There is a growing body of research that Big Pharma is trying to keep under wraps and hide from you that reveals the threat medical marijuana poses.
These multi-billion dollar drug companies are doing anything and everything they can to prevent the legalization of medical marijuana, but the reasons behind this are not necessarily in the public’s best interests.
As it turns out, they are desperately trying to hold onto their place in the market, and the profits that come with it, even if it’s at the expense of thousands of American lives. Because it appears that in states where medical marijuana is legal, people are turning to it as their medication of choice, over painkillers and other prescription drugs.
This is happening so much so, in fact, that the pharmaceutical industry could end up losing a lot of money should the legalization be rolled out any further. Surprisingly, it is not health that is at the heart of this issue, rather, profits.
In groundbreaking research by father-daughter team Ashley and W. David Bradford, at the University of Georgia, it was revealed just how big of an impact medical marijuana is having on prescribed drug use.
The study also bridged the gap in the understanding of why people are buying marijuana from dispensaries – before there were questions as to whether it was being used for the right reasons, but this study was able to show that people are indeed turning to pot as a viable medical alternative to prescription-based medication.
Bradford and Bradford used data on prescriptions, paid for under Medicare Part D, for the period of 2010-2013 to understand changes in the way in which people are approaching treatment for their medical conditions, both in states where medical marijuana is legal, and where it is not. At the time of the study, 17 states had legalized the sale and use of medical marijuana.
In those states where pot can be legally obtained, they observed some pretty eye-opening changes – when compared to states where no such laws existed, there was a massive decrease in the numbers of prescriptions filled. Each year, on average, doctors prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants, 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication and, most surprisingly of all, 1,826 fewer painkiller prescriptions.
The researchers concluded, “The use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly once a medical marijuana law was implemented.”
Why is this a Problem For Big Pharma?
With the average insured American spending $1,370 every year on prescription medication, these significant decreases in states with medical marijuana laws could equal massive losses for Big Pharma companies. Interestingly, the researchers noted that because they only took into account Medicare Part D enrollees, which applies to seniors (the group most reluctant to use medical marijuana according to previous studies), there could be even larger drops in prescription medication use with younger demographics, as they are more likely to embrace the plant-based alternative to pills.
You’re probably not surprised to learn, therefore, that Big Pharma spends a significant amount of money on campaigning for the prevention of legalization, and a lot of key figures in the “Against Legalization” camp have been revealed to be being funded, at least in part, by some of these pharmaceutical companies.
In one case, an appeal from the Department of Health and Human Services to the DEA was blocked due to opposition from a pharmaceutical manufacturer. The appeal was asking to move naturally derived THC (marijuana’s active ingredient) from the strict ‘Schedule 1’ category (which also includes LSD and heroin) to the more relaxed ‘Schedule 3’ category (making it easier to be used for medicinal and research purposes).
Why Is Medical Marijuana Important?
We need to go one step further to properly understand this medical crisis in the U.S. by looking at the unfortunate statistics recorded surrounding the abuse and overdose of prescription drugs.
Shockingly, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pharmaceutical drugs cause over 22,000 deaths every year, and three-quarters of these are caused by painkillers alone.
As Bradford and Bradford’s research showed, painkillers were the clear ‘losers’ when faced with the legalization of pot – over 1,800 fewer prescriptions filled on average per year. If people are turning to the natural alternative, marijuana (yet to have any deaths directly linked to it), then it could be saving thousands of lives from a potential accidental overdose or even abuse. What it would also lead to, however, is dwindling profit margins for those manufacturing the painkillers.
As long as pharmaceutical companies’ interests are more vested in the figures following dollar signs on their annual reports, rather than those counting the loss of human life through the use of their products, it seems as though a nationwide legalization is still some time off.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Why Big Pharma Is Fighting The Legalization Of Marijuana So Hard
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A lot of attention and concern has been placed on kids using medical cannabis with parental or medical guidance. Many of the “concerns” are misplaced and out of date, based on the “Reefer Madness” propaganda of the 1970s, which induced an unjustified phobia of cannabis or marijuana.
Some of the children who are afflicted with the most severe form of epilepsy, Dravet syndrome, are alive and doing well because of specially formulated cannabis that’s low in activated THC. Others are surviving cancer and curing terminal Crohn’s disease because of higher THC cannabis.
Most of them manage well on cannabis almost completely, getting off most or all of the pharmaceutical medications that were worsening their condition.
But what about older folks, people well into their 60s and older, 70s and 80s?
Only a small minority who take responsibility for their health with good diets, the right supplements, and moderate exercise wind up managing well in those age groups. Most of them weren’t aware of the Internet’s “alternative” health information and warnings about mainstream medicine when they were younger.
So most senior citizens wind up loaded on pharmaceuticals just to get by with daily routines, including decent sleep.
But there is an increasing number of senior citizens catching on to the merits of one plant’s ability to replace those medications for “age related” ailments. Some have even managed to walk out of hospice with “terminal” cancer after medical cannabis intervened.
Cannabis Curing Late Stage Cancer During the Late Stages of Life
Perhaps the most publicized and dramatic episode belongs to retired dentist Stan Rutner of California. After experiencing a remission of non-Hodgins lymphoma using natural supplements as adjuncts with his chemotherapy, by the time Stan was in his late 70s he was diagnosed with lung cancer.
He was forced to endure chemotherapy again with the added bonus of radiation therapy. This time his cancer worsened and progressed into his brain. His condition in the hospital worsened to the point of his doctors’ giving up and assigning Stan to hospice, where he was unable to walk and had to be on oxygen 24/7. At age 77, Stan had been given two weeks to live.
Fortunately, his hospice caretaker was his daughter Corrine. She didn’t want Stan to leave yet, and she and her husband John Malanca researched the merits of medical marijuana, and found a way for Stan to use it legally in California. Stan was given capsules of concentrated cannabis extract in a coconut oil base daily, and after a few days began eating and sleeping better.
Perhaps they were thinking of ameliorating his misery and granting him a more respectable slightly extended quality of life. That might be the most to expect. But they got much more. After a few weeks Stan could walk again and he didn’t need those oxygen tanks anymore. By the end of 9 months Stan’s brain, lungs, and body were completely cancer free.
Stan’s Success Led to the Formation of a Helpful Site for Medical Cannabis Newcomers
As a result of the learning curve son-in-law John and daughter Corrine went through and their success with Stan’s cancer, they started a very comprehensive detailed website to help patients get started on medical cannabis, especially if they’re totally unfamiliar with the process of obtaining cannabis for medical use. Their site, United Patients Group, also manages private consultations.
Showing no signs of remission after using a daily maintenance dose of cannabis infused in coconut oil three years later at age 80, Stan denounced the federal laws against medical cannabis, pointing out how cannabis is much less expensive and harmful than conventional medicine, and cannabis use would save Medicaid a lot of money. Then he said:
“My wife and I live in a wonderful place, and I now have enough energy to think about helping more people in our luxurious ‘old folks home,’ all of whom have some ailment that would be amenable to treatment by cannabis. We have arthritis, bowel problems, hip and knee issues, early Alzheimer’s symptoms; you name it, we probably have it here [in his retirement home complex].”
Cannabis Cancer Cures Not as Rare as the Medical System Wants You to Believe
Another California senior citizen who did not have access to the United Patients Group but managed to use cannabis to heal his stage 3 prostate cancer completely in six months was featured in an earlier Health Impact News article. (Source)
Dennis Hill was familiar with cannabis as an occasional pot smoker while he was a high school student and during his college days. He became a research technician at the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Institute in Houston for 10 years.
So Dennis wasn’t averse to using marijuana in his later years in California. But he didn’t think it could help his cancer at first when friends urged him to try cannabis for his cancer. He was open and curious enough to use his scientific background as a biochemist to research actual studies and realize it could help him with cancer.
And of course it did. Now Dennis Hill helps others understand the different strains of cannabis and how they can handle cancer without side effects. He was one of many cannabis experts interviewed in the Cannabis Summit.
Some Older Folks are Taking Medical Cannabis Into Their Own Hands
This author lives in an apartment complex for seniors over 55, supposedly to accommodate lower incomes in the expensive area of Santa Fe, NM.
You can be assured that many here are burdened with serious pharmaceutical medication agendas, running around with oxygen tanks, coping with chemotherapy for cancer, and recovering from knee and hip operations with opioid pain killers that have serious side effects.
After all, private insurance, Medicaid or VA covers it all, and most of these people worship mainstream medicine. Then again, New Mexico as a medical marijuana legal state is one of the most restrictive of them.
But older folks in California are making their golden years actual gold, reducing pain and a multitude of “aging” ailment symptoms while getting off pharmaceuticals that had been making life more miserable for them.
Many senior citizens and elderly ailment ridden folks are discovering that cannabis is not a gateway drug. It gets people off addictive narcotics prescribed for pain effectively and comfortably while healing the reason opioid painkillers were initially prescribed. Cannabis’ side effects are actually pleasant, not merely barely tolerable, as discussed in the Cannabis Summit by Dr. Dustin Sulak.
If you are in a medical marijuana legal state and unfamiliar with how you can take advantage of medical cannabis, or if you aren’t and you need to find out what your real and legal options are, here’s that introductory medicalcannabis site United Patients Group again.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Older Americans Turning To Medical Cannabis To Heal Cancer And Other Diseases
Author: Paul Fassa
Contact: Health Impact News
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Website: Health Impact News
Phoenix – It’s been decades since the psychotic and crazed images of pot smokers filled the big screen in 1936’s “Reefer Madness” where marijuana was deemed, “public enemy No. 1.”
Today, things are a lot of different.
Filled with the sound of high-tech machines, a pristine growing operation in Tempe is one of many across the country taking the pot plant to new highs.
“It’s been a miracle drug,” said JP Holyoak.
Holyoak is behind the setup along with two medical marijuana dispensaries in the Valley.
The financial advisor by trade says it’s a massive undertaking that began very close to his heart.
“This is very personal for me,” said Holyoak.
His daughter Reese is the reason.
Today, she’s non-stop – getting around is no problem for the 7-year-old.
“Reese was born with a rare neurological disorder and for years was simply non-responsive. She wasn’t moving. She wasn’t developing. She wasn’t even making eye contact with us,” describes Holyoak.
He said Reese suffered dozens of seizures every single day.
“It was absolutely miserable. It’s a living hell,” Holyoak said.
Holyoak said she was on a pharmaceutical merry-go-round, trying drug after drug to control the seizures, but nothing worked and the side effects were horrible.
Then Arizona passed the medical marijuana law, and one of the qualifying conditions was seizures, which caught the attention of the conservative Republican.
“Up until this point, I had been anti-marijuana. I was simply a desperate parent,” describes Holyoak.
Holyoak said Reese went from seizures day and night to just one, every few months. It was a game changer.
“Because we were able to essentially stop those seizures, she’s able to start developing. She started smiling. She started looking at us. She started to crawl,” describes Holyoak.
At her latest checkup at Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Holyoak said 23 separate doctors came into Reese’s room to see her because they couldn’t believe what they were hearing. They said a child with Aicardi Syndrome shouldn’t be doing any of the things Reese was doing.
The little girl who was bound to a wheelchair was now free. The marijuana he says was working.
“The single and sole difference between a child that’s non-responsive, unable to feed herself and is in a wheelchair, and the bright, vibrant, loving and beautiful girl we have today is marijuana. That’s the only difference,” said Holyoak.
Reese takes an oil Holyoak’s dubbed, “Reese’s Peace.”
It’s made mostly with CBD, one of dozens of cannabinoids in marijuana.
CBD is a non-psychoactive part of the plant known for its medicinal qualities, unlike the well-known and prevalent THC which causes the high.
Not only has CBD helped Reese, Holyoak says it’s benefiting countless other Arizona families as well.
There are 103,122 medical marijuana cardholders in Arizona, 191 are minors.
Holyoak shared the story of another young patient. A 12-year-old boy with cerebral palsy whose dad became emotional after seeing a major difference in his son.
“The dad called me with tears. He said for the first time, his son walked to the door and gave him a hug. It’s the first time he’d ever done that,” described Holyoak.
And now, more parents are turning to CBD for help.
Some of them, for “non-qualifying conditions” like ADD and Autism – something Holyoak doesn’t encourage, but understands.
“The standard treatment today for ADHD are drugs like Adderall and Ritalin, which are essentially methamphetamine. There needs to be more research on it,” said Holyoak. “If this could be an alternative treatment to many of those other extremely harmful drugs, what a blessing that would be for all of us.”
More marijuana research is key.
The current U.S. Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Vivek Murthy, agrees, as do many high-ranking officials.
Dr. Jonathan Lifshitz from the University of Arizona is on the verge of that research.
“Cannabis is a source of potential medical breakthroughs. It could be a source of medical busts, but until we investigate, we don’t know,” said Dr. Lifshitz.
Dr. Lifshitz is an Associate Professor at the U of A’s College of Medicine. He’s also a research scientist at Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital.
Voters may have passed a law to allow marijuana to be used as medicine in Arizona, but Dr. Lifshitz says, under federal law, cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, and by that definition has no medical benefit.
“It’s not because no one has proven there’s no medical benefit, it’s that very few people, if any, have done research to determine what the medical benefit might be,” explained Lifshitz.
Dr. Lifshitz says getting the approval and licensing and funding to do research on a Schedule 1 drug is extraordinarily difficult. He describes the process as “a catch 22.”
In the meantime, he’s not surprised that some parents are taking matters into their own hands, giving CBD oils to kids for “off-label” or unauthorized uses.
“With the information age and the amount of information at our fingertips, both through somewhat verified sources like Web MD and even unverified sources like Facebook pages, there’s a lot of medical information and misinformation out there,” said Lifshitz.
He says right now mostly case studies and professional opinion show marijuana can be beneficial under certain circumstances.
Actual research would provide verified data so decisions can come from an informed position.
“What we really need to do from a scientific standpoint is understand which components of the plant, meaning which cannabinoids that make up that cannabis plant, are having beneficial effects, which are having no effects and which may have negative effects,” explained Lifshitz.
He says heart-warming stories like Reese’s motivate him as a scientist.
Right now, though, it’s not clear how her case might compare to others.
“The question at hand is, will all children like Reese respond to it, or only children exactly like Reese respond to the same treatments,” said Lifshitz.
As Reese’s life has changed for the better, Holyoak has since become a crusader of sorts.
He’s the face of the campaign to regulate marijuana like alcohol and was recently touted one of the Valley’s “Maestros of Medicine” by Phoenix Magazine.
“When I look at my daughter, when I look at other children like her, and I look at the adults that this is helping as well, it’s worth it. It’s always worth it and I’ll never stop doing it,” said Holyoak.
In Salt Lake City, Senator Orrin Hatch has recently unveiled a bipartisan bill which will allow researchers to perform further study on the potential medical benefits of marijuana. Hatch introduced this regulation along with other senators from Delaware, Hawaii and North Carolina, making a statement in which he said that policymakers are in need of further scientific evidence before they can make better informed decisions about the legalisation of the drug for medical use. He said that in his home state of Utah, debates earlier in the year regarding whether or not to expand marijuana legalisation to medical purposes made clear the need for more and improved scientific research.
Medical Benefits of Marijuana
Marijuana, along with its dozens of active components, has shown some substantial promise for treating a range of different illnesses. However, currently classed as a Schedule I substance, the drug is considered to have no medical benefits or use, and a high potential for abuse. It shares this classification with drugs such as heroin or cocaine, and is currently illegal to study without first going through a range of significant bureaucratic hurdles. Paediatrics chairman at the University of Utah, Dr. Ed Clark, said that he has not yet seen the bill but is in full support of any efforts to open up research on medical cannabis, including studies on the different properties of CBD oil.
Although research on marijuana is not yet legal, it is possible to research some of the different compounds of the drug as standalone substances. For example, the University of Utah is currently carrying out research on a cannabidiol product known as Epidiolex and the effects it has on children with epilepsy. Cannabidiol is derived from the marijuana plant put does not contain the substance THC, which causes the ‘high’ of marijuana. In 2013, a law passed in Utah known as ‘Charlie’s Law’ allowed hemp oil to be used to treat people suffering from intractable epilepsy, however, marijuana itself still remains illegal under federal law. Clark believes that marijuana should be controlled, but in a manner which is consistent with the known risks of the drug and based on scientific evidence.
What the Bill Means
The new bill would stop short of requesting that the DEA downgrade marijuana from a Schedule I substance to Schedule II. In a statement, Senator Hatch’s communications director J.P. Freire said that the purpose of the bill is to facilitate research in order to ensure that lawmakers are more informed about whether or not marijuana should be moved from Schedule I to a lower schedule. The bill will also direct the DEA to allow more marijuana growers. As of now, the DEA has issued just once license, which is held by the University of Mississippi, for the growth and cultivation of marijuana for research purposes.
In order to provide lawmakers with more information and research surrounding the medical benefits of marijuana, the bill aims to streamline the DEA approval process and eliminate stringent stipulations regarding the drug set by the DEA.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: U.S. Senator Passes Bill To Increase Medical Marijuana Research
Author: Lynn Joesph
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Website: CP Blog
As the opioid epidemic continues to plague the Ohio Valley with addiction and death, the search for safer methods of pain management has become increasingly urgent.
Advocates for medical marijuana have recently made inroads in the area with growing scientific evidence that the substance currently considered of no medical value by the federal government might be a tool to wean those suffering from chronic pain off of more dangerous drugs.
Part of the hope behind such proposals is to offer a safer alternative for chronic pain patients, who are often prescribed opioids. State health data show that in Kentucky, Ohio, and West Virginia, opioids were involved in at least 3,373 overdose deaths in 2014, the most recent year for which figures are available. The Centers for Disease Control found that in 2014 the three states were among the five states with the nation’s highest rates of drug overdose deaths, largely driven by opioids. In Ohio, Gov. John Kasich signed legislation last month that will make Ohio the 25th state with medical marijuana. Legislators in Kentucky recently held the first committee hearing to discuss crafting a similar bill.
The continuing debate is over whether there’s scientific evidence to back up that hope or if it’s just a pipe dream.
A Safer Treatment
Joe Brumfield was 23 years old when he was diagnosed with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy, a disease which will make moving around progressively more painful.
To help manage the pain he was prescribed methadone, an opioid typically associated with treating addiction that can still result in a fatal overdose if misused.
He took the medication cautiously, fearing the rise in addiction and death tied to it, and soon after sought a safer alternative.
“Why am I putting my own health at risk, along with my family’s health, by taking these prescription medications when there’s a healthier, natural alternative?” Brumfield said. Marijuana – or cannabis, as Brumfield and other advocates prefer to call it – was the alternative he chose. After years of personal research and use, he claims he was able to manage his symptoms while dialing back on the medications he considered risky.
“I was able to get off of three medicines,” he said. “The valium, the anti-inflammatory drugs and I was able to cut my pain medication dose in half.”
Brumfield, now 36, lives with his wife and daughter in Athens County, Ohio, and works as an artist.
He also works alongside advocates around the state and country who believe medical cannabis can help others wean off of opioids and be another tool in ending the epidemic.
A Search For Evidence
The scientific literature on medical marijuana deterring opioid abuse is thin. But recent research offers some support for Brumfield’s story.
One of the first study proponents point to was published in the October 2014 edition of JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Analyzing the CDC’s death certificate data from when California enacted the country’s first medical marijuana law through 2010, researchers suggested states with medical marijuana laws averaged around 25 percent fewer fatal overdoses than if it did not have such legislation.
Dr. Marcus Bachhuber was lead author of that study and is an Assistant Medical Professor at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. He said the main point was to begin a broader conversation about treating pain.
“We were advocating for future research,” Bachuber said. “Looking at it for more years of data, looking at it in different ways by different groups of researchers to see if our findings held over time.”
Researchers picked up the proverbial ball and in July, 2015, the National Bureau of Economic Research put Bachhuber’s data to work. The NBER analysis found states with medical marijuana laws saw as much as a 35 percent drop in substance abuse treatment admissions and a 31 percent reduction in opioid overdoses.
However, expanding on the Bachhuber team’s finding, the study suggested the results were only possible if the state had legally protected dispensaries, implying that medical marijuana laws on their own are not enough.
More recently, a couple of studies have looked at opioid dosage and prescription numbers in states with medical marijuana laws.
A study from June’s Journal of Pain concluded cannabis use was “associated with 64% lower opioid use in patients with chronic pain” in Michigan. In this month’s Health Affairs, researchers looked at prescriptions filled for Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013 and found that prescriptions for medications in which marijuana could serve as an alternative “fell slightly” in states with medical marijuana laws.
The latter two studies get at an aspect of the opioid epidemic that may not be at the forefront of the debate, according to Bachhuber.
“It’s not necessarily about clamping down on opioids as it may be about offering a wide variety of pain treatment and letting people choose safer options,” he said.
Ohio Becomes #25
Getting people off opioids was part of the argument which helped Ohio’s medical marijuana bill pass. However, the bill’s lead sponsor urged people to not have unrealistic expectations.
“I don’t believe everybody is going to get off narcotics and get on medical marijuana,” Rep. Steve Huffman (R-District 80) said. “But I think it may be the right thing for certain people in a certain way.”
The first-term lawmaker never anticipated leading the charge for medical marijuana in his first term – or ever for that matter. But once tasked with leading a House committee on the topic, he found himself advocating for patient choice and talking with those opposed to the measure.
The Ohio State Medical Association was one such group against the proposed legislation. The leadership’s concern was for the physicians they represent throughout the state dealing with a substance lacking FDA approval.
“We’re not completely comfortable with what sort of impact it may have from a medicinal standpoint on patients,” Reggie Fields, the association’s Communication and External Affairs Director said.
The organization became more comfortable with the bill only after certain safeguards were included, such as bans on smoking and home growing, and a provision that limits recommendations for marijuana use to certified physicians with an ongoing patient relationship.
A mandate in the bill for the General Assembly to formally call on the federal government to reschedule marijuana from a Schedule I controlled substance to Schedule II also intrigued the OSMA. If marijuana was reclassified to a Schedule II designation, less restrictive research could be conducted and the FDA would have permission to determine if it can be approved as medicine.
Huffman said he understands where the physicians are coming from. He’s an emergency room physician himself and does not anticipate being certified to recommend medical marijuana. However, as a lawmaker, he said medical marijuana is something citizens wanted.
He also believes the legislation is a better alternative than the less restrictive plan proposed as a ballot initiative. The group Ohioans for Medical Marijuana, which had been pushing the initiative, suspended its campaign after the bill was passed.
“We’ll see how it plays out over the next year to 18 months,” Huffman said. “But I think it’s going to be ultimately the best for the patient and for all the citizens in the state of Ohio.”
More State Interest
Several states have marijuana ballot initiatives and legislation pending. Kentucky lawmakers are just beginning the debate on whether to draft legislation.
An interim joint committee heard from both sides of the debate during a hearing July 8 at the State Capitol.
The opposition’s arguments focused on the uncertainty over the complexity of medical marijuana – and how the “cannabinoids” within interact with receptors naturally in the body – and law enforcement fears that legal marijuana would reach an illegal market.
Proponents pointed to the mounting evidence – both scientific and anecdotal – indicating health benefits for an array of conditions and illnesses, with nearly no evidence suggesting use can result in a fatal overdose.
Proponents might find support from the governor’s office. At a debate at Eastern Kentucky University, then-candidate Matt Bevin said of marijuana that “There is unequivocal medical evidence … that there are benefits for those with cancer and epilepsy. It should be prescribed like any other prescription drug.”
Under the golden dome of West Virginia’s Capitol, medical marijuana laws have been proposed for years but have never made it much further than the introduction. However, the most recent iteration may indicate a growing bipartisan appetite for the idea, as it was sponsored by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate.
Repealing Prohibition Again
Meanwhile, back in Ohio, it could be early 2018 before patients suffering from an approved condition can purchase cannabis legally at a dispensary.
The process of finalizing rules and certifying physicians, growers and dispensaries has proven to take time. In Maryland, licenses have still not been issued after voters approved a ballot initiative in 2014.
Joe Brumfield hopes to be in Ohio’s program, but isn’t sure how his application will go: Muscular dystrophy is not an approved condition, but chronic pain is.
“I will most definitely put myself through the ‘meat grinder’ of the process to be able to see how well this program works when it’s finally set up and how well it would work for people in worse situations or know less about it than I do,” he said.
His continued goal will be advocacy for fellow patients in states affected by the opioid epidemic looking for a safer alternative.
“My hope is that people will start looking at this, looking with new eyes,” he said. “We need to repeal prohibition again.”
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Pot Vs. Pills – Can Marijuana Help Cure The Opiate Crisis?
Author: Aaron Payne
Contact: (502) 814-6550
Photo Credit: Alexandra Kanik
Website: 89.3 WFPL
The timeline for the oft-delayed rollout of Maryland’s new medical-marijuana industry gained more clarity this week, when state officials announced the first cultivation and processing licenses could be awarded by early August.
That’s welcome news for GTI-Maryland Chief Executive Officer Pete Kadens, who said the latest he’s heard for license awards is late August or early September.
“This is an extraordinarily competitive process,” he said. “We’re cautious about our optimism. We know there’s lots of great competitors, but we also know we came to a great area of the state. We know we can add jobs here and help people here, and help patients. We’re hopeful.”
Kadens, as well as several other GTI-Maryland officials, attended Tuesday’s meeting of the Washington County Board of Commissioners to provide an update to the public on the licensing process.
“It has been a long process, but it’s been a great learning process for us at GTI,” Kadens said afterward. “The reason we came back is because we want the community to be informed. It would be unfair for them not to know what’s going on with us and the commission and all the folks in Annapolis.”
GTI, which already has licenses in Illinois and recently won licenses in Massachusetts and Nevada, remains “shovel-ready” to begin its project west of Hagerstown, where the company plans to build a new facility along Hopewell Road.
Other hopeful growers that have made plans public include Harvest of Maryland in Hancock and Peake ReLeaf LLC in Hagerstown. Dozens of applicants also are seeking dispensary licenses in the county’s senatorial districts.
Kadens said GTI already has received close to 180 inquiries about working at the company’s proposed 75,000-square-foot facility. The firm plans to hire 40 to 50 people initially, and ramping up to 100 to 150 in the first three years.
The license awards have been delayed significantly due to an overwhelming response from applicants, which total more than 1,000. The state commission received a total of 146 applications from growers, 124 from processors and 811 from hopeful dispensaries.
In total, 15 licenses each will be awarded for cultivation and processing, as well as 94 total dispensaries – two per each of Maryland’s 47 senatorial districts.
Once preliminary approvals are handed out, companies have up to a year to complete all of the tasks needed to receive a license, including paying substantial licensing fees and passing inspections. After that, state officials have said the drug could be ready for patients in about six months.
Maryland has been one of the slowest states to establish a medical-marijuana industry under state law, having been passed by legislators in 2014.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Maryland Medical Marijuana Licenses Could Be Awarded Next Month
Author: CJ Lovelace
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Website: Herald-Mail Media
One of the world’s first large, controlled trials of cannabis for melanoma launches in Australia
Marijuana is being called in to fight one of the world’s deadliest, scariest killers – a type of cancer caused by your next summer vacation.
Researchers at the University of Canberra have announced a $1 million research project with Israel-based Cann Pharmaceutical to see if the compounds in pot kill live cancer cells in humans as well as they do inside test tubes and mice in the labs.
Starting next year, patients will get medical-grade, whole plant extracts of specific cannabis strains alongside their current standard of care for melanoma. About 55,000 Australians have the dangerous cancer of the skin, which can be caused by sun damage to skin cell DNA. Less than ten percent of patients survive skin cancer that has spread underneath the surface of the skin.
“Australians have the highest rate of melanoma in the world, with estimates of more than 13,000 new cases to be diagnosed in 2016 alone,” said University of Canberra Professor of molecular and cellular biology Sudha Rao. “When you consider that melanoma is the third most common cancer in Australia and New Zealand, and almost 1,800 people will die as a result of this cancer this year, we need to work harder at finding effective treatments.”
The active molecules secreted by the cannabis plant, the cannabinoids have been shown – in various cell, and animal and very small human trials – to contain the potential to cause cancer cell death (apoptosis) and prevent cancer’s acquisition of blood supplies (by blocking angiogenesis).
Countless patient self-reports also attest to the use of topical cannabinoids to treat cancerous skin lesions.
Large-scale, double-blind placebo controlled human trials should commence immediately. However, the United States government – which funds the majority of the world’s cancer research – treats cannabis as the most dangerous drug on the planet, alongside street heroin and the hallucinogen LSD. Opioids like OxyContin and Vicodin are deemed safer.
U.S. lawmakers this year are working to cut the red tape on pot research. Their bill has bipartisan support, but is caught up on election season politics. In response, various states created medical cannabis research programs using pot tax dollars, local crops, and state research institutions.
A pure pill form of cannabis’ main active ingredient, THC, (which causes euphoria) has been around since 1985. By contrast, CannPharmaceutical specializes in whole plant formulations.
“The effects of all these compounds working together and regulating each other will be much different than the effects of any one compound working alone, which is why synthetic cannabis drugs produced of only one compound are reported in most case studies by patients to lack the effectiveness of whole plant medicine,” the company states. “… cannabis is a composition of many different compounds that work together to produce a faster and better outcome. Alter this – you lose the effect.”
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Marijuana To Fight Skin Cancer In Major Human Trial
Author: David Downs
Contact: SF Gate
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Website: SF Gate
Alzheimer’s disease is one of the most terrifying and debilitating illnesses imaginable, so combating it is especially important.
Scientists at Salk Institute have found new evidence that supports the theory that tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and many other compounds found in cannabis can help with the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease.
Science Daily reports , “The researchers found that high levels of amyloid beta were associated with cellular inflammation and higher rates of neuron death. They demonstrated that exposing the cells to THC reduced amyloid beta protein levels and eliminated the inflammatory response from the nerve cells caused by the protein, thereby allowing the nerve cells to survive.”
Essentially, they’ve found that cannabis is a safe, effective way to prevent Alzheimer’s disease from setting in. The evidence is there and everyone at risk should definitely consider trying out THC. Since we know that marijuana isn’t the dangerous, life-ending drug that the mainstream media has made it out to be, what is there to lose?
Once again, the health benefits of cannabis have been revealed in a way that should completely eradicate any belief that the plant is a “harmful” or “damaging” substance. We’re long past the point where that should even be up for debate.
Alzheimer’s is such an awful thing to experience that the federal government should be doing everything in their power to prevent the American people from suffering from it. If that includes legalizing cannabis, then it’s time to kick-start the inevitable.
This is absolutely groundbreaking information that should immediately translate to marijuana’s legalization – yet there’s little doubt that the federal government will continue to keep cannabis behind bars for their own financial benefit. We’re onto their scheme and it’s time for the United States citizens to loudly support legalization. With enough support, the powers that be will no longer be able to ignore the voices of the American people.
With enough support, we may finally have legal access to a plant with numerous healing properties.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Scientists Prove THC Can Eradicate Toxic Proteins Associated With Alzheimer’s
Author: Mary Wilder
Contact: News Target
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Website: News Target
Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, but it’s been growing by leaps and bounds at the state level. This has both industry enthusiasts and investors believing that we’re on the cusp of witnessing a major expansion of the industry in 2016.
Patients and Legislators Rejoice as Marijuana Expands
Since California first passed a compassionate-use law in 1996, legalizing the use of medical marijuana for select ailments, two dozen additional states have followed suit. The list of ailments can vary from state to state, as can the medical-marijuana use method. Not all states allow for the sale of leaf cannabis and instead prefer oils, pills, or some other form of delivery. However, glaucoma, terminal cancers, and epilepsy are commonly approved ailments in most states.
For patients with chronic or potentially terminal illnesses, medical marijuana presents a new pathway to receive treatment. While the jury may still be out on its overall safety, we’ve seen what seem to be discernable positives for cannabis, or its cannabinoids, in treating sick patients.
The most notable and effective treatment just might be GW Pharmaceuticals’ experimental liquid medicine, Epidiolex. Epidiolex is a cannabinol CBD-based treatment administered via syringe dropper that contains no THC, the psychoactive component of cannabis that gets people “high.” In midstage studies in two different types of childhood-onset epilepsy, known as Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, Epidiolex led to a reduction in seizure frequency of more than 50%. While the idea of using a CBD-based therapy on adolescents might seem odd, without the THC and with the aforementioned efficacy, GW Pharmaceuticals may have a winner on its hands. More importantly, select epilepsy patients may soon have a new treatment to choose from.
Medical marijuana, along with recreational marijuana in four states – Washington, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska – has also been a tax-revenue boon for state legislatures. ArcView Market Research pegged legal marijuana sales at $5.4 billion in 2015 and estimates that industry sales can grow by approximately 30% per year through 2020. This would put legal marijuana sales on pace for nearly $22 billion and give states a new way to bolster their education, law enforcement, and drug abuse program budgets.
This coming November, up to a dozen states could be set to vote on a medical or recreational marijuana issue. However, for one state, November was too long of a wait.
Say Hello to the 25th State to Legalize Medical Marijuana
In late May, legislators in Ohio passed House Bill 523, which would legalize medical marijuana in oil, patches, edibles, tinctures, and plant material form but would not allow patients to buy the smokable leaf marijuana or grow it in their own homes for personal medical use. The bill also lays out recommendations for what 20 ailments – AIDS, cancer, epilepsy, and chronic pain, to name a few – physicians in Ohio would be able to prescribe medical marijuana for.
On Wednesday, after a seemingly endless wait that was in reality less than two weeks, Gov. John Kasich of Ohio signed House Bill 523 into law with about as little publicity as possible. The new law is expected to take effect 90 days after the bill is officially filed with the Secretary of State, although it could be some time for the medical marijuana infrastructure is in place to begin accepting eligible consumers.
For what it’s worth, in the past Kasich had suggested that he’d sign a medical-marijuana bill that got to his desk if the Food and Drug Administration determined the drug was safe and offered medical benefits. With that not happening (at least not yet), Kasich signing this bill signifies that he’s changed his tune a bit and is perhaps aligning his view with the public opinion on medical marijuana in Ohio.
Getting House Bill 523 signed into law is nothing short of amazing, considering how badly Issue 3, Ohio’s dual recreational and medical marijuana bill, performed during last November’s elections. When the votes were tallied, 65.1% were cast against the measure, which would have flipped the switch and legalized both the recreational and medical industry at the same time, and also would have established 10 predetermined grow farms to supply the state. Voters clearly didn’t like the oligopolistic nature of these predetermined grow farms, or the anti-competitive market it would have created, and firmly voted against Issue 3.
With the passing of this bill, Ohio becomes the 25th state to legalize medical marijuana.
Strength in Numbers Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Strength for Investors
Marijuana’s growth at the state level has been undeniable, and it’s very possible that ArcView’s legal sale growth estimates could be every bit correct. Compounded annual growth rates of 30% aren’t easy to find, which is why the marijuana industry is often quite the allure for investors. However, I’d suggest that before you consider throwing your hard-earned money behind cannabis, you take the following points to heart.
First, marijuana businesses are paying exorbitantly high tax rates on account of their tax status. States and cities are allowed to set their own tax laws, but the Internal Revenue Service remains the law of the land for the federal government. According to the IRS and U.S. tax code 280E, businesses that engage in the sale of illicit drugs cannot take normal business deductions. This means rent and other normally deductible costs are off the table for marijuana businesses. In short, they’re paying far more in taxes than the average non-marijuana business, which isn’t what an investor wants to hear.
Another consideration is that marijuana businesses have minimal access to outside capital. Just 3% of all banks in the U.S. have been willing to work with marijuana companies, probably because they’re federally insured, and they fear that by offering basic banking services to marijuana companies, they’d be laundering money and face potential prosecution from the federal government at a later date. The result is that expansion for marijuana businesses tends to be very slow.
Without any change in marijuana’s Schedule 1 status on Capitol Hill, an investment in marijuana companies seems far too risky. The growth of the industry certainly makes it worth watching, but until we see actual change come from Washington, there just doesn’t appear to be a smart way to take advantage of legal marijuana sales growth.
News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Say Hello to the 25th and Newest State to Legalize Medical Marijuana
Author: Sean Williams
Photo Credit: Kirthmon F. Dozier
Website: The Motley Fool
A bill has passed in Colorado that would require school districts to allow students to use medical marijuana on school grounds.
The bill will only allow non-smokeable cannabis medicine at schools.
“There is a no smoking ban at schools anyways, this isn’t about that. This is controlled. This is me coming to the school as a caregiver. No school administrators, school personnel, school nurses, nobody is going to be giving this to the kids except the caregiver,” said Jennie Stormes, whose son uses medical cannabis.
Jax Stormes has Dravet’s Syndrome, which leaves him severely disabled and suffering from constant seizures. His mother said cannabis is the only medicine that has worked well for him.
“This is about me as a parent being able to take care of and meet my son’s medical needs while being able to allow him to have his education,” she said.
Jax was suspended last year after he accidentally brought his cannabis tablets with him to his District 49 high school. According to the existing policy, Jax had brought a controlled substance on school grounds.
Lawmakers are hoping to avoid situations like that by passing a bill that requires school districts to allow medical marijuana on school grounds if it is given to the student by that student’s caregiver.
Jax’s mom testified at the State Capitol as the bill moved through.
“[It’s] no different than giving them Adderall if that’s what’s prescribed, Epipen if that’s what’s prescribed or even Tylenol. We need to be able to give them what they need,” said Jennie.
The bill does allow school districts to opt out if they put a disclaimer on their website explaining why or if they can prove they lost federal funding because of the policy.
“When my son goes to the hospital the hospitals aren’t losing their federal funding. The schools in New Jersey, the schools in Maine are not losing their federal funding by implementing a policy like this,” Jennie said.
As 11 News has been reporting, District 49 has already drafted such a policy because of students like Jax. They’ll be making a final vote on that draft policy on May 12.
11 News reached out to all the school districts in southern Colorado to see if they plan to write a new policy. We are still waiting to hear back from many of them.
News Moderator: Robert Celt 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: CO: Bill Passed Would Require School Districts To Allow Medical Marijuana
Author: Danielle Kreutter
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