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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Wed, 15 Nov 2017 04:20:21 PST

Survey: More Than One In Five Military Vets Uses Cannabis Medicinally

Indianapolis, IN: More than one in five military veterans engage in the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes, according to nationwide survey data conducted on behalf of The American Legion. The Legion is the largest veterans' advocacy organization in the United States.

Twenty-two percent of respondents said they "use cannabis to treat a mental or physical condition." Thirty-nine percent affirmed they "know a veteran" who is using it medicinally. Eighty-three percent of respondents said they support legalizing medical cannabis federally.

Previously published survey data reports that military veterans consume medical cannabis at rates greater than those of the general population, often using it as an alternative to conventional medications in the treatment of pain and post-traumatic stress.

In late October, Democrat members of the US House Committee on Veteran's Affairs authored a letter to VA Secretary David Shulkin demanding that the agency facilitate protocols to assess the efficacy of medical cannabis in veterans.

In September, representatives from The American Legion addressed a separate letter to VA Secretary Shulkin encouraging the federal agency to assist in an ongoing FDA-approved clinical trial assessing the safety and efficacy of various strains of cannabis in veterans with PTSD. To date, the VA has refused to assist in patient recruitment for the trial. The VA has yet to publicly respond to either letter.

Study: No Rise In Teen Use, Prevalence Of Marijuana Use Disorder Following Medicalization

New York, NY: The enactment of medical cannabis laws is not associated with any increase in marijuana use by those ages 12 to 25, and is not associated with any increase in problematic cannabis use by any age groups, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Prevention Science.

Investigators at Columbia University assessed marijuana use patterns following the passage of medical cannabis laws over a ten-year period.

Consistent with prior research, authors reported, "[P]revalence of MU (marijuana use) outcomes was generally unaffected by changes in MMLs (medical marijuana laws) among those under age 26."

By contrast, authors did identify an increase in marijuana use rates among those age 26 and older. However, this uptick was not associated with any "statistically significant increases in past-year marijuana use disorder prevalence for any age or gender group" - a finding that is also consistent with prior studies.

Full text of the study, "Impact of medical marijuana laws on state-level marijuana use by age and gender, 2004-2013," appears in Prevention Science.

Report: Domestic Hemp Production More Than Doubles In Past Year

Washington, DC: Domestic hemp production increased dramatically from 2016 to 2017, according to data compiled by the advocacy organization Vote Hemp.

The group calculates that US farmers cultivated over 23,000 acres of hemp in 2017, up from fewer than 10,000 acres in 2016.

Under a 2014 federal law, states may license hemp cultivation as part of a university sponsored pilot program. Thirty-two universities in nineteen states - Colorado, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia - have participated in hemp cultivation projects this year, according to Vote Hemp.

Federal legislation is pending, House Bill 3530: The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2017, to exclude cannabis strains under 0.3 percent THC from the federal definition of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act. In August, the National Conference on State Legislatures unanimously approved a policy position in support of amending federal law to reclassify hemp as a distinct agricultural crop and permitting states to engage in its commercial cultivation.

Maine: Governor Vetoes Retail Implementation Bill

Augusta, ME: Republican Gov. Paul LePage on Friday vetoed legislation that sought to regulate the production and retail sales of cannabis to adults. Lawmakers had approved the legislation by a vote of 85 to 50 in the House and by a vote of 22 to 9 in the Senate during a one-day special session in October.

Governor LePage said that he "cannot in good conscience support any scheme in state law to implement expansion of legal marijuana in Maine" as long as cannabis remains federally illegal. The Governor's veto reverses a campaign pledge where he indicated that he would support the enactment of adult use regulation if it was approved by a voter referendum.

On Monday, November 6, members of the Maine House let the Governor's veto stand. Under state law, two-thirds of lawmakers in both chambers are necessary to override a gubernatorial veto.

A majority of Maine voters decided last November in favor of a statewide initiative legalizing the adult use, retail production, and licensed sale of marijuana. Governor LePage lobbied against the measure and in January lawmakers passed emergency legislation delaying the enactment of many of its provisions until February 2018. Since that time, the Governor has refused to work with lawmakers with regard to how to regulate marijuana sales and other provisions of the law.

NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri strongly criticized the Governor's veto, stating: "This stonewalling will only ensure the prolonged existence of a criminal black market in Maine and deny the state coffers of needed tax revenue."

Lawmakers are now expected to debate separate legislation seeking to extend the state's existing moratorium beyond February 2018.

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