The UN postponed a vote on cannabis rescheduling. Support for marijuana legalization in the US keeps climbing. Law enforcement groups in Nevada support a bill to seal cannabis convictions. Also: Researchers found that DMT could hold promise for treating depression and anxiety. 🌳
UN postpones vote on cannabis rescheduling. The United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs has indefinitely postponed a vote on whether to reschedule marijuana under the international drug control conventions. The World Health Organization recommended moving cannabis out of the most restrictive schedule. The postponement is meant to give member states more time to consider WHO’s recommendations. Representatives from Uruguay and Mexico expressed displeasure with the decision — “thousands of people literally depend on the decisions being taken in this room,” said one of Mexico’s ambassadors. Meanwhile, Russia and the U.S. expressed support for the delay. Cannabis Wire
Support for marijuana legalization keeps climbing. Support for legalizing marijuana hit 61 percent last year, according to the General Social Survey that has been tracking public sentiment on the issue since the ’70s. An analysis of the survey found that the “increased backing of legalization cut across all age groups and political parties.” For the first time last year, a majority of Republicans (54 percent) expressed support for marijuana legalization. Seventy-six percent of Democrats favor legalization. “Support for legalization is strongest among 18-to-34-year-olds, with nearly 75 percent favoring it. But older Americans are taking a more favorable view, too.” The Associated Press
Law enforcement groups support sealing records. Law enforcement organizations in Nevada expressed support for a bill to streamline the process for sealing past cannabis convictions. Representatives from the Nevada District Attorneys Association and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department both spoke in support of the measure during a hearing on the bill. Assemblyman Steve Yeager, who used to be a defense attorney, described a line of 400 people waiting for help at a record-sealing legal clinic last year. “Yeager said he and former state senator were only able to help two people during about eight hours at the clinic.” The Associated Press
Arizona extracts case moves forward. The Arizona Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case questioning the status of marijuana extracts as medicine. The case stems out of the prosecution of medical marijuana patient Rodney Christopher Jones in 2013. He was sentenced to two and a half years in prison for possessing 0.05 grams of a cannabis concentrate that he purchased from a state-licensed medical marijuana dispensary. The Yavapai County prosecutor argued that voters did not mean to legalize cannabis extracts when they voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2010. “It’s undisputed in this case that the resin that we’re talking about here is a part of the plant,” said a judge in the case. Arizona Capitol Times
Connecticut MMJ patient’s case moves forward. A Bridgeport man gets a trial date after he was refused a position to work as a firefighter. James Bulerin III argues that he was qualified to serve as a firefighter, but was denied employment because he had a medical marijuana card and tested positive for the drug during a pre-employment screen. The state medical marijuana law prevents employers from refusing to hire “solely on the basis of such person’s or employee’s status as a qualifying patient or primary caregiver.” Connecticut Post
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The studies say… Frequent consumption of high-potency marijuana is linked to the development of psychosis, according to a new study. “The research adds to previous studies that have found links between marijuana and mental health problems, but still does not definitively pinpoint marijuana as the cause.” The Associated Press A study found that Denver’s marijuana education campaign for teens appears to be working. Marijuana Moment Marijuana is much more than THC. Here’s a look at the scientific evidence for the therapeutic effects of minor cannabinoids and terpenes. Word on the Tree / The Conversation The U.S. federal government is seeking help identifying studies about marijuana as an alternative to opioids. Marijuana Moment
Today in cannabis business news… A San Francisco cannabis distributor found that “a significant oversupply is unavoidable in 2019.” Its report “concluded that because the cannabis industry in California has over-relied on both the black market and out-of-state sales, producers and manufacturers over-estimated the actual wholesale demand in the state.” The Sacramento Bee Slang Worldwide, the parent company of O.penVAPE, is planning an expansion into CBD. Digiday Chicago-based cannabis company Grassroots Cannabis raised $90 million to expand its operations across the country. The Chicago Tribune
Cannabis in Canada. The Canadian government has tweaked its excise taxes for marijuana edibles and extracts, which will be legalized later this year. It also revised its forecast of cannabis tax revenue, “a sign that the government isn’t generating as much tax revenue as expected from the legalization of recreational marijuana last year.” BNN Bloomberg Cannabis retailers in the country are investing sleek spaces while criticizing the idea of a cannabis cafe. “It sounds like a repulsive experience to me,” said the CEO of Green Growth Brands. Financial Post
Elsewhere around the world… Six years after Uruguay became the first country in the world to legalize marijuana, investors are starting to pour money into the country’s cannabis market. They’re betting that the country will “become an export hub for medical marijuana as the industry expands around the world.” Bloomberg In the U.K., more than 80 patients have been prescribed CBD oil since medical cannabis was legalized last year. Medical marijuana advocates say the NHS needs to ease barriers to obtaining prescriptions given the relatively low number that have been issued. The Huffington Post
Researchers find potential benefits in DMT. Researchers at Johns Hopkins, studying a group of DMT users, found that 80 percent of them “reported improvements in both depression and anxiety following their 5-MeO-DMT experiences.” More than 360 adults were involved in the survey, and most reported using the drug between one to three times. “Research has shown that psychedelics given alongside psychotherapy help people with depression and anxiety… However, psychedelic sessions usually require seven to eight hours per session because psychedelics typically have a long duration of action. Because 5-MeO-DMT is short-acting and lasts approximately 30-90 minutes, it could be much easier to use as an adjunct to therapy,” said one of the scientists involved in the project. New Atlas
Word on the States
- In Oklahoma, a medical marijuana patient sues, seeking an injunction on the recently passed medical marijuana regulation bill.
- In Massachusetts, marijuana tax revenues are falling far short of initial estimates.
- In New York, the governor is dropping his proposal to legalize marijuana in the state budget.
- In New Jersey, the marijuana legalization bill doesn’t have enough votes to pass yet.
- In Rhode Island, lawmakers expressed concerns about the governor’s proposal to legalize recreational marijuana.
- In Texas, marijuana reform efforts could be stalled single-handedly by the lieutenant governor.
- In Hawaii, two Senate committees advanced a marijuana decriminalization bill.
- In California, Alameda approves a cannabis dispensary.
- In Kansas, the Lawrence city commission inches closer to lowering the fine for marijuana possession to $1.
- In Pennsylvania, a closer look at the new legalization bill. The Steelton Borough city council passed a decriminalization ordinance.
- In Guam, the visitors bureau asked the legislature to delay action on a bill to legalize marijuana.
Word for Word
“I think that criminalizing drug use has not worked—the war on drugs. Perhaps the major consequences [have] been millions of young people, generally from communities of color from lower income communities, have not only gone to prison but they’ve been made felons. I think that has made lives unbelievable harder for people that we should’ve been trying to lift up… When you talk about creating safe rooms for narcotics, I don’t think that we have enough evidence to make a national decision yet, but I think if Seattle wants to do that, then they should have the ability as long as they’re working within certain norms, they should be able to do that.” – Former Colorado governor and Democratic presidential candidate John Hickenlooper, SXSW via Marijuana Moment