Tag Archives: congress cannabis decriminalization

David Feldman

Study: Cannabis Improves Cancer Patients’ Condition

An Israeli peer-reviewed study, just published in the European Journal of Internal Medicine, reports that pain and nausea of cancer patients can be lessened through the use of medical cannabis. The study included thousands of cancer patients using medical cannabis between 2015 and 2017. Over 95% of the patients reported an improvement in their condition after using cannabis. The conclusion of the study: “Cannabis as a palliative treatment for cancer patients seems to be well tolerated, effective and safe option to help patients cope with the malignancy related symptoms.”

As we know, the US Government continues to defend the status of cannabis as a Schedule I drug, deemed as dangerous as heroin and LSD. Their previous claims suggested that no research shows that cannabis is safe or has medical benefit. At the same time, the Government severely limits the amount of research on cannabis that can be conducted in the US. According to the DEA website, Schedule I drugs are “drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse.” This study, with others also underway, appear to now counter the belief that cannabis has no accepted medical use.

With the recent dismissal of a constitutional challenge to the Controlled Substances Act as it relates to cannabis (which may be appealed), more eyes are turning to Congress and the various bills pending to deschedule cannabis at the federal level.

David Feldman

New Hampshire Latest to Decriminalize Cannabis

Last month New Hampshire became the 22nd US state to eliminate jail sentences for marijuana possession. The states that have decriminalized now are: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Rhode Island and Vermont, in addition to the 8 states (plus DC) that have legalized adult use of cannabis (Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington).

Decriminalizing is important as it begins to dismantle the war on drugs to the extent it applies to marijuana. New Hampshire previously imposed both a fine and up to a one year prison sentence for possession of even small amounts. Now it’s a $100 “traffic ticket” for possession of up to 3/4 of an ounce of cannabis flowers or five grams of hashish. Marijuana convictions have burdened casual users, preventing them from obtaining student loans or even employment.

Of course marijuana possession remains a federal crime which can subject you to serious jail time. Here’s an idea: instead of pushing a big rock uphill in the Congress to fully legalize marijuana on a federal level, maybe we should start with a federal decriminalization bill. Might that have a better chance of passage than the multiple bills currently pending to legalize? Maybe.