U.S.: 25 Years Ago, DEA's Own Judge Ruled Cannabis Should Be Reclassified Under Federal Law


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Twenty-five years ago today, on September 6, 1988, an administrative ruling determined that marijuana has accepted medicinal uses, and for that reason it ought to be reclassified under federal law.

Drug Enforcement Administration Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis Young, in the ruling, determined: "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care."

"It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for DEA to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record," Judge Young continued in the ruling, "In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling."

"The administrative law judge recommends that the Administrator conclude that the marijuana plant considered as a whole has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, that there is no lack of accepted safety for use of it under medical supervision and that it may lawfully be transferred from Schedule I to Schedule II [of the federal Controlled Substances Act]."

Study: We're #1! Marijuana is the Top 'Illegal Drug' Used Worldwide


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

We're Number One! Marijuana is the most popular "illegal drug" in the world, according to the first-ever global survey of illicit drug use, but widely used opioid painkillers such as Vicodin, Oxycontin and codeine kill the most people. (Cannabis, of course, has never killed anyone in history.)

In addition to cannabis and opioids, researchers looked at abuse of cocaine and amphetamines in 2010, based largely on previous studies, reports the Associated Press. Ecstasy and psychedelic drugs weren't included, due to lack of data.

The scientists found that for all drugs studied, men in the 20s had the highest rates of "abuse." The countries where drug use was most prevalent were Australia, the United Kingdom, Russia and the United States. Results of the study were published online Thursday in the scientific journal The Lancet.

There were few solid numbers upon which to rely, according to the researchers, who came up with modeling techniques to reach estimates.

"Even if it is not very solid data, we can say definitely that there are drug problems in most parts of the world," said Theo Vos of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, the study's senior author.

Study: Cannabis Is The 'Least Risky Drug' For Driving


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A new study from Denmark confirms what cannabis advocates have said for years -- marijuana is much safer than other substances when it comes to driving impairment. When it comes to driving under the influence, alcohol is still the most deadly drug.

The results were published online in the scientific journal Accident Analysis & Prevention. They show that with a blood alcohol level of 1.2 g/L (0.12 percent BAC) or higher are 30 times more likely to get in a serious accident than drivers with any amount of cannabis in their system.

The results, of course, call into question the wisdom and justice of per-se marijuana DUI laws such as those instituted in Washington state by "legalization" measure Initiative 502. Until the per-se limit of five nanograms per milliliter (5 ng/ml) was made law by I-502, police had to prove actual impairment in contested DUI court cases.

After examining data from almost 2,500 serious car crashes in six European countries, the authors found that marijuana poses little threat of driving impairment.

While strict, and sometimes zero-tolerance, cannabis driving laws have been adopted in many places around the world, science continues to show that these laws exaggerate the risks of driving stoned, reports

Study: Heavy Marijuana Use Linked to Better Memory, Brain Function in Schizophrenia


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Marijuana helps patients with schizophrenia, according to new research from Canada.

A study published in the scholarly journal Psychiatry Research found that heavy cannabis users performed better on memory tasks than those who avoided marijuana.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans also revealed better brain function in an area responsible for complex thinking and decision making, reports

University of Montreal researchers studied 145 patients with a dual diagnosis -- "cannabis dependence" and schizophrenia -- and 14 patients with schizophrenia only. "Our results suggest that emotional memory and prefrontal lobe functioning are preserved in dual-diagnosis patients," the researchers wrote.

Researchers saw no difference between the emotional responses of the two groups during resting states, although patients were evaluated based on emotional memory.

The authors suggest that the better performance of marijuana users could reflect a "more general difference" in memory.

Switzerland: Marijuana Helps Keep Prisons Safe


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Allowing prison inmates to smoke marijuana -- it's an idea that makes so much sense, it would probably never be implemented, right? Wrong: The sensible Swiss have already done it.

A recent study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy estimates that 50 to 80 percent of inmates in Swiss prisons use cannabis. Marijuana is a relatively safe drug, according to prison staff, and cracking down on consumption would have more negative effects than positive ones.

Thirty-one male prisoners were interviewed, along with 27 prison staff, nine of whom were female.

Both guards and prisoners describe marijuana as a calming way to decrease the trauma of the prison experience. Survey participants said that a crackdown could increase fear and result in a shift to harder drug use.

While prisoners estimated up to 80 percent of inmates use marijuana, guards estimated it at only 50 percent.

(Graphic: North Platte Post)

Chile: Psychiatrist Leads Crusade To Legalize Marijuana


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

A Chilean psychiatrist known as "Dr. Marijuana" has earned notoriety in his South American nation for his crusade to legalize cannabis.

Dr. Milton Flores, 58, describes cannabis as "a tool and a medicine," reports Rafael Romo at CNN. He says he's used cannabis for years to treat patients with conditions including depression and anxiety -- and he's also smoked pot himself, for 44 years.

Flores is considered Chile's main advocate for cannabis legalization. He also favors legalization of other "entheogens" (psychoactive plants), including peyote, ayahuasca and San Pedro cactus. All were used by local shamans and healers well before the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century.

"Cannabis is neither good nor bad," Flores said. "Its use can be appropriate or inappropriate. It's a tool that can have very significant effects."

Flores has spoken out about his position throughout his career, going to great lengths to make his point. He has even been raided, twice, by Chilean drug enforcement authorities.

In March, police seized several marijuana plants at his mountain home. His case went all the way to the Chilean Supreme Court, but it was dismissed on a technicality. More recently, he was found guilty of growing 116 cannabis plants on his property; he was last week sentenced to 541 days -- more than 18 months -- of probation.

Study: Frequent Users of Marijuana, Alcohol and Tobacco Already Know the Health Risks


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Users of marijuana and alcohol tend to know more about the health effects of those substances than those who abstain, according to new research.

The findings, drawn from a large sample of Swiss men, showed that men who regularly use marijuana, alcohol and tobacco looked for information about the health risks of those substances more than those who didn't use them, reports Tia Ghose of Fox News reports.

This calls into question the effectiveness of campaigns against substance abuse, which often count on scare tactics highlighting the health risks of drugs, according to the study, which was published in the International Journal of Public Health on July 11.

"When you know a lot about the risks and everything about the substances, it doesn't really bring you to consume less," said study coauthor Petra Dermota, a psychologist at the University of Zurich. "You even consume more." (Perhaps in the case of cannabis, at least, once folks have looked into it and learned it is virtually harmless, they aren't scared to use it anymore.)

To see whether health information kept people from using drugs, Dermota and her associates surveyed 12,000 men, all around age 20, who were entering the Swiss Army. Because the Swiss have universal, mandatory military service, the sample represents a cross-section of the young male population, Dermota said.

California: Report Says Lung Effects of Smoking Marijuana Are Much Less Than With Tobacco


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The pulmonary impact of smoking marijuana regularly is far less than that of smoking tobacco, according to a comprehensive new review of the published evidence conducted by Dr. Donald P. Tashkin, emeritus professor of medicine and medical director of the pulmonary function laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Habitual marijuana use alone doesn't appear to lead to significant abnormalities in lung function, according to the report, nor does it increase the risks of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or either lung cancer or upper airway cancer, reports Bruce Jancin at The Oncology Report.

Smoking marijuana is, however, associated with an increase in symptoms of chronic bronchitis (due to inhaling the smoke); but these symptoms go away upon discontinuation of use, according to Dr. Tashkin (Ann. Am. Thorac. Soc. 2013;10:239-47).

"The accumulated weight of evidence implies far lower risks for pulmonary complications of even regular heavy use of marijuana, compared with the grave pulmonary consequences of tobacco," Dr. Tashkin concluded.

Dr. Tashkin's article is "the most comprehensive and authoritative review of the subject ever published," according to an accompanying editorial by Dr. Mark A. Ware.

Cannabis Common Sense: Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time (Live Stream)

Presented by Campaign for the Restoration and Regulation of Hemp (CRRH).

Cannabis Common Sense Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time (Live Stream)

The show that tells truth about marijuana & the politics behind its prohibition.

Live call in show, Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time, (503-288-4442) Cannabis Common Sense is intended to educate the public on the uses of cannabis in our society.

Feel free to call the show.

Watch the show on Ustream!

Be sure to check us out on Youtube!

Global: Outlawing Marijuana Censors Science, Researchers Say


By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The outlawing of natural substances such as cannabis, psilocybin mushrooms and other psychoactives amounts to scandalous censorship of science and hampers research into potentially important medicinal uses, leading scientists said on Wednesday.

"Drug laws" and international treaties have set back key research in areas such as consciousness by decades, the scientists argued in the journal Nature Reviews Neuroscience, reports Reuters.

"The decision to outlaw these drugs was based on their perceived dangers, but in many cases the harms have been overstated," pointed out David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London who is a former British government drugs advisor.

Nutt said the laws amounted "to the worse case of scientific censorship since the Catholic Church banned the works of Copernicus and Galileo," in a statement accompanying the paper.

"The laws have never been updated despite scientific advances and growing evidence that many of these drugs are relatively safe," Nutt said. "And there appears to be no way for the international community to make such changes."

United States: HI legislative committees approve hemp research


There is a truth that must be heard!

HONOLULU (AP) — Two Hawaii state Senate committees have given initial approval to allow privately-funded industrial hemp research.

The approvals Monday afternoon come after a House committee passed a measure last week to establish a pilot program using industrial hemp to get rid of toxins in soil.

Sen. Will Espero, a Democrat who authored the Senate bill, says industrial hemp research could help Hawaii grow its economy.

Espero says hemp has the potential to spur a variety of industries ranging from agriculture to fashion.

"You can even build a house out of hemp today," Espero said. "I saw something on YouTube recently."

Law enforcement officials oppose the bill, saying the law would make it harder for them to regulate marijuana.

The Maui Police Department submitted testimony saying that it doesn't have enough resources to deal with monitoring private hemp research facilities.

Espero says the state used to permit industrial hemp research but allowed the law to sunset in part because of the stigma associated with cannabis.

The Hawaii Legislature is also considering a bill to legalize marijuana. The House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing Friday addressing marijuana legalization and will make a decision about the bill Thursday.

Espero says industrial hemp research is a separate issue.

He says he is optimistic about the industrial hemp research proposal passing the Legislature.

United States: Pot compound seen as tool against cancer

By Victoria Colliver, SF Gate

There is a truth that must be heard! Marijuana, already shown to reduce pain and nausea in cancer patients, may be promising as a cancer-fighting agent against some of the most aggressive forms of the disease.

A growing body of early research shows a compound found in marijuana - one that does not produce the plant's psychotropic high - seems to have the ability to "turn off" the activity of a gene responsible for metastasis in breast and other types of cancers.

Two scientists at San Francisco's California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute first released data five years ago that showed how this compound - called cannabidiol - reduced the aggressiveness of human breast cancer cells in the lab.

Last year, they published a small study that showed it had a similar effect on mice. Now, the researchers are on the cusp of releasing data, also on animals, that expands upon these results, and hope to move forward as soon as possible with human clinical trials.

"The preclinical trial data is very strong, and there's no toxicity. There's really a lot of research to move ahead with and to get people excited," said Sean McAllister, who along with scientist Pierre Desprez, has been studying the active molecules in marijuana - called cannabinoids - as potent inhibitors of metastatic disease for the past decade.

United States: Medical cannabis researcher explains recent scientific review

By Sunil Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D., PGY-3, NYU Medical Center

There is a truth that must be heard! The article "Medical Marijuana: Clearing Away the Smoke" by Grant, Atkinson, Gouaux, and Wilsey published this month in Bentham Science’s 5-year-old, peer-reviewed, National Library of Medicine-indexed and internationally edited Open Neurology Journal represents a major milestone in the consolidation of knowledge and regularizing of clinical practice with regards to the medicinal use of cannabis.

The authors, well-established faculty members or associates at leading American academic medical centers, have yet again reviewed the gold-standard clinical trials-based evidence for medical uses of cannabis and related cannabinoids and have found:

1. that it is inaccurate to say that cannabis lacks medical utility or that information on its safety is lacking

2. that judgments on relative benefits and risks of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicines need to be viewed within the broader context of risk-benefit of other standard agents as well, many of which are associated with more serious adverse events, and

3. that enough information and clinical experience exists that an algorithm can be constructed to guide decision-making for physicians who may be considering recommending medicinal cannabis to patients with neuropathic pain, which the authors offer.

Joint Effort: Reefer Roadshow Asks Seniors to Support Medical Pot

Silver Tour Targets the Over-65 Set; A Rabbi's Interpretation of 'High Holy Day'

By Arian Campo-Flores, WSJ

There is a truth that must be heard! LAKE WORTH, Fla.—Selma Yeshion, an 83-year-old retiree here, says she long considered marijuana a menace. "I thought it was something that was addictive" and "would lead to harder drugs," she says.

United States: Researchers study neuroprotective properties in cannabis

There is a truth that must be heard! With more states opting to legalize the sale of medical marijuana, researchers are taking a closer look at the use of cannabis to treat chronic illnesses.

Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of, recently sat down with the Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham, to find out how it’s being studied.

Dr. Manny: Now from the medical marijuana perspective, as far as the treatment of chronic illnesses, what is it about cannabis that makes it that special?

Medicine Hunter: Well, it seems that there are primarily two things – there's the THC, that's what people associated with getting high. And that appears to have a saliatory effect on the eyes in case of glaucoma. For people who are suffering from chemotherapy and can't eat, it helps to get their appetite back. And we also know that it is a potent pain reliever – and science on that goes back to the 1890s.

But there’s another agent in cannabis that is getting more attention now, and that is called cannabidiol. And this is something that you can swallow by the bucket-full, and it won't get you high at all. But it appears to have profound nerve-protective and brain-enhancing properties. And interestingly enough, it also induces an anti-anxiety effect.

Study: Marijuana negative health claims go up in smoke

By Ardee Napolitano, The Daily Collegian

There is a truth that must be heard! Unlike tobacco, smoking marijuana – even when done regularly – does not damage the performance of people’s lungs, according to a recent study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association.

The two-decade research, which followed 5,000 people who smoked an equivalent of one joint per day over the course of seven years, found out that despite their regular marijuana use, subjects were still able to push out a normal amount of air in one second after taking a deep breath. This means that only minimal if any pulmonary obstruction has developed, contrary to findings involving tobacco.

“Recent evidence indicates that smoking marijuana, for lung cancer, is not as bad as smoking tobacco is,” said Lyle Craker, a plant sciences professor at the University of Massachusetts who has studied medical marijuana for several years now. “Marijuana is relatively less dangerous than some other drugs.”

One possible explanation from the authors of the study states that because marijuana users “train” themselves to hold in the smoke, they were able to maintain proper breathing cycles.

Still, smoking marijuana can result in heavy coughing and is linked to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The NIDA also states that cannabis impairs users’ senses by reducing attention span and motivation, which makes them prone to accidents.

Vermont: Bill Would Allow Medical Marijuana For PTSD

Mitch Wertlieb, VPR News

There is a truth that must be heard! A Vermont lawmaker wants to let people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder be treated for the condition with legally prescribed medical marijuana.

The idea is to help sufferers sleep better if they're plagued by disturbing dreams brought on by PTSD, and calm themselves from feelings of panic and anxiety associated with the disorder.

That's the subject of today's Regional Report, when we take a look at stories of interest on-line and in newspapers around the state. The medical marijuana story is reported by Krista Langlois in the Valley News this week. Langois tells VPR's Mitch Wertlieb that the bill is being introduced in the House by Thetford State Representative Jim Masland.


Kentucky: Restoring Hemp to Commonwealth Would Create Thousands of Jobs

By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent

There is a truth that must be heard! Kentucky farmers may soon be able to plant the crop their forefathers grew: hemp.

Farmers throughout the state believe hemp will overtake tobacco as Kentucky's cash crop, creating a significant economic impact, especially after processing centers are built across the state.

Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is spearheading the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission pushing to bring the crop back via House Bill 286. If the bill is approved by the General Assembly, Comer will petition federal authorities for a permit for Kentucky to grow hemp.

"It's symbolic," Comer proclaimed. "But this will send a message to Washington that we're serious about this in Kentucky." "There's a void in many family farms," he said. "I believe that industrial hemp is a viable option for family farmers in Kentucky."

"University of Louisville did a study several years ago and said it would create 17,000 jobs immediately," according to Sen. Joe Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville.

"Construction products can be made from hemp, studs, beams, and posts. And you know what the greatest thing about them is? They are durable and lightweight," stated Rep. Richard Henderson, D-Jeffersonville.

Colorado: Hemp study pushed by lawmakers could aide toxic cleanup

By Debi Brazzale, Colorado News Agency

There is a truth that must be heard! Denver, Colo. — Planting fields of hemp to absorb toxins in contaminated soil is a concept worth looking at, said two rural lawmakers at the Capitol.

Rep. Wes McKinley, D-Walsh, and Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, D-Sterling, are having a bill drafted that would create a pilot program, funded by gifts, grants and donations, to research the crop’s potential.

Areas that may benefit, said McKinley, are Rocky Flats, once the site of a nuclear weapons plant, and the Cotter Corporation’s uranium mine near Golden, as well as numerous abandoned mining properties around the state.

The hemp plants, which have been shown to absorb toxins from soil, would also provide benefits to both farmers and consumers, said McKinley.

"It would be nice to clean up these contaminated areas," said McKinley. "Hemp can be a very beneficial crop providing food, fuel and fiber."

Sonnenberg says if the study proves right, the plant could address agricultural problems with contaminated soil, too.

"There are so many possibilities for industrial hemp that it only makes sense to create win-win situations for agriculture," said Sonnenberg.


United States: The Case for Treating PTSD in Veterans With Medical Marijuana

Studies have already shown the benefits of marijuana for those suffering from PTSD, but can our government agencies be convinced?

By Martin Mulcahey, The Atlantic

There is a truth that must be heard! Researchers are one bureaucratic hurdle away from gaining approval for the first clinical examination on the benefits of marijuana for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), working under the auspices of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, are preparing a three-month study of combat veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The plan is on hold until the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Public Health Service (part of the Department of Health and Human Services) agrees to sell researchers the marijuana needed for research -- or until the marijuana can be legally imported. Social and political intrigue surrounding this research is far reaching, attracting opposing factions who must cede biases for the greater good and well-being of servicemen and servicewomen.

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