Browsing: Medical

publixAlexf, Wikimedia Commons

When Miami New Times sat down with Florida medical-marijuana advocate and political consultant Ben Pollara earlier this month, Pollara said he wasn’t concerned that Carol Jenkins Barnett, daughter of Publix supermarket-chain founder George Jenkins, had donated $800,000 to a group trying to keep medicinal weed illegal.

“I still think ‘shopping is a pleasure,'” Pollara said, referencing the supermarket chain’s famous slogan.

But it turns out tens of thousands of people don’t quite agree with one of the loudest medical-marijuana advocates in the state. As of Monday morning, more than 41,000 people have signed a Change.org petition demanding that Jenkins Barnett stop using the chain’s profits to “fund [her]political beliefs.”

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On Sunday, the Florida Medical Association voted to oppose Amendment 2, Florida’s latest effort to legalize medical marijuana. The FMA, which represents more than 20,000 physicians in the state, also opposed a similar effort two years ago.

So why is the doctor’s group hell-bent against a treatment option that has been embraced elsewhere in the U.S.?  Well, after the vote at the group’s annual meeting in Orlando, CEO Tim Stapleton offered the following (factually dubious) reasoning.

“There is nothing ‘medical’ about this proposal, and the lack of scientific evidence that pot is helpful in treating medical conditions is far from inclusive,” he said, according to a press release sent out by Drug Free Florida, the billionaire-backed campaign to scare people from voting for medical marijuana.

But the FMA neglected to mention one key fact about its vote: Its Orlando conference, held this year in Walt Disney World, was sponsored by PhRMA, one of the pharmaceutical industry’s largest trade organizations. PhRMA has spent millions to defeat medical marijuana proposals across the country.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock (D)  blames legal weed for the “urban travelers” who have caused violent episodes on Denver’s 16th Street Mall, the city’s main pedestrian thoroughfare. Recently, a 32-year old Indiana man was arrested after video showed him attacking pedestrians with lengths of PVC pipe. It’s not clear whether he was high at the time.

Other recent incidents, also caught on video, have seen arrests after attacks and aggressive panhandling. New research shows that legal states have seen a drop in Medicare prescriptions for anti-depressants and opiods, and a corresponding reduction in Medicare costs.

Prescriptions did not drop for drugs like blood-thinners that can’t plausibly be replaced with MED. (Read that study here.) If California legalizes REC in November, it could influence federal policy on banking and other issues. Regulators in the state said they will start inspecting dispensary scales  to ensure that customers are getting their money’s worth.

Massachusetts’ REC initiative will be on the ballot in November. Gov. Charlie Baker (R), Boston Mayor Marty Walsh (D) and Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo (D) have banded together to oppose it. Arkansas voters will decide on a MED initiative. Fortune sees signs of a backlash in Colorado. Murders in California’s Lake County, a center of growing, reached a 10-year high of eight last year. Donna Weinholtz, wife of Utah gubernatorial candidate Mike Weinholtz (D), is under federal investigation related to her MED use.

The rules for Alaska’s pot café’s are under review. Voters in the state’s Matanuska-Susitna Borough will decide on a commercial ban in the fall. Former Liberal Party deputy prime minister Anne McLellan will lead Canada’s nine-member legalization task force. McLellan is a former law professor at the University of Alberta. Canada’s legal purchasing age may vary across provinces, but the government wants a consistent national law on DUI. Both LSU and Southern University are exercising their option to grow Louisiana’s MED supply.

This article also appeared in the the pot-focused weekly newsletter WeedWeek. Get your free and confidential subscription at WeedWeek.net.

David Schubert, the senior author of the Salk Institute study on THC and Alzheimer's disease.Courtesy of the Salk Institute

David Schubert, the senior author of the Salk Institute study on THC and Alzheimer’s disease.

A new study suggests that marijuana may have potential for protecting brain cells against Alzheimer’s disease.

Published in the June 2016 issue of Nature, the study found that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive compound in marijuana, and other active cannabis compounds could block the progression of the disease.

Lab tests by the Salk Institute, a Southern California, non-profit research organization, showed that marijuana compounds could remove harmful amyloid beta proteins, the plaque that accumulates on brain cells, which is a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease. The compounds in the study also significantly reduced cellular inflammation, a major contributor to the onset of the disease.

For more on the study, read L.A. Weekly‘s article on the effect of marijuana on Alzheimer’s disease.

Dear Stoner: I’ve been dealing with migraines for years, and my prescribed medication rarely works. I’ve been thinking about medical marijuana as an alternative treatment. Does it do anything for migraines?
Ken

Dear Ken: They say that those who deal with migraines and insomnia are the most intelligent and creative people; I am neither, but my dumb ass still dealt with the same issue growing up. I tried all sorts of treatments — aspirin, prescription ibuprofen and Imitrex, multiple MRIs, even locking myself in a dark, silent room — but nothing worked. I’ve also gotten so stoned that I’ve forgotten I even had a migraine — but that put me out of commission longer than the headache ever did. Finally, I spoke with a medical marijuana doctor about my condition, and he recommended tinctures and edibles.

CannaKids founder Tracy Ryan with her daughter Sophie.Daniela Rey

CannaKids founder Tracy Ryan with her daughter Sophie.

When Tracy Ryan’s daughter Sophie was just 8 months old, doctors found a tumor in the newborn’s brain.

Doctors told Ryan that the slow-growing optic pathway glioma tumor near her daughter’s left eye would never go away. And if the tumor continued to grow, Sophie could lose vision in that eye.

Faced with the prospect of their daughter’s blindness, Ryan joined an increasing number of parents who are turning to cannabis to treat their children for illnesses ranging from cancer to epilepsy.

After nearly two years of chemotherapy combined with highly concentrated cannabis oil, made mostly of non-psychoactive, can’t-get-you-high cannabidiol (CBD) with traces of psychoactive tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — Sophie’s tumor has shrunk.

Read more of Sophie’s story via L.A. Weekly.


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An important state appellate court decision was just announced that may have just set a major precedent in how California cannabis law will view concentrated forms of THC.
Until now, hash makers and lovers alike felt as though they were operating in a very, very grey area of California’s 18-year old medical marijuana laws. But on Wednesday of last week, one man’s day in court gave Cali’s cannabis enthusiasts a rare occasion to cheer.


In May of 2013, the federal government filed a motion against brothers Ebrahim and Valentine Pouras in an attempt to seize their property located at 2441 Mission Street in San Francisco, California.
The feds’ beef was that the Pouras brothers were knowingly leasing the property in question to a medical marijuana business by the name of Shambhala Healing. The dispensary was located within 1000 feet of two parks, placing it in violation of the Controlled Substances Act. The United States federal government eventually shook the landlords down for six figures, but they weren’t quite satisfied with that.


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Where does 25 equal 30, and 22.7 percent equal “most?”
The Arizona Republic’s “Fact Check: Keeping Arizona Honest” column, of course.
In Sunday’s paper, as a reader informed us this week, a fact-check completely flubs the evaluation of Mark Brnovich’s comment on TV last month about the state’s medical-marijuana patients.


This is exactly what marijuana cooking needed: a 91-year-old Italian grandmother that knows how to throw down in the kitchen teaching her skills to the masses via the internet.
For what it’s worth, Aurora Leveroni, star of Vice’s “Munchies” series doesn’t partake in the pot she cooks — but she knows it can help and wants to share her love of healing through food with the world.

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