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News Round-Up: March 10th, 2022

High There

By High There

March 10, 2022

U.S. veterans lobby VA for medical marijuana access, lawmakers in Israel announce policy changes that could clear cannabis conviction records, and we welcome you to join High There in recognizing International Women’s Day as our Editor in Chief interviews some of the top women organization leaders in the cannabis industry.

There can be a lot to keep track of when it comes to the fast-paced world of cannabis information and news. Our roundup has everything you might have missed from the last week and more.

Study Finds Medical Cannabis Use Cuts Arthritis Patients' Opioid Use
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Study Finds Medical Cannabis Cuts Arthritis Patients’ Opioid Use

New research from Philadelphia shows that medical marijuana usage can drastically cut opioid usage in osteoarthritis patients.

The study, recently published in the medical journal Cureus, showed a significant decrease in opioid use among participating patients over the trial’s six-month run, wherein up to one-third of the subjects ceased filling their opioid prescriptions entirely.

As per the study’s authors: “Based on our findings, the introduction of MC for patients with low levels of opioid utilization has a high chance of decreasing opioid utilization and even eliminating the need for opioid medications to control their pain altogether.”

Israel Announces Policy to Erase Cannabis Conviction Records
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Israel: Lawmakers Announce Policy to Expunge Cannabis Conviction Records

Israeli citizens with cannabis conviction records could soon see those charges expunged.

President Isaac Herzog and Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced on Sunday that residents with simple cannabis arrest charges could see them wiped away in the coming weeks, as part of a new policy designed to “erase the label of criminality” from those who had been charged with personal usage and possession of marijuana.

According to Haaretz, Sa’ar is “expected to sign the regulation in the coming days, after public comments are procured”.

Veterans Groups Seek Access to Medical Cannabis Through VA
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U.S. Veterans Groups Lobby For Medical Cannabis Access

In joint meetings of both the U.S. House and Senate Veterans Affairs committees held this week, lawmakers heard from veteran service organizations on the topic of medical marijuana access.

The groups, including the Disabled Veterans of America and AMVETS, called upon officials to expand research into therapeutic cannabis use, as well as for the removal of restrictions that prevent VA doctors from writing medical marijuana recommendations and prescriptions for their patients.

As per Jeremy Butler, CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, “Veterans consistently and passionately have communicated that cannabis offers effective help in tackling some of the most pressing injuries we face when returning from war,” but that “federal bureaucratic hurdles continue to halt the system and stymie good research.”

U.S. Basketball Star Brittney Griner in Russian Custody for Cannabis
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Olympic Basketball Star Brittney Griner Detained In Moscow Over Vape Carts

Russian authorities arrested professional basketball player Brittney Griner over cannabis vape carts found in her luggage. 

Footage taken in February shows the all-star player going through airport security in Moscow before having her bags checked and a package within being opened by a security officer. 

Russian officials have stated that “a criminal case has been opened” against the gold medal winning athlete, which can carry a sentence of up to 10 years imprisonment.

Republican Lawmakers in Virginia Deny Bill to Reverse Cannabis Convictions
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Virginia Lawmakers Deny Resentencing For Cannabis Convictions

Despite recent legislation allowing for recreational use of cannabis, VA lawmakers have struck down a new bill that would have allowed those convicted of marijuana-related crimes to apply for resentencing. 

The original recreational law, passed under a Democratic-controlled state government, has met with multiple difficulties since passing, as the structure of leadership within the state shifted to a Republican majority; though Republican leadership says they have no intention of undoing the underlying adult-use bill, other efforts to create infrastructure, retail sales support, and social justice initiatives tied to the legislation have been met with stiff opposition from the party.

Cannabis Advocates Call for Congress to Allow Recreational Sales in DC
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Washington D.C. Lawmakers Lobbied To Allow Adult-Use Cannabis Sales

Despite strong political support and laws allowing legalized marijuana sales dating back to 2014, Washington D.C. citizens still cannot purchase cannabis within the district – and that has some ready to fight. 

In a letter sent to congressional leadership, over 50 groups – including the ACLU, NORML, and the Drug Policy Alliance – asked Congress to remove the “Harris rider”, a budget rider named after author Rep. Andy Harris (R, MD) that prevents recreational sales from occuring in the district due to its lack of statehood. 

In the letter, the assembled organizations stated that without “the ability to regulate marijuana sales, the grey market for marijuana flourishes despite the need and want of the District leadership and residents alike to establish a regulatory model. Such a model would free up law enforcement resources to focus on threats to public safety.”

Celebrating Women-Led Organizations in Cannabis
Photo Credit: Zbynek Pospisil

High There Celebrates Women-Led Cannabis Organizations

March 8 marked International Women’s Day across the globe. Our Editor-in-Chief Jamie Solis sat down with leaders from Supernova Women, Ellementa and Women Grow to discuss the triumphs, trials and bright futures for women in the cannabis industry in our exclusive interviews.

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