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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Marijuana Search

For years police officers have gone through extreme lengths to keep drivers detained while awaiting back up in the form of a German Shepherd with a keen nose for marijuana in hopes of finding illegal drugs. There are countless instances of cops pulling over drivers for any number of reasons only to call for K-9 back up at the very last moment.

Luckily for motorists in the US, the Supreme Court has announced that it will review a case which could potentially change how these “routine” traffic stops play out.

The case comes in the form of an instance in Nebraska where a man was pulled over in 2012 for a minor traffic infraction. The kicker was that it took only 21 minutes for the officer to issue Denny Rodriguez the traffic ticket; however, they proceeded to hold him for an additional 6 minutes while waiting for a K-9 unit to arrive.

Once the dog sniffed Rodriguez’s car, it instantly alerted the officers that there were drugs in the car and after searching the vehicle they found a small amount of methamphetamine.

Rodriguez subsequently plead guilty to the drug charges; however, his attorney later filed an appeal because the search occurred after the officer had already issued the ticket which is a direct violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.

The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in regards to this case at the beginning of 2015, with a decision being made no earlier than June of 2015. This case is of extreme importance because whatever the Supreme Court decides will ultimately set the standard for how long police officers will be allowed to detain drivers during basic traffic stops.

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Marijuana Edibles

Marijuana edibles makers in Colorado have started creating less potent edibles to appeal to novice marijuana users so that they don’t find themselves ingesting too strong of a dose and having undesirable effects.

Tim Cullen, who owns two dispensaries in the Denver area equated it to the difference between selling beer alongside liquor. He said, “No one buys a handle of JIm Beam and thinks they should drink all of that in one sitting. But people do want to eat an entire cookie, an entire piece of chocolate. So these products allow you to do that and not have a miserable experience.”

A new product lining recreational dispensary shelves is known as the “Rookie Cookie” and only contains 10 milligrams of THC. A dose this small would allow for a novice marijuana user to consume the entire thing and probably still be sober enough to operate a vehicle.

Similarly, Dixie Elixirs has put out a new soda that is 15 times less potent than that of their traditional recipe and is marketed as being “great for those who are new to THC or don’t like to share.”

The Growing Kitchen’s Holden Sprout, maker of the Rookie Cookie, said that, “For a long time, the medical market was a race to the strongest edibles. Now it’s a new market, and people want something that won’t get them so inebriated they’re not functional.”

Marijuana activists are hoping to change the public’s opinion on the dangers of over consuming marijuana as well. It is extremely common to hear a story about someone who “overdid it” and consumed too strong of a dose of an edible and “freaked out.”

It’s important that the newly legal marijuana industry ensure consumers have a safe and enjoyable time when they are inexperienced with marijuana.

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Health Benefits Marijuana

Current research is revealing that marijuana provides many health benefits. 12 health conditions that marijuana can help alleviate are listed here:

Alzheimer’s — Marijuana has been found to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, according to research by the Scripps Research Institute.

Anxiety — Harvard Medical School found that marijuana can provide anti-anxiety effects. (Although, high doses can increase anxiety and paranoia.)

Pain — Marijuana can alleviate pain and inflammation.

Arthritis — Marijuana can alleviate pain and inflammation linked to arthritis.

Crohn’s disease — Marijuana was shown to induce “complete remission” for patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, also known as inflammatory bowel disease.

Cancer — Research in the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal found that cannabidiol (CBD), which is a natural chemical found in marijuana, turns off a gene called “Id-1,” which cancer cells use to multiply.

Epilepsy — Marijuana has been shown in Virginia Commonwealth University’s animal studies to stop seizures.

Glaucoma — Researchers are working on developing new marijuana-based treatments for glaucoma pain after learning its effectiveness for treating glaucoma, a condition that increases pressure inside the eyeball and can lead to vision loss.

Lung Health — Research in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that marijuana is capable of increasing lung capacity.

Multiple Sclerosis — A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that cannabinoids (CBD, THC, etc) found in marijuana significantly reduced pain from multiple sclerosis.

Nausea — Marijuana contains a minimum of 60 chemicals known as cannabinoids, of which THC is most widely known (because of its psychoactive effects), and it has been used in the treatment of nausea, including drug- or chemotherapy-induced nausea.

Parkinson’s Disease — Research published in MedPage Today found that marijuana eases tremors and improves fine motor skills in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Learn more about marijuana

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Pot Jobs

420careers.com, the marijuana industry’s premier job listing site, has just revealed the 10 most popular marijuana industry jobs in the United States in a recent article posted on MJbizwire.

“Because the marijuana industry is so new and expanding so rapidly, many employers only require minimal or no experience necessary for their jobs posted on 420careers.com. This means that almost anyone 18 or older can apply for a job and be a highly considered candidate for the position,” stated the Director of Marketing at 420careers.com.

10 most popular marijuana jobs in the United States:

1. Budtenders (marijuana “pharmacists”) – assist dispensary customers with marijuana inquiries.
2. Marijuana Cultivators (growers) – cultivate marijuana for dispensaries.
3. Edibles Chefs – create marijuana-infused foods such as cookies, brownies, teas, sodas, and sauces.
4. Extraction Technicians – help make marijuana-infused products by creating marijuana concentrates.
5. Marijuana Industry Journalists – write about the marijuana industry for publications or blogs.
6. Vaporizer Sales Representatives – sell vaporizers for manufacturers or distributors.
7. Dispensary Security Officers – patrol dispensaries for illegal activity.
8. Trimmers – harvest and process marijuana for dispensaries.
9. Dispensary Managers – manage all or various aspects of dispensaries.
10. Marijuana Delivery Drivers – deliver marijuana to customers.

10 most popular auxiliary jobs the marijuana industry helps employ:

1. Lawyers
2. Accountants
3. Event Planners
4. Consultants
5. Web Developers/Designers
6. Realtors
7. HVAC Technicians
8. Merchant Processors
9. Payroll Services
10. General Contractors

420careers.com provides a free website for marijuana-related businesses to post available marijuana jobs and browse job-seekers’ resumes; while, job-seekers can freely browse and apply for marijuana jobs, as well as post their resumes. Businesses can upgrade their job posting to a Featured Job listing for $25 that is displayed and highlighted on 420careers.com’s homepage.

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Vanita Gupta Marijuana
President Obama is planning on nominating the current director of the ACLU’s Center for Justice, Vanita Gupta, to head up the civil rights sector of the Department of Justice.

Gupta has received wide praise from both political parties for her work with civil rights. A large amount of her focus has and will remain on the war on drugs and how it effects minorities in America. She stated in 2011 that, “the war on drugs has been a war on communities of color.”

She has also openly defended mandatory minimum sentencing laws in regards to drug charges. She says that, “This country has spent 40 years relentlessly ratcheting up the number of people going to prison and dramatically expanding the time we hold them there. We’ve spent decades criminalizing people with drug dependency, passing extreme sentencing laws, and waging a war on drugs that has not diminished drug use.”

In the early 2000s Gupta spent time defending black men who were wrongfully charged with minor drug offenses in Texas. She has also worked towards ending police incentives to arrest bystanders for minimal amounts of personal-use marijuana.

Most importantly, Gupta strongly supports marijuana decriminalization and legalization at a state level. She was quoted in an op-ed for CNN this year as saying, “states could follow Colorado and Washington by taxing and regulating marijuana and investing saved enforcement dollars in education, substance abuse treatment, and prevention and other health care.”

Marijuana advocates are extremely pleased with the nod to Gupta. A spokesman with the advocacy group, Marijuana Majority, said that, “Hopefully she can convince the next attorney general to initiate the process of rescheduling marijuana under federal law.”

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Ethan Orr Marijuana
A state lawmaker in Arizona is looking into legalizing and taxing marijuana in an attempt to increase revenue for the state.

Ethan Orr, a Republican from Tuscon, took a look at the amount of money Colorado has been pulling in via their recent marijuana legalization, and the numbers are hard to ignore. Revenue projections reveal that Arizona will end this budget year roughly $520 million in the hole, and that number could double by 2016.

Orr went on to say, “Given the massive budget shortfall we’re facing, we need to look at revenue and think this is a logical place we need to look. I think it’s time to have an intelligent conversation about it [legalization].”

The Marijuana Policy Project of Arizona plans to model their initiative on the recreational marijuana program already underway in Colorado which has allowed adults age 21 and older to purchase and possess up to an ounce of marijuana at a regulated amount of retail shops.

The Legislative Council in Colorado suggests that the state will bring in close to $175 million before the fiscal year in 2017 comes to an end.

Orr hopes that he will gain some support from his fellow colleagues, but he is also preparing for the worst. He says that, “If I don’t think I’ll have the votes, I won’t take it forward.”

Marijuana is already legal in Arizona on a medicinal level, and just over 50,000 residents are enrolled in the program.

Orr also worries that there will be opposition not just from law enforcement officials in regards to legalizing marijuana recreationally, but also from owners of medical marijuana dispensaries who have put in a lot of time and money into modeling their businesses around the state’s medical marijuana laws.

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Maryland Marijuana Decriminalization

Maryland’s new marijuana decriminalization law has begun. The new bill will allow for citizens in possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana to receive a simple fine.

The law originally stated that anyone found in possession of any amount of marijuana can be arrested and serve up to a 90 day prison sentence. But as of October 1, violators will instead be issued a ticket. The first ticket will be for $100, the second for $250 and then $500 for any tickets thereafter.

A strange amendment to the law has made it still illegal to possess any and all marijuana paraphernalia. This includes everything from a 3 foot glass bong to a rolling paper. So someone caught smoking a joint could technically be arrested for the rolling paper, but not the marijuana itself.

However, as a result from public outcry by marijuana activists in Maryland, lawmakers have said that they will look into the idea of doing away with this law in the next year.

Medical marijuana has been legal in Maryland since June 1, 2014, and patients are allowed to carry paraphernalia worry free.

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Will Humble ADHS
Arizona Department of Health Services’ (ADHS) Director, Will Humble, wants to make adding new qualifying medical conditions to Arizona’s medical marijuana program more difficult.

Humble rejected all prior efforts to add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying medical conditions, saying there was no credible scientific evidence that PTSD can be helped by marijuana use. But a hearing officer has officially ruled that anecdotal evidence could be considered in this circumstance, and Humble relented. Now, he wants to re-draft Arizona’s medical marijuana rules to say that future changes can come only with peer-reviewed studies that show clear and convincing evidence the marijuana helps.

Humble stated: “So that’s just my intent in making it clear, as I thought it already was, but to make it even more crystal clear that future decisions, or any decisions I continue make in this job, will need to be based on evidence and data.”

But attorney Jeffrey Kaufman noted the change ignores a major key factor, that “The governments have constructed a complex and impossible program and maze for anyone to get medical marijuana studies funding.”

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Marijuana Movie Theater

As Colorado’s recreational marijuana market expands, a surge of entrepreneurs are stepping up their game to get a piece of the marijuana pie.

One innovative business, the Scarlet Theater, is planning to open a marijuana-friendly movie theater for tourists and Denver area marijuana-users to hang out, get high, and watch awesome movies.

The Scarlet Theater is currently in development, but they have big plans. The theater will require patrons pay a membership fee to enter and enjoy the club, but it sounds well worth it. The theater plans on featuring a world-class restaurant and a BYOC (bring your own cannabis) policy.

Proprietor Kelly McGonigal describes some key differences that make the Scarlet Theater stand out from other social clubs in the Denver area: “Offering more things to do than just smoke and socialize — which are great in and of themselves, but sometimes people want to toke up, and maybe talk with people for a while, but then they want to go off and do their own thing. People who want to do that can go to the movie theater, they can go to the restaurant. And since they’re all operated by us, patrons will know they’ll be in a supportive, understanding environment.”

The Scarlet Theater is scheduled to open for business on April 20, 2015.

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Jamaica Marijuana

The Justice Minster of Jamaica recently announced that legislation is under way to decriminalize marijuana.

The majority of the world views Jamaica as a place where marijuana is widely used and accepted, but that is far from the case. Jamaica has prohibited the use of marijuana for the last 100 years.

Justice Minister, Mark Golding, has suggested to lawmakers that they should make possession of 2 ounces or less a simple ticket before year’s end. He also hopes that marijuana use for religious purposes will be legalized as well. The Rastafarian religion, which views marijuana as a “holy herb,” smokes marijuana in a ceremonial fashion on a regular basis. Golding believes that they should be permitted to partake as they please.

Golding also believes that Jamaican scientists may hold the key to unlocking some of the vast therapeutic benefits of marijuana. Jamaican researchers even came up with a medication made from marijuana to help treat glaucoma over 20 years ago that has received little to no attention from the medical world.

In the midst of the legalization movement, Golding stresses that the government will continue to battle drug trafficking, organized crime, and keeping marijuana out of the hands of the youth.

Golding mentioned that while they do not plan on setting a maximum plant number on marijuana growing operations, the government wants to make sure that all small scale farmers “are not excluded and it does not just become something exclusively for major capital-intensive investors.”

The leader of the Drug Policy Alliance said of Golding’s legislation that it is “both noteworthy in that Jamaica is reforming policies on possession, religious use and medical use at more or less the same time, and politically important to providing leadership in the Caribbean.”

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