Author: Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director

Breaking: Rhode Island General Assembly Overwhelmingly Backs Marijuana Decriminalization Measures

By a vote of more than 2 to 1, members of the Rhode Island General Assembly today approved legislation to significantly reduce the state’s criminal marijuana possession penalties. Members of the House and Senate passed twin bills, House Bill 7092 and Senate Bill 2253, which amend state law so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an individual 18 years or older is reduced from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by one year in jail and a $500 maximum fine) to a non-arrestable civil offense — punishable […]

Connecticut Becomes The 17th State To Allow For The Limited Legalization Of Marijuana As Medicine

Democrat Gov. Dan Malloy signed legislation into law on Friday, June 1, allowing for the state-sanctioned production, distribution, and use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The new law – Public Act 12-55, An Act Concerning the Palliative Use of Marijuana – will take effect on October 1, 2012. “For years, we’ve heard from so many patients with chronic diseases who undergo treatments like chemotherapy or radiation and are denied the palliative benefits that medical marijuana would provide,” Governor Malloy said in a prepared statement. (Read it here.) “With careful regulation […]

Rhode Island: Lawmakers Moving Forward With Marijuana Decriminalization Measures

On Tuesday, separate legislative committees in the Rhode Island House and Senate approved measures to significantly reduce the state’s criminal marijuana possession penalties. House Bill 7092 and its companion legislation, Senate Bill 2253, amend state law so that the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana by an individual 18 or older is reduced from a criminal misdemeanor (punishable by one year in jail and a $500 maximum fine) to a non-arrestable civil offense, punishable by a $150 fine, no jail time, and no criminal record. You can read […]

Study: Cannabis Use Associated With Lower Mortality Risk In Patients With Psychotic Disorders

[Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.] The use of cannabis is associated with lower mortality risk in patients with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders, according to a forthcoming study to be published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research. (Read the abstract of the study online here.) An international team of investigators from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and Inje University in South Korea assessed […]

Rhode Island: Governor Signs Legislation Authorizing State-Licensed Medical Marijuana ‘Compassion Centers’

Governor Lincoln Chafee signed legislation into law this week authorizing the creation of state-licensed ‘compassion centers’ to engage in the production and distribution of cannabis for authorized patients. It is the second time since 2009 that state lawmakers have approved legislation allowing for the state regulation of medical marijuana facilities. Under the new law, Senate Bill 2555, health regulators will license three not-for-profit entities, known as ‘compassion centers,’ to operate within the state. Compassion centers will not be allowed to cultivate more than 150 cannabis plants on the premises at […]

Study: Non-Psychotropic Plant Cannabinoids Counteract Prostate Cancer Growth

[Editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s news alerts and legislative advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up here.] The administration of non-psychotropic plant cannabinoids, in particular cannabidiol (CBD), inhibit proliferation and selectively trigger cell suicide of prostate carcinoma, according to preclinical data to be published in the British Journal of Pharmacology. (Read the study abstract online here.) An international team of investigators from Italy and the United Kingdom assessed the anti-cancer properties of various non-psychoactive synthetic and botanical […]

Breaking: Bill To Decriminalize Marijuana Possession Moves Forward In New Jersey

[Update: The full Assembly is now scheduled to vote on A. 1465 this THURSDAY, MAY 24. For the first time in many years, there is now political momentum in New Jersey to mitigate marijuana possession penalties. If you reside in New Jersey, your member of the Assembly needs to hear from you NOW. Contact your state lawmakers via NORML’s ‘Take Action Center’ here.] Members of the state Assembly Judiciary Committee voted unanimously today in favor of Assembly Bill 1465, bi-partisan legislation which reduces criminal penalties for those who possess personal […]

Breaking: Clinical Trial Data Yet Again Affirms Cannabis’ Efficacy

Is it any wonder that the US government fights tooth-and-nail to hinder researchers’ attempts to conduct clinical trials assessing the therapeutic utility of cannabis as a medicine? After all, each and every time the federal government begrudgingly allows for such studies they’re faced with credibility-shattering results like this: Marijuana relieves muscles tightness, pain of multiple sclerosis: Study via the Toronto Star Smoking marijuana can relieve muscle tightness, spasticity (contractions) and pain often experienced by those with multiple sclerosis, says research out of the University of California, San Diego School of […]

Time: What Is President Obama’s Problem With Medical Marijuana?

Michael Sherer at Time Magazine has posted online today a particularly astute examination of the Obama administration’s flip-flop on marijuana policy. Below are some key excerpts. Michael’s full article appears in the newsstand edition of Time. What Is President Obama’s Problem With Medical Marijuana? via Time.com [T]he Obama Administration is cracking down on medical marijuana dispensaries and growers just as harshly as the Administration of George W. Bush did. In 2011, the Department of Justice revised its guidance to U.S. Attorneys, allowing them to target any medical marijuana activity except […]

Latest White House Drug Strategy Report Affirms Our Government Has Virtually No Interest In Actually Studying Marijuana

The White House yesterday, with little fanfare, issued its annual (and long overdue) 2011 National Drug Control Strategy report.
As usual, the White House’s official justification for the ongoing multigenerational drug war was light on facts and heavy on rhetoric, particularly as it pertained to the federal government’s fixation with criminalizing cannabis. Here are just […]