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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 08 Jun 2021 04:20:21 PST

House Lawmakers Reintroduce Legislation Repealing Federal Marijuana Prohibition

Washington, DC: On Friday, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, along with Cannabis Caucus co-chairs Earl Blumenauer and Barbara Lee, Judiciary Crime Subcommittee Chairwoman Sheila Jackson Lee, House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, and Small Business Committee Chairwoman Nydia Velazquez introduced the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act of 2021, better known as The MORE Act. The Act repeals the long-standing federal prohibition of marijuana -- thereby ending the existing state/federal conflict in cannabis policies and providing state governments with greater authority to regulate marijuana-related activities.

House lawmakers passed a previous version of the measure in December by a vote of 228 to 164, marking the first time that a chamber of Congress ever advanced legislation to end the federal prohibition of cannabis. Senate lawmakers, however, failed to take up the bill.

"When the MORE Act was approved by the House of Representatives in the previous session, Congress demonstrated in no uncertain terms that the days of federal marijuana prohibition are numbered," said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal. "While Senate Majority Leader Schumer and Senators Booker and Wyden continue to solicit feedback for their forthcoming legislation in the Upper Chamber, the House is preparing to once again advance criminal justice-focused legislation that will bring our failed prohibitionist policies to an end while also ensuring that those Americans who are saddled with the consequences of a marijuana conviction can have their records cleared."

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Nadler added: "I'm proud to reintroduce the MORE Act to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level, remove the needless burden of marijuana convictions on so many Americans, and invest in communities that have been disproportionately harmed by the war on drugs."

Representative Earl Blumenauer, founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, said: "Last year, we saw more progress toward cannabis legalization than ever before. This has been driven by unprecedented reforms at the state level. Now, Congress must deal with the problems created by the failed federal policy of prohibition. With a strong base of support in the House and in the Senate, the table is set. It's past time that we stop federal interference with cannabis banking and research, as well as the terrible pattern of selective enforcement that has devastated communities of color. The MORE Act will help address all of these problems and more."

Co-chair Rep. Barbara Lee added: ""During the last year, people across the country have seen how injustice impacts communities of color--from police brutality to the COVID-19 pandemic. The War on Drugs is no exception. We must deliver justice to those most impacted by America's racist and discriminatory cannabis laws. I'm proud to be working alongside Chairman Nadler and Congressional Cannabis Caucus co-chair, Congressman Blumenauer, to reintroduce the MORE Act, which includes my bill to bring restorative justice to communities of color impacted most--the Marijuana Justice Act. The MORE Act will not only put an end to harmful federal cannabis policies that have ruined countless lives, it will seek to reverse the damage by providing true equity and opportunity for those looking to access this booming industry. We are on our way toward true justice."

Federal Study: No Changes in Youth Marijuana Use Trends Following Legalization

Washington, DC: The enactment of statewide adult-use legalization laws is not associated with any nationwide changes in either the use of cannabis by young people or its availability, according to data published by the National Center for Education Statistics. The NCES is part of the United States Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences.

Consistent with prior data, the federal report concludes that youth marijuana use has remained unchanged over the better part of the past decade – during which time numerous jurisdictions have legalized the sale of marijuana products to adults. It reads: "The overall percentage of students who reported using marijuana at least 1 time during the previous 30 days in 2019 was not measurably different from the percentage in 2009.... There was no measurable difference between 2009 and 2019 in the percentage of students who reported that illegal drugs were made available to them on school property."

Commenting on the study's findings, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: "These data reaffirm that youth marijuana use has remained stable despite the liberalization of adult use laws. These findings make it clear that cannabis access can be legally regulated for adults in a manner that is safe, effective, and that does not inadvertently impact young people's habits."

The report further acknowledged that White, Black, and Hispanic students all consumed cannabis at similar rates during this time period, but that self-reported use was higher among LBGTQ students and Native Americans.

Text of the study, "Marijuana Use and Illegal Drug Availability," is online. Additional information is available from the NORML fact sheet, "Marijuana Regulation and Teen Use Rates."

Review: Data is "Promising" Regarding Use of Cannabinoids for Autism

Paraiba, Brazil: Cannabinoids hold "promise" in the treatment of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to a systematic review of clinical trials published in the journal Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

A team of Brazilian researchers identified nine clinical trials assessing the use of cannabinoids in patients with ASD. Subjects in five of the trials were administered plant-derived oil extracts. Two studies assessed the use of CBD only, one study evaluated the use of cannabidivarin (CBDV), and the final study assessed the use of synthetic oral THC (dronabinol).

Studies identified beneficial changes in autism symptoms following cannabinoid therapy, including "decreased bouts of self-mutilation and anger, hyperactivity, sleep problems, anxiety, restlessness, psychomotor agitation, irritability, perseverance, aggressiveness, and depression [and] improvement in sensory sensitivity, cognition, attention, social interaction, and language." Side-effects were generally "mild to moderate," including sleep disturbances, fatigue, diarrhea, and increased appetite.

Authors concluded, "Cannabis and cannabinoids have very promising effects in the treatment of autistic symptoms and can be used in the future as an important therapeutic alternative."

Full text of the study, "Cannabis and cannabinoid use in autism spectrum disorder: A systematic review," appears in Trends in Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.

Analysis: Oral THC Administration Associated with Pain Mitigation in Elderly Patients

Bonn, Germany: A majority of seniors prescribed oral THC (dronabinol) for pain management report that it provides them with symptomatic improvements, according to data published in the journal of the German Medical Association.

Researchers assessed the safety and efficacy of dronabinol in 1,515 pain patients ages 75 or older. Nearly six-out-of-ten subjects reported improvements in their symptoms following cannabinoid therapy, with 22 percent of patients reporting that their condition was "notably improved."

The most commonly reported side-effects were dizziness and fatigue.

Dronabinol recently became approved in Germany as a prescription medicine. The product has been FDA approved in the United States since 1985, although it is not explicitly approved in this country for pain management.

Recent population surveys indicate that a growing percentage of older adults are turning to cannabis for therapeutic purposes, and that fewer seniors perceive significant risks associated with its use.

Full text of the study, "Interim results of the survey accompanying the prescription of cannabis-based medicines in Germany regarding dronabinol," appears in Deutsches Arzteblatt International. Additional information regarding cannabis use and seniors is available in the NORML fact sheet, "Cannabis Use by Older Populations."

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