donald abrams

U.S.: Prominent Physicians Launch Pro-Marijuana Legalization Group

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Some of the most prominent physicians in the United States have teamed up to launch the nation’s first organization of doctors formed to advocate for the legalization and regulation of cannabis for adult use.

"Given that decriminalization has proven to be an inadequate alternative to legalization, now is the time for physicians to begin advocating for effective government regulation of cannabis," Doctors For Cannabis Regulation (DFCR) states on its website.

Until recently, many physicians have been reluctant to publicly voice their opposition to the war on marijuana, lest they appear to condone recreational cannabis use and violate their ethical responsibility to “do no harm,” according to DFCR. But through daily immersion in anecdotal patient experience and scientific evidence, many knowledgeable American physicians recognize:

• Occasional use of cannabis by healthy adults is generally benign, making its prohibition unnecessary.
• Cannabis is far less harmful for adults than alcohol and tobacco, which are both legal because of the impracticality of prohibiting so-called ‘soft’ drugs.
• Cannabis can be harmful to minors, but prohibition doesn’t prevent children and teens from accessing the drug.
• The burden of cannabis prohibition falls disproportionately upon communities of color and the nation’s poor.

U.S.: Labels On Edible Marijuana Products Often Have Potency Wrong, Study Says

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By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

Most labels on edible marijuana products are inaccurate when it comes to levels of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the principal psychoactive ingredient in cannabis, researchers reported on Tuesday.

An analysis of 75 products sold to patients in Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles found that just 17 percent of the labels accurately described THC levels, reports Catherine Saint Louis at The New York Times. Sixty percent of the products had less THC than claimed on the packaging, and 23 percent of them had more THC than advertised.

"We need a more accurate picture of what's being offered to patients," said Dr. Donald Abrams, chief of hematology and oncology at San Francisco General Hospital. Dr. Abrams wasn't involved in the study, which was published in JAMA.

Products with too little THC may fail to deliver symptom relief, and those with too much may make users feel uncomfortable or anxious.

Cannabis candy, drinks and baked goods from 47 brands were tested in the new study by the Werc Shop, a laboratory with branches in Washington state and California. The study was paid for by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine except for the cost of the testing, which was covered by the Werc Shop; the company's CEO, Jeffrey Raber, is listed as a study author.

New York: Tikun Olam Announces Its First U.S. Medical Marijuana Partnership

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Tikun Olam® Ltd., the first, largest and foremost government-licensed producer of medical cannabis in Israel, on Thursday announced a joint partnership in New York State with Compassionate Care Center of New YorkTM (CCCNY), a privately held New York-based biopharmaceutical company applying to be a Registered Organization under New York's Compassionate Care Act, and MedReleaf Corp., a privately held federally-licensed producer and distributor of medical-grade cannabis in Canada, which has set the gold standard for the industrial production of medical-grade cannabis in North America.

Founded in 2005, Tikun Olam is the only large-scale industrial producer of medical cannabis in Israel, supplying one third of qualifying Israeli patients with pharmaceutical-grade products. Tikun Olam has the most extensive patient experience treatment database in the field of medical cannabis with over 10,000 patients being monitored for nearly a decade and the data for the treatment of each patient's ailments recorded along with the efficacy of the different strain variations and dosages administered.

It is the only private company to have its proprietary medical strains of specifically-bred cannabis clinically tested on humans and referenced by name in peer-reviewed published articles reporting on the successful trials. In fact, Tikun Olam's strain Erez® was used in the only completed double-blind-placebo clinical trial on humans for Crohn's disease, which resulted in complete remission for 50 percent of the patients in the cannabis group and 10 percent in the controlled group.

Illinois: Medical Cannabis Physicians' Summit Aims To Educate Medical Community

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The Canna Law Group, in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, Americans for Safe Access, and the Marijuana Policy Project, is co-hosting the Illinois Medical Cannabis Physicians’ Summit on Friday, June 5, 2015 at the Westin Chicago River North.

The summit will educate licensed medical professionals on current medical cannabis research, state and federal law, and the Illinois Medical Cannabis Pilot Program. “Educating the medical community about medical cannabis treatment options is essential for the long-term success of the program,” said Rep. Lou Lang, prime sponsor of the current medical cannabis law.

The event will feature as its keynote speaker leading cannabis researcher Dr. Donald Abrams, who has conducted multiple FDA-approved studies on the medical benefits of cannabis. Dr. Suzanne Sisley, another clinical researcher on cannabis who studies its benefits for PTSD sufferers, will also speak at the summit.

“Many doctors need to better understand the current research behind medical cannabis,” said Dr. Abrams. “This is a chance to share my own first-hand research experiences at the University of California San Francisco and educate Illinois doctors about how I've applied those experiences in a clinical setting.”

Also speaking is Dr. Leslie Mendoza-Temple, chair of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Advisory Board, who said “This will be an important event for any medical professional who wants to understand the research, law, and administrative processes of a program that will help thousands of patients in Illinois.”

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