Susan Daniel

BREAKING NEWS: Vermont Governor Vetoes Recreational Cannabis Bill

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott vetoed legislation Wednesday that would have legalized consumption and home cultivation of recreational marijuana, dashing hopes the state would be the first in the nation to approve adult-use cannabis through the Legislature.

But Scott, a Republican, left the door open for compromise legislation that lawmakers could stitch together over the summer.

The vetoed bill, approved earlier this month by lawmakers, could have paved the way for a regulated commercial market in Vermont.

By rejecting the legislation, Scott set back efforts to make Vermont the third New England state to approve recreational marijuana, after Maine and Massachusetts.

In his veto message, the governor said the “Libertarian” in him supported the measure because it respects personal freedom. But that wasn’t enough to override Scott’s concerns that the bill did not sufficiently address testing for and punishing MJ-impaired drivers as well as keeping cannabis out of… Continue reading

Study: Cannabis Helps Depression, Anxiety, PTSD and Addiction 

The most comprehensive research review ever done on the topic found that marijuana can help battle depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and even addictions to alcohol and painkillers.

Canadian psychologists pored over 60 published studies and articles, half of which examined the effects of medical marijuana, while the other half looked at recreational use. Because cannabis research is so young, pulling data from both types of studies provides the best confirmation yet that pot really can enhance — or even save — lives.

The researchers took up this review in order to give doctors solid evidence to inform their conversations with patients. “There is so little guidance in this area, which inspired us to do this work,” says lead study author Zach Walsh, a psychology professor at the University of British Columbia. “I get so many calls from colleagues asking what to tell patients who use… Continue reading

Cannabis as a Treatment for Lupus

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which your body can’t tell the difference between viruses, germs and bacteria and your body’s own healthy tissue. This leads to your immune system creating antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue, leading to inflammation, pain and damage to body parts. Lupus is characterized by flares, where symptoms worsen, and remissions, when symptoms improve. Unlike HIV or AIDS, where the immune system is under-active, the immune system is overactive in lupus.

Between 1.5 and 2 million Americans live with lupus, and most are women between the age of 15-45. The most severe cases of lupus are found in Asians and African-Americans. The most common type of lupus is system lupus erythematosus, which attacks several body organs. Drug-induced lupus is caused by using one of over 400 legal prescription drugs. Other types of lupus include cutaneous lupus, which mainly attacks skin and forms… Continue reading

Study Suggests: Cannabis Successfully Treats Depression

Research has suggested that cannabis may be a promising treatment option for a number of different physical and mental health conditions, from post-traumatic stress disorder to chronic pain. A study released in *2014 suggests that depression can be added to that list.
Neuroscientists from the University of Buffalo’s Research Institute on Addictions found that endocannabinoids — chemical compounds in the brain that activate the same receptors as THC, an active compound in marijuana — may be helpful in treating depression that results from chronic stress.
In studies on rats, the researchers found that chronic stress reduced the production of endocannabinoids, which affect our cognition, emotion and behavior, and have been linked to reduced feelings of pain and anxiety, increases in appetite and overall feelings of well-being. The body naturally produces these compounds, which are similar to the chemicals in cannabis.

Reduction of endocannabinoid production may be one reason that chronic… Continue reading

How Could a Medical Cannabis Program Help Tennessee?

One striking chart shows why pharmaceutical companies are fighting legal marijuana. This chart also shows how much medical cannabis helps the people in states with medical cannabis programs in place.

A new study provides clear evidence of a missing link in the causal chain running from medical marijuana to falling overdose rates.

(Click here for link to the study)

The study found that in the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law. The drops were quite significant: In medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication.

But most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a… Continue reading

National NORML Board Member Paul Kuhn is a Fellow Tennessean

Paul Kuhn, a long time national board member as well as a former chair on the national board of directors of NORML, works tirelessly for common sense cannabis law reform here in Tennessee.

His cannabis activism includes regularly writing educational letters on the subject to legislators and news agencies, and the following is an excerpt from a recent letter to an editor for the Tennessean newspaper.

Mr Kuhn explains why medical cannabis should be utilized as a tool to combat Tennessee’s opioid epidemic, and why he thinks editors and legislators are scared to discuss medical cannabis in this context.

He writes:
To combat the opioid overdose crises, a prominent researcher on the subject put it foursquare: “Only one thing works: establishing medical marijuana dispensaries.”

States that permit legal access to cannabis consistently experience reduced rates of opioid usage and abuse, as well as deaths by overdose. For example, the esteemed… Continue reading

A Norml Tennessean​ in Need of Medical Cannabis: Devin Arbuckle’s ​Story

When native Tennessean Devin Arbuckle was 13 years old, he was involved in a horrific motor vehicle accident, one which tragically left him with lifelong nerve damage, muscle stiffness and constant, grinding pain.

In 2002 he was at a bonfire with several friends, they were all drinking despite being underage by several years. His best friend’s older brother had thought it would be funny to let the kids get drunk, never expecting it to end tragically. Once everyone finally passed out drunk, Devin was left alone in the front seat of a 2002 GMC Sierra truck with the remainder of a half gallon of Jim Beam whiskey.

He finished the bottle, then took the truck out for a drive. A few miles later, he was speeding down a back road when he hit a mailbox, over corrected the truck, and slammed the truck nose first into the ditch. The vehicle… Continue reading