UN Releases Marijuana Review

The UN-powered World Health Organization’s Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) has announced the upcoming release of a report discussing evidentiary findings on the plant’s medical value.

In an earlier report, the WHO called CBD a low-risk cannabinoid which provides positive health benefits.

Here are some of the findings which will be discussed in the report:

  • The committee acknowledges that there is no evidence that anyone has ever overdosed on marijuana and describes it as a “relatively safe drug.”
  • Evidence that marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of adverse cardiovascular events “appears at best to be weak.”
  • There is a “wealth of preclinical literature” to support claims that marijuana reduces cancer cell proliferation and inhibits cancer cell migration and angiogenesis in numerous cancer cell types.
  • There is evidence that marijuana may be an effective treatment for conditions such as appetite stimulation, chronic pain, epilepsy, neuropathic pain, opioid withdrawal, post-traumatic stress disorder, and sleep disorders.

The committee also claims that there is not enough clinical research available to make a determination about the potential health benefits of cannabis for multiple conditions, and that it has concerns about several short-term and long-term effects of use, which “may be relevant to public health,” including impaired short-term memory, altered judgement, and impaired motor coordination. Furthermore, the committee claims that frequent use of marijuana is associated with impairment of the brain — especially in adolescents.

Earlier this year, UN officials expressed concern over the fact that many countries and US states have been legalizing cannabis — an act which violates a number of international treaties concerning controlled substances.

For more on this report visit Marijuana Moment.

Hickenlooper Vetoes Tasting Room Bill

The Denver Post reports that Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has vetoed House Bill 1258. And recreational marijuana retailers will not be allowed to offer shoppers a taste of their goods.

The legislation was the first of its kind in the nation according to the Cannabist.

Hickenlooper cited health and safety concerns as his motive for nixing the bill:

“We are concerned that marijuana use at consumption establishments could result in additional impaired or intoxicated drivers on our roadways… This bill also poses public health risks. Allowing vaporization of marijuana in confined spaces poses a significant health risk for employees and patrons of consumption establishments.”

The bill was also opposed by the American Lung Association and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Proponents and members of the cannabis industry have expressed their disappointment in the veto. According to The Post, Chris Woods, owner of Terrapin Care Station, had this to say:

“What we were trying to do with House Bill 1258 was offer certainty on the issue of public cannabis consumption so that regulators could have a bright line when it comes to enforcement. In its wisdom, the Colorado Legislature sought to close a significant gap in regulation. It’s unfortunate that the governor chose not to offer another regulatory tool to state and local regulators. This fight is not over.”

Back in February, a Denver coffee shop received approval for the nation’s first cannabis social club. The license allows patrons of The Coffee Joint to vape or consume edibles which must be brought into the cafe bring to the cafe. Smoking is prohibited and the joint is not permitted to sell marijuana products.

You win some, you lose some.

Illinois lawmakers OK medical marijuana as painkiller substitute, bill now goes to governor

A bill to allow medical marijuana has been approved by a bipartisan majority of Illinois lawmakers which allows doctors to prescribe medical marijuana in lieu of pharmaceutical painkillers and eliminates the requirements fingerprinting and background check which were formerly required. Patients will no longer be denied the use of the drug based on criminal convictions. Prescription holders will be allowed to purchase medical marijuana at licensed dispensaries across the state.

The formerly required fingerprints and background checks often caused patients to have to wait up to four months for approval.

According to a report in the Chicago Tribune, there are currently approximately 37,000 licensed medical marijuana users, compared to 8 million opioid prescriptions filled in the state in 2015.

The bill in not the law of land quite yet. Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has expressed his opposition to a recreational marijuana bill, has the option to sign or veto this MMJ expansion bill.

Also approved by the General Assembly and awaiting the governor’s signature was a bill allowing the licensed cultivation and processing of industrial hemp.

The Kids Are Alright With Marijuana

According to data from a new federal study released on Friday, 49 percent of 12th graders are in favor of full legalization of cannabis while just 12 percent said marijuana use should remain illegal. A little over one-quarter favor decriminalization of the drug.

Interestingly, survey results show an increase in support for public marijuana use, at 50 percent.

Prohibitionists traditionally cite a potential increase in youth marijuana use as their reason for opposing legalization. Teen marijuana use did rise slightly in Colorado from 2016 to 2017, but is still below 2012 numbers when pot was legalized in the state.

In an interview with Marijuana Moment, executive director of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Betty Aldworth, said:

“The study’s authors attribute rising support for legalization to a perception that marijuana use is ‘safe and state-sanctioned,’ but youth are smart enough to understand that saddling someone with a marijuana arrest is far more detrimental than marijuana use itself. They interpret the results of regulation—improved public health, job market expansion and education funded by tax revenue—just as clearly as any other citizen, and come to the reasonable conclusion that communities are best served when marijuana is decriminalized for youth, legal for adults, and regulated.”

Also asked of the 12th graders was what they would be most likely to do if marijuana was legalized. Just under half of those surveyed, said they would not use marijuana if it became legal, while just 10 percent said they’d use marijuana more often.

Marijuana Moment has more on this story.

Weed May Not Be So Evil After All

A recent Gallup poll shows that most Americans now consider the use of marijuana to be morally acceptable.

Gallup asked just over 1,000 adults for their opinions about the morality of consuming both alcohol and cannabis. A majority of Americans, 78 percent, to be exact, say that drinking is morally acceptable while only 19 percent said it was morally wrong.

Opinions on the evilness of weed showed that 65 percent believe its use is morally acceptable, while only 31 percent disagreed. Approval of cannabis use dropped sharply among weekly churchgoers whereas alcohol consumption faired about the same. Of respondents who seldom or never go to church, 75 percent have no issue with marijuana use, and 85 percent said drinking was morally acceptable.

High Times has more on this story.

This article by Cannabiz News Editor Rick Schettino originally appeared on PotNetwork.com.