Isabelle Allende Bussi, President of Chile’s Senate, has introduced legislation to legalize the possession, use and private cultivation of recreational cannabis. Senators Fulvio Rossi, Alfonso de Urresti, Carlos Montes, and Juan Pablo Letelier are cosponsors of the motion. “It is important to legislate on this matter and regarding fundamental rights we must catch up to be a modern and inclusive society”, says Bussi. Under the proposed law, Chileans will be authorized to cultivate up to three maturing cannabis plants – and will be allowed to possess and use whatever those plants yield – as long as the cannabis is for...Read more

A new study being published in next month’s issue of the journal Experimental Neurology , and published online this week by the U.S. National Institute of Health , has found that stimulation of the body’s cannabinoid receptors – such as through the consumption of cannabis – attenuates early brain injury. For the study, researchers evaluated whether a c annabinoid receptor type 2 (CB2R) agonist (something which cannabis is) attenuates early brain injury (EBI) after SAH [subarachnoid hemorrhage], and “whether CB2R stimulation reduces pro-apoptotic caspase-3 via up-regulation of cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB)-Bcl-2 signaling pathway.” “Male Sprague Dawley rats” were subjected...Read more

A newly released poll conducted for Canada’s Department of Justice has found that a strong majority of Canadians favor either the decriminalization or full legalization of cannabis, with less than 14% of respondents being in support of the status quo. The survey, which included 3,000 participnants, was conducted by Ipsos-Reid , and commissioned by the nation’s Department of Justice ; the poll cost around $175,000. According to The Star , which obtained the poll early, Conservatives have been holding on to the results for months without releasing them to the public, though they apparently plan to do so at the...Read more

Representative Scott Perry, a Republican from Pennsylvania, introduced the  Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014 on Monday, a federal proposal to legalize medical cannabis oil that’s low in the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Although the measure is clearly limited in what it would do and the type of reform it would bring, its passage would mark the first time the federal government has altered their law in admittance that cannabis has medical value. The bill is named after Charlotte Figi, a young girl from Colorado whose parents have been campaigning nationwide for easier access to medical cannabis after it successfully...Read more

A new Quinnipiac University poll released today has found that an overwhelming majority of Florida voters are in support of legalizing medical cannabis, and a majority also supports the legalization of recreational cannabis. According to the poll, an astonishing 88% of Florida voters favor medical cannabis being legalized, with just 10% opposed to the move. The poll results come with the general election in November being just around the corner, where Florida voters will have the opportunity to vote on  Amendment 2 , an initiative to legalize the possession, use and state-licensed distribution and cultivation of medical cannabis. The survey found support...Read more

A study published this month by the journal Schizophrenia Bulletin has found that cannabis use doesn’t negatively impact the symptoms of schizophrenia in those with the condition. Although this may come as no surprise to many, it helps to combat the prohibitionist argument that cannabis use is a detriment to those with schizophrenia. “There are inconsistencies in findings as to whether cannabis use has a negative impact on clinical outcomes for people with established psychosis”, says professor Christine Barrowclough, PhD, who led the study. Due to these inconsistencies, researchers at the University of Manchester and University of Lancaster investigated “the...Read more

South Portland has certified an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis in the city after verifying that at least 959 of the over 1,500 signatures submitted were valid (from registered South Portland voters). The proposal will now be discussed by the City Council (on August 4th), who can either approve the bill directly into law, or send it to voters by placing it on the November ballot. The Council has already expressed its opposition to the measure, indicating that city voters will get an opportunity to voice their opinion on the issue. If the initiative is approved by the Council, or by voters,...Read more

A new study conducted by ECONorthwest has found that the market for legalized cannabis in Oregon is quite large, and would garner tens of millions of dollars in taxes for the state in the first year. The study, which was commissioned by New Approach Oregon , the group behind an initiative to legalize cannabis which was recently placed on the November ballot , found that in the first year of legal cannabis sales, Oregonians are likely to purchase over 1.3 million ounces (or 81,250 pounds) of cannabis. This, according to the tax rate put in place by the initiative, would...Read more

Senator Rand Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, filed an amendment in the Senate today that would protect states that have or are implementing medical cannabis programs from federal intrusion. The amendment would also protect patients and physicians in medical cannabis states from federal prosecution. The amendment,  Amendment 3630 , was added to a federal  jobs bill  currently being discussed on the Senate floor. It would allow states to enact and implement laws that “authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of marijuana for medical use”, without fear of prosecution. “What we’re trying to do is look at the law and allow states that...Read more

A Pima County Superior Court judge has thrown out charges against a man who sold cannabis plants to undercover cops posing as patients, ruling that the distribution of cannabis from one patient to the next isn’t illegal based on the wording of a 2010 voter-approved initiative. The ruling, though expected to be challenged and brought to the state’s Supreme Court, paves the way for patients to legally sell cannabis to other patients. The case came as Jeremy Matlock, a qualified medical cannabis patient in Arizona, challenged cannabis distribution charges placed against him, arguing that the initiative which legalized medical cannabis...Read more

At 4:20PM today, the group Kansas for Change submitted over twice the required amount of signatures needed to put their cannabis decriminalization initiative to a vote of the people this November. The group was required to collect 3,000 signatures from registered Wichita voters. The city now has 6 days to verify the signatures. Here’s the full text of the petition: BE IT ORDAINED that in Wichita, Kansas, the municipal code shall be amended to remove all criminal penalties for possession of one ounce or less of cannabis/marijuana for adult personal or medical use and possession of paraphernalia; and that a...Read more

A study published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease , and published online ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health , has found strong evidence to suggest that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) may provide a treatment option for Alzheimer’s disease. “The purpose of this study was to investigate the potential therapeutic qualities of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with respect to slowing or halting the hallmark characteristics of Alzheimer’s disease”, claims the study’s researchers. After incubated “N2a-variant amyloid-β protein precursor (AβPP) cells” with THC, researchers found that; “These sets of data strongly suggest that THC could be a...Read more

A proposal that legalizes medical cannabis for those with epilepsy – including minors – has been signed into law by Illinois Governor Pay Quinn . The measure,  Senate Bill 2636 , allows those with epilepsy to possess and consume cannabis, as well as purchase it from dispensaries, if they receive a recommendation from a physician. Last year Illinois legalized medical cannabis, allowing the possession and state-licensed distribution of the medicine for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. Senate Bill 2636 adds epilepsy to the list of qualifying conditions, and explicitly allows those under 18...Read more

Low doses of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) can protect the brain from neuroinflammation-induced cognitive damage and “might be used as an effective drug for the treatment of neuroinflammatory conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases”, according to a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience Research . “In our previous studies, we found that a single ultralow dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC; 0.002 mg/kg, three to four orders of magnitude lower than the conventional doses) protects the brain from different insults that cause cognitive deficits”, says the study’s researchers. “Because various insults may trigger a neuroinflammatory response that leads to secondary damage to the brain, the...Read more

A German court in Cologne has ruled that those suffering from chronic pain may grow their own cannabis for medical purposes in certain situations. The case came as five people suffering from chronic pain brought a complaint to the court claiming that the nation’s Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices refused them permission to grow cannabis at home, despite them having limited access to the medicine and it not being covered by their insurance. The court ruled that three of the plaintiffs met the requirements to grow cannabis because it was “sufficiently certain” that they wouldn’t be able to access the medicine viably through other means. “Until...Read more

A new study out of the Netherlands has determined THC use to be safe for older adults, specifically those over 65. Researchers from the Department of Geriatric Medicine and Radboud Alzheimer Centre , the  Department of Pharmacy , the  Department for Health Evidence and the  Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology out of Radboud University Medical Center reviewed the effects of pure THC when administered to adults over the age of 65. The results, while unsurprising to some, offer new evidence that THC can provide treatment for a myriad of ailments for people of all ages. The abstract of the study begins as such: ...Read more

An initiative to legalize recreational cannabis in the State of Oregon has officially qualified for this November’s general election ballot , according to New Approach Oregon , the group behind the proposal. The group submitted over 145,000 signatures in June, well more than the 87,000 required, and the state has now verified that enough of the signatures were valid. If approved into law by voters, the initiative will legalize the possession of up to eight ounces of cannabis, the private cultivation of up to four cannabis plants, and state-licensed cannabis retail outlets which will be regulated by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission ....Read more

Marc Emery, the founder of Cannabis Culture who is often referred to as the Prince of Pot , was released from prison today, and is being sent to a detention center in Louisiana where he will be processed for deportation. He’s expected to be back home in Canada by the end of August. Marc was extradited from Canada, to Seattle in May, 2010, where he pleaded guilty to the distribution of cannabis seeds to American customers; he was sentenced to five years. During their  press release of his arrest, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) made it clear that the arrest...Read more

Ireland’s Department of Health has announced that in the coming weeks it will introduce regulations which will allow for the use, possession and pharmacy-distribution of cannabis-based medicines such as Sativex , a medical spray made from the cannabis plant which contains one part THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and one part CBD (cannabidiol). “This will be a prescription product, so MS sufferers will have the prescription written by their GP and then dispensed by the pharmacist,” says Pat O’Mahony, chief executive of Ireland’s Health Products Regulatory Authority , formerly the Irish Medicines Board . No exact time was given on when the regulations...Read more

When legal recreational cannabis sales began yesterday in Washington State, an interesting thing took place; Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes was fourth in line – meaning he waited hours – to purchase cannabis at the city’s first outlet, Cannabis City . Holmes purchased two grams of a strain called OG Pearl, and told reporters that it was for “posterity”, as well as “personal enjoyment”. “The most important takeaway here is that today marijuana sales became legal, and I’m here to personally exercise myself this new freedom,” Holmes said on Tuesday in front of a crowd of people. “I bought two...Read more

A new Reason-Rupe poll released today has found that millennials (those aged 18 to 29) overwhelmingly favor the removal of criminal penalties for cannabis, as well as hard drugs such as cocaine and heroin. According to the poll, only 14% of millennials across the United States believe that the use of cannabis should result in jail time, with 83% saying it shouldn’t. 65% believe that cannabis use should be allowed or result in just a ticket, and an additional 18% believe that rehabilitation should be required, though incarceration shouldn’t. In a separate question, 57% (to 39%) stated that they believe cannabis should...Read more

By Drug Policy Alliance With the continued staggering racial disparities and Governor Cuomo’s re-commitment to ending marijuana arrests, NYC Assembly member Karim Camara and state Senator Daniel Squadron, along with community members and advocates, are calling for reforms that not only end racially bias marijuana arrests but also address the racial bias in the NY criminal justice system and deal with the devastating collateral consequences of these racially biased arrests. NEW YORK, NY — At a rally on the steps of New York City Hall Wednesday, advocates and elected officials announced plans to reform New York’s ineffective marijuana decriminalization law. ...Read more