Category: Second Column

MBC Drafts Guidelines for Cannabis Approvals

A Medical Board of California task force has posted its draft “Guidelines for the recommendation of cannabis for medical purposes.”   They will be discussed at an August 30 task force meeting in Sacramento and adopted —modified or as is— by the board thereafter. The MBC will not seek to prevent doctors who issue cannabis approvals from using cannabis as medicine themselves. The Federation of State Medical Boards wanted California (and all its members) to adopt this approach, which is enforced in Colorado and elsewhere. Perhaps the eloquent opposition of Steve Robinson, MD, helped convince the MBC that cannabis use does...

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Anatomy of a Runaround, continued

This story,  first published June 15, has a new ending. Add Greenpay to the list of companies that turned yellow. —Fred Gardner The Society of Cannabis Clinicians was founded in 2000 by Tod Mikuriya, MD, and a handful of California colleagues, including the current president, Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD. The SCC now has some 300 members nationwide.  They neither produce nor sell cannabis-based products. They share findings and observations and hold quarterly meetings. Dues are collected online —or were, until a payment-processing company called WePay stopped handling the SCC account on November 18, 2016. PayPal had previously denied the SCC its...

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Khat in Context

Khat is a flowering shrub, Catha edulis, native to East Africa and the Arabian Peninsula. Its leaves and young shoots contain two stimulant compounds, cathinone and cathine. Pot partisans will hear familiar overtones in this June 22 New York Times story about the growing popularity of Khat in Ethiopia. Reporter Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura clearly delineates economic cause and social effect.  Two especially blunt and revealing lines are boldfaced. —FG … Most alarming, the Ethiopian authorities say, is the number of young people in this predominantly young nation now consuming khat. About half of Ethiopia’s youth are thought to chew it. Officials consider the problem...

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Fired MMJ User can sue for Handicap Discrimination

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has ruled that Cristina Barbuto, fired for using cannabis to treat Crohn’s Disease, has a right to sue for handicap discrimination. Here is the ruling in Barbuto v. Advantage Sales.   The justices make the point that the federal government’s designation of marijuana as a Schedule I substance defies the plain meaning of simple English words: “accepted medical use.” “Nor are we convinced that, as a matter of public policy, we should declare such an accommodation to be per se unreasonable solely out of respect for the Federal law prohibiting the possession of marijuana even...

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CBD promotes cardiovascular health

Saorise O’Sullivan, PhD, summarized the extremely promising results of her research at this year’s meeting of the International Cannabinoid Research Society in Montreal. O’Sullivan is Associate Proferssor on the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Nottingham.  Her talk on “Cardiovascular Effects of Cannabinoids” won the ICRS’s Young Investigator Award. Here’s the abstract: Cannabidiol (CBD) is a non-psychoactive phytocannabinoid already on the market as part of a licensed treatment in multiple sclerosis (Sativex® GW Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, UK). CBD alone (Epidiolex®, GW Pharmaceuticals, Cambridge, UK) is also in clinical trials in children with intractable epilepsies and has...

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