Continued Calls Worldwide For Reform On Marijuana Legislation

There are currently five marijuana legalization efforts underway in the state of Ohio alone; four by ballot measure to amend the state’s constitution and one as proposed legislation in the House of Representatives. In Idaho, the Senate has recently approved a bill that eases the way for use of medical cannabis oil by seizure patients. This bill is currently before the House. In the United States alone, calls for reform to laws prohibiting marijuana any under circumstances have been sweeping city governments.

The reason for this movement, it seems, is clear for anyone following recent developments in this area. Just look at Addyson Benton of Ohio, who was diagnosed with myoclonic epilepsy at nine months old and has up to 1,000 seizures a day.

Epilepsy: When Addyson (pictured here with her mom, Heather Benton) was diagnosed she was having up to 1,000 seizures per day

Epilepsy: When Addyson (pictured here with her mom, Heather Benton) was diagnosed she was having up to 1,000 seizures per day

Her family has decided to move 1,200 miles to Colorado in hopes of getting treatment in the form of medical marijuana. And though she’s tried at least ten anti-seizure drugs, nothing seems to reduce her symptoms. Her parents, Heather and Adam Benton, researched a form of non-psychoactive medical marijuana, known as cannabidiol, and decided it’s in Addyson’s best interest to give the drug a try.

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The Fight For Medical Marijuana Continues

As the debate continues over medical marijuana around the country, yet another state senator has filed legislation in favor of legalizing marijuana. Sen. Curt Thompson (D-Tucker) filed the bill, along with a constitutional amendment, that would legalize marijuana for recreational use in Georgia. This would also allow retailers to sell no more than 2 ounces of marijuana Read more about The Fight For Medical Marijuana Continues[…]

Medical Marijuana and CBD Finds Overwhelming Support In Votes Across The Nation

Virginia House of Delegates

Virginia’s House of Delegates voted on a long-shot medical marijuana bill that would help families suffering from severe forms of epilepsy access CBD oil.

This week in Richmond, Virginia, parents joined together hopeful for a positive outcome for their epileptic children. Virginia’s House of Delegates voted on a long-shot medical marijuana bill that would help families suffering from severe forms of epilepsy access CBD oil.

The votes came in 98 to 0 support for this bill, with the only two delegates opposing the bill choosing to abstain rather than vote against it.

The overwhelming passage stunned Elder and other parents who never expected to succeed in Richmond’s highly conservative lower chamber on their first try. The vote might be seen as a turning point for Virginia, which has staunchly opposed loosening marijuana laws as neighboring Maryland and the District of Columbia have eased theirs.

Similar bills have begun sweeping through legislatures, surprisingly in many of the more conservative states, after an August 2013 CNN documentary “Weed” that showed the plight of a family seeking the oil for their daughter’s seizures, said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. About a dozen states have passed laws allowing use of cbd oil in the past 18 months, including Alabama, Utah, and Mississippi.

In Oklahoma, State lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday that would allow children with epilepsy to use cannabis oil that contains less than 0.3% THC. […]

Texas Legislation Falls Short In Push For CBD

As another week passes in the push for access to cannabidiol, yet another study is published on its therapeutic worth. In the latest fall issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists at the University at Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions (RIA) found that components of marijuana, primarily cannabidiol, may be useful in reducing depression that results from chronic stress.

In the animal models we studied, we saw that chronic stress reduced the production of endocannabinoids, leading to depression-like behavior,” RIA senior research scientist Samir Haj-Dahmane said in a statement.

Endocannabinoids are naturally produced chemical compounds in the brain that affect motor control, cognition, emotions, and behavior. As the name suggests, they are similar to the chemicals found in marijuana (Cannabis sativa) and its active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

“Chronic stress is one of the major causes of depression,” Haj-Dahmane said. “Using compounds derived from cannabis — marijuana — to restore normal endocannabinoid function could potentially help stabilize moods and ease depression.”
The next step in the research is to see if using a marijuana extract, cannabidiol (CBD), restores normal behaviors in the animals without leading to dependence on the drug.

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Hemp On The Move Around The Globe

r0_0_1000_562_w1200_h678_fmaxThe recently introduced “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2015” has found support on both sides of the political aisle in the United States. This Act would effectively remove federal restrictions on the cultivation of industrial hemp, the non-drug oil, seed, and fiber varieties of Cannabis. This would be a huge benefit to families in the US who are looking for CBD sourced from hemp.

The House bill, introduced on Wednesday, January 21, by U.S. Reps. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.) and Jared Polis (D-Colo.), would require the federal government to defer to state laws that allow farmers to grow the crop.

“The federal ban on hemp has been a waste of taxpayer dollars that ignores science, suppresses innovation, and subverts the will of states that have chosen to incorporate this versatile crop into their economies,” Polis, said in a statement. “I am hopeful that Congress will build on last year’s progress on hemp research and pilot programs by passing the Industrial Hemp Farming Act to allow this historical American crop to once again thrive on our farmlands.”

The Senate also has developed its own version of the bill, which was introduced on January 8, 2015, by Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

But the bill has received mixed reviews from advocates.

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Medical Cannabidiol Act Brings Change & Optimism To Iowa

This is a mock-up of the card the Iowa Department of Transportation will issue to those who can obtain cannabidiol in the state (Photo: Iowa Department of Transportation)

This is a mock-up of the card the Iowa Department of Transportation will issue to those who can obtain cannabidiol in the state (Photo: Iowa Department of Transportation)

The Iowa Legislature passed, and Gov. Terry Branstad signed, a bill permitting individuals with intractable epilepsy and their caregivers legal use and possession of cannabidiol.

On Monday, Iowans suffering from chronic epilepsy were able to apply for a medical cannabidiol registration card. These cards provide documentation that patients and primary caregivers have met the requirements of the Medical Cannabidiol Act and are authorized to legally possess medically necessary cannabidiol.

The Iowa Department of Public Health worked with the Iowa Department of Transportation to put together a process to approve and generate cannabidiol registration cards and developed an application form now available on the Iowa Department of Public Health’s website.

The law allows only for the oil’s usage and does not permit the product to be produced in Iowa, which advocates told The Gazette-Lee Des Moines Bureau in November can cause a problem because similar programs in other states do not recognize out-of-state patients.

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A Call To Action For Marijuana Reform In January

Lawmakers in Virginia are joining the growing movement to address the state’s outdated marijuana laws. Sen. Adam Ebbin, an Alexandria Democrat, has introduced a bill that would eliminate jail time for possession of marijuana and make it punishable by a maximum $100 civil penalty. At an emotional committee hearing Thursday, four mothers of epileptic children Read more about A Call To Action For Marijuana Reform In January[…]

Hemp Industry To Join Medical Marijuana Push In Pa.

An example of a health drink that includes hemp seeds. (File photo)

An example of a health drink that includes hemp seeds. (File photo)

The hemp industry was once thriving in Pennsylvania and is looking to make a comeback as it once again gains ground throughout the US.

With last year’s federal farm bill reauthorizing hemp farming in the states under certain conditions, Sen. Judith Schwank and Sen. Mike Folmer—who also back a medical marijuana bill—plan to introduce a bill that would fully legalize hemp farming in Pennsylvania.

Schwank and Folmer will introduce Senate Bill 50 which, if adopted into law, would create the “Industrial Hemp Act.”

“The 2014 federal Farm Bill authorizes pilot programs for industrial hemp, and SB 50 provides oversight for growing, harvesting and marketing a traditional commonwealth crop while providing new opportunities for Pennsylvania farmers,” Schwank said.

In recent decades, hemp has made a comeback; due in part by imports from Canada. This has led to a boom in the use of hemp in everything from cooking oils and protein supplements to building supplies and the growing popularity of CBD oil.

Some states have also lifted restrictions because of how much more money struggling farmers can charge for the crop. On Saturday, it will be the subject of a conference at the Pennsylvania Farm Show, at which Folmer and Schwank will discuss their plan for its return.

Adam Thompson is one of the entrepreneurs anticipating its revival. […]

‘Growing Warriors’ Turns Veterans Into Farmers

Fred-Curtis Lewis prepares for farm work with veterans. All photos: Growing Warriors Project

Fred-Curtis Lewis prepares for farm work with veterans. Photo: Growing Warriors Project

As hemp production begins to make waves through the US, a number of organizations and new companies have sought out this opportunity to make a difference. The Growing Warriors Project is just one of the many organizations now taking advantage of this amazing crop to make a difference around the world.

The Growing Warriors Project is a program to train, assist, and equip veteran families with the skills, tools, and supplies needed to grow high quality naturally grown produce for their families, their communities, and their country. The stories of those involved in this project continue to inspire and hopefully push forward some of the laws, regulations, and innovation around hemp in the US.

When Fred-Curtis Lewis returned from multiple tours of Afghanistan and Iraq with a traumatic brain injury in 2009,his brother Mike, a farmers’ advocate, was desperate to help him. On top of his injury, Fred-Curtis was having difficulty adapting to civilian life, and by his own admission, he was “lost.”

Watching his brother struggle, Mike Lewis resolved to channel his passion for agriculture—he’d already made a name for himself lobbying on behalf of nonprofits such as Community Farm Alliance and Farm Aid—into founding the Growing Warriors Project in rural Kentucky in 2012.

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Georgia Family Travels To Colorado For Treatment Of Daughter’s Seizures

A Forsyth, Georgia mother says her daughter’s health is improving every day since they moved to Colorado to start medical treatment that is illegal in the Peach State. Janea Cox tells 41NBC cannabis oil is giving Haleigh a second chance at life and she will do whatever it takes to help her child. Even if Read more about Georgia Family Travels To Colorado For Treatment Of Daughter’s Seizures[…]