Committee holds first meeting on Ga. medical marijuana

By Christopher BuchananPublished: August 27, 2014

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ATLANTA (WJCL) — State Representative Allen Peake (R-Macon) today released the following statement at the conclusion of the first meeting of the Prescription of Medical Cannabis for Serious Medical Conditions Joint Study Committee:

Peake

I am very pleased with the turnout and support we received at today’s meeting.  It is imperative that we, as lawmakers, do everything within our means to study medical cannabis, so that we can help those families who are suffering from terminal illnesses here in Georgia find a solution – one that will not require them to travel outside of our state, thus becoming ‘medical refugees.’

We have clear evidence that our legislature and Georgians desire legislation that would allow this treatment to be legal in our state, and we need to act now.

Today we heard testimony from individuals who have firsthand experience with cannabis oil, and who have researched and made it their mission to advocate for this type of legislation.

These testimonies provided an in-depth analysis of regulation and cultivation models that other states have successfully implemented, as well as a look at the legislative structures that various states have crafted.

Today’s testimonies also supplied us with a wealth of information and research that supports the growing demand for medical cannabis in our state, as well as its effective use in other states.  We have the unique opportunity to learn from the successes and failures that other states have experienced and use that information to create the best legislation that we can.

Our goal is to use these meetings as a tool to learn more about medical cannabis from various aspects and perspectives, have meaningful discussion, and obtain enough information to create the best infrastructure for a future bill.

I look forward to hearing more information from additional viewpoints on this topic as we go on the road for this series of meetings.

 

The committee will hold its next meeting on Wednesday, September 10 at Mercer University in Macon. Additional meeting details will be forthcoming.

The Prescription of Medical Cannabis for Serious Medical Conditions Joint Study Committee was created by SR 981 following the 2014 legislative session.  Committee members include: Sen. Renee Unterman (co-chair), Rep. Allen Peake (co-chair), Sen. Dean Burke (R – Bainbridge), Sen. Butch Miller (R – Gainesville), Sen. Curt Thompson (D – Tucker), Rep. Rich Golick (R – Smyrna), Rep. Micah Gravley (R – Douglasville), and Rep. Margaret Kaiser (D – Atlanta).  Rep. Peake co-chairs this study committee, along with Senator Renee Unterman (R-Buford).

For more information on the Prescription of Medical Cannabis for Serious Medical Conditions Joint Study Committee, click here.

Take It From a Cop: The Drug War Poisons Community Policing

Events in Ferguson expose US law enforcement's longstanding abandonment of its founding ethical principles. Rebuilding relationships with the people we've harmed won't come easily.

 

Police officers in Ferguson watch as demonstrators protest the death of Michael Brown. Photo via

Police officers in Ferguson watch as demonstrators protest the death of Michael Brown. Photo via

The Ferguson riots are the latest high-profile example of the deep schism between American law enforcement and the communities it serves. This schism has been made demonstrably worse by the way the drug war has blurred the police mission. The community policing mission should always be fundamentally different to that of the military—yet that often hasn’t been the case, thanks in large part to wrongheaded policies put in place decades ago.

The long history of racial disparity in the enforcement of our drug policies was greatly exacerbated by the architect of the modern war on drugs, Richard Nixon. His vision was to create a crime- and violence-free society—but his false belief was that black heroin addicts were the primary cause of crime in our communities.

Nixon once stated to his aide H.R. Haldeman, “you have to face the fact that the whole problem is really the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to.”

Nixon’s dream of devising a criminal justice system that targets communities of color through the mechanism of our drug policies was achieved. According to the ACLU report “War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing,” among myriad other sources, law enforcement’s attempt to eradicate drug use in America has hit communities of color the hardest.

Clearly, the fatal shooting of Michael Brown on August 9 and the ensuing riots in Ferguson are about many different things. But the drug war’s militarization of our cops is the fuel that ignited this conflagration—and continues to spark many others in communities where aggressive policing and harsh tactics, such as “stop-and-frisk,” are wrongly believed to be an effective tool to curb crime.

Finish reading here @ Substance.com

Over 20 Cities Will Vote Whether to Depenalize Marijuana This Fall

A growing number of local ballot measures would depenalize pot-related offenses across the country.

 

August 20, 2014  |  

In Michigan, voters in over a dozen municipalities – including Saginaw (population 51,000), East Lansing (population 49,000), Port Huron (population 30,000) and Oak Park (population 29,000) – will decide on local measures to eliminate citywide penalties that prohibit the possession, transfer, or use of cannabis on private property by adults for non-medical purposes. Voters in another Michigan city, Utica (population 5,000), will also decide on separate language seeking to deprioritize the enforcement of minor marijuana offenses by local police.

 
All of the measures are sponsored by the Safer Michigan Coalition and are part of the group’s long-term strategy to incrementally change the state’s marijuana laws – city by city, if necessary. In past years, voters several of the state’s largest cities, including Detroit (population 700,00), Grand Rapids (population 191,000), and Lansing (population 114,000) enacted similar measures. Earlier this month, voters in two more municipalities, Oak Park (population 30,000) and Hazel Park (population 17,000), approved similar ordinances. Long-time Michigan marijuana law reform activist Tim Beck speculates that a clean sweep at the ballot box in November is “probably going to be the tipping point for Michigan to become a decriminalized state.” 

In 2013, state lawmakers in the Michigan House and Senate introduced bipartisanlegislation seeking to decriminalize the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis.  To date, however, legislators in both chambers have refused to move the bill. Under state law, the possession of any amount of cannabis by non-patients is classified as a criminal offense punishable by up to one-year in jail and a $1,000 fine.
 

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Teen Marijuana Use Drops in Colorado -- Surprise!

BY BILL WEINBERG 

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Well, here's some telling news. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, cannabis use among Colorado teens has actually dropped slightly since the state legalized recreational use in 2012. Predictably, the bureaucrats did not emphasize these results. The department's Aug. 7 press release stressed another finding from the survey, that showed Colorado teens view cannabis as less risky than they did a few years ago. The release says preliminary results from the 2013 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey show that 54% of teens in the state consider the stuff risky, down from 58% in 2011. "If we want Colorado to be the healthiest state in the nation, then we need to make sure our youngest citizens understand the risks of using potentially harmful substances," said the department's executive director  Larry Wolk. It was left to the Washington Examiner to tout the department's other findings -- that even if kids view pot as less risky, they are also smoking it less. Kayvan Khalatbari, co-foundet the Denver Relief dispensary, is quoted venturing a plausible explanation: "Cannabis, now that it’s legal, kind of is an old person’s drug. It's something that kids are seeing adults use all over the place. It just doesn’t seem as cool to kids anymore."

Finish reading here @ High Times

A Perfect Storm of Green for Gary Johnson

BY P. AIDEN HUNT ON AUGUST 20, 2014

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Politicians are supposed to fight for the values of their constituents. They follow those values to win elections and stay in office. However, it’s their actions after they leave office that often shed light on their true interests.

In the case of Gary Johnson, former two-term Governor of New Mexico and the 2012 Libertarian Party candidate for president, the public is now finding out how serious he was (and is) about cannabis legalization.

On June 30, Cannabis Sativa, Inc., a Nevada-based medical cannabis company with national plans, named Johnson as President and CEO. The ripple through both the cannabis world and mainstream media resulted not only in increased coverage, but also a marked increase in the company’s value per share.

If you want to jump feet first into the cannabis market, this is the way to do it.
The company and Mr. Johnson have both highlighted that his salary will only be $1; pointing out as an aside that he has an equity stake in the company. That equity stake came in the form of 509,558 shares of stock in the publicly traded Cannabis Sativa, Inc. When the company issued the stock, it was worth roughly $2 million, or $4 per share, and a 3.4% ownership of the company.

Why count on Johnson to grow the company and his interest in the process? He has a good record of accomplishment.

Finish reading here

Hickenlooper: Marijuana regulators have done ‘a very good job’

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DENVER — When Colorado voters passed a ballot measure in 2012 legalizing marijuana for recreational use, Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) was in the minority voting no. But two years later, eight months into the legalization experiment, Hickenlooper says he’s pleased with the way his state has handled voters’ wishes.

“I think [state regulators have] done a pretty good job. Not perfect, but all things considered, I think they’ve done a very good job,” he said in an interview in his office at the state Capitol. “I’m a constant-improvement person, so I always see ways to make things better.”

Read more here

President Of Colombia Endorses Medical Marijuana

By CESAR GARCIA

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BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) — President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday endorsed newly introduced legislation that would legalize marijuana for medicinal and therapeutic use in this drug war-afflicted Andean nation.

Santos, a proponent of rethinking prohibitionist drug policies, made the announcement at a drug policy forum Thursday in Colombia's capital, Bogota. It was his first major drug policy statement since he won re-election in June.

The bill introduced last month by a governing coalition senator is "a practical, compassionate measure to reduce the pain (and) anxiety of patients with terminal illnesses, but also a way of beginning to strip from the hands of criminals the role of intermediary between the patient and the substance that allows them to relieve their suffering," Santos said.

In the Americas, Uruguay has approved legal pot and Jamaica's justice minister announced in June plans to legalize the drug for religious and medical purposes and decriminalize the possession of amounts up to 2 ounces (57 grams).

Possession of no more than 20 grams of marijuana for personal use is currently legal in Colombia.

The medicinal-use bill was introduced by Sen. Juan Manuel Galan, whose father was assassinated in 1989 by cocaine traffickers. He told The Associated Press that other countries in the region considering similar measures include Argentina, Brazil and Chile.

Galan said his hope is to have his bill, which would put the distribution of medical marijuana under government control, gain final legislative approval next June.

Ethan Nadelmann, director of the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance, said some U.S. states as well as countries including Israel and Canada are well advanced in offering government-administered legal medical marijuana, while a bill was introduced last week in the Central American nation of Costa Rica.

In Colombia, marijuana plantations help enrich leftist rebels and right-wing paramilitary bands alike, although cocaine is a bigger business for them.

The commander of Colombia's counterdrug police, Gen. Ricardo Restrepo, told the AP that the country currently has about 1.5 square miles (390 hectares) of marijuana fields and that a pound costs about $230.

Colombia is the world's No. 2 cocaine-producing country after Peru, according to the United Nations and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. It was the global leader until 2012.

A two-decade U.S.-backed crackdown on Colombia's drug cartels and extensive aerial eradication of coca crops has somewhat diminished and compartmentalized the trade. Critics say the campaign has simply shifted trafficking to countries with less effective law enforcement and legal systems.

The human cost of the fight against illegal drugs has been terrible for Colombia and other supply and transit countries, Santos told the forum.

"We have spent billions of dollars on an ineffective war that has claimed more than 60,000 lives in Mexico alone in the last six years," he said.

___

Associated Press writer Frank Bajak in Lima, Peru, contributed to this report.

Miller to serve on committees for medical cannabis, health care violence

ATLANTA – Republican State Sen. Butch Miller of Gainesville has been tapped to serve on two joint study committees of the Georgia General Assembly – one on the study of medical marijuana and the other on violence against health care employees.

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle announced the appointments Monday.

Over the next several months, the joint study committees will meet to review in-depth topics under consideration for legislative action in 2015.

“Medical cannabis and the increasing amount of aggression towards health care workers are two very important topics that deserve a closer look by the Georgia General Assembly. I look forward to working with legislative colleagues, medical professionals and constituents to develop appropriate strategies and potential legislative proceedings with both subjects,” said Miller.

The Joint Study Committee on Violence Against Health Care Workers will examine workplace violence as it pertains to medical professionals, including the cost of resources and the relationship between untreated mental illnesses and drug misuse. The committee will be composed of ten members and must report its findings on or before December 2, 2014.

The Joint Study Committee on the Prescription of Medical Cannabis for Serious Medical Conditions will further analyze the prescriptive use of cannabidiol for serious medical conditions, including the positive treatment of seizure disorders in children. The committee will be composed of 11 members and must report its findings on or before December 1, 2014.

© Copyright 2014 AccessNorthGa.com

Argentina President Endorses Plan to Legalize Drug Possession, Cannabis Cultivation

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The Argentina federal government, with support from President Cristina Kirchner, has begun work on two proposals aimed at legalizing the personal possession of all drugs, and to legalize the private cultivation of cannabis. The plan is to have the proposals finished, and in front of Congress, by the year’s end, according to Argentine newspaper La Nacion.

The proposals are aimed at preventing the disastrous consequences placed upon individuals who are simply possessing a small amount of illegal drugs or cultivating a few cannabis plants, and to put a damper on the black market, which often times enriches criminal syndicates.

Under current Argentina law, cannabis possession, when not for distribution and when not cultivated by the individual in possession, is decriminalized and will rarely lead to an arrest. The cultivation of cannabis, and the possession of other drugs, however, can result in harsh criminal penalties, including jail time.

The idea to start working on the reform initiative is to build on at least two projects”, says La Nacion. “One, presented by Senator Aníbal Fernández in 2012, legalizes possession for consumption of all drugs, eliminates the criminal prosecution of cultivation of marijuana forprivate use and addresses other chapters, such as the control of precursor chemicals. 

The goal is to have the proposals passed into law by early next year.

TheJointBlog

Gainesville forum to explore marijuana use, Georgia law

By Ken Stanford

PEAKE

GAINESVILLE - A forum in Gainesville next month will explore marijuana use and Georgia law as it pertains to the drug, including attempts to legalize medical marijuana in the state.

"Marijuana: Protecting Children and Understanding Georgia Law" will be held Sept. 4, 6:00-7:30, at Walters Auditorium at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, sponsored by the medical center and the Drug Free Coalition of Hall County.

Featured speakers will be Sue Rusche, co-founder, President and CEO of National Families in Action, which was founded in Atlanta in 1977 with a goal of "helping parents prevent children from using alcohol, tobacco and other drugs," according to its Website, and State Sen. Butch Miller of Gainesville, the Senate's Majority Caucus Chairman.

Rusche is web editor and principal writer of National Families in Action, She  has testified before Congress and made numerous appearances on national TV including the "Today Show," "Good Morning America," and various evening news broadcasts

Miller worked to enact legislation which relates to the use of cannabis for treatment of cancer and glaucoma.

For more information about the forum, phone 770-534-1080, Ext. 277, or email, jpbanks@faceitpeople.org.

 

Medical marijuana in Georgia

By Tom Sabulis

Moderated by Tom Sabulis

Many families with children suffering from seizures are desperate for Georgia to legalize the use of medical cannabis. The state representative leading the charge today updates his campaign to allow this relief for kids who could benefit from the drug. Sadly, some are dying while waiting for the state to act. In our second column, a faith-based activist writes that legislators and the FDA need to follow the process before approving something with possible aside effects and unwanted outcomes.

Commenting is open.

Kids die as Georgia fiddles

By Allen Peake

As the clock approached midnight on March 20, the final night of the 2014 Georgia legislative session, it became apparent that a final vote to send a medical cannabis oil bill to the governor’s desk for his signature was not going to happen this year. I decided to avoid the usual “Sine Die” celebration in the House chamber because I knew I needed to be in the Senate gallery with the families that fought so courageously for this bill.

The mood was obviously somber among the parents, some of whom had brought their children with them, hoping to watch as history was made. The families were crushed and defeated that the Legislature had failed them and their children. And I shared their frustration.

The feeling of despair that evening was not from anger at the process failing. Instead, we were all aware of the terrifying thought that some of the children this very bill was intended to help would not make it until the start of the next legislative session in January 2015, when we could try again to legalize medical cannabis oil. A child, or maybe several, would die because they didn’t have access to a medicine that offered life-changing positive effects for children in states where it is legal.

Which one of these families would fall victim to the nightmare of every parent who has a child suffering from a seizure disorder – the one final seizure that takes their precious loved one from this earth? That was my fear that night.

Finish reading here @ The AJC

Study: Legalized Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Impact Teen Use Rates

By Paul Armentano |  NORML Deputy DirectorJuly 31, 2014 3:17 PM

 

Teen use is declining in legal states  

Teen use is declining in legal states

 

CAMBRIDGE, MA — The passage of state laws legalizing the physician-recommended possession and consumption of cannabis by qualified patients has not led to an increase in adolescents’ use of the plant, according to a working paper published by the National Bureau of Economic Research – a non-partisan research organization based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Investigators from the University of Colorado at Denver, the University of Oregon, and Montana State University assessed federal data on youth marijuana use and treatment episodes for the years 1993 to 2011 – a time period when 16 states authorized medical cannabis use.

Authors reported:

 “Our results are not consistent with the hypothesis that the legalization of medical marijuana caused an increase in the use of marijuana among high school students. In fact, estimates from our preferred specification are small, consistently negative, and are never statistically distinguishable from zero.”

separate analysis published in April in the Journal of Adolescent Health similarly determined, “This study did not find increases in adolescent marijuana use related to legalization of medical marijuana. … This suggests that concerns about ‘sending the wrong message’ may have been overblown.”

Full text of the study, “Medical marijuana laws and teen marijuana use,” is available online here.

Marc Emery Returns To Canada, Supporters Light Up

CP  | By Allison Jones, The Canadian Press

WINDSOR, Ont. - Canada's self-styled "Prince of Pot" returned to a raucous welcome from supporters Tuesday after serving his U.S. sentence for selling marijuana seeds, vowing to continue his activism even if it means more arrests.

Loud cheers and large clouds of pot smoke arose as Marc Emery, 56, arrived in this border city after completing his five-year sentence for selling marijuana seeds from Canada to American customers.

Emery hugged his wife Jodie Emery, who wants to run in next year's federal election for the Liberals — Leader Justin Trudeau supports legalizing marijuana — then launched into a long, pro-Liberal speech peppered with prison anecdotes.

"I do believe that they are sincere that they will legalize marijuana," Emery said.

"I know it's the most uncool thing in the world to have to say, especially to young people, that voting is the answer, but it is. It absolutely is."

Legalization of marijuana — which Emery said should include expunging the record of everyone ever convicted of a related offence — is the only issue in the next election that can have a "profound impact" on Canadians' lives, he said.

"Critics say, 'Well, Canadians are interested in far more important things,'" Emery said. "I say, 'What? What are you interested in? The economy? The environment? Health care? You can't do anything about that by voting. No vote's going to change that."

Emery acknowledged that he has a lot of work ahead, as many people in the "cannabis culture" don't often vote, but he called it an "underestimated voting block," with a lot of potential power.

"If we can get this Liberal majority government next year we'll never need to go to the polls to make marijuana legal ever again," he said.

In the meantime, he plans to hit 30 Canadian cities next year ahead of the election, tour universities in the winter and take his message international, going to countries such as Spain and Ireland.

"Whenever we make those appearances we're going to be giving the same message and it's a worldwide message: Nothing good comes of marijuana prohibition," Emery said.

"If you don't want young people to smoke marijuana that's one thing, but to give them a criminal record, to stigmatize them with a criminal record, to put them in jail for one night...to me that is a very traumatizing thing."

Emery said he has been arrested 28 times for "marijuana civil disobedience" and his just-completed sentence is just the latest.

"It may not even be the last if I have to continue to prove my point," he said.

Emery also plans to go back to work at the Cannabis Culture store in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

Shortly after Emery finished his speech in which he frequently vilified Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the public safety minister issued a statement connecting the "convicted drug trafficker" to the Liberals he supports.

"While the Liberals would try to make it easier for our children to access marijuana, Canadians can count on our government to put forward policies that keep drugs off our streets and keep our families safe," Steven Blaney said in a statement.

When Emery was first arrested almost a decade ago, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration heralded his seizure as a "significant blow" to the legalization movement.

He was extradited in 2010 and said he spent his time in prison learning to play the bass, reading thousands of supporters' letters, as well as books and magazines.

United States Patent # 6,630,507 On Cannabinoids Proves Marijuana Is Medicine

United States Patent 6,630,507 - October 7, 2003 - Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants

Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH.sub.3, and COCH.sub.3. ##STR1## Inventors: Hampson; Aidan J. (Irvine, CA), Axelrod; Julius (Rockville, MD), Grimaldi; Maurizio (Bethesda, MD)

Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Health and Human Services (Washington, DC)


FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention concerns pharmaceutical compounds and compositions that are useful as tissue protectants, such as neuroprotectants and cardioprotectants. The compounds and compositions may be used, for example, in the treatment of acute ischemic neurological insults or chronic neurodegenerative diseases.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Permanent injury to the central nervous system (CNS) occurs in a variety of medical conditions, and has been the subject of intense scientific scrutiny in recent years. It is known that the brain has high metabolic requirements, and that it can suffer permanent neurologic damage if deprived of sufficient oxygen (hypoxia) for even a few minutes. In the absence of oxygen (anoxia), mitochondrial production of ATP cannot meet the metabolic requirements of the brain, and tissue damage occurs. This process is exacerbated by neuronal release of the neurotransmitter glutamate, which stimulates NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate), AMPA (.alpha.-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionate) and kainate receptors. Activation of these receptors initiates calcium influx into the neurons, and production of reactive oxygen species, which are potent toxins that damage important cellular structures such as membranes, DNA and enzymes.

The brain has many redundant blood supplies, which means that its tissue is seldom completely deprived of oxygen, even during acute ischemic events caused by thromboembolic events or trauma. A combination of the injury of hypoxia with the added insult of glutamate toxicity is therefore believed to be ultimately responsible for cellular death. Hence if the additive insult of glutamate toxicity can be alleviated, neurological damage could also be lessened. Anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents have been proposed to reduce damage, but they often have poor access to structures such as the brain (which are protected by the blood brain barrier).

Given the importance of the NMDA, AMPA and kainate receptors in the mechanism of injury, research efforts have focused on using antagonists to these receptors to interfere with the receptor mediated calcium influx that ultimately leads to cellular death and tissue necrosis. In vitro studies using cultured neurons have demonstrated that glutamate receptor antagonists reduce neurotoxicity, but NMDA and AMPA/kainate receptor antagonists have different effects. Antagonists to NMDAr prevent neurotoxicity if present during the glutamate exposure period, but are less effective if added after glutamate is removed. In contrast, AMPA/kainate receptor antagonists are not as effective as NMDA antagonists during the glutamate exposure period, but are more effective following glutamate exposure.

Some of the research on these antagonists has focused on cannabinoids, a subset of which have been found to be NMDA receptor antagonists. U.S. Pat. No. 5,538,993 (3S,4S-delta-6-tetrahydrocannabinol-7-oic acids), U.S. Pat. No. 5,521,215 (sterospecific (+) THC enantiomers), and U.S. Pat. No. 5,284,867 (dimethylheptyl benzopyrans) have reported that these cannabinoids are effective NMDA receptor blockers. U.S. Pat. No. 5,434,295 discloses that the 1,1 dimethylheptyl (DMH) homolog of [3R,4R]-7-hydroxy-.DELTA..sup.6 THC (known as HU-210) is a superpotent cannabinoid receptor agonist with cannabinomimetic activity two orders of magnitude greater than the natural .DELTA..sup.9 THC. The HU-210 dimethylheptyl cannabinoid, has severe side effects, including fatigue, thirst, headache, and hypotension. J. Pharmacol. Sci. 60:1433-1457 (1971). Subjects who received this synthetic cannabinoid with a dimethylheptyl group experienced marked psychomotor retardation, and were unwilling or incapable of assuming an erect position.

Although it has been unclear whether cannabimimetic activity plays a role in neuroprotection against glutamate induced neurological injury, the teaching in this field has clearly been that a cannabinoid must at least be an antagonist at the NMDA receptor to have neuroprotective effect. Hence cannabidiol (2-[3-methyl-6-(1-methylethenyl)-2-cyclohexen-1-yl]-5-pentyl-1,3-benzenedi ol or CBD), a cannabinoid devoid of psychoactive effect (Pharm. Rev. 38:21-43, 1986), has not been considered useful as a neuroprotectant. Cannabidiol has been studied as an antiepileptic (Carlini et al., J. Clin. Pharmacol. 21:417S-427S, 1981; Karler et al., J. Clin. Pharmacol. 21:437S-448S, 1981, Consroe et al., J. Clin Phannacol. 21:428S-436S, 1981), and has been found to lower intraocular pressure (Colasanti et al, Exp. Eye Res. 39:251-259, 1984 and Gen. Pharmac. 15:479-484, 1984). ##STR4##

No signs of toxicity or serious side effects have been observed following chronic administration of cannabidiol to healthy volunteers (Cunha et al., Pharmacology 21:175-185, 1980), even in large acute doses of 700 mg/day (Consroe et al., Pharmacol. Biochem. Behav. 40:701-708, 1991) but cannabidiol is inactive at the NMDA receptor. Hence in spite of its potential use in treating glaucoma and seizures, cannabidiol has not been considered a neuroprotective agent that could be used to prevent glutamate induced damage in the central nervous system.

Cannabis Activism Is Changing the World

(Hempology 101 Monthly Meeting)

(Hempology 101 Monthly Meeting)

A New Dawn Arises, Cannabis Activism Is Changing the World 

Working with a group of people to help legalize cannabis is one of the most rewarding, fun and fulfilling ways to contribute to your community.  As cannabis becomes more accepted, it is easier, safer and more exciting than ever to become involved in the cannabis movement, and with the future legal industry emerging being active could actually lead to future employment opportunities or even better!  Great friends, good times and a brighter future for all are just around the corner, if you make the effort.

Choosing a group to become involved with is not always easy.  For many people it might seem like no local cannabis group exists at all, as prohibition has kept most of us in fear, unable to publicly expose ourselves without risk of arrest and excommunication.  Many still live in fear, as certain areas are still dominated by outspoken prohibitionists or have some powerful family members still clinging to reefer madness ideals.  However, with the growing opportunities on the internet and the rapidly blossoming cannabis scene, everyone can get involved if they want to.

Of course, there are many valuable things one can do alone to fight the prohibition of cannabis and working in groups is not for everyone.  Being active is definitely the important part.  There is no doubt, though, that humans thrive in groups and in this war we need to be organized, working together as a team instead of a bunch of independent cannabis mercenaries.  We need the independent cannabis mercenaries to continue throwing wrenches into the system, do not get me wrong, but we are getting past the stage where we all need to be dressed in battle fatigues and preparing for court.

Read the rest of the story

How Nixon Destroyed the Evidence on Marijuana

BY O'SHAUGHNESSY'S ON AUGUST 5, 2014

Illustration by Rodney Pike

Illustration by Rodney Pike

40 years ago today, the infamous “Nixon tapes” surfaced. While we’ve mentioned Richard Nixon’s nefarious outlook on cannabis in the past, this piece takes a deeper look at Nixon’s hatred of marijuana, equipped with some of the craziest anti-pot remarks you’ll ever hear.

When Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, it created a series of “schedules,” classifying drugs by the dangers they supposedly posed. Marijuana was placed on Schedule 1, the category for harmful drugs with no medical use. Politicians who knew that marijuana was relatively safe and had medical potential punted the scheduling decision by creating a commission that would conduct a thorough study and “aid in determining the appropriate disposition of this question in the future.”

Although scheduling decisions would be left up to the Attorney General rather than the Surgeon General, it was assumed that the findings of the commission would soon lead to marijuana being rescheduled.

President Nixon appointed Gov. Raymond P. Shafer of Pennsylvania, a former prosecutor with a “law-and-order” reputation, to run the commission. As recounted by activist Doug McVay, what came to be known as the Shafer Commission “recorded thousands of pages of transcripts of formal and informal hearings, solicited all points of view, including those of public officials, community leaders, professional experts and students…. they conducted separate surveys of opinion among district attorneys, judges, probation officers, clinicians, university health officials and ‘free clinic’ personnel. They commissioned more than 50 projects, ranging from a study of the effects of marijuana on man to a field survey of enforcement of the marijuana laws in six metropolitan jurisdictions.”

Read the rest of the story here