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Know About this New Law in Illinois that Allows People to Buy Marijuana Legally

Illinois becomes latest US state to legalize recreational pot

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Recreational marijuana sales in Illinois in Chicago
Customer Elise Swopes makes a purchase at Sunnyside Marijuana Dispensary. VOA

Illinois started the new year on a high note Wednesday, becoming the latest U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana as the governor pardoned thousands for past low-level cannabis convictions.

The Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act will allow residents 21 and older to legally purchase marijuana and will expunge thousands of individuals’ criminal convictions throughout the state.

“We are restoring rights to many tens of thousands of Illinoisans. We are bringing regulation and safety to a previously unsafe and illegal market. And we are creating a new industry that puts equity at its very core,” Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said in a statement.

On Tuesday night, Pritzker granted 11,017 pardons for people with low-level cannabis convictions, the first round of a planned total of more than 700,000.

According to the statement, the new law will use 25 percent of the state’s cannabis revenue to help “the communities hit hardest” by the earlier crackdown on marijuana.

“Today we took another step toward justice, as we continue to address the failed war on drugs and the disproportionate impact it had on communities of color,” Cook County State Attorney Kim Foxx said in the statement.

Illinois residents age 21 and older will now be allowed to legally possess 30 grams of cannabis, five grams of cannabis concentrate or 500 milligrams of THC — the main active ingredient of cannabis — contained in a cannabis-infused product.

Non-residents are allowed to carry 15 grams of cannabis under the bill, which will also create a licensed growing and dispensary system.

Marijuana Illinois
A long line of people brave the cold as they wait to be the first in Illinois to purchase recreational marijuana at Sunnyside dispensary . VOA

CDC study

Illinois is the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana, along with Washington, D.C. Thirty-four states and the federal capital permit medical cannabis treatment.

But the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration still considers marijuana a dangerous substance alongside LSD and heroin.

A study by the federal Centers for Disease Control published in August found that states that legalize recreational marijuana see a reduction of at least 20 percent in fatalities linked to opioid overdoses.

Also Read- 30% Working Professionals Suffer From Mental Health Issues: Study

Marijuana legalization has also been shown to improve a state’s economic activity, creating jobs and bringing in new tax revenue. (VOA)

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Marijuana Associated with Higher Risk of Heart Problems: Study

"This was eye-opening for us. We're seeing an accelerating use of marijuana and now, for the first time, marijuana users are exceeding cigarette smokers in the US. said Indian-origin researcher and study author Muthiah Vaduganathan from Brigham and Women's Hospital in the US

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DOJ, Marijuana, Growers
Marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, California, Aug. 15, 2019. VOA

More than two million adults with heart conditions report that they have used or are currently using marijuana, according to a new study.

Observational studies have linked marijuana use to a range of cardiovascular risks, including stroke, arrhythmia and diseases that make it hard for the heart muscle to pump properly, said the researchers.

“Marijuana use, both recreational and medical, is increasing nationally yet many of its cardiovascular effects remain poorly understood,” said lead author Ersilia M DeFilippis from Columbia University in the US.

“In our National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) query, we estimated that two million adults with marijuana use had cardiovascular disease in 2015-2016. Since that time, additional states have passed legislature related to marijuana so its use may have increased even further,” DeFilippis added.

“Notably, many of our cardiology patients are on medications that can interact with marijuana in unpredictable ways depending on the formulation. This highlights that we need more data so that we can better counsel providers as well as patients,” DeFilippis said.

For the findings, published in the journal Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers, including one of the Indian-origin, conducted a query of data from NHANES to estimate marijuana use among US patients with cardiovascular disease.

They estimated that two million (2.3 per cent) of the 89.6 million adults who reported marijuana use had cardiovascular disease.

Marijuana, Canada, israel
In this July 12, 2018 file photo, a newly-transplanted cannabis cuttings grow in pots at a medical marijuana cultivation facility in Massachusetts. (VOA)

According to the study, the researchers outline the ways that the components and compounds in marijuana may affect the heart and other tissue at a molecular level and the drug interactions that marijuana can have with drugs that are commonly given to cardiology patients.

They also describe observational studies that suggest a connection between marijuana and heart conditions, including: Smoking-related cardiotoxicity: Many of the same cardiotoxic chemicals found in cigarettes are also found in marijuana smoke.

Coronary artery disease: Cannabis inhalation can increase heart rate and blood pressure and may be a trigger of a heart attack.

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Arrhythmias: Marijuana use has been associated with abnormal heart rhythms, including atrial fibrillation.

Cerebrovascular disease: Surveys have found that marijuana smokers were three times more likely to experience a cerebrovascular event, such as a stroke.

“This was eye-opening for us. We’re seeing an accelerating use of marijuana and now, for the first time, marijuana users are exceeding cigarette smokers in the US. said Indian-origin researcher and study author Muthiah Vaduganathan from Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US. (IANS)