DEA and Justice Department at Odds on Medical Pot Research

Photo by Justin Cannabis.

A year ago, the DEA began accepting applications to grow more marijuana for research. They now have 25 proposals to consider, but they need the Department of Justice (DOJ) to sign-off in order to move forward.

So, of course, Jeff Sessions is ignoring them. Actually, he’s blocking them.

Read more at High Times

VA Studies Find Medical Pot Good for Nerve Pain

A recent research review found that medical marijuana may be effective at reducing chronic nerve pain, known as neuropathy, common among diabetes sufferers.

Dr. Sachin Patel of the Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital in Nashville said the findings on MMJ and neuropathy “fit generally well with what we know.”

In the second research review, both of which were commissioned by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, researchers came up with less evidence that cannabis helps treat other types of pain or the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

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Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2017

Representatives Andy Harris, M.D. (R-MD-01), Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03), H. Morgan Griffith (R-VA-09), and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19) introduced H.R. 3391: The Medical Marijuana Research Act of 2017.

This Act amends the federal law to facilitate clinical investigations involving the use of cannabis and cannabis-derived products.

As you may know, there are many benefits to medical cannabis. Those suffering from PTSD, Tourette’s Syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, and many other debilitating conditions have found relief because of medical marijuana.  

Read more at NORML

Can Topical Cannabis Heal Wounds?

Photo by Justin Cannabis.

With vaping and edibles getting so much attention these days, let us not forget about the value and benefits of topical cannabis, like balms, lotions, oils and salves, that are showing remarkable results in healing skin wounds and abrasions, as well as easing muscular pain.

The cannabis plant contains over 90 unique chemicals, known as cannabinoids, with THC being the primary and best-known compound for obvious reasons, cannabidiol (CBD) is now recognized as the second compound of significance.

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Setting the Record Straight

One of NORML’s primary missions is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults. One of the ways we successfully achieve this goal is by debunking marijuana myths and half-truths via the publication of timely op-eds in online and print media. Since the mainstream media seldom casts a critical eye toward many of the more over-the-top claims about cannabis, we take it upon ourselves to set the record straight.

The majority of NORML’s rebuttals are penned by Deputy Director Paul Armentano. In the past few weeks, he has published numerous op-eds rebuking a litany of popular, but altogether specious claims about the cannabis plant – including the contentions that cannabis consumption is linked to heart attacks, psychosis, violence, and a rise in emergency room visits and traffic fatalities, among other allegations.

Below are links to a sampling of his recent columns.:

Read more at NORML

Feds to Study Curbing Opioid Epidemic with Medical Pot

The underbelly of the capitalist beast that is the United States government is working to get to the bottom of the claims that have surfaced over the past couple of years, suggesting that medical marijuana is effective at reducing opioid consumption in adults suffering from chronic pain.

It was revealed last week that the National Institutes of Health recently awarded a $3.8 million grant to the scientific minds at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Health System to conduct a five-year investigation to determine whether cannabis medicine could be used as an alternative to prescription painkillers.

This is the first time Uncle Sam has ever coughed up a single cent to delve deeper into an increasing body of evidence pointing to cannabis as the trapdoor out of the opioid epidemic.

Read more at High Times

How Marijuana Can Help Treat Addictions to Opioids, Other Rx Drugs and Alcohol

Photo by Javier Hasse. 

This article was originally published on Benzinga, and adapted exclusively for HIGH TIMES.

People often talk about marijuana as an alternative to opioids and as a treatment for numerous addictions like alcohol and tobacco. But, like most praises (and condemnations) of weed, these claims are frequently based on hearsay rather than on actual science or quantitative evidence.

Read more at High Times

Every Famous Astrophysicist Agrees: Marijuana Should Be Legalized

Photo by Vortex Farmacy.

There aren’t very many famous scientists in the world—for some reason, celebrity and peer-reviewed research don’t go hand-in-hand—but where popular culture and rational inquiry intersect, the resulting Venn diagram is pro-marijuana.

On Monday, prominent astrophysicist (and Twitter personality) Neil deGrasse Tyson joined the ranks of learned academics to endorse cannabis legalization. Who knew—there isn’t an intellectually honest argument in support of drug prohibition and the carceral state to be had.

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Study: History Of Marijuana Use Associated With Decreased In-Hospital Mortality In Trauma Patients

Trauma patients who test positive for marijuana upon their admission to the intensive care unit are less likely to die during hospitalization than are age-matched controls, according to data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.

A team of researchers from the University of Arizona analyzed the in-hospital mortality rates of adults admitted into the ICU over a five-year period, of which 2,678 were matched (1,339: marijuana positive, 1,339 marijuana negative).

Authors concluded: “Patients with a positive marijuana screen had a lower mortality rate (5.3 percent versus 8.9 percent) compared to patients with a negative marijuana screen. … Prospective studies with long-term follow up will be useful in answering many of the remaining questions surrounding the specific impact of marijuana on outcomes after trauma.”

Read more at NORML

Report: Doctors Who Graduated from Harvard Prescribe Fewer Opioids

Physicians who studied medicine at Ivy League schools are less likely to prescribe opioid medications, according to a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research.

A couple of economists from Princeton University have determined that doctors who graduated from some of the leading universities in the United States, specifically Harvard Medical School, are prescribing somewhere around three times fewer opioid painkillers than their counterparts hailing from a less prestigious alma-mater.

The research shows that doctors trained at Harvard wrote an average of 180 prescriptions for opioids every year, while physicians who graduated from lower ranked medical programs wrote 550 scripts annually during the same timeframe.

Read more at High Times