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  • April 9 2013

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    Human Marijuana Trials Moving Forward to Determine Medical Benefits

    Thousands of medical marijuana patients in the United States rely on the drug to alleviate a multitude of symptoms from cachexia to nerve pain; nevertheless, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) still considers it a Schedule I controlled substance that has no accepted medical use.

    Despite this law-enforcement-agency-approved “analysis,” doctors are conducting their own research. In Israel, the Meir Medical Center is recruiting Crohn’s Disease sufferers for a study on the ability of marijuana to treat the inflammatory bowel disease, which affects 400,000-600,000 North Americans.

    In San Francisco, for more than five years, doctors at California Pacific Medical Center have been studying the effects of the marijuana compound cannabidiol (CBD) on metastatic cancer cells (i.e., very aggressive tumor cells).  In their recently published large-scale animal trial, brain scans revealed the disruption of tumor cells after CBD was used to switch off a specific gene regulator.

    These promising results left researchers optimistic and they believe that the findings warrant human trials. They will work to secure funding in the upcoming months for two trial groups, one for brain cancer and the other for breast cancer.

    Will these and other studies finally convince our government that science, not myth, should dictate how we approach marijuana?

  • April 9 2013

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    Bill to Tax and Regulate Marijuana Introduced in Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania recently joined the growing list of states considering taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol this year, when Sen. Daylin Leach (D-17) introduced SB 528. The proposal was referred to the Senate Law and Justice Committee on April 3.

    Daylin Leach PA family

    Sen. Leach and family

    Sen. Leach’s bill, the Regulate Marijuana Act, would allow adults 21 and over to possess, grow, process, or transport up to six marijuana plants (three or fewer being mature) and possess the marijuana produced by those plants where they were grown, provided that the growing takes place in a secure location. In addition, adults would be allowed to give away up to one ounce of marijuana to other adults who are 21 or older.

    SB 528 would task the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board with licensing marijuana-related facilities and regulating the cultivation, distribution, and sale of marijuana to adults 21 and over. In terms of taxation, the bill calls on the General Assembly to enact an excise tax on marijuana sold or transferred.

    If you are a Pennsylvania resident, please contact your legislators now, and ask them to support taxing and regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.

  • April 9 2013

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    Alabama Bill Would End State’s Marijuana Prohibition

    Last week, Alabama joined the growing list of states considering taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol this year. Sponsored by Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham), HB 550 would remove all criminal penalties for possession of marijuana by adults. The proposal was referred to the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, but has not yet been scheduled for a hearing.

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    Rep. Patricia Todd

    Rep. Todd’s bill, the Alabama Cannabis and Hemp Reform Act of 2013, would allow adults 21 and over to possess up to one ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to 12 plants in a secure space. It would tax marijuana similarly to alcohol and would task the Alabama Department of Revenue with licensing retail outlets and regulating the cultivation, distribution, and sale of marijuana to adults 21 and over.

    In addition to allowing a regulated and taxed marijuana industry, HB 550 would also set up a medical marijuana program. The bill would authorize the medical use of marijuana for qualifying patients who have been diagnosed with serious medical conditions by their physicians.

    If you are an Alabama resident, please contact your legislators now and ask them to support HB 550!