May 14

Study: Cannabis Reverses Aging Processes in Brain – High Times

Here’s some counterintuitive news for those who have been hammered all their lives with claims that cannabis causes memory loss.A new study by scientists at the University of Bonn, written up in the journal Nature Medicine, found that aging mice treated with daily small doses of THC actually experienced a reversal of cognitive decline. That is, they started doing better on cognitive tasks, such as going though a maze.The researchers foresee potential cannabis-based treatment to fend off dementia.“If we can rejuvenate the brain so that everybody gets five to 10 more years without needing extra care, then that is more than we could have imagined,” said study leader Andras Bilkei-Gorzo.The bad news for stoners is that the study found that the THC applications had the reverse effect in young mice—hindering their cognitive capabilities.But it will be interesting to see what kind of media splash this makes. So far, the study has been written up in the Guardian (itself slightly “alternative”), but has mostly been covered by niche sites like Medical XPress and (with lots of caveats about how mice aren’t people) Popular Science.Here’s a little contrast.In February 2016, when a study from researchers at Switzerland’s University of Lausanne found a link between years of daily cannabis use and middle-age decline in short-term memory (as measured in verbal skills), it was written up in the Washington Post. We’ll see if WaPo now covers the new findings.And in January 2016, University College London researchers found no impact of cannabis on the IQ of young users. The IQs of young cannabis users and non-users was virtually identical. These findings were noted in Science magazine, but failed to win much mainstream coverage.Back in July 2011, Time magazine did allow a guest editorial by  Maia Szalavitz on a study that followed

Source: Study: Cannabis Reverses Aging Processes in Brain – High Times

May 10

Will the U.S. Legalize Marijuana Nationwide Before the Time Stephen Hawking Says We’re Doomed? – High Times

There are some lawmakers out there who believe the United States will legalize marijuana all across the nation within the next five-to-10 years. The only problem with this prediction is they have been spewing the same unsubstantiated blah-blah-blahs for the past two decades.It seems that handicapping the death of prohibition in our fair land is not exactly easy to do, especially considering that the country is still mostly governed by stiff-collar conservative forces that subscribe to the opinion that marijuana legalization will bring about the demise of civil society. What’s worse is these shrews are convinced that this supposed disembowelment of the American soul will happen one child at a time… starting with yours!However, if Congress does no drop the propaganda-laden political shenanigans and make some effort to put this long-overdue reform on the books sometime within the next 100 years, it is conceivable that the human race will literally suffer extinction before the majority of us, including our children, ever get a chance to find out what it means to live in a world where marijuana is handled no differently than alcohol.At least that seems to be the opinion of renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who, in a new BBC documentary called Expedition New Earth, explains the world is doomed to its untimely death if humanity fails to colonize another planet within the next several decades.“With climate change, overdue asteroid strikes, epidemics and population growth, our own planet is increasingly precarious,” Hawking explained.This prediction is slightly more unnerving than Hawking’s previous theory, which suggested

Source: Will the U.S. Legalize Marijuana Nationwide Before the Time Stephen Hawking Says We’re Doomed? – High Times

May 09

Study: Side Effects Emerge After Approval for Many U.S. Drugs – High Times

BY LINDSEY TANNERAP MEDICAL WRITER CHICAGO (AP)

Almost one-third of new drugs approved by U.S. regulators over a decade ended up years later with warnings about unexpected, sometimes life-threatening side effects or complications, a new analysis found.The results covered all 222 prescription drugs approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration from 2001 through 2010. The researchers looked at potential problems that cropped up during routine monitoring that’s done once a medicine is on the market. The 71 flagged drugs included top-sellers for treating depression, arthritis, infections and blood clots. Safety issues included risks for serious skin reactions, liver damage, cancer and even death.“The large percentage of problems was a surprise,” and they included side effects not seen during the review process, said Dr. Joseph Ross, the study’s lead author and an associate professor of medicine and public health at Yale University.While most safety concerns were not serious enough to prompt recalls, the findings raise questions about how thoroughly drugs are tested before approval, said drug safety expert Thomas Moore. But Ross said the results suggest that the FDA “is kind of doing a great job” at scrutinizing drugs after approval.New drugs are generally tested first in hundreds or even thousands of people for safety and effectiveness.“We know that safety concerns, new ones, are going to be identified once a drug is used in a wider population. That’s just how it is,” Ross said. “The fact that that’s such a high number means the FDA is working hard to evaluate drugs and once concerns are identified, they’re communicating them.”The researchers analyzed online FDA data on new drugs and the agency’s later safety announcements. Problems surfaced on average about four years after approval. Results were published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.The FDA said in a statement that it performs post-market monitoring “to identify new safety inform

Source: Study: Side Effects Emerge After Approval for Many U.S. Drugs – High Times

Apr 29

This Is Marijuana Legalization’s New Enemy Number One – High Times

For many years, the biggest threat to marijuana legalization and fledgling legal cannabis businesses was the police.Fears of DEA agents breaking down the front door at dawn, prosecutions in federal court with its accompanying mandatory minimums or warrantless visits from helicopter-riding police who merely cut down plant and leave—such things happen and are legal—was what kept people involved in cannabis up at night.But now, with legalization sweeping the country and a vast majority of Americans in support of medical marijuana, the real enemy is revealing itself.And as recent events in Arizona demonstrated, it’s Big Pharma.In 2015, U.S.-based companies made up 40 percent of the global pharmaceutical trade, a market share worth $413 billion. These companies are well aware that cannabis is becoming an accepted treatment for chronic pain and many of the other lifelong afflictions now treated by highly profitable trademarked drugs—and some have proven willing and able to take steps to make sure marijuana stays out of the hands of law-abiding Americans in order to protect that enormous bottom line.“Pharmaceuticals are going to run me down,” Dr. Gina Berman, medical director of the Giving Tree Wellness Center, a Phoenix, Arizona-based cannabis dispensary, told the Guardian. “We have a small business, and we can’t afford to fight Big Pharma.”The most egregious case to date is Insys Therapeutics. Insys, is an Arizona-based drug manufacturer of pain drugs that contain fentanyl, the powerful synthetic opioid that’s been fingered in many fatal opiate overdoses (including the death of Prince).Arizona was the lone state where a marijuana legalization initiative failed at the ballot in November—and one of the leading donors to the anti-legalization campaign, with a $500,000 check, was Insys. (Another was Trump-supporting casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, CEO of the Las Vegas Sands Corp. Here are the Vegas nightlife spots to boycott, forever.)As the Intercept reported this fall, Insys executives openly recognized the threat to its market posed by marijuana. And in a devious twist, Insys identified marijuana as an existential threat and moved to keep it illegal, while developing a new drug based on synthetic THC.On March 23, the DEA ruled that Insys’s new drug, called “Syndros,” could be marketed and sold as a Schedule II drug—meaning it could be prescribed to patients as soon as this fall.So far, the FDA has approved Syndros for AIDS-related weight loss and vomiting and nausea associated with chemotherapy—two of the original applications for medical marijuana.“It’s pretty absurd that federal law considers marijuana to have no medical value, but allows for the development of synthetic versions of the same substance,” Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, which sponsored Arizona’s legalization measure, told

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Source: This Is Marijuana Legalization’s New Enemy Number One – High Times

Apr 25

Research Reveals: Marijuana May Be The Key To Reversing Alzheimer’s Disease – David Avocado Wolfe

Research is constantly being conducted on the medical uses of cannabis. More than 20 states have legalized the use of medical marijuana. Studies have found that it may play a key role in treating many health conditions, from glaucoma and anxiety to epileptic seizures and even cancer. In a new study, researchers found that marijuana may be the key to curing the slow cognitive decline associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s Disease According to the Alzheimer’s Association, early onset Alzheimer’s disease can begin as early as ages 40 or 50. It’s a type of dementia that is characterized by a loss of brain functioning. Alzheimer’s disease may begin with minor problems with memory and thought and worsen over time.The Alzheimer’s Association explains, “As Alzheimer’s advances through the brain it leads to increasingly severe symptoms, including disorientation, mood and behavior changes; deepening confusion about events, time and place; unfounded suspicions about family, friends and professional caregivers; more serious memory loss and behavior changes; and difficulty speaking, swallowing and walking.”

 

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Source: Research Reveals: Marijuana May Be The Key To Reversing Alzheimer’s Disease – David Avocado Wolfe

Apr 24

Congressman: Total Shift on Federal Marijuana Policy “In Five Years” – High Times

2022. Mark the date, set an alarm. By then, in five years’ time, U.S. federal marijuana policies will at last reflect the will of the American people—more than 90 percent of whom want safe and reliable access to medical cannabis, and (these days) are almost as likely to smoke weed as they are tobacco.U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) is planning on it.“In five years, everyone will have access to medical marijuana,” Blumenauer said during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday. “In five years, every state will be able to treat” cannabis like a commodity.“Frankly, marijuana has gone mainstream,” he said. “This is gaining traction. It’s my personal assessment that it has come of age politically.”Blumenauer represents most of Portland, Oregon in Congress, where he has become one of marijuana reform’s biggest supporters. But every session, there are more and more lawmakers like him.Earlier this spring, three other representatives from states where marijuana is legal for adults 21 and over formed a bipartisan “Cannabis Caucus.” Caucus members are currently pushing the most ambitious package of marijuana reform bills ever seen on Capitol Hill—covering banking, taxation, research, veteran’s access and outright legalization in a manner similar to alcohol.Aiding them in this effort are conservative Republicans—the kind who end rallies with “Make America Great Again” chants—because their constituents have also made it clear that “there’s a consensus that this ought to be something the federal government ought not to try and suppress,” Blumenauer said.Adult-use legalization and medical-marijuana ballot initiatives won in eight of nine states on

Source: Congressman: Total Shift on Federal Marijuana Policy “In Five Years” – High Times

Apr 04

Newly Introduced Legislation Would End Federal Pot Prohibition – High Times

In Trump’s (and Jeff Sessions’) new America, rational marijuana policy isn’t something we thought we would see. And while we still may not see it, members of the House and Senate are doing what they can to change that.On Thursday, Democratic Senator Ron Wyden and Representatives Earl Blumenauer and Jared Polis introduced a bill that would remove the DEA’s power over marijuana by removing it from the Controlled Substances Act. This means that the right to create and enforce laws around marijuana would be turned over to state governments.Today, more than one fifth of the country lives in states that allow recreational marijuana, and recent polls have found that 59 percent of the country favors legalization.“If we are truly going to move our nation towards sensible marijuana policies, the removal of marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act is paramount,” said Justin Strekal, political director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). “Annually, 600,000 Americans are arrested for nothing more than the possession of small amounts of marijuana and now is the time for Congress to once and for all end put an end to the national embarrassment that is cannabis prohibition.”“Passing this legislation would end the current conflict between state and federal laws and allow the states to implement more sensible and humane marijuana policies, free from the threat of federal incursion,” he added.The bills are pieces of a three-part legislation package proposed by Wyden and Blumenauer, both representing Oregon, called the Path to Marijuana Reform.According to VICE, “one deals specifically with tax issues related to the marijuana industry; another includes a variety of far-reaching reforms, such as easing restrictions on banking and medical research; and the third calls for descheduling marijuana, which would treat the drug like alcohol or tobacco under federal law.”

Source: Newly Introduced Legislation Would End Federal Pot Prohibition – High Times

Mar 22

45 Ailments Treatable with Cannabis

Once you learn about the endocannabinoid system in your body, it becomes very clear just why cannabis can treat so many different illnesses.The great thing about cannabis as medicine is that it’s all-natural, and you don’t have to worry about potentially fatal side effects that you get with other so-called medicines.Our medicine should be something that makes us feel better, not a chemical experiment that makes us feel worse or that could kill us.And with cannabis, we literally have decades’ worth of research (despite government restriction) that proves its effectiveness and safety.The endocannabinoid system is responsible for keeping all of our metabolic processes in check.The good news is that as prohibition continues to fall apart, patients have an increasing number in cannabis options, be it through vaporizing, edibles, topicals, or even transdermal patches.Here are just 45 of the ailments treatable with cannabis.

#1) Prostate Cancer Recent anecdotal and scientific evidence – including a 2009 study published in the British Journal of Cancer – suggests that prostate cancer could be inhibited through cannabinoid treatment.

#2) Depression

Source: 45 Ailments Treatable with Cannabis

Mar 10

Pot Matters: Sessions Backs Down on Legalization – High Times

As first reported by Politico, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions has privately reassured some Republican senators that he won’t deviate from an Obama-era policy of allowing states to implement their own marijuana laws.”Senator Rand Paul revealed that Sessions affirmed his support for “states’ rights on these things.’Senator Cory Gardner has reportedly talked to several administration officials and has the impression that there will not be a significant change in federal policy toward his state, which has legalized marijuana, nor toward others.A bi-partisan group of senators from legalization states, led by Elizabeth Warren and Lisa Murkowski have written Sessions urging the Department of Justice to continue a policy of letting states enact such laws, describing them as having “strong and effective regulations for recreational use.”With eight states having legalized marijuana so far, this means 16 U.S Senators have a direct interest in restraining federal intervention. Of these, five are Republicans—a pivotal number when considering that their party only has a two-seat majority in the Senate. The potential opposition to federal intervention is even deeper and more powerful when considering the senators from states with medical marijuana laws.There is simply insufficient political support for the Justice Department to significantly interfere with state-level marijuana legalization laws.This doesn’t mean there won’t be targeted attempts to harass the marijuana industry, particularly in cases that appear to violate the spirit and/or letter of state law. An obvious target of federal law enforcement will be cultivation operations suspected of generating exports to other states.But as previously argued in this column, recent comments suggesting a counter-revolution have more to do with perception and policy.There is still grounds for apprehension on the part of local officials and industry executives, although this derives from uncertainty about just who will hold key Justice Department positions. This uncertainty cuts both ways.

Source: Pot Matters: Sessions Backs Down on Legalization – High Times

Mar 06

Republicans Quietly Admit Medical Pot Is Here to Stay – High Times

No medical marijuana patient’s garden was too small for Asa Hutchinson. Under Hutchinson, who served as the administrator for the DEA under George W. Bush from August 2001 to January 2003, the nation’s drug cops raided cannabis grows with as few as six plants.Once the windowsill-sized gardens were wiped out, their gardeners went to prison—even if they were demonstrably sick medical marijuana patients, and even if it required some legal trickery.To trigger plant-count-based mandatory minimums, Justice Department prosecutors would add up the number of marijuana plants grown over a period of several years. This meant growers in California could be in constant compliance with state law, but if they grew 33 plants a year for three years or more, it meant prison time in a federal bust.It was ugly, but it was a losing battle long since lost—and at last, everyone seems to be admitting it.Eight years after leaving the DEA, Hutchinson told a university audience that sick people should be allowed whatever doctors recommend, “whether it is Marinol or marijuana or whatever.”This fall, Hutchinson, now the Republican governor of Donald Trump-supporting Arkansas, opposed a ballot measure to legalize medical marijuana in his state—but it won anyway. Twenty-eight states now allow medical marijuana.Since then, Hutchinson has kept up a pledge not to stand in the way and has signed into law the legislation required to put cannabis in Arkansas’ patients hands. Those bad old days of raids on tiny medical gardens? They’re over forever.“I think it’s too late to turn back the clock on medical marijuana,” he told the Daily Beast over the weekend.Not exactly a full-throated endorsement, but hugely significant—because this is now what passes for mainstream Republican politics.President Donald Trump signaled support for medical marijuana on the campaign trail and appears set to keep that promise. On Wednesday, White House press secretary Sean Spicer—who set off the latest round of marijuana’s existential angst by suggesting recreational cannabis could see more federal enforcement—took pains to clarify that medical marijuana is cool and good.

Source: Republicans Quietly Admit Medical Pot Is Here to Stay – High Times

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