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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
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- Tue, 18 Feb 2020 04:20:21 PST

Study: Medical Cannabis Access Associated with Fewer Workers' Comp Claims

Philadelphia, PA; The enactment of state-specific medical cannabis access laws is associated with a decline in workers' compensation claims, according to data published in the journal Health Economics.

A team of researchers affiliated with Temple University in Pennsylvania and the University of Cincinnati in Ohio assessed the relationship between medical marijuana legalization laws and workers' compensation claims over a 23-year period.

Authors reported that legal cannabis access was associated with a nearly seven percent decline in workers' compensation claims.

"Post MML, workers' compensation claiming declines, both the propensity to claim and the level of income from workers' comp," authors determined. "These findings suggest that medical marijuana can allow workers to better manage symptoms associated with workplace injuries and illnesses and, in turn, reduce need for workers' compensation."

They concluded: "Our findings add to the small, but growing, literature on the effects of MMLs on labor market outcomes. On net, the available findings suggest that MML passage may increase work capacity among older adults, reduce work absences, improve workplace safety, and reduce WC (workers' compensation) claiming and the pain and suffering associated with workplace injuries."

Full text of the study, "Medical marijuana and workers' compensation claiming," appears in Health Economics. Additional information is available in the NORML fact-sheet, "Marijuana Legalization and Impact on the Workplace,".


Clinical Trial: Abrupt Cessation of CBD Not Associated with Physical Withdrawal Symptoms

London, United Kingdom: The abrupt cessation of CBD (cannabidiol) is not associated with physical withdrawal symptoms in healthy volunteers, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior.

A team of investigators from the United Kingdom and the United States assessed the occurrence of withdrawal symptoms induced by the abrupt cessation of CBD. Subjects in the trial were healthy volunteers who ingested 750mg of plant-derived CBD twice daily for a period of four weeks. Study participants either continued to receive CBD or received a placebo during weeks five and six.

Researchers reported no serious adverse events resulting from the discontinuation of CBD.

They concluded, "In healthy volunteers, no evidence of withdrawal syndrome was found with abrupt discontinuation of short-term treatment with CBD."

In 2018, federal regulators classified Epidiolex – an FDA-approved formulation of plant-derived CBD – as a Schedule V substance, the lowest restriction classification available under federal law.

Full text of the study, "Abrupt withdrawal of cannabidiol (CBD): A randomized trial," appears in Epilepsy & Behavior.


Study: Patients Report Improvements in Health-Related Quality of Life Following Cannabis Use

Chicago, IL: Patients enrolled in a state-sponsored medical cannabis access program report improvements in their health-related quality of life, according to data published in the journal Behavioral Medicine.

A team of investigators from DePaul University in Chicago and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore surveyed 367 patients enrolled in Illinois' medical cannabis registry.

Respondents reported that cannabis was most efficacious in relieving symptoms related to pain, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. Overall, patients suffering from multiple symptoms were most likely to self-report gaining relief from marijuana.

Authors concluded: "In terms of therapeutic value, our findings suggest that the wider the range of symptoms [that] a patient reports, the more likely that it is that they will perceive benefit from MC (medical cannabis). ... Our results suggest that comorbid pain, anxiety, and depression may be particularly amenable to treatment with MC."

Full text of the study, "Perceived efficacy of medical cannabis in the treatment of co-occurring health-related quality of life symptoms," appears in Behavioral Medicine.


Cannabis Therapy Associated with Reduced Use of ADHD Medications

Haifa, Israel: The use of medical cannabis is associated with a reduction in the use of ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) medications in patients diagnosed with the syndrome, according to data published in the Israeli medical journal Rambam Maimonides.

Israeli investigators surveyed 59 patients with ADHD who possessed a license from the Ministry of Health to access medical cannabis products. They reported that the use of medical cannabis, and in particular products dominant in the cannabinoid CBN (cannabinol), was associated with medication-sparing effects.

The findings suggest that some ADHD patients may consume cannabis as a "substitute treatment" for more conventional medications, authors concluded. They added, "These results, although not causal, might shed light on the potential beneficial effects of MC on ADHD symptom severity and motivate future prospective studies in order to validate our results and perhaps even consider making ADHD an approved indication for MC license in Israel in future."

Clinical trial data published in 2017 in in the journal European Neuropsychopharmacology previously reported that the administration of whole-plant cannabis extracts is associated with improvements in cognition and behavior in subjects with ADHD.

Full text of the study, "Cannabinoid and terpenoid doses are associated with adult ADHD status of medical cannabis patients," appears in the Rambam Maimonides Medical Journal.


Virginia: Both Chambers Pass Decriminalization Legislation

Richmond, VA: House and Senate lawmakers have passed legislation decriminalizing minor marijuana possession offenses.

House Bill 972, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 64 to 34, reduces penalties for offenses involving the possession of up to a half ounce of marijuana to a civil violation – punishable by a maximum $25 fine, no arrest, and no criminal record. Senate Bill 2, which passed the Senate by a vote of 27 to 13, reduces penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana to a $50 fine. It is anticipated that the two competing bills will be reconciled in conference committee.

Under current law, minor marijuana possession offenses are classified as criminal misdemeanors, punishable by up to 30 days in jail, a criminal record, and the possible loss of driving privileges.

According to data from the Virginia Criminal Sentencing Commission, more than 15,000 people were convicted for a first or second marijuana possession offense from July 2018 to June 2019.

Both the Governor and the Attorney General are on record in favor of decriminalization.

Senate lawmakers also passed separate legislation this week, SB 1015, by a unanimous vote. The measure states that no person may be arrested, prosecuted, or denied any right or privilege for participating in the state's medical cannabis oil program. The program is expected to be operational and dispensing cannabis products to authorized patients by mid-year.

Commenting on the legislative activity, NORML Development Director Jenn Michelle Pedini, who also serves as the Executive Director of Virginia NORML, said: "This week, both the House and Senate voted in favor of decriminalizing personal possession of marijuana, and the Senate voted unanimously to legalize participation in Virginia's medical cannabis program. Long overdue progress is finally being made in the General Assembly thanks to many years of dedicated advocacy by Virginia NORML members."


Vermont: Legislation Regulating Retail Marijuana Sales Gains Momentum

Montpelier, VT: Senate-backed legislation to regulate retail sales of marijuana to adults continues to advance in the Vermont legislature.

Members of the House Ways and Means Committee recently voted 7 to 3 in favor of the bill, S. 54. The proposal now awaits consideration from the House Appropriations Committee. If approved, it will go before the full House for a vote.

Senate lawmakers have already approved a version of the bill by a veto-proof supermajority.

As approved by House lawmakers, the measure would establish tax rates and other regulatory measures on the retail sale of commercially marketed cannabis products. Changes made by House lawmakers will need to be approved by the Senate.

In 2018, lawmakers approved legislation legalizing the personal possession and private cultivation of marijuana by those ages 21 and older. However, that law did not establish a structure for the retail production and sale of marijuana. To date, only one state — Illinois — has taken legislative action to authorize adult-use cannabis sales.

It remains uncertain where Republican Gov. Phil Scott stands on the bill. In the past, he has expressed skepticism toward the notion of legalizing marijuana sales, but some insiders indicate that he has softened his stance in recent months.


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