Aug 01

Harvard Study: Big Pharma, US Gov. Behind Opioid Epidemic

A new Harvard study reveals how Big Pharma and federal government have colluded to allow the current opioid epidemic in the United States. The study, entitled The Opioid Epidemic: Fixing a Broken Pharmaceutical Market, describes how the American public have been duped by the elites for more than 20 years.“In this article, we argue that non-rigorous patenting standards and ineffectual policing of both fraudulent marketing and anticompetitive actions played an important role in launching and prolonging the opioid epidemic. We further show that these regulatory issues are not unique to prescription opioids but rather are reflective of the wider pharmaceutical market.”Thefreethoughtproject.com reports: Researchers follow with a primer on the rise of opioid prescriptions and how pain became “the fifth vital sign.” By the 1990s, doctors realized that chronic pain was often ignored, and pain management became a hot topic. Physicians were urged to make greater use of opioids, with experts in the field downplaying the potential for misuse and addiction – a view largely based on experience with morphine.

Source: Harvard Study: Big Pharma, US Gov. Behind Opioid Epidemic

Jul 15

Egyptian Study Confirms Autism is Caused by Mercury in Vaccines – ORGANIC AND HEALTHY

In Egypt, a team of nine scientists from prestigious Egyptian medical schools and universities have found that one in every 50 children in America have metabolic brain disease, and it could be a result of the mercury contained in vaccines. How was this found? Mercury exposure is measured by examining children’s urinary porphyrins (excreted organic compounds that are biomarkers for mercury toxicity). The presence of mercury within blood and urine exploits the well-known link with vaccines and metabolic brain disease (autism), but the severity of autism is closely linked to the levels of exposure to this harmful neurotoxin. Out of the 100 children being studied, 40 with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) had higher exposure levels to mercury than their non-autistic siblings and healthy kids in the study. Children who had the severe forms of metabolic brain disease had displayed the highest amount of mercury exposure. Natural health enthusiasts have been talking about vaccines and their dangers, as well as mercury in dental fillings, and now science proves them right. Disordered urinary porphyrin metabolism – the smoking gun of the autism–mercury connection

Source: Egyptian Study Confirms Autism is Caused by Mercury in Vaccines – ORGANIC AND HEALTHY

Jul 02

Italy Is Leading the Way Toward Pot Legalization and Innovation – High Times

Italy is becoming one of the most progressive countries in Europe for cannabis cultivation, production and innovation. Or maybe it has always been. Alongside olives, tomatoes and the world’s best lemons, Italy has been growing hemp and cannabis for hundreds of years as industrial crops. Cannabis was essential to Italy’s shipping industry, which it supplied with material to make ropes, rigging and sails. In fact, Italy was one of the world’s top hemp producers during the first half of the 20th century, before growers and consumers were undercut by prohibition and synthetic materials. Now, with the help of the government, Italy is moving back into its position as one the most important European countries in the cannabis industry. Italy legalized medical marijuana in 2007 but was slow to roll out its program—because, like in so many other places, doctors were reluctant to consider it an option, citing uncertainty over dosage, how to administer it and what illnesses it would benefit. Yet, the legal industry persisted, for example, in the fields of the southern state of Apulia, where farmers say they prefer to live off their land and grow cannabis rather than seek higher-paying jobs in cities, according to a report in National Geographic. Then there is the Italian military’s Cannabis Project Team, which started churning out quality MMJ in preparation for doctors to get on board, which they have by the way. The availability of an Italian-grown product has made everything a lot easier. “We’ve had a lot of requests, particularly since people heard about it in the media,” said chemist Gianna Acciai. “Doctors are prescribing it—and we’ve sold almost all of the first batch that we got in early January. The patients also save money in comparison with the Dutch product—it’s 30 percent cheaper in comparison.” Now, cannabis growers say they can barely keep up with demand from doctors and patients and are looking to expand.

Source: Italy Is Leading the Way Toward Pot Legalization and Innovation – High Times

Jun 30

Jeff Sessions Stridently Ignores Cannabis Science at Our Collective Peril – High Times

Opioid overdoses killed in excess of 33,000 people in 2015 and continue to ruin millions of lives, while our ill-equipped government dawdles with absurd and punitive solutions.Attorney General Jeff Sessions refuses to view the situation as a public-health crisis but rather insists on criminalizing, penalizing and filling jails—the exact wrong path to take.Sessions’ stubborn insistence on disregarding scientific consensus regarding the role cannabis can play in stemming the opioid epidemic actually threatens to make it worse.While the Justice Department clings to the irrational classification of cannabis as a Schedule I drug, therefore hindering scientific research (not to mention filling up prisons), the rest of the world moves forward.Earlier this year, the National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine (NASEM) published a rigorous review of scientific research that included more than 10,000 peer-reviewed studies, which supported conclusive evidence that cannabis is clinically effective in treating a number of illnesses and conditions—from epilepsy and mental health disorders, to injuries and pain.Dr. Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, laments the fact that the U.S. government continues to obstruct important cannabis research.“I understand the cautious nature of the government… but it is disappointing that marijuana continues to be included on the DEA’s list of the most dangerous drugs,” said Hurd, who studies the effects of marijuana on the brain.It is especially disappointing in view of the opioid crisis, because cannabidiol (CBD) reverses some of the brain changes that occur with heroin use, according to Hurd’s own studies published in the Journal of Neuroscience.Hurd says that CBD is the more important compound when it comes to marijuana as a treatment for addiction. In terms of the wider scope of medical marijuana research, she points out that it is the “same cannabidiol being looked at for the kids with epilepsy.”It has already been reported that the clinical use of cannabis could mean enormous savings for government health insurance programs, currently a national obsession as the Trump administration tries to strip half the country of healthcare so billionaires can have even bigger tax cuts than they already enjoy. But that’s another story.The biggest savings would come from reduced prescriptions for pain medications, a large amount of which are opioids.This explains why states that have approved MMJ are experiencing fewer opioid-related deaths.

Source: Jeff Sessions Stridently Ignores Cannabis Science at Our Collective Peril – High Times

Jun 17

The Importance of Cannabinoids and Pressing Hash – High Times

Frenchy Cannoli is a veteran hash maker, known world-wide for his love of, passion for and as a purveyor of the finest hashish.There are many myths surrounding the correct way to make the highest quality hash possible, with confusion surrounding how to preserve volatile terpenes and cannabinoids in relation to heat. HIGH TIMES sat down with the man himself to clarify these myths and to get some tips on how to get the best out of your hashish making.HIGH TIMES: There are many extractors now working with new methods to create solvent and non-solvent extraction. How important is working with correct temperatures when considering cannabinoids?Frenchy Cannnoli: I actually do not “extract” resin from the plant. I use a sieving methodology to collect the resin heads in their whole state, which is vastly different from extracting the resin from the trichomes. Therefore, I will answer your questions as a Hashishin, and not as an extractor.It is mandatory to work cannabis resin under cold conditions when sieving, whether it be dry-sieving or using an ice-water methodology like I do, and then with heat when pressing the resin to compensate or take advantage of the main characteristic of cannabis resin—its stickiness.Temperatures are not simply a tool to manipulate sticky resin but also the means to decarboxylation, a process in which a molecule of carbon dioxide (CO2) is removed so that cannabinoid compounds can readily pass into the lung’s blood barrier; in the process, the THCA and CBDA are converted into THC and CBD respectively.HT: Can you explain this further, and how should this process be done correctly?

Source: The Importance of Cannabinoids and Pressing Hash – High Times

Jun 01

Terminal Cancer Now in Remission After Cannabis Oil Treatment | Humans Are Free

Stan Rutner received his first cancer diagnosis 25 years ago. He had non-Hodgkin lymphoma when he was in his 50s. After six months of standard cancer treatment, his lymphoma went into remission. Yet, when he was in his late 70s, his health once again began to decline.Ruther had a persistent cough. Concerned, he made a trip to his doctor. Unfortunately, the result of his examination was something much worse than your standard bronchitis. Rutner’s cancer was back, and it had spread.This time, the cancer was found in his lungs and it had metastasized to his brain. In his doctor’s words, Rutner was in “deep shit”. He was immediately given radiation treatment to halt the cancer progression.The treatment didn’t go so well. Rutner developed a lung infection that forced him to rely on an oxygen tank.His wife, Barb Rutner, explains her husband’s post-treatment condition to Counter Current News:”After that he was wiped out. He was very thin. So we finished radiation to his brain on June 25, and on July 13 he entered the hospital for the first time with radiation pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs due to radiation therapy), so pneumonia. “There were three hospital visits during that time, and on the third they kept him for a week and started him on oxygen 24/7. And then he went into palliative care.”Cannabis to the rescueStan Rutner was given just weeks to live.

Source: Terminal Cancer Now in Remission After Cannabis Oil Treatment | Humans Are Free

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

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