Medical marijuana and 'the entourage effect'
Category: News | Posted on Tue, March, 11th 2014 by THCFinder
CNN) -- In the early 1960s, a young postdoctoral student stumbled onto something that puzzled him.
After reading the literature on cannabis, he was surprised to see that while the active compound in morphine had been isolated from opium poppies 100 years before and cocaine isolated from coca leaves around the same time, the active component of marijuana was still unknown.
This simple observation launched his life's work.
That young Israeli researcher, Raphael Mechoulam, is now a heavily decorated scientist, recently nominated for the prestigious Rothschild Prize. More than 50 years ago, however, he had trouble starting his scientific journey.
For starters, he needed cannabis to study and didn't know how to obtain it. Eventually, he obtained his research supply from friends in the police department. The young scientist was in a hurry, and didn't want to wait to cut through the red tape required by Israel's Health Ministry.
"Yes, I broke the law," he told me when I met with him in Tel Aviv last year, "but I apologized and explained what I was trying to do."
By 1963, he determined the structure of cannabidiol (CBD), an important component of marijuana. A year later, he became the first person to isolate delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Over the ensuing decades, Mechoulam and his team continued to isolate numerous compounds from the cannabis plant.
Their work also went a long way toward illuminating how the drug works in the brain. When Mechoulam's team identified the first known endogenous cannabinoid, a chemical actually made by the brain itself, he named it "anandamide." In the Sanskrit language, ananda means "supreme bliss," which gives us some insight into what Mechoulam thinks of cannabinoids overall.
It was halfway through our long afternoon discussion that Mechoulam, now 83, pulled out a paper he had written in 1999, describing something known as "the entourage effect."
Read more: http://www.cnn.com/
Medical Marijuana Patients Face Another Attempt To Take Away Child
Category: News | Posted on Wed, February, 26th 2014 by THCFinder
When Child Protective Services removed Baby Bree from her mother’s arms in 2013 due to prejudice against medical marijuana patients, it made national news. Now a pair of Personal Protection Orders threatens to deny Maria Green access to her child from a previous marriage- and the perceived threat again surrounds the medically-recommended and state approved use of medicinal marijuana.
The Petitioner claims that Maria and her current husband Steve are “ringleaders of a small separatist group within the Michigan Medical Marijuana Community,” apparently because of their involvement with the national marijuana rights organization The Human Solution. Also cited: asking for court support from the community has resulted in “threats” and the Petitioner is intimidated.
The Greens successfully fought off an attempt to deny them custody of their child Brielle Green, known internationally as Baby Bree, by Child Protective Services. Many people were unaware that while that case was being fought there was another custody battle being waged over the parenting rights surrounding a seven-year old boy, Maria’s son from a previous marriage with Ronnie Ferguson of Davison.
Ferguson is the Petitioner; the parents are still engaged in that custody battle, which is being waged in Judge Beebe’s courtroom in the same building where the Green’s latest hearing will be heard.
The PPO filing has temporarily prevented Maria from exercising her visitation rights. Ferguson filed Motions for Ex Parte PPOs against both adult Greens on Feb. 12, 2014; 4th District Judge Thomas Wilson denied the request on the 13th. On the 17th Ferguson filed two new petitions and that filing resulted in a pair of court hearings in Jackson on Thursday, February 27.
To justify the PPOs, Ferguson filed on the 12th a detailed listing of what he considers reasons for the Greens to be restrained from being in his presence. Ferguson said those observers attending previous hearings insulted him. He claims Steve and Maria “believe themselves to be the spokespersons for the medical marijuana community at large,” and that the couple is “delusional.” In social media postings Ferguson admits to Steve, “I know you’re a good Dad, and I respect You for that.”
California Marijuana Legalization Initiative Postponed Until 2016
Category: News | Posted on Fri, February, 21st 2014 by THCFinder
The Los Angeles Times reported today that a deep-pocketed marijuana reform coalition including the Drug Policy Alliance had decided not to move forward this year with an initiative to legalize the weed in the Golden State. Instead, the coalition will aim at 2016.
That means marijuana legalization will most likely not be on the ballot in California this year. Three other legalization initiatives have been filed, but two of them appear to lack the funds to complete expensive signature gathering efforts — 504,000 signatures are needed by April 18 — and the third has yet to be cleared for circulation.
The coalition, which is supported by billionaire financier George Soros, and which included the late Progressive Insurance founder Peter Lewis, had consistently argued that 2016 was more doable than this year, but filed the Control, Regulate and Tax Marijuana Act late last year after polling numbers suggested victory was within reach.
At the time, spokesmen said they would make a decision on whether to move forward or not around the beginning of February. Now, that decision has been made.
The decision to wait was a “very close” call and “one that came down to the wire,” Graham Boyd, counsel to Lewis, told The Times. “We see this as a trial run or dress rehearsal for 2016,” he said.
Boyd and DPA executive director Ethan Nadelmann told The Times in interviews Monday that they wanted more time to do outreach with elected officials, law enforcement, and public health leaders, an approach they said worked in Washington state. They also said money was an issue, and that the death of Peter Lewis had an impact.
“We believe the best way to go forward with any state ballot initiative is to have a strong funding base in place before launching the campaign,” Boyd said. “It is certainly true that Peter Lewis’ death made that a much more difficult process to do in the time we had.”
Media Tries To Blame Cannabis For Fatal Crash
Category: News | Posted on Wed, February, 19th 2014 by THCFinder
It's pretty upsetting when a plant is blamed for a negative event when there are other factors involved that have a far larger helping hand then the plant that we all love so much. Take for example an article I read that was titled "Driver On Cannabis Before Fatal Crash". Published in the Otago Daily Times, the article tells the story of a terrible car accident in which driver Iain Stewart Crisp, 45, took the life of 24-year old Gregory Woledge, who was driving his work van with his 23-year old coworker Ashley Donkersly.
Crisp allegedly smoked marijuana before getting in to his vehicle that day. He veered in to the other lane and crashed head on in to Woledge's work van, sending the van rolling over the side of a bridge and in to the water below. Woledge was stuck in the sinking van and was unable to be rescued. His coworker was saved by Constable Deane O'Connor, who leapt in to the water right after the van fell. Both men were treated for hypothermia after emerging from the water.
Employed as a bus driver, Crisp had already driven his maximum amount of hours (this happened three times previously as well, showing that Crisp was clearly working far too hard and long for a normal person) and had been deprived of sleep. The amount of cannabis in his bloodstream at the time of the crash was enough to be considered a single joint, not nearly enough to cause a seasoned cannabis user to fall asleep at the wheel and veer in to oncoming traffic. Crisp told authorities that he had no recollection of even driving on to the bridge, let alone the actual crash itself, as the man falsified his logbook that day, writing his sign out time at least two and a half hours after the crash happened.
While the title of the referenced article makes it seem as if cannabis is the sole cause of this tragic accident, it's clear that there were other factors leading up to it. The lack of sleep for humans can be life threatening and can cause the deprived to randomly fall asleep, presenting serious danger if the person happen to be behind the wheel. It's definitely clear that cannabis was not the sole cause of this tragedy and it should be acknowledge that there are other factors involved, especially something as severe as sleep deprivation.
Arizona Lawmaker: Remove Felony Charge For Simple Marijuana Possession
Category: News | Posted on Tue, February, 18th 2014 by THCFinder
In a perfect world, no one would get arrested for marijuana, or even get a fine for that matter. Possessing and consuming marijuana is a harmless act that shouldn’t bother anyone, especially law enforcement. Consuming marijuana does not increase violent tendencies in people, and I’ve never heard of anyone stealing scrap metal to feed their marijuana habit.
Unfortunately, in the world we live in, marijuana possession can carry hefty penalties, far beyond what is appropriate for the act. For instance, in Arizona possession of up to two pounds of marijuana is a class six felony, punishable by up to two years in prison and a $750 fine. And that’s for no intent to distribute! Get caught with a quarter pound of bammer, which is a common thing in Arizona, and you will have your life ripped apart.
At least one lawmaker in Arizona wants to change that. Arizona Representative Mark A. Cardenas, D-Phoenix, has introduced House Bill 2474 which would treat possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana without intent to distribute as a civil penalty of no more than a $100 fine. Possession of more than one ounce, but less than 2 pounds, of marijuana without intent to distribute would be a petty offense, while possession of greater amounts would be a misdemeanor. There would be no felony penalty for possession only according to the bill.
University Of Colorado Begins Mapping Cannabis Genome
Category: News | Posted on Mon, February, 17th 2014 by THCFinder
With cannabis recently legalized in parts of the country, scientists who have been sitting on their hands for years can now study the plant in its natural form – scientists like those at the University of Colorado Boulder, who have announced the launch of the Cannabis Genome Research Initiative. The goal of the eighteen-month endeavor is to map the DNA makeup of cannabis, and to provide more knowledge about the plant’s history.
“Despite the fact that cannabis is one of the most valuable and historically important crop species, we know comparatively little about the plant,” says Nolan Kane of CU‘s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, who is leading the project. According to Kane, the data gathered through mapping the cannabis genome will allow growers to explore “more efficient and cost-effective cannabis breeding — choosing what to breed with what in smarter ways.” Kane doesn’t dismiss the progress already made by cannabis cultivators – far from it – but feels his research will make things easier.
“The tools I will develop will allow a better prediction of which plants are desired without the expense of growing, measuring, chemotyping, etc., all of those plants,” says Kane. “This is a huge additional expense and waste of time that can be avoided by modern, marker-assisted selection.” Kane says another major application of cannabis genome research is to breed more advanced, economical forms of hemp. “This is a potentially very valuable crop for agriculture in Colorado and other places,” he states. “It could be used for biofuels, food and fiber production for high-quality paper, clothing, rope, so many purposes.”
Quick to reassure that their research has nothing to do with Genetic Modification, or the production of GMOs, Kane explains that, “With our work, the genetic variation isn’t altered, you are just choosing what to breed with what in smarter ways. People have been breeding animals and plants for 10,000 years or more, so the basic approaches are not new, just substantially improved in terms of efficiency.”
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