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Senate Could Vote to Cut DEA Funds as Soon as Tonight
by Phillip Smith, June 19, 2014
StopTheDrugWar

Cut that funding!

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is reporting that Sens. Rand Paul (R-KY) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have cosponsored an amendment to the Justice Department funding bill that would shield medical marijuana patients and providers from the attention of the DEA in states where it is legal.

The vote could come as soon as tonight or tomorrow, MPP says.

While the House vote was historic, it will be only a symbolic victory unless the Senate also joins in. Passage of the DEA defunding by the Congress (and the presumed signature of the bill by the president) would, on the other hand, have real world consequences--for the better.

Stay tuned for what could be a very well-deserved slap in the face for the DEA. Even if the measure fails in the Senate, it should provide a heads-up to the agency that there is growing dissatisfaction with it on the Hill. But we don't want to settle for that; we want the DEA handcuffed when it comes to medical marijuana.




New York Legislature Approves Medical Cannabis Legalization Bill, Governor Expected to Sign Into Law
June 19, 2014
TheJointBlog

New York’s House voted at 2:51AM EST on June 19th to approve the Compassionate Care Act, a proposal to legalize medical cannabis. The vote, which was 113 to 13, occurred just several hours after the Senate approved the same measure.

Under the proposed law, which now goes to Governor Andrew Cuomo, individuals will be allowed to possess cannabis for medical purposes if they receive a recommendation from a physician, and subsequently receive a registration card from the State Health Department. Unfortunately an amendment was approved to prohibit the consumption of cannabis through traditional smoking, because Governor Cuomo threatened to veto the bill if such a change wasn’t made. Vaporizing, however, would be allowed, as would the consumption of cannabis through edibles, lotions, tinctures, oils and so forth.

The bill would also allow for a limited number of medical cannabis dispensaries in order to provide safe access to the medicine, though the number of outlets would be limited to just five.

Proposals to legalize medical cannabis in New York have been approved five other times in the past by the state’s Assembly; this marks the first time the Senate has approved such a measure.

Given the approved amendments, Governor Andrew Cuomo is expected to quickly sign the bill into law.

- TheJointBlog




Philadelphia City Council Votes to Decriminalize Cannabis Possession
June 19, 2014
TheJointBlog

A Philadelphia measure to decriminalize cannabis possession, introduced by Councilmember Jim Kenney has been approved by the full Council with a 13 to 3 vote, and now awaits consideration by the city’s mayor, who has until September to either sign the bill into law, veto it, or allow it to become law without his signature.

Under the proposed law, the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis would become a simple $25 fine. According to Councilmember Kenney, the proposal would save the city millions of dollars in reduced enforcement and court costs, and it would spare thousands of individuals from having a life-altering arrest over the personal possession of a natural, nonlethal substance. Kenney notes that in 2012, there were over 4,000 arrests for simple cannabis possession, more than some states.

“I think the problem is carrying an arrest record around for probably most of your life when you make a mistake as a 25-year-old,” says Kenney. “That is more obnoxious than anything else we’re concerned about here.”

Officers would still have the discretion to arrest an individual under state law if the situation warrants it, giving activists a strong incentive to continue working for reform on the state and national level.

- TheJointBlog




The Fear of Pleasure: Why CBD-Only Legislation is Not a Real Solution
on 18 June 2014.
Cannabis N.I.

Most of us were caught off-guard by the rush of states this year that approved the limited use of CBD-only marijuana extracts because these traditionally conservative states had heretofore rejected the medical use of marijuana. So it seems worth a moment to consider how this occurred, and what it means on a grander scale.

But first, a little recent history.

Throughout this year’s state legislative season, a total of 10 states enacted laws seeking to provide limited access to medical marijuana products that contain high levels of CBD and virtually no THD for qualified, typically pediatric patients suffering from severe and disabling seizures: Alabama, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin.

On one level, this unexpected embrace of the medicinal qualities of marijuana by states that previously rejected the concept must be seen as a favorable development. These serendipitous adoptions reflect a degree of compassion not obvious in the previous legislative debates in those states.

But it is far from certain that these laws will actually help the young patients they are intended to help.

First, such products are primarily only available in a handful of states like California and Colorado and none of these new state laws create a viable in-state supply source for such products. Further, even if a patient from out-of-state could find these products in California or Colorado, it would be a violation of federal law (and also likely state law) to take the medicine back to their home state.

And while some of these laws attempt to establish CBD research projects at their major universities or research hospitals, recent experience demonstrates that few universities or research hospitals are willing to enter this confusing field while marijuana remains a federal crime, and those that may be willing to take the bait will face a steep and long learning curve before the first patient will have high-CBD extracts available.

This legislative rush to CBD-only extracts also suggests (1) the degree to which elected officials are influenced by popular media, (2) their willingness to pick and choose the science they like (while ignoring the science they do not), and (3) the strong puritanical impulse that remains a factor with many elected officials.




Thirty Members of Congress Call on Secretary of Health and Human Services to Remove Roadblock to Marijuana Research
on 18 June 2014
Cannabis N.I.

Bipartisan letter urges HHS Secretary Burwell to eliminate ‘unnecessary additional review process’ that often prevents scientists from obtaining marijuana for medical research

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a letter sent Tuesday, a bipartisan group of 30 members of Congress called on Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell to make the process for obtaining marijuana for medical research less burdensome.

According to a press release issued by Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-3):

Currently, scientists not funded by the NIH seeking to conduct research on marijuana are subject not only to the review process that applies to other Schedule I substances, but to an additional review process by the Department of Health and Human Services that allows for access to the only source of marijuana grown in the United States that can be legally used for research. This additional review adds a layer of uncertainty for researchers and can lead to delays or even denial.

Statement from Dan Riffle, director of federal policies for the Marijuana Policy Project:

“There's no reason the federal government should make it harder for scientists to study marijuana than it is to study any other drug, yet that's exactly what it is doing. The Public Health Service review protocol applies to marijuana, but not to any other drug.

“Marijuana is less harmful than alcohol, but our federal government treats it like it’s plutonium. With marijuana prohibition coming to an end, our government should be promoting this type of research, not obstructing it.”




New Study Finds Cannabinoids Can Combat Breast Cancer
on 18 June 2014
Cannabis N.I.

A nearly 10-year long study conducted by researchers at California Pacific Medical Center’s Research Institute, and published this month by the British Journal of Pharmacology, has found that cannabinoids can combat breast cancer progression.

“The psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) can both reduce cancer progression each through distinct antitumor pathways”, begins the study’s abstract. “Our goal was to discover a compound that could efficiently target both cannabinoid antitumor pathways.”

While conducting the study, researchers found that cannabidiol reduced breast cancer metastasis by up to 75% in mice; “CBD reduced breast cancer metastasis in advanced stages of the disease as the direct result of down-regulating the transcriptional regulator Id1.. this was associated with moderate increases in survival”.

Researchers then used the synthetic cannabinoid O-1663, which closely mimics the effects of cannabis by targeting both THC and CBD-associated antitumor pathways.

“[O-1663] inhibited Id1 [a transcriptional regulator], produced a marked stimulation of ROS [reactive oxygen species], upregulated autophagy, and induced apoptosis. Of all compounds tested, it was the most potent at inhibiting breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion in culture and metastasis in vivo.”

Researchers conclude; “O-1663 prolonged survival in advanced stages of breast cancer metastasis. Developing compounds that can simultaneously target multiple cannabinoid antitumor pathways efficiently may provide a novel approach for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer.”

The full study, which has important implications for the use of cannabis in treating breast cancer, can be found by clicking here.




Chronicle AM -- June 18, 2014
by Phillip Smith, June 18, 2014
StopTheDrugWar

A pair of potential presidential contenders speak out on marijuana, five New England governors meet on the opiate issue, New York cops are starting to be trained to use the overdose reversal drug naloxone, New York's governor makes passage of medical marijuana there iffy, the Dutch high court rules cities can ban foreigners from cannabis coffee shops, and more. Let's get to it:

Marijuana Policy

Hillary Clinton Evolves on Marijuana Policy. In an interview with CNN international correspondent Christiane Amanpour Tuesday, former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she favors medical marijuana for people who are in "extreme medical conditions" and is willing to "wait and see" how recreational pot works in Colorado and Washington state. "On recreational, states are the laboratories of democracy," Clinton said. "We have at least two states that are experimenting with that right now. I want to wait and see what the evidence is." That's a step forward for Clinton, who in 2008 opposed marijuana decriminalization and who in 2012 said she doubted drug legalization would end black market violence in Central America.

Chris Christie Doesn't. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) said Monday night that medical marijuana is "a front for legalization" and suggested that -- unlike every other industry in the United States -- medical marijuana providers should not be concerned with making money. His remarks came in response to criticism of his management of the state's highly-regulated medical marijuana program. Christie has said repeatedly that he opposes legalization, and that it won't happen "on my watch."

No Legalization Initiative for Arizona This Year. A Safer Arizona campaign to get its legalization initiative on the November ballot is over after the campaign came up well short in its signature-gathering efforts. The group needed 250,000 signatures to qualify, but said it only had about a third of that number. They are vowing to be back in 2016.

Delaware Decriminalization Bill to Get Hearing Tomorrow. The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on a decriminalization bill tomorrow. House Bill 371, sponsored by Rep. Helene Keeley (D-Wilmington), would make possession of less than an ounce a civil infraction punishable by a fine. Under current law, possession of any amount is a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.

Medical Marijuana

New York Governor Rejects Medical Marijuana Bill, Demands No Smoking. Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) has rejected the Compassionate Use Act just two days before the state's legislative session ends. Legislators are working to revise the bill in a manner acceptable to Cuomo, and he has signaled he was willing to waive legislative rules to allow a late bill to be introduced.

Opiates

New England Governors Meet to Address Opiates. The five governors of the New England states (except for Maine, whose Republican governor, Paul LePage didn't attend) met yesterday to address rising drug overdoses and agreed to cooperate on the cross-state monitoring of prescription drug monitoring and to expand drug treatment. They said they would try to make prescription monitoring mandatory and would try to curb "doctor shopping." The governors had nothing to say about ensuring that patients with legitimate needs for pain medications are able to get access to them.

Harm Reduction

New York Cops Get Training in Using Overdose Reversal Drug. By the end of this week, more than 600 New York state police officers and sheriff's deputies will have received the necessary training to carry and administer naloxone (Narcan), the opiate overdose reversal drug. The state has pledged to make the life-saving drug available to police officers across the state, and the program is just being rolled out now.

International

Myanmar's 15-Year Opium Eradication Effort a Failure, Government Minister Says. A Myanmar Home Affairs minister told parliament Monday that the country's 15-year effort to wipe out opium poppies had failed, and that the government would extend it for another five years. Brigadier General Kyaw Kyaw Tun said poppy crops had declined until 2006, but had been on the rise since then. It has been increasing at a rate of more than 10% a year in the past several years, he said. Myanmar is the world's second largest opium producer, although it trails far behind world leader Afghanistan in output.

Canada Prescription Opiate Overdoses on the Increase, New Report Says. Overdose deaths from prescription opiates have "risen sharply" and now account for about half of all drug-related deaths in the country, the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition said in a report released Monday. The report, Getting to Tomorrow: A Report on Canadian Drug Policy, calls for harm reduction measures and a public health approach to reduce overdose deaths.

Dutch High Court Decides Local Councils Can Ban Foreigners From Cannabis Coffee Shops. The Dutch Council of State, the country's highest court, has ruled that municipalities have the ability to bar people who are non-residents from the country's famous cannabis cafes. The aims of preventing drug tourism and combating organized crime are sufficient to allow discrimination based on nationality, the court ruled. The ruling comes in the case of coffee shop owners in the border towns of Maastrict and Limburg, where councilors had closed coffee shops for selling to tourists. Most other municipalities have not moved to ban foreigners. Read the advisory opinion here.




North Carolina House Committee Unanimously Approves Medical Cannabis Extract Bill
June 18, 2014
TheJointBlog

North Carolina House Bill 1220, a proposal to legalize cannabis extracts for medical purposes, has been passed by the state’s House Health Committee with a unanimous vote.

The proposal would allow for the possession of cannabis extracts for those with seizure disorders who receive a recommendation from a neurologist, and subsequently obtain a registration card from the state’s Department of Health. The extracts must below in THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), and high in CBD (cannabidiol). Neurologists would be authorized to dispense the medicine to patients.

Representative Pat McElraft, a Republican, was in tears prior to the vote as he explained the need for the bill.

“Some of [the children] have seizures up to 200, 300 a week, and their parents have to sit there and watch them go through it”, he said. “It’s life-threatening”.

A provision in the bill also encourages colleges in the state to produce cannabis extracts to be used for studying its potential in treating seizure disorders.

The proposal now heads to the House Finance Committee, where its passage would send it to the full House of Representatives.

- TheJointBlog




Delaware House Committee Passes Proposal to Decriminalize Cannabis
June 18, 2014
TheJointBlog

Delaware’s House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee has given approval to House Bill 371, a proposal to decriminalize the possession of cannabis for adults 21 and older.

Under the proposed law, introduced by Representative Helene Keeley, the possession of up to an ounce of cannabis would become a simple $250 fine for those 21 and older, rather than an arrestable misdemeanor as it is currently. The fine would double if not paid within 90 days, and laws regarding minors would remain unchanged.

“The main reason I’m doing this is day in and day out, I see folks who are applying for positions and they are denied employment based upon something they did many years ago”, says Keeley.

The measure is now up for consideration by the full House of Representatives, which has a little over a week left before the end of the current session.

In 2013 Delaware police made 2,632 arrests for simple cannabis possession. Under current Delaware law someone can be imprisoned for up to 6 months, and hit with a misdemeanor charge, for possessing any amount of cannabis.

- TheJointBlog




Chronicle AM -- June 17, 2014
by Phillip Smith, June 17, 2014,
StopTheDrugWar

It looks like Oregon is set to join Alaska in voting on marijuana legalization this year, the New York medical marijuana bill is going down to the wire, Florida's governor signs a pair of drug-related bills, Colombia's drug-reforming president wins reelection, and more. Let's get to it:

Marijuana Policy

New Approach Oregon Legalization Initiative Now Has More Than 100,000 Signatures. Only yesterday, we reported that just before the weekend, the New Approach Oregon legalization initiative had handed in some 83,000 raw signatures, but that proponents would need more than 100,000 raw signatures to feel comfortable that they will actually attain the 87,213 valid signatures needed to qualify for the November ballot. Now, the campaign reports that it has more than 100,000 raw signatures and will continue signature-gathering until the July 3 deadline. It looks like Oregon is about to join Alaska as states where residents will vote on marijuana legalization this fall.

Medical Marijuana

Thirty Congressmembers Call on HHS to End Roadblocks to Marijuana Research. Thirty members of Congress led by Rep. Earl Blumenaur (D-OR) have sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Mathews Burkwell calling on her to make the process for obtaining marijuana for research purposes less onerous.

California Assembly Committee is Debating Medical Marijuana Regulation Bill. A bill that would create the first statewide regulation of medical marijuana is being heard in the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee today. Senate Bill 1262, sponsored by Sen. Lou Correa (D-Santa Ana), has already passed the Senate.

Florida Governor Signs Limited CBD Medical Marijuana Bill. Gov. Rick Scott (R) Monday signed into law the "Charlotte's Web" bill (Senate Bill 1030), which allows a small number of patients to use high-CBD, low-THC cannabis oils for the treatment of epilepsy or cancer.

New York Medical Marijuana Fight Going Down to Last Minute. Medical marijuana proponents continued to do battle with Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) over the Compassionate Care Act as the state's legislative session draws to a close. Legislators have amended the bill to address Cuomo's concerns, but patients and providers expressed outrage over Cuomo's "attempt to derail the legislation." Cuomo has called for eliminating many medical conditions from eligibility for medical marijuana, as well as imposing onerous restrictions on physicians. Another obstacle is the Senate's GOP leadership, which could block a floor vote. The session ends on Thursday.

Oklahoma Initiative Signature-Gatherers Complain of Harassment by Tulsa Police. Signature-gatherers for the state's medical marijuana initiative say that on at least four occasions, Tulsa Police have shown up to harass them. Police asked signature-gatherers to leave, then, when they asserted their right to petition, began asking for identification and doing background checks on them. Tulsa Police, for their part, said they had records of two calls reporting that signature-gatherers were selling marijuana. But no one was arrested for selling marijuana or anything else, and the campaign group Oklahomans for Health said its people were not selling or advertising marijuana. The group said it has asked the ACLU of Oklahoma for assistance.

Privacy

Methadone Advocates Warn of SAMHSA Patient Confidentiality Threat. A proposed Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services (SAMHSA) regulation that would end the exclusion of methadone treatment records from electronic health records is raising concern among methadone advocates. They say methadone patients suffer from stigma and that the records of their treatment should stay protected. Click on the link for information about how to have some input on the decision-making process.

New Synthetic Drugs

Florida Governor Signs Bill Targeting New Synthetic Drugs. Gov. Rick Scott Monday signed into law House Bill 697, which adds six new synthetic drugs to the list of criminally banned substances. The new synthetics targeted all appear to be phenethylamines.

Law Enforcement

South Dakota Drug Arrests Up More than 40% Last Year. Although overall arrests were only up slightly last year, drug arrests in South Dakota jumped more than 40%. Law enforcement is saying the big jump is due to the increased presence of meth and other drugs in the state's largest cities, Sioux Falls and Rapid City "Certainly more people have been arrested for drug offenses," Attorney General Marty Jackley said. "Part of that is attributable to more people using controlled substances." Drug arrests accounted for one out of six of all arrests in the state last year. More people were arrested for drugs than for DUI, assault, or larceny.

New Orleans Police Department Loosens Past Drug Use Policies. Under a policy change approved Monday, past drug use is no longer an automatic disqualifier for being hired as a New Orleans police officer. Now, applicants can be hired if that have not used marijuana or prescription pills within the last three years and most other drugs within the last 10 years. The brings the NOPD in line with the FBI and other major city police departments.

International

Drug Reformer, Peace Negotiator Juan Manuel Santos Re-Elected President of Colombia. Juan Manuel Santos has won reelection as president of Colombia in a race against a rightist candidate who criticized his peace negotiations with the leftist guerrillas of the FARC. Santos has been a loud voice for drug reform on the national and international stages.

Bermuda Approves Drug Testing of Parliamentarians. After rancorous debate, Bermuda's parliament has approved a proposal to require drug testing of parliamentarians. MPS can test positive for marijuana three times before they are suspended; for other drugs, it's one time.

What Does the Dance of the Peruvian Drug Czars Mean? Peruvian President Ollanta Humala recently fired hard-line DEVIDA head Carmen Macias, replacing her with former Defense Minister Luis Alberto Otarola. Humala also backed away from a controversial coca eradication campaign about to get under way in the Apurimac-Ene-Mantaro River Valley (VRAEM) that faced strong local opposition. Washington Office on Latin America analyst Coletta Youngers has written an analysis of what it all means, both domestically and internationally. Click on the link to read her piece.




Chronicle AM -- June 16, 2014
by Phillip Smith, June 16, 2014,
StopTheDrugWar

It's looking like at least one Oregon marijuana legalization initiative will make the fall ballot, a legalization initiative gets underway in Oklahoma, proposed medical marijuana rule changes in New Mexico run into stiff opposition, Georgia gives up on drug testing food stamp recipients, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon gets a coca birthday cake in Bolivia, and more. Let's get to it:

Marijuana Policy

New Approach Oregon Legalization Initiative Closes in on Signature Goals. The New Approach Oregon legalization initiative had gathered some 83,000 raw signatures by the end of last week, according to the secretary of state's office. It needs 87,213 valid signatures to qualify for the November ballot. With 25% to 30% of raw signatures typically thrown out, something north of 100,000 raw signatures is going to be needed for campaigners to rest easy. They have until July 3 to gather more signatures.

CRRH Oregon Legalization Initiative Facing Signature-Gathering Problems. The Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH) legalization initiatives -- there are two; one is a constitutional amendment -- is facing labor issues with its signature-gatherers and needs to come up with a whole bunch of signatures in a hurry if either CRRH initiative is to make the November ballot. The campaign reports it still lacks 50,000 signatures for its initiative and 75,000 for its constitutional amendment, which has a higher signature threshold.

Oklahoma Legalization Initiative Campaign Gets Underway. State Sen. Constance Johnson (D-Oklahoma City) last Friday unveiled a marijuana legalization initiative in the Sooner State. The initiative, which takes the form of a constitutional amendment, requires 155,000 valid voter signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Proponents have three months to gather them. A medical marijuana initiative is already in the signature-gathering phase in the state.

Medical Marijuana

Contentious Hearing Today Over Proposed New Mexico Medical Marijuana Rules. The state Department of Health is holding a hearing today on proposed new rules for the medical marijuana program, and it is getting an earful from patients, growers, health care professionals, and even some state legislators. Proposals to reduce the number of plants patients can grow, impose stricter testing requirements, and increase fees are all proving unpopular. So is the department's insistence on holding the hearing today instead of postponing it to allow more time for people to respond to the proposed rules.

Kentucky VFW Passes Resolution Supporting Medical Marijuana for Veterans. The Kentucky state convention of Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) last Friday passed a resolution calling on the national VFW to support medical marijuana access for veterans through the Veterans Administration. The VA should begin "post haste" to provide medical marijuana to vets through VA Hospital System pharmacies, the resolution said. The resolution will be brought up at the VFW national convention in St. Louis next month.

Oregon HIDTA Issues Report Noting "Threat" of Medical Marijuana. The Oregon High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), a federal agency that coordinates law enforcement efforts against drug trafficking, has issued its annual threat assessment and finds marijuana use, cultivation, and distribution "pervasive." It blames the state's medical marijuana program for the "threat," complains about driving under the influence of marijuana (although its own graphs show a decline in such charges in recent years), and bemoans the fact that it can no longer sic child protective services on medical marijuana users and producers. It also highlighted the dangers of accidental ingestion of marijuana by children, even though the Oregon Poison Center reports only two to 15 cases a year, and even though there is no fatal overdose potential.

Drug Testing

Georgia Heeds USDA Warning; Will Not Drug Test Food Stamp Recipients. The office of Gov. Nathan Deal (R) announced last Friday that it will not drug test food stamp recipients under a newly passed law after both state and federal officials concluded it was illegal. The US Department of Agriculture informed the state several weeks ago that such a law violated federal food stamp program rules, and state Attorney General Sam Olens delivered an opinion to the governor agreeing with that assessment.

Law Enforcement

Drug War Dominates the Police Blotter in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Just another weekend in Jacksonville, and the police blotter shows that drug arrests account for the bulk of the activity. Of 25 arrests, 11 were for drug charges. There were also four people arrested for breaking and entering, three for larceny, two for eluding arrest, and a handful of other charges. Most of the drug arrests appear aimed at users and low-level dealers.

Illinois Man Challenges State's Heroin Overdose Homicide Law. Under state law, a person who provides heroin to someone who then overdoses and dies can be charged with murder. John Chappell, 22, of Aurora, has been charged under that statute with the death of a relative after delivering heroin to a third man who then delivered it to her. He has filed a motion to have the law declared unconstitutional on several grounds, including that crime is essentially involuntary manslaughter, but is punished more severely.

International

UN Chief Ban Ki-Moon Gets Coca Birthday Cake in Bolivia. Ban Ki-moon's birthday was last Saturday, and Bolivian President Evo Morales helped him celebrate it by presenting him with a birthday cake containing coca. Ki-moon is in Bolivia for a meeting of the G77 group of countries. Ki-moon didn't actually publicly take a bite of the coca cake, but he thanked Bolivians for their "big, broad heart... and great wisdom."

Albanian Marijuana Growing Crackdown Sparks Clashes with Police. Hundreds of Albanian police have stormed and occupied the village of Lazarat after marijuana growers fired RPGS, mortars, and machine guns at them as they attempted to raid the village a day earlier, the Associated Press reported. The village is home to growers who produce an estimated 900 metric tons of weed each year. No injuries were reported, and the gunmen are said to have fled to the hills, although the sound of gunfire was still being reported hours later. A TV crew covering the raid was robbed at gunpoint by masked men who burned their vehicle, Albania's A1 channel reported.




New Study Finds Cannabinoids Can Combat Breast Cancer
June 14, 2014
TheJointBlog

A nearly 10-year long study conducted by researchers at California Pacific Medical Center’s Research Institute, and published this month by the British Journal of Pharmacology, has found that cannabinoids can combat breast cancer progression.

“The psychoactive cannabinoid Δ9 -tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and the non-psychoactive cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) can both reduce cancer progression each through distinct antitumor pathways”, begins the study’s abstract. “Our goal was to discover a compound that could efficiently target both cannabinoid antitumor pathways.”

While conducting the study, researchers found that cannabidiol reduced breast cancer metastasis by up to 75% in mice; “CBD reduced breast cancer metastasis in advanced stages of the disease as the direct result of down-regulating the transcriptional regulator Id1.. this was associated with moderate increases in survival”.

Researchers then used the synthetic cannabinoid O-1663, which closely mimics the effects of cannabis by targeting both THC and CBD-associated antitumor pathways.

“[O-1663] inhibited Id1 [a transcriptional regulator], produced a marked stimulation of ROS [reactive oxygen species], upregulated autophagy, and induced apoptosis. Of all compounds tested, it was the most potent at inhibiting breast cancer cell proliferation and invasion in culture and metastasis in vivo.”

Researchers conclude; “O-1663 prolonged survival in advanced stages of breast cancer metastasis. Developing compounds that can simultaneously target multiple cannabinoid antitumor pathways efficiently may provide a novel approach for the treatment of patients with metastatic breast cancer.”

The full study, which has important implications for the use of cannabis in treating breast cancer, can be found by clicking here.

- TheJointBlog





Medicinal Marijuana Archive
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