Tag Archives: cannabis

New Study: CBD Prompts Antidepressant-Like Effects

 

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A Spanish study reported on “Marijuana.com’s blog” and taken from “ScienceDirect,” validates the CBD cannabinoid as having rapid acting antidepressant-like effects.

For the study, surgically modified OBX mice were first compared with ordinary mice and then both given the CBD cannabinoid. 30 minutes later, stunned scientists observed a noteworthy decline in hyperactivity, typically associated with anxiety and depression in humans.

There are 14.8 Americans who suffer from major depression, and this research is both encouraging and suggestive of a CBD cannabinoid that could be readily available and at reasonable cost.

According to the report, CBD protects nerves and protects against brain injury; it fights MRSA infections, which are resistant to antibiotics; it takes a preventative role against inflammation; it induces cancer cells to “commit suicide; and has other important significance in administering to human maladies.

For more information, please watch this video:

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A Florida Poll On Medical Marijuana

According to a poll, reported on Johnny Green’s blog, “The Weed Blog,” there is enough Florida voters (with wiggle room), that will make our quest a reality.

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This is exciting news, and let’s hope the figures don’t lie, and we will finally see all the hard work come to fruition!

Please read:

Latest Poll Shows 65% Support For 2016 Florida Medical Marijuana Initiative

 

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How Did Marijuana Fare In 2016 Omnibus Spending Bill?

 

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While millions of Americans let out a sigh of relief, knowing our government will not shut down at least for another fiscal year, millions of Americans may not have been aware of marijuana legislation that was and was not included in the Omnibus bill.

According to an article in The Daily Chronic, the following marijuana re-authorizations for 2016 took place:

  • Department of Justice and the Drug Enforcement Administration will not have funding for interfering with state medical marijuana laws; and
  • The DOJ and DEA will not have funding to interfere with state industrial hemp research programs.
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Unfortunately, the following individual provisions were not included:

  • To permit Veterans Affairs doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to military veterans;
  • To prevent the V.A. from denying services to veterans because they are state recognized medical marijuana patients;
  • To include Senate-backed language seeking to authorize financial institutions to engage in relationships with state-licensed marijuana business; and
  • To allow the District of Columbia to sell and tax marijuana.  (Currently, DC residents can grow, possess and share marijuana.)

The parts that stand out for me is:

  1. The fact that our members of Congress are still interfering with doctor-patient relationships in the VA; and
  2. Licensed businesses still have to pay their bills in cash instead of accessing banking services.

This is a very slow and frustrating process.

In the meantime, patients suffer and Congress shows it DOES NOT CARE about our very sick and needful military veteran citizenry.

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And, rubbing salt in the wounds:  the licensed, lucrative, high tax-paying marijuana businesses are not allowed to use the same banks to which small, under-funded, and low tax-paying businesses across the country have access.

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[Images from bingdotcom]

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Assuring Quality and Standards in the Cannabis Laboratory

Question:  How can a medicinal marijuana patient or a recreational user have assurances that the cannabis product he/she is purchasing is safe and is actually the one prescribed or desired, no matter in which state the product is purchased?

Answer:  A cannabis chemistry committee was established last year and has now become a subdivision of the American Chemical Society (the largest chemical society in the world).  Of course, this will take work and time in order to establish central cannabis laboratory regulations,  creating precise standards which, hopefully, would eventually require adherence to by all laboratories.

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According to an article in Culture Magazine, there are no standardized procedures at the present time and this has created a safety concern throughout the cannabis industry as well as for the users of the cannabis products.  Standard methods of production and screening for pesticides is a great concern.  The formation of this subdivision, under the jurisdiction of the Chemical Health and Safety division, is a progressive step in the direction of safety for the cannabis industry.

 

Amid All The Issues Before Congress, Marijuana Has Made A Step Forward

 

Marijuana’s path toward a potential federal approval or decriminalization has not been easy and signs of further difficulties are apparent.  It could be years before researchers and drug companies feel comfortable with the results of their completed trials and experimentation and those in the future. As you might be aware, the cannabis these drug companies use for their experiments are provided by our Federal government which is grown in VERY SECRET farms.

One pharmaceutical company has discovered in excess of five dozen cannabinoids it hopes to use to help cure a number of chronic and/or serious diseases.

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Due to the fact that our Federal government lists marijuana as an illicit drug, and until that changes, the research by drug companies will basically slow down because of the legal stumbling blocks in their path, and more importantly, the costs.

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Surprisingly, Congress, just recently passed legislation that hopefully, will protect businesses that legally sell marijuana in states that have passed marijuana legislation, from any interference and/or prosecution by federal agencies.

Is there an important possible stumbling block to becoming law?  Yes.  The bill passed by Congress has to be signed into law by President Obama.

[images from bingdotcom]

 

 

 

 

 

Florida Legislature’s House Introduced Their Bill for Medical Marijuana

The Florida Legislature is continuing to tackle the “medical marijuana” enigma.  This week, the House introduced its bill to address the concerns raised by the Florida Sheriffs Association.  (A Senate bill was introduced last month [January]).

The new bill has raised concerns among medical marijuana advocates because it excludes many patients who could benefit from using medical marijuana.  The list of “accepted” diseases is too short and leaves out many diseases.

The item on the bill that surprised and gave me concern states that if a doctor would be able to estimate if an illness not on the list would kill the patient within a year, then that disease (illness) would be approved and the patient would be allowed to use medical marijuana.  It is not mentioned that if that patient lives for longer than the estimated year, would the patient be allowed to continue using medical marijuana past the year?!!

November’s mid-term election was a great disappointment for the 57-58% of the voters who voted “yes” for the Amendment 2 on the ballot.  Signatures are again being gathered to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot in 2016.  It is obvious that the strong pressure of supporters of medical marijuana is pushing the Florida Legislature to come up with its own version of a law to allow its very ill citizens to hopefully reap the benefits of medical marijuana for their symptoms.

Please see my other posts concerning the Florida trials and tribulations of medical marijuana here and here and here.

 

An Update On What’s Happening With Florida’s Medical Marijuana Law

 

The Florida legislature passed legislation last year, allowing the growing and use of medical marijuana; however, before anything concrete could be accomplished, the Florida Department of Health’s efforts to write regulations bogged down in legal challenges from growers, court rulings and bureaucracy.  The main problem was with the Florida Growers’ Association.  The Department of Health was stymied.  How could they choose which growers would be granted the 5 licenses?  So, the case went to court, but the court threw out the parts of the new law associated with choosing the beneficiaries of the licenses.

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The Orlando Sentinel published an article on Jan. 19th by Scott Powers entitled,

State pot committee heavy with commercial interests.”

Now, this is self-explanatory, isn’t it?  You don’t have to dig deep to understand what is going on.  But, I’ll give you just a “smattering:”

So, the Department of Health decided to form a committee which would decide on rules to which growers would have to adhere.  Sounds simple.  But, there is a catch 22 with this committee formation.  You can see it now, right?

After the court decision, a 12-member panel was formed, which includes Winter Garden nurseryman Bruce Knox and at least eight others in position to make money from the law.  I can see it now:  hands rubbing together and smiles of glee while thinking of all THE MONEY that will be handed to them.

money in hand

Never mind that there are lives at stake here. Never mind that time is running out for patients who suffer from multiple daily seizures; any one of them which could be their last.  Never mind patients are suffering from great bodily pain.  Never mind that patients are becoming addicted to pain medication; without which living is intolerable.  Never mind that a large percentage of the very sick patients will NOT be able to AFFORD the prices of medical marijuana.  Never mind that, if patients are lucky enough to have medical insurance, their insurance will most likely not cover the expense of medical marijuana, or make the prescriptions very difficult to fill.  Never mind that perhaps not all physicians would be willing to write prescriptions for “pot.”  Never mind that chronically ill people are too sick to work, and are losing their employment – losing their income – losing their lives.

The committee will convene in Tallahassee on Feb. 4-5 in order to create rules replacing those thrown out in December by Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins of Tallahassee.

At least 9 of the panelists represent Florida growers and other companies that could get involved in the budding Florida legal cannabis industry.

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“I think the [D]epartment [of Health] has been very thoughtful and mindful to try to create a group that stands the best chance of creating the regulatory framework that is going to make it successful,” said Knox, whose nursery, founded in 1962, annually produces about 125 million plants, mostly seedlings for wholesale growers.”

Yes, “thoughtful and mindful.”  Sounds about right.  “…creating the regulatory framework…”  Hmmm.

A committee seat went to a Colorado grower, Joel Stanley, whose company created the most well-known brand of cannabis oil called “Charlotte’s Web.”  It is believed that Stanley’s brand will probably have a great influence on the Florida marijuana crops.  So, Colorado growers are going to profit, too.  Why not join the crowd.  Share in the spectacular “crop” of money, as long as they are at it.

A botanist, Darrin Potter is on the committee, as well as Jill Lamoureux, a lobbyist for CannLabs, a product testing firm in Colorado.  The crowd is growing.

Holley Moseley, whose daughter RayAnn suffers dozens of seizures a day, was appointed as the patient advocate representative. She helped found Realm of Caring Florida, a Sunshine State franchise of Stanley’s company, Realm of Caring.

Three seats went to Miami horticulturalist and anesthesiologist Dr. Jeffrey Block; Tallahassee lawyer Donna Blanton; and Office of Compassionate Use Director, Patricia Nelson.

Here are some subscriber comments to the Orlando Sentinel article:

“It seems the industry will be defined by the foxes in the henhouse. An example would be nursery owners on the committee setting a soil test standard that matches the conditions of their soils, but not competitors’. It may not have any benefit to medical users, or might reduce effectiveness, but it solidifies the control of the committee members to ensure they get the business, rather than other vendors. NO vendors or providers should have voting positions on the committee. The result will be rules that benefit certain providers and not necessarily result in the most effective medicine.”

“Yes, it’s a sin against democracy to have interested businesses write the rules that will allow them to profit, but the Legislature set it up like that. Five dispensaries for a population of 19.5 Million people; I have never heard of a more absurd scheme. If you estimate from Census data that about 10% of the total population may benefit medically (elders at 5%, disabled at 5%, low estimates), that’s almost 2 Million who would be using the services. So, each nursery will serve 400,000, roughly. If they were open 365 days, that would mean serving 1,096 customers a day. Is that feasible? Not for patients, maybe for the businesses that will be hitting the jackpot. That’s not “compassionate”, it’s monopoly, but it is taking forever and the people who are suffering pay the biggest price. That’s the bigger sin.”

“The article sort of paints a picture of farmers wearing overalls. The Good Ole Boys hire the lowest cost workers to do their job for them because the state grant[s] them exclusive license. They aren’t farmers, they are bankers. They will not be able to produce medical grade cannabis with this absentee landlord plant. The only thing that will happen is that they will contract the growing out to people who can do it. With the cost of middlemen, granted as favors by politicians, the price will not be competitive and patients in Florida will have to wait until 2016 when our amendment passes.”

“If you liked the show Big Brother, then you are going to love this. Partnerships within this committee should begin soon.”

“Holley should bring her daughter to the meetings, just to keep the members focused on what the real issue is.”

“Greed is so ugly when you get to watch politicians legislate for the bucks.”

No one is getting fooled by the antics of the Legislature and its “committee.”

 

[Images from bing dot com]

Charlotte’s Web In Florida – Maybe Not So Quick

An article that appeared in Sunday’s Local section of the Sun-Sentinel is about an action that the Florida legislature has taken that I did not know about before.

The Florida Department of Health has been “mum” since a law was approved last spring, creating an Office of Compassionate Use.  This Office is charged with working out regulations for up to five Florida plant nurseries to grow and process “Charlotte’s Web” marijuana and then make it available to eligible patients.

Paige Figi, the mother of the child for whom Charlotte’s Web was named, testified before the Florida legislature:

Her daughter Charlotte, had her first seizure at 3 months.  It lasted four hours.  Doctors later diagnosed her with Dravet syndrome.  Racked by seizures, she was unable to eat, walk or talk.

Now, after nearly two years on “Charlotte’s Web,” she can talk, eat on her own and even ride a bike.  Her story was featured in a CNN special, “Weed,” by Dr. Sanjay Gupta last year.

“We are just asking for leniency to treat these children,” Figi said.  “Doctors are telling their patients to move to Colorado.  We don’t have time to wait 10 years for a pill to go to market.”

char web

Thanks to the advocacy of patients and their families, and of lobbyists, one of which is Louis Rotundo, who represents the Winter Park-based Florida Medical Cannabis Association, the Florida legislature made the decision to push through a law.

This law is in limbo now, due to the judicial consideration of regulations of the plant nurseries.  The law, which was approved last spring, under which the Department of Health was expected to have rules in place by Sept. 30th, has been placed on the back burner.

A judge, last month, ordered the Florida Department of Health to rewrite its regulations for an oil made from the non-euphoric cannabis, “Charlotte’s Web,” that can be “used to treat epilepsy and other neurological disorders and cancer.”

The Department of Health has kept this ruling under wraps, and the Department was given until Monday to appeal the judge’s order.

The delay occurred due to the challenging of several Florida nurseries about the requirement of one of Florida’s proposed rules:  licenses would be decided by a lottery.  This challenge sent the matter into court, and Administrative Law Judge W. David Watkins in Tallahassee, threw out the proposed regulations.

At the beginning of the year, Florida lawmakers were already considering legislating a law to allow medical marijuana in the state.

“We want to be on the right side of history and medicine,” said Rep. Katie Edwards, D-Plantation, after a hearing in Tallahassee held by the House Subcommittee on Criminal Justice. “The work begins today to take into account the pleas of people all around the state to do something and do it quickly, to make sure these individuals can gain access to the safest treatment without playing politics or hiding behind antiquated arguments.”

Well, it looks like quick access is a dream for the parents of children suffering seizures, and for patients for whom the cannabis oil will make their lives better.  The rule for using a lottery to decide which nurseries will plant and grow the marijuana is holding up the relief of a growing number of patients with illnesses that could be helped with the oil.

 

 

Sheep High After Eating Cannabis

Imagine the amazement of the farmer when she discovered her sheep were intoxicated!

Cannibas Sheep

A stunned farm manager discovered her flock had come across bags of dumped cannabis, reported Alex Wellman in the Daily Mirror, a UK newspaper.  They were stumbling around the field after eating pounds of cannabis that were left on the farm property.

No one knows how the cannabis got there, and the police are investigating.  To read the complete article, click here.