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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Marijuana Travel
According to Denver news reports, marijuana-enjoying tourists leaving the Mile High City have been giving their leftover marijuana to rental car employees because they’re afraid of a shakedown by airport security.

“It happens quite often…every couple of days” said one rental car employee. Another rental car agency employee said departing travelers hand her their leftover marijuana several times per day. “It happens pretty often. More during the weekends. Probably like four times a day,” she stated.

Some workers “just throw it in the trash” while others likely keep the free marijuana because marijuana is legal in Colorado for adults 21 and older.

This marijuana-ditching phenomenon seems to be a common occurrence at Denver International Airport because tourists are highly aware that transporting marijuana via airplane is a felony and could get them arrested. This is because marijuana is still considered illegal by the federal government and by the Federal Aviation Administration, even though marijuana is legal in Colorado.

Airport officials stated that the few individuals caught with marijuana have simply been asked to throw it away. “We want them to discard it peacefully and carry on with their trip,” said Stacey Stegman, a spokesperson with the airport. “We don’t want to have to issue a citation, we don’t want anyone to get in trouble.”

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Marijuana Alcohol Poll
According to an online CivicScience poll of over 450,000 Americans, 58 percent of respondents support regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

The majority of respondents reported that they would support “a law in [their] state that would legalize, tax, and regulate marijuana like alcohol”. Only 35% of respondents reported that they would oppose such a change in law.

Another recent poll of responses found even stronger support for marijuana legalization, with 61% of respondents polled agreeing with marijuana law reform.

The CivicScience survey is not a scientific poll, although its findings are very similar to those reported by Gallup in 2013, when 58% of respondents reported that they support marijuana legalization.

Furthermore, in April, the Pew Research Center reported that 54% of Americans support legalizing marijuana.

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Marijuana Research
The federal government has decided to increase their marijuana supply for research purposes.  The DEA announced last week that they will increase their marijuana production quota from a meager 21 kilograms to a whopping 650 kilograms in order to meet demand.

A farm at the University of Mississippi in Oxford is federally permitted to grow a set amount of marijuana to be used in clinical trials.  All protocol must first be approved by the DEA, FDA, and the US National Institute on Drug Abuse before administering marijuana to human test subjects.

Marijuana advocates have been quick to point out that in the past the majority of the research being done by the federal government on marijuana has been designed to point out all the potential harms rather than the many therapeutic benefits.

A spokesman for the research said, “The additional supply of cannabis to be manufactured in 2014 is designed to meet the current and anticipated research efforts involving marijuana.  This projection of increased demand is due in part to the recent increased interest in the possible therapeutic uses of marijuana.”

There are currently eight trials being done on marijuana’s effects on humans, but only two are devoted to researching the plant’s benefits.

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Marijuana School
A leading marijuana school is going from the classroom (sometimes held at Colorado University in Denver) to interactive online classes for the masses.

THC University has transformed all of its curriculum online as engaging interactive classes, making THC University the first massive open online courses (MOOC) school in the marijuana industry.

MOOC schools have lesson plans, quizzes, and get students to interact in classes which helps exercise the brain and increase memorization. MOOC schools also offer large amounts of free, or low cost, education when compared to other schools with all the benefits of being able to ask instructors questions and interact with students in an online community.

“We built the courses using the most modern education techniques to increase brain function, engagement and memory. We used the most advanced software to build our courses. We didn’t just make a Powerpoint presentation or make a bunch of YouTube videos like many other online cannabis schools. We knew why MOOC schools were successful, and we believe the cannabis community would benefit from this,” stated Matt Jones, President of THC University.

THC University provides marijuana education that can help people find a job in the marijuana industry at places such as dispensaries, doctor offices, edible makers, and elsewhere.

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Hemp Clothing
A new hemp clothing company based out of Denver is enticing customers with an added gift of free marijuana with the purchase of their clothing.

Hemp House clothing announced that along with the clothing customers order they will also deliver an eighth of marijuana to the customers that are 21 years of age or older and that live in the Denver area. Upon delivery buyers will have to show a photo ID proving their age.

Anyone who does not live within the Denver metro area has been promised via the Hemp House website that they will not be excluded from the promotion. Instead they will be given “something special” in place of the eighth of marijuana.

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Santa Fe Marijuana
Santa Fe has became the latest US city to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Santa Fe City Council voted five to four in favor of revising a law to classify possession of less than one ounce (28 grams) of marijuana to only a misdemeanor.

The new law, which will take effect in 30 days, reduces the criminal penalties that range from fines of between $50 to $100 and up to 15 days in jail, into a (still undetermined) civil citation penalty.

“I have been in favor of decriminalization all along, I just wanted this to be on the November ballot in order for the citizens to make the decision,” stated Santa Fe Mayor Javier Gonzales.

New Mexico state director for the Drug Policy Alliance, Emily Kaltenbach, mentioned she hoped for a broader vote, but said: “It is still a historic win for us all.”

Kaltenbach said activists obtained some 11,000 signatures and that her polling revealed that more than 70 percent of Santa Fe residents supported decriminalization.

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Marijuana Science

For years, the federal government has subsidized studies designed to find negative effects from marijuana while blocking inquiry into its potential benefits. Ironically, their adamant search for downsides has created remarkable scientific insights that explain why marijuana is such a versatile remedy for many medical conditions and why it is the most sought-after “illegal” substance on earth.

There are over 100 unique cannabinoids identified in marijuana; of them, the best known is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), marijuana’s principal psychoactive component, and cannabidiol (CBD), marijuana’s anti-inflammatory component that can reduce the psychoactive effects of THC. In addition to the phytocannabinoids produced only by the cannabis (marijuana) plant, there are endogenous cannabinoids that occur naturally in the human brain and body.

Some highlights from the exploding field of cannabinoid science:

1. THC, CBD and other plant cannabinoids are not only effective for the management of cancer symptoms (nausea, pain, loss of appetite, fatigue, etc.), but they also aided a direct anti-tumoral effect, according to peer-reviewed studies by the Complutense University in Spain and the California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

2. The Scripps Research Institute in California found that THC inhibits an enzyme involved in the accumulation of beta amyloid plaque that disrupts communication between brain cells, the hallmark of Alzheimer’s-related dementia.

3. At Kings College in London, cannabinoid receptor signaling assisted neurogenesis (the creation of new brain cells) in adult mammals and helped regulate the migration and differentiation of stem cells.

4. In China, scientists have shown that the pain-releiving effects of acupuncture are mediated by the same cannabinoid receptors that are activated by THC.

5. Pharmaceutical companies are attempting to induce therapeutic outcomes by manipulating levels of the body’s own cannabinoids. Animal studies indicate that it is possible to dissipate a wide range of pathological conditions (such as neuropathic pain, hypertension, colitis, and opiate withdrawal) by preventing/delaying the enzymatic breakdown of endogenous cannabinoids.

Read more about the health benefits of marijuana.

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AZ Dispensary Cultivation
An Arizona dispensary is constructing a large medical marijuana cultivation center that is expected to create at least 20 jobs within the next few months.

Natural Herbal Remedies operates the only dispensary in Holbrook, Arizona. It will also own and operate the only medical marijuana cultivation center in Holbrook. The Natural Herbal Remedies dispensary is going to remain in its existing location.

City Manager Ray Alley has been working with Natural Herbal Remedies to help them acquire the proper building permits for remodeling the inside of the warehouse. Alley noted that multiple rooms are being constructed inside the warehouse for the cultivation of various strains of marijuana.

Natural Herbal Remedies mentioned that the cultivation center is expected to become operational in about three months and a minimum of 20 jobs will be created to run the center.

According to Natural Herbal Remedies the warehouse has been unoccupied for about eight years. Alley noted that he is pleased to see the warehouse become occupied, and that the dispensary and its cultivation center will be providing jobs as well as revenue for the city.

View All Arizona Dispensaries

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Marijuana Violence
A study released last week in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors has stated that married couples who use marijuana together are less likely to get into physical altercations. Over 600 couples were taken into assessment by prestigious universities such as Yale and Rutgers, where they learned the following:

“In this community sample of newly married couples, more frequent marijuana use generally predicted less frequent IPV [intimate partner violence] perpetration, for both men and women, over the first 9 years of marriage.  Moderation analyses provided evidence that couples in which both spouses used marijuana frequently were at the lowest risk for IPV perpetration, regardless of the perpetrator’s gender.”

A similar study where marijuana was replaced with alcohol was conducted at the beginning of the year in the journal Addictive Behaviors, where it was concluded that frequent alcohol use is responsible for more frequent violence amongst couples where heavy drinking was the norm.

Researchers have thus come to the conclusion that “marijuana use did not increase the odds of any type of aggression.”

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AZ Marijuana Doctors
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) won’t officially become a medical marijuana qualifying condition in Arizona until Jan. 1, 2015. But Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation Center (SWMMEC) is already set to help expedite PTSD candidates’ medical marijuana evaluation process which will allow the qualifying candidates to get their medical marijuana cards as soon as it is legally possible.

SWMMEC has three valley locations that are pre-qualifying PTSD candidates for medical marijuana cards for free. Candidates can also pre-pay for an appointment with SWMMEC in the first week of January, when the doctor will finalize the paperwork needed to make the PTSD candidates medical marijuana patients.

PTSD candidates will receive a discount for pre-paying and scheduling their January 2015 appointment at SWMMEC. Typically, medical marijuana evaluations cost $125 at SWMMEC, but pre-paying will only cost $60.

The Arizona marijuana advocacy group, Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association, is appealing the Arizona Department of Health Services’ terms and delays to implement PTSD as a qualifying condition. So it is possible that the Department of Health Services will be forced to make PTSD a qualifying condition before January 2015.

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