notsofasteddie

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  1. Examining the quality of traditional cannabis tinctures Tinctures, once the most common method of consuming cannabis in the West, have been making a comeback lately. A recent study examines the quality of these traditional preparations. By Ricardo Oliveira February 20, 2017 Featured image via Flickr user Alice Carter Cannabis was introduced into Western medicine in the 19th century by the Irish physician O’Shaughnessy, who became aware of the plant’s medical properties via the Indians. Cannabis, mostly in the form of ethanolic tinctures, was soon included in most pharmacopoeias and sold in the pharmacies of Western nations. This would remain the case until the 30s, when the global movement of criminalization started against the backdrop of increasing recreational use. Wieland Peschel, from London University, notes in his recent experimental article that due to their early end, cannabis tinctures were never subjected to the modern pharmacological techniques of standardization and quality control. This is easy to understand considering that it was not until the 60s that the first cannabinoids started being elucidated. Today, cannabis tinctures are regaining some popularity among non-smoking users, and there’s still a lack of knowledge about their chemical stability. This lack of information—Peschel reminds—is detrimental for a correct assessment of products’ shelf-lives, storage requirements, and analytical procedures needed to meet modern regulatory demands. After considering these issues, the researcher went on to test different cannabinoid tinctures, created with traditional techniques and stored under ‘real world’ conditions. Different parts of cannabis plants were macerated using varied water and ethanol solutions. The liquids were then poured into common amber jars without a vacuum seal, and stored at different temperatures and light exposure conditions. As expected, the higher the ethanolic (EtOH) content in the extracting liquids, the higher the total amount of THC and ratio of other cannabinoids were. For instance, the 40% EtOH and 20% EtOH formulations contained only 1/3 and 1/20 of the cannabinoid contents of the the traditional 80% EtOH tinctures. Regardless of the treatment, THC was always the major cannabinoid, with a usual 10:1 concentration to other cannabinoids. Also not surprisingly, extracts from flowers, leaves, and roots yielded quite different results. Root extracts or cold water macerates were inefficient, whereas hot water allowed only for the extraction of non-cannabinoids. Pure flower extracts contained up to 10 times more THC than pure leaf extracts. More interesting perhaps was the finding that tinctures from finely ground leaves contained considerably higher concentrations of THC and phenolics than comparable extracts from intact leaves. Profiles of tinctures from flowering tops (F), leaves (L = intact, GL = finely grond), or root (R) fresh and after 3 months of ‘fridge’ (4 °C/dark) or ‘shelf’ (15–25 °C/light). CW, cold water macerate; HW, hot water infusion, 40%, 60%, and 90% EtOH. Shown total levels of THC (THCtot), Cannabigerol (CBGtot), other cannabinoids (oCAN) and phenolic content (TPC). After three months, flower tinctures stored at room temperature (20 °C) under moderate light exposure had lost twice as much cannabinoid content as those stored in the fridge (4 °C) in dark. The room temperature tinctures were also at more advanced stages of decarboxylation, with higher percentages of THCA and CBGA being converted to THC and CBG, than those stored in the fridge. In contrast, leaf extracts which had initially low total cannabinoid levels remained stable in both conditions, suggesting a chemical equilibrium or reduced decarboxylation process. Shown absolute values for THCA, THC, CBN, and their sum (THCtot) in 60% tinctures from flowering tops (left) and ground leaves (right) over 15 months (4 °C/dark). Chemical analysis at 15 months further revealed unexpected peaks of minor cannabinoids and flavonoids, which the author notes might pose a challenge to the correct labeling of cannabinoid tinctures. Finally, the author examined the effects of a short heating (80 °C for 20 minutes, as in pasteurization) or a longer heating (70 °C for 2 hours). The procedures led to a moderate decrease—usually lower than 10%—in total cannabinoid and THC levels, especially in the 40% EtOH tinctures, but not to a significant decarboxylation. This suggests that cannabis tinctures are amenable to short heating operations, as is commonly practiced in industrial processes. The study offers new information about the conditions of typical homemade cannabis tinctures, suggesting that protection from light, heat and oxygen is crucial for their stabilization. Total cannabinoid and THC levels, as well as the relative ratios of THCA/THC and CBGA/CBG (which are not usually analyzed), plus information about the extract solutions and the percentage of flower/leaf/root used, are important for determining the contents and quality of these tinctures. Some of these aspects, however, are less likely to matter in industrial preparations, where the extracts should already be fully decarboxylated. [url=https://news.lift.co/examining-quality-traditional-cannabis-tinctures]lift[/url]
  2. Medical Marijuana Update

    Medical Marijuana Update by psmith, February 22, 2017 Medical marijuana is keeping Arkansas legislators and regulators busy, Kentucky and West Virginia see full-fledged medical marijuana bills filed, a CBD cannabis oil bill heads to the governor's desk in Indiana, and more. Arkansas Last Thursday, the House approved a bill banning military members from becoming registered caregivers. The body approved House Bill 1451. Bill sponsor Rep. Douglas House (R-North Little Rock) said federal law prevents military members from acting in that capacity. The measure now goes to the Senate. Also last Thursday, a bill that would ban smoking medical marijuana was introduced. State Sen. Jason Rapert (R-Conway) filed Senate Bill 357, which would make it illegal to consume medical marijuana by smoking it. The bill also removes a provision in the current law that bars landlords from prohibiting the use of non-smoked medical marijuana, leaving renters wondering if landlords will just bar any use of medical marijuana. On Sunday, a new poll found support for smoking medical marijuana and not waiting for the feds. A new Talk Business and Politics/Hendrix College poll had 50% in support of allowing medical marijuana to be consumed by smoking, with only 41.5% opposed. A bill to bar the use of smoked medical marijuana is before the legislature. Similarly, 51.5% opposed waiting for the federal government to legalizes medical marijuana, while 42% were in favor. On Tuesday, a state panel approved new medical marijuana rules. The state Medical Marijuana Commission approved final rules governing how the state's medical marijuana system will be regulated. Next comes a public hearing set for March 31, and then the rules must be approved by the state legislature, which must happen before May 8. After that, the commission will use the rules to determine who gets licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana. Indiana On Tuesday, a CBD cannabis oil bill was headed for the governor's desk. The House passed Senate Bill 15 on a 98-0 vote. The Senate had approved the bill last week, so it now goes to the desk of Gov. Eric Holcomb (R). The bill would allow people with epilepsy to use CBD cannabis oil. Iowa On Monday, a CBD expansion bill was filed. The state currently allows the possession of CBD cannabis oil for the treatment of epilepsy, but it's illegal to manufacture or distribute it there, rendering the current law unworkable. A bill filed by Public Safety Committee Chair Rep. Clel Baudler (R-Greenfield), House Study Bill 132 seeks to begin to break that impasse by allowing the University of Iowa's Carver School of Medicine to recommend which conditions would qualify for use of CBD cannabis oil. But Baudler said another bill would be necessary to expand access. Kentucky Last Friday, a medical marijuana bill was filed. Freshman Rep. John Sims (D-Fleminsburg) has filed a medical marijuana bill, House Bill 411, which would give doctors the ability to recommend medical marijuana for patients. Sims said he saw the bill as a tool for reducing opioid addiction in his state. North Dakota On Monday, a funding measure for the medical marijuana system won a Senate committee vote. The Senate Appropriations Committee has approved a funding measure that allocates a little over $1 million to oversee implementation of the state's new voter-approved medical marijuana law. The Health Department told legislators it does not expect any revenue from the program this year, but it should generate $1.3 million in revenues over the next two years and be self-supporting at that point. South Carolina On Tuesday, a medical marijuana bill advanced. A House panel voted 3-0 Tuesday to advance House Bill 3128, a full-fledged medical marijuana bill that includes provisions for dispensaries. The bill now goes to the full Medical Military and Municipal Affairs Committee. West Virginia On Tuesday, a medical marijuana bill was filed. Sen. Richard Ojeda (D-Logan) and a handful of cosponsors introduced Senate Bill 386. The measure would set up a commission to license medical marijuana growers and regulate distribution of the medicine through dispensaries. It's been sent to the Senate Health and Human Resources Committee. Wyoming Last Tuesday, a medical marijuana initiative signature gathering campaign petered out. Medical marijuana will not be on the ballot next year. Organizers of a signature-gathering campaign failed to hand in signatures to the secretary of state's office by the Valentine's Day deadline. Organizers said they will continue to fight to bring medical marijuana to the Cowboy State. [For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.] stopthedrugwar
  3. When Retirement Comes With a Daily Dose of Cannabis By WINNIE HU FEB. 19, 2017 Ruth Brunn, 98, taking her medicinal marijuana with vitamin water at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale in New York City earlier this month. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times Ruth Brunn finally said yes to marijuana. She is 98. She pops a green pill filled with cannabis oil into her mouth with a sip of vitamin water. Then Ms. Brunn, who has neuropathy, settles back in her wheelchair and waits for the jabbing pain in her shoulders, arms and hands to ebb. “I don’t feel high or stoned,” she said. “All I know is I feel better when I take this.” Ms. Brunn will soon have company. The nursing home in New York City where she lives, the Hebrew Home at Riverdale, is taking the unusual step of helping its residents use medical marijuana under a new program to treat various illnesses with an alternative to prescription drugs. While the staff will not store or administer pot, residents are allowed to buy it from a dispensary, keep it in locked boxes in their rooms and take it on their own. From retirement communities to nursing homes, older Americans are increasingly turning to marijuana for relief from aches and pains. Many have embraced it as an alternative to powerful drugs like morphine, saying that marijuana is less addictive, with fewer side effects. For some people, it is a last resort when nothing else helps. Marijuana, which is banned by federal law, has been approved for medical use in 29 states, including New York, and the District of Columbia. Accumulating scientific evidence has shown its effectiveness in treating certain medical conditions. Among them: neuropathic pain, severe muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, unintentional weight loss, and vomiting and nausea from chemotherapy. There have also been reports that pot has helped people with Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia as well as Parkinson’s disease. Across the nation, the number of marijuana users who are in their later years is still relatively limited, but the increase has been significant, especially among those 65 and older, according to recent studies. Marcia Dunetz, 80, said that she worried at first about what people would think. “It’s got a stigma,” she said. “People don’t really believe you’re not really getting high if you take it.” Credit Photographs by Yana Paskova for The New York Times “It’s a bigger issue than we thought,” said Brian Kaskie, a professor of health policy at the University of Iowa who co-wrote a study published in January, “The Increasing Use of Cannabis Among Older Americans: A Public Health Crisis or Viable Policy Alternative?” “This is an elephant we’re just starting to get our hands on.” A medical marijuana education and support club started by residents of Rossmoor Walnut Creek, a retirement community east of San Francisco, has grown to 530 members — so many that it has changed meeting rooms three times. “I would be in a lot worse shape if I wasn’t using cannabis, both physically and mentally,” said Anita Mataraso, 72, a grandmother of six who is the program director and takes marijuana daily for arthritis and nerve pain, among other ailments. In the state of Washington, at least a dozen assisted living facilities have formal medical marijuana policies in response to demands from their residents, said Robin Dale, the executive director of the Washington Health Care Association. The association, an industry group, has posted a sample medical marijuana policy on its website. In March, an influential group of medical providers, AMDA — The Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, will tackle the issue at its annual conference. Cari Levy, the group’s vice president, will offer a “Marijuana 101” lesson on the benefits, the risks and the potential pitfalls for providers. “People are using it, and we need to know how to respond,” she said. But as older people come to represent an emerging frontier in the use of marijuana for medical purposes, questions are being raised about safety and accessibility. Even in states where medical marijuana is legal, older people who stand to benefit often cannot get it. Most nursing homes do not openly sanction its use, and many doctors are reluctant to endorse pot use, saying not enough is known about the risks in the oldest age groups. The president and chief executive of RiverSpring Health, Daniel Reingold. He said he administered marijuana to his father as a painkiller shortly before his death. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times “This is a target demographic that may have their access limited, if not cut off altogether, simply because they reside in a facility,” said Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, a group that advocates the legalization of marijuana. “It is a problem that may infringe on their quality of life.” While there is no shortage of research on marijuana, relatively little of it has focused explicitly on older users even as their numbers grow — and not just in the United States. In Israel, for instance, older people have been treated with medical marijuana for years. And Americans for Safe Access, an advocacy group, helped open a research center in the Czech Republic that is evaluating its impact on older people. “It’s an area that’s very important to look at,” said Dr. Igor Grant, the director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research at the University of California, San Diego, adding that older people are now one of the center’s research priorities. “Older people can be more sensitive to medicine,” he said. “It’s possible a dose safe for a 40-year-old may not be in an 80-year-old.” Dr. Thomas Strouse, a psychiatrist and palliative care doctor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that just as sleeping and pain medications could harm older people, marijuana could possibly make them confused, dizzy or more likely to fall. “There is no evidence that it is particularly helpful to older people, and some reason that it could be harmful,” he said. Medical marijuana is kept in a safe in Marcia Dunetz’s room at the Hebrew Home at Riverdale. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times Most nursing homes have also taken a cautious position, often resorting to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach. “If residents are taking it, they are taking it undercover without the staff knowing so it’s not part of their care plan,” said Dr. Cheryl Phillips, senior vice president for public policy and health services for LeadingAge, an industry group representing more than 2,000 nursing homes. “I think that creates a safety problem.” Fred Miles, a Colorado lawyer who represents nursing home operators, said nursing homes — unlike assisted living facilities — were regulated by the federal government, and were fearful of jeopardizing their Medicare and Medicaid funding. Staff members who administer marijuana could also theoretically face criminal prosecution under federal law, he said, though he has never heard of that happening. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said no nursing home had specifically lost financing or been penalized for permitting the use of marijuana. In New York State, which started a medical marijuana program in 2016, its use is restricted to people with designated medical conditions, including neuropathy, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, H.I.V., AIDS and cancer. At the Hebrew Home in the Bronx, the medical marijuana program was years in the making. Daniel Reingold, the president and chief executive of RiverSpring Health, which operates the home, said he saw its powers firsthand when his own father, Jacob, was dying from cancer in 1999. To ease his father’s pain, Mr. Reingold boiled marijuana into a murky brown tea. His father loved it, and was soon laughing and eating again. “The only relief he got in those last two weeks was the tea,” Mr. Reingold said. When Mr. Reingold requested approval from the nursing home’s board members, there were no objections or concerns, he said. Instead, they joked that they would have to increase the food budget. Hillary Peckham, of the medical marijuana dispensary Etain Health, showing an array of marijuana tincture, capsules and vaporizer cartridges. Credit Yana Paskova for The New York Times Then Dr. Zachary Palace, the medical director, developed a program that seeks to offer marijuana as an option but also comply with federal regulations: Though the nursing home recommends and monitors its use, residents are responsible for buying, storing and administering it themselves. Last fall, the first three residents started taking marijuana pills. Their families obtain the pills at a dispensary in Yonkers run by Etain, a company licensed by the state to sell medical marijuana to qualifying patients or their designated caregivers, who must live in New York. Dr. Palace said that as the program expanded this month, as many as 50 residents could be using marijuana. Marcia Dunetz, 80, a retired art teacher who has Parkinson’s, said she worried at first about what people would think. “It’s got a stigma,” she said. “People don’t really believe you’re not really getting high if you take it.” But she decided to try it anyway. Now, she no longer wakes up with headaches and feels less dizzy and nauseated. Her legs also do not freeze up as often. For Ms. Brunn, the marijuana pills have worked so well that she has cut back on her other pain medication, morphine. Her daughter, Faith Holman, 61, said the pills cost $240 a month, which is not covered by health insurance. Ms. Holman, who lives in New Jersey, also has to ask a family friend to go to the Yonkers dispensary. “Obstacles had to be overcome,” Ms. Holman said. “But I think she was meant to have it because everything has worked out.” NYTimes A version of this article appears in print on February 20, 2017, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: When Older Age Comes With Daily Doses of Medical Marijua
  4. Amsterdam for Christmas? I'll wait for May!

    Dutch MPs vote to legalize cannabis farming By Dries Arnolds February 21, 2017 A narrow majority of Dutch parliament members voted to allow the cannabis cultivation, a move that further liberalizes a somewhat cumbersome drug policy where the selling of cannabis is tolerated but buying it abs growing it are illegal. Just 77 MPs out of 150 voted in favor of the proposal brought forward on Tuesday by centrist party D66. The rule must still pass the Senate, or Eerste Kamer. It is not clear if a majority exists in favor of the law change in the Senate. The goal of the proposal is to reduce organized crime across the cannabis industry, something many mayors in southern and eastern municipalities have requested from parliament. Further regulation of the industry should allow better controls on the harvesting of cannabis, guaranteeing adherence to safe practices. It is also suspected that those who grow and sell the drug could become more likely to pay income tax on their business profits. nltimes
  5. Cities have right to regulate marijuana dispensaries: B.C. Supreme Court Frances Bula Thursday, Feb. 16, 2017 VANCOUVER — Special to The Globe and Mail Cities have the right to deny business licences to illegal marijuana dispensaries and to prohibit the cultivation or sale of marijuana through their zoning bylaws, a B.C. Supreme Court judge has ruled. The case is the latest development in what has become a patchwork of inconsistent rules and legal skirmishes as cities grapple with changing laws and an aggressive new marijuana industry. While the sale of marijuana at storefronts, such as dispensaries, remains illegal, some cities such as Vancouver have moved to regulate them through business licences. Others, including Abbotsford, have remained determined to keep them outlawed. The court rejected a challenge from Don Briere, a local marijuana entrepreneur with a chain of dispensaries throughout the Lower Mainland. Mr. Briere argued that the City of Abbotsford was violating the Constitution by refusing to permit him to operate – and in turn, he argued, restricting access to medical marijuana. Justice Miriam Gropper ruled that, even though it is the federal government that regulates the use of drugs such as marijuana, that doesn’t mean that cities can’t have their own rules to regulate it. That was gratifying news for Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun. “This is a signal that the city has the authority to regulate,” he said. “And until [the federal government] changes the law, we will uphold the existing law.” The lawyer for Mr. Briere, who has multiple stores in B.C. and an online operation all under the name Weeds, had argued that Abbotsford was intruding on federal jurisdiction and also denying access to medical marijuana for people that need it in its aggressive efforts to deny business licences and shut down stores. But Justice Gropper said that, just because a federal law regulates something, doesn’t mean that a province or city can’t also regulate it. As well, she said, even though federal law allows for the legal use of marijuana for medical purposes, there’s nothing in the law that guarantees someone should be able to buy it in a retail outlet. “The existing federal law does not authorize access to medical marijuana by marijuana dispensaries,” wrote Justice Gropper, whose decision came out this week. Vancouver lawyer Bill Buholzer, who specializes in municipal issues and the legalities around marijuana, said it’s the first time a judge has ruled on the issue of overlapping jurisdictions related to marijuana. Mr. Briere’s lawyer, Dean Davison, said his client may appeal the decision. But, he said, it’s unlikely to have much impact on the wildly varying attitudes of different cities in B.C., as they try to figure out what to do about the proliferating marijuana production facilities and retail stores. “It’s a bigger issue than the City of Abbotsford and, hopefully, it will be resolved soon through federal legislation.” In the meantime, civic approaches around B.C. vary from hardline, such as Abbotsford, which has energetically worked to shut down dispensaries, to those that occasionally ticket a business, to Vancouver, which has created a special retail category and rules for marijuana dispensaries. Victoria is considering a similar approach. According to Vancouver’s business licence database, 16 dispensaries have been granted licences this year. So far, Mr. Briere has been unsuccessful in getting licences for his stores in Vancouver and has shut down two of six outlets, saying he can’t operate when he is being fined $1,000 a day. Mr. Briere has gone to the city’s Board of Variance to try to get approval, as have many of the illegal stores still operating, but has not succeeded so far. All of those legal challenges are just one part of what cities are dealing with. They are also embroiled in making decisions about where Health Canada-approved production facilities can go. Some have tried to prohibit them on agricultural land, but the province changed the law in May of 2015 to make marijuana production a permissible use on land in the agricultural land reserve. The City of West Kelowna started the process this week of creating a new bylaw that will restrict production facilities to industrial zones. As well, any producers will be required to install air-filtering systems and ensure that they have adequate security. Mr. Buholzer said he believes the next legal problem for cities will be the issue of people who have been given the right to grow marijuana for personal use. That’s something the Conservative federal government had disallowed as of 2013. It was challenged in court and the law was struck down. In August, 2016, the new Liberal government changed the law again to reallow it. Since a grower may hold up to four licences to provide marijuana for other people, that could mean growers with as many as 400 plants in their homes. Mr. Buholzer said some city is likely to take action soon on that as people get concerned about the impact on building structures, because of the moisture and mould that grow operations produce, and about neighbourhood security. theglobeandmail
  6. Amsterdam for Christmas? I'll wait for May!

    Amsterdam Travel Guide Published on Jan 16, 2017 Our Amsterdam Travel Guide! Back to the old format for this one, by popular demand, giving you everything you need for your Amsterdam adventures. Your reasons for coming to Amsterdam are your own but no matter what pleasures you seek, you'll find them in Amsterdam. We enjoyed our time here, despite angering the gods!
  7. Spannabis 2016 - Vídeo oficial

    Spannabis 2016 - Vídeo oficial
  8. Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Germany’s New Weed Laws By Contributor in Lifestyle  Here at Highsnobiety, our interests extend far beyond the world of fashion and sneakers. We’ve always got our finger on the pulse of wider cultural issues and events, so today we’re taking a look at Germany’s new weed laws. Germany just passed one of the world’s most progressive medical marijuana plans. The new law will put weed in more pharmacies and require public insurers to cover the costs of cannabis products, as they do other pharmaceutical prescriptions, when cannabis is prescribed for “severe conditions.” Germany will also start growing its own weed. This will replace the old medical marijuana law, which granted permits for people to grow their own. So recreational growers will not have any excuses for ‘exotic houseplants.’ The drug dealers of Berlin’s infamous open-air marijuana market in Görlitzer Park that spoke to Highsnobiety were surprisingly supportive. “Obviously its not going to be so good for business, but it’s the right thing to do if it can help people,” said Jan*, 24. Like many of the dealers lining in the parks of Berlin, he is an African immigrant, this time from Lagos. While Germany is standardizing its medical marijuana supply chain, authorities in the capital turn a blind eye to illicit dealers selling dime bags in public spaces. But although it will soon be easier to get free weed from the local pharmacy, most dealers we spoke to were not threatened by the competition. “We also get people who buy weed from us to treat pain,” said Menis*, 27, a Gambian dealer. “Some don’t come anymore, but a lot of them still do. You don’t get exactly the same experience from the pharmacy products as you do with the marijuana we sell. They spray it with something different. I didn’t like it as much.” Currently pharmacy prices for medical marijuana fluctuate from 12 to 20 euro per gram, compared to the roughly 10-euro price in the park. Who Stands to Lose from Medical Marijuana Britta Pedersen / DPA If data from the United States’ research on the effects of medical marijuana is an indicator of how things could play out in Germany, there might be a reason drug dealers are so chill about the new law: pharmaceutical companies stand to loose more customers. There is clear difference between annual drug doses prescribed by physicians in medical marijuana states, and in states where weed is completely illegal, according to a 2015 study. There were 1,826 fewer painkiller doses prescribed, followed by 562 fewer anxiety medications and 541 fewer pharmaceutical nausea treatments prescribed in states where patients could be treated with cannabis. The U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research also found that legal access to medical marijuana is linked to a significant drop in the number of people abusing and dying from prescription painkillers. This could catch on in Germany as Germans have already started turning away from traditional pharmaceuticals to more natural products. Over half the population has used some form of homeopathic treatment, with awareness and use of alternative drugs rising steadily since their introduction to pharmacies in 1976. Germany Is Not California stuffstonerslike.com It is no secret that California’s medical marijuana dispensary program has relatively lax requirements to determine who could benefit from a medical marijuana card, which are often used for recreational smoking rather than strictly for treatment of an illness. More than 91,000 medical marijuana cards have been issued since 2004, according to California’s Department of Public Health. “Germany has much stricter guidelines than California for prescribing marijuana,” said Goerg Wurth, head of the German Hemp association. “Almost anyone who wants a prescription can get one there. In Germany things are more regulated and bureaucratic. Doctors are checking to make sure medical marijuana is not used for recreational purposes.” There are roughly 30 illnesses for which the German government recommends cannabis, ranging from chronic pain to attention deficit disorder and epilepsy. But even after getting the green light from a doctor to use marijuana, the German system is more regimented than the dispensary model. Instead of setting up new businesses that deal exclusively in weed, Germans must go through pharmacies. And while doctors can prescribe cannabis for a broad range of ailments, only those that prove to be “severe” will receive reimbursement from public insurers. Doctors also have more sway over what kind of cannabis you can get. “Although you can get smoking and edible options, it is more likely doctors will suggest vaporizers or THC drops, which are less harmful and easier to dose,” Wurth said. Where Does Germany Stand Compared to Its Neighbors? Sarah L. Voisin / Washington Post Germany stands somewhere in the middle when it comes to European weed legislation. While some of its neighbors have yet to broach the subject of medical marijuana in parliament, others such as the Netherlands and Spain have certain cities where recreational consumption is legal. Although many European states have medical marijuana available, Germany will join the Netherlands, Italy and the Czech Republic as the one of the only countries where weed is produced. “There is more movement for weed legalization than ever before in the world, and it won’t be long until the first European country fully legalizes it,” Wurth said. Recreational Smoking Is Still Illegal Benjamin Pritzkuleit Despite creating easy access to medial marijuana, the government has been clear in saying that this law is not to be taken as a step towards legalization of recreational use. The government cites health concerns as the main reason for keeping weed from the general public. “International studies from the last 10 years show that the use and abuse of cannabis can be associated with a number of serious short-term and long-term risks, particularly among young people,” the German Health Ministry said. “Psychological and psychosocial disorders (such as schizophrenic psychoses), organ-medical effects (such as cardiovascular diseases) and neuro-cognitive impairments (such as the impairment of learning attention and memory functions) are mentioned.” Still, those pushing for blanket legalization see the new law as a possible step towards it, looking to countries such as the United States and Canada which progressed to legalization after introduced medical marijuana. Eight states recently legalized marijuana in the U.S., whereas Canada introduced legislation to legalize marijuana throughout the whole country this spring. kiezografie “I believe that medical marijuana will relax the attitudes of Germans towards cannabis, especially the older, more conservative generation,” Wurth said. “The decision to legalize it for medical purposes was more or less unanimous, whereas the majority of Germans still don’t think it should be legal for recreational use.” The latest European Drug Report found that nearly a quarter of Germans have tried marijuana. Germany may lack the political will for blanket legalization, but there are many initiatives and local governments willing to give it a shot. Groups in Berlin, for example, have expressed an interest in the city being a testing site for possible legalization to see whether a change in law could lead to decreases in crime. “It will eventually become legal in Germany,” Wurth said. “But for it is good that we are taking care of patients.” On the topic of legalizing weed, here’s our look at what Portland is like two years after weed was legalized. highsnobiety
  9. Medical Marijuana Update

    Medical Marijuana Update by psmith, February 15, 2017 It's all red state medical marijuana news this week, reflecting the slow spread of acceptance to even the most conservative corners of the country. Arkansas Last Wednesday, a batch of medical marijuana "fix" bills were moving. Six medical marijuana-related bills moved out of committees to face floor votes in their respective chambers. The House Rules Committee advanced five bills, while the Senate Education Committee advanced one bill. More bills are still in committee. Many of the bills deal with technical "fixes," but some of them would alter the way the program is intended to work. Click on the link for a complete rundown on the bills. On Monday, two of the bills passed the House. The House voted to approve two bills authored by Rep. Doug House (R-North Little Rock). They are House Bill 1371, which requires that Arkansans hold 60% ownership interest in pot businesses in the state, and House Bill 1298, which requires that persons, not corporations, hold the licenses. The bills now head to the Senate. Kansas Last Wednesday, a medical marijuana bill was filed. State Sen. David Haley (D-Kansas City) has filed Senate Bill 155, which would allow patients with specified diseases or conditions to grow and possess medical marijuana, or have a caregiver grow it for them. The bill also envisions the creation of state regulated and taxed "compassion centers" or dispensaries. Oklahoma Last Friday, a medical marijuana bill was filed. State Rep. Eric Proctor (D-Tulsa) has filed a medical marijuana measure, House Bill 1877. The bill would allow the use of medical marijuana for a list of specified illnesses and conditions and is modeled on the successful medical marijuana ,initiative passed next door in Arkansas in November. South Dakota On Tuesday, a CBD bill advanced. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to approve Senate Bill 95, which would reschedule CBD as a Class 4 drug in the state and remove it from the definition of marijuana under state law. The bill would legalize the possession and use of CBD, but only upon approval by the FDA. That requirement was added in committee. [For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.] stopthedrugwar
  10. Amsterdam for Christmas? I'll wait for May!

    Amsterdam Winter Wonderland- Best of the Season Published on Feb 13, 2017 New Amsterdam Travel Video- Snow! Frozen ice! Ice Skating! Winter is a great time to be in the city and in all of The Netherlands. From November through February Amsterdam becomes a magical place for your eyes, ears and taste buds. Things kick off with the arrival of Sinterklaas in one long parade by land and by sea. To begin the holiday season, the Bijenkorf Department Store puts on a spectacular Turn on the Lights show in Dam Square. Christmas is all around with special markets, ice skating and stands selling olieballen and gluwein. The Amsterdam Light Festival lights up the evenings with glowing artworks along the Amstel and canals and the Dutch Ice Sculpture Festival keeps things chill with 100 life sized statues of ice. Pick your own tulips on National Tulip Day and dance in the streets with lions during Chinese New Year. During several times of winter the snow falls and blankets everything in a bright white and if we're really lucky, some rivers and canals will be frozen long enough for outdoor ice skating.
  11. Medical Marijuana Update

    Medical Marijuana Update by psmith, February 07, 2017, This article has been updated with additional cases, due to a change in our publishing schedule this week. Material appearing in the original version of this article is unchanged. Arkansas legislators are trying to ban medical marijuana smoking and edibles, a new Florida bill seeks to revamp that state's medical marijuana system, and more. Arkansas On January 25, a lawmaker filed a bill to ignore the voters' will until federal law changes. State Sen. Jason Rapert (R-District 18) filed a bill that would delay the voter-approved medical marijuana law until marijuana is legal under federal law. The measure is Senate Bill 238, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor. Last Monday, legislators filed three more bills to restrict the voter-approved initiative. Republicans in Little Rock have filed three more bills that would tighten up the state's new law. One would ban the smoking of medical marijuana (House Bill 1400), one would ban edibles (House Bill 1392), and would require previous local zoning to be in place before licenses for dispensaries or grows are issued (House Bill 1391). HB1391 and HB1392 have been sent to Committee on House Rules while HB1400 has only been filed. Colorado Last Monday, a bill to add PTSD as a qualifying condition advanced. The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 17-017. The measure would add post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. The bill is now on the Senate's "consent calendar," meaning it should move through the Senate with little debate. Then it's on to the House. Florida Last Wednesday, a bill to overhaul the state's restrictive medical marijuana system was filed. State Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) filed Senate Bill 614. The bill would scrap the state's existing system and replace it with a new set of rules. The move is supported by the people behind the successful Amendment 2 initiative. "Sen. Brandes' bill does an excellent job of establishing a comprehensive, tightly regulated medical marijuana system in Florida," said United For Care campaign manager Ben Pollara on Wednesday. "The two most essential pieces of implementation are maintaining the primacy of the doctor-patient relationship, and expanding the marketplace to serve patient access. SB 614 does both in a well-regulated, well thought out manner." New Hampshire Last Wednesday, legislators heard testimony on adding new qualifying conditions. The House Human Services, Health, and Elderly Affairs committee heard testimony on a series of bills that would add chronic pain, opioid addiction, fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder qualifying conditions to receive medical marijuana. The bills are sponsored by Rep. Joseph Lachance (R-Manchester), a medical marijuana card holder since 2015 who says "cannabis saved my life." Oklahoma On Monday, a medical marijuana bill was filed. State Rep. Eric Proctor (D-Tulsa) introduced House Bill 1877. It would allow patients suffering from a specified list of conditions to use medical marijuana without fear of arrest or other penalty as long as they comply with the rules and regulations of the envisioned medical marijuana program. Patients could grow their own or have caregivers grow it for them, and state-licensed dispensaries and grow operations would be allowed. Utah On January 25, lawmakers said they were scaling back plans for a medical marijuana bill. Legislators said last Friday they were retreating from plans to expand the state's CBD-only medical marijuana law and will instead call for more research. They also said they wanted to see what the Trump administration was going to do before they moved forward with a broader medical marijuana bill. Last Monday, a medical marijuana study bill advanced. The House Health and Human Services Committee unanimously approved House Bill 130 Monday. The measure would allow universities in the state to study medical marijuana. The bill is supported by the Utah Medical Association, which has opposed medical marijuana bills saying more study is needed. It now heads for a House floor vote. Washington Last Friday, a bill to allow medical marijuana use at school won a committee vote. The House Health Care and Wellness Committee approved "Ducky's Bill," House Bill 1060, on a 13-3 vote. The bill is named after an elementary school student who can only attend half-days of class because of intractable epileptic seizures. It would require school districts to allow students to use medical marijuana on school grounds, on a school bus, or while attending a school-sponsored event. A companion measure has been filed in the Senate, but has not moved yet. Wisconsin On Monday, a pair of medical marijuana bills were filed. State Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D-Middleton) and Rep. Chris Taylor (D-Madison) have filed a pair of bills aimed at legalizing medical marijuana in the state. The first bill, the Compassionate Cannabis Care Act, would legalize medical marijuana, while the second bill would authorize a statewide referendum allowing citizens to vote on whether they support medical marijuana. The bills are not yet available on the legislative web site. [For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.] stopthedrugwar
  12. Amsterdam for Christmas? I'll wait for May!

    Tickets for Amsterdam King's Day celebrations on sale Thursday By Janene Pieters February 8, 2017 Amsterdam will be hosting five large parties on King's Day on April 27th this year. There will also be many markets and smaller stages for live music, the municipality announced in a press release on Wednesday. Ticket sales for the large events start tomorrow. The five large parties are Loveland van Oranje in Meerpark, Oranjebloesem on Pampuslaan, Kingsland Festival at RAI, Nassau Festival at Olympisch Gebied and Kroongetuie on Turbinestraat. No tickets will be sold at the door, they can only be bought in advance. Tickets will be on sale from noon tomorrow, February 9th, until 11:00 a.m. on April 27th. This year the big events will again take place outside of the city center area. This is a measure the municipality started taking in 2012, in an effort to reduce problems and spread out the crowds. nltimes
  13. Medical Marijuana Update

    Medical Marijuana Update by psmith, February 02, 2017 Arkansas legislators are trying to ban medical marijuana smoking and edibles, a new Florida bill seeks to revamp that state's medical marijuana system, and more. Arkansas Last Friday,a lawmaker filed a bill to ignore the voters' will until federal law changes. State Sen. Jason Rapert (R-District 18) filed a bill that would delay the voter-approved medical marijuana law until marijuana is legal under federal law. The measure is Senate Bill 238, which has been referred to the Senate Committee on Public Health, Welfare, and Labor. On Monday, legislators filed three more bills to restrict the voter-approved initiative. Republicans in Little Rock have filed three more bills that would tighten up the state's new law. One would ban the smoking of medical marijuana (House Bill 1400), one would ban edibles (House Bill 1392), and would require previous local zoning to be in place before licenses for dispensaries or grows are issued (House Bill 1391). HB1391 and HB1392 have been sent to Committee on House Rules while HB1400 has only been filed. Colorado On Monday, a bill to add PTSD as a qualifying condition advanced. The Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee unanimously approved Senate Bill 17-017. The measure would add post-traumatic stress disorder as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. The bill is now on the Senate's "consent calendar," meaning it should move through the Senate with little debate. Then it's on to the House. Florida On Wednesday, a bill to overhaul the state's restrictive medical marijuana system was filed. State Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg) filed Senate Bill 614. The bill would scrap the state's existing system and replace it with a new set of rules. The move is supported by the people behind the successful Amendment 2 initiative. "Sen. Brandes’ bill does an excellent job of establishing acomprehensive, tightly regulated medical marijuana system in Florida," said United For Care campaign manager Ben Pollara on Wednesday. "The two most essential pieces of implementation are maintaining the primacy of the doctor-patient relationship, and expanding the marketplace to serve patient access. SB 614 does both in a well-regulated, well thought out manner." New Hampshire On Wednesday, legislators heard tetstimony on adding new qualifying conditions. The House Human Services, Health, and Elderly Affairs committee heard testimony on a series of bills that would add chronic pain, opioid addiction, fibromyalgia and post-traumatic stress disorder qualifying conditions to receive medical marijuana. The bills are sponsored by Rep. Joseph Lachance (R-Manchester), a medical marijuana card holder since 2015 who says "cannabis saved my life." Utah Last Friday, lawwmakers said they were scaling back plans for a medical marijuana bill. Legislators said last Friday they were retreating from plans to expand the state's CBD-only medical marijuana law and will instead call for more research. They also said they wanted to see what the Trump administration was going to do before they moved forward with a broader medical marijuana bill. On Monday, a medical marijuana study bill advanced. The House Health and Human Services Committee unanimously approved House Bill 130 Monday. The measure would allow universities in the state to study medical marijuana. The bill is supported by the Utah Medical Association, which has opposed medical marijuana bills saying more study is needed. It now heads for a House floor vote. [For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.] stopthedrugwar
  14. Medical Marijuana Update

    Medical Marijuana Update by psmith, January 25, 2017 The Illinois treasurer asks Trump for clarity on banking for the medical marijuana industry, North Dakota legislators work to ensure workers' compensation won't pay for medical marijuana for injured employees, and more. Arkansas On Monday, the legislature approved changes to the state's new medical marijuana law. With the state Senate's approval Monday, House Bill 1058 now goes to the governor. It passed the House last week. The bill removes a requirement that doctors declare the benefits of medical marijuana outweigh the risk to the patient. It also specifies that patient information submitted to qualify for medical marijuana is "confidential," but would not be considered "medical records" subject to the Health Information Privacy Protection Act. On Tuesday, the governor signed a pair of medical marijuana "fix" bills. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) signed into law two bills aimed at modifying the state's new, voter-approved medical marijuana law. House Bill 1026 will extend the deadline for rulemaking from 120 days to 180 days, and House Bill 1058 removes the requirement that doctors certify in writing that the help benefits of marijuana would outweigh the risks to the patient. Illinois On Monday, the state treasurer asked Trump for clarity on banking for the medical marijuana industry. State Treasurer Michael Frerichs sent a letter to President Trump urging him to give clear guidance to the banking industry on marijuana. Frerichs said currently federal law makes it difficult for legal businesses to get loans and restricts customers to cash-only transactions. North Dakota On Monday, the House approved a bill preventing workers' comp from paying for medical marijuana. The House overwhelmingly approved House Bill 1156. Passed in response to voters' approval of a medical marijuana initiative in November, the bill prevents the state Workforce Safety and Insurance agency from paying for medical marijuana to treat a workplace injury. Legislators said marijuana remains illegal under federal law. [For extensive information about the medical marijuana debate, presented in a neutral format, visit MedicalMarijuana.ProCon.org.] stopthedrugwar
  15. Medical Marijuana Update

    Cannabis and Epilepsy Treatment Jeremiah Wilhelm January 23, 2017 Since medicinal cannabis has become a more commonplace alternative for a well-established list of ailments, patients are finding a place for it next to their Advil and Tums. But unlike many other chronic illnesses that can be managed with over-the-counter supplements, epilepsy requires a specific cocktail of chemicals not readily available at the local corner store. This is why cannabis – specifically its chemical constituent CBD (cannabidiol) – has become so important for families struggling to treat their epileptic loved ones. Cannabis has demonstrated so much promise in the treatment of epilepsy that FDA-approved clinical trials are underway. But why is it that cannabis in particular is so effective at treating seizures, and why is it critical that clinical investigations continue? Epilepsy is characterized by recurring seizures of variable intensity and effect. These seizures are usually caused by disturbances in specific regions of the brain’s circuitry that create storms of extra electrical activity. Approximately 1 in every 26 Americans will develop epilepsy in their lifetime, and two-thirds of those diagnosed will have no specific origin for the disorder. But perhaps the most harrowing fact is that 34% of childhood deaths are due to epilepsy or accidents that occur during seizures. These figures illustrate the “hiding in plain sight” commonality of epilepsy and the incredible unmet need for the development of novel drugs to treat seizures. While a seizure disorder can be a massive disruption to someone’s way of life and can even be deadly, most patients manage to acquire treatment and medicine while others simply grow out of it – though this is not always the case. Seizures and seizure disorders are as unique as the person afflicted by them, which can make seizures difficult to treat. Recently, epilepsy and cannabis have been highlighted in the news, especially success stories focusing on children with epilepsy who are trying medicinal cannabis. A few notable examples include Charlotte Figi and the high CBD Charlotte’s Web cannabis strain named after her, as well as Renee and Brandon Petro. These cases and others have shone a spotlight on the medicinal uses of cannabis, regardless of its classification as a Schedule I narcotic (having no medicinal use in the eyes of the Federal government) and the generally accepted legal age of consumption for mind-altering substances (save caffeine and sugar). The Current State of Cannabis and Epilepsy Research cannabis and epilepsy clinical trial stages These inspiring stories help illuminate the efficacy of medical cannabis while defining its range of treatment from the elderly to the young. While the capabilities of CBD and medical cannabis use seems to be self-evident, the DEA has only recently allowed academic institutions to explore the effects, side effects, and usefulness of cannabis as a medicinal plant. This seemingly innocuous change of face is an enormous leap forward for researchers, pharmaceutical companies, breeders, and the cannabis community at large as more scientific capital is put toward understanding this populous plant. “Based on these preclinical studies, one would be excited about the potential therapeutic potential of the cannabinoids,” wrote Dr. Francis M. Filloux in the journal Translational Pediatrics. “However, it is undeniable that the complex regulation that surrounds these Schedule I substances has impeded scientific investigation of their therapeutic potential.” There has been no other drug in history that has been as widely consumed and applied for medicinal use without the institutional blessing symbolized by clinical human trials. But patients around the country currently have access to the “generic” versions of life-saving, CBD-rich cannabis products that are thriving beyond the regulatory reach of the FDA. So by conducting clinical trials with pure CBD, as GW Pharmaceuticals is with Epidiolex, concrete, tested scientific evidence can lay the first bricks in the road toward a variety of CBD/THC ratio products as well as synergistic cannabis cocktails targeted at other specific maladies. Clinical trials become more rigorous and far reaching as they progress through each stage. Currently GW Pharmaceuticals is undergoing Stage 3 clinical trials on Epidiolex, a nearly pure CBD preparation (98%+), to confirm the therapeutic value of this cannabinoid. This is also an astounding leap forward for cannabis and medicine, because, as noted by Dr. Filloux: “Until the last few years, the published data was minimal and included [fewer] than 70 subjects. Very few of these were children. Furthermore, none of these studies would meet criteria as Class I-III clinical trials (50-53). However, this state of affairs is rapidly changing given the current climate.” While this scientific success story isn’t a tear-jerker like Brandon’s or Charlotte’s, it does explain a necessary step toward proving the efficacy of cannabis-based therapies and its more egalitarian medicinal prescription. Why Does Cannabis Work for Epilepsy and Seizures? medical cannabis for epilepsy and seizures The endogenous cannabinoid system is ubiquitous in our bodies, and is heavily regulated by cannabinoids found in cannabis. With such potent biological usefulness throughout the human body, it’s obvious that the more scientific study that goes into the cannabis industry and the plurality of products it has created, the more the consumer will benefit. Time will be a better judge, but the future of medicinal cannabis as a treatment for disorders like epilepsy is here. Catherine Jacobson, Director of Clinical Research at Canadian licensed producer Tilray (note: Tilray is owned by Privateer Holdings, Leafly’s parent company), weighs in on the future of medicinal cannabis and the scientific progress that needs to be made: “A pure CBD formula was the safest way to begin trials on epilepsy patients because of its lack of psychoactivity. The trouble with developing a single pure CBD formula is that epilepsy has never been a one-size fits all disorder. Of the 200,000 children living with treatment-resistant epilepsy, only a fraction has access to clinical trials investigating CBD. This leaves most parents and patients to acquire their own CBD-rich cannabis, which always contains some percentage of THC. It’s important to learn from these cases to understand which types of epilepsies might respond to a combination product, and to inform future clinical trials. Early results from clinical studies on GW’s Epidiolex clearly show a beneficial effect of CBD on some types of seizures, but more research is needed to fully understand whether a combination THC/CBD product can reduce the seizure burden in those patients who don’t respond to CBD alone.” This statement aligns well with conclusions drawn by Dr. Edward Maa, Chief of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Denver Health and Hospitals. “It is possible that CBD and [THC] work synergistically to suppress seizures,” Dr. Maa write in Epilepsia. “In fact Ethan Russo, senior medical advisor to GW Pharma, recently reviewed the evidence for the ‘entourage effect’ of the phytocannabinoids and terpenoids, and he makes a strong case for their synergistic effects in a variety of disease states.” Epilepsy is surprisingly common, exceptionally disruptive, and potentially deadly. But the uncertainty behind the effectiveness of cannabis and CBD in regards to epilepsy treatment is fading. This “controlled substance” is finally receiving its due diligence from the scientific community, and Dr. Jacobson is at the forefront of much of the forthcoming research. leafly