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Marijuana: Future in the United States

Marijuana’s reputation in the United States has seen a dramatic shift over the past four to five decades. It has gone  from having an intensely negative legal and social stigma including heavy condemnation from the government, to being increasingly accepted by the public and legalized for medicinal use in twenty states (legalized for recreational use in two). Even the current President of the United States openly admitted to inhaling marijuana in his past. Times are truly changing and fast for the controversial plant, which leads many to ask: what is marijuana’s future in the United States?

So far, the states that have legalized marijuana for medicinal use are, in alphabetical order: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington (also District of Columbia). Colorado and Washington are the only states that have also legalized the recreational use of marijuana (quick note for those who don’t already know: medicinal use is for patients whose doctors prescribe and deem marijuana as a sufficient medicine to their ailment(s) while recreational use is allowed for anyone twenty-one years or older). With more states considering medicinal and even recreational legalization, it seems marijuana’s future in America is inching closer and closer to a nationwide legalization, but that is only speculation at this point. Between conservatives (particularly in the South) still opposed to the acceptance and use of marijuana as well as the fact that marijuana is still federally illegal, there is still plenty of red tape to circumvent before aforementioned nationwide legalization could occur.

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Medical Marijuana Providers Fear Effects of Wider Legalization

SEATTLE — There should be, one might think, a note of triumph or at least quiet satisfaction in Muraco Kyashna-tocha’s voice. Her patient-based cooperative in north Seattle dispenses medical marijuana to treat seizures, sleeplessness and other maladies. And with the state gearing up to open its first stores selling legal marijuana for recreational use, the drug she has cultivated, provided to patients and used herself for years seems to be barreling toward the mainstream.

But her one-word summary of the outlook for medical marijuana is anything but sunny: “Disastrous,” she said, standing in her shop,Green Buddha, which she fears she will soon have to close.

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Marijuana, fine, but leave medicine out of it

I recently visited a medical-marijuana dispensary in Denver. I expected tie-dyed tapestries and Bob Marley posters. Instead, I found a well-designed shop that looked like any high-end health-supplement boutique.

The display cabinets were organized with various strains of marijuana and there were many non-smokable types, including transdermal patches, oral sprays and edibles. An employee proudly explained that in Colorado, dispensaries are required to grow at least 70 percent of their inventory, a boon to small operators. This particular dispensary grew 90 percent of its inventory and sourced the plants out to other small businesses that transformed them into the patches, sprays and edibles.

The business model was impressive. That the medical model was lacking soon became apparent.

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Marijuana Moms More Powerful Than Soccer Moms

The medical marijuana debate is in full swing with 20 states on board and several others ready to take the plunge. An unlikely source of advocates namely, moms, could become as powerful as soccer moms in the fight for their children. Soccer moms have earned the reputation of being  intelligent cheerleaders and outspoken advocates for their children’s physical activities. There is nothing more powerful than a mother advocating for their child. Mothers of children with severe health challenges are adopting the same take-charge attitudes as many of the so-called “soccer moms.” A mother wants to offer her child any and all options that may be available to help them, despite politic banter from people who do not know what it is like to be a parent of an ill child. Studies have shown marijuana to be a real medical solution to many ailments including some in children.

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More than 100 marijuana shops shuttered, L.A. City Attorney says

More than 100 pot shops have shut down since Los Angeles started enforcing new rules restricting medical marijuana dispensaries, City Atty. Mike Feuer announced Monday.

In addition to the rules prompting scores of closures, Feuer said city lawyers had successfully fended off a host of legal challenges. In one closely watched case, they prevented a dispensary from opening in Mar Vista, securing a permanent injunction before it could set up shop.

“We have a long way to go, but we have a great start,” said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck, who joined Feuer at a press conference.

The new law, passed by voters last year, taxes such businesses and gives limited immunity to pot shops registered under a string of city ordinances that began in 2007.

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Marijuana Revenue Could Pay Off Our National Debt

Colorado estimates generating 100 million in marijuana taxes, after generating one billion in marijuana sales. Do you really believe that the drug Cartels will walk away from that king of revenue flow? How long do you think it will take for other States open marijuana sales?

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Marijuana: An Athlete’s Best Friend?

When it comes to drugs and sports, the topic is usually performance-enhancing drugs like steroids or strong opiate-based painkillers.

This, however, may be changing. It turns out that athletes are hitting more than just balls these days — many are also hitting the bong to ease pain arising from injuries and, sometimes, to tone down their aggressiveness.

In a recent post for The Denver Post’s new all-marijuana extra, The Cannabist, Lucas Fiser, a  freelance writer for The Denver Post and a cannabis consumer, shared his experience using marijuana before an athletic event.

Fiser first tried using marijuana before a championship collegiate club soccer match in 2010. He wrote that while he was normally a very competitive player, with an impressive slew of yellow cards to prove his on-field aggression, he felt very calm during that particular game.

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Cannabis Cures Cancer, Marijuana Touted as Miracle Drug

Touted by physicians worldwide as a “miracle” drug, marijuana has proven effective in the treatment of Cancer, Crohn’s disease, decompensated cirrhosis, chronic pain, nail patella, glaucoma, HIV/Aids, anorexia, Alzheimer’s Disease, ALS, Autism, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, Hepatitis C, severe muscle spasms including Multiple Sclerosis, painful peripheral neuropathy, seizures, epilepsy, severe nausea, and cachexia.

As a diverse array of medical research studies substantiate the health benefits of medical marijuana, more and more countries and cultures are turning to cannabis to treat the escalating number of patients diagnosed with cancer: one of the most dreadful diseases known to man.

Todays headlines in The Telegraph announces Britian’s new policy to go easy on drug trafficers that are moving marijuana for medical purposes reporting, Sentencing guidelines issued today say that offenders who play a “limited” role in gangs could face community orders for intent to supply Class A drugs. Dealers caught with 6kg of cannabis, valued at £17,000 and enough to fill 30,000 joints or keep an average user in supply for 17 years, could also avoid prison. The sentences on drug “mules” will be cut substantially, while workers in small cannabis “farms” could escape custody. Courts will be told for the first time to reduce sentences for cannabis possession if it is being used for medicinal purposes.”

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The Marijuana Industry Pleads With Congress: Treat Us Like a Regular Business

The House Budget Committee isn’t the most august room in Congress, but it commands respect, what with its oil portraits of former chairmen including Leon Panetta, who went on to be Defense Secretary and CIA director.

But  it was the site on Tuesday of a briefing by the National Cannabis Industry Association, which you can think of as the pot trade group. So it’s probably not surprising that one of the questions asked of Rep. Jared Polis, a Colorado Democrat leading the fight for reform of federal marijuana laws, was how many of his colleagues smoked pot.

Five or 10, he guessed. But he noted he’d never seen any smoke. And besides, since the House is made up of so many old members, the number was bound to be small.

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Does medical marijuana equal bad parenting?

Shawnee’s voice is shrill, quavering — on the edge of desperate. She clutches her 11-month-old son while trying to comprehend the situation unfolding in front of her.

Her boyfriend — her child’s father, Aaron — is in handcuffs.

“Why are you doing this?” she pleads with police officers standing on the lawn outside her home.

“Your baby doesn’t need to be subjected to marijuana,” an officer replies, in an audio recording made by Shawnee on her cell phone.

But she could explain: The couple have legal prescriptions for the marijuana in their home. His is prescribed for anxiety and chronic pain; hers for depression and anxiety.

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