Even casual marijuana use can alter the brain, new study shows

April 16th, 2014 by marijuana - Yahoo! News Search Results No comments »
Smoking marijuana even just a few times a week may change your brain, according to a study co-authored by a Northwestern University professor. The study, published Wednesday in the Journal of Neuroscience, reported that young adults who use marijuana on a casual basis show significant structural changes in key regions of the brain affecting emotion and decision-making. “These are brain regions ...

Nearly 600 Pounds Of Pot Seized In Fort Wayne

April 16th, 2014 by The General No comments »
Authorities have seized nearly 600 pounds of marijuana during a raid of a Fort Wayne house. Allen County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Jeremy Tinkel says officers from the county’s drug task force, along with state and local police and federal agents seized the marijuana Tuesday after surveillance of a delivery to the house on Fort Wayne’s north side. Officers reported seizing 550 pounds of marijuana that had been delivered and 32 pounds already packaged for sale. Officials estimated the marijuana was worth about $580,000. Tinkel says 49-year-old Luis Perez and 23-year-old Alvaro Rivera, both of Fort Wayne, were arrested and charged with dealing marijuana. Initial court hearings were scheduled for Wednesday. Court records didn’t list attorneys for them. Tinkel says the case remains under investigation.

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Source: Cleveland.cbslocal.com
Author: The Associated Press
Contact: Contact Us « CBS Cleveland
Website: Nearly 600 Pounds Of Pot Seized In Fort Wayne « CBS Cleveland

Marijuana Vending Machines May Make It a Snap to Get Mile High in Colorado

April 16th, 2014 by marijuana - Yahoo! News Search Results No comments »
Medical marijuana has been legal in Colorado for more than a decade, so it’s a wonder this took so long: Savvy entrepreneurs have brought weed vending machines to the state. Created by the company American Green, the ZaZZZ machine went on display at a restaurant in the tiny (population 6,447) town of Avon. The machine, which uses climate control technology to keep its products fresh, will sell ...

Canada – Medical Marijuana Changes: Doctors Say They’ve Be Put In A Tough Spot

April 16th, 2014 by The General No comments »
Changing medical marijuana regulations have left users in a smoky state of mind and doctors fuming with rage. Initially, new Health Canada legislation was supposed to put an end to home grown pot productions directing nearly 40,000 medical marijuana users to buy their green from large-scale commercial operations with a prescription-like document from their doctor. But a last minute federal court injunction March 21 halted Health Canada’s plan providing temporary reprieve to users — many of whom feared they wouldn’t be able to afford the new system. Health Canada responded by issuing a news release stating they intend on appealing the court’s order.

However, amidst the haze of political gridlock between the federal government, federal court and licence-holding medical marijuana users at least one thing is clear: British Columbian physicians are outraged. “It completely shifts the onus of liability (on physicians),” Doctors of B.C. president-elect Bill Cavers told The NEWS in a phone interview recently from Victoria. “We’re being dumped in the middle of this expedite.” Cavers said under the old system patients applied to the medical marijuana program through Health Canada with a signature from their doctor to acknowledge they knew the patient was using pot for medical purposes.

“The new regulations are totally different,” said Cavers, explaining the changes would see doctors essentially become “gatekeepers” of medical marijuana while Health Canada’s role becomes more obsolete. “Physicians are now being asked to provide a medication (marijuana) with no support or training,” said Cavers, adding Health Canada has not conducted any studies validating the use of medical pot. “Every other prescription drug has to go through rigorous testing from Health Canada (before it’s available to patients), why is marijuana exempt from that?” Cavers said regardless of his personal opinions on pot, “if it’s going to be a medical product there should be the same due diligence to it that is applied to every other prescription drug.”

He is calling for guidelines from Health Canada. “We (physicians) want more evaluation on medical marijuana as a treatment for conditions: when it should be used, when it shouldn’t be used, dosage and long term effects.” Cavers said physicians represent high quality patient care. “We want to do our patients well, we want people to get the treatment they need, we want to keep people safe and we are not being given the tools we need to make those decisions,” he said. “Actual data is woefully absent.” When asked how he sees the future of medical marijuana, Cavers didn’t sound optimistic.

“The net result will be a reduction in access to this product because physicians will be reluctant to take on the liability,” he said. “It’s a free for all right now and physicians are smack in the middle of a debate.” Dana Larsen, director of Sensible B.C. said the new regulations put doctors in an “awkward” position. “A lot of doctors don’t want to get involved,” said Larsen. “They don’t necessarily want to become “the pot doctor” and moreover doctors don’t prescribe plants —it’s just not what they do.” As a result, Larsen said he is seeing a lot of “profiteering” pop up through clinics specializing in access to marijuana such as the web-based Do No Harm Clinic.

Do No Harm Clinic’s webpage states: “Even if your own physician is uncomfortable with Medical Marijuana, we can still help. A referral is not required.” Larsen said clinics like this are “profitable as they are allowed to charge an administrative fee.” Do No Harm Clinic charges $35 per month. “I recommend this website to people who ask me for options,” said Larsen. “It can be great for some people but extremely costly for others.”

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Source: Bclocalnews.com
Author: Candace Wu
Contact: Black Press
Website: BCLocalNews.com - Medical marijuana changes doctors say they've be put in a tough spot

USF Hosts Statewide Florida NORML Conference

April 16th, 2014 by Sabrina Fendrick, Director of Women's Outreach No comments »

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATampa, FL – On Sunday April 13th, people came from all parts of the sunshine state to the to attend the first statewide Florida NORML conference at the University of South Florida.   While the most  critical topic of the day was Question 2 (Florida’s medical marijuana ballot initiative) to be voted on in the November election, there was also a diverse range of information presented by conference speakers such as student rights on campus, organizing and social media outreach.

Irv Rosenfeld

Panelists consisted of a group of nationally recognized advocates and some of the state’s most high profile reformers.  They included federal medical marijuana patient Irv Rosenfeld, Kathy Jordan of the Kathy Jordan Medical Marijuana Act, the Silver Tour’s Robert Platshorn and Florida NORML Chapter Director Karen Goldstein.   Other speakers included Catherine Sevcenko, litigation coordinator for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) and Eli Zucker, Founding Director of USF NORML and Sabrina Fendrick of National NORML.

The event was organized and hosted by the USF NORML chapter, with support from Students for Liberty and United for Care – the campaign behind Question 2.  For more information in how to get involved with marijuana law reform in the sunshine state, please contact Karen Goldstein at normlsfla@gmail.com.


A New Pot Vending Machine With Marijuana-Laced Treats Could Be Coming To California

April 16th, 2014 by The General No comments »
In the mood for a marijuana-laced brownie or lemon bar? Imagine walking into a pot dispensary, bypassing the line and getting the snacks you need from a vending machine. It could be a vaporizer, a pot brownie, a marijuana-infused drink or any of your favorite products from your local dispensary. American Green, an Arizona-based medical marijuana dispensary brand owned by the Tranzbyte tech company, is hoping to make that experience a reality with its new pot vending machine, Zazzz. The machine will allow users to swipe an ID for age verification, then make a purchase.

"The idea is that we are a technology company and we looked at how to apply some of the technology we have to an industry that might be growing up and could use that sort of thing," said Tranzbyte chief operating officer Stephen Shearin. "Grocery stores have a speedy checkout, and why should a dispensary be any different?" The machines are temperature-controlled and capable of storing a variety of marijuana and pot-infused products. Each potential dispensary owner with a Zazzz can choose his own products and customize the exterior design wrapper around the machine.

American Green is developing a line of Zazzz marijuana products, but Shearin said no one is under obligation to purchase any of them. Shearin said there are multiple security measures in place to ensure that people using the machines are doing so safely and legally. The machines use age verification software and have multiple security cameras in place. If someone does purchase something they're not supposed to, he said, the machine is able to track the product. The name Zazzz serves as a way to get rid of the negative stigma sometimes associated with marijuana usage, Shearin said.

"You need an exciting name for a fun machine to get the narrative out there," he said. "Let's get this out there, make it easy for people to get their medicine and get out of the shadows and not get looked down upon." Tranzbyte is hoping to have the machines installed in pot dispensaries across the country. The first machine is operating as a test at a dispensary in Colorado in order to give ample time to regulatory boards and councils to observe it in action. It's currently selling 19 different products including pot-infused snacks. Shearin said he's hoping to have locations in California within the next two months. "With the machine you have no sick days, no overtime, no 401(k), and it frees a dispensary person up to consult with someone," he said. "I'm making about 17 a week and I'm already behind."

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Source: Latimes.com
Author: Jenn Harris
Contact: Contact Us
Website: A new pot vending machine with marijuana-laced treats could be coming to California - latimes.com

Blake Griffin Endorses Medical Marijuana Use in the NBA

April 16th, 2014 by Brandon Isaak No comments »
Blake Griffin

Blake Griffin, LA Clippers

In an interview with Rolling Stone yesterday, Blake Griffin of the Los Angeles Clippers voiced his support of medical marijuana use to treat pain in the NBA.  Currently, the NBA has strict penalties for drug use, which typically lead to suspensions and fines. It was only in 2011 that the NBA stopped testing for marijuana use in the off-season, but now that marijuana is in the limelight, its place in the NBA, as a form of medical treatment for pain, has come into question.

Griffin was asked:

The NFL might let players use medical marijuana to treat pain. If you had a vote, would the NBA do the same?

It doesn’t really affect me, but so many guys would probably benefit from it and not take as many painkillers, which have worse long-term effects. So I would vote yes. I just think it makes sense.

 Griffin joins the chorus of other outspoken athletes like Larry Sanders of the Milwaukee Bucks, who said earlier this year, “I believe in marijuana and the medical side of it.”

Like any professional sport, the need for painkillers is a part of the game, and, as Griffin pointed out, the harmful long-term effects of some painkillers makes medical marijuana use an alluring alternative. Even the World Anti-Doping Agency and the UFC have begun by changing their thresholds of permissible amounts of marijuana.

Mississippi – Governor Faces Friday Deadline To Sign Cannabis Oil Bill

April 16th, 2014 by The General No comments »
The deadline is Friday for Gov. Phil Bryant to sign a bill that would allow the limited use of cannabis oil, derived from marijuana, as medical treatment. Bryant, who in the past has expressed concerns about legalizing medical marijuana, has yet to say whether he will sign House Bill 1231. Supporters of the HB 1231 says the oil contains only minuscule amounts of the ingredient from marijuana that provides a high but is showing promise as treatment for people who suffer severe seizures caused by epilepsy and other disorders. If signed, the bill would closely restrict its use to those with a doctor's prescription, and it would be dispensed only at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.

During the House debate on the bill, Rep. Mark Formby, R-Picayune, told his colleagues his young son "had three seizures this morning; it's not yet even noon." Formby, a conservative lawmaker who has pushed for tougher laws and penalties for illegal drug use, said he supported the bill. The bill made some changes in the state's controlled substance laws to more closely conform to the classifications federal government uses for illegal and controlled drugs. But the bill had been amended to include the cannabis oil measure, which had been pushed by Sen. Josh Harkins, R-Flowood. Harkins' original bill had died without a floor vote in the House. Harkins said the legislation was aimed at helping a 5-year-old girl. Bryant has the option of signing the bill, vetoing it, or he could allow it to become law without his signature.

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Source: Clarionledger.com
Author: Jimmie Gates
Contact: Contact Us | Jackson Mississippi
Website: Gov. faces Friday deadline to sign cannabis oil bill

70-Plus Oregon Cities Impose Medical Marijuana Dispensary Moratoriums

April 16th, 2014 by The General No comments »
At least 71 Oregon cities have moratoriums on medical marijuana dispensaries, and more than 40 others are considering bans, according to the League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties. The Legislature allowed local governments to impose a one-year ban, if enacted by May 1. The law also gives local governments the ability to regulate when and where pot shops may operate. The League of Oregon Cities and the Association of Oregon Counties asked the Legislature to give local jurisdictions the power to outlaw dispensaries. The groups provided the list of cities to The Oregonian.

The state has 242 incorporated cities and 36 counties. The Legislature voted in 2013 to put medical marijuana dispensaries on a legal footing and make them subject to regulation. Many had been operating in a legal gray area. Several cities resisted the Legislature’s action, some citing local codes that forbid business licenses for enterprises that violate federal law. That set up the debate in 2014’s legislative session, when local jurisdictions lobbied for the authority to outlaw dispensaries permanently. The Legislature ultimately allowed them a year. A debate over the issue is likely in next year’s legislative session.

Some local jurisdictions want permanent bans on marijuana dispensaries, but others just want more time to see how the state-regulated system works, said Rob Bovett, legal counsel for the Association of Oregon Counties. “You have a mix of cities and counties that are definitely saying no and you also have quite a number saying, ‘We don’t know yet. We want time,’” Bovett said. Among the cities that have not imposed moratoriums are Portland, Bend and Eugene. Leland Berger, a Portland lawyer who advises medical marijuana businesses statewide, called the list of cities with moratoriums “more disappointing than surprising.” He said he’s encouraged by municipalities like Albany and Klamath Falls, where officials rejected moratoriums.

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Source: Registerguard.com
Author: The Associated Press
Contact: Contact us | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon
Website: 70-plus Oregon cities impose medical marijuana dispensary moratoriums | News | The Register-Guard | Eugene, Oregon

Denver – Marijuana Tourism Booms Easter Weekend

April 16th, 2014 by The General No comments »
Denver and the state of Colorado have seen a spike in travel interest since the sale of recreational marijuana was legalized to anyone 21 or older at the start of the year, according to search data. Denver has seen a 25 percent increase in hotel searches in the first three months of the year compared to 2013. Marijuana Tourism in Colorado is reaching an all-time high with thousands of cannabis fans joining the 420 Rally in Civic Center Park in Downtown. However, the gathering for Marijuana tourism enthusiasts also falls on Easter weekend, an unfortunate irony that has social media buzzing with jokes.

In any case, Colorado will be holding the Marijuana Tourism event, the 420 Rally, on April 19-April 20, 2014., This year’s rally is expected to attract a record-breaking 100,000 people. The line-up includes performances by B.O.B, Wyclef Jean, political speeches, and “demos on marijuana culinary products.” “While this year’s rally is still a celebration of the marijuana culture and a protest against the federal prohibition against its use, our goal is to create a positive environment for users to share stories, learn about the industry and create informed opinions on the remaining issues facing the industry,” said Miguel Lopez, founder of the 420 Rally in Denver, Colorado.

Recent stats reveal that searches for hotel availability around the “420″ celebration has increased by 73% each year. Hotel searches for Denver hotels in the first four months of 2014 have increased by 25% since last year. Marijuana is legal in Colorado, but still illegal under federal law. The state has several adult recreational vendors and shops and offers weed map apps for anyone 21 years or older. Colorado’s universities are reporting a spike in enrollment, with University of Colorado seeing a 30% increase in applications and Denver University experiencing an 81% increase over five years. This is happening as the National Student Clearinghouse reports a nationwide drop in college enrollments over the past two years.

College “Spring Breakers” are now flocking to Colorado. According to an analysis by Priceline.com, Denver trails only Las Vegas and New Orleans in being booked for Spring Break by people with .edu (college) email addresses. Denver is more popular than traditional Spring Break locales Fort Lauderdale, Florida; South Padre Island, Texas; and Cancun, Mexico. Colorado pot shops still report that about half of the IDs they check are from out-of-state, despite the lack of most anywhere for a tourist to smoke pot legally. Public consumption is banned and almost all hotels are non-smoking. But Rich Grant, spokesman for Denver’s visitor and convention bureau, says he’s heard of hotel guests asking about the fine for smoking in a non-smoking room, then paying the $250 up front.

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Source: Livetradingnews.com
Author: Shayne Heffernan
Contact: Contact us | Live Trading News
Website: US Marijuana Tourism booms Easter Weekend | Live Trading News