“Lifetime marijuana use up to 20 joint-years is not associated with adverse changes in spirometric (exhalation strength) measures of lung health,” according to a study featured in the medical journal Annals of the American Thoracic Society. In an effort to measure marijuana’s impact on lung function, researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys to conduct a cross-sectional analysis measuring participants’ forced expiratory volume — defined as the amount of air one can forcibly exhale in one second. They found that adults between the ages of 18 and 59 who smoke one marijuana cigarette, also known as a joint, per day had the same expiratory volume as someone who didn’t partake in the plant. The data collected suggests that it’s unlikely that prolonged marijuana use would cause respiratory diseases in a way that smoking tobacco would.
The Jamaican cabinet has approved a bill that legalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana. It means that for the first time the country’s Rastafarian community, which uses the herb for religious purposes, could be able to smoke it legally. The bill also envisages a licensing authority for the cultivation, sale and distribution of marijuana for medical and therapeutic purposes. It goes to the senate this week for approval. The bill also proposes that the smoking of marijuana will be banned in public spaces. It would make possession of 2 ounces or less a ticketable offense that would not result in a criminal record. Cultivation of five or fewer plants on any premises would be permitted. The head of Jamaica’s Cannabis Commercial and Medicinal Research Taskforce said he expected the bill to be passed soon in Parliament, where Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s governing party holds a 2-to1 majority.
A Northern Virginia lawmaker is bringing the debate over marijuana to the Virginia Senate. A bill sponsored by Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana for adults. His SB686, which is being re-written, would lessen the penalty for possession of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil offense with a penalty of $100. Adults would no longer have their driver’s licenses suspended. Virginia NORML spokesman Ed McCann, said more than 500,000 Virginians used cannabis in the past year. More than 18,000 people were arrested on marijuana charges in Virginia in 2010, with African Americans 2.8 times more likely than whites to be arrested.
A bill introduced in Nebraska on Wednesday would pave the way for legal medical marijuana in the state. The Cannabis Compassion and Care Act proposed by Bellevue Sen. Tommy Garrett outlines how the substance could be used to treat patients with debilitating medical conditions. The measure would allow the Department of Health and Human Services to issue registry identification cards to qualifying patients and registered designated caregivers. The bill would allow qualifying patients to possess up to 12 plants and 6 ounces of usable cannabis. Garrett said he is not in favor of legalization for recreational use, but his father-in-law, who lived in Colorado and suffered from cancer, utilized marijuana to reduce his nausea during treatment. Last month, then-Attorney General Jon Bruning joined Oklahoma in suing Colorado to halt recreational sales of marijuana in that state and to stem the flow of pot to its neighbors.
Massachusetts Senate President Stanley Rosenberg says lawmakers have to be prepared to do a “deep dive” into the debate over legalizing marijuana, saying both legislation and an expected 2016 ballot question push are coming whether they like it or not. Rosenberg, speaking to a Herald reporter after his appearance, declined to say whether he’s personally for or against legalization, twice saying he wants “to learn a lot more.” When asked on Herald Radio whether he has ever smoked marijuana he responded, with a laugh: “Did I go to college in the ’60s?”
Alan Clayton Caruthers, 50, of Waco, passed away Monday, January 19, 2015, at his residence. Memorial Services will be 11 a.m. Saturday, January 24, at Calvary Baptist Church in Waco. Alan was a social worker at Methodist Children’s Home and was a member of and in leadership with NORML of Waco, the Texas Libertarian Party, and the World Hunger Farm. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the World Hunger Farm, the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and NORML of Waco. Thoughts and memories may be shared in the online Guest Book at http://www.lakeshorefuneralhome.com/alan-caruthers