Thursday, January 28, 2016

Bill to Halt Pot Bans in California Goes to Governor's Desk

by David Downs
Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 10:15 AM

California demonstrated its seriousness about regulating medical marijuana by passing to the governor one of the first bills of the year. Assembly Bill 21 passed the full Assembly on a unanimous vote 65-0 today and heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

AB 21 lifts a March 1 deadline for localities to regulate medical cannabis activity locally, or face state regulatory override. The fear of losing local control this winter prompted more than one hundred cities and counties to preemptively ban medical cannabis activity — sometimes including the cultivation of a single plant.

AB 21's passage will encourage localities to stop reflexively banning and give more credence to calls for patients’ safe access and sensible local rules on the multi-billion dollar industry. The bill had the support of both industry as well as cities and cops.

California NORML and Americans for Safe Access applauded the Assembly vote.


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Wednesday, January 27, 2016

California Medical Cannabis Law, Regulations, and Professional Events Listings

by David Downs
Wed, Jan 27, 2016 at 11:01 AM

California's historic new medical cannabis regulations bestow unprecedented legitimacy on the billion-dollar industry, and the sector is exploding with growth. 

For example, events related to medical cannabis law, regulations, and professional development are multiplying rapidly. Here is a selection of upcoming dates on our radar.

“Protecting Access in Your Community”
Live online broadcast via YouTube/ Google Hangout
8 p.m.
Americans for Safe Access details how to stop and reverse local bans on medical cannabis cultivation, delivery, and dispensing.

National Cannabis Industry Association Quarterly Caucus — San Francisco
6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m.
SF Green Space, San Francisco
Each Cannabis Caucus is free of charge for current NCIA members.

Berkeley Medical Cannabis Commission Hearing
6 p.m.
North Berkeley Senior Center
1901 Hearst Avenue, Berkeley
Hearing to take public comment on the six groups vying for a new Berkeley dispensary permit.

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Friday, January 22, 2016

Recreational Legalization Causes Pot Prices to Plummet, Patients Benefit

by David Downs
Fri, Jan 22, 2016 at 10:57 AM

Cannabis legalization is causing prices to plummet in Washington, with major implications for California patients.

Cannabis’ retail cost per gram has dropped almost 50 percent in Washington, from a high of $17 gram (common in California) to $9 per gram and falling.

  • BDS Analytics

The price drops illustrate how recreational legalization is the fastest route to lower prices for medical cannabis patients, many of whom bemoan the high cost of pot in California, and yet criticize legalization efforts as putting profits first and patients second.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Just Announced: The Roots, De La Soul, Ghostface and Wiz Play A Coachella of Chronic

by David Downs
Wed, Jan 20, 2016 at 1:09 PM

This year's High Times Southern California Medical Cannabis Cup is turning into a veritable Coachella of Chronic.


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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Old, White Drug Warriors Are Suing to Protect Pot Prohibition — and Their Profits

by David Downs
Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 10:02 AM

A cabal of heavily connected, Washington, DC drug warriors are backing lawsuits to block legalization across the United States, the Denver Post reports. The in-depth report highlights how America’s one-hundred-year-old war on marijuana isn’t going to end without a fight.

Three of the four lawsuits filed against Colorado’s legal cannabis regime have received funding from a major Washington, DC law firm employed by drug testing groups. (Drug testing companies stand to lose billions of dollars if mandatory marijuana screenings decrease under legalization.)

Robert Horn's firm Jackson Lewis is suing Colorado, and stands to profit from extending pot prohibition. - JACKSON LEWIS
  • Jackson Lewis
  • Robert Horn's firm Jackson Lewis is suing Colorado, and stands to profit from extending pot prohibition.
Mark de Bernardo, a partner in the top 100 law firm Jackson Lewis who has written nineteen books on drug testing, was hired to find local Colorado citizens who would have standing to challenge Colorado legalization, the Denver Post found. De Bernardo and Jackson Lewis are putting up all the money and time to sue Colorado on behalf of a group of Colorado sheriffs.

Other donors to the lawsuits are former heads of the DEA and the White House ONDCP — individuals who usually leave public office for private positions in the drug war.

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Thursday, January 14, 2016

Medical Miracle: More Proof Cannabis Treats Some Incurable Epilepsy

by David Downs
Thu, Jan 14, 2016 at 10:36 AM

Maria Roberta Cilio, MD, PhD - UCSF
  • UCSF
  • Maria Roberta Cilio, MD, PhD
Researchers at UC San Francisco added more proof to claims that medical cannabis can treat incurable childhood epilepsy.

UCSF announced last week that a pot extract reduced incurable seizures by an average of 36.5 percent in a group of 162 children and young adults over a 12-week period. A handful of epilepsy patients saw a complete remission of seizures. The medical journal The Lancet Neurology published the findings. The biggest side effect of the extract was sleepiness.

“This is just the first step. This open label study found that [pot ingredient cannabidiol] both reduces the frequency of seizures and has an adequate safety profile in children and young adults,” said Dr. Maria Roberta Cilio, senior author and director of research at the UCSF Pediatric Epilepsy Center.

"This trial is pioneering a new treatment for children with the most severe epilepsies, for whom nothing else works,” added Cilio. “But we are just at the beginning, combining experts in the field with a brave institution ready to take this on, and courageous patients looking for hope.”

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Legalization in the Northeast: Vermont, Massachusetts Advance; Maine Governor Unrepentant Racist

by David Downs
Tue, Jan 12, 2016 at 3:04 PM

Cannabis legalization is progressing on both coasts this month, with California, Nevada, and Arizona’s initiative efforts gaining steam, just as Vermont and Massachusetts statehouses make waves.

In Vermont this morning, former Vermont Attorney General Kimberly Cheney — a Republican — began appearing in political ads supporting regulating marijuana.

The Vermont Coalition to Regulate Marijuana held a news conference with Cheney at the statehouse to support Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who last week called for "thoughtfully and carefully eliminat[ing] the era of prohibition that is currently failing us so miserably."

Cheney was attorney general in the Seventies and is now a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.

“I am committed to bringing awareness to the failures of marijuana prohibition and working toward a safer Vermont,” Cheney said. “We can’t expect a different result by doing the same failed action over again. The only hope lies in a fundamentally different approach; without further delay, the Vermont Legislature should move forward with plans to regulate marijuana in 2016.”
Last week, Shumlin said Vermont “[has] the capacity to take this next step and get marijuana legalization done right” in 2016.

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