The 411 on 420: Three simple numbers  – always pronounced “Four Twenty” —  have been associated with marijuana for at least thirty years. What does it mean? Chris Goldstein, cannabis columnist, explained it all many moons ago.  The tl;dr:

  •  It can simply refer to marijuana itself. Do you have some 420?
  • 420 can mean a session…to smoke weed:  It's 420 time!
  • Cannabis consumers sometimes meet at 4:20 a.m./p.m. on any given day to enjoy marijuana together.
  • April 20th –  420 – is now the international Marijuana Holiday.

Here's how some folks plan to celebrate in greater Philadelphia.

Pa. mom's home cooking: Erica Daniels, a Philadelphia-area mother who uses medical marijuana to treat her severely autistic boy, will be featured Aug. 26 on an episode of VICELAND's "Weediquette." Daniels recently published "Cooking with Leo," a collection of recipes inspired by her son's dietary restrictions.

Repairing the World: Tikun Olam, the Israeli pharmaceutical cannabis giant, is expanding operations on a grand scale in the United States. The Tel Aviv-based company is announcing today (Apr. 20) that it's partnering with CW Nevada LLC of Las Vegas and has plans to work with producers in California and Washington state next. Tikun Olam, which means "repairing the world" in Hebrew, holds the patents to 16 distinct strains and has operated a pilot medical program in Delaware during the past year.  The company's roots reach back to 1964 when scientist Raphael Mechoulam isolated THC and discovered the human endocannabinoid system.


Yesterday's 'Decrim Now!' Rally Today: Medical marijuana advocates rallied in Harrisburg on Apr. 19 to demand full legalization in the Keystone State. "The war on marijuana must end and it must end now," said state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who last month estimated that taxing marijuana would raise $200 million for state coffers. The event. organized by the Keystone Cannabis Coalition, drew several hundred people, according to the Scranton Times Tribune. Gov. Wolf has said the commonwealth is not ready for recreational cannabis. 

Medical marijuana laws lowered Medicaid prescriptions: A study published in the journal Health Affairs reports that Medicaid enrollees in states with decriminalized marijuana had their doctors write fewer scripts for other drugs. The authors estimated that if all states had had medical marijuana laws in 2014, the national savings to the federally-funded progam could have been more than $1 billion.  The feds, however, continue to maintain that marijuana has "no currently accepted medical uses."  Because of that, the entire cost of any medical cannabis is carried by the patient.

Short on treatment: The American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) is highlighting the first ever Addiction Treatment Gap Awareness Week. The observance,  which begins Apr. 24, recognizes the significant shortage of available care for addiction services. The stats are staggering. Nearly 20.5 million Americans suffer from a substance use disorder, according to ASAM,  yet only 1 in 10 people receive treatment.  (Press release)