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With the economic benefits of cannabis increasingly coming into focus, many countries are considering some form of legalization. Most recently, Lebanon has announced a plan to legalize the use and cultivation of medical marijuana. The move could become an important boost to the country’s struggling economy.

Cannabis Could Lift Lebanon’s Economy

As reported by CNN, Lebanon’s decision to think about legalizing medical marijuana is largely based on economic motives. In particular, officials in the country appear to be taking seriously a recent report created by consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

In that report, McKinsey outlined a number of things Lebanon could do to increase economic activity. Growing and producing medical marijuana was one of these suggestions. The firm said that entering the global medical marijuana industry could be a key to economic growth in Lebanon.

Now, it appears that top officials in Lebanon have voiced support for such a move. In particular, House Speaker Nabih Berri has publicly said he wants to see the country legalize medical marijuana and medical marijuana cultivation.

He then went a step further. He said that the Lebanese parliament is already working on a plan to make it happen. So far, no specific details have been

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A U.K. drug policy committee has called for the legalization of medical cannabis. The Advisory Committee on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) issued what it called “short-term advice” in acknowledging that cannabis has medicinal benefits and that doctors should be able to prescribe it for their patients.

The committee also advised that cannabis should be rescheduled under the misuse of drugs legislation. It said the change would benefit patients and allow for more scientific research. Dr. Owen Bowden-Jones, the chair of the ACMD, noted in a statement that patients with some health conditions should have access to medicinal cannabis.

“The ACMD advises that clinicians in the U.K. should have the option to prescribe Cannabis-derived medicinal products that meet the requirements for medicinal standards to patients with certain medical conditions,” Bowden-Jones said.

“It is important that clinicians, patients, and their families are confident that any prescribed medication is both safe and effective,”  Bowden-Jones added.

The committee chair also said that standards for medical cannabis therapies and protocols for their use should be established by the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC).

“The ACMD recommends that an appropriate definition be agreed by DHSC and Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Authority (MHRA)

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Oregon garnered $9 million in marijuana taxes in May.

According to the state’s Department of Revenue, Oregon garnered $8,868,932 in marijuana sales taxes in May.  Only one time in the state’s history has more marijuana tax revenue been garnered in a single month (January of this year with $9.3 million).

Of the $9 million in taxes garnered in May, $7.8 million came from a 17% statewide sales tax, with the remaining $1.2 million coming from citywide taxes (which under law can be as high as 3%).

Oregon is currently on tract to garner roughly $100 million in marijuana taxes for all of 2018. This would mark a 47% increase from the $68 million in taxes the state brought in from legal marijuana sales in 2017.

In Oregon the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana is legal for those 21 and older, thanks to a citizen’s initiative passed in 2014. The state has a licenses and regulated system of marijuana businesses, including retail outlets.

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Jersey City, New Jersey is decriminalizing the use and possession of marijuana with a new policy for prosecutors that begins today. Mayor Steven Fulop said in a statement that the change will serve to redress injustices of the War on Drugs.

“The fact is, marijuana arrests and prosecutions in New Jersey, and around the nation, point to severe inequalities that negatively impact people of color disproportionately, and lead to long-term economic challenges for anyone who finds themselves prosecuted for possession,” Fulop said.

“We are working to correct this with our new policy in a proactive way, and I am proud that we will be the first in the state to do so,” he added.

New Policy Begins Today

Under the plan adopted by the city, municipal prosecutors will be encouraged to seek a non-criminal disposition for several low-level cannabis offenses. The policy was spearheaded by Fulop and new chief municipal prosecutor Jake Hudnut, who took over the position on July 2.

Hudnut, a former criminal defense attorney, ran an unsuccessful bid for a city council seat last year. During that campaign, he made the racial injustice of drug enforcement policy an issue in the race. The prosecutor repeated that theme on

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Let’s be clear from the outset. Canada has a reputation for consuming lots of cannabis. Tons of cannabis. More than 700 metric tons of cannabis by one count. As much as US$4.8 billion by another. It’s an impressive feat, one befitting the second nation on Earth to fully legalize the drug. But if you needed more data to prove it, let a survey of the smoking habits of Toronto residents paint a picture. There are all kinds of ways of visualizing just how much weed a city burns through in a year. But picturing it as a stack of joints reaching 3,720,750 feet into the sky is perhaps one of the more astonishing ways of doing it.

Survey Finds Toronto’s Smoking Habits Reach Impossible Heights

Canada is a large country, and of course, cannabis use is higher in its provinces’ large urban centers. But even in individual cities, cannabis use varies significantly across different locales and demographics.

The better gain a sense of the topography of cannabis consumption in Toronto, Environics Analytics conducted a survey of just under 5,000 city residents.

Environics specializes in analyzing how consumers use and perceive cannabis. They drill down into how those factors vary at

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Cannabis may be a potential treatment option for those with sickle cell disease, according to a new study published on the website of the National Institute of Health.

(Photo: KidsHealth.org).

“Legal access to marijuana, most frequently as “medical marijuana,” is becoming more common in the United States, but most states do not specify sickle cell disease as a qualifying condition”, states the study. “We were aware that some of our patients living with sickle cell disease used illicit marijuana, and we sought more information about this.” Sickle cell disease, according to Mayo Clinic, is “A group of disorders that cause red blood cells to become misshapen and break down.”

For the study, researchers “practice at an urban, academic medical center and provide primary, secondary, and tertiary care for ∼130 adults living with sickle cell disease. We surveyed our patients with a brief, anonymous, paper-and-pen instrument.” They “reviewed institutional records for clinically driven urine drug testing” and “tracked patient requests for certification for medical marijuana.”

Among 58 patients surveyed, 42% reported marijuana use within the past 2 years. Among users, “most endorsed five medicinal indications; a minority reported recreational use.” Among 57 patients who had at least one urine drug test,

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Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter sent out a press release today stating that the Board of Health’s recent ban on smoking medical marijuana is beyond their authority.

Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter.

“The current rules contain provisions that are inconsistent with the plain language of State Question 788 and the State Board of Health acted outside of its authority when it voted to implement them,” Hunter said in a Wednesday press release, referencing the Board’s recent vote to alter the voter-approved initiative to ban smoking medical marijuana despite the initiative clearly allowing  it.

“Although I didn’t support State Question 788, the people of the state have spoken and I have a legal duty to honor the decision made by the electorate”, says Hunter. “My advice today is made pursuant to that responsibility as attorney general.”

Hunter has called on the Board of Health to immediately convene a special meeting in order to amend the rules to be in line with the will of State Question 788.

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An Argentine airport was evacuated Tuesday after a suspected explosive device was discovered at the facility. But when the bomb squad arrived to investigate the object, they determined that it was actually a cannabis grinder designed to resemble a hand grenade. The incident occurred at the Astor Piazzolla airport in Mar del Plata, a seaside city about 250 miles southeast of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires.

Alehandro Itzcovich, the chief of national airport security in Argentina, told local media that he believed that the pot grinder had been left at the airport by a departing passenger.

“Someone must have discarded the artifact before boarding on a plane,” Itzcovich said.

He added that airport security officials had “confirmed that it was not an explosive and we’re now trying to determine who the owner of this object is.”

Photographs of the event show a security officer in a bomb protection suit holding the hand grenade-shaped weed grinder. Nearby, additional security officers can be seen watching the bomb squad officer and smiling.

Officials said several flights in and out of Mar del Plata were delayed by the airport evacuation.

It’s Not the First Time

The incident in Argentina is not the first time a

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An Arizona appeals court has ruled that cannabis extracts are not protected under the state’s medical marijuana act. The ruling stems from the case of Rodney Jones, a registered medical marijuana patient who was arrested in 2013 for possessing hashish.

The court in Jones’ original trial found that the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA), passed by voters in 2010 does not protect cannabis extracts including hash or hash oil. Jones was convicted and sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. The Arizona Court of Appeals affirmed the conviction in a 2-1 decision late last month.

In the majority opinion, Judge Jon W. Thompson ruled that because hashish is illegal under criminal law and the AMMA does not specifically legalize the extract, Jones’ conviction should stand.

“AMMA is silent as to hashish,” Thompson wrote. “Prior understanding of the pertinent words strongly indicates that AMMA in no way immunizes the possession or use of hashish. That AMMA immunizes medical use of a mixture or preparation of the marijuana plant does not immunize hashish.”

Cannabis Industry Concerned

The appeals court ruling has left many in the Arizona cannabis industry concerned. Medical marijuana dispensaries in the state sell numerous products, including vape cartridges and edibles, that are made from hash

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In weed-legal Colorado, the family of a worker who died on the job will get just half of his workers’ compensation benefits because a postmortem toxicology report found THC in the man’s blood.

Workers Who Smoke Weed Legally Can Still Have Benefits Denied

In December 2017, Adam Lee died after being crushed by a ski escalator while working at the Loveland Ski Area.

Lee worked as an electrician at the ski park, and he was trying to fix a malfunctioning ski escalator called the “Magic Carpet” when he died.

In an exclusive interview with Contact7, Lee’s wife Erika described how Adam got caught in the belt of the escalator. Unaware of what was happening when the escalator stalled, other workers kept starting it again, crushing Adam seven more times.

After his death, a toxicology report turned up what reports call a “high level” of marijuana. Lee had been a cannabis consumer; something that’s totally legal in Colorado.

Crucially, however, the toxicology report is unable to determine whether Lee was under the influence of cannabis when he died.

Still, using a state law, Lee’s employer cut his worker’s comp benefits by 50 percent. Now Erika and her family will have to

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