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By Chris Roberts

To see how swiftly and totally American attitudes have changed on marijuana, visit New Jersey.
For eight years, the state’s chief executive was Chris Christie, a man who thought campaigning for president on a promise to end Colorado’s experiment with marijuana legalization was a good idea. (It wasn’t.) Upon his return to work at the governor’s office, where for years he served as a reliable bulwark, blocking medical marijuana access during the height of an opiate-fueled overdose crisis, Christie described legal cannabis as a liberal plot to “poison our kids.”

New Jersey voters watched and listened, and then decided on the exact opposite. Christie’s replacement, Governor Phil Scott, ...

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By Jimi Devine

Today, Representative Barbara Lee (D-CA) and about a dozen co-sponsors introduced the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 to the U.S. House of Representatives, pushing forward the companion House bill to the Marijuana Justice Act of 2017 that was already introduced into the Senate last August by rising Democratic star New Jersey Senator Cory Booker.
This afternoon, Rep. Lee discussed her bill on a call that included Sen. Booker and another member of California’s delegation to Congress, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA). Given that Rep. Lee and Rep. Kanna represent Oakland and San Jose, respectively, their districts are home to numerous state-licensed cannabis facilities, including some the nation’s oldest and largest.

While Rep. Kh...

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A Cook County judge has ordered the Illinois State Department of Health to add intractable pain to the department’s list of conditions that allow patients legal access to medical cannabis.
Health Department Director Dr. Nirav Shah had twice previously refused to add the condition to the list. In 2016, the now-defunct Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board voted 10-0 to add intractable pain to the state’s list of qualifying conditions. But Shah denied the addition, citing a “lack of high-quality data” as his reason.

Cook County Judge Raymond Mitchell ruled that Shah’s decision was “clearly erroneous,” noting that two medical journals had reviewed 45 clinical studies of cannabis used to treat pain....

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By Adam Drury

The drive to bring cannabis cultivation up to speed with the sophisticated technologies employed by major agriculture companies has prompted something like a research and development arms race. The objective is clear: map the entire marijuana genome.

Scientists Are Trying To Map Out The Marijuana Genome
It’s difficult to overstate the significance of knowing the DNA sequence of cannabis chromosomes. Future strains, future products, future applications… The fate of the next era of cannabis lies in the still-incomplete map of the marijuana genome.

Yet it’s not just the prospect of breeding better, more specialized strains. The stakes of the race to map the weed genome are much higher.

Namely, who will own the pr...

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By Adam Drury

As Greece gears up to approve medical marijuana program, many are hoping the foreign investment in legal weed can help dig the country out of its financial problems. Greece’s economy has been in a downward trend for the past several years. The country has since been unable to pay its debts. And bailout negotiations with the “troika,” the IMF, European Central Bank, and European Commission, have imposed harsh austerity measures on the country. Could legal cannabis help Greece on its way to economic recovery?

Greece Gears Up To Approve Medical Marijuana Program
The focus of Greece’s recent move to capitalize on cannabis is undeniably the prospective economic gains.

By the end of the month, the country&rsqu...

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Since California officials rushed to get the state’s recreational cannabis commercial market off the ground on Jan. 1, the nation’s largest cannabis industry has struggled to find its way to a cruising altitude.The state’s largest city, Los Angeles, remains off the grid as the city’s regulators push to work through the kinks of their system. Reports of dispensaries having to rely on products stock-piled prior to Jan. 1 suggests a legal supply shortage is looming in the state that produces far more cannabis (mostly on the black market) than it consumes. Equity programs are becoming more established, licenses are still rolling out and almost everyone has their lawyer on speed dial because, of course, the nation&rsqu...

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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey governor-elect Phil Murphy doesn’t succeed Chris Christie until next week, but already his fellow Democrats have introduced legislation to achieve one of his campaign promises, legalizing marijuana.
Democratic state Sen. Nicholas Scutari introduced the measure allowing the recreational use of marijuana by those 21 and older on Tuesday, the same day the new session of the Democrat-led Legislature convened.

The Justice Department last week overturned Obama administration guidelines that federal prosecutors shouldn’t interfere with states allowing people to legally use cannabis, but doesn’t change anything for New Jersey, Scutari said.

“We’re still going to move forward,&rdquo...

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By Mike Adams

Kentucky lawmakers are once again working to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program. Although this action has been met with little to no enthusiasm over the past few years, there is hope now that opposing forces may be more apt to side with this reform as a way to combat the apocalyptic residue of the state’s opioid epidemic.

Earlier this week, State Representatives John Sims and Alan Gentry introduced a piece of legislation (House Bill 166) aimed at giving patients the freedom to use marijuana for a variety of medical conditions. Lawmakers are hoping to convince the majority of the Kentucky House that giving the people access to cannabis will make them less susceptible to the grips of opioids. To help sell ...

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By Bill Weinberg

Journalists in Iran have reported some rare good news. A reform of the country’s drug laws may save the lives of thousands now on death row. Some 5,000 people are currently awaiting execution for drug offenses in the Islamic Republic, and all of them could now have their sentences reviewed, according to the New York Times. That’s right—Iran relents in draconian drug war.

The Iranian Drug WarThe move aims to reduce the number of executions in the country. It’s a part of a legal reform that has been in the works since 2016. Iran has seen ghastly mass executions of drug convicts in recent years, driving a spike in hangings that has appalled human rights groups. Iran saw 1,000 executions last year&mdash...

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By Chris Roberts

It’s been a week since Jeff Sessions shook the marijuana world to its core, or tried to.

On Jan. 4, the attorney general followed up a year’s worth of open threats and obvious fighting words aimed at cannabis legalization — a plant which Sessions really, really does not like — with his boldest move yet: the revocation of the “Cole Memo,” the Obama-era policy missive that triggered a period of even more furious growth in already-booming legal marijuana.

Without the Cole Memo steering prosecutors away from state-legal cannabis and giving banks some assurance that their marijuana accounts would not be seized, surely the inexorable trend towards allowing medical cannabis or outright legaliza...

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