Marijuana News in Arizona and World
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.”
As states begin to legalize marijuana for recreational use, people are replacing alcohol with the safer substance, marijuana, atwhere 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.
“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’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.
According to the Marijuana Policy Project’s list of the Top 50 Most Influential Marijuana Consumers, President Obama is the most influential person in the U.S. to have used marijuana – and many more politicians made the list too, along with billionaires, celebrities, and a well-known doctor.
“About one out of every two Americans has used marijuana, including a whole lot of very successful people,” stated Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project. “There are a lot more out there that we don’t know about because it is illegal. Marijuana is a less harmful substance than alcohol. Adults who use it responsibly should not have to choose between keeping it a secret or admitting to a crime.”
Almost all of the 2016 presidential hopefuls have admitted to trying marijuana at some point in their life.
“In addition to potentially becoming our next president, these marijuana consumers are playing a major role in the national political dialogue,” Tvert noted. “Win or lose, they are guiding the debate and influencing the positions of others both within and outside of their parties.”
Tvert concluded by saying: “We hope this list will make people question some of the anti-marijuana propaganda they’ve been hearing for so long. Millions of adults enjoy consuming marijuana for many of the same reasons that adults enjoy consuming alcohol. The only thing that makes marijuana consumers more likely to become ‘losers’ are the legal penalties they face just for using it.”
Colorado and Washington, the first two states to legalize marijuana for recreational use in the U.S., have brought in about $200 million in tax revenue, collectively. And the revenue is already benefiting the states and their residents.
“Our philosophy has been that marijuana pays its own way,” said J. Skyler McKinley, deputy director of the Office of Marijuana Coordination in Colorado. “Every dime we bring in from legalization is dedicated to the cost of legalization. That’s regulatory framework first, then public education campaigns about safe and responsible use and then prevention and treatment programs.”
After a year and a half of legalized recreational marijuana sales, Colorado has collected over $117 million in excise taxes from both the recreational and medical marijuana industries, according to the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Washington state’s recreational marijuana retail shops began selling marijuana in July of 2014, and they are keeping pace with Colorado. Nearly $83 million in excise taxes have already been collected within the first year, according to the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board.
Both states devote the tax revenue to public schools, drug prevention education, marijuana research, and other programs.
“The big lesson we tell other states is you probably shouldn’t legalize marijuana if you want to make money – that’s not why you do it,” noted McKinley. “You do it because you think that a regulated marketplace might be safer than an unregulated marketplace or you believe that the war on drugs didn’t work.” McKinley added: “It turns out government can be pretty good at this.”
Along with Colorado and Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Washington, D.C., have also legalized recreational marijuana use (although D.C. continues to ban sales). A handful of other states – Arizona, California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and Ohio, to name a few – are expected to vote for marijuana legalization in 2016, except Ohio, which will vote in Nov. 2015.
Marijuana and tobacco have always been believed to cause decreased memory function. But according to a recent research study published in the Behavioral Brain Research Journal, the opposite is true when marijuana and tobacco are consumed together.
Dr. Francesca M. Filbey PhD found that as the hippocampus (an area of the brain associated with memory and spatial navigation) got smaller from marijuana and tobacco use, memory improved.
“We expected the opposite,” stated a researcher. The study also mentioned that with people who use marijuana and tobacco: “smaller hippocampal volumes were linked to relatively higher memory scores.”
It is estimated that about 70% of marijuana users also use tobacco, which is why these researchers decided to research the combined effects of marijuana and tobacco use.
Ireland officials recently met about their concerns over Ireland’s national drug abuse problem. They appear to be leaning to the idea that all drugs should be decriminalized.
Years ago, Portugal decriminalized all drugs and applied a public health approach to illegal drug use because of increasing drug overdose deaths and HIV/AIDS. Years later, Portugal has the second lowest number of drug-related deaths in all of Europe.
Ireland is leaning towards the approach of treating drug abuse as a public health issue rather than criminal justice issue.
The Irish Minister stated that there has been “wide consensus within the room for decriminalization” and there are still “some question marks and some discussion points as to how to get wider society on board with the idea.” He further noted that “people in the sector may be convinced but the terminology and the language is going to be important.”
After years of delays, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (DFPR) has announced the state’s first medical marijuana dispensary.
The dispensary, Harbory, will be located at 8195 Express Drive in Marion, which is approximately 300 miles south of Chicago. The dispensary is licensed for operation and can open at anytime. Currently there is no known open date.
“Illinois medical cannabis dispensaries will continue to be registered on a rolling basis,” said the DFPR in a statement. “Illinois medical cannabis dispensaries will receive medical cannabis exclusively from Illinois’ licensed growing facilities once it becomes available.”
A dispensary named Nature’s Treatment is currently under construction in Milan, which is in western Illinois, near Davenport, Iowa.
The DFPR mentioned that dispensaries will continue to be registered on a rolling basis. Once approved, names and addresses of dispensaries will be made available to the public.
Hundreds of pre-registered Nevada medical marijuana cardholders visited Euphoria Wellness, the first medical marijuana dispensary in the Las Vegas area, and second dispensary in the state.
Euphoria Wellness, located at 7785 S. Jones Blvd., is south of the strip and about 7 miles southwest from McCarran International Airport.
Only six strains are currently available, but the dispensary plans to offer about 30 strains in the future. Marijuana-infused, oils and tinctures will also be available in the future.
One of the dispensary’s first patients said that the pills his doctors prescribed made him lethargic. “I sat in a recliner and did nothing,” the patient remarked. He also noted that after four years with a medical marijuana card, he is happy to finally have a safe place to buy lab-tested marijuana.
Congresswoman Dina Titus said that “this movement has really picked up in the last five years.” Nevada incorporated laws and lessons learned from states like Arizona, California and Colorado that have medical marijuana laws worth replicating. “Some people would say we’re the model now,” said Titus.
One, if not more, medical marijuana dispensaries are expected to open in Las Vegas before winter. In all, Las Vegas is expected to have about 40 to 50 dispensaries.
Regional dispensary and cultivation center owners will receive free admission to the inaugural Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo (SWCC Expo) on October 27 and 28 at the Phoenix Convention Center, according to Rory Mendoza, executive director of the first-ever cannabis convention in Arizona.
The complimentary admission tickets are provided through a partnership with MJ Freeway and SWCCExpo.com by October 15. Licensed dispensary and cultivation center owners from Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Southern California may qualify.organizers and must be reserved online at
“Education and community are a cornerstone of our industry. Conferences like the Southwest Cannabis Conference & Expo help ensure all regions have access tothat foster leadership, education and community-building. MJ Freeway gladly supports the advancement of the cannabis industry through our sponsorship of these types of events. The SWCCE is special because cannabis-business owners, the heart of the industry, receive free admission to the event,” said Amy Poinsett, co-founder and CEO of MJ Freeway.
MJ Freeway is the market share leader for seed-to-sale tracking software, with patent-pending inventory control and grow management applications for cannabis businesses. The company provides industry-leading technology that efficiently delivers seamless solutions and compliance accountability for producers, processors, manufacturers, and retailers.
Attendance at the Phoenix event is expected to sell out due to Arizona’s high-profile presence throughout the country as a state to watch amid the ever-changing medical marijuana and recreational legislative environment.