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Illinois Legislature Passes Bill Allowing Students to Use Medical Marijuana at School

In an overwhelming 149 to 3 vote, Illinois’ full legislature has passed a bill to allow students who are medical marijuana patients to use their medicine on school premises.

House Bill 4870, filed by Representative Louis Lang along with nine other lawmakers, is known as Ashley’s Law. Named after Ashley Surin, a 12-year-old who uses medical marijuana to treat the epilepsy she developed during chemotherapy, passed the Senate Thursday by a vote of 50 to 2. This comes roughly a month after the bill was passed by the House of Representatives 99 to 1.

Having passed both chambers of the state’s legislature, House Bill 4870 will now be sent to Governor Bruce Rauner for consideration. The proposed law amends the School Code to require “a school district, public school, charter school, or nonpublic school to authorize a parent or guardian of a student who is a qualifying patient to administer a medical cannabis infused product to the student on school premises or a school bus if both the student (as a qualifying patient) and the parent or guardian (as a designated caregiver) have been issued registry identification cards under the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act.”

The measure “Provides that a parent or guardian may not administer a medical cannabis infused product if the administration would create disruption to the school’s educational environment or would cause exposure of the product to other students”, and “Provides that nothing in the provision requires a member of the school’s staff to administer a medical cannabis infused product to a student.”

An amendment passed by the House states:

Provides that the provision may be referred to as Ashley’s Law. Defines terms. Provides that, in addition to the parent or guardian of a student who is a registered qualifying patient, an individual registered with the Department of Public Health as a designated caregiver may administer a medical cannabis infused product to that student. Makes conforming changes. Provides that a parent or guardian or other individual may not administer a medical cannabis infused product in a manner that, in the opinion of the school district or school, would create a disruption to the school’s educational environment or would cause exposure of the product to other students (rather than prohibiting any administration that would create a disruption or cause exposure). Makes other changes concerning restrictions.

The full text of the measure, which would take effect immediately after being signed by Governor Rauner (or allowed to become law without his signature), can be found by clicking here.

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Marijuana Legalization Bill Passed by Northern Mariana Islands Legislature, Sent to Governor

The Northern Mariana Islands Legislature has passed legislation to legalize marijuana, sending it to Governor Ralph Torres for consideration.

The U.S. territory’s Senate passed the measure Tuesday, which was followed quickly by its passage in the House of Representatives the following day. Governor Torres now has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without a signature, or vetoing it.

If the measure does become law, those 21 and older would be allowed to legally possess, use and cultivate marijuana for personal use. A licensed and regulated system of marijuana stores would be authorized to sell the plant.

According to an over 500-page report released by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Government and Law, “[T]he absence of marijuana regulations in the Commonwealth allows the existing marijuana black market operators to target persons under 21 years of age with total disregard to the safety, health and wellbeing of the youth in the Commonwealth”.

The Northern Mariana Islands, a U.S. territory, has a population of approximately 55,000.

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Ohio Ballot Board Certifies Initiative to Legalize Marijuana for Those 21+

The Ohio Ballot Board has officially certified the Marijuana Rights and Regulations Act, giving proponents the go-ahead to begin collecting signatures.

The Ballot Board’s approval of the initiative comes roughly a week after Attorney General Mike DeWine certified the initiative’s language as being “fair and truthful”. Advocates of the measure must now collect 305,591 signatures from registered Ohio voters in order to put it to a vote of the people. If the signatures are collected by July 4 of this year (unlikely), the initiative will be voted on this November. If they are collected prior to July, 2019, it will be placed on the November, 2019 general election ballot.

If placed on either ballot and voted into law, the possession, use and cultivation of marijuana for personal use would become legal for those 21 and older, without the state’s medical marijuana law being effected. The intiaitve establishes a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets, allowed to sell marijuana and marijuana products.

A legalization initiative was rejected by Ohio voters in 2015, but largely because of initiative’s badly written language (such as establishing a monopoly on marijuana businesses among those who donated to the effort), and not because they don’t support ending marijuana prohibition.

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Study: THC May Safely and Effectively Treat Anorexia Nervosa Symptoms

THC may be a safe and effective treatment for the psychological symptoms of anorexia nervosa, according to a new study published by The Israeli Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences.

For the study, researchers at Hebrew University and the Eating Disorders Institution at the University of Haifa “evaluated the effect of low doses of oral Δ9-THC on self-reported symptoms of patients suffering from chronic anorexia nervosa (AN).”

Nine female subjects over 18 years of age participated in the study. “Six were diagnosed according to DSM-IV criteria with AN restrictive type and three with active AN binge-purge type.” Their mean age was 45.0±3.2 years and their BMI was 16.1±1.6 kg/M2. They completed questionnaires before and after treatment with Δ9-THC (1 mg/day for one week and 2 mg/day for three weeks). “The primary outcome was improvement in the way patients perceived their eating behavior.”

According to researchers, “Significant improvements were found in self reported body care, sense of ineffectiveness, asceticism and depression. There were no significant changes in BMI.”

“The present study is the first to show improvement in the psychological symptoms of patient with AN (anorexia nervosa) when treated with delta-9-THC, without side effects,” the study concludes. “These encouraging results on a group of chronic AN patients suggest that low doses of delta-9-THC should be further studied as an adjunct to the treatment of patients with AN.”

The study’s abstract concludes by stating “Δ9-THC may be an effective component in treating the psychological symptoms of AN.”

You can find more information on this study, including a link to its full text, by clicking here.

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Louisiana Legislature Passes Proposals to Add Six New Medical Marijuana Conditions

Louisiana’s full legislature has passed legislation that would add five new conditions to the state’s medical marijuana program. They also passed separate legislation to allow medical marijuana for those with autism.

Louisiana’s legislature has given final approval to both House Bill 579, and House Bill 627. The former would add glaucoma, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Parkinson’s disease to the state’s list of qualifying medical marijuana conditions. The latter proposal would add autism spectrum disorders to the list.

House Bill 579, filed by Representative Edward James, was passed by the House of Representatives 60 to 40, and by the Senate 25 to 9. House Bill 627, filed by Representative Rodney Lyons, passed the House 71 to 21, and the Senate 21 to 10.

Both bills now go to Governor John Bel Edwards for consideration. Edwards has the option of signing them into law, allowing them to become law without his signature, or vetoing them. A veto could be overridden by a 2/3rds vote by the legislature.

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