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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Washington DC Marijuana
A remarkable marijuana decriminalization law has gone into effect in Washington D.C. The new law will hopefully help to end D.C.’s excessive racial profiling drug-related (particularly marijuana) arrests.

The district has replaced jail time with a simple $25 fine for any person found to be in possession of an ounce or less of marijuana.

Grant Smith, with the Drug Policy Alliance put it best when he said, “We are hopeful that marijuana decriminalization will reduce excessive racial disparities in the enforcement of D.C’s marijuana laws.”

And they are definitely on the right track. The $25 fine is the lowest out of all the states in the US that have chosen to implement a fine in place of jail time for people caught with personal amounts of marijuana.  They have also taken a massive stride by putting an end to the “stop-and-frisk” laws that unfairly targeted minorities, as well as prohibiting using the smell of marijuana as probable cause to search.

This is an exciting time in our nation’s capital, where voters will have the opportunity to decide whether the District of Columbia will become the third state to legalize marijuana for recreational use this November.

Banks Marijuana
The U.S. House passed a historic bipartisan amendment today which will prevent the Treasury Department from spending any funding to penalize financial institutions that provide services to marijuana businesses that are legally operating under their state laws. The amendment passed 231 to 192.

The U.S. House passed an amendment in May prohibiting the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from undermining state medical marijuana laws. They also passed two amendments prohibiting the DEA from interfering with state hemp laws.

“Congress is yet again rejecting the failed war on marijuana,” said Bill Piper, of the Drug Policy Alliance. “They have read the poll numbers and are doing both what is right and what is politically smart.”

Marijuana is still federally illegal, so banks who do business with legal marijuana dispensaries could still be accused of helping them launder money.

“[Dispensaries] are operating just in cash, which creates its own potential for crime, robbery, assault and battery,” said Rep. Earl Perlmutter, D-Colo., whose state has legalized recreational marijuana use. “You cannot track the money. There is skimming and tax evasion. So the guidance by the Justice Department and the guidance by the Treasury Department is to bring this out into the open.”

Read more marijuana news.

Marijuana Legalization 2014
2014 is shaping up to be a big year for marijuana law reform. Here are a few of the states that might be joining Colorado and Washington’s new stance on marijuana legalization, as well as a couple more that will potentially be legalizing marijuana for medical purposes:

Alaska

Alaska is a state leaning towards the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes.  While it’s still early on, the Marijuana Policy Project is confident that their fundraising efforts will help win over the public opinion.

Marijuana legalization was on the ballot in both 2000 and 2004 in Alaska, but this time around the voting demographic seems to be shifting their stance after seeing how well Colorado and Washington have adapted.

Oregon

Oregon is looking to give it another go after having recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot just two short years ago, but they are going to get another shot at it this November.

Oregon was the first state in the U.S. to decriminalize personal possession of marijuana back in 1973 and was also one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana.

With many of the same people that helped fund the Washington and Colorado initiatives on board with helping the Oregon cause, their future is looking mighty bright.

District of Columbia

The nation’s capital has just submitted twice the required numbers of signatures to get marijuana on the ballot for legalization this November.  If it passes, adults will be permitted to possess up to two ounces of marijuana in D.C.

There are still a number of hurdles that activists will have to leap in order to get past congress, who just last month took a large step toward stopping a decriminalization bill.

Florida

Florida hopes to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes this November.  In order for the law to pass, they will need a 60% turn out from voters in favor of medical marijuana, which shouldn’t be an issue as recent polls have suggested that support was over 80% across the boards.

Lawmakers at a state level have already voted to allow a strain of CBD high marijuana that has shown to be helpful in treating seizures.

New York

Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York, signed a bill this past weekend that will make New York the 23rd medical marijuana state in the US.

Governor Cuomo has been criticized for how restrictive New York’s medical marijuana program will be and that they won’t have marijuana available for over a year and a half.  He also implemented a strict policy on which diseases will qualify patients for a card as well as only allowing patients to eat or vaporize the product while smoking will still remain illegal.

Arizona & Nevada

Arizona and Nevada both have initiatives for marijuana legalization to be on 2016 ballot and will be greatly influenced by the Marijuana Policy Project.

Spain Marijuana Clubs
Spain is becoming a global destination for marijuana tourism.  Roughly 300 marijuana clubs have opened in Barcelona and surrounding areas with no signs of slowing down,. Barcelona officials are not condoning the businesses either.

It seems that these new marijuana entrepreneurs are operating off a decade old loophole.  An old law in Spain allows anyone to grow and use marijuana in private as long as they are doing so in regards to operating a nonprofit business.  So individuals are permitted to join together and open marijuana clubs the same way your mom might start a wine-of-the-month club and invite all of her friends to sit around and drink and gossip in private.

Over the last few years, these clubs have been popping up all over Barcelona, specifically in heavy tourist areas.  While a lot of the clubs will refuse walk-ins off the street, many will offer “memberships” where you can gain entry by paying a little over $20.  The type of club you might encounter will vary from spot to spot.  Some are reminiscent of a fraternity house, with pool tables and a couple of televisions, while others are more upscale offering live music, full restaurants, and even pilates classes.

Experts say that one reason for the massive boom in club openings is that the younger generation is seeing it as a way to find good jobs. In the meantime, Spanish authorities have put a 1 year moratorium on any new marijuana clubs from opening.

CO Recreational Dispensary Licenses
The recreational marijuana industry in Colorado is poised to get even larger now that more businesses are allowed to apply for a recreational marijuana business license.  This will result in many more recreational marijuana retail shops and growers, as well as more marijuana related jobs throughout Colorado.

Only licensed medical marijuana dispensaries were able to apply for recreational marijuana distribution permits during the first 6 months of legalization.  They were also only allowed to sell marijuana that they grew themselves. But as of this past Tuesday, anyone is permitted to apply for a recreational marijuana business license, regardless of their previous experience in the marijuana industry.

These newly licensed stores will be able to open their doors as early as October, and the law pertaining to growing your own product will change, and dispensaries can then opt to buy their marijuana from independent growers.

Experts are still unsure how these new rules will affect the already booming recreational marijuana industry in Colorado.  Some believe that lower quality shops will start opening up, while others are hopeful that it will just create a larger and more creative structure.

One more concern facing new business owners is that finding a location to set up shop could be difficult considering the strict zoning laws set in place to distance themselves from schools, parks, and already existing dispensaries.

Read more marijuana news.

Mike Boyer

Mike Boyer, the first Washington state citizen to purchase recreational marijuana and to (ironically) get fired for using that marijuana, is getting help from 420careers.com with his new job search in the marijuana industry.

Boyer was the first person to purchase recreational marijuana in Washington’s new marijuana industry and was fired hours later after his employer recognized him on multiple TV stations that aired interviews of him and the historic moment.

Boyer said he’s “been officially terminated for violation of the drug use policy,” but that he hopes he can “spin this and get a job in the marijuana industry… It’s a new industry, they need qualified people.” And that is where 420careers.com stepped in, to help Boyer find available marijuana industry jobs.

“The marijuana industry is one of the few industries creating large quantities of job opportunities in the US, and businesses are in need of qualified, law-abiding employees like Mr. Boyer. More than 10,000 marijuana industry jobs have been created in Colorado alone. And hundreds, if not thousands, of more jobs will be created in Washington and other states that legalize marijuana for medical and/or recreational use,” stated Dan Kingston, President of 420careers.com.

Currently trending marijuana jobs offered on 420careers.com (www.420careers.com) range from marijuana writers to advertising sales people, budtenders to cultivation experts, security to administrative positions, and more. Presently, marijuana jobs are in the highest demand in Colorado, California, Washington, Oregon, and Arizona, where the marijuana industries are booming.

Arizona Marijuana Legalization 2016

A ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in Arizona in 2016 is being deliberated by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a national organization for marijuana policy reform, and Safer Arizona, a local pro-marijuana group.

Mason Tvert, spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project stated, “Marijuana prohibition has proven to be just as huge a failure as alcohol prohibition.”

The Marijuana Policy Project wants to tailor Arizona’s initiative to be like Nevada’s 2016 initiative to legalize and tax marijuana, the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act, which is similar to Colorado’s current adult-use recreational marijuana regulations.

Arizonans are urged to offer support by providing their input via Safer Arizona’s discussion page. Over the next two years, Safer Arizona and AZmarijuana.com will be collaborating to unite Arizonans for the 2016 Arizona legalization ballot initiative.

Read more marijuana news.

Arizona PTSD Marijuana

Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said PTSD sufferers will be able to use medical marijuana beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

“Today I issued a Director’s Decision that will authorize the use of marijuana… for patients that are currently undergoing conventional treatment for a diagnosis of PTSD,” Humble wrote in a blog post. “Physician certifications would be valid only for the palliative care of PTSD symptoms (not treatment). Certifying physicians will be required to attest that they have reviewed evidence documenting that the patient is currently undergoing conventional treatment for PTSD before signing the medical marijuana certification.” Humble also cited a recent study from the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs which provides evidence that marijuana may be help to alleviate symptoms of PTSD.

Last month a judge recommended state officials allow those with PTSD to use medical marijuana, reversing a past decision by Humble. In the past, Humble had said there was insufficient research on marijuana’s effects on PTSD.

The new PTSD medical marijuana law won’t take effect until January 1, in order to give doctorsdispensaries and state health officials time to develop policies, procedures and educational materials for the use of marijuana for PTSD, as required by the rules.

Get a medical marijuana card.

Legalize Marijuana US

There’s no hiding that the majority of Americans are now in favor of marijuana legalization. Here are some reasons explaining why it’s time to put an end to marijuana prohibition:

1. Prohibition has failed. In short, the US government has tried and failed to keep marijuana out of the hands of American citizens for over 75 years; however, it is still consumed by over 25 million people annually. Despite being illegal under federal law, marijuana is still the largest cash crop in the US.

2. A regulated marijuana market would reduce use among teenagers. It would also keep them from being exposed to more harmful drugs.  If marijuana was legal, it would be far less valuable. By keeping marijuana illegal, it allows younger people to profit from selling it to their friends.

3. If marijuana were legalized it would reduce our funding of international criminal organizations. Because marijuana is still illegal in the United States, it allows for criminals and drug cartels to profit greatly by selling marijuana on the black market.

4. If marijuana was legal, hemp would become a valuable agricultural crop in the US, with the potential to serve as a bio-fuel replacement. The majority of the world grows hemp agriculturally, while keeping marijuana illegal. The main reason that hemp is illegal in the United States is because there is such an opposition to the legalization movement, but as the US continues to promote the use of alternative fuels to reduce our foreign dependency on oil and carbon emissions, it makes more sense now than ever to consider hemp as a bio-fuel source.

5. Marijuana prohibition initiated from political corruption. The dangers of marijuana have long been exaggerated since the days of “reefer madness,” and modern day science can prove it. Many years ago, scientists were unable to prove how exactly marijuana produced the “high” that it does, but that has long since changed. If alcohol, tobacco and caffeine are acceptable for adults to use in moderation, there is no reason that marijuana shouldn’t be as well.

6. Marijuana is safer than alcohol.  It has been proven that marijuana is in no way toxic to humans. It is virtually impossible to overdose on marijuana, and the potential for addiction is extremely low. So why treat marijuana as a more harmful drug than alcohol, tobacco or caffeine when we know just how dangerous they can be?

7. Marijuana should be taxed in order to support the US economy. The marijuana industry is the fastest growing industry in the US (even though less than half of the states in the US have implemented pro-marijuana regulations). It is creating thousands of new jobs every year and taxes from marijuana sales can support beneficial government programs.

8. Marijuana has many valuable attributes. Marijuana has proved to be a valuable alternative medicine to people all over the world. It provides relief from pain, nausea, and even seizures to individuals who have had little relief with prescription medicines.  A lot of Americans choose to use marijuana as an alternative to alcohol as a way to reduce stress and just relax. Why should we care what informed adults are doing in the privacy of their own homes when it doesn’t affect anyone else?

Marijuana users are passionate about ending prohibition and accomplishing legalization no matter how long it takes. Even with the abundance of arrests made on peaceful marijuana users each year, they still stand up to authority and fight for legalization. This has been going on for over a generation, and it isn’t going to slow down until the government finally hears their cries and does the right thing; which is to legalize marijuana and stop imprisoning innocent people when there are far more pressing matters at hand.

There are many more valid reasons for why marijuana should be legalized in the US. Share your reasons why you think marijuana be legalized in the comments section below.

Seniors and Marijuana

Vince Diesel

Seniors and Marijuana

Seniors are often reluctant to try marijuana for medical purposes. But new scientific evidence is quickly revealing that marijuana has many health benefits, and little to no downside. This list helps to break down negative perceptions and false information about marijuana.

1. Marijuana is safer than most prescription medications. Prescription drugs are a common daily occurrence in the lives of most senior citizens. And lot of the medications carry with them some truly terrible side effects, while marijuana has been shown to have very few and mild side effects.

2. Marijuana is not an addictive substance. A common misconception about marijuana among seniors is that once they begin using marijuana they won’t be able to quit. In reality, people can stop using marijuana from one day to the next and the effects would be similar to that of someone quitting drinking coffee.

3. Marijuana can reduce and even replace many prescription medications. A lot of seniors complain that the first pill they take every day causes side effects like drowsiness or nausea. While this pill might be imperative to their health they are then told to take an additional pill to combat the first pill’s side effects. Marijuana can help relieve symptoms of nausea and drowsiness.

4. There are many different types (strains) of marijuana. If one particular strain doesn’t suit someone’s needs, then there is another one that should do the trick.

5. There are marijuana strains that don’t get you “high.”  A lot of seniors like the idea of the medicinal properties of marijuana, but not the actual “high” caused by THC.  In circumstances like these, there are CBD dominant strains which alleviate inflammation, acute pain, and even seizures without producing the “high.”

6. You don’t have to smoke marijuana to use it.  A lot of seniors think that smoking marijuana is there only option, when in reality there are many ways to consume marijuana: from vaporizing to eating edibles to applying lotions. There are multiple options.

7. Marijuana infused creams can drastically improve pain associated with arthritis.  Creams that you can apply directly to the skin have been shown to help with sore joints and muscle pain.

8. Marijuana does not lower your IQ.  There is no evidence or documentation that shows marijuana lowers your intelligence or kills brain cells.  There are even studies showing that using marijuana improves brain function. Recent scientific studies reveal that marijuana helps fight against Alzheimer’s disease.

9. Marijuana increases your appetite.  When ill, senior citizens don’t have much of an appetite and in turn lose a lot of weight.  Marijuana has been shown to get rid of the nausea that causes this loss of appetite.  And on the opposite end of the spectrum, studies have shown that people who smoke marijuana every week are more likely to lose weight because of the metabolic boost it provides.

10. There are fewer stigmas attached to marijuana use than there once was.  Senior citizens are now the fastest growing demographic of medical marijuana users in the US.  The main reason is because marijuana is a truly amazing medicine.

Learn how to get a medical marijuana card in Arizona.