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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
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- Tue, 12 Jan 2016 04:20:21 PST

Colombia To License Medical Cannabis Use

Bogota, Colombia: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has signed legislation into law to regulate the licensed production and exportation of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Under the new policy, those seeking to grow medicinal cannabis commercially or manufacture cannabis-based medicinal products may apply with government agencies for licensure. Federal regulators will also grant permits to those seeking to export medicinal cannabis products out of the country.

President Santos said that the goal of the policy "is for patients to be able to access medications made in Colombia that are safe, high-quality and accessible. It is also an opportunity to promote scientific research in our country."

While existing law allows for the personal possession and cultivation of cannabis, the plant's commercial production, manufacture, and sale was not permitted.

Federally licensed medical marijuana production and distribution is presently authorized in Canada, Israel, and the Netherlands.

In 2013, Uruguay officials approved legislation authorizing the retail production and sale of cannabis to those age 18 and older. Consumers in that country are anticipated to be able to begin purchasing cannabis at state-licensed pharmacies by mid-2016.

Study: Consumers Infrequently Combine Marijuana And Alcohol

Santa Monica, CA: Marijuana consumers do not typically use cannabis and alcohol in combination with one another, regardless of whether they are consuming cannabis for medicinal or social purposes, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Addiction.

Investigators with the RAND Drug Policy Research Center and the University of California, Irvine surveyed marijuana use patterns among participants between the ages of 18 and 91 in four states: Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. (The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes is legal in New Mexico, while laws in Colorado, Oregon, and Washington permit adults to possess and purchase cannabis for both medicinal and/or recreational purposes.)

Authors reported, "Individuals who use cannabis do not commonly use it with alcohol, irrespective of whether they are consuming cannabis recreationally or medically." They concluded, "Fewer than one in five recreational users report simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis most or all of the time and less than three percent of medicinal users report frequent simultaneous use of alcohol and cannabis."

Although some studies indicate that cannabis can be a potential substitute for the use of alcohol, others have implied that the two substances may be complementary.

Full text of the study, "In the weeds: A baseline view of cannabis use among legalizing states and their neighbors," appears in Addiction.

Collegiate Athletes Facing Less Scrutiny For Marijuana

Lincoln, NE: College athletic programs and the National College Athletic Association (NCAA) have become more tolerant of student athletes consuming cannabis, according to the results of an Associated Press investigation of 57 athletically prominent colleges.

Of the school programs assessed, 23 have eased sanctions for athletes who test positive for marijuana. By contrast, most school programs continue to impose significant punishments for students who test positive for the use of performance enhancing drugs.

Similarly, the NCAA in 2014 amended its policies to lessen penalties for those athletes who test positive for recreational substances while keeping in place longstanding punishments for the use of performance enhancing substances.

Pittsburgh: City Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

Pittsburgh, PA: Members of the Pittsburgh City Council voted 7 to 2 in late December in favor of municipal legislation to amend marijuana possession penalties within city limits. The city's mayor signed the measure into law days later.

Under the new policy, minor marijuana offenders face a civil fine of no more than $100.00 for the possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana and/or eight grams of hashish.

State law classifies similar possession offenses as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, possible driver's license suspension, and a criminal record.

Implementation of the new ordinance "will protect Pittsburghers of all colors and all ages from unwarranted and unnecessary police interactions, and it will help police more efficiently utilize limited resources," said Patrick Nightingale, Executive Director of Pittsburgh NORML, which advocated in favor of the law change.

According to a 2013 report by American Civil Liberties Union, African-Americans in Allegheny County are 5.7 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than Caucasians, despite both races consuming cannabis at similar rates.

Philadelphia lawmakers signed a similar decriminalization ordinance into law in 2014. Since the measure's passage, adult marijuana possession arrests in the city fell from more than 3,700 annually to fewer than 600.

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