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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
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- Tue, 01 Aug 2017 04:20:21 PST

Uruguay: Pharmacies Begin Selling Cannabis Over The Counter

Montevideo, Uruguay: Select pharmacies began selling cannabis over the counter last week, as long-awaited regulations took effect on Wednesday.

Cannabis sales are limited only to those citizens who participate in the state's marijuana registry. Foreign tourists are not permitted to purchase cannabis at this time.

Marijuana flowers are capped at a price of $1.30 a gram.

Federal officials initially approved legislation in 2013 lifting Uruguay's criminal prohibition of the plant. Under the policy change, citizens may cultivate up to six plants per household, and engage in collective cultivation as part of membership clubs. Rules and regulations governing the distribution of marijuana for medical purposes are overseen by the Ministry of Health.

Study: Patients Report Substituting Cannabis For Opioids, Other Pain Medications

Berkeley, CA: Pain patients report successfully substituting cannabis for opioids and other analgesics, according to data published online in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and Kent State University in Ohio assessed survey data from a cohort of 2,897 self-identified medical cannabis patients.

Among those who acknowledged having used opioid-based pain medication within the past six months, 97 percent agreed that they were able to decrease their opiate intake with cannabis. Moreover, 92 percent of respondents said that cannabis possessed fewer adverse side-effects than opioids. Eighty percent of respondents said that the use of medical cannabis alone provided greater symptom management than did their use of opioids.

Among those respondents who acknowledged having recently taken nonopioid-based pain medications, 96 percent said that having access to cannabis reduced their conventional drug intake. Ninety-two percent of these respondents opined that medical cannabis was more effective at treating their condition than traditional analgesics.

The study's conclusions are similar to those of several others, such as these here, here, here, here, and here, finding reduced prescription drug use and spending by those with access to cannabis. Separate studies report an association between cannabis access and lower rates of opioid-related abuse, hospitalizations, traffic fatalities, and overdose deaths.

Full text of the study, "Cannabis as substitute for opioid-based pain medication: patient self-report," appears in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Study: No Increase In Problematic Cannabis Use By Young People Following Changes In Marijuana's Legal Status

Rockville, MD: The regulation of marijuana for medical or recreational purposes is not associated with increases in problematic cannabis use by young people, according to data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Federal investigators from the US National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration evaluated marijuana use rates among young people (ages 12 to 17) between the years 2002 and 2014.

Researchers reported that the prevalence of past-year cannabis use by youth fell 17 percent during this time period. The prevalence of problematic use by young people fell by 25 percent - with a downward trend starting in 2011.

"In the United States, compared to 2002, even after adjusting for covariates, cannabis use decreased among youth during 2005-2014, and cannabis use disorder declined among youth cannabis users during 2013-2014," authors concluded.

The study's findings are consistent with those of numerous other papers reporting no uptick in youth marijuana use or abuse following the enactment of marijuana regulation, including those here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

An abstract of the study, "Cannabis use and cannabis use disorders in the United States, 2002-2014," appears in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry.

Colorado: Dog Alert Not Sufficient For Traffic Search, Appellate Court Rules

Denver, CO: An alert from a dog trained to detect the odor of marijuana is not sufficient justification for a warrantless traffic vehicle search, the Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled.

Because the adult use of marijuana is legal under state law, the three-judge panel determined: "A dog sniff could result in an alert with respect to something for which ... a person has a legitimate expectation of privacy."

The ruling reverses a lower court decision.

A 2015 Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling similarly determined that the smell of cannabis emanating from a vehicle is insufficient to trigger a warrantless vehicle search. By contrast, a 2016 Arizona Supreme Court ruling determined that police may search a vehicle or a home based solely on the odor of cannabis.

Full text of the decision, Colorado v. McKnight is online.

Virginia: Crime Commission Seeking Public Comment On Decriminalizing Cannabis

Richmond, VA: Members of the Virginia State Crime Commission are seeking written comments from the public with regard to the topic of decriminalizing marijuana possession. The commission is studying the issue at the request of Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment, who tasked members to "undertake a study examining a future change to the Code of Virginia regarding criminal penalties related to the possession of small amounts of marijuana."

Members of the public may submit written comments to vsccinfo@vscc.virginia.gov until August 25, 2017. The commission's findings will be presented on October 5.

"Virginia lawmakers will now be able to introduce decriminalization in the General Assembly supported with the facts and conclusions of the decriminalization study," representatives from Virginia NORML, who pushed for the task force, said in a statement.

Under Virginia law, the possession of one-half ounce of cannabis or less is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine. The number of Virginians arrested for violating the state's marijuana possession laws rose 76 percent between 2003 and 2014.

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