The Week in Weed 9-3-11 — Cannabis News

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Cannabis Cheri SicardUnless you are a member of the “choir” (my affectionate name for the hard core cannabis activists who live this movement day in and day out), chances are you’re going to miss a lot of cannabis news.  It’s not that there isn’t any, things are happening in the word of marijuana all the time.  But the mainstream media never seems to make it a priority to report on it.

So, since I follow these things, and am on every cannabis mailing list imaginable, I thought it might be a good idea to do a weekly round-up of the compelling stories that came across my desk the week before.  Sometimes I might discover stories older than a week old but still timely, so I’ll pass them on too.  If you have suggestions for stories to be considered for inclusion in next week’s round up, use the Contact Us form here and let me know.

MEDICAL

Obesity and Cannabis Use: Results from 2 Representative National Surveys — Marijuana in fact doesn’t make you fat.  Who knew?  “Additionally, after adjustment for sex and age, the use of cannabis was associated with body mass index differences in both samples. The authors conclude that the prevalence of obesity is lower in cannabis users than in nonusers.”
The above link is to a technical medical study page, for a layperson’s translation of what’s going on, click here for a terrific article from NORML’s Paul Armentano.

Cannabinoid Receptor Type I Modulates Alcohol Induced Liver Fibrosis — The latest research on cannabinoids’ protective qualities against alcohol induced liver fibrosis.

Memory-Rescuing Effects of Cannabidiol in an Animal Model of Cognitive Impairment Relevant to Neurodegenerative Disorders — “The present findings provide evidence suggesting the potential use of cannabidiol (one of the more than 60 cannabinoids found in the cannabis plant) for the treatment of cognitive decline associated with neurodegenerative disorders.”

Poor Diet Impairs Endocannabinoid Receptors — Explains the theory that an Omega-3 deficient diet may impair the functionality of the body’s endocannabinoid system.

POLITICS & LAW

What We Can Learn from Portugal’s Drug Policy — In 2000 the Portuguese government fully legalized ALL drugs (not just marijuana) and started treating drug addiction as a health issue rather than a law enforcement problem.  Guess what?  Overall drug use went down!  This report, by award-winning journalist Artur Domoslawski  describes the process, context, ideas, and values that enabled Portugal to make the transition to a public health response to drug use and possession. With over a decade of experience, Portugal provides a valuable case study of how decriminalization coupled with evidence-based strategies can reduce drug consumption, dependence, recidivism, and HIV infection, and create safer communities for all.

 DEA Issues ‘Final Order’ Rejecting Private Production Of Cannabis For FDA-Approved ResearchThe US Drug Enforcement Administration has issued its final order rejecting a 2007 ruling from the agency’s own Administrative Law Judge that it would be “in the public interest” to grant the University of Massachusetts a license to grow marijuana for federally regulated research.

CA Ballot Initiative Would Tax Marijuana Like Wine — News of a new legalization ballot initiative dubbed the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act which would tax and regulate the cultivation, production and sale of cannabis using grape and wine industry standards.

Arkansas: Lawmakers Enact Sentencing Reform Measures, Reduce Pot Possession PenaltiesThe Public Safety Improvement Act intends to reduce the number of non-violent offenders incarcerated statewide by mitigating sentences for low-level drug offenses.

HEMP

Hemp is Not Pot: It’s the Economic Stimulus and Green Jobs Solution We Need — We can make over 25,000 things with it. Farmers love it. Environmentalists love it. You can’t get high from it. So why is it still illegal?   If you think hemp can’t save the planet — both environmentally and fiscally, think again.

Hemp Bricks Harder Than Concrete — Video shows how ecologically sound hemp building materials work better than traditional ones.

UPCOMING TAKE ACTION OPPORTUNITIES

Huge Freedom Rally for True Justice in Long Beach, CA — Sept. 15th, join The Human Solution and 100s of concerned citizens as they gather in a peaceful rally to protest California’s prosecution of medical marijuana cases, stop law enforcement abuse, and protect patient rights and safe access.

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