Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signing House Bill 1 into law. To the sounds of thunderous applause, Governor Nathan Deal signed House Bill 1 into law Thursday, a proposal to legalize the medical use of cannabis extracts. “For the families enduring separation and patients suffering pain, the wait is finally over,” said Governor Deal. “Now, Georgia children and their families may return home, while continuing to receive much-needed care. Patients such as Haleigh Cox, for whom this bill is named, and others suffering from debilitating conditions can now receive the treatment they need, in the place where they belong — Georgia.” ...Read more http://thejointblog.com/georgia-governor-signs-medical-cannabis-bill-into-law/

Vermont Representatives Chris Pearson (P-Burlington) and Jean O’Sullivan (D-Burlington) have filed legislation to prohibit the “possession, cultivation, distribution and sale” of alcoholic beverage. The proposal, House Bill 502 , would establish criminal and civil penalties for the possession, manufacturing or distribution of alcohol, with penalties being identical to those of cannabis. Medical use of alcohol would be allowed, to put it in line with the fact that the medical use of cannabis is allowed. Proponents of the bill say that they don’t actually support alcohol prohibition, but filed the legislation to point out the hypocrisy of cannabis being illegal, despite...Read more http://thejointblog.com/vermont-lawmakers-file-legislation-to-prohibit-alcohol-possession-and-sales/

Oklahoma’s full Senate, with a unanimous 46 to 0 vote, has passed House Bill 2154 , a proposal to legalize the medical use of cannabis extracts. The measure has already passed the state’s House of Representatives with a 99 to 2 vote, and now heads to Governor Mary Fallin for consideration. Under the proposed law, a child with epilepsy who receives a recommendation from a physician would be authorized to possess and use cannabis extracts such as tinctures and oils that have low amounts of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). University medical centers would be allowed to produce, dispense and study the medicine. ...Read more http://thejointblog.com/oklahoma-senate-unanimously-approves-medical-cannabis-oil-bill/

An initiative to legalize cannabis, titled the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act , was filed today in Arizona. The proposal was filed with the Arizona Secretary of State by representatives of the Marijuana Policy Project , Safer Arizona and Arizona’s cannabis business community.   “It was a long and deliberative drafting process involving a diverse group of stakeholders,” says Carlos Alfaro, Arizona political director for the Marijuana Policy Project . “There were some bumps in the road, but in the end everyone came together to produce the best possible law for Arizona. We are united in this effort to...Read more http://thejointblog.com/initiative-to-legalize-recreational-cannabis-filed-in-arizona/

U.S. Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) have introduced the Small Business Tax Equity Act of 2015 in both the House and the Senate. The bill would end unfair taxation issues faced by legal, state-sanctioned cannabis businesses by altering Section 280E of the federal tax code. “The small businesses that make up the legal cannabis industry are working overtime to be responsible, contributing members of their communities,” said Aaron Smith, executive director of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) . “So it’s particularly outrageous that when they try to do the right thing by paying their federal...Read more http://thejointblog.com/legislation-to-reform-tax-laws-for-cannabis-businesses-filed-in-u-s-house-and-senate/

Weedmaps.com , a website that connects people with medical cannabis dispensaries and doctors, has contributed $1 million to a campaign looking to place a recreational cannabis legalization initiative on the 2016 general election ballot. The money, donated by Weedmaps Media, LLC (formed in 2008), was given to Californians for Sensible Reform. It’s unclear exactly what the language of the proposed initiative will be, but it’s expected to be revealed in the coming days. The initiative is separate from a legalization proposal filed this week by Americans For Policy Reform . That initiative would legalize the possession of small amounts of...Read more http://thejointblog.com/weedmaps-com-donates-1-million-to-california-legalization-campaign/

A new study being published in the upcoming issue of the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology , and e-published ahead of print by the National Institute of Health , has found that cannabis may have immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory properties, which may help treat a variety of conditions such as autoimmune diseases and graft rejection. According to researchers; “This review examines the effects of cannabinoids on immune function, with a focus on effects on T-cells, as well as on resistance to infection. The paper considers the immune modulating capacity of marijuana, of ∆ 9 -THC extracted from the marijuana plant, and synthetic ...Read more http://thejointblog.com/new-study-cannabis-may-treat-autoimmune-diseases-prevent-graft-rejection/

Activatio n of the body’s cannabinoid receptors – something done naturally by cannabis – can improve the outcome of spinal cord injury, according to a study published in the most recent issue (Volume 595, May, 2015) of the journal Neuroscience Letters . For the study, researchers “examined whether treatment with.. a selective synthetic cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) agonist, inhibits MMP [matrix metalloproteinase] and improves functional and histological recovery in a mouse spinal cord compression injury model.” According to the study, MPP iactivity “contributes to glial scar formation that inhibits the repair path after spinal cord injury (SCI)”. Injured mice randomly received...Read more http://thejointblog.com/cannabis-may-improve-outcome-of-spinal-cord-injury/

Senate Bill 5052 is now on Governor Jay Inslee’s desk. In Washington, lawmakers recently approved a bill that would do harm to, and greatly inconvenience thousands of people with debilitating conditions across the state. Senate Bill 5052 , which now sits on Governor Jay Inslee’s desk after passing the state’s House and Senate, would shut down every medical cannabis dispensary in the state, reduce the amount of cannabis a patient can possess by over 80%, and would establish a patient registry that many activists and attorneys say is in clear violation of federal HIPAA laws. If signed into law by...Read more http://thejointblog.com/pressure-on-governor-inslee-last-hope-for-medical-cannabis-in-washington-state/

Comedian Bill Maher on the April 17th episode of his HBO show Real Time with (who else but) Bill Maher called on the government to recognize 4/20 as an official holiday. Maher has setup a petition on Change.org , titled Make 4/20 a National Holiday , which has over 11,000 signatures in just two days. Every signature sends the following letter to every member of U.S. Congress:     Hi, America.  It’s me, Bill Maher, from Real Time with Bill Maher – here for my very first time on Change.org.  Well, the first time since I signed the petition to...Read more http://thejointblog.com/sign-bill-mahers-petition-to-congress-to-recognize-420-as-a-national-holiday/

We at TheJointBlog would like to tell all of our readers – and anyone else who may have stumbled upon this article – Happy 4/20 ! This 4/20, we encourage you to keep a few things in mind: Progress! Huge advancements in the cause to end cannabis prohibition have been made since the last 4/20. These advancements not only include two states – Alaska and Oregon – legalizing recreational cannabis through voter-approved initiatives, it also includes the nation’s capital legalizing cannabis, and several states legalizing cannabis for medical purposes. On the federal level, progress hasn’t been so pronounced, but has...Read more http://thejointblog.com/happy-420-2/

Source: Washington State Liquor Control Board (click to enlarge). The price of legal recreational cannabis has dropped significantly in recent months in Washington, according to new data released by the state’s Liquor Control Board . According to the Board , the average price of recreational cannabis throughout the state is $12 a gram. When sales began in July, average prices were near $30 a gram. Although the data doesn’t account for the quality of the cannabis or take bulk pricing into consideration, it shows a clear trend towards cheaper cannabis prices. “The agency was charged with creating a recreational system...Read more http://thejointblog.com/average-price-of-legal-cannabis-drops-by-over-half-in-washington-state/

A broad coalition of California proponents have filed the open-source voter initiative, the Marijuana Control, Legalization and Revenue Act of 2016 ( MCLR ). According to a press release; “MCLR was developed in 2014 as the first “open-source” method for advocates and experts everywhere to contribute directly to the language of California’s marijuana legalization law. In early 2015 the AFPR team and a group of activists, cannabis club operators, and attorneys began working on the 2016 language. To date the MCLR project has been the most inclusive approach ever created for marijuana legalization in California. The AFPR team will continue...Read more http://thejointblog.com/comprehensive-legalization-initiative-filed-in-california/

By Drug Policy Alliance Michele Leonhart (Photo: Reuters). Resignation Comes as DEA at Center of Series of Scandals in its Effort to Continue Failed War on Drugs After Decades of Mass Incarceration, Racial Disparities, and Failed Drug Policies, DEA Finally Facing Scrutiny New DPA Issue Brief Released Today: The Scandal-Ridden DEA: Everything You Need to Know A senior White House official has said that the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), Michele Leonhart, is expected to resign soon. The news comes as no surprise to drug policy reformers who say her opposition to reform made her out of step...Read more http://thejointblog.com/dea-administrator-chief-michele-leonhart-expected-to-resign/

Police detaining motorists on the side of the highway to await search from a drug dog is unconstitutional as it violates the Fourth Amendment, according to a 6 to 3 ruling by the United States Supreme Court. Prior to the ruling, it was commonplace for law enforcement across the country to detain drivers on the side of the highway to await a search by a drug dog. The cop would then use alerts from said dog to find “probable cause” to search the vehicle. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who wrote the majority opinion, said that police may request information when...Read more http://thejointblog.com/u-s-supreme-court-detaining-motorists-on-highway-to-await-drug-dog-search-is-unconstitutional/

The Wyoming chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) has filed an initiative to legalize medical cannabis with the Secretary of State. Once advocates receive approval from the state, they’ll be given the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures for the initiative. If they collect 25,673 signatures from registered Wyoming voters by February 8th, 2016, the initiative will be placed on that year’s general election ballot in November. “This is a big step for us,” said Chris Christian, Wyoming NORML’s executive director. According to Christian, the initiative would make it so that “certified doctors will be...Read more http://thejointblog.com/wyoming-activists-file-initiative-to-legalize-medical-cannabis-aim-for-2016-ballot/

In less than a month, advocates of an initiative to legalize recreational cannabis in Ohio have collected over 160,000 signatures to place the proposal on this November’s general election ballot. The group is required to collect 305,591 signatures from registered Ohio voters by July 1st, a goal they’re well on track to make. “We have over 160,000 signatures”, says Ian James, a sokesperson for ResponsibleOhio , the group behind the initiative; “By the end of this week, we’ll have over 200,000.” If placed on the ballot and approved into law, the group’s initiative would legalize the possession of up to...Read more http://thejointblog.com/over-160000-signatures-collected-to-place-legalization-initiative-on-november-ballot-in-ohio/

Pennsylvania’s flag. The Pennsylvania Senate State Government Committee has given unanimous approval to Senate Bill 3 , a proposal to legalize the medical use of cannabis. The measure now heads to the Senate Appropriations Committee , where its passage will set it up for a full Senate vote. The proposal, which is sponsored by a bipartisan coalition of 27 lawmakers, would allow those with a qualifying medical condition who receives a recommendation from a physician to legally possess, purchase and use medical cannabis medicines. Qualifying conditions would include cancer, seizure disorders, glaucoma, post traumatic stress disorder, multiple sclerosis and.several others. The...Read more http://thejointblog.com/pennsylvania-senate-committee-unanimously-passes-bill-to-legalize-medical-cannabis/

Missouri’s House of Representatives has given initial approval to House Bill 830 , a proposal to legalize the production and cultivation of industrial hemp. A companion bill, Senate Bill 255 , has already been approved unanimously by the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Food Production and Outdoor Resources . If passed into law, House Bill 830 would remove hemp from the state’s list of controlled substance, reclassifying it as a legal agricultural product in the state. The bill would establish a system of licensing and regulations for those wanting to grow the crop, which would be defined as having no more...Read more http://thejointblog.com/missouri-house-passes-hemp-legalization-bill/

Legislation to legalize medical cannabis has been passed with a 4 to 3 vote by Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee . Senate Bill 326 now moves towards a full Senate vote. If approved into law, the Alabama Medical Marijuana Patient Safe Access Act would allow those with a qualifying condition to possess up to 10 ounces of cannabis, and would allow them to purchase the medicine from state-licensed dispensaries. Conditions that qualify an individual to be a medical cannabis patient under SB 326 includes autism, anorexia, bipolar disorder, cancer, chronic pain, AIDS, ADD/ADHD, migraines, glaucoma, fibromyalgia, Parkinson’s disease, post traumatic stress...Read more http://thejointblog.com/alabama-senate-judiciary-committee-approves-bill-to-legalize-medical-cannabis/

A new study published in the journal Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology has found that activation of the body’s cannabinoid receptors – something done naturally by cannabis – can rescue learning and memory after a traumatic brain injury. For the study, researchers “tested the hypothesis that posttraumatic brain injury administration of a cannabinoid 1 receptor agonist can rescue deficits in learning and memory. Young adult male rats were subjected to a moderately severe controlled cortical impact brain injury, with a subset given postinjury i.p. injections of a cannabinoid receptor agonist.’ Utilizing novel object recognition and the morris water task,...Read more http://thejointblog.com/cannabis-can-rescue-learning-and-memory-after-a-traumatic-brain-injury-according-to-study/

By Paul Armentano, NORML AURORA, CO — Patients with Parkinson’s self-report cannabis to be a highly efficacious alternative medicine in the treatment of the disease, according to survey data published online ahead of print in the journal Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine. Investigators reported that cannabis use remains comparatively uncommon among patients with Parkinson’s disease. However, those respondents who acknowledged using the plant rated it as one of the “most effective” alternative treatment therapies available. “Cannabis was rarely used in our population but users reported high efficacy, mainly for non-motor symptoms,” authors concluded. Clinical data has previously reported that inhaled...Read more http://thejointblog.com/parkinsons-patients-report-subjective-relief-from-cannabis-finds-new-study/

With a 26 to 22 vote, Washington’s full Senate has given approval to Senate Bill 6062 , a proposal to eliminate several excise taxes on recreational cannabis sales. Under Washington’s current recreational cannabis tax structure, cannabis is taxed 25% at three different levels, when producers sell to processors, when processors sell to retailers, and when retailers sell to end consumers. This tax structure has led to prices on recreational cannabis to be considerably higher than that of Colorado, where cannabis is taxed just once. Senate Bill 6062 would remove the excise tax on cannabis sales by producers and processors, with...Read more http://thejointblog.com/washington-state-senate-votes-to-eliminate-excise-taxes-on-recreational-cannabis-sales/