April 2018

Coco Cocoming To Netflix! See Everything Coming & Going In May!

Netflix giveth and Netflix taketh away…

Starting May 29, you’ll be able to watch the wonderful Oscars winning Disney/Pixar Coco and sob your eyes out from the comfort of your couch!

The month also brings classics like Mamma Mia!, Sliding Doors, and Amelie — and the chance to revisit Stormy Daniels‘ performance in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Photos: Finding Nemo In Coco — And 60 Other AMAZING Disney/Pixar Easter Eggs!

Sadly, that also means many films are leaving, including Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Jungle Book, and all of Phineas And Ferb.

See everything coco-ming and going in May (below)!

Coming May 1

27: Gone Too Soon
A Life of Its Own: The Truth About Medical Marijuana
Amelie
Barbie Dreamhouse Adventures: Season 1
Beautiful Girls
Darc
God’s Own Country
Hachi: A Dog’s Tale
Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay
Hellboy II: The Golden Army
High School Musical 3: Senior Year
John Mulaney: Kid Gorgeous Live at Radio City (NETFLIX ORIGINAL) – A new stand-up special from John Mulaney.
Mr. Woodcock
My Perfect Romance
Pocoyo & Cars
Pocoyo & The Space Circus
Queens of Comedy: Season 1
Reasonable Doubt
Red Dragon
Scream 2
Shrek
Simon: Season 1
Sliding Doors
Sometimes — NETFLIX FILM
The Bourne Ultimatum
The Carter Effect
The Clapper
The Reaping
The Strange Name Movie
Yu-Gi-Oh! Arc-V: Season 2

Coming May 2

Jailbreak

Coming May 4

A Little Help with Carol Burnett — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Anon — NETFLIX FILM
Busted!: Season 1 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Dear White People: Volume 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
End Game — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Forgive Us Our Debts — NETFLIX FILM
Kong: King of the Apes: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Lo más sencillo es complicarlo todo
Manhunt — NETFLIX FILM
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Tina Fey — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
No Estoy Loca
The Rain: Season 1 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Coming May 5

Faces Places

Coming May 6

The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale (Streaming every Sunday – Season 1 Finale on May 13) — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Coming May 8

Desolation
Hari Kondabolu: Warn Your Relatives — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Coming May 9

Dirty Girl

Coming May 11

Bill Nye Saves the World: Season 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Evil Genius: the True Story of America’s Most Diabolical Bank Heist — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Spirit Riding Free: Season 5 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The Kissing Booth — NETFLIX FILM
The Who Was? Show: Season 1 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Coming May 13

Ali Wong: Hard Knock Wife — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Coming May 14

The Phantom of the Opera

Coming May 15

Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce: Season 4
Grand Designs: Seasons 13 – 14
Only God Forgives
The Game 365: Seasons 15 – 16

Coming May 16

89
Mamma Mia!
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
The Kingdom
Wanted

Coming May 18

Cargo — NETFLIX FILM
Catching Feelings — NETFLIX FILM
Inspector Gadget: Season 4 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Coming May 19

Bridge to Terabithia
Disney’s Scandal: Season 7
Small Town Crime

Coming May 20

Some Kind of Beautiful

Coming May 21

Señora Acero: Season 4

Coming May 22

Mob Psycho 100: Season 1 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Shooter: Season 2
Terrace House: Opening New Doors: Part 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Tig Notaro Happy To Be Here — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Coming May 23

Explained — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Coming May 24

Fauda: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Survivors Guide to Prison

Coming May 25

Ibiza — NETFLIX FILM
Steve Martin and Martin Short: An Evening You Will Forget for the Rest of Your Life — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
The Toys That Made Us: Season 2 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL
Trollhunters: Part 3 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Coming May 26

Sara’s Notebook — NETFLIX FILM

Coming May 27

The Break with Michelle Wolf — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Coming May 29

Disney·Pixar’s Coco

Coming May 30

Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Season 4 — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Coming May 31

Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story
My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman: Howard Stern — NETFLIX ORIGINAL

Also In May

Arrow: Season 6
Dynasty: Season 1
Riverdale: Season 2
Supernatural: Season 1
The Flash: Season 4

And leaving…

Leaving May 1

Bridget Jones’s Diary
Casper
Chappie
Charlotte’s Web
Field of Dreams
GoodFellas
Ocean’s Eleven
Sahara
Silent Hill
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
The Hurt Locker
To Rome With Love
To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar

Leaving May 2

12 Dates of Christmas
Beauty & the Briefcase
Cadet Kelly
Camp Rock
Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam
Cow Belles
Cyberbully
Disney’s The Cheetah Girls
Disney’s The Cheetah Girls 2
Disney’s The Cheetah Girls: One World
Frenemies
Geek Charming
Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas
Hello Sister, Goodbye Life
High School Musical
High School Musical 2
Jump In!
Lemonade Mouth
Little Einsteins: Seasons 1 – 2
My Fake Fiancé
Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension
Phineas and Ferb: Seasons 1 – 4
Princess Protection Program
Princess: A Modern Fairytale
Read It and Weep
Revenge of the Bridesmaids
Sharpay’s Fabulous Adventure
Special Agent Oso: Seasons 1 – 2
StarStruck
Teen Spirit
The Secret Life of the American Teenager: Seasons 1 – 5
Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior
Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie

Leaving May 7

The Host

Leaving May 12

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Leaving May 30

Disney’s The Jungle Book

Read more: http://perezhilton.com/

Marissa SafontCoco Cocoming To Netflix! See Everything Coming & Going In May!
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Top Senate Democrat Endorses Decriminalizing Marijuana at the Federal Level

The push to decriminalize marijuana has picked up another high-profile backer — Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer — just a week after President Donald Trump endorsed letting states decide how to regulate the drug.

"I’ll be introducing legislation to decriminalize marijuana at the federal level from one end of the country to the other," Schumer, of New York, told Vice News in an interview airing Thursday evening. "I’ve seen too many people’s lives ruined because they had small amounts of marijuana and served time in jail much too long."

Schumer’s backing of decriminalization adds to what has become a bipartisan effort in the Senate, led by Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, which was the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. Marijuana currently is legal for medicinal use in 29 states and for recreational use in eight.

Trump’s promise to let states handle the issue caused pot-related stocks to spike. It also eased the threat that the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions — a staunch foe of legalization — would step up enforcement of federal prohibitions on sales and use of marijuana in states like Colorado.

Gardner separately said in an interview Wednesday he is 80 percent finished with legislation he is writing to ensure states don’t run afoul of the federal prohibition on marijuana and to allow marijuana businesses access to the financial system.

It’s not clear, however, when or if such a bill might move. In the meantime Schumer’s backing could help Democrats, given that polls have increasingly shown a strong majority backing legalization.

Previous efforts to expand an existing appropriations rider protecting state-licensed medical-marijuana operations failed.

Read more: http://www.bloomberg.com/

Marissa SafontTop Senate Democrat Endorses Decriminalizing Marijuana at the Federal Level
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My Son Pioneered an Epilepsy Drug Derived From Marijuana. An FDA Panel Just Approved It

Yesterday morning a tall, lanky 16-year-old boy in a red polo shirt stood at a podium in front of a roomful of doctors, scientists, and regulators and told them about how a drug they were considering for approval had changed his life. “I had seizures for 10 years,” he said. “My parents tell me there were times I had seizures 100 times a day.” Now, he said, he has been seizure free for nearly two and a half years.

“I can understand what goes on at school,” he said. “And I can have adventures that never would have been possible before.” He told them about how seizure freedom enabled him to study to be a Bar Mitzvah in 2016. He told them about a school trip he’d just taken without his parents to South Africa—12,000 miles from home. And he said that he hoped to become a neurologist one day so that he could help other people with epilepsy. The audience, despite being told not to applaud speakers until the end, clapped anyway.

About an hour later, after about a dozen parents of epileptic children spoke of their struggles with the disease, the Food and Drug Administration panel of scientists and doctors voted 13-0 to recommend approval. The FDA is expected to render a final decision on the drug, Epidiolex, by June. One of the panelists John Mendelson, an addiction treatment executive and a UCSF professor said, “This is clearly a breakthrough drug for an awful disease.”

The whole event, which I watched on a live stream from my home office in Berkeley, was one of the thrills of my life. Sam is my son. He and my wife Evelyn both testified because Sam was the first person in the US to take Epidiolex back in December 2012. After trying more than two dozen medications, a crazy sounding diet, and corticosteroids that made Sam look like a cancer patient, Epidiolex—which didn’t even have a name when Sam tried it—was truly our last option to help him.

The author’s son, Sam Vogelstein, testified Thursday in Washington DC before the FDA’s advisory committee.

Evelyn Nussenbaum

I should mention that Epidiolex is derived from cannabis. Its active ingredient is cannabidiol, aka CBD, which is a chemical in the plant that doesn’t make you high.

The manufacturer, GW Pharmaceuticals, knew little about epilepsy back then. But Sam’s response was so extraordinary, their executives decided they needed to learn more about the disease, and quickly embarked on clinical trials. Sam actually tried the medicine in London under a doctor’s supervision. Such a trial in the UK was straightforward, whereas conducting it in the US would have been impossible because of our cannabis laws. Since then nearly 1,800 patients have tried it at US hospitals, with about 40 to 50 percent seeing greater than 50 percent reductions in seizures. That sounds small until you consider that admission to the trials required patients to have exhausted all other medicinal options. Officially, Epidiolex will be approved only to treat two of the most severe types of epilepsy, Dravet and Lennox Gastaut syndromes. But doctors will likely have the flexibility to prescribe it for other epilepsies too. Many epilepsy drugs are prescribed this way, known as off label. (Many patients, including Sam, are on more than one drug.)

The pending approval of Epidiolex isn’t just a big deal for me and my family. It’s a big deal for 3 million people in the US who have epilepsy, and, if approved elsewhere, 73 million people worldwide. Epilepsy affects about one percent of the world’s population, more than Parkinson’s and Multiple Sclerosis combined. And yet for all humanities’ scientific prowess, only about two-thirds of people who take epilepsy medicines become seizure free. The imminent approval of a medication that might shrink the number of unresponsive patients is a major, even historic, development.

It’s also a big deal for cannabis research and by extension the cannabis legalization discussion. Epidiolex will be the first FDA approved drug derived from a cannabis plant. It can’t get anyone high because the manufacturer extracts all the THC during production.

To manufacture CBD, GW maintains tens of thousands of cannabis plants in hothouses all over the UK. It extracts the CBD from the plants in a lab, ending up with a 100 milliliter bottle of strawberry flavored sesame oil that it ships to the US.

A common refrain from cannabis opponents has long been that there is no scientific evidence that anything associated with cannabis can be medicine. And that’s been true because regulators and police worldwide make studying illegal substances like cannabis nearly impossible.

But to get this far in the FDA approval process, GW had to marshal the same scientific evidence of safety and efficacy that every other drug manufacturer must present. It created a medicine that was consistent from dose to dose, bottle to bottle, and batch to batch. It conducted all the required placebo controlled trials, administered by doctors in hospital settings. And those doctors published peer reviewed research in top medical journals like the New England Journal of Medicine. “It’s an honor to be participating in a (cannabis) decision based on science instead of politics," said panelist Mark Green, professor of neurology and anesthesiology at the Icahn School of Medicine in New York, after the vote.

Indeed, it doesn’t require too much imagination to see how Epidiolex’s pending approval forces a public reckoning on how we think about cannabis nationally. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made no secret of his virulent opposition to the legalization of cannabis in any form. He has said that “good people do not smoke marijuana.” Yet, assuming Epidiolex gets formal FDA approval, he will have to weigh in through his supervision of the Drug Enforcement Administration.

At the moment, CBD is a Schedule 1 drug like cannabis. Its medical use—except in the specially approved trials that proved its effectiveness—is not allowed. The DEA must reschedule it before it can be sold. Technically, the DEA could refuse. But it would have to explain how it—a police agency—was in a better position to make that call than the FDA, an agency of scientists and doctors. An explanation would also be needed for neurologists, and the parents of millions of very sick children. The DEA can’t delay its decision either. By law it must rule within 90 days.

All that maneuvering would be moot, of course, if Congress decides to pass a law legalizing cannabis entirely, as Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer proposed last night. He is not the first senator to propose such a law, but he is by far the most influential to do it. “If smoking marijuana doesn’t hurt anybody else, why shouldn’t we allow people to do it and not make it criminal" he told Vice News.

By now you are probably wondering what a family from California like us was thinking when it traveled to the UK to have their kid try a drug derived from a cannabis plant. Remarkably, that’s where you had to go to get pharmaceutical grade CBD back then. We tried to procure it from artisanal producers here for six months. Everything we tried turned out to be ineffective and sometimes fraudulent. Getting the CBD out of cannabis plant is complicated, expensive, and time consuming.

The artisanal CBD market is more robust today. There are some good, reliable preparations that are helping epilepsy patients who could not get into the GW trials. Hopefully they will force GW to keep Epidiolex affordable. But many parents have told me that in a perfect world they'd just go to the pharmacy to treat their kids' seizures. They have complicated lives, but simple needs. They want the same experience they get when they fill a penicillin prescription: a cure.

All of this made yesterday one of the best days in Sam's young life. Other parents thanked him for speaking for all the kids who were too sick to speak for themselves, and he felt like he was part of something bigger than himself. “And when I suggested that we made a good team as speakers," Evelyn said, “he said with a big grin, ‘You set ’em up. And I knock ’em down.’ ”

Read more: http://www.wired.com/

Marissa SafontMy Son Pioneered an Epilepsy Drug Derived From Marijuana. An FDA Panel Just Approved It
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Marijuana’s effects on young brains diminish 72 hours after use, research says

(CNN)Marijuana is notorious for slowing certain cognitive functions such as learning, memory and attention span (maybe that’s why they call it “dope”?). But new research in young people suggests that these cognitive effects, while significant, may not persist for very long, even among chronic users.

The meta-analysis, published Wednesday in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, combines data from 69 previous studies that look at the effects of heavy cannabis use on cognitive functioning in adolescents and young adults. It found that those young people who identified as heavy marijuana users scored significantly lower than non-users in a variety of cognitive domains such as learning, abstraction, speed of processing, delayed memory, inhibition and attention.
“There have been a couple of meta-analyses done in adult samples, but this is the first one to be done specifically in adolescent and young adult samples,” said Cobb Scott, assistant professor of psychiatry at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and a lead author of the study.
    “We looked at everything from learning and memory to different aspects of executive functioning such as abstraction ability,” Scott said. “And we basically showed that the largest effects — which was around a third of a standard deviation — was in the learning of new information and some aspects of executive functioning, memory and speed of processing.”
    But when the researchers separated the studies based on length of abstinence from marijuana use, the difference in cognitive functioning between marijuana users and non-users was no longer apparent after 72 hours of marijuana abstinence. That could be an indication “that some of the effects found in previous studies may be due to the residual effects of cannabis or potentially from withdrawal effects in heavy cannabis users,” Scott said.
    The study comes as America continues to debate the merits of marijuana legalization. Recreational marijuana use is legal in nine states. Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized some form of medical marijuana use, with at least three additional states potentially deciding on the issue in the upcoming November election, according to Melissa Moore, New York deputy state director for the nonprofit Drug Policy Alliance.
    Studies on the long-term cognitive effects of marijuana use among adolescents and young adults have shown inconsistent results. A 2008 study reported that frequent or early-onset cannabis use among adolescents was associated with poorer cognitive performance in tasks requiring executive functioning, attention and episodic memory.
    A 2014 study also warned against the use of marijuana during adolescence, when certain parts of the brain responsible for executive functioning — such as the prefrontal cortex — are still developing.
    “There have been very important studies showing evidence for irreversible damage (from marijuana use), and so there needs to be more research in this area,” said Kevin Sabet, assistant adjunct professor at the Yale School of Medicine and president of the nonprofit Smart Approaches to Marijuana, who was not involved in the new study.
    “I hope they’re right. We want there to be little effect after 72 hours. But given the other studies that have had very large sample sizes that have been published over the past five years in prominent journals, I think we need to look into that more,” added Sabet, whose group is focused on the harms of marijuana legalization.
    But a number of recent studies have also shown that the association between marijuana use and reduced cognitive functioning disappears after controlling for factors such as psychiatric illness and substance use disorders, according to Scott.
    In an attempt to make sense of these discordant results, the new research combined data from 69 previous studies, resulting in a comparison of 2,152 frequent marijuana users with 6,575 non-users. Participants ranged in age from 10 to 50, with an average age of 21.
    The researchers found that, overall, the cognitive functioning of frequent marijuana users was reduced by one-third of a standard deviation compared with non-frequent marijuana users — a relatively small effect size, according to Scott.
    “It surprised, I think, all of us doing this analysis that the effects were not bigger than we found,” Scott said. “But I would say that the clinical significance of a quarter of a standard deviation is somewhat questionable.”
    But according to Sabet, even a relatively small effect size could be important, especially in a large meta-analysis such as this one.
    “The small effect size may be meaningful in a large population, and again, all (cognitive) measures are worse for those using marijuana,” Sabet said.
    “The study is pretty bad news for marijuana users,” he added. “Overall, I think this is consistent with the literature that marijuana use shows worse cognitive outcomes among users versus non-users.”
    In an effort to identify other potential factors that could have affected the relationship between marijuana use and cognition,the researchers also separated the studies based on the length of marijuana abstinence, age of first cannabis use, sociodemographic characteristics and clinical characteristics such as depression.
    Of these, only the length of marijuana abstinence was found to significantly affect the association between chronic marijuana use and reduced cognitive functioning. Specifically, cognitive functioning appeared to return to normal after about 72 hours of marijuana abstinence — a threshold identified in previous studies, according to Scott.
    “The reason we chose the 72-hour mark is that in looking at the data on cannabis withdrawal effects in heavy cannabis users, 72 hours seems to be past the peak of most withdrawal effects that occur,” he said.
    However, the 69 studies included in the review did not have a uniform definition for “chronic” or “frequent” marijuana use, one of the study’s main limitations, according to Sabet.
    “When you put all of these studies together that have different definitions of marijuana users and are from different times, it’s not surprising that you’d get a smaller effect size,” Sabet said.
    The studies also relied on a variety of tests to determine cognitive functioning, including the Trail Making Test, the Digital Span Memory Test and the California Verbal Learning test, according to Scott.
    “The other thing that’s important to highlight is that we’re only looking at cognitive functioning. We’re not looking at risks for other adverse outcomes with cannabis use, like risk for psychosis, risks for cannabis use problems or other medical issues like lung functioning outcomes,” Scott said.

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    But the results still suggest that the negative cognitive effects of marijuana use, while significant in the short-term, probably diminish with time. They also shed light on the need for more research in this area, particularly as cannabis policy in the United States continues to change at a rapid pace.
    “As attitudes change about cannabis use and cannabis use becomes a little bit more accepted in terms of policy and government regulation and medical cannabis use increases, I think we need to have a real understanding of the potential risks and benefits of cannabis use,” Scott said.

    Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

    Marissa SafontMarijuana’s effects on young brains diminish 72 hours after use, research says
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    Im a pot evangelist: meet America’s dope queens

    As more US states legalise marijuana, more women are stepping up to meet the need for weed. Meet the entrepreneurs cutting through the stigma

    Like most other American industries, marijuana has traditionally been dominated by men. Overwhelmingly they grew it, they dealt it and they smoked it. Hopes that the legal marijuana industry would be more egalitarian than others have largely deflated. According to a 2017 survey, women hold 27% of executive positions in cannabis, only slightly more than in the country at large. Nevertheless, the plants status as a quasi-legal drug has created an opportunity for women to forge groundbreaking careers.

    Cannabis businesses are obsessed with tearing down the stigma that continues to dog the plant. Many of the most ambitious companies want to make inroads with affluent adults and parents who dont use, or no longer use, cannabis; if the prevailing stereotype is that weed is a drug used by low-achieving men, the thinking is that women will be better at getting their husbands and boyfriends to use pot.

    Thirty US states have legalized medical marijuana and it is among the countrys fastest-growing industries. Sales rose 33% last year, topping $10bn, even though only a few states, including California, Colorado, Nevada and Oregon, have robust industries, and product cant be transported across state lines. But compared with other lucrative industries, such as tech, it is far more open to people who lack highly specialised education and have lived unconventional lives.

    There is immense interest in marijuanas potential as a medicine, but in most cases the evidence is more anecdotal than confirmed by mainstream science. Its far easier for a pot business to enter the more nebulous wellness category. Today, in every dispensary in the US, there are cannabis products packaged like high-end personal care products; and even pharmaceuticals, designed to convince women its OK to try cannabis.

    Female entrepreneurs believe legalization will bring immense medical and social benefits. The five women who share their story here all photographed by Pietro Chelli in recent years are a doctor, a mother of a young child with cancer, and three very different entrepreneurs. Each in her own way is cutting through the stigma.

    Cheryl Shuman, 57, Beverly Hills Cannabis Club, Los Angeles, California

    I first tried cannabis in 1996, after I was sexually assaulted. Doctors had put me on anti-anxietals and antidepressants and they turned me into a zombie. I had got to the point where I didnt want to get out of bed. Eventually, my therapist said to me: Cheryl, with all due respect, you just have to smoke a joint. Only in LA, right? Until then Id been a good girl. Ive still never had a beer, never had a cigarette.

    My therapist had his plants in his back yard and kept his stash in mason jars. He rolled a joint. I was impressed he could roll it with only one hand. I took the first puff and almost coughed my lungs up. By the second puff, I said: You know what, this is really great. I felt instantly better.

    Instead of taking pills, I would just roll a joint every day. I told my kids, as I didnt want to lie to them. It was an entry to an underground society of professional, smart, dynamic, educated people, who use this for wellness. Who knew?

    Today Im a pot evangelist. Ive spoken all over the world Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Mexico. Last year, I was only home in Beverly Hills for 16 days, and those were for events. My business now is basically being a matchmaker, pairing investors with exciting opportunities, ranging from biotech companies to branding, to a music festival. Its like being a real-estate broker I make things happen: What do you need?

    Back when I first got involved in cannabis it was largely used by gay men to deal with the nausea and wasting of Aids. Ultimately, cannabis was legalized because of love for them. Many in the cannabis community have also had an experience similar to coming out of the closet the grass closet. Now we can hold our heads up high and lead an authentic life.

    Tracy Ryan, 42, CannaKids, Los Angeles, California

    Tracy
    Tracy Ryan with her daughter Sophie: This wasnt a secret we could keep to ourselves. Photograph: Pietro Chelli/Institute

    I got into this four and a half years ago, when my daughter Sophie was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor. She was eight and a half months old. The doctors told us Sophies only chance to survive was a 13-month course of chemotherapy. Confronting this extremely difficult situation, my husband and I began to research ways to save our daughter. We decided that cannabis treatment was something we wanted to do alongside chemotherapy.

    Sophie took her first dose of cannabis at nine months. It was on camera for a documentary, Weed the People, which premieres at the SXSW festival in Texas this March. Over the first 13 months, a tumor that wasnt supposed to shrink shrank by 95%. Thanks to the shrinkage, much of Sophies vision has been saved.

    My husband and I knew this wasnt a secret we could keep to ourselves. Today, our company CannaKids has provided medical-grade cannabis to more than 2,000 children and adults in California. We dont look like what people imagine stoners to be. We love our kid and take care of her, and people listen to us.

    Weve also partnered with Cure Pharmaceutical to fund cannabis and cancer research at the Technion Institute in Israel. We still dont know the right formula of cannabis and chemotherapy to address cancer. But research we support in mice has eliminated one type of pediatric cancer with cannabis alone. We hope to finalize the human tissue phase soon, then advance to human trials.

    Since she was first diagnosed, Sophie has had several recurrences of her cancer. She has taken concentrated cannabis oil for four and a half years now. When her doctors at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles put her on an experimental drug that required her to stop additional supplements and medications, they advised that she continue taking cannabis.

    She still receives chemotherapy, once every two weeks. She never fully lost her hair, but now has a full head of it. Shes in the 81st percentile for height and weight, and is in kindergarten with healthy kids her age. She has her own business cards and is a networker, like her mother.

    Forget about the word weed, forget marijuana: these children are taking medical cannabis. We dont want kids stoned. We want them happy, healthy and ready to go to school.

    Kristi Lee Kelly, 40, Marijuana Industry Group, Denver, Colorado

    Kristi
    Kristi Lee Kelly: When we started, patients rights were not clear. Photograph: Pietro Chelli/Institute

    In 2009, I left Maryland and a career in advertising and marketing to join Colorados cannabis industry. I thought it would be a way to participate in something early on that would really make a difference in peoples lives.

    Its been so long since then. Someone a long time ago likened cannabis to dog years a year in cannabis is like seven years doing anything else. At first, investment options were extremely limited, and politicians were unwilling to address the issue. Ive had 23 bank accounts closed.

    I started as an owner, operator and investor in a vertically integrated group of medical cannabis businesses. This meant we grew the plants, manufactured them into vaping oil and other products and sold them at our dispensaries. Eventually we accomplished what we set out to do, and I sold my shares in the company. I have since turned to helping others actualise their cannabis aspirations.

    When we started, patients rights were not clear. Could you have a card, consume cannabis and work? How did a doctors recommendation interact with the other aspects of your life? Now we have thousands of patient stories. The growing body of scientific and state data has demonstrated that this plant isnt causing the harm that some people said it would.

    When we look at how this plant has come and gone over centuries, this is a 3,000-year-old journey, not one that is necessarily sensitive from one administration to the next. The long-term contribution this plant can make to humankind has been documented.

    In cannabis, Ive worked with aspiring business owners, policymakers and investors. Im also working with a hemp technology company. In the gold rush, some of the most successful people were the ones who sold picks and shovels to prospectors. Part of what Im doing is figuring out what the picks and shovels are.

    Colorado is the most mature policy environment in the world. We tend to confront business challenges first; we continue to expand the conversation around cannabis; were looking at the social impact. Last year, the Marijuana Industry Group forged an agreement with the state Department of Transportation and Lyft [a ride-share company] to offer discounted rides to impaired cannabis users. Our goal is to reduce the number of people who are dying as a result of impaired driving, no matter the substance.

    Bonni Goldstein, 53, Canna-Centers and Weedmaps, Los Angeles, California

    Bonni
    Bonni Goldstein: Doctors are finally opening their eyes to the fact that cannabis is safe. Photograph: Pietro Chelli/Institute

    My background is in pediatric emergency medicine. Its high-stress work. I was working the night shift at a major Los Angeles hospital and being a mother during the day. Eventually I got burned out and took some time off.

    About 10 years ago, a friend asked me about medical marijuana. I wasnt for or against it it just wasnt on my radar. But as I looked into it, it became clear to me that it was valid science.

    I watched my friend get a medical marijuana card. She was struggling with the side-effects of chemotherapy; shed take the nausea medicine and throw it back up. But she got a vaporizer and it helped. I dont feel high, I feel better, she said. The cannabis let her participate in her life. She could sit at dinner and talk to her children.

    I was really intrigued, and started working part-time in another doctors medical marijuana practice. It was an established office, very nice and professional. The patients were everyday people who have problems. The vast majority had been prescribed prescription drugs for anxiety, depression, insomnia and chronic pain and struggled with the side-effects. They all said the same thing: cannabis was giving them the benefits of the drugs without the side-effects. I now have my own practice in a suburb of Los Angeles.

    In August 2013, CNN journalist Dr Sanjay Gupta told the story of Charlotte Figi, a little girl with a severe seizure disorder. Gupta was convinced she had benefited from taking cannabis. It generated a lot of interest. The parents of children with disorders like Charlottes wake up every day knowing their child could have 45 seizures and end up in hospital.

    Earlier in my career, I was the chief resident at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles; today, children with intractible epilepsy are a large part of my practice. The goal is seizure freedom for the child: we dont always get that, but the vast majority are seeing seizures reduced by 50% or more.

    There is a change under way in the medical community. Doctors who listen to their patients are hearing these people stop asking for Vicodin, sleeping pills, benzodiazepine. I think doctors are finally opening their eyes to the fact that cannabis is safe; in a lot of cases it reduces or eliminates the need for prescription medicine.

    Julie Berliner, 31, Sweet Grass Kitchen, Denver, Colorado

    Julie
    Julie Berliner: Cannabis is the most exciting industry. Photograph: Pietro Chelli/Institute

    I graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2009 with a degree in education. It was tough looking for a job in the middle of the recession, but dispensaries were opening up in town. It really was the wild, wild west back then: there were no rules for who could open a shop, or where they could open it.

    A friend who had a dispensary tried some chocolate-chip cookies I made and asked if Id be willing to turn them into cannabis cookies for him to sell. When I said OK, he handed me five pounds of weed and said, Here you go.

    Id never made cannabis cookies before, but decided to use the traditional method of infusing butter in a crock pot. I started baking fresh cookies and walking them over to the store for packaging. Today, with all the rules, its impossible to sell cannabis cookies the day they were baked, but back then you could.

    I also worked at the shop as a receptionist, to better understand the industry. I liked helping people to feel better, or have a great time.

    In the summer of 2010, it became necessary to have a license. It cost $1,000; but more significant than the money was that I knew if I went down this road I wouldnt be able to go back. There were no school principals who would be intrigued by my time baking weed cookies.

    It also became necessary to create a commercial kitchen. Very few property owners were willing to lease their space to cannabis, and I decided to build a transportable kitchen in a race-car trailer. It still needed a fixed address. When I met with a potential landlord he was an older man with big bushy eyebrows. I could tell it was going to be a hard conversation, but he agreed to rent me space for our cherry red mobile kitchen. He has come to be one of our strongest supporters. We now lease the entire building and use the trailer as a smoking room and an inspiring part of the tour for visitors.

    Cannabis is still the most exciting industry, but its starting to slow down. In many ways thats a good thing: were all settling in rather than hanging on.

    Alex Halperin writes a fortnightly cannabis column, High Time.

    Commenting on this piece? If you would like your comment to be considered for inclusion on Weekend magazines letters page in print, please email weekend@theguardian.com, including your name and address (not for publication).

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    San Francisco To Dismiss Or Reduce Thousands Of Past Marijuana Convictions

    Prosecutors in San Francisco are reducing and dismissing thousands of past marijuana convictions, an extraordinary move that will retroactively apply California’s recreational marijuana legalization policy for cases stretching back decades.

    “While drug policy on the federal level is going backwards, San Francisco is once again taking the lead to undo the damage that this country’s disastrous, failed drug war has had on our nation and on communities of color in particular,” San Francisco District Attorney George Gascón said in a Wednesday statement about the effort.

    Gascón announced that his office will be applying the law to all misdemeanor and felony cases in San Francisco dating back to 1975. In total, his office will be reviewing, recalling and resentencing up to 4,940 felony marijuana convictions, as well as dismissing and sealing 3,038 misdemeanor cases that were sentenced prior to the ballot measure’s passage. 

    The process could end up helping thousands of people whose lives have been disrupted or derailed over activities that became legal as of Jan. 1. Criminal convictions can have devastating consequences long after the offense was committed, making it difficult to obtain employment, bank loans and housing.

    Voters approved Proposition 64 in 2016 to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes and reduce criminal penalties for various marijuana-related offenses for adults and juveniles. But the law did more than legalize marijuana, it also authorized a new process for individuals in the state to get previous marijuana-related convictions retroactively reduced, reclassified as lesser offenses or cleared altogether.

    And while the relief for past convictions is a component built into California’s new marijuana laws, the process is not automatic or well-known. Individuals with past marijuana convictions must know the relief exists, petition the courts themselves to file the appropriate paperwork and may need to retain an attorney to do so. The process can be time consuming and costly. Gascón’s approach, however, is novel because no action is required from eligible individuals with past marijuana convictions to take advantage of the law. His office is applying the relief process on its own.

    California produces vast amounts of marijuana and has done so for years. In 1996, it became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. And despite the passage of more permissive laws, there were still thousands of marijuana-related arrests annually. From 2006 to 2015, there were nearly 500,000 people arrested for marijuana offenses, a recent Drug Policy Alliance report found. And Rodney Holcombe, a legal fellow at DPA, said that there may be close to 1 million people in the state who have convictions that could now be eligible for relief.

    Across the state, only about 5,000 people have so far applied to have their marijuana sentences reviewed for possible relief, according to data compiled by the Judicial Council of California. In San Francisco specifically, only 23 petitions for reduction or sentencing clearing have been filed over the past year, according to Gascón’s office (the office has no active marijuana prosecutions).

    San Francisco city and county officials have found that the black community has been over-represented in marijuana-related arrests in the region. In a study from the city’s Human Rights Commission on the effects of marijuana policy in the region, between 1999-2000, arrests of African-Americans for marijuana-related offenses jumped from 34 to 41 percent, despite black San Franciscans comprising of less than 8 percent of the population in 2000. In 2011, after penalties for marijuana possession was downgraded from a misdemeanor in San Francisco, 50 percent marijuana-related arrests were of African-Americans, while they represented just 6 percent of the region’s population in 2010.

    “This example, one of many across our state, underscores the true promise of Proposition 64 ― providing new hope and opportunities to Californians, primarily people of color, whose lives were long ago derailed by a costly, broken and racially discriminatory system of marijuana criminalization,” Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement. “This isn’t just an urgent issue of social justice here in California – it’s a model for the rest of the nation.”  

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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    John Boehner Now Lobbying For Medical Marijuana

    Make no mistake: John Boehner’s career after serving as speaker of the House has really gone to pot.

    Really.

    The former Ohio congressman has signed on to the advisory board of Acreage Holdings, a cannabis company that cultivates, processes and dispenses marijuana in 11 U.S. states.

    The decision to support weed comes nine years after the Republican claimed to be “unalterably opposed” to legalization, according to Bloomberg.

    “Over the last 10 or 15 years, the American people’s attitudes have changed dramatically,” he said the website. “I find myself in that same position.”

    Boehner said his position on pot evolved after he saw the positive effects the plant had on a friend dealing with serious back pain.

    He said marijuana has great potential for helping veterans with PTSD and reversing the opioid epidemic. He also believes de-scheduling marijuana from the Drug Enforcement Agency’s controlled substances list, saying the move would help ease problems with the criminal justice system.

    “When you look at the number of people in our state and federal penitentiaries, who are there for possession of small amounts of cannabis, you begin to really scratch your head,” Boehner said. “We have literally filled up our jails with people who are nonviolent and frankly do not belong there.”

    Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld (R), who has supported medical marijuana since the early 1990s, has also just joined the Acreage advisory board.

    Like Boehner, he believes pot is the key to reversing the opioid epidemic.

    “Cannabis could be perceived as an exit drug, not a gateway drug,” he told Bloomberg.

    However, both politicians insist they’ve never tried marijuana in any of its forms.

    Although President Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions are no fans of marijuana, Boehner’s decision ― as unexpected as it may seem on the surface ― is actually mainstream.

    A Gallup poll from October shows that 64 percent of Americans favor making marijuana legal. The same poll found that 51 percent of Republicans favored legalization, an increase of nine percentage points from the 2016 survey.

    Acreage Founder and CEO Kevin Murphy believes having the two former politicians on the board will advance U.S. cannabis policy.

    “The addition of [former] Speaker Boehner and [former] Governor Weld to our Board will lead to even greater access for patients by changing the conversation overnight,” Murphy said in a release. “These men have shaped the political course of our country for decades and now they will help shape the course of this nascent but ascendant industry.”

    Some people in the cannabis industry believe Boehner’s budding involvement is a good thing.

    Eddie Miller, Chief Strategy Officer for GreenRush.com, a business that is like GrubHub or Amazon for weed, thinks Boehner will lend new credibility to the whole cannabis industry. 

    “It will help [us] by bringing a new wave of support from conservative politicians that have never considered cannabis to be a legitimate industry,” he told HuffPost.

    Erik Knutson, CEO of Keef Brands, which manufactures cannabis-infused cola and sparkling water, said Boehner’s pro-pot stance harkens the end of an era.

    “With the majority of Republicans favoring legalization and states rights, it is no surprise that mainstream right-leaning politicians are beginning to gravitate towards Cannabis,” he told HuffPost by email. “Luckily for all of us, the Reagan era drug warrior platform is dying.”

    However, attorney Perry N. Salzhauer, who specializes in cannabis industry law, worries Boehner’s involvement is a sign that big business could drive out the little guy.

    When a powerful political figure with ties to the tobacco industry makes a public move like this, it certainly raises fears among the smaller operators that their days may be numbered,” he told HuffPost. “Despite this, we believe that there will always be room for a craft cannabis industry similar to what we’ve been seeing in the beer and spirits industry.”

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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    Cynthia Nixon On Marijuana: It’s Effectively Legal For White People

    Cynthia Nixon’s campaign for governor continues with her latest video about why she supports legalizing the use of recreational marijuana in New York.

    “There are a lot of good reasons for legalizing marijuana, but for me, it comes down to this: We have to stop putting people of color in jail for something that white people do with impunity,” said Nixon in a video posted on Twitter Wednesday.

    Nixon, who in March announced her run against incumbent governor Andrew Cuomo in the upcoming Democratic primary, notes in the video that 80 percent of New Yorkers arrested for marijuana are black or Latino.

    “The simple truth is, for white people, the use of marijuana has effectively been legal for a long time,” she says. “Isn’t it time we legalize it for everybody else?”

    While Nixon has spoken out about recreational legalization in New York before, this discussion on how it correlates to the issue of racial inequality is particularly refreshing and needed.

    The gubernatorial candidate and former actress goes on to say in her campaign video that white people and people of color use marijuana at roughly the same rates. Yet black people in New York are arrested or detained for marijuana 4.5 times more than white people, according to a report by the ACLU.

    “The consequences follow people for the rest of their lives, making it harder to get jobs or housing, and for noncitizens, putting them in the crosshairs of deportation,” she says.

    The 52-year-old also says that legalizing would “generate millions of dollars in tax revenue” and “create new agricultural opportunities for New York’s farmers.” 

    Currently, eight other states and Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana for recreational use. New York state does have a medical marijuana program, though it is extremely restrictive.

    TIMOTHY A. CLARY via Getty Images
    Cynthia Nixon speaks to people at the Bethesda Healing Center in Brooklyn, New York, on March 20, 2018.

    Current New York governor Andrew Cuomo (D) had previously called marijuana a “gateway drug” in 2017, though his stance has since shifted slightly. In January 2018. Cuomo proposed a study in his 2018 budget plan that explores the potential impacts of recreational marijuana use in New York State.

    Of the study, Cuomo said: “If it was legalized in Jersey and it was legal in Massachusetts and the federal government allowed it to go ahead, what would that do to New York, because it’s right in the middle? This is an important topic, it’s a hotly debated topic, pardon the pun, and it’d be nice to have the facts in the middle of the debate once in a while.”

    The study will now move forward after the state’s $168 million state budget was approved in March.

    Nixon is slated to challenge Cuomo in the Democratic primary on Sept. 13.

    Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

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    Medical marijuana push spreads to Utah, Oklahoma

    The push for legalized marijuana has moved into Utah and Oklahoma, two of the most conservative states in the country, further underscoring how quickly feelings about marijuana are changing in the United States.

    If the two measures pass, Utah and Oklahoma will join 30 other states that have legalized some form of medical marijuana, according to the pro-pot National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana laws. Nine of those states and Washington, D.C. also have broad legalization where adults 21 and older can use pot for any reason. Michigan could become the 10th state with its ballot initiative this year.

    Utah and Oklahoma already are among 16 states that allow for use an oil called cannabidiol, or CBD, a compound from cannabis that doesn’t get users high but can treat a range of health concerns.

    Justin Strekal, political director for NORML, is confident the Utah and Oklahoma measures will pass.

    “America’s appetite for cannabis is not going away,” Strekal said. “We are in the death rattles of prohibition.”

    Marijuana legalization efforts have faced some pushback from religions before — including in 2016 in Arizona and Nevada from the Mormon church, and the same year from the Catholic Church in Massachusetts. But not to the scale they could face this year in Utah, where Mormons account for about two-third of the population, said Matthew Schweich, executive director of the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project.

    Mormons have long frowned upon marijuana use because of a key church health code called the “Word of Wisdom,” which prohibits the use of alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints came out against the proposal this month, saying in a statement drugs designed to ease suffering should be tested and approved by government officials first. The church said it respects the “wise counsel” of doctors, and commended the Utah Medical Association for opposing it. The association has accused organizers of trying to disguise their intention of simply paving the way for legalizing recreational marijuana.

    Utah Gov. Gary Herbert told middle school students in January that he thinks medical marijuana will someday be legalized in the state but in March he announced his opposition to the ballot question, which he argues lacks safeguards for the growing and distribution of marijuana.

    Advocates remain confident that they’ve crafted a medical marijuana measure that respects the Mormon church and culture while providing much-needed relief for people with chronic pain, Schweich said. His Washington, D.C.-based organization helped draft the measure.

    Unlike other medical marijuana states, Utah’s proposal would not allow pot smoking or for residents to grow their own, Schweich said. It would create a state-regulated growing and dispensing operation to allow people with certain medical conditions to get a card and use the drug in edible forms like candy, in topical forms like lotions or balms, as an oil or in electronic cigarettes. Proponents turned in the signatures Monday to get the measure on the ballot in November.

    “It’s a question of compassion,” Schweich said.

    Oklahoma will vote in June on its proposal that would allow doctors to recommend that patients receive a medical marijuana license allowing them to legally possess up to three ounces of the drug, six mature plants and six seedlings.

    Ted Lyon, a 78-year-old Mormon, is a supporter because he saw in the past decade how medical marijuana helped two of his neighbors in Provo — one with multiple sclerosis and another who has seizures. He said he wouldn’t support the drug’s legalization for recreational use.

    Lyon, a retired professor at Mormon-owned Brigham Young University, said he’s afraid the church’s opposition will have a chilling effect on members of the faith but said he remains hopeful there are enough progressive-leaning Mormons who will see the benefits.

    “In 10 years, the church may say something different,” Lyon said. “This is not an eternal banishment of medical marijuana. My father was a good historian, and he used to say, ‘If you don’t like something in the church, just wait a while because it will change.'”

    Nathan Frodsham, a 45-year-old married Mormon father of three, is hoping the measure passes so he can get off opioids and back to using the vaporized form of marijuana that he used when he lived in Seattle after his doctor recommended trying for his painful osteoarthritis in his neck.

    Frodsham wasn’t discouraged by the Mormon church statement, which he notes doesn’t go as far in opposition as when the church explicitly asked members to vote against full marijuana legalization in Arizona and Nevada. He said marijuana is a natural plant and that the religion’s health code doesn’t single out cannabis as being prohibited.

    “I think there’s some room for interpretation on this,” said Frodsham.

    The 4,500-member Utah Medical Association isn’t against the idea of legalized medical marijuana but has numerous concerns with an initiative it thinks is too broad and doesn’t include necessary regulatory measures, said Michelle McOmber, the group’s CEO.

    “We want to be very careful about what we bring into our state,” McOmber said. “This is an addictive drug.”

    ____

    Associated Press writer Adam Causey in Oklahoma City contributed to this report.

    ____

    Find complete AP marijuana coverage here: https://apnews.com/tag/LegalMarijuana

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/

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    Berkeley declares itself a sanctuary city for cannabis

    (CNN)Berkeley City Council members have passed a resolution declaring the city a sanctuary for recreational marijuana.

    The move may be the first of its kind in the country, tweeted Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin, who proposed the measure.
    Under the new resolution, which passed Tuesday night, no Berkeley department, agency, commission, officer or employee “shall use any city funds or resources to assist in the enforcement of federal drug laws related to cannabis.”
      The city will also oppose attempts by the US Drug Enforcement Administration to close cannabis businesses. “The city of Berkeley does not support cooperation with the Drug Enforcement Administration in its efforts to undermine state and local marijuana laws,” the resolution states.
      California voters approved a proposition in 2016 to allowing the use of recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older, which went into effect this year.
      “In light of threats by Attorney General Sessions regarding a misguided crackdown on our democratic decision to legalize recreational cannabis, we have become what may be the first city in the country to declare ourselves a sanctuary city for cannabis,” Arreguin tweeted Tuesday.
      His tweet referred to a move last month by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who rescinded a federal stance of non-interference with marijuana-friendly state laws. Sessions made the announcement January 4, just days after laws went into effect allowing recreational marijuana use and commercial sales of pot in California.
      While California and many states have decriminalized or legalized marijuana use, the drug is still illegal under federal law.
      This isn’t the first time Berkeley city officials have used a sanctuary approach when it comes to marijuana.
      Ten years ago, the Berkeley City Council adopted a similar resolution that applied to medical marijuana, declaring the city a sanctuary for medical marijuana patients and providers.

      Read more: http://edition.cnn.com/

      Marissa SafontBerkeley declares itself a sanctuary city for cannabis
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