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Behavioral Health Services of Pickens County, South Carolina is the location of the latest in a growing list of regional centers receiving federal funding to study cannabis. They are actively seeking local marijuana users who are interested in being compensated for their time in exchange for participating in their research.
Perhaps it should be clarified, these studies only have one purpose in mind, and that is to discover and patent a pill-poppable form of relief from cannabis addiction. Let’s keep it real, many people still love the herb, but for any number of reasons may have a need to cut back for a while, or to put it away altogether.

 

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Every day in prisons across the country, inmates are scheming to devise innovative, or disgusting, new ways to smuggle in drugs, phones, and other contraband. Every day, surely some of those attempts get busted, but maybe none quite as ridiculous as what happened this past Sunday in Jackson, Michigan.
When it comes to ridiculous prison smuggling attempts, there is some pretty stiff competition.

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In October of last year, we reported here at Toke of the Town on a landmark move by the Canadian government to pump over $1.3 billion dollars into a new national medical marijuana program. The approach was aimed at providing the rapidly growing number of medical marijuana patients with access to cannabis produced by massive, state-of-the-art growing and distribution operations.
The new law proposed to outlaw home growing, forcing medical marijuana patients to go to these large-scale pot shops for their weed. But on March 21st of this year, a Federal Court ruling put a halt to that section of the new regulations, and temporarily grandfathered in anyone who was already licensed to grow at home before September 30th, 2013.

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New Hampshire state house.

Adults in New Hampshire are one step closer to being able to use, purchase and cultivate limited amounts of cannabis after the state house yesterday gave preliminary approved to a legalization proposal.
House Bill 492, modeled after Colorado’s marijuan laws, would legalize up to an ounce of pot for personal possession for adults 21 and up. It would also legalize personal cultvaiton of up to six plants as well as establish a system for allowing sales of recreational cannabis through licensed, taxed storefronts.

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Attitudes on pot in Tenn. haven’t changed much since this photo was taken.

Tennessee state Rep. Sherry Jones has stepped up to the plate for medical marijuana supporters in her state by introducing a bill that would legalize the plant for medical uses with a doctor’s recommendation. Now she just needs a state Senator to back her.
Language of the bill is not available at the state legislative site yet, but Jones says her bill will set qualifying conditions for medical cannabis as well as legalize the creation of state-regulated “pharmacies” to sell organically-grown herb to patients.

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Wikimedia commons/Dnd523.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Arguably the most well-known doctor in the United States this week has announced that he is now in favor of legalizing medical cannabis and that he was wrong to speak out against medical marijuana in the past.
CNN chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanja Gupta says that five years ago, the research he was seeing just wasn’t there to prove that cannabis was a beneficial substance in America. At the time, Gupta rallied against cannabis, even penning an article in 2009 titled “While I Would Vote No on Pot”. But he now says his position was flawed, and it was mostly at due to his own willful ignorance on the matter.

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Former Microsoft bigwig Jamen Shiveley announced this week that he’s creating the first national marijuana brand and that he eventually hopes to build the company up to be the Starbucks of recreational pot. To accomplish that, he eventually plans to break down international drug laws and import cannabis grown in Mexico.
“It’s a giant market in search of a brand,” Shiveley said at a press conference. “We would be happy if we get 40 percent of it worldwide.”

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Flikr.com
Let me grow.

The movement to reform our failed cannabis policies has grown tremendously in recent years and months. It’s not slowing down anytime soon. Cannabis reform is a mainstream issue, and frankly, there’s no denying it. A majority in the county support legalizing cannabis, and 81% support its legalization for medical purposes.
On top of this, a majority of states in our country (27 in total) have either decriminalized cannabis possession (14), or legalized it for medical and/or recreational purposes (18). The remaining states are hard at work towards reform, and advocates in the states mentioned above are vehemently trying to improve their situation. For those who have been on the line about getting involved in helping bring cannabis law change, now is absolutely the time to jump in.
Below is a breakdown of efforts going on around the country:

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Bong County, Liberia is the center of that country’s marijuana cultivation scene (if I’m a-lyin’, I’m a-dyin’!)

Police in Liberia claim “weak drug laws” are making it hard to crack down on marijuana farmers in that West African nation. Cannabis activity in Liberia is centered — and I promise I’m not making this up — in the nation’s central region of Bong County.

Many farmers in Liberia are reportedly turning to cannabis cultivation to make ends meet, reports the Monrovia Heritage. The Liberian trade in marijuana seems to be largely domestic, according to a report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), which also says that many African countries, including Liberia, have “ideal growing climates” for the herb.
“I grow marijuana,” said Nathaniel Cico of central Liberia, reports Voice of America. “It is what I have been doing over the past year to sustain my family and myself. There are no jobs in the country. Things are very tough. How do people expect us to survive if things are very tough, no jobs?”
One-quarter of the world’s marijuana is grown in Africa, UNODC estimates. It reports that up to 13.5 percent of the adult population of the continent uses cannabis, much higher than the global average of between two and five percent.
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