Cannabis News Roundup: How big is a joint?

Jul 15, 2016

AUMA receives mixed support and opposition ... Old prison sold to cannabis oil extractor ... THC helps with Alzheimer’s ... Can pot save Amoeba? ... and more. 

LEGALIZATION & LEGISLATION

California District Attorneys all say no // Sacramento Bee

“The California District Attorneys Association’s board of directors, by a unanimous vote, has moved to formalize their well-known distaste for legitimizing [marijuana]. They join the California Police Chiefs Association as major law enforcement opponents of legalization.”

Senator Feinstein comes out against AUMA // SacBee

“I am not really for recreational use of marijuana,” the U.S. Senator says. “Medical use, yes.” [Editor’s note: See related story in Health, below.]

Marijuana growers unsure of AUMA // Press Democrat

A survey of members of the California Growers Association (CGA) shows “147 members opposed to Proposition 64, 148 in favor and 179 undecided.

“About as divided as you can get,” says the group’s director. [Editor’s note: See additional CGA story in Business, below.]

Will dispensary license save Amoeba Records? // East Bay Express

The record retailer is “the strongest contender” for a new dispensary permit in Berkeley, insiders say.

ELECTION

Pathway to legalization” endorsed by Democrats // Washington Post

“ The Democratic Party endorsed ‘a reasoned pathway to future legalization’ of marijuana and called for the drug to be downgraded in the Controlled Substances Act, in a tense and unexpected victory for supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders.”

BUSINESS

Statewide water regulations for growers // KQED Science

“[W]e’re long overdue to acknowledge what are becoming increasingly overwhelming impacts of marijuana on the landscape,” The Nature Conservancy says. The water policy had input from the California Growers Association, whose members generally endorse the move.

Shuttered prison sold to marijuana oil extractor // Fresno Bee

The sale allows Coalinga, California to pay off its debts, with a little left over.

HEALTH

Alzheimer-causing proteins reduced with THC // Salk Institute

“Salk Institute scientists have found preliminary evidence that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and other compounds found in marijuana can promote the cellular removal of amyloid beta, a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease.” No clinical trials have been conducted.

Feinstein calls for expedited evaluation of CBD // JAMA

“Senator Chuck Grassley (R, Iowa) and Sen Dianne Feinstein (D, Calif) have asked Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell for the Department of Justice and HHS to work together to remove barriers to the scientific and medical evaluation of cannabidiol (CBD), an active ingredient of marijuana.”

“Dramatic increase” in THC-positive Colorado newborns // CBS Denver

Is that good or bad? No one is sure, so state and other agencies are advising pregnant women to refrain from using cannabis. “It’s not worth taking the risk,” says the head of the state health department.

OPINION

Congress makes dispensaries potential crime magnets

“The Senate recently approved legislation to protect banks against repercussions if they do business with marijuana dispensaries, but a Republican-controlled committee blocked a similar amendment in the House.” The result: Dispensaries remain cash businesses with no place to stash all that cash.

Vaping bans don’t reflect reality // Orange County Register

A British study finds young users of e-cigarettes view “smoking in very negative terms and saw vaping as being entirely different to smoking’,” meaning vaporized inhalers are not seen as gateway devices.

IT’S A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE, SO KEEP IT UNDER CONTROL….

Researchers know the size of a joint // Washington Post

“The amount of weed in the typical joint is actually an important quantity for researchers and policymakers to know. ... If you want to know how much weed people are consuming — which is highly important for things such as tax projections and public health studies — you need to know how much weed is in those joints.”

IN OTHER NEWS….

NORML executive director resigns // Marijuanapolitics

Allen St. Pierre, head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws since 1997, has resigned, in part to spend more time with his family, and to search for employment with “health insurance and raises.”

Cannabis use is as old as civilization itself // New Scientist

“Some of the most recent studies included in the database suggest that the herb entered the archaeological record of Japan and Eastern Europe at almost exactly the same time, between about 11,500 and 10,200 years ago.

“The cannabis plant seems to have been distributed widely from as early as 10,000 years ago, or even earlier,” says one of the archeologists.

What was AUMA is now Prop 64

[Editor’s note: Now that the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA) has qualified on the ballot as Proposition 64, I’ll start using that name next week.]

[New content is generally posted on Friday.]