Category: Second Column

“Cannabinoids in Clinical Practice” in BC June 21

“Cannabinoids in Clinical Practice” is a full day continuing medical education (CME) event to be held at the University of British Columbia Friday June 21 2013 in partnership with the International Cannabinoid Research Society ( ICRS ). This event is uniquely structured for enhanced practical learning.  A patient case will be followed throughout the day and used to introduce each of the four presentation sections.  The introductory section includes an overview of cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system. Two separate clinically focused and practical sections will follow this on both the efficacy and the risks of cannabis in medicine. The day...

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Rand Paul’s Popularity

March 7  2013    No sooner do we express admiration for a Democratic Party liberal (Lawrence O’Donnell) than he gets flummoxed by Rand Paul’s filibuster. (The legitimacy of assassination from the sky as an instrument of US foreign policy is now established. The current argument is only about the ground rules.) The filibuster is an anti-democratic tactic and serious liberals like Hendrik Hertzberg of the New Yorker want it abolished. But Paul’s demand seemed so righteous that serious liberals —including you, I assume— find themselves in a double bind. Mild E.J. Dionne had to tell O’Donnell, “You’re wrong, Lawrence.” Cool Eugene Robinson had to explain that we do need clarity on whether the President of the United States thinks he has the legal right to direct a drone strike against a U.S. citizen on U.S. soil. The rightwing mouthpieces —Limbaugh, Hannity, Gingrich et al— claimed that the popular support for Paul had something to do with them and their worldview. Pshaw!  Rand Paul is not just the darling of “the Tea Party” (a media concoction if ever there was one). Millions of Americans know about and greatly appreciate his pro-hemp position, and this —plus an echo of his dad’s anti-foreign-entanglement-line— is the real source of his mass support. Hemp and peace —Why let the righties snag those causes? David Bronner, who is no rightwinger when it comes to wages and working conditions...

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Papal Bull

March 18   The new pope, a Jesuit, is being billed by the media as a “moderate.” He undoubtedly is moderate compared to his predecessor, who had been in the Hitler Youth and kept that wild gleam in his eye till the end. (On his last day in office Ratzinger put a German banker in charge of the Vatican treasury.) As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio —now Francis— was moderately supportive of the military dictatorship during the “Dirty War” in which 30,000 Argentine citizens were killed or disappeared; also, moderately anti-woman, moderately anti-gay, moderately anti-drug legalization. The media is...

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Defending Public Defenders

By A.P. DuJardin There’s a real basis for concern over free attorneys. Free seems too good to be true and there are good and bad in every group. Outside of California pay is often low and case loads unreasonable. However, it’s also quite common for people who make poor decisions to also make poor judgments about the quality of assistance they receive. Their evaluations of their attorneys are based on limited experience and they have a strong incentive to lay the blame on someone else. Their lawyer, most commonly a PD, makes the most obvious target. This is why clients attack (and kill) their own lawyers more often than they attack the district attorneys prosecuting them. In a sense, public defenders and defense lawyers generally are culpable because the “criminal justice system” would not work without them. It would catastrophically fail without defense attorneys negotiating the plea agreements and making it appear to the public that “someone is looking out to make sure the criminals don’t get walked all over, so the system must be fair.” That’s the attitude of most citizens until they get personally involved, at which point they suddenly realize how completely fucked-up the laws and procedures can be. PDs have tried taking every case to trial to break the machine, with decidedly mixed results. Innocent clients are the exception, but they are usually quite easy...

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A Warning re Dabs

From Dale Gieringer:  The latest O’Shaughnessy’s has some delightful nuggets, thank you.   Your coverage of the anti-cancer potential of cannabis is admirably open-minded.  The report on WAMM’s experiment was especially interesting;  the results so far sure don’t make cannabis look like a miracle cure. Jeff Hergenrather’s article overlooked the number one hazard of dabbing in my experience.  That is the danger of passing out from an overdose.  In the past couple of years, there have been repeated occasions in which 911 teams have had to be called in due to cannabis overdoses.  At the NORML conference in LA, there were at least three different emergency calls due to use of high-potency cannabis extracts.  I hear that 911 was also called a few times at the High Times cannabis cup two years ago.  At the NORML party in LA, one person fainted and cracked his nose on the sidewalk.  I know someone else, a beautiful lady my age who has been smoking pot since the ’70s, who fainted and broke her teeth on the floor after dabbing.   Things like this never happened until the popularization of hash oil in recent years. The dangers are dire enough to merit a special warning.  The best-authenticated case of a cannabis death in the literature  —reported by Gabriel Nahas or Reese Jones as I recall—  was of someone who collapsed and cracked their...

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