Well, it’s that time of year again when we look back at 2017 as it winds to a close. It was a bad year for immigrants, civil rights, gay rights, the environment and social justice, but we saw some big advances in the world of cannabis. The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, […]
Below is our list (the fifth annual) of the 10 most important cannabis studies of the year (in no particular order):
- Study: If Legal Nationwide, Medical Marijuana Would Prevent 23,500 to 47,500 Premature Deaths Each Year
A study published by Indiana University South Bend found that cannabis use is associated with decreased rates of mortality from obesity, diabetes mellitus, taumatic brain injury, use of alcohol and prescription drugs, driving fatalities, and opioid overdose deaths.
According to the study, there would be “an estimated 23,500 to 47,500 deaths prevented annually if medical marijuana were legal nationwide”, and cannabis prohibition “is revealed as a major cause of premature death in the U.S.”
The statewide legalization of medical marijuana is associated with a reduction in hospitalization from opioids, according to a study conducted at the University of California, and published by both the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependency and the National Institute of Health.
According to a study by BDS Analytics; “Cannabis consumers, it turns out, are among the most well-adjusted and successful of American adults, based on results from BDS Analytics’ landmark cannabis consumer research study, the first of its kind in history. The ongoing study is the most comprehensive and detailed look at cannabis consumers ever conducted.”
Although memory performance decreases with age, marijuana can reverse these aging processes in the brain, according to a study published in the journal Nature Medicine.
“[THC] treatment completely reversed the loss of performance in the old animals,” reported Professor Andreas Zimmer from the Institute of Molecular Psychiatry at the University of Bonn and member of the Cluster of Excellence ImmunoSensation.
Cannabidiol (CBD) has beneficial effects in patients with schizophrenia, according to an exploratory double-blind parallel-group trial study published by the American Journal of Psychiatry.
“These findings suggest that CBD has beneficial effects in patients with schizophrenia”, states the study. “As CBD’s effects do not appear to depend on dopamine receptor antagonism, this agent may represent a new class of treatment for the disorder.”
- Single Dose of CBD Reduces Blood Pressure, Finds Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind, Crossover Study
Just a single dose of cannabidiol (CBD) reduces blood pressure, indicating it may play a role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders, according to a study published by the journal JCI Insight.
“This data shows that acute administration of CBD reduces resting BP and the BP increase to stress in humans, associated with increased HR [heart rate]”, states researchers. “These hemodynamic changes should be considered for people taking CBD. Further research is required to establish whether CBD has a role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders.”
Activation of the body’s cannabinoid receptors through spinal infusion is effective at blocking pain, according to a study published by the journal Regional Anesthesia and Pain Medicine.
Laws legalizing marijuana on the state level aren’t associated with increased traffic fatalities, according to astudy published in the American Journal of Public Health. For the study, researchers at the University of Texas-Austin evaluated crash fatality rates in Colorado and Washington before and after the states legalized cannabis for adult use, and they compared these rates to those of eight control states that had not enacted any significant changes in their marijuana laws.
“We found no significant association between recreational marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado and subsequent changes in motor vehicle fatality rates in the first three years after recreational marijuana legalization,” the study concludes. Authors also reported no association between adult use marijuana legalization and the total number of non-fatal crashes.
Cannabinoids provide a potential treatment option for disorders associated with traumatic memories, according to a study published in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology, and e-published ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.
According to a study being published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS), and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health, Δ9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may help prevent the progression from HIV infection to the development of AIDS.
A study published by the journal Addiction Biology “strongly suggest” that cannabidiol (CBD) may be useful in the treatment of alcohol use disorders. For the study, researchers “evaluated the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on ethanol reinforcement, motivation and relapse” in mice.” The effects of “CBD (60 mg/kg, i.p.) on blood ethanol concentration, hypothermia and handling-induced convulsions associated to acute ethanol administration were evaluated.”
According to a study published in the Journal of Urban Economics, the forced closure of marijuana dispensaries leads to an increase in crime. For the study, researchers at the University of Southern California examined the impact of dispensary closures on crime rates in Los Angeles. Crime data was analyzed in the days before and after the city ordered hundreds of dispensaries to be closed.
Regular administration of cannabis-based medicines is directly associated with improved speech in patients with Tourette Syndrome, according to a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Topical marijuana has the potential to improve pain management associated with wounds, according to a study published in the Journal of Pain Management and e-published ahead of print by the U.S. National Institute of Health.
“Clinically significant analgesia that was associated with reduced opioid utilization was noted in all 3 cases”, claims researchers. “TMC [topical medical cannabis] has the potential to improve pain management in patients suffering from wounds of all classes.”
You can find our list of the top 10 cannabis studies of 2016 by clicking here. You can find our list of the top 10 studies of 2015 by clicking here. For 2014’s list click here, and for 2013’s list click here.
During the November, 2016 election California voters chose to legalize marijuana, including establishing a system of licenses cannabis retail outlets, through the passage of Proposition 64. In just four days, the initiative goes into full effect, with licensed distribution becoming legal on January 1st.
The new law allows outlets with a state-issued license to distribute up to an ounce of cannabis for those 21 and older. Although most marijuana stores won’t be open on January 1st, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (CBCC) has been issuing temporary licenses to certain businesses, including currently operating dispensaries, allowing them to begin sales at 6am on Monday.
“I know this sounds crazy, but we’re looking forward to Jan. 1,” says Lori Ajax, head of the CCBC. “This is what we’ve been waiting for, what we’ve been training for… It’s time.”
California is one of eight states across the U.S. that has legalized marijuana for recreational purposes, and on Monday they will become the fifth where legal sales are currently taking place, following Colorado, Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada.
The post California: Legal Marijuana Sales Begin in Four Days appeared first on TheJointBlog.
According to Mayo Clinic, pulmonary fibrosis is “a lung disease that occurs when lung tissue becomes damaged and scarred. This thickened, stiff tissue makes it more difficult for your lungs to work properly.” As pulmonary fibrosis worsens, “you become progressively more short of breath.”
The study’s abstract begins by stating that; “Activation of cannabinoid receptor type 2 [something done naturally through cannabis consumption] has been shown to have anti-fibrosis function in skin and heart. However, whether activating cannabinoid receptor type 2 inhibits pulmonary fibrosis remains elusive.” In this study, researchers “aimed to investigate the role of cannabinoid receptor type 2 in pulmonary fibrosis in vitro and in vivo.”
After conducting their investigation, researchers found the data to indicate that “activating cannabinoid receptor type 2 by a pharmacological method might be a potential strategy for pulmonary fibrosis”.
The full study, conducted by researchers at the Capital Medical University is Bejing, China, can be found by clicking here.
Arturo Tornel, spokesman for health regulator Cofepris, said that the agency plans to formally publish the regulation for pot-based goods within days, allowing those items to enter the Mexico market as soon as a month later, reports Reuters. Tornel notes that Cofepris expects distributors and retailers to import the items, with some companies eventually producing items in Mexico using marijuana grown abroad. The regulation does not apply to sales of pure marijuana.
Supporters of the move expect that it will help to reduce the wealth of drug cartels, which use marijuana as a major source of income.
Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru and Puerto Rico have also legalized medical marijuana, and in 2013 Uruguay become the first country to allow the commercial cultivation and distribution of cannabis. Canada will be legalizing the plant next year, and in the U.S. eight states have as well.
In 2015 Mexico’s Supreme Court granted four people the right to grow their own marijuana for personal consumption, opening the door to legalization.
The post Mexico to Legalize Marijuana-Based Products in Early 2018 appeared first on TheJointBlog.
After four of five statewide marijuana legalization ballot initiatives were approved by voters in 2016, no additional states ended cannabis prohibition in 2017 (though New Hampshire did decriminalize possession of the drug and West Virginia allowed its medical use).
Now, a number of states are poised to legalize marijuana and approve other far-reaching cannabis measures in 2018.
(Marijuana Moment’s editor provides some content to Forbes via a temporary exclusive publishing license arrangement.)
The post These States Are Likely To Legalize Marijuana In 2018 appeared first on Marijuana Moment.
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Trump notices medical marijuana patient’s case; 2018 legalization bills already introduced; Oppo funding numbers released
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/ TOP THINGS TO KNOW
Marijuana Policy Project founder Rob Kampia is no longer employed by the organization and is starting a new cannabis-focused consulting firm. Marijuana Moment obtained Kampia’s three-page memo outlining the new company’s plans and spoke to him about the reasons he is leaving MPP. There are still several unanswered questions, some of which may be answered by a looming major newspaper story about previously unreported sexual misconduct allegations against him that is expected to be published soon.
President Trump is reportedly taking personal interest in the case of an American being punished for medical cannabis in Indonesia.
2017 isn’t even over yet, but lawmakers in a number of states are already making legislative moves to prepare for 2018 marijuana legalization efforts.
U.S Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered a review after a report indicated the Obama administration essentially allowed Hezbollah to traffic drugs into the U.S.
Congressman Andy Barr (R-KY) and two cosponsors introduced a bill to give hemp businesses greater access to banks.
U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) jokingly tweeted that an elderly couple arrested for marijuana was not him and his wife.
As a Festivus grievance, U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) noted that Hatch has better marijuana jokes than he does.
Congressman Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) issued a statement on the short-term extension of state medical cannabis protections.
Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV) tweeted that “we must end the threat [to medical cannabis] that comes with every deadline and provide a permanent solution.”
Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) tweeted that “ending the ‘war on drugs’ must include restorative justice for all those who had their lives destroyed by harsh convictions.”
Indiana Democratic congressional candidate Dan Canon supports legalizing marijuana.
The U.S. House industrial hemp bill got one new cosponsor, bringing the total to 39.
Ohio Sen. Joe Schiavoni, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate, supports legalizing marijuana. Another Democratic candidate, former state legislator Connie Pillich, said she would sign a marijuana legalization bill if passed by lawmakers.
A New Mexico senator prefiled a proposed marijuana legalization constitutional amendment.
California’s top marijuana regulator says the implementation of legalization “is going to be an adjustment for a lot of folks.” Separately, the state treasurer sent a letter to members of Congress requesting the extension of a federal budget rider protecting state medical cannabis laws.
Alaska regulators will discuss marijuana testing issues on January 2.
A West Virginia delegate plans to introduce legislation to allow vertical integration in the medical cannabis industry.
Iowa regulators are trying to figure out why more companies didn’t apply for state medical cannabis oil licenses.
Georgia’s interior minister admitted that the country’s drug policies are repressive.
Prohibitionist organization Smart Approaches to Marijuana released its 2017 annual report, showing more than $1.3 million in annual funding between its two branches.
A new group called Physicians, Families and Friends for a Better Vermont is lobbying against marijuana legalization.
/ SCIENCE & HEALTH
A study’s findings “do not support a link between reduced motivation and [cannabis use] among adolescents after controlling for relevant confounds.”
A survey found that “youth with [multiple sclerosis] endorse recreational marijuana as safe, and many use marijuana frequently despite appreciating a negative impact on memory.”
A study concluded that “Spanish-speaking Latino respondents had less accurate knowledge of laws permitting use of marijuana than English-speaking Latino respondents, while reporting greater agreement with negative health effects and higher perception of risk associated with marijuana use.”
First Green Bank, which provided financial services to marijuana businesses, is now closing down such accounts.
Labor unions see a lot of potential in organizing marijuana industry workers.
Monica Lewinsky tweeted happily about a marijuana strain named after her.
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Marijuana Policy Project founder Rob Kampia is no longer employed by or serves on the board of the organization.
He is starting a new cannabis policy group called Marijuana Leadership Campaign (MLC), structured as a for-profit LLC consulting firm.
The new company “will focus almost exclusively on changing U.S. laws,” Kampia said in a relatively unusual memo shared with Marijuana Moment late Saturday night, which also says that the firm has lined up “nearly $500,000 in seed money” from “a marijuana investment firm in Los Angeles, a major marijuana dispensary in Colorado, Kampia’s wealthy friends in Texas (where he lives half-time) and a coalition of new donors in South Carolina.”
The split with MPP is occurring as greater attention is being paid to past allegations of sexual misconduct by Kampia amidst a national backlash against workplace sexual harassment and abuse.
In 2010, a lengthy Washington City Paper story reported that Kampia had sex with an intoxicated MPP employee, an incident after which a staff revolt nearly led to his ouster from the organization. He later took a leave of absence to seek therapy, telling the Washington Post that he was “hypersexualized.”
Now, Kampia’s departure from MPP comes as several sources tell Marijuana Moment that a major newspaper is working on a story about previously unreported allegations against the former executive director. It is unknown when that article will be published, but its existence has been an open secret in cannabis reform circles for weeks.
Formally leaving the organization is the second and final wave in Kampia’s diminishing role at MPP, which he co-founded in 1995.
In November, days before Thanksgiving, MPP announced that Kampia had stepped down from his role as executive director but would remain at the organization in a new capacity focused on fundraising and strategy.
The new memo, shared with Marijuana Moment just before midnight on the day before Christmas Eve, says that the first announcement “opened new business opportunities for Kampia” and that while he “initially proposed splitting his time equally between MPP and the new MLC, Kampia and his fellow MPP board members reached a second milestone by voting unanimously on Dec. 20 to end his full-time status at MPP this weekend.”
It was also revealed this week that Kampia is no longer a member of Students for Sensible Drug Policy’s Advisory Council. Kampia said in an interview with Marijuana Moment on Sunday that he remains a member of the National Cannabis Industry Association (NCIA) board of directors.
The memo appears to lay out the case that Kampia’s departure from MPP has nothing to do with any old or new allegations of sexual misconduct, and he said in the interview that conversations among the organization’s board “about me shifting into lesser roles at MPP extend all the way back into late October.”
“We didn’t even talk about the s-word at all,” he said, referring to sex. “It wasn’t even on our minds, which I think was kind of naive of us given the stuff that’s happening with all of these celebrities.”
But Kampia acknowledged in the interview that he “did know that there was a story in the works somewhere” at the time he registered the domain name www.marijuanaleadershipcampaign.com on December 5.
“I didn’t know which publication. I didn’t know any of the questions. I didn’t know the name of the reporter. I didn’t know anything,” he said. “I just knew that people were sort of talking about how there’s a story in the works.”
Kampia has been a key architect of many of the most significant marijuana policy victories over the past two decades, and has arguably been the legalization movement’s best fundraiser.
In the memo, he says that MLC “will work alongside the institutions he views as most effective in each sector” of the movement and industry. While the document names MPP, NCIA and New Federalism Fund as “leading the charge,” and says that the new company will “provide substantial funding” for Doctors for Cannabis Regulation (DFCR), the Law Enforcement Action Partnership (LEAP) and Clergy for a New Drug Policy, Kampia said in the interview that he hasn’t “cleared the fact that I want to give them money” with those groups.
LEAP and DFCR did not respond to requests for comment.
The memo says Kampia will divide his time between work on Texas, South Carolina, Michigan and congressional cannabis policy reform efforts as well as “raising money to make MDMA (known as ‘Ecstasy’) available as a prescription medicine for the treatment of PTSD and end-of-life anxiety.”
He plans to raise more than $2 million in 2018 from steering committees comprised of donors contributing at least $100,000 each.
When asked if the investors who have already committed nearly half a million dollars to the new venture are aware of the looming newspaper story on sexual misconduct allegations, Kampia said that “they know about the worst allegations that have ever been made about me, and I have no reason to believe that the [newspaper] story will be worse than that, so these guys are friends of the family and they’re not going to be surprised by anything in the [newspaper] and in fact they might be pleasantly surprised.”
Several of the projects mentioned in the MLC document are campaigns that Kampia had been raising money to support through MPP, but he rejected the idea that his outside efforts would drain the nonprofit of resources.
“Are there people that want to fund Texas where they might otherwise be nervous about writing a check to MPP, where they might have to pay for payroll for Rhode Island, Vermont and the national operation?” he asked, suggesting that his new outfit would be “value-added” rather than competition.
“One thing for sure that no one would do if not for the fact that I’m going to agitate for it, is to take out Congressman Pete Sessions,” he said, referring to the Republican House Rules Committee chairman who has consistently blocked marijuana amendments from being voted on. “Take out, meaning not to date him,” he said, but to un-elect him.
In the memo, Kampia twice offers quotes that he suggests are in jest, at least in part.
In the first instance, he jokes that working full-time for nonprofit organizations is “a good way to avoid amassing wealth,” while working on marijuana policy reform through an LLC will allow him to form business relationships with for-profit institutions.
Kampia, who owns a Washington, D.C,. row house that he has often referred to as “The Purple Mansion,” dismissed concerns that people might take offense to his quip about amassing wealth.
“It depends on what your definition of wealth is. I don’t have cash,” he said in the interview. “All my money goes into my mortgage. So you could say that I have wealth or not, depending on your perspective. I don’t mind if that offends people or not, because socialists who are averse to wealth probably already hate me.”
He also “half-jokingly” wrote that he hopes “to be standing behind President Rand Paul during his bill-signing ceremony [for ‘the ultimate bill to legalize marijuana on the federal level’] in the White House in 2022.”
“I don’t think Trump is going to survive reelection,” he said when asked what Paul’s path to the presidency in the 2020 election would be. “I would like to see [Trump] impeached…and I think Mike Pence is tainted as a result of being in bed with Trump. So I think that you are going to see a bunch of challengers… Rand Paul was obviously my favorite candidate last time around and so I’m cheering him on. I don’t have any inside knowledge, though. I haven’t talked to him personally.”
The memo mentions Kampia’s holiday vacation plans in the Caribbean and says that when he returns to the country the new organization will hold a series of leadership meetings in Austin, Dallas and Washington, D.C.
He will also write a book that “provides an insider’s look at the marijuana-legalization movement.” He told Marijuana Moment that the working title is, “How We Legalized Marijuana.”
The memo offers a very specific account of the book’s progress to date.
“I’m particularly excited about writing my book, which will be nonfiction but will oftentimes read like fiction, as my life is strewn with outrageous experiences that are sometimes relevant to readers who have an interest in politics generally and marijuana policy specifically,” Kampia wrote. “The book is already one-eighth written, and I’m planning to spend my time in the Bahamas and other sunny islands writing another three- eighths of the book. In fact, one reason I’m leaving MPP is to write this book, with an aggressive book tour planned for the fall of 2018.”
An MPP communications staffer could not be reached for comment by publication time, but a board member who did not wish to be named said, “I can confirm that we have been negotiating his permanent separation from the org for weeks and that he is no longer conducting any MPP business.”
Read Kampia’s full three-page memo on the new firm below:
Photo courtesy of ReasonTV.
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We have much to be merry for this year. Lawmakers in 26 states have passed legislation to advance cannabis reform, including New Hampshire becoming the 22nd state to decriminalize marijuana and West Virginia becoming the 30th state to pass a medical marijuana program.
This progress has come as a result of years of organizing and conversations with our fellow citizens about the role of government in relationship to a plant. Having the tough conversations about the scope of the government’s right to stop, search, and incarcerate individuals for possessing or consuming marijuana for either personal or medical benefits.
And now for the first time ever, Gallup polling recorded outright majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents supporting the legalization of marijuana. The only way to find out if this includes your aunts, uncles, cousins, and other relatives is if you bring it up.
So use us as a resource – NORML.org has Factsheets, Talking Points, and you can even pass your phone or computer around the table to have your friends and family contact their lawmakers right then and there to support reform in our Action Center.
As we look toward an uncertain future, we know we must work to both sustain our existing gains and to win future victories. With your continued financial support, we are confident that we can bring the era of marijuana prohibition to an end and usher in the new era of legalization. Together, we will be unstoppable. Together, we WILL legalize marijuana across this great country.
From all of us at NORML to all of you, we hope you have a very, very green Christmas.