MJ News for 02/10/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:47 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.bostonglobe.com/news/politics/2014/02/10/tip-neill-former-caddy-spearheads-push-for-legalizing-marijuana-across-country/L4tGZTZNscQO9ThB8nbieI/story.html

Marijuana backers hit a political chord

WASHINGTON — Not long ago, Allen St. Pierre couldn’t get an audience with many politicians. When he tried to send them campaign contributions, the checks were returned. His efforts to persuade the political establishment to take seriously the legalization of marijuana were met with blank stares, or worse.

But now lawmakers are beating a path to his door for meetings and advice, hoping to harness this new energy behind an issue that had been on the fringe of American politics. The once-quixotic goal of St. Pierre’s group — NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws — is now one of Washington’s most-discussed issues.

Representatives of an array of potential presidential candidates have contacted him, asking for meetings to seek NORML’s endorsement and tap its donor base. Campaign checks are being cashed at a greater rate.

“We’re no longer talking about whether marijuana should be legal, [but] about when it should be legal,” St. Pierre said.

t is a dizzying degree of change in a relatively short time. “I ask the staff every day to nonsexually pinch me,” St. Pierre said. “You have to remind yourself how far we’ve come.”

‘If you present yourself as counterculture, you’ll be treated as counterculture. I’m a preppy New Englander who wears tweed.’

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The signs of a shifting political environment are hard to miss. President Obama, who famously revealed he had smoked pot in his high school “Choom Gang,” said in an interview published last month that marijuana was no more dangerous than alcohol.

Colorado and Washington state have legalized recreational marijuana.

Twenty states, including Massachusetts, make cannabis legal for medical use, and a number of others, also including Massachusetts, are preparing ballot initiatives or legislation that would authorize recreational purchases.

If you were to cast for an affable, clean-cut New Englander, St. Pierre would surely get the part. His salt-and-pepper hair is trimmed neatly above his ears. On a recent day, he wore navy slacks, loafers, and a V-neck sweater over a green flannel shirt. The 48-year-old from Chatham used to be a caddy for the late House speaker Thomas P. “Tip’’ O’Neill.

There’s just one thing: His office, which is on K Street about two blocks from the White House, is a practically a museum to marijuana. There’s marijuana leaves on T-shirts and hats, candles that look like joints, and the latest issue of High Times magazine. A marijuana plant sits on his desk, and a giant joint on a bookshelf (both are fake).

High Times, indeed.

With the march toward legalization begun, there is much to be decided in Washington. Obama’s recent comments effectively cast the issue as “Who will sell it, who will get rich from it.” said St. Pierre.

He would not reveal which prospective presidential candidates have contacted his organization, but he did note that no one from Hillary Clinton’s network has reached out — though he suspects they will as public opinion continues to move in his direction.

In October, nearly 60 percent of Americans said the drug should be legalized, the first time that a clear majority felt that way in a Gallup Poll. It was a jump of 10 percentage points from the previous year.

A CNN poll released last month had similar findings, with senior citizens, Republicans, and Southerners now the only large demographic groups still opposed to legalized marijuana. Sixty-two percent of Democrats and 59 percent of independents backed legalizing the drug, compared with 36 percent of Republicans.

With the vast majorities of Democrats and those between the ages of 18 and 34 in support of legalizing marijuana. some Democratic consultants see the issue as a way to reenergize young voters who have soured on Obama. In Florida, Democrats are hoping a ballot initiative on medical marijuana will drive up turnout this November for their gubernatorial hopeful, Charlie Crist.

Alaska is expected to vote on legalizing marijuana in August, and Oregon is likely to follow in November.

In the Northeast, 60 percent of those surveyed by CNN supported legalizing marijuana, greater than any other region in the country. As a result, marijuana advocates are targeting New England, with plans to have the issue before voters or state lawmakers in almost every state by 2016.

The New Hampshire House last month became the first legislative body to approve a bill legalizing marijuana, although Governor Maggie Hassan has said she would veto the bill.

“There’s been more public dialogue about marijuana and marijuana policy than ever before,” said Mason Tvert, communications director for the Marijuana Policy Project, another group advocating for legalizing marijuana. “The more people talk about marijuana and more they hear about it, the more support we see for ending prohibition.”

Most Americans no longer believe that marijuana is physically harmful, psychologically harmful, or a gateway drug. About 35 percent of Americans now say that smoking marijuana is morally wrong, half what it was in 1987.

Enforcement is increasingly seen as both a waste of time and as unfair. There are also potential financial benefits to legalizing – and taxing – the drug.

“Maybe we should legalize,” Senator John McCain, the Arizona Republican, said at a town hall meeting last year. “We’re certainly moving that way as far as marijuana is concerned. I respect the will of the people.”

St. Pierre has been in a unique position to see the change. He was hired by NORML in 1991, less than a decade after President Reagan declared a “War on Drugs” and just before Bill Clinton admitted to using marijuana in college but quickly added, “I didn’t inhale.”

St. Pierre grew up in Chatham and graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

In the 1980s, while caddying at Eastward Ho Country Club in Chatham, he learned that O’Neill wasn’t the best golfer (“his weight was a hindrance”), and loved to sing Irish tunes and drink at the bar (“he would hold court at the Wayside Inn”). But what he really learned from the master of the House was the old maxim that “all politics is local” — advice that marijuana advocates have used with remarkable effectiveness.

“I saw him work local politics at the most retail level,” St. Pierre said of O’Neill. “He knew how to work with everyone, from the dishwashers to the elite in the country.”

When St. Pierre joined the marijuana movement, it was composed mostly of counterculture activists, with long hair and goatees. St. Pierre, in buttoned-up Washington, tried to promote a different image.

“If you present yourself as counterculture, you’ll be treated as counterculture,” he said. “I’m a preppy New Englander who wears tweed. I shave twice a day sometimes because I’m so conscious about it.”

Most days he wears a golden cannabis leaf on his lapel. In Washington, it gets mistaken for a Canadian maple leaf; in Denver it earns him free meals.

Even Obama has tentatively embraced some of the movement’s ideas – even though this directly contradicts his administration’s stated policy that it “steadfastly opposes legalization of marijuana.”

“I don’t think it is more dangerous than alcohol,” Obama said in an interview with the New Yorker.

While Obama still characterized it as “a vice” and said he told his daughters it’s “a waste of time, not very healthy,” he also suggested current law is too harsh and it was “important” for the Colorado and Washington laws to move forward.

“We should not be locking up kids or individual users for long stretches of jail time when some of the folks who are writing those laws have probably done the same thing,” he said.

The White House has emphasized that Obama’s comments meant no shift in policy and said that he does not support nationwide decriminalization efforts.

Still, the administration policy can seem a bit muddled. While marijuana possession remains a felony, for example, the Justice Department said last year it will not prosecute such cases in states where it has been legalized.

Attorney General Eric Holder recently said the administration was working on regulations to make it easier for banks to work with state-sanctioned marijuana sellers. Banks have worried about being convicted on money laundering charges for dealing with an illegal narcotic, forcing marijuana sellers to deal entirely in cash.

Those opposed to legalizing marijuana have been promoting the ill effects of the drug, noting that it is stronger than when Obama was smoking it in the 1980s. Patrick Kennedy, the former Democratic Rhode Island congressman and chairman of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, has been calling for a tax on marijuana distributors that would be used to fund a study on impacts on young people.

“The insidiousness of marijuana is people think it isn’t having a negative impact on their life because it’s muted because of this type of drug,” Kennedy said in an interview. He said he tried to smoke marijuana but couldn’t because of his asthma. He has struggled with addiction to cocaine, Oxycontin, and alcohol.

St. Pierre, meanwhile, no longer is waging a lonely fight. Where there used to be two lobbyists on Capitol Hill arguing for legalized marijuana, St. Pierre said, there are now about 25. Hedge funds are interested in investing in marijuana businesses. Companies making components that can be used to smoke are now involved.

A movement once seen as fringe is now seen as something historic. As a result, the W.E.B. Du Bois Center at University of Massachusetts Amherst has started archiving NORML’s files, including many of St. Pierre’s personal papers. They have moved 200 cartons, 7,500 pounds, and thousands of videos.

The college, St. Pierre said, “is going to be the repository to answer the question for historians: How did marijuana become legal in the United States?”

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 02/10/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:49 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.denverpost.com/marijuana/ci_25101187/colorado-marijuana-legalizations-impact-stoned-driving-unknown

Colorado marijuana legalization's impact on stoned driving unknown

When a 23-year-old Arvada man crashed his pickup into the back of a Colorado State Patrol car in January, authorities said it was an example of what could be a disturbing trend: a rise in dangerous marijuana-impaired driving.

But now, a month later, the case has become an example of a different problem: the difficulty of tracking cases of stoned driving.

While a State Patrol spokeswoman said shortly after the collision that investigators suspect driver Keith Kilbey was impaired by marijuana when the crash happened, neither his official summons nor the public accident report mentions pot. A spokeswoman for the Adams County district attorney's office, which is prosecuting the case, said she couldn't comment on whether officials still contend Kilbey was stoned at the time of the crash or whether a blood test was taken. A man who answered Kilbey's telephone declined to comment.

In addition to careless driving, Kilbey has been charged with driving "under the influence of alcohol or drugs or both," according to his summons.

"In our system, this is handled as a DUI case," district attorney's spokeswoman Sue Lindsay said.

And therein lies the challenge in determining whether marijuana legalization in Colorado has led to an increase in stoned driving.

There is currently no comprehensive way to track instances of marijuana-impaired driving in Colorado. Such cases are charged in court under the same law as alcohol-impaired driving cases, meaning the two can't be separated in judicial data. Law enforcement agencies have not historically kept separate tallies on stoned-driving cases. The State Patrol began doing so this year, but it has no numbers prior to January to compare the new results to.

"Until we have a solid amount of information, we can't make that assessment," said patrol Trooper Josh Lewis.

In the past, officials have pointed to the number of blood-test samples in which the state's toxicology lab found marijuana derivatives to argue that stoned driving is increasing in Colorado. But the lab closed last year amid an integrity scandal, and the only two remaining labs in the state certified to do drug testing on blood samples say the resulting changes in their workload mean year-to-year comparisons are difficult.

"Our volume changed significantly, so it's making my data analysis more complicated," said Sarah Urfer, the owner of the ChemaTox Laboratory in Boulder.

The question isn't just academic. Whether loosening marijuana laws will lead to more stoned drivers is one of the major questions in how marijuana legalization will impact Colorado. The federal government has identified stoned driving as one of the measures it will look at to determine whether legalization succeeds.

"I have not seen honest statistics," said Dr. Robert Lantz, the director of the Rocky Mountain Instrumental Laboratories, the other lab certified to do blood-drug testing in Colorado. "So I'm waiting to see honest data."

What numbers there are paint a blurry picture — albeit one that still shows the importance of the topic.

For instance, a study published this year by two researchers at Columbia University found evidence that stoned driving has increased across the country. Analyzing federal data, the researchers found that the percentage of drivers killed in car accidents who tested positive for marijuana nearly tripled between 1999 and 2010.

"The most likely explanation is that use of marijuana in the general driver population has been increasing, which may reflect increased use in the overall population," said Guohua Li, one of the study's authors.

But Li said the federal data cannot show whether the drivers were impaired by marijuana at the time of the crash; a positive test may indicate use as long as several days prior, he said. And the study also didn't look at whether the driver testing positive for marijuana was at fault in the crash.

Li's study didn't include data from Colorado because the state performs postmortem drug tests on too few drivers in fatal crashes. What figures there are for Colorado show a slight increase since 2006 in fatal-crash drivers positive for marijuana.

Overall, Colorado has not seen an increase in impaired-driving prosecutions.

Since July, there have been 12,567 cases filed across Colorado where driving impaired — either by alcohol or drugs, including marijuana — was the most serious charge, according to the Colorado Judicial Branch. That puts the state on track for a little over 21,500 such cases this fiscal year, which is in line with the two previous fiscal years. The tallies don't include filings in Denver County Court, which average around 3,000 per year.

Alcohol is involved in most DUI convictions in Colorado. According to the state Department of Transportation, marijuana was involved in only about 1,000 of the 23,500 post-conviction drug-and-alcohol evaluations performed for probation purposes.

Overall traffic fatalities are also relatively flat. There were 422 fatal crashes on Colorado roads in 2013, 12 fewer than in 2012 and 15 more than in 2011, according to CDOT.

There may soon be other figures on stoned driving in Colorado — Li said a federal study based on data from roadside checks is in the works. More details on Kilbey's case should come next month, when he is scheduled for arraignment in Adams County Court.

And Chris Halsor of the Colorado District Attorneys' Council said state officials are also talking about new ways to capture data on marijuana and driving, in the hopes that the issue won't remain a mystery for much longer.

"I think for all parties involved," Halsor said, "we want to have good numbers so we can wrap our head around if this is a problem."

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 02/10/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:51 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.bostonglobe.com/lifestyle/health-wellness/2014/02/10/doctors-unprepared-certify-patients-for-medical-marijuana/oHwGfdfpcHSfkvxEjnt9zJ/story.html

Doctors unprepared for medical marijuana

Now that medical marijuana is legal in Massachusetts and licenses have been awarded for the first 20 dispensaries, you’d guess that my practice is busily preparing to meet the demands of patients seeking marijuana for several debilitating conditions including chemotherapy-related nausea and AIDS-related weight loss.

You’d guess wong.

Since Massachusetts voters approved legalization in 2012, I’ve received no special training (required for physicians to certify patients as eligible for marijuana treatment), been invited to no seminars or lectures, and have little more information than that which the state has provided to my fellow citizens.

Marijuana has been used for medicinal purposes for millennia. Modern proponents of medical marijuana tout its ability to relieve symptoms of a variety of conditions including cancers, HIV infection, hepatitis, glaucoma, and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease).

Still, many doctors have not embraced the idea of marijuana as a legitimate therapy. A fascinating recent study in the Journal of Family Practice found that 46 percent of family physicians in Colorado, where medical marijuana has been legal since 2000 and recreational marijuana is now also legal, believed doctors should not prescribe it. A majority thought marijuana presented health risks, and a minority thought it beneficial.

Why is there a disconnect between the voting booth and the exam room when it comes to medical marijuana?

A few thoughts:

1) The Massachusetts Medical Society strongly opposed the referendum to legalize medical marijuana, citing lack of FDA oversight and concerns about the safety and efficacy of the drug.

2) The epidemic of prescription narcotic abuse may make doctors uneasy about prescribing a new psychoactive drug. This is probably illogical, given lack of strong evidence that marijuana, unlike narcotics, is addictive, and that marijuana, unlike narcotics, does not cause death by overdose.

3) Marijuana is perceived as alternative medicine. Even though legal, it is out of the medical mainstream.

4) Doctors are conservative -- not politically, but when it comes to adopting new therapies. I think our very busy schedules combined with our Hippocratic Oath to “to do no harm” often makes us stick with ideas and treatments with which we are familiar and comfortable.

We don’t know yet how popular or effectively regulated medical marijuana will be in Massachusetts. What’s certain is that, at least for now, patients requesting certification for medical marijuana here may be surprised to find their physicians ill-prepared or reluctant to provide it.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 02/10/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:53 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.cbsnews.com/news/medical-marijuana-gets-traction-in-the-deep-south/

Medical marijuana gets traction in the Deep South

ATLANTA - Medical marijuana has been a non-starter in recent years in the Deep South, where many Republican lawmakers feared it could lead to widespread drug use and social ills. That now appears to be changing, with proposals to allow a form of medical marijuana gaining momentum in a handful of Southern states.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, and this year powerful GOP lawmakers in Georgia and Alabama are putting their weight behind bills that would allow for the limited use of cannabis oil by those with specific medical conditions. Other Southern states are also weighing the issue with varying levels of support.

The key to swaying the hearts of conservative lawmakers has been the stories of children suffering up to 100 seizures a day whose parents say they could benefit from access to cannabidiol, which would be administered orally in a liquid form. And proponents argue the cannabis oil is low in tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana that makes users feel high.

"I'm an unlikely champion for this cause," said Georgia Rep. Allen Peake, a businessman from Macon who attended the evangelical Dallas Theological Seminary. "Once people realize it's not a 6-year-old smoking a joint, most folks realize this is the compassionate thing to do."

Peake's bill has already earned the backing of more than 80 state lawmakers, including several members of the House Republican leadership, who signed on as co-sponsors and the state's largest professional association of doctors. The bill would revive a long-dormant research program allowing academic institutions to distribute the medical cannabis and would be "limited in scope, tightly restricted, well regulated and managed by doctors," Peake said.

Alabama Rep. Mike Ball, a retired hostage negotiator for the State Patrol, is behind a bill that would allow people to possess the cannabis oil if they have certain medical conditions. It passed a key committee vote on Wednesday.

"The public is starting to understand what this is," said Ball, who chairs a powerful House committee and is a prominent voice on law enforcement issues. "The political fear is shifting from what will happen if we pass it, to might what happen if we don't," Ball said.

The bills in Georgia and Alabama still have more vetting, and their ultimate prospects are not certain. But what is happening offers a strong signal of what's to come in other states.

In Louisiana, although a bill has yet to be introduced, a recent committee hearing at the Capitol on legalizing medical marijuana drew a standing-room-only crowd, and Gov. Bobby Jindal made comments last month indicating he was willing to consider it.

"When it comes to medical marijuana ... if there is a legitimate medical need, I'd certainly be open to making it available under very strict supervision for patients that would benefit from that," Jindal said, according to a report in The Advocate.

Technically, both Georgia and Louisiana have laws on the books from the 1980s and 1990s that allow for the use of medical marijuana, but those programs essentially ended before they could start. Georgia's law established the academic research program for those diagnosed with glaucoma and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy and radiation, but the program stalled when the federal government stopped delivery of legal cannabis.

Louisiana's law allowed for glaucoma and cancer patients and those suffering from spastic quadriplegia to receive marijuana for therapeutic use but regulations to govern the program were never developed.

In Mississippi, Republican state Sen. Josh Harkins of Brandon is sponsoring a cannabis oil bill similar to the ones in Alabama and Georgia. Harkins said one of his constituents has a 20-month-old daughter with Dravet syndrome, a form of pediatric epilepsy, and the oil can help reduce the number of seizures.

Elsewhere, both Kentucky and Tennessee have medical marijuana bills under consideration although they have yet to gain traction. Kentucky Senate President Rover Stivers, R-Manchester, has said he's not convinced marijuana has legitimate medical purposes and called it an area ripe for abuse.

In Florida, it's likely to become a campaign issue in the fall given that Gov. Rick Scott is up for re-election and a proposed constitutional amendment will be on the ballot that would allow for the medical use of marijuana as determined by a licensed physician. Former Republican Gov. Charlie Christ, now a Democrat seeking to challenge Scott, has called it "an issue of compassion, trusting doctors and trusting the people of Florida."

Meanwhile, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has signaled a willingness to discuss medicine that might be derived from marijuana with appropriate federal regulation.

"If someone wants to use the medicine that is in marijuana, go through the same testing that you have to go through when you do that through the (U.S. Food and Drug Administration), you go through all of that, do the testing, the drug testing, that's fine," Bentley said last month. "I have no problem with that. I am not just for prescribing marijuana."

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has declined to take a position, but noted the "strong case being presented by some of the families with very serious situations involving their children."

Dustin Chandler, a police officer in Pelham, Ala., has been a major part of the effort there. His daughter, 2-year-old Carly, has three to five seizures each day from a severe neurological condition she has had since infancy. Chandler believes cannabidiol could help control his daughter's seizures and improve her cognitive functioning based on anecdotal evidence seen elsewhere.

"We've been battling the stigma from the m-word," Chandler said. "I'd love to hear my daughter talk. I'd love to hear her say one word. You know that is something most parents take for granted."

Overall, public opinion in support of legalization has shifted in less than a decade, according to William Galston and E.J. Dionne, who co-wrote a paper last year on the topic for The Brookings Institution. The authors noted proponents were shrewd in focusing the earliest campaigns on efforts to allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, citing a 2013 Pew Research Center survey that three-quarters of Americans, including 72 percent of Republicans, believe marijuana has legitimate medical uses.

Among critics' biggest concerns is that allowing medical marijuana even under a narrow list of circumstance would eventually open the door to widespread use. Peake, the Georgia lawmaker, has been adamant that will not be the case.

"I am concerned as anyone that we would get to a slippery slope of a broader scope of marijuana use in the state," Peake said. "I promise you I will fight that with every bit of energy in me."

Georgia Rep. Terry England, chairman of the powerful House Appropriations Committee and a deacon at his Baptist church in Auburn, is a prime example of a state lawmaker who never thought of legalizing medical marijuana but is now open to it, even signing on as a co-sponsor to Peake's bill.

"I've not made a complete 180-degree turn, but I'm probably at 178 degrees," England said.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 02/10/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:54 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.slate.com/blogs/weigel/2014/02/10/marijuana_politics_now_a_campaign_issue_in_maryland.html

Marijuana Politics: Now a Campaign Issue in Maryland

Today's minor news on the marijuana front comes in Time's interview with Joe Biden. Asked about the president's comments about marijuana, made during interviews for his New Yorker profile, Biden pivots to sentencing reform. "I support the President’s policy," he says. "I think the idea of focusing significant resources on interdicting or convicting people for smoking marijuana is a waste of our resources." This represents a sort of shift from the norm, when Biden blurts out something and the president has to respond.

The Biden interview, we're told, occured on the Amtrak from D.C to Philadelphia. That means it cut through Maryland, where dark-horse gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur, a Democratic state delegate, is asking the front-runners (the lieutenant governor and the attorney general) to join her in backing decriminalization of marijuana. The state's Maryland Marijuana Decriminalization Act, which would reduce penalties for an ounce of the stuff to a $100 fine, may have the votes to pass in a legislature run by Democratic supermajorities. Mizeur wants to make sure.

"I was pleased to read about your support for this initiative," she writes to Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown in a letter. "Reform of marijuana laws is far from outside the mainstream views of leaders across the country; and here in Maryland, a recent Goucher poll reported just 6 percent of Marylanders favored jail time as a consequence for marijuana possession."

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 02/10/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:57 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hmpp://www.sacbee.com/2014/02/10/6143272/investing-in-marijuana-stocks.html

Investing in Marijuana Stocks Newcomers Requires Due Diligence by BrokerBank Securities, Inc.

MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 10, 2014 -- /PRNewswire/ -- Since Last November, when Colorado legalized recreational use of marijuana, the markets and investors have gone become very receptive for any stock purporting to be in the cannabis business. Investors are certain that the legalization of marijuana and hemp will spread nationwide and create a huge market. They are right. Thus far we have seen investors scooping up penny and sub penny stocks at what they believe are bargain prices, as long as they are in the marijuana business. But ask yourself investor; what does it mean to be in the marijuana business? Recently a public company issued a press release stating they were entering the cannabis market space. They had never done anything close to the marijuana business before, yet investors began buying shares with a fury. This scenario is being played out all over the OTC markets as companies attempt to capitalize on legal cannabis fever. There are some companies in the cannabis space that are legitimate and worthy of investment. Investors are encouraged to at least do a cursory vetting of the stocks they invest in to know if they are legitimate or not

Investors need to recognize the difference between value and hype. The current marijuana market, when viewed in the future, will look like the alcohol market after prohibition in the 1930's, plastics in the 1960's, the tech market of the 1990's or the biotech market of the 2000's. It will be that significant. Some firms will grow and become significant players in the marijuana market, being traded on the big boards. Some will turn out to be a house of cards.

Certain fundamentals apply to all stocks, even the ones in development stage. Are they current with their financial reporting and in good standing with the markets? Look at their market capitalization, assets, revenues (if any) and more importantly their cash position or ability to generate enough cash to survive the development process.

Extreme Biodiesel, Inc. (OTC: XTRM) is an alternative fuel and recycling company. Their mission is to provide a cost-effective, high-quality alternative diesel fuel, create "green" jobs, reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuels and diminish US reliance on foreign oil. Extreme Biodiesel is currently repositioning itself into a holdings corporation with focuses on Bio Diesel, Real Estate, Technology and Cannabis Sectors.

HPC POS System, Corp. (OTC: HPCS) is a health company specializing in advances in Supplements for Health, and Anti-Aging announced last week that they are entering into the medical Marijuana and Hemp space to cover all sectors of the marketplace via a new holding company being created called Cannabis Health Group. This will include the development of edibles, ecommerce, cosmetics and software via their delivery systems and the engagement of knowledgeable Technical Scientists in this venue.

U.S. Energy Initiatives Corporation (OTC: USEI) is an energy firm that started in 1996 and has had a long business history of developing its business strategies. Management's new goal is to develop its old and new technologies and to build a dynamic and diverse firm. Energy Initiatives will center on the bio-fuels, Medical Marijuana and Hemp for developing products and services. The goal is to become an environmentally responsible firm, marketing our products to a worldwide audience to produce significant revenue and add value for our shareholders.

Our analyst will take a deeper look at the stocks mentioned above that have recently announced their entrance into the marijuana marketplace. The full report can be viewed by using the following link: hMPp://bit.ly/AnalystReportMarijuanaNewComers copy and paste to browser may be required.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 02/10/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Feb 10, 2014 12:59 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.sbsun.com/social-affairs/20140209/high-times-medical-cannabis-cup-festival-in-san-bernardino-draws-thousands

High Times Medical Cannabis Cup festival in San Bernardino draws thousands

SAN BERNARDINO >> Thousands of marijuana patients and pot advocates converged over the weekend at the National Orange Show Events Center for the High Times Medical Cannabis Cup festival.

The event featured a Saturday night B.o.B. rap concert and culminated in an awards ceremony for top strains and product of medicinal marijuana on Sunday. Categories of medicinal marijuana competition included Sativa, Indica, edible product and concentrates.

“This is like a Good Housekeeping seal of approval,” said Mary McEvoy, publisher of High Times magazine. “This is like winning an Olympic Gold for these people. You get in the magazine and you get to use the logo, and it gives great authenticity for these companies to say we are a third party verifier of their quality.”

McEvoy said judging is done offsite, and that product entered in the competition is also analyzed at labs to determine quality.

“It’s like the Oscars, when we give these cups out, they come out and accept them with tears in their eyes and say ‘this is my love and now I’m sharing it with the world, and thank you High Times, for giving me this honor,’” McEvoy said.

Christopher Phillips of San Francisco, a breeder whose strain of Blue Diamond O.G. (ocean grown) had been entered in the Sativa competition, is CEO of MCS Delivery, a San Francisco medical cannabis dispensary.

“Everyday patients can come to these events and see everything on a broad scale, from edibles, to tinctures, to dabs, to flowers and actually really see how much medicine works for them and then take that back home to their collective and know how to treat themselves,” Phillips said. “You have so many people coming from everywhere with different techniques and different lifestyles of growing.”

About 200 vendors showcased their product in a medicating area for visitors with medical cannabis cards.

The competitions are held every year in San Francisco, San Bernardino, and in Denver and Seattle, where recreational consumption of cannabis is now legal and taxed under state law. In Colorado and Washington state, the event is called the U.S. Cannabis Cup.

“This event is awesome,” said Brian Sebern of the VIP Meds dispensary in Menefee. “It’s a cool place for a lot of people from the same community and counterculture to meet up and learn a lot of new things. It’s pretty interesting.”

The events are modeled after the High Times Cannabis Cup championship event in Amsterdam.

About 10,000 people attended the San Bernardino event each day, said McEvoy.

McEvoy said the magazine hopes to return to San Bernardino next year.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up


RE: MJ News for 02/10/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Feb 10, 2014 1:03 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2555839/Mystery-munchies-revealed-Cannabis-use-heightens-sense-smell-taste.html

Mystery of 'the munchies' revealed: Cannabis use heightens sense of smell and taste

Raiding the cupboards for food is a well-known effect of smoking cannabis.

But for years, scientists have been unable to understand why cannabis’ active ingredient, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), causes such a powerful surge in appetite.

Now a European study has revealed that people get ‘the munchies’ after using marijuana because their sense of smell and taste is heightened.

Scientists claim the findings could be used to develop treatments that better tackle obesity and loss of appetite, according to a report in the New Scientist.

A group of neuroscientists, led by Giovanni Marsicano of the University of Bordeaux, found that in mice, THC fits into receptors in the brain's olfactory bulb.

This dramatically increases the creature’s ability to smell food and leading them to eat more of it, they said in a study published in Nature Neuroscience.

Scientists exposed a group of mice to banana and almond oils as a test of sensitivity to scent.

These mice sniffed the oils at first, and then stopped showing interest. But mice that were given THC carried on sniffing. The THC-dosed mice also ate much more.

Researchers then genetically engineered some mice to lack a type of cannabinoid receptor in their olfactory bulbs and subjected them to the same experiment.

Even if these mice were given THC, it had no effect, revealing the drug's scent-enhancing powers involved activity in this region of the brain.

The group explained that by making the sense of smell and taste more acute, THC creates the same sensations felt when people deprived of food.

If the findings hold true for humans, it may help develop treatments for appetite disorders by changing the link between smell and appetite.

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
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RE: MJ News for 02/10/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Feb 10, 2014 6:37 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points

url: hMPp://thefreethoughtproject.com/ohio-police-chief-i-worried-were-watching-were-overhead/

Ohio Police Chief, ‘I Want Them To Be Worried We’re Watching, To Never Know When We’re Overhead.’

That’s what Police Chief Richard Biehl of Dayton, Ohio told the Washington Post while referring to the people of his city as he supported new aerial surveillance technology that would allow his officers to “track every vehicle and person across an area the size of a small city, for several hours at a time.”
Focused on the work of Persistent Surveillance Systems—a Dayton-based company that is already providing aerial surveillance for large events, like political rallies and sporting events—the Post‘s reporting reveals that even as “Americans have grown increasingly comfortable with traditional surveillance cameras, a new, far more powerful generation is being quietly deployed.”

For its part, Persistent Surveillance bills itself as a “full-service, wide area surveillance provider” that sells its capabilities to law enforcement agencies, border patrol, and others private firms. According to the company’s website, their signature “Hawkeye II” surveillance system “is similar to a live version of Google-Earth—only with a TiVo-like capability” and provides:

"Wide-Area Surveillance Sensors and Services that enable continuous, second-by-second video monitoring of a city-sized area. Because of the very high-resolution nature of PSS’s sensors (up to 200 megapixels), vehicle and pedestrian activity can be tracked over a 16 square-mile area. If an event-of-interest happens within this area (a murder, for example), users can rewind the event to identify the perpetrator’s place-of-origin, meeting locations, accomplices, driving routes, and final destination."

follow link for the how does it work graphic


"Already, the cameras have been flown above major public events such as the Ohio political rally where Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) named Sarah Palin as his running mate in 2008, McNutt said. They’ve been flown above Baltimore; Philadelphia; Compton, Calif.; and Dayton in demonstrations for police. They’ve also been used for traffic impact studies, for security at NASCAR races and at the request of a Mexican politician."

BHC# 711

"When injustice becomes law, then resistance becomes duty."
Thomas Jefferson

“I am not the lifestyle police.”- (my new hero) Pitkin County, CO Sheriff Joe DiSalvo
Scroll up

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