Category Archives: Medical Marijuana

Health & Wellness Medical Marijuana

Marijuana in Colorado Found With Fungus and Foreign Materials

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Have you tried taking fungus with your pot? Marijuana users in Colorado may be in for a surprise.

Denver medical lab company Charas Scientific discovered traces of fungus, butane, and heavy metals in samples of recreational marijuana sold in Colorado. Andy LaFrate, who works as president and director of research at the lab facility, was surprised with the presence of foreign matter in cannabis samples. “You’ll see a marijuana bud that looks beautiful. And then we run it through a biological assay and we see that it’s covered in fungi,” LaFrate shared in a news report.

The findings were part of voluntary tests by lab facilities accredited by the state to conduct potency analysis on marijuana samples, with Charas Scientific one of those companies. Testing for contaminants has not been mandated by state law, although some lab firms have conducted their own tests. Charas business development chief Mary Meek said that the importance of product purity could bear a significant impact to the health of users. “Right now [the testing] is not in effect for marijuana, so you don’t really know how dirty or clean your product is right now,” Meek said. “The problem is it’s not been tracked. You may just think you’re getting a cold and it may look like allergies, when in reality it could be something else going on.”

The company, however, is quick to dismiss the notion that the revelation of this startling finding is meant to scare people from buying pot. “We want to label your marijuana like we would label your liquor or your beer. You want to know your items have been tested and they’re safe,” Meek added.

State law requires potency and consistency tests on recreational marijuana sold in retail shops.

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Medical Marijuana Real Drug Stories

Study Says Medical Marijuana Smokers Use it to Replace Prescription Opioids

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The majority of qualified patients in Rhode Island who get their medical marijuana from a state-licensed dispensary report that they use it instead of taking regular prescription drugs, particularly prescription opioids.

The revelation comes from a demographic review of patient characteristics published in The Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.

Sixty-nine percent of respondents used cannabis to treat chronic pain and 56% said they had used marijuana as a substitute for pharmaceutical drugs, according to researchers at Brown University in Providence and the University of Arkansas.

Over 90% of respondents reported that marijuana was associated with fewer side effects than conventional pain medications.

Most respondents in the study possessed health insurance and had never received treatment for drug or alcohol use and they represented about half of the total number of licensed patients in Rhode Island.

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Medical Marijuana Substance Abuse

Alaska Legalizes Marijuana Use With More Lenient Rules Than Other States

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The state may be chilly, but the latest hot topic in Alaska is now burning up the presses.

A voter initiative in Alaska has pushed the legalization of marijuana in the state February 24, bringing years of convoluted laws surrounding the issue to a close. The approved plans allows use and safekeeping of cannabis, as well as bring it in transport, grow plants and distribute them. However, people caught using pot in public will be slapped with a fine of $100. This makes Alaska the third U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana, after Colorado and Washington.

Despite the affirmative vote for marijuana use, many citizens are concerned about what this might bring to the state, especially after the observed rise in other similar abuse issues on drugs and alcohol. Edward Nick of Manokotak, Alaska said that his village prohibits alcohol and drug use, whether in public or in the privacy of one’s home. “When they start depending on smoking marijuana, I don’t know how far they’d go to get the funds they need to support it, to support themselves,” Nick said in a news release.

Proponents of the marijuana voter initiative include “libertarians, rugged individualists and small-government Republicans,” according to AP. The initiative will allow communities such as Manokotak to regulate marijuana use in the confines of local law, just like they do in alcohol.

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Medical Marijuana

Minnesota Seeking Labs to Test Medical Marijuana

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Minnesota is in the market for labs that can test its medical marijuana for content, contamination and consistency.

The state aims to certify laboratories to test marijuana cultivated for medicinal use. Applications from interested labs to the Department of Health are due next month and labs should be chosen by mid-April.

It’s the latest move to get Minnesota’s limited medical marijuana program off the ground by summer.

Medical marijuana is legal in the state for a handful of conditions like cancer, HIV and AIDS. It will be available in pill, oil or vaporized form but eligible patients won’t be allowed to get it in plant form for smoking.

Two manufacturers have been selected to cultivate the cannabis. If all goes as planned, the medicine will be available starting July 2015.

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Medical Marijuana

Medical Experts View Marijuana As The Future of Therapeutics

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Medical marijuana has become the answer to illnesses and ailments of many Americans, but debates are still ongoing as to its benefits and hazards.

McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) recently hosted a symposium featuring medical experts in the U.S. the U.K. to delve into the rise in popularity of medical marijuana and how it has changed the world’s perspective on treatment. The gathering was in line with this year’s American Association for the Advancement of Science Annual Meeting in California, according to a news release.

A number of doctors may not be able to guarantee the effectiveness of cannabis to treat illnesses, but they say that patients must be informed about their choices. “I don’t think that every physician should prescribe medical cannabis, or that every patient can benefit but it’s time to enhance our scientific knowledge base and have informed discussions with patients,” according to Dr. Mark Ware, who heads the health center’s Alan Edwards Pain Management Unit clinical research.

Ware believes that now is the perfect time to be open-minded about medical marijuana, although he admits that more studies need to be conducted to understand the drug further. “We need to advance our understanding of the role of cannabinoids in health and disease through research and education for patients, physicians and policy-makers,” Ware added.

Dr. Igor Grant, who serves as director of the University of California’s Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR), sees the potential of medical marijuana to advance neurological treatment. “Despite a commonly held view that cannabis use results in brain damage, meta analyses of extensive neurocognitive studies fail to demonstrate meaningful cognitive declines among recreational users… Bain imaging has produced variable results, with the best designed studies showing null findings,” Grant said.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active potent ingredient of marijuana, is approved as a drug for pharmaceutical purposes in several U.S. states as well as selected countries around the world.

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Medical Marijuana

Colorado Revisits Medical Marijuana Law Five Years After Approval

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It’s hard to imagine that the medical marijuana legislation in Colorado is approaching its five-year mark. As part of the law’s stipulations, Colorado state lawmakers need to renew the pot regulations this year, by introducing an updated bill before the January 23 deadline. Otherwise, the law will expire and the state will no longer be allowed to use marijuana for medical purposes.
This development is giving rise to a group of senators who are planning to block plans to change the existing regulations of the medical marijuana law, according to a news item. The administration side led by Gov. John Hickenlooper proposed 15 alterations to the law, including stricter regulations for medical marijuana growers. However, the move was rejected by the Senate, which prefers to take votes on each stipulation to the dot.

Sen. Owen Hill, R-Colorado Springs is one of the lawmakers who believe that updating the Colorado medical marijuana law requires a more detailed approach. “Many of these are rather major policy changes and those should be debated individually,” said Hill. The panel who will deliberate on the law is composed of two Democrats and three Republicans, all from the Senate Finance Comittee.

One of the prickly recommendations by the administration include more stringent monitoring on caregivers, who grow marijuana on behalf of the patients prescibed to use them. The existing law does not require the caregivers to divulge the location of their growing facilities.

Medical Marijuana

Smartphone App Developed For Alcohol and Marijuana Home Deliveries

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An iPhone app to send marijuana directly to your doorstep?

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The clamor for marijuana in California continues to rise as a new smartphone app offers medical marijuana deliveries. Nestdrop, the company behind the alcohol delivery service in California using a mobile app, has now pushed its software further by selling medical marijuana and sending it to a California address.

According to the company, Nestdrop is the first app of its kind. Other delivery service apps require other online stores to process the sale and delivery, but Nestdrop is a purely app-based service.

Ordering medical marijuana through the mobile app requires the users to upload a snapshot of their medical marijuana card or a doctor’s prescription along with their ID card. The users then select their desired pot variant and enter the amount that they want to purchase. Within one hour, the product is delivered to the address specified in the order. The source of the marijuana will depend on the collective the buyer belongs to.

Service coverage for Nestdrop is currently confined within a section of Los Angeles, but the company is planning to expand depending on the demand. Michael Pycher, co-owner of Nestdrop, explained the company’s drive to move towards the medical marijuana business. “After our initial success with alcohol deliveries, we decided to expand when we saw how this platform could be used to bring difficult-to-obtain products to people who really need them,” Pycher said in a news release.

The current iteration of Nestdrop is available in iPhones and Android devices, with the iOS app pending approval by Apple.

Health & Wellness Medical Marijuana

Robin Williams’ Death Puts Marijuana in Spotlight for Parkinson’s Treatment

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Days after the suicide of acclaimed actor Robin Williams, news outlets have been burning up on the issue of his diagnosed Parkinson’s Disease. Amidst reports that the disease had partly affected the actor’s psyche and led to his self-inflicted demise, some advocates are using the current hot topic as a means to revive the idea of using marijuana as a treatment for Parkinson’s Disease.

robin williamsSome studies in the past have focused on the benefits of marijuana in treating the disease. One research paper was released by proponents from Tel Aviv University, which revealed that administering pot in patients diagnosed with the disease exhibited improvements in pain and rigidity. In fact, the nation of Israel has already approved the use of medical marijuana to treat the neural condition.

Still another study conducted in May of this year by the American Academy of Neurology showed that cannabis was beneficial in treating multiple sclerosis, the symptoms of which are similar to Parkinson’s. Although there have been no studies in the U.S. that targeted Parkinson’s Disease using marijuana, the recent news of Williams’ death has definitely triggered experts to look into the matter.

Marijuana Policy Project proponent Mason Tvert emphasized the advantages of medical marijuana in a wide array of diseases. “If it can improve the quality of life for an individual living with Parkinson’s Disease, they should be able to access it legally and safely,” Tvert said in a news release.

Health & Wellness Medical Marijuana

Nebraska Lawmakers Looking to Make Marijuana Oil Legal

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A group of Nebraska lawmakers wants to legalize marijuana oil for patients with severe forms of epilepsy.

Influenced by families who have moved to Colorado because they want legal access to marijuana to deal with a family member’s seizures, the group of Nebraska lawmakers wants to craft a bill legalizing the drug in Nebraska so other families don’t have to leave.marijuana

“I am a seizure victim myself. It’s been 20 years since I had my last one. Always had an interest in epilepsy and trying to deal with solutions to it,” said state Sen. Al Davis, who just returned from Colorado on a medical marijuana research trip with colleagues Sens. Sue Crawford and Tommy Garrett. The Gillen family joined them.

“It has come full circle. I feel like the more that we’ve been educating legislators and the public of the better accepted it is,” said Shelley Gillen, mother for legal medical marijuana.

The Gillens want the marijuana extract cannabidiol oil legalized in Nebraska for their son Will, who suffers from severe epilepsy.

“I really think they will be able to present a positive argument for why this is a good thing,” said Dominic Gillen, father for legal medical marijuana

“I think it will be a easier to sell them then it was a year ago,” said Davis, who said he saw how cannabidiol oil dramatically reduced seizures in children with epilepsy during the Colorado trip. “I think we will prevail this next year. I just can’t imagine anybody who meets these parents and sees what they are going through and what these children are going through as far as the disease concerns would ever say no to this.”

“When people realize this is not about getting high, I understand that it is the oil in the process can be done in a safe way it’s very hard to find people that are against it,” said Dominic Gillen.

Medical Marijuana Substance Abuse

Bill Clinton Pushes for Marijuana “Laboratories of Democracy”

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billclintonIn yet another controversial remark from one of the most influential people in recent history, former U.S. president Bill Clinton expressed his openness to studying marijuana within the confines of state law.

According to an NBC interview as published at Yahoo! News, Clinton wants the public to be informed about the whole pot debacle. “I think there’s a lot of evidence to argue for the medical marijuana thing,” said Clinton. He futher added that the issue on marijuana legalization should be dealt with at the state level, and not through federal law. “I think we should leave it to the states… If the state wants to try it, they can. And then they’ll be able to see what happens,” Clinton expressed.

His stance is based on the premise of creating “laboratories of democracy, because nobody really knows where [the issue on marijuana] is going.” Clinton wants the public to get clear answers to unresolved queries about pot.” Are there adequate quality controls? There’s pot and there’s pot; what’s in it? What’s going to happen? There are all these questions.”

It may be recalled that in 1992, the former president admitted to experimenting with the controversial substance, but adamantly denied having inhaled it.