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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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Marijuana Edibles
The first food safety course for manufacturers and retailers of marijuana-infused foods, or edibles, has launched.  There is also an additional course offered for “budtenders”, the customer service staff who work behind the counters of dispensaries.

Figuring out exactly how to properly label and produce infused edibles has proven to be one of the most difficult aspects to regulate since marijuana became legal in Colorado.  Producers want to ensure that uninformed consumers are not accidentally ingesting too much.

With the interest in marijuana-infused foods increasing daily, the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA), wants to make sure manufacturers and retailers are providing buyers with safe products.  NCIA deputy director Taylor West says, “We know our industry is under a microscope, and we want to make sure cannabis product-makers continue developing the highest quality and safest products possible.”

Marijuana edibles have proved to be the most profitable aspect of the new recreational marijuana industry in Colorado, accounting for roughly two-thirds of the entire market.

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DC Marijuana Legalization
Residents of Washington D.C. will vote this November on whether or not to legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Marijuana advocates gathered more than 22,000 signatures in order to get the initiative on the ballot and the D.C. Board of elections unanimously voted in favor of the measure.

Mayor Vincent Gray signed into effect a decriminalization act in D.C. that as of last month allows residents to possess up to an ounce of marijuana on them with only the fear of a $25 fine and a civil offense.

Proponents of the legalization bill are confident that the House will not be able to block their initiative; however, there have been recent instances where residents have voted in favor of a measure that the mayor has chosen not to enforce.  It happened last year when voters approved an amendment that would have given the district the ability to spend local tax money without Congress’s approval, but it was declined by the mayor.

Congress was even able to delay the medical marijuana program in D.C. by ten whole years after it was approved by voters.

If the initiative is approved in November, residents would be allowed to grow 6 marijuana plants at their home and possess up to 2 ounces.  The sale of marijuana has yet to be addressed.

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Marijuana Term
With marijuana laws changing, especially with recreational marijuana legalization beginning in both Colorado and Washington state, the term “marijuana” is often used by the media.  And with more and more states looking into legalization efforts, it’s also a term that will continue to be used in the media.

“Marijuana” is a fairly recent term. Throughout the 19th century the term used was “cannabis” because it is from a genus of flowering plants species: Cannabis sativa, Cannabis indica or Cannabis ruderalis. Cannabis was used in many prescription drugs sold between 1840 and 1900 to help with migraines and insomnia.  Multiple articles were written in U.S. scientific journals about the many benefits of cannabis.

During the Mexican Revolution in 1910, thousands upon thousands of struggling Mexicans fled their home country for the U.S. border states to avoid war, and with them they brought their favorite recreational substance, which they referred to as “mariguana.” (Nowadays spelled: marijuana.)

In an effort to slow down the increasing immigrant population, anti-marijuana laws began to be implemented.  Many believe that bigotry played a large part in these initial laws, and this is the main reason that the U.S. border states were the first states to begin anti-marijuana campaigns disguised under the new term brought on by the Mexican immigrants.

Today, Americans’ perception of marijuana is shifting back towards a positive light as a result of scientific research proving that marijuana has medical benefits, and some economy-enhancing aspects. Americans have also done their best to create and use other terms for marijuana:  weed, grass, pot, ganja, and others are all terms that have been adopted by Americans and the rest of the world alike.

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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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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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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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