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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
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- Tue, 07 Nov 2017 04:20:21 PST

Lawmakers Demand The VA Study Medical Marijuana

Washington, DC: Members of the US House Committee on Veteran's Affairs are demanding that the Department of Veterans Affairs facilitate protocols to assess the efficacy of medical cannabis in veterans suffering from chronic pain conditions and post-traumatic stress.

Minnesota Democrat Tim Walz, along with nine other Democrat members of the Committee, authored an October 26, 2017 letter to VA Secretary David Shulkin stating: "[The] VA is uniquely situated to pursue research on the impact of medical marijuana on veterans suffering from chronic pain and PTSD given its access to world class researchers, the population it serves, and its history of overseeing and producing research resulting in cutting-edge medical treatments. ... VA's pursuit of research into the impact of medical marijuana on the treatment of veterans diagnosed with PTSD who are also experiencing chronic pain is integral to the advancement of health care for veterans and the nation. We ask VA to respond ... with a commitment to the development of VHA-led research into this issue."

In September, representatives from The American Legion addressed a separate letter to VA Secretary Shulkin encouraging the federal agency to assist in an ongoing, FDA-approved clinical trial assessing the safety and efficacy of various strains of cannabis in veterans with PTSD. To date, the VA has refused to assist in patient recruitment for the trial. The VA has yet to publicly respond to the Legion's letter.

Survey data finds that military veterans frequently consume cannabis therapeutically, often using it as an alternative to conventional medications in the treatment of pain and post-traumatic stress.

Review: Cannabis Use Does Not Negatively Impact Survival Rates In Transplantation Subjects

Ann Arbor, MI: A history of cannabis use is not contraindicated in patients undergoing organ transplants, according to data published in the journal Current Psychiatry Reports.

Investigators at the University of Michigan assessed the potential role of cannabis consumption in post-transplant complications. They reported, "[R]ecent studies suggest that the overall survival rates in kidney, liver, lung, and heart transplant patients using marijuana are equivalent to non-users."

They concluded: "Transplant teams should not de facto exclude marijuana users from transplant listing. ... Appropriate stewardship over donor organs, a limited and precious resource, ... require[s] a balance of high-clinical standards with inclusive efforts to treat as many patients as possible."

In recent years, lawmakers in various states - including California and Maine - have enacted legislation explicitly forbidding hospitals from discriminating against transplantation patients solely based upon their cannabis use history.

Full text of the study, "Marijuana use and organ transplantation: A review and implications for clinical practice," appears in Current Psychiatry Reports.

Colorado: State's Chief Medical Officer Downplays Legalization Fears

Denver, CO: The regulation of the adult use and sale of marijuana in Colorado is not associated with any significant adverse effects to public health or safety, according to comments by Larry Wolk, Chief Medical Officer for the Colorado Department of Public Health.

Speaking to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Wolk said that legalization has not been associated with greater marijuana use by or access among teenagers, nor has it been associated with an increase in the prevalence of DUIs or overall illicit drug use.

"We have not experienced any significant issues as a result of legalization," he concluded.

Washington: Cannabis Sales Exceed $1.1 Billion in 2017

Olympia, WA: Retail marijuana sales in Washington state exceeded one billion dollars during the first nine months of 2017, according to data compiled by the State Liquor and Cannabis Board.

Retail sales now stand at record highs, with monthly sales exceeding $130 million - up from $106 million in February. Overall, year-to-date marijuana sales in Washington are $1,101,853,539.

In Colorado, retail cannabis sales exceeded $1 billion during the first eight months of 2017.

In Nevada, adult use retailers have sold an estimated $60 million worth of marijuana products in just the first two months of the program's existence.

Texas: El Paso Moves Forward With Summons Plan

El Paso, TX: El Paso county Commissioners have unanimously approved a plan to issue summonses to first-time, low level marijuana possession offenders in lieu of making a criminal arrest.

Under the forthcoming program, which is anticipated to be in place as early as next month, certain marijuana offenders will face an administrative fine and eight hours of community service. Upon completion of the program, defendants will not be subject to a criminal conviction or record.

Similar localized diversion programs have also been approved by lawmakers in Bexar County (San Antonio), Dallas County, Harris County (Houston), and in Travis County (Austin).

Under state law, the possession of up to four ounces of cannabis is classified as a criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

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