Marijuana News in Arizona and World
An internal medicine study performed by UPenn researchers found a startlingly clear correlation between states with implemented medical marijuanaand the lowering of opioid death rates. Simply put, states that allow medical marijuana had a 24.8% lower mean annual opioid overdose mortality rate than states that don’t have medical marijuana available as a medicine.
“Approximately 60 percent of all deaths resulting from opioid analgesic overdoses occur in patients who have legitimate prescriptions,” stated Dr. Bachhuber. Moreover, it’s clearly evident that states that offer medical marijuana have a lower rate of opioid deaths and see a favorable decrease in opioid deaths over time.
The statistics show that: year 1 (-19.9%; 95% CI, -30.6% to -7.7%; P?=?.002), year 2 (-25.2%; 95% CI, -40.6% to -5.9%; P?=?.01), year 3 (-23.6%; 95% CI, -41.1% to -1.0%; P?=?.04), year 4 (-20.2%; 95% CI, -33.6% to -4.0%; P?=?.02), year 5 (-33.7%; 95% CI, -50.9% to -10.4%; P?=?.008), and year 6 (-33.3%; 95% CI, -44.7% to -19.6%; P?<?.001).
This study clearly shows that mortality death rates decrease and continue to decrease over time in states with medical marijuana.
Tetrahydrocannabinol () and cannabidiol ( ) are the two most commonly known chemicals that are naturally found in marijuana. Both CBD and THC belong to a unique class of compounds known as .
Marijuana is typically know for its THC content, which provides the psychoactive active aspects or “high” from consuming marijuana. But CBD has begun to draw attention from the medical community because of the amazing health benefits it provides.
THC is best known for being psychoactive. CBD, however, is non-psychoactive. In other words, CBD can’t get you “high” like THC. This lack of a “high,” or lack of side effect as medical professionals like to put it, is one reason why CBD is so appealing as a medicine.
THC is known to help reduce pain, but CBD is the substance that has the most anti-inflammatory properties, making it an all-star at pain reduction and healing. THC and CBD are also know to suppress muscle spams and reduce nausea, making them perfect for chemo patients.
THC is known to cause anxiousness or paranoia in some people, but CBD actually reduces anxiety and can actually counteract the anxiety caused by consuming THC. Studies also suggest that CBD can reduce anxiety when administered on its own.
In addition to being non-psychoactive, CBD also has antipsychotic properties. Researchers believe that CBD might protect marijuana users from getting “too high” by reducing the psychosis-like effects caused by THC. CBD is also being tested as an antipsychotic medicine for patients with schizophrenia.
One of the more common uses of marijuana is as a sleep aid. THC is known to be responsible for most of marijuana’s sleep-inducing effects. On the other hand, studies have suggested that CBD acts to promote wakefulness, making CBD a better choice for daytime use.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has officially issued the state’s first medical marijuanacertificate of registration.
The dispensary certificate was given to Alternative Therapies Group, Inc., and will allow the company to begin growing marijuana for medical uses. The dispensary plans to begin cultivating immediately and hopes to open in the spring of 2015.
Before the company is allowed to sell or transport medical marijuana, it needs to undergo additional oversight, including state inspections of its transportation plans and testing of the marijuana from its first crop.
The dispensary will operate in Salem and a their cultivation center will be in Amesbury.
The awarding of the dispensary certificate comes more than two years after voters approved the state ballot which will allow up to 35to open and sell marijuana to qualifying patients with medical marijuana cards.
With no explanation, Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration confessed it missed its end-of-the-year target date for deciding which businesses will be receiving permits to initiate the state’s medical marijuana pilot program.
The delay forces cultivation centers to break ground during the coldest winter months, which will delay harvest of the first crop. Patients that paid $100 for their medical marijuana cards will also have to wait, perhaps until summer or fall, before they can legally purchase and use marijuana from.
“We are strongly committed to bringing relief to thousands of people across the state and ensuring Illinois is the national model for implementing medical cannabis,” Illinois DPH spokeswoman Melaney Arnold stated. “We are working hard to make sure this is done right.”
Arnold also noted the state is “conducting a comprehensive review of every cultivation center andapplicant to ensure that only the most qualified are approved for this important program. We will announce the recipients when this important review is finished.”
The Illinois Department of Agriculture received 159 applications for cultivation center licenses and will likely award 21 licenses, one per Illinois State Police district. The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation received 214 applications for dispensary licenses, and will likely award 60 licenses.
A recent legal ruling threatens medical marijuana card holders with a DUI if any trace remains in their system, even days after the medical benefits have worn off.
First, to state the obvious, I’ve never met anyone who advocates Driving Under the Influence. People have a wide spectrum of beliefs on what the consequences should be for people who are caught driving while drunk, but no rational person thinks that it is a good idea.
There is not a unanimous position held when it comes to marijuana, but I would presume any rational person would agree that an individual with a medical marijuana license should not be accused of driving under the influence when they are in no way impaired days, or even days after they last used.
Since Arizona’s passage of medical marijuana in the 2010 midterm elections, there has been considerable litigation taking place. The most recent case has caused some within the legal community to scratch their heads, and has made those ideologically opposed to marijuana’s use as a medicine rejoice.
In Dobson v. McClennen, The Division 1 Court of Appeals ruled that people with valid medical marijuana cards cannot use their card as a Defense to Driving Under the Influence of Drugs.
In order to understand why the Dobson v. McClennen ruling has left many people scratching their heads, it is important to understand how DUI’s are charged in Arizona. Every person charged with a DUI in Arizona is always charged with a minimum of two separate charges. The first one is always, Driving while impaired to the slightest degree. When someone has drugs (prescription or street) in their system, they are also charged with DUI drugs. If someone has a prescription for the drugs, then they are entitled to use that as a defense. It places the burden on the person accused to provide evidence that they were using the drug with a valid prescription. This makes sense from a public policy perspective. Even if you are prescribed a drug, you very well might not be okay to drive while on it, so your defense is only for the DUI drug charge. So, for example, if a doctor gives you a Vicodin prescription, and you take them and get impaired by them, you may raise your defense to the DUI drug charge but not to the impairment charge.
As athat handles DUI cases, I’ve seen an alarming increase in cases where a sober medical marijuana card holder is being prosecuted. As part of our defense, Dobson v. McClennen precludes the accused of introducing their valid medical marijuana card as a legal defense. In fact, it makes it such that a jury would never know that the person had a medical marijuana card. The jury won’t be able to distinguish between a recreational smoker and someone who is using it in accordance with a doctor’s recommendation for a specific medical condition. Ironically, this ruling is based off exactly the opposite of what the voters wanted, and is poor interpretation of poorly worded language within the Medical Marijuana Statute itself.
Hopefully, the Arizona Supreme Court will once again step in and clear up this bizarre lower Court ruling. Since modifying the unclear language in the statute would require a super majority legislature, which is not going to happen with this legislature, medical marijuana users are at risk. Hopefully the citizens of this State will become more conscious and aware of this fact- especially if they were ever called on to sit in a jury trial where there was an allegation of marijuana consumption.
Founding Partner, Rosenstein Law Group
Medical marijuana is already legal in Arizona, but two bills have been introduced for consideration in the 2015 legislative session that could bring further reform.
House Bill 2007 would legalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by adults, allow retail sales of marijuana at state-licensed retail stores, and allow personal cultivation of up to five untaxed plants.
“Everyone has a friend who knows how to get marijuana,” said state Rep. Cardenas, the bill’s sponsor. “The money we’ve spent on the war on drugs has kind of gone into a black hole.” Cardenas said his bill will not increase access to marijuana in Arizona because it already isn’t difficult to find.
Instead, Cardenas proposes taxing and regulating marijuana sales throughout Arizona, allowing the state to generate new revenue while taking marijuana sales away from the black market.
The bill is likely to be assigned to the House Judiciary Committee that is chaired by Rep. Eddie Farnsworth (R-Gilbert), an opponent to marijuana legalization. Rep. Farnsworth would be responsible for scheduling the House Bill 2007 for a hearing in order for the proposal to receive any consideration.
While Cardenas would prefer House Bill 2007 to pass, he already has a backup plan ready, in the form of House Bill 2006, which would decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana. Instead of current penalties, which usually come as a felony charge and a year prison sentence, offenders would receive a civil penalty and fine of up to $100. There’d be no criminal record or conviction, similar to a traffic violation.
Marijuana legalization’s biggest adversary in Arizona is probably Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who repeatedly challenges the state’s 2010 voter-approved medical marijuana act.
If marijuana legalization efforts in Arizona fail this year (legislative session begin on January 12), efforts are already underway to put a binding initiative on the November 2016 ballot, putting the decision of marijuana legalization out of the hands of state lawmakers and into the hands of Arizona voters.
The Arizona Department of Health Services’ (ADHS) latest medical marijuana newsletter is now available.
The ADHS’s monthly newsletters are only available to Arizona’s medical marijuana cardholding patients. But we feel that transparency is important for the well-being of all, so we publicize their newsletters frequently.
AZmarijuana.com also has a monthly newsletter about Arizona’s medical marijuana industry. Sign up here to receive our newsletter.
A new marijuana industry app that allows users to access its huge database of marijuana strains,, doctors, head shops, and more, has officially launched.
The Weed Depot app makes it possible for users to easily find all sorts of marijuana-related information from any mobile device. The app also consists of listings for national and international businesses that operate in the legal (medical and recreational) marijuana industry.
Weed Depot stated that “it is working to develop even more functionality and information into its app in the future “so that it becomes the go-to app for anything marijuana-related.” They want the app to become “the world’s destination for marijuana information.” The company plans to incorporate a marijuana jobs section, marijuana press releases section, marijuana-infused recipes section, and more into the app.
Businesses can get listed on the Weed Depot app and website for under $200 per month. Weed Depot and its sister businesses (listed on The Marijuana Companies‘ website) in the marijuana industry help to make it one of the largest marijuana industry network platforms currently available.
Most people would expect places like California or Amsterdam to be the leaders in growing high-potency marijuana, but research has revealed it’s actually Australia that grows the most potent marijuana on Earth.
Samples taken from the street market in Australia measured 15 percenton average, and the most potent marijuana measured as high as 40 percent THC. To put that into perspective, generally sell marijuana with THC levels ranging from 12 – 24 percent.
Recreational users will likely see this as good news, but high levels of THC are a drawback for people who use marijuana for medical purposes. This is because the levels of(a potent anti-inflammatory) usually decrease when THC levels increase, which was another finding in the research study.
In countries such as Israel, where marijuana research and medical marijuana are legal, marijuana is being bred for medicinal purposes to contain as much as 15 percent CBD and less than 1 percent THC.
It’s no secret that marijuana can have a very powerful effect on sleep quality. Marijuana is probably best known for its ability to induce drowsiness; in other words, it often makes people feel mellow or sleepy.
People who consume marijuana before bed often report a decrease in the time it takes to fall asleep, increase in the restfulness of their sleep, and a lack of dreams/nightmares.
Scientists now know that(active ingredients in marijuana, such as and ) mimic the effects of endocannabinoids, compounds naturally found in the body. Studies have revealed that endocannabinoids act as natural regulators of the human sleep/wake cycle. Substances such as nicotine and alcohol are known to disrupt natural sleep cycles.
Research has found that ingestion of THC (the psychoactive compound found in marijuana) leads to increased slow-wave sleep, which leads to a decrease in REM sleep, which explains why marijuana users often experience less dreams/nightmares.
Nighttime marijuana use might be beneficial for the treatment of sleep disorders like insomnia, night terrors, and sleep apnea.