Argentina Allows Cannabis Self-Cultivation

With 2017 legislation, Argentina joined the growing number of South American countries to relax cannabis laws. At the end of 2020, that legislation was expanded, and now finally, Argentina allows cannabis self-cultivation for medical use.

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Cannabis in Argentina

Cannabis is not legal for recreational use in Argentina, but small amounts of it were decriminalized back in 2009. In the Arriola decision, which was the result of a court case arising from the arrest of five men, the court determined that small amounts of drugs meant for personal use, that won’t affect or cause harm to anyone else, and which pose no threat of danger, are decriminalized. There is no official amount set for personal use, meaning law enforcement and judges must use their own discretion per case.

Much like Mexico and South Africa, which each have constitutional rulings related to cannabis and the right of an individual to live life as they see fit without intrusion from the government, Argentina’s court ruled that “Each adult is free to make lifestyle decisions without the intervention of the state.” The decision was also meant to encourage law enforcement money to be spent on bigger cases, while leaving small-time users to enter treatment programs instead.

Cannabis trafficking is illegal in Argentina and can incur a penalty of 4-15 years in prison. It’s illegal for residents to grow marijuana for commercial purposes.

Medical bill 2017

cannabis medicine

On the 29th of March, 2017, Argentina’s senate approved legislation for the legalization of medical cannabis. The bill requires those in need of cannabis medications to register with the country’s national program, which is overseen by the Ministry of Health. Not only that, the government actually set it up to provide free access of these medications to patients and children approved for their use.

The reason it’s free is because the medical ‘program’ was set up under the bill as a research initiative called the National Program for the Study and Research of the Medicinal Use of the Cannabis Plant and its By-products and Non-conventional Treatments. By law, patients have to be enrolled in the program, and the program allows for medical cannabis oil to be provided to patients free of charge. This law did not technically institute a structured market, leaving the only way to access these medications through the government run program.

Besides starting government run cultivation, the law did something else. It instituted the Cannabis Exceptional Access Regime which allows the import of medications with cannabis by-products into the country for verified patients with epilepsy. This provision, as it was written in 2017, does not cover other disorders that can be treated with cannabis medicines. Only licensed physicians, specifically neurology specialists, are able to make such requests on behalf of their patients under this provision.

Argentina now allows cannabis self-cultivation

When the bill was passed in 2017, cultivation carried a sentence of up to two years. While it was pushed for this bill to include a provision for self-cultivation, Argentinian legislators did not include it in the bill, restricting the ability for sick people to grow their own marijuana. By many, including activist group Mama Cultiva – which helped lead the way for this legalization, this was a major failing in an otherwise big step in the right direction.

In early November 2020, a decree was published in the Official Gazette making the statement that Argentina now allows cannabis self-cultivation for medical purposes. The government legalized personal cultivation, along with legalizing the sale of cannabis products (creams and oils) in pharmacies. The decree was signed by President Alberto Fernández, and states that there should be “timely, safe, inclusive and protective access for those who need to use cannabis as a therapeutic tool.” He added that a regulatory framework must be set up quickly to do so. Though the decree made the statement that Argentina now allows cannabis self-cultivation, it did not detail how many plants an individual could grow, stating that this information would be announced later.

Argentina allows cannabis self-cultivation

Patients, or groups, who want to access products in pharmacies, or cultivate cannabis plants, must still be registered with the ‘National Cannabis Programme’, through Reprocann – the Registry for the Cannabis Program, which was originally instituted by the 2017 legislation, but which was never actually operational due to a lack of regulation to govern it. When patients register, they can choose to cultivate their own marijuana, buy from a solidary grower, or obtain products through a pharmacy.

It’s good to remind here that simply passing a bill, or signing a decree, does not institute a regulated market. This decree updated the bill passed in 2017, but didn’t do more to offer a regulatory framework, which means in order for these things to happen, more laws have to be passed to provide details for actual usage. Even so, it’s nice to have the law on the books.

This new decree also expands the ability to import cannabis medicines. Whereas the Cannabis Exceptional Access Regime only applied to epilepsy patients when the 2017 bill was passed, this has now been expanded to include other ailments like fibromyalgia, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and other diseases and disorders that have shown to be helped by cannabis medicines. The government will continue to promote production of cannabis for medical treatments, and, in the same spirit as giving it out to patients for free, will guarantee availability of medications, even to patients who do not have standard health coverage.

According to Prohibition Partners (via Forbes), apart from helping sick people get the medicine they need, and expanding laws so that Argentina now allows cannabis self-cultivation, the cannabis market in Argentina could be worth as much as $40 million in sales by 2024. An increase in revenue has been a strong reason for legalization in other locations, and very likely was an even more powerful motivator than a group of mothers with sick children.

Mama Cultiva and the activists

Argentina is home to a group of influential activists known as Mama Cultiva. As the name implies, this group was started as a group of mothers trying to get medicine for their sick children. Mama Cultiva is an NGO that was originally founded in Chile in 2016, and has been working towards cannabis legalization since that time, both in fighting for new legislation, and providing educational information about cannabis.

Mama Cultiva was a strong force behind the 2017 legalization, and at the time was quite dismayed that cultivation was not given the green light. In light of this new legislation, Mama Cultiva’s Argentina chapter head Valeria Salech said “We’ve been fighting for this for three years… We’re no longer going to be criminalized for seeking a better quality of life for ourselves and our loved ones.”

She explained in a separate statement, “It’s not a law on usage. It doesn’t regulate cannabis. It’s a research law, and the fact that we can insert a mini-regulation in that research law for those of us who grow (the plant) for our health is a big deal.” Mama Cultiva is not just fighting for medical usage, but full recreational legalization, as the organization views it as important for mental health in general.

cannabis activists

To give an example of the level of dedication of Mama Cultiva, and why they are so committed, consider that the woman who made these statements, Valeria Salech, has a now 14-year-old son with both epilepsy and autism, who has been using cannabis treatments for six years.

This desire for greater legalization is echoed by the Argentine Cannabis Confederation, a group of pro-legalization product producers that are involved with the production of things like cannabis infused beer, and marijuana growing supplies. This group, which was upset by not being involved in the debates to determine draft legislation, thinks that the current law still doesn’t reach far enough.

Group president Leandro Ayala reminded “We don’t know what’s going to happen with low-level possession, which is what’s hurting us at the moment, the fact that we can be arrested for carrying two marijuana cigarettes.” He did say that he believes the cannabis industry could benefit from self-cultivation, especially in the form of supplying to these home-growers, but was still concerned overall about the issue of minor possession still being illegal.

He went on to point out that cannabis use shouldn’t have to be associated with sickness, and stated about the recent update in laws: “I don’t celebrate that because you’re only going to be able to grow if you’re sick, and in my case I don’t feel like a sick person. I use (cannabis) recreationally. Why do I have to use the shield of saying I have a pathology in order to grow when that’s not true?”

Conclusion

In a way, Argentina just tripped over its own toes, but not in the worst manner. Before even fully setting its 2017 legislative measures into workable motion, Argentina went ahead and updated them. That Argentina now allows cannabis self-cultivation is great. Going at this rate of updating that which hasn’t even been fully instituted, I can only imagine that a recreational legalization really isn’t too far off in the distance.

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Resources

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Lebanon Legalized Medical Cannabis, 1st in Arab World
Argentina Legalized Medical Cannabis in 2017 – and Gives It Away for Free
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
South Africa Introduces Some of the Most Lax Laws on Cannabis Yet

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Deals 2020.  The best delta-8 THC deals, coupons and discounts.
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Compared to Prescription Medication, Medical Cannabis Not Always Affordable Alternative

These days you’d be hard pressed to find someone who isn’t using some type of cannabis product, either recreationally, therapeutically, or both… but have you ever wondered how everyone is able to afford it?

Although many industries are struggling amid the ongoing pandemic, 2020 has been a record year for cannabis with prices and demand both at an all-time high. Everything from smokables to edibles, THC and CBD, dispensary and mail-order – everywhere you look there is a trending cannabis-based product.

What’s also holding firm, and increasing in many markets, is the prices for all the aforementioned items. In addition to cannabis being portrayed more favorably by the mainstream media, COVID-driven demand over the last year coupled with bottlenecks in supply has caused a surge in prices. And according to the U.S. Cannabis Spot Index Report, the average wholesale price per pound has reached its highest point in three years.

So, again that begs the question, how does it seem that everyone can afford these products so easily; considering high quality comes with an equally high price tag, and these products aren’t covered by insurance. We know they’re effective and safe, but are cannabis products an affordable alternative to prescription medication?

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Benefits of medical cannabis

I believe this is an important staring point, because it’s the therapeutic aspect of cannabis that’s really behind this burgeoning demand. It’s used recreationally for decades, but it wasn’t until word got out about the safety profile and medical benefits that cannabis products really saw a surge in popularity.

In the United States, the most common use for medical cannabis is pain management. Although it isn’t really strong enough for very severe pain, post-surgical for example, it’s highly effective in controlling various forms of chronic pain that effects millions of Americans. Cannabis is frequently endorsed as a safer alternative to opiate medication, which are dangerously addictive and responsible for an alarming number of overdose deaths in the states.

Cannabis can also replace over-the-counter (OTC) pain medication like Tylenol, Aspirin, Advil, and Ibuprofen, all of which are known to cause long-term damage to the kidneys and liver, and can lead to chronic health conditions including GERD, high blood pressure, and ulcers. In this vein, cannabis is also used to ease nerve pain, such as the pain associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) and lupus.  

Medicinal cannabis is also said to be a fantastic muscle relaxant, and it’s frequently used to lessen tremors in patients with Parkinson’s disease. Likewise, it can be used to relieve symptoms of Restless Leg Syndrome, as this disorder sometimes responds to medications that are used to treat Parkinson’s as well. There are many reports of it being used successfully for fibromyalgia, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, and most other conditions where the final common pathway is chronic pain.

Another very common use for medical cannabis is to manage nausea and weight loss. Studies show tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the most abundant cannabinoid in the plant, can help treat glaucoma by successfully reducing intraocular pressure. Cannabidiol (CBD), the second most prominent cannabinoid is used for a growing number of ailments including inflammation and epilepsy. The only FDA-approved, cannabis-based medication is an oral solution comprised mostly of CBD.

Another very promising area of cannabis research is in the field of mental health. Numbers from the National Alliance on Mental Illness show that 1 in 5 Americans struggle with mental illness, and further research indications that the COVID-pandemic has mental health on the decline. So far, anecdotal evidence shows that cannabis is great for treating depression, curbing addictions to other substances, and alleviating anxiety. Many veterans and their therapists report drastic improvement for those dealing with PTSD and are pushing for legalization and more studies.

The Endocannabinoid System

To understand why cannabinoids are so effective and capable of targeting such a varied range of conditions, you will need to have a better understanding of the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is a network of receptors that can be found throughout the bodies of all mammals. We naturally create cannabinoids in our bodies – called endocannabinoids – which bond to these receptors to regulate different processes in our bodies and maintain internal balance and harmony.

So far, researchers have been able to identify two separate endocannabinoids: 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and anandamide (AEA), as well as two main receptors: CB1 and CB2. 2-AG is a full agonist of both the CB1 and CB2 receptors but it has a more direct association with the CB2 receptor. Because of this, 2-AG is thought to have a substantial influence over the immune system.

Anandamide – or AEA – also casually known as the “bliss molecule”, has a major impact on our state of homeostasis. AEA can help manage things such as appetite, sleep wake cycles, pain response, and then some. Our bodies continuously cycle through anandamide. It breaks down very easily, so it doesn’t stay in the body for long. However, our bodies create it on-demand to maintain homeostasis.

There is a condition referred to as ‘cannabinoid deficiency’, characterized by a body’s inability to produce endocannabinoids. Some experts theorize that many illnesses we suffer from, stem from this shortage of endocannabinoids.

High price tags from coast to coast 

A recent survey conducted by the state of Ohio found that roughly 60% of patients and caregivers are frustrated with the prices of medical cannabis products at their local dispensaries. The poll discovered that, on average, people were paying around $300 monthly for cannabis, all out of pocket.

“Why are these products so expensive? Does Ohio realize that those prescribed mmj (medical marijuana) often deal with symptoms that make working full-time difficult?” questioned one of the survey respondents.

And this issue is certainly not limited to Ohio. Across the country, cannabis prices are teetering bordering on the edge completely unreasonable and downright unaffordable. In states like Michigan, Illinois, and California, the average cost of a high-quality ounce of medicinal bud is between $255 and $380, and people using weed medicinally typically smoke one to two (sometimes more) ounces per month. You can do the math on that one, it’s not cheap.

In Pennsylvania, the situation is no different. A recent article from The Philadelphia Inquirer pegs the state as one of the nation’s most expensive medical cannabis markets. Everything from profiteering to supply issues has been named as a cause of this issue but the truth is, the state’s industry seems a lot like California’s with a lack of oversight on pricing. State officials from the PA medical marijuana advisory board say that patients are frequently complaining about the ridiculous costs.

Wholesale costs aren’t much better. On average, a decent, mid-shelf outdoor pound will run you $1,327/lb to $1,470/lb. Top of the line indoor flower is selling for between $3,215 and $3,552. The prices were observed nationwide in the following states: California, Colorado, Oregon, Massachusetts, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

“Outraged about the prices”

Again, we know that cannabis works as medicine. Some of the many reason are listed above. We also know that it’s much safer than the pharmaceutical counterparts. However, until it’s covered by insurance plans or the prices go down significantly, many patients who need it will simply not be able to afford it.  

Spending hundreds of dollars a month on medical cannabis is outside the realm of possibility for many people who can just turn to their prescription insurance plan and get medication for very little money out of pocket. It circles back around to this concept that only people with money deserve to consume things that are natural and healthy, when people in low income living situations have equal to and sometimes higher rates of disease, chronic pain, and mental illness.

“The patient community is always outraged about the prices,” said Luke Shultz, an Ohio-state marijuana advisory board member. “I’m not sure where the price should be. But we’d sure like to see it lower.”

Federal prohibition making matters complicated  

It could be argued that the reason medical cannabis is a “flawed concept” is because it’s still federally illegal. It’s nearly impossible to have a low-cost “medication” when the main ingredient in that medication is a Schedule 1 narcotic that can’t legally be studied in the United States. Since it’s technically illegal, it won’t be covered by any insurance plans, it’s not administered in hospitals (like it is in other countries such as Israel), and it can’t be purchased over-the-counter in pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens.

Doctors can give “recommendations” for medical cannabis, but that’s not the same as a prescription that can be turned in at any local pharmacy. Also, because of its current legal status, most doctors are weary to even recommend it or have open discussions on the subject at all, leaving patients confused about what the benefits could be and stuck in the pharmaceutical cycle.

Final thoughts

Back when cannabis first became legal (recreationally) in California, the prices plummeted. It was easy to find a top-shelf ounce for around $60. Those prices have more than doubled in the last few years and all we can hope for is that the costs level out and start to drop over the coming months as local supplies begin to stabilize.

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Resources:

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Cannabis Falling from the Sky in Israel Best Delta-8 THC Deals, Coupons and Discounts.
Cannabis Remains Schedule I After UN Vote
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New Vaping Bill: Effective March 2021 No More Mail Order Of CBD & Delta-8 THC Vape Carts

No more mail orders for CBD and Delta-8 THC vape cartridges…
Over the last couple of weeks, congress has been going back and forth trying to iron out the framework of a 5,593-page COVID-19 relief bill, the longest bill ever written in U.S. history, and buried deep within its text is a provision that will change the vaping industry as we know it.
Unfortunately, not only nicotine products, but also CBD and Delta-8 THC vape cartridges will be affected from the bill.

The main problem with this COVID “relief” bill, aside from the strange spending points, is that it’s being used as a front to pass legislation that has nothing to do with the virus. At the top of our list is a note on page 5,136 that will ban the United States Postal Service (USPS) from shipping vaping products to adult consumers. Although it was intended to be applied specifically to the tobacco industry, thanks to non-specific and sloppy drafting, the effects will be felt well beyond the confines of nicotine products and both CBD vape carts and Delta-8 THC vape cartridges, will also be banned…

In a few weeks you won’t be able to order Delta-8 THC vape cartridges online!
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The PACT Act

Under the Prevent All Cigarette Trafficking Act (PACT Act, which is part of the Jenkins Act), the word “cigarette” will be redefined to included all “electronic nicotine delivery system.” But despite the word “nicotine” being used in the bill, the overall definition is so broad that lawmakers have red-flagged ALL vape liquids, including those containing CBD and standalone devices to used for vaping THC and other cannabinoids.

These changes of the bill go into effect into 120 days, at which point all orders of vaping products will need to be shipped via an alternate service, which can be extremely costly and will require the signature or a recipient who is 21 years of age or older.

Additionally, starting 90 days after the enactment of this new law, all internet and mail-order businesses will be required to file length reports every month with state, native tribes, and local governments that will include details about the identity, location, and product orders of all customers who buy vaping items within their jurisdiction.

The title of the original Congress bill containing this text was The Preventing Online Sales of E-Cigarettes to Children Act, however, it is already illegal under federal law to ship vaping and tobacco products to minors, and this new version of the mandate will apply to adults in legal markets as well.

Increased risk for COVID

Logical critics argue that this new law, hidden in the text of a COVID relief bill, may actually increase the risk of one being exposed to and developing the disease, ironically. Take an elderly woman who recently switched from cigarettes to vape products to improve her health. She lives alone in a rural area and has products mailed to her to reduce the risk of catching COVID. The new law would force this hypothetical elderly woman out of her house and into the general public to shop for vape products, which increases her chances of being exposed to, not only COVID-19, but other illnesses as well, such as the flu.

“The sponsors of this legislation repeatedly refused to consider common sense amendments that would have protected youth, while also not needlessly shutting down small businesses,” says Gregory Conley, president of the American Vaping Association. “Thanks to their intransigence, the language included in the omnibus is so sloppily drafted that it will also ban the USPS from shipping CBD liquids intended to be vaporized, as well as devices intended for use with THC or other non-nicotine substances.”

He added: “There are still 36 million American adults smoking combustible cigarettes and over 400,000 will die from smoking-related illnesses this year alone. The American people should start questioning why their government is so intent on making it harder for adults to quit smoking.”

In that vein, illness that are often developed by smokers affect many of the same major organs as COVID-19, such as the lungs, oesophagus, and vascular system. When a smoker becomes infected with COVID-19 or any type of SARS virus, they will likely suffer more than a non-smoker.  

“Smokers often have serious heart and lung health problems already. Add COVID-19 to the mix and you are likely to get a very sick patient; they just don’t have the physiological reserves to deal with the massive inflammatory attack brought on by the coronavirus,” said Joseph E. Ebinger, MD,  a cardiologist with the Smidt Heart Institute at Cedars-Sinai.

In a few weeks you won’t be able to order Delta-8 THC vape cartridges online!
Looking to buy on Delta- 8 carts? Subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter and get it before it is too late!

Final thoughts

There was a lot of back and forth with this bill, but the main source of disagreement was the size of the stimulus checks, but there was no doubt that this vaping law would slip under the radar. Ultimately, the bill passed as was expected. Lawmakers were banking on the fact that most people won’t look it up and read through the absurdly long bill themselves, and they were right.

Now, we have 120 days before the industry as we know it, will change for what seems to be the worstLEGAL customers will no longer be able to purchase vaping products by mail order thanks to this new bill.

As far as business goes, experts predict that large, better capitalized companies will have no problem paying the costs required to be in compliance with the new regulations, while smaller companies, the mom-and-pop shops, will be the ones to suffer and eventually be pushed out of the market altogether, so if your favorite products are coming from a smaller business, you may want to stock up before they’re forced to shutter the doors.

Thank you for stopping by CBDtesters.co, your prime location for all cannabis-related news. Keep up with us every day to know what’s going on in the world, and sign up to our newsletter so you’re always in the know!

RESOURCES:

Learn More About the New Vaping Bill
Is Delta-8 Legal in Your State? (A state-by-state guide)
DELTA 8 THC Products Still Available Online; Companies Suing The DEA
Synthetic Cannabinoids (Are they safe?)
The Endocannabinoid System Explained (Why Cannabis Is Good for Our Bodies)
Everything You Need To Know About CBD Isolate (a deep look into hemp extracts)
Cannabinoids 101 – Spotlight on CBN (Cannabinol)
Your Complete Guide to EU GMP-Certified CBD Isolate and Distillate – Spotlight on the regulated EU market
Everything You Need To Know About CBG Isolate
Newest Cannabinoid Powerhouse – CBC – What Can It Do for You?What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)
DELTA 8 THC Medical Benefits (The medical background of using DELTA 8 THC products)
Best Delta-8 THC deals, coupons and discount. How to choose Delta-8 THC vape cartridges.
DELTA 8 THC Business: Risks and Rewards (Read it before opening a DELTA 8 THC business)
Delta-8 THC infused hemp flowers: How to choose Delta-8 THC flowers
DELTA 8 THC Legal loophole (Explains the legal background of the DELTA-8 THC business opportunity)
DELTA 8 THC Testimonials (What people have to say about DELTA-8 THC)
The 
CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The 
Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
The Legal Landscape Of CBD Hemp Flower In Europe
Regulators Go After Smokable Hemp Flower – What Does The Future Hold?

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Is Delta 8 THC Legal in Your State?

If you’ve been studying up on the latest cannabis trends, then it’s very likely that delta 8 THC has entered your awareness. 

This cannabinoid is growing quickly in popularity as more and more people are finding ways to incorporate it into their routine.  But still, there are many people, including diehard CBD lovers, who aren’t exactly sure what it is, or whether or not it’s even legal.

To learn more about Delta 8, and for exclusive deals on infused flowers and other products, subscribe to The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter


What is Delta 8 THC?

Before we start getting into delta 8, let’s take a quick look at the more familiar Delta 9 THC, the type of tetrahydrocannabinol that is most commonly associated with cannabis. THC is the cannabinoid with psychoactive properties, and thus, the most controversial of the plant compounds.

Delta 9 THC is derived from THCA – or Tetrahydrocannabinolic acid – which is found in raw plants before heat is applied and it loses its carboxyl acid group, or CO2 molecule, creating the chemical formulation (C21H30O2), and then turning into Delta 9 THC. This process is known as decarboxylation.

From this point, a small percentage of Delta 9 will oxidize to become Delta 8 THC – a delta 9 analogue that is only found in trace amounts in the finished/cured flower. This is because delta 8 is only a slightly altered version of delta 9. More specifically, Delta 8 has a double bond on the 8th carbon atom whereas Delta 9 has it on the 9th one.

Much like other cannabinoids like cannabidiol (CBD), cannabichromene (CBC), and cannabinol (CBN), which appear in small amounts in the cannabis plant, delta-8 THC must be isolated and extracted to produce concentrations than what could be achieved via smoking or vaping. As far as medical benefits of Delta 8 THC, there are quite a few that are of particular interest.

Why is it important?

Numerous studies dating back to the 1970s, most of which come from Israel and were conducted by Professor Raphael Mechoulam and his associates, found Delta 8 to be associated with a number of different health benefits. As with other cannabinoids, it stimulates the endocannabinoid system can be used very diversely.

Delta-8 is already associated with a number of health benefits. The National Center for Biological Information (NCBI) describes delta-8 THC as follows: “An analogue of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) with antiemetic, anxiolytic, appetite-stimulating, analgesic, and neuroprotective properties.” It goes on to say: “This agent exhibits a lower psychotropic potency than delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC), the primary form of THC found in cannabis.”

Most notably is this cannabinoid’s ability to fight cancer and treat associated side-effects. This was first observed in a 1974 study that found delta-9 was able to slow tumor growth after a number of days, while delta-8 combined with CBN actually caused tumors to shrink after 20 days. Another study in 1995 on children with leukaemia, showed a high rate of efficacy for treating the cancer, while also controlling nausea and vomiting induced by other therapies.

What remains unknown, on a scientific level anyway, is exactly how the psychoactive effects of Delta 8 THC compare with those of Delta 9. According to another study from the 1970s, they found Delta 8 to have 2/3 the psychoactive effects of Delta 9, which is substantial, but still enough that a user will feel some noticeable effects.

Federal laws regarding Delta 8 THC

There was recently some controversy whether Delta 8 would be added to the DEA’s list of controlled substances, with many in the industry believing it would be prohibited under the Interim Ruling regarding “synthetically-derived” cannabinoids. This turned out not to be the case.

Although a few changes were made, the final result is this: if the end Delta 8 product is derived from hemp and has less than 0.3% Delta 9 THC, then it’s likely legal. The DEA does included Delta 8 THC on its list of controlled substances which was just updated in August 2020. But since the 2018 Farm Bill expressly exempts “tetrahydrocannabinols in hemp”, this means that any form of THC derived from hemp that falls within the already established limits will remain legal.

State-by-State legality

So yes, Delta 8 THC is federally legal… however, states can override federal laws if they choose to. It happens all the time with industries like alcohol, tobacco, and gambling. So, while Delta 8 may be federally legal, that doesn’t mean it’s legal in all 50 states.

What’s also interesting about this, is that the laws surround Delta 8 are not based on whether recreational cannabis is legal or not. Quite a few states with legal cannabis, including Arizona and Colorado, have banned the manufacture, sale, and possession of Delta 8 THC.

  • Alabama: Legal
  • Alaska: Delta 8 is illegal in the state of Alaska
  • Arizona: Delta 8 is illegal in the state of Arizona
  • Arkansas: Delta 8 is illegal in the state of Arkansas
  • California: Legal
  • Colorado: Delta 8 is illegal in the state of Colorado
  • Connecticut: Legal
  • Delaware: Delta 8 is illegal in the state of Delaware
  • Florida: Legal
  • Georgia: Legal
  • Hawaii: Legal
  • Idaho: Delta 8 is illegal in the state of Idaho
  • Illinois: Legal
  • Indiana: Legal
  • Iowa: Delta 8 is illegal in the state of Iowa
  • Kansas: Legal
  • Kentucky: Legal
  • Louisiana: Legal
  • Maine: Legal
  • Maryland: Legal
  • Massachusetts: Legal
  • Michigan: Legal
  • Minnesota: Legal
  • Mississippi: Delta 8 is illegal in the state of Mississippi
  • Missouri: Legal
  • Montana: Delta 8 is illegal in the state of Montana
  • Nebraska: Legal
  • Nevada: Legal
  • New Hampshire: Legal
  • New Jersey: Legal
  • New Mexico: Legal
  • New York: Legal
  • North Carolina: Legal
  • North Dakota: Legal
  • Ohio: Legal
  • Oklahoma: Legal
  • Oregon: Legal
  • Pennsylvania: Legal
  • Rhode Island: Delta 8 is illegal in the state of Rhode Island 
  • South Carolina: Legal
  • South Dakota: Legal
  • Tennessee: Legal
  • Texas: Legal
  • Utah: Delta 8 is illegal in the state of Utah
  • Vermont: Legal
  • Virginia: Legal
  • Washington: Legal
  • West Virginia: Legal
  • Wisconsin: Legal
  • Wyoming: Legal 

Final Thoughts

To summarize, Delta 8 is illegal in 11 states: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, Rhode Island, and Utah.  In all other states, it is legal, but keep in mind that this is subject to change if state legislators determine that it should be classified as a controlled substance.  Therefore, before taking delta 8, you should always check with state laws, as laws regarding cannabis are prone to sudden change.

Thank you for stopping by CBDtesters.co, your prime location for all cannabis-related news. Keep up with us every day to know what’s going on in the world, and sign up to our newsletter so you’re always in the know!

RESOURCES:

Effective Immediately – Most Delta 8 THC Is Now ILLEGAL in The United States (Understanding the latest announcement by the DEA)
DELTA 8 THC Products Still Available Online; Companies Sueing The DEA
Synthetic Cannabinoids (Are they synthetic cannabinoids safe?)
The Endocannabinoid System Explained (Why Cannabis Is Good for Our Bodies)
Everything You Need To Know About CBD Isolate (a deep look into hemp extracts)
Cannabinoids 101 – Spotlight on CBN (Cannabinol)
Your Complete Guide to EU GMP-Certified CBD Isolate and Distillate – Spotlight on the regulated EU market
Everything You Need To Know About CBG Isolate
Newest Cannabinoid Powerhouse – CBC – What Can It Do for You?
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)
DELTA 8 THC Medical Benefits (The medical background of using DELTA 8 THC products)
DELTA 8 THC Business: Risks and Rewards (Read it before opening a DELTA 8 THC business)
DELTA 8 THC Legal loophole (Explains the legal background of the DELTA-8 THC business opportunity)
DELTA 8 THC Testimonials (What people have to say about DELTA-8 THC)
DELTA 8 THC 
Legal Paper
DELTA 8 THC Newsletter (The DELTA 8 THC Weekly Newsletter)
The 
CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The 
Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
The Legal Landscape Of CBD Hemp Flower In Europe
Regulators Go After Smokable Hemp Flower – What Does The Future Hold?
The Complex Issue of Cannabis and Hemp Business On Tribal Land
Government Assistance Options for U.S. Hemp Farmers Affected By COVID-19

The post Is Delta 8 THC Legal in Your State? appeared first on CBD Testers.

Virginia and Cannabis, Setting the Record Straight

When it comes to Virginia and cannabis, Virginia didn’t see any big changes with the last US election. This is because the state had already decriminalized cannabis earlier this spring, and expanded on its own medical legalization policy this past summer. However, there’s one other thing when it comes to Virginia and cannabis, something that’s often misunderstood. Virginia was actually the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana, back in 1979.

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Was Virginia really first?

Indeed it was! And it went through with practically no buzz at all. In 1979, Virginia did an overhaul of its drug laws which included the inclusion of the use of cannabis medicines for people specifically suffering from glaucoma and cancer. The medical legalization allowed patients with these illnesses to receive the medications, but wasn’t expanded on past that point for many, many years. In fact, it wasn’t until 2017 that the bill was finally expanded to include more conditions and generally looser policies. It was updated yet again in the summer of 2020.

So, what happened to the bill? Not much. The issue with legalizations is that they don’t come compact with finished frameworks for regulation. They merely state the decision to change the legality of a specific thing. Once the status is changed, especially when a former black-market product becomes a regular market product, there has to be some kind of setup for how it’ll work. Will it be taxed, at what rate, and by what entity? How can it be used exactly, and where? Are there age restrictions? What’s the cost, and is there a cost ceiling? Where can the product come from, and what are the regulations for producing it?

cannabis decriminalization

These things and more must be figured out, and if they aren’t, the legalization is open to much debate in court, apart from the fact that it stymies the ability to have an operational industry. For years the law sat, practically unknown to the Board of Medicine, attorney general, or court system in general.

To say that it passed quietly is true, but this didn’t stop its near repeal two decades later. In 1996, upon California’s debate to legalize cannabis for medical use, Virginia suddenly became more aware of its own cannabis standing, and there was a major political fight that made it look like the bill would be repealed. One of the issues that led to this attempt to repeal, was that the law as it was written, allowed any doctor to recommend cannabis use, not just doctors in the state. It was probably written like this originally, because no other state had a legalization policy. In the end, it wasn’t repealed, but that didn’t mean much.

Why did no one hear about Virginia and its new-age cannabis policy back in the late 70’s, 80’s, or 90’s? Because it just sat there. No body to oversee anything, no laws on the books. Just a legalization that hung out there, essentially doing nothing. And barely being noticed until California did its thing.

How are California and Virginia different?

When people say that California was the first to pass a medical cannabis bill, in a way it is true. Virginia was the first state to allow any kind of cannabis use medically, but that was really a part of a much bigger bill. Sort of an afterthought to it.

California, on the other hand, crafted a bill specifically for the use of cannabis in medicine. Called the Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative (or, The Compassionate Use Act), not only was it a bill centered around medical marijuana use specifically, but it was a ballot measure which was voted in by its people through Proposition 215. Virginians never knew that their laws were tweaked to allow medical cannabis use in 1979, it was never put out there for them, voted on by them, or explained to them in any way.

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For California, it wasn’t a tiny add-on to another bill, but rather its own. In that way, California was most certainly the first US state to craft and pass its own medical cannabis bill, centered on cannabis, and about medical cannabis only. For anyone who thinks this makes it the first cannabis legalization, this would be incorrect, and it goes back to Virginia earning that title. Unfortunately, the title meant very little as the state dragged its feet to institute the policy.

Where else can this be seen?

Mexico is a great example of this right now. In 2018, the country legalized recreational cannabis use through its court system, which forced the legislative system to come up with laws to match the judiciary system. The laws were due out quite some time ago, but for various reasons have been postponed repeatedly, with the current date not until the spring. This leaves Mexico in a weird legal limbo. Some things like selling and trafficking are always illegal (and don’t require new legislation). Other things like use and possession are more fluid. How much a person has and what they’re doing with it, could mean the difference between a jail sentence, paying a fine, and nothing at all. The world has been watching Mexico and waiting for the outcome, for Virginia, there were no eyes on it, and so a suspended animation was created for decades with no movement.

States like New Jersey, Arizona, South Dakota, and Montana are in the same boat. All four just changed their legalizations policies for medical, recreational, or both, in the last election, meaning they have new laws, but no framework yet to use them. The idea is always to get the regulations hammered out quickly so as not to maintain a system where there is legal ambiguity. After all, if someone gets arrested for an act now that has technically been made legal, but which has no actual laws to govern it, it creates a gray area that can be argued extensively in court.

Virginia today

Post elections, it was announced that the governor of Virginia was pushing for an adult-use recreational policy. When states like California, Oregon, and Maine went legal, it wasn’t a huge surprise, but Virginia would be the first southern state to legalize marijuana, highlighting a major shift in overall thought regarding cannabis policy.

The south and cannabis

Virginia is a southern state, with a cannabis decriminalization policy that was signed by the governor in May 2020, and went into effect July 1st. The law (SB2 and HB 972) decriminalizes up to an ounce of cannabis. Virginia can swing red or blue, and like other states – both north and south – has both a strong conservative and liberal foundation. When looking at the other US locations that have legalized for recreational use, they all have one thing in common, they are not in the south, and have generally stronger liberal bases. There have been more medical legalizations in these states (West Virginia has one, Mississippi just voted one in), but many of the holdout states like Georgia and South Carolina (no medicinal legalization, recreational legalization, or decriminalization measures), are in the south.

Virginia is not the only southern state to decriminalize. It joins Mississippi, which decriminalized small amounts of cannabis in 1978; and Missouri which decriminalized up to 10 grams in 2014. But, if Virginia actually passes a recreational cannabis measure, it’ll be the first southern state to do so.

Conclusion

When it comes to new cannabis legalization measures, there are many firsts, and not all of them are terribly impressive. Virginia could have been a massively trailblazing state, but instead passed a huge legalization measure for the time, and then essentially went and took a nap for two decades. When it comes to Virginia and cannabis, it’s a story of not just the overall change in legalization policies, but the idea that such policies are reaching down to places that have been holding onto their marijuana illegalization laws very tightly. Just the fact that the legalization passed in 1979 says something, just like Virginia being one of only a few states in the region to consider cannabis legalizations of any kind. If Virginia legalizes cannabis recreationally, it’ll go back to being the first. In this case, the first southern state to break away and change course.

Thanks for stopping by CBDtesters.co, your hub for all cannabis-related news. Keep up with us daily to know what’s going on in the world of legal cannabis, and sign up to our newsletter so you never miss a beat!

Resources

Mexico Delayed Cannabis Bill Again
Cannabis and Schizophrenia – Not a Testable Hypothesis

India’s Bhang Loophole, and the Question of Legalization
Germany Leads EU in Cannabis Oil Imports…and Exports

Prop 65 Warning on California Cannabis Products Opens the Floodgates for Lawsuits Best Ounce Deals on Indoor Hemp Flowers
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

How the Ruskey’s do Cannabis – A Look At Regulation in Russia
America Is Cannabis Friendly – It’s Official
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
A Complete Look At Cannabis and Depression

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Deals 2020Cannabis Election Results –Best Deal Of The Year – $9.99 Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridges CanBreed Introduced The World’s First Fully Stable and Genetically Uniform Cannabis Hybrid Seeds
Best Delta-8 Deals, Coupons and Discounts

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America Is Cannabis Friendly – It’s Official

To actually say ‘America is cannabis friendly’, has a double meaning. Not only does it refer to the changing legalization policies within the borders of the US, but it also has meaning in terms of the continent of North America, and the inclusion of South America as well. In fact, no matter how the line is read, it’s true on all levels. So, let’s take a look at the new ‘America’, as 2020 comes to a close, and how new cannabis policies have made ‘America’ so cannabis friendly.

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Let’s start with the US prior to elections

In what is one of the biggest turnarounds of the past century, the country that spearheaded the global illegalization of cannabis, is now on the brink of being cannabis legal. Yes, after this past election, America is officially cannabis friendly. So, what were the election results that shifted everything, and what does this now mean for the US of A?

First let’s look at where the US was, going into the elections. Prior to the beginning of November, 12 locations in the US had recreational cannabis policies, and one US territory, Guam. Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Maine and Vermont all have open markets, with Maine and Vermont only passing bills to form regulated markets in October of this year. Then, of course, there’s Washington DC, the 12th location, where cannabis is legal to use and cultivate, but cannot be bought or sold. DC is unlikely to get a more open policy until recreational cannabis is legalized federally, since it’s home to the federal government.

Prior to the election, 35 states (counting Washington DC) had legal medical marijuana policies, although about half limit the use of THC. Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands also have medical marijuana policies. States that already had these policies are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Washington DC*, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Virginia, and West Virginia.

cannabis election results

Election results

As of the November elections, these numbers have changed. Starting with recreational, there are four new additions to the legal recreational states: Arizona, Montana, South Dakota and New Jersey. Arizona passed its recreational cannabis bill through proposition 207 with a vote of approximately 60%-40%. The new law allows use and cultivation at 21 years of age and up, establishes a 15% excise tax (among other point of sale taxes which are likely to be levied), changes criminal penalties for marijuana, and works to expunge previous marijuana offences.

Montana passed its recreational cannabis bill through proposition 190 with a vote of approximately 57%-43%. This bill legalizes small amounts of cannabis for use for adults 21 years of age and older. The bill also introduces a 20% tax on non-medical cannabis, and allows for those in prison on cannabis charges to apply for resentencing or expungement of their sentences. It doesn’t seem like this will be automatic in Montana, although I expect it might change (otherwise people will be sitting in prison for non-crimes, which could end up opening the state to large amounts of litigation).

New Jersey was the third state to legalize recreational cannabis use for adults, a bill that was passed through Public Question 1, with a vote of approximately 67%-33%. The bill allows those 21 years or older to partake, institutes a sales tax (undetermined), and the ability for individual areas to introduce local taxes. The market is to be overseen by the Cannabis Regulatory Commission, which was created prior to this legalization in 2019, originally to oversee the medical cannabis program for the state.

South Dakota passed Amendment A to legalize recreational cannabis with a vote of approximately 54%-46%. This bill amends the South Dakota constitution for legalizing, regulating, and taxing cannabis. The recreational legalization is actually being legally contested currently.

But South Dakota was on double duty for this election, because not only did it legalize recreational, it also legalized medical in the same election. South Dakota passed its medical bill through Measure 26, which had a vote of approximately 70%-30%. The bill allows for patients with debilitating conditions to receive cannabis-based products, including minors. The law covers cultivation, use, manufacture, and delivery for residents of the state. As of right now, the official date for legalization for both recreational and medical, is July 1st, 2021.

Mississippi is the last entry to the list of changes. The state actually had not one, but two competing initiatives for medical legalization on the ballot, Initiative 65, and Initiative 65A. 65 was a citizen-initiated measure which beat its government-initiated counterpart by approximately 74%-26%. The overall vote of whether to legalize medicinally or not came out to approximately 68%-32%. The measures don’t sound too different, but 65 proposed more actual details. It allows patients with debilitating conditions to access cannabis products. These products would only be available by licensed treatment centers.

legal cannabis

The current US breakdown

Now, let’s look at what we’ve got. We went into this last election with 11 US states, Washington DC, and Guam already having recreational legalization policies. Now, it’s 15 states with the inclusion of New Jersey, Montana, Arizona, and South Dakota, plus DC, and one territory.

In terms of medical, we went into the election with 34 states, Washington DC, and three territories (Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands), having medical policies. This was increased by two, with Mississippi and South Dakota joining in, to equal 36 states, DC, and three territories.

But there’s one more thing to consider. There are some states that haven’t gone as far as legalization, but have instituted decriminalization policies for cannabis. Some states that instituted these policies went on to legalize fully, others are on the way (like Virginia), or just staying decriminalized for now. The following are decriminalized states for recreational use: Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Ohio, Delaware, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Virginia, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Rhode Island. These states all have their own decriminalization policies, some more lax than others, but in all these states it was decided that cannabis was not something that warranted criminal prosecution (or at least, less of it.)

What this means is that in a country with 50 states, one district, and five major territories – US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Mariana Islands – (making for 56 locations total), over 1/3 of these locations allow for recreational adult-use cannabis. 15 out of 50 states, one district out of one district, and one territory out of five. When looking at medical, it becomes 40 locations out of 56 locations with 36 out of 50 states, one district out of one district, and three territories out of five.

Perhaps, the better way of looking at it though is to add all the recreational legalizations, with all the recreational decriminalizations. In that case, subtracting territories, we’re looking at 16 legalized states/locations (including DC) + 16 states with decriminalization policies, and that equals 32. This means that 32 out of 51 locations don’t really want to prosecute you for cannabis (for the most part, and not including anything other than possession and use). This is well over half the states/locations of the country.

Now, what about adding in the states that are legal for medical use, but aren’t legal for recreational use, or decriminalized? Then we’re looking at the addition of Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, and West Virginia. That’s nine more added on, making a total of 41 states/locations that allow recreational cannabis use, medical cannabis use, some level of recreational cannabis decriminalization, or a combination of the above. That’s 80% of the country. And that certainly backs up the idea that America is cannabis friendly.

The greater ‘America’

America is cannabis friendly

Now that we’ve established that America is cannabis friendly in terms of the US, let’s take a step back. ‘America’ does not include just the US, so let’s look at the entire continent of North America. We’ve got Canada, which legalized cannabis for recreational use in 2018, and Mexico , which legalized cannabis for recreational use through its court system in 2018 as well, but which is still waiting on its governmental legislation to go in line with its supreme court rulings. This deadline has been pushed back several times, with the most recent due date of December 15th being pushed off once again until April of 2021. But regardless of that, the country has been legalized, and that means that the US, and its majority of states that are marijuana-friendly, is sandwiched between the two other countries of the continent, both of which are cannabis legal countries. This makes North America as a whole the most cannabis friendly continent in the world.

Taking it back one more step allows the inclusion of Central and South America. While there aren’t too many recreational legalizations in the area, Uruguay is most certainly there, and it’s the very first country to legalize for recreational use in the world. Colombia is there too, and that country is in the process of pushing through a recreational legalization policy as well. Then there is a whole slew of countries that allow for medicinal use, or have personal use laws for recreational use, like: Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Peru, Venezuela, Ecuador, Costa Rica, etc. In total, when looking at all the countries that have personal use laws, or medical legalizations, you’re looking at nearly all of South and Central America. And this further backs up the idea that America is cannabis friendly, and in fact, the most cannabis friendly part of the world.

Conclusion

Laws move slowly, and so does setting up regulatory frameworks for new industries. But if you take a look at ‘America’ as a whole, it’s happening, and way faster than in other places. The recent US election highlights how close the US is getting to a federal legalization, but when looking at the continent of North America, or the Americas in general, it really becomes that much more apparent that America is very cannabis friendly. Perhaps the best example is bringing it down to North America, where all three of the countries that form the continent – Canada, the US, and Mexico – are all legal for recreational use, either federally, or partially by state.

Thanks for dropping in at CBDtesters.co, your prime location for all cannabis-related news. Keep up to date by joining us regularly, and sign up to our newsletter so you’re always on top of what’s going on!

Resources

Guam Legalized Recreational Marijuana, Asks Citizens to Help
First Ever Virtual CannX 2020 Conference – October 26th, 2020

India’s Bhang Loophole, and the Question of Legalization New Bill: Colombia Will Legalize Cocaine?
Best Way to Detox Cannabis For Drug Tests

Cannabis And The Elderly: A Neurophysiological And Pharmacological Recreational Cannabis in Colombia – Coming Soon? Review Best Deal Of The Year – $9.99 Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridges
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

Argentina Legalized Medical Cannabis in 2017 – and Gives It Away for Free
Death Penalty for Cannabis: Which Countries Will Kill You
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
Uruguay Was The First Country to Legalize Cannabis – How Are They Doing Now?

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Deals 2020Cannabis Election Results –Paraguay Grows it, Brazil Takes it… Will New Cannabis Laws Change Anything? Iran Still Hands Out Death Sentences for Cannabis
U.S. Cannabis Price – Which Is The Most Expensive State?
A Complete Look At Cannabis and Depression
Can Using CBD Make You Fail A Drug Test?
Will Mexico Become Biggest Legal Cannabis Market? Best Ounce Deals on Indoor Hemp Flowers
You’ll Not Want to Get Caught with Cannabis in Japan! Best Hemp Flowers Deals
Mexico Still Waiting on Its Promised Cannabis Legalization

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Death Penalty for Cannabis: Which Countries Will Kill You

It’s almost hard to believe that as the UN voted on recommendations to globally open the legality of cannabis, that some countries are still so against it that they’ll kill you for crimes related to it. Yup, it might be 2020, but you can still receive the death penalty for cannabis crimes in many different places.

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The first thing to understand about the death penalty for cannabis is that there are different kinds of cannabis crimes, and just because a country employs the death sentence, it doesn’t mean it’s applicable to all crimes involving cannabis. Some countries will only enforce such a law for traffickers, others are more hardcore, and will go after actual users with death. While it all seems like a massive overstep in any scenario, here are the places that still give out the death penalty for cannabis crimes.

China

China is at the top of pretty much any list when it comes to the use of capital punishment. Though the country didn’t begin handing out sentences for cannabis use until the 1980’s, it certainly went from 0 to 100 pretty fast. In China, being caught with just five kilograms can be enough to get the death penalty, though some publications put the amount at 10 kilograms of hash or 150 kilograms of marijuana. Lesser punishments involve prison sentences of five years to life, with a fine of up to 1,000 yuan. Sale and supply crimes will get you a death sentence that much faster, even with smaller amounts. The problem with China is that information is very rarely released with actual, usable numbers. While there is a strong expectation that China is killing its own people for all kinds of crimes, the specifics are merely speculation.

According to Amnesty International in its 2018 report for the use of the death penalty in the world, there was a 30% decrease in 2018 for known applications of capital punishment. However the report went on to stipulate that China is not involved in these numbers as it has never released this information, making the actual death – and the percentage it has increased or decreased, unknown. It stated: “As in previous years, the global totals do not include the thousands of executions that Amnesty International believed were carried out in China, where data on capital punishment is classified as a state secret.”

death penalty

So, the number of deaths could be in the hundreds, or thousands, or even tens-of-thousands, but we have no way of knowing. What we do know is China doesn’t have a problem killing travelers in its country. In August of this year, China sentenced its fourth Canadian to death on drug smuggling charges. This highlighting an escalating tension between the two countries that began with Canada’s arrest of Meng Wanzhou in late 2018. Wanzhou is the daughter of Huawei’s founder and an executive of the company. The request actually came from the US, stemming from fraud charges related to Iran. It is thought by some that the recent death sentences leveraged on Canadian citizens Ye Jianhui; Xu Weihong, who was sentenced to death a day before Jianhui; Robert Schellenberg, a convicted Canadian smuggler; and Fan Wei, who was given the death penalty in April of 2019, are a form of retaliation for Wanzhou.

China’s illegalization and harsh punishments for cannabis are similar to India in the sense that China is home to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), just like India is home to Ayurvedic medicine. Both are thousands-of-years old natural medicine traditions that employ the use of cannabis. While it’s not often spoken about these days – probably because China is good at suppressing information it doesn’t want out there, cannabis is considered one of 50 fundamental herbs, which goes by the name ‘da ma’. This has not helped with acceptance of the plant today, nor has it inspired China to legalize cannabis for medicinal use.

Singapore

Another country known for its liberal use of the death penalty for cannabis crimes is Singapore. This shouldn’t come as a huge shock to anyone who remembers young Michael Vay being caned in Singapore as a punishment for minor vandalism charges back in 1994. Whether the numbers released by Singapore’s government are accurate is a different story, but they are at least released through the Singapore Prison Service which publishes execution numbers for each year. In 2019, it stated there were four hangings, two for drug-related charges, and two for murder. In 2018 there were 13, 11 for drug offences, and two for murder.

The country’s drug policy is carried out through the Misuse of Drugs Act, which puts the burden of proof on the individual rather than the government. Being found with a large amount of drugs is automatically considered a trafficking offense, and if illegal drugs are found in the home or car of a person, it is deemed theirs automatically, even if it is not. In terms of cannabis, the amount at which it is termed trafficking is 10 grams of hash, or 15 grams of cannabis. Schedule two of the Misuse of Drugs Act allows for the death penalty for cannabis if the offender has 200 grams of hash, or 500 grams of flower.

Iran

Iran is yet another country known for its strict laws, and use of the death penalty for cannabis crimes. Possession of 50 kilograms can still get a person a death sentence, although Iran has technically loosened its laws to be a bit less harsh. It was reported in 2018 that Iran got rid of the death penalty for some drug charges, creating a need to review all death row cases. It was estimated at the time that as many as 5,000 lives could be spared because of the update. It used to be that 30 grams of cocaine would incur the death penalty, and now the amount has been raised to two kilograms. Both opium and marijuana were increased to 50 kilograms. It was approximated that of the 5,000 people sitting on death row at the time of the legal update, 90% were first-time offenders between the ages of 20-30.

What was just mentioned is merely for use. If a person is caught trafficking over five kilograms of cannabis in Iran, they are likely to get a death sentence, as well as having all property taken away, save for what is necessary for the offender’s family to survive on. This means the family of offenders pay for the crimes of those who actually perpetrate them. Cultivation is illegal in Iran, and offenders caught for the fourth time are subject to a death penalty. Strangely enough, if the plants are not intended for narcotic use, cultivation is tolerated, although how this is determined is less defined.

illegal cannabis

India

India truly seems out of place on the list. Like China, it has a longstanding medical tradition – Ayurvedic medicine – which employs the use of cannabis, and yet this history hasn’t helped with legalization measures. India does stand apart from China in that it is slowly loosening policies, or at least giving individual states the ability to set their own laws. Some states even instituted medicinal cannabis policies.

India isn’t generally known as having a high level of violence, unlike other entries on this list. But this hasn’t stopped the country from employing the death penalty for cannabis crimes. And, it’s a country that will use the death sentence on non-trafficking crimes. In India, if an offender is caught with 20 kilograms of marijuana or hash with a THC content of 500 grams, they can incur the death penalty. It used to be that such a crime automatically meant a death penalty, but this was struck down in 2011 by the Bombay High Court, which knocked it down from a requirement to an option. Since possession and supply crimes actually have the same penalties, suppliers caught with 20 kilograms can be subject to the death penalty. When it comes to actual trafficking, this is considered just as severe. The maximum sentence of a 100,000-200,000 rupee fine is the same as the top punishment for possession and supply crimes, and trafficking also can incur the death penalty under certain circumstances.

The rest

The examples above are not the only countries to employ the death sentence for cannabis crimes. Saudi Arabia is another hardcore country that doesn’t allow for much. Cannabis is illegal in the country in all forms. The country beheaded approximately 60 people in 2017 for drug-related crimes, with some of them being for cannabis. This amount equals about 40% of beheadings for that year, which was up from about 16% the year before according to Amnesty International. What it takes exactly to incur the death penalty in Saudi Arabia is hard to say, but it seems first time offenders and small-time users are punished with minor jail sentences, or lashings, with beheadings saved for repeat offenders who deal with large amounts.

Malaysia is known as one of the toughest countries on drug possessors and traffickers. Malaysian law makes the assumption that if a person has 200 grams or more that they are trafficking. Under the Malaysian Law Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, this is punishable by death. In 2018, upon enough public outrage over these killings, the government began talks to legalize cannabis for medicinal use, which is quite a turnaround from capital punishment.

The case that caused this disruption regarded a man, Muhammad Lukman, who was sentenced to death for selling cannabis oil to sick people. After his sentencing, over 10,000 residents signed a petition to have his case reviewed, resulting in the government announcing it would remove the death sentence for drug charges and 31 other crimes. Talking is not the same as doing, however, and it seems that talk of removing the death penalty hasn’t resulted in action yet. As of May 2020, the Malaysian Court of Appeals upheld Muhammad Lukman’s conviction, stating that there was no evidence that cannabis could be beneficial for cancer patients.

In fact, to give an idea of how little the proclamation to abolish the death penalty meant in 2018, another man, R Siva Raman, was sentenced for drug trafficking on September 30th 2020. And this for having 208 grams only. In general, Malaysia is not a country that releases statistics on capital punishment for drug charges, so specifics are hard to come by.

drug trafficking

Vietnam, much like China and Malaysia, isn’t really big on releasing data on executions. It is therefore impossible to know how many death sentences for cannabis, or drugs in general, were handed down. The UN Human Rights Committee has repeatedly asked for this data, but the Supreme People’s Court has repeatedly sidestepped the request. The only information to go on comes from media reports which state Vietnam gave out at least 75 death sentences in 2019, 74 for drug offenses!

Then there’s Egypt, which approved death sentences for drug traffickers as late as 2019, which is odd since the general trajectory has been to get rid of capital punishment, not institute it. In Egypt, sale and supply crimes can be met with the death penalty, although possession of small amounts can still incur severe punishments as well.

Indonesia technically allows the death penalty for traffickers. This can be imposed if the offender has over one kilogram of raw drug materials, or five kilograms of processed drugs. Though Indonesia has plenty of people sitting on death row for drug trafficking, there have been no executions since 2016, likely because of building public outrage against them.

Myanmar gets added to the list as well. Though it’s not a country that comes up often when discussing death sentences for cannabis crimes, it came into the spotlight in early 2019 when a US citizen and two locals were sentenced to possible death for violating local drug laws.

Other countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, Jordan, Mauritania, Qatar, South Korea, Palestine, Taiwan, Yemen, Cuba, Oman, Sudan, the UAE, and the USA all have the ability for the death sentence, though not all will do so for drugs. Countries like Libya, North Korea, and Syria have death penalties as well, but limited information on how they are used.

Conclusion

There really isn’t much to be said. Be careful where you do drugs. And know the laws of the country you are in if you don’t want the death penalty for cannabis.

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Resources

Cannabis and CBD Oil Use in Muslim Culture
First Ever Virtual CannX 2020 Conference – October 26th, 2020

India’s Bhang Loophole, and the Question of Legalization
Best Way to Detox Cannabis For Drug Tests

Canadian Study Says Cannabis Worse Than Alcohol Best Deal Of The Year – $9.99 Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridges
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

How America’s Foster Care System Weaponizes Cannabis Against Society’s Most Vulnerable
CBD and Halal Culture: Is CBD Oil Halal?
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
A Complete Look At Cannabis and Depression

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Deals 2020Cannabis Election Results –How Green Is Ireland When It Comes to Cannabis Regulation? Iran Still Hands Out Death Sentences for Cannabis
Thailand is 1st Asian Country to Legalize Medicinal Cannabis and Enter Global Market
Can Using CBD Make You Fail A Drug Test?
Cannabis Falling from the Sky in Israel How America’s Foster Care System Weaponizes Cannabis Against Society’s Most Vulnerable
You’ll Not Want to Get Caught with Cannabis in Japan!
Medical Cannabis Tourism Rising: Virgin Islands, Jamaica, and Thailand Set to Cash In

The post Death Penalty for Cannabis: Which Countries Will Kill You appeared first on CBD Testers.

Best Way to Detox Cannabis For Drug Tests

Even with more and more locations in the world opening up for both recreational and medicinal cannabis use, there are still plenty of times when a person might be subjected to a drug test. There are plenty of ‘quick fix’ products that promise to help quickly rid your system of THC, but how well do they work, and what’s the best way to detox cannabis out of your system?

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My experience

Before I get into what the rest of the world has to say about it, I’ll start with my own experience. Way back in about 2004 I was slated to start working for an in-patient facility for people with special needs. This was in 2004, before any state had a recreational policy, and in the state of Pennsylvania, 14 years before a medical program was signed into place. Plus, as a job that required working with highly developmentally disabled children and adults, drug testing was taken seriously. Along with criminal history checks, and child abuse clearances.

From about the age of 21, I’ve taken smoking weed pretty seriously. Up until that point I never had a job that required such clearances, and I certainly didn’t have time to clean my system out in any kind of natural way. I remember there being a lot of products out at that time specifically for the purpose of passing drug tests when cannabis was surely present. Some made claims about somehow keeping the body from releasing cannabinoids (though I wasn’t familiar with that term back then), while others claimed they could mask these cannabinoids, and still others claimed they could force them out of your body.

All of them came with the same simple instructions of drinking down some kind of Gatorade-like liquid along with multiple bottles full of water, and they usually stated that the test had to be taken within a certain number of hours after ingestion. I can’t remember which kind I used, but I did pass my drug test, although I wouldn’t necessarily put the credit for that on the detox drink, or stand by it as the best way to detox cannabis.

pass drug test

Some basic THC detox theories

The first thing to know is that there isn’t really any regulation for this market, so there is very little medical verification of claims. There is, however, a lot of interest in such products, leaving the door open for many snake oil salesmen to come in hocking worthless solutions. Most products are also sold as body detox products, or cleanses. As mentioned before, THC detox products claim to work in different ways.

  • Detox within a few days to two weeks: these products generally use herbal supplements to do a full body cleanse, taking the THC with other toxins, or so the claims say.
  • Quick fix 1: These promise the ability to pass a test within 24 hours by temporarily flushing metabolites from the urinary tract which lasts for just a short period.
  • Quick fix 2: Using different supplements to mask the cannabinoids with other compounds, also just leaving a short window for use.

As these products are not regulated, the claims made on the packaging generally give no more information than what I just stated. Explaining how different herbal supplements work, or modes of action, is not information generally given to consumers of these products.

Keeping it natural

Of course, it doesn’t stop there. There are also plenty of natural remedies listed for helping to detox cannabis cannabinoids out of the system. Things like herbal teas, lemons juice, and mint are often cited for their ability to help cleanse a system, as is water in general. In fact, water is generally noted as the main reason some of these products work, meaning the main factor would simply be diluting urine, making for less cannabinoids present.

This issue of dilution can often backfire, though, and cause a test to be invalid because of the lack of other compounds in the correct amounts. When using large amounts of water to flush the system (and let’s remember, THC is not water soluble, so drinking lots of water will never rid the body of it, just dilute how much is currently being expelled), it means all the other things that belong in healthy, undiluted urine won’t be there in the necessary amounts. Therefore, those who want to use this method, or are using a method that requires a lot of water, should consider adding in some vitamin B for that nice urine color, and creatine, so that labs don’t become suspicious.

One of the more interesting methods that I saw for the best way to detox cannabis included the use of bentonite clay. Bentonite clay, as the name implies, is a form of clay. And much like carbon, clays tend to be absorbent, meaning they can absorb all kinds of things – like cannabinoids – and get them out of the system. This doesn’t mean that a clay can get into fat cells and remove THC stored there, but it means if the THC is released back into the system, say through exercise, the clay can absorb it to keep it from reabsorbing in the body, and get it out faster. Many detox kits claim to have a toxin absorber, along with some kind of component to stimulate organs and bowels to get the THC moving. Many of these kits say straight out that it can take up to 14 days, which is getting to the time that it would naturally take THC to be removed from the system anyway.

drug testing

For the most dire of circumstances, there is even fake urine, but this often comes with very specific instructions that aren’t always easy to follow, like mixing something together, and making sure it stays the right temperature. Fake urine is often spotted in testing, so beware. If you are going to go the fake way, best to use someone else’s real urine, but keep in mind it still has to be the right temperature, and not too old when handed over, or you’re sure to get some uncomfortable questions.

How long to naturally clear THC

As with any drug, this is highly dependent on different factors. The age and weight of the person trying to detox, how much they smoke and how frequently, and what they smoke and the THC content within. It can also be affected by levels of exercise, a person’s diet, and other aspects of general lifestyle. When half-life ranges are given (the amount of time for half of a substance to be eliminated from the system – or broken down into a different metabolite), they’re often rather wide, highlighting this massive variation.

In fact, most sources that give information for the length of time THC can be detected in urine (the standard form of drug test), claim all but chronic, heavy users typically no longer show detectable amounts within 10 days. This implies, of course, that even very heavy users have the capacity to eliminate far faster than the far limit of 30 days. And this means that a lot of those detox methods promising a clean body within 7-14 days, aren’t actually promising anything special at all.

So, what’s the best way to detox cannabis?

When it comes down to it, unless someone is trying to sell you something, not many sources are going to back up the majority of detox methods, even the ones more based on herbal supplements. Though many herbal supplements are known for their detoxification properties, the idea that they could save a person from failing a drug test is a very different thing.

The publication Weedmaps asked its resident expert, Dr. Adie Poe, who is also assistant scientist at the Legacy Research Institute in Portland, Oregon, about the topic. Dr. Poe explained a few concepts to help understand the options for the best way to detox cannabis out of the system. She explained that while exercise sometimes can take a day or two off the total amount of time for detoxification, that it won’t help a person pass a drug test in the short term. She also went on to explain how detox drinks like cranberry juice and green tea do nothing to eliminate THC from the system, but instead work to trick the test by loading up on other nutrients to essentially mask the THC.

According to Dr. Poe, and most sites not trying to make a sale, the best way to detox cannabis is to wait it out, while many publications add in that it helps to have a healthy diet and exercise regimen as well.

detox THC

Some of the better advice given for how to use cannabis and still pass a drug test, was to smoke low-THC cannabis, or use CBD products, though this obviously is not the best answer for someone looking specifically for high-THC marijuana.

Something to understand about drug testing

The reason I probably passed the drug test back in 2004 wasn’t because of the detox drink or loads of water drank with it. It was probably that it was never tested at all. In some situations of random drug testing, or drug testing for a job, only a percentage of the samples taken are tested. Employers have to pay out for this, and in companies with a lot of applicants and turnover – constant testing can start to add up. It’s quite possible that the practice was even more expensive back in 2004 when I was tested.

Though it’s not mentioned much on the internet these days, it was this thing we all knew back then. That not all the samples would be tested. In the last 16 years the process may have become more streamlined, and cheaper, allowing for more honest testing, but when employers want to cut costs, something like drug testing is likely to be one of the things to go. Again, while not much is mentioned about it these days, it was not only known as a ‘fact’ (with no backing) 16 years ago, but the only explanation for many passed drug tests that should have uniformly failed.

Conclusion

If you know you’ve got a drug test coming up, be smart about it, and if you can, practice some self-control. Take yourself a break and ensure a negative result. If you’re not lucky enough to have time, feel free to try any of the methods out there offering short-term help. But do so knowing that the products are unregulated, and that they might not work. Choose for yourself which one offers the best way to detox cannabis, and decide for yourself if it’s best to go through the whole process if you can’t ensure the result. If all else fails, go for dilution, just understand that it too might not get you the right outcome. Of course, if you’re really lucky, your sample may never be tested at all – but best not to bet on that one.

Welcome to CBDtesters.co, your best location for all cannabis-related news. Visit us regularly to stay in-the-know, and sign up to our newsletter so you never miss a thing!

Resources

CBD Is Not Dangerous Drug, Says Israel
First Ever Virtual CannX 2020 Conference – October 26th, 2020

India’s Bhang Loophole, and the Question of Legalization
Mexico Set to Legalize Recreational Cannabis by the End of the Year

Canadian Study Says Cannabis Worse Than Alcohol Best Deal Of The Year – $9.99 Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridges
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

Mexico Delayed Cannabis Bill Again
Mexico’s Health Ministry Ordered To Clarify Medical And Recreational Cannabis Status
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
A Complete Look At Cannabis and Depression

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Deals 2020Cannabis Election Results –Next Nobel Prize Winner?Harvey Prize, a Predictor of the Nobel Prize Goes to Raphael Mechoulam New Bill: Colombia Will Legalize Cocaine?
Current CBD Deals And Exclusive Offers
Will Smoking Hemp Flowers Make You Fail A Drug Test – Recreational CBD Weekly

Can Using CBD Make You Fail A Drug Test?
Cannabis Falling from the Sky in Israel How America’s Foster Care System Weaponizes Cannabis Against Society’s Most Vulnerable
Can Delta-8 THC Make You Fail a Drug Test?
EU Beat France, CBD Legal Throughout EU

The post Best Way to Detox Cannabis For Drug Tests appeared first on CBD Testers.

Mexico Delayed Cannabis Bill Again

It’s not the first time. It’s not even the second. We can only hope it’ll be the last. As the third country set for federal recreational cannabis legalization, once again Mexico delayed its cannabis bill. New date? Not until April 2021.

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A couple weeks ago the bill passed the Senate and was looking to make it all the way through. Mexico, and the rest of the world, waited for today to come so that the government could meet its new official deadline for this cannabis bill. But what seemed like a sure thing days ago, turned into a not-gonna-happen today, when officially Mexico delayed its cannabis bill again.

Some background on the issue

The whole issue of cannabis legalization came up in an interesting way in Mexico. In most countries, when a person or group in government wants to initiate new legislation, they draft a bill that then must be discussed, fought over, changed to meet others’ needs, and then finally voted on in some way. Mexico does this too, but it’s not how cannabis got the free legalization pass.

Mexico also has something called jurisprudence (jurisprudencia). This allows for laws to essentially be changed through the court system, and not the legislative system. In the case of Mexico, Mexican law uses a form of it called jurisprudence constantia, meaning, if there are five separate supreme court rulings on a single subject, with at least eight justices giving approval, and if those rulings are consecutive, the outcome becomes binding for all lower courts. A couple supreme court rulings in October of 2018, sealed the five consecutive rulings concerning the ability to use cannabis for personal use.

cannabis vote

It didn’t start in 2018, but rather 2015, when four members of The Mexican Society for Tolerant Self-Consumption, won through the Supreme Court the ability to grow, possess, and transport cannabis. The court’s Criminal Chamber made the decision that individuals have the right to grow and distribute cannabis for their own personal use. Then, in 2018, two more supreme court rulings came out to round out the necessary five for jurisprudence. In fact, the rulings were made on the very same day in October of that year, with the ruling being that offenders in individual use cases must be allowed to use cannabis recreationally. The court made the order for the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risk to allow the complainants to consume cannabis, so long as they do not commercialize it.

To be clear, the five court rulings don’t actually legalize cannabis for recreational use, but they do create a legal contradiction that must be fixed. Since nothing changed in terms of written legislation, all written legislation concerning cannabis in Mexico still technically stands. However, since no lower court can rule in opposition to the Supreme Court now that the five rulings have been made, it means that the courts must allow it, even if the written laws do not. This puts the Mexican legislative system in opposition to the judiciary system.

The main reason given by the courts for their decisions to allow cannabis use, is that as personally developed human beings – who are given the right to personal development by the Mexican constitution – people have the right to choose their own recreational activities, with no government interference. The ruling also stated that cannabis does not contain enough psychoactive properties to justify completely prohibiting use.

What is legal, and what is not?

A case like this can be a bit misleading because it implies more than it actually allows. For anyone who thinks they can get away with any cannabis crime because of these supreme court rulings, this isn’t true at all. Even with the court ruling that recreational use is fine for individuals, it certainly doesn’t mean that courts can’t find offenders guilty of plenty other cannabis crimes.

Mexico, like most of the world, illegalized cannabis use in the early 1900’s, however, the country decriminalized it, and many other drugs, in 2009. The decriminalization was a measure taken to try to curb Mexican cartel activity and violence, one of many tactics used over the years. This also instituted personal use rights which allow individuals to have up to five grams, with more than this leading to possible prison time.

cannabis industry

Any sale or supply crime is illegal in Mexico, and according to Mexico’s Federal Criminal Code, offenders caught doing these crimes can land themselves in prison for 10-25 years. The Criminal Code has been updated to essentially decriminalize cultivation for personal use when caught the first time, though repeat offenders can still face prison time.

Missed deadlines

When the final two supreme court rulings came out in 2018, it created the necessity for the legislative system to come up with new legislation to go in-line with the court rulings. Originally slated to be released at the end of 2019, the Supreme Court gave Congress a six-month extension and Mexico delayed the cannabis bill. Whether it was due to the coronavirus or infighting, that date was postponed once again in April until December 15th. The day it was due in, the Supreme Court once again allowed another delay, this time setting yet another deadline for April 30th, 2021. This is now the third time Mexico delayed its cannabis bill. The extension was requested by the Lower House’s Dulce Maria Sauri in a statement to the court, which complained about the complexity of the issue and needing more time.

Just last month, the Mexican Senate passed a legalization bill with a vote of 82-18 which would allow individuals to have up to 28 grams (one ounce), to grow up to six plants, and for the initiation of a licensing framework for a free market trade. While it passed the Senate with flying colors, the Lower House obviously was having a harder time coming to a decision. When Mexican legislators do finally come up with a fully passable bill, it will make Mexico the third country to be fully federally legal, behind Uruguay, and Canada, and create possibly the largest cannabis market to date.

Why is this happening, and what to expect?

The spread of the coronavirus took the blame for this most recent delay, however this undermines the fact that plenty of legislating has been done in Mexico during this time, including the Senate passing the bill. The politics of passing a bill can be nauseating, with each side trying to make sure it gets what it wants out of it. Funny enough, one of the holdups seems to be that a majority of citizens actually are not for legalization, at least according to recent polling. However, in a country with a lot of cartel activity, and which is situated just south of legal US markets, perhaps there are other issues holding it up that aren’t being spoken about as much.

Mexico delayed cannabis bill

Since Mexico delayed its cannabis bill, there has been no change yet in law, and there isn’t any way of saying yet what the final bill will be. However, the last published details when it passed the Senate included the following as part of the new law: Adults can have up to one ounce, but up to 200 grams is decriminalized. Smoking would also be permitted in public, and would be treated much like cigarette smoking, with not many further restrictions (which is unlike other legalized places). According to the draft legislation, about 40% of licenses would be reserved for low-income, indigenous communities, and while this does offer some protection to local farmers, cultivators would still have to install security equipment which could be rather costly.

It’s nearly impossible to say how a market will really do, as this is dependent on the buying behavior of the public, and the basic price points established. But some estimates say that when Mexico joins the global market, it can increase it to over $100 billion by 2024. Not only would this bring in a large amount of tax revenue for Mexico, but it could also reduce spending on law enforcement related to cannabis by as much as $200 million a year. For a poor country, these are very helpful financial factors. The new industry would bring new jobs, with the same source expecting 75,000 new jobs to be created. The bill also sets a 1% THC limit for hemp, and requires the creation of a new agency to oversee the entire cannabis market.

Conclusion

The both frustrating and reassuring aspect to Mexico’s delayed cannabis bill is that while it’s a requirement that must happen, there doesn’t seem to be a law to ensure that deadlines are met. So we know it’s a part of the future, but we have no idea when it can be expected for sure. What we do know, is that 2020 will finish itself out, and Mexico will still be waiting for its recreational cannabis legislation.

Thanks for dropping by CBDtesters.co, your #1 location for all cannabis-related news. Join us frequently to stay on top of what goes on in the industry, and sign up to our newsletter so you never miss a beat!

Resources

It’s Not Your Parents’ THC – Welcome Cannabidiolic Acid Methyl Ester
Uruguay Was The First Country to Legalize Cannabis – How Are They Doing Now?

India’s Bhang Loophole, and the Question of Legalization
Mexico Set to Legalize Recreational Cannabis by the End of the Year

Canadian Study Says Cannabis Worse Than Alcohol Best Deal Of The Year – $9.99 Delta 8 THC Vape Cartridges
What is DELTA 8 THC (FAQ: Great resource to learn about DELTA 8THC)

Canadian Study Says: Cannabis Worse Than Alcohol
Mexico’s Health Ministry Ordered To Clarify Medical And Recreational Cannabis Status
The CBD Flowers Weekly newsletter (your top resource for all things smokable hemp flowers)
The Medical Cannabis Weekly newsletter (International medical cannabis business report)
Will Mexico Become Biggest Legal Cannabis Market?

The Delta 8 Weekly Newsletter (All you need to know about Delta 8 thc) and the Best Black Friday Delta 8 THC Deals 2020Cannabis Election Results –Why Israel Is (and will continue to be) A Global Leader in the Cannabis Industry New Bill: Colombia Will Legalize Cocaine?
Current CBD Deals And Exclusive Offers
Israeli Researchers Work on CBD-Based Treatment for COVID-19

Mexico Still Waiting on Its Promised Cannabis Legalization
Cannabis Falling from the Sky in Israel How America’s Foster Care System Weaponizes Cannabis Against Society’s Most Vulnerable
Recreational Cannabis in Colombia – Coming Soon?
EU Beat France, CBD Legal Throughout EU

The post Mexico Delayed Cannabis Bill Again appeared first on CBD Testers.

How America’s Foster Care System Weaponizes Cannabis Against Society’s Most Vulnerable

As far as government entities go, the child welfare and foster system is one of the least understood, but it does hold one of the most invasive powers a state can exercise over its citizens – the power to break families apart and permanently sever bonds between children and their parents. Learn how the foster system weaponizes cannabis against some of the most marginalized people in our society.

Despite having the power to monitor and control families, and forcibly take their children away, the child welfare and foster system is subject to shockingly little oversight. And all to too often, allegations of drug abuse are used to help cement cases against these families. Data vary considerably, but the most commonly cited estimate is that “80% of all foster system cases involve caretaker drug use allegations at some point during the life of the case,” and many times the “drug” they’re referring  to is marijuana.

According to a recently published, 174-page report titled, “How the Foster System Has Become Ground Zero for the U.S. Drug War,” this system also works mainly against low income families, despite statistics from a Gallup poll showing that high income earners abuse substances at rates equal to, and in many cases higher than, working and lower class Americans. There are also very stark racial disparities when it comes to the higher levels of intervention, which black, latinx, and native American children being separated from their families at much higher rates than white children.

So, what is going on here? Are they criminalizing families that maybe just needed a bit of extra help? And how is the child welfare and foster system using cannabis to further their own cause?

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Criminalizing Medical Cannabis Patients

If you live in a state where cannabis is still highly criminalized, the concept of “medical cannabis” really doesn’t exist. Should you be arrested, you’ll find no sympathy from the court, whether you’re using cannabis simply to get stoned or to treat a debilitating health condition. Recent years have brought us numerous infamous cases of children removed from their homes and families over medical cannabis use, and what may come as a surprise to many is that this can happen in legal states too.

In 2014, a 35 -year-old father from Spring Lake, Michigan named Max Lorincz, has his son placed in the state foster system for using legal medical cannabis to treat a medical condition that was having severely negative effects over his quality of life. “The whole thing was a nightmare,” Lorincz recalled, “I didn’t understand how they could take our child away.”

In 2015, Kansas-resident Shonda Banda lost custody of her 11-year-old son for using medical cannabis to treat Chron’s disease. Banda’s son told his drug education program teacher about his mother’s use of cannabis as medicine, which prompted a call to the state foster system. The following year, Kansas state officials took custody of military veteran Raymond Schwab’s five children on suspicion of “child endangerment” because Schwab was using medical cannabis which he purchased legally in Colorado.

If you’re wondering how medicinal cannabis can be criminalized and so strictly enforced in some states, let me reference this announcement that came out recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association. “The US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended that primary care doctors screen their patients for unhealthy drug use.”

For the record, cannabis use is included in the definition of “unhealthy drugs” used by foster system case workers to tear families apart. Tobacco and alcohol are not included in this list, despite how often we see the negative impacts of alcohol on the family unit.

Even Recreational Cannabis Use in Legal States Can Be Problematic

Again, this pattern in foster system involvement is not limited to states like Texas or Indiana where all cannabis use is heavily criminalized. This happens even in legal states like California and Colorado. Healthcare employees, therapists, and social workers are trained to red-flag cannabis use in their patients, especially those with children.

Federal and state laws, passed in the name of child protection, have criminalized the doctor-patient privilege of privacy. Any states interested in receiving federal funds provided through the Child Abuse Prevention Treatment Act (CAPTA) amendments of 2003, 2010, and 2016 can get only that money if they create a reporting system for medical professionals to utilize when they encounter a child impacted by substance abuse, and that includes marijuana use.

That medical provider must also notify a local child protective services (CPS) agency, and ensure that the agency establish a “plan of safe care” for the infant and mother. That “safeguard” has effectively put millions of pregnant people and mothers at risk of being reported to CPS for cannabis use that is perfectly legal. Women of color and those struggling economically are far more likely to be reported and thereby taken into a system that may monitor them for years thereafter.

Now, this isn’t a bad thing. I know many families that have been torn apart by drug use. But I’m talking about hard drugs, like heroin and methamphetamine, even alcohol… but certainly not cannabis. Doctors wouldn’t categorize all wine-drinking parents as alcoholics that can’t take care of their children, so why do they feel the need to do that to cannabis users?

Targeting the Poor

The U.S. foster care system was established in 1935 as a way to identify and monitor families living in poverty who were determined as “undeserving” of financial assistance. While there are some benefits to this system (keeping government money out of the hands of addicts, etc.), ultimately, it criminalizes those living in poverty – because wealthy families, even those with abusing their children, are rarely subjected to the same kind of surveillance.

Today the system isn’t much different, and the kicker is that anyone can call CPS can open a case against someone for virtually any reason. This can throw cannabis-smoking parents in a downward spiral of government monitoring, court dates, fines, and many other near-impossible hoops to jump through.

Should a parent be sent to a drug treatment program, which is required by the foster system, parents are forced to attend classes – on their own dime while missing work – with no indication of when they will be finished and be able to return to a normal life with their children.

Then there’s the problem of consent. Hospitals that serve predominantly low-income populations regularly engage in drug testing of pregnant women and newborns without their consent. If they find evidence of drug use, even cannabis, those test results are reported to child protective services and can result in immediate removal of the baby. And for the record, these are the same drug tests that are so inaccurate they are inadmissible in court, but they’re used in CPS cases to separate families.

I actually had this problem myself, when I had my second son at Loma Linda University Medical Center in California, a legal state need I remind you. After giving birth, the nurse walked in and told me that I had failed my only drug test at my first prenatal appointment, indicating that I had smoked weed BEFORE finding out I was pregnant. Regardless, she proceeded to tell me that because of this, they would need to drug test me again, and if I failed, they would call CPS and not allow me to breastfeed my baby. But they saw no irony in offering me opioid pain medication throughout my entire stay there, which I declined every time.

Racial Disparities

Racial disparities are present throughout most of our government institutions, but they’re especially prevalent in the child welfare system. A report conducted by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) found that African American children make up more than one-third of children in the American foster care system, despite representing only 15% of the entire child population in the US. To compare, 1 in 17 white children are taken by CPS vs 1 in 9 black children and 1 in 7 Native American children.

Statistics show that women of color are more likely to be reported to (often without reason and based on mere assumptions) child abuse hotlines, and subsequently investigated for “child abuse and neglect”. This makes it much more likely that a woman of color will have her children removed from her care by the state.

In many cases, the system still functions just as it did back in the 1930s. It’s common for “neglect” to be categorized exclusively by the ability to provide financial care; again, criminalizing the poor. And again, cannabis use is often a deciding factor in foster system involvement, especially for women of color. Instead of creating programs that help these families get on their feet, many are quickly plunged in the system where the outcomes are often worse than children who remain with their families.

Causing More Harm than Good

It’s well-known that the child welfare system has many flaws, and this leads to poor living situations and future outcomes for many children who spend longer periods of time in the state care. In one survey of nearly 6,000 people incarcerated in the Kansas prison system, over 20% had spent time in a state foster system as children.

There is also the issue of abuse, which needless to say, can have lasting effects on a person. A John Hopkins University study of a group of foster children in Maryland found that children in foster care are four times more likely to be sexually abused than their peers not in this setting, and children in group homes are 28 times more likely to be abused.

Researchers of a study of investigations of abuse in New Jersey foster homes, concluded that “no assurances can be given” that any foster child in the state is safe. More than half of child sex trafficking victims recovered through FBI raids across the U.S. in 2013 were from foster care or group homes.

This statistic brings to light the failure of the system to address the recurring sexual exploitation of minors while in their protection. Predators immediately recognize that children in foster care are especially accessible to them, because the adults charged with protecting them are not doing so.

A report completed by the New Jersey Office of Child Advocacy included some date that discussed the relationship between the victim and abuser. Out of the child cases studied, “37.4% of perpetrators were institution staff, 36.5% were foster parents, and 20% were relatives of the victim.” The results beg the question: where is the risk of sexual abuse higher, in a dysfunctional home or institutional setting?

Where Is the Oversight? Any Standards?

The answer to this… well, it’s surprisingly minimal. Although tasked with protecting children from abusive and/or negligent parents, the criteria used to determine a parent’s ability to care for their children has never been standardized. So what might seem like a normal act of parenting to one case worker, might be cause for removal in a other agency or state.

Not to mention, the system was designed with the focus of removing children from “problem homes”, rather than rehabilitating the parents and repairing the family structure. The goal is to have as many “saved” children as possible, with saved meaning placed in foster care – and this goal is incentivized by money.

As a matter of fact, the government spends roughly 10 times more on foster care and adoption than programs aimed at reuniting families. This begins at the federal level with the the Federal Foster Care Program (Title IV-E of the Social Security Act), which functions as an open-ended entitlement grant. There is no upper limit to the amount of funding that can be provided for eligible foster children every year. States receive between 50 and 75 cent reimbursements for each dollar spent on daily child care and supervision, administrative costs, training, recruitment, and data collection.

But when it comes to programs that support family reunification, the budget slims considerably. Title IV-B of the Social Security Act governing federal reunification funding is capped, unlike the funds for foster care. So this money comes with a set limit, and a significant portion is not for reunification services at all. A percentage of a Title IV-B funding actually goes toward adoption promotion and marketing.

Final Thoughts

In a system designed to take children away from their families, funded by government money, with very little oversight and virtually no standardization – we need an overhaul. It’s shameful to know that in this day and age, children are still being placed in foster care for their parents’ medical or recreational cannabis use, with double standards for alcoholics and those using pharmaceuticals. This is why it’s so important to legalize cannabis nationwide, so an effective set of standards can be established, to protect both parents and their children from unnecessary government intervention.

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