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

Maine: State Delays Recreational Cannabis Sales

Maine won’t be able to meet its February deadline to allow recreational cannabis sales, according to state officials.

Republican State Sen. Roger Katz said the agencies responsible for the recreational market rollout don’t have sufficient time before the deadline to perform such tasks as licensing growers, writing departmental rules and hiring new inspectors.

Last Month, Gov. Paul LePage stated he wished the Maine Legislature had repealed the referendum-passed law legalizing recreational cannabis use.

“I would have just repealed it and said, ‘Listen, federal law says it’s illegal, let’s move to the federal government and let them deal with this,’” LePage said. “In fact, I’m urging (U.S. Attorney General) Jeff Sessions to put the hammer down on states that have recreational marijuana.”

The special legislative committee, which is working on laws to regulate recreational cannabis production and sales, does not have an official timeline for roll-out, all of which… Continue reading

How Scott’s Miracle-Gro Is Helping Make Cannabis Legal

The cannabis industry is expected to contribute roughly $25 billion to the U.S. economy by 2025 — and many experts suggest that forecast may be a little too modest. With that kind of explosive economic future, it is not a surprise to find out that a lot more money will be spent in an attempt to shape federal policy. According to a report from the Center for Responsive Politics, the cannabis industry in the first six months of 2017 spent $450,000 on lobbying efforts in the nation’s capital — a 100 percent increase from the same period a year earlier.

The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks federal campaign contributions and lobbying data, released its findings earlier this month on OpenSecrets.org.  According to the report:

The industry that saw the largest percent difference between the first six months of 2016 and the… Continue reading

NORML Tennesseans Need a Medical Cannabis Program: Kim’s Story

The Tennessee NORML blog is doing a series of articles in which we share the personal stories of real Tennesseans in need of a medical cannabis program. This is Kim’s story:

I am the 48 year old mother of 8 wonderful kids, and I also have 5 awesome grandchildren and one precious great granddaughter.

I worked as a nurse from 1993 all the way up until I was deemed legally disabled in 2012 due to back issues. You see, I was born with idiopathic scoliosis, which over time caused the failure of several discs in my back. It also causes extremely painful degeneration of my vertebrae, serious nerve compression and crippling headaches. Last year, the severity in the degree of my spinal curvature started to affect my breathing and other body functions.
I have also had problems with multiple joint failures, which leads me to believe that I may have… Continue reading

VA Studies Find Medical Cannabis Good for Nerve Pain

A recent research review found that medical marijuana may be effective at reducing chronic nerve pain, known as neuropathy, common among diabetes sufferers.

Dr. Sachin Patel of the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital in Nashville said the findings on MMJ and neuropathy “fit generally well with what we know.”

In the second research review, both of which were commissioned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, researchers came up with less evidence that cannabis helps treat other types of pain or the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

“That doesn’t mean that it’s not, it just means we don’t have that evidence right now,” said Patel.

The authors of the studies also decried the fact that there has not been enough high-quality research to produce conclusive evidence of the benefits or harms of cannabis for pain or PTSD.

There’s no way to come to conclusions based on the… Continue reading

FDA Asks for Public to Comment on CBD

FDA officials put out a call for comments in this morning’s Federal Register, seeking information about CBD and how the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) should designate it under the 1971 Convention on Psychotropic Substances. In doing so, the FDA acknowledged the ‘beneficial’ effects CBD has shown in patients with neurological disorders.

All those who have information on, or experience with, the use of CBD as a healing substance are encouraged to comment at this federal website. Sept. 13 is the deadline for public comment, and no input will be considered after that date.