#NORML #News
Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
media :: news
- Tue, 14 Oct 2014 04:20:21 PST

Marijuana Use Is Associated With Increased Survival In Brain Injury Patients

Torrance, CA: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients with a history of cannabis use possess increased survival rates compared to non-users, according to data published this month in the journal The American Surgeon.

UCLA Medical Center investigators conducted a three-year retrospective review of brain trauma patients. Data from 446 separate cases of similarly injured patients was assessed. Of those patients who tested positive for the presence of marijuana, 97.6 percent survived surgery. By contrast, patients who tested negative for the presence of cannabis prior to surgery possessed only an 88.5 percent survival rate.

"[O]ur data suggest an important link between the presence of a positive THC screen and improved survival after TBI," the authors concluded. "This finding has support in previous literature because the neuroprotective effects of cannabinoids have been implicated in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, and multiple sclerosis. ... With continued research, more information will be uncovered regarding the therapeutic potential of THC, and further therapeutic interventions may be established."

Full text of the study, "Effect of marijuana use on outcomes in traumatic brain injury," appears in The American Surgeon.

Philadelphia Depenalizes Marijuana Possession Offenses

Philadelphia, PA: Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter signed municipal legislation last week removing criminal penalties for the possession of cannabis by adults.

The new measure amends citywide penalties pertaining to the possession of up to approximately one ounce of cannabis (30 grams) from a criminal misdemeanor to a non-summary civil offense, punishable by a $25 fine - no arrest and no criminal record. Public use of cannabis will be punishable by up to a $100 fine and/or the completion of community service.

Philadelphia NORML had long lobbied in support of a change in the city's criminal classification of marijuana possession offenses. A 2013 review of marijuana arrest data by the organization reported that African Americans are arrested in Philadelphia for minor marijuana violations at five times the rate of whites despite both races consuming the substance at nearly equal rates.

Council member James Kenney, who sponsored the decriminalization ordinance, acknowledged that it was Philadelphia NORML's outreach on this issue that ultimately persuaded him to push for the change in law.

The reduced penalties go into effect on October 20, 2014.

Study: Administration Of Non-Psychotropic Cannabinoid Halts Colon Cancer Progression

Naples, Italy: The administration of the non-psychotropic cannabinoid cannabigerol (CBG) possesses potent anti-colon cancer activities and inhibits cancerous tumor growth, according to preclinical data published online ahead of print in the journal Carcinogenesis. Colorectal cancer is the third most common cancer in men and the second most common cancer in women worldwide.

Italian researchers at the University of Naples assessed the effects of CBG on colon tumorigenesis in vitro and in vivo. Investigators reported that the compound promoted apoptosis (cancer cell death) and reduced cell growth in colorectal cancer cells. CBG dosing also inhibited an experimental model of colorectal tumor growth in animals.

Authors concluded: "Our data show that the non-psychotropic cannabis ingredient cannabigerol inhibits the growth of colorectal cancer cells ... and hinders the development and growth of colon carcinogenesis in vivo. ... [W]e hypothesize that CBG may be a promising anti-colorectal cancer therapeutic agent, both for prevention and as a curative medicine."

Cannabinoids and endocannabinoids have been shown both independently and adjunctively to possess anti-cancer activity in preclinical models, halting the proliferation of glioma cells, breast carcinoma, lung carcinoma, and lymphoma, among other cancer cell lines.

Full text of the study, "Colon carcinogenesis is inhibited by the TRPM8 antagonist cannabigerol, a cannabis-derived non-psychotropic cannabinoid," appears in Carcinogenesis.

New York Times Endorses Statewide Marijuana Reform Initiatives

New York, NY: The editors of the New York Times have opined in favor of the passage of pending initiatives in Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, DC that seek to dramatically liberalize those regions' marijuana laws.

The three proposed measures are all "worthy of passage," the editors acknowledged. They added that the federal ban on cannabis is "misguided."

"[I]t's better for the states to take the lead than to wait for an epiphany on Capitol Hill that may never come," the Times concluded.

The pending measures in Alaska (Ballot Measure 2) and Oregon (Measure 91) seek to regulate the commercial production, retail sale, and personal use of marijuana by adults. Washington, DC's municipal measure (Initiative 71) would remove criminal and civil penalties regarding the adult possession of and cultivation of minor quantities of cannabis.

A proposed constitutional amendment (Amendment 2) to legalize patients' access to cannabis for therapeutic purposes is also pending in Florida.

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