Jr. Gong Brings Even More Heat With Cannabis Activism

To promote his upcoming ‘Stony Hill’ album, Damian Marley is releasing a video series featuring testimonials from medical cannabis patients.

Bob Marley’s youngest son has significantly turned up the notch on his cannabis activism lately. Not only has Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley made recent waves with his announcement to transform a former prison into a facility to create cannabis extracts, earlier this month he was also announced as one of the new owners of High Times Magazine. The son of one of the greatest reggae stars the world over is releasing his new album ‘Stony Hill’ on July 21 and, as a co-promotion, is debuting a series of Youtube videos highlighting testimonials from prominent cannabis activists and patients who have successfully utilized medical marijuana on their path to healing.

The videos, titled “Medication” in line with the name of Marley’s recent single, feature cannabis advocates telling both their own stories and sharing insights on the grassroots legalization movement as well as the fledgling cannabis industry. One testimonial features Cannabis Now’s own Sara Payan — a stage 3 colon cancer survivor, director of education at The Apothecarium and member of the San Francisco Cannabis State Legalization Task Force — speaking about her discovery of the benefits of medical marijuana and her work to share the knowledge she’s learned with others.

Read more at Cannabis Now

MESSING WITH MONTANA’S METHODS: Setbacks for Medical Cannabis in Big Sky Country

Montana is a sweeping vista kind of state, with a diverse group of both liberals and conservatives, including some Hollywood-types, who have decided to carve out a bit of the state for themselves. They seek a calm, natural, healing life.

When it comes to legalizing medical cannabis, however, the back and forth between lawmakers, patients and business owners has been as unsettling as a Montana gully-washer for years. Lawmakers are still discussing details of the November, 2016 victory, where 57 percent of voters voted to expand the state’s medical marijuana system.

This passage came about after years of challenges in the courts and polls to limit or kill the bill, forcing some patients out of the program. Voters overwhelmingly approved medical marijuana in 2004, which was then repealed in 2011.

Read more at Dope Magazine

Study: No Increase In Problematic Cannabis Use Following Passage Of Medical Marijuana Laws

The enactment of medical marijuana laws is not associated with increased rates of problematic cannabis use, according to data published online in the journal Addiction.

Columbia University investigators assessed cannabis use trends in states in the years following the passage of medicalization. They reported “no significant change in the prevalence of past-month marijuana use among adolescents or young adults (those ages 18 to 25)” following legalization. They also found no evidence of increased cannabis abuse or dependence by either young people or adults. States with largely unregulated medical programs were associated with increased self-reported use by adults age 26 and older, but states with stricter programs were not.

The study’s findings are consistent with those of numerous other papers reporting no uptick in youth marijuana use or abuse following medical marijuana regulation, including those here, here, here, here, here, and here. The findings contradict those of a recent, widely publicized paper in JAMA Psychiatry which speculated that medical marijuana laws may increase the prevalence of cannabis use disorder among adults.

Read more at NORML

Left Behind by Clemency

What’s beef? Beef is when a rap video means the difference between a four-year sentence and 20 to life as a “cannabis kingpin.”

Jane Scarmazzo isn’t positive when her younger son started smoking pot, but she knows for sure how she found out about it.

Luke was in his early 20s, a few years out of high school and working with his father Nick Scarmazzo — a union carpenter — on bridges and overpasses in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Read more at Cannabis Now

SF NIMBY Culture: An Old Problem Facing a New Industry

San Francisco may have a hyper-liberal reputation nationally, but the city’s residents can be ferociously conservative when it comes to development in their own neighborhood — the latest political showdown over a new dispensary is just one more example.

Dialogue between the two crowds that squared off in front of a public library on San Francisco’s west side was never going to happen: Even if months of very bad blood wasn’t tensing the air, even if there wasn’t a near-impassable language barrier and even if the teenager standing silently in front of the mob on one side (the lone instance of the two sides mixing) wasn’t wearing a unicorn mask over his head — an exchange of ideas was not on the agenda.

The discourse right now is quite good pic.twitter.com/jfTQcgaU8r

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Access to MMJ for Veterans Grows, But the Struggle Continues

On Memorial Day, we honor those military service members who made the ultimate sacrifice. But for many combat veterans who return from battle with PTSD and debilitating injuries, medical cannabis provides crucial, sometimes life-saving relief. Veteran access to cannabis medicine is better than ever, but there’s still plenty of work to be done to ensure all our veterans can benefit from medical marijuana.

While veterans are not technically barred from access to Veterans Administration health services and programs for using medical marijuana, many other VA rules and regulations prevent access to the medicinal cannabis, especially for patients with limited mobility: the use or possession of marijuana is prohibited at all VA properties — no matter the form — and VA doctors may not prescribe medical marijuana or complete paperwork for state-approved marijuana programs.

And unlike Canada, where reimbursements for medical cannabis went from $400,000 to $20 million in just a few years for veterans, the VA will not pay for medical marijuana prescriptions from any source.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Florida Medical Marijuana’s Last Hope is its First Problem

The Florida Legislature decamped without setting up rules for producing and selling medical cannabis — in violation of the requirements of Amendment 2, passed overwhelmingly by voters in November. Now the last best hope rests with Gov. Rick Scott — that’s bad news for patients.

Nobody is happy with the Florida state Legislature at the moment. That’s what you get when you have clear direction and a relatively simple job before you and you go home leaving it undone.

This is what state lawmakers did on May 5 when they decamped from the state capitol without creating rules for the state’s new medical marijuana system.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Australia Conducting “World First” Medical Marijuana Trial

It could be the world’s most important marijuana scientific trial, and it’s starting now. By 2021, Australian researchers will have new answers to lingering questions surrounding medical marijuana’s efficacy for cancer patients.

There’s a legal international trade in high-grade marijuana going on right now. In order to participate, you need to be a researcher. And in order to get any of this coveted cannabis, you must be a very, very sick person.

Very sick, and also very lucky.

Read more at Cannabis Now

Of Mice & Marijuana: Lab Rats Have Greater Access to MMJ

Legal restrictions on cannabis research mean that the biggest beneficiaries of groundbreaking research into the plants medicinal properties are lab rodents.

The marijuana news last week was dominated by results of a study, and with good reason: Cannabis might reverse the brain’s aging process — for some among us, anyway.

Research from a team of German and Israeli researchers found that marijuana seems to allow aged brains to recover some of their cognitive function: When exposed to low doses of THC, elderly minds didn’t suffer the same decline as other similarly-aged brains — meaning, maybe, marijuana could treat Alzheimer’s or dementia or the other ravages of time on the brain.

Read more at Cannabis Now

The Science Behind Medical Marijuana & Migraines

The use of cannabis for migraine headaches dates back to ancient times, but we still don’t know exactly how cannabis works to manage headache disorders. New research could change that.

A new review released by the journal “Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research” seeks to discover some of the ways cannabis may provide relief for the thousands of people who suffer from the debilitating effects of migraine headaches.

According to the recent report, about 47-percent of America’s population experiences headaches each year — this includes migraines (10-percent), tension-type headaches (38-percent) and chronic daily headaches (3-percent.)

Read more at Cannabis Now