Even though 20 states, including Illinois, have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana, swayed in part by thousands of personal testimonies, current research hasn’t nailed down exactly if, and how, marijuana alleviates all the specific diseases the drug is being legalized to treat, experts say.
A number of proponents believe marijuana could benefit people with everything from glaucoma to cancer, and it’s been legalized in Illinois to aid patients with some 40 medical conditions. But opponents of its medicinal use believe the risks of smoking medical marijuana outweigh the benefits, while others question whether patients really improve or only feel like they improve.
Marijuana’s best-known compound is THC, but the plant actually has 105 unique cannabis compounds with potential for medicinal use, proponents say. THC has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in synthetic form to help patients with nausea and decreased appetite.
Some scientists believe the plant’s other compounds — called cannabinoids — could have equal promise. Although research has increased in recent years as more sta. . . . . READ MORE
The flag flying over the Capitol on the Fourth of July might look like your typical Old Glory. But you probably won’t notice the fibers that make it special. It’s believed to be the first hemp flag to flutter over the dome since the government began outlawing marijuana’s less-recreational cousin back in the 1930s.
Colorado hemp advocate Michael Bowman is the man responsible for getting the flag, made from Colorado-raised hemp and screen-printed with the Stars and Stripes, up there.
He cooked up the idea while lobbying Congress this year to include pro-hemp measures in the massive farm bill. That legislation failed last month, of course, but the seed of the hemp flag had been planted.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) gave Bowman an assist with the details, which included working with the Capitol’s flag office. (The flag program allows people to buy flags flown over the Capitol, so they rotate in new Old Glories nearly every day.)
“It’s a powerful symbol,” Bowman says, adding that the red, white and blue flying over the Capitol is a reminder of the role that hemp played in the founding and early days . . . . . READ MORE
The words “marijuana” and “brain damage” usually go in that order in medical literature. An Israeli researchers has flipped them around, finding that THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, may arrest some forms of brain damage in mice. The loco weed already is favored by those who suffer from chronic diseases, not to mention fans of Cypress Hill, Bob Marley and the Grateful Dead.
But pharmacologist Josef Sarne of Tel Aviv University found that a minuscule amount of tetrahydrocannabinol may protect the brain after injuries from seizures, toxic drug exposure or a lack of oxygen.
The amounts wouldn’t qualify as much more than a second-hand whiff of kine bud – the quantity of THC is an order of 1,000 to 10,000 lower than that in a whole spliff.
The new dope on marijuana was published in Behavioural Brain Research and Experimental Brain Research, which are professional journals, not nicknames for HempCon or Burning Man.
Other researchers didn’t tend to Bogart the joint as much. They suggested using high — their word — doses within about half an hour after such injury. Sarne. . . . . READ MORE
The time is at hand for the Obama administration to stop dithering, to take a clear position on the rights of Washington state and Colorado — and by precedent all others — to experiment with legalized marijuana.
That’s what Govs. Jay Inslee of Washington and John Hickenlooper of Colorado are asking the Justice Department to do — even though they personally opposed the marijuana legalization measures their voters approved last November.
The governors insist they can make their states’ new laws work well through responsible regulations that license, regulate and tax the production and sale of marijuana. New state labeling laws, say supporters, will also remove confusion and dangerous use levels by showing the potency in terms of THC, the psychoactive component of the cannabis plant, analogous to the labeling of alcoholic beverages.
Clearly it’s a direction the American people — who favor marijuana legalization 52 to 41 percent in recent polling — would approve.
A collaborative approach would be consistent with President Obama’s own marijuana history — a substance he tried himself as a youth. Asked last December about the Co. . . . . READ MORE