Posted in News

Dank Dispensary Deals in Portland

Dank Dispensary Deals in Portland

Dank Deals in Portland

Portland Dank Deals

Portland, Oregon is one of the first states to legalize recreational cannabis. You can be pretty sure that this hip town is a stoner’s paradise, with dispensaries left and right offering top-shelf bud. There’s also a ton of great stoner-friendly activities to do, because the cannabis culture in Portland is definitely one of the best and most progressive in the country.

To cater to that, the cannabis industry in Portland is also pretty competitive. Many of them offer great deals, and have fantastic rewards programs for loyal customers. Check out these dank dispensary deals when you hit up Portland next, so you can save some greens while getting high:

Bridge City Collective Portland

  1. Bridge City Collectiveoffers an extensive range of high-quality cannabis in the North Center. Many of their products are available in gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO varieties to cater to the needs of discerning cannabis enthusiasts. Bridge City Collective also carries several hard-to-find strains as well as boutique strains that are grown from their in-house farm. They also have a great selection of edibles, glassware, oils, and many more. Check out some of their dank deals:
  • 5% off the total purchase for veterans, teachers, former police officers, firemen, seniors, and former police offers
  • 5% off if you bike to the shop
  • Sign up to the email newsletter and get 10% off a purchase

five zero trees portland

  1. Five Zero Trees has a superb selection of cannabis at great prices. The menu at Five Zero Trees changes everyday, so if you want to get the best deals it also varies pretty often. They also have their own indoor grow, so customers get a great variety of freshly grown medicine, among many other products. Check out the dank deals offered by Five Zero Trees:
  • OMMP patients get $8 grams and $25 eighths for Special Flowers
  • Recreational customers get $9.60 grams and $30 eights
  • Veterans are entitled to 10% discount on regular priced items

foster buds portland

  1. Foster Buds is one of the best Portland dispensaries that offer an extensive range of strains, with new ones being added to the menu frequently. Foster Buds works with well-established processors and growers in the state to ensure that customers get top-shelf product all the time. They have several cannabis products to choose from, including flower, edibles, concentrates, topicals, pre-rolls glassware and more. Foster Buds also has an ATM on site and a cozy area. Check out some of the dank deals Foster Buds has:
  • 10% discount for seniors and veterans on all products, every day
  • Fridays: house-rolled joints for $1; proceeds go to a charitable cause
  • Service-Industry Saturdays: Customers with OLCC or Food Workers permit get 15% off their total purchases
  • Other daily deals: CBD Sunday, Medible Monday, Topical Tuesday, Waxy Wednesday, Top-Shelf Thursday, Fun Friday

Human Collective Portland

  1. The Human Collective is one of Portland’s most well-known dispensaries. Having been around since 2010, The Human Collective takes pride in offering premium cannabis products at excellent prices. They work closely with growers in the area and have because of their great direct relationships, are also known for offering cannabis at some of the best prices you can find in Portland. The team behind The Human Collective have also been involved with the cannabis legalization movement; the director Don Morse was the recipient of Dope Magazine for the 2016 Activist of the Year Award. Some of their dank deals include:
  • Happy Hour Monday-Friday 4:20pm to 5pm: 10% off all purchases
  • Monday-Friday Pre-roll Happy Hour 10am-noon
  • Different specials ever week

zion cannabis portland

  1. Zion Cannabis is convenient located in the southwest corner downtown, near OHSU and Portland State University. Zion Cannabis is a one-stop shop for anything you need, ranging from excellent flower, edibles, concentrates, equipment, infused products, and many more. They also place an emphasis on providing customers with comprehensive information on terpenes by providing each strain’s terpene profile for a true customized experience based on each customer’s unique needs. Zion Cannabis offers cannabis that has been rigorously screened for pesticides so you can be assured of the cleanest and best medical-grade cannabis each time. They change their specials often, but these include:
  • Select strain 1 gram cartridges for $50
  • Discounts for seniors and veterans
  • Limited time offer for 1gram pre-rolls: 1 for $10, or 5 for $40

OTHER STORIES YOU MAY ENJOY…

PORTLAND DISPENSARIES

DISPENSARIES PORTLAND, CLICK HERE.

OR..

PORTLAND GIRL SCOUTS

GIRLS SCOUTS SET UP AT DISPENSARY, CLICK HERE.

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Published at Tue, 01 Aug 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Posted in News

U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Protect Medical Marijuana States

U.S. Senate Committee Votes to Protect Medical Marijuana States

This morning the U.S. Senate Committee on Appropriations voted to include an amendment in a larger spending bill that prohibits the federal government from interfering with state-level medical cannabis laws.

The amendment, introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy (R-VT), was included in the FY2018 Commerce, Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations bill. The amendment explicitly prevents the government from using federal funds to interfere with states that have legalized medical cannabis.

“This success of the Leahy medical cannabis amendment acknowledges, yet again, that the federal government should not interfere with state medical cannabis programs,” says Steph Sherer, Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access. “The passage of the Leahy medical cannabis amendment also shows that Senate support exists for the central elements of the CARERS Act. The CARERS Act would make the protections in Leahy medical cannabis amendment permanent and create a much needed framework for research and federal and state cooperation.”

“We are thrilled at this vote,” said Beth Collins, Senior Director of Government Relations and External Affairs at Americans for Safe Access. “With 91 Americans a day dying from opioid overdose, and a nearly 25% decrease in opioid overdose deaths in states with medical cannabis programs, it is crucial that states are able to continue without federal interference.”

When introducing the amendment, Senator Leahy stated, “We have more important things for the justice department to do than tracking down physicians or epileptics who are using medical marijuana legally in their state.”

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:21:00 +0000

Posted in News

Massachusetts Governor Signs Marijuana Compromise Bill Into law

Massachusetts Governor Signs Marijuana Compromise Bill Into law

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker signed into law today a marijuana compromise bill sent to him last week by the Legislature, which sets the stage for creation of the regulatory structure to oversee legal marijuana sales in Massachusetts.

Cannabis Becomes Legal Tonight“We thank the governor for signing the bill and we urge all of the executive and legislative officials involved in the new regulatory system to make timely appointments and ensure proper funding so legal sales can begin on the timetable set by lawmakers last December,” said Matthew Schweich, director of state campaigns for the Marijuana Policy Project and one of the leaders of the 2016 campaign.

According to Schweich, this legislative outcome means that by January 2020, Massachusetts will be the only state in the country where all bans on adult-use marijuana businesses will require approval by local voters.

The new law states that appointments to the Cannabis Advisory Board are to be made by August 1, and appointments to the Cannabis Control Commission are to be made by September 1. The appointments are to be made by the governor, the attorney general, and the treasurer.

“We take elected officials at their word that there will be no more delays in implementation of the legal sales system. The state will benefit greatly from the tax revenues and jobs created by the new industry, and we are confident lawmakers will secure appropriate funding to get the regulatory system up and running on the current timeline,” said Jim Borghesani, spokesperson for the 2016 campaign and the subsequent advocacy effort to defend the law.

The legislation adjusts the local control policy, allowing local government officials in towns that voted “no” on the 2016 ballot initiative to ban marijuana businesses until December 2019. For towns that voted “yes” in 2016, any bans must be placed on a local ballot for voters to approve. The maximum sales tax rate (which depends on whether towns adopt optional local taxes) will increase from 12% to 20%. Under the bill, the state tax will be 17% and the local option will be 3%.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Fri, 28 Jul 2017 17:11:38 +0000

Posted in News

GOP blocks amendment to allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana to vets

GOP blocks amendment to allow VA doctors to recommend medical marijuana to vets

The House Rules Committee decided Tuesday not to allow a medical marijuana amendment to proceed to a full vote, as part of the 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations bill later this week.

The amendment would have prohibited federal funds from interfering with a veteran’s ability to take part in medical marijuana programs legalized in certain states. It would also allow Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors in those states to make appropriate recommendations, fill out forms, or take steps to comply with those programs.

Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon), sponsor of the amendment, said in a statement, “All we want is equal treatment for our wounded warriors. This provision overwhelmingly passed on the House floor last year – and bipartisan support has only grown. It’s outrageous that the Rules Committee won’t even allow a vote for our veterans. They deserve better. They deserve compassion.

“Given that veterans are more likely to commit suicide or die from opiate overdoses than civilians, our fight to provide them safer alternatives won’t stop here. We have stronger support in the House and Senate than ever before, and we will keep advocating for a more rational approach.”

According to Stars and Stripes, one committee Republican, Rep. Dan Newhouse (Washington), spoke in favor of the amendment. “I’ve seen firsthand the benefit people can derive from medical marijuana,” he said. “It seems to me if it’s available and it works, we should make that available to our veterans as well. I support your effort.”

The bipartisan amendment was co-sponsored by: Representatives Justin Amash (R-Michigan), Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee), Luis Correa (D-California), Carlos Curbelo (R-Florida), Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon), Matt Gaetz (R-Florida), Tom Garrett (R-Virginia), Duncan Hunter (R-California), Barbara Lee (D-California), Tom McClintock (R-California), Ed Perlmutter (D-Colorado), Mark Pocan (D-Wisconsin), Jared Polis (D-Colorado), Tom Reed (R-New York), Dana Rohrabacher (R-California), Dina Titus (D-Nevada), and Don Young (R-Alaska).

After the committee’s decision, Titus tweeted: “It would pass. I’ll keep fighting.”

The Senate Appropriations Committee passed a similar amendment on July 13 by a 24-7 vote. Once the bill clears the House, a bipartisan conference committee will determine whether to include it in the final reconciled bill.

Both the House and Senate passed a similar amendment last year. But that provision, as the Military Times reported in June 2016, disappeared from the final VA funding bill after Republicans removed it during a concurrence vote.

The amendments had the support of powerful veterans organizations, including The American Legion. The nation’s largest veterans service group supports additional legislative steps to expedite its passage into law, spokesman Joe Plenzler told The Cannabist last week.

Because cannabis is a Schedule I drug, prohibited at the federal level, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) specifically prohibits VA medical providers from prescribing medical marijuana in states where it is legal.

In his May “State of the VA” address, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin made the agency’s position clear. “Until the time that federal law changes,” he said, “we are not able to be able to prescribe medical marijuana for conditions that may be helpful.”

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Published at Wed, 26 Jul 2017 17:03:05 +0000

Posted in News

Federal lawsuit against Sessions and DEA says marijuana's Schedule I status unconstitutional

Federal lawsuit against Sessions and DEA says marijuana's Schedule I status unconstitutional

A diverse cadre of cannabis advocates filed a federal lawsuit Monday challenging the constitutionality of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) as it pertains to marijuana.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Drug Enforcement Agency acting administrator Charles Rosenberg were named as defendants in the lawsuit brought by a former NFL player, two children using medical marijuana, an Iraq War vet with post-traumatic stress disorder and a social justice nonprofit organization.

The CSA’s classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance — a designation reserved for the most dangerous substances including heroin, LSD and mescaline — is so “irrational” that it violates the U.S. Constitution, plaintiffs claim.

The 89-page complaint, filed in the Southern District of New York by attorney Michael S. Hiller, further claims that the federal government does not believe and never has believed that cannabis meets or ever met the three Schedule I requirements: high potential for abuse, no medical use in treatment, and no ability to be used or tested safely, even under medical supervision.

“Indeed, the Federal Government has admitted repeatedly in writing and implemented national policy reflecting that Cannabis does in fact, have medical uses and can be used and tested safely under medical supervision,” the complaint states. “On that basis, the federal government has exploited cannabis economically for more than a decade by securing a medical cannabis patent and entering into license agreements with medical licensees.”

The lawsuit goes on to state that the 1970 CSA as it pertains to cannabis was enacted and subsequently implemented not to stop the spread of a dangerous drug, but instead to suppress the rights of African Americans and Vietnam War protesters.

“The Nixon Administration ushered the CSA through Congress and insisted that cannabis be included on Schedule I so that African Americans and war protesters could be raided, prosecuted and incarcerated without identifying the actual and unconstitutional basis for the government’s actions,” the complaint states.

The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the CSA is unconstitutional; a ruling in the plaintiff’s favor would not nullify the law, but instead put a permanent injunction against enforcement of the law as it pertains to marijuana.

The five plaintiffs in the case are a diverse group of cannabis advocates from around the country.

Retired NFL defensive end Marvin Washington of Dallas, a long-time cannabis legalization proponent, is suing because the CSA makes him ineligible to obtain grants under the Federal Minority Business Enterprise program to start a medical marijuana business.

Alexis Bortell, 11, uses medical cannabis to treat her intractable epilepsy. Her parents — both military veterans — moved their family from Texas to Larkspur, Colo., so that she could access the medicine that her family says drastically improved her seizure condition. She is suing because the CSA restricts her ability to travel freely with her medicine and also because the federal illegality of cannabis forbids her from fully accessing the benefits due her as the child of a military veteran.

When he was just 1, Jagger Cotte of DeKalb County, Ga., was put in hospice care, diagnosed with deadly Leigh’s Disease. His parents turned to medical cannabis with hopes of relieving his near constant pain and believe it has extended his life. Now 6, Jagger relies on medical cannabis and, like Alexis, is suing because the CSA takes away his right to travel by airplane or travel to or through states in which medical cannabis is illegal.

Jose Balen, 34, of Seminole County, Fla., served in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Iraq for 14 months starting in May 2003. Today, he uses medical cannabis to treat PTSD, and is suing for the right to safely enter a military base, travel by airplane, and travel to states where medical cannabis is illegal.

New York’s Cannabis Cultural Association is a 501(c)3 nonprofit helping marginalized and underrepresented communities engage in the legal cannabis industry; fighting for criminal justice reform; improving access to medical cannabis; and advocating for adult use legalization. The group contends that the CSA was enacted and enforced in a discriminatory manner historically targeting populations of color and today prevents them from participating in the legal cannabis industry.

This story is developing and will be updated.

Read the text of the suit

Complaint Washington Bortell Belen Cotte CCA vs Sessions (Text)

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Published at Tue, 25 Jul 2017 13:10:19 +0000

Posted in News

Cannabinoids May Help Recovery of Spinal Cord Injuries, Finds New Study

Cannabinoids May Help Recovery of Spinal Cord Injuries, Finds New Study

Cannabinoids may help people recover from a spinal cord injury, according to a new study.

The study is being published in the journal Brain Research, and has been e-published ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“The endocannabinoid system, including its receptors (CB1 and CB2), act as neuroprotective and immunomodulatory modulators in SCI [spinal cord injury]”, states the study’s abstract. “WIN55212-2, an agonist for CB1 and CB2 receptors, has been demonstrated with anti-inflammatory and anti-apoptotic effects in multiple neurological diseases.” Therefore, the present study “aimed to investigate whether WIN55212-2 could promote functional recovery after traumatic SCI via inhibition of the GAPDH/Siah1 signaling.”

For the study, the traumatic SCI “was induced by dropping a 10-g impactor from 25 mm on the dorsal surface of T9 and T10.” The results “showed that WIN55212-2 alleviated the activation of GAPDH/Siah1 signaling pathway after SCI, as indicated by the reduction in GAPDH nuclear expression, GAPDH-Siah1 complex formation and iNOS protein expression.’

Furthermore, WIN55212-2 “reduced apoptosis, production of IL-1β and TNF-α and activation of NF-κB signaling in the spinal cord after SCI. The behavioral tests showed that WIN55212-2 improved the functional recovery after traumatic SCI as indicated by sustained increase in the locomotor scores.

In conclusion, the study “indicates that, WIN55212-2 improves the functional recovery after SCI via inhibition of GAPDH/Siah1 cascades in a CB2 receptor dependent manner, indicative of its therapeutic potential for traumatic SCI or other traumatic conditions.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at Fourth Military Medical University and Shaanxi Provincial People’s Hospital, both in China,, can be found by clicking here.

The results of the study are similar to that of a 2015 study – also published by the National Institute of Health – which found that “post-injury CB1R agonism can improve SCI outcome and also indicate marked attenuation of MMP-9 proteolytic enzyme activity as a biochemical mechanism.”

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Mon, 24 Jul 2017 23:29:26 +0000

Posted in News

Hemp Sunscreen – Prevent Skin Cancer and Protect Against UV

Hemp Sunscreen – Prevent Skin Cancer and Protect Against UV

Hemp-Based Sunscreen Essentials You Need Right Now

hemp suncreen

Summer is here, temperatures are rising, and you need to protect your skin. Every year, there are more new cases of skin cancer in the United States than breast, lung, colon, and prostate cancer combined. Keeping your skin healthy especially under the sun is crucial to preventing skin cancer.

The market is stocked with hundreds of different kinds of sun protection products, but they’re all made using harmful chemicals which can double your risk for developing cancer and disease since these toxins go straight into your bloodstream when you apply it topically. However, there’s now the option of products using hemp-based that can protect your skin in and out of the sun.

Aside from the numerous uses of the cannabis’s cousin, hemp seed oil has proven to be effective in absorbing UV-B and UV-C ranges because it has a natural SPF rating of 6. The hemp plant alone has its own protection mechanisms from the sun, just like other plants do. This is why hemp seed oil is effective in deflecting the sun’s rays without affecting vitamin D absorption, since vitamin D has its own health benefits for the human body. Hemp seed oil is quickly gaining popularity for its numerous uses on hair, skin, and nails; plus using it won’t get you high. Since it’s derived from CBD, you can be sure that you’re also getting the anti-inflammatory properties that you need to prevent acne, soothe redness, and get rid of swelling – just some of the things we end up coming home with after traveling to a hot or humid location.

HIGH TEMPERATURE

So before you pack for your next summer beach trip, here are 5 great hemp-based products to protect your skin from the sun:

  • Cannabios Hemp Sunscreen Sunblock SPF 50 contains organic hemp oil, olive oil, and rosemary oil to provide you with sunscreen protection while moisturizing your skin at the same time. Apply Cannabios sunscreen on your skin before you head out to the beach, and reapply especially after you get in the water or sweat.
  • Hempz Yuzu and Starfruit Herbal Moisturizing Dry Oil Body Spray SPF 30 is enriched with 100% pure natural hemp seed oil. This is the ideal product for those of you who prefer a lightweight dry oil that leaves no grease after application plus it has a delicious scent thanks to its yuzu and starfruit flavor. Hempz Yuzu and Starfruit Dry Oil can be used daily to help hydrate your skin while conditioning and offering sun exposure. Other ingredients include vitamin A, C, and E; coffee cherry extract, signature citrus fruit complex, and it’s free from parabens, gluten, and THC while being 100% vegan. It has 40 minutes of sun-resistance so don’t forget to reapply!
  • Pacific Beach Organics Hemp Sunscreen contains all organic ingredients and non-nano zinc oxide to offer effective protection from the sun. This product is USDA certified organic and Quality Assurance International Certified Organic. The shea butter content is a superfood for your skin, supplementing you with essential fatty acids, vitamins, andminerals. It also contains carrot skin oil that protects you from free radicals while rejuvenating and tightening the skin. Carrot see oil alone offers SPF protection ranging from 30-40. Other ingredients include red raspberry seed oil, beeswax, grapeseed oil, rosewood and lavender essential oils, vitamin E, and coconut oil.
  • Apothecanna Extra Strength-Relieving Crème works double time to moisturize your skin using natural anti-inflammatory extracts derived from plants. This product is idela for use after sun exposure, especially when you’re feeling the pain from a sun burn, or are generally traveling to a place with a dry climate. It contains peppermint, juniper, and arnica which provides quick relief from inflammation and pain. The peppermint also does wonders for its cooling properties. Refrigerate Apothecanna Extra-Strength Relieving Crème for an hour or two before applying to cool and soothe your sunburn.
  • Azida Moisturizing Sunscreen with Hemp Oil SPF 15 is a vegan-friendly product that provides your skin the healing and moisturizing properties of hemp while offering sun protection. Azida Moisturizing Sunscreen is light and non-greasy; ideal for everyday use or even for your next holiday. Other ingredients include aloe vera gel, purified water, rhattany extract, and carrot seed oil. This product contains no sulfates, parabens, synthetic waxes, artificial colors or preservatives, or strong fragrances.

OTHER STORIES YOU MAY ENJOY…

CANNABIS SKIN LOTIONS

HOW TO APPLY CANNABIS TO YOUR SKIN? CLICK HERE.

OR..

HOW TO MAKE CANNABIS LOTION

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE CANNABIS LOTION, CLICK HERE.

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Published at Mon, 17 Jul 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Posted in News

U.S. Senate Committee Approves Allowing Medical Marijuana for Veterans

U.S. Senate Committee Approves Allowing Medical Marijuana for Veterans

The United States Senate Appropriations Committee has approved an amendment that allows Veterans Affairs (VA) physicians to recommend medical marijuana to veterans in states where the medicine has been legalized.

The amendment was approved with a bipartisan 24 to 7 vote (with even a majority of Republicans voting in favor, 9 to 7); it’s attached to a larger spending bill that funds the VA. The amendment allows VA doctors to recommend medical cannabis to patients in states where its legal, changing current policy which prohibits “V.A. providers from completing forms seeking recommendations or opinions regarding a Veteran’s participation in a State marijuana program.”

Last year a similar amendment was passed by a 20 to 10 vote, following by a 233 to 189 vote in the House. However, the amendment was eventually removed from the larger bill it was attached to before becoming law.

According to Senator Steve Daines (R-MT), who introduced the amendment, it simply “allows the V.A. patients in states with medical marijuana programs to discuss that option with their V.A. doctor of physician”, something that is currently not allowed.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Thu, 13 Jul 2017 16:42:17 +0000

Posted in News

California Assembly Committee Votes Unanimously to Urge Federal Rescheduling of Marijuana

California Assembly Committee Votes Unanimously to Urge Federal Rescheduling of Marijuana

A joint resolution asking Congress to reschedule marijuana on the federal level has been passed unanimously by the Assembly Public Safety Committee.

Senate Joint Resolution 5 was passed by the Assembly Public Safety Committee yesterday with a 7 to 0 vote. In April the resolution was given approval by the state’s full Senate with an overwhelming – though not quite unanimous – vote of 34 to 2.

The resolution “formally requests the United States Congress to pass a law to reschedule cannabis, marijuana, and its derivatives from a Schedule I drug, and for the President of the United States to sign such legislation”.

According to its legislative analysis, the resolution urges:

1) Congress of the United States to pass a law to reschedule marijuana or cannabis and its derivatives from a Schedule I drug to an alternative schedule, therefore allowing the legal research and development of marijuana or cannabis for medical use and allowing for the legal commerce of marijuana or cannabis so that businesses dealing with marijuana or cannabis can use traditional banks or financial institutions for their banking needs, which would result in providing a legal vehicle for those businesses to pay their taxes, including, but not limited to, payroll taxes, unsecured property taxes, and applicable taxes on the products sold in accordance with state and local laws.

2) President of the United States to sign such legislation.

3) The Secretary of the Senate to distribute copies of this resolution to the President and Vice President of the United States, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, the Majority Leader of the United States Senate, to each Senator and Representatives from California in the Congress of the United States, and to the author for appropriate distribution.

For the full text of Senate Joint Resolution 5, click here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 13 Jul 2017 17:33:37 +0000

Posted in News

Will this be the year Congress expands veterans' access to medical marijuana?

Will this be the year Congress expands veterans' access to medical marijuana?

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday amended must-pass legislation to add language expanding access to medical marijuana for military veterans.

Again.

The Veterans Equal Access Amendment to the 2018 Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Bill would prohibit federal funds from interfering with a veteran’s ability to take part in medical marijuana programs approved by states where cannabis is legal. It would also allow Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) doctors in those legal states to “make appropriate recommendations, fill out forms, or take steps to comply with such a program.” An identical amendment is expected to receive a vote in the house version of the bill later this year.

Both the House and Senate passed a similar amendment last year. But that provision, as the Military Times reported in June 2017, “disappeared mysteriously” from the final VA funding bill after Republicans removed it during a concurrence vote.

Whether the latest 24-to-7 vote in favor of the amendment is lip service or a sign of larger policy changes in the works remains to be seen.

The amendment has the support of powerful veterans organizations, including The American Legion. The nation’s largest veterans service group supports additional legislative steps to expedite its passage into law, said spokesman Joe Plenzler.

“The House and the Senate have attempted to do this over the past two years, yet each time the conference committee has failed to reconcile the language relating to this initiative,” he said. “The American Legion would like to see the language of this bill reconciled before submission so it doesn’t have to go to the committee.”

Other veterans’ cannabis advocacy groups, still bitter from last year’s outcome, are holding a hard line.

“It is my position that any member of the House or Senate who votes against this amendment is no friend of veterans,” said Roger Martin, founder of Grow for Vets USA, a Las Vegas-based non-profit that gives away medical cannabis to veterans.

Enthusiasm for the passage of this amendment is “muted” by the fact that the same language was stripped out of last year’s appropriation despite passing by impressive margins in both the House and the Senate, Martin said.

That sentiment was echoed by Sean Kiernan, president of Weed For Warriors, a California-based nonprofit educating vets on the benefits of medical marijuana.

“We have been here before, then magically the amendment disappeared in reconciliation after both the House and Senate had passed it,” he told The Cannabist. “Why should getting it out of appropriations (committee) give veterans hope?”

But Nick Etten, the founder and executive director of the Veterans Cannabis Project, said his organization took heart in the “strong action” taken by the senate appropriations committee.

“Healing from the wounds of war requires effective treatment options, and medical cannabis is a proven, safe and responsible choice for veterans,” he told The Cannabist.

There are nearly 19 million veterans, many of whom survived their service only to return to civilian life with battle scars seen and unseen. An increasing number of those vets — and the groups that support them — are demanding safe access to medical marijuana to treat traumatic brain injury (TBI), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other physical and mental afflictions.

The VA has no position on the appropriations amendment, a spokesperson told The Cannabist.

The VA “is required to follow all federal laws regarding marijuana use,” the agency states on its website. That means the healthcare system’s clinicians cannot prescribe medical cannabis to their patients or complete any of the forms required for vets to take part in medical marijuana programs in states that have legalized it.

In his May “State of the VA” address, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin made the agency’s position clear. “Until the time that federal law changes,” he said, “we are not able to be able to prescribe medical marijuana for conditions that may be helpful.”

The Veterans Equal Access amendment is meaningful if only because it has the potential to remove the stigma surrounding medical marijuana, said Adam Foster, an attorney with Denver’s Hoban Law Group. Earlier this year he was part of a team that successfully lobbied to get PTSD listed as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Colorado.

“If veterans are getting treatment through the VA, we want them to be able to be honest with their VA doctor so they can get a comprehensive treatment plan that could include medical cannabis as well as pharmaceutical drugs,” he told The Cannabist. “That’s why we want VA doctors to become more educated about cannabis, the endocannabinoid system and how cannabis can compliment other drugs.”

The ability to be honest with their doctors about medical marijuana is also critical if those patients are to be weaned off addictive prescription drugs, he emphasized.

The risk of veterans dying by suicide is significantly higher than that of the adult civilian population, according to a recent report from the VA using 2014 data that shows as many as 20 military veterans take their own lives daily.

But Grow for Vets’ Martin previously told The Cannabist that the VA statistics don’t tell the whole story. He estimates that more than 1 million vets are currently taking opiates, most of which were obtained from VA facilities. As a result, he said, many veterans are dependent on pharmaceuticals and at a greater risk of overdose or suicide. He estimates that more than 50 vets a day die from prescription drug overdoses and suicide.

“This is but one more glaring example of how large pharmaceutical companies negatively influence our lives by stuffing billions of dollars into politicians’ election campaigns,” he said of legislators’ reticence to pass The Veterans Equal Access Amendment into law.

But attorney Foster remains optimistic that the arguments against medical marijuana are becoming less politically divided.

He points out that the new appropriations amendment was bipartisan, co-sponsored by Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana) and Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon). He also hailed bipartisan efforts to reclassify cannabis under the Controlled Substances Act.

Introduced in April by two Florida congressmen, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz and Democratic Rep. Darren Soto, House Bill 2020 would reclassify cannabis from Schedule I to Schedule III, allowing for banking activities and creating a clearer path for research.

The American Legion also advocates rescheduling cannabis so that more research can be done on its potential medical benefits. Earlier this week, the group expressed its support of the legislation in a letter to Rep. Gaetz that was also shared with The Cannabist.

Rescheduling cannabis would enable medical research into the efficacy of cannabis in treating PTSD, TBI, chronic pain and other afflictions that veterans face every day as a result of their combat service, Charles E. Schmidt, American Legion National Commander wrote.

“With 90 percent of Americans supporting legalization of medical marijuana today, it is time for Congress to act so that scientists are free to conduct advanced research into cannabis and PTSD/TBI, and enable the American people to have a fact-based discussion about the therapeutic value of cannabis. The lives of our veterans depend on it.”

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 14 Jul 2017 21:21:19 +0000