Study: Crimes Spike Following Closing of Dispensaries

The closure of medical marijuana dispensaries is associated with an increase in larceny, property crimes, and other criminal activities, according to data published in the Journal of Urban Economics.

Researchers at the University of Southern California and the University of California, Irvine assessed the impact of dispensary closures on neighborhood crimes rates in the city of Los Angeles. Investigators analyzed crime data in the days immediately prior to and then immediately after the city ordered several hundred operators to be closed. Authors reported an immediate increase in criminal activity – particularly property crime, larceny, and auto break ins – in the areas where dispensary operations were forced to close as compared to those neighborhoods were dispensaries remained open.

“[W]e find no evidence that closures decreased crime,” authors wrote. “Instead, we find a significant relative increase in crime around closed dispensaries.” Specifically, researchers estimated that “an open dispensary provides over $30,000 per year in social benefit in terms of larcenies prevented.”

Read more at NORML

How 2 Grad Students Rewrote Nevada’s DUI Laws on Pot

In these dark days of science denial, or as some call it, willful ignorance, it’s encouraging when the work of a couple of grad students is taken so seriously that it changes one of the many erroneous laws on marijuana.

Two students at Touro University Nevada came to an important conclusion after their professor instructed the medical jurisprudence class to design a project involving medical law and public health and to participate in a poster competition.

“We were actually drawing a blank on what our project could be… when we read something in the paper about voters going to the polls on recreational marijuana,” said Charles Cullison who worked with Graham Lambert on the class project.

Read more at High Times

Study: Cannabinoids Reduce Migraine Frequency

The prolonged daily administration of cannabinoids is associated with a reduction in migraine headache frequency, according to clinical trial data presented at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology.

Italian researchers compared the efficacy of oral cannabinoid treatments versus amitriptyline – a depressant commonly prescribed for migraines – in 79 chronic migraine patients over a period of three months. Subjects treated daily with a 200mg dose of a combination of THC and CBD achieved a 40 percent reduction in migraine frequency – a result that was similar to the efficacy of amitriptyline therapy.

Subjects also reported that cannabinoid therapy significantly reduced acute migraine pain, but only when taken at doses above 100mg. Oral cannabinoid treatment was less effective among patients suffering from cluster headaches.

Read more at NORML

Science: Lance Armstrong’s PEDs Were Bunk, Didn’t Enhance Performance

The only thing worse than losing seven Tour de France titles for using performance-enhancing drugs —other than, like, death, poverty or any number of the quotidian, actual misfortunes we plebs suffer every day—is losing seven Tour de France titles for using performance-enhancing drugs that didn’t enhance your performance.

This cosmic joke is the latest sling suffered by disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, the inspirational, cancer-surviving, wife-leaving, friendship-destroying story once worn around every the wrist of every positive-thinking American susceptible to a popular fad.

In case you forgot—and who could blame you, since 2012 was so very long ago—here’s the story arc: In 1996, Lance Armstrong, obscure American professional cyclist, is diagnosed with cancer. He beats cancer, and then, beginning in 1999, beats everybody else in the Tour de France, cycling’s World Cup, every year, for seven straight years. (At the time, at least part of the credit for Armstrong’s incredible run, in addition to spectacular luck and the ruthless efficiency and selfless sacrifice of his U.S. Postal Service teammates, was due to his super-sized internal organs.) He leaves his wife for a rock star, every insufferable person in America wears a Livestrong bracelet, he is God.

Read more at High Times

Harry’s World: The Neuroscience Behind Whether Plants Can Think

I think, therefore I am. I am, therefore I think.

Anyone that has experience growing plants, and not just cannabis plants, will attest to the fact that they have seen moments when their plants are happy and when they are sad.

Does this mean that there is some form of thought that a plant can communicate or create?

Read more at High Times

Are Drug Overdoses This Generation’s AIDS Crisis?

A public health researcher recently told a reporter about a 29-year-old man who said that half of his West Virginia high school class was dead—mostly from opioid and heroine overdoses.

This is not an uncommon story. I’ve heard the same, all to often, in my home state of Ohio.

“We are moving beyond an epidemic. I would call it a crisis,” Dr. Daniel Ciccarone, a San Francisco-based public health researcher told the Guardian.  

Read more at High Times

Research Finds Cannabis-Based Medication Successful in Treating Migraines

Research on the extraordinary properties and medical benefits of cannabis is taking off. Yet another study has confirmed that cannabinoids are more effective in reducing the frequency of acute migraine headache pain than currently prescribed medication. And, naturally, there are far fewer side effects.

The study, which included 127 participants who suffered from chronic migraine and cluster headaches, which are severe headaches that occur on one side of the head usually around one eye. Migraine pain usually affects both sides of the head and is often accompanied by sensitivity to light, visual distortions and nausea.

The researchers, who presented their findings at the 3rd Congress of the European Academy of Neurology in Amsterdam, gave study participants a cannabis-based medication that was a combination of THC and CBD.

Read more at High Times

Big Pharma Is Developing Cannabis Painkillers

Ever since reports began to surface about how a growing number of patients in medical marijuana states are now using the herb as an alternative to prescription painkillers, the pharmaceutical industry has been trying to find an angle in order to win back profits.

In fact, it was recently revealed that some of America’s drug makers are currently on a mission to manufacture cannabis-based pain relievers in hopes of cashing in on the call for opioid substitutes.

According to a report from Reuters, pharmaceutical companies such as Axim Biotechnologies Inc, Nemus Bioscience Inc and Intec Pharma Ltd are in the midst of developing cannabis painkillers that could one day be sold in pharmacies across the nation.

Read more at High Times

Study: Patients Report Substituting Cannabis For Opioids, Other Pain Medications

Pain patients report successfully substituting cannabis for opioids and other analgesics, according to data published online in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and Kent State University in Ohio assessed survey data from a cohort of 2,897 self-identified medical cannabis patients.

Among those who acknowledged having used opioid-based pain medication within the past six months, 97 percent agreed that they were able to decrease their opiate intake with cannabis. Moreover, 92 percent of respondents said that cannabis possessed fewer adverse side-effects than opioids. Eighty percent of respondents said that the use of medical cannabis alone provided greater symptom management than did their use of opioids.

Read more at NORML

Jeff Sessions Stridently Ignores Cannabis Science to Our Collective Peril

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.

Read more at High Times