Sep 07

Illinois Legislature Is Now Considering Recreational Marijuana – High Times

A proposal designed to legalize recreational marijuana in Illinois is now under consideration by the state legislature.On Wednesday, cannabis advocates and law enforcement officials duked it out before a joint House-Senate appropriations committee over whether to end pot prohibition in the Land of Lincoln.Those in favor of a legal cannabis market, similar to what is currently underway in Colorado, believe the move would free up police resources and contribute millions of dollars in tax revenue to the downtrodden economy, while opposing forces are concerned the move will increase addiction rates and create more incidents of stoned driving.“There would be more people driving under the influence of cannabis,” said Sangamon County State’s Attorney John Milhiser, according to the Associated Press. “The community would not be better off, the state would not be better off, with legalization.”Senator Heather Steans and Representative Kelly Cassidy brought the marijuana legalization proposals (SB316 and HB2353) to the table earlier this year. The lawmakers believe this legislation is “in the interest of allowing law enforcement to focus on violent and property crimes, generating revenue for education and other public purposes, and individual freedom.”Under the proposed legislation, adults 21 and older would have the freedom to purchase marijuana from retail outlets in a manner similar to alcohol. It also comes with a home cultivation provision that would allow adults to grow up to five plants at home for personal use.A similar bill was introduced in the 2017 session, but it failed to gain the necessary traction to win a hearing. It is for this reason that Steans and Cassidy wanted to make sure to give the current language, which includes changes in regulatory and tax structure, the appropriate time for discussion, so the issue has a fighting chance at going the distance next year.

Source: Illinois Legislature Is Now Considering Recreational Marijuana – High Times

Sep 06

First-Ever UK Medical Marijuana Patient Has ‘Miracle’ Recovery – High Times

About once a day, 11-year-old Billy Caldwell could expect to almost die.Thirty times a month, Billy would suffer a seizure serious enough to require a dose of medication and an oxygen mask in order to survive. Doctors were helpless. According to his parents, over-matched medical professionals sent him home from a hospital unhealed with a mortal warning—he could go at any time. Be prepared.A terrible story—but a familiar one in the cannabis world. And since this is a cannabis publication, it has the familiar happy ending, but with a twist.Earlier this year, after receiving a cannabis oil-based treatment in California, Billy Caldwell became the first person to receive a prescription for medical cannabis from the National Health Service, the United Kingdom’s single-payer public healthcare system.This means Billy Caldwell enjoys at least two things—public-funded healthcare, and a medical marijuana prescription—very few Americans enjoy by themselves, and possibly no Americans enjoy together. He also hasn’t had a single seizure in more than 300 days, his mother Charlotte told the Irish Independent.“Billy is doing absolutely incredible, he’s improving every week and making progress,” she told the newspaper. “I never anticipated a year ago that he would even still be here today, so I’m feeling really good and positive.”Billy’s first recovery from his epilepsy occurred in 2009, also after an extended visit to the U.S. After a few good years, the seizures returned in 2016. Bereft and out of options, they returned to the U.S. for more treatment. Doctors discovered the heart of the matter—he had an inoperable lesion on one side of his brain.He could be treated, however, which led to Billy and his mother experiencing all the joys of seeking specialized medical treatment in a country with no nationalized healthcare. According to his mother, the pair briefly flirted with homelessness.Living in Los Angeles for several months, receiving cannabis oil, Billy suffered a serious setback and had to be hospitalized. Bills from that hospital stay, coupled with the cost of his specialized treatment for his epilepsy, left Charlotte Caldwell with no money to pay for the pair’s accommodation, and led to her claim in a Facebook post that the pair had purchased tents, sleeping bags and a camp stove in preparation for sleeping out on the streets.Concerned benefactors kicked in and kept the pair indoors before their return to Ireland a few months later, where Billy began receiving hemp-based CBD oil under supervision from his doctor.

Source: First-Ever UK Medical Marijuana Patient Has ‘Miracle’ Recovery – High Times

Aug 27

Arizona Sheriff Releasing 400 “Criminal Illegal Immigrants” Every 10 Days – Judicial Watch

An average of 400 “criminal illegal immigrants” are being released every 10 days by the newly elected sheriff in Arizona’s most populous county, federal law enforcement sources tell Judicial Watch, many of them violent offenders. It’s part of Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone’s new policy to protect illegal aliens, even those who have committed serious state crimes, from deportation. Under a longtime partnership between the county and the feds, the Phoenix field office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was notified when “aliens unlawfully present with additional Arizona charges” were released from the Maricopa County Jail, which is one of the nation’s largest with a population of about 8,000. That ended when Penzone, who refers to illegal immigrants as “guests,” took office this year and, though he formally announced the change last week, it was put into practice much earlier.During a recent 10-day period, more than 400 criminal illegal immigrants were released from the Maricopa County Jail, according to federal law enforcement officials directly involved in the process in Phoenix. Weekdays are the busiest, with an average of about 40 criminal illegal aliens getting released from Maricopa County Jail facilities, the sources said. On weekends the number drops to about ten each day. The illegal aliens have state criminal charges ranging from misdemeanors to felonies, driving under the influence and drug offenses. “There’s no telling how many criminals he’s (Sheriff Penzone) putting on the streets,” said a high-ranking federal law enforcement official stationed in Arizona. Judicial Watch’s calls to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office were not returned.Before the new sheriff changed the system, ICE would send a wagon every 12 hours to pick up criminal illegal aliens scheduled to be released from the main jail in Maricopa County. Under the new policy, Maricopa County officials are not giving ICE “any notification at all of the release of criminal illegals,” according to an agency official in Phoenix who’s not authorized to talk and can’t be identified. Without cooperation from county authorities, federal agents would have to stand at the door to the jail 24 hours a day and guess which prisoner should be deported, sources said. “We can’t stand out there and question everyone that walks out of that jail,” said a federal agent directly involved in the matter. “Even if we did, we would have to make arrests on the street, in the middle of protestors, families and picketers and that will only heighten the danger to agents.”

Source: Arizona Sheriff Releasing 400 “Criminal Illegal Immigrants” Every 10 Days – Judicial Watch

Aug 25

Congressmen Want to Know Why Jeff Sessions Is Standing in the Way of Marijuana Research – High Times

Congressional forces, at least the dedicated few with enough cojones to swing violent haymakers in the name of marijuana reform on Capitol Hill, are working to get U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to justify his personal decision to squash an expansion effort designed to improve the state of cannabis research in the United States.Earlier this week, federal lawmakers fired off a letter to Alabama’s own pot-hating boner boy, asking him to provide them with some explanation as to why the Justice Department has stalled a program that would allow more growers, other than the University of Mississippi, to produce research marijuana.The letter was sent in response to a recent article in the Washington Post, which suggested that the DEA is unable to license any additional growers because the Justice Department has simply refused to give the necessary approval. A law enforcement official close to the situation told the news source “they’re sitting on it… they just will not act on these things.”Now, the congressmen are demanding answers.“The purpose of our letter is threefold: first, we wish to establish the veracity of this article’s claims,” the letter reads, according to the Washington Times. “Second, if the article’s claims are true, we would like to know the rationale behind the Department of Justice’s decision. Finally, we would like to encourage you to proceed with rapidity on the DEA’s permitting process, as we believe it is in keeping with President Trump’s campaign promises, and the best interests of the American people.”It was around this time last year that the DEA, perhaps feeling some pressure for failing again to downgrade the Schedule I classification of the cannabis plant, announced that it would expand its marijuana cultivation program to more universities across the United States. But despite the fact that as many as 25 applicants have expressed interest in the job, the DEA has yet to grant any additional licenses.An official with the DEA told the Post that “the Justice Department has effectively shut down this program,” which has prevented the agency from making good on its promise.

Source: Congressmen Want to Know Why Jeff Sessions Is Standing in the Way of Marijuana Research – High Times

Aug 20

Fake data on marijuana is spewed by a government agency

Government-rooted misinformation has long been central to the very existence of War on Drugs. From government-sponsored anti-marijuana campaigns to the familiar talking points used by politicians over the decades, the Drug War has always been fueled by alleged facts that have no basis in reality.The federal government’s misinformation campaign is still alive and well, even in these heady post-prohibition days of 2017. And it’s high time Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and state Attorney General Cynthia Coffman do as their counterparts in Washington state have already done and call out this misinformation for what it is: unreliable, misleading and inaccurate.As most state and federal research documenting the impact of legalized marijuana show encouraging results reflecting responsible regulation, one federally funded agency is still producing reports that paint a very different reality.Reports from High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas throughout the country have inspired a successful anti-legalization campaign in Arizona, a recent USA Today op-ed under the headline “Marijuana devastated Colorado, don’t legalize it nationally” and much of United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ ongoing attacks on the country’s legal cannabis industry.The only problem: The reports are “garbage,” according to John Hudak

Source: Fake data on marijuana is spewed by a government agency

Aug 09

State Lawmakers’ Group Demands Feds Remove Cannabis from Controlled Substances Act – High Times

An influential organization representing lawmakers all over the United States is calling for the federal government to eliminate the cannabis plant from the confines of the Controlled Substances Act.In a resolution published on Monday, a group known as the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) went to the mat for cannabis reform, pushing for marijuana to be removed from its Schedule I classification. The goal is to give the cannabis industry easier access to banking solutions, while improving public safety by making it more difficult for criminal organizations to target dispensaries and other all-cash businesses.“The Controlled Substances Act should be amended to remove cannabis from scheduling, thus enabling financial institutions the ability to provide banking services to cannabis related businesses,” the resolution reads.While this stance is a solid step forward for nationwide reform, it does not guarantee that changes are on the horizon.In fact, the group’s latest position marks the third time the organization has attempted to persuade the federal government to revise the DEA’s Controlled Substance Act in such a way that allows “states to set their own marijuana and hemp policies without federal interference.”But this does not mean that the organization is in total support of one kind of marijuana legalization. The NCLS “acknowledges that each of its members will have differing and sometimes conflicting views of cannabis and how to regulate it,” the resolution continues.The primary objective, however, is to give each state the freedom to develop their own marijuana policies without worrying about trouble at the hands of federal drug enforcement.The resolution goes on to say that “in allowing each state to craft its own regulations, we may increase transparency, public safety and economic development where it is wanted.”Drug reform advocates are enthusiastic about the latest call to free the leaf from its longtime label as a dangerous drug.

Source: State Lawmakers’ Group Demands Feds Remove Cannabis from Controlled Substances Act – High Times

Aug 09

11 Stoner Stereotypes That No Longer Apply – High Times

We’ve come a long way from reefer madness and the evil “Marihuana.” The modern stoner is poised to take over the world.Once stereotyped for our lack of work ethic, laziness and food devastation, the stoner has evolved into an high-functioning member of society. With marijuana being legalized and decriminalized left and right, more people have begun to enjoy sweet Mary Jane. From the elementary school teacher in Cali to the Wall Street broker in NYC, humans everywhere have made marijuana a part of daily life. And you know what? We seem to be doing just fine.We’re no longer lazy, boring and hungry. Well, maybe a little hungry. As weed becomes increasingly socially acceptable, the high-ranking business stoners can work with the biology teachers to push the movement forward and make progress. It is not just up to them however. Even the little guys like you and me can make a difference by teaching people of the good marijuana can really do.With our resources nationwide, the modern stoner is pushing forward. We are standing up to those who once shut us down. One day (soon) we will all blaze together under a federally legal law, and the world will see what stoners are truly capable of.

Source: 11 Stoner Stereotypes That No Longer Apply – High Times

Aug 07

House Committee Blocks Attempt to Let VA Doctors Recommend Medical Marijuana – High Times

Republican lawmakers, who crow endlessly about their love and respect for the troops, have blocked a vote on a bill that would have allowed Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors to recommend medical marijuana as a pain treatment in states where it’s legal.The House Rules Committee stopped a proposed “Veterans Equal Access” amendment from moving to debate on the House floor by keeping the measure out of the House’s proposed VA funding bill for next year.This, after the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a veterans’ medical cannabis provision earlier this month by a vote of 24 to seven.The sponsor of the House provision, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Democrat from Oregon, said he was “bitterly disappointed” that his amendment was sidelined.“This is a subject that has gained a great deal more attention and momentum,” Blumenauer told McClatchy News. “More people recognize that the VA has really failed our veterans when it has come to pain management, opioids and opioid dependency.”He noted that the amendment had bipartisan support of nine Democrats and nine Republicans.“But somehow the [13 member] House Rules Committee decided it wasn’t going to allow this amendment,” he said.Blumenauer, founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, has led the effort to eliminate the VA policy prohibiting doctors nationwide from discussing marijuana with their patients.“We would be far better off if our veterans had access to medical marijuana and less reliance on opioids, which is literally killing them,” reported Stars and Stripes. “Under this amendment, marijuana would not be dispensed by the VA or consumed on federal property—it simply ends the current gag rule that says doctors can’t talk to their patients about it, even if they think it’s appropriate.”

Source: House Committee Blocks Attempt to Let VA Doctors Recommend Medical Marijuana – High Times

Aug 06

Pot & Vets: America’s Shame – High Times

Our first president probably wasn’t aware of the many medicinal properties of cannabis. He probably never smoked the stuff either. Nonetheless, George Washington was an enthusiastic hemp farmer. But if he’d known how important cannabis would be to the well-being of future military veterans—and how the US government would one day outlaw the plant entirely—the Bill of Rights might very well have included a few clauses about the right to grow, as well as the right to share.Many of America’s early settlers brought cannabis extracts and tinctures with them from the Old World. Mainstream medicine recognized and began marketing cannabis after it was added to the US Pharmacopeia in 1850. It would come to be known as a medicine for veterans after the Civil War. In fact, an early cannabis-remedy advertisement quoted the former commanders of the Union and Confederate armies, Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee, endorsing Hasheesh Candy, a product made available through an importer on Beekman Street in New York City.According to the ad, Grant stated that cannabis was “of great value for the wounded and feeble” as well as being “harmless.” Lee said: “I wish it was in my power to place a dollar box of the Hasheesh Candy in the pocket of every Confederate soldier; because I am convinced that it speedily relieves debility, fatigue and suffering.”

Source: Pot & Vets: America’s Shame – High Times

Aug 04

The Green Legion: Veterans and Marijuana – High Times

Vietnam Memorial Soldiers by Frederick Hart. One of the most visited monuments in Washington, D.C. is HartÕs heroic bronze statue The Three Soldiers, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, dedicated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984.

Twenty percent of veterans who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from some degree of post-traumatic stress disorder. At present, no reliable pharmaceutical treatment exists for PTSD, but cannabis has been shown to provide relief. While some doctors in the US Department of Veterans Affairs turn a blind eye to their patients’ use of marijuana, others take a hard stand against it, and federal law makes it illegal to prescribe cannabis as a treatment. Meanwhile, an ambitious program in Canada helps veterans in that country get medical marijuana prescriptions and provides a communal setting for them to recover. Some soldiers credit it with saving their lives.

Source: The Green Legion: Veterans and Marijuana – High Times

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