The States Where It's Legal To Smoke Marijuana

At the beginning of July, Vermont became the ninth U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana and adults are permitted to possess up to 1 ounce of the drug as well as two mature and four immature plants. Vermont joins other states including California, Massachusetts, Maine, and Nevada where votes were passed to green light recreational marijuana in late 2016. That doubled the number of states where lighting up was permitted with Colorado, Alaska, Washington and Oregon all previously legalizing the green stuff. In terms of consumption, California has a massive market for recreational marijuana, larger than Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska combined.
Infographic courtesy of: statista

 

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There May Well Be Some Benefits of Medical Marijuana, Session Admits

Marijuana is one of the most widely used drugs the world over. This is especially true among the younger generation, despite it being illegal in most nations. In the U.S, some states have yet to legalize marijuana us, causing a bit of confusion among American citizens. Worse yet, U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions had recently gone on record to support the use of medical marijuana, when he had previously been dead set against it. Let’s take a look at how he came about his decision.
Sessions’ View
On April 25th, 2018, Sessions went before the Senate Appropriations Commerce, Justice and Science Appropriations Subcommittee panel and acknowledged that indeed there are some benefits from medical marijuana. He went further to support the appropriateness of studying cannabis for medical uses. Many were a little taken aback as the Attorney General had previously gone on record to say that he did not believe that medical marijuana was a medicine.
During his speech, Sessions admitted having seen research indicating lower overdose deaths in states that allow marijuana use. However, he was fast to criticize the current use of cannabis, suggesting that it is not being used for medical purposes. This is not too shocking as indeed younger people seem to be using it more especially in states where marijuana use is legal. A recent poll on the matter asserts this claim as it found out that one in four young adults uses cannabis every so often.
Additionally, Sessions indicated that steps to license more marijuana growing entities would soon be taken. However, he had some conditions for this as they would be for marijuana research only. Also, he did not give a timeline on the same, raising some questions on his end game.
The Confusion
In 2016, the DEA enacted a policy that was intended to license more marijuana research growers. Since then, the agency has received at least 25 applications but has yet to act on any of them. According to the Washington Post, this delay has been caused by top Justice Department officials who stepped in to prevent DEA from approving them.
However, one can sympathize with Sessions’ dilemma as, during his answers to the Senate committee, he admitted that allowing the research would expose the U.S to the risk of violating international drug treaties. Furthermore, he seemed hesitant to give an actual timeline as he considered that most people who take medical marijuana do not have a prescription for it. In his view, it is just another excuse to get high within the confines of a medical prescription.
Advocates of marijuana being legalized were pleasantly surprised at his new stand. Considering that he had previously worked against their beliefs, this came as a good shocker. However, they urged the Justice Department to act on allowing cannabis research and broadening policy changes sooner. In their defense, they supported that marijuana does indeed help many patients, and the recent drag in research was a great hindrance to patients’ health.
Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, told Marijuana Moment that what Americans needed was better research on consumer marijuana as well as lawful policies for legal markets. During his interview, he pointed out that the continued deliberations from the DoJ were affecting over two million registered medical marijuana patients in the legal markets.
In his testimony, AG Sessions told the subcommittee that the priority of drug agents and federal prosecutors was heroin, cocaine, fentanyl and methamphetamine, and not cannabis. However, he stated that if indeed cannabis agents ‘were illegally acting and violating federal law,’ their agents would work on that case.
Sessions remain opposed to the idea that cannabis is helping to address the U.S opioid addiction crisis. He still does not think that it is safe to use medical marijuana, which may indicate why his office is slow in giving a timeline for the research program to kick off. Despite studies showing that legalized medical cannabis has caused a reduction in opioid overdose, Sessions believes that this development will not be sustained in the long run. However, he acknowledged this and even asked his staff to look further into the matter, as he views science to be very important in combating drug addiction.
Many are confused as to how U.S Attorney General Sessions will tackle the research of medical marijuana. This is as a result of his change of heart in the matter, yet research is still on hold. However, patients of medical grade cannabis can rest assured that his changed views on the matter are the right step towards more research. It will take some time though.
 

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This is What Cannabis Legalization Will Look Like in Canada

On June 19, 2018, the Canadian Senate voted in favour of cannabis legalization. Although public responses have varied, every reaction was followed up with one burning question: What next?
Unfortunately, there’s no one clear answer. As recreational cannabis moves into the mainstream, each province and territory will have its own legislation regarding minimum age to purchase, where you can buy—and consume—and who will be able to sell. It’s an evolving landscape that licensed producers are navigating alongside ancillary businesses.
Here’s what you need to know about each province:
British Columbia
Despite being known for its laid back west coast vibes, both growers and consumers in B.C. will face more restrictions than a lot of other provinces. Smoking cannabis will be prohibited wherever smoking tobacco is, with the addition of community spaces (sports fields, skating rinks, playgrounds, etc) and anywhere else that kids might commonly gather. Law enforcement won’t be taking infractions lightly: you may face serious penalty (a $2,000+ fine or up to three months’ jail time) for public intoxication.
Micro-producers in British Columbia—licensed cannabis cultivators with a smaller, more focused operation, similar to current craft breweries—will also feel the sting of targeting, having to first sell their cannabis strains to the government and then buy it back if they wish to sell directly.
Alberta
Following their current legal drinking and smoking ages, the minimum age to purchase cannabis in Alberta will be 18—setting it apart from most of the country, which will still hold a strict 19+ age policy in line with their drinking laws.
Also unlike many other provinces, Alberta will allow for privately-owned retail sales and brick-and-mortar shops, placing a 15% cap on how much of the market each business can retain.
Saskatchewan
With arguably the most lax upcoming sales model in the country, Saskatchewan will allow for cannabis to be sold through privately-owned brick-and-mortar retailers, as well as online. This will be huge for retailers and will create more, varied options for consumers.
Manitoba
Manitoba’s minimum age to purchase policy doesn’t line up with smoking and drinking. Nineteen-year-olds will be in a bar with 18-year-olds, and the 19-year-olds will be allowed to go out and smoke pot while the 18-year-olds won’t. This is because, while minimum age to drink or buy cigarettes is 18 in the province, you will have to be at least 19 to purchase cannabis.
Another way Manitoba is going against the grain is in their home growing policies. While legalization will allow Canadians to possess up to four, personal-use plants, Manitoba (along with Quebec) has banned this practice.
Ontario
Without skipping a beat, Ontario will roll out an online retail platform provided by the Ontario Cannabis Store starting October 17—the day the legalization comes into effect. This will be followed up by a private, brick-and-mortar retail model launching April 1, 2019.
“The Government of Ontario will not be in the business of running physical cannabis stores,” said Minister of Finance Vic Fedeli. “Instead, we will work with private sector businesses to build a safe, reliable retail system that will divert sales away from the illegal market.”
Quebec
Not only will Quebec have the youngest age to purchase at 18—they’ll also have the cheapest product, at an average of $5.88 per gram. (Undoubtedly, this could add to Montreal’s reputation as a go-to party destination.)
Much like Manitoba, home growing will be banned in Quebec—however, there are plans to review the ban in two to three years, presumably after some fine-tuning of early operations.
NEW BRUNSWICK
New Brunswick is placing a heavy emphasis on “safety first” when it comes to cannabis. Private retail sales will not be available in this province, and all marijuana within a private residence will be required to be kept under lock and key—similar to the province’s current gun laws.
NEWFOUNDLAND
This province will likely get to make Canadian cannabis history, as the timezone primes it to be the first place to (legally) buy recreational marijuana in the country. Newfoundland will also be the only maritime province to allow privately owned retail stores—LP giants Canopy Growth will have four locations throughout the province, including an outlet attached directly to their grow facilities in St. John’s.
NOVA SCOTIA
According to StatsCan, Nova Scotia currently has the highest cannabis use per capita in the country—along with the largest recreational marijuana “black market”, as a result. In an attempt to dissuade people from illegal dispensaries—and overcome building logistics that go along with being a highly-rural, dispersed province—the province will allow cannabis sales within all existing NSLC liquor stores.
PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
P.E.I. is largely flying under the radar when it comes to cannabis. The province will roll out distribution similar to their current alcohol laws, with online and in-store purchase available through private sector only.
YUKON + NORTHWEST TERRITORIES + NUNAVUT
Based on their proximity to growers and producers, as well as size of community and demand, the territories will likely only ever experience cannabis sales via online purchase—although there is a possibility of the Yukon eventually rolling out brick-and-mortar shops.
Of course, as we move towards legalization over the next few months, it’s important to keep up to date with your own province’s rules and regulations so you know just what to expect come October 17, 2018.

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Study Finds Cannabis Effective for Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia study sheds new light

A new study coming out of the University of New Mexico shows potential of cannabis to treat an especially difficult mental disorder. This is welcome news for sufferers of schizophrenia since there is little good news about the disease in the press. As one of the most complex neurological disorders known, there is precious little known about it.
Despite the poor understanding most people have of schizophrenia, teams across the world work to discover the mechanisms of the disease and try to find new treatments. The journal Medicines published a report recently on new research performed by two departments of the University of New Mexico. Jegason P. Diviant and Jacob M. Vigil lead the study testing the effectiveness of phytocannabinoids in treating schizophrenia.
The Department of Psychology and Department of Economics collaborated for the study and published their findings together last week. They looked at how neurotransmitters in the brain work in the presence of cannabis. Diviant and Vigil used a systemic approach instead of a targeted one and observed significant changes.

This is big news

For decades, doctors and patients alike believed that consuming cannabis reduced control over episodes. But it seems that at least some cannabinoids reduce neuroinflammation, a prime component of schizophrenic delusions. Cannabis also eased several other key components of the disease with no added health risks.
The big news is that the groups findings indicate that cannabinoids may provide effective control and relief from schizophrenic episodes. They even found evidence that it works when used in conjunction with certain standard treatments. But the researchers stopped short of declaring it an outright cure for schizophrenia.
The medical establishment is still coming to terms with the reintroduction of cannabis. Progress is slow but research like this is moving forward, offering the promise of new hope to suffering people. But these results contribute to a growing library of diseases that are treatable with cannabis.

More research is needed

According to the study authors, schizophrenia affects about 0.5% of the population and most sufferers are on chemical medications. But the complex nature of schizophrenia means that researchers and medical doctors have to look at the environmental, autoimmune, and neuroinflammatory causes simultaneously. When they do, cannabis proves to be an effective method of treatment by interacting with the endocannabinoid system.
Similar to a master network of chemical signals, the endocannabinoid system promotes mental and physical homeostasis. By infusing our bodies with specific cannabinoids (in this case phytocannabinoids) we can bolster our natural abilities and promote balance. As more research becomes public, it highlights the overall impact of the endocannabinoid system on an individuals health.
There is significantly more to learn about schizophrenia and how cannabis helps treat it. But we can all appreciate what this means for the medical world. For patients suffering from the various forms of schizophrenia, this is wonderful news. There may be a cannabis based treatment developed and released in the near future.

The information provided in this article is designed to provide helpful information. It is not meant to diagnose or treat any medical condition. These are opinion pieces based on trusted sources.

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Canadian Government Marijuana Sales

The use of cannabis is gradually increasing in many countries. With over nine states in the USA legalizing it, the number is likely to increase. Other states have started following suit by voting for its legalization.
Canada has not been left behind and it will make history on October 17, 2018. The Federal Government will legalize recreational marijuana. The push has been there for years. Medical marijuana has been in use since 2000. However, there would be laws that’ll govern the sales, possession, and usage of marijuana.
The marijuana prices have already become a talk of the town with every investor stretching their hands to this soon to be gold-mine. However, the government has stepped in to regulate the sales.
I am going to discuss three important factors about Marijuana legalization in the country.
The Effect Marijuana Sales Will Have on the Economy
The marijuana business is a guaranteed huge payday to the Canadian Government. According to statistics, over C$6 billion was spent on marijuana in 2014. Remember, at this time marijuana was not legalized. The government was able to generate a tax of over C$400 million. Now the drug is about to be legalized. The number is likely to double or even triple.
Bloomberg.com has stated that the weed sale has exceeded what the largest plane manufacturer produces. Statcan – a statistics agency company – has conducted a research and found that legalization would greatly boost the country’s GDP.
The agency has also gone a step further to find out how much the weed will cost. The agency wants to compare the cost of marijuana while it’s legalized and when it was still under the black market. The drug price is likely to reduce but users will increase. If you do the math well, the overall sales will be higher.
Tourism
Canada is the home to rich culture and incredible wonders of nature. The Rocky Mountains and cities of Victoria, Calgary and Vancouver are mainly dominated by itineraries. These are just but a small number of attractions professed by the country.
The government marijuana sales are likely to hit this sector in a positive way. Canada is trying to compete with the industry in the USA which is considered to be abnormal. According to the CEO and co-founder of Cannabis Data Firm BDS analytics, all the pharmaceuticals industries are interested in the sales. The move is likely to welcome many visitors to the country. This is so because it seems like the government is backing up the sales. Many European countries are closely monitoring the legalization with the aim of starting to tour the country. With the expansion of tourism, the economy is likely to be boosted.
The measure of weed consumption
The Canadian government is obviously going to reap quite a fortune from the sales. Upon legalization of weed in Colorado, the state government was able to collect over $76 million and $87 million in the first and second year respectively. Canada is the second largest country in the world and one of the most populated countries in the world. The sales are likely to be more.
To get the data straight, the government came up with models to measure the amount of weed consumption. The data collected will help in establishing the amounts of dollars the government would be able to raise.
The government came up with these guidelines to help in getting the average weed consumption.

  • The number of people consuming the drug.
  • The number of grams each individual is likely to consume.
  • The number of days each individual can take consuming the weed in a year.
  • The price of each gram.

Let’s assume that 150,000 people consumed 2 grams for a year daily. Let’s also say the price of a pop is C4$.  If you do the math well, the overall amount spent would be over C$3 billion. This is an assumption. We have also not counted the kilograms of weed smuggled overseas or out of Canada.  This is likely to boost the GDP of Canada.
The mathematics we’ve done above only reflect recreational marijuana, we’ve left out medical marijuana.
The Takeaway
The Canadian government did a lot of calculations before they opted to legalize the drug. Many people support the move and are optimistic that the plan will strengthen the economy. However, there will be some disadvantages in the social sector since many people will be addicts to the drug which can lead to an increase in criminal activities. However, for now, all the eyes are on the said date with the weed-lovers waiting for their big day.