On Monday the Texas state House of Representatives convened to vote on the decriminalization of cannabis. The bill would remove jail time for small amounts of possession and would instead lead to a 500$ fine for one ounce or less. The bill passed with 98 votes in favour and 43 against.
The bill also includes a part involving past marijuana offenses to be expunged while new offenses would not lead to long-term criminal records. To avoid a long-term record, terms assigned by judges such as community service or the completion of drug education classes is mandatory.
Texas will be the 25th state to remove jail time from marijuana possession offenses following suit of other states that have recently decriminalized marijuana such as Alabama, New Mexico, Missouri and Hawaii. The House Committee is also looking into expanding Texas’ medical cannabis program while recreational marijuana does not seem to be in the state’s future plans as current Gov. Greg Abbott (R) opposes broader legalization.
Still, to see traditionally conservative states vote in favour of any kind of marijuana legislation one can only believe that in the near future many other states will continue to follow this trend until every state opens their doors to cannabis and give more people better opportunities.
A study conducted by the University of Michigan studied a group that include non consumers and consumers. The study was conducted over a three year period and involved measuring the body mass index of 33,000 people, all over the age of 18.
Over the time period every participant gained weight however, “Those who used marijuana had less of an increase compared to those that never used,” said Omayma Alshaarawy, assistant professor of family medicine at Michigan State University and the lead author of the paper, according to Futurity. The difference between the users and non users was, on average, about two pounds.
“It could be something that’s more behavioral like someone becoming more conscious of their food intake as they worry about the munchies after cannabis use and gaining weight,” she says. “Or it could be the cannabis use itself, which can modify how certain cells, or receptors, respond in the body and can ultimately affect weight gain. More research needs to be done.”
But, people shouldn’t use marijuana as a diet aid, Alshaarawy cautions. “There’s too many health concerns around cannabis that far outweigh the potential positive, yet modest, effects it has on weight gain,” she says. “People shouldn’t consider it as a way to maintain or even lose weight”. The study was published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The research could potentially show how there is a shift in consciousness of marijuana users as the product is becoming more and more of a health related product rather than a potentially dangerous drug.
Home delivery of recreational marijuana could debut in Massachusetts later this year, after regulators reached agreement on a program that would increase consumer access to cannabis while also giving a leg up to entrepreneurs affected by the war on drugs.
The state Cannabis Control Commission voted 4-1 at a meeting Friday in favor of a package of policies that, if implemented, would allow delivery to residential properties across the state — except in the dozens of municipalities that have banned retail pot sales.
Under the proposed model, developed by Commissioner Britte McBride, marijuana flower, edibles, and other pot products ordered by consumers would come from brick-and-mortar marijuana stores, not cultivators or processors, with any undelivered products being returned to the shop at the end of the day.
However, the businesses picking up the products and bringing them to consumers would be independent entities, each of which could contract with multiple stores. To get a license, those companies and their employees would have to clear rigorous background checks and vehicle inspections, plus meet a laundry list of security and inventory-tracking requirements.
For the first two years, regulators say delivery businesses would be limited to social equity and economic empowerment applicants. The state law that legalized recreational marijuana included provisions designed to help small entrepreneurs from areas of the state that were disproportionately impacted by past enforcement of marijuana laws.
Source: Boston Globe
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