The latest in marijuana news, culture and politics
  • Legalization Posted Oct 2016

    Wyoming lawmakers to examine overhauling marijuana penalties

    No legislation has been written yet, but Wyoming lawmakers are discussing a proposal that would create a tiered penalty system for marijuana offenses, with the first offense being a misdemeanor with a $250-1,000 fine. Each additional marijuana offense would come with harsher punishments including possible jail time, with the fourth offense resulting in a felony. Penalties for distribution would remain under current laws, and a weight limit will be set that could qualify offenders for a higher penalty or felony. Current state law in Wyoming only penalizes plant forms of marijuana, as the previous legislation covering edible marijuana had been thrown out, though the suggested new system would include edibles as well.  The proposal came out of the Joint Judiciary Committee’s discussion on Thursday, which included testimony from the state crime lab, the Wyoming Department of Health, a Wyoming NORML representative and Laramie County District Attorney Jeremiah Sandburg. Current state law only addresses the plant form of marijuana, and courts have ruled that marijuana-infused products may not be able to be prosecuted under the law. “That loophole actually creates a danger spot where a joint of marijuana is going to get you into trouble but a pound of brownies is not,” said Sen. Leland Christensen, R-Alta.

  • Fun Posted Oct 2016

    Smoking vs Vaporizing vs Eating Marijuana?

    Marijuana has been around for thousands of years and can be consumed primarily in 3 different ways, smoking, vaping, or eating. There are pros and cons to each method of consumption, but you might find trying out a different method could help you enjoy your buds even more. The primary way people consume marijuana is smoking. While the high-temp smoke can introduce carcinogens and be more harmful to your lungs, the effects are nearly instant and can be stronger than other methods. Vaporizing is growing more popular as legal marijuana markets expand and consumers are trying new products. Vaporizers vary in quality and features depending on price, but a fine tuned low-temp hit can produce less carcinogens than smoking, while also providing a more flavorful and efficient hit. Eating marijuana edibles is the third and final method of consuming cannabis, and while some prefer the effects, improper dosing has caused some unneccessary controversy. By eating marijuana edibles, you're getting as much of the medical benefits as possible, while also removing the risk to your lungs from smoking. The downside of edibles is the wait time. The user can expect to wait from 30-60 minutes before feeling any effects, and the high can last anywhere from 4-12 hours depending on dosing and user tolerance.  If you choose to vaporize, it is important to find a high quality vaporizer for weed. Pick a vaporizer that has proper temperature control settings, so that you can fine tune the temperature to your liking. Eating marijuana is a great way to get all of the medicinal benefits of the marijuana plant. When you eat marijuana it takes longer to feel the effects, and the effects also last much longer. However, on the other hand if your using marijuana recreationally. Smoking marijuana gives you the most instant high compared to eating or vaping it. In my opinion it is also a stronger high as well

  • News Posted Oct 2016

    Prehistoric marijuana found in ancient burial site

    It's well known that many ancient cultures buried the dead with their possessions, but a new grave has been uncovered in China's Turpan Basin that housed 13 complete cannabis plants displayed as a shroud over the buried. This is the first time that whole cannabis plants have been found inside a grave or used as a burial covering. This spot in the Turpan Basin was populated by the Subeixi culture 2,000-3,000 years ago, making it an important stop on the Silk Road. Scientists say the discovery is exciting and that the ancient culture likely used the marijuana buds for incense or medicinal purposes. Archeologist Hongen Jiang and his team discuss the grave in the journal Economic Botany. The scientists proclaim that the discovery is very exciting. While cannabis has been found in ancient graves before, this is the first time that complete plants have been found. Furthermore, this is the first time the plants have been used as a covering for a human burial, called a "shroud.  

  • News Posted Oct 2016

    High enrollment: A university in Philadelphia to offer marijuana policy class

    As more states continue to legalize some forms of marijuana, it seems the drug is here to stay, and with that comes the need for young people educated on marijuana policy, laws and regulations. Several Universities around the U.S. including the University of Denver, University of California-Berkeley, and Temple University in Philadelphia are taking the initiative by offering new marijuana policy classes, helping to pave the way for future journalists and public relations specialists. Temple University will be offering the course for both undergraduate and graduate students. The class will be cancelled if enrollment requirements aren't met, but school officials are predicting it to be a popular course. Temple University Professor Linn Washington tells The Philadelphia Inquirer he’s partnering with a marijuana reform advocate to teach the Marijuana in the News course next spring. The class will be available to communications students who could encounter the issue in their professions, including aspiring journalists and public relations specialists

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2016

    Going digital: Nevada medical marijuana patients can now apply online for MMJ cards

    After negotiating over the last year, state officials and the Nevada Dispensary Association have finally implemented an online system for patients to apply for their medical marijuana card. By eliminating the need for patients to physically go to the DMV and a Division of Public and Behavioral Health office, more patients will be able to register and obtain the necessary medication. Patients need only to visit with a doctor for approval to use medical marijuana, then the approval can be scanned and submitted online.  Nevada officials say they will now offer the medical marijuana card application process online. The Las Vegas Sun reports that the doing so will eliminate the need for patients to make trips to a Department of Motor Vehicles branch and a Division of Public and Behavioral Health office. Patients will be able to submit all forms on the Nevada Dispensary Association website.

  • News Posted Oct 2016

    Is Driving While High Dangerous? Denmark Considers Relaxing Marijuana Laws

    Denmark, like many countries in Europe and around the world, have strict laws against marijuana use, but they're considering a change based on evidence that could have been harming sober drivers for years. Currently in Denmark, a driver caught with ANY traces of cannabis in their bloodstream can be fined and have their license suspended for 3 years. Now that marijuana is more common, it's well known that THC, the active chemical in marijuana, can remain in a users blood stream for sometimes months after, while the user's high will fade in a few hours. New legislation introduced would set a legal limit of THC and set the bar for inxtocated drivers, protecting the drivers who smoked marijuana long before getting behind the wheel. Denmark is also introducing a medical marijuana trial-program in 2018 that would allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for patients with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, chronic pain and chemotherapy aftereffects. In Denmark, intoxicated drivers with any traces of weed in their blood can be punished with a fine and have their driver’s licenses suspended for up to three years. The new bill proposes that drivers only be punished if they have a certain amount of marijuana in their blood since it could take months before THC clears out of the bloodstream. Jan E. Jorgensen of the Liberal Party told Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet the new bill will reduce the odds of harsh punishment for people “who have not been of any danger to traffic at all.”

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Oct 2016

    Illinois Adds Chronic Pain, PTSD to Qualifying Medical Conditions

    Illinois' medical marijuana program has been operating for a short while now and it seems to be doing fairly well while making improvements along the way. As a result, legislators extended the pilot program to atleast to the year 2020. The program is consistently moving forward, but not without a forceful push here and there. A Cook County Judge, Neil Cohen recently ordered for 'post-operation chronic pain' to be added to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana, and the Department of Health has 30 days to respond. Only a few months ago Cohen was pushing for PTSD to be added to Illinois' qualifying conditions, and he succeeded. A new condition has been added to the list of medical marijuana-treated conditions in Illinois. A judge just ordered Post-Operative Chronic Pain to be quickly added to the qualifying conditions. Illinois is one of the few states with a medical marijuana program that doesn’t allow treatment of chronic pain with cannabis  

  • Celebrities Posted Oct 2016

    Merle Haggard Marijuana to Enter Colorado Market

    Long time fans of Merle Haggard are familiar with his long life of writing music, touring, and his love for cannabis sativa. During his life he grew medical marijuana with family on his 280 acre property in California, hoping to move it to Colorado after the 2012 legalization of marijuana. A year before his death in April 2016, he released a song with Willie Nelson, "It's All Going To Pot" on April 20th (4/20). Willie Nelson began selling strains of marijuana recently as Willie's Reserve, and with some help from Haggards family it looks like Merle's personal strain of cannabis, Merle's Girls, will also see store shelves soon. His music will last forever, but soon you may want to hunt down and try Merle's Girls while you have the chance. "The sativas kept him going, kept him creative, kept him getting out there and being able to play," says Colorado Weed Co.'s Michael Smith in an interview with the Denver-based alt-weekly newspaper Westword. Appropriately, Merle's Girls initial launch will include a sativa strain, although the company will expand its product line – including a medical blend – in the coming years. If all goes according to plan, Oregon, Washington and California will also soon carry the product.

  • News Posted Oct 2016

    Inside Barcelona’s private marijuana clubs

    In the city of Barcelona, Spain you can see a diverse night life of bars and clubs, but behind certain private closed doors, you can find marijuana clubs, but not like anything you've heard about in places like Colorado or Amsterdam. Spain does not participate in any legal marijuana or medical marijuana programs, however it does protect it's citizens right to private consumption and right to associate. There are 268 registered members-only cannabis clubs in Barcelona, but to get involved you must know someone already on the inside. Having a connection and multiple-day waiting period has been an efficient way to avoid tourism in the market. The clubs are able to operate only as a nonprofit, allowing members to pay an annual fee, and each member is typcally allowed a max amount of 100 grams per month. There is currently legislation with growing support that would regulate the shops and legally allow them to grow, cultivate, and distribute marijuana. They’re not like Amsterdam’s coffee shops, or Colorado’s dispensaries for that matter. Here, to join a club you have to be personally sponsored by a member. Then you wait, sometimes days, before you’re allowed to have any pot. No outsiders are permitted. Tourists are usually not welcome. And in almost every case, you would pass by a club’s door and not even notice it. In Spain, marijuana is actually illegal, and that includes for medical use. But the clubs are protected by two facts: Private consumption isn’t penalized, and the right to associate is constitutionally guaranteed. The clubs function as nonprofit associations. Members pay a small annual fee and pool money to fund the operation, each according to how much weed they commit to (usually capped at 100 grams per month). This means there’s technically no selling or buying involved, according to the clubs, and consumption is private as long as the pot doesn’t leave the premises.

  • News Posted Sep 2016

    East Lansing weighs decriminalizing marijuana

    Confusion about current and upcoming marijuana laws has influenced a public hearing in East Lansing, Michigan on October 11th. The new ordinance to be discussed would bring the cities' laws in line with a charter amendment approved over a year ago, allowing adults 21+ to use, possess, or transfer up to an ounce of marijuana on private property. Possession of less than an ounce on public property or by someone under 21 would also be a civil infraction as opposed to a misdemeanor. Civil infractions come with a $25 fine, community service, or the attendence of a substance abuse course. Police officers would still be able to charge those in possession with state law, which demands certification from a doctor and a state registered medical marijuana card. Michigan State University officials added that marijuana remains illegal on campus and the private property contains their own ordinances. City officials have scheduled a public hearing for Oct. 11 to discuss a change that would allow people over the age of 21 to use, possess or transfer less than an ounce of marijuana on private property. By state law, the use of marijuana is limited to the treatment of certain medical conditions and requires the user to have certification from a doctor and a state registry identification card. Federally, marijuana remains a prohibited substance.

  • Medical Marijuana Posted Sep 2016

    Marijuana violation reduced in Minooka

    Following Illinois' decision to decriminalize 10 grams or less or marijuana, the village of Minooka also reduced the penalties of less than 10 grams from a class B misdemeanor to a civil law violation. Those caught in possession of less than 10 grams will be fined $200 while over 10 grams will receive a $250 fine. One legislator says they have no opinion for or against the drug, but they wanted to be more in line with the new state laws. On the otherhand, the Minooka Police Chief has stated his disapproval for the drug and the new law. Police Chief Justin Meyer says marijuana can be a gateway drug, which has never been proven to be true and the U.S. Attorney General has recently been cited as saying cannabis is NOT a gateway drug. But it's no surprise that the law comes with uninformed opposition. We can only hope that police will operate appropriately under the new law and not choose to let personal bias effect innocent people.  “The state has become more lenient with marijuana laws, so as a village we took steps to become more in line with state law,” Village Administrator Dan Duffy said. “We have no opinion for or against, we are just being more in line with the state,” Duffy added. The change makes it a civil offense within village limits, with a fine up to $200, for possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana. Possession of more than 10 grams up to 30 grams remains a Class B misdemeanor with a fine of $250.

  • Legalization Posted Sep 2016

    MAP: See where legal marijuana will be sold around Alaska

    Alaskan voters chose to legalize recreational marijuana on the 2014 November ballot; it is now nearly two years later and there is still no exact start date to the program. While officials have prepared for the slow progress, users have been waiting with little details on when it might begin. The slow crawl of the marijuana business licensing process has finally reached a tipping point though, as 33 marijuana businesses are listed as 'active status' awaiting their licenses. One business, Remedy Shoppe located in Skagway, hopes to be the first licensed marijuana business in Alaska on Oct. 4th after their empty shelf inspection. The race to be the first dispensary is attractive, but there will be no product until the marijuana can be tested at a licensed testing facility. The first testing facilities are also well on their way to gaining licenses after inspections in mid October. The only currently operating marijuana businesses are the cultivators who have stashed their product awaiting testing and first sales. Alaskans have waited a long time for this program, but they will hopefully only have to wait a little longer. An inspector from Juneau is flying in to complete the last step of the licensing process – an empty shelf inspection, to make sure the shop looks the same as it did on paper to the board. “[The owners of Remedy Shoppe] are very eager to be the first licensed retail on October 4,” Franklin said. “They’ll be ready.” While the facility could be fully licensed next week, it won’t have any product to sell. That’s because marijuana must be tested before it's legally sold, and there are no testing facilities licensed yet in the state. “The analogy I like to use is we’re building a house,” Franklin said. “The board and staff are underneath the house looking at the electricity and plumbing, and in the meantime the public has moved upstairs and is stomping on the floor and trying to turn on the TV…and it just takes time to build a house.”