How Legalized Cannabis is Changing the U.S.

According to a Gallup poll, support for legalization of cannabis has risen steadily—from 12 percent in 1969, to 31 percent in 2000, to 64 percent in 2017. Following this year’s cannabis elections across the nation, 59.3 percent of the residents in the U.S. reside in a state where marijuana has been legalized, at least to some degree. Twenty-eight states and Washington D.C. have made mmj legal, while nine states and Washington D.C. have legalized the recreational use of cannabis for those over the age of 21.

The Legal Medical Marijuana Market Will Grow Exponentially

Researchers estimate the legal marijuana market will grow by $7-$8 billion as legalization expands, building to a $21.8 billion dollar business by 2020. Support for the legalization of cannabis appears to transcend political party lines, considering that three states which passed medical marijuana laws voted largely Republican. Despite the medical and recreational legalization of marijuana across the nation, on the federal level cannabis remains a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

The Number of Youth Who Have Tried Cannabis Has Decreased Since Legalization

Although Kurt Isaacson, president and CEO of Spectrum Health Systems is a vocal critic of legalization, claiming it is detrimental

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Baked with Baked Mac & Cheese

The bitter cold is still roaring in parts of the world, and that means I’m going to cook up the type of meal that sticks to my bones like stews, goulash, oatmeal, mashes, pot roasts, etc. Nothing beats a warm and hearty meal to sail you through the winter until Spring roles around. And what’s better is adding a bit of nostalgia in the mix. Baked macaroni and cheese anybody?

Now, I know the wording is a little ambiguous, so let me clear it up. This dish is both baked and will get you baked if you follow this recipe. I will give you my saucy, melty and cannabis infused cheese recipe in which you can incorporate into a lot of dishes, though it’s intended for a classic mac and cheese. Use it in a grilled cheese, as a dipping sauce, over grilled veggies or on a burger. As always, I will include a variation of cashew cheese for all those lactose-intolerant and vegan readers.

Cashew Cheese

For those of you uninterested in a variation to the ooey-gooey melty cheese sauce, skip ahead! This is a classic vegan favorite: cashew cheese. This recipe is easy; take all the ingredients

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Trump Administration Pledges to Not Interfere With State Marijuana Laws, Support Federal Legislative Change

President Trump has pledged that the federal government won’t interfere with state laws that legalize marijuana, and says he’ll support legislative efforts to cement this.

Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) says that he has received commitment from President Donald Trump that the administration will not take action to disrupt marijuana markets in states that legally regulate it, and because of this he will stop his blocking of all Department of Justice nominees.

“Since the campaign, President Trump has consistently supported states’ rights to decide for themselves how best to approach marijuana,” says Gardner. “Late Wednesday, I received a commitment from the President that the Department of Justice’s rescission of the Cole memo will not impact Colorado’s legal marijuana industry.”

He added: “Furthermore, President Trump has assured me that he will support a federalism-based legislative solution to fix this states’ rights issue once and for all. Because of these commitments, I have informed the Administration that I will be lifting my remaining holds on Department of Justice nominees.”

White House Press Secretary confirmed during today’s press briefing that Trump has spoken to Garnder about marijuana on several occasions, and that Garnder’s statements regarding Trump’s commitment  to respect states rights is correct.

“We applaud this

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Louisiana House Votes to Significantly Expand Medical Marijuana Program

Louisiana’s full House of Representatives has voted to expand the state’s medical marijuana program.

The House voted 60 to 39 yesterday to expand the list of qualifying  medical marijuana conditions. Filed by Representative Ted James, the House-approved legislation would add intractable pain, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe muscle spasms and Parkinson’s disease to the conditions eligible for medical marijuana use. A separate measure by Representative Rodney Lyons, which has already passed the House, would also add autism to the list.

“We’ve got a lot of vets who don’t want to take drugs, the heavy drugs,” says Representative Kenny Cox, a retired Army officer who argued that the law could help military veterans suffering from PTSD. The proposal must now be passed by the Senate before it can be sent to Governor John Bel Edwards for consideration.

“If we can prolong life and ease pain for one young person, one senior with this bill, I think we’re headed in the right direction,” says Representative James.

Passed in 2015 and altered in 2016, Louisiana’s current medical marijuana law allows those with cancer, cerebral palso, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy and other specific conditions to use marijuana in non-smokeable forms such as oils, sprays, pills

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Alaska Governor Signs Bill Legalizing Hemp

Alaska Governor Bill Walker has signed into law a bill legalizing industrial hemp.

Governor Walker signed Senate Bill 6 today, which was filed by Senator Shelley Hughes. The measure was passed unanimously by both the Senate (18 to 0) and House of Representatives (36 to 0).

The new law legalizes industrial hemp by separating hemp from the definition of marijuana. This effectively removes hemp from the state’s list of controlled substances, allowing it to be grown as an agricultural commodity.  Senate Bill 6 also clarifies that “cannabidiol oil is not included in the definition of “hashish oil””,and clarifies that “adding industrial hemp to food does not create an adulterated food product”.

“It was time to remove hemp from the marijuana statutes,” says Senator Hughes. “There’s no psychoactive impact from hemp. If you were to smoke acres and acres and acres of hemp, all you would get would be a sore throat and a cough.”

Hughes continues; “I just want to use Alaska hemp. It’s been frustrating for us, just because our business is entirely made up of products that we wild-craft or grow ourselves. And so the hemp seed oil, that would just change everything for us, to have it completely Alaska-grown and

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Study: Marijuana Legalization Associated With Reduction in Crime, Drug and Alcohol Use

The legalization of marijuana is associated with a reduction in crime, as well as drug and alcohol use, according to a new study published by the Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization.

“First-pass evidence is provided that the legalization of the cannabis market across US states is inducing a crime drop”, states the study’s abstract. “We exploit the staggered legalization of recreational marijuana enacted by the adjacent states of Washington (end of 2012) and Oregon (end of 2014). Combining county-level difference-in-differences and spatial regression discontinuity designs, we find that the policy caused a significant reduction in rapes and property crimes on the Washington side of the border in 2013–2014 relative to the Oregon side and relative to the pre-legalization years 2010–2012.

Researchers found that legalization “also increased consumption of marijuana and reduced consumption of other drugs and both ordinary and binge alcohol. ”

More information on this study, conducted at the University of Bologna in Italy, can be found by clicking here.

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Albuquerque Mayor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance Into Law

The mayor of Albuquerque, New Mexico has signed into law an ordinance that decriminalizes the personal possession of marijuana.

The new law, approved by the city council earlier this month in a 5 to 4 vote, makes the possession of up to an ounce (28 grams) of marijuana a simple $25 ticket. It was signed into law today by Mayor Tim Keller (D). A similar proposal was vetoed by then-Mayor Richard Berry (R) in 2015.

“At the end of the day, our police officers have more important things to do”, says Councilmember Pat Davis, who filed the measure with Councilmember Isaac Benton.  Davis compares the ticket that would be given to those possessing an ounce or less of marijuana to a traffic ticket.

Albuquerque is by far the most populated city in New Mexico with roughly 560,000 residents, roughly a fourth of all residents in New Mexico (which has a population of slightly over 2 million).

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Colorado Senate Approves Bill Allowing School Nurses to Give Medical Marijuana to Patients

Legislation that would make it legal for school nurses to give medical marijuana to students who are registered patients has been passed by Colorado’s full Senate.

House Bill 1286 was passed today through its third and final reading in the Senate; the vote was 47 to 17. The measure now moves to the House of Representatives, where passage would send it to the desk of Governor John Hickenlooper.

According to the official summary of House Bill 1286; “Under current law, a primary caregiver may possess and administer medical marijuana in a nonsmokeable form to a student while the student is at school. The bill allows a school nurse or the school nurse’s designee, who may or may not be an employee of the school, to also possess and administer medical marijuana to a student at school.” The bill “provides a school nurse or the school nurse’s designee protection from criminal prosecution if he or she possesses and administers medical marijuana to a student at school.”

The full text of this proposal can be found by clicking here.

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Former Speaker of the House John Boehner Now Supports Marijuana Legalization, Joins Marijuana Industry

John Boehner, who served as the Republican Speaker of the House from 2011 to 2015, has joined the Board of Advisors for Acreage Holdings, a multi-state corporation operating in the medical and recreational marijuana space. The company holds licenses for dozens of cannabis businesses in the United States.

Boehner is joining the group along with former Republican Governor of Massachusetts Bill Weld. Boehner, in comments to the press, made it clear that he has reversed his long held opposition to marijuana legalization. In an interview with Bloomberg news wire, he stated: “Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people’s attitudes have changed dramatically. I find myself in that same position.”

According to NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri; “John Boehner’s evolution on marijuana legalization mirrors that of both the American public in general and Republicans specifically. Recent polling finds that over 60 percent of Americans support adult use marijuana legalization and, for the first time, this percentage includes a majority of self-identified Republicans. Allowing states the flexibility and autonomy to set their own marijuana regulatory policies is consistent with conservatives’ long-held respect for the Tenth Amendment, as well as with the party’s recent embracing of populism.”

Altieri continued, “Regardless of

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Missouri Committee Votes to Legalize Medical Marijuana

A key legislative committee in Missouri’s House of Representatives has approved a bill to legalize medical marijuana.

The State House Committee on Legislative Oversight voted 7 to 4 today to pass House Bill 1554, reports Eapen Thampy, a medical marijuana lobbyist. The proposed law, filed by Representative James Neely, would expand “the definition of investigational drug, biological product, or device so that it can include medical cannabis.” Under this provision, “a dispensing organization or manufacturer of an investigational drug, biological product, or device that has successfully completed phase one of a clinical trial but has not been approved for general use by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and remains under investigation in a clinical trial can be made available to certain eligible patients who have terminal illnesses.”

This bill also “changes the law regarding the use of hemp extract to treat intractable epilepsy to authorize the legal use of medical marijuana to treat terminal illnesses”, and “authorizes the Department of Health and Senior Services to issue medical cannabis registration cards to any Missouri resident, 18 years old or older, who can provide a statement signed by a doctor stating that the individual suffers from a terminal illness and may benefit from treatment

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