#NORML #News
Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 15 Jan 2019 04:20:21 PST

Medical Schools Including Cannabis Content In Their Curriculum

Pittsburgh, PA: A growing percentage of colleges of pharmacy are instituting medical cannabis training as part of their curriculum, according to survey data published in the journal Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning.

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh contacted 140 US schools of pharmacy regarding whether they include medical cannabis-related topics in their curriculum. Among respondents, 62 percent reported that they had instituted some level of medical marijuana training, while 23 percent answered that they intended to incorporate the topic to their coursework within the next 12 months.

The study is the first inventory of medical schools with regard to the inclusion of medical cannabis-related topics to their curriculum.

According to a 2015 evaluation of student pharmacists' attitudes, 90 percent of respondents indicated that they favored the inclusion of medical cannabis instruction to their curriculum.

Full text of the study, "Evaluation of medical marijuana topics in the PharmD curriculum: A national survey of schools and colleges of pharmacy," appears in Currents in Pharmacy Teaching and Learning.

Washington: Governor To Pardon Those With Past Marijuana Convictions

Olympia, WA: Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee announced on Friday his intent to provide an expedited process for granting clemency to those with past marijuana-related convictions.

Under the proposed plan, those convicted of a marijuana misdemeanor after January 1, 1998 will have their records vacated. It is estimated that 3,500 individuals will be eligible for expungement.

"For decades, people have faced criminal prosecution for behavior that is no longer considered a crime in Washington," the Inslee administration stated in a press release. "[F]orgiving these convictions will allow people to move on with their lives without these convictions causing additional burdens on people, their families, their employers and their communities. This is a small step, but one that moves us in the direction of correcting injustices that disproportionately affected communities of color. A successful pardon of a marijuana possession conviction can assist with barriers to housing, employment and education."

Last year, California lawmakers enacted legislation mandating the automatic review and sealing of past marijuana-related convictions. In November, the newly elected Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer (D), publicly announced her intent to take executive action to automatically pardon former marijuana offenders.

"Our sense of justice and our principles of fairness demand that officials move swiftly to right the past wrongs of cannabis prohibition and criminalization," NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said. "It makes no sense to continue to punish people for actions that are no longer considered to be criminal in nature."

Missouri: St. Louis County Will No Longer Prosecute Minor Marijuana Offenses

St. Louis, MO: Minor marijuana possession offenses will no longer be criminally prosecuted in St. Louis County, according to a policy instituted last week by newly elected prosecutor Wesley Bell. Bell was sworn into office last Tuesday.

The policy change mirrors that of Jackson County (Kansas City) prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, who announced in November that her office would no longer charge offenders for marijuana possession violations. In 2017, members of the Kansas City chapter of NORML successfully led a municipal initiative effort to decriminalize minor possession offenses.

Nearly 30 percent of Missourians reside in either Jackson County or St. Louis County.

Under state law, the possession of more than ten grams of marijuana is classified as a criminal misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

In recent months, District Attorneys in a number of municipalities around the country – such as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Norfolk, Virginia – have instituted similar policy changes.

Vermont: Odor Of Burnt Marijuana Is Insufficient Evidence To Warrant A Vehicle Search

Montpelier, VT: The odor of burnt marijuana emanating from a motor vehicle is not a determinative factor as to whether sufficient probable cause exists to conduct a search, according to a ruling by the Vermont Supreme Court. The possession of small quantities of marijuana is legal in the state.

Justices determined that the smell of burnt cannabis alone, absent any evidence of driver impairment, did not justify the state's decision to seize and search the defendant's vehicle.

The Court opined, "The seizure, aimed at immobilizing the plaintiff's vehicle while the officer sought a search warrant, was essentially based solely on the trooper's initial detection of the faint odor of burnt marijuana, which did not, in and of itself, create fair probability that marijuana would be found in the vehicle."

The ruling reverses a lower court decision. The case is Zullo v. Vermont.

Study: Cannabis Use During Chemotherapy Associated With Symptomatic Improvements, No Adverse Impact On Cognitive Skills

Haifa, Israel: Advanced cancer patients who use cannabis during chemotherapy treatment show greater improvement in disease-related symptoms as compared to controls, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Anti-Cancer Drugs.

Israeli researchers assessed outcomes associated with patients' use of cannabis over a three-month period versus matched controls. Those who used cannabis adjunctively showed superior improvement as compared to abstainers in various domains, including greater reductions in fatigue, insomnia, and appetite loss. Cases also showed improved executive function as compared to controls. Other cognitive domains showed no differences between the two groups.

"These findings are significant, given the increasing use of cannabis among this population," authors concluded. "Larger and more representative studies should be carried out to further investigate this field."

Full text of the study, "Cannabis-related cognitive impairment: A prospective evaluation of possible influences on patients with cancer during chemotherapy treatment as a pilot study," appears in Anti-Cancer Agents.

Case Report: Adjunctive Use Of Epidiolex Eliminates Seizures In Patient With Refractory Epilepticus

Los Angeles, CA: The adjunctive administration of the proprietary, plant-derived CBD extract Epidiolex is associated with the complete remission of seizures in a 12-year old patient with super-refractory status epilepticus (SRSE), according to a case report published in the journal Epilepsy & Behavior Case Reports.

Investigators at the David Geffen School of Medicine in Los Angeles reported on the "prompt and enduring response that accompanied the adjunctive administration of CBD" in a patient with SRSE. Epilepticus status is defined as having either multiple seizures within a five-minute period or experiencing seizures lasting longer than five minutes. SRSE is defined as epilepticus that continues or recurs at least 24 hours after the onset of anesthesia.

Authors reported that the patient experienced the "complete resolution of SRSE upon exposure to pure cannabidiol."

In June, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Epidiolex for the US market to be available by prescription for the treatment of pediatric epilepsy.

Full text of the study, "Successful use of pure cannabidiol for the treatment of super-refractory status of epilepticus," appears in Epilepsy & Behavior Case Reports.

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