Congress Starts Working on Legalizing Marijuana

H.R.975Congress had a bill introduced by Representative Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA, 48th district) on February 7, 2017 that would start working towards a reduced federal drug classification.

H.R.975 – To amend the Controlled Substances Act to provide for a new rule regarding the application of the Act to marihuana, and for other purposes.

While it’s too early to see a full summary here, presumably because it’s still being drafted, we can kind of guess that it is going to take cannabis off of the strict classification of Schedule I. Currently, pot is still in the same class of opiates and hallucinogens, which means that legally it has no use in medications, and is highly addictive.

While it’s not likely that the FDA will totally drop Marijuana to used as a recreational substance, we may see a reduction that would allow it to be purchased like an “over-the-counter” type drug.

While we wait to see what transpires with the bill, consider calling your local representative to let them know that you would like to see their name on the sponsors list. Here’s a screenshot I took of the current list of sponsors, so if you don’t see your rep, try getting them on there.

H.R.975 Co-sponsors list

Weed Sales Hit $1.3 Billion in Colorado

The numbers for 2016 just came in and they are pretty staggering: over $100 million a month.

colorado-marijuana

Colorado Department of Revenue shows that roughly one-third ($438 million) of that figure came from medical sales, while the majority came from recreational use purchases which accumulated $875 million. From those totals, CO was able to collect $199 million dollars in taxes.

Comparing these sales to the two previous years, we can see a steady increase across the board:

2014: $699 million

2015: $996 million

2016: $1.3 billion

We could assume that the numbers will increase, however medical sales were similar in 2015 and 2016, which means recreational use went up by $300 million. Experts say that they may level out as more states legalize and  Colorado’s marijuana tourism slows down.

“Colorado has had a really good run, being the first mover,” Miles Light, a marijuana economist, told the cannabist. “Now, as other states legalize, some of these external benefits that are occurring are going to be eroded.”

Sweden Allows Two Patients To Try Marijuana As A Legal Medication

sweden medical marijuana case

Two Swedish patients are now able to get cannabis on prescription after a decision by the Swedish Medical Products Agency.

Andreas Thörn is one of the two patients, both of whom suffer from spinal cord injuriy pains, that are now eligible to use parts of the cannabis plant as medicine.

“It feels almost unreal. We have been struggling with this daily for a year and a half, and finally I get a chance to relax and get rid of the pain and get back to everyday life,”  Andreas told SVT.

Thörn’s case gained wide attention after he was accused of having grown and used cannabis for its nerve pain. He was freed only in court, but was sentenced last year in a Swedish Court of Appeal.

Swedish doctors have tried to write prescriptions for medical cannabis without success for many years, but now their MPA approved these two applicants.

Dr. Claes Hultling who pushed for getting cannabis to these patients with severe nerve pain is happy about the decision. “It will not change the world, but it will change the world for a few people. It is not about a bunch of invalids to sit in a corner and smoke in, but about people who have chronic neuropathic pain that they want to alleviate.”

Besides Andreas Thörn also has a woman in her 40s with congenital spinal cord injury and nerve pain of the worst degree, been well on their application.Andreas Thorn, one of two swedish patients using medicinal marijuana

“Not a blanket approval”

Karl Mikael Kälkner is a clinical investigator at the MPA and mean that you should not interpret the authority’s decision that it now provides a blanket approval for medical marijuana in the Swedish market. “Decisions about individuals and in these two cases, we have had a long dialogue and after several tours with rejection, appeal and additions we decided to approve them,” says Kälkner

 

Will Trump Legalize Weed?

donald-trump-hairPresident Trump claims to have never tried drugs or alcohol, surely he wouldn’t legalize pot. Right?

During the Obama presidency we saw a large number of states move to legalize marijuana, along with many decriminalizing certain charges to misdemeanors. It seemed like at any time we would have seen marijuana reduced from a Class I substance to a more appropriate class or to be totally decriminalized. However, it stayed in the same classification as Heroin and LSD, while three different types of synthetic marijuana were approved for medicinal use by the FDA.

So it seems that we would never expect an extremely conservative president to start pursuing a nationwide lift of the enforcement of illegal marijuana use, right? Well perhaps, but I think not…

“In terms of marijuana and legalization, I think that should be a state issue, state-by-state,” Trump told The Washington Post. ”… Marijuana is such a big thing. I think medical should happen — right? Don’t we agree? I think so. And then I really believe we should leave it up to the states.”

So, from what we can gather it appears that he would not be intervening with the states that are passing laws to allow medicianl AND recreational usage. Good news, however, we will still want to see something go through the attorney general or supreme court or FDA to really feel at ease here. And that probably won’t happen during this presidential term.