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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 21 Jan 2020 04:20:21 PST

Congressional Committee Holds Three-Hour Hearing on 'Cannabis Policies for a New Decade

Washington, DC: Members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Subcommittee on Health on Wednesday held a legislative hearing, "Cannabis Policies for the New Decade," during which they considered multiple legislative bills aimed at amending federal cannabis laws. This marks the first time that members of the Energy and Commerce Committee have debated issues specific to marijuana policy reform.

However, during the three-hour hearing, members declined to explicitly discuss the merits of any specific cannabis measure before the committee.

"At a time when nearly 70 percent of all Americans want to end our failed federal policy of blanket cannabis criminalization, it is unfortunate to see so many participants at this hearing advocating largely for business as usual," said NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. He continued: "The fact of the matter is that legalization and regulation work. Eleven states regulate the adult use of marijuana and 33 states provide for medical cannabis access. The time for federal policy to reflect this political and cultural reality is now. Congress should promptly approve the MORE Act and put the failed legacy of marijuana criminalization behind us."

NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano expressed disappointment that Committee members failed to advance any of the bills before it, but was not surprised. "Many of these proposals, like The MORE Act, seek to fundamentally change federal marijuana policies," he said. "However, the witnesses before the committee are proponents and purveyors of the status quo."

He added that a key-word search on PubMed, the repository for peer-reviewed research, identifies some 32,000 studies specific to cannabis and its constituents. "While additional research is always welcome, it is not accurate to claim that we do not already have ample data to make evidence-based decisions with regard to marijuana policy," he said.

Clinical Trial: CBD Dosing Reduces Anxiety and Tremor in Parkinson's Patients

Sao Carlos, Brazil: Cannabidiol administration is associated with both decreased anxiety and tremor amplitude in patients with Parkinson's disease (PD), according to clinical trial data published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

A team of Brazilian researchers assessed the efficacy of a 300mg dose of CBD in patients with PD in a randomized, placebo-controlled model. Acute CBD administration was associated with a statistically significant reduction in experimentally-induced anxiety and tremor.

A previous trial similarly reported that CBD was anxiolytic at doses of 300mg in healthy volunteers, but that it was not so at higher (600mg) and lower doses (150mg).

Observational trial data has previously reported that inhaled cannabis is associated with improvements in multiple PD symptoms, including tremor, rigidity, and bradykinsea.

Full text of the study, "Effects of acute cannabidiol administration on anxiety and tremors induced by a simulated public speaking test in patients with Parkinson's disease," appears in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Study: One in Seven Consumers Purchased Cannabis from an Out-Of-State Market

Ontario, Canada: One in seven US cannabis consumers acknowledge having purchased cannabis from an out-of-state market within the past year, according to data published in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

A pair of investigators affiliated with the University of Waterloo in Canada assessed cannabis purchasing habits of 4,320 subjects who acknowledged having consumed cannabis in the past 12 months.

Overall, 15 percent of participants said that they obtained cannabis from another state. Respondents in states where adult-use cannabis sales are legal were less likely to make out-of-state purchases than were respondents in states where cannabis access is prohibited.

Respondents residing in the south-central region of the United States, which includes Texas, and the north-central region of the United States, which includes Nebraska and the Dakotas, were most likely to acknowledge making out-of-state purchases. Those subjects residing in the pacific region of the United States (California, Oregon, and Washington) were least likely to admit having done so.

Full text of the study, "Out-of-state cannabis purchases in the United States," appears in Drug and Alcohol Dependence.

New Jersey: Court Affirms Employer Must Reimburse Worker for Medical Marijuana Expenses

Trenton, NJ: The New Jersey Superior Court has affirmed that an employee is eligible to have his medical marijuana costs reimbursed by his employer.

Justices rejected the contention that cannabis is ineligible for reimbursement under the states' workers' compensation laws because it is illegal federally, opining, "Because we conclude the order does not require [employers] to possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana, but only to reimburse petitioner for his purchase of medical marijuana, we discern no conflict between the CSA (federal Controlled Substances Act) and MMA (the New Jersey Compassionate Use Medical Marijuana Act)." They further argued that the plaintiff's use of medical cannabis to treat his chronic pain arising from a work-related injury was both "reasonable and necessary."

The New Hampshire Supreme Court issued a similar ruling last year, as have lower courts in several other states, including Connecticut, Maine, Minnesota, and New Mexico.

The case is Hager v. M&K Constriction, Docket No. A-0102-18T3.

Survey: Tourette Syndrome Patients Report Subjective Benefits from Cannabis

Hannover, Germany: The use of cannabis and cannabinoids is associated with subjective benefits in patients with Tourette Syndrome (TS), according to survey data published in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Investigators from Hannover Medical School in Germany and the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland surveyed 98 TS patients who had prior experience with the use of medical cannabis products. Eighty-five percent of respondents said that cannabis mitigated their symptoms and 93 percent reported that it improved their quality of life.

Among those subjects who expressed a preference, most said that they believed herbal cannabis is more effective than either synthetic products (e.g., dronabinol) or oral tinctures (e.g., nabiximols).

Full text of the study, "Treatment of Gilles de la Tourette Syndrome in cannabis-based medicine: Results from a retrospective analysis and online survey," appears in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research.

Survey: Among Oncologists with Opinions, Majority Favor Medical Cannabis Use by Elderly

Boston, MA: A majority of oncologists with opinions support the use of medical cannabis in elderly patients, according to survey data published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

A team of investigators from the Dana Farber Cancer Institute in Boston and the University of Colorado in Denver surveyed a nationally-representative sample of oncologists. Of those with an opinion on the subject, 65 percent of respondents said that medical cannabis possessed "some benefit" for elderly cancer patients, particularly as an anti-nausea agent, an anti-depressant, and/or as an appetite stimulant.

Separate studies, such as those here and here, have reported that medicinal cannabis is safe and effective for a variety of elderly patients, such as those suffering from cancer and chronic pain.

Full text of the study, "Oncologists' perspectives on medical marijuana for the elderly," appears in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Thailand: Clinics Begin Dispensing Medical Cannabis Extracts

Bangkok, Thailand: Licensed clinics and pharmacies have begun dispensing cannabis extracts to qualified patients under a newly enacted policy coordinated by the Ministry of Health.

The plants used to create the extracts are produced at six distinct locations throughout the country; production is overseen by the Health Ministry, the Associated Press reports.

Despite Thailand's new medical marijuana laws, the possession and cultivation of marijuana for non-medical purposes remains strictly criminalized.

Thailand is one of a number of nations, including Brazil and Peru, to recently establish a regulated system for the dispensing of medical cannabis products.

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