Category: Second Column

Corporate Colombian Cannabis Coming

Small Farmers Did Better Under FARC Mom-and-pop marijuana growers in Colombia are now getting less than half the price that “Marxist-Leninist guerillas” paid for their buds, it was revealed incidentally towards the end of a long March 9 New York Times story by Nicholas Casey. The piece was accompanied by a photo of a woman named Blanca Riveros trimming her plants in a comfortable-looking stucco cottage with her school-age son sitting nearby at a computer. Excerpts follow: She trims the plants and gets them ready for Colombian drug traffickers. After school, her son helps cut more. The business was long overseen by the...

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In the Psychiatrists’ Hall of Shame

By Bruce E. Levine In 2014, Melissa Delbello became Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati, and earlier this year, she was listed by Cincinnati Magazine as one of Cincinnati’s “top psychiatrists.” This despite the fact that in 2008, Delbello was rebuked by a U.S. Senator on the Senate Floor following a New York Times exposé about her. In 2008, Delbello was included in a Congressional investigation on psychiatrists violating federal and university regulations in their receipt of large sums of money from drug companies. An appalled U.S. Senator Charles Grassley told Americans...

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Malpractice Liability and Medical Marijuana

Thanks to Dr. Barth for sending this article from the December 2016 issue of “The Health Lawyer,” a newsletter published by the American Bar Association: Malpractice Liability and Medical Marijuana   Here’s a brief excerpt with a significant sentence in boldface: “Physicians may still be sued for malpractice even if they follow the statutory provisions meticulously. Physicians are often sued for malpractice for treatments that are unquestionably lawful and authorized by applicable licensing and regulatory statutes. The dispositive question in malpractice cases is not whether the physician’s actions were legally authorized but whether they were performed in accordance with professional standards...

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From the Medical Board of California

The Medical Board of California has just published its Winter 2017 Newsletter, which I haven’t even skimmed yet and might not get to for a while. Readers with comments to share about the MBC’s latest should send them to editor@beyondthc.com. —FG...

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Makriyannis Lab Determines Structure of the CB1 Receptor

Crystal Structure of the Human Cannabinoid Receptor CB1  was published in Cell October 20, 2016. Thanks to Dale Deutsch for sending the link. Seems like big news. Don’t know how we missed it. Highlights: •AM6538 is presented as a stabilizing, tight binding antagonist of CB1 •Crystal structure of human CB1 in complex with AM6538 is determined •Molecular docking predicts CB1 binding modes of THC and synthetic cannabinoids •Resolution of the binding pocket provides path for rational CB1 drug design Summary: Cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1) is the principal target of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), a psychoactive chemical from Cannabis sativa with a wide range of therapeutic applications and a long history of recreational use. CB1 is activated by endocannabinoids and is a promising therapeutic target for pain management, inflammation, obesity, and substance abuse disorders. Here, we present the 2.8 Å crystal structure of human CB1 in complex with AM6538, a stabilizing antagonist, synthesized and characterized for this structural study. The structure of the CB1-AM6538 complex reveals key features of the receptor and critical interactions for antagonist binding. In combination with functional studies and molecular modeling, the structure provides insight into the binding mode of naturally occurring CB1 ligands, such as THC, and synthetic cannabinoids. This enhances our understanding of the molecular basis for the physiological functions of CB1 and provides new opportunities for the design of next-generation CB1-targeting pharmaceuticals.  ...

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