Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Canada Marijuana

The Canada Revenue Agency has confirmed that medical marijuana bought with a prescription is going to be an allowable medical expense on taxes.

“This is an important step, because it allows patients to write off a major component of their health-care costs,” a spokesperson told CBC News.

The expense is based on a formula calculated on taxable income. Taxpayers will likely need to reach a high threshold of allowable medical expenses to qualify for any tax relief. With the cost of legally-licensed marijuana being relatively high, many who use marijuana under a prescription may be eligible.

It is estimated that an average cost per patient is about $7.60 a day. A full year’s prescription would be about $2,774. The costs can be lower or higher, depending on dosage and type.

Canada, like many states in America, has legalized marijuana for medical use, and citizens who qualify for medical marijuana are allowed to purchase it from dispensaries.

Bill Murray Marijuana

Before Bill Murray was an international movie star he was just another kid getting arrested for marijuana possession. Except for Murray, it wasn’t for possession of a joint or a bag of marijuana, but for two pounds of marijuana – roughly $20,000 worth.

In 1970, Murray was traveling from Chicago back to Denver to resume his pre-med studies at Regis college. While waiting to board his flight he jokingly told one of his fellow passengers that he was carrying two bombs in his suitcase.

An airline employee overheard the remark and summoned some U.S. marshals who searched Murray’s luggage only to discover two pounds of marijuana.

Being a first-time offender, Murray was spared jail time and given five years of probation. The incident ended his college career, but ultimately led to an amazing movie career.

Thanks to marijuana, Bill Murray the movie star was born.

A new book about Murray, The Big Bad Book of Bill Murray: A Critical Appreciation of the World’s Finest Actor, was recently released.

AZ Marijuana Legalization

The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona has surpassed 75,000 signatures and is well on its way to its goal of 230,000 total signatures.

In order to qualify for the November 2016 ballot the campaign must get just over 150,000 valid signatures from registered Arizona voters by July 2016. The campaign is taking precautions by attempting to get more signatures than required by the state.

“Most voters seem to recognize that marijuana is less harmful than alcohol and that we’d be better off if we started treating it that way,” mentioned the campaign chairman. “It makes little sense to criminalize adults for choosing to use a product that is safer than one you can currently buy in a grocery store. Regulating and taxing marijuana like alcohol just makes sense. People recognize that marijuana prohibition has been just as big of a mess as alcohol prohibition was 80 years ago. It’s time for a more sensible approach.”

Learn more about The Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol in Arizona 

Tommy Chong Marijuana Cancer

Tommy Chong, the marijuana activist and comedian, was diagnosed with rectal cancer in June 2015, just a few years after beating prostate cancer in 2012.

Chong is battling his rectal cancer with marijuana, radiation, chemotherapy, and an optimistic charisma. In a recent interview, Chong stated: “I’m using it all. I’m using cannabis as a painkiller and I’m using cannabis oil as a preventative. I use a lot of oil and a lot of painkilling – you know, smoking the flower.”

Chong will have to get surgery after he finishes radiation and chemotherapy treatments because the treatments will only “shrink the tumor” and the doctors want to make sure all the cancer is removed.

The treatments have forced Chong to cut back on his performance schedule, but he has still found time to work on an internet talk show set to air on YouTube.

2016 Presidential Elections Marijuana

Marijuana legalization has become a major topic in America, and the 2016 presidential candidates’ views on marijuana legalization could make or break their run at presidency.

So far, only a few presidential candidates have made statements claiming to be open to some type of marijuana law reform. Most of the candidates still believe that marijuana has no medical value and/or that it is a “gateway” drug, although all current research studies have proven otherwise.

A few of the current pro-marijuana presidential candidates are: Rand Paul (R), Hillary Clinton (D), Bernie Sanders (D), and Jim Webb (D).

List of all 2016 presidential candidates’ views on marijuana legalization.


Marijuana Chronic Pain

Marijuana is quickly becoming America’s next big medical treatment substance. It’s been proven in research studies to help with a myriad of medical conditions, and federal agencies have finally published statements indicating that marijuana has medicinal value.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), which is the federal government’s principal agency for cancer research and training, recently updated its website to say that marijuana “has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory” and that “[marijuana] and cannabinoids may have benefits in treating the symptoms of cancer or the side effects of cancer therapies.”

The director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), a U.S. government institution, wrote that cannabidiol (CBD), a non-psychoactive compound in marijuana, is “a safe drug with no addictive effects, and the preliminary data suggest that it may have therapeutic value for a number of medical conditions” in an op-ed published by The Huffington Post.

Listed below are 10 of the most common medical conditions that marijuana is used for in the U.S.

1. Chronic Pain Relief

2. Anxiety Disorders

3. Nerve Pain Relief

4. Cancer Treatment

5. Crohn’s Disease

6. Multiple Sclerosis

7. Alzheimer’s Disease

8. Epilepsy

9. Glaucoma

10. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD)

Marijuana Painkillers Deaths

According to the Center for Disease Control prescription painkillers accounted for about 60% of all overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2013.

Recently, a research study found that states that have legalized marijuana have reductions in fatal overdoses and addiction treatment center admissions relating to opioid abuse. The study found that marijuana states show significant reductions in opioid misuse in states that have operating marijuana dispensaries.

The research study mentions “that states permitting medical marijuana dispensaries experience a relative decrease in both opioid addictions and opioid overdose deaths compared to states that do not.”

In the states where marijuana dispensaries are allowed, researchers found a 16% reduction in “opioid-related mortality” and 28% reduction in opioid-abuse treatment admissions. Whereas in the states where doctors can prescribe marijuana, but where dispensaries are prohibited (which makes it harder to legally obtain marijuana), the researchers found “no evidence” of “reductions in substance abuse or mortality.”

Researchers found that there was not a decline in painkiller prescriptions in the states with dispensaries, which suggests that marijuana legalization likely helped save the lives of recreational painkiller users that switched to marijuana and cut back on their pill consumption.

These research studies are quickly revealing that marijuana is a safer and effective medical treatment option.

Marijuana Politics

A new survey by Public Policy Polling and commissioned by the Marijuana Majority revealed that Republican respondents believe that states should be able to reform their marijuana laws without the feds causing issues.

A solid majority, 64 and 67 percent of Republican respondents in Iowa and New Hampshire, respectively, believe that “states should be able to carry out their own marijuana laws without federal interference.”

The survey found that Democrats supported state marijuana reform at 80 percent in Iowa and 77 percent in New Hampshire, while respondents overall were at 70 percent in Iowa and 73 percent in New Hampshire.

“Our poll shows that across party lines, and regardless of personal support for legalization, the vast majority of voters simply want the feds to get out of the way and let states implement their own reforms without harassment,” noted a Marijuana Majority representative.

A Marijuana Majority also stated: “These results clearly show that it’s just bad politics for presidential candidates to go around saying they’d send in the DEA to arrest growers, sellers and users in states where marijuana is legal. Whereas supporting legalization used to be seen as a dangerous third rail of politics, it’s now mainstream and in many cases is much more popular with voters than most elected officials are. Blocking legalization is the big political loser these days.”

Weed Wedding

As states begin to legalize marijuana for recreational use, people are replacing alcohol with the safer substance, marijuana, at events where alcohol is typically a traditional substance, such as at weddings.

Whitney Alexander and John Elledge were married this summer in Oregon, and the couple decided to have an open bar with marijuana instead of alcohol, reported KGW Portland.
Marijuana Wedding
“We were shocked by how much people loved it,” said groom John Elledge. “I’m still getting a couple of texts a day from guests who enjoyed the weed tent.” Elledge further noted that: “We made sure we were legal, we know the limit is 8 ounces so we had small amounts of 13 varieties with a budtender controlling consumption.”

The Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates Oregon’s recreational marijuana industry, said that “on private property where no liquor license is involved, it is legal [for adults 21 years or older to consume marijuana].”

Israel Marijuana

Israel’s deputy health minister announced that marijuana for medical use will be permissible at pharmacies, and more doctors will be able to prescribe it to their patients.

The Israeli Supreme Court must sign-off to approve the new law before it can be implemented.

“Even today there are pharmacies that give all kinds of other medications like drugs and morphine,” said an industry insider. He added that he hopes to make the ability to receive medical marijuana standardized in Israel.

Under current law medical marijuana patients have to get their marijuana from cultivators instead of pharmacies or dispensaries.

Over 20,000 Israelis could qualify for medical marijuana. There currently is an extended waiting list to be approved and the list is expected to increase because access to medical marijuana will become much more convenient if the new law passes.