The Cincinnati City Council Law and Public Safety Committee has given unanimous approval to a proposal by Councilmember Charlie Winburn to allow for the expungement of cannabis possession misdemeanors. The measure is now up for a full Council vote, which is expected to come this week. Under the proposed law, those who’ve received a misdemeanor for possessing up to 200 grams of cannabis within the city will be able to have the charge sealed from their record, meaning it won’t appear on a background check. In 2006, Cincinnati passed a law making the possession of up to 200 grams of...Read more

The City of Seattle has issued over 300 cease and desist letters to dispensaries through out the city, ordering them to shut down by July 1st, 2015, unless they can obtain a license from the Washington State Liquor Cont rol Board , despite no such license existing for medical cannabis facilities. On Thursday last week, the city sent out letters to all businesses deemed to be engaged in “major marijuana activity”, defined as any activity involving 45 or more plants, or more than 72 ounces of cannabis. The letter reads as follows: Major marijuana activity is prohibited in certain zones....Read more

Reed Hastings, Founder and CEO of Netflix , has donated nearly a quarter of a million dollars to Proposition 47 , an initiative being voted on next month in California which would defelonize personal drug possession, in addition to other non-violent crimes such as petty theft. The contribution (which was $246,664.20 to be exact) is the second highest from an individual donor; only Molly Munger has given more at over $325,447.82. The largest overall contribution comes from the American Civil Liberties Union ( ACLU ), which has donated over $3 million. This is according to the most recent campaign finance filings ...Read more

A new report released by GreenWave Advisers has detailed a calculated prediction about the future of the legal cannabis industry – and the numbers are huge. According to the report, if cannabis was legalized on a federal level in the United States by the year 2020, the recreational and medical market combined in all 50 states would be valued at around $35 billion annually. The analysis concludes that change in federal law is expected, due to the continued efforts of lawmakers pushing various pieces of legislation to ease current laws, the benefits of medical cannabis becoming better understood, the positive...Read more

In just 10 days, on November 4th, the 2014 general election will be upon us, and Alaska, Oregon and Washington D.C. – along with a couple of cities – will be voting on the legalization of recreational cannabis, only two years after Washington and Colorado did the same. In Oregon, Measure 91 has consistently maintained majority support among polls, including one from last week which found it winning 52% to 41%. Still, the numbers are close, so it’s vital that legalization advocates in Oregon take the time to vote in favor of the proposal if they’re registered, and to spread...Read more

By Alizeh Siddiqui, Marijuana Policy Project
AUSTIN, TX — As part of the Marijuana Policy Project’s multi-year legislative campaign in Texas, the Washington, DC based organization is developing bill proposals to address marijuana decriminalization, as well as allowing marijuana to be used for medical reasons and eventually regulating it similarly to alcohol for adults in the Lone Star State. According to Heather Fazio, Texas Political Director for the Marijuana Policy Project, the group will be pre-filing the three bills this November, in anticipation of the 84th Texas Legislative Session, starting in January. “We are working with a diverse coalition to...Read more

A new study out of the University College of London has found that consuming cannabis has no impact on a child’s IQ. The study, which included 2,612 children, examined IQ scores at age 8, and again at 15. They found “no relationship between cannabis use and lower IQ at age 15,” even when other factors such as alcohol use, cigarette use and maternal education were taken into account. Researchers found that even heavy cannabis had no effect on a person’s IQ. Researchers did find, however, that alcohol is “strongly associated with IQ decline”. Besides alcohol, researchers found “No other factors...Read more

A proposal that decriminalizes the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis will officially take effect tomorrow, October 20th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Under the new law, which was signed into law by Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter on October 1st after being approved 14 to 2 by the City Council, those caught possessing up to 30 grams of cannabis will be given a $25 ticket, unless they’re caught smoking in public, in which case the ticket will be raised to $100. Under current Philadelphia law, those caught possessing up to 30 grams of cannabis are typically charged with a misdemeanor,...Read more

A new WMUR Granite State Poll has found that 59% of adults in New Hampshire favor the legalization of recreational cannabis, with only 35% opposed to the move. These numbers mark a 4% increase in support since the last time the question was asked in April, and an 11% increase from early last year. According to the poll, an additional 19% support decriminalizing cannabis, and only 27% support keeping laws the way they are. If cannabis were legalized, 72% support allowing it to be sold at state-licensed retail outlets. The poll of 543 people, which can be found by clicking here ...Read more

Facebook recently sent a firmly written letter to the Drug Enforcement Administration ( DEA ) demanding that they stop creating fake accounts meant to trick and capture potential drug users and distributors. The letter comes shortly after it was revealed that the DEA used a real woman’s identity – even using photos of her family obtained from her cell phone make the account seem legit – in order to catch individuals attempting to sell illegal substances. The woman was eventually wrongfully arrested and charged with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute; she’s now suing the agency. The letter, which...Read more

U.S. District Court of Guam Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood has dismissed a lawsuit challenging next month’s vote on the legalization of medical cannabis, officially giving the go-ahead for the vote to take place. According to Tydingco-Gatewood, the individual who brought forth the case – attorney Howard Trapp – has no legal standing. Trapp sued the Guam Election Commission last month, challenging the government’s ability to put the legalization of medical cannabis to a vote due to “legislative submission.” In the order released yesterday, Tydingco-Gatewood says Trapp failed to demonstrate that his complaint is “distinguishable from the general interest of every...Read more

By Paul Armentano, NORML Testimony regarding the constitutionality of the federal statute designating marijuana as a Schedule I Controlled Substance will be taken on Monday, October 27 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California in the case of United States v. Pickard, et. al. , No. 2:11-CR-0449-KJM. Members of Congress initially categorized cannabis as a Schedule I substance, the most restrictive classification available, in 1970. Under this categorization, the plant is defined as possessing “a high potential for abuse, … no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, … [and lacking] accepted...Read more

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has backed down from a proposal to ban most forms of edible cannabis such as brownies and cookies, with lozenges and tinctures being the exception. The proposal, which was made public on Monday before quickly being withdrawn, sparked outrage among the cannabis industry and among cannabis advocates; it also drew legal concerns from the state-issued regulatory workgroup which met Monday to review the suggestion. “Prohibit the production of retail edible marijuana products other than a simple lozenge/hard candy or tinctures that are plainly labeled using universal symbol(s) and that users can add...Read more

By Drug Police Alliance NEW YORK: A new report released today by the Marijuana Arrest Research Project and the Drug Policy Alliance shows that, despite campaign promises, marijuana possession arrests under Mayor de Blasio are on track to equal – or even surpass – the number of arrests under Mayor Bloomberg. As under the Bloomberg and Giuliani administrations, these arrests are marked by shockingly high racial disparities. The report, Race, Class & Marijuana Arrests in Mayor de Blasio’s Two New Yorks: the NYPD’s Marijuana Arrest Crusade Continues in 2014 draws on data from the New York State Division of Criminal...Read more

Last month, the Ontario-based company Hempearth signed a contract with the Florida-based plane manufacturing company Velocity Inc. to build the world’s first airplane made of hemp. According to Derek Kesek, owner of Hempearth , the plane will be constructed from at least 75% hemp – including the wings, seats, pillows and outer shell. The plane will be the color of natural hemp fiber, and is intended to run on hemp biofuel. With a wingspan of 12 meters, the 4-person plane will cost approximately $500,000 to build, according to Velocity Inc. . The airplane manufacturing company tested the strength and durability...Read more

A reconstruction of what Princess Ukok may have looked like. Newly-released research on the Ukok Princess, a young woman frozen in ice over 2,500 years ago and discovered in 1993, has revealed that the Siberian maiden likely used cannabis to treat her breast cancer. Researchers discovered the well-preserved mummy in the icy steppes of the Ukok Plateau in Russia, buried in an elaborate chamber filled with a varied assortment of belongings. Included in her funerary display were carved animal figurines, a table set with a feast, several horses, a cosmetic bag (complete with a face brush and vivianite eyeliner pencil),...Read more

Jennie Stormes talks with her son Jackson during Saturday’s rally. They’re moving to Colorado due to their superior medical cannabis law. Advocates of both medical and recreational cannabis legalization joined forces Saturday for a peaceful rally outside of the Statehouse in Trenton, New Jersey, in protest of Governor Chris Christie’s position on cannabis law reform. An estimated 250 people participated in the protest, which took place across the street from the Statehouse. At one point during the rally, some 75 people lit up joints and cannabis bowls, in what organizers call a “very bold act of civil disobedience.” No one...Read more

New polling conducted and released by the University of Delaware has found that a strong majority –  56% – of those in Delaware are in support of legalizing recreational cannabis. According to the poll, only 39% oppose the move, with the remaining 5% being undecided. “I would say the numbers suggest solid support for fully legalizing marijuana in Delaware,” says Paul Brewer, a communications professor at the University of Delaware who supervised the poll. “The results also reflect what’s going on in public opinion at the national level, where the trends show a growing majority favoring legalization.” According to the...Read more

Washington State Liquor Control Board Spokesman Brian Smith announced Friday that the group is proposing that the state more than quadruple its legal limit for cannabis cultivation. The Board is calling for the amount of cannabis allowed to be grown throughout the state from 2 million square feet to 8.5 million. The proposed change is in response to legal cannabis shops in the state not being able to meet demand because of the limited amount of producers. Some producers, looking to take advantage of the situation, have been charging exorbitant prices, sometimes $25 or $30 a gram. The hope is...Read more

A study published recently in the journal Addictive Behaviors , and published online by the National Institute of Health , has found that cannabis use doesn’t increase suicidal ideations (suicidal thoughts) in high school students. For the study, 972 high school students were given questionnaires assessing cannabis use, suicidal ideations, depressive symptoms, social anxiety symptoms and borderline and psychopathic personality traits . After examining the data, researchers found that; “ Cannabis use was not a significant independent predictor of suicidal ideations after adjustment for confounding personality traits in the total sample and in the subsample of cannabis users.” Researchers also...Read more

By Press Release
West Hartford, Conn., October 14, 2014 – In advance of the American Epilepsy Society’s (AES) Annual Meeting in December , the organization has offered highlights of groundbreaking research being studied at a number of institutions regarding the effectiveness of cannibidiol (CBD) and its derivatives as a viable treatment for people with epilepsy. The first of three studies (Abstract#2016808) will be presented in full at the Annual Meeting is from Colorado, where much of the nation’s attention has been captured by issues surrounding cannabis.  The physicians and researchers at Children’s Hospital Colorado and the University of Colorado have...Read more

A new report released by the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice ( CJCJ ) has found that cannabis decriminalization in California has resulted in a reduction in crime, drug overdoses, driving under the influence, suicides and school dropout among teenagers. According to the report, there was a 22% reduction in school dropouts among teenagers two years after the state decriminalized cannabis possession in 2010. There was also a 20% reduction in drug overdose deaths, despite their being a 4% overall increase of these deaths in the U.S. during the same period, and an over 10% reduction in suicides. Criminal...Read more

A new study just released out of the U.K., and recently published in the Journal of Neurology , has examined the efficacy of the THC/CBD oromucosal spray Sativex on peripheral neuropathic pain (PNP). The peripheral nervous system connects nerves from the spinal cord and brain to the rest of the body; the pain associated with peripheral neuropathy, or the damaging of these nerves, can be very difficult to treat. Over the course of 38 weeks, researchers examined 380 patients from all over the world (U.S., U.K., Canada, Czech Republic, Romania and Belgium) suffering from peripheral neuropathic pain associated with diabetes...Read more