Norml News August 7, 2015

 Judy Pentz
August 07, 2015 12:25 AM

Oregon: Law Signed Expediting Retail Cannabis Sales

Oregon: Law Signed Expediting Retail Cannabis Sales

Salem, OR: Democrat Gov. Kate Brown signed emergency legislation last week expediting the retail sales of cannabis to those age 21 and older.

Senate Bill 460 permits state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries to also engage in cannabis sales to non-medical persons beginning on October 1, 2015. Adults will be allowed to purchase up to one-quarter ounce of cannabis per visit per day.

Initiated legislation approved by voters in November and enacted on July 1 allows those over the age of 21 to legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis and/or to engage in the non-commercial cultivation of up to four marijuana plants (yielding up to eight ounces of marijuana). Separate provisions in the law permitting the licensed production and retail sale of cannabis to adults were not anticipated to go into effect until next summer. Senate Bill 460 permits adults to legally obtain cannabis from dispensaries during this interim period.

Alaska, Colorado, Oregon and Washington permit adults to legally possess and purchase limited quantities of marijuana for their own personal use. The District of Columbia also allows adults to possess and grow marijuana legally, but does not provide for a regulated commercial cannabis market. All of these measures were enacted by the passage of voter initiatives.

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at paul@norml.org.

NIDA Director Says Cannabidiol Is A "Safe Drug"

NIDA Director Says Cannabidiol Is A "Safe Drug"

Washington, DC: The director of the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Nora Volkow, believes that cannabidiol (CBD) - a nonpsychotropic cannabinoid - is "a safe drug with no addictive effects." Volkow made the comments in an op-ed published last week by The Huffington Post.

Volkow further acknowledged, "[P]reliminary data suggest that it may have therapeutic value for a number of medical conditions."

Preclinical studies have documented CBD to possess a variety of therapeutic activities, including anti-cancer properties, anti-diabetic properties, and bone-stimulating activity. Clinical and observational trials have documented the substance to possess anxiolytic, anti-psychotic, and anti-seizure activity in humans. Safety trials have further concluded the substance to be "safe and well tolerated" when administered to healthy subjects.

To date, 15 states have enacted laws specifically permitting the possession of high-CBD formulated extracts for therapeutic purposes, primarily for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy.

In a recent Time Magazine op-ed, Democrat Sen. Diane Feinstein (CA) and Republican Sen. Charles Grassley (IA) encouraged the Obama administration to "definitively determine if CBD has scientific and medical benefits," and to "look at expanding compassionate access programs where possible, to benefit as many children as possible."

Under federal law, CBD - like cannabis - is defined as a Schedule I controlled substance with "a high potential for abuse ... no currently accepted medical use, ... [and] a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug ... under medical supervision."

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at paul@norml.org.

DEA Head Says Heroin Is Clearly More Dangerous Than Marijuana

DEA Head Says Heroin Is Clearly More Dangerous Than Marijuana

Washington, DC: Newly appointed Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) administrator Chuck Rosenberg publically acknowledged last week that marijuana is "probably" not as dangerous as heroin and then in a clarifying statement made this week, "heroin is clearly more dangerous than marijuana."

Rosenberg's comments appear to be in conflict with marijuana's Schedule I classification under federal law, which places it in the same category as heroin and in a stricter category than cocaine. Federal law currently defines cannabis and its dozens of distinct cannabinoids as possessing "a high potential for abuse ... no currently accepted medical use, ... [and] a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug ... under medical supervision."

Originally Rosenberg said, "If you want me to say that marijuana's not dangerous, I'm not going to say that because I think it is. Do I think it's as dangerous as heroin? Probably not. I'm not an expert." But after a week of media covering the DEA Head's uncertainty, Rosenberg offered a clarified statement at a press briefing saying heroin is "clearly" more dangerous than marijuana.

Rosenberg's predecessor, Michele Leonhart, refused to acknowledge during direct questioning from Congress that marijuana possesses fewer risks to health than either heroin or methamphetamine.

Commenting on the new DEA administrator's remarks, NORML Political Director Danielle Keane said, "Rosenberg's comments, coupled with those by NIDA Director Nora Volkow publically espousing the safety of CBD, indicate that it may no longer be a question of if the federal government will move to reclassify cannabis but when."

For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500 or Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at paul@norml.org.



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