Friday, July 6, 2012

Collective in Israel Develops THC-Free Pot

An Israeli medical pot collective has developed a practically THC-free strain of the plant.

Medical marijuana is legal in Israel, and it's controlled by the country's Ministry of Health. Around 6,000 Israeli citizens are registered medical cannabis users. Tikkun Olam, which translates to Healing the World, grows pot and operates the country's only storefront dispensary.

Users of the Tikkun Olam's new strain of THC-free pot, known as CBD, told Public Radio International's "The World" that it does not have the same intoxicating effects of the drug. It allows patients who are taking pot for infections and nausea to smoke throughout the day without impairing their normal daily activities.

However, not all patients are able to use pot without THC. Pain patients and Parkinson's Disease sufferers, in particular, have noted that CBD does not alleviate their problems.

But even with the minimal amounts of THC in the plants, don't expect to see CBD at a collective or dispensary in the US anytime soon. Despite the fact that the federal government claims that cannabis is illegal because of THC, CDB will still be a banned import.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

California Appeals Courts Rule that Dispensary Bans are Illegal

A court decision has again thrown a monkey wrench into the agenda of anti-access groups by deciding the dispensary ban in the unincorporated areas of Los Angeles is a violation of the state law that legalizes medical cannabis.

Arguments against the establishment of dispensaries, such as storefronts and pot sales being in violation of the state medical marijuana laws, were swept away by a California Appeals Court, the Long Beach Post reports. The bans, the court wrote, relied on an "unduly" narrow interpretation of the law.

The ruling concurs with another appeals court in February that decided local governments could not ban dispensaries altogether. Like the recent ruling, it exempts patients and caregivers from criminal prosecution for taking part in legal medical activities and from nuisance abatement hearings — or negative secondary effects, such as supposed increases in crime around the dispensary.

"Thus, the Legislature has determined the activities it authorized at collective or cooperative cultivation sites, including a dispensary function, do not constitute a nuisance," the February ruling read.

These decisions will no doubt force the Los Angeles City Council to reevaluate a proposal to close all the city's dispensaries.