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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Australia Marijuana

Most people would expect places like California or Amsterdam to be the leaders in growing high-potency marijuana, but research has revealed it’s actually Australia that grows the most potent marijuana on Earth.

Samples taken from the street market in Australia measured 15 percent THC on average, and the most potent marijuana measured as high as 40 percent THC. To put that into perspective, dispensaries generally sell marijuana with THC levels ranging from 12 – 24 percent.

Recreational users will likely see this as good news, but high levels of THC are a drawback for people who use marijuana for medical purposes. This is because the levels of CBD (a potent anti-inflammatory) usually decrease when THC levels increase, which was another finding in the research study.

In countries such as Israel, where marijuana research and medical marijuana are legal, marijuana is being bred for medicinal purposes to contain as much as 15 percent CBD and less than 1 percent THC.

Marijuana Sleep

It’s no secret that marijuana can have a very powerful effect on sleep quality. Marijuana is probably best known for its ability to induce drowsiness; in other words, it often makes people feel mellow or sleepy.

People who consume marijuana before bed often report a decrease in the time it takes to fall asleep, increase in the restfulness of their sleep, and a lack of dreams/nightmares.

Scientists now know that cannabinoids (active ingredients in marijuana, such as THC and CBD) mimic the effects of endocannabinoids, compounds naturally found in the body. Studies have revealed that endocannabinoids act as natural regulators of the human sleep/wake cycle. Substances such as nicotine and alcohol are known to disrupt natural sleep cycles.

Research has found that ingestion of THC (the psychoactive compound found in marijuana) leads to increased slow-wave sleep, which leads to a decrease in REM sleep, which explains why marijuana users often experience less dreams/nightmares.

Nighttime marijuana use might be beneficial for the treatment of sleep disorders like insomnia, night terrors, and sleep apnea.

Marijuana Jobs

Each day, legal marijuana companies hire and employ more and more people who want to get into America’s fastest emerging industry. And as more states join the marijuana legalization bandwagon – most recently Alaska, Oregon, and Washington D.C. – more jobs and revenue streams will blossom for those pro-marijuana states.

A recent marijuana industry company estimated that the legal marijuana industry will create around 200,000 new jobs in 2015. The marijuana industry job board, 420careers.com, has seen an increase in job postings over the last year and expect to see a drastic increase in jobs postings in 2015 because of the new states that passed recreational marijuana laws.

Along with the newfound medical benefits of marijuana and the tax dollars generated from sales, it’s use as an employer has become enormous and undeniable.

Many of the marijuana industry jobs will be created in states with legalized recreational marijuana markets (Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, and D.C.). Other developing states, such as Arizona, Nevada, Illinois, and Massachusetts, will also be hiring plenty of pro-marijuana employees to help at dispensaries and doctor offices.

Marijuana Doctors AZ

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) will become an Arizona medical marijuana qualifying condition on Jan. 1, 2015. And Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation Center (SWMMEC) is 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 pre-qualifies all candidates for medical marijuana cards for free. PTSD candidates can pre-pay for an appointment with SWMMEC for 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. This discount expires at the end of the first week of January.

Contact SWMMEC here for details

Virgin Islands Marijuana

Legislation in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI) decriminalizing the possession of one ounce or less of marijuana has become law.

The measure eliminates jail time for minor marijuana offenses. And under the new law, marijuana possession for those 18 years of age and older will be classified as a civil offense, punishable by only a fine of between $100 and $200. Those under the age of 18 will be required to complete a drug awareness program.

Previously, minor marijuana possession offenses in the USVI were punishable by up to one year in jail and a $5,000 fine.

The enactment of the new law “will go a long way in easing cost on the judicial system and judicial process,” said the sponsor of the bill, Sen. Terrance Nelson.

Marijuana Mice

In a study about morphine dependence, researchers deprived lab rats of their mothers at a young age, putting them in a stressful situation which makes them more susceptible to becoming addicted to opiates later in life.

Researchers carried out a study at the Laboratory for Physiopathology of Diseases of the Central Nervous System in France to study the effects of dronabinol, or THC, on morphine addiction in the lab rats.

Major neurological development occurs just after birth, and depriving an animal of its mother during that time makes it much more vulnerable to opiate addiction. Maternally-deprived lab rats that were given large doses of THC during adolescence were less likely to become dependent on morphine as adults. The rats were given 5 mg/kg of THC intravenously (for a person that weighs 150 lbs, that’s the equivalent to 340 mg of THC). The lab rats that were not deprived of their mothers showed average rates of morphine dependence.

This study, among others, may one day lead to an addiction treatment program that involves the use of THC. Or perhaps THC will be administered as a preventative measure to persons who are prescribed opiates in order to help prevent opiod addiction.

CO Marijuana Guns

Colorado was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana use and sales, and now the state’s voters might have an opportunity – via a ballot measure – to allow marijuana users to carry a concealed firearm.

The “Colorado Campaign for Equal Gun Rights” is attemping to put a question on the November 2016 ballot that is aksing Colorado lawmakers to basically ignore guidelines from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about possessing a firearm and marijuana.

The measure would change state law preventing authorities from denying concealed carry permits because of a person’s marijuana use. This is a new frontier in the marijuana-rights wars, and one that has gun-rights activists divided.

“It’s just ridiculous,” said a campaign organizer who argues that firearms aren’t banned from alcohol drinkers. “Somebody can get extremely drunk – Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and all week if they want – and they can still get a concealed carry permit.”

Marijuana Concentrates

A California state appellate court ruled that marijuana concentrates are protected under California’s 1996 medical marijuana law.

The appellate judges determined that when marijuana “was approved by voters” in California it was defined as “all parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L., whether growing or not; the seeds thereof; the resin extracted from any part of the plant; and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds or resin.”

The court proceedings stemmed from a case where a medical marijuana patient was charged with unlawful possession of concentrated marijuana in 2013, a misdemeanor which caused him to violate his probation due to a failure “to obey all laws.”

 

Marijuana Depression

According to longitudinal data published in the online version of the Journal of Affective Disorders, marijuana use is found to not be associated with increased incidences of major depression.

A team of investigators from Israel and Canada studied the association between marijuana use, major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BPD) during a three-year prospective study and determined that future incidences of MDD were no higher among marijuana users than when compared to nonusers. The authors reported, “Our results show no significant association between cannabis use and the incidence of major depression.”

Contrarily, MDD was associated with increased incidences of marijuana use. The authors concluded, “Our results do not support a longitudinal association between cannabis use and increased incidence of MDD; rather, they indicate an inverse relationship between the two, which may be attributed to self-medication factors.”

The full study, “The association between cannabis use and mood disorders: A longitudinal study,” can be found online in the Journal of Affective Disorders.

 

Hawaii Marijuana

An official report released by Hawaii’s state auditor recommends implementing dispensaries in the state. Hawaii legalized medical marijuana in 2000 but currently the law does not allow dispensaries and limits caregivers to grow for only one patient.

A bill was introduced in the 2014 legislative session that would permit dispensaries, but it failed to pass in the House of Representatives. The state auditor’s recent report recommends changes to House Bill 1587 and includes allowing the state’s health department to determine the total number of dispensaries and to be licensed and strictly regulated.

The report acknowledges the issues that Hawaii’s medical marijuana patients have been dealing with, such as there currently is no way to legally purchase marijuana in the state. This is forcing patients to either grow their own marijuana or turn to the black market. Dispensaries would allow for quality control methods that include gauging potency and eliminating contaminants in the marijuana sold in the state. “For this overriding reason, we conclude that regulation of dispensaries is needed to protect the public from potential harm,” the auditor’s report reads.

The auditor further advises that the state provide some start up money to get the dispensary program implemented. Eventually the state would establish dispensary application and licensing fees similar to other medical marijuana states.