Dec 182014
 December 18, 2014
MAPS Receives $2 Million Grant From Colorado For PTSD Medical Marijuana Study

On Wednesday, December 17, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment awarded a $2 million grant to the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) for their planned study of marijuana for symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in 76 U.S. veterans. Colorado’s Medical Marijuana Scientific Advisory Council recommended that MAPS receive the grant on November 24. Yesterday’s decision followed the Council’s recommendation, giving MAPS the largest of eight grants awarded by CDPHE at Wednesday’s meeting. All of the other grantees are major research universities. “As the very first public funding that MAPS has ever received in our

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Dec 182014
 December 18, 2014
New York Medical Marijuana Draft Regulations Released

Today, the NY Department of Health released the draft regulations for the medical marijuana program. While full analysis of the regulations is still underway, an initial review suggests New York will be one of the more restrictive programs in the country, which could inhibit patients from obtaining the relief they need. For instance, the draft regulations restrict the number of brands of medical marijuana to five initially without any clear rationale. There are dozens of therapeutic strains of medical cannabis, each having benefits for particular conditions. Had such a restriction been in place in a state like Colorado, it very

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Dec 182014
 December 18, 2014
Anchorage Assembly Votes Against Ordinance To Ban Marijuana Sales

Alaska voters approved a marijuana legalization initiative last month during the 2014 Election. Alaska joined Colorado, Washington, Oregon, and Washington D.C. in approving a marijuana legalization initiative. Marijuana opponents in Alaska started almost immediately to prevent marijuana sales from occurring in Alaska’s largest city, Anchorage. Fortunately, those efforts were for not, as the Anchorage Assembly voted down an ordinance that would have banned marijuana sales within city limits. Per KTVA: Tuesday’s Assembly meeting brought public testimony from both sides of the issue. After hearing more than 50 people share their sides, the Assembly brought the ordinance to a vote. In the

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Dec 182014
 December 18, 2014
Colorado Approves 8 Million Dollars In Grants For Marijuana Research

Something that marijuana opponents say over and over is ‘they will not support marijuana reform until there is more research done.’ That is usually accompanied by efforts to prevent any marijuana research at any cost. The sad truth is that the last thing marijuana opponents want is for marijuana research to occur because they know that research will prove that marijuana is medicine. The ‘wait for more research’ tactic is just an attempt to delay marijuana reform. The State of Colorado approved 8 million dollars in grants for marijuana research and studies, which I’m sure is something that scares marijuana

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Dec 182014
 December 18, 2014
House Joint Resolution To Legalize Marijuana Filed In Missouri

By John Payne Although the Missouri General Assembly does not return to session until January 7, legislators have begun pre-filing legislation for consideration in the New Year. On December 5, Representative Brandon Ellington (D – Kansas City) filed House Joint Resolution 15, which would allow the voters of Missouri to decide whether to legalize cannabis for all adults over the age of 21. Ellington introduced a similar proposal last session. During the legislative panel at our fall conference, Rep. Ellington discussed how it was the only piece of legislation he introduced that did not receive a hearing. However, he expressed

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Dec 182014
 December 18, 2014
Obama Commutes Sentences For Eight Drug Offenders

By Phillip Smith President Barack Obama today commuted the prison sentences of eight drug offenders and issued pardons for 12 other people who had already finished their sentences. The commutations were for people imprisoned for crack cocaine and methamphetamine offenses. No one is walking out of prison today, but all eight had their sentences reduced to lengths that will allow them to walk out at some point in the next year. Among those who got commutations is Sidney Earl Johnson of Mobile, Alabama, who has been serving a life sentence for crack cocaine offenses since 1994. Another is Larry Naylor

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Dec 182014
 December 18, 2014
Troy Dayton, At The Forefront Of Cannabis Advocacy And Industry

It is an understatement to say that Troy Dayton has been, and is, at the forefront of the cannabis industry. Dayton’s experience spans the gamut from advocacy to industry as much as anyone and he has been a leader of the cannabis movement as we have moved from outside rabble-rousers to the political mainstream to America’s latest growth industry. Troy was one of the first volunteers for the Marijuana Policy Project, has been one of the organization’s top fundraisers and now serves on the board of directors, helping direct the influential organization. He was a co-founder of Students for a

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Dec 172014
 December 17, 2014
New York State Holds Public Forum On Taxing And Regulating Marijuana Like Alcohol

Today, Senator Liz Krueger and Assemblyperson Crystal Peoples-Stokes sponsored a public forum about the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act, a bill that would tax and regulate marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol. Under the proposal, those over 21 would be able to purchase small amounts of marijuana from a state-regulated store. The bill would rectify the many problems associated with marijuana prohibition, including the arrests of tens of thousands of primarily young people of color. “There is no question that New York’s marijuana policies are broken,” said Kassandra Frederique, Policy Manager at the Drug Policy Alliance.  “Each year, tens

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Dec 172014
 December 17, 2014
Travel Guru And Marijuana Activist Rick Steves Heads To California

Many people know Rick Steves from his travel books, TV show or radio program. He is a self-made business man who has a serious following among folks interested in travel. Recently, Steves has become one of the more prominent marijuana law reform advocates in the country. I will always be grateful for his 10-city tour across Oregon has he urged Oregonians to vote yes on Measure 91 and legalize marijuana for all adults. Steves ventured to Oregon on his own dime, as he didn’t expect any payment from the campaign. He earned great media for marijuana legalization as he spoke

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Dec 172014
 December 17, 2014
Teen Marijuana Use Declines As More States Legalize Marijuana

The federal government’s National Institute on Drug Abuse released its annual Monitoring the Future survey today. Monitoring the Future is now in its 40th year and is considered the ‘gold standard’ of teen drug use surveys. It surveys 40,000 to 50,000 students in 8th, 10th and 12th grade in schools nationwide about their use of alcohol, legal and illegal drugs and cigarettes. Marijuana use in the past year by students in all three grades declined slightly, from 26% in 2013 to 24% in 2014. The survey also found that students in 8th and 10th grades reported that marijuana is less

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