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Cannabis News Roundup: January 25, 2013

(ASA) // The US Court of Appeals in Washington, DC this week ruled against de-classifying cannabis as a dangerous drug, saying “adequate and well-controlled studies” on cannabis as medicine do not exist. An appeal is expected.

(Seattle Post) // “Very satisfying” is the way Washington state Governor Jay Inslee described a conversation Tuesday with US Attorney General Eric Holder concerning that state’s need to implement voter approval of recreational cannabis. There was no discussion of how the federal government might react in the future.

(HuffPost) // Here in California, the question remains: can a city pass an outright ban on cannabis dispensaries?  Riverside and Upland think so. So did Los Angeles, for a while. But how can that be legal when state law permits them?  Those are some of the questions to be considered next month by the California Supreme Court. [Holly Kernan and I touched on this topic in our on-air discussion of cannabis news on “Crosscurrents” last week.]

(SFGate) // President Obama’s second term started this week, generating reviews of his first term. Confusion on medical marijuana is one of five “broken promises” listed in this summary from his first four years.

I think this needs a clarification, though. The President said the Justice Dept. wouldn’t go after “medical marijuana users,” but he didn’t say it wouldn’t go after dispensaries. I know, I know: they’re two sides of the same coin. Where do users safely acquire cannabis if the dispensaries are shut down?  It is a puzzlement.

And it’s a question that Matt Davies of Stockton had answered the hard way; he faces seven years in prison after his dispensaries were raided. Thisstory, by the Chronicle’s conservative columnist, points out that the Justice Dept. has always said that “significant traffickers of illegal drugs, including marijuana” are a priority, even though their activities may be legal under state rules.

(MJBusinessDaily) // That said, the Medical Marijuana Business Daily seespositive news for the industry in 2013, not the least being the list of states considering some sort of cannabis regulation.

RELATED CONTENT: Cannabis News Roundup

New Horizons in the Pursuit of Marijuana’s Legalization

 Reformers Must Win the Marijuana Information War 

The passage of marijuana legalization initiatives in Washington and Colorado are exciting turning points in the long effort to end marijuana prohibition in the United States.

 These initiatives change local laws, place pressure on the federal government, and radically transform the national debate about marijuana and the law.
However significant obstacles remain, and while these great victories create new horizons they also present new challenges for the reform movement. Despite all these initiatives have accomplished – and these accomplishments are both historical and profound – this is no time for reformers to get over confident. Indeed, to deploy a phrase that has become common in political discourse these days, it is time to double down on efforts to reform the marijuana laws in the United States.

State level policies have always been>>>>>>>>>>>continue>>

MARIJUANA AND THE HUMAN BRAIN by Jon Gettman High Times, March 1995

INTRODUCTION

The next century will view the 1988 discovery of the THC receptor site in the brain as the pivotal event which led to the legalization of marijuana.

Before this discovery, no one knew for sure just how the psychoactive chemical in marijuana worked on the brain. Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, researchers made tremendous strides in understanding how the brain works, by using receptor sites as switches which respond to various chemicals by regulating brain and body functions.

The dominant fear about marijuana in the 20th century has been that its effects were somehow similar to the dangerously addictive effects of opiates such as morphine and heroin. Despite widespread decriminalization of marijuana in the United States in the 1970s, this concern has remained the basis for federal law and policies regarding the use and study of marijuana.

The legal manifestation of this fear is the continued classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, a category shared by heroin and other drugs that are banned from medical use because of their dangerous, addictive qualities. While only 11 states have formally decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana, 45 states distinguish between marijuana and other Schedule I drugs for law-enforcement and sentencing purposes.

Until the 1980s, technological limitations obstructed scientific understanding of the neuropharmacology of THC, of how the active ingredient in marijuana actually affects brain functions. Observations and conclusions about this subject, though based on some biological studies, were largely influenced by observations of behavior. This has allowed cultural prejudice to sustain the faith that marijuana is somehow related to heroin, and that research will eventually prove this hypothesis. Actually, the discovery of the THC receptor site and the subsequent research and observations it has inspired conclusively refute the hypothesis that marijuana is dope.

Many important brain functions which affect human behavior involve the neurotransmitter dopamine. Serious drugs of abuse, such as heroin and cocaine, interfere with the brain’s use of dopamine in manners that can seriously alter an individual’s behavior. A drug’s ability to affect the neural systems related to dopamine production has now become the defining characteristic of drugs with serious abuse potential.

According to the congressional Office of Technology Assessment, research over the last 10 years has proved that marijuana has no effect on dopamine-related brain systems – unless you are an inbred Lewis rat (see below), in which case abstention is recommended.

The discovery of a previously unknown system of cannabinoid neural transmitters is profound. While century-old questions, such as why marijuana is nontoxic, are finally being answered, new, fascinating questions are emerging – as in the case of all great discoveries. In the words of Israeli researcher Raphael Mechoulam, the man who first isolated the structure of THC, “Why do we have cannabinoid receptors?”

Mechoulam’s theory will resonate well with marijuana smokers in the United States. He observes that “Cannabis is used by man not for its actions on memory of movement or movement coordination, but for its actions on memory and emotions, “and asks, “Is it possible that the main task of cannabinoid receptors . . . (is) to modify our emotions, to serve as the links which transmit or transform or translate objective or subjective events into perceptions and emotions?” At a 1990 conference on cannabinoid research in Crete, Mechoulam concluded his remarks by saying, “Let us hope, however, that through better understanding of cannabis chemistry in the brain, we may also approach the chemistry of emotions.”

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THC RESEARCH

Full reports>>>>>Marijuana and the human brain 

http://www.umsl.edu/~keelr/180/brain1.html

Americans Decry War on Drugs, Support Legalizing Marijuana

Less than one-in-ten respondents would legalize other drugs, such as heroin, crack or “crystal meth”.

Two-thirds of adults in the United States believe the “War on Drugs” has been futile, and a majority continue to call for the legalization of marijuana in the country, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative sample of 1,017 American adults, 68 per cent of respondents believe that America has a serious drug abuse problem and it affects the whole country.

One-in-five Americans (20%) think the country’s drug abuse problem is confined to specific areas and people, and five per cent say America does not have a serious drug abuse problem.

Only 10 per cent of respondents believe that the “War on Drugs”—a term that has been used to describe the efforts of the U.S. government to reduce the illegal drug trade—has been a success, while 66 per cent deem it a failure. Majorities of Democrats (63%), Republicans (63%) and Independents (69%) agree with the notion that the “War on Drugs” has not been fruitful.

Across the country, 52 per cent of Americans support the legalization of marijuana, while 44 per cent oppose it. Majorities of men (60%), Independents (57%) and Democrats (54%) would like to see marijuana legalized. Women (45%), respondents over the age of 55 (48%) and Republicans (43%) are not as supportive of legalization.

In four nationwide surveys conducted by Angus Reid Public Opinion on the topic of marijuana legalization since 2009, support has always surpassed the 50 per cent mark in the United States, and opposition has not reached 45 per cent.

As has been the case in previous surveys, the enthusiasm for legalizing other drugs in the United States remains low. Only 10 per cent of respondents would consent to making ecstasy readily available, and less than one-in-ten would legalize powder cocaine (9%), heroin (8%), crack cocaine (8%) and methamphetamine or “crystal meth” (7%).

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Weed Use May Help Brain Functionality

The Fountain of Youth: a tale surrounding the dream of everlasting life. Though it is just a myth today, many people today might just be able to see the end of death by way of age. After all, aging is just a condition we all inherit from the moment of conception, one which may someday soon might be controlled and reversed.

As we get older, our bodies have a harder time rebuilding themselves while at the same time normal bodily functions help facilitate the breakdown of cells. Naturally, our breakdown processes start to outpace the rebuilding processes the longer we live, so we begin falling apart.

What if there was a way to hinder those breakdown processes? Well today, there is evidence that marijuana could play a vital role in preserving cognitive function for future generations.

Read more<<< thcdigest

It’s True: Medical Cannabis Provides Dramatic Relief for Sufferers of Chronic Ailments

In 2009, Zach Klein, a graduate of Tel Aviv University’s Department of Film and Television Studies, directed the documentary Prescribed Grass.Through the process, he developed an interest in the scientific research behind medical marijuana, and now, as a specialist in policy-making surrounding medical cannabis and an MA student at TAU’s Porter School of Environmental Studies, he is conducting his own research into the benefits of medical cannabis. Using marijuana from a farm called Tikkun Olam — a reference to the Jewish concept of healing the world — Klein and his fellow researchers tested the impact of the treatment on 19 residents of the Hadarim nursing home in Israel. The results, Klein says, have been outstanding. Not only did participants experience dramatic physical results, including healthy weight gain and the reduction of pain and tremors, but Hadarim staff saw an immediate improvement in the participants’ moods and communication skills. The use of chronic medications was also significantly reduced, he reports. 

Full story at Scienceblog<<<<<<

 

 

The United States of Amerijuana Recent bills introduced in Texas, Hawaii, Oklahoma, others prove the entire nation is legalization-oriented by Rick Thompson

 

The United States of Amerijuana

2013 has already seen a flood of cannabis-friendly legislation introduced in the legislatures of numerous states. At least seventeen states have introduced pro-marijuana bills or have stated their intent to do so. Legalization, medical marijuana, decriminalization-even industrial hemp- have all been introduced despite the Obama administration’s lack of a clear response to 2012’s full legalization votes in Washington and Colorado.

Hawaii Speaker of the House Joseph Souki introduced HB 150 on January 17. The Bill allows for individual cultivation and licensing of dispensaries, commercial grows, cannabis manufacturing facilities and testing companies. The Marijuana Policy Project is devoting resources toward passage of this Bill; spokesperson Mason Tvert said HB 150 “will generate significant revenue for Hawaii.”A poll, released earlier this January, showed support for a tax and regulate legalization system at 57%. The poll also revealed incredible support for the current medical marijuana law, passed in 2000 (81% support); for dispensaries (78% support); and for decriminalization (58%). The Drug Policy Action Group sponsored the poll, which was revealed in a press conference with the ACLU of Hawaii. An economic impact study conducted by an economist at the University of Hawaii revealed more than $20 million in potential new revenues and cost savings annually; the report noted that since 2004, marijuana possession arrests are up almost 50% and distribution arrests have nearly doubled.

Full article at Compassion Chronicles<<

Marijuana Legalization Would Promote Drug Use, DEA Contends

Posted: 01/23/2013 1:25 pm EST

WASHINGTON — Recent state efforts to legalize marijuana pose a challenge for the Drug Enforcement Administration because they would increase marijuana’s availability and promote drug use, the DEA said in a filing released Wednesday.

“Recently, efforts to legalize marijuana have increased. Keeping marijuana illegal reduces its availability and lessens willingness to use it,” the DEA said in a financial statement for fiscal year 2012 made public on Wednesday. “Legalizing marijuana would increase accessibility and encourage promotion and acceptance of drug use.”

Full story at the Huffington post<<<<<

D.C. CIRCUIT DENIES MEDICAL MARIJUANA RECLASSIFICATION CHALLENGE, ADVOCATES VOW TO APPEAL

Jan, 23 2013

Americans for Safe Access will seek En Banc review, continue fight to develop public health policy

Washington, DC — The United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a ruling today in the medical marijuana reclassification case, Americans for Safe Access v. Drug Enforcement Administration. In a 2-1 decision, the Court granted standing in the case — the right to bring a claim against the federal government — but denied the legal challenge on the merits, agreeing with the government’s assertion that “adequate and well-controlled studies” on the medical efficacy of marijuana do not exist.

“To deny that sufficient evidence is lacking on the medical efficacy of marijuana is to ignore a mountain of well-documented studies that conclude otherwise,” said Joe Elford, Chief Counsel with Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the country’s leading medical marijuana advocacy organization, which appealed the denial of the rescheduling petition in January of last year. “The Court has unfortunately agreed with the Obama Administration’s unreasonably raised bar on what qualifies as an ‘adequate and well-controlled’ study, thereby continuing their game of ‘Gotcha.'”

ASA intends to seek En Banc review by the full D.C. Circuit and,necessary, the organization will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. ASA intends to argue that the Obama Administration has acted arbitrarily and capriciously by using continually changing standards of “medical efficacy” in order to maintain marijuana as a Schedule I substance, a dangerous drug with no medical value. The government now contends that Stage II and III clinical trials are necessary to show efficacy, while ASA has consistently argued that the more than 200 peer-reviewed studies cited in the legal briefs adequately meet this standard.

In 2002, the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis, made up of several individuals and organizations including ASA, filed a petition to reclassify marijuana for medical use. That petition was denied in July 2011, after ASA sued the Obama Administration for unreasonable delaying the answer. The appeal to the D.C. Circuit was the first time in nearly 20 years that a federal court has reviewed the issue of whether adequate scientific evidence exists to reclassify marijuana.

“The Obama Administration’s legal efforts will keep marijuana out of reach for millions of qualified patients who would benefit from its use,” continued Elford. “It’s time for President Obama to change his harmful policy with regard to medical marijuana and treat this as a public health issue, something entirely within the capability and authority of the executive office.”

Patient advocates claim that marijuana is treated unlike any other controlled substance and that politics have dominated over medical science on this issue. Advocates point to a research approval process for marijuana, controlled by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which is unique, overly rigorous, and hinders meaningful therapeutic research. ASA argues in its appeal brief that the DEA has no “license to apply different criteria to marijuana than to other drugs, ignore critical scientific data, misrepresent social science research, or rely upon unsubstantiated assumptions, as the DEA has done in this case.”

ASA will continue to put pressure on the Obama Administration, but will also be lobbying Members of Congress to reclassify marijuana for medical use. A new comprehensive public health bill on medical marijuana is expected to be introduced soon in Congress, and ASA is holding a national conference in February to support its passage.

source

Hemp Legalization Effort Gathers Steam

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Politics and Democracy page.

In the cannabis plant family, hemp is the good seed. Marijuana, the evil weed. Michael Bowman, a gregarious Colorado farmer who grows corn and wheat, has been working his contacts in Congress in an attempt to persuade lawmakers that hemp has been framed, unfairly lumped with the stuff people smoke to get high.

Somehow over time, as Bowman’s pitch goes, hemp, which is used to make paper, oils and a variety of useful products, was mistaken for its twin, marijuana – a.k.a pot, chronic, blunt and weed – a medicinal drug loaded with tetrahydrocannabinol that buzzes the mind. Hemp got caught up in the legendary crusade against pot popularized by the movie “Reefer Madness.” All varieties of cannabis ended up on the most-wanted list, outlawed by Congress as well as lawmakers in other nations, inspiring people to kill it on sight.

Bowman’s message is simple: Be sensible. “Can we just stop being stupid? Can we just talk about how things need to change?”

While the United States ranks as the world’s leading consumer of hemp products – with total sales of food and body-care products exceeding $43 million in 2011 – it is the only major industrialized country that bans growing it, even though 11 states have passed measures removing barriers to hemp production and research. Ninety percent of the U.S. supply comes from Canada.

Since Colorado and Washington legalized marijuana by ballot initiatives last fall, a group of farmers and activists have been pushing to revive a crop they say offers a solution to vexing environmental, health and economic challenges.

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Attention Alaska Doctors
If you would like to have patient referrals send me an email. I assure you I will utilize absolute discretion in my referral process, not even releasing your name, only directions to the clinic and what to ask the person at the front desk. we will NOT make the information available on the internet. Alaskans NEED you to help them help themselves! Send an email to stoney@alaskahemp.com with instructions for how you wish to have patients sent to you. We need Drs all across Alaska to start doing the right thing and we will help you do it with out exposing you to scorn from the narrow minded.
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