Total news found: 130

The White House today gave a green light to a growing group of scientists who are interested in investigating the potential health benefits of cannabis. Research like this will no longer have to undergo review by the Public Health Service, a process that is supposed to ensure the use of scientifically valid clinical trials, but in practice has served as a barrier to launching studies. A bipartisan group of lawmakers, and even opponents of legalization, had called for the requirement to be lifted..

“This announcement is a pretty big deal,” says Christopher Brown, a spokesperson for Americans for Safe Access, a group that advocates for access to pot for medical research. “You have a lot of interest in experimental research on medical cannabis and this shows that you are starting to see policies aligned with that.”

US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy discussed the federal government’s shifting thinking on medical pot, telling CBS This Morning that preliminary data shows that “marijuana can be helpful” for some medical conditions.

  Jul 10, 2015

On July 1, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) released the following statement on the legalization of the adult use of marijuana in Oregon.

“Tomorrow in Oregon we end the failed prohibition of marijuana and will very soon be regulating and taxing the adult use of marijuana along the supply chain from growth to consumption. For years, Oregon has been far ahead of the federal government on marijuana policy, and now again following the will of voters is one of the first to move ahead with the legalization."

“Part of this leadership comes with asking the tough regulatory questions around issues such as safety, enforcement, packaging, research and education. Leaders from the state and local government as well as leaders within the emerging Oregon marijuana industry are well underway grappling with these questions. One thing is certain, however – this would all be much easier without the confusing patchwork of federal and state laws that trap businesses and state regulators in the middle. We are seeing shifts at the federal level to reconcile these differences, but have much more to do to. I will continue in my efforts to reform our outdated marijuana policy and level the playing field for businesses that follow state laws and create jobs. The federal government should be a partner in building systems that work at the state level, not an obstacle. We should start with allowing these legal marijuana businesses to have bank accounts and tax them fairly."

  Jul 09, 2015

Rush Limbaugh thinks he knows what it means to “wake and bake” — and in his mind it involves someone who “does the weed” waking up in the morning and baking marijuana-infused “cookies or brownies.”

“I don’t have any experience with this so I’m unable to render an opinion. Maybe I should go smoke some and find out what this is all about and be able to render an … (interruption) Oh, yeah, eat a brownie. That’s what 'wake and bake' means, right? Yeah, there’s an NFL player who had a Snapchat or Instagram post. He woke up and he’s all happy, and said, 'Time to wake and bake,' and somebody said, 'Wow, that guy does the weed.' So that’s what wake and bake means. Bake some cookies or brownies, I guess. Have you had them? (interruption) What do they taste like? (interruption) I do I wonder what they taste like...

Cause, folks, it’s politically incorrect to say that marijuana might have health risks, because right now the politically correct thing to say about marijuana is that it’s great boon for people who are sick. Medical marijuana is absolutely wonderful even though there’s a recent study says makes no difference in anything. But they think it is. Marijuana is really cool, and it’s safer, and it’s not heroin or cocaine, and it’s a crop! It comes from the ground, and it’s cool, and some of our favorite musicians did their best work while under its influence.” - So it’s cool stuff.

  Jul 08, 2015

Definition of cancer.

Cancer is a general name for various types of malignant neoplasms, or malignant tumors – groups of cells in human tissue with tendency for abnormal and uncontrollable growth. As cancer is in fact a collective name for a group of different diseases, its general symptoms vary significantly and are hard to define. However, some common symptoms include pain, continuous fatigue, fast and spontaneous weight loss, chronic cough etc.

How can medical marijuana help?

With statistics of third-leading cause of death in the U.S., cancer is feared by many as virtually untreatable disease, which is not quite correct. Several hundred types of cancers are known, of which the majority can be successfully treated today with different methods. However, some of these methods, such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy are often harsh to the human body and cause severe side effects. Clinical research of marijuana influence on cancer-affected cells, which has been ongoing for more than three decades, shows that medical marijuana has cancer-fighting properties. Cannabinoids, contained in marijuana, have been shown to exhibit anti-cancer effects in reducing the tumors' tendency to grow.

Moreover, recent cancer studies show that medical marijuana can act as analgesic, relieving the cancer-induced pain, which is considered to be the most sufferable symptom. And, as with other uses of medical marijuana, the mild sedative effect helps calm emotions, and get rid of psychological stress.

Combination with chemo- and radiotherapy.

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are comprehensive methods of drug treatment that involve targeting cancer cells and killing them with a regimented use of a variety of synthetic drugs. THC (the main chemical component of cannabis) is a natural antiemetic, which has been reported to decrease the pain associated with chemo- and radiotherapy agents. Also, such harsh treatments are frequently accompanied by decreased appetite. Lack of appetite in turn causes the person to suffer from malnutrition. Appetite stimulation is one of the most well-known effects of marijuana, and is helpful in treating a variety of conditions. Thus, smoking medical marijuana can be used to wear off the side effects of more severe cancer treatment, maintain healthy appetite throughout the treatment course, and avoid the wasting away that many patients suffer from.

  Jul 08, 2015

A bill that would allow children with certain debilitating conditions to take marijuana oil while attending school has been passed by the New Jersey legislature and is headed to the desk of Gov. Christie.

"We're talking about some of the state's most severely disabled students, some of whom suffer life-threatening seizures, and medical marijuana is the only thing that has helped ease their condition," said Assembly Majority Leader Louis D. Greenwald (D., Camden), who sponsored the bill with Pamela Lampitt (D., Camden).

"Eliminating ambiguities in our current law will help ease the concerns of school districts who might fear liability," Lampitt said in a statement. "This simple change in the law will help parents ensure that their children do not suffer throughout the day when relief is so near at hand."

The bill would authorize parents, guardians, or primary caregivers to administer medical marijuana on school grounds, on a school bus, and at a school-sponsored activity, in a location the school designates. The drug must be in a non-smokable form.

  Jul 07, 2015

Last Saturday the New England Conference of United Methodist Churches, a group representing 600 congregations in six Northeastern states, voted in favor of Resolution 15-203, which mentions Christian principles to put an end of the War on Drugs.

The resolution begins:

“In the love of Christ, who came to save those who are lost and vulnerable, we urge the creation of a genuinely new system for the care and restoration of victims, offenders, criminal justice officials, and the community as a whole. Restorative justice grows out of biblical authority, which emphasizes a right relationship with God, self and community. When such relationships are violated or broken through crime, opportunities are created to make things right.”

“When I came off the stage I was met by many assembly members telling me how important the resolution was,” reported Law Enforcement Against Prohibition Co-founder Lt. Jack Cole (Ret..). “One said that…I had described his family. His daughter died ten years ago of a drug overdose and he and his wife were left to raise her two children.. That gentleman was sure that if drugs had been legal his daughter would not have died.”

“Jesus concerned himself with the plight of the poor and marginalized in his society. In our society, the story of the poor and marginalized is one of mass incarceration, racial injustice, and the breakdown of families caused by the War on Drugs,” said Major Neill Franklin (Ret.),executive director of LEAP.

  Jul 06, 2015

Due to higher estrogen levels, females are at least 30 percent more sensitive to the pain-relieving effects of THC (the active ingredient in cannabis) compared to males, according to a new rat study at Washington State University (WSU).

Females are also more susceptible to the negative side effects of cannabis — anxiety, paranoia, dependence — and may develop tolerance more quickly.

The “munchie effect” — the increased desire and need to eat — appears to be the only THC reaction where males show more sensitivity than females.

According to the researchers, most medical marijuana patients prefer a balance among the different cannabinoids. But when it comes to the recreational type, selective breeding has resulted in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations double or triple those seen in the 1960s and 70s. THC is the psychoactive ingredient behind the characteristic mental high.

“Marijuana is very different than it was 40 years ago,” she said. “It’s much higher in THC and lower in cannabidiol, so a little bit goes a very long way,” said lead author Dr. Rebecca Craft, a psychology professor at WSU.

“We’re more likely to see negative side effects today like anxiety, confusion, panic attacks, hallucinations or extreme paranoia. And women are at higher risk.”

Most studies have been conducted on men due to their more stable hormonal profile. Craft, however, has been studying drug sensitivities in females for years.

Working with rats in her laboratory, Craft said she and her team “routinely manipulate hormones and follow females across their cycles to see if their drug sensitivities change along with their hormones. And they do…very frequently.”

“What we’re finding with THC is that you get a very clear spike in drug sensitivity right when the females are ovulating – right when their estrogen levels have peaked and are coming down,” she said.

In the current study, the researchers examined the pain-relieving effects of THC in male and female rats. After 10 days of treatment, tolerance to THC was shown to be much greater in females than males.

They also found that a low dose of THC did not disrupt the reproductive cycle in female rats, something that has been under debate, Craft said, but needs more study.

The researchers are also investigating the effects of cannabidiol, which can counter some of THC’s negative side effects. The THC and cannabidiol studies will be extended to include chronic types of pain typically seen in people who request medical marijuana, such as those with debilitating back or joint pain, cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, severe muscle spasms and more.

“These people have pain that lasts for months or years,” Craft said. “Tolerance develops differently and sometimes you get a lot less tolerance to a drug when people are in chronic pain.”

Source: Psychcentral
  Jul 04, 2015

The savvy Independence Day host and hostess know to keep the cooler stocked with cold beer, the recipe for the tastiest potato salad and when to throw another round of burgers on the grill.

But parties around Oregon this 4th of July offer a twist Miss Manners never anticipated: What's a host to do when a guest pulls up with a tray of brownies infused with hash oil or puffs a joint?

Oregon this week entered the era of legalized weed, raising the potential for awkward social encounters as celebrations of the quintessential summer holiday get underway.

Cannabis consumers who used to leave their joints at home when they headed to a neighbor's barbecue may feel more comfortable toking at parties now that marijuana is legal.

"Adults do have this right," said Russ Belville, host of a Portland-based radio show about cannabis culture and politics. "We don't have to be quiet about it anymore. We don't have to use cannabis code words. There is nothing wrong with it."

We asked Belville, other marijuana consumers and an etiquette pro for advice as Oregonians navigate a new social landscape – one where anyone 21 and older may possess and grow pot.

"I would love to say there is a lot of information on this," said Mindy Lockard, who lives in Lake Oswego and is an etiquette expert. But "we are a bit in the etiquette Wild West, literally."

First, no matter where you stand on marijuana legalization, Lockard and others encourage hosts and guests to be respectful when talking about partaking at a party.

"People who aren't comfortable with it are going to be seen as not progressive or stifling people's self-expression," said Lockard, whose Twitter handle is @thegraciousgirl. "We have to be mindful on both ends of the spectrum.

"Some people aren't going to feel comfortable with that and that's OK," she said. "It's how we communicate those things that are important."

Talk to the host. Hoping to smoke at your neighbor's cookout? Don't just break out a joint while standing by the grill. Broach the subject when you RSVP or approach the host when you arrive. Keep your request short and to the point.

"It doesn't have to be hard to ask, 'Is it OK if we smoke a joint?'" said Belville, a longtime and frequent consumer who admits he's rarely in social situations where marijuana use isn't welcome.

If the host gives the go-ahead, ask where it's OK to consume. Maybe the host thought ahead and set aside an area of the backyard for cannabis smokers.

"The host will say no or most will say, 'Oh yeah, sure, go on the deck in the backyard,'" said Leah Maurer, a Portland mother of three who helps run a local chapter of Women Grow, a national networking group for women in the cannabis industry.

Maybe the host or hostess doesn't mind if you consume marijuana but would rather you eat a marijuana-infused cookie or treat instead of smoking.

"While you may enjoy the smell and taste of cannabis, you have to take into account that not everybody feels that way," said Jane West, who lives in Colorado and runs Edible Events, a company that plans marijuana-themed events. "You have to respect that. There is a smell to cannabis smoke, just like tobacco and more notably cigars."

Be aware of kids. If you get the nod to partake, do it away from kids, Belville said. At family-friendly get-togethers, he opts to consume on his own or around adults.

"Always err on the side of caution I say," he said.

Hosts may not want children to see someone consuming cannabis, or they may worry about second-hand smoke. Maurer said she doesn't mind if her young sons see people consuming marijuana, which she compares to alcohol, but she doesn't want them breathing smoke.

"Especially with smoke, you want to be aware of where the children are and where the smoke is going for sure," she said. "You don't want your kids breathing in anything that is not good for their lungs."

If you're hosting a party, consider addressing pot upfront. Sending out an Evite? Add a line about whether the get-together will be a cannabis-friendly one. And if you're not cool with marijuana at your cookout, you might want to think about making that clear, too.

"If we are really talking about a post-Prohibition world, then the invite should say alcohol and cannabis will be served," West said.

If the host is OK with marijuana, bring enough to share, said West. She suggested bringing pre-rolled joints or multiple vape pen tips so you can pass the pen around.

"Cannabis is expensive and if you are going to a larger event, you should bring more than just a joint," she said. "You wouldn't show up to a party with one beer for yourself."

Avoid walking into a party only with dried flowers and rolling papers, which West compared to handing over an unsliced watermelon. It creates more work for the host and hostess.

"Don't expect me to get out my grinder and papers and rolling tray for you to assemble your joint," she said. "You should come with them pre-rolled."

And if the host frowns on cannabis consumption, take it in stride.

"If I went to a party where the host said there was no alcohol allowed and I brought a 40 (ounce) with me, that would be rude, too," said Belville.

"Legalization of marijuana," he said, "doesn't give you the right to be rude."

Lockard encouraged guests and hosts heading into the holiday weekend not to take it personally if they disagree about cannabis. A festive neighborhood get-together, she said, isn't the place for a heated debate about drug policy.

"Go easy on it," she said. "There is lots of time for us to have this conversation. It doesn't have to be on Saturday." -- Noelle Crombie

Source: Oregon Live
  Jul 04, 2015

CINCINNATI — Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said marijuana legalization is inevitable, and could bring nearly 35,000 jobs to the state.

“Legalization is coming to Ohio. We need to accept the reality that this is going to happen," Deters said following a meeting of the Marijuana Policies of Ohio Taskforce. The group, which Deters chairs, released a report on the economic, public safety and health repercussions of legalizing marijuana in Ohio.

The 188-page report was partially funded by ResponsibleOhio, which is pursuing a ballot initiative to legalize the crop. Deters works at the same Cincinnati law firm as Chris Stock, the principal author of the amendment to allow marijuana cultivation at 10 farms across the state.

Deters, a former state treasurer, said he wasn't taking a position on ResponsibleOhio's ballot initiative. However, the law-and-order Republican said his views on marijuana legalization have changed over time.

“Why in the world, knowing this is coming, would we let the bad guys make all the money?" Deters asked.

Taxing the nearly $7 billion industry could help fund local government, he added.

Republicans have denounced the ResponsibleOhio proposal. Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine called legalization “a stupid idea." On Thursday, Ohio Auditor Dave Yost rejected the new report's credibility on Twitter.

“The Deters marijuana commission report today has all the credibility of a tobacco industry study on the safety of smoking," Yost wrote.

But Deters said members of his party reject marijuana legalization because they have to run for election in a state that skews conservative.

“I'm well aware of the position of my friends on the statewide level who are all looking at potential primaries. As far as I know, I am not looking at a potential primary, so I don't really care. I just want to make sure Ohioans have the information they need to make a choice."

Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Smitherman, an independent and member of the task force, said he lost the 2005 election after opposing stricter marijuana laws. Between 2006 and 2010, anyone with even a small amount of marijuana in the city was charged with a misdemeanor. Only recently were 10,000 people with crimes on their record able to have them expunged.

“They have problems trying to engage society at any level because they show up on their record," Smitherman said.

Source: Limaohio
  Jul 03, 2015

Lydia Foster, 15, moved to Colorado last Fall with her mom Debbie, to try and get help with her epileptic seizures using medical cannabis. The treatment had some success but they moved back to their home near Gettysburg after four months because their family was split apart.

There's a large group of Americans who spend every day struggling with a serious debilitating illness. It's a mostly powerless and unheard group, and I'm a member.

Montel Williams, SoCal Pain Center

Sixteen years ago, when I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, my doctor told me I'd be in a wheelchair in four years and dead by 56.

Each and every day, for the past 16 years, I've faced intractable neuropathic pain that never goes away. Sometimes, it's hard to put on a brave face.

I put on a brave face in public and on TV, but, make no mistake, MS is a daily battle. The only reason I'm even able to even write this today is because my doctor, a world class neurologist, recommended medicinal marijuana.

To this day, it's the only therapy that works for me, and science has now proven why.

My story pales in comparison to those of many I've met across the country. These silent sufferers don't have a platform to share their struggles, and often, lack access or can't afford the necessary care.

This year, the Pennsylvania Senate passed excellent, comprehensive medical marijuana legislation in the form of legislation sponsored by Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, that enjoyed widespread, bipartisan support.

It passed that body on a 40-7 vote. The bill now languishes in the House Health Committee for one reason—the usual reason– backroom politics.

If put to a vote, the bill would pass, and the Gov. Tom Wolf has promised to sign it—meaning all that separates seriously ill and suffering Pennsylvanians from access to a critical treatment is political maneuvering.

There is talk of an alternate bill allowing low-THC, CBD focused (or Charlotte's web) therapy.

That particular strain of marijuana is indeed helpful to young children with epilepsy. But marijuana is a complex plant, and we can't fool ourselves into believing its medical benefits will be achieved by isolating individual elements.

CBD might be non-intoxicating and might work for a small percentage of the sick and suffering, but not for individuals like me, or cancer patients undergoing chemo, or anguished veterans returning from the battlefield with PTSD or severe intractable pain.

Marijuana is a complex plant and its medical benefits cannot be fully realized with just one of its constituent elements.

Efforts like this get mired in politics all too often.

They get stifled by fear mongers, who have ulterior motives, sometimes acting on behalf of donors with a big financial stake in the result. I often hear the argument, "medical marijuana leads more kids using drugs."

That has been thoroughly refuted by multiple independent studies, which have found that teen medical marijuana usage has remained flat or decreased in states that have legalized medical marijuana.

Others argue that medical marijuana leads to an increase in crime, but they offer absolutely no evidence. These opposing arguments simply aren't true, and in my eyes, those using fear as a weapon to accomplish their political goals should be ashamed.

My critique might sound harsh, but so is leaving seriously ill Pennsylvanians without treatment, which is exactly what will happen if the Senate-passed bill continues to languish in the political doldrums.

In a recent Quinnipiac University poll of Pennsylvania voters, 88 percent of respondents expressed support for making this option available to patients whose physicians determine could benefit.

    With nearly nine out of 10 Pennsylvanians in favor, why is this bill being held up? Don't these Pennsylvanians, including chronically ill patients who might benefit, deserve an up or down vote from the Pennsylvania House?

    The House faces a simple choice, politically and morally. Will it stand with an overwhelming majority of voters and its sick and suffering constituents?

    Or will it allow a few of members to sidestep the democratic process and hold up a vote? I hope Pennsylvania voters will stand up and demand a vote, and I'll be traveling to Harrisburg this week to make the case.

    I encourage you to urge elected officials to bring the Folmer bill to a vote in the House. It's a critical bill, with much at stake. Just ask anyone who lives every day in pain.

    Montel Williams is an Emmy award winning television host. Diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999, he is also an outspoken advocate for health and wellness and health care policy.

      Source: PennLive
        Jul 02, 2015