Cannabis Laboratories: The Testing Landscape in America

Gas chromatography equipment – WikiMedia Commons

[Note – This guest blog was submitted by Samantha Miller of Pure Analytics.]

5/23/2011 – The testing of commercially available cannabis for cannabinoid profile and potency is becoming more prevalent. This is important information for patients and dispensaries who increasingly seek out these profiles.  The availability of cannabis testing promotes better access to medically important cannabis options such as CBD-rich cannabis, through identification. Laboratory testing is also key for strategic breeding programs and promotes the overall legitimization of cannabis for therapeutic use.  Right now the cannabis testing industry is unregulated.

An easy-to-read cannabinoid profile helps medical cannabis patients choose the strains that best suit the therapy requirements for their ailment.  The cannabinoid potency information provides guidance in determining an individual’s dosage through self-experimentation, often called “self-titration”.  Reliable cannabinoid profiles also support the ability for patients to achieve a repeat of therapeutic benefits without experiencing unwanted intoxication.

Today, because of increased awareness, patients are more interested in consuming cannabinoids other than THC.  Potency testing can play an important role in promoting knowledge and availability of non-THC options. First, through the identification of cannabis strains and cannabis products with medically important non-THC cannabinoids such as CBD. These cannot be detected by visual or other sensory means such as smell.


Secondly, through the use of lab testing to identify specific plants, they can be used in breeding programs designed to develop and isolate plants that are high in CBD, CBG or some other cannabinoid of interest. Laboratory testing can be used to identify the precise cannabinoid profile of plants to determine genetic traits that promote the development of non-THC dominant cannabis. Then cross-breeding can be undertaken based upon our understanding of the genetics of the expression of those cannabinoids.

The medical cannabis industry has the great potential to provide enhanced legitimacy with reliable laboratory testing.  One such area concerns human use and consumption where testing provides information not just on potency but assures the absence of harmful pesticides.

Cannabis laboratories are also generating a rapidly growing body of data. The development of this new database can be used to support the characterization of cannabis as a medicinal plant in the effort to re-schedule its classification in the federal Controlled Substances Act .

The prevalence of cannabis testing is certainly on the rise. The emerging cannabis testing industry is a dynamic environment driven largely by economic influences.  In the last decade the decision to test has largely been driven by weighing the costs and the benefits from a marketing perspective.

Today, a very competitive market exists for medicinal cannabis in California and other states.  New cannabis testing laboratories are starting-up on a frequent basis to serve a perceived economic opportunity.  Some activist groups have raised concerns over the nature of segments of the new cannabis lab industry.

There are non-qualified service providers, “dry labs” who outsource all analysis or even fabricate results. There are also unscrupulous laboratory instrument companies that are raising concerns by marketing expensive equipment to medical cannabis collectives to attempt their own testing.  As a response, patients and collectives are asking important questions about the reliability of the results.

The is no regulatory oversight for cannabis testing that compared to what already exists in most other fee-for-service analytical chemistry industries.  This makes the water a bit murkier when looking for a reputable and qualified service provider for cannabis testing services. In an environment where providing analytical results is regulated (drinking water, soil and food) a customer can simply choose from a list of service providers who have all been certified to the same set of standards for accuracy and precision in their work.

A regulated environment offers an agreed upon well-tested methodology.  There also would exist an agreed upon set of requirements for quality control of ongoing work such as requirements for the frequency and acceptance criteria of the calibration of equipment. In the absence of regulation these aspects of analysis, even providing results to a customer, can happen under widely varying circumstances.

The importance of a consistency for method validation and ongoing quality control become clear when you consider the multiple factors that affect accuracy. For example, the method of sampling at the dispensary or cultivator level can have serious influences on lab results. A single sample that is representative of the entire unit of plant material must be submitted for analysis to obtain a result that accounts for the variation within that unit.

The second tier of cannabis sampling, which occurs at the level of the laboratory, also has an influence. This is where the cannabis sample is prepared and extracted for analysis.  The process involves the use of precision weighing and volumetric measurement equipment which must be calibrated and verified at regular intervals.  The proper calibration of analytical equipment is also imperative to the production of reliable and repeatable data.  Key factors include the use of certified standards that have been third-party tested and certified for purity and concentration.

Proper maintenance of equipment is a final important element for ensuring that the results provided to the customer are delivered with the highest confidence level.

The good news is that in the absence of regulated oversight, cooperative work between existing labs to perform side-by-side testing of cannabis samples can provide an important element to fostering confidence at the consumer level.

A very important aspect of cannabis laboratory practice that varies between service providers is the choice of analytical equipment.  In general, the choice of equipment centers on the use of gas chromatography (GC) versus liquid chromatography (HPLC) for cannabinoid analysis.  As in every industry there is often an effort to promote what differentiates a service as what makes it better than another. In the case of GC versus HPLC some service providers have attempted to position their equipment as superior to another.  The truth is that types of equipment can provide accurate, reliable data for cannabinoid analysis.

It is not as simple as the hardware.  A key factor to consider when reviewing the appropriate equipment for a given analysis is making sure the correct type of detector is being used. This is especially important for gas chromatograph analysis of cannabinoids.  In the case of GC there are options of FID (flame ionization detector), MS (mass spectrometer) and TCD (thermal conductivity detector).  Gas chromatograph units equipped with both FID and MS detectors have been shown to provide reliable results.

The TCD detectors commonly sold by instrument companies to dispensaries are not a good choice.  One reason is that the results are often influenced by the interference of other cannabinoids present aside from THC, CBD and CBN.

There are also a segment of cannabis laboratory service providers utilizing results from TLC or Thin Layer Chromatography, often referred to as “test strips.”  In some of these cases these test strips are promoted as being able to provide accurate potency results for cannabis.  In general, without specialized equipment, test strips are only viable for use to tell whether or not certain cannabinoids are present, but not how much is present (e.g. potency).

The most appropriate method for cannabinoid analysis is also determined by the type of sample being analyzed.  In today’s cannabis industry, the vast majority of samples submitted to laboratories for testing consist of processed, dried flowers intended for vaporization or combustion.  Testing by GC-FID, GC-MS or LC is appropriate for these samples when looking to identify cannabinoid profile and potency level.

But, for those samples that may contain the un-activated or “acid” form of THC and CBD when consumed, analysis by liquid chromatography is more appropriate.  Gas chromatography (GC) is unable to detect if these “acid” forms remain present, a consideration that is important when trying to consider dosage of an edible or tincture ingestible.  This is because analysis by GC essentially simulates what happens when cannabis is vaporized or combusted.  The acid forms of THC and CBD are converted to the active forms when heated. Heating is a part of analysis by GC.  This is important because many tincture and edible makers do not activate their cannabinoids through adequate heating of their products, leaving some cannabinoid in the “acid” form.

For a summary on the similarities and differences between GC and LC equipment see table 1.

Table 1.  Comparison of Gas Chromatography and High Performance Liquid Chromatography

Gas Chromatography Liquid Chromatography
A low pressure stream of gas helps move the compounds to the detector A high pressure stream of solvent helps move the compounds to the detector
The system is heated during analysis The system is usually at ambient temperature during analysis
Detects total available THC, CBD and CBN and other activated cannabinoids Detects THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA and other acid and non acid cannabinoids
Cannot detect cannabinoid acids Can detect cannabinoid acids
Analysis does not produce significant waste Analysis produces significant solvent waste

Clearly, the current cannabis laboratory environment is unregulated so consumers have to be savvy. Knowing what questions to ask a prospective cannabis lab is key.  To help the process a group of laboratory service providers* from various states along with an international advisor compiled a list of 10 questions to ask a cannabis scientist. This can act as a quick reference guide for those looking for a qualified laboratory partner.

10 Questions to ask your cannabis scientist

1. What training or expertise do you have to be able to perform cannabis analysis?

2. Which cannabinoids do you test for? Do you have reliable reference standards for all of them?

3. How is CBN related to THC, and why is it important to test for it?

4. What kind of samples do you test (flowers, edibles, tincture)? Have you optimized your extraction and analysis protocol for each kind of sample?

5. What do you do with left-over samples?

6. Are you aware of acidic cannabinoids? In samples such as edibles and tincture they can be present at high levels. How do you deal with that?

7. What is your analytical methodology for testing cannabis (HPLC, GC, TLC, other)? What are the limitations of your selected method?

8. What is the average THC/CBD content your lab has measured?

9. Did your lab ever test the same cannabis twice, with very different results? What was the explanation for that, and what has been changed to prevent it from happening again?

10. Analytical methods need to be ‘validated’ before you can be sure they are fully reliable. Have you done this already, and how did you do this.  Did it include a third party?  If you didn’t do it yet, how can I be sure my results will be accurate?

*Contributors: Arno Hazekamp (Netherlands), Samantha Miller (Pure Analytics), Paula Morris (Medea Labs), Noel Palmer (Montana Botanical Analytics), Jeff Raber (The Werc Shop) and Eric Taylor (California Botanicals).  Collectively the ACS, Alliance for Cannabis Science.

Quick reference –

Guest blog was submitted by Samantha Miller of Pure Analytics.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent any University, business, affiliates or Freedom Is Green Media Group LLC. The information provided in this blog is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

Questions? Email science editor Jahan Marcu science(at)

Cannabis College Crackdown and Other New World Orders

Today, I woke up to find that the Supreme Court of the United States ruled by a 5-to-4 vote that officials may strip-search people arrested for any offense,  however minor, before admitting them to jails even if the officials have no reason to suspect the presence of contraband.

Now, I’m no Constitutional know-it-all by any stretch of the imagination, but I seem to recall something called, oh what is it…oh that’s right: The Fourth Amendment, which goes a little something like this:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses,  papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall  not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,  supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place  to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Interesting. The HIGHEST COURT IN THE LAND just rolled back the Fourth Amendment…because it can.

But then again, that pesky Constitution as well as laws that the public has resoundingly voted in favor of don’t seem to stop public officials from doing whatever the hell they want.

Take a look at Oaksterdam College, which the DEA and IRS raided on Monday, shutting down the cannabis industry trade school while carrying out a federal search warrant. And guess what? They don’t have to explain what they’re doing to anyone because all of the paperwork is “under seal” other than to confirm it is part of a (insert sarcastic laughter) “ongoing joint investigation.”

Now, Oakland doesn’t have a lot of money. But it does have a lot of crime. Which coincidentally occurred during this needless raid. In a different part of the city, seven people at Oikos Christian University were lined up and gunned down by a former student.

We will probably never know whether the limited police force raiding a successful trade school could have actually fought real crime only miles away. (You know, do that “life saving” thing that we pay them to do.)

Richard Lee, who runs the “cannabis college”, was detained then released. His home was raided by  agents with guns (because this wheelchair bound activist is such a threat. Where’s your raid on Wall Street?), according to Dale Sky Jones,  chancellor of  Oaksterdam. Four marijuana nursery workers were detained at Oaksterdam. No arrests were made.

Don Duncan of Americans for Safe Access writes:

This is a grave injustice against local patients and a slap in the face for a city that has led the state in sensible regulations for medical cannabis. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) helped to mobilize protesters this morning, and is working to frame this story in the media right now. We wish we did not need an Emergency Response Campaign but today’s events show that we still do.

So whose to blame for all of this needless militaristic force that descended upon a legitimate trade college going about their business?

From left, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner (Eastern District), U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy (Southern District), U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag (Northern District) and U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte (Central District)

These four attorneys stated in October that they would aggressively  prosecute many marijuana dispensaries as profit-making criminal  enterprises. Staying true to their word, three dispensaries in San Francisco, one in  Marin County and 50 in Sacramento have closed under  pressure, in addition to about 150 others throughout the state of California.

This team of legal vigilantes have made it their mission to defy their constituents’ wishes under the guise of “protecting the children”, whose schools may be too close to dispensaries. (Note: The “protecting the children” defense is almost always a cloak for politically motivated agenda.)

“Its a total waste of federal resources,” Stephanie Tucker,  spokesperson for the San Francisco medical cannabis task force, told The Huffington Post. “They’re attacking a peaceful, regulated community, and  it’s wasting money. Shame on them.”

Indeed shame on them. And shame on all of the legislators who have taken it upon themselves to rewrite The Constitution and hoist their own self-created political agenda upon a public that voted them into office.

God bless America…it’s going to need all the help it can get.

Beth Mann is a popular blogger and writer for Open Salon and Salon. She is also an accomplished artist with over 15 years of experience, as well as the president of Hot Buttered Media. She currently resides at the Jersey shore where she can be found surfing or singing karaoke at a local dive bar.

Contact: maryjane {at }

Contributions by:

Jahan Marcu is currently investigating the pharmacology of cannabinoid receptors. He was working at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute when exciting discoveries were made showing enhanced anti-cancer effects with THC and CBD from the Cannabis plant. The findings were published in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. In 2009 he received the Billy Martin Award from the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS). Jahan is currently the vice-chair the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board at Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Questions? Contact [email protected]

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent any University, business or affiliates. While the information provided in this blog is from published scientific studies it is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

Cannabis and PTSD Clinical Trials Announced

The International Association for Cannabinoid Medicine published a bulletin highlighting the preliminary results from an observational clinical trial studying the effects of Cannabis on post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“According to an observational study by scientists of MaReNa Diagnostic and Consulting Center in Bat-Yam, Israel, presented at the Cannabinoid Conference 2011 in Bonn, Germany, the use of cannabis may improve symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder. As a part of their routine consulting work, they assessed the mental condition of 79 adult PTSD patients, who applied to the Ministry of Health in order to obtain a license for the medical use of cannabis. Only part of them (about 50 per cent) got cannabis licenses and constitutes the study group. They were followed for a period of about two years.”

One of the oldest known medical uses for Cannabis is in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, as described in the ancient Ayurvedic texts from India (Russo 2005). This ancient medicinal claim is proving itself true through recent scientific studies. Scientists studying fear conditioning in animals discovered that the CB1 receptor is necessary for the extinction of adverse memories (Marsciano 2002). Researchers studied mice that are genetically bred without the CB1 receptors. These mice without CB1 receptors have an impaired ability to extinguish fear. Scientists have also tried using the drug Rimonbandt, which blocks the CB1 receptor and seen similar results (Lutz 2007).

The CB1 receptor is the most abundant protein in the human protein, and anyone who has activated this receptor with THC can tell you about its effect on memory. This memory impairment associated with Cannabis can be harnessed for medical uses.

The CB1 receptor is part of the endocannabinoid system (ECS). The ECS is a natural part of our body and among many things it controls things such as eating, sleeping relaxing, and memory. Conceptually, by adding THC to the brain, the ECS is turned on and begins to do its work. THC from the Cannabis plant and our body’s endocannabinoids may control the extinction of adverse memories by acting through the CB1 receptor. Adverse memories underlie or cause many anxiety disorders such as PTSD. You don’t have to be a veteran to receive relief from Cannabis for a psychiatric disorder. The extinction of adverse memories through the CB1 receptor is emerging as a universal mechanism in the brain.

Despite a vast amount of scientific information on the effect of cannabinoids on memory, the first clinical trial on Cannabis and PTSD is yet to be completed. This clinical trial is an obvious next step that will test the effect of CB1 receptor stimulation on adapting to fear. This is something scientists have not been successful at studying; researchers have only been approved to study the effect of CB1 receptors on anxiety disorders indirectly through genetically altered mice and by blocking the receptor.

Cannabis and cannabinoids may offer a benefit in the treatment of anxiety disorders, such as phobias (fears) or PTSD, and the pain that is often associated with them. The implications of the current scientific data suggest that Cannabis and cannabinoids can treat a wide range of anxiety orders. If you are feeling nervous about the speculation of using Cannabis to treat anxiety disorders, just remember the title from Nature magazine’s 2002 article, “Never Fear, Cannabinoids are Here (Sah, 2002).”


Lutz, B. (2007). The Endocannabinoid System and Extinction Learning. Molecuar Neurobiology, 36:92-101.

Marsciano, G. (2002). The Endogenous Cannabioid System Controls the Extinction of Adverse Memories. Nature, 530-534.

Russo, E. (2005). Cannabis in Inida: ancient lore and modern medicine. In R. Mechoulam, Cannabinoids as Therpeutics.

Birkhäuser Verlag/Switzerland. Sah, P. (2002). Never Fear, Cannabinoids are Here. Nature, 488-489.

Jahan Marcu is currently investigating the pharmacology of cannabinoid receptors. He was working at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute when exciting discoveries were made showing enhanced anti-cancer effects with THC and CBD from the Cannabis plant. The findings were published in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. In 2009 he received the Billy Martin Award from the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS). Jahan is currently the vice-chair the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board at Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Questions?   Contact    [email protected]

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent any University, business or affiliates. While the information provided in this blog is from published scientific studies it is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

Cannabis and Karaoke – Perfect Together

"It's a reason to get out of the house so you're not just a hermit in the dark with pain pills." – Teresa Sheffer

This relaxed Portland cafe provides the perfect setting for medical marijuana patients to socialize and sing everything from Sinatra to Sublime.

PORTLAND, Ore. – Lights dim. A white-haired man of perhaps 50 approaches the stage. He’s wearing a blue suit jacket, open-neck shirt, black leather loafers and sunglasses, indoors, at night. He’s got the Sinatra panache down.

Then, the voice, a rich baritone, sweeps over the audience of a couple dozen glazed and grinning pot smokers.

“Day and night, night and daaaaay,” he croons the Sinatra standard into a mic in his right hand. “Only you beneath the moon or under the sun, whether near to me or far, it’s no matter darling where you are.

“Dum dum, dum dum de-doo-dee-dum.”

The audience yelps and coos in appreciation.

This is karaoke night at Portland’s Cannabis Cafe, a combination of the bar from Cheers and a street-side pot palace in Amsterdam. It is perfectly legal in this smoky room for medical marijuana patients to burn, eat, rub, filter and roll marijuana.

There are cancer patients, AIDS patients and sufferers of smashed vertebrae and pinched nerves. There are also those who find refuge under Oregon’s “severe pain” allowance – tell a marijuana-friendly doctor you’ve got pain, and you’ve pretty much got weed.

Since the medical marijuana law’s passage in 1998, nearly 40,000 patients have gotten access.

The pot in the cafe is brought in by patients or donated by growers. Money doesn’t change hands unless it’s to buy a sandwich or coffee. The price of admission: a $20 monthly charge and a $5 door fee.

The cafe has farmer’s markets of donated weed-laden goodies, a weekly comedy show and even an employees’ night. On Thursdays, it’s karaoke. An ill-lit stage catches an occasional cloud of puffy white smoke blown from a pipe or a bong or a vaporizer.

The Sinatra crooner, unlike many tonight, has got the goods.

The rest of the evening will be spent alternatively cringing and clapping at the cluster of medical marijuana users who make it their business to be at the cafe when karaoke kicks off at 7 p.m.

From table to table, the stories pour out of them. Most declined to provide their names.

Teresa Sheffer was hit by a train while driving in Alto, Mich. It broke every major bone on her right side and left her with damage to her spine. Now her pain sometimes gets so severe it forces her to huddle in her house, alone.

But sitting six paces from the stage with a pipe in front of her and a thick pinch of locally grown pot packed into her friend’s bong, she’s relaxed. If there is a point to the Cannabis Cafe, it is to give people who smoke pot a place to do it together.

“It’s a family here,” Sheffer said. “You see other people with the same problems, but it’s not a hospital. It’s a reason to get out of the house so you’re not just a hermit in the dark with pain pills.”

Read more by Beth Mann on Karaoke as Cheap Therapy

Cannabinoids, Breast Milk, and Development

Hospitals routinely screen new born babies for drugs. If a mother uses a drug, such as Cannabis then the baby may drink the plants ingredients or metabolites in breast milk, thus baby urine or feces can provide evidence of the mother’s drug use and allow the state to take control of the child. Cannabis should be an easy drug to detect, THC can stay in the body for an extended period of time, unlike cocaine or speed or alcohol. However, detecting THC in babies just got a little bit trickier.

A study published in the Journal of Clinical Biochemistry demonstrated that baby urine containing a tiny amount of baby soap would give a positive result on a drug test for THC, the active ingredient in the plant. A positive test for your baby can result in child abuse allegations and the involvement of social services. Hence, the authors suggest that laboratories, which conduct drug tests for THC should be aware of these potential sources of error that exist in the real world.

So, what do you do when your baby tests positive for marijuana? We know what the consequences of the failing the tests are…but what does the science say about pregnancy, babies, and breast milk?

The science demonstrates that cannabinoid receptor activation (i.e. CB1 and CB2 receptors) is a natural and important component for proper development. Mammals, including humans, produce endocannabinoids, which are THC-like compounds. These THC-like compounds include anandamide and 2-AG. Anandamide and 2-AG activate the same receptors as THC, and are found in bovine and human breast milk. Adding THC to the mix of endocannabinoids in breast milk may lead to changes in development but scientists just aren’t sure if any of these differences in animals translate into long term changes in human development.

The developmental effects of THC exposure remain unclear, but the blocking of cannabinoid receptor activation during early development is considered to have “catastrophic” effects. Studies by Ester Fride and colleagues have demonstrated the importance of having an endocannabinoid system that is functioning properly. For example, one of the studies by Fride et al. showed that the administration of SR141716A, a drug which prevents CB1 receptor activation, will kill 50% of baby mice within 2 days, due to a disruption of feeding behavior. In another experiment from the same study, THC was able to reverse the disruption in feeding behavior induced by SR141716A.

Additional studies in mice and rats have shown that prenatal or postnatal exposure to cannabis or cannabinoids may lead to subtle changes in breast milk and development. However, many of these animal studies do not have much, if any human data to corroborate them. Always keep in mind that drugs abuse studies are difficult to interpret, as most subjects use multiple drugs and socioeconomic status seems to play the biggest role-money, health care, and your parents level of education can have a bigger impact on healthy development than Cannabis. Interestingly, a study found that among poor mothers living in the northeast, marijuana was the least common drug used and the health of a newborn seem to be most affected by polydrug use, including: alcohol, tobacco, and cocaine.

Many studies have looked at the effect of Cannabis use during pregnancy and the results suggest that there are not clear consequences. A review article published by Dr. Ethan Russo walks the reader through the human studies on pregnancy, here are of some of the examples from his article:

  • “A variety of studies have demonstrated transient effects of cannabis on endocrine hormone levels, but no consistent effects seem to occur in chronic settings (Russo et al.2002).”
  • “Studies are hampered by the obvious fact that laboratory animals are not human in their responses. Estrous cycles and behaviors in animals are not always analogous to menstrual cycles and other physiological effects in women.”
  • “In a study of 171 women, 25% of pregnancies ended spontaneously within 6 weeks of the last menses. Cannabis exposure seemed to have no observable effect in these cases (Wilcox, Weinberg, and Baird 1990).”
  • “In 1987, the Ottawa group compared effects of cannabis, tobacco, alcohol and caffeine during gestation (Fried et al. 1987). Whereas tobacco negatively affected neonatal birth weight and head circumference, and alcohol was associated with lower birth weight and length, no effects on any growth parameters were ascribable to maternal cannabis usage.”
  • “In a subsequent study (Witter and Niebyl 1990), examination of 8350 birth records revealed that 417 mothers (5%) claimed cannabis-only usage in pregnancy, but no association was noted with prematurity or congenital anomalies. The authors suggested that previously ascribed links to cannabis were likely confounded by concomitant alcohol and tobacco abuse.”
  • “A group in Boston noted a decrease in birth weight of 79 g in infants born to 331 of 1226 surveyed mothers with positive using drug screen for cannabis (p =0.04) (Parker and Zuckerman 1999), but no changes in gestation, head circumference or congenital abnormalities were noted.”
  • “The largest study of the issue to date evaluated 12,424 pregnancies (Linn et al.1983). Although low birth weight, shortened gestation and malformations seemed to be associated with maternal cannabis usage, when logistic regression analysis was employed to control for other demographic and exposure factors, this association fell out of statistical significance.”
  • “Dreher has extensively examined prenatal cannabis usage in Jamaica (Dreher 1997; Dreher, Nugent, and Hudgins 1994), wherein the population observations were not compounded by concomitant alcohol, tobacco, or polydrug abuse. This study is unique in that regard, no less due to the heavy intake of cannabis (“ganja”), often daily, in this cohort of Rastafarian women. No differences were seen between groups of cannabis-using and non-cannabis-using mothers in the weight, length, gestational age or Apgar scores of their infants (Dreher, Nugent, and Hudgins 1994). Deleterious effects on progeny of cannabis smokers were not apparent; in fact, developmental precocity was observed in some measures in infants born to women who smoked ganja daily.”

The research on this subject doesn’t end there. Researchers have administered cannabinoids to children; cannabinoids may have a role in pediatric medicine as young children do not appear to get “high” from cannabinoids such as THC. Below Ester Fride discussed two of the clinical trials on cannabinoids and children:

The gradual postnatal increase of anandamide and its CB1 receptors (see Video of Pre- and postnatal development of the endocannabinoid CB receptor system below) is accompanied by a gradual maturing response to the psychoactive potential of D9-tetrahydrocannabinol and anandamide in postnatal mice between birth and weaning (Fride and Mechoulam, 1996b).

This observation has important implications for cannabinoid therapy in children, since psychoactive side effects may be expected to be minor when treated with cannabinoids at a young age. Indeed, very high doses of D8-tetrahydrocannabinol (approximately 0.64 mg/kg/treatment) were given to children between the ages 3 and 13 years who were undergoing chemotherapy for the treatment of various hematologic cancers, over long periods of time (up to 114 treatments, based on 4 treatments/24h during the days of chemotherapy). The anti-emetic effects were impressive, whereas the side effects were minimal (Abrahamov and Mechoulam, 1995). In a case report study (Lorenz, 2003), eight children (ages 3–14 years) with a variety of severe neurological diseases were treated with D9-tetrahydrocannabinol (0.04–0.12 mg/kg/day). Significant improvements in behavioralparameters including reduced spasticity, improved dystonia, increased interest in the surroundings and antiepileptic activity were reported without notable adverse effects.

It is not clear, how, in the first study, the anti-emetic effects were achieved (presumably via the area postrema) and in the second, positive neurological benefit was derived in the absence of adverse psychological effects.

Is it possible that a differential CB1 receptor distribution appears during development, or that differential maturation of brain pathways is responsible for the clinical success? Clearly, further animal experiments and clinical investigations of cannabinoid treatment in the developing organism are warranted.”

The scientific evidence discussed here suggests that Cannabis may be used during pregnancy with little risk or consequence to your health or the baby’s health (One parenting website suggested that the biggest risk to a child is the parents state of mind after use).

Regarding Cannabis use, the most severe consequences to the mother and her baby appear to result from interactions with law enforcement, social services, and baby soap.

VIDEO: Pre- and Postnatal Development of the Endocannabinoid System by Ester Fride Ph.D

Jahan Marcu is currently investigating the pharmacology of cannabinoid receptors. He was working at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute when exciting discoveries were made showing enhanced anti-cancer effects with THC and CBD from the Cannabis plant. The findings were published in the Journal of Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. In 2009 he received the Billy Martin Award from the International Cannabinoid Research Society (ICRS). Jahan is currently the vice-chair the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board at Americans for Safe Access (ASA). Questions?   Contact   [email protected]

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent any University, business or affiliates. While the information provided in this blog is from published scientific studies it is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease.

Burn on the 4th of July: Marijuana, the Department of Homeland Security and the Liberty Bell

6/30/13 Drug War Tour on the march (photo by Elkanah Grogan)

PHILADELPHIA by Chris Goldstein 7/4/2013

We are celebrating an incredible revolution of ideas this week, one that has a living pulse today.

The Philadelphia of 1776 housed the women and men who crafted a new future for freedom. In 2013 it is where the United States federal government is displaying the tremendous cost and energy it will spend to arrest Americans simply for smoking marijuana.

On Sunday June 30th scores of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents and National Park Service (NPS) Rangers along with Philadelphia Police (PPD) participated in a coordinated disruption of the monthly “Smoke Down Prohibition” protest in front of the Liberty Bell.

The six-month old event is organized (loosely) by comedy crew The Panic Hour and reform group PhillyNORML.

At 4:20PM many in the crowd lit cannabis joints in a symbolic protest against federal laws…as they have each month (in the same spot) since December 2012.

This time more than eighty members of law enforcement (all with guns, some in riot gear) were sent into the group of about 100 peaceful cannabis consumers who had just respectfully marched all the way from City Hall (in the rain) without incident.

But when protesters arrived at The People’s Plaza over a dozen people were roughly dragged to the ground by police, agents and rangers. Eight people were issued citations. I was one of those cited.

Video – Photo set –

The strategies and tactics employed by the multiple agencies are a real window into the marijuana policy problem overall. More than 750,000 Americans will be treated the same way this year by police just for a small amount of pot; but most of the actual arrests won’t be so well documented.

President Obama, top-level politicians along with agency heads at the DEA, ONDCP and others claim that federal laws against possession of a few grams of weed isn’t on their radar. But that is a lie. We can see just how the federal government feels about marijuana legalization in their militarized response to a group of Americans openly carrying a little bit of cannabis.

Photo by Elkanah Grogan – 4:18PM on 6/30/2013 at Independence Mall

Drug War Tour

Sunday’s event was much more positive than the 15 minutes of intense police action against us.

Around 2:30PM a dedicated group of marijuana reform activists gathered under drenching but not uncomfortable summer rain in Love Park. Among the tourists snapping pictures we handed out leafy signs and umbrellas, staying upbeat with the comedy of The Panic Hour and a talk from anarchist writer Larkin Rose…both are actually best enjoyed standing in the rain anyway…like a Nine Inch Nails concert.

The Drug War Tour of Philly was organized by Mike Whiter, a US Marine combat veteran who wants Pennsylvania to legalize medical marijuana.

Participants included some seasoned activists like libertarian Adam Kokesh and Capt. Ray “Occupy” Lewis, the retired Philly Police Captain arrested at Occupy Wall Street. There were people of all ages and nearly every ethnicity, including a man in a wheelchair and a couple with a baby. We made for an excellent representative cross-section of our country.

Many were familiar faces to me; these are the people who have the courage to put forth a real effort for legalization. Everyone was there to walk twelve blocks in steady rain to ultimately enter a cage filled with federal agents for a joint smoking session.

The resolve and honest good nature of every single person involved remains an inspiration. Marching with them is always a privilege.

Steve Miller-Miller chants (photo by Elkanah Grogan)

At 3:15PM we left Love Park with local comic Steve Miller-Miller on the microphone “1-2-3-4 End The Lunatic Drug War!”

The amplifier was on the back on an old Army pickup truck (driven by an affable Libertarian survivalist), fittingly at the lead of the parade.

The event had a permit and an official police escort along with a PPD Civil Affairs unit. About ten Philly cops on bikes and in SUVs were focused on politely closing off intersections for our street march.

Our first stop was the West side of City Hall where I gave a talk directed toward Mayor Michael Nutter.

“There are more than 4,000 arrests each year in Philadelphia for marijuana and more than 80% of those are black men and women – but Mayor Nutter could de-prioritize marijuana possession.”

“Marijuana reform doesn’t have to start in Washington DC, it doesn’t have to start in Harrisburg it can start right here at City Hall.”

A recent resolution passed by the National Conference of Mayors pleaded with federal authorities to allow cities to direct their own criminal cannabis policies – reducing penalties. But a recommendation by the ACLU in their report highlighting the racial disparity to pot enforcement could be enacted by the Mayor at any time: de-prioritization; this directs police and prosecutors to take on serious crimes instead of busting people for weed.

Chants of “END THE DRUG WAR!” and “What do we want? LEGAL WEED! When do we want it? NOW!” echoed from the faces of the Gotham-style structure of Philly’s City Hall as we made our way up Market Street.

We had one more stop on our journey that turned into a powerful visit.

At 7th Street we made a left went one block to land in front of the Federal Detention Center. This is where comedian NA Poe and broadcaster Adam Kokesh were held on felony charges after DHS, Park Rangers and Philly Police arrested them at the May 18, 2013 “Smoke Down Prohibition” rally. (Video – )

Kokesh and Poe were held in the same cell inside for five days and they both spoke in front of the FDC,

“A lot of people are locked up in there because of the Drug War,” said Poe, but then there were several, very welcome interruptions to their speeches.

At first I thought some heavy rain might be falling nearby or a low, persistent thunder. But it was the prisoners inside the FDC banging on the windows in response to the protest on the street.

This was a profound and unique moment. We raised our voices with the prisoners of prohibition; the communication of the message was acknowledged by both sides. I saw tears mixing with the rain as cheers mixed with banging; a choir of voices, unified; all for legal marijuana.

6/30 FDC Video –

Keeping on schedule to reach the Liberty Bell by 4:20 we moved on with the march. In the 8tt Street underpass we took a break from the rain and listened to Ray Lewis give his view of drug laws.

The retired Philadelphia Police Captain used to respond to a lot of domestic violence calls, none of them he attributed to marijuana – but a lot of them seemed fueled by alcohol. The former cop joins a growing number of his colleagues who are taking the time to end a voice for change.

We continued our lively parade, a visible expression of a majority of Americans (likely even cops) in favor of legalization. We were energized by the brief respite and chanting for an end to cannabis prohibition.

In the distance we could see the massive police presence waiting for us.

Slowing leading the green camo truck up the center of a wet, reflective Market Street under cloudy skies to the small army of agents in front of Independence Hall was surreal. All of the protesters were calm.

6/30/13 marijuana march arrives at 5th and Market (Photo by Vanessa Maria at The Panic Hour)


Freedom cages and riot rangers

The area preserved for First Amendment activity at 5th and Market Street was ringed by metal barricade fencing when we arrived at 4:12. It is usually left open. We called it a “freedom cage” and walked inside.

Several dozen (visible) Department of Homeland Security agents deployed to our pot demonstration were in full black tactical gear with bullet-proof vests festooned (presumably) with extra magazines and other lethal equipment.

The several dozen Philly Police were all wearing baseball batting gloves (really) along with their guns and handcuffs.

National Park Service Rangers wore bullet-proof vests and were all carrying guns but there were also some special Rangers literally in GREEN riot gear with batons and helmets.

Oddly the US Fish and Wildlife Service also had another officer (also with a gun) who actually laid hands on a protester.

A processing tent was erected off to the side and staffed by more DHS, Rangers, Police and even the US Attorney’s Office.

Again this entire operation was staged because a group of Americans announced that we would smoke a joint at 4:20PM. (It probably even had a snappy code name…)

The federal response to this peaceful protest was way out of proportion.

I helped to lead the 4:20PM countdown at the first “Smoke Down Prohibition” in December and again at the largest gathering (so far) on April 20, 2013. There were only a few regular Rangers off in the far distance on those occasions. There was no metal fencing. One Ranger was close-by on 4/20/13 smiling and holding a video camera; not (visibly) armed with a gun.

A tolerant pragmatism on both sides and respectful détente seemed to be in effect among the local protesters and Rangers. So the disproportionate new tactics rolled out in May and June are clearly coming somewhere from the top -down.

Members of our group, including yours truly, were ready to take part in a civil disobedience action (openly smoking a marijuana joint) and to receive a citation. Smoking pot in public is something a reasonable person (even law enforcement) can agree is a minor issue, especially in the context of civil disobedience.

But Homeland Security, Park Rangers and Philly Police did not come with books of tickets, pepper spray and zip-ties; they appeared with loaded guns and metal handcuffs.

The world can now see the truth of US cannabis prohibition policy each month in Philadelphia. All of our federal AND local law enforcement resources are being aggressively deployed just to bust people with a joint.

Getting Cited

Chris Goldstein and Mike Whiter 4:20PM on 6/30/13 (photo by Elkanah Grogan)

Mike Whiter and I stood next to each other sharing a bullhorn with Ed “NJWeedman” Forchion at 4:19PM inside the federal freedom cage. Mike was wearing an olive green t-shirt with “Marines” emblazoned across it; I was in a pinstripe Ralph Lauren suit.

The rain stopped and the sun had just broken through the clouds over Independence Hall for the first time that day. The crowd huddled around Mike and me, not by design but by instinct.

We counted down from 20 seconds, the crowd got tighter but there was a small open circle right in front of me. People were already being pulled away from the edges and the atmosphere grew tense. Still I knew everyone was non-violent and sensed that everyone was prepared for the action.

As I got down from 10 seconds I put a joint in my mouth and when we reached “4:20” several lighters were held aloft and I lit it. Immediately squads of law enforcement weaved throughout the crowd. The young man on my left was pulled roughly away. I kept smoking the joint and told everyone to remain calm though the bullhorn.

I saw a tall Black man with long dreads holding only a video camera getting dragged to the ground by Rangers and Philly Police. Civil Affairs officers were rushing through the crowd as well. They seemed to be observing and even directing some arrests while ignoring others.

Those assembled made a powerful and poignant protest raising awareness for marijuana legalization. As their friends were roughly handled the Smoke Down participants shouted “No Victim; No Crime!” and many kept smoking.

I kept on toking my skinny but fragrant joint, catching the toughest buzz of my life. Mike got on the bullhorn pointing out that we were openly smoking marijuana…and that it was “really good” cannabis. Finally a local National Park Service Ranger approached me.

Since 2010 I’ve been peacefully protesting at 5th&Market for a variety of good causes. This particular Ranger and I had cordially interacted before. He wore a bark-brown and dark green uniform and reached up with a black leather glove to take the joint asking, “Is that marijuana?”

I smiled and said, “Yes, of course!” easing the joint from my right hand into his fingers as he seized my left elbow. He led me on a half-turn and we calmly walked over to the processing tent; a Philadelphia Police officer was at my right elbow and a Homeland Security agent followed behind.

Two separate Philly cops asked that I be handcuffed, but the Ranger replied that it was not necessary to both.

Mike continued smoking his joint for a few more puffs but was seized just after me in the same calm manner. Our interactions did not appear to be the norm. Many of those seized were needlessly manhandled and most were immediately released with no citations and no apology.

Over at the processing tent a man who had been carried over in handcuffs was yelling in pain saying his shoulder hurt from the position. His cuffs were eventually removed and he was sent away on an ambulance. Some of those detained were cited for “interference” not marijuana possession because they were seized while smoking tobacco cigarettes. Those cases could end up in court.

The Ranger briefly patted me down and asked for identification. I gave over my driver’s license and silently waited my turn.

I could see a Deputy US Attorney along with other higher-ups. Suddenly the Chief Ranger at Independence Mall National Historic Park, Patrick Suddath, came up and asked for me by name, then remarked that I was “overdressed.”

Suddath and I have interacted (cordially) before; during the local Occupy Wall Street encampment I traded my suit for cold weather gear.

“Liberty Bell tie; it’s for media appearances here,” I said.

The tie was a gift from fellow cannabis activist Colleen Begley; she bought it at the Independence Visitor Center gift shop. I hope Suddath noticed. He was quickly pulled away in another conversation.

Twenty minutes later the Rangers had filled out my citation for possession of a controlled substance and put the remaining ¼ of a joint into a plastic evidence bag. My name was then run for outstanding warrants and a Ranger took a digital photograph of me with the citation.

My interaction was boring, civil and by-the-book. But like all pot prohibition enforcement, they did not treat everyone the same way.

Video – Photo set –

Rolling forward

Plans are already in the works for the July edition of “Smoke Down Prohibition.” Fundraising will take place to cover some of the citation fines from June and remain active for future events. Organizers and participants are determined to grow the action, swelling the number of cannabis consumers.

It is bizarre to be targeted by federal law enforcement in this fashion. Philadelphia Police Civil Affairs officers made a point tell us they had been briefed about the protest earlier in the week by federal agencies. This was likely a mild intimidation tactic but also an insight into the intense planning that went into the interruption of our protest.

Although fully armed and with just under one hundred cops, agents and rangers (don’t forget US Fish and Wildlife) law enforcement did not wait until 4:20PM but immediately encroached upon the protest – pulling people away before any joints were lit.

They interrupted our ability to peacefully gather and seek redress of our government. All of the officers who pledge to protect the US Constitution stood next to a monument to the First Amendment and willfully ignored it. Ultimately this is the length to which the federal government has always gone to defend and enforce this harmful policy – but now it is out in the open, symbolically and tangibly, for all to

The heavily armed; grandly choreographed efforts against this awareness campaign for legal marijuana should be disturbing to all Americans.

Perhaps this is a hint into the Department of Homeland Security’s future tactics against cannabis consumers in Washington and Colorado. Or the reality could be that federal agencies take this approach to disrupt many groups simply for organizing around a political issue.

That is why I plan to continue participating in these monthly actions. We are not afraid to embrace our freedom.

My Green Pledge

The ability for The People to use the cannabis plant as we wish is a Civil Right and a Natural Right.

When the government insists on pursuing destructive forms against its own citizens it is our responsibility to dig deep and empower the foundations of our principals as a nation.

We the People hold unquestionable Civil and Human Rights to alter our United States government and organize it for our Safety and Happiness.

For seventy-five years we have endured the Prohibition of Cannabis at tremendous cost to our Lives and Liberties. We experience the current enforcement of these unreasonable laws as a modern tyranny.

We have diligently employed every legal and legislative avenue for decades to combat this injustice only to have all tiers of Government alter their form to maintain a policy that makes us suffer – by the millions – each year.

We The People of the United States of America are declaring our Right to utilize Cannabis.

Many of us will publicly exercise our liberties each month in front of Independence Hall, peacefully upholding the best of all American traditions in the face of armed federal troopers, until prohibition comes to an end.

One day I hope that same National Park Service Ranger can take a joint out of my hand not to cite me, but to share.

Happier times: The fourth "Smoke Down Prohibition" protest 4/20/13: there were no arrests or citations

BREAKING: Florida Gets Medical Marijuana Bill

3/9/2011 11:29AM UPDATE 6:11PM- A Florida House Representative has formally introduced a medical cannabis bill this week. Advocates and the sponsor are planning a press conference for 10:00AM local time tomorrow on the 4th floor of the Capitol Building in Tallahassee.

The Tampa Bay Times/Herald reported today:

Rep. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, has filed a joint resolution that if passed would let voters in 2012 weigh in on a constitutional amendment legalizing medical marijuana.

The law would allow the use of medical marijuana if it’s recommended by physicians for patients with “debilitating medical conditions.” The proposal also allows the Legislature to set a maximum quantity of marijuana that can be owned for medical use, but that amount could be exceeded if a patient or doctor says greater amounts are necessary. Read full

Recent polling by the Florida Republicans indicates a groundswell of public support for the issue:  57% of Floridians reported that they want to legalize medical marijuana,

Robert Platshorn at NORMLCON 2010 – photo by NORML/David Sygall

The extra momentum for the new legislation came from an interesting place; two senior activists.

Robert Platshorn,  also known as Bobby Tuna, spent 30 years in federal prison for smuggling marijuana in the 1970’s. Now’s he’s giving talks about the benefits of medical cannabis as part of the NORML/High Times Silver Tour to educate seniors.

Bobby has been joining Irvin Rosenfeld, one of the four surviving federal medical marijuana patients, for special presentations to local  political clubs.

NORML South Florida attended local legislative meetings in January with Rep. Clemens in attendance.

After Bobby spoke in front of the Palm Beach County delegation Clemens requested more information and quickly introduced the resolution.

Look for an exclusive interview with Robert Platshorn on later today!

More information: People United For Medical Marijuana

Video below of Irv Rosenfeld testifying for medical marijuana in Michigan

Breaking: NJ Legislature Could Throw Out Marijuana Regulations

NJ State House by Freitag

New Jersey State House by C. David Freitag

5/6/2011 – The proposed regulations for the medical cannabis program in New Jersey violate the true intent of the Compassionate Use law. Assemblywoman Linda Stender has filed ACR 188, the final resolution that could invalidate them completely. The Senate and Assembly have already voted against the harsh regulations that removed provisions for home delivery, limited THC potency to 10 percent and created a controversial doctor registry for marijuana.

ACR 188/ ACR 151 states:

“A Concurrent Resolution prohibiting the adoption of certain Department of Health and Senior Services rules implementing the “New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act.”

They rules were put forth by the Department of Health and Senior Services  (DHSS) and have been vocally defended by Governor Chris Christie. The seriously ill patients who the law is meant to serve have done nothing but criticize the regulations in a series of public hearings.

 But The Legislature is keeping up the fight for patients by using rare procedure to throw out the rules. It has three steps: 1) A concurrent resolution is passed (complete 1/20/2011) 2) A special public hearing is held to gather guidance testimony (complete 2/3/2011) and 3) Based on such testimony a final concurrent resolution must be passed (now filed as SCR 151/ ACR 188).

This form of resolution does not require the signature of the Governor. In fact it communicates that Governor Christie would have 30 days to amend to rules. If the Executive does not change the regulations to the approval of the Legislature they will be officially invalided in whole or in part.

Advocates and the sponsoring politicians are eager to make changes. The six Alternative Treatment Centers recently approved by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) can not open until final regulations are adopted. The New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act was supposed to have been fully running in the summer of 2010 but has seen a series of delays.

Questions?  [email protected]

Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. He volunteers with local groups to change prohibition laws including PhillyNORML and The Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey.

BREAKING: NJ Gov. Christie – Medical Marijuana Press Conference

7/19/2011 – Governor Chris Christie called a surprise press conference today to address the stalled medical marijuana law. Taking full responsibility, he has decided to allow six Alternative Treatment Centers to move ahead.

“I have been struggling – as has my administration – to try and find a way to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish…which is to provide compassionate treatment to people who are suffering in a way that will not expose them, the operators of our dispensaries or employees of the State of New Jersey to criminal liability.”

Governor Christie is a former US Attorney and spent a significant amount of time discussing the intersections and conflicts between state and federal laws.

But, in the end, Christie confirmed that the law was moving ahead, “I have instructed the Commissioner of Health to move forward as expeditiously as possible to implement the [program].”

The full press conference video is below.

This is a breaking story – updates soon.

Connecticut House Passes Final Vote on Marijuana Decrim Bill


6/7/2011 – Today the Connecticut House of Representatives passed SB 1014, a bill to make possession of less than 14 grams of marijuana a non-criminal violation for adults.  There was heavy debate about the concept, but the measure prevailed in a 90-57 vote. The legislation was passed by the Senate over the weekend.

Governor Dannel P. Malloy sponsored the bill and is now expected to sign it into law.

Speaking about the bill on the floor today Republican Rep. Brenda Kupchick seemed torn: “Someone wrote to me today that if I didn’t support this bill that I would be an active proponent to government intervention into the private lives of citizens and interfering with individual liberties. That actually bothered me.”

Rep. Gerald Fox, a proponent of the legislation and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, answered dozens of questions from his peers. Opponents seemed to be most concerned with lightening the criminal treatment for those ages 18-21. But Fox assured them that young adults would face the same penalties for marijuana as they do for underage drinking.

Rep. Fox also pointed out that by treating possession of small amounts as a non-criminal offense it would not hurt the future employment or military eligibility of young people.

“The penalty is different, but going to court remains the same,” said Fox.

Under the new bill adults in possession of less than half an ounce of marijuana would be punished with a $150 fine on the first occasion and $200-$500 for additional offenses. Those between the ages of 18-21 will need to appear in court and will also have their drivers’ license suspended for 60 days.

[UPDATE 5:05PM] Governor Malloy issued this statement today:

“Final approval of this legislation accepts the reality that the current law does more harm than good – both in the impact it has on people’s lives and the burden it places on police, prosecutors and probation officers of the criminal justice system. Let me make it clear – we are not legalizing the use of marijuana. In modifying this law, we are recognizing that the punishment should fit the crime, and acknowledging the effects of its application. There is no question that the state’s criminal justice resources could be more effectively utilized for convicting, incarcerating and supervising violent and more serious offenders.

“Modification of this law will now put Connecticut in line with the laws of two of our neighboring states, New York and Massachusetts, and a total of thirteen states across the country with similar statutes. I applaud the General Assembly in their passage of this legislation and will sign it into law. I would also like to specifically thank State Senator Martin Looney, who first introduced this legislation in 2009, for his support and advocacy of this issue.”

When the bill is signed into law Connecticut will be the 14th US State to make adult cannabis possession a non-criminal offense.

See NORML’s decrim map here

Chris Goldstein is a respected marijuana reform advocate. As a writer and radio broadcaster he has been covering cannabis news for over a decade. Questions?  [email protected]