Jamaica’s Cabinet has given official approval to a comprehensive proposal that would decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis while also legalizing medical cannabis and establishing a medical cannabis industry, according to Justice Minister Mark Golding. The proposal is expected to be before the Senate by the end of the week. According to Golding, the proposal would establish a “cannabis licensing authority” to deal with the various regulations required to cultivate, produce and distribute cannabis for medical, scientific and religious purposes. The measure would also remove criminal penalties for the possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, making...Read more http://thejointblog.com/jamaicas-cabinet-approves-bill-decriminalize-cannabis-possession-legalize-medical-cannabis/

Cannabinoids may provide a treatment option for prostate cancer that has become nonresponsive to common therapy, according to a study published in the February issue of the journal Oncology Reports , and published online this week by the National Institute of Health . According to researchers; “In the early stages, prostate cancer is androgen‑ dependent; therefore, medical castration has shown significant results during the initial stages of this pathology. Despite this early effect, advanced prostate cancer is resilient to such treatment.” They continue; “Recent evidence shows that derivatives of Cannabis sativa and its analogs may exert a protective effect against...Read more http://thejointblog.com/cannabinoids-may-treat-prostate-cancer-thats-nonresponsive-common-therapies/

Wyoming’s House Judiciary Committee voted 7 to 2 this week to approve House bill 29, a proposal to decriminalize cannabis possession. The proposal now awaits a full House vote. Under the proposed law, the possession of up to a half an ounce of cannabis would be a $250 ticket, and the possession of up to an ounce would be a $500 ticket; neither would result in a criminal charge or arrest. Under current Wyoming law, the possession of any amount of cannabis can result in a misdemeanor with the potential of up to a year imprisonment, and an $1,000 fine. ...Read more http://thejointblog.com/wyoming-house-judiciary-committee-approves-bill-decriminalize-cannabis-possession/

By Robert Capecchi, Marijuana Policy Project CHARLESTON, SC — A bipartisan group of South Carolina state representatives led by House Minority Leader J. Todd Rutherford has introduced compassionate legislation that would establish a workable medical marijuana program in South Carolina. Under House Bill 3140 , the “Put Patients First Act”, seriously ill patients would be able to possess and cultivate a limited amount of marijuana. It also creates a system of registered medical marijuana providers to ensure patients have safe and reliable access. Last year, South Carolina lawmakers approved a restrictive medical marijuana bill to allow CBD-based medications, but did not provide a...Read more http://thejointblog.com/medical-cannabis-decriminalization-bills-filed-south-carolina/

The United States Army’s Armed Forces Disciplinary Control Board has sent a letter to multiple recreational cannabis retail outlets in Washington State demanding that they take actions to assure they no longer sell cannabis to members of the armed forces. This revelation was brought to the public by Hilary Bricken, an attorney and member of Canna Law Group . Hilary represents several clients that received the letter. The Army was not specific on what disciplinary actions would be taken if the shops don’t comply. It’s also unknown exactly how many cannabis outlets received the letter, which can be found below. ...Read more http://thejointblog.com/army-sends-letters-wa-cannabis-stores-demanding-dont-sell-troops/

One of the ads that caused Dr. Scott Havsy to be sanctioned by the state. Pierce County Superior Court Judge Elizabeth Martin has ruled that it’s unconstitutional for the state to ban doctors and other healthcare professionals from mentioning or showing cannabis in advertisements. In her ruling, Judge Martin found that the state’s law banning cannabis advertisement violates both state and federal law by curtailing free speech. “I find the statute impermissibly overbroad as it chills even informational speech aimed solely at public education,” Judge Martin said in a written decision. The ruling came in a case brought forth by...Read more http://thejointblog.com/washington-judge-rules-unconstitutional-prohibit-medical-cannabis-advertising/

Missouri State Senator Rob Schaaf has filed Senate Bill 255 , a proposal to legalize the cultivation and production of industrial hemp. “Buchanan County used to be one of the main growers of industrial hemp,” Dr. Schaaf told the Saint Joseph News-Press . “We could revitalize our rural area. It grows like crazy.” A similar bill was filed in the House last session, and received unanimous approval in the House Economic Development Committee . Unfortunately time ran out on the session before a vote was scheduled in the full House. If you live in Missouri, you can help to ensure...Read more http://thejointblog.com/legislation-legalize-hemp-filed-missouri-senate/

By Drug Policy Alliance Property Seizures by Local and State Police Often Conducted Under Pretext that Property Is Connected to Illegal Drugs U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. WASHINGTON, DC — [On Friday], Attorney General Eric Holder issued an order establishing a new policy  prohibiting federal agencies from accepting civil asset forfeiture assets seized by state and local law enforcement agencies unless the owner is convicted of a crime. The U.S. Treasury Department, which has its own forfeiture program, is issuing a similar policy.  The Department of Justice becomes involved after a state or local law enforcement agency seizes property pursuant...Read more http://thejointblog.com/u-s-attorney-general-feds-can-longer-accept-property-seized-state-local-police/

Cannabis may treat as well as prevent non-alcohol related fatty liver disease, according to a study published this month in the Journal of Hepatology , and published online by the National Institute of Health . According to researchers; “Obesity and associated metabolic syndrome have quickly become a pandemic and a major detriment to human health globally. The presence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD; hepatosteatosis) in obesity has been linked to the worsening of the metabolic syndrome, including the development of insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease.” They continue; “Currently, there are few options to treat NAFLD, including life style changes...Read more http://thejointblog.com/cannabis-may-prevent-treat-non-alcohol-related-fatty-liver-disease/

By Australian Associated Press Indonesia. Brazil and the Netherlands have recalled their ambassadors from Indonesia and expressed fury after Jakarta defied their pleas and executed two of their citizens along with four other drug offenders. The other convicts to face a firing squad were from Vietnam, Malawi, Nigeria and Indonesia. The six were the first people executed under new President Joko Widodo. Indonesia has tough anti-drugs laws and Widodo, who took office in October, has disappointed rights activists by voicing support for capital punishment despite his image as a reformist. He defended the executions, saying drugs ruin lives. A spokesman...Read more http://thejointblog.com/fury-indonesia-executes-foreigners-drug-trafficking/

Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier. Washington D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Tuesday that the decriminalization of cannabis has made life easier for police. “[Decriminalization] saves us from having to charge someone for small amounts of marijuana now, because it really never was productive to begin with”, Chief Lanier told NewsChannel 8 on Tuesday. “It’s a little bit easier for us”. The comments mark a significant change in tone from Lanier’s response to decriminalization before it was enacted. In June, 2013, Lanier told DCist that she has issues with decriminalization due to “the risk to children with increased access, the...Read more http://thejointblog.com/d-c-police-chief-cannabis-decriminalization-makes-job-easier-us/

Washington State Senator Jeanne Kohl-Welles has announced that she will be filing legislation this week to combine the medical cannabis system with the recreational cannabis system, while also legalizing the personal cultivation of cannabis for everyone 21 and older. According to a press release sent Tuesday by Senator Kohl-Welles, the proposal would “phase out collective gardens and unregulated dispensaries”, while directing the Liquor Control Board to increase the number of licensees under the recreational cannabis system. Qualified patients would be given the opportunity to apply for a waiver to receive cannabis tax-free, and the measure would establish a “medical marijuana...Read more http://thejointblog.com/wa-senator-announces-proposal-shut-dispensaries-legalize-cannabis-cultivation-everyone-21/

By Paul Armentano, NORML Study Finds That Long Term Cannabis Exposure “Not Associated With Significant Effects On Lung Function” ATLANTA, GA — The inhalation of one marijuana cigarette per day over a 20-year period is not associated with adverse changes in lung health, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society . Investigators at Emory University in Atlanta assessed marijuana smoke exposure and lung health in a large representative sample of US adults age 18 to 59. Researchers reported that cannabis exposure was not associated with FEV1 (forced expiratory volume) decline...Read more http://thejointblog.com/daily-long-term-cannabis-use-associated-adverse-changes-lung-health/

Massachusetts State Representative David Rogers will introduce legislation this week to legalize recreational cannabis. The proposal, drafted by a team of lawyers and activists, would legalize the possession, use and private cultivation of cannabis for those 21 and older. The measure would also legalize both cannabis retail outlets and cannabis cafes, and would allow for the expungement of past cannabis convictions. Although the full text of the measure isn’t currently available – and won’t be until early next week – Representative Rogers’ office tells us that the proposal would allow for the unlimited home cultivation of cannabis, meaning there would...Read more http://thejointblog.com/legislation-legalize-cannabis-filed-week-massachusetts/

New York State Senator Liz Krueger filed legislation this week to legalize recreational cannabis. The proposal is co-sponsored by Senators Martin Dilan, Gustavo Rivera, Brad Hoylman and Velmanette Montgomery. Under the proposed law – Senate Bill 1747 ( The Marihuana Regulation and Taxation Act ) – the possession and private cultivation of cannabis would be legal for those 21 and older. State-licensed cannabis retail outlets would also be allowed, and cannabis possession would be decriminalized – though they wouldn’t be able to purchase it – for those 18 to 21. Those 21 and older would be authorized to possess and purchase up...Read more http://thejointblog.com/proposal-legalize-cannabis-filed-new-york/

A new poll conducted by the polling firm EPIC-MRA has found that a majority of voters in Michigan would vote to legalize recreational cannabis if given the chance. According to the survey, 50% of Michigan voters support legalizing cannabis, with 46% opposed; the remaining 4% are undecided. The results mark a 3% increase in approval for cannabis legalization since the last time the firm posed the question; in September, 2013, support was shown to be at 47%. Of the 50% who stated that they would vote to legalize cannabis, 39% said that they would “definitely” vote yes if given the...Read more http://thejointblog.com/poll-majority-michigan-voters-support-legalizing-cannabis/

D.C. Councilmembers David Grosso, Vincent Orange, Jack Evans and Brianna K. Nadeau have filed the Marijuana Legalization and Regulation Act of 2015 ( B21-0023 ), a proposal to legalize sales of recreational cannabis, including establishing a framework for legal cannabis retail outlets. The introduction of the proposal comes just over two months after D.C. voters overwhelmingly approved Initiative 71 , a proposal that legalized cannabis possession and cultivation, though not sales. Introduction of the proposal comes despite the recent passage of a federal spending bill that included an amendment barring the District of Columbia from spending local or federal funds...Read more http://thejointblog.com/proposal-legalize-cannabis-retail-outlets-filed-washington-d-c/

By Zara Zhi, Culture Magazine Blue Mountains, Australia. Scientists at the University of Sydney believe they have found a fourth species of cannabis. The finding took place in 2010, when a group of people were hiking in the Blue Mountains of Australia and discovered a single plant that resembled cannabis. The shrub was later donated to a research laboratory at the University of Sydney where a series of tests were conducted on the plant – proving that it was indeed cannabis. “When we first received the plant we were very skeptical about its relation to cannabis. It has somewhat similar...Read more http://thejointblog.com/scientists-believe-discovered-new-species-cannabis/

Illinois House Bill 5085 , a proposal to allow universities and the state’s Department of Agriculture to study industrial hemp, has officially become law. The proposal, which was passed unanimously in the state’s Senate in May, and was approved by the House shortly after with an 81 to 34 vote, took effect on January 1st. Under the new law, an institution of higher education and the state’s Department of Agriculture is authorized to cultivate hemp if their studying the growth, cultivation and marketing of the plant. The full text of the measure, which was signed by Governor Pat Quinn on...Read more http://thejointblog.com/hemp-proposal-becomes-law-illinois/

Indiana State Senator Karen Tallian has filed Senate Bill 284 , a proposal to legalize medical cannabis. If approved into law, Senate Bill 284 would legalize the possession of up to eight ounces of cannabis, and the cultivation of up to twelve plants, for those with a qualifying condition who receive a recommendation from a physician. Qualifying conditions include AIDS/HIV, anorexia, severe nausea, arthritis, seizures, Chrohn’s disease, migraine headaches, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis and “any persistent or chronic illness or condition that, in the opinion of a physician, substantially limits the ability of a person to conduct one or more major...Read more http://thejointblog.com/medical-cannabis-legalization-bill-filed-indiana/

Oregon Senators Ron Wyden, Jeff Merkel, Rand Paul and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have filed a proposal to legalize the cultivation and production of hemp within the United States. Titled the Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015 ( S.134 ), the proposal would amend the United State Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of cannabis, effectively ending its prohibition. Senators Wyden, Merkel, Paul and McConnel attempted in 2013 to legalize hemp through the  Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 , and by including an amendment in a federal farming bill, though unfortunately both efforts eventually...Read more http://thejointblog.com/legislation-legalize-hemp-filed-u-s-senate/

By Press Release Kansas Patients Groups Join Together, Call For Compassionate Cannabis Law In Kansas Lenexa, Ks – On January 15, 2015, at 1pm, Several Kansas medical cannabis groups, including Bleeding Kansas and Kansas For Change, Sen. Gail Finney, and Sen. David Haley, will be sponsoring a rally in the Topeka capitol rotunda. There will also be a full day of lobbying for patients and caregivers, as they make the rounds of appointments with lawmakers. They will be asking lawmakers to please support Senate Bill 9 and House Bill 2011 [both filed this month], The Cannabis Compassionate Care Act ,...Read more http://thejointblog.com/legislation-legalize-medical-cannabis-filed-kansas-rally-planned/

Brazil’s government has legalized the use of the cannabis compound cannabidiol for medical purposes. The announcement was made Wednesday by officials from the nation’s Health Surveillance Agency , who say that the country now recognizes the therapeutic properties of cannabidiol, saying it’s now a “controlled” substance and no longer illegal. Those wanting to legally use cannabidiol will need to receive a recommendation from a physician, and have a qualifying condition such as epilepsy, multiple sclerosis and schizophrenia, among others. Officials at the Health Surveillance Agency say that they’re drawing up legislation to permit the import of cannabidiol, given it’s not currently...Read more http://thejointblog.com/brazil-legalizes-cannabidiol-medical-purposes/