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Hawaii Passes A New Bill- decriminalizes cannabis possession from 2020




Hawaii will be decriminalising cannabis possession

Hawaii will be decriminalizing cannabis possession from 2020 for small amounts, however citizens will still be penalized for it. A bill passed by the legislature will be decriminalizing possession of cannabis in amounts of three gms or less, and will set aside criminal convictions for those who have been charged with possession earlier. 

However, possession will still be punishable and the charged will receive a financial punishment of $130. Currently, possession of tiny amounts of marijuana may result in 30 days ‘ imprisonment along with a $1,000 fine (~€896.94) economic penalty. 

David Ige, the Governor let the bill enter into law after he didn’t veto it, in July. however, he also did not sign the bill. As no action was taken on the bill before 9 July, it will now come into effect on 11 January 2020. 

Access to medical cannabis has been legalized for a couple of years now in the 50th state of the United States, and the most recent to jump on the CBD bandwagon. 

Bill HB1383

The Bill HB1383 sets out the following information:

  • Decriminalize the possession of three or less grams of cannabis and fixate that possession of that amount is a punishable crime with a mandatory fine of $130; 
  • Offer expungement of criminal records specifically related to the possession of three or less grams of cannabis; and 
  • Build a cannabis evaluation task force to make suggestions on altering cannabis use penalties and outcomes in the State.

Decriminalizing cannabis possession but not legalizing 

Legalization of any compound allows the use or possession of a drug without any legal punishment of any kind- for both medicinal and recreational purposes. However, decriminalization of cannabis means that there are still some activities related to the use of a drug that might be illegal. 

In this particular case, where the state is decriminalizing cannabis possession- having possession of more than three grams of cannabis for recreational, personal use, as well as growing or selling cannabis for non-medical reason is still punishable by law. This implies that any citizen caught with more than three grams of cannabis or caught selling it in an illegitimate manner will be punished and arrested, and could be prosecuted for the same and put in prison. 

Two cannabis related bills vetoed

Governor Ige vetoed two further bills related to cannabis:

The first bill was the SB1353– a measure to launch an industrial hemp licensing programme which would require the Department of Agriculture to establish an industrial hemp plan to be approved by the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), as well as making statutory changes such as removing the ownership or sale of either licensed or unlicensed industrial hemp from criminal regulation.

The reason this bill was vetoed was due to worries about the licensing system – such as non-compliance with USDA demands as well as the practical issues that would come with it about enforcing exiting medical marijuana laws.

Second, the HB290 bill was intended to authorize out-of-state patients to transport medical cannabis for private use between islands. Despite the government’s bill for decriminalized possession of cannabis, this particular bill was vetoed on cannabis issues, including medical cannabis, remaining illegal under federal law.

This is because some water and airspace regions fall within the federal government’s jurisdiction and could imply that individuals mistakenly think that they would not be subject to federal prosecution.

According to the federal government, hemp-derived cannabinoids are legal for production, processing, sales and consumption. The Farm bill in December 2018 legalized hemp-derived cannabinoid and removed it from the list of Controlled Substances. 

CBD is widely known for its medical benefits. From treating acute pain, aches, inflammation, irritation, swelling and reducing anxiety, depression, stress to curing severe ailments such as epilepsy, CBD is a popular compound among people. However, there is still a lot of research going on to explore the safety of CBD and how far can it be consumed without its side effects

Ivan writes about Cannabis at The Cannabis Radar. He has a degree in Nutrition Sciences from University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre. He likes to spend his spare time reading to his daughter or spending time with his wife.

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Two men producing and selling class B Cannabis jailed




Two men producing and selling class B Cannabis jailed

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On September 10th, two men from Penyrheol were found guilty and sentenced for growing 54 varieties of cannabis plants in May 2018. David Michael Beckett aged 51 and Liam Beckett aged 51 and 23 were found guilty of producing a controlled class B drug. David Michael was sentenced for four years whereas Liam was given four years in jailed custody. The two guilty were also accused of involving in a plot to supply these class B Drug products further after production on profit.

Hemp plant is a part of Cannabis Sativa from which marijuana and Cannabis is set to be derived. While marijuana is found on those parts of the plant that contain a high level of THC and psychoactive elements whereas in the seeds and fibers lower levels of THC and higher levels of CBD is found. CBD unlike marijuana is low on THC and also has anti-inflammatory substance. CBD is also a form of weed but it does not give results like marijuana. The over-addiction of marijuana gives a high whereas CBD does not produce that effect as people believe it to do. In fact CBD has been found to be medically very effective and useful. Due to this many professionals are researching more on the plant to acquire new information on more uses.

Possession and production of class B drugs is strictly prohibited because of its apparent dangers. Drugs are usually put into three categories based on the level of dangers we are exposed to. Different types of drugs affect different types of people in a different manner. That information kept aside drugs usually are considered exceptionally dangerous. The three categories of drugs are Class A that includes heroin, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD. They are extremely dangerous to use and are hazardous. Class B drugs include cannabis (restricted varieties), speed and Ketamine which are also dangerous but not to the extent of Class A. Class C drugs are considered least dangerous yet risky and include drugs like anabolic steroids, GHB and tranquillisers.

The Newport Crown Court presented the case on August 14th. Gwent Police is extremely wary of such crimes and selling them is a major offense. These sellers do it for profit but forget that any exposure that people have to such substances will make them vulnerable and addicted.

A few categories of Cannabis have yet not found acceptability despite legalizing hemp plant in 2018. They were caught growing the restricted varieties of cannabis. Although in recent years people have begun to understand the benefits of CBD people have to understand the difference between what is right and what is not. CBD industry is growing like never before with many industries quick to resort to CBD based ventures. In the medical field too CBD has been touted as the life saver drug that has saved and eased the lives of many people. CBD has been a miraculous drug in treating extreme levels of seizures which had no cure earlier. Apart from this people suffering from depression, anxiety of all forms, cancer and joint pains have benefitted majorly from the CBD drug.

The police who have reportedly tightened their seat belts to condense drug related and other forms of organized crime have pleaded people to refrain from using these class B drugs. They have devastating impacts on the health and well-being and in most of the cases they are irreversible. Such dealings are only harming the local community and people who take it. The police have requested people to be more vigilant and report every single thing they label as suspicious.  They have asked people to be more observant especially about the activities that take place in their local areas. The Police have also told people to divulge even the smallest of details they might possess and not shun it away considering it as minute. They believe every little piece of information can be useful to them for solving a larger crime.

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Bridal bouquets are evolving as they are including cannabis buds




Bridal bouquets are evolving as they are including cannabis buds

Bridal trends have traditions and fads embedded in them. Some brides like to go with the traditional flowers and like to stick to it. Others take some risks and opt for flowers completely unheard of. Many flowers also come in the evergreen category refusing its spirit to die. Bouquets over the years have primarily been pretty much the same. In simple terms, there has not been much evolution of ideas when it comes to bouquets in the marriage game.

But now, with new trends emerging, brides who used to stick to their coyness have come out in the open to opt for buds. Florist Jamie who is also popularly known as the Flower daddy mentions adding cannabis and hemp buds to the bouquets. So many brides want white desert roses or sunflowers, but the joy of adding these hemp buds is completely different chiefly because it goes completely unconventional.

Cannabis has caught upon ever since the wide-ranging benefits of it were discovered by researchers. These hemp plants can be smoked and contain .03% THC in the USA. Hemp has been a confusing subject because of its close affinity towards marijuana. Marijuana and hemp are both forms of cannabis but are diametrically opposite when it comes to their effects and usage. CBD also is a non-intoxicating Cannabinoid that has a regulated THC level. CBD does not produce mind-altering effect but it does help the person to feel better. The legalisation of hemp plant after the passage of the farm bill has led to the sudden bout of activity in the industry.

Many families and brides opt for the over stylised bouquets for their wedding which digs a hole in the budget. Despite hemp buds being expensive, in comparison to lavish bouquets, they work out to be better for the pocket. A standard bouquet sold by Flower Daddy starts from $175 and each additional hemp bud would cost a $60 per cannabis stem.

Those who want to tone down the budget of the bouquet arrangement might want to forgo the flowers and instead opt for stalks and leaves of the plant in the bouquet arrangement. This will reduce the price to a great extent yet also will contain hemp plant in some form.

But there is a bright side to the sacrifice and joy in the inclusion. The best part about having a decorated form of marijuana is you can easily smoke it and reduce it slowly. The cannabis plants can be kept in extremely dry weather and a few weeks it will be ready to be smoked. This can’t be the case with other conventional flowers. So the cost tag also comes with advantages if one is interested in it.

So these cannabis buds neatly tucked away with other species of flowers can literally be taken out and smoked. The pot-infused wedding bouquets were unheard of but many people have realised that it also has its inherent advantages. To the over-enthusiastic cannabis community, this arrangement surely has cheered them up. Many people were doubtful of the status considering its comparison to marijuana, but with the availability of more information and research, the acceptability of hemp plant-derived cannabis and CBD has taken a big high.

But, still, there is a great amount of confusion because people think that there are no differences between hemp and marijuana. But, the only common point between them is that they are derived from Cannabis Sativa. The flowering tops of the plant and the leaves have psychoactive elements and THC which is considered as marijuana while the seeds and fibres which have low levels of THC and high levels of CBD. Even the skincare industry has understood the hidden virtues of CBD and is creating serums that will result in your skin looking younger and supple.

The medical industry is swearing by the benefits the product gives. Although research is yet to give everything in black, a lot of resources are being spent on understanding the entire set of benefits. CBD has been extremely effective in the treatment of various diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s. They also have been extremely effective in treating seizures which hitherto was not possible. A range of other diseases like depression, anxiety, joint pains and stress are also treated effectively by CBD.

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Medical Marijuana legalization in Alabama is facing roadblocks as experts say there is nothing like medical marijuana




Medical Marijuana

Cannabis is a drug that is derived from hemp plants like Cannabis Sativa and Cannabis Indica. Cannabis is usually seen as a depressant drug but it has other uses as well. CBD is an active ingredient of the cannabis plant which has changed the mindset of people towards its effectiveness. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has the THC level well below the legal limit. Marijuana has a higher THC level which is the reason why there is a lot of stigma and discussion surrounding the drug. 

On September 9th, 2019 the Alabama medical Cannabis commission had a meeting at the Statehouse department. The meeting was for deliberations regarding Alabama being included in the list of 34 states that have now legalized medical marijuana. 

The same issue was discussed earlier also and this is the second round of discussion. There was a lot of disagreement over the issue and to strengthen the argument 4 witnesses were also called. They were asked to narrate the wonders of medical marijuana in their life. A few got relieved from excruciating pain, while others believed that their relatives too found the difference after using it. 

The meeting was chaired and attended by distinguished personalities. One of the commission members Stephen Taylor, who is a psychiatrist and an addiction psychiatrist, believes that marijuana can never be used for medical reasons. If medical marijuana is made legal, people especially youngsters will take advantage of it and it will have long term harmful impact on them. 

Until the substance has been officially been approved and corroborated as a medicine, it should not be given the names, medical marijuana or medical cannabis. Taylor sounded concerned because he believed that not everything can be called medicine. The facts and figures should be acceptable and legitimate enough to be called one. He mentioned that by putting something that has more harm than good, people’s life and health is getting jeopardised which should not be the case.

He tried to validate his argument by referring to the advisory published by US-based surgeon Jerome Adams who warned people about the dangers of exposing marijuana to youth and married people. He also had quashed the so-called safety effects of marijuana in this advisory. 

CBD has off late been seen as the wonder ingredient in many industries. The drug has been found effective in treating a lot of diseases like seizures, pain, anxiety, depression, injury bruise and life-taking diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer. People who support the hemp driven substance have confirmed that CBD is safer to use as it does not have any mind-altering effect. 

The constant criticism enveloping medical marijuana was contrary to what Senator Tim Melson, Chairman of Medical Cannabis commission believed. He is a stark supporter of medical marijuana and as an established medical researcher has much medical research material to his credit. He also is a noted anesthesiologist and has asserted that there have been many studies that show medical marijuana in good light and how it has helped many. He has strongly supported it and wants the benefits to reach out to people in need of it. 

The commission was heard by a large crowd housed in the larger room of the State House. The commission members comprised of personalities from diverse fields like medicine, law enforcement, drug addiction treatment, agriculture, pharmacy, and others.  Based on the discussion, it will give its recommendation to the Legislature. 

At the beginning of this year, the Senate also passed a bill to legalise medical marijuana for certain conditions. This was also backed by Senator Melson. But, there was a lot of divergence of opinion in this matter and hence the need for the establishment of study commission came by. 

One of the cases highlighted here was James Lovejoy who is suffering from a congenital rheumatic spinal condition that causes tremendous pain. The condition according to his mother is irreversible and the only way to endure it by taking strong and addictive pain killers that alleviates his pain. Her son was afflicted with the condition right after graduation after he began his career as CPA. 

The condition became so severe that he sometimes had to work on his back as it relieved him. They have found soothing relief from medical marijuana and believe that James can lead a normal life only because of it. 

The commission is now all set to meet again in October to further the matter.

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