Quick Hits: NFL Docs Explore Medical Marijuana


According to a profile in the Washington Post, officials from the NFL have met in a conference call with medical marijuana researchers to learn more about the use of phytocannabinoids for head trauma. Eugene Monroe, the Baltimore Ravens tackle who is the first active player to advocate for medical cannabis use in the NFL, has donated $80,000 to researchers investigating the clinical uses of cannabis versus concussion and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The NFL officials were Jeff Miller, the league’s senior vice president for player health and safety, and neurological surgeon Russell Lonser, a member of the league’s head, neck and spine committee. One of the researchers contacted said of the NFL officials, “They are definitely showing genuine curiosity, and they are definitely not throwing up roadblocks.”

BILLINGS, Montana – Three groups are fighting to get marijuana reform issues on the ballot, but they have wildly different reform goals in mind. Safe Montana is a group that is pushing I-176, which is an initiative to repeal Montana’s medical marijuana program. Safe Montana founder, Steve Zabawa, says they’ve collected enough signatures for the ballot and has put over $70,000 into the campaign. Montana Cannabis Industry Association is pushing I-182, the initiative to restore Montana’s medical marijuana program by removing the three-patient-per-caregiver limit and doctor-monitoring established by the legislature and upheld by the state Supreme Court. MCIA has contributed over $94,000 to the effort. A third measure, I-178, seeks to legalize recreational marijuana in Montana, but the group pushing that initiative is short on funding and signatures.

KANSAS CITY, Missouri – NORML KC, the local chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of marijuana laws, has received approval to move forward with a municipal initiative to decriminalize marijuana possession offenses. If passed, the measure will amend local laws regarding the possession of up to 35 grams of marijuana for adults age 21 and up from a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail and a $1,000 fine to a civil offense punishable by a $50 fine — no arrest or criminal record. With a deadline of August 25, 2016 to collect the 1,703 signatures needed to qualify the initiative for a vote, the organization’s executive director, Jamie Kacz, is hoping to gather more than 2,300 to offset the possibility of some signatures being deemed invalid. Mrs. Kacz and her volunteers started the process of collecting signatures during last week’s First Friday Art Festival at the Crossroads Art District and will continue to work hard over the next twelve weeks.

Russ Belville

"Radical" Russ Belville is a blogger, podcaster, and host of The Russ Belville Show, a daily two-hour talk radio show focused on the evolution of the legal marijuana industry in the United States. The program is airing live at 3pm Pacific Time from Portland, Oregon, on CannabisRadio.com, with podcast available on iTunes and Stitcher Radio. Russ began his marijuana activism in 2005 with Oregon NORML, then in 2009 went on to work for National NORML, and found and direct Portland NORML.in 2015.