handheld optical scanner and check them online. The online portion of the system is a blockchain-based database developed by Tag-It Tec, based in Seattle. Blockchain is a form of digital ledger originally developed for cryptocurrencies that can publicly record information in a way that is difficult to tamper with. Once someone scans a cannabis edible, the Tag-It database shows the producer, place and date of origin of a cannabis product, confirming it is safe and legal. This makes the supply chain transparent say Lucas Scholl at TruTag Technologies.

7-25-18 An exclusive look inside the UK’s legal medical cannabis farm
As the row over medical cannabis usage in the UK continues, Amy Fleming visits the only people in the country with a licence to grow marijuana. IN A vast glasshouse in the south of England, cannabis cultivator David Potter is rubbing a plant labelled “Skunk #1” to unleash its unique faecal odour. He is surrounded by different varieties, all in heady bloom under the light sensors, ceiling shades and lamps at GW Pharmaceuticals’ cannabis breeding and medicine production facility. It is the only firm able to grow the plant in the UK. Wearing a white lab coat, he next coaxes out a lemon and pine aroma from a wild Afghan plant. You would never guess that it is a close relative of Skunk #1. Skunk #1 is used in the production of Sativex, the first marijuana medicine to be approved for use in the UK, which helps people with multiple sclerosis to manage muscle spasms. GW, where Potter is botanical director, sells the drug in 29 countries, making the UK the world-leading legal cannabis exporter. Another cannabis-based GW drug, Epidiolex, was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration last month for the treatment of two complex childhood epilepsies: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. Epidiolex is the first cannabis-based drug to be approved in the US and is likely to get the nod for use in Europe in early 2019. The use of medical cannabis in the UK has come under increased scrutiny thanks to high profile cases such as that of 12-year-old Billy Caldwell, whose mother illegally brought cannabis oil back from Canada to reduce the frequency of his epileptic seizures. The Home Office is now reviewing the law and has temporarily granted Billy legal access to the oil. Last week, the UK’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs recommended that doctors should be allowed to prescribe cannabis-derived medicinal products to people with certain medical conditions.

7-20-18 Push for legal weed, abortion
The jurist who may serve as Mexico’s next interior minister has said that she will seek to decriminalize abortion in the first trimester. Abortion is currently only legal in Mexico in cases of rape or to save the mother’s life. But Olga Sánchez Cordero, President-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador’s pick for the interior ministry, said women “should not be deprived” of the right to an abortion, and vowed to discuss the issue with Mexico’s 32 state legislatures. López Obrador’s Morena party took a majority in 22 of the state legislatures earlier this month. Sánchez Cordero also said she would push at a state level for legalizing marijuana use. “Canada has already decriminalized, as well as almost half of the states in the U.S.,” she said in a radio interview. “Why are we killing ourselves when North America and many European countries have decriminalized?”

7-20-18 Lebanese farmer: Growing cannabis should be legal
The Lebanese government is considering legalising cannabis for medical purposes. A farmer explains why he thinks this could "benefit everyone".

6-26-18 First cannabis-based drug approved in the US to treat epilepsy
Epidiolex has become the first drug derived from marijuana to win FDA approval in the US, and will be used to treat two forms of childhood epilepsy. It tastes of strawberry, but Epidiolex is the first drug approved in the US containing an ingredient from marijuana. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug on 25 June for the treatment of two rare but severe forms of childhood epilepsy: Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The active ingredient in the drug is cannabidiol, and it contains only a trace of the psychoactive component of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. In clinical trials, Epidiolex proved effective at helping people with these conditions control their seizures. “This approval serves as a reminder that advancing sound development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies,” said Scott Gottlieb, FDA commissioner. But he warned that the organisation would continue to punish illegal marketing of cannabidiol-containing products with unproven medical claims. The UK government last week announced a review into the possible use of marijuana-based medical products, in the wake of much public debate over the use of cannabis oil to treat epilepsy. GW Pharmaceuticals, which developed Epidiolex, expects a decision on European approval early next year. In 2010, it won UK approval to sell Nabiximols for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, the first marijuana-based drug approved in the world. The company is also developing cannabis-based treatments for epilepsy, schizophrenia and glioblastoma, a form of brain cancer for which there are no reliable treatments.

6-22-18 Weed is legal
Canada’s Senate voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana this week, making Canada the second country in the world after Uruguay to fully legalize the drug. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had made legalization a central plank of his 2015 election campaign. “It’s been too easy for our kids to get marijuana and for criminals to reap the profits,” Trudeau said. “Today, we change that.” The federal government will regulate marijuana production, and under-18s will be prohibited from buying the drug. Anyone caught selling to minors could face up to 14 years in jail. The new legislation will come into force in October. Canada’s legal pot market is expected to be worth $5 billion.

6-20-18 Canada's parliament has passed a law legalising the recreational use of marijuana nationwide.
Canada's parliament has passed a law legalising the recreational use of marijuana nationwide. The Cannabis Act passed its final hurdle on Tuesday in a 52-29 vote in the Senate. The bill controls and regulates how the drug can be grown, distributed, and sold. Canadians will be able to buy and consume cannabis legally as early as this September. The country is the second worldwide to legalise the drug's recreational use. Uruguay became the first country to legalise the sale of cannabis for recreational use in December 2013, while a number of US states have also voted to permit it. Cannabis possession first became a crime in Canada in 1923 but medical use has been legal since 2001. The bill will likely receive Royal Assent this week, and the government will then choose an official date when the law will come into force. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau tweeted that until now, "it's been too easy for our kids to get marijuana - and for criminals to reap the profits".

6-19-18 Time to end the cruel ban on using cannabis therapy for epilepsy
Ill-conceived and outdated drug laws in the UK are denying children with severe epilepsy vital medicinal cannabis treatments. That must change, says David Nutt. The heartbreaking stories of Billy Caldwell and Alfie Dingley highlight the ridiculous and cruel situation that parents of children with severe epilepsy are put in by the UK’s outmoded policy on cannabis medicines. Parents of both boys say cannabis oil is crucial to controlling fits but have faced official prohibition, including confiscation. Only now are government ministers talking about a rethink. This is a long-running injustice. Cannabis was a medicine in the UK until 1971 when it was made illegal by the Misuse of Drugs Act. The reason given was that cannabis was becoming a drug of misuse and that two London GPs campaigning for its recreational legalisation were prescribing it with the intent that patients smoke it for pleasure. The GPs were, quite reasonably, struck off, but the enduring ban on cannabis is problematic for two reasons. First, it failed to reduce cannabis use, because in the decades since the ban the number of cannabis users has increased over 20-fold. Second, it severely impeded clinical research. There is a lot of evidence from other countries that cannabis preparations can have a wide range of therapeutic effects, including in some forms of previously intractable epilepsy such as Dravet syndrome. The ban on cannabis has effectively stopped UK clinical research on this anti-epilepsy effect despite significant breakthroughs in UK pre-clinical research on the cannabis extract THCV – a powerful anti-epilepsy agent that has no psychoactive activity but for historical reasons falls foul of the act.

6-8-18 Quarter pound for every man, woman, and child
Oregon has halted processing new applications for legal marijuana businesses amid signs the industry is growing too quickly. The state now has a glut of 1 million pounds of weed—or a quarter pound for every man, woman, and child. State economists warned that Oregon now has few job applicants who can pass a drug test, indicating “a broader increase in drug usage.”

6-6-18 Take a look inside the world's largest legal cannabis farm
Canada is on the verge of legalising marijuana for recreational use. The BBC visited a huge cannabis farm in British Columbia, which the operators say is the largest facility of its kind in the world.

6-3-18 The truth about weed and the brain
It may make sense to legalize marijuana, said neuroscientist Judith Grisel, but Americans are being “astoundingly naïve about how the widespread use of pot will affect communities and individuals, particularly teenagers.” The research on marijuana’s effects on the brain shows that the ingredient that causes its “high,” delta-9-THC, can indeed dampen motivation and interfere with a successful life, as well as lead to “tolerance, dependence, and craving—the hallmarks of addiction.” In particular, the research on THC’s impact on the developing adolescent brain is “inconveniently alarming.” Teens who smoke weed regularly, studies show, have reduced activity in brain circuits critical to noticing new information and making decisions; they are 60 percent less likely to graduate from high school, “are at substantially increased risk for heroin addiction and alcoholism,” and are seven times more likely to attempt suicide. Recent studies even show that THC can turn on or off genetic expression in a teenager’s epigenome, making young users’ children “at increased risk for mental illness and addiction” years before they are conceived. Yes, it’s true that alcohol and tobacco also have caused great damage, but let’s not pretend that marijuana is “benign or beneficial.” And let’s not pretend that legalizing weed will be without costs.

5-29-18 'I want to produce the world's best cannabis'
In the blistering heat of the Coachella desert, armed security guards ensure there are no unwanted visitors at a gated industrial complex. The smell is a giveaway before you step inside the nondescript buildings. With dozens of fans whirring, and under bright lights, Lars Havens shows us thousands of cannabis plants being cultivated by his company, Del-Gro. Most of the seven-acre (2.8ha) site is still being developed but several rooms are already operational. Lars has been a nurse, a professional rugby player, mixed martial arts fighter, and a bar manager. Now he's hoping to capitalise on the world's biggest legal marijuana industry. On 1 January this year, California began licensing local businesses to grow cannabis for sale within the state. The total economic output from America's legal cannabis, worth $16bn (£12bn) last year, is forecast to grow 150% to $40bn by 2021, according to BDS Analytics and Arcview Market Research. Last year, Aspen, Colorado, became the first US city to sell more marijuana than alcohol. "I moved out here to California to put forward a product that connoisseurs are going to be interested in," says Lars. "I want to produce the world's best cannabis." His product will have to be good, because legal producers will never be able to beat California's illegal dealers on price. Lars claims cannabis is the "most heavily taxed product" in the whole state, taxed at close to 40% when all the various levies are taken into account, and that this might be unsustainable. "I think you'll start to see some deregulation on taxes, because right now they're almost pricing themselves out of the market." California's new laws also made it illegal to export the drug out of state, raising concerns about overproduction. This has been a major problem in Oregon, where there's simply too much cannabis, and farmers have seen prices drop by 50%. It shows the difficulty and unpredictability of creating a legal market for something which is already available on the black market.

5-18-18 Estonia's Kanepi town adopts cannabis leaf flag after online poll
An Estonian town has taken a cannabis leaf as the symbol in its new flag following an online poll. Kanepi, a south-eastern town and region, derives its name from the Estonian word for marijuana, "kanep". Residents traditionally grew marijuana and hemp to turn into goods such as cloth, oil, and rope. However January's poll has generated controversy because the area has a population of fewer than 5,000 but there were 15,000 votes. Some 12,000 of the votes cast were for the cannabis symbol. The chairman of the town council, Kaido Koiv, said the decision was the result of a "very democratic" process, Reuters reported. At a town council meeting on Thursday, the local government narrowly approved the decision to adopt the flag: nine members of the council voted in favour of it with eight against. The municipality was created last July through the merger of three previously separate districts and residents were given the chance to vote on a new symbol to represent the district. The possession of small quantities of marijuana for personal use in Estonia is a crime punishable with a fine.

5-17-18 Harsh: Europe’s cannabis died just as the first farmers arrived
Cannabis – the source of the drug marijuana – virtually disappeared from Europe just as farmers arrived, so they didn’t get the chance to grow it for another 4500 years. Cannabis – the source of the drug marijuana – grew wild across Europe at the end of the Stone Age, but by the time early farmers reached the continent it was vanishing. It seems Europe’s first farmers just missed out on the opportunity to cultivate cannabis and reap its benefits – including its mind-bending properties. Researchers often use ancient pollen from archaeological deposits to work out which plants once grew in a place. However, it’s difficult to do this for cannabis, because its pollen looks just like that of a related plant, the common hop. Now John McPartland at the University of Vermont in Burlington and his colleagues think they have a solution to the cannabis/hop identity problem. He argues that wild versions of the two plants grow in different environments: cannabis on cold grassy steppes, hop in warmer woodlands. If the other pollen trapped in an ancient deposit comes from steppe-like plants, McPartland says, we can assume any cannabis-like pollen really does come from wild cannabis. The team re-examined pollen data from almost 500 European archaeological sites, dating back between 18,500 and 1200 years. They concluded that wild cannabis grew across Europe deep in prehistory. But the continent warmed up between 10,000 and 7500 years ago, so steppe-like conditions gave way to forests – and cannabis gave way to the hop. “That’s global warming for you,” says McPartland.

5-2-18 High times: The Victorian doctor who promoted medical marijuana
Thanks to one man's researches, cannabis was drug of choice for ailments from migraine to epilepsy – until an unexpected twist led to its downfall. ON THE evening of 6 November 1838, William Brooke O’Shaughnessy received an urgent note from the hospital where he worked. Could he come immediately? One of his patients was exhibiting “very peculiar and formidable” symptoms. Alarmed, he rushed to the man’s bedside. O’Shaughnessy, assistant surgeon with the East India Company’s Bengal Medical Service, had reason to worry. The patient was one of the first human guinea pigs in his pioneering experiments with cannabis. A few hours earlier, the man had been given a modest dose of cannabis resin dissolved in alcohol. What might have gone wrong? To a scientifically inclined physician based in India, cannabis – or Indian hemp – was a prime candidate for investigation. It was popular as a means of intoxication, but local doctors also valued it as a treatment for a range of ailments. In 1813, one of O’Shaughnessy’s predecessors reported somewhat sniffily on the intemperate habits of those who indulged in the various preparations. But O’Shaughnessy believed cannabis would make a useful addition to Western medicine and decided to put it to the test. O’Shaughnessy wasn’t just a doctor: he was also a skilled analytical chemist with a modern approach to medical research. He had made a big impression with his meticulous analyses of blood and excreta from people with cholera during an outbreak in England in 1831. He showed that patients were dangerously dehydrated and that bloodletting – then standard treatment – did more harm than good. Two years later, O’Shaughnessy landed a job with the East India Company and set sail for Calcutta. For millennia, cannabis had been used as a medicine from Egypt to India and China. It had been a traditional remedy in Europe, too, but was hurriedly dropped after Pope Innocent VIII condemned it in 1484 as “an unholy sacrament”. By the 19th century, cannabis was largely forgotten in the West.

4-30-18 Why America will regret legalizing marijuana
The Democrats have a new moral crusade. It's youth-oriented and free of identity politics. It's got nothing to do with Trump, or Russia. Today's Democrats are fighting for your right to get baked. If you're skeptical, please understand that this is not just a plunge into unfettered hedonism. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) really said it all with his ostentatiously-titled Marijuana Justice Act, which decriminalizes the drug and also expunges older marijuana-related convictions. He's one of a growing crowd of Democrats who are lining up to tout the economic and moral blessings that might flow from legal weed. This is about freedom, they tell us. It's about opening opportunities to women and minorities. Frankly, we've just been very unfair to our spiky-leaved friend. The winds do seem to be changing on this issue, and not just among Democrats. President Trump, possibly in a peevish effort to snub his attorney general, has declared his willingness to "protect" states that have legalized pot. John Boehner, a longtime foe of marijuana, is now personally sitting on the board of a cannabis company. Proponents of legalization point to the tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions in revenues that have sprung from Colorado's 5-year-old market. Everyone keeps repeating how the new laws have really "worked"; post-legalization, "the sky hasn't fallen." That's a disturbingly low bar. One wonders: Is empyrean collapse the only thing that might move Colorado to reconsider a decision that has filled the state with dispensaries, pot tourists, and rising numbers of homeless addicts? Changes in policy can be destructive even if they don't bring civilization to an end. If, as seems fairly likely, legal pot is soon available from sea to shining sea, how will our grandchildren view that decision? Will it seem to them that 2018 was the right time to throw open the gates to yet another recreational drug?

4-24-18 Stoner app lets cannabis users keep track of how high they are
A series of smartphone tests that score memory and reaction are intended to make cannabis use safer and lead to a better understanding of the drug. Dude, am I stoned? An app that tests memory, attention and reaction – traits that are often impaired by cannabis use – aims to answer that question by giving people a measurement of how well (or badly) they performed. Cannabis is now legal in a small but growing number of countries. Researchers at the University of Chicago made the app in the hope that it will make cannabis use safer, helping those who take it understand how the drug is affecting them. “One of our long-term goals is for the app to improve the safety of cannabis use by making individual users more aware of their impairment,” says team leader Harriet de Wit. Still in its trial period, the app – called Am I Stoned – is also designed to collect data from users, which the team thinks will contribute to the overall scientific understanding of how cannabis affects people. For example, there is some evidence that moderate cannabis might reverse brain aging in the elderly. The system was tested on 24 non-daily cannabis users who consumed a capsule containing either a placebo or 7.5 or 15 milligrams of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the ingredient in cannabis that intoxicates users. Participants then completed a range of tests designed to detect impairment on a computer and on a smartphone to test their motor skills and behaviour. “The effects of THC on performance may be subtle, so we need highly sensitive tasks to detect impairments,” says team member Elisa Pabon.

4-12-18 Marijuana eaten by mice, say Argentina police officers
Eight Argentine police officers have been dismissed for blaming missing drugs on mice. Investigators discovered 540kg (1,191lb) of marijuana missing from a police warehouse in Pilar, north-west of Buenos Aires. The city's former police commissioner, Javier Specia, and fellow officers told a judge the drugs were "eaten by mice". Forensic experts doubted mice would see the drugs as food, and would have probably died if they had eaten it. A spokesperson for Judge Adrián González Charvay said that according to experts at Buenos Aires University, "mice wouldn't mistake the drug for food" - and even if they did, "a lot of corpses would have been found in the warehouse". The police officers will now testify in front of the judge on 4 May. The court will decide if the drugs are missing due to "expedience or negligence".

3-6-18 Estonian district votes to get cannabis leaf flag
Citizens in an Estonian district have chosen the cannabis leaf as the symbol on their new flag and coat of arms, it's reported. The Kanepi municipality in southeast Estonia was created last July through the merger of three previously separate districts ;and as a result of the local government shake-up, residents were given the chance to vote on a new symbol to represent the district, state broadcaster ERR says. The overwhelmingly popular choice among the people of Kanepi was a design based on the cannabis leaf. According to ERR, "kanep" is the Estonian word for cannabis. Mayor Andrus Seeme told local media that the winning design received 12,000 of the total 15,000 votes cast, and said that he would respect the public's wishes. Cannabis is illegal in Estonia, however, government official Gert Uiboaed says that nobody will stand in any local authority's way if they want to use cannabis-based symbolism. "Cannabis has been used as a heraldic symbol for a long time," Mr Uiboed said. "It is up to the local government to decide exactly what symbols and ideas they want."

2-22-18 Budding narco-state
The Netherlands is becoming a safe haven for gangs that traffic drugs and people, the Dutch police union said this week. After the country softened its stance on marijuana in the 1970s, letting small amounts of weed be sold at so-called coffee shops, it grew into a hub for drug trafficking. Now most of the ecstasy taken in Europe and the U.S. comes from Dutch labs run by Moroccan gangs, and half of the cocaine consumed in Europe enters through the Dutch port of Rotterdam. Officers say they are overwhelmed by drug gang–related crime but are powerless to cut off the criminals’ revenue sources. Amsterdam’s police chief, Pieter-Jaap Aalbersberg, said his force spent up to 70 percent of its time tackling gang-related hit jobs.

1-19-18 Where weed is a branding opportunity
Canada’s most iconic indie band could soon become the face of legal marijuana, said Jeffrey Jones and Christina Pellegrini. The Tragically Hip, which toured and played for more than 30 years, until the death of lead singer Gord Downie from brain cancer last October, has invested deeply in the recreational cannabis industry. The band has a $30 million investment in Newstrike, a medical marijuana producer that could get a big boost later this year when the federal government legalizes recreational weed, fulfilling a campaign promise of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Hip intends to “lend its unique rock vibe—one that, for many fans, evokes summers in Canadian Shield cottage country—to the marijuana brand.” Some Newstrike weed varieties might be named after Hip songs or lyrics, and vaporizer pens could be emblazoned with a Hip logo. Other weed-friendly artists have already partnered with legal marijuana ventures, such as rapper Snoop Dogg and the family of Bob Marley. And Hip lead guitarist Rob Baker says the move isn’t such a stretch for the band. It already has its own wine label, he says, and music, drinking, and toking are all activities that bring Canadians together. But Baker, 55, won’t be sampling any Newstrike products—he gave up weed a few years ago. “I felt,” he said, “like I hit my lifetime quota.”

1-12-18 Sessions targets legal marijuana
Attorney General Jeff Sessions threw the burgeoning legal marijuana market into turmoil last week by empowering U.S. prosecutors to enforce federal laws against pot in states where the drug has been legalized. Sessions, a fierce opponent of legalizing weed, announced he was scrapping an Obama-era policy that discouraged federal prosecutors from filing charges in some states because marijuana activity “is a serious crime” and the hands-off approach “undermines the rule of law.” Now it will be up to each of the country’s 93 U.S. attorneys to decide how aggressively they want to pursue weed cases. Under federal law, marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, alongside heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. The announcement sparked a bipartisan backlash from lawmakers in states that have legalized marijuana. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia allow the use of pot for medical purposes; eight states have legalized recreational sales. Altogether, the legal weed market is expected to reach $9 billion by the end of this year, with some 4,500 medical and recreational shops across the country. But Sessions’ move could slow the industry’s growth if investors become leery of the shifting legal terrain. “It’s a really scary time for us,” said Jaime Lewis, who owns a Denver-based marijuana edibles company.

1-12-18 Legalizing marijuana
61% of Americans support legalizing marijuana, up from 57% last year and 31% in 2000. 70% of Millennials, 66% of Gen Xers, and 56% of Baby Boomers approve of legalizing marijuana. 58% of those older than 75 oppose legalization.

1-12-18 African-Americans
A Kansas lawmaker who opposes legal marijuana claims the drug has a bad effect on black people. Republican state Rep. Steve Alford told a town-hall meeting that marijuana was originally banned because African-Americans “responded the worst” to cannabis, owing to their “character makeup, their genetics.” Alford later apologized.

1-7-18 Weed wars: California county fights illegal marijuana
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has announced prosecutors are prepared to challenge states that have legalised cannabis. But in some, like California, the battle over its production is raging on.

1-5-18 Legal weed
California’s law permitting sales of recreational marijuana went into effect this week, making the state the sixth to legalize pot and creating the nation’s largest legal marijuana marketplace. Eager buyers lined up in the early hours of Jan. 1 outside dispensaries in cities, including San Diego and Berkeley, that have embraced the voters’ decision last year to legalize pot sales for adults over 21. But it could be some time before legal weed becomes widely available throughout the state, with pot sellers facing substantial bureaucratic hurdles as the state refines how to regulate sales. Many municipalities have yet to finalize their own rules for marijuana businesses, and others have banned sales outright. The new law is expected to generate at least $1 billion a year in tax revenue for the state. More than 1 in 5 Americans now live in a state where they can legally buy recreational marijuana.

1-5-18 Marijuana legalization is the next great winning issue for Democrats
Ditch the antiquated drug warrior nonsense and light up. Marijuana is under attack. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is ending former President Barack Obama's policy of allowing states to experiment with their own legal marijuana proposals. Instead, the issue will be left up to local U.S. attorneys, most of whom have been appointed by President Trump. At least some of the state-level experiments in fully legalized marijuana are at risk of going up in flames. Sessions is a longtime opponent of marijuana, so no one should really be surprised that he's going after legal pot. Still, it's a terrible new policy — and it opens up a big, easy opportunity for Democrats, who must ditch their antiquated drug warrior baggage and join Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) in getting behind legal marijuana immediately. For one thing, legal marijuana is extremely popular, and getting more so by the minute. Gallup's poll shows support for legalization increasing from 40 percent in 2008 to 64 percent as of October 2017. It's also an excellent issue for driving youth turnout — support has increased among all age cohorts, but especially among millennials, 71 percent of whom supported legalization in October 2016.

1-4-18 Canadian cannabis grower Aurora heads to Europe
A Canadian marijuana maker is set to sell cannabis in several European countries after striking a deal with Denmark's biggest tomato producer. Aurora Cannabis is partnering with Alfred Pedersen & Son to produce cannabis for medical use in Europe. The greenhouses used for tomatoes can be converted to grow the drug as both plants have similar growth needs. The joint venture will focus on selling cannabis in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland and Iceland. Aurora Nordic Cannabis will build a production facility that can produce up to 120,000kg of cannabis annually, Aurora said. Alfred Pedersen was granted a licence to cultivate cannabis from Denmark's Medicines Agency this week. The drug has become legal in Denmark as part of a four-year trial, allowing patients with illnesses such as cancer and multiple sclerosis to obtain cannabis on prescription. It remains illegal for recreational use.

1-4-18 Medicinal cannabis: Australia aims to become top exporter
The Australian government has said it aspires to be the world's leading exporter of medicinal cannabis. The nation plans to change its regulations to join Canada and the Netherlands in selling products beyond a domestic market. Uruguay and Israel have announced similar plans. Health Minister Greg Hunt said the move would also help local patients. Australia legalised the use of medicinal cannabis in 2016. Using the drug for recreation remains illegal. "Our goal is very clear: to give Australian farmers and manufacturers the best shot at being the world's number one exporter of medicinal cannabis," Mr Hunt said. Changing national regulations will require parliamentary approval. That could happen as soon as February with support from the Labor opposition. The Australian Broadcasting Corp reported the changes would extend of products including oils, patches, sprays, lozenges and tablets.

1-2-18 Californians can now buy marijuana for recreational use
The state already has a booming marijuana industry, on 1 January, it California became the sixth US state to make marijuana legally available for recreational use. On 1 January, California became the sixth US state to make marijuana legally available for recreational use. Because the state is the nation’s most populous, the move could hasten cannabis’s legalisation across the US. California banned cannabis in 1913, but penalties for using the drug have eased since the 1970s. In 1996, it was the first state to legalise marijuana for medicinal purposes. Since 2016, it has been legal to grow, possess and use small amounts of the drug. The state already has a booming marijuana industry, producing as much as seven times more cannabis than is consumed there. Much of this is sold illegally in other states. According to Alex Traverso of California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control, around 100 dispensaries in the state were licensed to sell cannabis for recreational use on Monday. The bureau had worked over the holiday period to try to process 1,400 licence applications for marijuana-related firms. Recreational marijuana has already been legalised in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Nevada and Washington. Legal sales of the drug are expected to begin in Massachusetts later this year. “A third of the US now has legal access to marijuana for non-medical use,” says Steve Rolles of the UK drug regulation think tank Transform. “California may be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, forcing the government to review federal legislation which currently rules the drug to be illegal.”

1-1-18 Recreational cannabis use becomes legal in California
California has become the largest state in the US to legalise recreational cannabis use. As of 1 January 2018, adults aged over 21 can possess up to an ounce (28 grams) of the drug and can grow up to six marijuana plants at home. Opponents say the law will lead to more driving under the influence of the drug and introduce young people to drug use. But business is eyeing what could be an industry worth tens of billions of dollars in the next few years. Californians voted in favour of Proposition 64 legalising cannabis 14 months ago, in a poll that took place alongside the US presidential vote. Since then, a complicated patchwork of taxes and regulations has been drawn up to govern sales of the drug. Critics say the red tape will discourage consumers, growers and retailers from leaving the state's vast black market and only a few dozen shops have so far been approved to open. The cities of Los Angeles and San Francisco have yet to sanction any recreational marijuana outlets. "The first year, two years are going to be a mess," as cities agree their own regulations and supply and demand is established, Troy Dayton told AFP news agency. He is the CEO of Arcview, a company that analyses the global cannabis market. He predicted there could be "crazy fluctuation in price over the first year or two". Nonetheless, the potential rewards are huge in the US's wealthiest and most populous state. In 1996, California was the first state to legalise marijuana for medicinal use.

With doctor's advice and under prescription control legalizing
Medical Marijuana seems like a good idea, but the above scientific
facts will help you decide whether to support it or not.

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