CBD oil is changing the way voters and legislators are seeing marijuana as medicine. Many states in the US have legalized non-smokable forms of medical marijuana, primarily in the form of oil. These CBD oils have become essential to epileptic children everywhere who have lessened or eliminated their daily seizures with the miracle drug. Though CBD does not get the user high, it's affiliation with marijuana may cary a stigma for some time to come, causing politicians who personally support marijuana reform to instead avoid tackling marijuana law as it's just not a priority. FDA approved CBD research is expanding and continuing to show positive results, hopefully eventually forcing the government to reschedule the drug and open for more broad medical testing. Still, Hudak believes that if demand for cannabidiol research increases, it could have a lasting impact by reducing marijuana’s stigma. “There is a lot of ignorance in the political community about CBD,” he says. “I think people, particularly opponents of reform, think of marijuana as a rolled joint and that's it. When, in reality, it's a very diverse product.”
The police chief of Isreal is calling on legislators and police to move on from traditional views on recreational marijuana into a more accepting policy. Currently in Isreal, over 21,000 people use medical marijuana, though recreational use is still illegal. Plans to decriminalize the drug are on the way, and overall the public view is much more accepting of the drug. Now that it has become more common, everyone is seeing that marijuana users are normal everyday, non-violent citizens. “During our conversation, we reached an outline that will allow recreational use of cannabis to be decriminalized, as long as consumers remain law-abiding citizens,” Knesset member Yinon Magal said. Another MP, Tamar Zandberg of Meretz, supported the potential move to legalize the substance, saying that “it is time for major change in regards to cannabis.” “The public has progressed and understands marijuana consumers are normal citizens who do not harm anyone, and there is no reason to persecute and incriminate them,” Zandberg added. “It is now time for elected officials to advance and overhaul legislation,” she concluded.
Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana last november, and on July first they will be able to grow and possess limited amounts of marijuana. Unfortunately, the details and regulations for manufacturing and dispensing of the newly legal drug have not been finalized yet, as the legislators have not been able to come to a single agreement on the amendments. Commercial growing and processing will begin in early 2016 and dispensaries can expect to have marijuana ready to sell by the fall. Limited home cultivation and personal possession of recreational marijuana becomes legal July 1. People wishing to get into commercial growing, processing and retailing can begin the process in January 2016. Oregonians could be able to purchase recreational marijuana at a retail store starting in the fall of 2016.
Utah may not be ready for medical marijuana this year as the bill failed to pass the state senate by just a single vote. However the senator sponsoring the bill is not giving up, he will reintroduce the bill next year now that he has the the governers public approval in hopes of a better turnout. As with most marijuana bills, legislators are taking baby steps to ensure nothing is overlooked. Gov. Herbert is eager to get medicine to patients but does not want to spark recreational medical visits. "I'm open to the idea of medical marijuana and the discussion of how it can be used as a medicine based on science, and making sure we have good, collaborative efforts so we can answer the questions that are out there," the governor said.
Next month, Delaware's first medical marijuana dispensary will open it's doors for adults over 18 with a medical card. This is a huge step in helping patients who can benefit from the miracle drug, but current laws leave children out of the equation. Many states have adapted their medical marijuana programs to include children with epilepsy as marijuana oil has proven itself to be a major asset to them living a normal childhood. Though countless children have benefited from the drug, some legislators are awaiting scientific research to form their oppinion. Current research is expected to release Feb. 2016. "We can't tell parents of a child that we're allowing medicinal marijuana for adults, and not for children anymore," Lopez said in an interview. "That's the real concern, which is why we want to make the change and move forward."
Nebraska may have it's chance at legalizing medical marijuana after a few amendments to the proposed bill. The legislation gained more support after prohibiting smokable marijuana, and removing "chronic pain" from the list of qualifying illnesses, and is now on it's way to the house after passing on the senate floor 27-12. Popular in other medical marijuana states is a marijuana oil that is low in THC (what gets you high) and high in CBD (strictly medicinal properties), and has shown major benefits to children with epilepsy or other seizure enducing conditions. Garrett added that legalizing medical marijuana in Nebraska was “not about stoners getting high…We are not Colorado, we are not California.” If passed, LB 643 would allow pharmacists to distribute cannabis to qualifying patients, such as those with cancer or epilepsy. The law is slated to go into effect in July 2016.
Dooma Wendschuh is one of the many people who decided to drop everything and invest in the marijuana industry in it's early stages. After graduation from Princeton, Dooma and a friend started a video game coding company and became a massive success. The day marijuana became legal in Colorado and Washington, he knew times were changing forever and sold his share of the company to look into the future of cannabis. His new company, Ebbu, has a goal to scientifically locate and manipulate the compounds of marijuana to get all the high, but none of the undesired side effects. Many people want to spare the munchies and paranoia, and Ebbu, plans to make it happen. They saw their mission as creating “a healthier and safer alternative to alcohol” that one day could be sold in bars and restaurants. “After we distill the plant into its basic components, we’re able to combine them and create new products that emphasize one effect,” Wendschuh said. The first five effects, or “feelings,” he plans to market are energy, bliss, giggle, chill, and create.
The Pennsylvania Senate just passed a medical marijuana bill that would allow patients to recieve prescriptions from a doctor for non-smokable only cannabis extracts. A similar bill was approved by the senate last year, but was not even considered by the house. Many are concerned this bill may also be stopped by the house though hopes are high for waiting patients and their families. Recent additions to the bill include eligable conditions such as: chronic pain, Crohn's Disease and diabetes. In recent weeks, a number of amendments to SB3 were designed to address concerns that access to cannabis would be overly broad. For example, the bill specifies that only doctors and certified nurse practitioners can recommend treatment for patients. The bill also outlines an electronic monitoring system that tracks patients and producers. The most recent version of the bill is included below.
The days of calling a cab are slowly fading with the introduction of apps like Uber and Lyft, but a competitor app is working to make their mark in a big way. SideCar is a ride-hailing app similar to the others, but they added a new feature this week allowing residents to order medicinal marijuana. The feature is only available in San Francisco for the moment and SideCar says they're following the state law to a T. Several other small startups have begun to deliver marijuana but SideCar hopes to standout as an established cab and delivery service. SideCar already transports everything from groceries to flowers, tacos and power tools in Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, Chicago, Boston and Brooklyn. And it says that half the time its San Francisco drivers are carrying paying passengers they're also on their way to deliver something else.
As many state's loosen marijuana laws to prevent non-violent citizens from going to jail, Connecticut remains the only state in New England to that can send first time possession offenders to jail for a year. Some people believe relaxing the law gives the wrong message about drugs, but others find it more important that one mistake doesn't ruin a young person's life. Though other states are pressuring Connecticut to follow suite, the Governor may not be sold on the new bill which would minimize offenses for small amounts of marijuana. “I have had clients who go to jail for possession of marijuana -- they do go to jail for possession of marijuana -- and this law would help to remedy that problem because it is completely out of step with the rest of New England.”
Spice, K2, potpourri, or sometimes referred to as synthetic marijuana has been causing health issues for years, but a sudden spike has health officials worried. Many people turn to spice because it isn't tested for in drug tests and produces a high similar to (and sometimes much stronger than) marijuana, but is accompanied by many dangerous and long lasting side effects. Poison control centers reported 359 cases nationally this January, but in April the number spiked to 1,500 cases. Officials are attributing the massive increase to a new chemical ingredient from the manufacturer as they often change ingredients to keep the product legal. "This is the worst outbreak of drug abuse that I've lived through," said Dr. Steven Marcus, executive director of the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System at the New Jersey Medical School at Rutgers University, who has been monitoring the recent spike. "It's almost as if someone had made a witches' brew of these cannabinoids. This is not just powerful marijuana. This is really dangerous stuff that has effects that can be life-threatening."
ResponsibleOhio's amendment to legalize marijuana recreationally and medically in Ohio has picked up a new sponsor. Kroger's former executive lawyer, Paul Heldman, has decided to invest in one of the ten would-be legal marijuana farms if the amendment passes. Heldman's son struggles with seizures do to his epilepsy, so he understands the dire need for medical marijuana law. "As the father of a son living with epilepsy, I know first-hand what it's like to watch a loved one suffer when he could benefit from access to medical marijuana," Heldman said in a statement. "Until we legalize marijuana in Ohio and throughout our country, rigorous scientific research into its applications will not be possible and thousands, perhaps millions, of people will suffer needlessly."