4 Israeli Government Officials Credited With Leading Fight to Make Marijuana Legal

Israel seems to be softening its stance on marijuana possession and use as more information becomes available on its medical efficacy. While pot is not yet legal throughout Israel, some advocates note that the crackdown on possession is easing in some parts of the country, the website MarijuanaTravels.com notes.

Here are four government officials who are leading the push to decriminalized pot use in Israel.

Israel’s Police Chief Yohanan Danino

Danino has sought a re-evaluation of the legal process afforded to recreational pot use as more members of Israel’s legislative body, the Knesset, stepped up to offer their support.

“I think it’s time for the police, along with the state, to reevaluate its traditional position,” Danino said, according to RT.com. He urged a review of marijuana laws around the world.

Knesset member Yinon Magal

Magal joined a Tel Aviv public protest against criminalization of marijuana use. He spoke with Police Chief Yochanan Danino about new legislation gaining support there.

“During our conversation, we reached an outline that will allow recreational use of cannabis to be decriminalized, as long as consumers remain law-abiding citizens,” Magal said, according to RT.com.

MP Tamar Zandberg.

Zandberg added of her support for legalization. “It is time for major change in regards to cannabis. The public has progressed and understands marijuana consumers are normal citizens who do not harm anyone, and there is no reason to persecute and incriminate them. It is now time for elected officials to advance and overhaul legislation,” she said, according to RT.com.

Moshe Feiglin, a former Likud party member of the Knesset

Feiglin advocated allowing general medical practitioners to prescribe medical marijuana, according to Haaretz. He also joined Magal at a pro-legalization rally in Tel Aviv in May, the Times of Israel reported.

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Israel: New Study Shows Marijuana May Help Fight Cancer

Israel-based One World Cannabis Ltd. has developed a cannabinoid-based drug therapy that was shown to be effective in fighting multiple myeloma cells.

In clinical trials, a combination of cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) was able to decrease the survival of cancerous cells, a big step for the medical marijuana community.

Promising Results

Multiple myeloma is a cancer of plasma cells in bone marrow and its suffers make up 1 percent of cancer patients around the world. The disease is responsible for 2 percent of the world’s cancer-related deaths.

The company’s first basic study had promising results against the cancerous cells, and One World is planning to submit those results for an institutional board review. If approved, the company plans to explore how different CBD and THC combinations can help improve the quality of life for patients suffering from multiple myeloma cancer.

New Delivery

One World is also working on a new delivery system that would make medical marijuana easier for doctors to administer. The company has developed a cannabis dissoluble tablet that allows doctors to more closely monitor dosage, unlike current methods like smoking and ingesting edibles.

Medical Marijuana Advancement

The study serves as a step forward for medical marijuana, as scrutiny over the benefits of the drug has kept several states from legalizing its use.

Also, providing marijuana treatments in tablet form could make cannabis-based treatments more acceptable as it gives the patient and the doctor more control over how much is being ingested and provides a healthier alternative to smoking.

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Australian Couple Donates $33.7 Million For Medical Marijuana Research

A couple has made a whopping A$33.7 million donation to an Australian university for research into medical cannabis.

The generous gift by Barry and Joy Lambert is the largest donation ever received by Sydney University, and the couple hopes it puts Australia at the forefront of medical cannabis research.

“Our vision is to make Australia a world leader in researching how to realise the powerful medicinal potential of the cannabis plant,” Barry said in a statement.

The main ingredients of marijuana, known as cannabinoids — tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) — have helped those who suffer from epilepsy and reduced the number of seizures. CBD is non-psychoactive, meaning it does not result in a “high.”

The Lamberts are grandparents to toddler Katelyn Lambert, who suffers up to 1,400 seizures a day due to a rare form of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome. Her father, Michael, has been a vocal supporter of legalising medical marijuana in Australia.

Witnessing this difficult reality of Katelyn’s life has also affected her grandparents, who decided they could no longer sit back and wait for change.

“The experience of our granddaughter, who suffers debilitating epilepsy, has opened our eyes to the extraordinary possibility of cannabinoids treating not only her condition but a range of chronic illnesses that often don’t respond to conventional treatments,” Barry said. “We believe this investment in the future of Australian science and medicine will provide the much-needed evidence to rapidly advance the use of medicinal cannabinoids in the treatment of childhood epilepsy and other serious illnesses.”

The donation will allow the university to create a multi-year program, which aims to increase its clinical and scientific cannabinoid-related research and eventually produce medical marijuana.

The initiative’s priority will be understanding how the 10 variations of cannabinoids can be used to treat epilepsy, particularly CBD. It will also explore the diseases that can be treated with cannabis and begin to move in the direction of clinical trials.

Dr. Michael Spence, vice chancellor of the University of Sydney, said the program puts Australia ahead of countries such as the Netherlands and United States in cannabinoid science.

“It enables research across a broad range of applications from addiction, cancer, obesity, childhood epilepsy and chronic pain to dementia and mental health disorders,” Spence said in a statement. “Their generosity recognises the University’s commitment to cross-disciplinary research that can achieve life-changing outcomes.”

Currently, medical use of cannabis is legal in Canada, Austria, the Netherlands, Israel, Spain, Italy, and over 20 states in the United States. It is not legal in any states of Australia.

Earlier this year, New South Wales Premier Mike Baird announced three clinical trials will take place in the state for sufferers of pediatric epilepsy, chemotherapy-related nausea and terminal illnesses. While, the Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews plans to amend the state law to allow for medical marijuana use by the end of 2015.

A recent study including 213 participants by researchers at New York University’s Langone Medical Center found patients being administered CBD saw a 50% reduction in the frequency of some seizures. A study of this nature is rare, and with the new Sydney University funding it is hoped similar clinical trials can take place sooner rather than later in Australia.

“Seizures that don’t respond to medication or surgical treatments can be devastating for sufferers and their families,” lead researcher Orrin Devinsky noted in the report. “Trials like ours are crucial to helping families know whether a compound like cannabidiol might provide safe and effective help.”

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This Cannabis Supper Club Wants You To Roll Rice Paper Joints

In the week when the UK government announced plans to ban poppers and laughing gas, a weed supper club was announced in London.

Was this to incite people to spark up and to to make a stand against draconian laws for minor drug use via the popular food scene? Well, no, actually. It’s just a chance to create interesting dishes themed around the notion of getting stoned.

“We’re not trying to make a statement but personally, I think coming from a country whose alcohol consumption is well documented, it’s all about having a bit of perspective and being open minded to other forms of relaxation,” explains Matt Klose, the chef behind Cannibistro. “It’s meant to be really nostalgic and looking at the ritual of getting high and looking at the cliches, so it’s a bit of fun really.”

Not that anyone will actually be getting blazed at this two-night, pop-up dinner. Instead, the menu is a four-course supper focusing on hemp: that small, nutty-flavoured seed Whole Food enthusiasts just won’t shut up about.

Despite coming from the cannabis plant, the reason you won’t get a buzz from eating hemp is because it contains none of the psychoactive substance, THC, found in varying abundance in female marijuana plants. It’s currently a hyped super-food, thanks to its high count of easily digestible protein (a 30 gram serving contains 10.5 grams), amino acids, and a sh*t-ton of Omega 3.

“Hemp has so many health benefits,” says Klose. “It’s so good for us and is really underused, which is also one of the main reasons we’re featuring it so heavily on the menu.”

Klose has split the menu into two halves: the “ceremony” and the “munchies.” To start is hemp “weed” tea, with the leaves brewed with bone broth and served via teapot into individual bowls of oxtail ravioli and herbs. Following that is the fittingly stoner dude-named “Roll Your Own Joint… jk, Not Really.” Diners can play with the act of “skinning up,” with Rizla-like rice paper sprinkled with strands of samphire, cubes of cured mackerel, and hemp seeds.

Then, it’s on to the munchies section of the evening: big sharing plates of kebabs that Klose describes as “beautiful smoked hogget, flatbread, and pickled red cabbage and lots of spice, dukka, and hemp seeds.” There’s also a re-imagining of a Snickers bar, with dark chocolate mousse, peanut, and (of course) hemp seed brittle and salted caramel. It all sounds pretty good, whether you’re baked or not.

Meanwhile, over in California, supperclubs are realising that with laws relaxed on marijuana use for “medical” reasons, there’s no need to leave the THC out of dinner. The Luck Pot collective in San Francisco hosts dinner parties with renowned local chefs including Robin Song from Hog & Rocks, who created a bespoke menu.

The group even employs a weed sommelier to pair each dish with the perfect strain of smoke. If you’re a medical card-carrying gourmand (and all cards are checked on entry to the secret supperclub) then congratulations, you’re about to take fine dining to a new high.

“Just as with wine, there are myriad components to take into consideration when it comes to pairing cannabis with cuisine, like acidness versus richness,” explains Tanner Wyer, a founding partner of All Things Good who produce The Luck Pot. “It’s important to take in all of the elements of the cannabis as it relates to what is being plated. For a true pairing experience, one thing we highly recommend is the ‘dry hit’. Taking a cannabis joint and pulling a dry hit – non lit – so that you can really appreciate and taste the varietals in the flower and how that might pair with certain foods.”

The fact that San Francisco considers itself such a “foodie” city is one of the reasons Wyer and friends decided to start dinner parties matching smoking with food.

“The city has such a rich history and world-wide renowned as an international hub for food, cannabis, and culture. The idea sprung from years of experience traveling across the country and around the world,” he says. “We immediately noticed a huge market that was being grossly underserved.”

Back in the UK, and although Cannibistro’s diners can’t actually enjoy the real deal at their dinner, Wyer approved of the supper menu.

“This sounds f*cking amazing!” he says.

It seems to be the response Klose is going for – with or without a side of puff.

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Cambodia: The Marijuana Life

Cambodia has a complicated relationship with cannabis. While it’s technically illegal, the authorities make exceptions for traditional and medicinal use. But now with a global trend away from prohibition, some suggest it’s high time the government here followed suit

As farmers across Cambodia take to their fields this month in anticipation of the rainy season, in a sleepy village in Battambang’s Moung Ruessei district, some are sowing a crop alongside their rice and cassava that’s just as traditional but much more controversial.

“Here, ganja is just like in Jamaica,” said Ratanak*, a 42-year-old farmer, after inhaling a lungful of thick, pungent cannabis smoke from a bamboo water pipe.

“Because we don’t grow much – maybe 10 to 15 plants – [the authorities] let us grow it,” he said, adding that police had never requested bribes from him over his activities.

Vireak*, a cassava farmer in his fifties, said that he had smoked marijuana daily since settling in the area after the civil strife of the mid-90s ended.

While he maintained a few plants in his personal vegetable garden year round, he and his neighbours planned to plant most of the annual crop in the Cardamom Mountains – one of the Kingdom’s epicentres of illicit cannabis production.

“In the night time in the mountains, with the dew, it helps the plant grow a lot of buds,” Vireak said.

Cambodia has a complicated relationship with cannabis – which is believed to have been cultivated and used for medicinal, culinary and recreational purposes here for hundreds of years – and amid global moves away from prohibition of the drug, there are suggestions that the government should follow suit.

On paper, it’s still illegal – in accordance with the Single Convention on Narcotics treaty passed in 1961 – and in recent weeks, police have busted at least four large-scale marijuana growing operations, including almost 8,000 plants discovered amid a sesame crop in Pursat.

But in Kandal province’s Kien Svay district this month, when police discovered a crop hidden in a 48-year-old woman’s papaya fruit patch, they let her off with a warning when she claimed she was HIV-positive and was using the drug for medicinal purposes.

And, of course, in Phnom Penh, dealers freely hawk marijuana on the riverside, while restaurants advertise weed-infused “happy” pizzas as they have for decades.

When asked if selling marijuana had ever landed him in trouble with the police, a street-level dealer in Phnom Penh’s Boeung Keng Kang I area laughed at the idea.*edit*

A worker at an establishment near the riverside admitted he indulged every so often and said he didn’t worry about law enforcement, but refused to go into detail about the shop’s supply chain (“We get it from the provinces”) or possible police dealings.

Another owner just smiled, shook his head and pondered why anybody would want to write about this topic as he unscrewed the top of a coffee container, revealing a large bouquet of joints.

Meas Vyrith, the secretary-general of Cambodia’s National Authority for Combating Drugs, said the law grouped cannabis alongside the “most harmful drugs” category.*edit*

“If people use it, it causes brain problems, mental problems and physical problems,” Vyrith said, adding that marijuana use was a “negative part of Khmer culture”.

Vyrith warned he had his eye on “happy” restaurants and would eventually take action.

“We are doing an investigation to punish the owners, but we need to find more evidence to take action,” he said.

Still, Vyrith said the authorities made exceptions to the law for traditional, small-scale growers in the Kingdom.

“If they grow [it] because their families and ancestors have used it, it is fine, but if they use more than that, we prevent them from growing it.”

Legendary English Vietnam War photographer Tim Page, who is now based in Australia, first visited Cambodia in 1964 on holiday and said that cannabis was ubiquitous at the time.

“Virtually every roadside cafe, truck stop or any Cambodian eatery – even major hotels – would all offer you a menu with or without ganja. If you wanted an omelette done with lots of herb, you just had to ask,” he said in a phone interview.

“We use all kinds of herbs in our cooking. For them, it was just another source of flavour, and I think they just thought it made the chicken soup cluck.”

“The quality of weed in Cambodia was better than in Vietnam,” he added.

The United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia that arrived in 1992 – a peacekeeping mission that marked the first time a country’s government was taken over by the UN – nominally banned marijuana, though enforcement of the law was extremely lax.

The country’s first concrete anti-drug law was passed in 1996 – the same year that the US added Cambodia to its list of “major illicit drug producing and drug transit countries”, after a recommendation from the UN Drugs Control Programme and enforcement has been ramping up ever since.

“In certain parts of the countryside, they still use it,” Page said. “It hasn’t evaporated, but you have to be in a village at the right time.

“It was much more common than it is today. It’s not considered a good social habit any more. You don’t want granddad sitting in the corner smoking a water pipe.”

Page pointed out the irony of Cambodia stamping out the traditional use of cannabis at the US government’s behest while many US states were now moving away from prohibitionist policies.

“It’s legal right across America, so why is it illegal in Cambodia?” he said.

Four US states have so far legalised recreational marijuana use, but many allow its use for medicinal purposes with a prescription.

John Collins, coordinator of the London School of Economics’ IDEAS International Drug Policy Project, said legalisation of marijuana in some parts of the US had called into question the 1961 convention’s credibility.

“What you’re seeing now, because states in the US are legalising marijuana, [countries] are saying ‘Well, these conventions aren’t as rigid as we thought they were, and now the states can decide how they want to enforce it’,” he said, adding that US pressure was largely the reason for marijuana’s global criminalisation in the second half of the 20th century.

“Traditionally, the US was an exporter of the prohibition model,” he said.

Collins, who described marijuana as “not a particularly dangerous drug”, said Cambodia’s more hands-off approach to cannabis was preferable to aggressive enforcement.

“If you start throwing people in jail for marijuana, that’s a pretty big disaster,” he said. “It’s widely used, it’s not pernicious and you’re just going to fill jails with non-violent offenders.”

Regardless of the Cambodian approach’s plusses, Collins expressed fear that any discussion of these discrepancies may cause a knee-jerk reaction by the government, as lax enforcement is largely borne out of tacit acceptance by police that they lack resources to enforce a pointless law and a willingness to accept certain activities by sellers.

“To highlight this will bring it lots of attention. It could get nasty,” he said.

Olivier Lermet, regional HIV/AIDS adviser at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, suggested that countries in the region should focus on harder drugs that pose more of a threat.

“It is important to emphasise that amphetamine-type stimulants [notably methamphetamine] are by far the main concern in term of drug dependence in Southeast Asia,” he said in an email.

For Gloria Lai, International Drug Policy Consortium senior officer, the gulf between drug laws on the books and enforcement ought to be openly addressed, and perhaps written into law.

“A constructive way of seeking to address the inconsistency of the situation would be to have a rational dialogue and consultations with civil society about cannabis use – it would be great if this happened in Cambodia,” she said.

But despite the apparent societal acceptance, Cambodian authorities say cannabis should remain controlled.

Yim Sovann, a spokesman for the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party, maintained that recreational use of the “addictive” drug should continue to be discouraged. However, he said he was open to people taking it medicinally.

“I think it needs to stay criminalised because it is an addictive drug,” he said. “But people should be able to use it for medicine … It all depends on the case.”

He added, however, that the government is not actively debating the prospect of medicinal marijuana.

Even if the government did make moves to legalise or decriminalise cannabis, it would only formalise the situation back in the Battambang village.

For Ratanak, marijuana use is still an accepted part of life in the community, with uses such as chicken soup seasoning, topical skin rash ointment, anti-nausea tonic, anti-headache tincture, cow medicine and recreational intoxicant.

“It’s ancient medicine,” he said.

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Cannabis Oil Combats Toddler’s Seizures In Canada

A Summerland family of a three year old girl who has been fed marijuana oil to combat her seizures for the past year says she has made drastic improvements.

Kyla Williams’ grandmother Elaine Nuessler says the oil greatly reduced the hundreds of seizures she suffered every day.

The child is now off all pharmaceutical drugs.

“She was pretty out of it a lot of the time on the pharmaceutical drugs. With the cannabis oil we have seen a huge amount of success as far as the amount of seizures go. She was 200-300 a day, she is now down to maybe 10.”

Nuessler launched Kyla’s Quest, a website providing education about medical cannabis for sick kids.

“To watch a human life form, it doesn’t matter, deteriorate, knowing there is a possibility, and even the slightest possibility knowing there is some relief that is huge.”

Nuessler is advocating for Health Canada to change its laws.

Right now licensed producers can only sell dried medical marijuana, forcing the family to obtain the oil illegally.

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Israel: Incoming Dep. Health Minister Litzman Announces Support For Medical Marijuana

In what many might view as a surprisingly uncharacteristic move, incoming Deputy Health Minister, MK Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) addressed the issue of medical marijuana in a positive light, moving towards including it in the list of state-subsidized medications. This comes as a result of an appeal by parents of children with epilepsy.

Medical marijuana is legal in Israel, though it is only legal in 23 states in America. It has many uses in medicine, including pain control, increasing appetite, glaucoma, and most importantly, against epilepsy. Not only is it prohibited for use in many places, but it is illegal to do pharmaceutical research on marijuana in laboratories. Israel is a leader in research into medical uses for marijuana and has one of the highest per capita rates of medical use, with over 21,000 Israelis being prescribed.

Cannabis oil is one of the few drugs that is effective in severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy (SMEI), also known as Dravet Syndrome. A strain of marijuana was developed that is particularly high in CBD’s and very low in THC. This means that the medicinal qualities are intensified but they are accompanied by little or no narcotic (stoned) effect. Children with Dravet’s syndrome can suffer an average of one Grand Mal seizure every half hour, making a normal life impossible, usually leaving them in a semi-vegatative state. Cannabis oil has brought that down to 2 or 3 per month in cases where conventional medicine has failed. The effects vary.

Litzman’s concern addresses just a few families but it is seen as a sign that he is paving the way for medical marijuana to be more widely accepted and used. This would indicate a significant change of opinion. During his previous term as Deputy Health Minister, MK Litzman stated in an interview with Haaretz that he was opposed to medical use of marijuana. Litzman has consulted with medical experts in formulating his opinion.

In a letter sent by Litzman to the head of the medical technologies and infrastructure in the Ministry of health, he referred to children with seizures and their need to use the product, “Why shouldn’t the funds cover the minimum cost for the product”. He said: “This is not clear to me, if the (Cannabis) oil is beneficial, and it is done under medical supervision, why are they failing to reach an agreement with regard to the funds?”

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Full Article: Incoming Dep. Health Minister Litzman Announces Support for Medical Marijuana |
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Czech Republic: Million Marijuana March Draws 5,000 Supporters

Some 5,000 mainly young people took part in the Million Marijuana March 2015 in the center of Prague for the legalization of cannabis growing.

The police imposed several fines for marijuana possession and smoking on the spot, but no incidents accompanied the march, the police patrol commander told the Czech News Agency.

The march started on Karlovo náměstí (Charles Square) and continued across Wenceslas Square to ŠtvaniceIsland where it culminated with celebrations.

The main demand of the 18th Million Marihuana March is the legalization of the growing and possession of cannabis and its products for personal use and not only for medical treatment.

The participants, many of whom were wearing T-shirts with the symbol of a hemp leaf, started to meet long time ahead of the march. Some of them carried flags or banners with slogans in support of the legal use of marijuana.

The march was headed by a vehicle with a music band. It was decorated with symbolic hemp leaves and a sign reading “Hemp is the God’s gift, my granny said.”

People were dancing to music and chanting “legalization.”

Several dozen state and municipal police officers were monitoring the protest.

The event was staged by the civic association Legalizace.cz.

Hemp belongs to all people and by its anti-hemp policy the Czech Republic only supports the black market, its chairman Robert Veverka said.

Marijuana is still illegal in the Czech Republic, but a new law has enabled the use of hemp/cannabis for medical purposes since April 2013. However, Czech firms are allowed to import hemp only, not to grow it.

Due to problems with supplies, only few people can buy hemp legally in pharmacies so far.

Hemp can help patients suffering from multiple sclerosis, dementia and cancer and attenuate chronic pain as well as AIDS-related troubles.

The Health Ministry plans an amendment to allow the hemp treatment of children.

Marijuana is the most widely spread illegal drug in the Czech Republic. According to polls, more than a half of Czechs aged from 15 to 34 years have ever used it.

Veverka said today’s march should also express disagreement with the police raids on the owners of grow and florist’s shops. The police accuse them of illicit spreading of drug addiction by selling hemp seeds and providing information on hemp growing.

The march was supported by the Pirate Party and the Greens.

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Full Article: Million Marihuana March draws 5,000 supporters – PRAGUE POST | The Voice of Prague
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Puerto Rico: Governor Just Legalized Medical Marijuana

In a surprise move, Puerto Rico’s Governor Alejandro García Padilla signed an executive order legalizing the use of medical marijuana in the U.S. territory. The order, which was heavily debated in Puerto Rico since 2013 but never put to a public vote, went into immediate effect. The Caribbean island joins 23 other U.S. states in decriminalizing medical marijuana, The Associated Press reports.

“We’re taking a significant step in the area of health that is fundamental to our development and quality of life,” García Padilla said in a statement. “I am sure that many patients will receive appropriate treatment that will offer them new hope.” The governor added that several studies conducted in the United States demonstrated that cannabis can assist in pain relief from serious diseases.

“These studies support the use of the plant to relieve pain caused by multiple sclerosis, AIDS virus, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, migraine, Parkinson’s and other diseases that often do not respond to traditional treatments,” García Padilla added. “This administration is committed to ensuring the health of all citizens residing in our country. Hence the medicinal use we are adopting is an innovative measure to ensure the welfare and a better quality of life for these patients.”

Although Puerto Rico will relax its stance on medical marijuana, it plans on passing a state law that will establish “a distinction between medical and non-medical uses.” Even pro-marijuana activists in Puerto Rico were taken aback by the sudden nature of the executive order, as many questions remain over how the plan would be instituted.

For instance, no decision has been made whether Puerto Rico will grow its medical marijuana crop in the country or import the drug. García Padilla said the secretary of the health department would arrive with a more detailed plan of action for medical marijuana within three months.

Puerto Rico becomes the latest U.S. territory or state to either peel back the restrictions on medical marijuana or decriminalize weed entirely. New York is readying its own (albeit restrictive) medical marijuana plan, while voters in Florida resoundingly support a measure to legalize the drug for both medicinal and recreational purposes. The federal government also ended their prohibition of medical marijuana.

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Full Article: In Surprise Move, Puerto Rico Legalizes Medical Marijuana | Rolling Stone
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Chile: Fresh Marijuana Harvested For Medical Use

A Chilean municipality harvested legal medical marijuana Tuesday as part of a government-approved pilot project aimed at helping ease pain in cancer patients.

The harvest comes after Chile’s first planting of pot for medical uses in October 2014. It is the work of a municipality in the capital of Santiago and the Daya Foundation, a nonprofit group that sponsors pain-relieving therapies.

“We’re laying the foundations for what will be the national production of medical cannabis,” Daya’s president, Ana Maria Gazmuri, said after cutting branches from cannabis plants.

Oil extracted from about half of some 850 plants imported from the Netherlands will be given to 200 patients in the coming months.

Planting, selling and transporting marijuana is usually illegal in Chile and carries prison terms of up to 15 years. But the law allows medical use of marijuana with the authorization of several ministries.

The Chilean experiment adds to an international trend of easing restrictions on marijuana for medical or personal use. More than 20 U.S. states allow some form of medical marijuana and Colorado and Washington have legalized personal use. In the Americas, Uruguay became the first nation to create a legal marijuana market in 2013.

“It’s a huge achievement,” said Cecilia Heyder, who suffers from systemic lupus and was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2011. “I just wish all of Chile’s municipalities could achieve this as well.”

Chilean lawmakers in a health commission approved a plan to legalize the planting of marijuana. The measure would allow planting of up to six plants for recreation use, but it still needs to be approved by both houses of Congress.

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