Cannabis News Roundup: July 19m 2013

Jul 19, 2013

Help for dispensaries banking troubles?… Raise a pint of Joint Effort… Anti-doping rules de-emphasize cannabis… Legalization does not increase use by youth… and more!


GovTrack // An all-cash business is fine if you’re selling lemonade off of a card table, but it’s a major inconvenience for cannabis dispensaries. Yet, that’s the way it is, since most credit card companies won’t work with them and banks want to avoid frequent large cash deposits. Twenty members of the House of Representatives have signed on to introduce the Marijuana Business Access to Banking Act of 2013 in an effort to correct this. Here’s the text of the bill, introduced last week.

Congressman Huffman // “Throughout my district and increasingly throughout the United States, we’re seeing trespass marijuana grows threatening endangered wildlife, contaminating fragile salmon streams, and making forests unsafe for working and recreation,” says “Emerald Triangle” Congressman Jared Huffman. Yesterday he introduced legislation that would add environmental damage caused by such operations to any existing charges. Find details here.

SFGate // It’s too soon to regulate or ban e-cigarettes, according to an editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle last week; they don’t contain tobacco, so they shouldn’t be treated in the same way. The comments are in response to State Senate Majority Leader Ellen Corbett’s proposed ban of the products, SB 648. Now Cal NORML has joined the opposition, citing scientific evidence that vaporizers used for cannabis are safer than other methods.


ASA // Science is also being called on in an effort to challenge marijuana’s federal status as a Schedule I drug. Advocacy group Americans for Safe Access (ASA) cites over 200 peer-reviewed studies showing medical benefits in the petition, which was filed Monday. // Noting that NSA snooping could have “a chilling effect because many of our members have knowledge of activities that are illegal under federal law,” the California chapter of NORML has added its name to a broad coalition of organizations suing the National Security Agency over phone surveillance.


The Full Pint // In celebration of the legalization of cannabis in Washington, Redhook Brewery of Seattle announces a partnership with Hilliard’s Beer to produce a beer using hemp seeds, which are said to provide a “nutty earthiness.” They’re calling it Joint Effort.


USA Today // The World Anti-Doping Agency – the folks who check athletes for use of illegal substances - recently changed their rules concerning cannabis. Now athletes have to have 150 ng/ml in their bloodstream to test positive, providing there’s no sign of using it on game day.


ABC News-“20/20 // These Beverly Hills mothers find that cannabis, used responsibly, is much healthier than prescription drugs. And their children agree.

East Bay Express // “Just say no” is probably the best-known anti-drug campaign, but a close second is the “This is your brain on drugs” PSA, from 1987. The Partnership for a Drug Free America, which produced this frequently parodied spot, now says, "It's clear that society's views on marijuana are evolving dramatically.” That view is based on their recently completed survey, which you’ll find here, along with more on the story.

Youth Today // A major theme of the Partnership (see item above) is discouraging teens and children from using drugs and alcohol. Many people assume that legalization will cause more young people to try it. But this eight-year study shows that legal medical cannabis programs do not increase use by adolescents.

Drug Policy Alliance // Over 2.7 million children live in homes with at least one parent behind bars. Two-thirds of those parents were arrested for non-violent crimes, largely drug-related.


Guardian // Want to brush up on cannabis history? This British paper offers a summary.

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