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A cannabis legalization bill just got farther in the legislation process than any other such bill since prohibition. The Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement Act a.k.a. the MORE Act has passed the House judiciary committee by a vote of 24 to 10. If it is not claimed by another committee for review, HR 3884 will go onto to a floor vote in the House of Representatives.

“Thousands of individuals — overwhelmingly people of color — have been subjected, by the federal government, to unjust prison sentences for marijuana offenses,” said House Judiciary Committee chair Jerry Nadler, who has been one of the bill’s primary architects. “This needs to stop.”

“For the first time, a Congressional committee has approved far-reaching legislation to not just put an end to federal marijuana prohibition, but to address the countless harms our prohibitionist policies have wrought, notable on communities of color and other marginalized groups,” said NORML executive director Erik Altieri in a press release.

The MORE Act vs The SAFE Banking Act

Congress has fielded criticism for its first attempt at regulating cannabis, the SAFE Banking Act. Many marijuana activists noted that legislation was built around protecting financial institutions that work with cannabis companies

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How does cannabis use influence the use of illicit opioids to manage pain? That’s the question at the heart of a just-published study in a special issue of “PLOS Medicine” that focuses on substance use, misuse and dependence. For medical researchers, caregivers and patients, the need for an alternative to opioid painkillers is an urgent one. Opioid-related deaths are still on the rise across the United States and Canada, fueled by the emergence of synthetic opioids like fentanyl and a trend of over-prescribing pharmaceutical opioids. And the role cannabis might play in reducing opioid dependence and abuse is still little-understood.

But the new “PLOS Medicine” study, “Frequency of cannabis and illicit opioid use among people who use drugs and report chronic pain,” provides an important perspective on the question by researching individual-level data—something many current studies lack. Following more than 1,100 individuals over a 30-month period, researchers aimed to investigate associations between how often people with chronic pain use cannabis and how often they turn to illicit opioids. And what they found could change the way we look at cannabis and the opioid epidemic in dramatic ways.

Daily Cannabis Use Significantly Lowers Odds of Daily Illicit Opioid Use

Doctors over-prescribing

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A new study out this month shows that doctors are increasingly tapering their patients off powerful opioid medications, perhaps so fast that they are putting them at risk. Results of the study, “Trends and Rapidity of Dose Tapering Among Patients Prescribed Long-term Opioid Therapy, 2008-2017,” were published by the journal JAMA on November 15.

“We wanted to understand how often opioid dose tapering happens, how rapidly patients’ doses were being reduced when tapering, and which patients were more likely to have doses tapered,” said lead author Joshua Fenton, a professor of family and community medicine.

In 2016, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued new guidelines on the prescribing of opioid medications in response to the continuing rash of overdoses and deaths that has plagued the country for more than two decades. The guidelines suggested that patients be slowly weaned off opioid medications by reducing the dosage at a rate of ten percent per week or less.

However, some doctors and hospitals have been reducing some patients’ doses more aggressively than federal guidelines, by as much as 15% or more for one-fifth of the patients in the study. In 2008, only 10.5% were being tapered off of opioids

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This week, the United States House of Representatives could be voting on the federal legalization of cannabis. Representative Jerry Nadler announced on Monday that the house judiciary committee had posted a markup for HR 3884 a.k.a. the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act — which means a vote could go down as early as Wednesday.

“I look forward to moving this legislation out of the House Judiciary Committee, making it one step closer to becoming law,” said Nadler in a press release.

From the get-go, the MORE Act looked like it had a better-than-average chance at making it through the legislative gauntlet than its many predecessors. The bill was created and introduced by Nadler of New York, who is the judiciary committee chair.

Pressure has increased on Congress to pass federal legalization ever since it approved the SAFE Act. That bill guaranteed banking protections for cannabis companies and financial institutions, raising many questions about why similar relief has not been given to cannabis users and the United States’ sizable population of individuals incarcerated on drug-related charges.

Primary on the MORE Act’s priorities is the re-classification of marijuana to remove it from the Controlled Substances Act and Schedule I category

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In several languages, including Russian and Hindi, “chai” simply means tea. Unlike regular tea, however, which is made with water as a base, chai is often made with milk, or a dairy alternative. We didn’t add cannabis to the recipe this time, but you can easily make your chai infused by adding cannabis-infused milk, or some pre-made canna-butter or coconut oil.

Cannabis Masala Chai
A sweet and spicy black tea with milk

Prep time: 15 min, Cook time: 10 min

Serves 4

– Read the entire article at Civilized.

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