WHAT IN THE WORLD.
October 20, 2014
Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia should legalize marijuana according to the Editorial Board of the New York Times which writes, “It’s time to bring the marijuana market out into the open and end the injustice of arrests and convictions that have devastated communities.”
Brazil. Researchers report improvement in quality of life for Parkinson’s patients treated with cannabidiol, writing, “Our findings point to a possible effect of CBD in improving quality of life measures in PD patients with no psychiatric comorbidities.” Similar studies have been conducted in Tel Aviv with positive results for Parkinson and Crohn’s disease patients.
Colorado. Concerned about accidental ingestion by children, the Colorado Health Department recommended a deeper look at regulation, and possibly a ban on most edibles. HOUSE BILL 14-1366, passed and signed in May 2014, requires “the department to adopt rules requiring edible retail marijuana products to be shaped, stamped, colored, or otherwise marked with a standard symbol indicating that it contains marijuana and is not for consumption by children.” There now seem to be questions as to whether the regulations will be enough.
D.C. In remarks at the UN William Brownfield, Assistant Secretary, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs suggested that the US Federal Government is continuing to relax it’s stance regarding the criminalization of marijuana, saying, “we have to provide some degree of balance or realism in our criminal justice approach. In other words, we should not lock people up for life…for what amount to minor drug-related charges.”
England. A long-term study tracking 1990’s born Bristol residents finds more questions than answers when looking at marijuana use and educational ability. Quoted by the BBC, lead researcher Claire Mokrysz says, “It’s hard to know what causes what. Do kids do badly at school because they are smoking weed, or do they smoke weed because they’re doing badly? This study suggests it is not as simple as saying cannabis is the problem.”
Guam. In November, voters in Guam will cast ballots on whether to legalize medical marijuana. The ballot question essentially allows voters to decide if the Act before the legislature should be passed. If passed, the Act will allow for the creation of medical marijuana dispensaries, with regulations and rules to be developed later by a government commission.
Northern Ireland The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) is handing out scratch and sniff cards to assist the public in sniffing out cannabis crops. The cards are printed with nine circles the first eight are a list of things to look for to determine if your neighbor is growing marijuana and the ninth circle professes to smell like pot without actually containing pot so you can know for sure whether “that’s pot you’re smelling” before ringing the police. If the card is not enough, the PSNI have produced a video as well, though it does not emit the odor of fresh marijuana.
Jamaica. Legislation has been drafted to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana in Jamaica. According to local lawmakers previous concerns about decriminalizing marijuana stemmed from fear of sanctions from the US given Jamaica’s dependance on tourism dollars.”But those concerns have eased now that a number of nations and some U.S. states have relaxed marijuana laws.”
Malta. Daniel Holmes has lost an appeal to have his 10-and-a-half-year sentence reduced for growing marijuana. The 35-year old was arrested in 2006 with a friend for growing five marijuana plants in their flat. Though Daniel is remaining positive throughout his ordeal, his friend, Barry Lee, was found hanged in prison in 2010.
Nottinghamshire. Football clubs in Notts County and Manchester, England are using heat lamps confiscated in cannabis-grower raids to grow grass on the pitches and walkways. The heat from the lamps warms the soil, replicating spring growing conditions. Use of the lamps means the clubs have robust grass for football and rugby right through the winter resulting in money saved and happy players, “especially the goalkeeper.”
Philadelphia. On October 20 Philidelphia joined the growing list of cities decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The fine for possessing less than one ounce is $25 while the fine for public consumption is $100 or up to nine hours of community service and confiscation of the cannabis.
San Diego. “MicroCannaBiz, LLC, has officially launched its latest publication, the online National Directory of Cannabis Products and Services. The business-to-business directory covers all marijuana-related companies with direct or indirect business participation in the medical and recreational marijuana industry, including third party product and service providers as well as associations, industry organizations and not-for-profit organizations.”
Toronto. Upon releasing a new report, The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) is now recommending legalization of marijuana writing, among other things, that “criminalization drives cannabis users away from prevention, risk reduction and treatment services.” The Center suggests a tightly controlled system run by the government.
Uruguay. The October 26 general elections may have an impact on Uruguay’s regulation of marijuana. The first country to regulate marijuana cultivation and sale on a national scale, opposition candidates indicate that if elected, they intend to repeal all or part of the law.
Washington, D.C. In an interview with CNN, Eric Holder revisited the eight marijuana enforcement priorities of the federal government and while saying he thought these should be the federal focus, reminded states that, “if we’re not satisfied with their regulatory scheme that we reserve the right to come in….”