Pot regulators punt to state lawmakers on home-growing

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Pot regulators punt to state lawmakers on home-growing

The Columbian / Associated Press

Pot regulators punt to state lawmakers on home-growing

Washington lawmakers tasked the Liquor and Cannabis Board with making recommendations on allowing home growing of recreational pot. On Wednesday, the board put the decision back in the Legislature’s lap.

The LCB recommended any of the three options it studied: allowing four plants under strict state rules, allowing four plants under city and county control, or continuing to prohibit home grows.

The agency’s equivocal stance was not surprising to activists.

“I don’t think they wanted anything to do with it in the first place,” said Kevin Oliver, executive director of Washington NORML, the state’s largest marijuana consumer group.

“I suspect they did not take a stance on any one option because they wanted to avoid placing themselves near the center of the inevitable legislative battle that will come,” said John Kingsbury, a longtime medical-marijuana and home-growing advocate.

Oliver saw a glimmer of hope in the LCB’s stance. Kingsbury said it reflected the agency’s prioritizing tax revenues over decriminalizing marijuana.

The LCB’s 15-page report said the agency initially considered many options but “ultimately dismissed any considerations not consistent with the Cole Memo.” That 2013 memo from the federal Department of Justice has let legalization proceed in eight states as long as they adhere to priorities such as keeping weed from children, cartels and other states.

Agency spokesman Brian Smith said the LCB did what the Legislature requested — provide recommendations, plural, that it believed would comport with the Cole Memo.

“It was the consensus here that this was the best option,” Smith said. The LCB’s research into home growing revealed diverse viewpoints, which the report reflected, he said.

Its chief value, Smith said, is the LCB’s research involving other states and stakeholders including sheriffs, local government officials and advocates.

Debates in the Legislature are likely to be contentious, with law enforcement opposing home grows, patients and advocates calling for more leniency, and the pot industry divided on the issue.

For instance, Oregon residents can possess four plants without permits or other requirements. And Oregon officials recommended a low number of plants “to minimize diversion risk and a cover for the illicit market,” the LCB reported.

Public comments showed overwhelming support for home growing, according to the LCB, with 282 pro-home-grow comments and 93 opposing views.

But within the comments supporting home growing there were just 65 that favored the LCB’s four-plant options. Many who supported home grows wanted more plants and less regulation than the LCB proposed.

State Rep. David Sawyer, D-Parkland, chairs a committee that approved a six-plant home-growing bill earlier this year. That bill stalled in the full House.

Sawyer said the LCB’s report provided what he was hoping — a possible path to home growing under the Cole Memo. “I expected them to say ‘no,’?” he said.

Sawyer said he personally supports home growing. “I’m also not willing to put holes in our compliance to have home-grows,” he said.

The other seven states with legal weed all allow home growing. The DOJ has not clamped down on any of them. But none allows more than 12 plants.

As for wishful thinking, Oliver saw the LCB’s report as “neutral,” noting it “didn’t say ‘no’ outright” to home growing.” And it didn’t say home growing would cut deeply into the $854 million in state and local taxes collected since legal sales began in 2014.

Kingsbury, who objects to strict permitting for home grows, also saw some merit in the LCB’s report. It found that illegal diversion of homegrown weed, particularly in Colorado, resulted from allowing a high number of plants — 99 in Colorado’s case, reduced to 12 this year by state lawmakers.

He said the patients’ group he’s part of has been clear it will continue to push for legal small-scale, noncommercial, nonpermitted home grows in Washington.

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Published at Fri, 01 Dec 2017 00:39:06 +0000

Pennsylvania Marijuana Updates

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Pennsylvania Marijuana Updates

Posted by Jason Draizin on 11/30/2017 in Medical Marijuana

pa marijuana updates

Over the last several years, marijuana’s stigma has begun to erode, and it has increased in popularity amongst state lawmakers who are now adopting broad legislation regarding recreational and medicinal use — 29 states and the District of Columbia now have laws regarding marijuana usage.

In early 2016, Pennsylvania became one of the states to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana. Approval in Pennsylvania stemmed from studies showing medical marijuana can assist patients suffering from illness and alleviate their pain, improving their overall quality of life.

Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program went live on November 1, 2017, and more than 3,800 patients and 200 caregivers signed up during the first week. The response has been overwhelmingly positive, and the state’s Department of Health has been registering about three people per minute, on average.

In early 2018, patients will begin receiving their state-issued ID cards that allow them to purchase weed from dispensaries.

Qualifying Medical Conditions

To be eligible for Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program and become certified by your participating physician, you must have at least one of the 17 recognized qualifying conditions or symptoms:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS): Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a neurodegenerative condition that reduces the brain’s ability to control muscle movement by attacking nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain. Cannabis may reduce the effects of ALS, and patients have reported weed has reduced their symptoms, increased their appetite and alleviated their depression and pain.  
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Pennsylvania is the first state to include autism as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. Autism Spectrum Disorder is developed within the first three years of a person’s life and typically affects communication and social skills. Anecdotal accounts state weed can help regulate moods, reduce aggression and help with sleep.
  • Cancer: Weed’s active agents, cannabinoids, help to stimulate the user’s appetite and minimize nausea and vomiting, which are common symptoms cancer patients experience due to their treatments.
  • HIV/AIDS: Like cancer, cannabis can reduce nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite caused by the HIV/AIDS and its treatment.
  • Crohn’s Disease/Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): There is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease, but studies show patients have improved after the use of marijuana.
  • Epilepsy and Seizures: Many researchers have discovered weed usage reduces the frequency and severity of seizures in patients.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness in the United States. Patients found weed can reduce pressure, relieve pain and slow the progression of the disease.
  • Multiple Sclerosis, or Damage to the Nervous Tissue of the Spinal Cord: Clinical trials revealed patients using the plant or extract saw a reduction in muscle stiffness, pain and spasticity. 
  • Parkinson’s Disease: Patients who used marijuana reported less severe symptoms such as rigidity, tremors and pain.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): For anyone suffering from PTSD, evidence supports marijuana has therapeutic potential.
  • Severe Pain and Neuropathies: Prescription medications and other treatments may relieve some discomfort, but other types of pain can be resistant. By using different forms of weed, some patients have reported experiencing less pain.
  • Sickle Cell Anemia: Sickle cells are irregularly shaped blood cells that block flow, causing pain and fatigue in patients. Like other diseases that cause pain, medical marijuana can curb those side effects.
  • Terminal Illness: After enduring the pain and fatigue from treatments, weed products can provide terminal patients with an increased quality of life by alleviating pain, wasting and sleep problems.

If you’re in Pennsylvania and would like to join the medical marijuana program, follow these steps:

  1. Identify that you have one of the 17 qualifying medical conditions
  2. Register for the Medical Marijuana Program at http://www.marijuana.pa.com
  3. Visit your physician to become certified for the program
  4. Complete your registration by paying for a medical marijuana card
  5. Find a Pennsylvania medical marijuana dispensary near you

marijuana products

Products available at your local dispensary include vape cartridges, oils, tinctures and lotions. Smokeable forms of marijuana are not protected under Pennsylvania state law and can’t be sold in dispensaries.

Physician Participation

While patient interest in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program is relatively high, a growing concern for those involved is that physician interest is still quite low. Of the 57,670 registered physicians in the state, only about 200 are part of the program to recommend medical cannabis, making the ratio of patients to physicians 38:1.

For the state’s medical marijuana program to be successful, more physicians will have to complete the four-hour training course. Without physicians to recommend cannabis cards, patients can’t get access to dispensaries. In the past, other states with similar initiatives have had slow starts, due in part to low marketing efforts.

Current Prescriber Concerns

However, if patients are so enthusiastic about obtaining medical marijuana, then why is physician participation still so low state-wide?

Practitioners’ concerns stem from several factors, including:

  • The federal government still considers marijuana illegal
  • Cannabis products are not FDA-approved
  • Insurance companies don’t cover weed-related costs

Because the drug enforcement administration still views all marijuana products as Schedule I substances, doctors can’t use their prescription pads to prescribe weed. CBD, the non-psychoactive substance derived from marijuana that helps treat seizures and anxiety, is even included in the Schedule I substance category.

A similar shortage of prescribers was an issue for the state of New York, which has a medical marijuana program similar to Pennsylvania’s. After two years, the state still couldn’t raise physician participation enough. To combat the sparse numbers, New York expanded its definition of a medical marijuana prescriber to include nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Perhaps Pennsylvania will have to implement a similar strategy to ensure prescribers can meet the patient demand.

MarijuanaDoctors.com: Your Connection to Licensed Cannabis Doctors

Discover which physicians near you are participating in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program by checking out our comprehensive, growing list today.

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Published at Thu, 30 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +0000

After Years of Delay, Medical Marijuana Sales Begin in Maryland

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After Years of Delay, Medical Marijuana Sales Begin in Maryland

Maryland began the sale of medical marijuana on Friday, ending years of delays.

Dozens of people stood outside a licensed dispensary, Potomac Holistics, where owners began making sales soon after receiving their first shipment Friday afternoon, according to the Associated Press. William Askinazi, one of the owners, said people who work at the store were euphoric that the day had finally arrived.

“You can tell there’s a buzz, and we’re excited for so many reasons,” Askinazi said. “We’re giving care to people who need it.”

A long line of people cheered late Friday as sales began.

Denise Broyhill was among the first in the door to buy marijuana tablets. She said she was upbeat and relieved after years of delays by authorities in making medical marijuana available in the state. A resident of the state capital city of Annapolis, Broyhill also said she hoped for good results managing the pain from a neurological condition.

“I’m very excited to try it and relieved to get through the whole process after waiting so long,” Broyhill said. “It’s been a longtime, but I’m looking to have some good pain management.”

Maryland approved its first medical marijuana law in 2013. But the effort stalled because it required academic medical centers to run the programs, and none stepped forward. The law was changed in 2014 to allow doctors certified by a state medical cannabis commission to recommend marijuana for patients with debilitating, chronic and severe illnesses.

While the initial rollout was initially expected to be limited due to available supply, Askinazi said he expected to see between 600 and 1,000 patients over the next three days.

Patrick Allison, of Annapolis, was also among the first in line. He said he suffers from ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that causes inflammation of the spinal joints that can lead to severe, chronic pain and discomfort.

“It’s about time,” Allison said. “I live in chronic pain. You wouldn’t know it to look at me, but I’m about an eight right now on a scale of one to 10, head to toe. The only thing that works for me is marijuana.”

David Johnson, of Frederick, said he was relieved that he could now have access to medical marijuana to ease pain from nerve damage. He said he’s tired of driving in pain to pharmacies in search of opioids.

“It’s been a nightmare,” he said. “This is a godsend.”

Medical marijuana will be available for any condition that is severe in which other medical treatments have been ineffective, and if the symptoms “reasonably can be expected to be relieved” by marijuana. Patients with a chronic or debilitating medical condition that causes severe appetite loss, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures or severe muscle spasms also can have access, as well as people with glaucoma or post-traumatic stress disorder.

“In Maryland, there are very liberal qualifying conditions,” Askinazi said.

Even further, Maryland will allow not only physicians but nurse practitioners, dentists, podiatrists and nurse midwives to certify patients as eligible to receive marijuana. People authorized to recommend the use of medical marijuana will be able to do so for patients from other states who travel to Maryland.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Sun, 03 Dec 2017 23:01:48 +0000

10 Things Elderly Should Know About Medical Marijuana

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10 Things Elderly Should Know About Medical Marijuana

Posted by Jason Draizin on 12/01/2017 in Medical Marijuana

elderly and marijuana

Aging is a part of the natural process of life, which can grant us wisdom and experience, but it also comes hand in hand with a variety of physical changes that can be less pleasant to deal with. As the baby boom generation reaches its senior years, making a large segment of the population 65 years or older, issues with vision, cardiovascular disease and cognition are bound to increase. Fortunately, with 58% of surveyed American adults indicating that marijuana use should be legal in a 2015 Gallup poll, there’s hope on the horizon for many of the ailments of aging.

Prescription drugs once seemed to hold the solution for the elderly population, but with 30 percent of those 65 or older using prescription drugs, marijuana can offer an alternative for those who want to combat pain and improve their lives. Marijuana’s status as a Schedule 1 drugs means that research is behind on the drug’s medical capacities, but the tides are shifting for the cannabis plant.

With legalization for both recreational and medicinal use occurring all over the country, there are more reasons than ever to consider the potentiality for marijuana to decrease pain and improve the quality of your life. For those who are older than 65 and are interested in CBD or its oil, marijuana seeds and edibles for relief, here are some things to know.

Pain Management

According to Dr. Igor Grant, chair of the UCSD Department of Psychiatry, “There is increasing evidence that cannabis is helpful in the management of certain kinds of pain.” For example, when it comes to pain from arthritis, a recent study showed that more type 2 cannabinoid receptors (CB2) are present in arthritic joints, which enables cannabis to guard against inflammation when its inhaled or consumed.

Forget About Pharmaceuticals

Many people rely on prescription drugs to deal with bodily issues, and this only increases as we age. Unfortunately, many pharmaceuticals come with addictive properties that are detrimental to well-being. Fortunately, a study by the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine revealed that there is a lower opioid abuse rate in states that allow medical cannabis, making an excellent case for a different option.

opioid addiction

A Powerful Anti-Inflammatory

It’s well known that old age can lead to physical decline, but it’s actually inflammation and free radicals that cause the ailments associated with aging. According to Dr. Robert Melamede, “Nobody dies from being old, they die from age related illnesses.” Because hemp, a varietal of the cannabis sativa plant, is rich in fatty acids which are necessary for bodily health, it can increase endocannabinoid activity in the body and decrease pain-related ailments.

Options for Inhalation

The idea of lighting up may not appeal to many seniors who are already on the proverbial fence, but there are options beyond simply smoking it. With legalization changing at a rapid rate, people have the option of trying edibles instead of lighting up. Cannabis is not only found in everything from crackers to chocolate nowadays, it can be added to any recipe that requires butter or oil! 

No Need to Get High

Most people who are even mildly familiar with marijuana are well aware of the stereotypes associated with getting high, from eating Cheetos to watching too much television. While the ‘high’ feeling is associated with the compound THC, there are numerous medical varieties that do not contain this compound but still provide the associated medical benefits of the cannabis plant

The Science Behind It

There is still a lot missing in our understanding of marijuana due to the lack of investment into research, but there are available studies that provide positive feedback regarding its ability to alleviate pain and reduce cancer symptoms. For example, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved two synthetic types of marijuana, dronabinol and nabilone, and more research is on the way.

An Alternative to Prescriptions

As a culture, we’re very familiar with the instant impacts of drugs that can deal with pain, stress relief and arthritis. However, the side effects can be just as difficult to deal with. While there is a sense of security in using a familiar prescription, it may be worth testing out marijuana to measure its pain relief capacities without all the added side effects.

What’s The Stigma?

There may have been a time that marijuana use sat outside the parameters of the mainstream, but with changing laws the old stigmas are rapidly dissolving. According to a 2014 Truven Health Analytics NPR Health Poll, approximately 78 percent of respondents approved of marijuana for medical use. As legalization increases, this number will likely bump up along with it.

There’s More Than One Strain

For those who are unfamiliar with marijuana, it can be easy not to know that, like coffee or potato chips, there’s no shortage of choice when it comes to avaialble strains. From the best cannabis seeds to a variety of strains, you don’t have to worry about a one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re looking to deal with symptoms of stress, you may want to try Girl Scout Cookies or OG Kush, or, for pain relief, One to One may help.

Increasing Your Appetite

Many seniors struggle with physical fitness and maintaining a healthy weight, but your body health is an important part of aging well. Fortunately, according to a study by the American Journal of Epidemiology, the rate of obesity is lower by a third for people who smoke marijuana a minimum of 3 times a week. It’s just important not to rely solely on marijuana for weight maintenance.

Find Help for the Elderly in Your Life

Marijuanadoctors.com is your go to source for all things related to medical marijuana. Check out our aliment resources for more information on what conditions marijuana can help with. We also update our blog regularly with the latest news, program updates and marijuana resources.

To help the seniors in your life get the help the deserve, find a doctor near you and explore your local dispensaries today.

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Published at Fri, 01 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Israel: Export Marijuana

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Israel: Export Marijuana

Pennsylvania Marijuana Updates

11-30-2017

pa marijuana updates

Over the last several years, marijuana’s stigma has begun to erode, and it has increased in popularity amongst state lawmakers who are now adopting broad legislation regarding recreational and medicinal use — 29 states and the District of Columbia now have laws regarding marijuana usage.
In early 2016, Pennsylvania became one of the states to legalize the medicinal use of… Read more

How Can I Know What Strain I Am Buying?

11-29-2017

what strain did i buy

Most state-approved medical marijuana dispensaries have strict guidelines they must adhere to. Their facility is to be clean and safe for patients who frequent these locations. One aspect of this is the ability to purchase flowers and buds that are clearly labeled.
Many locations go the extra mile. Not only will they give you the name of the flower, but they’ll let you know if this… Read more

NY Adds PTSD to Qualifying Conditions

11-28-2017

ny adds ptsd

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed off on adding Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying conditions for the legal use of medical marijuana in the state on Saturday, November 11, 2017 — a statement made in honor of Veterans Day.
PTSD is a severe condition that usually develops after a person experiences a traumatic event or series of events, such as war,… Read more

Medical Marijuana Patient Consent

11-27-2017

medical marijuana patient consent

While medical marijuana is recognized as a viable treatment for patients suffering from certain conditions, the legal ramifications are more delicate. Studies show — and clinical trials continue to demonstrate — that there are several medicinal uses for cannabis products. Medical marijuana, however, cannot be handled like other pharmaceutical interventions.
The War on Medical… Read more

Replacing Sleep Medicine with Medical Marijuana

11-24-2017

marijuana sleep aid

Sleep is a crucial part of daily life. If we don’t get good sleep, we can’t function at our best — not to mention how much harder it makes waking up in the morning.
But, many of us find sleep elusive. So, more than 8.5 million people in the United States use prescription sleep medication. Those who don’t use prescription medications try supplements and over-the-counter… Read more

Poland Legalizes Medical Marijuana

11-22-2017

poland legalizes marijuana

Polish pharmacies could begin legally selling cannabis on November 1, after a hard-fought battle in Parliament. Piotr Krzysztof Liroy-Marzec, former rapper Liroy, was able to push the legislation through two years after he was elected to the Polish parliament.
The Polish Medical Marijuana Program
In July 2017, a medical cannabis bill was signed by the Polish president into legislation. It… Read more

What to Know About Topical CBD Treatments

11-20-2017

cbd topicals

Marijuana is a diverse plant. For years, patients with different disorders have been using the herb to self-medicate and alleviate many painful symptoms. Now that modern medicine is finally seeing the potential uses of cannabis, the plant has been legalized for medical purposes in many states for several different conditions. It’s also entering a golden age of production.
States… Read more

Replacing Percocet Usage with Medical Marijuana

11-17-2017

percocet and marijuana

Patients use Percocet, a pharmaceutical drug, to treat their pain symptoms all the time. But, like other medication, Percocet comes with risks — in this case, severe risks.
No wonder so many folks with chronic pain make the switch to medical marijuana! It packs the same punch as Percocet for tons of patients, letting them supplement or totally replace their prescription… Read more

Peru Legalizes Medical Marijuana

11-15-2017

peru legalized medical marijuana

On October 19, 2017, Peru’s government passed a bill to legalize marijuana for medical use. Thanks to local advocacy and scientific research, Peruvian officials understood the importance of medical marijuana and pushed for the freedom to medicate.
Quick Facts
Here’s what you need to know about the recent change:

Despite having a conservative majority, Peru’s Congress… Read more

Marijuana and the NFL

11-14-2017

marijuana and the nfl

There is no doubt professional football players deal with a lot of pain. Despite their physical conditioning, NFL players push their bodies to perform, sometimes beyond their capabilities. Players often suffer muscle strains and sprains, bumps and bruises or the occasional concussion.
During a typical NFL career, a professional player consumes countless over the counter anti-inflammatories,… Read more

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Published at Mon, 04 Dec 2017 05:00:00 +0000

WA: Over $140 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in October, Setting New Monthly Sales Record

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WA: Over $140 Million in Legal Marijuana Sold in October, Setting New Monthly Sales Record

In Washington State there was $142,045,620.27 worth of legal marijuana and marijuana products sold in October, easily breaking the previous monthly record set in August ($133 million).

The over $140 million in legal cannabis sold in October resulted in nearly $30 million in taxes for the state. So far for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which began on July 1st of this year, there has been $534 million in marijuana sold, resulting in over $120 million in taxes. For FY 2017, which began on July 1st, 2016, and ended on June 30th, 2017, there was $1,371,882,585.79 in legal marijuana sold in Washington State in fiscal year 2017; the state garnered $314,838,969.21 in taxes from these sales.

This data was obtained by the Washington State Liquor and Cannabis Board (WSLCB). According to the WSLCB, 1,896 licenses have been issued throughout the state for marijuana producers, processors and retail outlets.

More information on Washington’s legal marijuana industry can be found at the WSLCB’s Marijuana Dashboard by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 27 Nov 2017 11:48:01 +0000

Seattle pot-shop mural: art or ad appealing to kids?

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Seattle pot-shop mural: art or ad appealing to kids?

The Columbian / Associated Press

Seattle pot-shop mural: art or ad appealing to kids?

Hashtag, a Seattle pot store, has an outside wall brightly decorated by the muralist known as Henry, the city’s most prolific painter of playful, slightly psychedelic scenes.

A state Liquor and Cannabis Board officer slapped Hashtag with a violation notice in September, saying the mural and its orange walrus frolicking with a green narwhal were “appealing to children because it has cartoon characters.”

The mural itself has no images or references to marijuana or the store. So Hashtag owners appealed, saying it was allowable art, not a sign. The case has been awaiting a hearing with a judge, at which Hashtag’s lawyer would square off against an assistant attorney general.

This week the LCB reversed itself — after inquiries by The Seattle Times — and dropped its complaint. “After an inside review of the mural on Hashtag, our enforcement team concluded that the mural is not advertising, therefore allowed,” said agency spokesman Brian Smith in an email Tuesday.

That decision illustrates the challenges of LCB officers not only in discerning art from advertising, but in determining whether some art appeals to kids like a pied piper of pot.

Hashtag co-owner Logan Bowers said the state’s “might be appealing to kids” standard is “dangerously vague.”

Hashtag commissioned the mural, Bowers said, and Henry let him see a sketch before he painted it. “But we didn’t exert any creative control,” Bowers said. “It never occurred to us that it might run afoul of the rules because we never considered it advertising.”

State Sen. Reuven Carlyle, D-Seattle, pushed for tighter regulation of pot advertising after he got tired of seeing a “Got Weed?” billboard as he crossed the Ballard Bridge daily. Such signs, visible to school buses, are not what he envisioned under Washington’s strict legal-pot regulations.

After being asked about Hashtag’s mural this week, Carlyle said he drove by the store on Stone Way North near Lake Union.

“In the big picture it’s vital that LCB is vigilant and relatively strict about interpretation of advertising appealing to children,” Carlyle said in an email. “But I also freely admit I’m deeply uncomfortable with this one because Henry is culturally relevant art that goes to the soul of our community.”

Ballard artist Ryan Henry Ward has painted more than 180 murals, often with fantastical creatures, on building exteriors, school interiors, garages and even vehicles, primarily in Ballard, according to his website. He describes his “whimsical work” as “primitive images with a dreamlike, surreal quality.”

It wouldn’t be surprising if his Yellow Submarine-esque characters had some appeal to children. And the LCB’s Smith said Hashtag was hit with a violation after someone complained about the mural.

“I can absolutely see both sides” of the argument, Carlyle said. “I’ve got four kids. We all want to be responsible.”

But Carlyle noted that Hashtag’s “signage is small” and it’s hard to tell from the street that it’s even a pot store. “It’s like freedom of speech,” he said of its mural. “You have to err on the side of art.”

Bowers said the store purposefully avoided anything commercial in the mural, “as its purpose is beautification” of what he called a rundown building.

He noted that Henry painted a mural on the side of a bar that depicts two walruses holding beers and it has been uncontroversial. It’s flimsy logic, he said, to ban images that might appeal to kids. “Is a child going to walk by, see a fish on the side of a building and then conclude he’s going to smoke marijuana? Do children pound hard liquor if the grocery store looks too nice?”

The Hashtag violation follows stricter advertising regulations mandated by the state Legislature. The new rules took effect in July. They don’t allow stores to have sign-spinners, inflatable advertising, signs that depict marijuana or a store’s products, or signs with movie or cartoon images that appeal to children.

“Several stores will need to revise their signs,” Smith said.

Advertising rules are the most commonly violated, according to Smith. The LCB has issued 178 such warnings or violation notices since 2015, with 32 of those coming since the new rules took effect in July.

An LCB official has contacted Hashtag’s owners to let them know “we would be rescinding the violation notice,” Smith said, and the attorney general’s office would follow up in writing.

“I’m pleased they dropped the violation,” Bowers said, “as I think it’s obvious that artwork should not be censored or regulated by the LCB or any state agency.”

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 24 Nov 2017 18:22:10 +0000

Study: Cannabinoids Have Potential Therapeutic Use in Alcohol-Related Problems

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Study: Cannabinoids Have Potential Therapeutic Use in Alcohol-Related Problems

Cannabinoids hold potential therapeutic use in alcohol-related problems, according to a new study being published in the journal Alcohol, and epublished ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“Case reports and observational studies suggest that the use of Cannabis sp. mitigates problematic ethanol consumption in humans”, states the study’s abstract. “Here, we verified the effects of the two main phytocannabinoid compounds of Cannabis sp., cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), in the expression of ethanol-induced locomotor sensitization in mice.”

For the study, male adult mice “were exposed to locomotor sensitization by daily intraperitoneal injections of ethanol (2.5 g/kg) for 12 days; control groups received saline.” After the acquisition phase, “animals were treated with cannabinoids: CBD (2.5 mg/kg); THC (2.5 mg/kg); CBD + THC (1:1 ratio), or vehicle for 4 days with no access to ethanol during this period.” One day after the last cannabinoid injection, “all animals were challenged with ethanol (2.0 g/kg) to evaluate the expression of the locomotor sensitization.”

According to researchers; “Mice treated with THC alone or THC + CBD showed reduced expression of locomotor sensitization, compared to the vehicle control group.”

The study concludes by stating; “Our findings showing that phytocannabinoid treatment prevents the expression of behavioral sensitization in mice provide insight into the potential therapeutic use of phytocannabinoids in alcohol-related problems.”

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 24 Nov 2017 11:30:35 +0000

How Can I Know What Strain I Am Buying?

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How Can I Know What Strain I Am Buying?

What to Know About Topical CBD Treatments

11-20-2017

cbd topicals

Marijuana is a diverse plant. For years, patients with different disorders have been using the herb to self-medicate and alleviate many painful symptoms. Now that modern medicine is finally seeing the potential uses of cannabis, the plant has been legalized for medical purposes in many states for several different conditions. It’s also entering a golden age of production.
States… Read more

Replacing Percocet Usage with Medical Marijuana

11-17-2017

percocet and marijuana

Patients use Percocet, a pharmaceutical drug, to treat their pain symptoms all the time. But, like other medication, Percocet comes with risks — in this case, severe risks.
No wonder so many folks with chronic pain make the switch to medical marijuana! It packs the same punch as Percocet for tons of patients, letting them supplement or totally replace their prescription… Read more

Peru Legalizes Medical Marijuana

11-15-2017

peru legalized medical marijuana

On October 19, 2017, Peru’s government passed a bill to legalize marijuana for medical use. Thanks to local advocacy and scientific research, Peruvian officials understood the importance of medical marijuana and pushed for the freedom to medicate.
Quick Facts
Here’s what you need to know about the recent change:

Despite having a conservative majority, Peru’s Congress… Read more

Marijuana and the NFL

11-14-2017

marijuana and the nfl

There is no doubt professional football players deal with a lot of pain. Despite their physical conditioning, NFL players push their bodies to perform, sometimes beyond their capabilities. Players often suffer muscle strains and sprains, bumps and bruises or the occasional concussion.
During a typical NFL career, a professional player consumes countless over the counter anti-inflammatories,… Read more

Georgia Marijuana Reform: HR 36 & HB 645

11-13-2017

ga hr 36 and hb 645

The state of Georgia could be joining 29 other states and Washington, D.C., in the legalization of medical marijuana.
Since the passing of House Bill 1 in 2014, the state has allowed patients with eight specific medical conditions to possess medical marijuana oil without prosecution. Six more conditions were added to the list this year, which now includes diseases and symptoms like seizures,… Read more

Best Marijuana Edibles for Sleep Aid

11-09-2017

marijuana edibles for sleep

After considering the side effects and dependency potential of standard sleep medicine, some patients opt for medical marijuana to help them sleep. Since it has fewer dependency issues and milder side effects, cannabis helps tons of folks with their insomnia without the risks.
Many of these patients medicate with edibles. Edibles are an accessible and familiar way to consume marijuana. Not… Read more

Can I Buy Medical Marijuana Outside of My Home State?

11-06-2017

buy marijuana out of state

Most folks with a medical marijuana card have to travel outside of their home state from time to time. After all, medical marijuana patients go on work trips, visit loved ones and go on vacation like everyone else. But, since cannabis laws vary from state to state, it can be difficult to determine how to medicate when out of state.
Things get especially tricky when you need to buy new medicine… Read more

Medical Marijuana and Oral Health

11-03-2017

marijuana and oral health

Your teeth and mouth are two essential parts of your body. They help you eat and speak — two incredibly vital life skills!
As a comprehensive marijuana health source, we would be remiss to skip over the details about maintaining oral health while using cannabis.
Fortunately, keeping your mouth and teeth healthy while medicating with marijuana is simple. Many of the principles have to do… Read more

Can I Have a Medical Marijuana Card in More Than One State?

10-31-2017

marijuana card in 2 states

While the United States has state laws that neatly categorize legislation by area, the reality isn’t that simple. If you live near a state border or in a smaller state, you might regularly go to a nearby state. Or, you might have just moved to a new state and have to follow new laws.
Since marijuana is only legalized in certain state’s legislation rather than federal law, what you… Read more

Marijuana Topicals for Post Workout Relief

10-27-2017

marijuana workout recovery

After an intense workout, sore muscles are a given. Products are available at every drug store and market claiming to help with aching muscles and some work — to a point. Topicals infused with marijuana are assisting patients across the country with issues like inflammation and arthritis. But could applying these creams to your aching muscles after your workout provide relief?
Cannabis… Read more

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Published at Tue, 28 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Cannabis poisoning sends pooch to hospital

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Cannabis poisoning sends pooch to hospital

The Columbian / Associated Press

Cannabis poisoning sends pooch to hospital

Of all the things Andy Healy worried could poison her dogs, cannabis wasn’t on the radar.

That changed, though, after what was supposed to be a fun 15-mile hike in the woods ended with an evacuation and a trip to an emergency animal hospital.

Healy set out Oct. 29 on the Siouxon Creek Trail in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest with her friends Laura Stockton and Rick Blevins and her two 5-year-old border collies, Fen and Jil.

Nearly 13 miles into the hike, Fen began to stumble and weave. She sat down and was unable to get back up. She lost the ability to move her front legs; then, she couldn’t move her back legs. When Healy reached out to touch her dog, Fen flinched. Then, her eyes glazed over.

Immediately, Healy knew her dog had been poisoned. Based on the symptoms, Healy suspected cannabis poisoning. Healy, a trauma nurse, had researched the topic after recreational marijuana use became legal in Washington, but she never imagined Fen would come across cannabis in the middle of the woods.

But Dr. Heather Poncelow, a veterinarian at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists in Vancouver, said it’s more common than people probably think.

Poncelow and her colleagues frequently see THC toxicity in dogs. And while it’s more common to see poisoning in dogs that got into cannabis in their home, exposure happens in parks and other public places “relatively frequently,” Poncelow said.

The good news, though, is THC toxicity is rarely fatal.

“It’s extremely uncommon, or rare, that a pet would die from THC toxicity,” Poncelow said.

Fortunately, Fen has fully recovered, but not without leaving Healy with a harrowing story to tell.

Rescuing Fen

Healy often hikes alone and has thought about how she would evacuate one of her 35-pound dogs if something were to happen. But a recent hip replacement surgery, from which Healy is still recovering and building endurance, would have hampered those efforts.

“It would’ve been all I could do to carry her out,” Healy said of Fen.

Luckily for Healy, her hiking partners are also her teammates with Silver Star Search and Rescue out of Washougal. The trio used trekking poles, a tarp and some line in their packs — along with tree branches — to create a litter to carry Fen the 2 1/2 miles back to the car.

It was dusk by the time they reached the trailhead, and Fen was unresponsive. Her breathing was shallow — just six breaths per minute — and her body temperature was dropping.

Healy made the nearly two-hour drive to Columbia River Veterinary Specialists, where veterinarians treated Fen for hypothermia, warmed her up and monitored her breathing.

“They assured me that this looks like classic marijuana poisoning,” Healy said.

A few hours later, Healy took Fen back to their Ridgefield home. Another 10 hours would pass before Fen could stand and walk and another day before she was running and playing.

Healy suspects Fen came across a cannabis edible while the group stopped at a vacant campsite to rest and eat a snack. Fen and Jil were exploring the area, and Healy admits she was distracted while talking to her companions.

Healy doesn’t think anyone left the edible intentionally. More likely, she said, a camper dropped it without realizing.

The troubling thing with cannabis edibles, Poncelow said, is many of them are meant to provide multiple doses. A dog, however, will eat the whole thing.

“When they’re getting edibles, they’re getting exposed to more THC than if they got a hold of a half-smoked joint,” she said.

Columbia River Veterinary Specialists see about one to three cases of THC toxicity each week. While that hasn’t changed since marijuana became legalized, people do seem to be more cavalier and don’t secure their cannabis from pets and children, Poncelow said.

Healy hopes Fen’s experience serves as a warning and a reminder about the danger marijuana poses when it gets in the wrong hands — or paws.

“People need to think of it as leaving a loaded gun around a kid,” she said. “It’s not harmless.”

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Published at Mon, 13 Nov 2017 14:02:49 +0000