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Study Finds Legal Cannabis May Reduce Use of Dangerous Prescription Drugs 

The United States is in the midst of a major drug epidemic. Stories continue to roll in daily about the lives claimed by prescription and non-prescription drug overdoses. The numbers are staggering. Opioids alone (including prescription pain killers and street heroin) killed more than 33,000 people in 2015, 90+ Americans every single day, and more than any year on record according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC). From 2000 to 2015, half a million people died from prescription drug overdoses.

“The potential for addiction and health risks associated with using multiple scheduled drugs places additional direct monetary and health costs on patients and healthcare systems due to an increased number of side effects, risky drug interactions, dependency, and overdose” stated University of New Mexico researchers Jacob Miguel Vigil and Sarah See Stith, of a new study titled, Effects of Legal Access to Cannabis on Scheduled II-V Drug Prescriptions, which… Continue reading

Arkansas Medical Practice Devoted Solely to Medical Cannabis

The Times’ cover story this week on patient struggles to get doctor certifications for medical marijuana opens with the case of Erich Laufer, a Minnesota native who moved to Arkansas to take advantage of our state’s medical marijuana laws. Dr. Dane Flippin of Jonesboro agreed to certify to the state that Laufer has cancer, one of the medical conditions that will qualify him for a state-issued card he can use to purchase medical cannabis when it becomes available, sometime next year.

As it turns out, Flippin also moved to Arkansas because of medical marijuana. Flippin — who did a family practice residency in Jonesboro after getting his medical degree in Memphis and who is a descendant of the Flippin for whom the town is named  — closed his family practice in Memphis after 20 years and moved to Arkansas in April to open an office… Continue reading

Debt Deal Extends Rohrabacher-Blumenauer Medical Cannabis Protections

Existing federal protections for medical marijuana states are expected to continue through at least Dec. 8.

The $15.3 billion disaster aid package, debt limit increase and government spending extension approved by Congress on Friday includes the existing Rohrabacher-Blumenauer provision, which prevents the Justice Department from using funds to interfere with the 46 states that have legalized some form of medical marijuana.


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The aid bill, which was sent to President Donald Trump, extends the omnibus legislation passed in May and will fund the government through Dec. 8.

The short-term spending fix is also a short-term victory for Rohrabacher-Blumenauer sponsors, which were dealt a blow by the House Rules Committee earlier this week. The legislative… Continue reading

Cannabis Prices Are Falling Steadily With Legalization

As states legalize marijuana across the country for medical and recreational use, prices are dropping faster than growers and sellers would like them to, according to the Wall Street Journal. The cannabis industry has grown over the past few years, bringing in more than $6 billion a year in retail.

Retail: BDS Analytics tracks marijuana market trends, their data shows sales increasing and prices decreasing in Colorado and Washington state:

Wholesale: Since 2015, prices have dropped from $2,133 a pound to $1,614 a pound.

Why it matters: Marijuana growers are struggling to find ways to make a profit. Some are attempting to set themselves apart my touting “organic” products – plants grown outside with sunlight instead of indoors with heat bulbs. The more cannabis grown, the lower prices will continue to get. More consumption would help, but growers and retailers have to be careful about pushing for that.… Continue reading

Medical Cannabis Expected to be a Top 5 Issue for TN Gubernatorial Candidates

Tennessee’s gubernatorial election is still over a year away, but with a newly appointed committee on medical marijuana, Representative Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, expects cannabis to play a large role in the election.

“Obviously we see jobs and infrastructure as probably going to be number one, and abortion and gun rights are way up there when it comes to Republican values,” Faison said. “I do see a lot of sick people making this issue a top five issue for candidates.”

Faison is co-chair of a medical marijuana committee that will hold three public workshops across the state so lawmakers can study potential impacts of legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee.

The committee is co-chaired by Republican Sen. Steve Dickerson of Nashville and members include Sens. Richard Briggs, R-Knoxville; Rusty Crowe, R-Johnson City; Joey Hensley, R-Hohenwald; and Jeff Yarbro, D-Nashville; and Sheila Butt, R-Columbia; Bob Ramsey, R-Maryville; Sam Whitson, R-Franklin; Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis.… Continue reading

Republican Representative Plans Budget Amendment to Protect Cannabis Research

A Republican congressman has proposed an appropriations amendment to provide safe harbor for medical cannabis research in the majority of U.S. states.

Rep. Matt Gaetz, a freshman lawmaker representing the western panhandle of Florida, this week sponsored an amendment to the upcoming Consolidated Appropriations Act that, if included and passed, would provide protections for researchers of Schedule I substances in states that have legalized some form of medical cannabis.

“No one should be afraid to do research on medical cannabis,” Gaetz said Thursday in an interview with The Cannabist.

Gaetz’s amendment, similar in approach to the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer(formerly Rohrabacher-Farr) amendment to shield medical marijuana states from federal prosecution, would handcuff the Department of Justice from using its resources to block applications to study marijuana for medicinal purposes:

None of the funds made available under this Act to the Department of Justice may be used to prevent or… Continue reading

Yet Another Study Says Cannabis Can Curb Or Even Prevent Opioid Use

Evidence that cannabis can be used as an effective alternative to powerful painkillers continues to mount, most recently demonstrated by the results of a study out of British Columbia.

An academic paper published in the Harm Reduction Journal found that not only can medical marijuana curb or even prevent opioid use, it can provide addicts with an exit strategy.

“There’s a growing body of evidence that cannabis can be a safer substitute and play a harm-reduction role by reducing the use of prescription opioids, reducing the use of alcohol, and even reducing the use of tobacco and illicit substances,” states author Philippe Lucas.

Cannabis has “no chance of (fatal) overdose, far less of a chance of developing dependence, and you don’t have a lot of the similar side effects you do with opioids,” he adds.

Lucas concludes that governments and health care providers … Continue reading