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Cannabis News Roundup: February 15, 2013

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(ASA) // The US House of Representatives was presented with updated legislation yesterday calling for cannabis to be reclassified for medical use. US RepresentativeSam Farr, from California’s Central Coast, is a lead sponsor. The bill is substantially the same as one previously introduced by recently retired US Representative Barney Frank of Massachusetts.

(Sen. Ron Wyden) // Over in the US Senate, The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013 is now on the table.The bill, with sponsors from Oregon and Kentucky, would remove hemp from the Schedule I controlled substance list.

        Read our comparisons of the differences between marijuana/cannabis and hemp near the end of this week’s roundup.

(East Bay Express) // Last week we reported that the State Supreme Court heard oral arguments concerning whether cities can enact total bans on cannabis dispensaries. Their decision is expected late this spring. About 200 California communities currently have bans. This article speculates on what might happen statewide if the bans are upheld.

(SFGate) // And a judge has ruled that the City of Oaklandhas no business challenging the US Attorney’s efforts to evict Harborside Health Center for illicit drug sales, because they are not directly involved in the outcome.

(Oregon Live) // Cannabis is the only sure-fire treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, according to testimony concerning an Oregon bill that would add PTSD as a qualifying medical condition under the new medical cannabis law.

(Denver Post) // Two-thirds of voters in Denver voted in favor of recreational use of cannabis back in November, but the City Council may vote to opt out of licensing dispensaries.

(Daily Camera) // Also in Colorado, U.S. Representative Jared Polis of Boulder is a big supporter of the state’s new marijuana industry, but not because of personal preferences. “I like realty too much,” he says.

(AZfamily) // Don’t drink and drive. Don’t smoke and drive. And an appeals court in Arizona now says don’t even drive weeks after ingesting cannabis, because of a compound that can be detected in the blood.

(CBS News) // If someone wants to experience the effects of cannabis without the threat of arrest, they might try various synthetic products. They’re legal, and potent, but a report out yesterday points towards kidney damage in users


(Macleans)  Gil Kerlikowske, director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, tells this Canadian magazine that drug legalization is not a good thing, but adds, “I don’t think locking everyone up a good thing either.”

(Wall St. Jrln. & SFGate) // OK, here’s this week’s language review: “marijuana” and “cannabis” refer to the same plant. “Hemp,” while closely related, is a different plant. This is apparent when looking at the two: the hemp plant is tall and ropey, with big leaves; the cannabis plant, when properly tended, is compact with resin-covered flower buds.  Growers of one don’t like to have the other one growing nearby. And a headache is the most likely head rush you’ll get if you smoke hemp.

Hemp was legally grown in the US until about 60 years ago. Products currently sold in the US made with hemp exceed $300 million annually. The raw product for these items has to be imported, because hemp is regulated in the same way as cannabis. This is ridiculous, according to one industry advocate who favors the kind of regulatory  change contained in the Industrial Hemp Farming Act (this week’s top story).  



(Smell the Truth) // Cannabis legalization: It’s not just for men. The issue has been male-dominated, but not anymore.  Here are profiles of some of the movement’s female activists.