Posted in News

New details emerge in 11-month-old Colorado boy's death linked to marijuana

New details emerge in 11-month-old Colorado boy's death linked to marijuana

For the doctors at the Rocky Mountain Poison and Drug Center, the 11-month-old’s death was a puzzle.

He had been largely healthy for most of his young life, but his autopsy revealed that he died of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle that is rare in a child so young. Making the condition even more puzzling, doctors tested for — and ruled out — the most common causes of myocarditis, such as an infection or an allergic reaction.

That left one possibility in the doctors’ minds as the most likely answer to the puzzle, but it was a mystery, too. Tests revealed that there was THC, the psychoactive compound in marijuana, in the boy’s system. And, though the doctors had no information about how the THC got there or when, it best explained to them how the child developed a fatal heart condition.

“We’re not saying definitively that marijuana caused the myocarditis,” said Dr. Christopher Hoyte, one of two doctors who authored a now-controversial case report on the boy’s death. “All we are saying is we didn’t find any other reasons. So we need to study this further.”

Previous coverage: Denver doctors say 11-month-old boy’s deadly heart condition was likely related to marijuana

Hoyte’s comments Friday shed new light on the boy’s death. Hoyte said the doctors at the Poison and Drug Center encountered the boy just before his death in 2015, not as a statistic for study but as a patient. The boy was brought to a hospital emergency room after suffering a seizure.

“It was just a normal working day,” he said. “We actually helped take care of the child.”

The boy’s heart rate at the hospital hit 156 beats per minute, then plunged to 40 beats per minute and then fell silent. Doctors attempted for an hour to resuscitate him before pronouncing him dead.

Hoyte did not disclose the boy’s name and said he could not identify the hospital where the boy was taken, out of privacy concerns. He said he did not know which city the boy lived in with his family — though the case report notes that the family lived in motels and that his parents admitted to drug possession. Hoyte said he did not know if law enforcement later investigated the case.

Hoyte said the THC detected in the boy’s system was enough to infer that he had consumed marijuana somehow and not just been exposed to it passively through secondhand smoke. But he said he never received more information that might explain how much marijuana the boy consumed. Toxicology tests led the doctors to conclude the boy’s marijuana exposure occurred two to six days before his death.

The case report, though published in March, exploded in the media this month, leading to online battles over whether the boy’s death was a marijuana “overdose” or an example of doctors wrongly blaming cannabis. Hoyte said the polarization took him and his co-author, Dr. Thomas Nappe, by surprise.

The medical research literature has dozens of examples in the past two decades from around the world of cases where doctors linked marijuana to heart troubles. That cannabis use can cause a rapid heart beat is unquestioned, Hoyte said. A 2001 study by doctors connected to Harvard Medical School found that the risk of a heart attack was nearly five times greater than normal in the hour after marijuana use.

But the literature is also quiet when it comes to explaining how, precisely, marijuana can cause heart problems, meaning the link between the two is still unclear.

“It is difficult to establish the cause-effect relationship between marijuana use and cardiovascular disease,” a case report published last year by doctors at the New York University School of Medicine stated.

But, later in that same case report, those doctors concluded, “Although uncommon, severe cardiovascular toxicity and death may develop from its consumption.”

Hoyte and Nappe’s report is not the first to link marijuana to a heart-related death or the first to link cannabis to myocarditis, specifically. (They do note, however, that the report is the first of a child death related to marijuana exposure.)

“We thought we were just saying were things that people would say, ‘Yeah, that makes total sense,’ ” Hoyte said.

And Hoyte said he now worries the online debate over whether marijuana can kill will overshadow the messages he and Nappe hoped the report would send. The first message, he said, is to remind parents to keep marijuana locked up so that kids can’t get it. The second is to call for more research into marijuana and heart health.

“The point is,” Hoyte said, “we just want to understand it better and study it.”


Published at Sat, 18 Nov 2017 01:49:27 +0000

Posted in News

Peru President Signs Medical Cannabis Bill Into Law

Peru President Signs Medical Cannabis Bill Into Law

A bill legalizing medical cannabis oil has been signed into law by Peru President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

Peru’s flag.

President Kuczynski’s signing of the bill comes roughly a month after Peru’s Congress gave overwhelming approval to the measure with a vote of 68 to 5. The new law allows cannabis oil to be legally produced, imported and sold for throughout the South American country.

Passage of the new law comes with widespread support among Peru residents; a recent Ipsos poll found that 65% support legalizing cannabis for medical purposes. According to Alberty Belaunde, a lawmaker in the ruling party who supported the measure, regulations for producing and commercializing cannabis oil will be written within 60 days.

Peru now joins several of its Latin American neighbors who have also legalized cannabis for medical purposes, including Mexico, Chile and Colombia.

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


Published at Sun, 19 Nov 2017 05:58:11 +0000

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Michigan: Enough Signatures Gathered to Put Marijuana Legalization to a Public Vote

Michigan: Enough Signatures Gathered to Put Marijuana Legalization to a Public Vote

Marijuana  legalization advocates in Michigan have gathered enough signatures to place the issue to a vote of the people during the November, 2018 general election.

The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced this week that it’s gathered over 360,000 signatures on their initiative to legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older. This is well more than the 252,523 valid signatures required by state law to place a ballot initiative on the ballot. However, before the group can submit the signatures they must first pay $30,000 to professional signature gatherers in order to obtain the petitions, something spokesperson Josh Hovey says should be accomplished by Thanksgiving.

The proposed initiative would legalize the possession, cultivation and use of marijuana for those 21 and older, while establishing a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets. Cannabis would be taxed with a 10% excise tax and a 6% sales tax, with funding going towards schools, local governments and road repairs.

If the initiative is placed on the ballot and passed by, Michigan would become the 9th state to legalize marijuana for personal use.

The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is a partnership between the Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights AssociationMichigan NORMLMI Legalize, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, and lawyers from the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section.

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


Published at Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:15:49 +0000

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Study Finds Cannabinoids May Effectively Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Study Finds Cannabinoids May Effectively Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Results of a new study “support the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in patients with OSA [obstructive sleep apnea]”.

For the study, published in the journal Sleep and epublished ahead of print by the National Institute of Health, “73 adults with moderate or severe OSA received either placebo (N=25), 2.5mg dronabinol (N=21) or 10mg dronabinol (N=27) daily, one hour before bedtime for up to 6 weeks.” Dronabinol, also called Marinol, is a synthetic THC meant to mimic the effects of natural, cannabis-based THC.

‘These findings support the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in patients with OSA” states the study’s abstract. “In comparison to placebo, dronabinol was associated with lower AHI [Apnea–hypopnea index], improved subjective sleepiness and greater overall treatment satisfaction. Larger scale clinical trials will be necessary to clarify the best potential approach(es) to cannabinoid therapy in OSA.”

The full study can be found by clicking 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


Published at Tue, 14 Nov 2017 02:25:44 +0000

Posted in News

Students subjected to invasive drug search to share $3 million settlement

Students subjected to invasive drug search to share $3 million settlement

ATLANTA — A southwest Georgia sheriff’s order to conduct an invasive drug search of hundreds of students at Worth County High School will cost $3 million under a proposed settlement announced Tuesday in a federal civil rights lawsuit.

The settlement will go to approximately 850 students who were at the school on April 14 and subjected to the search ordered by Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby. The sheriff ordered his deputies to lock down the school as they subjected the entire student body to drug searches.

The boys and girls were ordered to leave their classrooms and line up with their hands against the wall and legs spread. Deputies searched their clothing and bodies, and some students said they felt sexually violated by officers. No drugs were found, and the case drew national headlines because of the bizarre nature of the search.

“We hope that this multimillion (dollar) settlement will send the message to law enforcement officials everywhere that abuse of power will not be tolerated,” said Mark Begnaud, an Atlanta civil rights attorney who represented the students alongside the Southern Center for Human Rights.

The $3 million settlement is pending approval in federal court, and will be paid out from a coverage agreement the county has with the Association County Commissioners of Georgia.

The amount represents a staggering figure for a small county of 20,700 residents. It’s more than twice the annual budget of the county’s sheriff’s department, which was $1.4 million in 2016, according to figures reported by the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia. The county’s annual budget is a little over $10 million.

The settlement is the maximum amount covered by the insurance policy for the sheriff’s department and will payout between $1,000 and $6,000 per student. Students who were subjected to more invasive searches will get higher payouts. Any leftover settlement money, after 15 percent attorney fees, will go into a fund to help local high school students.

“This situation has never been about compensation,” said Amaryllis Coleman, whose daughter was one of the students who said she felt sexually violated by the deputies. “It has always been about our daughter and her civil rights being violated. My husband and I see firsthand how that search has traumatized our daughter psychologically and medically.”

The settlement is the latest twist in a case that stunned the small community east of Albany when it learned that hundreds of teenagers were not allowed to contact their parents during the four-hour ordeal. The incident was captured by high-resolution school surveillance video.

Female students said deputies inserted their fingers inside their bras, touching them and exposing parts of their breasts in front of other students. Other girls said deputies touched their underwear and genital area, placing their hands inside the waistband of their underwear or up their dresses. Male students accused deputies of touching their genital areas.

The nature of the search has drawn widespread condemnation for being a gross violation of the students’ constitutional rights. Deputies found no drugs inside the school.

“The students’ voices have been heard,” said Crystal Redd, an attorney with the Southern Center for Human Rights. “They took steps to ensure that these illegal searches would not go unnoticed.”

If a federal judge approves the settlement, the sheriff’s legal troubles do not go away. He and two of his deputies face criminal charges after a Worth grand jury indicted them last month. No trial date has been set, but the sheriff faces potential prison time if convicted of violation of oath of office, false imprisonment — both felonies — as well as sexual battery, a misdemeanor.

Gov. Nathan Deal suspended the sheriff Monday pending the outcome of the criminal case.

Hobby’s criminal defense attorney, Norman Crowe Jr., did not return phone messages before deadline. He has previously said Hobby violated no laws and would be cleared at trial.

Hobby has said little publicly about the search since it became controversial.

Just days after the search, the sheriff defended his actions and told Albany television station WALB-TV he was looking for drugs because he suspected they were present. A search by the Sylvester Police Department just weeks earlier failed to turn up drugs, but the sheriff said it wasn’t thorough enough.

Hobby initially entered the school with a target list of 13 students, but the search quickly evolved into a schoolwide lock-down. Nine students subjected to the search filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in June, with the help of the Southern Center for Human Rights and attorney Begnaud’s Atlanta law firm.

District Attorney Paul Bowden, whose circuit includes Worth County, sent a letter to Deal after Hobby’s indictment outlining the case. It said Hobby failed to halt the intrusive body searches of hundreds of high schools students even after one deputy expressed concerns about the search methods, according to Bowden’s letter.

Hobby admitted to investigators that one of his female deputies expressed concern about another deputy’s search tactics, but the sheriff left it to her to address with her colleague, the letter said. The sheriff told investigators he witnessed the same deputy conducting a search in a manner that he claims he did not direct, but the sheriff did nothing to stop it.

The sheriff “by his own admission failed to take any action to address this issue,” according to the letter.

From the beginning, speculation has spread across Worth County that the strange search — one of the starkest cases of law enforcement overreach in recent Georgia history — had some thing to do with Hobby’s son, Zachary Lewis Hobby. His arrest last month on an unrelated drug charge of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute renewed that speculation.

Zachary, 17, had been a student at Worth County High School for part of last year, but was not enrolled at the school at the time of the April search.

Information from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


Published at Wed, 15 Nov 2017 23:09:02 +0000

Posted in News

How Many Ways Can You Vape Weed?

How Many Ways Can You Vape Weed?

How Many Ways Can You Vape Weed?

how do you vape weed

General Introduction

There are many ways to enjoy marijuana in its various forms and smoking is still the most popular method to ingest THC. But, over the last decade or so, there has been huge growth in the popularity of personal vaporizer devices and the industry, in general. It seems there is a new startup every day trying to take advantage of the emerging market created by more and more marijuana-lovers switching to vaporizing.  This is no fad, either. There is a growing consensus that vaporizers are the best, most efficient method to use herbs and concentrates.

Vaporizers come in all shapes and sizes and it’s likely that, if you look long enough, you’ll find one that fits perfectly with your lifestyle. There are vaporizers that fit into your front pocket and vaporizers that fill up your living room.  The product you select should reflect your needs. There are even vaporizers that are capable of vaping wax, oils, concentrates, and resins. You won’t find that kind of functionality and ease-of-use in a glass pipe. Luckily you can find all kinds of different vaporizers at an online vape shop.

How to use a dry herb vaporizer

Once you have picked up your desired vaporizer, it’s not difficult to get started. Let’s take a look at the process of vaping using a dry herb vaporizer like the E-CLIPSE or PAX:

  1. Once you have acquired your material, you’re going to want to grind it very finely using a grinder. Typically, you’ll want to use a 3-piece or 4-piece grinder, so you can catch the extra kief and treat your supply right. These are always available anywhere that sells vaporizers.
  2. Insert your finely-ground herb into the loading chamber. For the E-CLIPSE, it features a ceramic chamber and can likely support more or less .3 grams of herb.
  3. Activate the device. There are many ways to do this, but usually you just press the power button five times to get it to start heating the chamber.
  4. Choose your temperature. Vape pens can have a temperature range of anywhere between 200°F to 435°F. The lower temperatures have better flavor and can lengthen the time with your herb. High temperatures create bigger vapor clouds and can hit harder. Its up to you to decide which you prefer. Be sure to pay close attention to how your particular device handles the heat.
  5. Once it reaches the set temperature, begin sipping the vapor directly from the mouthpiece. If you are using a convection vaporizer, the temperature of the vapor can be affected by the speed of your breathing.
  6. Once finished, allow the vaporizer to cool and clean out the chamber with a pipe cleaner or an included cleaning brush.

rosin press

How to use a vape pen for wax

With the growth of wax concentrates came the growth of wax vapes, which are also known as a dab pen or some other variation of the name.  These have seen a huge uptick in popularity the last 5 years or so and are likely available somewhere near you. They have a bit of a different method of operation, but vaping them is basically the same.

What is different is the storing and loading of the material. If you thought your dry herb was sticky, just spend some time with THC wax. Things can quickly get out of hand, so here are some tips you should follow for an easier time:

  • You are going to need a silicone dab container to keep your wax in. Don’t bother with anything else, you will just ruin your clothing. Trust me. They are available at most every vape shop.
  • Invest in a dabber. This is a tool that can safely transport your wax from jar to vaporizer. Some vapes even come with one! Just don’t use your hands or anything you don’t want dipped in isopropyl alcohol.
  • There is more to think about when using your vape pen. You don’t want your material coating the device. Keep it upright and you can avoid any sticky situations.
  • This is a growing and innovative market in the vaporizing industry. For example, you could try the Saber Vape Wax Pen, which has a magnetic connection on its chamber to ease the process of loading and unloading.
  • Your temperature is going to be much higher than with dry herbs. However, vaporizers like the Saber Vape Pen can do the job with lower levels of heat to optimize flavors. Remember the closer you get to the vaporization temperature of your material, the better it’s going to taste. You want tasty vapor.

vaping oil

How to use a vape pen for Oil

There are many ways to turn herbs into concentrates and oils. As such, there are many different styles of oils available. The wax, mentioned above, is typically a solid and easier to deal with. There are also oils that are more translucent and viscous, similar to maple syrup or motor oil. The strategy for the different versions of concentrate doesn’t change much, but the stickier and more goopy your oil is, the more likely it is to come in some sort of cartridge.

The small skinny 510 oil cartridges are getting very popular and typically you’ll see them attached to some sort of stick or pen style battery.  But some new vaporizers are now coming out specifically for these vapes – such as the SteamCloud Mini which places the cartridges side by side the battery for a sleek, discreet, space saving design.  With whichever vape battery you have, simply press the power button to send power from the battery through the oil cartridge.  That power will heat a coil inside and vapor will form. Simply pull from the mouthpiece and enjoy.

vaping weed

Benefits of Vaping Weed

The reasons for the growing popularity of vaping aren’t exactly hard to understand. For one, it’s much healthier to vaporize instead of smoke. Weed-smokers are different than they were 15, even 10, years ago. No longer is it a realm only for the grungy and the lazy (a bogus stereotype in the first place), now men and women of great responsibility and station are looking for ways to ingest marijuana without ruining their daily jogging routine. It helps that the smell is much easier to hide, as well.

Conduction vs Convection – Important for Dry Herb Vaporizers

Starting off, you’ll probably get into using dry herb vapes before anything else. These are the most common and easiest-to-use of the vaporizer types currently available on the market. There are typically three types of dry herb vaporizers, divided by the way that they heat your material:

Conduction: This style of heating your herb relies on direct contact with the material by way of a heated coil or surface. The surface is heated by the devices energy source and the vapor comes from the rising heat. Usually, these kinds of vaporizers are cheaper and easier to use. They were also the first style available, making this the more traditional method.

Convection: Using convection means that you are passing heated air over your material and collecting the THC off the vapor path. This usually requires the user to provide the vapor by pulling outside air through the mouthpiece. Those who favor flavor and efficiency pick this style.  This is also the healthy way to vape where the herbs will not combust.

Combustion vs. Convection: At the lower ends of the spectrum, conduction vaporizers often cause combustion which creates smoke instead of vapor. When the heated surface makes contact with the material, the part that touches the surface often gets much hotter than the rest of the chamber, causing the herb to ignite. Using a convection vaporizer is usually the only way to avoid that—as they are they only devices that can guarantee complete vaporization for those seeking a healthier way to consume dry herbs.

Keep in mind, these combustion vape devices are similar to other smoking accessories like a glass pipe, bubbler or a bong. Devices like the AGO Dry Herb Vape can be a convenient way to vape herbs on the go, but you’ll actually get combustion as the herbs are turned to ash – but this is super portable so its great for the smoker that wants the electronic and the smoke too.  It’s all about how you’d like your experience to go and it takes just a little research to find the sweet spot.

dabbing marijuana

Vaping vs Dabbing

Some vapers have come into this world looking for an alternative to the dabbing lifestyle. Don’t put away your blowtorch just yet. Although there are plenty of vaporizers that provide access to the huge THC content of oils, there has yet to be a vaporizer invented that can come close to the kind of hit experienced with any decent dab rig. This comes down to science. The more heat you can get your material to interact with, the more vapor will be produced at once. The more vapor that is produced, the harder it hits your lungs. One hit from a dabbing rig can change your mind forever on this issue.

There are some pros and cons for using a dab rig with oils and concentrates instead of an electronic vaporizer:


  • Bigger, better hits. Period.
  • More customization options. If you like to have complete control of your experience, dab rigs can be your own personal creation.
  • More efficient use of materials: the bigger the hit is, the more likely a user is to be satiated.


  • Portability isn’t much of a factor with dab rigs. There are some options available, but carrying a flame always requires a heightened level of responsibility.
  • Electronic vaporizers are cheaper and smaller. If you don’t want dabs to take over your life, you should at least start here.

Regardless of what style of vaporizer you pick, you can find great options at a vape shop near you, or even try online.  Shipping is a breeze and you can find all your favorite vape products. Don’t wait to get started vaping, every day you smoke is another day vaping could help protect your lungs.








Published at Tue, 14 Nov 2017 06:00:00 +0000

Posted in News

Study: CBD a “Therapeutic Candidate for Stroke Prevention”

Study: CBD a “Therapeutic Candidate for Stroke Prevention”

Cannabidiol (CBD) may help to prevent strokes, according to a new study published by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“The endocannabinoid system (ECS) regulates functions throughout human physiology, including neuropsychiatric, cardiovascular, autonomic, metabolic, and inflammatory states”, begins the study’s abstract, which was published in-print by the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research. “The complex cellular interactions regulated by the ECS suggest a potential for vascular disease and stroke prevention by augmenting central nervous and immune cell endocannabinoid signaling.”

Cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive constituent of Cannabis, “is an immediate therapeutic candidate both for potentiating endocannabinoid signaling and for acting at multiple pharmacological targets.” According to reseachers, this “speculative synthesis explores the current state of knowledge of the ECS and suggests CBD as a therapeutic candidate for stroke prevention by exerting favorable augmentation of the homeostatic effects of the ECS and, in turn, improving the metabolic syndrome, while simultaneously stalling the development of atherosclerosis.”

The full study, conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic’s Department of Neurology, can be found by clicking 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


Published at Sun, 12 Nov 2017 09:00:04 +0000

Posted in News

New York Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Cannabis for PTSD

New York Governor Signs Bill Allowing Medical Cannabis for PTSD

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed into law a bill that allows the medical use of cannabis for those with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The bipartisan legislation (A7006) adds PTSD to New York’s medical cannabis program, allowing those with the condition to become legal medical cannabis patients. As with other conditions that are part of the state’s medical cannabis program, those with PTSD will need to receive a recommendation from a physician and register with the state before they can legally purchase and use medical cannabis. Governor Cuomo signed the bill today, on Veterans Day.

A7006 received widespread, bipartisan support in New York’s Legislature. It was approved by the Assembly in May with a vote of 131 to 8, and was subsequential passed by the Senate 50 to 13. New York now becomes the 28th state to allow medical cannabis for PTSD.

“We thank Gov. Cuomo for his support of this compassionate bill. No one should have to leave the state to have access to a treatment that might help them have a better quality of life,” said Landon Dais, political director for the Marijuana Policy Project of New York.

Assembly Health Committee chair Richard N. Gottfried, sponsor of the bill, said, “Governor Cuomo’s action reflects growing recognition of the value of medical marijuana, and is another welcome step in the expanding and strengthening of New York’s medical marijuana program.”

“Gov. Cuomo should be applauded for helping thousands of New York veterans find relief with medical marijuana,” said Bob Becker, legislative director for the New York State Council of Veterans Organizations. “PTSD is a serious problem facing our state, and now we have one more tool available to alleviate suffering.”

Twenty-eight of the 29 states with medical marijuana programs will now allow patients with PTSD to qualify. In the only state that does not, Alaska, marijuana is legal and regulated for adults 21 and older. Bills to add PTSD to state medical marijuana programs were signed into law in Colorado, New Hampshire, and Vermont this year.

“Now, PTSD patients will have access to medical marijuana everywhere it is legally available,” Dais said. “Over the past two years, New York has made important strides toward having an inclusive, workable medical marijuana program. We urge legislators, Gov. Cuomo, and the Department of Health to continue improving the program. To better serve patients, the state should expand qualifying conditions, allow patients to use the type of cannabis products that work best for them, and reduce burdensome rules that drive up prices.”

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


Published at Sat, 11 Nov 2017 20:21:09 +0000

Posted in News

Voters in Athens, Ohio Vote to Depenalize up to 200 Grams of Marijuana, 10 Grams of Hash

Voters in Athens, Ohio Vote to Depenalize up to 200 Grams of Marijuana, 10 Grams of Hash


The Athens Cannabis Ordinance – better known as “TACO” – to completely remove all penalties for possessing, cultivating, and gifting of up to 200 grams of marijuana was approved by voters on election day by a vote of 77 percent to 23 percent.

In November 2016, four Ohio municipalities – Newark, Logan, Roseville, and Bellaire – passed similar depenalization ballot measures. Under Ohio state law, minor marijuana possession offenses are classified as a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a fine, but no jail time or criminal record.

“Voters overwhelmingly approved of TACO because the continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of the vast majority of adults in the United States, 64 percent of whom now endorse legalizing and regulating cannabis,” said Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director. “While politicians continue to drag their feet, citizens are showing leadership at the local and state level in jurisdictions where the ability to achieve marijuana reform is possible at the ballot box.”

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


Published at Fri, 10 Nov 2017 04:14:51 +0000

Posted in News

Poland Legalizes Medical Cannabis

Poland Legalizes Medical Cannabis

Poland Legalizes Medical Cannabis Just Like Germany, Israel, Canada, Spain etc.

Poland medical cannabis

Poland legalized medical cannabis last week, after a long battle in parliament. Another example of another day, another country moving more swiftly into legalization than the US.

On November 1, just three months after President Andrjez Duda approved the bill, legalization moved pretty quickly. Cannabis use in Poland received overwhelming support from parliament as well as Poland’s Health Care Committee, making the country the latest in the European Union to legalize cannabis for medical use.

November 1 marked the day that new regulations were set in place, where cannabis from imported sources would be legally allowed to be processed in Polish pharmacies provided that it was recorded in the Office for Registration of Medical Products. Poland’s pharmacists are already equipped to make the medications, based on feedback from the Polish Pharmaceutical Chamber (PPC). They also added that pharmacists would have access to specialist training if needed.

“Given the fact that there are nearly 15,000 pharmacies in Poland, an overwhelming majority is authorized to make prescription drugs – that’s around 90 percent,” said a spokesman. “It is estimated that up to 300,000 patients could qualify for medical marijuana treatment.”

Poland’s new laws will permit patients of many ailments to use medical cannabis, including those diagnosed with epilepsy, chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, as well as patients undergoing chemotherapy.

However, Poland’s problems lie in the absence of a domestic grow program.


Inadequate Supply Poses A Problem

According to Dr. Marek Bachanski, a pediatric neurologist and a top medical cannabis practitioner in Poland, cannabis oil has significantly improved the lives of children suffering from epilepsy. Dr. Bachanski thinks that the new laws will still present numerous obstacles for patients. “Polish patients will have very limited access to this type of treatment because we don’t produce medical marijuana domestically,” he says, criticizing the fact that operators and patients won’t be allowed to grow their own medicine.

As a consequence, it’s going to be more expensive for patients to get a hold of their medicine. Despite the fact that imported cannabis is allowed, Dr. Bachanski says that it will be insufficient. Currently, Poland gets their cannabis from the Netherlands but experts say that adequate supplies won’t be around until next year.

This is the reason why MP Piotr Liroy-Marzec, one of the authors of the bill and a prominent advocate of medical cannabis use in Poland, is working hard in order to make amendments to the law so that domestic cultivation will be allowed. Liroy-Marzec also has plans of opening a Polish Institute of Cannabis with the intention of educating doctors, pharmacists, and officials about medical cannabis. Just like with the United States, Dr. Bachanski finds that “juts a handful” of Polish doctors are equipped with the knowledge of using MMJ as treatment. Additionally, pharmacists also don’t have enough knowledge to write prescriptions for different kinds of cannabis.

EU rules state that patients who can’t get their prescriptions in Poland are able to do so in the 13 other member states where MMJ is legal. However, critics warn that the high costs of obtaining medicine from abroad can make this option no longer feasible for many Poles. They think that more legislation is needed to allow domestic production and processing of the plant to reduce costs and ensure access to more patients.

But according to Polish Health Minister Konstanty Radziwill, these concerns are exaggerated, referring to the dozens of patients, particularly children, who are already recipients of special funding and import permits for MMJ albeit on a case-to-case basis.

Expansive Law

Even though Poland’s law may seem like its still in its infancy, the rules around it are still considered expansive. Pharmacies can legally process cannabis and manufacture it into resins, tinctures, concentrates, and oils; they can also sell it in dried flower form. Poland’s law also eliminates THC restrictions on cannabis oil, enabling patients to access cannabis oil that’s either dominant in CBD or THC based on their symptoms.

One interesting aspect of Poland’s MMJ law is that they didn’t set a cap on qualifying conditions. In fact, no specific conditions have been listed at all because the bill was drafted to be open-ended in nature, intentionally. Lawmakers did this on purpose so that doctors could have the liberty to expand access to MMJ depending on new research for its applications.








Published at Wed, 08 Nov 2017 06:00:00 +0000