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Marijuana News Roundup: VP Candidates Pence, Kaine Just Say No

Telemedicine Makes It Easier to Get Medical Marijuana
Telemedicine is revolutionizing medicine, connecting doctors and patients quickly while attempting to shave off unnecessary expenses.

It turns out the modern electronic convenience includes the $6.7 billion medical marijuana industry, the fastest growing industry in the United States.

In the San Francisco Bay Area, where pot and tech start-ups are as ubiquitous as saltwater, California doctors are leveraging basic technology to clear patients of minimal legal hurdles to obtain marijuana.

Full legalization for recreational purposes is on the November ballot in California as Proposition 64.


Italian Parliament to Consider Marijuana Legalization on Monday
Italy may become the next country to legally regulate marijuana, with a legislative proposal expected to be debated in Italy’s Chamber of Deputies on Monday, July 25.

“Italy has rarely if ever provided leadership in Europe on drug policy reform,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the US-based Drug Policy Alliance, “which is why this bill, if it becomes law, will be of great significance not just within Italy but regionally and even globally.  With five more U.S. states preparing to vote on marijuana legalization on November 8, and Canada poised to legalize marijuana next year, Italy could well provide the catalyst that Europe needs to move forward in ending marijuana prohibition.”

The bill would decriminalize the possession of 15 grams of marijuana for recreational use at home, and 5 grams for use outside of the home. Furthermore, it would allow the cultivation of up to 5 plants for personal use, and authorize cannabis clubs for up to 50 members. In terms of distribution, the Italian government would grant licenses for the production and sale of marijuana inside national territory. The bill prohibits import and export of marijuana, public use of marijuana, and driving under the influence.

Read more at The Weed Blog.

Curbing the Marijuana Industry’s Voracious Energy Appetite

As voters go to the polls this November, at least four states will consider ballot questions on marijuana legalization. Pending proposals in Nevada, Maine and California would authorize recreational marijuana use, while Floridians will vote on whether to allow medical marijuana use.

Indoor marijuana cultivation is one of the most energy-intensive industries in the United States, generating nearly US$6 billion in energy costs annually. According to the Northwest Power and Conservation Council, which carries out energy planning for the Columbia River Basin states (Montana, Idaho, Washington and Oregon), growing marijuana indoors consumes up to 5,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity per kilogram of output. For comparison, aluminum production requires about 16 kilowatt-hours per kilogram.

Read more at AlterNet.