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Programs like D.A.R.E. and the Just Say No campaign might not have kept the nation’s youth from smoking pot, but it’s possible that legalization could.

According to two recent studies, states that have legalized the recreational use of marijuana are seeing a decrease in illegal use by young people. Officials in both Colorado and Washington have reported a decrease in the use of marijuana by underage consumers, and credit increased education about the real effects of the drug, cutting back on the black market, and tight restrictions to enter a regulated dispensary.

Advocacy for cannabis at the national level is more important now than ever before, said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association, as he opened NCIA’s Seed to Sale Show on January 31.

NCIA ensures that cannabis-industry professionals have a voice and a seat at the table in Washington D.C., Smith noted as he explained not only how NCIA represents the cannabis industry in D.C., but how the organization plans to protect cannabis at the national level — and how the industry in Colorado can help.

Superheroes are all the rage these days. But before Hollywood started cashing in on characters that most of us never knew existed, the weed world was already starting the party, with strains like Kryptonite, Harlequin and Thor’s Hammer. Yet the most popular superhero strain is actually named after a skinny alter ego: Bruce Banner.

Like the Incredible Hulk he morphs into when angry, Bruce Banner’s namesake strain comes in multiple forms and can obliterate a man’s face with one punch. There are three different phenotypes of the sativa, with Bruce Banner #3 being the most popular. All three were bred with OG Kush and Strawberry Diesel, but #3 was the charm, with a pudgy bud structure and a high THC percentage. It has tested above 28 percent THC but carries an easy high suitable for most situations — if you don’t hit the joint one too many times.

Coloradans suffering from mental illness have been left behind when it comes to the state’s legalization efforts, according to Teri Robnett, founder and executive director of Cannabis Patients Alliance. That’s why advocates plan to perform 22 push-ups on the steps of the State Capitol on Monday, January 30, as part of an effort to get Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), among other mental illnesses, on the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in Colorado.

Prospects look bright for SB17-017, which would allow medical marijuana use for stress disorders. Groups supporting the bill had a strategy meeting on January 25, at which representatives from the Cannabis Patients Alliance, along with the Strong Alliance and Veterans for Natural Rights, said they are gaining ground.

About a dozen states, as well as D.C. and Guam, have PTSD listed as a qualifying condition for treatment with cannabis — but Colorado doesn’t. Advocates have been hoping to change the minds of officials at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the agency involved in approving new conditions. The department has denied earlier requests, however, so the bill is a backup.

Dear Stoner: I think pot will help my grandfather’s arthritis. Is there a kind of pot product — flower, edible, whatever — you’d recommend?
Scott

Dear Scott: According to science, you’re probably right. A study by the University of Oxford showed that cannabis-based medicine administered orally helped reduce rheumatoid arthritis pain and disease activity for the large majority of those studied. Big surprise, right? But researchers from the National Academy of Sciences took it a step further and studied the effects of CBD (cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive part of cannabis) on cows and mice with arthritis, concluding that “the treatment effectively blocked progression of arthritis” in both animals, protecting the joints against further damage. So get your grandpa some CBD products.

A new study found that people who are more likely to develop schizophrenia are more likely to try cannabis. It also found  new evidence that cannabis use can cause schizophrenia.

The number of pregnant women who use cannabis is  up more than 60% since 2002. While knowledge of how cannabis affects fetuses is limited, Dr. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, called it “cause for concern.”

The Duluth News Tribune looks examines the case for, and against,  treating PTSD with MED.

More experts say cannabis  should be prescribed before opiates, VICE reports.

Ohio doctors say they’re  reluctant to recommend MED.

An article from “The American Tribune” on an overdose from injecting cannabis  turned out to be fake news.

Connecticut has approved its first MED study,  to compare pain relief with an opiate in patients with fractured ribs. A Connecticut hospice will use cannabis to  reduce its dependence on opioids.

President Obama  granted clemency to 231 individuals. His total of more than 1,300 sentence commutations totals more than his 11 predecessors combined. Here’s the story of one of them,  Paul Free, who was serving a life sentence and is now eligible for parole in 2020.

Obama also granted  78 “pre-Christmas” pardons.

Vox examines how Obama has  reshaped the war on drugs, and how that legacy is will be jeopardized under President Trump. For one thing, Obama tended not to use the term “War on Drugs.”

A court ruled that Arizona MED users  can’t be convicted of DUI without evidence of impairment.

A Colorado man who drove impaired and  killed a motorcyclist was sentenced to 10 months in jail and two years probation.

A day after they opened, six unlicensed Cannabis Culture dispensaries were  raided and closed in Montreal. The 10 arrests included owner and “prince of pot” Marc Emery.

Spotted in D.C.: “ This is your brain on Jeff Sessions.

In Milton, Mass., a dispensary seeks to open in the historic “ Swift Hat Shop” building.

It’s part of a whole PR campaign.

Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.

Ahead of his confirmation hearing for Attorney General, a public relations campaign is trying to depict Sen. Jeff Sessions as  emphatically not a racist. He has long been dogged by such accusations, due in part to a statement that he was ok with the Ku Klux Klan, until he heard that they smoke pot.

Rolling Stone envisions the war on drugs under Attorney General Sessions.

Oregon is  revising its product testing rules again, following complaints from companies. Nevada companies call for  strict product testing.

The Democrat and Chronicle (Rochester, N.Y.) reports on “ progress and hurdles” in the New York MED program. For more  see here.

Maine REC opponents  cancelled their recall effort. Gov. Paul LePage (R) said that with REC there’s no longer a need for a MED program. A prominent New Hampshire state senator  will propose a REC bill.

Canada.com looks at how legalization up north  could alter Canadian/American relations.

An Arizona judge ruled that local officials  can’t use federal law to block MED dispensaries.

The city of Copenhagen is pursuing a  longshot legalization push in an effort to reduce gang warfare.

Caribbean nation Dominica will  consider MED legalization next year.

Denver cannabis law firm Hoban Law Group  may sue the DEA over its recent CBD ruling.

Purdue Pharma, which makes Oxycontin, is  expanding overseas. In the U.S., the L.A. Times remarks, opioids are a “dying business.”

Hound Labs and Cannabix Technologies are  racing to perfect a cannabis breathalyzer.

Boston is another potential “ cannabis capital.” Canadian businesses are  preparing for legalization.

CBD pet treats are becoming big business.

Older adults are  using more cannabis, and binge drinking more too. Cannabis use  may not be a good idea for those seeking long-term abatement of depression and anxiety, Colorado researchers found.

Modern Farmer hangs out with  Bear Real, a Colorado hemp scientist.

Dispensaries are in the holiday spirit, helping out medical marijuana patients and veterans.

Starting Wednesday, December 21, LivWell Enlightened Health is providing an ounce of CBD for a penny to qualified medical patients through its LivWell Cares program, in partnership with CannAbility and American Medical Refugees (AMR).

“We’re always looking for ways we can do more. One thing we can do is grow cannabis,” says Neal Levine, senior vice president of government affairs at LivWell. “We want to make sure this medicine goes to patients with a real need, especially these families with sick children.”

He’s 50 and a father of seven.
Here’s your daily dose of pot news from the newsletter WeedWeek.
Bernard Noble, a Louisiana man serving 13 years for possessing two joints had his sentence reduced to eight years. He may be out in two.

In Michigan, MED patient fees fund marijuana enforcement including raid equipment.

Outgoing Vermont governor Peter Shumlin (D) offered to pardon anyone convicted for possessing up to an ounce. He supported an unsuccessful effort to legalize REC through the state legislature.

In Rolling Stone, the activist and rapper Killer Mike writes on how to bring more African-Americans into the industry. For more, see my story in California Sunday.

The NFL may be warming to MED. Switzerland too may be loosening up.

Ozy talks to a combat veteran who now grows cannabis. A dispensary in Massachusetts is giving away free seeds.

Joe Dolce’s new book “ Brave New Weed” gets a fond review by Matt Taibbi in the New York Times.

Boulder Weekly published a piece called “ Marijuana and the Thinking Teenager.

Canadian dispensary chain Cannabis Culture opened an illegal store in Montreal and gave away “ free nugs” to an approving crowd.

The L.A. Times went to the Emerald Cup in Sonoma County. It contrasts the revelers against, “a panel of entirely sober government officials [who]discussed the ramifications of marijuana legalization, California’s complex and evolving regulatory structure, and tried to answer questions about the future of the cannabis industry that seem, at this point, unanswerable.” The piece has many more great descriptions. Read the whole thing.

Some parents are upset that Amazon is sells children’s pot-leaf leggings. (I recently saw a pair, for adults, on sale in Aspen for $75.)

Now there’s CBD-infused water.

Social network MassRoots acquired online ordering platform Whaxy.

Mic put out an update on the state of cannabis investing.

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