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A cannabis legalization bill just got farther in the legislation process than any other such bill since prohibition. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act a.k.a. the MORE Act has passed the House judiciary committee by a vote of 24 to 10. If it is not claimed by another committee for review, HR 3884 will go onto to a floor vote in the House of Representatives.

“Thousands of individuals — overwhelmingly people of color — have been subjected, by the federal government, to unjust prison sentences for marijuana offenses,” said House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler, who has been one of the bill’s primary architects. “This needs to stop.”

“For the first time, a Congressional committee has approved far-reaching legislation to not just put an end to federal marijuana prohibition, but to address the countless harms our prohibitionist policies have wrought, notable on communities of color and other marginalized groups,” said NORML executive director Erik Altieri in a press release.

The MORE Act vs The SAFE Banking Act

Congress has fielded criticism for its first attempt at regulating cannabis, the SAFE Banking Act. Many marijuana activists noted that legislation was built around protecting financial institutions that work with cannabis companies

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How does cannabis use influence the use of illicit opioids to manage pain? That’s the question at the heart of a just-published study in a special issue of “PLOS Medicine” that focuses on substance use, misuse and dependence. For medical researchers, caregivers and patients, the need for an alternative to opioid painkillers is an urgent one. Opioid-related deaths are still on the rise across the United States and Canada, fueled by the emergence of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and a trend of over-prescribing pharmaceutical opioids. And the role cannabis might play in reducing opioid dependence and abuse is still little-understood.

But the new “PLOS Medicine” study, “Frequency of cannabis and illicit opioid use among people who use drugs and report chronic pain,” provides an important perspective on the question by researching individual-level data—something many current studies lack. Following more than 1,100 individuals over a 30-month period, researchers aimed to investigate associations between how often people with chronic pain use cannabis and how often they turn to illicit opioids. And what they found could change the way we look at cannabis and the opioid epidemic in dramatic ways.

Daily Cannabis Use Significantly Lowers Odds of Daily Illicit Opioid Use

Doctors over-prescribing

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A new study out this month shows that doctors are increasingly tapering their patients off powerful opioid medications, perhaps so fast that they are putting them at risk. Results of the study, “Trends and Rapidity of Dose Tapering Among Patients Prescribed Long-term Opioid Therapy, 2008-2017,” were published by the journal JAMA on November 15.

“We wanted to understand how often opioid dose tapering happens, how rapidly patients’ doses were being reduced when tapering, and which patients were more likely to have doses tapered,” said lead author Joshua Fenton, a professor of family and community medicine.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidelines on the prescribing of opioid medications in response to the continuing rash of overdoses and deaths that has plagued the country for more than two decades. The guidelines suggested that patients be slowly weaned off opioid medications by reducing the dosage at a rate of ten percent per week or less.

However, some doctors and hospitals have been reducing some patients’ doses more aggressively than federal guidelines, by as much as 15% or more for one-fifth of the patients in the study. In 2008, only 10.5% were being tapered off of opioids

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This week, the United States House of Representatives could be voting on the federal legalization of cannabis. Representative Jerry Nadler announced on Monday that the house judiciary committee had posted a markup for HR 3884 a.k.a. the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act — which means a vote could go down as early as Wednesday.

“I look forward to moving this legislation out of the House Judiciary Committee, making it one step closer to becoming law,” said Nadler in a press release.

From the get-go, the MORE Act looked like it had a better-than-average chance at making it through the legislative gauntlet than its many predecessors. The bill was created and introduced by Nadler of New York, who is the judiciary committee chair.

Pressure has increased on Congress to pass federal legalization ever since it approved the SAFE Act. That bill guaranteed banking protections for cannabis companies and financial institutions, raising many questions about why similar relief has not been given to cannabis users and the United States’ sizable population of individuals incarcerated on drug-related charges.

Primary on the MORE Act’s priorities is the re-classification of marijuana to remove it from the Controlled Substances Act and Schedule I category

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In several languages, including Russian and Hindi, “chai” simply means tea. Unlike regular tea, however, which is made with water as a base, chai is often made with milk, or a dairy alternative. We didn’t add cannabis to the recipe this time, but you can easily make your chai infused by adding cannabis-infused milk, or some pre-made canna-butter or coconut oil.

Cannabis Masala Chai
A sweet and spicy black tea with milk

Prep time: 15 min, Cook time: 10 min

Serves 4

– Read the entire article at Civilized.

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Lab testing is a key factor in most legal cannabis markets. Most immediately, this is what helps ensure that the products consumers purchase are not contaminated with harmful substances such as mold, yeast, pesticides, or other chemicals.

It’s also one of the ways that weed-legal states try to ensure a certain level of uniformity in terms of telling consumers the potency of different products.

Ultimately, lab tests serve a number of functions as more and more governments begin figuring out how to regulate a legal marijuana industry.

Yesterday, Nevada state authorities suspended the license of a marijuana testing lab. Authorities now claim that the lab was falsifying THC potency in products moving through its labs.

Certified Ag Labs License Suspended

According to local media reports from Nevada, cannabis testing company Certified Ag Labs recently had its license suspended by the state.

A notice reading “registration and license suspended” was reportedly posted to the company’s facility in Sparks, Nevada on Monday.

At this point, representatives from Certified Ag Labs have not been communicating with the media. But the Nevada Department of Taxation issued a statement about the license suspension.

“Products tested by Certified Ag Labs, LLC may be labeled incorrectly and

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There was a time just a few short months ago that buying into the world of legal cannabis seemed like a sure thing.

A major pot stock sell off continued on markets Monday, partially because consumers are less than enthused about legally available cannabis.

In theory, the black market should be under tremendous pressure now, by the new regulated and ultimately safe marijuana supply sanctioned by provincial governments in Canada.

– Read the entire article at CTV News.

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The internet exploded in derision this week over South Dakota’s anti-methamphetamine campaign, which features photos representing South Dakotans and some variation of the phrase “Meth: We’re On It.” But the state’s governor wants us to know that the entire endeavor is meant to get us talking.

“Hey Twitter, the whole point of this ad campaign is to raise awareness,” tweeted Republican Governor Kristi Noem. “So I think that’s working…” Not everyone agreed on the politician’s efficacy verdict, but there was a general consensus that with the $449,000 tagline — yes, an attempt had been made.

Perhaps the rabid response to the campaign was due to the fact that in South Dakota, the meth crisis is taking on worrisome proportions. A full 3.8 percent of young people in the state consumed the drug in 2016, according to the state’s Department of Social Services. That’s above the national average, which during the same period stood at three percent.

A Nationwide Epidemic

South Dakota, however, is hardly alone in its battle against meth addiction issues. In Wisconsin, meth has overtaken opioids as the primary drug concern. Government labs dealt with 1,452 deaths from the substance, a number that represents an increase of 450

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West Virginia regulators have announced that the Office of Medical Cannabis will begin accepting applications next month for permits to operate in the state’s coming legal medical marijuana industry. The West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources’ Bureau for Public Health said in a press release on Tuesday that the application period would open on December 19.

During the 60-day application period, prospective cannabis growers, processors, distributors, and dispensaries will be able to apply online at www.medcanwv.org. Applications will only be accepted through the Office of Medical Cannabis website; paper applications will not be available.

Jason Frame, Director of the West Virginia Office of Medical Cannabis, said that the state is on its way to regulated medicinal cannabis for its residents.

“This is a key step in the process to make medical cannabis available to West Virginians with serious medical conditions,” said Frame. “We and many others continue to work toward a goal of providing eligible West Virginia residents the ability to procure quality-tested medical cannabis.”

The application period for permits to operate in West Virginia’s medicinal cannabis industry will begin on December 19, 2019 at 3 p.m. and will close on February 18 at 3 p.m. No further

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Coloradans on probation can continue to use medical marijuana, the state’s Supreme Court ruled Monday, rebuking a district court judge’s decision from two years ago.

In a unanimous decision, Colorado’s highest court ruled that defendants with cannabis prescriptions are free to do so unless it could be proved that doing so would negatively affect their progress.

The ruling stems from a 2017 case involving Alysha Walton, who pled guilty for driving under the influence of alcohol. Walton received probation, but El Paso County, Colorado Judge Karla Hansen denied Walton’s use of medical marijuana because the defendant was unable to get a physician to testify on her behalf. Walton did provide documentation to show that she had an authorized prescription, but Hansen deemed that insufficient.

A 2015 Colorado law permits individuals with medical marijuana registry cards to continue to fulfill their prescriptions while on probation.

Judges Disagree

In their ruling on Monday, the state Supreme Court justices said they “disapprove” of Hansen’s judgment.

“The supreme court holds that the statute’s plain language creates a presumption that a defendant who is sentenced to a term of probation may use medical marijuana unless one of the enumerated exceptions applies,” the justices wrote. “The

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