MJ News for 03/03/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:06 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


Marijuana sales mean new high for Garden City, Colorado: How windfall is revitalizing town of 300

Several states are considering legalizing recreational marijuana, but in Colorado where recreational pot is now legal, Gov. John Hickenlooper thinks marijuana sales will bring in more than $600 million a year, with $134 million in taxes.

One small town, Garden City, Colo., is already seeing a windfall.

A four-by-five block, one-stoplight town, Garden City now knows something about cashing in on temptation. It's the only town in a county of 4,000 square miles where recreational pot sales are legal.

Erica Pilch owns Cloud 9 where the staff can barely keep up. Pilch said, "We get (customers) from all over everywhere. And most -- you know, there's people that travel two hours to come here. ... We are an island."

The city was started when Prohibition ended in 1933. Surrounding Weld County and its cities stayed dry, so a local entrepreneur incorporated the tiny town, issued liquor licenses, and Garden City enjoyed an 80-proof boom that lasted until the laws changed in the late 1960s.

And then, Colorado voters legalized pot for medical and later recreational use, but cities in Weld County opted out of allowing sales, except for Garden City, population about 300.

Brian Seifried, the town's part-time mayor, said, "One's decision to smoke marijuana or not is a very personal decision."

Asked for words of wisdom to those who are afraid of legalized marijuana, Seifried said, "It's wise to try new things. In order to move forward as a community, sometimes you need to make leaps of faith."

And the boom is back. Last year, taxes from pot poured $250,000 -- a third of the budget -- into city coffers from medicinal sales. Recreational marijuana sales this year will add a lot more.

With that extra cash, the city trimmed everyone's trees for free, and gives matching grants for everything, from painting fences to upgrading store fronts.

Seifried said, "It's great that the law was written in a way that each community can make their own decision."

CBS News' Barry Petersen remarked to Seifried, "Well, it's great for you because they said 'no' and you said 'yes'."

Seifried replied, "Absolutely. It definitely gives us a little bit of a niche we haven't had for a long time."

Down the street, owner John Rotherham is busy expanding Nature's Herbs and Wellness, with more room for a lot more plants, and that means he needs a lot more workers.

His employees already include his parents and cousins, who trim the marijuana buds for sale. He now has around 50 employees, and expects to double his workforce after he's finished expanding.

Pot is giving Garden City new highs, high employment, high tax revenue, and, as Barry Petersen reported, high hopes for even better times ahead.

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 03/03/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:08 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


Evidence On Marijuana's Health Effects Is Hazy At Best

Colorado opened its first pot stores in January, and adults in Washington state will be able to walk into a store and buy marijuana this summer. But this legalization of recreational marijuana is taking place without much information on the possible health effects.

"We should have been doing a lot more research to find out just how useful it is, how it affects the brain, et cetera, et cetera," according to Dr. Herbert Kleber, a Columbia University psychiatrist and drug abuse researcher.

But he says it's been hard to study the effects of Cannabis sativa, the plant that produces marijuana.

A large part of the reason marijuana research has lagged is that it's been very hard to get federal approval for such projects, as well as access to federally sanctioned supplies of the drug.

Kleber hopes that the push to legalize the drug will stimulate long-delayed research. Meanwhile, he thinks it's "a bad idea. I don't think we know what we're getting into."

He's not the only person who would like to see more science on marijuana and health. But not all think the drug poses big health risks, or at least not big enough risks to keep it illegal.

"Most cannabis users are moderate users," says Mark Kleiman, a professor of public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, who studies drug policy. "They use a joint a week or less."

Jacquelene Cohen, the 29-year-old director of publicity for a Seattle publisher, is a typical user — indulging once or twice a month, she says. "It's just like a small pleasure," she says, like "pouring a nice bourbon for a friend or passing a pipe with marijuana in it. It's just something nice to do when you're sitting around conversationally."

While Kleiman doesn't see enough health risks from marijuana to override the push toward legalization, he does worry about users who get hooked on the stuff. He says if the price of marijuana falls too much, it could result in more dependence, especially among adolescents and low-income users.

"The main risk of cannabis," he says, "is becoming habituated to cannabis and spending your whole life stoned."

About 11 percent of marijuana users fit the definition of dependence — that is, their habit interferes with their life and they've been unable to cut back. That's lower than the dependence number for heroin and other opioids (23 percent), cocaine (17 percent), cigarettes or alcohol (15 percent) or nicotine (32 percent).

Heavy users aren't hard to find. "I have friends that I've never seen not stoned," Cohen says. "It doesn't seem that it's that harmful. My friends that smoke a lot of marijuana are productive and creative and sociable, and they form strong relationships and they make good life choices."

The National Institute on Drug Abuse says that while marijuana dependence is similar to that for other drugs, "the long-term clinical outcomes may be less severe."

Surveys show that 16 million Americans use marijuana at least once a month, and 2 million of those meet the criteria for dependence. Kleiman says that's not alarmingly high.

"It's not a very high risk," he says, "but it's a high risk if it's you or your child or your parent or your sibling. So people who say, 'Oh, cannabis isn't abusable, cannabis isn't addictive,' it seems to me just aren't looking at the data."

The addiction potential is higher among those who start using marijuana at younger ages. And the higher potency of marijuana these days may increase the risk of dependency, although data are lacking on that point.

Psychological treatment to wean marijuana users from dependency works about 70 percent of the time, according to Kleber, the Columbia University researcher. There's promising research indicating treatment can be improved with medication — in particular a combination of synthetic THC (the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) plus a long-acting drug for high blood pressure only available in Europe.

When it comes to other adverse health effects, the evidence is unclear.

Marijuana smoke contains many of the same toxic chemicals as cigarette smoke. But even heavy marijuana smokers don't seem to have more lung cancer or emphysema.

"Oddly enough," Kleiman says, "the epidemiology has not come in to support the microbiology. The obvious speculation is that there's something else in cannabis that's actually a tumor-suppressing agent, and people are looking hard at that now."

Many worry that marijuana might increase the risk of schizophrenia. Authorities say there's enough evidence to warn against marijuana use for anybody who's had a psychotic episode or a family history of schizophrenia. Still, as millions of people have used marijuana in recent years, the incidence of schizophrenia has remained static, at around 1 percent of the population.

And then there's driving under the influence.

Kleiman says one study allowed heavy marijuana users to smoke as much as they wanted before testing them on a driving simulator.

Even when the subjects were "as stoned as they want to be," he says, they were about as impaired as people who just meet the drunken-driving threshold.

That's not entirely reassuring. But it suggests that marijuana might not be as dangerous as alcohol when it comes to driving.

But here's an important point: Kleiman says there's some evidence that marijuana users may be driving-impaired for hours after they think their high has worn off.

"That's where a real public health campaign could make a difference," Kleiman says, "saying if you smoke cannabis, do not drive for something like six hours after — we'd have to do the research. That's a lot longer than the subjective high lasts. But it's probably what you need to get people actually safe."

Kleiman adds one more key point: "Cannabis is much more dangerous when it accompanies even a little bit of alcohol." So he thinks the blood-alcohol limit for drivers with any level of cannabis in their blood should be zero.

Of the states considering legalization, most are considering legalizing recreational marijuana (17 states) or decriminalizing possession of small amounts (12 states and the District of Columbia). Twenty states plus Washington, D.C., allow marijuana sale for medical use, although in some places the medical pretext is slim.

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 03/03/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:13 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


‘Mommy lobby’ emerges as a powerful advocate for medical marijuana for children

Standing in a Wisconsin State Capitol hearing room surrounded by parents hugging their seriously ill children, Sally Schaeffer began to cry as she talked about her daughter.

Born with a rare chromosomal disorder, 6-year-old Lydia suffers from life-threatening seizures that doctors haven’t been able to control despite countless medications. The family’s last hope: medical marijuana.

Schaeffer, 39, didn’t just ask lawmakers to legalize the drug. She begged.

“If it was your child and you didn’t have options, what would you do?” she said during her testimony in Madison on Feb. 12.

The representatives were so moved that they introduced a bipartisan bill to allow parents in situations similar to Schaeffer’s to use the drug on their children.

Emboldened by stories circulated through Facebook, Twitter and the news media about children with seizure disorders who have been successfully treated with a special oil extract made from cannabis plants, mothers have become the new face of the medical marijuana movement.

Similar scenes have been playing out in recent weeks in other states where medical marijuana remains illegal: Oklahoma, Florida, Georgia, Utah, New York, North Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky.

The “mommy lobby” has been successful at opening the doors to legalizing marijuana — if only a crack, in some places — where others have failed. In the 1970s and ’80s, mothers were on the other side of the issue, successfully fending off efforts to decriminalize marijuana with heartbreaking stories about how their teenage children’s lives unraveled when they began to use the drug.

Mothers have long been among the most powerful constituent groups in the United States, and the reason is clear. Groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving are able to draw so much public support because they tug at a universal human emotion: the desire to protect children from harm. And while national gun-control efforts after the Sandy Hook massacre faltered, mothers’ groups worked to keep the issue on the public radar, helping to get some new measures passed at the state level.

Today, mothers are fighting for access to the drug, and they have changing public attitudes on their side. For the first time, a majority of Americans in opinion polls say they support the full legalization of marijuana.

Last year, Colorado and Washington state made marijuana fully legal, and there has been a groundswell of support in several states for ballot initiatives or legislation to do the same, including some in the conservative South.

Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia. The diseases and conditions for which it can legally be used are limited and vary by jurisdiction. Most states have additional requirements for children: Instead of one prescription, parents must get two from different doctors.

Even in states where marijuana is available for children, the mothers say it is often a challenge to convince physicians that the potential benefits outweigh the risks.

The drug the mothers are seeking is an extract that contains only trace amounts of the part of the plant responsible for the euphoric effect of the drug but is still high in cannabidiol, or CBD — a substance that scientists think may quiet the electrical and chemical activity in the brain that causes seizures. Instead of leaves that are smoked, it is a liquid that is mixed in food or given to a child with a dropper.

The prospect of treating large numbers of children with this substance has alarmed medical organizations and anti-drug groups that say the potential dangers of prescribing an untested and unregulated treatment for young children are being lost in the conversation.

Little is known about the effects of marijuana on children; most studies have looked at teenagers who use it illicitly.

Much of the concern centers on the developing brain: Marijuana use has been linked to higher rates of mental illness, including thought disorders, depression and anxiety, as well as — according to one prominent study published last year — diminished IQ over time.

“There’s a lot of misinformation and emotion in this issue, rather than a focus on science,” said Kevin Sabet, an outspoken opponent of marijuana legalization who is director of the Drug Policy Institute at the University of Florida and was a former senior adviser for drug policy in the Obama administration.

The epilepsy community is divided on the issue. The Epilepsy Foundation, which represents patients and their families, said in late February that it backs efforts to legalize medical marijuana for use in pediatric epilepsy patients. But the American Epilepsy Society, which represents physicians and other professionals working in the field of epilepsy, says the treatment “may not be advisable due to lack of information on safety and efficacy.”

Sharon Levy, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on substance abuse, said she’s a strong proponent of studying and developing medications from the active ingredients in marijuana. But she does not support the idea of parents choosing the plant they think would be best, making their own oral preparations and guessing at proper dosage without knowing long-term side effects.

“It is a bad idea. When I look at the accumulation of studies about marijuana and children, I am very concerned,” she said.

Levy said she understands that efforts to develop and test marijuana-­based treatments for the disorder may not be moving fast enough for some children with severe epilepsy. But she said that the fact that there are flaws with the regulatory system means that we should fix the system rather than bypass it.

“We shouldn’t forget that the regulatory system was put in place for a reason,” Levy said. “The history of medicine is littered with stories of ‘medications’ that had terrible long-term impacts.”

Charlotte’s story

Stories about the promise of marijuana for seizures have been circulating as far back as the 19th century, but it wasn’t until two years ago, when Paige Figi, a Colorado mom, began posting online stories about her child’s experiences with the treatment, that other families began to take notice.

Of the 2.3 million Americans living with epilepsy, more than 1 million of them have seizures that can’t be controlled by modern medicine. Figi’s daughter, Charlotte, was one of them.

Diagnosed with a rare condition called the condition known as Dravet syndrome, Charlotte, then 5, was suffering from more than 300 seizures each week. She used a wheelchair, could only say a few words and had gone into cardiac arrest more than once. Desperate after doctors told them there was nothing more they could do, Figi and her husband, Matt, turned to medical marijuana.

They began to give Charlotte a few drops of an extract made from a strain of marijuana that was high in CBD, which is thought to be medicinal, and low in THC, the component that creates a high, twice a day with her food. They were surprised when the seizures nearly stopped.

As Charlotte’s miraculous story spread, more than 100 families relocated to Colorado Springs, where the dispensary selling the substance is located. Across the country, parents are holding bake sales, benefit concerts and other fundraisers to try to raise money for the treatment; it can cost several hundred dollars a month to purchase the extract. A nonprofit foundation formed to assist those seeking the drug said that 187 pediatric patients are being treated and that there is a waiting list of more than 3,000.

Figi and Joshua Stanley, the grower who co-created the strain that is being used in the treatment — now known as “Charlotte’s Web” — have become heroes in the epilepsy community.

At the invitation of mothers, Figi and Stanley have been traveling around the country, telling Charlotte’s story to lawmakers in other states.

“It’s very emotional,” Figi said of the hearings. “Everyone’s handing out tissues — especially when someone comes who has lost a child to seizures, and they are coming out to support this effort.”

Stanley, 38, runs the Stanley Brothers, one of Colorado’s biggest growers, with five of his brothers. He recently started Strains of Hope, a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to trying to get governments around the world to legalize the use of marijuana for medical purposes. As a first step, he said he is working with partners in Jamaica, where he hopes the extract could be available for free to children who need it as soon as the end of this year.

“Children should not be dying because of these antiquated laws,” he said.

But beyond all the heartbreak and hope lies the question of whether the treatment works. And if so, how?

Stanley declined to release any detailed numbers about how effective the treatment has been, but he said nearly every child with epilepsy who took the extract experienced a reduction in seizures.

There is some medical support for such a claim. There are several thousand published studies showing the potential benefits of marijuana for some conditions, and animal studies have shown that using CBD can stop seizures. Marijuana is made up of hundreds of components, with about 80 classified as cannabinoids unique to the plant, which scientists think activate specific receptors in the brain and other parts of the body to produce physiological and behavioral effects.

Heather Jackson, executive director of a foundation that is dedicated to research, education and advocacy for Charlotte’s Web and other marijuana-derived medicines, said the organization has begun to communicate with partners about the possibility of starting clinical trials for the treatment.

“We know that, in order for the treatment to be accepted by the medical community, there has be more testing, but because it’s marijuana, there has been a lot of red tape,” she said.

GW Pharmaceuticals, a British company, received FDA approval in December to begin clinical trials of a medicinal form of marijuana for children with epilepsy at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, the University of California at San Francisco and other locations.

But the trials are limited, and many mothers said they tried to enroll but were told the trials were full.

Proposals for the future

One of the first things Schaeffer told lawmakers when she stepped up to the podium in the hearing room in Madison was that she had never smoked marijuana. She wanted to make it clear that she wasn’t part of a more radical movement that aims to legalize recreational marijuana.

Like many of the mothers involved, Schaeffer said she supports legalizing medical marijuana for everyone but would be happy with a narrow law that authorizes the use of a specific kind of marijuana treatment for children.

Schaeffer’s daughter, Lydia, has a rare form of epilepsy that makes her have seizures when she sleeps. Doctors have told the family that the only treatment option is a surgical procedure that would remove part of her brain. They warned Schaeffer and her husband that such a treatment might end up leaving her more disabled — the surgery could blind her, for instance. Moving the whole family outside Wisconsin to a state where medical marijuana is legal is not an option, they said, because they own a small landscaping business in Burlington and Sally Schaeffer’s parents live nearby.

She said that if the bill does not go through this session, she may move to Colorado with her daughter and her husband may have to stay behind with their two sons.

“If I have to wait, I worry, what if my child doesn’t make it? It is heartbreaking to think of losing your child from a seizure when you know the medication is out there that could help them,” Schaeffer said.

Wisconsin state assembly member David Murphy, a Republican, said he signed on to be a co-sponsor of the bill after hearing about the mothers’ plight.

“I am not in support of legalizing marijuana and have not supported medical marijuana up to this point, but common sense tells me this is not remotely the same thing as that,” Murphy said.

While the mothers have received almost universal sympathy wherever they go, the proposed solutions to their problems differ by state.

In Wisconsin, the state committee on children and families passed a bill last week to allow the use of CBD oil in the treatment of seizure disorders. In Utah, state lawmakers have talked about importing the extract from Colorado and having the health department administer it as an herbal supplement.

In New York, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) has proposed a plan to use existing law to allow 20 hospitals to dispense the drug.

None of these are permanent solutions, the mothers say.

Even those who live in one of the states that allow medical marijuana say there is a need for change.

The main issue is that many parents think that only certain strains or formulations may work for their children, and, because marijuana is classified as a controlled substance, they can’t move the drugs across state lines — limiting not only their treatment options but medical research.

“This is not how medical care is supposed to work in the United States. You shouldn’t have to watch your child suffering and be told you can’t have the medicine that can help because you live in the wrong state,” said Colleen Stice, 35, a former payroll manager in Tulsa who quit her job to take care of her 14-month-old son, Rowan, after he began to have seizures.

She said she and her husband are ready to move to Colorado if legislation is not approved in Oklahoma, but she worries about what might happen if a different drug that works better is developed in another state. Would they pick up and move again?

The only answer to this patchwork system of access to medical marijuana treatments, the mothers say, is federal intervention.

They are asking the FDA to speed up the approval process for drugs based on CBD, requesting that the National Institutes of Health dedicate more money to this type of research and urging the Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana so that it can be moved around more easily.

This month, the mothers will bring their fight to Washington. Dozens are planning to fly in from across the country to meet with key legislators on Capitol Hill and hold a march across the city. They plan to bring their children.

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 03/03/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:16 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


Marijuana May Hurt The Developing Teen Brain

The brain of a teenager has a lot of developing to do. It must transform from the brain of a child into the brain of an adult. And some researchers worry how marijuana might affect that crucial process.

"Actually in childhood our brain is larger," says Krista Lisdahl, director of the brain imaging and neuropsychology lab at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. "Then during the teenage years our brain is getting rid of those connections that weren't really used, and it prunes back. It actually makes the brain faster and more efficient."

The streamlining process ultimately helps the brain make judgments, think critically and remember what it's learned.

Lisdahl says it's a mistake for teenagers to use cannabis. "It's the absolute worst time," she says, because the mind-altering drug can disrupt development. Think of the teen years, she says, as the "last golden opportunity to make the brain as healthy and smart as possible."

Lisdahl points to a growing number of studies that show regular marijuana use — once a week or more — actually changes the structure of the teenage brain, specifically in areas dealing with memory and problem solving.

That can affect cognition and academic performance, she says. "And, indeed, we see, if we look at actual grades, that chronic marijuana-using teens do have, on average, one grade point lower than their matched peers that don't smoke pot," Lisdahl says.

In one study, researchers from Duke University analyzed data gathered over many years from people living in New Zealand. They compared IQs in childhood through age 38 among marijuana users and nonusers.

"We found that people who began using marijuana in their teenage years and then continued to use marijuana for many years lost about 8 IQ points from childhood to adulthood," says study author Madeline Meier, now a professor at Arizona State University, "whereas those who never used marijuana did not lose any IQ points."

And the amount people smoked made a difference. Those who smoked the most — at least every day — saw the greatest drop in IQ, the full 8 points. And the younger they were when they started using cannabis, the greater the IQ decline.

And it wasn't just IQ. Adults who smoked marijuana as teenagers did worse in tests of memory and decision-making than adults who hadn't smoked pot.

But there's an important caveat here. Those who used the most marijuana in the Meier study had lower IQs to begin with. Dr. Gregory Tau, a psychiatrist and drug abuse researcher at Columbia University, says there's a chicken-and-egg dilemma with many marijuana studies, including this one.

"It's very possible that there's something very different to begin with among teenagers who tend to get into trouble with marijuana or who become heavy users," Tau says. "They could have subtle emotional differences, perhaps some cognitive functioning differences. It may be hard for them to 'fit in' with a peer group that's more achievement-oriented."

These differences could predispose them to use pot.

Tau says more funding is needed for better-designed long-term studies. Current research is inadequate to answer all of the questions about marijuana risk.

But he says some things are common sense. "It's not rocket science to think if you smoke weed when your brain is developing, that it can't be 'good' for you, just like any 'toxic' substance isn't good for you," he says.

Such concern seems to be lost among teenagers themselves. In a recent federally sponsored survey, 60 percent of high school seniors say they think marijuana is safe. And 23 percent say they've used marijuana in the past month — more than those who used alcohol or smoked cigarettes.

Six percent of high school seniors say they use pot every day, which is triple the rate over the past decade.

And, the marijuana they smoke is a lot more potent than it was in the 1970s, with far higher levels of THC, the main mind-altering ingredient. "The higher the THC levels, the more brain changes there are and the more there is the risk for addiction," Krista Lisdahl says.

Lisdahl says more teens and young adults are smoking marijuana in states that have made the drug available for medical use. She says that's worrisome because it might be a harbinger of things to come if pot is fully legalized.

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 03/03/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:17 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


Marijuana in California: Jerry Brown opposes legalization, says 'we need to stay alert'

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- California Governor Jerry Brown said he is not sure legalizing pot is a good idea in his state because the country could lose its competitive edge if too many people are getting stoned.

If pot smoking gains more legitimacy in the nation's most populous state, Brown said he worries it could have negative ripple effects.

"The problem with anything, a certain amount is OK. But there is a tendency to go to extremes," he said in a wide-ranging interview aired Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press." "And all of a sudden, if there's advertising and legitimacy, how many people can get stoned and still have a great state or a great nation?"

Californians voted to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. But Brown said he is watching closely to see how Colorado and Washington handle their new laws that go a step further by regulating the growth and sale of taxed pot at state-licensed stores.

"We have medical marijuana, which gets very close to what they have in Colorado and Washington. I'd really like those two states to show us how it's going to work," he said. "The world's pretty dangerous, very competitive. I think we need to stay alert, if not 24 hours a day, more than some of the potheads might be able to put together."

Brown, who was interviewed remotely from San Francisco, also discussed California's drought problems, climate change and his future political career.

Now, as he prepares to run for his fourth term as governor, Brown said that despite his progressive politics, the key to turning California's budget deficit into a projected multibillion-dollar budget surplus was exerting fiscal discipline.

"You've got to be tough on spending. No matter how liberal you want to be, at the end of the day, fiscal discipline is the fundamental predicate of a free society," he 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 03/03/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:19 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


Cannabis Legalization Happening Nationwide?

As the states of Washington and Colorado recently legalized Cannabis, it appears that it might possibly be gradually happening nationwide. More than half of the states, including a few in the south that might be considered among the more conservative ones in the country, are now thoroughly examining the possibility of legalization, either for a strictly medical or potentially even recreational use. The battle over whether Cannabis should be as accessible as alcohol has thus gotten some propelling momentum.

As it has reportedly been demonstrated that cannabis is no longer solely a recreational drug, but also of value to the health sector, the two states that perhaps appear to be most likely to follow Washington and Colorado in a full legalization are Alaska, a stronghold of libertarian Republicans and Oregon, where liberal Democrats are the dominant voice of authority.

Spokesmen of a slightly more flexible approach to the restriction of cannabis laws have announced that they intend to make use of the momentum from achieved success, inspired by the statewide and national polls demonstrating greater acceptance from the public to proceed with cannabis legalization. On top of that, President Obama’s recent contemplation on the discriminatory effect of prosecutions in cannabis related cases, as well as his Treasury Department’s release of guidelines put forth to give leeway to the banks conducting business interactions with legal cannabis companies, appears to further fuel their cause.

That being said, their opponents, for whom this is also considered a fundamental year, are just as persistent in their efforts to slow down the process of legalization. They seem empowered by a wait-and-see attitude shared by many legislators and governors, who appear to be reluctant to proceed too quickly, without a clear outcome having been demonstrated by the legal cannabis ventures of Washington and Colorado.

Kevin A. Sabet, executive director of Smart Approaches for Marijuana, is reported to have stated that they believe that if Alaska and Oregon could be stopped, it would derail the entire argument that these groups have, that legalization of Cannabis is inevitable. Sabet, who’s among the leading figures in the effort to end these initiatives, further added that the pro-cannabis momentum can be stopped, seemingly before a nationwide legalization happens.

Despite the fact that Cannabis is still a prohibited drug under federal law, the Obama administration has announced that it will avoid all interference with the states’ initiatives to pursue legalization of cannabis for a vast amount of reasons, including the state’s ability to successfully restrict minors’ access to the drug.

Several states have already initiated a pursuit to legalize the drug, while others seem more reluctant as they patiently await the outcome in the states of Washington and Colorado. Opponents of the advancements of legal cannabis are gradually mobilizing all across the country in their efforts to reverse the process, carefully observing Colorado for any potential problems that might fuel their argument. Sabet further states that he considers it a possible blessing that legalization became a reality in a few states, assured that it will turn to fuel his cause. Though it might seem as a fragile topic to be pampering with during election year, in the eyes of some politicians, it still appears that there might be a will among the majority for legalization of cannabis to happen nationwide.

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 03/03/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:21 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


(UK) Horses 'sniff' out stash of cannabis near Angel of the North statue

Police were led to a stash of cannabis after horses in a nearby field ‘sniffed out’ the drug.

It was a clear case for Inspector Horse as their interest was aroused on land close to the famous ‘Angel of the North’ statue.

Sacks of cannabis leaves and stems were retrieved from a pond on farmland in Eighton Banks, Gateshead.

The find was reported to Northumbria Police, with five bags uncovered in total.

One local resident said: “The horses had wandered over to the hedge by the pond, which is on land about half a mile from the Angel of the North.

“They were sniffing about, so their owners wondered what they were looking at.

“It was clear the horses were attracted to the area - it was probably the smell of the cannabis.

"My husband was out walking the dog down there when the police arrived and he said the officers were delighted to make the find.

“There was quite a bit there.”

Cops attended after a call from a member of the public last week (Feb 24).

It is believed the bags contained wastage from a cannabis farm.

A Northumbria Police spokeswoman said: “We received a report of a bag possibly containing drugs found in a field.

“Officers attended the scene where five bin bags were found at the back of a farm, four of which were in the middle of a pond, containing cannabis leaves and stems.”

No arrests have been made, and the find had no great monetary value. The police investigation is continuing. Anyone with information is asked to call the non emergency 101 number.

The case follows one in Uttar Pradesh, India, last week where a woman was found murdered. The only survivor was Hercule the pet parrot, who led to police to a family member with his shrieking.

The relative confessed to the killing after being identified by the pet.

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 03/03/2014

in Marijuana in the News Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:26 pm
by 7greeneyes | 469 Posts | 1830 Points


The Marijuana Index[tm] Soars 125% in February as S&P 500 Sets Record High of 1859.45

Mar 03, 2014 (ACCESSWIRE via COMTEX) -- Amidst a media frenzy surrounding marijuana and marijuana stocks which included CNBC's Marijuana in America: The Colorado Pot Rush, The Marijuana Index™ experienced significant volume and price fluctuations throughout the month of February 2014.

The Marijuana Index™ hovered around $25 at the beginning of February, and closed the month at $56.21, reflecting a gain of 125%. The total index valuation soared beyond $6 billion, partly due to CannaVest (otcqb:CANV) achieving unprecedented valuations and following several listing additions to the index. Some companies experienced all-time highs while overall trading volume remains strong.

February featured President Obama's landmark signing of federal legislation which removes barriers for the cultivation of hemp in the United States, and long-awaited advancements in banking regulations were announced which allow legal marijuana businesses to secure loans and setup checking and savings accounts with banks. Though industry insiders remain cautious, the move illustrates a commitment to eliminating challenges inherent in a cash-flushed cannabis business. A group of 18 Congress members even urged President Obama to reschedule marijuana, which he initially stated was not within his executive powers. The President could experience increased pressure on the topic, where marijuana is illogically listed alongside heroin as having no medicinal benefit.

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Notable Gainers in February

Abattis Bioceuticals closed the month of February at $.35 after opening at $.119, reflecting a gain of 194%. Abattis acquired worldwide distribution rights for a line of cultivation products, closed a $600,000 private placement, and signed an LOI to acquire a hydroponic fertilizer company.

Advanced Cannabis Solutions closed the month at $33.15 per share after opening at $14.29, reflecting a gain of 132%. The company recently announced a line of credit of up to $30 million from Full Circle Capital Corp. FULL +0.61% , a closed end investment company, and subsequently filed an S1 registration statement with the SEC.

CannaVest once reached 52-week highs of $201, reflecting the company's low public float and recent developments which included increased production from their US Hemp Oil subsidiary, and PhytoSphere Systems winning a third High Times Medical Cannabis Cup award for Highest CBD Concentrate. Shares closed the month of February at $147.07 after opening at $68.01, reflecting a gain of 116%.

New index addition Zoned Properties opened February at $2.66, and closed the month at $14.29, reflecting a gain of 437%. The company signed a purchase agreement for an 83,000 square foot facility in Tempe, Arizona and made a key hire in VP of Operations and Sustainability, Bryan McLaren.

See all the Index Advancers & Decliners at hMPp://www.marijuanaindex.org/

Partial Index Listing Press & Filings from February

mCig updated shareholders on its spin-off of VitaCig, Inc., a creative move which could bolster mCig's balance sheet through the contribution of mCig CEO Paul Rosenberg's pro-rata distribution of 244,931,627 VitaCig shares under the future S1 registration. The filing is targeted for April 5th, 2014. Shares of the company finished February at $.459 on strong volume, and the company expressed future desires to quality for a NASDAQ uplisting.

Enertopia inked a joint-venture agreement with The Green Canvas Ltd. in what could become a 55,000 square foot production facility in Saskatchewan, Canada. Subject to various conditions, Enertopia may acquire up to a 75% interest in the joint venture.

Cannabis Science entered the market in Spain through confidential negotiations with key players in the country which has nearly 47 million inhabitants. The company announced plans to conduct cannabis research and engage in various operations, and closed the month relatively flat after hitting a multi-year high of $.293 on February 5th. Volume was extremely heavy throughout the month, with as many as 86 million shares trading in a session (also on February 5th).

Vape Holdings issued an 8K filing on Friday detailing revised terms of the pending acquisition of H.I.V.E. Ceramics - a cutting-edge ceramic technology for cannabis concentrates and accessories. Previously executed for 30,000,000 common shares, the 8K details more favorable acquisition terms which reflect the company market cap, to a maximum of 5,000,000 common shares upon conversion of preferred shares which feature accelerated voting rights and gross revenue thresholds. The 8K also revealed pending patents on H.I.V.E.'s technology, and may illustrate management's confidence in potential revenue from the sale of H.I.V.E. products.

Nuvilex announced up to $27 million in equity commitments from Chicago-based institutional investor Lincoln Park. Proceeds are expected to advance late-stage clinical trials in advanced inoperable pancreatic cancer, and propel research "into the use of constituents of marijuana in the emerging medical marijuana arena," as well as fund general operations. According to company news, Lincoln Park's investment of $2 million for 8 million restricted shares illustrates the fund's long-term interest in Nuvilex research and trials. Institutional interest in the marijuana sector has accelerated, with Lincoln Park's deal in Nuvilex and Full Circle Capital's deal in Advanced Cannabis Solutions marking large potential cash infusions.

Changes & Additions to The Marijuana Index™

The Marijuana Index™ changed its component weighting from "market cap weighted" to "price weighted," and continues to reflect upon utilizing the most effective calculation methods to account for macroeconomic indicators affecting the marijuana, cannabis, and hemp sectors.

Several companies were added to the The Marijuana Index™ in February, including Enertopia, Puget Technologies, IMD Companies, Zoned Properties, Breedit Corporation, Mentor Capital, Aerogrow, and AVT Inc. More changes are expected as mergers and IPOs are announced and the selection process is refined.

About The Marijuana Index™

Partnered with Cannabis Financial Network ( hMPp://www.cannabisfn.com/ ), The Marijuana Index™ is the first and only registered equity tracking index for marijuana stocks, cannabis stocks, and hemp stocks - providing investors and listed companies with dynamic market data and streaming content. Currently representing more than thirty publicly traded issuers, The Marijuana Index™ provides marijuana investors with a medium for research, charts, and centralized news for industry stocks. Readers are urged to visit hMPp://www.marijuanaindex.org/ for up-to-date information and to sign up for updates. Follow The Marijuana Index on Twitter @MarijuanaIndex.


The Marijuana Index™, The Cannabis Index™, and The Medical Marijuana Index™ are all registered trademarks - all rights are reserved. The Marijuana Index™ is a data aggregation service and does not provide promotional efforts, other than future sponsorship or visual paid advertisements, unless otherwise noted. The Marijuana Index™ does not offer investment advice. Readers are cautioned against using information obtained from The Marijuana Index™ as a basis for any investment decision. The Marijuana Index™ makes no warranties or representations as to the accuracy of posted or streamed information. For more information on the disclaimer, visit hMPp://www.marijuanaindex.org/ . The Marijuana Index™ was not compensated by any companies listed within this press release, but reserves the right to buy or sell shares in listed companies without notice.



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

Last edited Mon Mar 03, 2014 1:28 pm | Scroll up

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