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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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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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AZ Marijuana PTSD
The Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association, an Arizona medical marijuana advocacy group, is appealing the Arizona Department of Health Services’ terms and delay to implement post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana for treatment in Arizona.

Lawyer Ken Sobel is representing the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association. Sobel stated, “I will be putting in a request for a hearing to get an order from the court that orders the department to immediately implement PTSD as a debilitating condition, and to strike everything after…all that surplus language that involves delaying the implementation.”

Will Humble, Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, stated last July that medical marijuana could only be used for “palliative care,” meaning to temporarily relieve PTSD symptoms and not treat PTSD as a primary treatment. He also stated that the date chosen (January 2015) for PTSD implementation as a medical marijuana qualifying condition is to give doctors and dispensaries enough time to “develop policies, procedures and educational materials required” before distributing medical marijuana to PTSD patients.

Sobel said he and the Arizona Cannabis Nurses Association have attempted to meet with the Arizona Department of Health Services and Will Humble to help them with such policies, procedures and materials, but the department has “rejected” their help.

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Marijuana Concentrates Safety
Marijuana concentrates (hash, oils, waxes, etc) are becoming a very popular method of medicating for medical marijuana patients across the country. But risks are involved because of the possible toxins created by the extraction processes used to make the marijuana concentrates.

Marijuana concentrates are comprised of cannabinoids (THC, CBD, etc) and terpenes extracted from marijuana by means of chemical solvents or gas (butane, CO2, etc). Most marijuana concentrates contain 60-90% THC; whereas, marijuana strains found in dispensaries typically contain 12-22% THC.

Higher levels of cannabinoids help many medical marijuana patients treat their illnesses without having to use marijuana as frequently.

The effectiveness of marijuana concentrates is determined by the quality of the marijuana used to create it, as well as the safety and accuracy of the extraction process. Concentrates can be rather safe when they are produced using the proper methods. But if an extraction method is not up to par, residual toxic solvents can be left behind in the final product. Inhalation or consumption of these solvents can be very harmful.

Currently, the Arizona Department of Health Services does not require dispensaries or caregivers to have their marijuana tested by a lab for traces of toxic substances, but many dispensaries and caregivers do get their marijuana tested anyways. Therefore, when looking to purchase marijuana concentrates be sure to ask the dispensary’s employees if their concentrates are safe for consumption and are free of toxic contaminants.

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