Native Americans Look Beyond Casinos To Marijuana

Native American tribes are looking to expand their business beyond casinos and into the lucrative cannabis industry.

The Portland Press Herald reported that three of the states four tribes were considering legalizing marijuana on their lands, but hadn’t gone much further than discussions. One of the tribes is also looking into cultivating marijuana. In California, the Pinoleville Pomo Nation will be the first tribe to grow medical marijuana.

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Neurosurgeon Sanjay Gupta Honored for Reporting on Medical Marijuana

Newswise — March 19, 2015 – Dr. Sanjay Gupta—a practicing neurosurgeon and Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN—recently received the prestigious Alfred I. duPont Award for his work on a pair of influential documentaries on medical marijuana, according to a cover feature in the April issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.

A special cover essay highlights Dr. Gupta's achievement in informing the ongoing debate over the hazards and potential benefits of medical marijuana. The essay also draws attention to emerging research on marijuana's effects on the brain—focusing on the hope that medical marijuana will provide an effective new approach for patients with certain types of treatment-resistant epilepsy.

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Barbara Boxer cosponsors medical marijuana bill

U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer on Tuesday became an early cosponsor of a bipartisan bill to end the federal prohibition on medical marijuana.

Perhaps she was feeling particularly green for St. Patrick’s Day.

Senators Cory Booker, D-N.J.; Rand Paul, R-Kent.; andKirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., last week introduced S.683, the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion, and Respect States Act of 2015. The bill would move marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act – a list of drugs not recognized to have any valid medical use – to the less-restrictive Schedule II.

States would be freer to enact and implement medical marijuana laws without federal interference; veterans’ doctors could recommend the drug; research would speed up; and bankers could breathe easier when dealing with the industry if this bill became law.

Some advocates say having Boxer, D-Calif., sign onto the bill is a big deal.

“Sen. Boxer represents the state that led the way on medical marijuana, and it’s about time she took some action to defend the will of California’s voters from federal interference,” said Tom Angell, chairman of Marijuana Majority.

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Colorado Retail Cannabis Has Generated More Than $15 Million for Schools

According to data released by the Colorado Department of Education, Colorado has already generated more than $15 million in tax revenue solely for public schools since legal recreational cannabis sales began on January 1, 2014. Approximately $15.6 million has been raised for the Building Excellent Schools Today (BEST) grant program, from the voter-approved 15% tax excise on all retail marijuana sales.

The BEST grant program takes funds accumulated from various tax revenues and distributes accordingly to different school districts, charter schools, and boards of cooperative educational services. It will also go towards the construction of new schools, as well as renovation projects.

Since Colorado’s retail marijuana market has already been breaking records for tax revenue (for the month of January alone), 2015 could prove to the world that cannabis revenues are providing incredible opportunities for students through educational funding. What a beautiful success story -- here's hoping it piques other states' interest as to the benefits of legalizing recreational cannabis.


Obama, 2016 Contenders Deal With Changing Attitudes On Marijuana

The divide between Republicans and Democrats on pot politics is narrowing, President Barack Obama said in an interview Monday.

"What I'm encouraged by is you're starting to see not just liberal Democrats but also some very conservative Republicans recognize this doesn't

make sense including sort-of the libertarian wing of the Republican Party," the president said in an interview with Vice News.

During the wide-ranging interview, Obama noted that the American criminal justice system is "so heavily skewed toward cracking down on non-violent drug offenders" and has has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color, as well as taking a huge financial toll on states. But, Obama added, Republicans are beginning to see that cost.

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