Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Illinois Dispensary Opens

Illinois medical marijuana patients will begin receiving their marijuana cards within two weeks, and Illinois dispensaries will begin opening at that time to.

There are only a few Illinois dispensaries that are licensed and ready to open.

“We have been working on this for well over a year, probably close to two years,” stated CEO of The Clinic Mundelein dispensary, which will be the first dispensary to open in northern Illinois, just 30 miles north of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. “This is not Cheech and Chong, this is not a head shop, this is a medical facility to help patients who are in need.”

Illinois medical marijuana patients will be able to purchase everything from marijuana-infused topical creams to edibles.


Ohio Marijuana Legalize

Ohioans will be voting on a historic medical and recreational marijuana legalization ballot Tuesday, November 3.

This will be an unprecedented first for voters anywhere in the U.S. because Ohioans will be deciding whether to approve recreational and medical marijuana at the same time, which has never happened before.

Ballot Issue 3 is for legalizing marijuana, whereas ballot Issue 2 is against marijuana legalization. ResponsibleOhio, the advocacy group supporting Issue 3, has been campaigning throughout Ohio with the slogan “vote no on 2 and yes on 3.”

If ballot Issue 3 passes, Ohio residents will be able to grow four marijuana plants for personal consumption, medically or recreationally. Furthermore, there would be only 10 commercial marijuana cultivation farms, which are already owned by the investors who financially backed Issue 3.

If Issue 3 is approved, Ohio would be the fifth state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. were the first to legalize recreational marijuana use.

In 2016, voters are expected to vote on marijuana legalization ballots in Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, and possibly in other states.


Australia Marijuana

Australia is improving its drug laws to allow for the cultivation of marijuana for medicinal and scientific purposes.

The new law will remove a major obstacle to the establishment of clinical trials for marijuana.

Amendments are being drafted for the Narcotics Drugs Act which will allow for the controlled cultivation of marijuana, giving patients access to “a safe, legal and sustainable supply of locally produced products for the first time,” said Sussan Ley, the Australian Health Minister.

The Australian government will create a licensing program to regulate and manage the supply and quality of marijuana from the cultivation sites to pharmacy.

“This government is incredibly sympathetic to the suffering of those Australians with debilitating illnesses and we want to enable access to the most effective medical treatments available,” said Ley. He continued, “Allowing the cultivation of legal medicinal cannabis crops in Australia under strict controls strikes the right balance between patient access, community protection and our international obligations.”


Marijuana Dispensary Study

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) released, “Where Will Patients Obtain Their Medicine?,” a white paper on the impact of medical cannabis dispensaries on patients, teen cannabis use, crime and communities. Since legal medical cannabis dispensaries first emerged following the creation of California’s medical cannabis program in 1996, the location of medical cannabis dispensaries has been a contentious issue. Although, critics have long suggested that medical cannabis dispensaries will worsen crime rates or otherwise undermine the communities that host them, empirical research shows that dispensaries bring economic development and provide patients with a physician-recommended medicine while not being associated with increased levels of crime or other social ills.

“The research shows that well-regulated dispensaries are responsible neighbors and valued members of the community,” said Steph Sherer, ASA’s executive director. “They bring jobs and increased economic activity while providing patients suffering from serious illnesses with an essential physician-recommended medicine. Creating equitable rules for medical cannabis access is a win-win scenario for everyone in a community.”

Twenty-three states, the District of Columbia and Guam have passed legislation to create medical cannabis programs, however several states are still in the process of implementing aspects of the programs such as licensing or have only recently seen licensed dispensaries open. Massachusetts, Minnesota and Illinois have issued licenses to medical cannabis dispensaries for the first time in the last year. Maryland, Hawaii and New Hampshire are currently in the process of implementing the licensing of medical cannabis dispensaries and cultivation sites.

“Understandably, counties and cities in states with new medical cannabis programs are sometimes uncertain about dispensaries opening for the first time,” said Mike Liszewski, ASA’s Government Affairs Director. “However, the available evidence shows that medical cannabis dispensaries are good neighbors. Local officials who seek to restrict access to dispensaries for patients in their community are not creating any public benefit by doing so, and if fact are creating a greater overall harm by imposing extra burdens on this already sick and vulnerable patient population. Dispensaries can be quite an asset to the community when they are regulated by sensible best practices instead of myths.”

In 2004 ASA published the first edition, “Medical Cannabis Dispensing Collective and Local Regulation” to guide California communities in the creation of effective and equitable regulations for dispensaries. Since that time hundreds of cities and counties have addressed the creation of local licensing, zoning and other regulatory rules for dispensary locations.

ASA is distributing the report along with state-specific legal information to relevant officials in Maryland, Hawaii and New Hampshire to educate them as they craft regulations to facilitate medical cannabis access in their communities.


Bernie Sanders Marijuana Legalization

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, in a speech to nearly 2,000 students at George Mason University on Wednesday night, announced that he believes states should be allowed to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use. The Republican presidential debate was supposed to be the biggest political event of the evening until Bernie Sanders stole its thunder.

“In my view, the time is long overdue for us to remove the federal prohibition on marijuana,” said Sanders. “In my view, states should have the right to regulate marijuana the same way that state and local laws now govern the sale of alcohol and tobacco.”

Sander’s would also allow for current, state-legal marijuana dispensaries to use banking services and apply for tax deductions that are currently unavailable under federal law.

“It is time to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol. It is time to end the arrests of so many people and the destruction of so many lives for possessing marijuana,” stated Sanders. “Too many Americans have seen their lives destroyed because they have criminal records as a result of marijuana use. That’s wrong. That has got to change.”


Pills Marijuana

Americans are beginning to replace prescription drugs and alcohol with marijuana.

Chronic pain, anxiety and depression sufferers are particularly inclined to use marijuana instead of prescription drugs due to the horrible side effects from the drugs intended for these medical conditions.

Many recent research studies have begun to reveal the effectiveness of marijuana at easing pain, improving quality of life, and reduced risk rates. As research studies continue to unveil the benefits of marijuana for medical conditions, it is expected that many more people will switch to using marijuana as an alternative to prescription drugs.

Here is a list of six drugs that could be replaced by marijuana:

– Percocet (painkiller)

– Xanax (anti-anxiety)

– Adderall (for ADHD & narcolepsy)

– Ambien (sedative)

– Vicodin (painkiller)

– Zoloft (antidepressant)


Marijuana Veterans

Veterans groups from around the state and across the country are rallying for a march at the Sandra Day O’Connor Federal Courthouse Tuesday Oct. 27 at 8am. The internationally renowned organizations, Weed for Warriors and Grow4Vets, along with numerous other veterans groups are calling on Arizona vets to join the march for improving veterans’ conditions, especially for VA approval of marijuana as part of recommended treatment for PTSD.

The march will be part of the veteran focus at the upcoming Southwest Cannabis Conference and Expo (SWCC Expo) at the Phoenix Convention Center, Oct. 26-28. Area veterans will march to the convention center to join the convention, which will feature celebrated PTSD researcher Dr. Sue Sisley and several noted cannabis researchers discussing veteran and patient issues, in addition to being the first regional cannabis business conference including all seven southwestern states.

Film crews and reporters are already involved in documenting this groundbreaking event.

Learn more about the rally and march and the SWCC Expo.

Richard Branson Drugs
Richard Branson, billionaire and founder of the Virgin Group, leaked an unpublished United Nations’s draft policy document on that pertains to internationally decriminalizing drugs from the UN’s Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

The document says that decriminalizing drugs would be consistent with international law.

“My colleagues on the Global Commission on Drug Policy and I could not be more delighted,” wrote Branson about the leaked document. He added that “together with countless other tireless advocates, I’ve for years argued that we should treat drug use as a health issue, not as a crime. While the vast majority of recreational drug users never experience any problems, people who struggle with drug addiction deserve access to treatment, not a prison cell.”

The UNODC was designed to help member states fight against illicit drugs, crime and terrorism. The office’s briefing paper clarifies their stance on how countries should approach drug policies, saying that decriminalizing drug use and possession for personal consumption “is consistent with international drug control conventions and may be required to meet obligations under international human rights law.”

A UNODC spokesman stated: “The briefing paper on decriminalization mentioned in many of today’s media reports, and intended for dissemination and discussion at a conference in Kuala Lumpur, is neither a final nor formal document from the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime, and cannot be read as a statement of UNODC policy.”


Big Pharma Marijuana

Many research polls are revealing that Americans favor the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use. But VICE News found that in the shadows lie a group of mainstream academics that are misinforming lawmakers that loosening laws on marijuana is too dangerous.

There appears to be a major conflict of interest because it was found that many researchers that have advocated against marijuana legalization are also on the payroll of some major pharmaceutical companies, and when these researchers are quoted in the media, their ties with Big Pharma are not declared.

Take for instance Dr. A. Eden Evins, an associate professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. She regularly criticizes marijuana legalization efforts on leading media outlets and is on the board of the anti-marijuana advocacy group, Project SAM. Last year she told the Times: “When people can go to a ‘clinic’ or ‘cafe’ and buy pot, that creates the perception that it’s safe.”

Meanwhile, Evins participation with the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry led to her disclosing her financial relationships, which revealed that as of November 2012, she was a “consultant for Pfizer and DLA Piper and has received grant/research support from Envivo, GlaxoSmithKline, and Pfizer.”

Although laws in the US are shifting towards marijuana legalization, there are reputable-appearing academics that are continually misinforming the general public and lawmakers about marijuana – while promoting toxic, addictive, and deadly pharmaceutical drugs – and they need to be exposed to the public and to lawmakers.


Judge Breyer Marijuana

State-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries across the U.S. won a major victory in federal court this week.

U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer removed an injunction against the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana, one of California’s first state-licensed dispensaries.

Judge Breyer ruled that the recently enacted Congressional law (the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment) stops the federal government from prosecuting the Marin Alliance for Medical Marijuana and its founder.

An attorney for Marin Alliance stated that the judge’s ruling provides protection to every state-legal dispensary facing federal action and should drastically diminish the amount of federal prosecutors seeking to prosecute state-legal dispensaries.

“We finally have a federal judge who is taking the authors of the spending amendment seriously when they say the intent and its wording should be interpreted so that the federal government should not be spending resources prosecuting individuals complying with state law,” stated an attorney.

The Marin Alliance founder remarked that the case is precedent-setting because a federal judge ruled Congressional law which means what it was intended to mean — the war on medical marijuana is over. “We won the war… and I’m the first POW to be released,” she said.