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"We are excited to give Ottawa residents the resources and professional guidance needed to access Health Canada's legal medical cannabis program safely and responsibly with pharmacist and physician support," said Gulwant Bajwa, CEO of National Access Cannabis.

Health Canada operates a legal medical marijuana program called the MMPR, but the process is complex.. Learning how to access it and understanding what conditions can be treated and how to take cannabis medication safely, effectively and responsibly is NAC's specialty.

NAC represents the beginning of a new pharmacy style approach to accessing Canada's legal medical cannabis program, where patients are given guidance and support by health professionals in a modern care centre.

"We provide members with important services that are the norm at traditional pharmacies but are not consistently offered to Canadian medical cannabis patients," added Bajwa."Our service includes pharmacist consultations to monitor potentially dangerous interactions with existing prescription medications."

  Jul 01, 2015

My Last Day As An Oregon Marijuana Criminal

It’s Tuesday, June 30, which means when the clock strikes midnight, Oregon marijuana prohibition is over. The legalization we passed last November as Measure 91 takes effect on Wednesday, July 1.

It’s going to be a busy day for me. I have plenty of local and national media interviews to respond to today, including a press conference at ACLU of Oregon headquarters, a sit-down with a reporter from the HBO series “VICE”, and an appearance on “Who’s the Ross?”, a local late-night comedy program.

Most of the media inquiries are regarding our planned celebration tonight on the Burnside Bridge (#BurnsideBurn), the central point in Portland that defines our east-west and north-south borders. The spot is perfect for a post-legalization selfie with the iconic neon “Portland Oregon” sign in the background.

Our new legalization law allows adults over 21 to share marijuana and plants with one another, so long as there is no consideration (sales, barter, trade, promises, anything) for the exchange. So we’ve encouraged those adults who have an ounce or less to bring it and share with others. We’ve also encouraged medical marijuana patients to bring marijuana to share; they are still allowed to possess up to a pound and a half of usable marijuana.

Consuming marijuana in public, however, is still illegal and subject to a ticket from police. While we’re not encouraging anyone to break the law, I won’t be surprised if some people do.

This is our way of solving what our legislators referred to as the “immaculate conception” problem: marijuana becomes legal on July 1, but there is no legal outlet yet for anyone to purchase it. Thus, our legalization incentivizes a) buying marijuana from the black market, b) getting a medical marijuana cardholding friend to divert marijuana from a dispensary, or c) driving across the river to Vancouver, Washington’s, legal pot shops and violating federal law bringing it across the border.

Our legislature is currently working on some bills to address “immaculate conception”. One bill would open up the existing medical marijuana dispensaries to all adults starting October 1. Adults would be barred from purchasing edibles, tinctures, and extracts, though, and would be limited to purchases of just one quarter ounce per day. The good news is that Measure 91, our legalization initiative, doesn’t authorize the taxation of marijuana until January 4, 2016, giving us three months of tax-free marijuana sales.

Another couple of bills the legislature has cooked up would address the tax issue. One would set a temporary recreational-only tax at the medical marijuana dispensaries of 25 percent starting January 4, 2016, and ending December 31, 2016. Another bill would set the permanent sales tax at recreational stores, expected to open in late summer 2016, at 17 percent for the state and up to 3 percent local sales tax if approved by voters.

While I’m thrilled that I will go to sleep tonight in my own bed no longer a criminal in my home state, there is still much work yet to be done. We are just experiencing the end of our Civil War over marijuana and now we begin our Reconstruction. Just like those early days of emancipation, we are about to experience our Jim Crow phase of marijuana.

We may be legal, but we’re still far from equal. Beer drinkers aren’t fired from their jobs because a piss test proved they drank on the weekend… but we are. Cigarette smokers aren’t losing parental rights or facing child endangerment charges for using their drug around their kids… but we are. Oxycontin users aren’t automatically banned from purchasing firearms and ammunition… but we are. Folks who like the occasional glass of wine with dinner aren’t automatically kicked off of organ transplant recipient waiting lists… but we are. Cigar smokers aren’t forced to smoke their preferred substance only outside of public view… but we are. None of those drug users are afraid to travel anywhere but Washington, Alaska, and Colorado… but we are.

So I’m excited for legalization night, but I’m not finished with legalization. Not until we have the same rights as beer drinkers and cigar smokers in all fifty states.

Russ Belville

Source: MarijuanaPolitics
  Jul 01, 2015

The story began in the early 1990s with the birth of an anonymous family's second child, a daughter. “When she was born, I thought she felt floppy,” mom recalls. The pediatrician told them it was normal and would go away. A month-and-half later the child began periodically shaking. Again the doctor said it was normal and would go away.

She refused to accept that her daughters shaking was normal and insisted that she be admitted to the hospital for further testing. She read all the literature she could on the subject and as she learned more and more, she prayed that it was not one thing in particular.

“That one thing was infantile spasms,” she recalls. “That means my life is over. No walking, no talking, no nothing.”

“It’s infantile spasms … but it’s worse than that,” the mother said. “She only has a couple of months to live.”

The scientific name for their daughter’s condition is lissencephaly, which means “smooth brain.” Instead of the familiar folds observed in a normal cerebellum, her brain is literally smooth, absent of any convolutions. It was a devastating diagnosis with an alarming prognosis, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke:

“The prognosis for children with lissencephaly depends on the degree of brain malformation. Many will die before the age of 10 years. The cause of death is usually aspiration of food or fluids, respiratory disease, or severe seizures. Some will survive, but show no significant development—usually not beyond a 3- to 5-month-old level. Others may have near-normal development and intelligence. Because of this range, it is important to seek the opinion of specialists in lissencephaly and support from family groups with connection to these specialists.”

Today the child who was supposed to live three months receives nutrition and medicine, including cannabis oil, through a gastrostomy tube inserted into her abdomen. “The seizures stopped and she came awake,” she says. ““I would have thought it would mellow her out, but no. She was babbling, she was happy. It was surprising. I don’t know if she was high, but she seemed happy. I thought, oh my God, is this real? Can it really be this easy?”

  Jun 29, 2015

New Jersey legalization of Medical Marijuana is a hot topic for the press these days, especially with Chris Christie making statements in a grandiose display of conservatism.

Here is a list of actual quotes from Chris Christie about cannabis and medical marijuana:

“If there are changes that need to be made that will help people who are truly sick, I'm open to making those changes. “But what I fear is that a lot of people use really tragic circumstances as an excuse to say, 'Let's legalize.'"

“Absolutely. I will crack down and not permit it."

“Marijuana is a gateway drug. We have an enormous addiction problem in this country. And we need to send very clear leadership from the White House on down through the federal law enforcement. Marijuana is an illegal drug under federal law. And the states should not be permitted to sell it and profit from it."

“Not on my watch."

“What I'm not willing to do is legalize it or permit recreational use or things that will lead to that, and so that's the line that I've drawn in the sand that I'm not willing to do.."

“Part of the problem with this is what I originally proposed with the medical marijuana program…was that it be a hospital-based program, that way the profit motive is drained out a lot from it."

“This should not be permitted in our society. It sends the wrong message. Every bit of objective data tells us that it's a gateway drug to other drugs. And it is not an excuse in our society to say that alcohol is legal, so why not make marijuana legal?…Why not make heroin legal? Why not make cocaine legal? You know, their argument is a slippery slope."

Rhetoric or politicizing? You decide!

Source: leafheadmedia.wordpr
  Jun 26, 2015

As most of you already know, marijuana is a recreational drug made from parts of he cannabis plant - usually the hemp plant known as Cannabis sativa - which contains the mind-altering chemical THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol). Some of the most common nicknames include pot, weed, and many others. many people have a positive view of marijuana, considering it in some ways is safer than nicotine or alcohol, as using it does not lead to liver or lunch disease - and it is clearly safer and less addictive than hard drugs like heroin and cocaine.

But this positive bias may be based on old information. According to a report by the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the THC has been soaring in recent years: "Between 1993 and 2008, the average concentration of THC in confiscated marijuana jumped from 3.4 to 8.8 percent." With the rise in THC levels comes a rise in side effects and additional - both hospital and rehab admission for teenagers abusing marijuana increased a whopping 188 percent between 1992 and 2006. More problems from marijuana use affect the ebb and flow of American public opinion.

USA and backwards view of marijuana

The United States has in some ways had a backwards view of marijuana for almost a century - viewing it as inherently bad, when some newer findings overseas are showing enough positive benefits that serious marijuana research has started up again in America. But the basic findings, after (largely foreign) research and testing many people (and multiple generations of rats) are that marijuana has its pros and cons, and affects some people differently than others.

More recent research shows that some people experience therapeutic relief from epilepsy, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, and chronic pain when they ingest THC. It may also help with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) because THC puts the amygdala - the part of the brain that filters out and represses unpleasant memories into overdrive. Marijuana can function as a key mechanism in "memory extinction."

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  Jun 25, 2015

PUEBLO — Lawmakers in Pueblo, CO are allowing the voters to decide whether they will permit recreational marijuana shops to open up in their city.

Monday night the Pueblo Chieftain reported on concerned residents who filled the city council chambers. Many of them wearing yellow shirts that said “voice your choice," urging their elected officials to put the issue to voters.

Bob Schilling, councilman said that he isn't opposed to a vote in November but was the only vote in favor of licensing retail pot shops.

Several of the six councilmembers who voted against adopting the ordinance, including president Steve Nawrocki, had been in favor before the public hearing. He said the issue wasn't worth dividing the public over.

Weed in southern Colorado

Reefer road trip: Acclaimed author and Austin, Texas resident Neal Pollack travelled more than 800 miles to find the nearest pot-peddling town in Colorado to find the meaning of life and legalization.

It has become a significan tourist draw. “80 percent of our customers come from out of state," reported one Pueblo West pot shop owner.

  Jun 25, 2015

In November Columbus Lawmakers plan to rush an issue to the ballot that could undercut a proposal to legalize marijuana in Ohio and add 10 locations for private growing operations into the state constitution.

“The fact that there's currently somebody talking about doing that, the fact that we had not very long ago talked about trying to put billions of dollars into particular wind interests or renewable energy interest hands, the fact that casinos have kind of already done that — all of those things are bad long-term policy for Ohio. It's allowing people who have a lot of money to try and buy the constitution. We think it's wrong," - Sen. Keith Faber (R., Celina) reported.

Voters do not like giving up their right to amend the constitution and place issues before the voters," reported Ian James, executive director of Responsible Ohio. “We trust the voters to make the right decision on this issue... Politicians have for some time believed voters are making the right decision to elect them, hire them for the offices they seek and operate, so it's a head-scratcher when the politicians say voters are not smart enough to make a decision on a ballot issue," he added.

  Jun 24, 2015

Pot policy is splintering the GOP.

“I think there are some mixed signals, particularly among Republicans," reported Dan Riffle, director of federal policies at the Marijuana Policy Project.

“It's hugely hypocritical to vote to protect your state from federal interference, but then turn around and vote to undermine what the District is doing," added Bill Piper, director of national affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance.

“The current language is clear in its intent and has already blocked full legalization and regulation of marijuana in the District," Harris announced in a statement.

“If you decide to move forward with the legalization of marijuana in the District, you will be doing so in knowing and willful violation of the law," Chaffetz noted in a letter sent to Bowser back in February.

Still, the veteran lawmaker said he has mixed feelings about marijuana.

“I think it's getting easier," Cohen told The Hill. "Republicans wouldn't have touched these issues in the past. Now they're real popular. I think things are changing."

  Jun 23, 2015

Marijuana drops on police priority list in PA.

“The nation is clearly taking a long, hard look at this. … There's blowback on the war on drugs,"reported Tony Gaskew, a former drug agent and director of the University of Pittsburgh's criminal justice program. “Is it cost effective? We cannot arrest every person that wants to get high."

“We do have to prioritize," commented Tony Marcocci, a Westmoreland County detective who spent three decades in the trenches of the war on drugs. “Sometimes it's a difficult decision. Do I investigate a kid who's smoking marijuana or one who's selling heroin?"

“We have our hands full. … It's complete insanity on our streets," he added. “Every day it's something new. We try to be proactive, but we're becoming reactive."

“I agree that local law enforcement is not treating cannabis as a priority. … I cannot recall the last time I represented a client who was actually arrested for possessing a small amount of marijuana," reported Patrick Nightingale, an attorney and executive director of the Pittsburgh chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

“We don't have time to deal with (small amounts of marijuana); we're strapped," proclaimed police Chief Allen Park. “We'll destroy their marijuana, give them a citation for disorderly conduct and send them on their way."

  Jun 22, 2015

The Minnesota Department of Health's latest statistics show 14 patients are ready to pick up their medical cannabis prescriptions on July 1st.

"This is not a race; I want to remind folks this program is rolling out slowly and we feel we've been very successful," reported Michelle Larson, director of the Minnesota Office of Medical Cannabis.

Larson got a tour with plants in place at the Cottage Grove facility of LeafLine Labs.

"We've selected our strains with Minnesota's populations in mind, we have 9 conditions that are approved in Minnesota," said Dr. Andrew Bachman, co-founder. “We want to have a variety of cannabinoid profiles that treat those conditions."

"It was the right thing to do. What it does now is show the state, and frankly the United States for that matter, that Cottage Grove is willing to be innovative and not afraid to do something controversial," stated Myron Bailey, mayor of Cottage Grove.

  Jun 20, 2015