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Those in favor of legalizing marijuana – or at least in protecting the state-level freedoms they have now – are fearing federal sanctions from an unfriendly new administration.congress

Even though politicians on both sides of the aisle favor both medical marijuana access and even recreational marijuana, there is concern that the new U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions will crack down on businesses and individuals abiding state-level marijuana laws. There are currently 28 states that have legalized the drug for medical use, and eight, including California, that allow it to be used for recreation.

For this reason, three new bills have been introduced that protect the rights of pot growers, distributors and users. In addition, advocates are coming out in full force to encourage lawmakers to support pro-marijuana measures.  Continue reading

While there have been drug laws on the books for many years, it was the inclusion of marijuana as a Schedule I drug on the U.S. Controlled Substances Act of 1970 (USCSA) that has been the biggest obstacle to the cannabis business being treated like the successful business that it is.

marijuana budsA Schedule I drug is considered very dangerous, has a high rate of addiction, and has no acceptable medicinal use.  While this description is clearly ridiculous when talking about marijuana, this is where Congress has scheduled it and doesn’t seem willing to do anything about it, and there have been several attempts. Continue reading

According to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, the governor has proposed a plan to alter some marijuana laws in California, and this has led to some push back from state lawmakers.  Those who challenge these new measures say repealing certain provisions in the now two-year-old marijuana laws would essentially be a giveaway to the marijuana industry at the expense of the safety and welfare of the general public.

questionmarkHowever, it should come as no surprise that those who are pushing the pubic safety aspects are primarily supported by the law enforcement community. Despite there being no credible evidence to support this position, and in fact there is evidence to the contrary, the law enforcement community has worked to oppose marijuana legalization across the country by arguing that it will increase crime and school dropout rates.  This was a major argument made in Colorado to avoid the legalization of marijuana of marijuana for recreational use. Continue reading

Most people know that 420 holds special meaning among stoners. What few seem to know, however, is just how April 20th became so revered among the reefer-loving throngs. smoke

Different strands of the story have cropped up in recent years. Some will tell you it’s tea time in Holland. Others think it has something to do with the number of active chemicals in the drug. Others cite a tune by Bob Dylan. Maybe it’s the California criminal code to punish marijuana possession? (It’s not.) Some think it’s totally arbitrary.

According to CNN, the most credible theory begins with a secret code among a group of high school friends at San Rafael High School in Marin County, California. They called themselves, “the Waldos.” Almost every school day at 4:20 p.m., they would meet up and smoke out.  Continue reading

There is no question that more of the American public supports medical marijuana and the legalization of cannabis for recreational use than at any other point in our nation’s history.  Currently, more than half of all U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for either medical use, recreational use, or both.

brief caseHowever, despite the growing wave of support behind the legalization movement, there are some who oppose medical cannabis or recreational use of cannabis.  Some of these opponents have formed their own political action groups to work to challenge state bills and direct voter action campaigns.  According to a recent news article from the Los Angeles Times, one of these groups may be facing trouble related to alleged campaign finance violations. Continue reading

Colorado was among the first states to legalize marijuana for recreational use.  While it is legal to purchase marijuana, it is not legal to smoke in public.  This means that are not the famous hash coffee shops as there are in Amsterdam.  There are many different efforts to get around that public marijuana smoking prohibition.  Some worry that a new church might be one of these efforts.

churchAccording to a recent news article from the Cannabist, a new church, known as the International Church of Cannabis, allows people to smoke cannabis in a public setting.  The church is in an historic church building that was purchased and renovated so that it could be used as a church for the newly founded religious movement known as “Elevationists.” The church was approved as a not-for-profit organization and its opening was on April 20, 2017. Continue reading

There is no question that the cannabis industry is making a lot of money from a lot of different people and companies.  In fact, the medical cannabis and recreational marijuana business has already become a billion-dollar industry.

marijuanaHowever, there are many aspects of the marijuana business, and much the money is being made from things other than the growing and sale of marijuana itself.  One of the increasingly more profitable ventures is the development and sale of what is being called marijuana equipment.  While there are still a lot of regulations and legal pitfalls that can get these companies into hot water, the business is doing very well, according to a recent news article from USA Today. Continue reading

One of the biggest public health crises facing the nation is the problem of opioid addition.  This problem only appears to be getting worse.  Not only are more and more people becoming addicted to opioids, whether we are talking about prescription painkillers or heroin, more people are dying from these drugs than ever before.

pillsAccording to a recent news article from Rolling Stone, no less than 78 people die each day from opioid overdose. Narcan, which is the brand name for naloxone, is a fast-acting emergency treatment for people suffering from an opioid overdose. The medicine was once kept exclusively in emergency rooms, but now is not only being kept in ambulances but also in schools and even private homes. There is the classic leg injector similar to an Epipen, but now there also a Narcan nasal spray for even easier use.  Continue reading

When medical marijuana was first legalized in California more than two decades ago, the state was not heavily involved in the regulation process.  While anyone in the state could use medical marijuana if they had a valid doctor’s recommendation for the use of medical cannabis, it was up the counties and incorporated municipalities to decide if there could be dispensaries in their respective jurisdictions and if there could be grow operations.

question markNot surprisingly, some areas were very liberal with respect to medical marijuana production and sales and others were less liberal.  Some areas did not permit any growing or sales within the city or county limits. A few years ago, the state started to become concerned that they were getting left out of the process, and this was creating a regulatory void.  While it was up to individual municipalities to grow or dispense, there were many other state laws regarding agriculture and water usage.  Since much of California is in the desert, and water supply is often far less than demand, this can create a major issue. Continue reading

What started out as a small grassroots effort to get patients their much-needed medical cannabis has become a billion-dollar industry.  While we often hear about how much money is being made in Colorado, which was among the first to legalize marijuana for recreational use, it is California that is leading the nation in sales, according to a recent news article from San Francisco Weekly.

moneyAs discussed in the article, even though Proposition 64 passed in the last election, in order to buy marijuana in California, patients still need a doctor’s recommendation and marijuana ID card, as the dispensaries will not be able to sell marijuana to the general public for at least several more months.  This is in stark contrast to states like Colorado and Washington, where anyone who is over the age of 21 can walk into a dispensary and purchase any number of cannabis products. Continue reading