Medical marijuana patients fret about new grower limits being considered by Oregon legislators
A bill that would limit the size of medical marijuana growing operations in Oregon is generating angry opposition from some patients and activists.
The proposed measure, unveiled late Friday afternoon, is aimed at curbing the black market while prodding larger growers to supply the legal recreational market the state is developing.
This approach is winning wide support on the House-Senate committee charged with implementing the marijuana legalization initiative approved by Oregon voters in November. It also has varying degrees of support from many marijuana industry figures who want to develop a successful legal market in the state.
But the 89-page amendment to Senate Bill 844 quickly created sparks among medical marijuana patients and many activists. Several legislators reported being besieged with emails and phone calls Monday from people worried that they would lose their supply of low-cost medical marijuana.
"It's going to take medicine away from the sickest and most disenfranchised patients," said Alex Rogers, who owns a medical marijuana dispensary in Ashland and has been using social media to build opposition to the proposal.
Rogers also charged that legislators were trying to rush the proposal through by unveiling the lengthy amendment on Friday and scheduling a Monday evening work session.
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Marijuana Extract May Help Reduce Epilepsy Seizures
A medicine made from marijuana may provide some relief to people with severe epilepsy who don't get better after trying other treatments, according to a new study.
In the study, researchers examined 137 people, ranging in age from toddlers to adults, who all had severe epilepsy, a condition that causes seizures. The participants took an extract made from cannabis plants daily for 12 weeks, and during that time, the number of seizures they experienced fell by an average of 54 percent.
The researchers noted that the participants knew they were receiving the extract, and that the study did not include a comparison group of people with severe epilepsy who were not given the marijuana drug or who were given a placebo instead.
"While the findings are promising, more research is needed, such as randomized-controlled trials to help eliminate the possibility of a placebo effect," said study author Dr. Orrin Devinsky, director of
The main ingredient in the drug the participants took was cannabidiol, a marijuana compound that does not have psychoactive properties. (The "high" feeling that marijuana produces comes from another compound in the plant, called THC.)
The people in the study had previously tried other treatments for their epilepsy, such as anti-epileptic drugs, diet changes, surgery and neurostimulation therapies, Devinsky said. In fact, "about one-third of patients with epilepsy do not respond to medications," he told Live Science. [11 Odd Facts About Marijuana]
There were 213 participants at the beginning of the study, but some dropped out of the study before reaching the 12-week mark, including 6 percent (12 people) who stopped taking the marijuana extract because of the drug's side effects. Overall, more than 10 percent of people in the study experienced side effects. Sleepiness occurred in 21 percent of the people, 17 percent experienced diarrhea and fatigue and 16 percent said their appetites decreased.
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