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Marijuana News in Colorado and World

Santa Fe Marijuana

Santa Fe has became the latest US city to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Santa Fe City Council voted five to four in favor of revising a law to classify possession of less than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana to only a misdemeanor.

The new law, which will take effect in 30 days, reduces the criminal penalties that range from fines of between $50 to $100 and up to 15 days in jail, into a (still undetermined) civil citation penalty.

“I have been in favor of decriminalization all along, I just wanted this to be on the November ballot in order for the citizens to make the decision,” stated Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales.

New Mexico state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, Emily Kaltenbach, mentioned she hoped for a broader vote, but said: “It is still a historic win for us all.”

Kaltenbach said activists obtained some 11,000 signatures and that her polling revealed that more than 70 percent of Santa Fe residents supported decriminalization.

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Marijuana Opiods
Overdose deaths from pharmaceutical opioids, such as Vicodin, Percocet and OxyContin, have nearly tripled since 1991. Every day 46 people die from such overdoses in the United States.

In the 13 states that passed legislation allowing for the use of medical marijuana between 1999 and 2010, 25% fewer people died from opioid overdoses annually. Currently, 35 states have passed laws to allow qualifying patients access to marijuana for medical purposes.

In a study published in JAMA Internal Medicine, researchers hypothesized that in the states where medical marijuana is legal, patients may be using marijuana to treat pain by either replacing their prescription opiates or mixing the two; either way, the patients would likely be lowering their typical opiate dosage making it less likely to lead to a fatality.

“The difference is quite striking,” said study co-author Colleen Barry, a health policy researcher at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore. She told Newsweek that the shift showed up quite quickly and became visible the year after medical marijuana was legalized in each state.

It is a fact that marijuana is much less toxic than opiates like Percocet or morphine, and that it is basically impossible to overdose with marijuana, noted Barry.

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Marijuana Congress
The District of Columbia Board of Elections agreed to put an initiative on this November’s ballot that would legalize marijuana for recreational use in the district. This prompted an interesting question: Will Congress be allowed to use marijuana recreationally?

If passed, Initiative 71 will allow D.C. residents over the age of 21 to possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana, cultivate up to six plants, and transfer (not sell) up to 1 ounce. All members of Congress who live in D.C. are adults, so technically they will be permitted to use marijuana at their leisure.

Marijuana possession is still illegal on federal property. So until marijuana is removed from the Schedule I substance list, it will not be allowed on federal property. Members of Congress won’t be able to light up at work, but they can at home – if they live in the district. “Possessing marijuana in their [Congress members'] own home would be legal under D.C. law, as it would be for anybody else,” said Bill Piper, the director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.

And Initiative 71 does not include any additional provisions related to Congress either. A subsection addresses the professional workplace, but states that agencies, employers, and officers will not be required to allow their employees to use marijuana off the job. Basically, employers will still be allowed to enact their own drug-testing policies; but fortunately for members of Congress, their workplace doesn’t have one.

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DC Marijuana Legalization
Residents of Washington D.C. will vote this November on whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Marijuana advocates gathered more than 22,000 signatures in order to get the initiative on the ballot and the D.C. Board of elections unanimously voted in favor of the measure.

Mayor Vincent Gray signed into effect a decriminalization act in D.C. that as of last month allows residents to possess up to an ounce of marijuana on them with only the fear of a $25 fine and a civil offense.

Proponents of the legalization bill are confident that the House will not be able to block their initiative; however, there have been recent instances where residents have voted in favor of a measure that the mayor has chosen not to enforce.  It happened last year when voters approved an amendment that would have given the district the ability to spend local tax money without Congress’s approval, but it was declined by the mayor.

Congress was even able to delay the medical marijuana program in D.C. by ten whole years after it was approved by voters.

If the initiative is approved in November, residents would be allowed to grow 6 marijuana plants at their home and possess up to 2 ounces.  The sale of marijuana has yet to be addressed.

Press Releases Marijuana
The world’s first press release distribution and publishing website exclusively for the marijuana industry, MJbizwire (www.MJbizwire.com), is fully launching on August 11, 2014.

The marijuana industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the United States and there are hundreds of business start-ups emerging each month. This rapid growth has created a demand for a inexpensive, reliable, and effective method of promoting information about the products and services offered by these businesses. MJbizwire.com’s goal is to provide marijuana business owners and managers with a way to accomplish this.

MJbizwire.com is a press release publication and distribution site that is dedicated to the recreational and medical marijuana industries. The site differentiates itself from other press release sites by offering affordable pricing and specialized distribution to leading marijuana industry publications.

“Press releases allow new or existing businesses a method to advertise products, services, events, or anything noteworthy to the world for a low, one-time price. This helps businesses easily and inexpensively reach their customer base. Press releases distributed via MJbizwire can be picked up and republished by a number of leading marijuana industry publications as well as by other major news websites, newspapers, and magazines” said Dan Kingston, President of MJbizwire.com.

MJbizwire is continually building partnerships with prominent marijuana industry websites and magazines, as well as major media publications. These publications often republish the press releases distributed via MJbizwire. Furthermore, journalists often use press releases to find information when researching news stories or when searching for topics and companies to feature in news articles.

Businesses can choose from a few different distribution pricing plans on MJbizwire.com, including a free distribution plan. Corporate accounts are also available for business that want to submit multiple press releases each month.

Oregon Marijuana Legalization
Oregon election representatives have announced that enough signatures have been collected to allow for a marijuana legalization measure to be on the ballot this November.

The Initiative Petition 53, if passed, will control the cultivation and retail sale of marijuana to adults in Oregon. Analysts expect just shy of $90 million in tax revenue to be raised in the first two years of legalization alone.

Residents will also be permitted to grow their own marijuana if they so choose. In this case, they would be allowed to grow up to four plants at a time and possess up to eight ounces.

With over 50% of registered voters supporting the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, the odds are certainly in their favor, but we will have to wait until November to find out what the people of Oregon will choose.

Scott Perry Cannabidiol
US Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) has introduced a bill to Congress that would make cannabidiol (CBD) legal under federal law. CBD oil is the marijuana-based oil that has been shown to reduce seizures in children with debilitating epilepsy and helps with other medical conditions.

“These children and individuals like them deserve a chance to lead a healthy and productive life and our government shouldn’t stand in the way,” said Perry.

If passed, the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014″ would allow states to permit patients suffering from epilepsy and other related medical conditions to use CBD oil that is extremely low in THC (the psychoactive component in marijuana) but very potent in CBD content.

Currently, federal law states that any product made from marijuana is illegal, as marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I drug.

The bill would allow children and adults with epilepsy and other seizure disorders access to cannabidiol for treatment by removing CBD oil and therapeutic hemp from the federal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. Therapeutic hemp would be defined at the federal level as marijuana containing no more than .3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), under the bill.

Eleven states (Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin) have enacted laws this year to allow CBD-based medications. Many of the laws passed in these states are not workable due to the current limitations imposed under federal law and are unlikely to provide much, if any, relief for patients.

In addition, 23 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing medical marijuana for a wide variety of medical conditions, including seizures and chronic pain.

New York Times
Perhaps the most renowned newspaper in the country, if not the world, has proclaimed that it is time to finally put an end to marijuana prohibition in the US.

The New York Times recently printed a story in their Sunday editorial that stated, “The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana. We reached the conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.”

The Times also looked into the idea of letting states continue to decide their own fate in regards to how to govern marijuana on a state level and feel that it isn’t the best option.  They went on to say, “We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, recuing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use.  Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these.”

While the Times doesn’t necessarily speak for Congress, they most definitely have a massive following and are seen as perhaps the most respected news publication on the planet, so it isn’t as if they just decided to up and publish something without reviewing all of the facts.  The United States perception of marijuana is changing rapidly, and it seems like we are only moving forward.

Marijuana Exercise
In general, people know exercise is good for the mind and body. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not just endorphins (the chemical which makes you feel good after an activity such as exercise) that make physical activity so great.

The medical community already knows the human body stores tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, in fat. However, a study by Drug and Alcohol Dependence shows that the THC-to-fat storage process can give exercisers an added boost, even up to 28 days after the consumption of marijuana.

As the body begins to burn fat, traces of THC are released back into the bloodstream, producing a mild effect similar to consuming a small amount of marijuana. THC blood levels increase by approximately 15% immediately after moderate exercise, but the increase is no longer present two hours after exercising.

Studies have also found that exercising actually activates the endocannabinoid system in the same way marijuana does. The endocannabinoid system is a group of lipids (types of fats) and cell receptors that cannabinoids (compounds like THC and CBD) bind to inside the body and is responsible for reducing pain, controlling appetite, and influencing mood and memory. Furthermore, researchers have found that human-produced cannabinoids increase as you exercise, causing you to feel a little “high.”

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Marijuana Edibles

Washington lawmakers have recently stated that they will permit recreational marijuana dispensaries to sell marijuana infused brownies, cakes, and other miscellaneous baked goods, but they will not allow them to be sold in candy form (lollipops, gummy bears, jelly beans, etc) which could potentially entice children.

Recreational marijuana clubs in Washington opened their doors to the public on July 8th of this year and the guidelines for how marijuana infused edibles are required to be packaged was released less than two weeks later.  The Liquor Control Board of Washington was placed in charge of overseeing the process.

Their main concern is they don’t want anything floating around that might appeal to children.  Specific items being banned will include gummy bears, jelly beans, suckers and some other types of candy.

Hopeful manufacturers must also adhere to certain guidelines in order for their product to even be considered.  They must be able to show that the THC is spread out evenly amongst the products to ensure that all of the edibles contain a uniform amount of potency.  In other words, they want to be sure that one brownie doesn’t get you drastically higher than another.