Author Archives: 420

Cannabis-Based Drug Could Help Thousands Of Epilepsy Patients, New Trial Suggests

A drug derived from cannabis could dramatically improve the lives of people with epilepsy, new research suggests.

Scientists at Great Ormond Street Hospital are currently testing the drug, called Epidiolex, on patients with a rare form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

Patients with this type of epilepsy can experience up to 80 seizures per day, but according to The Mirror, the trial has found the drug improves symptoms in 42% of cases.

Previous trials have already suggested the drug could be used to treat other forms of epilepsy.

The Great Ormond Street trial is part of an international study on Epidiolex involving 200 adults and children with epilepsy.

The drug is based on CBD, one of the non psycho-addictive elements of the cannabis plant.

The latest trial found 42% of patients with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome reported improved symptoms, compared to 17% who received a placebo pill.

Around 40,000 children in the UK have epilepsy and according to Epilepsy Action, between one and five in every 100 children with epilepsy will go on to develop Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome.

Commenting on the trial so far, Professor Helen Cross, from Great Ormond Street Hospital, told The Mirror: “The results have been encouragingly good with patients having many seizures a day having their fits reduced to a handful.

“If this drug works on one of the most extreme forms of epilepsy then we believe it should work for patients whose epilepsy is not controlled but who have fewer seizures.”

A previous trial found the drug could also help reduce seizures in patients with Dravet Syndrome, another type of severe epilepsy where seizures often last longer than five minutes.

Around 600,000 people in the UK have epilepsy and as many as a third are thought to be drug resistant.

Without help to limit seizures, accessing education and work can be difficult for those diagnosed, but the researchers are hopeful Epidiolex could change this.

Dr Cross said: “To have had such good results with Epidiolex in two of the most challenging epilepsy holds out hope for those less severely affected.”

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Cannabis-Based Drug Could Help Thousands Of Epilepsy Patients, New Trial Suggests
Author: Rachel Moss
Contact: Huffpost Lifestyle UK
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Website: Huffpost Lifestyle UK

People’s Pharmacy – Medical Marijuana Could Ease Neuralgia Pain

I have a question regarding trigeminal neuralgia. My mother suffers from this very painful condition.

Carbamazepine is effective in stopping the pain, but it has side effects that she doesn’t tolerate, even at low doses. Surgery is not an option for her.

Are there any other treatments that provide relief for the pain? I find myself wondering if medical marijuana might help because it has been noted to help with other types of nerve pain.

Trigeminal neuralgia is a disruption of the nerve to the face and head that causes intermittent excruciating pain. It may feel like an electric shock or a burning sensation that can last from seconds to several minutes. This pain can be disabling and is hard to treat, though some patients get relief from anticonvulsants such as carbamazepine.

The possibility of using medical marijuana (cannabis) was suggested in a medical journal article (Current Drug Targets – CNS and Neurological Disorders, December 2004). Research in rats indicates that cannabinoids (the compounds from marijuana) might be helpful for easing the pain of trigeminal neuralgia (Neuropharmacology, July 2007).

We also received this message on the use of a cannabinoid for pain:

“I need a shoulder replacement, but because I must use my arms to get on and off my power wheelchair, the operation would be risky. During physical therapy recently, I got a recommendation for something called CBD (cannabidiol). This is a compound in marijuana, but the THC has been removed so it does not make me high.

“I buy it online and have used two squirts of CBD oil in my mouth daily for four days. I cannot tell you how well this works. I can move my arms again and am looking forward to unfreezing my shoulder.”

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: People’s Pharmacy – Medical Marijuana Could Ease Neuralgia Pain
Author: Joe Graedon and Teresa Graedon
Contact: 706-549-0123
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Website: Online Athens

MA: Ware Planning Board Seeks Sales Moratorium Until 2018

Ware – The Planning Board wants a moratorium until December 2018 on the sale of “recreational marijuana,” even though Massachusetts residents have not yet cast ballots on whether to approve the idea.

Voters will decide in the Nov. 8 election whether to legalize marijuana.

The Ware Planning Board has scheduled a public hearing on Oct. 19, when residents can express their views on the municipal initiative.

The Planning Board’s advocacy for a moratorium on the sale of recreational marijuana requires Town Meeting approval to take effect, as it would amend municipal bylaws.

The board says it needs the extra time to be ready should marijuana be legalized in the state, and hopes the town enacts a temporary bylaw to allow the proposed moratorium.

Their notice to residents for the October public hearing states: “In light of the possible legalization of marijuana for recreational use – Ballot Question #4 in the November 8, 2016 election – and overlapping concerns regarding current state medical marijuana laws and regulations already in place, the Planning Board is proposing a moratorium to allow the town sufficient time to engage in the planning process to address the effects of such structures and uses in the Town and to enact bylaws in a manner consistent with sound land use planning goals and objectives.”

The Planning Board is also seeking a moratorium on siting of medical marijuana treatment facilities, which if approved would be in effect until December 2017.

The public hearing will take place at Town Hall, 126 Main St., at 7:05 p.m.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Ware Planning Board Seeks Sales Moratorium Until 2018
Author: Jim Russell
Contact: MassLive
Photo Credit: Jim Mone
Website: MassLive

Why Some Marijuana Growers Are Against Legalization In California

One would expect marijuana growers to rejoice at a ballot measure in November that would legalize the cultivation, sale, and recreational use of marijuana. In California, however, many growers actually oppose the proposition.

A recent poll conducted by the California Growers Association’s recent poll of 750 farmers, distributors, and retailers found that only 31 percent supported the measure, with 31 percent opposed and 38 percent undecided. It’s a difficult decision for the growers to make, as legalization will likely increase demand for their product – but at the same time potentially threaten their livelihoods if they can’t keep up with regulations and competition, two factors that come when an industry moves into the open market.

“I don’t want to replace a criminal injustice with an economic injustice,” Hezekiah Allen, marijuana farmer in California and executive director of the Association told Reuters.

Marijuana growers in California won’t be the only ones having to consider these issues. A record number of measures to legalize or decriminalize marijuana are on the ballots this November, according to Ballotpedia. Some states will be voting on possibly legalizing recreational marijuana, such as Massachusetts and Arizona, while others such as Florida and Nevada will be looking at medical marijuana.

Growers who oppose legalization for recreational purposes cite concerns that it will come with stricter regulation of farms’ ecological footprints, pesticide and water use, and trash management, and the possibility of losing their licenses if they fail to comply.

Other concerns center on the potential for big corporations to move into the market, further pushing down the price of wholesale cannabis. If the measure passes, sales in California are expected to double to $6.46 billion in 2020 from $2.76 billion in medical use receipts last year, according to market researcher New Frontier. The price per pound has already fallen from $2,030 in January to $1,664 in August, according to Cannabis Benchmarks, a wholesale cannabis pricing company.

Chrystal Ortiz-Beck, a marijuana farmer in Humboldt County, told KQED that many older growers oppose the proposition precisely because of those reasons and they feel like “Budweiser and Coors and Big Tobacco and Big Alcohol and Big Ag are going to come in and wipe us off the map.” She describes how the growers are used to living off the grid because of their history of facing frequent raids with the prospect of being thrown behind bars. When medical marijuana was legalized and when they managed to obtain licenses, the industry became more open. With Proposition 64, it might turn the local cannabis culture corporate, which she worries the growers might not be able to handle.

“I’m not for the prostitution of the plant,” Ms. Ortiz-Beck said, “I’m not for the commercialization of the plant.”

To protect themselves against competition, Ortiz-Beck and her husband plan to focus on selling organic, high-grade marijuana, maybe turning their farm into a tourist destination like a “bud-and-breakfast.”

Ortiz-Beck says still plans to support the proposition because it will reduce criminal penalties and prior convictions for marijuana offenses.

While pot growers are considering the business practicalities of legalizing marijuana, there are concerns elsewhere about the negative consequences of increased marijuana use. As The Christian Science Monitor reported in May, several Massachusetts politicians voiced their opposition of legalization after going on a fact-finding mission to Colorado, which has had legal recreational marijuana since 2014.

“I think if people understand that this not about – ‘Do we want marijuana, yes or no?’ – this is about legalizing an entire industry and people competing about who has the best marijuana,” Sen. Viriato deMacedo told The Christian Science Monitor. “It’s about money, and I don’t think most people have an understanding of that.”

The concerns stem from the high percentage of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana products, especially the popular “edibles” in the form of lollipops and chocolates, causing overconsumption and emergency room visits that burden the medical system.

Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012 and some recent reports have illustrated growing opposition against the decision. According to Fortune, school suspensions related to marijuana have increased, marijuana-related hospitalizations have tripled since legalization, emergency-room visits have climbed 30 percent and police are dealing with new cartel-related drug operations.

But the data may not be reliable as similar data wasn’t available before legalization for comparison, chief medical officer of the state health of department told Fortune, “It may be a year or two before we’ll really have good answers.”

At the same time, good news has also come with legalization, bringing in new jobs and revenue. But as The Boston Globe reports, law enforcement officials are struggling to adapt regulations and testing equipment to tell if a driver is high or if products have too much THC.

After legalization, it seems that regulating marijuana will require more supervision and thought than some may have expected. Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper offered his advice to other states considering legalization in a June interview with CNBC: “I would suggest wait a year or two and see how it goes and make sure there aren’t more unintended consequences.”

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Why Some Marijuana Growers Are Against Legalization In California
Author: Shai Yun Tan
Contact: 617.450.2300
Photo Credit: Marcio Jose Sanchez
Website: The Christian Science Monitor

Decriminalize Marijuana In Norfolk And Virginia

On a recent September day, 86 people were being held at the Norfolk City Jail on marijuana charges, according to Norfolk Sheriff Bob McCabe.

“The daily cost to house an inmate in NCJ is $59.69,” he said. “(The) daily cost to house 86 inmates is $5,133, or $1,873,000 annually.”

Almost two million dollars – just for jailing suspected marijuana offenders. Then, there are the costs of the arrests.

There were 798 marijuana-related charges filed in Norfolk in 2015, according to Melinda Wray, spokeswoman for the Norfolk Police Department.

That’s more than two per day. We can only guess how much time – and, in turn, your tax dollars – Norfolk officers spent pursuing marijuana-related cases.

On top of that, there are court costs and the cost to the economy of people not working or being consumers.

But the human toll is the greatest cost. Otherwise hard-working, law-abiding citizens are turned into criminals who face losing their driver’s license, forfeiting the opportunity to apply for certain student loans and grants and dealing with a stigma that makes finding gainful employment all the more challenging.

In practice, marijuana laws are instruments of racism. Studies show blacks and whites use marijuana at roughly equal amounts. Yet, blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana, according to the ACLU. Marijuana arrests disproportionately impact young black males, a demographic we should be desperately raising up, not chaining down.

In this way, marijuana reform is one of the most important social justice issues of our time.

“It has been my experience that no law is more selectively enforced than the law prohibiting simple possession of marijuana,” said S. W. Dawson, a lawyer who often works with clients in Norfolk facing marijuana-related charges.

“In the tonier parts of Norfolk, you will hardly, if ever, see a police officer stop a kid on the street or pull him over in his car because the officer smells marijuana. It has certainly been my experience that the scent of marijuana is often used as a pretext for searching and seizing people in certain areas of our city who aren’t always in a position to challenge the legality of their detention. If marijuana were decriminalized, any such illegal, pretextual encounters between police officers and citizens would grind to a halt.”

The ACLU of Virginia told me it supports Norfolk’s efforts to help decriminalize marijuana in Virginia. From what I hear, each member of City Council has expressed support for marijuana decriminalization. There are countless other high-ranking elected and civic leaders in Norfolk who have told me privately they believe marijuana should be decriminalized.

Virginia is a Dillon Rule state, which means the right of individual cities to set their own laws is highly-restricted, so Norfolk cannot, legally, decriminalize marijuana. What it can do is what Councilman Paul Riddick has suggested: add marijuana decriminalization to the city’s legislative agenda for the 2017 session.

History could, I predict, look back on this as a vital domino in marijuana reform in Virginia. Leadership here will inspire other cities to examine the issue and follow suit.

“When municipalities join constituents and grassroots coalitions in lobbying for marijuana policy reforms, it sends a clear message to the General Assembly, one that they can no longer ignore,” said Jenn Michelle Pedini, executive director of Virginia NORML (National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws).

“Virginians are demanding reforms not only for their sick children, their college kids, their aging seniors, but also for a safer Commonwealth. Prohibition creates criminals out of everyday citizens while fueling an unregulated free market.”

One of the leaders of the decriminalization in Norfolk movement is 61-year-old Willoughby resident Cindy Cutler.

“I’ve had an interest in prison reform since college and it led me to have an interest in marijuana reform and the disparate treatment of people of color,” she said.

Cutler isn’t a smoker. You don’t have to smoke marijuana to stand against government waste in a time where every penny is needed to better the schools and to adapt to sea level rise. You don’t have to smoke marijuana to believe that we would rather young men of color be advancing their careers and helping to raise their children than be locked up. You don’t have to smoke marijuana to believe that our local veterans suffering from PTSD have earned the right to use a natural option for treatment.

“We need to take the fear out of marijuana,” Cutler said. “People need to speak out – consumers and non-consumers. Have the conversation with your friends, with your co-workers and your legislators. You don’t have to be a user to make a difference.”

In polls, millennials overwhelmingly favor marijuana reform. Decriminalization across America feels inevitable.

Norfolk should take this opportunity to be a leader to help make the Commonwealth more economically sensible, more supportive of the kind of individual freedoms our Founding Fathers held so dear and, most importantly, more just.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: NFK Dreams – Decriminalize Marijuana In Norfolk And Virginia
Author: Jesse Scaccia
Contact: The Virginian-Pilot
Photo Credit: Jesse Scaccia
Website: The Virginian-Pilot