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Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) took a break from tweeting bible verses to chastise the performances of Democratic presidential candidates in Tuesday night's debate.

It didn't go as well as he'd hoped.

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In 2016, the state of California passed Proposition 64, commonly referred to as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. The law went into effect two years later, on January 1, 2018. The proposition stated that it is now legal in California "for individuals 21 years of age or older to possess up to 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrated marijuana for personal consumption."

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Any public health official interested in resolving North America’s opioid crisis should be looking towards national legalization of medical marijuana. That’s the conclusion of two new studies recently published in JAMA Internal Medicine, an American Medical Association journal.

“In this time when we are so concerned — rightly so — about opiate misuse and abuse and the mortality that’s occurring, we need to be clear-eyed and use evidence to drive our policies,” said W. David Bradford, an economist at the University of Georgia and an author of one of the studies. “If you’re interested in giving people options for pain management that don’t bring the particular risks that opiates do, states should contemplate turning on dispensary-based cannabis policies.”

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For the first time, a federal advisory committee has recommended that the Food and Drug Association (FDA) vote to approve a prescription cannabidiol medicine. The medication, known as Epidiolex, is a form of cannabidiol (CBD), which is a cannabis derivative. According to a report by NBC News, approval of the medication would be limited to treating seizures caused by Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in patients aged 2 and older. Although the FDA has indicated that it would vote in favor or approval, the medication has only received such a recommendation from the aforementioned federal advisory committee after a unanimous vote. The FDA is expected to make a final decision by June.

As previously reported in December, Dravet syndrome has already been treated in legal states by cannabis-oil derivatives. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine indicated that out of 120 children, half experienced reduction of the frequency of seizures when treated with medicinal cannabis-based products.

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A worker at the Alternative Herbal Health Services cannabis dispensary rolls a marijuana cigarette April 24, 2006 in San Francisco, California. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

San Francisco prosecutors will retroactively apply California’s marijuana-legalization laws to past criminal cases, dismissing thousands of marijuana-related convictions of residents dating back to 1975. The decision affects thousands whose marijuana convictions have made it difficult for them to secure employment or obtain certain government benefits.

Proposition 64, which state voters passed in November 2016, legalized recreational marijuana use for individuals 21 and older and permitted the possession up to 1 ounce of cannabis. The legislation, per The San Francisco Chronicle, "also allows those with past marijuana convictions that would have been lesser crimes — or no crime at all — under Prop. 64 to petition a court to recall or dismiss their cases."

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WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 29: U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks during a news conference at the Justice Department November 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Sessions announced the Justice Department will fund more than $12 million in grants to assist law enforcement agencies and to establish a new DEA field division in the Appalachian Mountain region to combat the opioid crisis. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

During a November 28 press conference, US Attorney General Jeff Sessions suggested that the Department of Justice is planning to crack down on recreational marijuana, even in states that have legalized it. Now proponents of medical cannabis fear that this crackdown could also extend to medical cannabis, now legal in 29 US states.

On December 8, 2017, Congressional Republicans narrowly avoided a government shutdown with a deal that would fund the government by another two weeks. That means an amendment within the bill, known as the Rohrabacher-Farr Act (also known as Rohrabacher-Blumenauer) will also be extended two weeks. That law, made up of just 85 words, blocks the Department of Justice from using any money to prosecute medical marijuana patients in states where it's legal. If the law is not upheld, patients who are currently able to access legal, cannabis-based treatments may find themselves on the wrong end of the law, or unable to access their formerly legal medicine.

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It can calm you down, give you the munchies, make you giggle, and, according to a new study, marijuana can also reverse brain aging and improve cognitive functioning.

Researchers at the University of Bonn and Hebrew University published a study earlier this year in Nature Medicine that found that giving mice a regular, low dose of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of the main active ingredients found in marijuana, can reverse age-related cognitive declines in the brain.

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