Cannabis: The Future of Preventing Insulin Resistance

Category: News | Posted on Sun, April, 12th 2015 by THCFinder

In a recent clinical study doctors have found that patients of theirs co-infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C (HCV) were less likely to develop diabetes and insulin resistance if they smoked pot. 

You can get certain forms of hepatitis in the same way as HIV, and about 80% of intravenous drug users with HIV also have HCV. Both diseases put the person at risk for further complications in the liver, as well as diabetes.

In this large-scale study done by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, 200 collaborators looked at 703 patients, collecting data over 60 months for each patient. Doctors assessed their level of insulin resistance and took behavioral data, including cannabis use.

Adjusting for all the variables they could, they found that cannabis users with HIV-HCV were around 2.77 times less likely to develop insulin resistance. While the study focused on people co-infected with those two illnesses, the study concluded saying “benefits of cannabis-based pharmacotherapies for patients concerned with increased risk of IR and diabetes need to be evaluated.”

A future for medical marijuana as a preventative medicine lies ahead to help those at risk ofdeveloping diabetes and insulin resistance. 



New Mexico Governor Signs Historic Property Rights Protections Into Law

Category: News | Posted on Sun, April, 12th 2015 by THCFinder

new mexico marijuanaGovernor Susana Martinez signed HB 560 into law, ending the practice of civil asset forfeiture in New Mexico. Civil asset forfeiture, also known as “policing for profit,” allows law enforcement officers to seize personal property without ever charging—much less convicting—a person with a crime. Property seized through this process often finds its way into the department’s own coffers. HB 560, introduced by NM Rep. Zachary Cook and passed unanimously in the legislature, replaces civil asset forfeiture with criminal forfeiture, which requires a conviction of a person as a prerequisite to losing property tied to a crime. The new law means that New Mexico now has the strongest protections against wrongful asset seizures in the country.

“This is a good day for the Bill of Rights,” said ACLU-NM Executive Director Peter Simonson. “For years police could seize people’s cash, cars, and houses without even accusing anyone of a crime. Today, we have ended this unfair practice in New Mexico and replaced it with a model that is just and constitutional.”

“With this law, New Mexico leads the nation in protecting the property rights of innocent Americans,” said Paul Gessing, President of the Rio Grande Foundation. “Convicted criminals will still see the fruits of their crime confiscated by the state, but innocent New Mexicans can now rest easy knowing that their property will never be seized by police without proper due process.”

“New Mexico has succeeded today in reigning in one of the worst excesses of the drug war,” said Emily Kaltenbach, State Director for Drug Policy Alliance’s New Mexico office “Like other drug war programs, civil asset forfeiture is disproportionately used against poor people of color who cannot afford to hire lawyers to get their property back. This law is an important step towards repairing some of the damage the drug war has inflicted upon our society and system of justice.”

“New Mexico has shown that ending policing for profit is a true bipartisan issue with broad public support,” said Lee McGrath, Legislative Counsel for the Institute of Justice. “America is ready to end civil asset forfeiture, a practice which is not in line with our values or constitution. This law shows that we can be tough on crime without stripping property away from innocent Americans.”

Bipartisan legislation has already been introduced in both houses of Congress that would dramatically reform federal civil asset forfeiture laws. The Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act has been introduced in the Senate by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Sen. Angus King (I-ME) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT). In the House, Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) introduced an identical version of the FAIR Act.



Will Big Tobacco become Big Marijuana?

Category: News | Posted on Sun, April, 12th 2015 by THCFinder

DENVER — While federal law makes their entire industry illegal, many marijuana store owners, growers and retailers fear something completely different: Big Tobacco.

Today, most legal recreational marijuana operations are small, limited to a single state and barred from ever getting large by regulators who want to keep a close eye on the fast-growing industry. But those small operators struggle to get bank loans for expansion, often produce an inconsistent product and sometimes have no idea how to balance supply and demand for their crops.

And many fear that tobacco companies, with their deep pockets, longstanding experience dealing with heavy government regulation, and relationships with generations of farmers will jump into the burgeoning marijuana market. At marijuana business conventions and in private conversations, it sometimes seems like everyone has heard a rumor about Big Tobacco getting in.

"I think there's a ton of paranoia that they're buying up warehouses and signing secret deals," said Chris Walsh, the editor of Marijuana Business Daily, an industry publication.

It's not just paranoia: Tobacco companies for generations have talked privately about getting into the weed business.

This past summer, researchers poring through more than 80 million pages of previously secret tobacco industry documents found that Big Tobacco has long had interest in pot.

Read More:


Federal Government Unwittingly Admits Cannabis Kills Cancer

Category: News | Posted on Sat, April, 11th 2015 by THCFinder

A group of federal researchers commissioned to prove the government’s claim that marijuana has “no medicinal value” may have unwittingly let some crucial research slip through the cracks, forcing the United States to admit that cannabis can kill cancer.

Although, at first glimpse, the latest claim appears to be a cruel April Fools' prank from Nora D. Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), but after careful inspection, it seems that the federal government is actually supporting a recent study which has determined that marijuana has the power to eliminate cancer cells.

The research, which was conducted by a team of scientists at St. George’s University of London, found the two most common cannabinoids in marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol(CBD), weakened the ferocity of cancer cells and made them more susceptible to radiation treatment. The study, which was published last year in the medical journal Molecular Cancer Therapies, details the “dramatic reductions” in fatal variations of brain cancer when these specific cannabinoids were used in conjunction with radiation therapy.

"We've shown that cannabinoids could play a role in treating one of the most aggressive cancers in adults," wrote lead researcher Dr. Wai Liu, in a November 2014 op-ed for The Washington Post. "The results are promising... it could provide a way of breaking through glioma [tumors] and saving more lives."

While it is not uncommon for research to surface unveiling the truth surrounding marijuana and its high-powered chemistry for treating a wealth of debilitating health conditions, it is, however, a bizarre and extremely rare occurrence for the federal government to get behind any of these claims. Yet, in an updated synopsis on the potency of marijuana as medicine, Uncle Sam’s leading drug addiction watchdog indicated that it might be changing its opinion of marijuana and how the substance can be used to maximize human vitality and strengthen the realm of overall public health.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not recognized or approved the marijuana plant as medicine,” the report states. “However, scientific study of the chemicals in marijuana, called cannabinoids, has led to two FDA-approved medications that contain cannabinoid chemicals in pill form. Continued research may lead to more medications.”

This is an interesting statement considering that marijuana remains listed as a Schedule I dangerous drug under the Controlled Substances Act, but it may suggest that reform of federal pot laws is on the horizon.

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Colorado may allow medical marijuana use during probation, parole

Category: News | Posted on Sat, April, 11th 2015 by THCFinder

A Colorado proposal to allow people on probation or parole to use medical marijuana won unanimous approval Thursday in its first test in the state legislature.

The state has allowed medical marijuana use for 15 years — but not for people on probation or parole.

The House Judiciary Committee voted 13-0 to change that policy by saying that pot use doesn’t amount to a probation violation for people with medical clearance to use the drug.

“If it’s in the constitution, you should have the right to use it on probation,” said Rep. Joe Salazar, D-Thornton and sponsor of the bill.

The change wouldn’t apply to probationers whose crime was related to marijuana.

Colorado’s hearing comes two days after Arizona’s highest court ruled that marijuana patients in that state should be allowed to use the drug while on probation or parole.

Rhode Island and the U.S. Virgin Islands also allow probationers to use medical marijuana, according to the pro-legalization Marijuana Policy Project. California law specifies that anyone on parole can ask the courts to be allowed to smoke medical marijuana after being released from jail or prison.

Other states have seen a mish-mash of responses in the courts on whether people can smoke pot while on probation and parole.

Colorado’s Court of Appeals ruled in 2012 that people on probation should not be allowed to use medical marijuana. State analysts who reviewed the bill weren’t sure how many people currently wind up back in jail because they fail a marijuana-related drug test while serving probation or parole.

Lawmakers worked late into the night Thursday hearing from marijuana patients who support the bill. They included Christyne Smiley of Boulder, who is on probation and not allowed to use marijuana to treat an eye condition called a “macular pucker.” Instead she has to use prescription drugs she considers less effective.

“Honestly, marijuana works better,” said Smiley, who said the bill would allow people on probation “to get the relief to which they have a right.”



Federal Politicians Announce Commonsense Tax Reform For Legal Marijuana Businesses

Category: News | Posted on Fri, April, 10th 2015 by THCFinder
marijuana taxes tax


Today, Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-03) and Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) announced plans to introduce bicameral legislation next week that would reconcile state marijuana laws and federal tax law. The Small Business Tax Equity Act, which was introduced last Congress by Congressman Blumenauer, would create an exception to Internal Revenue Code Section 280E to allow marijuana businesses operating in compliance with state law to take deductions associated with the sale of marijuana like any other legal business.
“More than two-thirds of Americans now live in jurisdictions that have legalized either the medical or adult use of marijuana. It’s time for the federal government to catch up,” said Congressman Blumenauer. “Section 280E creates an unequal and unrealistic tax burden on these businesses. I’m excited to work with Senator Wyden in introducing the Small Business Tax Equity Act, which would bring much needed fairness and level the playing field for small businesses that follow state laws and create jobs.”

“Our legislation would provide an overdue update to federal tax law, which has not caught up to the fact that it’s 2015 and Oregonians have voted both to legalize medical marijuana and to regulate marijuana for recreational use,” Senator Wyden said. “This is a question of standing up for the people of Oregon, and ensuring that the federal government respects the decision Oregonians have made at the ballot box.”

Twenty-three states, the District of Columbia and Guam have passed laws allowing for the legal use of medical marijuana. An additional 12 states have passed laws allowing the use of low-THC forms of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions. In many of these jurisdictions, patients can access medicine safely through state-regulated dispensaries.

The federal tax code, however, prohibits anyone selling Schedule I or Schedule II substances from deducting business expenses associated with the sale of marijuana from their taxes. Marijuana is a Schedule I substance. Therefore, even businesses operating in compliance with state law are not allowed to deduct the common expenses of running a small business, such as rent, most utilities and payroll. They cannot claim the Work Opportunity Tax Credit if they hire a veteran, and they are limited in lawful deductions relating to construction or operation costs if they want to remodel a building for their retail operations.

In certain circumstances, legal marijuana businesses can pay federal income tax rates at nearly 90 percent, while the U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that many small businesses pay an effective rate of around 20 percent.

“Congress never intended to impose a gross receipts tax – and that’s pretty much what we have here – on legal business owners decades in the future,” said Grover Norquist, President of Americans for Tax Reform. “The intent of the law was to go after criminals, not law abiding job creators. Congress needs to step up and clarify that this provision has become a case study in unintended consequences.”

“The small businesses that make up the legal cannabis industry are working overtime to be responsible, contributing members of their communities,” said Aaron Smith, Executive Director of the National Cannabis Industry Association. “So it’s particularly outrageous that when they to do the right thing by paying their federal taxes, they end up penalized with double and triple tax rates. Instead of being able to create more jobs, increase salaries, or add benefits for their employees, these businesses are being forced to send more than two-thirds of their profits straight to the federal government. Rep. Blumenauer and Sen. Wyden are standing up for fairness and support for small business – something everyone should applaud. We certainly do.”




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