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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

US Coffeeshop Marijuana

When politicians work against the public good — yet believe they’re working for the public good — what you get are policies that are no good at all!

Take Holland. For decades, tourists throughout the world have been able to enjoy its unique national policy of tolerance via hundreds of coffeeshops that allow patrons to purchase and enjoy pot in a congenial, comfortable atmosphere. The tourism industry has flourished because of this refreshingly sane treatment of cannabis smokers.

In recent years, however, cannabis has been under fire in the Netherlands. Laws were enacted to prohibit foreign tourists from visiting marijuana coffeeshops. Those laws are still on the books, but it’s up to individual municipalities to enforce them. Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan is no friend of the industry, and has used zoning laws to force many coffeeshops to close down. The result: an increase in black market pot sales.

It’s time for Holland to understand that tourists don’t plan their vacations solely because they love tulips. Moreover, as Holland focuses on limiting the cannabis industry and American attitudes grow more favorable to legalization, perhaps it’s time to enhance our own tourism profile by opening coffeeshops here in the US.

Think about it. Here in New York City, thousands of tourists arrive daily to wander this great urban metropolis. They visit museums, go to Broadway shows and eat in New York City’s superb restaurants. But imagine the addition of coffeeshops to the scene. Imagine a pot-friendly venue with better coffee than Starbucks (not a hard feat to accomplish) with the added attraction of great marijuana. We might see a resurgence of the coffeeshop scene of the 1960s, where folksingers, poets and avant-garde entertainers were given a stage to perform. And wouldn’t so-called Internet cafes do bigger business with patrons able to surf the web while smoking weed? American coffeeshops have the capacity to revitalize business districts of cities nationwide.

We’ve already seen the results of legalization in Colorado and Washington. The cannabis industryhas filled tax coffers while causing no social harm whatsoever. It’s high time that America begins to examine real opportunities for economic growth. Coffeeshops will provide instant tax revenue, gainful employment for locals and increase the tourism profile of every city that allows them to operate.

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US Marijuana Legalization

Marijuana reform was wildly successful in the 2014 midterm election, with voters in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia marching to the polls to legalize recreational marijuana. Although the new laws are not scheduled to take effect until sometime next year, we at HIGH TIMES felt the stoner community should be made aware of some of the changes to come as a result of snuffing out prohibition in those areas. Here are 10 of our favorite:

First and Foremost, Get Stoned in the Privacy of Your Own Home Without Constantly Looking Out a Window to See If the Cops Are Watching
Some claim that marijuana causes paranoia, while others argue it is actually the fear of prosecution that puts people on edge. Well, for residents of Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia, who just voted to legalize recreational marijuana, there should be fewer semi-psychotic episodes taking place behind their living room windows.

Grow Weed on Private Property Without Worrying That the Smell Will Lure the Cops to Your Front Door
As soon as the laws go into effect, resident in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia will be allowed to cultivate their own personal marijuana crop. In Oregon, residents will be allowed to grow up to four plants, while the law in the nation’s capital will permit the cultivation of as many as six plants.

Purchase Weed From a Legal Pot Shop Instead of Waiting for Your Dealer to Call You Back
With the exception of the District of Columbia, which will not include a retail pot market when the law goes into effect, pot connoisseurs and die-hard stoners will soon be able to purchase weed similar to how beer and liquor is sold now. That means no more waiting around for hours – sometimes days – for your dealer to come through. Simply walk down to the local pot shop, hand some cash to a clerk, and it’s party time. The struggle is real, but the hassle is over.

Tell a Cop That You’re Holding Weed and There Isn’t a Damn Thing He Can Do About It
Soon, people in Alaska, Oregon, and the District of Columbia will be allowed to roam freely in the streets with a designated amount of marijuana. Although none of the newly approved laws allow for public pot consumption, you can still mess with the police from time to time by informing officers that you are holding weed, and then reminding them there is nothing they can do about it.

Give the Gift of Weed to Family and Friends During the Holidays Instead of That Lame Shit You Handed Out Last Year
Although the District of Columbia will not allow retail cannabis sales, like Alaska and Oregon, the passing of Initiative 71 will allow adults to give away up to an ounce of marijuana. This means for all of the important celebrations and holidays where a person is socially required to bring a gift, you can now show up with a small stash of weed in the same manner others have done for years with a bottle of wine.

Conserve Your Liver Function By Switching to Marijuana Instead of Drinking Booze
We cannot tell you how many times we’ve heard the excuse, “I’d smoke weed instead of drinking if it was legal.” Well, now all our yellow-eyed booze hound buds residing in Alaska, Oregon and the District Columbia can drop the bottle and pick up a bong, since the pot prohibition philosophies in those areas have since been eliminated.

Post Photos of Your Beautiful Buds to Social Media Sites Without a SWAT Team Kicking Down Your Front Door
It might seem miniscule, but soon residents in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia will have the legal right to post pot porn to their social media sites without riling the local police force and spawning a heavily armed raid. For people living in prohibition states, simply posting a pot pic on Instagram is enough probable cause for police to obtain a search warrant and come in with all guns blazing. Yet, in legal states, they cannot do shit.

Take a Road Trip With a Stash of Weed Without Fearing a Highway Shakedown (Kind of)
As long as they are not driving high, crossing state lines, and not carrying more pot than what is legally permitted, soon there will be no reason folks in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia can’t hop in the car with a fat stash of weed and take a road trip. Not that stoners haven’t been traveling with pot since the dawn of prohibition, but now that recreational marijuana is legal there should be no excuse for cops to pull over law biding motorists and shake them down along the highway in search for marijuana. There is still the possibility police will attempt to pin you with a DUI.

Tell Your Boss to Kiss Your Ass and Open a Legal Marijuana Business
Alaska and Oregon will soon experience the rise of a retail marijuana market, which will undoubtedly provide opportunities for people to start cannabis-related businesses. In addition to retail pot shops, canna-commerce in the form of advertising firms, bakeries, cooking workshops, etc. will all become part of a vital marketplace once the laws goes into effect.

Start Looking for a Job That Does Not Do Random Drug Testing
Although recreational marijuana is now legal, workers can still be fired as a result of testing positive for marijuana. Unfortunately, this will likely be the scenario until the federal government decides to repeal prohibition. In the meantime, we suggest seeking out gainful employment with a company that does not force their employees to submit to drug tests. Otherwise, you will always be at risk of being tossed into the unemployment line.

Marijuana Vote 2014

Marijuana won big last night!

Oregon became the third state in the Union to legalize recreational marijuana on Tuesday, while Washington, DC residents will soon be allowed to grow and possess pot without fear of legal repercussions. As if that wasn’t enough, Alaskan voters approved Measure 2 early this morning, which legalizes the possession, use and sale of recreational marijuana in the state.

It’s 3am in Portland, Oregon, where the lingering excitement of becoming the third state to legalize marijuana is still in the cold, wet November air. It’s clear that the biggest momentum in the midterms isn’t the Republican takeover of the US Senate, but the embrace of marijuana law reform by the American people.

Legalization goes 3-for-3: Washington DC’s Initiative 71 to legalize the personal possession and cultivation of marijuana crushed all expectations, garnering 69.4 percent of the vote.  Oregon’s Measure 91 passed with 54.2 percent of the vote, making the Pacific Northwest the first legal region of the country and the first shared legalization border in the world.  Alaska’s Question 2 also passed with 52.1 percent of the vote and like Oregon, will legalize the personal possession and cultivation of marijuana as well as marijuana markets, taxed at $35/ounce in Oregon and $50/ounce in Alaska.

Medical marijuana gets two clear majorities, but only one win: Our day started out with the good news that the island territory of Guam, where the sun first rises on the United States, passed its medical marijuana Proposal 14A with 56.4 percent of the vote. Florida overwhelmingly voted for its medical marijuana Amendment 2. But Florida’s constitutional threshold of 60 percent was just too high a hurdle for a Southern state to clear, falling just short at 57.6 percent.

California reduces felonies, but really wants to tax medical marijuana: Proposition 47 in California defelonized many low-level crimes, such as possession of personal amounts of any drug. The proposition passed with 58.2 percent of the vote. At the city and county level, however, voters were voting to tax medical marijuana, and keep or enact dispensary bans and medical grow restrictions. Voters in Blythe rejected a tax, in Santa Ana they prohibited dispensary bans, and in Shasta County they repealed medical grow restrictions; otherwise, every other measure on the ballot did not go reformer’s way.

Colorado legalized, but now cities want to ban pot shops: Colorado localities fared no better than California. The towns of Red Cliff and Manitou Springs rejected bans on pot shops; all other cities voting on bans accepted them, including the Denver suburb of Lakewood. The towns of Ramah and Hot Sulphur Springs rejected pot taxes; all other cities voting on taxes approved them. Vexingly, the towns of Palisade and Paonia voted to both ban pot shops and tax them.

Michigan’s unbeaten streak ends. Cities in Michigan had gone 16-0 up until this election in passing charter amendments to decriminalize personal amounts of marijuana. Last night, Clare, Frankfort, Harrison, Lapeer, and Onaway became the first to reject such an amendment, with Lapeer’s rejection decided by six votes. Those cities all had less than 2,000 total votes, while the six larger cities of Berkley, Huntington Woods, Mt. Pleasant, Pleasant Ridge, Port Huron, and Saginaw all supporting decrim.

New Mexico perfect on decrim; Maine splits legalization: The two largest counties in New Mexico voted overwhelmingly to decriminalize marijuana, with Bernalillo (Albuquerque) voting 59.5 percent and Sante Fe voting a whopping 73.1 percent in favor. In Maine, South Portland joined neighboring Portland’s legalization vote from a year ago, approving legalization of 2.5 ounces by a 52.4 percent vote, but smaller Lewiston rejected legalization with only 45.1 percent support.

Massachusetts sweeps fourteen pro-legalization policy questions:  Eight districts in Massachusetts voted on non-binding Public Policy Questions that asked whether their state rep should vote to support tax and regulate policies for marijuana like alcohol.  The results ranged from a low of 69 percent to a high of 74 percent.  Six Massachusetts House districts went further by polling support for tax and regulate policies for marijuana like common fruits, vegetables, and herbs!  Support ranged from a low of 54 percent to a high of 63 percent.  That’s a perfect 14-0 in a midterm election where many of those voters were asked to treat marijuana like tomatoes.

Despite a loss in Florida for medical marijuana, the victories are a cause for celebration!

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Vegas Dispensary
The city of Las Vegas, Nevada has announced the initial number of medical marijuana dispensaries that will be opening. After almost an entire day of hashing out the details, the City Council looked at applications of 50 different dispensary hopefuls and cut it down to 26.

This doesn’t mean that all 26 dispensaries will actually open.  That remains to be decided by Nevada’s health department.  The applicants that have been or will be denied will be permitted to reapply for licenses next year.  Dispensaries were denied for everything ranging from missing paperwork to questions regarding patient security.

The City Council debated for nearly an hour before approving the first dispensary due to opposition from some of the city’s residents.  The neighbors’ apprehension was overtaken by councilmen from the west side of town who granted approval to Las Vegas’s first medical marijuana shop.

One dispensary owner based out of California wasn’t so lucky.  Nuleaf, which is owned and operated out of Las Vegas, had its application denied.  Nuleaf spokesman, Bradley Mayer, said in reference to his company, that they are, “one of the longest-running dispensary operators in the country” and feel that they should have been approved.

Unfortunately for Nuleaf and many other hopefuls, they will just have to wait and try again next year.

A timeline for final approvals on dispensaries has yet to be released.

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Epilepsy Marijuana

A global trial is underway in Houston, Texas at the Texas Children’s Hospital that will test Epidiolex, and CBD-based medicine, in children who have been diagnosed with a severe form of epilepsy known as Dravet Syndrome.  The trial will be divided into two parts, the first will decide the dosage, and the second will decide whether or not the drug is efficient and safe to administer to children.

Epidiolex was created by England’s GW Pharmaceuticals and it is primarily composed of a highly concentrated form of CBD which exists only in marijuana plants.  The drug contains zero THC, so there is no risk of the 30 test subjects catching an accidental “high.”

Dr. Angus Wilfong, a pediatric neurologist at Texas Children’s Hospital, was the first one to administer Epidiolex to patients and he is very optimistic.  Wilfong has said that, “Initial trials of Epidiolex have shown promising signs of efficacy in children with treatment-resistant epilepsy and we are excited to be involved in research that will further determine if patients with Dravet syndrome will experience a reduction in their seizures.  There are several extracts available from the cannabis plant that patients are trying, but with this trial, we are especially encouraged that Epidiolex does not contain any hallucinogenic or psychoactive components.”

Dravet syndrome is a terrible and debilitating disease that makes it nearly impossible for children to live an even remotely normal life.  Dr. Gary Clark, the head of neurology at Texas Children’s hospital says, “We are hopeful that in the next year, the results of this trial will show this drug has a positive impact on enrolled patients and also that it will have implications for patients with other forms of intractable epilepsy.”

The introduction of a marijuana-based drug such as Epidiolex could change the future for anyone suffering from seizures.

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PA Marijuana
A Pennsylvania senator has requested that the District Attorney not prosecute any offenders arrested for using medical marijuana.

Democratic Senator, Daylin Leach, wrote in a letter to the District attorneys Association president:  “Given the likelihood that using lifesaving medical cannabis will not be a legal issue in Pennsylvania much longer, I ask that you consider using your prosecutorial discretion.”

A bill was sent to the senate just last month entitled “The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act” that would have outlined the way that Pennsylvania would have governed the medical marijuana market in its state had it passed.  Although there was a lot of support behind it, the bill still managed to fall short of making it to the House of Representatives.

Recent polls have shown that 80% of voters in Pennsylvania support legalizing medical marijuana.  With statistics like this, it would be a surprise to everyone if the District Attorney’s office still chooses to prosecute minor marijuana-related charges.

Leach ended the letter by saying, “I ask that you perform an act of compassion.”  In situations where a state is inevitably going to pass some sort of medical marijuana reform law, or it has already been passed, but yet to take effect, it seems like the only right thing to do would be for law enforcement officers and the courts to use their best judgment and not punish someone for trying to improve their quality of life my using small quantities of marijuana for personal use.

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Marijuana Schedule 1 Drug

Marijuana has long been classified by congress as a Schedule 1 substance, which is the worst possible classification it could receive.  The Schedule 1 classification means that the U.S. government believes marijuana has no medicinal benefits what so ever and it also carries with it a high potential for abuse.  This decision was made in 1970, and it has not yet been modified, but, hopefully, that’s all about to change.

Testimony is being heard this week in San Francisco that could change the federal classification of marijuana in what is being called the case of United States v. Pickard.  The defense has put together a team of qualified expert witnesses that will testify that marijuana does not meet the guidelines to be classified as a schedule 1 substance.

Dr. Carl Hart, the Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University in New York has said that, “It is my considered opinion that including marijuana in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act is counter to all the scientific evidence in a society that uses and values empirical evidence.  After two decades of intense scientific inquiry in this area, it has become apparent the current scheduling of cannabis has no footing in the realities of science and neurobiology.”

This will be the first time in a very long time in which a federal judge has allowed a hearing which could potentially change the current classification of marijuana in the United States.  With recreational marijuana now legalized in both Colorado and Washington and medical marijuana legalized in about 23 states, it’s nearly impossible for the general public to truly believe that marijuana is as dangerous as other Schedule 1 substances, such as heroin and LSD.

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Europe Marijuana

The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology recently presented their findings in regards to moderate marijuana use by young people and their IQ level at an event in Berlin, Germany.

Over 2,500 participants had their IQ tested at the age of 8 and again at the age of 15.  The results found by the University College of London showed that there was no correlation between marijuana use and lower IQ in the 15 year old subjects.  The study’s author stated that, “In particular, alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline.  No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change.”

The lead author of the study was even quoted in the Independent Business Times as saying, “Our findings suggest cannabis may not have a detrimental effect on cognition, once we account for other related factors particularly cigarette and alcohol use.  This may suggest that previous research findings showed poorer cognitive performance in cannabis users may have resulted from the lifestyle, behavior and personal history typically associated with cannabis use, rather than cannabis use itself.”

There is also the argument of whether kids begin doing poorly in school as a result of marijuana use or for other reasons.  Regardless, it appears that marijuana use doesn’t have any long term negative impacts on brain development in adolescents.

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AZ Marijuana Delivery

Tucson dispensary drivers are taking medical marijuana on the road after Tucson and Marana lawmakers voted to allow dispensaries to deliver medical marijuana to patients.

Arizona’s medical marijuana law lets local municipalities regulate if and how medical marijuana dispensary delivery services operate.

Earth’s Healing dispensary in Tucson was the first in the area to begin medical marijuana deliveries. They take orders online and already have patients that regularly use the delivery service.

The regulations put on dispensary’s delivery service require that their security staff inside the dispensary never lose sight of the medical marijuana or the driver, even after they leave the dispensary. Drivers wear a camera and a GPS tracking device so the dispensary staff can record the driver’s every movement at all times.

“We have a lot of patients who are handicapped and some don’t have a car or have difficulty coming in their car to get their medicine,” said Puchi-Saavedra of Earth’s Healing dispensary.

Any medical marijuana cardholder can order delivery of medical marijuana; they do not have to be homebound or handicapped.

Find medical marijuana dispensary delivery services

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Arizona DUI
Arizona’s Court of Appeals just ruled the state’s medical marijuana law does not give drivers immunity from prosecution if marijuana, or its inactive chemical compound, is found in the body.

Inactive marijuana metabolites can stay in the bloodstream for up to 2 or 4 weeks after use. This means that a medical marijuana patient can consume marijuana today and be arrested on DUI charges weeks later, when they are clearly no longer “high” or “under the influence” from using marijuana. It is the equivalent of consuming an alcoholic beverage today and getting a DUI weeks later for consuming that beverage.

There are currently about 50,000 medical marijuana patients in Arizona.

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