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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

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Legalizing Marijuana in New York Regains Attention Among Lawmakers


ALBANY, N.Y. — New York state lawmakers say they are optimistic a law to regulate and tax recreational marijuana will be enacted in the coming months, perhaps as part of a new state budget that must be adopted by April.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, once again included language legalizing marijuana in spending legislation introduced last week. A poll also released last week showed a record margin of public support for legalization, and on Thursday, a suburban senator said he had changed his mind and would support a marijuana bill.
“Let’s be frank: We can buy this in any high school in New York state. The marketplace has spoken, so it’s time we tax this and can put that money to a social good,” said state Sen. Pete Harckham, a Democrat from Westchester County.
Mr. Harckham was one of several Democratic senators who last year were reluctant to embrace marijuana legislation. In recent months, Mr. Harckham said he had traveled to Massachusetts, where marijuana is sold in retail stores, and found “the sky is not falling.”
Mr. Cuomo became a marijuana supporter during his 2018 re-election bid, but longtime legalization advocates said he didn’t do enough last year to push wavering legislators like Mr. Harckham. Mr. Cuomo’s aides said they did all they could.
The governor and legislators also disagreed on how to distribute revenue from taxing marijuana, which Mr. Cuomo’s aides estimate could be $20 million in the coming fiscal year and eventually climb as high as $141 million annually. That rift remains, according to Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes and state Sen. Liz Krueger, the legislative sponsors of marijuana legalization.
Their bill dictates how much funding is allocated for drug treatment and traffic-safety programs. It also specifies that half of the new resources be invested into communities that were disproportionately impacted by laws that criminalize the possession and sale of drugs.
“That’s a big issue,” said Ms. Peoples-Stokes, a Democrat from Buffalo. “There has never been an appropriation that focused on the multiple generations of people who went to jail. It impacted their children, their families and the communities.”
Both the legislators’ bill and the governor’s proposal would create a new Office of Cannabis Management to distribute funds, issue licenses and approve new products. Legislators proposed the office would be governed by a board to which they would appoint some members; Mr. Cuomo’s plan would allow him to appoint all board members.
Norman Birenbaum, Mr. Cuomo’s director of cannabis programs, said the governor would negotiate with lawmakers based on his proposal. Mr. Birenbaum said Mr. Cuomo agreed with the need for reinvestment but believes it shouldn’t be overly prescriptive.
“Flexibility is really key here,” Mr. Birenbaum said.
Mr. Cuomo said he included the marijuana legislation in his budget bills to create a sense of urgency around the topic. Since the budget also includes popular actions like funding for schools, the maneuver could help win over marginal votes.
And while a Siena College Research Institute poll released last week showed support for legalizing marijuana was at 58%, some corners still have concerns. State Sen. Todd Kaminsky, a Democrat from Long Island, said he still has reservations. Under Mr. Cuomo’s proposal, counties could pass a law opting out of marijuana sales, and Nassau County Executive Laura Curran said she would push to do so.
Republican legislators, including Senate Minority Leader John Flanagan, say legalizing marijuana sends a bad message to children. The New York state PTA, which represents school parents, continues to oppose the measure.
“We’re in the middle of the vaping and opioid epidemics, and to add another drug makes no sense to us,” said NYS PTA Executive Director Kyle Belokopitsky.
All the Credits - Source & Original Story Belongs to WSJ
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Hotels Are Confused by Rise of Legal Marijuana: Opportunity or Liability?


The legalization of marijuana in many states is becoming an increasingly perplexing challenge for one key part of the travel industry: hotels.

They’re confronted with figuring out how to let guests partake in it on-property, training and drug testing employees, and dealing with confusing and ever-changing laws. In short, hotels have much to figure out.

“This is an emerging trend that’s not going away,” said Michael Blank, principal of Woodmont Lodging. “In many ways, it’s akin to the casinos when they were trying to make their push nationally.”

Marijuana is now legal for medical use in 33 states. It is legal in 11 states for both medical and recreational use for adults over 21. Illinois became the 11th state to legalize recreational marijuana as of Jan. 1.

Yet under federal law, it’s still a drug listed on Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, which makes it a federal crime to own, sell, or possess it. Other drugs listed on Schedule 1 include heroin, LSD, peyote, and ecstasy.

Under President Barack Obama’s administration, then-Deputy Attorney General Jim Cole issued a directive to federal prosecutors in 2013 that effectively told them not to interfere with marijuana-friendly state laws. Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions under President Donald Trump attempted to reverse that decision before his ouster in November 2018.

Trump has given conflicting statements on what he plans to do about state marijuana laws. He said last August that he would let states decide whether or not to legalize cannabis. Then he said in December that he has the power to ignore Cole’s directive not to interfere with state marijuana laws.

“Although there has been some tendency for federal officials to look the other way when activities violate federal law but comply with relevant state law, this is not a very reliable protection,” said Jim Butler, hotel lawyer and chairman of the global hospitality group of Jeffer Mangels Butler & Mitchell LLP, which represents hotel owners and developers.

Running afoul of the federal law could have implications, Butler said. The hotel’s reputation could be tarnished if charged with breaking federal law, it could lose its liquor license, or it could lose its banking relationships because federally insured banks are likely not to want to work with businesses dealing with Schedule 1 substances, Butler said.

Yet, the confusion is not stopping guests from using marijuana when traveling around states where it’s legal. While most hotels have no-smoking policies, marijuana can also be ingested as edibles that don’t give off an odor.

Then there is the issue of CBD, or cannabidiol, a chemical component of the cannabis plant, that is increasingly being used in food, oils, body lotions, body scrubs, and more. The difference is that CBD-infused products don’t have or have trace amounts of THC, the mind-altering chemical found in marijuana. CBD has grown into a big business, with studies showing that they can help people who suffer from anxiety, insomnia, chronic pain, and seizures.

Some hotels have experimented with CBD-infused food, beverages, and other products. The James New York NoMad tried out CBD-infused items on its room service menu for a short time in 2018, said James La Russo, a public relations executive at the hotel’s parent company Denihan.

The Standard, also in 2018, stocked its minibars with CBD-infused products by distributor Lord Jones, known for its gumdrops. The Los Angeles properties no longer offer the products, but properties in New York and Miami sell Lord Jones CBD lotion, said Jennifer Foley, executive vice president of communications of Standard International, parent company of The Standard hotels.

Whether or not CBD is or should be legal has also been hotly contested. A federal farm bill passed in 2018 said that CBD is legal as long has it has no more than 0.3 percent of THC. The Food and Drug Administration, however, has warned of health risks and that the quality of some CBD products may be questionable.

“The Food & Drug Administration and equivalent state agencies have asserted that even though cannabis products (like CBD) may be legal under state law or under the Farm Law, their use may violate pure food and drug standards,” Butler said. “This is particularly problematic in food products and drinks.”

Major hotel chains were reluctant to elaborate on their plans for dealing with any form of cannabis.

“As a franchise business, all hotels in our system are independently owned and operated; therefore, we cannot comment on specific property-level rules and procedures,” a Choice Hotels spokesperson said in response to questions. “However, all franchised hotels are required to comply with all national, state, and local laws.”

“We expect guests staying at IHG-branded hotels to be aware of and adhere to all applicable laws and regulations related to cannabis and related products,” an InterContinental Hotels Group spokesperson said. “All IHG-branded hotels across the U.S. prohibit smoking of any kind — including cannabis — in hotel rooms and public spaces, with smoking in designated areas determined at the local level based on local laws.”

Still, some hotel experts say there could be lucrative opportunities for hotels that are cannabis-friendly.

More and more people think there shouldn’t be such a stigma against marijuana. A survey by the Pew Research Center’s American Trends panel found that the number of U.S. adults who oppose the legalization of marijuana dropped from 52 percent in 2010 to 32 percent in 2019.

Blank, of Woodmont Lodging, said the company explored ways to invest in cannabis-friendly hotel projects. But it’s now taking a pause on that.

“It wasn’t for a lack of interest,” he said. “It was identifying the best capital partner we want to work with to invest in this kind of project.”

Blank still sees opportunity in this nascent market. His idea was to provide hotel guests, especially those with medicinal reasons, a place where they could consume cannabis in a comfortable and safe environment.

“It’s really creating a destination for both a casual and medicinal user without judgment,” he said.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS?

Butler said hoteliers have been asking many questions about what products or services they can offer. They want to know if it will attract more guests and give them a competitive edge.

Can they provide dispensaries for the sale of cannabis products or lounges for consumption? Or do they allow guests to bring their own cannabis with them?

“State laws vary significantly in complexity and difficulty,” Butler said. “Compliance with state law can involve great delay, expense, and regulatory oversight.”

Louis Terminello, partner and chair of the Hospitality, Alcohol and Leisure Industry Group at Greenspoon Marder LLP, said that as of now there are few cannabis-friendly hotels in states with recreational marijuana.

“That said, there are hotels that turn a blind eye to guests who partake,” he said. “As the issue evolves, hotels will need to decide if they will have areas where guests may partake and other areas where they cannot so all guests feel comfortable.”

He said that the concept of vaping rooms is gaining in popularity, especially in small hotels in California. And he could possibly see a scenario in which marijuana smoking guest rooms are created for overnight stays, much like cigarette smoking rooms back when that was more acceptable, or even smoking wings.

Even if hotels don’t sponsor cannabis consumption, they could face day-to-day issues that their employees may not have been trained to handle. Blank spoke to a hotel owner in Colorado who has run into some hurdles.

“What if a guest is eating an edible and things go badly?” Blank said. “The person tries one and it doesn’t take, they take five more and next thing they know, they can’t feel their limbs and the hotel wants to call the doctor.”

He’s also heard of cases of people leaving behind edibles and hotel employees eating them, not knowing what they are.

“These are real case scenarios that hotels have to grapple with,” he said.
SO MANY ISSUES

Hoteliers are asking themselves many other questions.

“It’s still highly uncharted waters,” Blank said. “There’s still a lot of regulatory hurdles. Whether it’s monetary in terms of banking (how can you process currency that is derived from cannabis sales?) to insurance.”

“A bank follows federal laws, and a title company is going to follow the federal law,” he said. “The real estate component of this industry is still very complicated.”

Even getting a liquor license could be difficult.

“Think about liquor laws, some of the great historic types of bureaucracy,” he said. “How are liquor laws enforced at a location that also permits cannabis usage? If I have a cannabis-focused hotel, can I get a liquor license? Can a hotel with F&B succeed without a liquor license?”

And then there are the labor issues, especially in states where it’s legal to use marijuana for medical purposes.

“In medical states the core concern is how hotels deal with employees who use marijuana for medical conditions,” Terminello said. “Clear and articulated policies need to be in place and conveyed to the employee. Consumption while on the job should not be permitted for a variety of obvious reasons. An employee on hotel property under the influence can lead to all sorts of troubling issues.”

Christine Samsel, a labor attorney at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck in Denver, said retaining employees would be a challenge.

“Do they retain or relax zero-tolerance drug policies? Particularly in locations with low unemployment, maintaining a zero-tolerance drug policy can make it difficult to attract and retain talent,” she said.

All the Credits - Source & Original Story Belongs to Skift
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IS IT SAFE TO DRIVE ON CBD? SCIENTISTS ARE WORRIED ABOUT 1 SIDE EFFECT


The world of CBD is expanding. Now that it comes in special edition Carls Jr. Burgers, gummies, seltzers, and sports products, evangelists behind the now-famous cannabinoid are finding uses for it in almost any situation: from post-workout relaxation to a mid-afternoon productivity jolt. Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has hinted that there are some places that CBD's effects may not translate well — starting with behind the wheel of your car, even if it can't even get you high.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is the chemical that's responsible for marijuana's characteristic high. Though cannabidiol (CBD) is also an active ingredient of cannabis, its effects on the brain and body are far different, raging from anti-epileptic qualities to potential anti-anxiety effects.

It's increasingly obvious that THC and driving don't mix: A 2018 research letter published in Jama Internal Medicine revealed that "holiday" 4/20 was linked to a 12 percent increase in fatal car crashes (though that study wasn't able to control for potential alcohol use). But even among sober drivers, a January 2020 study linked chronic THC use to impaired driving skills — especially in teens who started smoking weed before the age of 16.

How CBD affects driving though, is more of an open question, going by a press release issued by the FDA in December 2019, aimed at weary holiday travelers. The agency cautioned that drivers should "use caution if planning on operating a motor vehicle after consuming any CBD products." That warning was based on the assertion that CBD can cause drowsiness, sedation, or lethargy, the release states.

There are, for now, very few studies investigating how CBD may impact driving. However, Thomas Arkwell, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Sydney, did investigate the relationship between CBD, THC, and driving in a 2019 paper published in the journal Psychopharmacology. He tells Inverse that CBD use is unlikely to impair driving, but scientists are still examining its effects, because "we don't know for sure."

"There is some evidence to suggests that CBD may cause mild sedation at high doses, and this could translate into subtle driving impairment," Arkell says.

THE SCIENCE OF DROWSY DRIVING
The concern over CBD's effects on driving performance has little to do with its status as a cannabinoid. Instead, the concern links back to the extract's proposed mild sedative effect. That effect has anecdotal backing (about 10 percent of Americans who reported trying CBD used it to try to improve sleep, a 2019 Consumer Reports survey notes). That sedative effect is also noted in several previous studies — but, Arkell notes, those were only documented when it was taken in high doses.

In contrast to the sparse research on CBD and driving, the research on well-known drowsy drugs, like sleep aids, and their effects on driving performance are clear. Take one 2015 review published in The American Journal of Public Health. That study analyzed the collision records of 404,171 adults who reported using trazodone (an anti-depressant), temazepam (a prescription sleep-aid) and zolpidem (usually sold as Ambien). The use of any of those three drugs increased the chances of a car accident, but the results were particularly striking for Ambien users.

Ambien-users risk of accident doubled compared to people who didn't use the drug. The authors likened the impairment to having a blood alcohol level of between .06% and .11% percent — close to or over the legal limit to drive.

That said, there are big differences between a drug like Ambien, which is intended to knock you out at night and CBD, where the sedative effects, if seen at all, are often described as mild. Still, even non-drug induced drowsy driving is a major concern for regulatory agencies like the CDC.

The National Highway Traffic Association notes that 795 people died as a result of drowsy driving during 2017, and the CDC estimates that lack of sleep and driving alone was responsible for 72,000 injuries in 2013TO THIS VERY SOON!"

Even a minor connection between CBD and drowsiness, says Arkell, is enough to justify looking into whether CBD might be on thing that makes you just a little bit less alert while on the road. That's the direction his research is currently taking, though there's not a clear answer yet.

"We are also nearing the end of an on-road driving study which is looking at the effects of THC and CBD, both alone and in combination, on real-world driving performance," Arkell says. "So we will have the answer to this very soon!"

MYTHS ABOUT CBD AND DRIVING
If they exist, CBD's effects on driving are likely subtle. Still, Arkell explains that one major myth about CBD and driving endures: the idea that CBD can actually counteract THC's known negative effects. It's true that research suggests that CBD can help offset the anxiety-inducing effects of THC. But Arkell is concerned that this research may be being mistranslated.

"There is a lot of misinformation on the internet about how CBD can modulate the effects of THC, and I worry that this information might be passed on to unsuspecting medical cannabis patients and consumers," he says.

"THERE IS A LOT OF MISINFORMATION ON THE INTERNET ABOUT HOW CBD CAN MODULATE THE EFFECTS OF THC."
Luckily, Arkell's research, which involved a simulated driving test and some THC and CBD-laced vapes, provides some clarification.


In his study, 14 participants vaped 125 milligrams of liquid that was either THC-heavy or equal parts CBD and THC. Then, each participant played a simulated driving game where they had to follow GPS instructions on highway or rural roads. When participants vaped both THC and CBD in equal concentrations, they tended to swerve more during their driving tests and reported feeling impaired up to four hours later.

"Our research suggests that CBD does not reduce the impairing effects of THC, at least with respect to driving, so it’s important that people are aware of this and can make their own decisions accordingly," Arkell adds.

Importantly, this study didn't include a CBD-only condition, which the authors say was because vaping CBD alone is "uncommon in the real world" (though this is likely changing). However, the team did find that when CBD and THC were administered in equal doses there were higher traces of THC in the participant's blood compared to when they got THC alone, suggesting that the interplay between CBD, THC, and driving could be of concern going forward.

Still, the kind of CBD that we might ingest and think nothing about — like seltzer or a gummy — probably doesn't help your performance on the road (especially if you're already impaired). As far as the consequences of CBD use and driving go, if they're out there, ongoing work is looking to illuminate them.

In the meantime, if you're worried about being drowsy on the road, a good night's sleep is probably the best place to start.

ALL THE CREDITS - SOURCE & ORIGINAL STORY BELONGS TO INVERSE


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Government sets strict rules for marijuana growing

Individuals and companies seeking to grow or export marijuana for medical purposes will be required to present minimum capital of $5m (Shs18.3b) and a bank guarantee of Shs4b.
Investors will also be required to present a tax clearance certificate from the Uganda Revenue Authority, lists of employees and their job descriptions, a valid trading licence, evidence of value addition to cannabis and audited accounts.
The marijuana farms/sites must not be located near schools, hospitals and residential areas and in case of any associates/business partners, the details must be disclosed to government, including site designs, a robust security system with access control systems and intrusion systems in place.
Cabinet is expected to convene this morning to discuss and approve the list of 15 guidelines for medical marijuana growing in the country before Parliament is briefed on the matter.
The Health minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, is expected to present the new guidelines and a confidential list of more than 100 companies and individuals seeking government permission to grow and export cannabis for medical purposes.
The Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 2015, allows the cultivation, production, and exportation of medical marijuana and mandates the Health minister to issue written consent for medical marijuana. However, Dr. Aceng has since April last year kept the companies guessing due to the absence of guidelines for the new industry.
All the Credits - Source & Original Story Belongs to Monitor

Saturday, January 25, 2020

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More and more people are using cannabis to treat a wide spectrum of medical conditions, and legal space is widening for them to do so. This makes it a particular irony that hospitals as a rule bar cannabis from their premises. More voices in the medical industry are now grappling with this dilemma.

Cannabis Use in Hospitals Is Still Prohibited, Despite State Medical Pot Programs


Every day, patients around America use cannabis to treat everything from glaucoma to chronic pain to nausea from chemotherapy treatments. Yet even in places like California, which pioneered legal medical marijuana in 1996 and passed adult-use cannabis in 2016, hospital policy has not caught up with the law and cannabis remains officially barred from hospital premises across the country. The reason why should sound familiar: federal prohibition.

Hospitals in the United States are subject to federal regulations, and could stand to lose funding and the ability to serve patients if they break the federal law, even with something like a state-legal medication.

This conflict between state and federal law on cannabis use in hospitals has very real consequences. One woman, Jessica Assaf, wrote on Healthcare in America in January 2018 about the experience of watching her partner’s father die of colon cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.

“After two years of failed chemotherapy and radiation, this prominent New York City lawyer weighed 130 pounds and could no longer talk nor move,” she wrote. “Though this patient had a medical recommendation for cannabis use in New York and vaporized THC and CBD daily to manage his pain, he could not use his medicine while he was stuck in the hospital. Instead, he was administered fentanyl.”

The medical marijuana movement, in fact, has a history of pushing for cannabis use in hospitals. The legendary activist known as Brownie Mary brought the issue into the international spotlight after she was arrested for bringing pot brownies to people dying of HIV/AIDS in San Francisco’s hospitals in the 1980s. Forty years later, it might be legal for millions to purchase medical marijuana — but using it in hospitals remains as prohibited as ever.
California Pioneering the Fight for Cannabis Use in Hospitals

The first sign of progress in allowing cannabis use in hospitals came in September 2016, just north of San Francisco. In a 2-0 vote, with three members abstaining, the board of California’s Marin Healthcare District voted in favor of a resolution to study allowing patient cannabis use at Marin General Hospital, in the town of Greenbrae. A series of public forums were to be held to discuss the proposal.

However, in the three years since, the study has not been conducted and has effectively stalled.

The resolution was originally introduced by retired emergency room physician Dr. Larry Bedard, who had served on the California Medical Association cannabis task force that led to the association recommending legalization in 2011.

“We ought to be on the cutting edge for our patients, allowing them to openly and appropriately use medicinal cannabis,” Bedard told San Francisco’s KPIX at the time of the Marin resolution.

Speaking at the board meeting in support of the resolution was Lynnette Shaw, who opened the first licensed medical marijuana dispensary in Marin County back in 1997. She told KPIX she had been sneaking pot brownies into Marin General for 20 years, and that most doctors there were perfectly aware of the practice.

“This is something they know about,” said Shaw. “I think it’s time for Marin General to step up, because this is a revolution for better health… For goodness sake, help the patients! Save lives!”

However, Shaw’s comments apparently didn’t get through. In the three years since the Marin Healthcare District voted to study the issue, little has come of it. Reached for comment in Marin County by Cannabis Now, Bedard says the resolution has seen no progress.

“The hospital administrators basically said ‘C’mon Larry, it’s a Schedule I drug, the Trump administration would take away our Medicare provider number and we’d have to close,” Bedard tells us.

He points out that any hospital that handles Medicare patients — predominantly people with the federal health insurance for those over 65 — must be certified by the federal Department of Health & Human Services. And while there is a small push to get Medicare to cover medical marijuana, there are few prospects for this happening under the current White House administration.

An attempted remedy at the state level in California has also failed. Last year, Senate Bill 305, the “Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act,” unanimously passed both chambers of California’s Legislature. It would have prohibited healthcare facilities from interfering with a terminally ill patient’s use of medical cannabis. It was also dubbed “Ryan’s Law,” after Ryan James Bartell, a San Diego native who had died of pancreatic cancer in April 2018. But in October, it was “begrudgingly” vetoed by Gov. Gavin Newsom.

“This bill would create significant conflicts between federal and state laws that cannot be taken lightly,” Newsom wrote in a veto statement, noting that “health facilities certified to receive payment from the from the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services must comply with all federal laws.”

But his statement also took aim at those federal laws. “It is inconceivable that the federal government continues to regard cannabis as having no medicinal value,” Newsom wrote, adding that this “ludicrous stance puts patients and those who care for them in an unconscionable position.”
Doctors Weigh In

Clearly, the stakes in this question are high due to the illegality of cannabis at the federal level. While 11 states have legalized adult-use cannabis and 33 states have legalized medicinal marijuana, the feds still hold significant sway over hospital policy.

First, as already noted, hospitals must be accredited through the federal Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services and “could be found to be in violation, lose federal funding, and face penalties” if they allow even state-legal cannabis use, according to a 2017 article in the peer-reviewed journal Hospital Pharmacy.

Second, clinicians are also prohibited from prescribing or providing cannabis in a hospital because it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

“Yet, hospitals in more states are asked to create cannabis policies as voters decriminalize cannabis for medical use,” the authors Laura Borgelt and Kari Franson wrote in that same article. “There is no recognized supplier of medicinal cannabis, so hospitals are often asked to allow patients to bring in their own supply for their own use.”

But in a Kafkaesque twist, hospitals then risk running afoul of a guideline established by the Joint Commission, the national body that sets standards for medical facilities. Joint Commission Standard MM.03.01.05 states: “The hospital informs the prescriber and patient if the medication brought into the hospital by patients, their families, or licensed independent practitioners is not permitted.”

Borgelt and Franson note that some hospitals have considered that “cannabis policies that could adequately address this standard” and allow cannabis on its premises if it informs everyone involved that the cannabis is “not permitted.”

“But several questions remain,” the authors write. “For example, how is the product identified, how does the institution verify its integrity, and how is a federally illegal drug ‘permitted’?”

However, some doctors have taken a more laissez-faire approach to the issue of allowing cannabis in hospitals.

“I think there’s a legal question and an ethical question,” Dr. Benjamin Caplan, founder of the CED Clinic and a representative of the group Doctors for Cannabis Regulation, told Patient Safety Monitor Journal in 2019. “In order for doctors to best manage illnesses carefully, and to the best of our abilities, we must know as much as we can [about] what a patient is taking. But it’s very common for patients to sneak cannabis in back rooms or under the radar, which is really unfortunate for everyone. I think the hospital perspective should be embracing what patients find helpful.”

Emphasizing the ethical dimension, Caplan added: “To have cases where patients are having seizures in a hospital and they can’t get the medicine that they want (and find helpful) as an outpatient is a real cultural disconnect for the medical establishment. I think the solution is for people to not sneak around; the solution is for hospitals to open their arms to patients who find a medication helpful.”
Veterans Lack Access to Cannabis in VA Hospitals

The question of whether or not it’s allowed to use cannabis in a hospital is a particular concern for military veterans — many of whom use cannabis to treat PTSD, yet are more directly dependent on the federal government for their healthcare. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has remained largely intransigent on the question of medical cannabis, despite growing pressure.

“Moving to make cannabis available through VA hospitals or other go-to sources of care is difficult,” the VA website notes. “Doctors at VA facilities aren’t just prohibited from prescribing marijuana: The drug is still listed as ‘Schedule I,’ so these health care professionals can’t even speak about it with their patients.”

Needless to say, if the VA won’t allow its doctors to prescribe cannabis, it’s certainly not allowing its patients to use cannabis on the premises of VA hospitals.
The Mayo Clinic & the Potential for Change

The most significant opening for allowing cannabis in hospitals appears to come from the Mayo Clinic, the national network of medical treatment and research facilities. The Mayo Clinic website recognizes that “medical cannabis has possible benefit for several conditions.”

It notes that three states — Arizona, Florida and Minnesota — have adopted some form of the “Right to Try Act,” allowing access to “investigational” treatments, potentially including cannabis, for people with life-threatening conditions who have exhausted approved treatment options.

In one of those states, the Mayo Clinic allows on-premises use: “Minnesota residents with a supply of medical cannabis from the Minnesota Medical Cannabis program may continue use during their Mayo Clinic visit or hospital admission.”

However, the Mayo Clinic is in a unique position as a not-for-profit organization with national renown and standing as a top research institute. While the Mayo Clinic receives a significant amount of federal funding and has a Medicare number, it appears willing to take the risk with the federal government. If other hospitals will follow remains to be seen.

All the Credits - Source & Original Story Belongs to Cannabis Now
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You’ve heard it before: “Marijuana is organic, it’s not a drug, it’s harmless, it’s safe and non-toxic.” The people who claim that want you to believe that marijuana doesn’t cause any addiction behaviors and marijuana isn’t anything to worry about. Don’t believe it.
Marijuana Addiction Treatment


According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Marijuana potency averaged a THC content of roughly 3.8 percent in the early 1990s. In 2014, it was 12.2 percent. Today the average marijuana extract contains more than 50 percent THC, with some samples exceeding 80 percent. These trends raise concerns that the consequences of marijuana use could be worse than in the past, particularly among those who are new to marijuana use or in young people, whose brains are still developing.
If your casual marijuana use has become a problem or you’ve developed an addiction to marijuana, Wavelengths can help you overcome your dependence.

IS MARIJUANA ADDICTIVE?

Marijuana use can lead to the development of problem use, known as a marijuana use disorder, which takes the form of addiction in severe cases. NIDA reports that 30 percent of those who use marijuana may have some degree of marijuana use disorder and people who begin using marijuana before the age of 18 are four to seven times more likely to develop a marijuana use disorder than adults. NIDA also suggests that about 9 percent of people who abuse marijuana will develop an addiction to the drug in time. And that risk rises to 17 percent if users start a marijuana habit during the teen years, and it rises to 25-50 percent in those who use the drug every day.
Marijuana use disorders are often associated with dependence — in which a person feels withdrawal symptoms when not taking the drug. Common symptoms include irritability, mood and sleep difficulties, decreased appetite, cravings, restlessness, and/or various forms of physical discomfort. Marijuana dependence occurs when the brain adapts to the usage of the drug by reducing production of and sensitivity to its own neurotransmitters.

WHEN DOES MARIJUANA USE BECOME AN ADDICTION?

According to the Mayo Clinic, these symptoms indicate that drug addiction is in play:
  • Cravings for the drug
  • Tolerance for the drug, which leads to higher doses of drugs
  • Hoarding the drug
  • Spending money that should go to household expenses on drugs
  • Cutting back on work, hobbies, or social activities in order to use
  • Taking risks while under the influence
  • Failed attempts to stop using
  • A need to use the drug regularly, either daily or several times per day
It’s important to note that people with marijuana addictions aren’t weak, bad, or wrong. They have a medical condition that responds to treatment, and they need help in order to recover. Think of their addiction as an illness.

THERAPY IS THE KEY TO MARIJUANA ADDICTION TREATMENT

Therapy is the cornerstone of treatment for marijuana addiction. Therapy is designed to provide people with the ability to avoid or cope with drug use triggers, so they won’t relapse when put in sticky situations. Therapy can also provide problem-solving skills and lifestyle management, so people can learn how to build a satisfying life that doesn’t need augmentation with drugs.
Here at Wavelengths Recovery, our therapy sessions are accompanied with support group work, so people with marijuana addiction can meet others in recovery in an “each one teach one model” that builds momentum towards abstinence and sobriety. You don’t have to go it alone!
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Marijuana for adult-use is illegal in Missouri. The state’s residents voted to legalize medical cannabis in 2018. Now, they have stepped up to get recreational marijuana legalization on the November 2020 ballot. Let’s take a look at the state’s initiative.




Marijuana legalization in 2020
US states are working to legalize cannabis this year. There’s hope that federal-level legalization might be possible this year. However, states had been waiting for the Trump administration to make a decision. The states are taking matters into their own hands. A Marijuana Moment article reported that a proposal submitted last year has been cleared for signatures. The state has ensured that labeling and packaging details are strict. The proposal includes clear measures for labeling, advertising, and packaging to ensure that it doesn’t appeal to youth. Missouri will join many other states including Kansas and South Dakota.

The proposal, if it qualifies, will legalize possession and purchasing of one ounce of marijuana for individuals 21 years and older. The purchase should be made from licensed retailers.

Also, residents can also grow up to three plants for personal use. The state would charge a 15% excise tax on adult-use marijuana sales. The state expects to earn $86 million–$155 million in revenue annually by 2025.

John Payne, the campaign manager for “Missourians for a New Approach,” said, “There is widespread support among Missouri voters to regulate, tax and legalize marijuana.” The proposal also includes some amendments to the existing medical marijuana program in the state.
Missouri residents got medical marijuana legalized in 2018

Missouri successfully put medical marijuana on the 2018 ballot. That’s how the state got medical cannabis legalization. Now, the cannabis laws in the state allow patients to grow up to six cannabis plants. The state also allows qualified patients to purchase 4 ounces of medical cannabis in a month. The tax rate on medical marijuana sales in the state is 4%.

There isn’t a guarantee that taking the initiative to get recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot will allow the state to vote. Gathering signatures before the deadline is a crucial part.

Recently, I discussed how, after a long attempt to gather signatures, Florida voters finally had to withdraw their campaign. First, Regulate Florida backed out after the group realized they wouldn’t be able to gather enough signatures before the February 1 deadline. Later, the “Make It Legal Florida” campaign also backed out for similar reasons and decided to instead try for the 2022 ballot. However, not all of the hopes are lost in Florida. Florida lawmakers have introduced a proposal to legalize cannabis in 2020.

Missouri has a deadline until mid-May to gather 160,000 signatures to qualify for the November ballot. Also, any other restrictions could also appear and cause trouble. Moreover, marijuana legalization has always faced opposition from conservative lawmakers in the US

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