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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Oregon Marijuana Legalization
Oregon election representatives have announced that enough signatures have been collected to allow for a marijuana legalization measure to be on the ballot this November.

The Initiative Petition 53, if passed, will control the cultivation and retail sale of marijuana to adults in Oregon. Analysts expect just shy of $90 million in tax revenue to be raised in the first two years of legalization alone.

Residents will also be permitted to grow their own marijuana if they so choose. In this case, they would be allowed to grow up to four plants at a time and possess up to eight ounces.

With over 50% of registered voters supporting the legalization of marijuana for recreational use, the odds are certainly in their favor, but we will have to wait until November to find out what the people of Oregon will choose.

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Seattle Police Marijuana

A Seattle Police officer has been suspended after the department realized he was solely responsible for issuing roughly 80% of the city’s tickets for public marijuana use since the start of 2014.

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole was looking over a staff issued report in regards to marijuana enforcement and noticed that 66 of the 83 citations for use of marijuana in public were issued by the same officer.

The officer in question even went so far as to leave notes on some of his citations.  This includes one where it appears, “the officer indicated he flipped a coin when contemplating which subject to site,” Chief O’Toole said in a statement.  There was also another note found on a different citation, where the officer called the new marijuana laws in Washington “silly”.

Chief O’Toole said that his behavior has been reported to the Office of Professional Accountability, where they will review his case.  He will also be placed on suspension while the investigation occurs.

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Florida Marijuana Legalization
Legalizing medical marijuana in the state of Florida has close to a 90% approval rating, even though there has been an onslaught of campaigning by the opposition in previous weeks.

Quinnipiac University conducted the survey which showed that voter approval far exceeded the 60 percent needed for this amendment to become a law.  Just 10 percent of people who took the poll said that they opposed legalizing medical marijuana.  Peter Brown, the assistant director of the poll, said “These numbers make a strong bet the referendum is likely to pass.”

It seems as though the sheriff’s department’s campaign against medical marijuana which was launched in April has little effect on the voter’s opinion, as the percentage of supporters has only grown over the last few months.  Another campaign aimed at shooting down the medical marijuana referendum reportedly gathered nearly $3 million in funding over the last 2 months alone.

When polled about legalizing marijuana recreationally in Florida, the numbers dropped down drastically, but were still the majority, with 55 percent In favor.

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Scott Perry
US Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA) has introduced a bill to Congress that would make cannabidiol (CBD) legal under federal law.  CBD oil is the marijuana-based oil that has been shown to reduce seizures in children with debilitating epilepsy and helps with other medical conditions.

“These children and individuals like them deserve a chance to lead a healthy and productive life and our government shouldn’t stand in the way,” said Perry.

If passed, the “Charlotte’s Web Medical Hemp Act of 2014″ would allow states to permit patients suffering from epilepsy and other related medical conditions to use CBD oil that is extremely low in THC (the psychoactive component in marijuana) but very potent in CBD content.

Currently, federal law states that any product made from marijuana is illegal, as marijuana remains classified as a Schedule I drug.

The bill would allow children and adults with epilepsy and other seizure disorders access to cannabidiol for treatment by removing CBD oil and therapeutic hemp from the federal definition of marijuana in the Controlled Substances Act. Therapeutic hemp would be defined at the federal level as marijuana containing no more than .3 percent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), under the bill.

Eleven states (Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin) have enacted laws this year to allow CBD-based medications.  Many of the laws passed in these states are not workable due to the current limitations imposed under federal law and are unlikely to provide much, if any, relief for patients.

In addition, 23 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing medical marijuana for a wide variety of medical conditions, including seizures and chronic pain.

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New York Times Marijuana
Perhaps the most renowned newspaper in the country, if not the world, has proclaimed that it is time to finally put an end to marijuana prohibition in the US.

The New York Times recently printed a story in their Sunday editorial that stated, “The federal government should repeal the ban on marijuana. We reached the conclusion after a great deal of discussion among the members of The Times Editorial Board, inspired by a rapidly growing movement among the states to reform marijuana laws.”

The Times also looked into the idea of letting states continue to decide their own fate in regards to how to govern marijuana on a state level and feel that it isn’t the best option.  They went on to say, “We considered whether it would be best for Washington to hold back while the states continued experimenting with legalizing medicinal uses of marijuana, recuing penalties, or even simply legalizing all use.  Nearly three-quarters of the states have done one of these.”

While the Times doesn’t necessarily speak for Congress, they most definitely have a massive following and are seen as perhaps the most respected news publication on the planet, so it isn’t as if they just decided to up and publish something without reviewing all of the facts.  The United States perception of marijuana is changing rapidly, and it seems like we are only moving forward.

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Marijuana AlcoholClick image to enlarge
Alcohol can be very fun to consume and can provide some benefits to society, but when compared to marijuana, it is easy to conclude that marijuana is much safer and more beneficial to society. There are many reasons as to why marijuana is safer and more beneficial than alcohol, but that would make for a really long list. Below is a list of 9 reasons why marijuana is safer than alcohol:

1. Marijuana can curb brain damage, especially damage inflicted by drinking.  Marijuana actually contains properties that can help with preventing brain damage brought on by drinking alcohol.  It can also help treat depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and other brain-related diseases.

2. Marijuana can help treat cancers caused by drinking. Alcohol is a toxin that has the potential to cause breast, liver, colon, and other cancers.  Close to 20,000 cancer related deaths in 2009 were said to be a result of excessive alcohol consumption.  Marijuana has been proven to help alleviate cancer symptoms, and possible stop some cancers.

3.  Alcohol typically causes more aggressive and in turn violent behaviors.  However, marijuana is well known to do the opposite by helping users relax.

4. Alcohol addiction is no joke.  Alcoholism exists virtually everywhere in the world and withdrawals from it can result in death or irreversible brain damage.  While marijuana addiction does exist, it is far less severe than alcohol addiction.

5. Alcohol has killed its users. Marijuana hasn’t.  Alcohol kills 2.5 million people across the globe annually, compared to an astounding zero marijuana related deaths.  It’s pretty obvious which one is more harmful.

6. Alcohol can prevent muscle growth.  Alcohol is known to decrease testosterone and interrupt sleep patterns which can affect muscle growth.

7. Marijuana has medicinal benefits.  There is a long list of ailments marijuana is said to treat, from chronic pain to inflammation.  One can argue that a glass of red wine has anti-oxidant properties, but other than that, alcohol does little to nothing positive for an individual’s well-being.

8. High sex is way better than drunk sex.  After you’ve had a few too many drinks, alcohol gives you a numbing sensation which decreases feeling all over your body.  While this can be good in some situations, like if you were to fall on your face, it’s certainly not optimal when it comes to love making.  However, marijuana increases sensitivity and can make the overall sexual experience more enjoyable.

9. Alcohol consumption often results in bad decisions, while “high” decisions tend to be more thought out.  Alcohol lowers your inhibitions which results in questionable decision making.  Marijuana users typically come to the similar conclusions as sober people, but will likely take them seconds longer to do so.

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AZ Medical Marijuana Cardholders

Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) statistics show more than 50,000 medical marijuana cards have been issued in Arizona since April 2011.

As of June 30, 2014, the number of active medical marijuana cardholders has seen a 9% increase since March 2014. A spokesperson for the Department of Health Services said the number of medical marijuana cardholders has steadily increased over the the past three years, and is expected to keep increasing.

The increasing demand for medical marijuana cards in Arizona is due to more dispensaries opening and scientific studies publishing new pro-marijuana findings; such as marijuana’s many health benefits (from THC and CBD) and lack of side effects, especially when compared to prescription drugs.

More operating dispensaries means that medical marijuana patients will have ease of access to marijuana and many more options for medicating (e.g. marijuana strains, oils, tinctures, edibles, etc).

Find an Arizona medical marijuana doctor

How to get an Arizona medical marijuana card

Marijuana Exercise
In general, people know exercise is good for the mind and body. But contrary to popular belief, it’s not just endorphins (the chemical which makes you feel good after an activity such as exercise) that make physical activity so great.

The medical community already knows the human body stores tetrahydrocannabidiol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, in fat. However, a study by Drug and Alcohol Dependence shows that the THC-to-fat storage process can give exercisers an added boost, even up to 28 days after the consumption of marijuana.

As the body begins to burn fat, traces of THC are released back into the bloodstream, producing a mild effect similar to consuming a small amount of marijuana. THC blood levels increase by approximately 15% immediately after moderate exercise, but the increase is no longer present two hours after exercising.

Studies have also found that exercising actually activates the endocannabinoid system in the same way marijuana does. The endocannabinoid system is a group of lipids (types of fats) and cell receptors that cannabinoids (compounds like THC and CBD) bind to inside the body and is responsible for reducing pain, controlling appetite, and influencing mood and memory. Furthermore, researchers have found that human-produced cannabinoids increase as you exercise, causing you to feel a little “high.”

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Marijuana Poll

Colorado registered voters who responded to a poll by Quinnipiac University Polling Institute revealed they are in support of Colorado’s new recreational marijuana industry, but would prefer marijuana be kept to private residences and members-only clubs.

54% of poll respondents said that they are still in support of the overall passage of Amendment 64, which legalized the possession, use and sale of marijuana in January 2014. Over 60% of respondents said that marijuana should not be allowed in bars and clubs where alcohol is served or at entertainment events where admission is charged.

“Coloradans are still good to go on marijuana for recreational use in private settings, but as far as letting the good times roll in bars and clubs where alcohol is served, voters don’t say ‘smoke ‘em if you got ‘em,’” stated Tim Malloy of the Quinnipiac University poll.

61% of respondents said that alcohol is more harmful to a person’s health, while 19% said that marijuana is more harmful. 59% said that alcohol is more harmful to society, while 22% said marijuana is more harmful; 14% said the two substances are equally harmful.

Marijuana’s legalization in Colorado hasn’t produced many new users, according to the poll. 51% of respondents said they have tried marijuana, but only 16% said they have tried it since marijuana was legalized in January 2014.

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Marijuana Edibles
Washington lawmakers have recently stated that they will permit recreational marijuana dispensaries to sell marijuana infused brownies, cakes, and other miscellaneous baked goods, but they will not allow them to be sold in candy form (lollipops, gummy bears, jelly beans, etc) which could potentially entice children.

Recreational marijuana clubs in Washington opened their doors to the public on July 8th of this year and the guidelines for how marijuana infused edibles are required to be packaged was released less than two weeks later.  The Liquor Control Board of Washington was placed in charge of overseeing the process.

Their main concern is they don’t want anything floating around that might appeal to children.  Specific items being banned will include gummy bears, jelly beans, suckers and some other types of candy.

Hopeful manufacturers must also adhere to certain guidelines in order for their product to even be considered.  They must be able to show that the THC is spread out evenly amongst the products to ensure that all of the edibles contain a uniform amount of potency.  In other words, they want to be sure that one brownie doesn’t get you drastically higher than another.

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