Washington State is set to bring in over $694 million in taxes from legal recreational cannabis sales by the middle of 2019, according to a new report released by the Economic and Revenue Forecast Council . The number is up from the Council’s September prediction of $636 million. The report shows that the state is expected to bring in nearly $43 million is taxes from legal cannabis sales by the middle of 2015. Roughly $237 million is expected over the next two-year budget that ends in 2017, and an additional $415 million more is expected for the 2017-19 budget biennium. ...Read more http://thejointblog.com/report-washington-garner-694-million-taxes-legal-cannabis-2019/

By Associated Press DENVER, CO — Colorado has granted a charter for the first financial institution to serve its cash-only marijuana industry. However, before it can open permanently for business, action is also required by the National Credit Union Administration and Federal Reserve. The Colorado Division of Financial Services issued the charter Wednesday to The Fourth Corner Credit Union, which could open in January, The Denver Post reported Thursday. The charter is a step toward resolving a significant problem for the industry, which generally is unable to obtain traditional banking services. As a result, dispensaries frequently transport cash – a...Read more http://thejointblog.com/colorado-division-financial-services-grants-charter-credit-union-cannabis-industry/

The Philadelphia Liberty Bell. On October 20th, a law decriminalizing the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis became law in Philadelphia . Between October 20th and November 20th, there was just 20 new tickets issued, 14 for possession (a $25 ticket) and 6 for consuming in public (an $100 ticket). In that same time period, there were 72 arrests for cannabis, though that number is down drastically from the amount of arrests during the same time period in 2013 (320); in total, there was a 78% decline in arrests. These numbers are from the Philadelphia Police Department . ...Read more http://thejointblog.com/philadelphia-cannabis-arrests-drop-78-one-month-decriminalization-takes-effect/

The Congressional Research Service ( CRS ) has released a thirty five-page report examining the effects of the federal government implementing a wholesale excise tax on the production and sale of cannabis and cannabis-related products. CRS’ analysis indicates that cannabis prices would fall to as low as $5 to $18 an ounce under a legalization model; they claim that today’s average prices of $200 to $300 an ounce are inflated due to prohibition. The report found that if cannabis were taxed at $50 an ounce, the nation would generate over $7 billion in taxes from an estimated $40 billion legal...Read more http://thejointblog.com/congressional-research-service-cannabis-fall-20-ounce-legalized-nationwide/

G eorgia State Senator Curt Thompson has filed a constitutional amendment aimed at legalizing recreational cannabis for everyone 21 and older. Senate Resolution 6 will be considered by the state’a Legislature when it reconvenes on January 12th. If approved by lawmakers, it will be placed on the ballot to be voted on by the people before becoming law. The proposal would legalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older, while also authorizing state-licensed cannabis retail outlets. Senator Thompson filed another bill, Senate Bill 7, which would legalize medical cannabis for those with a...Read more http://thejointblog.com/proposal-legalize-cannabis-filed-georgia-senate/

Vape has officially won Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year . “As 2014 draws to a close, it’s time to look back and see which words have been significant throughout the past twelve months, and to announce the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year “, says Oxford on their website’s blog . “Without further ado, we can exclusively reveal that the Oxford Dictionaries Word of the Year 2014 is…. vape”. According to Oxford , the word vape originated “as an abbreviation of vapour or vaporize . The OxfordDictionaries.com definition was added in August 2014 : the verb means ‘to inhale...Read more http://thejointblog.com/vape-named-oxford-dictionaries-word-year/

By Alizeh Siddiqui, Marijuana Policy Project DES MOINES, IA — The Iowa Board of Pharmacy is considering renewing its recommendation that the state reclassify marijuana in a way that would make it easier to use the substance legally for medical purposes, following a hearing in the state’s capital Monday where patients, medical professionals, and drug-abuse prevention specialists testified about whether Iowa should relax its strict ban on the use of medical marijuana. “We’re in a bit of a predicament,” board Chairman Edward Maier told several dozen people who gathered for the Des Moines hearing, noting that Iowa law currently classifies...Read more http://thejointblog.com/iowa-board-pharmacy-consider-reclassification-marijuana/

Kamala Harris. Attorney General Kamala Harris, who recently won reelection in California, says that cannabis legalization has a “certain inevitability” about it, while also announcing that she’s not opposed to the move. “I am not opposed to the legalization of marijuana”, Harris told Buzzfeed . “I’m the top cop, and so I have to look at it from a law enforcement perspective and a public safety perspective. I think we are fortunate to have Colorado and Washington be in front of us on this and figuring out the details of what it looks like when it’s legalized.” She continues; “We’re...Read more http://thejointblog.com/california-attorney-general-cannabis-legalization-inevitability/

The legalization of medical cannabis significantly reduces suicide rates, especially among young adults, according to a study published in the current issue of the American Journal of Public Health. For the study, researchers “obtained state-level suicide data from the National Vital Statistics System’s Mortality Detail Files for 1990–2007″, and used “regression analysis [studying economic conditions, state policies, and state-specific linear time trends] to examine the association between medical marijuana legalization and suicides per 100 000 population.” Researchers found that; “Legalization was associated with a 10.8% and 9.4% reduction in the suicide rate of men aged 20 through 29 years and 30...Read more http://thejointblog.com/study-medical-cannabis-legalization-reduces-suicides/

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio giving an example of how much cannabis will be allowed in public. A new policy decriminalizing the public display of up to 25 grams of cannabis is now in effect in New York City, as of Wednesday, November 19th. The new policy was put forth by Mayor Bill de Blasio. Under New York State law, the possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis is a ticketable, not an arrestable offense. However, for years police in New York City have continued to make thousands of misdemeanor cannabis charges annually, based on cannabis being...Read more http://thejointblog.com/new-york-city-law-decriminalizing-public-display-cannabis-now-effect/

Cannabis can treat pain related behavior caused by alcohol and high fat induced pancreatitis, according to a study being published in the journal Molecular Pain , and e-published ahead of print by the National Institute of Health . According to the study; “Chronic Pancreatitis (CP) is a complex and multifactorial syndrome. Many contributing factors result in development of dysfunctional pain in a significant number of patients. Drugs developed to treat a variety of pain states fall short of providing effective analgesia for patients with chronic pancreatitis, often providing minimal to partial pain relief over time with significant side effects.” For...Read more http://thejointblog.com/study-cannabis-can-treat-pain-caused-pancreatitis/

By Americans for Safe Access “Veterans Equal Access Act” would allow VA physicians to discuss medical marijuana with their patients without federal censure WASHINGTON, DC — U.S. House Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), along with ten bipartisan Congressional cosponsors introduced the “Veterans Equal Access Act” (VEAA) today, marking a concerted federal effort to allow our country’s veterans to become medical marijuana patients in states where it’s legal. The VEAA would simply allow Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to discuss and recommend medical marijuana to their patients, a right enjoyed by physicians outside of the VA system. “Post traumatic...Read more http://thejointblog.com/federal-bill-introduced-overturn-ban-veterans-affairs-physicians-recommending-marijuana/

A new study published this month in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics , and published online by the National Institute of Health , has found that the cannabis compounds cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) enhance the anticancer effects of radiation in an orthotopic murine glioma model. According to the study; “High-grade glioma is one of the most aggressive cancers in adult humans and long-term survival rates are very low as standard treatments for glioma remain largely unsuccessful. Cannabinoids have been shown to specifically inhibit glioma growth as well as neutralize oncogenic processes such as angiogenesis. In an attempt to improve...Read more http://thejointblog.com/study-cbd-thc-enhances-anticancer-effects-radiation/

The political action committee Legalize Maine plans to unveil an initiative to legalize cannabis on Wednesday, with the hopes of putting the proposal to a vote in 2016. “I’ve seen the benefits of the marijuana economy, both the medical and underground market, on Maine’s rural economy, and it’s time to transition to a regulated, legal market,” says Legalize Maine president Paul McCarrier. “Mainers don’t need a group from Washington, D.C., to dictate what’s best for them.” McCarrier’s comment about a “group from Washington, D.C.” refers to the Marijuana Policy Project ( MPP ), which is planning its own legalization initiative...Read more http://thejointblog.com/maine-initiative-legalize-cannabis-announced/

By Associated Press Marshall Dion. When police in Junction City, Kansas, stopped a beat-up pickup truck for speeding in June 2013, the driver got a lot more than a traffic ticket: The stop led authorities to Massachusetts and Arizona, where they said they found about $15 million in cash, almost 400 pounds of marijuana and ledgers detailing drug deals going back to 1992. The driver, Marshall Dion, told police he was a retiree from Tucson who was living off his $690-per-month Social Security check. He also said he had left his drug-dealing days behind, but federal authorities say he was...Read more http://thejointblog.com/79-year-old-man-found-15-million-cash-400-pounds-cannabis-challenges-charges/

A new study published this week by the journal Psychopharmacology has found that cannabis may provide a treatment option for panic and anxiety-related disorders. According to the study; “Direct activation of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor in the dorsolateral periaqueductal gray (dlPAG) inhibits anxiety- and panic-related behaviours in experimental animals. It has remained unclear, however, whether the local endocannabinoid signalling is recruited as a protective mechanism against aversive stimuli. The present study tested the hypothesis that the endocannabinoid system counteracts aversive responses in the dlPAG-stimulation model of panic attacks.” Researchers used a cannabinoid receptor agonist – meant to mimic the effects...Read more http://thejointblog.com/study-cannabis-may-treat-panic-anxiety-related-disorders/

Cannabis holds promise as a safe and effective treatment for digestive disorders, according to a new study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, and published online by the National Institute of Health . According to researchers; “It is increasingly clear that the endocannabinoid system plays a role in diverse biological pathways that affect gastrointestinal and hepatic physiology and pathology.” They concluded that cannabis “appears to hold promise as a modifier of gastrointestinal symptoms”, and that; “As medical marijuana use continues to grow in the United States, physicians must take the lead in understanding the risks and benefits in order...Read more http://thejointblog.com/study-cannabis-holds-promise-treatment-digestive-disorders/

By Alizeh Siddiqui, Marijuana Policy Project AUGUSTA, GA — Georgia state lawmakers revealed what the state’s new medical marijuana bill will look like after last year’s proposed bill failed. Medical marijuana grow houses and immunity from prosecution for the families of patients who legally obtain it from other states and bring it back to Georgia are two elements of the new medical marijuana bill that state lawmakers will debate in January. State Rep. Allen Peake, the bill sponsor, said that Georgia’s lawmakers have learned a lot over the past year and hope to pass a better bill this year that...Read more http://thejointblog.com/medical-cannabis-bill-revealed-georgia/

South Carolina State Senator Tom Davis will soon introduce legislation to legalize medical cannabis, according to announcement made at a meeting of the state’s Medical Marijuana Study Committee. “I am learning for the first time all of the medicinal benefits that marijuana can be used for,” says Davis, referring to testimony given at the committee where he heard from people explaining that it helps with pain, autism, glaucoma and more. A medical cannabis bill sponsored by Davis was approved earlier this year, which allows children with seizure disorders to enroll in clinical trials, allowing them to use the cannabis compound...Read more http://thejointblog.com/south-carolina-medical-cannabis-legalization-bill-announced/

By Drug Policy Alliance New York Council Speaker Meilissa Mark-Viverito. Advocates Applaud Speaker Mark-Viverito for Being the “Standard Bearer” for Progressive Marijuana Policies New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced her support for marijuana legalization at the November pre-stated meeting. Speaker Mark –Viverito joins a growing list of elected officials coming out in support of marijuana legalization, including New York City council members Stephen Levin, Jumaane Williams, Rafael Espinal, and more recently Mark Levine. When asked about NYC Mayor de Blasio’s new marijuana policy to issue court summons instead of arresting people for low-level marijuana possession arrests in New...Read more http://thejointblog.com/new-york-city-council-speaker-announces-support-marijuana-legalization/

Utah’s Criminal and Juvenile Justice Commission has unveiled a package of recommendations to control prison growth, including a proposal to make the personal possession of illegal substances a misdemeanor rather than a felony. According to the report , Utah’s prison population is projected to grow by 37% over the next two 20 years, at a cost of over half a billion dollars of taxpayer money. Among the recommendations the Commission makes in order to deal with this growth, is to defelonize the first-time personal possession of drugs. “When an offender goes to prison because they have a drug addiction, the...Read more http://thejointblog.com/utah-criminal-juvenile-justice-commission-endorses-defelonizing-drug-possession/

The Coalition to Regulate Marijuana says it’s collected over 170,000 signatures to put their cannabis legalization initiative to a vote in Nevada. The group plans to submit the signature’s to the Clark County Clerk’s office on Wednesday. Once the clerk’s office verifies that at least 102,000 of the 170,000 signatures are valid (from registered Nevada voters), the proposal will go before the state’s Legislature, which will have the option of passing the measure into law, or sending it to a vote of the people in 2016. If approved into law, the proposal would allow everyone 21 and older in Nevada...Read more http://thejointblog.com/enough-signatures-collected-nevada-put-cannabis-legalization-vote/

At a press conference this afternoon, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio will announce that the city’s police department will no longer arrest individuals for low-level cannabis possession, and will instead issue tickets. The announce will come less than three weeks after a report was released , finding that discriminatory cannabis arrests have continued under Mayor de Blasio, who was elected in 2013. The report found that since de Blasio took office, the number of cannabis arrests are set to equal, or even surpass the rate of arrests under Mayor Bloomberg. The new policy, put forth by Mayor de Blasio...Read more http://thejointblog.com/new-york-city-police-stop-arresting-cannabis-possession/