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Inside Cannabis (Oct 24th, 2017)

New Zealand may legalize recreational cannabis in the next three years under new leadership. After nearly a decade of conservative rule, liberal Jacinda Ardern was confirmed as the nation’s next prime minister last week. Though she hasn't explicitly expressed support for legalization, Ardern said she has "always been very open about the fact that I do not believe that people should be imprisoned for personal use of cannabis." – AP

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A pilot is underway in Canada for roadside testing of cannabis impairment. The federal government will spend $161 million over the next five years to help train and equip police officers to test drivers, which will entail a roadside saliva swab. The plan is to have rules in place for edible cannabis around July 2019. – HUFFPO

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After the fires ravaged at least 34 pot farms in Northern California, discrimination stopped others from being saved. Ashley Oldham, one of just a few dozen legal cannabis growers in Mendocino County, who spent $80,000 to become legal, wasn't allowed back to her property to water her surviving plants alongside the wine growers who were. When she approached a sheriff's deputy, "I said, 'Hey, I need to get in. I pay my taxes. I passed every agency test. I'm 100 percent legal.' They basically laughed in my face," she said. – ROLLING STONE

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A fundraiser for the cannabis farms devastated by the fires in Northern California has been shut down. To help the families and businesses impacted by the fires, Hezekiah Allen, executive director of the California Growers Association, set up an online fundraiser. He raised $13,000 before the payment provider WePay shut it down. The company said it cannot process any payments related to the drug because of federal law, government notices, and requirements from its bank and credit card partners. – CNN MONEY

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New research suggests that the onset of schizophrenia may be accelerated by the use of cannabis in vulnerable teens. The study, presented at the World Psychiatric Association’s conference in Berlin, analyzed a wide range of genetic and environmental risk factors for developing schizophrenia. The results show people who had consumed cannabis before age 18 developed schizophrenia approximately 10 years earlier than others. The higher the frequency of use, the data indicated, the earlier the age of schizophrenia onset. – SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN

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Peru has legalized medical marijuana. The country's move to legalize was due in large part to mother Ana Alvarez, who began illegally producing cannabis oil to treat her son's epilepsy. “We’re very happy with the fact that Peruvian law has approved this,” Alvarez said. “But we’re not totally satisfied.” Alvarez said she is concerned that the production of medical cannabis will be so regulated that she won't be able to make it herself, and that imported products will be too expensive. – THE GUARDIAN

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New York City treats homeless kids caught with cannabis more harshly than those busted elsewhere. In city homeless shelters, children aged 7 to 15 who are caught with weed are handcuffed, taken to a police precinct and locked in a holding cell. In city schools, kids under 16 found in possession return to class after a juvenile report is prepared on the spot. “Children who commit the same infraction are treated differently,” said Gregory Floyd, president of Teamsters Local 237, which represents both school safety agents and shelter guards. “The mayor has two different policies for handling children.” – NY POST

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A recent study found that high schoolers who use synthetic cannabis are more likely to use other drugs when compared with students who only use cannabis. Although the effects of synthetic cannabinoids can vary, they are, overall, considered to be more dangerous than cannabis, and many kinds of synthetic cannabis have been banned. High school seniors who used synthetic pot were more likely to report recent use of all other drugs, other than alcohol, by an average margin of 10 percent. – MEDICAL NEWS TODAY

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