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Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Marijuana Schedule 1 Drug

Marijuana has long been classified by congress as a Schedule 1 substance, which is the worst possible classification it could receive.  The Schedule 1 classification means that the U.S. government believes marijuana has no medicinal benefits what so ever and it also carries with it a high potential for abuse.  This decision was made in 1970, and it has not yet been modified, but, hopefully, that’s all about to change.

Testimony is being heard this week in San Francisco that could change the federal classification of marijuana in what is being called the case of United States v. Pickard.  The defense has put together a team of qualified expert witnesses that will testify that marijuana does not meet the guidelines to be classified as a schedule 1 substance.

Dr. Carl Hart, the Associate Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Columbia University in New York has said that, “It is my considered opinion that including marijuana in Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act is counter to all the scientific evidence in a society that uses and values empirical evidence.  After two decades of intense scientific inquiry in this area, it has become apparent the current scheduling of cannabis has no footing in the realities of science and neurobiology.”

This will be the first time in a very long time in which a federal judge has allowed a hearing which could potentially change the current classification of marijuana in the United States.  With recreational marijuana now legalized in both Colorado and Washington and medical marijuana legalized in about 23 states, it’s nearly impossible for the general public to truly believe that marijuana is as dangerous as other Schedule 1 substances, such as heroin and LSD.

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Europe Marijuana

The European College of Neuropsychopharmacology recently presented their findings in regards to moderate marijuana use by young people and their IQ level at an event in Berlin, Germany.

Over 2,500 participants had their IQ tested at the age of 8 and again at the age of 15.  The results found by the University College of London showed that there was no correlation between marijuana use and lower IQ in the 15 year old subjects.  The study’s author stated that, “In particular, alcohol use was found to be strongly associated with IQ decline.  No other factors were found to be predictive of IQ change.”

The lead author of the study was even quoted in the Independent Business Times as saying, “Our findings suggest cannabis may not have a detrimental effect on cognition, once we account for other related factors particularly cigarette and alcohol use.  This may suggest that previous research findings showed poorer cognitive performance in cannabis users may have resulted from the lifestyle, behavior and personal history typically associated with cannabis use, rather than cannabis use itself.”

There is also the argument of whether kids begin doing poorly in school as a result of marijuana use or for other reasons.  Regardless, it appears that marijuana use doesn’t have any long term negative impacts on brain development in adolescents.

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AZ Marijuana Delivery

Tucson dispensary drivers are taking medical marijuana on the road after Tucson and Marana lawmakers voted to allow dispensaries to deliver medical marijuana to patients.

Arizona’s medical marijuana law lets local municipalities regulate if and how medical marijuana dispensary delivery services operate.

Earth’s Healing dispensary in Tucson was the first in the area to begin medical marijuana deliveries. They take orders online and already have patients that regularly use the delivery service.

The regulations put on dispensary’s delivery service require that their security staff inside the dispensary never lose sight of the medical marijuana or the driver, even after they leave the dispensary. Drivers wear a camera and a GPS tracking device so the dispensary staff can record the driver’s every movement at all times.

“We have a lot of patients who are handicapped and some don’t have a car or have difficulty coming in their car to get their medicine,” said Puchi-Saavedra of Earth’s Healing dispensary.

Any medical marijuana cardholder can order delivery of medical marijuana; they do not have to be homebound or handicapped.

Find medical marijuana dispensary delivery services

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Arizona DUI
Arizona’s Court of Appeals just ruled the state’s medical marijuana law does not give drivers immunity from prosecution if marijuana, or its inactive chemical compound, is found in the body.

Inactive marijuana metabolites can stay in the bloodstream for up to 2 or 4 weeks after use. This means that a medical marijuana patient can consume marijuana today and be arrested on DUI charges weeks later, when they are clearly no longer “high” or “under the influence” from using marijuana. It is the equivalent of consuming an alcoholic beverage today and getting a DUI weeks later for consuming that beverage.

There are currently about 50,000 medical marijuana patients in Arizona.

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Marijuana Search

For years police officers have gone through extreme lengths to keep drivers detained while awaiting back up in the form of a German Shepherd with a keen nose for marijuana in hopes of finding illegal drugs. There are countless instances of cops pulling over drivers for any number of reasons only to call for K-9 back up at the very last moment.

Luckily for motorists in the US, the Supreme Court has announced that it will review a case which could potentially change how these “routine” traffic stops play out.

The case comes in the form of an instance in Nebraska where a man was pulled over in 2012 for a minor traffic infraction. The kicker was that it took only 21 minutes for the officer to issue Denny Rodriguez the traffic ticket; however, they proceeded to hold him for an additional 6 minutes while waiting for a K-9 unit to arrive.

Once the dog sniffed Rodriguez’s car, it instantly alerted the officers that there were drugs in the car and after searching the vehicle they found a small amount of methamphetamine.

Rodriguez subsequently plead guilty to the drug charges; however, his attorney later filed an appeal because the search occurred after the officer had already issued the ticket which is a direct violation of his Fourth Amendment rights.

The Supreme Court will begin hearing arguments in regards to this case at the beginning of 2015, with a decision being made no earlier than June of 2015. This case is of extreme importance because whatever the Supreme Court decides will ultimately set the standard for how long police officers will be allowed to detain drivers during basic traffic stops.

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Marijuana Edibles

Marijuana edibles makers in Colorado have started creating less potent edibles to appeal to novice marijuana users so that they don’t find themselves ingesting too strong of a dose and having undesirable effects.

Tim Cullen, who owns two dispensaries in the Denver area equated it to the difference between selling beer alongside liquor. He said, “No one buys a handle of JIm Beam and thinks they should drink all of that in one sitting. But people do want to eat an entire cookie, an entire piece of chocolate. So these products allow you to do that and not have a miserable experience.”

A new product lining recreational dispensary shelves is known as the “Rookie Cookie” and only contains 10 milligrams of THC. A dose this small would allow for a novice marijuana user to consume the entire thing and probably still be sober enough to operate a vehicle.

Similarly, Dixie Elixirs has put out a new soda that is 15 times less potent than that of their traditional recipe and is marketed as being “great for those who are new to THC or don’t like to share.”

The Growing Kitchen’s Holden Sprout, maker of the Rookie Cookie, said that, “For a long time, the medical market was a race to the strongest edibles. Now it’s a new market, and people want something that won’t get them so inebriated they’re not functional.”

Marijuana activists are hoping to change the public’s opinion on the dangers of over consuming marijuana as well. It is extremely common to hear a story about someone who “overdid it” and consumed too strong of a dose of an edible and “freaked out.”

It’s important that the newly legal marijuana industry ensure consumers have a safe and enjoyable time when they are inexperienced with marijuana.

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Health Benefits Marijuana

Current research is revealing that marijuana provides many health benefits. 12 health conditions that marijuana can help alleviate are listed here:

Alzheimer’s — Marijuana has been found to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease, according to research by the Scripps Research Institute.

Anxiety — Harvard Medical School found that marijuana can provide anti-anxiety effects. (Although, high doses can increase anxiety and paranoia.)

Pain — Marijuana can alleviate pain and inflammation.

Arthritis — Marijuana can alleviate pain and inflammation linked to arthritis.

Crohn’s disease — Marijuana was shown to induce “complete remission” for patients suffering from Crohn’s disease, also known as inflammatory bowel disease.

Cancer — Research in the Molecular Cancer Therapeutics journal found that cannabidiol (CBD), which is a natural chemical found in marijuana, turns off a gene called “Id-1,” which cancer cells use to multiply.

Epilepsy — Marijuana has been shown in Virginia Commonwealth University’s animal studies to stop seizures.

Glaucoma — Researchers are working on developing new marijuana-based treatments for glaucoma pain after learning its effectiveness for treating glaucoma, a condition that increases pressure inside the eyeball and can lead to vision loss.

Lung Health — Research in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that marijuana is capable of increasing lung capacity.

Multiple Sclerosis — A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal found that cannabinoids (CBD, THC, etc) found in marijuana significantly reduced pain from multiple sclerosis.

Nausea — Marijuana contains a minimum of 60 chemicals known as cannabinoids, of which THC is most widely known (because of its psychoactive effects), and it has been used in the treatment of nausea, including drug- or chemotherapy-induced nausea.

Parkinson’s Disease — Research published in MedPage Today found that marijuana eases tremors and improves fine motor skills in patients with Parkinson’s disease.

Learn more about marijuana

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Pot Jobs

420careers.com, the marijuana industry’s premier job listing site, has just revealed the 10 most popular marijuana industry jobs in the United States in a recent article posted on MJbizwire.

“Because the marijuana industry is so new and expanding so rapidly, many employers only require minimal or no experience necessary for their jobs posted on 420careers.com. This means that almost anyone 18 or older can apply for a job and be a highly considered candidate for the position,” stated the Director of Marketing at 420careers.com.

10 most popular marijuana jobs in the United States:

1. Budtenders (marijuana “pharmacists”) – assist dispensary customers with marijuana inquiries.
2. Marijuana Cultivators (growers) – cultivate marijuana for dispensaries.
3. Edibles Chefs – create marijuana-infused foods such as cookies, brownies, teas, sodas, and sauces.
4. Extraction Technicians – help make marijuana-infused products by creating marijuana concentrates.
5. Marijuana Industry Journalists – write about the marijuana industry for publications or blogs.
6. Vaporizer Sales Representatives – sell vaporizers for manufacturers or distributors.
7. Dispensary Security Officers – patrol dispensaries for illegal activity.
8. Trimmers – harvest and process marijuana for dispensaries.
9. Dispensary Managers – manage all or various aspects of dispensaries.
10. Marijuana Delivery Drivers – deliver marijuana to customers.

10 most popular auxiliary jobs the marijuana industry helps employ:

1. Lawyers
2. Accountants
3. Event Planners
4. Consultants
5. Web Developers/Designers
6. Realtors
7. HVAC Technicians
8. Merchant Processors
9. Payroll Services
10. General Contractors

420careers.com provides a free website for marijuana-related businesses to post available marijuana jobs and browse job-seekers’ resumes; while, job-seekers can freely browse and apply for marijuana jobs, as well as post their resumes. Businesses can upgrade their job posting to a Featured Job listing for $25 that is displayed and highlighted on 420careers.com’s homepage.

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Vanita Gupta Marijuana
President Obama is planning on nominating the current director of the ACLU’s Center for Justice, Vanita Gupta, to head up the civil rights sector of the Department of Justice.

Gupta has received wide praise from both political parties for her work with civil rights. A large amount of her focus has and will remain on the war on drugs and how it effects minorities in America. She stated in 2011 that, “the war on drugs has been a war on communities of color.”

She has also openly defended mandatory minimum sentencing laws in regards to drug charges. She says that, “This country has spent 40 years relentlessly ratcheting up the number of people going to prison and dramatically expanding the time we hold them there. We’ve spent decades criminalizing people with drug dependency, passing extreme sentencing laws, and waging a war on drugs that has not diminished drug use.”

In the early 2000s Gupta spent time defending black men who were wrongfully charged with minor drug offenses in Texas. She has also worked towards ending police incentives to arrest bystanders for minimal amounts of personal-use marijuana.

Most importantly, Gupta strongly supports marijuana decriminalization and legalization at a state level. She was quoted in an op-ed for CNN this year as saying, “states could follow Colorado and Washington by taxing and regulating marijuana and investing saved enforcement dollars in education, substance abuse treatment, and prevention and other health care.”

Marijuana advocates are extremely pleased with the nod to Gupta. A spokesman with the advocacy group, Marijuana Majority, said that, “Hopefully she can convince the next attorney general to initiate the process of rescheduling marijuana under federal law.”

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Ethan Orr Marijuana
A state lawmaker in Arizona is looking into legalizing and taxing marijuana in an attempt to increase revenue for the state.

Ethan Orr, a Republican from Tuscon, took a look at the amount of money Colorado has been pulling in via their recent marijuana legalization, and the numbers are hard to ignore. Revenue projections reveal that Arizona will end this budget year roughly $520 million in the hole, and that number could double by 2016.

Orr went on to say, “Given the massive budget shortfall we’re facing, we need to look at revenue and think this is a logical place we need to look. I think it’s time to have an intelligent conversation about it [legalization].”

The Marijuana Policy Project of Arizona plans to model their initiative on the recreational marijuana program already underway in Colorado which has allowed adults age 21 and older to purchase and possess up to an ounce of marijuana at a regulated amount of retail shops.

The Legislative Council in Colorado suggests that the state will bring in close to $175 million before the fiscal year in 2017 comes to an end.

Orr hopes that he will gain some support from his fellow colleagues, but he is also preparing for the worst. He says that, “If I don’t think I’ll have the votes, I won’t take it forward.”

Marijuana is already legal in Arizona on a medicinal level, and just over 50,000 residents are enrolled in the program.

Orr also worries that there will be opposition not just from law enforcement officials in regards to legalizing marijuana recreationally, but also from owners of medical marijuana dispensaries who have put in a lot of time and money into modeling their businesses around the state’s medical marijuana laws.

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