The New Reefer Madness: Drug War Crusaders Blame Pot Growers for Dead Animals -- But the Drug War's to Blame

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East Bay Express, By: David Downs, 10/15/2013

The photo looks like something out of a horror film. A long, thin animal lays dissected on a white table. Metal tools pull the animal's skin back to reveal its jellied, maroon-colored insides — all soupy, slick, and lumpy. It's the remains of a Pacific Fisher, an eight-pound member of the weasel family that's now hovering near extinction, thanks in part to illegal pot farming in the vast forests of California.


Fishers eat forest mice, and forest mice nibble the green stalks of still-maturing cannabis plants. So illicit growers who toil deep inside California's forests spread powerful rodenticides — rat poison — on the ground near their marijuana crops. The mice eat the poisonous anti-coagulants, get sick, and then the fishers eat the mice. Soon after, the furry forest weasels are melting from the inside out.


For more on this story visit: www.alternet.org

New Marijuana Ruling Shows The Age of Deception On The Most Medicinal Plant In The World Is Coming To An End

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Preventdisease.com, By: Marco Torres, 09/01/2013

More than a dozen U.S. states have now completely decriminalized the act of possessing marijuana and both Colorado and Washington have made it legal to possess, sell, transport and cultivate the plant. But soon it may be legalized across the entire country following a decision Thursday by the federal government. In a historic and significant moment in American history, last November, Colorado became the first US state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The impact of the decision could soon ripple across the entire country with vast opportunities to educate millions on the top health benefits of marijuana.


With the passage of I-502 in the 2012 Washington State election, marijuana also became legal in Washington--not just for medical use, but also for recreational use--and Alaska, California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New York, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, and Vermont have all decriminalized marijuana.


Can Marijuana Improve Your Emotional State?

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Rollingstone, By Kristen Gwynne, 08/21/2013

It's no secret that marijuana can put a smile on many people's faces, but research suggests that the drug's positive effects go beyond just getting high. A 2012 study published in the peer-reviewed academic journal European Neuropsychopharmacology suggests that the brain's endocannabinoid system – which is activated by THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana – may play an important role in emotional processing, "an essential aspect of appropriate social interactions and interpersonal relationships."


For more on this story visit www.rollingstone.com

Could marijuana be GOOD for mental health?

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Dailymail.co.uk, By: Victoria Woollaston, 08/22/2013

Marijuana grower

It's well-known that marijuana will get you high, but a lesser known side-effect is that it can alter our response to negative emotions and images. A recent study has taken a look at the brain’s functioning in the presence of tetrahydrocannabinoid (THC) to understand how marijuana can affect the way we process emotions. THC is the principal psychoactive constituent of the cannabis plant.


The European Neuropsychopharmacology journal has published a study that has confirmed the positive effect of THC to negative stimuli. The study, which was undertaken at the University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, claims that THC activates the endocannabinoid system naturally found in the brain to alter our response to negative images or emotions.


For more on this story visit www.dailymail.co.uk

Vermont Marijuana Decriminalization Signed Into Law, Reduces Penalties For Possession Up To An Ounce

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The Huffington Post, By: Nick Wing, 06/06/2013


Vermont Marijuana Decriminalization


Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) signed a bill on Thursday decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. The new law, which goes into effect on July 1, will remove criminal penalties on possession of up to an ounce of cannabis and replace them with civil fines. “I applaud the Legislature’s action to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana," Shumlin said last month, announcing his support for the bill. "Vermonters support sensible drug policies. This legislation allows our courts and law enforcement to focus their limited resources more effectively to fight highly addictive opiates such as heroin and prescription drugs that are tearing apart families and communities."


According to the new measure, first-time offenders will not get more than a $200 fine for possession. The fine will increase for repeat offenders. Under the law, marijuana possession will no longer result in the creation of a criminal record.


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