#NORML #News Source: @norml @WeedConnection Posted By: email@example.com media :: news - Tue, 05 Jun 2018 04:20:21 PST
DEA: Marijuana Seizures Fell Nearly 40 Percent In 2017
Washington, DC: Seizures of indoor and outdoor cannabis crops in the United States fell nearly 40 percent between 2016 and 2017, according to annual data compiled by the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to figures published in the DEA's Domestic Cannabis Eradication/Suppression Statistical Report, the agency and its law enforcement partners confiscated an estimated 3.38 million marijuana plants nationwide in 2017. This total represents a 37 percent decrease from the agency's 2016 totals, when it eradicated some 5.34 million plants.
As in past years, the majority of seizures nationwide (72 percent) took place in California, where law enforcement seized and estimated 2.45 million plants. That total was 35 percent lower than in 2016, when law enforcement confiscated an estimated 3.78 million plants. California voters in November 2016 legalized adult use marijuana possession, cultivation, and sales.
Law enforcement seized 472,927 plants in Kentucky (down 15 percent from 2016), 74,599 plants in West Virginia (down 40 percent), 62,323 plants in Arkansas (up 93 percent), 60,658 plants in Indiana (up five percent), and 34,646 plants in Tennessee (down 73 percent).
The agency and its partners reported making 4,502 arrests in conjunction with their cannabis eradication efforts - a 20 percent decline from 2016.
The DEA also reported seizing some $20.5 million in assets during their confiscation efforts - a 60 percent reduction from the previous year.
Full data from the DEA's 2017 report, as well as past years' reports, are available online.
Florida: Court Strikes Down Legislative Ban On Medical Cannabis Smoking
Tallahassee, FL: A Florida Circuit Court judge has ruled that a legislatively enacted ban on the smoking of medical cannabis by qualified patients is unconstitutional.
State lawmakers in 2017 passed Senate Bill 8A - which sought to amend provisions in Amendment 2, a voter initiated constitutional amendment permitting the use and distribution of marijuana for medical purposes. Specifically, SB 8A prohibited the possession of marijuana "in a form for smoking" and barred the use of herbal cannabis except in instances where it is contained "in a sealed tamper-proof receptacle for vaping." Seventy-one percent of Florida voters approved Amendment 2 in November 2016.
Backers of Amendment 2, including the group Florida for Care and longtime medical activist Cathy Jordan, challenged the 'no smoking' ban - arguing that lawmakers improperly sought to overrule the will of the electorate. Circuit Court Judge Karen Gievers ruled on Friday in favor of the plaintiffs.
"Section 381.986, Florida Statutes (2017) unconstitutionally restricts rights that are protected in the Constitution, and so the statutory prohibition against the use of smokeable marijuana permitted by [a] qualifying patient is declared invalid and unenforceable," the judge opined. "Qualifying patients have the right to use the form of medical marijuana for [the] treatment of their debilitating medical condition as recommended by their certified physicians, including the use of smokable marijuana in private places."
NORML has long argued against regulations that limit or restrict patients' access to whole plant herbal cannabis. Many patients seeking rapid relief from symptoms do not benefit from cannabis-infused pills, tinctures, or edibles because they possess delayed onset compared to inhaled cannabis and are far more variable in their effects.
"This ruling is a victory for Florida voters and, in particular, Florida's patient community," NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. "These legislatively enacted restrictions arbitrarily sought to limit patients' choices in a manner that violated the spirit of the law, and cynically sought to deny patients the ability to obtain rapid relief from whole-plant cannabis in a manner that has long proven to be relatively safe and effective."
The Court's opinion in the case: People United for Medical Marijuana et al v. Florida department of Health et al., appears online.
Maryland: Hemp Distribution Bill Signed Into Law
Annapolis, MD: Republican Gov. Larry Hogan has signed legislation into law expanding the state's hemp production program.
House Bill 698 expands the state's existing pilot program to explicitly permit for the distribution, marketing, and sale of hemp - both in state and out of state. Lawmakers had overwhelmingly passed the bill by a vote of 182 to 1.
Pilot Study: CBD-Dominant Extracts Safe And Effective In Treating Pediatric Movement Disorders
Tel Aviv, Israel: The daily administration of high CBD, low THC extracts is safe and effective in treating symptoms related to pediatric movement disorders, according to clinical trial data published in the Journal of Child Neurology.
Israeli researchers assessed the adjunctive use of CBD extracts in 20 patients with moderate to severe complex motor disorders over a period of five months. CBD treatment was associated with "reducing the severity of dystonia and spasticity, and improving motor function ability and quality of life." Participants also demonstrated mood and appetite improvement.
"Our findings demonstrate that medical cannabis can be administered over at least a 5-month period without severe side effects or aggravating existing symptoms," authors concluded. "Our pilot study indicates that cannabidiol-enriched 5% oil formulation of cannabis with ratios of cannabidiol to THC of 6:1 and 20:1 is effective in children with complex motor disorder."
Full text of the study, "Medical cannabis for pediatric moderate to severe complex motor disorders," appears in the Journal of Child Neurology.