#NORML #News
Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 22 Jan 2019 04:20:21 PST

Nominee For US Attorney General Will Not Take Action Against State-Sanctioned Marijuana Industry

Washington, DC: The Trump administration's nominee for US Attorney General, William Barr, during Senate testimony on Tuesday affirmed that he would not use the power of the Justice Department to target marijuana-related activity in jurisdictions where the plant is legally regulated.

In response to a question posed by Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Barr said, "My approach ... would not be to upset the settled expectations and the reliant interests that have arisen as a result of the Cole memorandum." The 2013 Cole memo, which was rescinded by former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, directed prosecutors not to interfere with state legalization efforts and those licensed to engage in the plant's production and sale, provided that such persons do not engage in marijuana sales to minors or divert the product to states that have not legalized its use, among other guidelines.

Although Barr said that he personally opposed the increasing divide between state and federal marijuana laws, he acknowledged that he will not "go after companies that have relied on the Cole memorandum."

"It is encouraging that William Barr pledged not to enforce federal marijuana prohibition against the majority of US states that have reformed their laws. With this commitment, Congress has a clear mandate to take action and end the underlying policy of federal criminalization," said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal.

William Barr is awaiting confirmation by the the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Study: CBD Dosing Relieves Symptoms In Patients With Anxiety Disorders

Denver, CO: The daily administration of CBD is associated with sustained symptomatic relief in patients diagnosed with anxiety disorders, according to the results of a case series published in The Permanente Journal.

Investigators at the University of Colorado, Denver and Colorado State University assessed the adjunctive use of low daily doses of CBD (typically 25mg capsules) over a three-month period in a cohort of patients diagnosed with either sleep or anxiety disorders.

Researchers reported that patients experienced a "mild improvement" in sleep scores, and a larger "more sustained response to anxiety." They also reported that "CBD appears to be better tolerated than routine psychiatric medications."

Authors acknowledged that the therapeutic doses used in the study were far lower than those typically associated with anxiolytic action in prior clinical trials.

They concluded: "Anxiety scores decreased fairly rapidly, and this decrease was sustained during the study period. ... Randomized and controlled trials are needed to provide definitive clinical guidance."

Full text of the study, "Cannabidiol in anxiety and sleep: A large case series," appears in The Permanente Journal.

Ohio: Limited Medical Cannabis Access Begins

Columbus, OH: Limited sales of medical cannabis products began this week in Ohio -- some two-and-one-half years after the program was initially signed into law.

Under the law, cannabis-specific products may be dispensed as oils, tinctures, edibles, patches, or as herbal material. Smoking herbal cannabis is not permitted under the measure; however, the measure does not clarify how this prohibition would be enforced. Registered patients may vaporize herbal plant material.

Initial prices at dispensaries averaged approximately $25 per gram, according to news reports. These prices are markedly higher than those typically found in other regulated states.

New Mexico: Governor To Expand Medical Cannabis Access Program For Those With Opioid Dependency

Santa Fe, NM: Newly elected Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham announced this week that she will direct health officials in her administration to make those with opioid dependence eligible for cannabis access. The directive represents a departure from the position of former Republican Gov. Susanna Martinez, who vetoed legislation to expand medical marijuana access to those with opioid-related dependency.

Several other states, including Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania now permit physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients who would otherwise be prescribed opioids or who are struggling with opioid dependence.

Studies have shown that cannabis use is associated with greater retention rates in patients seeking treatment for opioid dependence and that, in some cases, it reduces opioid-related cravings.

Study: THC/CBD Extract Associated With Reduced Spasticity In ALS Patients

Milan, Italy: The daily administration of the proprietary cannabis extract nabiximols -- a spray containing nearly equal ratios of plant-derived THC and CBD -- reduces spasticity in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS aka Lou Gehrig's disease), according to clinical trial data published in the journal Lancet Neurology.

Italian researchers compared the administration of nabiximols versus placebo in a cohort of ALS patients over a period of six weeks. Researchers reported an improvement in spasticity scores among those patients randomly assigned nabiximols, while those provided the placebo experienced a deterioration in their scores. Authors determined that nabiximols treatment was "well tolerated" and that "no serious adverse events occurred" over the trial period.

They concluded: "In this proof-of-concept trial, nabiximols had a positive effect on spasticity symptoms in patients with motor neuron disease and had an acceptable safety and tolerability profile. These findings should be investigated further in larger clinical trials."

Nabiximols, also known under the brand name Sativex, is prescribed in numerous countries throughout the world in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Full text of the study, "Safety and efficacy of nabiximols on spasticity symptoms in patients with motor neuron disease (CANALS): A multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial," appears in Lancet Neurology.

Study: CBD Treatment Associated With Long-Term Reductions In Seizure Frequency In Patients With Dravet Syndrome

New York, NY: The long-term use of a proprietary, plant-derived CBD extract is associated with sustained symptom relief in patients with Dravet syndrome (DS) -- a refractory form of pediatric epilepsy, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Epilepsia.

An international team of investigators from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Poland assessed the safety and efficacy of the adjunctive use of a purified cannabidiol in a cohort of patients with DS over a period of 48 weeks.

They concluded: "In this open-label extension trial, long-term add-on CBD treatment had an acceptable safety profile in patients with treatment-resistant DS. Reductions in convulsive and total seizure frequency observed in the original placebo-controlled trial were maintained with continued CBD treatment up to 58 weeks, with more than 80 percent of patients/care-givers reporting an improvement in overall condition. Our interim analysis supports the use of add-on CBD as a long-term treatment in patients with DS."

The results were more favorable than those associated with a separate four-year trial assessing the use of purified CBD in patients with either DS or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. In that trial, CBD was effective long-term in only 27 percent of participants and adverse events were reported in 81 percent of subjects.

In July, the US Food and Drug Administration approved the prescription use of Epidiolex in patients with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome.

Full text of the study, "Long-term cannabidiol treatment in patients with Dravet syndrome: An open-label extension trial," appears in Epilepsia.

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