Tags Posts tagged with "Washington D.C."

Washington D.C.

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A report released recently by the Washington D.C. based National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) confirmed that cannabis is effective at alleviating chronic pain. Due to the fact that we are in the grasp of an opioid epidemic, this report is a welcome scientific confirmation toward finding an option to replace opioids. The report also highlights how off the mark the DEA is in maintaining its Schedule 1 status of marijuana and its claim that cannabis has “no currently accepted medical use.”

In addition to the NASEM study, there is a growing body of authoritative research that proves the DEA to be emphatically wrong and clearly lying. Not surprisingly, physicians still want more research to help them decide when cannabis may help a patient and when something else is a better idea. Pain is not only hard to explain but difficult to measure.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) explains, “Pain is a very personal and subjective experience. There is no test that can measure and locate pain with precision.” Painful sensations are associated with the brain, which is its way of communicating to us that something is wrong. We also know that everyone reacts to brain stimuli differently, thus the seemingly endless methods for pain therapy. According to NASEM, research shows that marijuana, vaped or smoked, is effective in easing pain because of the natural cannabinoid receptors in our bodies, which physicians think play a role in pain control.

The report, according to Business Insider, contains the most up-to-date research on cannabis available. Although the exact mechanisms showing how marijuana relieves pain are not fully understood yet. It could be awhile before necessary answers are available. According to the NIH, almost 100 million Americans suffer from chronic pain. The NIH confirmed that pain is the leading cause of long-term disability. This explains the country’s problem with opioids. The increase in opioid use has prompted some rational legislators, like Elizabeth Warren, to urge that the Centers for Disease Control undertake research on cannabis as an alternative to the opioids that are devastating the United States.

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Cannabis recently became legal for adults in the state of Nevada. However, farming it is illegal unless they live more than 25 miles away from a retail marijuana shop. This is an example of what’s called a “halo rule.” Marijuana Policy Project introduced this idea in the 2010 Proposition 203 that brought medical marijuana to Arizona. It mandated that any patient living within 25 miles of a dispensary could not grow their own marijuana. They would have to register with and purchase their cannabis from their local authorized dispensary. At first, this meant that all patients could grow their own cannabis, as the law went into effect before any licenses had been awarded to dispensaries. However, as the dispensaries opened, every patient within that 1,964 square mile area had to remove their marijuana crops.

The halo concept made its way to Nevada while their legislature dealt with the issue of dispensaries. The state’s law hadn’t authorized any retail outlets, but did allow for all patients to grow up to 12 marijuana plants for medical use. In 2013, the state passed a law that created the dispensaries, with a 25-mile halo rule included. Patients who were already growing were given until this past summer to remove their marijuana crops within the halos. Question 2 was passed in November, also with a halo rule, and with an 18-month lockout on recreational licensing for all but the existing medical marijuana retail shops, growers, and processors.

Washington D.C. and 16 states have passed medical cannabis laws. As legalization continues to increase across the country, our adversaries are going to understand that they can’t win the battle. Their main priority will be to assure that we can’t grow our own marijuana. National legalization polls lingered around 45% and no states with legalization in 2010. But since California’s Prop 19 failed, we have gone 9 for 12 in statewide legalization votes. Seven of the nine wins allowed for personal home grows with no halos.

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As the United States government still tries to tell its people that cannabis is one of the most dangerous and addictive drugs in the world, there has been a sign from Washington D.C. that could indicate that the federal government’s fight against marijuana could begin to die down.

It looks as though the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is observing Canada in order to learn how to properly legalize and manage medical marijuana. A new report from marijuana.com shows that the health agency has been assembled in order to observe all of the cannabis policies that are being established later on in June so that they can get an idea of the “regulatory framework for the regulation of marijuana for medicinal purposes,” and “information on the licensing process, compliance and enforcement and market statistics.”

This seems as though it is good news, but in reality, nobody completely knows why the FDA is interested in Canada’s legalization process. However, there are many that believe it will be related to a rescheduling announcement that is going to come from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) at the end of June. Most of the powerful leaders of the federal government have said that they will not consider rescheduling the drug until the FDA gives informs them that they should. That recommendation was given by the FDA last September.

“The fact that FDA is taking a close look at how the Canadian federal government legally regulates medical cannabis could be a sign that the Obama administration is preparing to announce a big change in policy soon,” Tom Angell, chairman of the Marijuana Majority, said. “But it might also just be the agency doing its due diligence to begin preparing for changes that seem inevitable at some point in the near- to mid-term future.”

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The neighborhood activists who legalized cannabis possession in the District of Columbia were on the trail of greater diversion Saturday, smoking before the White House to dissent the way government laws order the drug.

“This is about needless incarceration,” Dave Anderson stated as he walked along a 51-foot inflatable blunt that protesters planned to walk from 15th Street NW and Pennsylvania Avenue NW to the gates outside of the north lawn of the White House. “We’ve got local momentum in D.C., so this is an opportunity for a dialogue.”

D.C. voters endorsed the authorization of cannabis in November 2014, and the law got to be successful in February 2015. It permits occupants to have and develop little measures of pot, however, it bans the deal, conveyance and open utilization of the weed. The law does not have any significant bearing to governmentally possessed area, including elected parks.

The legalization ballot measure, which was endorsed by 70 percent of voters, was initiated by DCMJ, a nearby association shaped in 2013 to advocate for cannabis clients in the District. What’s more, on Saturday, that same gathering revived a few hundred activists to infringe upon the law and expand cannabis on the governmentally possessed area before the White House as an approach to get their message out broadly.

Presently, weed is delegated a Schedule 1 drug, which the Drug Enforcement Administration characterizes as “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” Heroin, LSD, and Ecstasy are likewise named Schedule 1 drugs.

“While we have been able to drastically reduce arrests for marijuana possession in the District of Columbia, millions of Americans across the United States are not so lucky,” the group wrote. “As long as cannabis is treated in the same category of drugs as heroin, with no accepted medical use, police will continue to arrest and lock up our brothers and sisters.”

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However there was a great deal of anticipation that the details of the latest federal spending bill would include a deeper level of protection in states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal and recreational purposes, the congressional machine behind the dysfunctional of the United States government has revealed that nothing will change in the next fiscal year with regards to how Uncle Sam spends money to shake the foundation of the cannabis industry.

In a last-ditch effort to prevent a federal shutdown, hammer-fisted negotiators for the House and Senate came to terms late Tuesday night on a $1.1 trillion spending bill intended to keep some grease in the wheels of federal operations for another year.

The good news Among the amendments attached to Uncle Sam’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget plan is one that has become the subject of much controversy over the past year due to its apparent inability to be translated to English.

The infamous Rohrabacher-Farr amendment, which was designed to prevent the Justice Department and their overzealous warlords over at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration from spending federal funds to conduct raids and prosecute the medical marijuana community, was renewed for another year.

Although the amendment was hailed a salvation’s wing when it was first approved last year, the measure has done very little to actually prevent the scourge of the DEA from inflicting its wrath.

Earlier this year, a spokesperson for the department told The Los Angeles Times that the rider only prevents federal enforcers from “Impeding the ability of states to carry out their medical marijuana laws.” “This is the second year in a row that Congress is using the appropriations process to tell federal agents and prosecutors not to interfere with state medical marijuana laws,” Tom Angell with the Marijuana Majority told HIGH TIMES.

This amendment is also a renewal from the Fiscal Year 2015 budget.

Now, for the bad news As congressional leadership locked horns over the demands put forth by Democrats and Republicans, the hope for other illusionary marijuana reforms being strapped to the latest budget, including those pertaining to Veterans and marijuana banking, dwindled fast.

In the end, the outcome of the negotiation did not allow for a handful of riders, most of which showed significant promise this year on Capitol Hill, to see the light of day.

Among the refused amendments was one that would have prevented physicians employed with the Department of Veterans Affairs from penalizing veterans for taking part in state-approved medical marijuana programs.

Apparently, Congress did not feel this was an important enough issue to address this year.

Congressional leadership is obviously not interested in remedying the financial concerns of an industry that is expected to generate billions of dollars within the next couple of years.

Perhaps one of the heaviest failures to be identified as the negotiations for the new federal budget came to a screeching halt is the fact that the District of Columbia will not be allowed to launch a retail pot market for at least another year.

The rider, introduced last year by Maryland Representative Andy Harris, was picked up again for inclusion in the Fiscal Year 2016 budget plan.

Earlier this year, DC Councilmember David Grosso told HIGH TIMES the city was fully prepared to get the ball rolling on recreational sales, but the “When” in the equation all depended on Congress.

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Marijuana has finally been made legal and will continue to be made legal over the next couple of years throughout the country. However, there is still a need for marijuana to be sold through the black market. Why? Because of taxes. Regulators have made it near impossible for legal markets get out of restriction. Because of this, while cannabis is allowed in certain areas, drug lords and street dealers have been doing exceptionally well.

A main concern is the banking limits put upon cannabis markets. Dealings have been approved by the government, but still are a threat to the industry because no definitive law has been amended to the books. Lawmakers in Washington D.C. recently added a 37 percent excise tax and restricted the number of retail locations. This put the legal market in a state of non-competitiveness with the underground trade. Lawmakers are going to have to levy taxes and release oppressing rules if they seek to stop illegal drug trading.

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