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420RedHead

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States which have legalized medical marijuana for chronic pain have significantly fewer overdose deaths from prescription painkillers, according to a new study published on Monday in the JAMA Internal Medicine, the journal of the American Medical Association. Scientists looked at medicinal cannabis laws and death certificate data in all 50 states between 1999 and 2010, reports Saundra Young at CNN. During that period, 13 states had medical marijuana laws in place. "We found there was about a 25 percent lower rate of prescription painkiller overdose deaths on average after implementation of a medical marijuana law," said lead study author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber. In 2010 alone, marijuana saved 1,700 lives in states which permit its medicinal use, based on the number of overdose deaths that would have been expected before such laws were passed, according to the study. - CNN

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420RedHead

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"Anyone who has watched a loved one struggle with a debilitating illness would do almost anything to help alleviate their pain," Senator Savino said. "New Jersey showed real compassion for Garden State residents who are suffering from cancer, multiple sclerosis and other life-threatening diseases. We need to follow this example and pass legislation to allow doctors to prescribe medical marijuana when no other option is available." Studies have shown that marijuana can mitigate pain, nausea, and other symptoms in some patients who are unresponsive to other medication. Senator Savino said her late parents, who both were unable to be treated for chronic pain during their battles with cancer, were among those who would have been helped.

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420RedHead

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Virtually every government appointed commission to investigate marijuana's medical potential has issued favorable findings. These include the U.S. Institute of Medicine in 1982, the Australian National Task Force on Cannabis in 1994 and the U.S. National Institutes of Health Workshop on Medical Marijuana in 1997. More recently, Britain's House of Lord's Science and Technology Committee found in 1998 that the available evidence supported the legal use of medical cannabis. MPs determined, "The government should allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for medical use. Cannabis can be effective in some patients to relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and against certain forms of pain. This evidence is enough to justify a change in the law." The Committee reaffirmed their support in a March 2001 follow-up report criticizing Parliament for failing to legalize the drug.

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420RedHead

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The marijuana plant contains several chemicals that may prove useful for treating a range of illnesses or symptoms, leading many people to argue that it should be made legally available for medical purposes. In fact, a growing number of states (20 as of March 2014) have legalized marijuana's use for certain medical conditions. The term "medical marijuana" is generally used to refer to the whole unprocessed marijuana plant or its crude extracts, which are not recognized or approved as medicine by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But scientific study of the active chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to the development of two FDA approved medications already, and is leading to the development of new pharmaceuticals that harness the therapeutic benefits of cannabinoids while minimizing or eliminating the harmful side effects (including the "high") produced by eating or smoking marijuana leaves.

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420RedHead

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Currently the two main cannabinoids of interest therapeutically are THC and cannabidiol (CBD), found in varying ratios in the marijuana plant. THC stimulates appetite and reduces nausea (and there are already approved THC-based medications for these purposes), but it may also decrease pain, inflammation, and spasticity. CBD is a non-psychoactive cannabinoid that may also be useful in reducing pain and inflammation, controlling epileptic seizures, and possibly even treating psychosis and addictions. Research funded by the NIH is actively investigating the possible therapeutic uses of THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids to treat autoimmune diseases, cancer, inflammation, pain, seizures, substance use disorders, and other psychiatric disorders.

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420RedHead

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Marijuana prohibition applies to everyone, including the sick and dying. Of all the negative consequences of prohibition, none is as tragic as the denial of medicinal cannabis to the tens of thousands of patients who could benefit from its therapeutic use. Written references to the use of marijuana as a medicine date back nearly 5,000 years. Western medicine embraced marijuana's medical properties in the mid-1800s, and by the beginning of the 20th century, physicians had published more than 100 papers in the Western medical literature recommending its use for a variety of disorders. Cannabis remained in the United States pharmacopoeia until 1941, removed only after Congress passed the Marihuana Tax Act which severely hampered physicians from prescribing it. The American Medical Association (AMA) was one of the most vocal organizations to testify against the ban, arguing that it would deprive patients of a past, present and future medicine. - NORML

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420RedHead

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Virtually every government appointed commission to investigate marijuana's medical potential has issued favorable findings. These include the U.S. Institute of Medicine in 1982 the Australian National Task Force on Cannabis in 1994 and the U.S. National Institutes of Health Workshop on Medical Marijuana in 1997. More recently, Britain's House of Lord's Science and Technology Committee found in 1998 that the available evidence supported the legal use of medical cannabis. MPs determined, "The government should allow doctors to prescribe cannabis for medical use. Cannabis can be effective in some patients to relieve symptoms of multiple sclerosis, and against certain forms of pain. This evidence is enough to justify a change in the law." The Committee reaffirmed their support in a March 2001 follow-up report criticizing Parliament for failing to legalize the drug.

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420RedHead

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While delivery services have existed for years to supply medical marijuana patients in Washington, the rise of similar businesses geared toward serving recreational users in Washington and Colorado highlights how the industry is outpacing the states' pot laws. Winterlife is a Seattle company that is among a group of new businesses pushing the limits of Washington state's recreational pot industry by offering to bring marijuana to almost any doorstep. - UT San Diego

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420RedHead

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Freedom of consciousness and thought should be a fundamental liberty, yet this is what truly frightens those who favor the drug war. Cannabis is a powerful tool in exploring consciousness and reality, one that is healthy and safe for the vast majority. Those who would punish and imprison us for cannabis have been lied to and misled. Our task is to educate them with truth and love. - Paul Stanford

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420RedHead

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The drug-like effects experienced by cannabis users are caused by cannabinoids, the active chemicals that are present in the plant. The main active cannabinoid in cannabis is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, more simply known as THC. THC affects specific parts of the brain with cannabinoid receptors, triggering a series of cellular reactions that leads to the "high" experienced by users. Some areas of the brain have many cannabinoid receptors, and others have few or none at all. The most can be found in areas of the brain that influence sensory and time perception, pleasure, concentrating, memory, and coordinated movement. Besides THC, another active cannabinoid is cannabidiol, a compound that may decrease inflammation and relieve pain without the "high" that comes from THC. - National Geographic

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420RedHead

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The research into the medicinal properties of marijuana has, of course, been ongoing. According to Dr. Elaine Burns, medical director at Southwest Medical Marijuana Evaluation Center, the active ingredients in marijuana, THC and CBD, already are recognized as having different medicinal properties. "We're not going to get strains that are specific to specific diseases," Burns said. "In most cases, you want to dial down the THC to minimize the psychoactive component, which some people see as a negative." Using that theory, she added, has produced positive results. For example, marijuana containing high levels of CBD (cannibodial) and low levels of THC have been effective in reducing seizures while minimizing the drug's "high." This aspect of marijuana research is critical to decisions on how marijuana can aid in the treatment of a variety of ailments.

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420RedHead

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In view of the fact of the birth of the Free Speech Movement half a century ago, this city has prided itself on its liberal values and policies, be they generous repayment for the needy or a look-the-other-way attitude toward marijuana use. Now, the city is bringing those policies together with a new amenity for the poor here. The marijuana will be free. Beginning next August, medical marijuana dispensaries in this city will be required to donate at least 2 percent of their cannabis to low-income residents. The City Council approved the requirement this summer, unanimously no less, with the hope of making the drug, which can sell for up to $400 an ounce at dispensaries, affordable for all residents. But the charity cannabis mandate, which city officials believe is the first such law, provoked a swift backlash from critics who mocked it as a tie-dyed fantasy in a city already well known for liberal experiments. - New US News - Berkeley, California

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420RedHead

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Medical marijuana patients sit at the bud tending counter at a dispensary in Glenwood Springs, Colorado on a Friday afternoon. Existing medical dispensaries are allowed under Amendment 64 to become the first retail outlets in Colorado to be able to sell marijuana for recreational purposes on January 2014. - Post Independent

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420RedHead

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The War on Drugs has been assaulted on many sides as a failure in terms of its impact on human lives and government spending. Despite polls finding that a majority of Americans favor legalizing marijuana, and a spate of state regulations throughout the nation that allow for marijuana to be sold as a medicinal product, the Obama administration has so far been steadfast in its opposition to lifting the weed prohibition. In response to the free citizens of Washington and Colorado voting to legalize recreational use of marijuana by adults, federal authorities may or may not swoop in and crush the country's fledgling networks of marijuana producers and suppliers. In the meantime, storefront cannabis clinics have popped up like, well, like weeds.

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420RedHead

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Animal tests have shown that extremely high doses of marijuana are needed to have a lethal effect. In fact, tests show that you would have to consume 40,000 times as much marijuana as you needed to get stoned before you will overdose. That's a ratio of 1:40,000. Lets say you would get stoned from 1 joint, that means that you will need 40,000 joints in one sitting to have an overdose of marijuana. Now lets take alcohol, the ratio on alcohol varies between 1:4 and 1:10 depending on the person's health. So if you would get drunk from half a bottle of whisky, 2 bottles later you could die from an overdose of alcohol. In America, every year 10,000 people die directly from an alcohol overdose and alcohol related deaths are 110,000 deaths a year. Included are drunk driving, fights, drownings etc. No one ever died from a marijuana overdose.

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420RedHead

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Yet another chapter is being written about San Jose and its medical marijuana dispensaries. With the announcement that enough people signed the petitions to put the city's ordinance on the ballot, the city council is now looking at potential compromises. Last fall, the council ignored the planning commission's suggestion to limit dispensaries to 25, voting instead for a limit of 10 and a requirement that the marijuana be grown on the collective's premises. A petition drive to void the council vote ensued, collecting the signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot. Reed said the main issues are the number of collectives, which he is willing to push up to 25, the method for selecting dispensaries, and off-site cultivation, which must be done in San Jose in order to monitor it. "We don't have the jurisdiction to observe cultivation sites in Mendocino County," Reed said in an interview. - January, 27th 2012 THC Finder

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