Category: Second Column

As the California Harvest Comes In…

Nancy Sajben, MD, forwards Thomas Fuller’s Sept. 10 New York Times piece on cannabis cultivation in California. Supply and demand within the state are out of whack, and most growers have chosen not to get permits. Fuller cites Hezekiah Allen of the California Growers Association, who “estimates that about 11 percent of growers — about 3,500 of 32,000 farmers in the Emerald Triangle, which covers Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity counties — have applied for permits. Most have been deterred by the voluminous paperwork to obtain a permit, the fees and the taxes, he said.” Mendocino County Sheriff Thomas D....

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CMCR wants cannabis clinicians to present patients with “Agreement”

Continuing our report on the August 30 MBC Marijuana Task Force meeting …  A handout distributed at  the Aug. 30 meeting in Sacramento of the Medical Board of California’s Marijuana Cannabis Task Force was a slightly revised version of a “Medical Cannabis Agreement” written by Brad Wilsey, MD, and colleagues from the Center for Medical Cannabis Research at UC San Diego. Originally  published in the Clinical Journal of Pain 2015; 31 (12), it could have been entitled “Medical Cannabis is not Quite as Dangerous as Plutonium.” Perry Solomon, MD, questioned whether the “Agreement” was reality-based and MBC Executive Director Kimberly Kirchmayer quickly...

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Marshall Klaus, MD —Respect the Doula!

Another amazing person has left us. As recounted by Sam Roberts in the NY Times: Dr. Marshall H. Klaus, whose research in the early 1970s into emotional bonding between parents and their newborns prompted improvements in how hospital maternity wards care for mothers and their infants, died on Aug. 15 in Palo Alto, Calif. He was 90. Dr. Klaus, a neonatologist, and his colleague at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Dr. John H. Kennell, a pediatrician, concluded in their book “Maternal-Infant Bonding” (1976) that contact between a mother and child in the first hours or even days of...

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Kathy Bates playing dispensary owner in new sitcom

The great Kathy Bates plays the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary in a new Netflix comedy called “Disjointed.”  As summarized by Kathryn Shattuck of the New York Times August 27, the plot “pits Ruth’s tie-dyed activism against the business acumen of her son, Travis (Aaron Moten), a newly minted M.B.A. whose father is a Black Panther turned corporate lawyer for Big Pharma. Ruth wants to rail against the Man; Travis wants to grow their shop into the Walmart of cannabis.” Shattuck asked Bates: So, do you smoke pot? Yeah, I do. I’ve had a prescription for some time for...

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New anti-inflammatory ballyhooed in NEJM

An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine —citing a study published in the same issue— touts the notion that an anti-inflammatory drug that has no effect on cholesterol may have cardiovascular benefits.  “Canakinumab,” marketed as “Ilaris” by Novartis, was originally approved to treat a type of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis and  costs about $200,000 a year.  It is a human monoclonal antibody that works against interleukin-1β. The new study (funded by Novartis) was led by Dr. Paul Ridker of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. Some 10,000 patients who had experienced heart attacks were involved. Those getting the optimal dose...

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