Marijuana News in Arizona and World

Oregon Marijuana

Marijuana will become legalized for adults in Oregon on July 1, 2015. Oregon will regulate its recreational marijuana market similarly to Colorado.

The Control, Regulation, and Taxation of Marijuana and Industrial Hemp Act will allow adults 21 years of age and older to possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and grow up to four marijuana plants. State officials are still in the process of establishing a regulated system for recreational marijuana cultivation and sales.

Voters in at least five states are expected to consider similar ballot measures in November 2016. A voter initiative has officially qualified for the ballot in Nevada, petition drives are underway in support of initiatives in Arizona and Maine, and initiatives are in the process of being drafted in California and Massachusetts.

“Marijuana is less addictive than alcohol and it’s far less harmful to the body,” stated Mason Tvert of the Marijuana Policy Project, which is supporting ballot initiative efforts in five states. “Adults who prefer to use marijuana instead of alcohol should not be punished for making the safer choice. In Oregon, they no longer will be.”

Alcohol Marijuana

Many states that have legalized medical and/or recreational marijuana hastily implemented biased zero-tolerance or “inactive marijuana metabolites present” laws toward marijuana-DUI because of a lack in scientific evidence to support these state governments that are forced to make marijuana-related laws.

A recent study by the American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) found that THC blood concentrations increase significantly with alcohol consumption, which could impact states’ legal limits for driving under the influence.

The study tested many different doses of marijuana and alcohol combinations, and compared them with control and placebo groups. Without alcohol, THC concentrations fell between 32.7 and 42.2 µg/L THC with low and high doses respectively, but with alcohol those concentrations increased to 35.3 and 67.5 µg/L THC.

More research is being conducted in this area that will hopefully help lead lawmakers to creating rational marijuana-DUI laws.

Anxiety Marijuana Strains

There are two common types of side effects for marijuana users, and they happen to be exact opposites. Some marijuana strains cause anxiety in people, while some strains relieve anxiety.

These common side effects can typically be attributed to the quantity of THC in marijuana strains. Luckily, there are many marijuana strains in dispensaries now days that have little to no THC. These low-THC/high-CBD marijuana strains are wonderful for anxiety sufferers, as are most indicas and some sativas and hybrids. Below are a few marijuana strains ideal for anxiety suffers:

Granddaddy Purple (Indica)
Blue Dream (Hybrid)
Girl Scout Cookies (Hybrid)
Jack Herer (Sativa)
Strawberry Cough (Sativa)

Contact your local dispensary to see if they carry any of these marijuana strains or similar strains.

Costa Rica Marijuana

The Costa Rican government has outlined details for implementing a pending bill to research and regulate marijuana for medical uses.

The bill was introduced by ruling Citizen Action Party legislator Marvin Atencio last year to tax marijuana products and regulate the use of medical marijuana through registration cards for patients provided by the Ministry of Health.

“By taking this issue seriously, Costa Rica is demonstrating compassion for those whose suffering could be alleviated with medical marijuana,” said the Policy Manager of the Americas at the Drug Policy Alliance. “With so much momentum for drug policy reform building in the Americas, Costa Rica’s medical marijuana initiative brings Central America into a debate that is already strongly underway elsewhere in the region.”

Medical marijuana will only be used as a last resort for patients and recreational use of marijuana will remain illegal. Medical marijuana will be distributed through conventional drug stores and will follow the same prescription rules as other drugs.

Marijuana Research

The Obama administration has removed a bureaucratic obstacle for privately-funded research of the medicinal properties in marijuana that had long stifled scientific research on marijuana.

Previously, if researchers wanted to conduct research on marijuana they’d need perform months of paperwork to propose what they wanted to study and why, and usually resulted in their study being denied.

“I think it’s a sensible change; but people are being delusional if they think this will result in a flood of research on the drug,” said Kevin Sabet of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an anti-legalization group. “But it’s a step in the right direction as the development of a non smoked cannabis medication goes forward.”

More bureaucratic hurdles for marijuana research still exist – more than any other drug. The National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) monopoly on legal marijuana production doesn’t exist for any other drug, meaning that heroin and cocaine remain easier for researchers to work with.

“The next step should be moving marijuana out of Schedule I to a more appropriate category, which the administration can do without any further Congressional action,” said aid Tom Angell of the Marijuana Majority, a pro-legalization group. “Given what the president and surgeon general have already said publicly about marijuana’s relative harms and medical uses, it’s completely inappropriate for it to remain in a schedule that’s supposed to be reserved for substances with a high potential for abuse and no therapeutic value.”

CA Marijuana

A poll by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) found that 54% of Californians support legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use, and only 41% opposed.

The results are consistent with recent national polling by CBS News which found that 53% of Americans support legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use, and 43% opposed.

Among California’s likely voters, 56% favor legalization and 41% are opposed. A majority of whites (60%) favor legalization, while a similar proportion of Latinos (60%) oppose it.

California residents will be voting on legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use in 2016.

Marijuana Teens

Many opponents of medical marijuana believe that legalizing marijuana for medicinal use sends a message to youths that marijuana use is okay, and ultimately encourages them to experiment with it or harder drugs.

Well, a new study conducted by Columbia University in New York says they’re wrong. The study included 21 states with medical marijuana laws and found there was no sign of significant increase in use.

“Our findings provide the strongest evidence to date that marijuana use by teenagers does not increase after a state legalizes medical marijuana,” said Deborah Hasin, lead author of the study.

The study was based on an ongoing government-funded survey of 8th, 10th and 12th graders, which asked about marijuana use in the previous month. The researchers reviewed responses from more than 1 million students in 48 states, from 1991 through 2014. They found that marijuana use tended to already be higher in states that went on to adopt medical marijuana laws, but they did not see an additional spike after the law was passed.

The researchers actually saw a decline in marijuana use by 8th graders in those states.

The study shows why it’s important to use rigorous research to check out theories — even those that seem reasonable, wrote a substance abuse expert.

The study’s results were published on the journal Lancet Psychiatry and were also presented at a medical conference in Phoenix.

MA Dispensary List

Massachusetts’s governor has issued a temporary waiver to help the state’s first marijuana dispensary begin selling medical marijuana.

Under Massachusetts medical marijuana law, dispensaries must have their marijuana tested for cannabinoids, solvents, mycotoxins and other microbiological contaminants along with heavy metals and pesticides. But testing labs in Massachusetts are unable to test for 7 of the 18 mandated pesticides. Under current state regulations, that would have made the marijuana unable to be sold by Massachusetts dispensaries.

The temporary waiver will allow the state’s first dispensary, Alternative Therapy Group, to sell marijuana for medical use with a label that discloses to the consumer the chemicals that were not tested.

“Patients have waited to access marijuana for medical purposes for far too long,” stated Govornor Baker. “This waiver will allow industry laboratories a little more time to reach full operation while providing safe amounts of medical marijuana for qualifying patients who need it.”

Alternative Therapy Group dispensary expects to open before July and will be by appointment only.

Under the three-month waiver, the dispensary may only dispense a maximum of 4.23 ounces of marijuana to any qualifying patient for their 60-day supply, and must provide patients with instructions to consume no more than 2 grams per day.

Colorado Recreational Marijuana

Colorado legalized recreational marijuana a year ago, and prices at Colorado’s recreational marijuana dispensaries were high, but now they seem to be dropping drastically.

A global brokerage company surveyed numerous marijuana dispensaries in Colorado to better understand the new and flourishing market.

What the survey found was that prices are declining faster than many had expected and number of customers at dispensaries continues to increase.

Part of the survey noted:

“Since last June, the average price of an 1/8th ounce of recreational cannabis has dropped from $50-$70 to $30-$45 currently; an ounce now sells for between $250 and $300 on average compared to $300-$400 last year. More competition and expansion of grow facilities contributed to this price decline, but it is also a natural result for any maturing industry as dispensaries try to find the market’s equilibrium price.”

Sales are still exceeding last year’s. And according to the survey, sales increased by 98% year-over-year in April. Taking that into account, surveyors expect dispensaries to gross up to $480 million this year, which would be a 50% increase over 2014.

The survey also noted:

“Our contacts still report between 100 to 300 customers entering their stores each day, but they only spend about $50 per visit compared to $100 last June. About half of these customers are tourists in most stores we interviewed. … The 10% sales tax on recreational cannabis will be repealed only on that day (September 16) due to a provision included in a bill Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed into law earlier this month. The bill also permanently cuts the 10% sales tax on recreational marijuana to 8% in 2017 in an effort to squeeze out the black market.”

Many medical marijuana states – including Arizona, California, Massachusetts, and Nevada – are expected to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana for adult use in 2016.

Tommy Chong Cancer Marijuana

Actor Tommy Chong, of the Cheech and Chong movies, has been diagnosed with rectal cancer.

“I’m in treatment now,” stated Chong, and went on to say he’s smoking more marijuana now than ever. “Either I get healed, or I don’t. But either way, I’m going to make sure I get a little edge off or put up.”

Chong rose to stardom in the 70’s and 80’s through his Cheech and Chong films and has been an advocate for marijuana legalization for decades.

Chong was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012 and was public about using marijuana as a way to treat the cancer.