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Will the feds raid this Christmas tree? Rick Wilking/Reuters

Goliath vs. 24 Davids: federalism and legal marijuana

Abraham Lincoln said that those who shape public opinion exert an even greater influence than judges and lawmakers. In recent years popular sentiment – on issues like marriage equality and legalization…
Many people simply don’t know what legalization means. Gary Cameron/Reuters

Not just potheads: a look at who supports legal marijuana

The United States is experiencing a drastic change in attitudes towards marijuana and marijuana policy. Four states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana use and more than…
Prop 91 - just one of three ballot initiatives on marijuana decriminalization Steve Dipaola/Reuters

Ballot initiatives take the pulse of the nation

Editor’s note: There were 146 state-wide ballot measures up for consideration by voters in this week’s midterm elections, covering all manner of controversial issues – from abortion and guns to minimum…
Marijuana is legal in some states, but that doesn’t mean that banks can deal with the proceeds. Rick Wilking/Reuters

Why won’t banks dance with Mary Jane?

In nearly half of US states, marijuana business is booming. Although marijuana is illegal under federal law, 23 states have legalized some marijuana use. Colorado and Washington even allow recreational…
Using industrial hemp for the production of bioenergy has been promoted by enthusiasts for a long time. Shutterstock

Is industrial hemp the ultimate energy crop?

Bioenergy is currently the fastest growing source of renewable energy. Cultivating energy crops on arable land can decrease dependency on depleting fossil resources and it can mitigate climate change…
THC stimulates dopamine. Gareth Fuller/PA

Targeting cannabis reward-effect could help treat addiction

A new drug that targets the rewarding effects of cannabis could help some to overcome their addiction. If promise becomes a reality after clinical trials, it could join medications that are used in the…
There is a large amount of rigorous research evidence for medical marijuana. Rusty Blazenhoff

Legalising medicinal cannabis is a leap forward for compassion

A NSW Parliamentary Committee has recommended legalising the use of medical use of marijuana for people with terminal conditions. This is an approach that should be embraced nationally. For some years…
Researchers found early and persistent cannabis users showed an eight-point decline in IQ compared to those who hadn’t used cannabis in this way. Jonah G.S.

Teen cannabis use lowers IQ, despite claims to the contrary

A study published today in the scholarly journal PNAS questions the conclusion of a paper from last year that was widely seen as greatly strengthening the evidence that regular cannabis use beginning in…
The products marketed as “legal weed” might cause more harm than the real thing. prensa

Legal highs: what should we do about synthetic cannabis?

Synthetic cannabis is a lab-made product that mimics the effects of cannabis to give users a high when smoked. It has been sold in Australia since 2011 under various brand names, with a range of chemical…
Calls for the legalisation of cannabis use often centre on medical purposes, but three studies have linked marijuana use with a cancer most commonly seen in young men. AAP

Marijuana use may increase testicular cancer risk: study

Marijuana use may lead to an increased risk of developing testicular cancer according to a new US study, the third study…
Long term cannabis use has been known to harm the brain but new research shows some of this damage was there to begin with. Wiros

Brain abnormalities pre-date pot smoking in heavy users

Cannabis remains the most commonly consumed illicit drug in the world, with more than a third of Australians reporting that they have used it at some point in their lives. This is despite growing evidence…
Married people are less likely to commit crime. Flickr/Marcus Hansson

Marriage helps reduce crime

More than half of all murders in Australia involve family members. The majority of them are committed by men who kill their partners. Here, as in many other countries, violence in the home is a major social…

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