Due to the legalization of Cannabis in several states, numerous studies are being done to find the benefits of its use. A recent study has shown that smoking cannabis can significantly boost your memory.
Over the last couple of years, research has shown that cannabis might be injurious to health, particularly the brain. However, recent studies prove otherwise. Researchers believe the discrepancy is due to limited resources and control variable in the previous years.
Previously, research has shown that cannabis can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, while also inducing a state of euphoria. However, the benefits might not be long lasting. Instead, the long term effects are considered to worsen the conditions.
A new study has suggested that smoking cannabis can boost your memory. A team of University of Florida researchers published the study, detailing on the findings. The trial was carried out on 32 rats. The team divided the subjects into groups and studied their responses before and after cannabis consumption.
The team made the rodents perform some “delayed response tests”. The rats were supposed to pull a lever in order to receive a food pellet. They were observed before and after inhaling cannabis smoke.
According to the authors, the smoke made the rats more active and improved their accuracy. On the other hand, the sober ones did not show any change.
The findings are nothing less than a ‘slap in the face’ of previous studies that claim that smoking cannabis leads to physical and mental disabilities.
The researchers said, “The overwhelming majority of research in both animal models and human subjects shows that acute administration of cannabis and cannabinoids induces deficits in tests of cognitive function, including working memory.”
Implications of the study
The research study can prove to be a vital step in normalizing the use of cannabis in the future. However, human trials are necessary to make a definitive decision. The results might be because of sheer coincidence or may be limited to rats only.
Generally, trials on humans are not done by making them smoke weed. Instead, the subjects are made to take tablets or intravenous injections of concentrated THC. THC is a psychoactive compound found in marijuana. Sometimes, a synthetic alternative to THC is also used. Therefore, there is also a chance that the cognitive impacts might vary depending on the mode of consumption.
Nevertheless, the study can play a major role in removing the taboo that revolves around cannabis use. It might also push states to legalize it, owing to the great cognitive benefits it brings with.
Initiative 190 and an Overview of Montana’s marijuana laws
Montanans have nicknamed their state the “Treasure State” because of its rich production of precious metals like copper, gold, and silver. Starting from January 2021 however, the state will also be associated with a revolutionary legislature known as Initiative 190.
Initiative 190 also known as I-190, is a legislative reform that was drafted with the intent to legalize the recreational usage of marijuana in Montana. Lawmakers in the state put the proposal on the November 2020 ballots for taking the voter’s verdict on this issue.
To the relief of legalization advocates, the state saw significant support from the public leading to the success of Initiative 190 after securing 56.90% of favorable votes. In contrast to this, the percentage of voters opposing it stood at 43.10% – representing the ‘former’ conservative mindset of the state’s legislatures.
Before we move on to the details of legislative reforms that will be put into effect through Initiative 190, let’s take a look at the history of the state’s drug laws.
Overview of Marijuana Laws in Montana
Marijuana was first made illegal in Montana in 1929 following the federal ban of the drug in the US. The Health Committee meeting where this decision was taken is infamous for Dr. Fred Flusher’s racist and ridiculing remarks towards Mexican immigrants.
A local newspaper quoted him saying, “When some beet field peon takes a few rares of this stuff… he thinks he has just been elected president of Mexico so he starts to execute all his political enemies.”
The meeting was described as ‘great fun’ by representatives who took the decision-making process. After this, xenophobic laws were drilled into the state’s legislature.
1987 Dangerous Drug Tax Act and the Kurths
In 1985, the Kurth family of Montana resorted to the cultivation and sale of cannabis in an attempt to pay off their debts. Their cattle business was failing so the money from their cannabis ‘side-business’ was really helpful to make ends meet.
However, it was not long after this that drug traffickers got word of their success and the family was soon threatened with extortion and physical abuse. Later, their business was reported, ultimately leading to their arrests, penalties, and property foreclosures.
Under Montana’s Dangerous Drug Act of 1987, a tax of $865000 was supposed to be levied on the plants seized from the Kurth’s farm. The case was significant because it raised questions over whether this tax amount was justified as the family had already been slammed with drug charges and paid related penalities.
Montana Medical Marijuana Act – Medicinal Legalization begins in 2004
Montana adopted its first medical marijuana law in 2004 and called it I 148. The measure was approved after 62% of Montana residents voted in favor of it.
Since then, the growth of marijuana patients had been modest up until 2009. This also corresponded to the subtle relaxations in the federal law towards marijuana.
House Bill 161 – 2011
Between the years 2009 to 2011, the number of medical marijuana cardholders in Montana saw a significant increase. While they stood at 2000 in March of 2009, their volume increased to 31000 by May of 2011.
In response to this, House Bill 161 was introduced to repeal the reforms put into effect by I-148. However, due to the veto of Governor Brian Schweitzer against the bill, state representatives had to make do by putting strong restrictions on the medical program. Initiative I-148 was not repealed.
In November of 2016, Initiative 182 was passed through the approval of 58% of voters. It had proposed relaxations in the possession limits of marijuana and added PTSD to the list of eligible conditions for marijuana treatment.
Marijuana Enforcement Tracking Regulation and Compliance System was put into effect in May of 2017. It signed the mandatory testing and seed to sale tracking of marijuana into law. Also, a tax limit of 4% was imposed on medical marijuana, which was later revised to 2% in 2018.
Recreational Use Gets Legalized in 2020
As mentioned earlier, Initiative 190 marked the legalization of adult-use marijuana in Montana. Here is an overview of the reforms that this initiative will introduce in the state:
Adults 21 or older will be allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana. Possession of 8 grams of its concentrate is also permissible. Registered cardholders can possess up to four mature plants, four seedlings and a legally permitted quantity of marijuana if they have not named a service provider. If a provider is named by the cardholder, possession of one ounce of medical marijuna is allowed.
It is compulsory uponcardholders to inform related authorities about the number of plants or seedlings about their possession.
Public consumption of medical or recreational marijuana is prohibited under all circumstances. They can only be consumed on private property, away from public view.
Driving, flying an aircraft to boating under influence can lead to severe penalities and repercussions.
Overview of Michigan’s Marijuana Laws
The state of Michigan is way ahead of the rest of the states in the US in terms of marijuana legislation. Both Medical and Recreational Cannabis is legal in the state of Michigan. The state of Michigan legalized medical marijuana back in 2008 when it passed the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act. Later on, the state also legalized recreational marijuana in November of 2018 via a public vote for Proposal 1 of the revised Michigan marijuana laws. This made Michigan the 10th state in the US to legalize recreational cannabis.
The legal cannabis sale in Michigan state began on December first in 2019. However, there are still some persistent issues with the supply and retail of marijuana in Michigan. The original sales began in 2020 after the state moved official dates after December. In the beginning, the Michigan laws allowed for medical dispensaries to transfer up to 50% of their 30-day supply. In order to meet the huge demand. One interesting about marijuana laws in Michigan is that. Although it’s legal many cities in the state have opted out of it. In total 1,400 cities in Michigan have opted out of recreational sales, including Detroit.
However, most of them say that they’re just waiting for state authorities to properly finalize all the legislation before they begin the sale. Many people expected this system to be in place in 2020 but with the COVID pandemic, there are numerous deadline upsets. Hopefully, the marijuana industry will spread its wings in 2021. Before that happens let’s first discuss the laws that the authorities have finalized so you can get marijuana in Michigan once it’s available without worrying.
Under proposal 1 of cannabis laws in Michigan adults, 21 years of age or older can legally possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis outside of their home and up to 10 ounces in their home. They can also have any amount of marijuana produced in their home. In terms of home cultivation adults of the required age can have up to 12 plants at their homes. Moreover, you can only have up to 15 grams of concentrates on you at a given time.
The state also has a medical marijuana program. Under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, patients suffering from certain state-approved debilitating conditions are allowed to possess up to 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana and any other marijuana-derived medicines. Patients qualifying for medical use can have up to 12 marijuana plants along with any cannabis products from these plants. The only restriction to cultivating cannabis in Michigan is that the plants must be kept in an enclosed, locked facility.
In addition, In case the person qualifying for the medical program specifies a caregiver. That caregiver is then eligible to have 12 marijuana plants as well as 2.5 ounces of useable marijuana. Another important factor to note is that Incidental or minute amounts of stems, stalks, seeds, and roots are not included in Michigan medical marijuana possession limit calculation.
Legal Purchase of Marijuana:
The weed laws in the state of Michigan allow for the legal purchase of marijuana as of December 2019. However, as discussed earlier many cities in the state have voluntarily banned marijuana. This makes buying cannabis extremely difficult right now. The good news in this regard is that many of these 1411 towns and cities are planning to roll out marijuana sales this year or in the next. Once more cities start to adopt marijuana sales statewide acceptance will increase.
Both Senate Bill 660 and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act, limit the sale quantity of marijuana in the state. Patients can not obtain more than 2.5 ounces of pharmaceutical-grade cannabis. The same goes for recreational cannabis users. In addition, Dispensaries reserve the right to limit sales. Based on laws and regulations of the local jurisdiction where the dispensary is located.
Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana:
The Michigan Medical Marijuana Act specifies certain medical conditions for eligibility to a medical program. The medical cannabis law defines these people as “a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a ‘debilitating medical condition.”
The debilitating medical conditions include Alzheimer’s Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Cachexia/Wasting Syndrome, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Glaucoma, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, Nail Patella, Seizures, Severe & Chronic Pain, Severe & Persistent Muscle Spasms, Severe Nausea, and any other medical condition approved by the Department of Community Health.
Although possession of recreational cannabis is legal consumption is not legal everywhere according to Michigan weed laws. The public consumption of cannabis is strictly illegal as well as driving while consuming. The same rules apply to both medical and recreational users. People can only consume marijuana on private property out of view from the public and not in any public place or property.
Driving Under the Influence:
Driving under the influence of cannabis is a serious health and public safety risk. Therefore there are strict regulations against it. The Michigan state laws for cannabis state that driving under the influence of cannabis will be treated similar to a DUI with alcohol. Meaning the violators face steep fines and even jail time as punishment. So you must not smoke and drive at any point. Moreover, there are some public options that let you smoke and stay safe while traveling. As for special concessions for medical users, there are any right now. Driving with medical cannabis in your system is illegal for everyone in the state.
Patients in Michigan are eligible to transport marijuana. The law states that patients, caregivers, and adults of age can cry marijuana as long as marijuana or marijuana-derived products being transported are in a sealed and labeled package and in the trunk of the car. If there is no trunk in the vehicle, the marijuana must be kept in a location that is not readily accessible from the interior of the vehicle or by any of the patients.
As marijuana is a controlled substance federally Exporting recreational or medical marijuana to other states is strictly prohibited and illegal under both Proposal 1 and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. In addition, medical cannabis is only prescribed for one patient and cannot be shared between people. The illegal forms of exporting cannabis include mailing, driving, shipping, flying, or boating cannabis across state lines.
In light of the current pandemic situation across the world. Michigan has allowed for marijuana delivery for medical as well as recreational users. We do not know if the law will continue after the pandemic ends. However, recreational cannabis delivery might not continue.
An Overview of Marijuana Laws in Florida
The laws on marijuana are evolving all over the US. Being closely related to the public now it is important that everyone knows the little intricacies in them. The recent US elections allowed many states to finally legalize marijuana. However, other states like Oklahoma, California, and Florida also keep updating their rules to cater to newer problems. In this article, we’ll take a close look at marijuana laws in Florida.
The state laws on weed in Florida allow for medical marijuana use however, they prohibit recreational cannabis use. In addition, medical users need a prescription from a proper physician before legal consumption. Once you have a prescription you can consume marijuana in any form. You can either smoke it or choose some edible way to treat yourself. The laws concerning marijuana got update in 2019 recently and the lawmakers still did not legalize recreational use. However, many cities in Florida have take steps to ensure that recreational use gets treated as a civil offense and not as a crime.
Florida has an interesting history in terms of marijuana legalization. The state rejected the medical use vote back in 2014. However, they did approve it just two years later in 2016. Another interesting fact about medical cannabis in Florida is that initially, only oils and edibles were legal. The preliminary medical cannabis laws in Florida considered smoking a crime.
Smoking marijuana was declared legal in 2019, the lawmakers finally approved smoking as well as any other way for consuming marijuana medically. In addition, contrary to historical laws many cities recently decriminalized illegal marijuana possession.
Recreational marijuana is strictly illegal in Florida. The state has defined a framework for only allowing people with certain qualifying conditions to get legal marijuana. Although some local cities have declared consuming marijuana without a license civil offense, many still consider it a crime. This means that smoking cannabis without a medical card can lead to a fine as well as criminal charges in Florida.
Medical Marijuana Regulations:
Florida Marijuana Laws are defined by Florida Revised Statutes 381.986 law. The law defines all the medical conditions qualifying for medical marijuana use. A physician may approve a patient for medical use after examining one of such conditions. The marijuana law defines regulations for a user registry, caregiver possession, and treatment centers for purchasing consumable marijuana.
Edibles containing marijuana are legal in Florida. Any person approved of using marijuana can lawfully consume any edible. Florida cannabis laws allow for edibles since 2016. However, the state did not allow for smoking cannabis until 2019.
Legal Marijuana in Tampa:
Although the state laws clearly declare illegal possession of marijuana as a crime. The City of Tampa has created a system that allows law enforcement to issue civil infractions for marijuana offenders. The current laws state that the violators will face criminal charges under the state law. The new system was voted by a majority of 5-1 by the city council. It allows for up to 20 grams of possession. The offenders face a fine of 75$ on the first offense which escalates with further offenses.
Qualifying Medical Conditions:
The medical conditions qualifying for medical marijuana use include Cancer, Epilepsy, Glaucoma, HIV, PTSD, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Multiple sclerosis as well as terminal medical conditions like chronic pain. Marijuana remains extremely beneficial for treating chronic pain in patients. It is the most common condition sted by patients qualifying for a medical marijuana card. Moreover, any person who fakes any of the symptoms to get access to medical marijuana faces a misdemeanor charge in Florida.
Medical Marijuana For Non-Adults:
The cannabis-based medical treatments are not limited to just the adults in the state of Florida. Minors can apply for a medical marijuana license in the state for legal use. However, in order to get the license, they must meet the qualifications for severe illness. In addition, a minor seeking for medical cannabis prescription needs to see two qualifying physicians for approval. . The doctors have to evaluate the patient’s condition and give their medical opinion. Moreover, the Parents of the minor also need to give their consent for the treatment.
Penalties for Illegal Possession:
The illegal possession of marijuana is punishable by law in the set of Florida. The punishment however depends on the amount of cannabis in your possession. The possession of fewer than 20 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail. However, with higher amounts of cannabis on the charged the punishments also become severe. the highest punishment for marijuana possession in Florida is imprisonment for up to 30 years.
Driving after Consuming Marijuana:
Driving after smoking marijuana is a serious offense no matter the state. It is not only dangerous to the person driving the vehicle but can also lead to serious damage to others around them. Consequently, even if you do have a medical cannabis card you can not drive after smoking marijuana. The charges are similar to drunk driving over the limit of allowed alcohol in the body. Moreover, in case of any personal or public damage, the person bears full liability. Florida has strict laws in terms of driving under the influence just like any other state in the US.
Common Defence Statements:
Marijuana consumption without state approval is a serious offense. You should always consult the local law-enforcing authorities in case of any confusion. However, if you do get caught in a bad situation with no exits. We have a few common defenses to marijuana charges by Florida citizens. If there is no physical evidence you can outright deny marijuana possession. When the police have a weaker case on the accused they often say that the defense cannot prove they had marijuana on them.
Moreover, in case you have a medical card you can outright claim your right to use cannabis. In addition, it is legal for caregivers to carry marijuana for their patients. Even when you get accused of marijuana possession. Showing that you are taking steps to get a medical card can help a lot with the case.
State Laws for Marijuana are extremely important in marijuana legalization for states. They are of utmost importance and determine the future of cannabis markets. These laws also determine how much revenue the state might generate from its legalization programs. However, most of all it is important that newer states working on legislation implement laws derived from the examples of states that have done it before. In this way, they can build on the mistakes and make a better cannabis environment.
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