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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Mon, 19 Jun 2017 04:20:21 PST

Study: Cannabis-Infused Tea Effective For Treating Chronic Pain

Parma, Italy: Oral cannabis administration is safe and effective for the treatment of chronic pain conditions, according to clinical data published in the Journal of Pain Research.

Italian researchers conducted a retrospective case series analysis assessing the use of cannabinoids for intractable pain in a cohort of over 600 patients. Study subjects were typically over the age of 60 and consumed cannabinoids via infused tea.

Researchers reported that no subjects in the study complained of severe side effects, and that relatively few patients discontinued cannabis treatment.

They concluded: "[I]t can be stated that the treatment seems to be effective and safe in the majority of patients."

In 2015, the Italian government authorized the use of cannabis to treat several debilitating conditions, including chronic pain, glaucoma, Tourette syndrome, multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDS, and certain types of epilepsy.

In January, an extensive literature review by the US National Academy of Sciences acknowledged that "conclusive or substantial evidence" exists for cannabis' efficacy in patients suffering from chronic pain, among other conditions.

Full text of the study, "Cannabis and intractable chronic pain: an explorative retrospective analysis of Italian cohort of 614 patients," appears in the Journal of Pain Research.

Study: No Increase In Problematic Cannabis Use Following Passage Of Medical Marijuana Laws

New York, NY: The enactment of medical marijuana laws is not associated with increased rates of problematic cannabis use, according to data published online in the journal Addiction.

Columbia University investigators assessed cannabis use trends in states in the years following marijuana medicalization. They reported "no significant change in the prevalence of past-month marijuana use among adolescents or young adults (those ages 18 to 25)" following legalization. They also found no evidence of increased cannabis abuse or dependence by either young people or adults. States with largely unregulated medical programs were associated with increased self-reported use by adults age 26 and older, but states with stricter programs were not.

The study's findings are consistent with those of numerous other papers reporting no uptick in youth marijuana use or abuse following medical marijuana regulation, including those here, here, here, here, here, and here. The findings contradict those of a recent, widely publicized paper in JAMA Psychiatry which speculated that medical marijuana laws may increase the prevalence of cannabis use disorder among adults.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "Loose regulation of medical marijuana programs associated with higher rates of adult marijuana use but not cannabis use disorder," appears in Addiction.

Florida: Lawmakers Pass Medical Cannabis Implementation Measure

Tallahassee, FL: Members of the House and Senate have approved legislation to implement Amendment 2 - a voter-initiated constitutional amendment regulating the use of medical cannabis. Republican Gov. Rick Scott has pledged to sign the bill into law.

Lawmakers passed the measure on the final day of Florida's special legislative session. The measure prohibits patients from inhaling herbal preparations of cannabis, among other restrictions that proponents say violate the initiative's original intent. One the measure's key backers, Orlando attorney John Morgan has said that he intends to sue the state over the proposed changes.

Under the law, patients diagnosed with cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, PTSD, ALS, Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, or multiple sclerosis - or who suffer from chronic pain related to any of these diseases - are eligible to receive a 70-day supply of cannabis-infused oils or edible products from a limited number of state-licensed dispensing facilities.

Florida's medical access law must be operational by October.

Vermont: Governor Signs Medical Cannabis Expansion Bill

Montpelier, VT: Governor Phil Scott has signed legislation, Senate Bill 16, expanding the state's thirteen-year-old medical cannabis program.

The measure permits physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients with Crohn's disease, post-traumatic stress, and Parkinson's disease, and expedites access for patients with cancer or a terminal illness. The bill also expands the number of permissible dispensaries in the state and allows existing operators to open one additional location each. There are over 3,800 residents currently enrolled in the state's medical cannabis program.

The new changes in law take effect on July 1, 2017.

Colorado: Governor Signs Law Expanding Medical Cannabis Access For PTSD

Denver, CO: Governor John Hickenlooper has signed legislation, Senate Bill 17, permitting physicians to recommend cannabis therapy to patients suffering from post-traumatic stress.

PTSD is the first new qualifying condition to be added since the state legalized medical cannabis in 2001. Members of the Colorado Board of Health had previously rejected efforts to include PTSD as a qualifying condition, opining that sufficient evidence did not yet support its efficacy.

Nevada: Governor Signs Hemp Expansion Law

Carson City, NV: Governor Brian Sandoval has signed legislation, Senate Bill 396, expanding the state's hemp law to permit broader commercial cultivation of the crop.

The new law permits regulators to license growers to engage in hemp cultivation and to produce edible products derived from hemp. Under a 2015 law, hemp could only be produced as part of a university-sponsored pilot program.

Medical Marijuana Must Be Part Of Solution To Opioid Crisis

NORML writes in The Hill: “For many patients, cannabis provides a safe and effective substitute for the use of opioids and other potentially harmful substances”

Washington, DC - NORML ( National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) released the following statement regarding the President’s Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis first meeting this on June 16.

Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director said:

“Tens of thousands of lives have been adversely impacted by the nation's opioid epidemic. We must use every tool at our disposal to fight this crisis. Marijuana provides a safe and effective alternative for many of these patients and it is vital that the Committee does not ignore this important evidence in its discussions.”

“Given the make-up of the commission – which includes a number of longtime drug warriors such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Rhode Island Rep. Patrick Kennedy, and former Office of National Drug Policy Control staffer Bertha Madras, it is crucial that citizens, advocates, doctors, and researchers alike elevate the science and data which shows marijuana is an effective tool in combating the opioid crisis, not the rhetoric of the failed War on Drugs.”

“Permitting marijuana sales to be regulated by licensed, state-authorized distributors rather than the black market run by criminal entrepreneurs and pushers of various other illicit drugs including opioids would likely result in fewer, not more, Americans abusing other illicit substances.”

Armentano’s latest op-ed is “Can marijuana help mitigate America’s opioid crisis?” published today in The Hill.


Armentano is the deputy director of NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) and an adviser for Freedom Leaf. He is the co-author of the book "Marijuana Is Safer: So Why Are We Driving People to Drink?" (Cheslea Green, 2013) and author of the book "The Citizen's Guide to State-By-State Marijuana Laws" (Whitman Press, 2015). NORML's mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high quality marijuana that is safe, convenient and affordable.

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