Study: Vaporization Offers "Attractive Alternative" To Smoked Cannabis
Baltimore, MD: Vaporizing cannabis mitigates subjects' exposure to carbon monoxide and allows them to self-regulate their dose - making it preferable over smoking or oral administration, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Investigators affiliated with the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) assessed the effects of smoked, vaporized, and oral cannabis administration upon frequent and occasional consumers in a placebo-controlled study. Authors reported that "expired carbon monoxide was significantly increased following smoking compared to vaporization."
They concluded: "[T]hese data offer compelling evidence for the strength of vaporized cannabis over smoking or oral routes for medicinal administrations; effects occur quickly and doses can be titrated without exposure to carbon monoxide. ... Vaporization offers an attractive alternative to inhaled cannabis administration, particularly for medicinal administration, producing similar effects to smoked cannabis while reducing exposure to toxic by-products."
Vaporization devices heat herbal cannabis to a point where cannabinoid vapors form, but below the point of combustion. Prior clinical trials assessing vaporization devices have similarly concluded that they are "safe and effective" cannabis delivery systems.
Full text of the study, "Subjective and physiological effects, and expired carbon monoxide concentrations in frequent and occasional cannabis smokers following smoked, vaporized, and oral cannabis administration," appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.
Poll: Americans Want States, Not The Feds, To Have Final Say Regarding Marijuana Policies
New York, NY: By a margin of more than six to one, Americans say that individual states should be autonomous with regard to laws governing the use and sale of marijuana, according to survey data compiled by Survey USA and commissioned by the advocacy group Marijuana Majority.
Seventy-six percent of respondents - including supermajorities of Republicans (72 percent), Independents (78 percent), and Democrats (80 percent) - believe that states should "be able to enact their own marijuana laws without interference from the federal government." Only twelve percent responded that the federal government ought to impose anti-marijuana laws in jurisdictions that have regulated the plant's production, sale, or use.
An April 2017 nationwide CBS poll similarly reported that 71 percent of Americans oppose efforts by the federal government to interfere in states that regulate marijuana use.
Earlier this year, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions penned a letter to Congressional leadership opining that it was "unwise" for Congress to reauthorize the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment. That provision, reauthorized this spring, prohibits the Justice Department from prosecuting those who are compliant with the medical cannabis laws of their state. The language is set to expire on September 30, 2017.
Nevada: Licensed Adult Use Marijuana Sales Set To Begin Saturday
Carson City, NV: Starting this Saturday, July 1, specially licensed medical cannabis dispensaries will have the opportunity to engage in the retail sale of marijuana to adults.
State tax regulators finalized temporary rules on Monday governing adult use sales. Regulators so far have issued over 80 licenses to business establishments seeking to engage in activities specific to the production, testing, or sale of cannabis to adults.
"Adults in Nevada will now be able to access cannabis in a safe, above ground, regulated environment," NORML Political Director Justin Strekal said. "To their immense credit, lawmakers moved expeditiously to implement the will of their voters. Elected officials elsewhere would do well to follow Nevada's example."
Adult use sales are anticipated to be limited because of an ongoing legal dispute regarding who may legally transport cannabis to retail stores. Last week, a Carson City judge issued an injunction prohibiting any entity other than liquor distributors from engaging in retail marijuana transport. As a result, retailers will only be able to sell their existing inventory.
A majority of voters decided in November in favor of the Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act - a voter-initiated regulating the adult use marijuana market. In May, state regulators decided in favor of expediting the timeline for retail marijuana sales from January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2017.
Seven additional states -- Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington -- no longer impose criminal penalties with regard to the adult possession or use of cannabis.
Hawaii: Governor Signs Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill
Honolulu, HI: Democrat Gov. David Ige has signed legislation into law expanding the state's medical cannabis program.
House Bill 1488 expands the pool of patients eligible for cannabis therapy to include those with epilepsy, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. The measure also explicitly permits patients to legally transport cannabis to a certified lab for testing.
The new law takes effect on June 29, 2017.
Governor Ige previously signed legislation in 2016 and in 2015 expanding the state's medical cannabis program, which was initially enacted in 2000. The state's first licensed dispensaries are anticipated to be operational later this summer.
Louisiana: Medical Cannabis Access Program Moves Forward
Baton Rouge, LA: Governor John Bel Edwards has signed legislation, Senate Bill 35, providing explicit legal protections for those involved in activities related to the state's nascent medical cannabis access program.
Lawmakers passed legislation in 2016 establishing a framework for the program, which allows physicians to recommend non-smoked preparations of cannabis to patients with cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and other disorders.
Last week, the Board of Supervisors at Louisiana State University entered an agreement with a private contractor to have medical cannabis grown at its Agricultural Center.