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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Illinois Marijuana Laws

Illinois has become the 21st state to decriminalize simple marijuana possession. The law, effective immediately, makes possession of a personal amount of marijuana a civil violation punishable only by a fine of $100-$200 – similar to a traffic ticket – instead of jail time.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law on July 29th, the Marijuana Policy Project reported.  

Chris Lindsey of the Marijuana Policy Project stated, “We applaud Gov. Rauner and the legislature for replacing Illinois’s needlessly draconian marijuana possession law with a much more sensible policy. This commonsense legislation will prevent countless citizens from having their lives turned upside down by a marijuana possession arrest.”

A person in possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana will now receive a civil violation punishable only by a fine of $100-$200, instead of receiving a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500.

With the new laws, adults in Illinois are no longer punished with jail time, and civil offenses will be erased in order to prevent permanent criminal records.

Marijuana PTSD Study

Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have approved a study regarding the effectiveness of medical marijuana for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSD). Applications for participants to join the study will be accepted soon. The study will take place in North Phoenix and will include 38 veterans with documented PTSD.

Approval of these studies mark the first ever approved by both the FDA and DEA for the marijuana flower rather than marijuana oils or synthetic options, according to AZ Central.

The goal of the study is to prove that medical marijuana helps treat PTSD. If the study does prove an improvement in symptoms, a push for FDA approval of medical marijuana for all veterans will begin.

The percentages of veterans with documented PTSD are:

  • 30 percent of Vietnam War veterans
  • 12 percent of Gulf War veterans
  • 11 to 20 percent of Iraq/Afghanistan War veterans

The principal investigator for this study is Dr. Sue Sisley, who said, “It’s been such a long struggle for these vets. They’ve been standing with us, shoulder to shoulder, all these years. We would never turn our backs on these guys. We were determined to keep it here and we found a way to do that.”

The candidates should have treatment-resistant and chronic PTSD. Study participants should be available for regular appointments in Deer Valley, Arizona, during the 12-week study. Out-of-state participants will be considered. The study will take place at a staggered observation and start date over the course of two years.

Veterans wishing to be considered to participate in the study can email arizona@marijuanasites.org.

Veterans chosen for the study will be taught how to use medical marijuana and will be provided with 1.8 grams of marijuana to use daily. Sleep will be monitored, which requires a weekly lab visit.  Participants will be given varying strains of marijuana, including high THC or CBD percentages with cessation breaks to study any return of symptoms or difficulties without the medical marijuana.

Marijuana Spending

Marijuana users are spending as much on marijuana as they are on beer, a new report has found.

The typical male spends approximately $647 per year on marijuana, while females spend roughly $634 each year, Market Watch reports. That’s compared to an average of $645 per year on alcohol and $1,000 per year on coffee.

40,000 dispensary customers in Washington were surveyed for the report, which found that the typical age of loyalty club members at dispensaries was 37.6, 70% were men, and 5% were between the ages of 65 to 95.

Females were more likely to purchase marijuana edibles, while men preferred smokeable marijuana, such as flower or concentrates.

New consumers are moving towards vaporizers, which account for 9% of purchases by males and females.

Marijuana Research Poll

Recent research polls conducted by YouGov suggests that 55 percent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. This is a 3 percent increase from polls completed in December 2015. Much of the credit for the increase in support is said to be from Republicans changing their views about marijuana.

Overall, roughly 45 percent of Republicans support legal recreational marijuana, according to reports displayed by YouGov. In December 2015, Republicans opposed legalized recreational marijuana by 50 percent, which is a 10 percent decrease from polls conducted in January 2014.

Marijuana Republicans

The numbers regarding Republicans’ belief of marijuana being a gateway drug in comparison with previous polls is virtually unchanged. This implies that the Republican opinion on prohibition may be changing, and not their overall standpoint regarding marijuana.

Polls also show that Republicans, at least 55 percent of them, think that enforcing marijuana laws costs more than what the infraction is really worth.

Americans’ opinions are certainly changing in regards to marijuana, which is a momentous step forwards.

Photo: yougov.com

Marijuana Entrepreneur

Billionaire Sir Richard Branson recently appeared at an entrepreneurial event in Chicago where he was supposed to speak to up-and-coming entrepreneurs about business. Branson decided to also include in his speech the condoning of smoking marijuana with your kids.

Branson said to the audience: “If they’re going to have a joint, do it with them. Don’t let them sneak off and do it on their own,” The Chicago Tribune reported.

Branson informed the audience that he is a member of the Global Drug Commission, and that the commission has been attempting to think of drug use more as a health problem than a criminal offense. This changed the mood in the room.

The inclination or hint toward Branson to speak about his views on marijuana came from a simple question. Sage CEO Stephen Kelly asked Branson how he ensured that his kids learned values. A quick change of topics shifted the conversation in a different direction after Branson’s commentary.

Branson has openly spoken often about his personal marijuana use and support of marijuana decriminalization.

Photo: chicagotribune.com

San Francisco Marijuana

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has completed a poll that shows what areas throughout the United States have the highest concentration of marijuana users. The poll findings show that the San Francisco Bay Area top the charts for the most marijuana users in the U.S.

The data collection by SAMHSA is conducted every few years, according to The Washington Post. The data is taken from annual surveys conducted by National Surveys on Drug Use and Health. Those polled are at least 12 years of age. Several hundred responses are recorded to attain the data shown in a single map infographic.

Marijuana America Map

San Francisco’s results showed that 15-percent of residents ages 12 and older use marijuana at least monthly. The lowest number of users per capita were in Texas, where averages were at 4-percent.

Nationally, roughly 20.3 million Americans use marijuana at least monthly. In terms of region, the western portion of the U.S. has the highest marijuana use percentage.

SAMHSA statistician Art Hughes said, “We continue to see relatively wide variation in marijuana use… There are some states where we see rates on the high end even before legalization.” This shows that legality of marijuana does not hinder use much, even in states where it is not legal in any form.

The data concludes that areas with relaxed attitudes on marijuana use have higher resident usage and acceptance of use rates than states with no form of legalized marijuana use.

Illinois Marijuana

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to impose a marijuana bill that essentially decriminalizes it to some degree. The governor has been speaking with local law enforcement officials about their thoughts on punishing marijuana possession in small amounts to be course for a ticket and fines rather than an arrest.

Additional provisions, including marijuana intoxication levels, will also be added to the bill, according to reports from Northwest Herald.  The bill was not signed last year as changes were requested. Senator Heather Steans’ office says that Governor Rauner’s office assures them that the bill will be signed once law enforcement has viewed the content.

The opinion of local law enforcement on the matter is important to the Governor. It is the law enforcement officials that will be impacted the most. Illinois would be the 17th state to move marijuana possession violations to civil offenses rather than criminal offenses.

The Governor has 60 days from June 16th to sign the bill. As many localities in Illinois have given jurisdiction to municipalities and local law enforcement to give civil offense tickets to those in possession of marijuana, some believe that it sends a message that marijuana isn’t harmful at all. The opposition does not realize that showing a change in the number of arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana costs taxpayers a lot of money. It also takes law enforcement officials away from patrolling streets in heavy drug activity areas and helping other residents with more pressing matters.

Citation records would be required bi-annually, unless a review is not required. The fines for possessing 10 grams of marijuana or less would be between $100 and $200 according to language in the new bill. A recommendation of a marijuana intoxication level of less than 5 nanograms THC within two hours of consumption should be in place.

Florida Dispensary

The Florida Department of Health has authorized a medical marijuana dispensary to begin distributing medical marijuana with a low percentage THC. Trulieve dispensary is the first to receive distribution authorization.

Sales are expected to begin in Tallahassee on July 27th, according to 7 News Miami. The medical marijuana program in Florida has taken over two years to get its feet off the ground due to delays administratively and legally. With the appropriate staff in place, the program was able to move forward with licensing businesses, screening business ownership applications and legislation to ensure that the proper practices are being utilized.

Kim Rivers, CEO of Trulieve said, “There has been a great responsibility and pressure to get this done as quickly as possible. Patients have waited long enough. The most important thing is to be able to have it available for patients who have a dire need for it.”

In Florida, patients must speak with a prescribing physician for a medical marijuana prescription. There are only 15 physicians enrolled in Florida’s registry that will recommend or prescribe medical marijuana. Patients with epilepsy, severe spasm disorders, seizures and cancer are eligible with a proper recommendation.

The medical marijuana products expected to be available are vape cartridges, tinctures, concentrates/oils and gel capsules. The products must test low in THC percentage. The CBD (cannabidiol) must have a high percentage.

Patients awaiting higher THC containing products only have about another month to wait. Those products are expected to be ready by the end of August.

Actual medical marijuana flower may be a possibility for Florida medical marijuana patients following a vote in November’s election on a proposal to legalize medical marijuana fully.

Big Lebowski Marijuana

Researchers have been working on determining the differences in how the body responds to alcohol and marijuana. They found that alcohol is much more toxic to the human body and to society than marijuana.

Alcohol use is a leading cause of aggression and violent crimes in America, accounting for nearly 40-percent of the violent crimes committed nationwide, reports The Washington Post. Researchers found that marijuana use is more likely to relax individuals.

The medical journal Psychopharmacology recently published a random controlled trial. Recruited were 21 regular marijuana users and 20 regular alcohol users consuming at least 2 – 3 drinks per day depending on gender. The research also included 20 participants that did not consume either substance.

Once the marijuana users were medicated and alcohol users were intoxicated, tests were conducted. Some of the tests conducted included matching positive and negative photos depicting behavioral reactions (aggressive and/or violent behaviors). Another phase of testing required participants to play computer games where the adversary of the game was computer controlled.

Those using marijuana or alcohol were given the tests twice, to determine the difference between sober reactions and inebriated or stoned reactions. In the group where participants consumed alcohol, more aggression was noted during the inebriated phases than sober phases. Marijuana users were less aggressive when medicated.

Given that these results are self-assessments based upon personal opinions and feelings, the study provides information suggesting that alcohol increases feelings of anger or aggression while marijuana results in calmer approaches to situations.

The researchers concluded that, “The results in the present study support the hypothesis that acute alcohol intoxication increases feelings of aggression and that acute cannabis intoxication reduces feelings of aggression.”

The conclusion of this study agrees with a study conducted in 2014 showing that domestic violence rates were lower in relationships where marijuana use is a factor.

(Photo: pressurelife.com)

Marijuana Plant

We often hear about marijuana being great for increasing appetite, sex drive, and helping us sleep better. These things are amazing, but sometimes what is really need is a kick to make us more active and get more done. Here are a few marijuana strains that help people become more active and get more done during the day.

Jack Herer

This sativa is unique, as it combines a strong body high with a cerebral high. This means you can feel great and comfortable sitting at your desk, or going for that morning jog you’ve been meaning to take, while also producing a ton of great ideas. Your mind will be moving a mile a minute as you work, all while you maintain a relaxed demeanor. It also does wonders for boosting creativity.

Sour Diesel

This sativa-dominant hybrid can be a little intense for some, due to how strong it is, but if you can handle it, then you’ll be rewarded with a delicious taste and a clear buzz that allows you to focus in detail on the task at hand. This is perfect for if you have more practical work to get done before you can focus on the creative.

Super Silver Haze

This cross between Skunk, Northern Lights, and Haze will give you a strong, earthy body buzz from the haze, but the Skunk and Lights will keep you energized for a full day of work. Try this one out if you have to power through a long work day and need an extra boost of energy.

Strawberry Diesel

This sativa tastes great, and will also provide you with a clear-headed focus and plenty of energy for your work day. Toke on this one before getting started for a calming and sustained high.

Durban Dream

Durban Poison and Blue Dream make a heck of a blend, and this hybrid will ensure a rush of creativity. Try this one out if you really need to get some painting, writing, music making, or general art done.

Contact your local dispensary to see if they currently carry any of these marijuana strains or similar strains.