The national NORML website is one of the most visited social justice websites in America with more than six million unique visitors every month. In addition to their political work at the US Capitol and all 50 state capitols around the US + organizing over 160 state and local chapters, national NORML staff also work to push out groundbreaking news updates and even have a webpage devoted to the latest in cannabis news. Here are some of the highlights from last month.

Report: Domestic Hemp Production Grew Three-Fold In 2018

Thursday, 07 February 2019

Washington, DC: Farmers cultivated over 78,000 acres of hemp in accordance with state-specific agricultural programs, according to data compiled by the group That’s a three-fold increase over 2017 cultivation totals. Over 40 states have enacted statutes allowing for licensed hemp production, typically as part of a university-sponsored research program. Over 40 separate universities in the United States conducted hemp-specific research in 2017, VoteHemp reported.

Survey: Three Of Four Military Veterans Would Consider Using Medical Cannabis

Thursday, 07 February 2019

New York, NY: Seventy-five percent of military veterans say that they would consider using either “cannabis or cannabinoid products as a treatment option,” according to member survey data compiled by the group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). The organization represents over 400,000 veterans nationwide. Under existing federal regulations, physicians affiliated with the Department of Veteran Affairs are forbidden from providing medical cannabis recommendations, even in jurisdictions that legally permit private practitioners to do so. Overall, 83 percent of respondents expressed support for legalizing medical cannabis access, and 68 percent believe that the Department of Veterans Affairs “should allow for research into cannabis as a treatment option.” Proposed federal legislation to direct the agency to conduct clinical trials on the use of cannabis for PTSD and for other conditions is currently pending in the US House and Senate.

Study: Oral CBD Administration Associated with Symptom Mitigation in Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Thursday, 07 February 2019

Tel Aviv, Israel: The administration of plant-derived oral extracts containing cannabidiol (CBD) is associated with overall improvement in subjects with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to clinical trial data published in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology. Israeli researchers assessed the use of oral cannabinoid extracts in a cohort of 53 patients (median age of 11) with ASD over a period of at least one month. Oral extracts contained a 1 to 20 ratio of plant-derived CBD to THC. Subjects had no experience with cannabinoid treatment prior to the study. Seventy-five percent of subjects reported “overall improvement” in their ASD symptoms, specifically in the domains of hyperactivity, sleep, self-injury, and anxiety. The most frequently reported adverse effects associated with treatment were somnolence and changes in appetite.

WHO Expert Committee Calls for Changes In Cannabis’ International Classification

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Geneva, Switzerland: Members of the World Health Organization (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence have proposed amending the classification of cannabis under international law. According to reporting in the British Medical Journal, the WHO policy reversal “takes account of the growing evidence for the medical applications of the drug,” and marks the first time that the agency has reviewed its stance on cannabis in nearly 60 years. The recommended changes, outlined in a letter by WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, call for cannabis to be removed from Schedule of controlled substances.

Arizona: Medical Cannabis Patient’s Firing Violated State Law, Federal Judge Rules

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Phoenix, AZ: A private employer acted improperly when it fired a state-registered medical cannabis patient for failing a urinalysis drug screen, a federal judge ruled last week. United States District Judge James A. Teilborg opined that Walmart violated Arizona law by terminating an employee solely for testing positive for the presence of THC metabolites in her urine. The carboxy-THC metabolite is an inert breakdown product of THC which may remain present in urine for weeks or even months following cannabis exposure.

You can learn more about this case in this article by Gary Smith, head of the Arizona Cannabis Bar Association.

Study: Children with Autism Possess Decreased Endocannabinoid Levels

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Jerusalem, Israel: Children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) possess lower levels of endogenous cannabinoids than do matched controls, according to data published in the journal Molecular Autism. Israeli researchers compared endocannabinoid serum levels in 93 patients with ASD versus controls. They reported “substantially lower” serum levels of the primary endocannabinoid anandamide, as well as its related compounds, in children with ASD.

Study: Cosmetic Application of Hemp Seed Oil to Hair Triggers A Positive Drug Test

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Poole, United Kingdom: The application of commercially available hemp seed oil products to hair can result in a positive test result for cannabinoids on a hair follicle drug detection test, according to data published in the journal Scientific Reports. British researchers performed hair follicle drug detection tests on a group of ten volunteers who had applied commercially available hemp seed oil to their hair for a period of six weeks. The product utilized in the study did not contain detectable levels of THC. Prior to participating in the trial, all volunteers declared that they had not ingested cannabis in any form, nor had they been exposed to cannabis (smoke or otherwise) in any form via passive exposure.

Study: More Lenient Marijuana Laws NOT Associated with Higher Odds of Youth Use

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Kent, United Kingdom: Changes in the legal status of marijuana are not associated with an increased likelihood that more adolescents will consume it, according data published in the International Journal of Drug Policy. A University of Kent professor of sociology and social research analyzed three separate waves of global marijuana use data from 38 countries over a period of nine years. The author reported, “[D]ata do not reveal a statistically significant association between policy ‘liberalization’ and higher odds of increased cannabis use.” The findings are consistent with those of several prior studies finding that changes in marijuana’s legal status in jurisdictions in the United States is not associated with upticks in either teens’ use of cannabis or access to it.

Just one more …

Study: No Correlation Between THC Levels in Blood & Psychomotor Impairment

Thursday, 07 March 2019

Düsseldorf, Germany: The presence of low levels of THC in blood is poorly correlated with driving performance, according to driving simulator data published in the International Journal of Legal Medicine. German investigators assessed simulated driving performance in 15 subjects following the consumption of up to three cannabis cigarettes. Subjects manifested changes in driving performance, such as higher incidences of weaving and an inability to compensate for unforeseen events, for a period of three hours following cannabis administration. After three hours, subjects’ “driving performance and style no longer differed significantly” from baseline performance, authors reported.