Bill would help Scotch Plains toddler, other sick kids, get medical marijuana
TRENTON — Moved by the plight of a toddler with a seizure disorder, two Union County lawmakers announced today they have drafted legislation that would revise the state's medical marijuana law to make it easier for children who qualify for the program to benefit.
State Assemblywoman Linda Stender and state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, both Democrats from Union County, said they planned to introduce the bill next week in response to the situation involving Vivian Wilson, 2, of Scotch Plains, who the state Health Department approved for the medical marijuana program.
Vivian has Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy that conventional medicine cannot control. But before her parents, Meghan and Brian Wilson, may buy marijuana for her, state law says they need the approval of a psychiatrist, a pediatrician, and the doctor treating the child's illness if the pediatrician is not in charge.
The difficulty in finding a psychiatrist is one of several barriers preventing their daughter's access to the program, The Star-Ledger reported on Sunday.
One doctor, Anthony Anzalone of Rutherford, said state Health Department officials recently asked him to stop enrolling children until enough willing physicians were participating.
Read more: http://www.nj.com
Marijuana tied to better blood sugar control
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People who had used marijuana in the past month had smaller waists and lower levels of insulin resistance - a diabetes precursor - than those who never tried the drug, in a new study.
The findings, based on surveys and blood tests of about 4,700 U.S. adults, aren't enough to prove marijuana keeps users thin or wards off disease. And among current pot smokers, higher amounts of marijuana use weren't linked to any added health benefits, researchers reported in The American Journal of Medicine.
"These are preliminary findings," said Dr. Murray Mittleman, who worked on the study at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.
"It looks like there may be some favorable effects on blood sugar control, however a lot more needs to be done to have definitive answers on the risks and potential benefits of marijuana usage."
Although pot smoking is a well-known cause of "the munchies," some previous studies have found marijuana users tend to weigh less than other people, and one suggested they have a lower rate of diabetes. Trials in mice and rats hint that cannabis and cannabinoid receptors may influence metabolism.
The new study used data from a national health survey conducted in 2005-2010. Researchers asked people about drug and alcohol use, as well as other aspects of their health and lifestyle, and measured their insulin and blood sugar levels.
Just under 2,000 participants said they had used marijuana at some point, but not recently. Another 600 or so were current users - meaning they had smoked or otherwise consumed the drug in the past month.
Read more: http://news.yahoo.com
Marijuana May Help Cure PTSD
A Yale associate professor of psychiatry is giving American veterans with intractable post traumatic stress disorder the main active ingredient in marijuana as part of search for a better PTSD cure.
Former chief resident in neuropsychiatry at the University of Massachusetts School of Medicine R. Andrew Sewell said PTSD and other anxiety disorders might hinge on a defect in brain cells that the marijuana molecule, “THC”, can help alleviate.
About 7.7 million Americans suffer from PTSD, and symptoms can include flashbacks, agitation, and anxiety triggered by a trauma-related thought, word, or object. Ultimately, THC could be combined with therapy to cure PTSD, Sewell said. He presented his ongoing study in Oakland this April at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) conference. I’ve reported on it this week for the East Bay Express.
In addition to being part of a potential cure, marijuana (aka cannabis) is already being used for PTSD symptom management by thousands of veterans, said MAPS scientist Dr. Sue Sisley.
Sewell said, “Veterans use cannabis for two reasons, one it makes them less irritable, which is really socially destructive and also it helps them sleep. Cannabis is excellent for sleep, it is much better than alcohol.”
Read more: http://blog.sfgate.com
Michigan driver who uses medical marijuana wins appeal
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, May, 23rd 2013 by THCFinder
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that medical marijuana users aren't automatically breaking the law if they're caught driving after using the drug.
The court unanimously overturned an appeals court decision in the case of a Grand Traverse County man, Rodney Koon. He was stopped in 2010 for speeding — going nearly 30 mph over the limit.
Koon admitted having smoked medical marijuana earlier, and a blood test revealed the drug in his system.
It's illegal for Michigan drivers to consume marijuana. But the state high court said medical marijuana users have some protection. The court says police must show that a driver actually was "under the influence" of marijuana for a charge to stick.
Michigan voters approved medical use of marijuana in 2008.
The medical marijuana law "shields registered patients from prosecution for the internal possession of marijuana," the judges said.
At the same time, the law prohibits driving "while under the influence of marijuana." But it fails to specify what level of marijuana in the body constitutes being "under the influence," the opinion said.
The court suggested lawmakers consider setting a marijuana limit, similar to a blood alcohol level.
Read more: http://www.usatoday.com
Cancer sufferer turned to cannabis
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, May, 22nd 2013 by THCFinder
A "LONELY" bachelor has been spared jail for growing and supplying cannabis to deal with sleep deprivation while he battled cancer – and repay people who helped him out.
William Burton, 68, of Lancaster Avenue, Grimsby, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 and spent months in chemotherapy which left him depressed and alone.
He suffered from extreme sleep deprivation – he was lucky to get a few hours of rest, and when he did, he was plagued by nightmares.
Mr Burton heard from friends that cannabis would help and turned to the drug to aid his sleep and lift his mood.
But Mr Burton, who was in the Merchant Navy for more than 30 years, is now living on benefits and found it too expensive.
Virtually housebound, he started growing it for himself and others with health problems – and to reward the growing number of people he was relying upon.
Mr Burton said: "When you spend all that time feeling ill and sleeping after chemotherapy, people soon stop coming round – but you need help because you're ill.
"A worse thing was not sleeping so I started smoking it before I went to bed and I could actually get a full night's sleep.
"I wasn't making money – I would give it to other people like me who were in need and they would do the same for me."
Read more: http://www.thisisgrimsby.co.uk
Could Cannabis Cure Crohn's Disease?
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, May, 22nd 2013 by THCFinder
Smoking cannabis may be key in treating Crohn's disease, research suggests.
In a recent trial marijuana was shown to induce 'complete remission' for patients suffering from the condition, which is also known as inflammatory bowel disease.
Scientists at Meir Medical Center, Israel, studied 21 people with severe Crohn’s disease who did not respond to various therapies.
They split the patients into two groups: 11 were given a joint to smoke twice a day for eight weeks, while 10 were given a placebo cigarette which contained no trace of cannabinoids.
A 'complete remission' of Crohn's disease was recorded in 5/11 (45%) of the cannabis group and 1/10 in the placebo group.
A total of 10/11 patients in the cannabis group responded to the clinical trial with Crohn's symptoms (which include pain, diarrhoea, tiredness and weight loss) significantly reduced.
In addition, study authors wrote: "Subjects receiving cannabis reported improved appetite and sleep, with no significant side effects."
"Further studies, with larger patient groups and a non-smoking mode of intake, are warranted," they added.
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