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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Wed, 30 May 2018 04:20:21 PST

Arizona: Supreme Court Affirms That Lawmakers Cannot Ban Medical Cannabis Access on College Campuses

Phoenix, AZ: The Arizona Supreme Court has upheld an appellate court decision striking down a 2012 law that sought to forbid medical cannabis access on college campuses.

Lifetime NORML Legal Committee member Tom Dean represented the patient-defendant in the case pro bono, and called the decision a "victory for democracy."

Justices opined that the 2012 law was unconstitutional because it impermissibly sought to amend the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act, which voters passed in 2010. State law limits the legislature's ability to amend, repeal, or supersede voter-initiated laws.

"Because the AMMA sets forth a list of locations where the legislature may impose 'civil, criminal or other penalties' when a person possesses or uses marijuana, ยง 36-2802, and because that list does not include college and university campuses (unlike pre-, primary-, and secondary-school grounds), we assume that the voters did not intend to criminalize AMMA-compliant possession or use of marijuana on public college and university campuses," the court ruled. It further rejected the state's claim that a campus-wide ban was necessary in order to preserve universities' federal funding.

"If the State had prevailed, they could then have tampered with any and all ballot initiatives, past, present, and future," said Dean. "This is a victory for all Arizona voters and especially for medical marijuana patients."

The ruling sets aside the felony conviction of defendant Andrew Lee Maestas, who was initially charged and found guilty of the possession of 0.4 grams of marijuana despite his status as a state-registered medical cannabis patient.

The case is Arizona v Maestas, No. CR-17-0193-PR.

Survey: Oncologists Believe Medical Cannabis To Be Equally Or More Effective Than Conventional Treatments

Boston, MA: The majority of oncologists believe that the use of medical cannabis is either as effective or more effective than conventional treatments for managing symptoms of cancer, according to survey data published in The Journal of Clinical Oncology.

A team of investigators lead by researchers at The Dana Farber Cancer Clinic randomly surveyed oncologists' beliefs with regard to the safety and efficacy of cannabis therapy. Sixty-five percent of respondents said that medical marijuana was equally effective or more effective than standard treatments for addressing appetite loss and/or cachexia. The majority of respondents also believed that cannabis was safe and effective as an adjunct treatment for anxiety and pain. Half of respondents said that cannabis was as effective or more effective that conventional medications in treating nausea, and 70 percent viewed marijuana as equally safe or safer than opioids.

The survey also reported that some eighty percent of oncologists had engaged in discussions with their patients about the use of cannabis, although in over half of those instances it was either patients or their families, rather than the oncologists themselves, who prompted the conversation.

Full text of the study, "Medical oncologists' beliefs, practices, and knowledge regarding marijuana used therapeutically: A nationally representatives survey study," appears in The Journal of Clinical Oncology.

New York State: Legal Cannabis Market Would Yield $434 Million Annually

New York, NY: The state of New York would gain an estimated $434 million annually in new tax revenue under a regulated adult use marijuana market, according to an analysis prepared by the New York City Comptroller's office.

The report estimates the size of the statewide cannabis market to be $3.1 billion. "Our analysis shows that a 10% retail excise tax on marijuana sales, together with sales tax at the existing rate of 4%, would generate roughly $436 million in New York State tax revenue annually," authors determined.

They further opine that legalization will yield social benefits and cost savings. "In addition to the potential budgetary savings [resulting from fewer arrests], there are human benefits to legalization such as reducing the damaging impact of a criminal record on future employment opportunities, access to housing, education and credit, the ability to obtain an occupational license, and many other areas of life," they concluded.

Full text of the report, "Estimated Tax Revenues from Marijuana Legalization in New York," is available online.

Study: CBD Extracts Safe And Effective In Treating Rare Form Of Pediatric Epilepsy

New York, NY: The daily administration of a proprietary CBD extract (Epidiolex) is safe and effective in the treatment of Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a severe form of pediatric epilepsy, according to clinical data published in The New England Journal of Medicine.

An international team of researchers assessed the adjunctive daily administration of either 10mg or 20mg of CBD versus placebo over a period of 14 weeks in 225 patients with the disease. Subjects taking the higher dosage experienced a 42 percent reduction in seizure frequency; those taking the lower dosage experienced a 37 percent reduction, but also reported experiencing fewer side effects. The most commonly reported adverse events were somnolence, decreased appetite, and diarrhea.

The findings are similar to those of prior randomized studies evaluating the use of Epidiolex in patients with intractable forms of epilepsy.

Regulators at the US Food and Drug Administration are expected to grant market approval this summer to Epidiolex for the treatment of Dravet syndrome and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. If approved, it will be the first non-synthetic cannabinoid available by prescription in the United States.

Full text of the study, "Effect of cannabidiol on drop seizures in the Lennox-Gastaut syndrome," appears in The New England Journal of Medicine.

Study: THC/CBD Administration Not Associated With Driving Impairment

Oslo, Norway: The administration of an oral spray containing equal ratios of THC and CBD is not associated with either driving impairment or an increased risk of motor vehicle accident, according to a literature review published in the journal Brain and Behavior.

Norwegian and Spanish researchers reviewed the results from several driving performance studies that assessed subjects' abilities following the use of THC:CBD oromucosal spray.

"Real-world registries did not show any evidence of an increase in motor vehicle accidents associated with THC:CBD oromucosal spray," they reported. "The majority of patients reported an improvement in driving ability after starting THC:CBD oromucosal spray." The spray, marketed in several countries throughout the world as the prescription drug Sativex, relieves spasticity in patients with multiple sclerosis.

Authors concluded, "THC:CBD oromucosal spray was shown not to impair driving performance."

By contrast, the results of a recent series of driving studies conducted by a team of French researchers reported that the administration of 20mg of THC in occasional marijuana users can influence both subjective (e.g., subjects' self-confidence) and objective measurements (e.g., changes in standard deviation in lateral performance) of driving performance. Authors reported that changes in participants' driving behavior following THC dosing were more pronounced during simulated driving conditions versus real-world conditions - a finding that is consistent with those of previous studies.

Full text of the study, "The influence of THC:CBD oromucosal spray on driving ability in patients with multiple sclerosis-related spasticity," appears in Brain and Behavior. Full text of the study, "Cannabis smoking impairs driving performance on simulator and real driving: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial," appears in Fundamental & Clinical Pharmacology. NORML's fact-sheet on cannabinoids' influence on psychomotor performance is online.

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