Science: A Massachusetts startup company says it will release the genome sequence of marijuana to promote understanding of its therapeutic potential.
Kevin McKernan, founder of Medicinal Genomics in Marblehead, said the medicinal marijuana industry could use the data to offer new, better kinds of cannabis designed to target patients' specific conditions.
Medicinal Genomics will partner with pharmaceutical companies to explore compounds made by the plant, he said. "We're out to measure the plant, at a genetic level, so we can put a label on it," McKernan told the Boston Herald Wednesday. "We'll be able to tell people, 'This has this much (cannabidiol) and a couple of other compounds as well.'" He acknowledged someone might attempt to use the genetic code to grow more potent pot, but says he's only interested in marijuana for its medicinal value. "The genetics were poorly understood,'" he told The Boston Globe. "Our goal is to help people."
USA/California: Second California Marijuana Legalization Initiative Filed
A group of Northern California attorneys, activists, and at least one prominent medical marijuana doctor Friday filed the text for a second marijuana legalization initiative aimed at the 2012 election in Sacramento Friday.
The 753-word initiative, the Repeal Cannabis Prohibition Act, simply does what the title suggests: It would repeal all sections of California law imposing criminal penalties for pot possession, cultivation, or distribution for adults. The state Department of Health would be charged with regulating public smoking and pot use by minors, which would remain illegal. Driving while impaired would still be illegal, and providing pot to a minor would result in a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Anyone possessing, growing or otherwise involved with less than three pounds of pot would face no taxes.
The Department of Public Health would have 180 days to come up with regulations for cannabis commerce. The initiative is being backed by some familiar Northern California faces. Official proponents for the measure are Santa Rosa criminal defense attorney Joe Rogaway, Sebastopol criminal defense attorney Omar Figueroa, Oakland medical marijuana attorney Bill Panzer, Mendocino County medical marijuana activist Pebbles Trippet, and Berkeley-based medical marijuana physician Dr. Frank Lucido.
USA/Oregon: Three Marijuana Legalization Initiatives in Oregon
Activists in Oregon are serious about legalizing marijuana. There are currently three different marijuana legalization initiative campaigns aimed at the November 2012 ballot underway there and, this year, there are signs the state's fractious marijuana community is going to try to overcome sectarian differences and unify so that the overarching goal -- freeing the weed - can be attained.
The three initiatives are in varying stages of advancement, with one already engaged in signature-gathering, one just approved for a ballot title, and the third trying to obtain the 1,000 signatures necessary to be granted a ballot title and be approved for signature-gathering.
The initiative currently furthest down the path toward the ballot box, is the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act of 2012 (Initiative Petition #9), sponsored by veteran activist and medical marijuana entrepreneur Paul Stanford. It would allow adult Oregonians to possess and grow their own marijuana. It would allow Oregon farmers to grow hemp. And it would license Oregon farmers to grow marijuana to be sold at state-licensed pot stores. An earlier version of OCTA failed to make the ballot last year
USA: Michigan Marijuana Dispensaries Illegal, Appeals Court Rules
Medical marijuana cannot be sold in dispensaries, the Michigan Court of Appeals held in an opinion released Wednesday. The ruling held that the state's 2008 voter-approved medical marijuana law does not allow for medical marijuana to be sold, even among the nearly 100,000 people who have state-issued medical marijuana cards.
The 3-0 decision came in Michigan v. McQueen, in which local authorities had sought to shut down the Compassionate Apothecary in Mount Pleasant as a "public nuisance." The ruling means other communities can target the estimated 200 to 300 dispensaries now operating in the state. "The 'medical use' of marijuana does not include patient-to-patient 'sales' of marijuana. Defendants, therefore, have no authority under the [law] to operate a marijuana dispensary that actively engages in and carries out patient-to-patient sales," said appeals court judges Joel Hoekstra, Christopher Murray and Cynthia Diane Stephens.
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