Month: January 2015

New Study Finds Cannabis May Reduce Damage Caused by Infant Brain Hemorrhages

A the journal Brain Research, and published online by the National Institute of Health, has found that cannabis may reduce damage caused by germinal matrix hemorrhages (GMH), which is “one of the most common and devastating cerebrovascular events that affect premature infants, resulting in a significant socioeconomic burden”, according to the study’s researchers.

Despite its large impact on society, researchers note that; “GMH has been largely unpreventable, and clinical treatments are mostly inadequate. In the present study, we tested the hypothesis that JWH133, a selective CB2 receptor agonist [meant to mimic the effects of cannabis] could attenuate brain injury and neurological deficits in a clostridial collagenase VII induced GMH model in seven-day-old (P7) S-D rat pups.”

Researchers found that when administrated an hour after a brain hemorrhage, the CB2 receptor agonist “significantly attenuated brain edema at 24h post-GMH, which was reversed by a selective CB2R antagonist, SR144528 (3mg/kg, intraperitoneal injection). Long-term brain morphology and neurofunctional outcomes were also improved.”

The study concludes; “This current study suggests a potential clinical utility for CB2R agonists as a potential therapy to reduce neurological injury and improve patient outcomes after GMH.”

The study can be found by clicking here.

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Cannabis Decriminalization Bill Filed in New Hampshire

A proposal to decriminalize the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis, and to defelonize the private cultivation of up to six cannabis plants, has been filed in New Hampshire and has been assigned to the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee.

If approved into law, House Bill 618 would make the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis a simple $100 ticket rather than a misdemeanor, and would reduce the penalty for cultivating up to six cannabis plants from a felony, to a misdemeanor.

A similar proposal was approved by the full House of Representatives last year with a 215 to 92 vote, though the measure never received a vote in the Senate.

According to polling released in October, 78% of New Hampshire adults favor decriminalizing cannabis.

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New York City Cannabis Arrests Drop 75%

Cannabis arrests in New York City are down over 75% in December compared to the same time last year. In total there were 460 cannabis arrests last month, compared to 1,820 in December, 2013. The arrest are down due to a change in the way the city handles minor cannabis possession cases, which was announced by Mayor Bill de Blasio in November.

“Since the inception of our policy in 2014, marijuana enforcement activity is trending down in all categories”, Deputy Chief Kim Royster told the Associated Press.

The new policy has police ticketing individuals if they’re found in possession of up to 25 grams of cannabis – even in public display – rather than arresting them and charging them with a misdemeanor. Consuming cannabis in public, however, remains an arrestable offense.

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Proposal to Decriminalize Cannabis Filed in New Mexico

By Drug Policy Alliance

Senate Bill 383 would reduce the penalty structure for possession of up to 4 ounces to a civil penalty with increasing fines while taking away the potential for jail time for any amount up to 8 ounces.

SANTA FE, NM — New Mexico State Senator Joseph Cervantes (D-Dona Ana County) has introduced a bill to reduce penalties for adults who possess small amounts of marijuana.

The proposed legislation, Senate Bill 383, would reduce the penalty structure for possession of up to 4 ounces to a civil penalty with increasing fines while taking away the potential for jail time for any amount up to 8 ounces.

Penalties would be determined based on the quantity of marijuana in possession, and if the offender had been previously cited for marijuana possession:

  • One ounce or less, first offense: civil violation, $50
  • One ounce or less, subsequent offense: petty misdemeanor, $100 fine
  • 1 to 4 ounces, first offense: civil violation, $100 fine
  • 1 to 4 ounces, subsequent offense: petty misdemeanor, $200 fine
  • 4 to 8 ounces: misdemeanor, $300 fine
  • Over 8 ounces: fourth degree felony, up to 1.5 years incarceration and $5,000 fine

Currently, in New Mexico, possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana is a petty misdemeanor crime with fines and possible jail time; over 1 ounce and up to 8 ounces of marijuana is a misdemeanor crime with large fines or possible jail time of up to 1 year.

Similar legislation passed the House of Representatives in 2013 with bi-partisan support, although the Senate failed to act on the bill before lawmakers adjourned for the year.

“I am troubled by the millions of taxpayer dollars that are spent every year on processing thousands of low level marijuana misdemeanor offenders — dollars that might be better spent by hard-pressed law enforcement agencies on more pressing public safety needs,” stated Emily Kaltenbach, the New Mexico State Director of the Drug Policy Alliance. “If ever there was a bill that advanced the smart on crime agenda, this is it.”

New Mexicans agree it is time to change the way we are policing marijuana in the state. In November, voters in Santa Fe County and Bernalillo County voiced overwhelming support for marijuana decriminalization; Bernalillo County voting 60% and Santa Fe County voting 73% in favor of statewide decriminalization. The state’s first vote on marijuana policy was not merely local; more than 40% of state voters weighed in and a clear majority of those casting ballots sent the message that voters are ready to end criminal penalties for marijuana possession. A 2013 poll by Sanderoff showed 57% of New Mexicans in favor of decriminalization.

“Having to expend scarce police resources pursuing and arresting non-violent adults for possessing small amounts of marijuana threatens our public’s safety,” stated Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) Executive Director Neill Franklin. “When our police officers are on duty they should have access to the resources they need in order to deal with serious violent crime and to keep our communities safe.”

Limited resources like investigative time, crime lab analysts and jail and prison beds are needed for pedophiles, rapists and murderers.”

To date, eighteen states and the District of Columbia have reduced penalties for marijuana possession. As of today, over 120 million people, or 1/3 of the U.S. population, live in jurisdictions where marijuana has been essentially decriminalized – meaning there is no jail time associated with possession.

The city of Santa Fe decriminalized small amounts of marijuana in 2014.

The full text of Senate Bill 383 can be found here.

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