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Study Finds Marijuana Does Not Lead to Violent Behavior

A new study conducted at University of Tennessee and Florida State University finds that marijuana does not seem to have any correlation to violent behavior.

Additional studies by the same authors found that the grass is always greener on the other side, and that planting trees often leads to reforestation.  I jest.  But the first study was real.  Personally, I assumed it was a satire the first time I skimmed the study.  When I got to the end, and there was no punch line, I realized that this was the real deal.  Not just one University, but two, actually found it necessary to fund such a study.  Either the researchers involved were marijuana savvy and thought it best to put forth an earnest study on the safety of cannabis in order to clean the slate for those opposed, or they were genuinely curious whether marijuana was a violence inducing drug.

The study followed  67 college-age men in intimate relationships over a period of three months.  The men journaled about their days including any substance use and any sexual, psychological or physical aggression that occurred.  The researchers analyzed the data looking for any overlap between drug and alcohol use and aggressive behavior.   Not surprisingly the study found a strong correlation between alcohol use and all three types of violence, whereas cannabis got off scot free.

“Our findings were consistent with theoretical models of alcohol use and IPV (intimate partner violence), and previous research, in that the odds of psychological, physical, and sexual aggression were all increased subsequent to alcohol use… marijuana was unrelated to IPV.”

There haven’t been many studies on the subject of marijuana and violence.  Maybe because marijuana research is underfunded and over- regulated, or maybe because it’s clearer than day that marijuana doesn’t make people violent, if anything it has a calming effect on most.

Just in case you are still worried about getting jumped outside a phish show, here is some information from a study conducted at the University  of Texas at Dallas:

“The central finding gleaned from the present study was that MML (medical marijuana legalization) is not predictive of higher crime rates and may be related to reductions in rates of homicide and assault. Interestingly, robbery and burglary rates were unaffected by medicinal marijuana legislation, which runs counter to the claim that dispensaries and grow houses lead to an increase in victimization due to the opportunity structures linked to the amount of drugs and cash that are present.”

 

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Stone-age Stoners; Is Marijuana Paleo?

Did cavemen smoke weed?  The paleo folk are looking for answers and guidance.

You may be familiar with the increasingly popular “paleo diet”.  Contrary to just about the entire history of earth friendly, health conscious, hippy noshing diets, the paleo diet is mostly meat, fish, vegetables and fruits.  You may be wondering why anyone who loves their body and their planet would partake in such a hedonistic meat frenzy.  Well, the theory behind it is that humans developed for several hundred thousand years to exist on a particular diet, namely the aforementioned foods.  For optimal health, humans should eat whatever our Paleolithic ancestors were presumed to eat.  Any food which was introduced after the advent of agriculture, as in grains, pulses, and dairy is not something our humanoid digestive systems were meant to process.

Paleo folks are lacking an authentic tradition on marijuana.  Is it healthy? Are our bodies evolutionarily acclimated to ganja?  Would cavemen enjoy getting high? We need to know. Many of us have looked outside ourselves for guidance on how to maximize our marijuana experiences.  Should I puff on a full stomach or on an empty stomach?  How much of what kind is optimal for a meditative experience?  Would Jesus do it?  Is it true that the manna in the dessert was actually marijuana?  You can essentially divide the paleo/marijuana conundrum into two camps.

  • Did cavemen actually smoke marijuana?  Because if they did, PALEO! But if they didn’t NOT PALEO!
  • Can marijuana use be a part of optimal health?  Because the essence of the paleo lifestyle is attaining optimal health.

As far as whether cavemen got high in the igloos while holding clubs and wearing tiger skin cloaks held together by a dainty saber-tooth just above the right shoulder is really just speculation.  The earliest evidence of human marijuana use dates back only several thousand years.  It does seem, however, that paleo purists give the green light to green buds because they are plants used in an unprocessed form.  If you pick a flower and heat it or eat it, that’s pretty darn old school.

As far as the healthy body-centric paleo people go, it’s controversial.  Yes, weed used medicinally through vapor or edibles on rare occasion is widely accepted.  But getting high because its, well, awesomely fun, most agree that it is definitively un-paleo.  The most compelling argument I read on the matter purported that to be in optimal health, one must be in complete control over their appetites and desires, and marijuana loosens those frameworks, making one susceptible to lethargy, munching, and disdainful weight gain.

So, modern cavemen, the ball is in your court.  Will you be stone-age squares or stone-age stoners?

 

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jesus-christ_smoking

What would Jesus have smoked ?

Internet users perusing the pages of American Christian blogs in recent months may have noticed the considerable buzz surrounding the sweeping movement of legal medical marijuana in more and more American states.  Pastors and Educators traditionally pushed the argument against marijuana smoking by citing Paul’s letter to the Galatians, where he states that Christians must follow the law of the land. In whatever country marijuana is an illegal substance, it is unchristian to consume it.  But in light of legalization, these pastures are  forced to face the issue from new angles.  Is smoking marijuana inherently un-Christian, inherently sinful?  If so, how is it different to alcohol?  How does it differ other medications such as aspirin or narcotic pain killers?  Is it ok in a medical context only? Here is a selection of spirited responses from various Christian leaders as they attempt to come to terms with their flocks new green pastures.

My interest in the subject began with Texas’ state representative David Simpsons call to reconsider the harsh ban on marijuana by claiming that this ban is un-Christian.  As he put it, “The Bible warns against excessive eating, drinking and sleeping (proverbs 23:21), but it doesn’t ban the activities or substances or conditions associated with them – alcohol, food and fatigue.  Elsewhere, feasting and wine are recognized as blessings from God.” and “Civil government should value everything God made and leave people alone unless they meddle with their neighbor.”

A nameless blogger for  “grace church” wrote an impressive article about how, obviously, when in a state where marijuana is not legal, a Christian should never partake because…

  1. Christians are not commanded to use marijuana in the Bible.
  2. Christians are commanded to obey their governing authorities.
  3. Where the governing authorities prohibit an action that the Bible does not command us to do, we are under obligation to obey them just as much as we are under obligation to obey the direct and specific commands of the Bible.

He then went on to quote an impressive lists of the awful and deadly side effects of cannabis use which, if true, would obviously be abhorred by all well-wishers alike, but which, I’m happy to report, are not backed up by science at all.  This blog most accurately summed up the majority of my online searches.  It’s summarizing statement was simply “Therefore, since any use of marijuana robs the individual of their ability to control themselves at that moment and since long-term marijuana use physically harms the user, we believe that a Christian must never use marijuana…. we conclude that it would be sinful for a Christian to sell or otherwise distribute marijuana to others.”

Most online pastures maintained that getting high is just a bad thing for Christians to do because, well…pot is evil.  But one pastor, Ben Tartin, stands out in his willingness to look a little deeper. He claims the question should not be “what are you smoking” but rather “why are you smoking weed”?  It is wrong and un-Christian to use marijuana to escape reality or to numb yourself to your life.  It is not inherently un-Christian to use marijuana to ease the pain of neurological disorders.  While he doesn’t say recreational marijuana use is un-Christian, while medical use is fine, he does say, “We need to listen carefully, with Bible-transformed ears to hear the plights of our fellow men and women. Dumping a 750 ml jug of wine into a lonely woman’s gut on a gloomy day is very different than the same bottle of wine sipped into the same tummy during her wedding celebration with friends and family…”

The “what” question pulls us backwards, toward the lifeless power of Johnny Law. But the “why” question spurs us forward, toward the living freedom of Jesus Love. You have heard it said, “Thou shalt not be ‘blazin’ the ganja.” But I say to you that everyone who seeks pleasure outside of the gospel loses his life.”  He says that we should stop asking the question “Am I allowed to” because that is a legal question and Jesus doesn’t care.  The question should be “Is this good for me and for my neighbour?”  The answer to that will lead you to be a good Christian.   A young Christian pot-smoker should be asking him/herself “How will my smoking pot profit my neighbour both spiritually and physically”.  This leaves it open, maybe not intentionally, to the individuals personal stance on medical marijuana.   It is hard to argue with a medicine that works, although certainly different sects have varying approaches towards modern medicine.  He did, however, go one to write about how  we should love others the way that Jesus loved others, and how Jesus did not care about making himself more comfortable, only about complete self sacrifice of his life and happiness for the sake of humanity.  I must admit, I am not a Christian, and I don’t know much about Christian theology, but I gather here that he might be implying that healing oneself with medicine is not necessarily the ultimate good.

In Christianity Today, Pastor Ben Tartin summed up his sentiments in these closing statements  “And finally, I will lead them to the Bible in all I say and do. Oversimplification looms large from any angle, and subjective anecdotes will flood most people’s minds like a tsunami. Hear me now: You cannot debate this issue with physical science, social science, or strained comparisons to alcohol and other substances. We must trust the transforming power of God’s Word to ground the Christian ethic. Expose the Scriptures to your people; it will train them to love others and the Lord their God in all that they think, in all that they do, and, yes, in all that they smoke.”  I think that’s pretty awesome.

 

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The Marijuana Miracle; How Can One Plant Heal Everything?

Marijuana is currently regarded as being a heal-all.  How is it that one little plant can do so much?  Let me start with the argument against.  It is true that a plethora of research is pointing towards marijuana being an effective drug in treating ailments in just about every part of the brain and body.  It’s a lot like that dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding who sprays Windex on everything.

There is a research trend that I find somewhat disturbing, but also mysteriously beautiful.  Someone comes up with a theory.  Researches all around the world hear about this theory and find it intriguing.  They set up their own double blind controlled experiments and lo and behold they get the same response.

This trend continues for a good decade, study after study showing the same results.  And then, something disturbing happens.  It stops working.  No one knows why, but new research keeps showing the opposite effect.  Studies that were repeated over and over again, always showing positive results, start showing negative results.

Now nothing according to the old theory seems to work.  This trend has occurred many times.  No one really knows why, but the best guess is this; the hopes and desires of scientists somehow seep into the research.  Double blind double blind but at the end of the day the hopes of the researchers can’t help but influence the results.  Maybe this occurs on a psychic level or maybe it is actually minute details of the research that made it fixed in the first place but that no one could see because of the excitement.

I have heard people claim that this is what is happening with marijuana research.  We are so excited that we are inadvertently creating the results we want.

Let me tell you why I don’t believe that to be the case with weed.  All throughout our bodies, tiny receptors are waiting to be activated or de-activated by endogenic neurotransmitters (produced by our bodies) or compounds that we consume which are analogous or antagonist to those neurotransmitters.  The vast majority of these systems, like the ones controlling milk production or menstruation in females, are localized to the area they effect.  The endocannabinoid system, the one effected by marijuana, is found all over the body.  Cannabinoid receptors are in fact the most abundant in the entire human body, spread across nearly every organ, including our skin!  That means that our body has the infrastructure to be effected by THC, CBD and all the other glorious little compounds found in that good green medicine all over!  That’s why weed can effect the mind, the heart, the skin, the liver, the pain receptors… the list goes on and on.  Because our body is teeming with cannabinoid receptors.

This means that when we consume marijuana, it’s active components are literally effecting our ENTIRE body.  I think that fact demands respect, awe and humility towards one of the finest medicinal herbs our Creator placed on this earth.

 

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Green cream ice-cream

Marijuana Ice Cream , Enjoy a Cone

The stoner community is positively beside themselves with glee at the mere suggestion that Ben & Jerry’s could possibly consider producing a marijuana ice cream. Co-Founder of our beloved frozen dairy treat, Ben Cohen, said in an interview that he would consider being open to a psycho-active flavor.  Jerry Greenfield, his partner in “crime” agreed that it would be cool, but added “If it were my decision we’d be doing it, but thankfully we have wiser heads at the company.”

The Vermont company is not new to controversy.  They have often taken a stance on social and environmental issues and have been known to nod at hippy counter culture as in the case of Cherry Garcia and Wavy Gravy.

Despite their apparent enthusiasm for a pot infused ice cream flavor, I don’t recommend holding your breath.  If you are nonetheless eager to obtain your high from ice cream, here is a do it yourself option;

Ingredients

25 grams of butter
18 fluid ounces Single Cream
75 grams coconut sugar
A Pinch of salt
1/4 Ounce Crumbled hash or 10 grams crushed bud
2 or 3 Bananas
3 Tablespoons Rum
5 Tablespoons Agave, Maple Syrup, Honey, or any liquid sweetener of your choice

Directions

If you have access to some good hash, I highly recommend using hash for this recipe.  If you don’t,  crushed bud will do just fine.

If you have a double boiler, start by heating the cream.  If you don’t have a double boiler, you can put the cream in a pot and place that pot inside a pot of boiling water.  This keeps the cream from burning while you heat it just till it almost boils.

In a separate saucepan, heat the butter with the sugar and salt.  Heat the hash on a small flame like that of a lighter and crumble it into the butter mixture.  With your third arm, stir all the while.

Wisk the cream into the butter mixture.

In a large bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.  Then stir in the rum, liquid sweetener, and cream/hash mixture.  Beat well with electric mixer if you have one.

Pour the entire mixture into a plastic Tupperware and place in the freezer.  Let it sit for a few hours, until it gets mushy.  Then, using a spatula, move the mixture into a bowl that has been stored in the freezer and mix it as much as possible.  This step keeps the ingredients from separating into separate layers.  Return to freezer and wait till it’s set, or else repeat step every hour or so until it’s no longer possible.

You can add all sorts of interesting ingredients for variety, but I don’t recommend adding fruit as that will make your ice cream icy rather than creamy.

ENJOY!

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Dr Allan Shackelford - One World Cannabis

Israel – exporting Cannabis knowledge

In the 1960’s, Raphael Mechoulam, a young organic chemist residing in Jerusalem, discovered THC and its endogenous counterpart anandamide.  In the 1960’s, as well as today, Israel stands at the forefront of marijuana research.  Carrying the legacy of his name, researchers recently named a new strain of marijuana “Rafael”, which is also the name of the archangel of healing.  Rafael alleviates many ailments, but does not get you high, which may sound like a bummer to stoners, but for people who need constant marijuana treatment and who may not be interested in spending the rest of their lives in an altered state of consciousness, it’s a Godsend.  In a previous post I wrote about how for certain brain chemistries, marijuana can cause confusion, paranoia or depression, now people who suffer those side effects from marijuana can take an oral dose of Rafael to treat themselves with the wonder drug.

Recently Americans have woken up to some pretty strange “coincidences” in the United State’s cannabis policies.  While we are happy to report that 25 states have legalized medical marijuana, marijuana is still illegal for medical use in half of the country’s states.  The federal government classifies marijuana as a Schedule I substance which means that it is considered to have zero medical benefits.  Meanwhile, the government holds the patent on certain medical uses of CBD and are themselves are issuing reports on different medical uses of CBD.  Driving the hypocrisy right home, the U.S. greatly limits clinical research on medical pot for universities and other research organizations, making it nearly impossible for scientists to conduct research as they see fit.  Take for example, Professor of botany, Lyle Craker of the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  He applied for a permit from the DEA to study cannabis in 2001.  He was denied that year and every single year since because, as the Drug Enforcement Agency put it, it is a controlled substance with zero medical benefits.  

Israel, on the other hand, has become a bastion for medical marijuana research.  Indeed considered to be the world leader where scientists can research anything they see fit. Due to the discrepancies between the two countries permissiveness when it comes to research, some Physicians have relocated to Israel where the government does not interfere with the integrity of their research.  America’s Dr. Alan Shackelford, also known as Dr. Cannabis, is one of these people.

Dr. Shackelford serves as the head of One World Cannabis, an American Israeli merger company that trades on the Nasdaq exchange as OWC Pharmaceutical Research. He says, “There’s definitely a medical benefit, and it’s not highly addictive, and the abuse potential is there. But the abuse potential is there for legal pharmaceuticals, like narcotic pain medicines. And the abuse of narcotics can be dangerous, because people die from overdoses of narcotics. No one has ever died of a cannabis overdose.”  He is partially responsible for the swayed public opinion on medical cannabis away from taboo and towards acceptance. OWC is currently working on designing accurately dosed marijuana pills – a project is being funded by Australian company Phytotech.  Even though many products are claiming to have specific dosages, that is largely false advertising and is very inconsistent.  OWC is researching specific conditions and identifying which cannabinoid profile is best suited for treatment.  They hope to provide pharmaceutical grade, consistent dosing forms.

While Israel is currently home to the most advanced marijuana expertise in the world, it is not yet legal to export any medicinal cannabis, even in liquid oral doses.  Israel’s climate and know-how could allow it to join the global market  alongside Canada and The Netherlands, but with relatively inexpensive exports.  The current price of medical cannabis, as dictated by Holland, is 7.8 Euro per gram.  Israel could supply it at about 2.6 Euro per gram, that’s about one third the going rate.  At present, there are only eight legal marijuana farms growing medical pot in Israel, but that number is expected to grow.

So why isn’t Israel exporting ?  While the ministries of health and agriculture are on board, the countries police and army do not want the reputation of ‘international drug dealers’.  But while Israel can’t export the green goods themselves, they can export knowledge, by their continuation of the free publishing of  much of their medical cannabis research.

Israel has developed industry specific equipment, new strains, and special techniques for growing which controls properties of the plant including the concentration of different active compounds and Israeli growers are often hired as consultants for growers around the world.  One Israeli grower, who is considering moving his operation to Europe, said  “The medical cannabis market is growing at a fast pace… It’s a market of billions that ought to be taken seriously by the Economy Ministry for its export potential.”

Gastroenterologist Timna Naftali treats patients suffering from Crohn’s disease at Meir Hospital.  In 2011 she decided to take a chance and treat 30 patients with medical marijuana.  She was skeptical, but “the results were dramatic, They didn’t need steroids or surgery or hospitalization.” In Israel, patients ailed with Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, basal cell carcinoma, Parkinson’s, cancer pain, PTSD for war vets and many more can be treated with marijuana.  Patients have their choice of ingestion, ranging from sweet treats like cookies or chocolates to smoking or vaporizing.

In 1992, a person suffering from severe asthma received the first treatment of medical marijuana in Israel.  In the last 20 years the number of Israelis being treated with medical marijuana has grown to 20,000 and that number is expected to grow exponentially in coming years as Israeli research reaches new horizons.

Picture – Dr. Allan Shackelford, One World Cannabis

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munchies_WEB

Marijuana Munchies and Anti-Munchies

Marijuana was hailed as a medicinal plant as early as 2737 B.C.E. by Chinese emperor Shen Nung.  World spread “quickly” and by 1000 BCE Indians recorded ganja’s medical benefits.  Not long after in 500 B.C.E. the ancient Greeks were treating their ills with cannabis.  But when did people start getting high for the sake of feeling high?  The oldest records we have are from Greece in the year 430 B.C.E. when Herodotus of Halicarnassus described the use of inhaling cannabis smoke at funerals.  Muslims in North Africa were packing their hash pipes as early as 1000 C.E.  and the Spaniards brought their sinsemilla to the New world no later than 1545 C.E.  And that’s not even talking about hemp rope!

Marijuana has an amazing way of interacting with the human body.  THC and other cannabinoids cross the BBB (blood brain barrier) and connect with receptors CB1 and CB2 all over the brain.  These cannabinoid receptors are the most common type of receptor in the human body as far as we know.

Cannabinoids bind with these receptors (whose endogenous neurotransmitters are anandamide and 2-AG) and cause such a wide array of reactions.  Marijuana can be slightly stimulating, mildly depressive, sleep inducing, appetite enhancing, even hallucinogenic.  Since phytocannabinoids (cannabinoids synthesized in plants) and endocannabinoids (cannabinoids synthesized in the body) bind to the same receptors and cause similar outcomes,  there is much we can learn about the medical (and recreational) use of marijuana by studying the endocannabinoid system.

One interesting example is the non-munchies weight loss pill.  Scientists understood that activating CB receptors in certain parts of the brain made pot-heads want to get their snack on.  Who hasn’t been there?  So what if the munchies receptors were blocked by synthetic inhibitors?  Then wouldn’t fat people enjoy a kind of natural appetite suppressant?  An anti-munchies?  Well, Pharma made the pill and indeed the pounds melted off.  But so did the joy.  Turns out the endocannabinoid system is one of the systems that are primary in maintaining happiness. These people weren’t just a little less happy, they were severely depressed.   And so the drug never hit the market, and heavy happy people are still munching their days away thanks to anandamides or THC, choose your poison.

The function of the endocannabinoid system (ECS for short) is far beyond what scientists have discovered thus far.  Although we do not typically consider ganja to be good for the brain, new research is emerging showing that engaging the ECS with phytocannabinoids (aka, smoking, eating, vaporizing or drinking pot) can actually prevent stroke, improve memories and prevent neuro- inflammation.   

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bekaa valley2

Marijuana Farmers Versus Isis

Amidst  the chaos and brutality of the “Holy” war in Syria and Iraq,  sectarian conflict has brought a change in fortunes to the Lebanese marijuana farmers of the Bekaa valley.  The ancient proverb “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” has long been a foundation of middle east politics.

Though the valley is only 30 km. (19 miles) from Beirut, and is the heartland of Lebanon’s arable land, it is a border region, with the reaches of the Syrian desert to the north, and the nigh impassable Anti-Lebanon mountains to the east. This has long made the valley the home of fugitives and refugees, bandits and rebel armies, and , at least since the Classical age, the redoubt of drug farmers, notably growers of opium poppies and marijuana.

The Republic Of Lebanon, established by the French Mandate in 1943, was a bold and perhaps doomed attempt at creating a multi-cultural democracy made up of four religious/ethnic groups; the Maronite Christians, the Druze, and  both Sunni and Shiite Muslims.  All these groups had a complex and war-torn history, and from 1970, the country has been in an almost constant state of war, with its civil war, an invasion of Palestinian militias, the Israeli and multinational invasion, the rise of the Shiite terrorist group Hezbollah, the Syrian occupation, and on and on. This state of chaos and shifting balances of power allowed an extensive network of marijuana and poppy plantations to thrive in the Bekaa valley. The farms export their crops, primarily throughout the middle east, but also throughout the world. “Lebanese Pollen, white and gold” were marijuana strains and hash products that became famous in the weed scene of the 60’s and 70’s.

The farms and farming clans are allied with various rebel groups and armies, particularly the Shiite Hezbollah.  For many years the Lebanese army has run yearly operations, utilizing thousands of ground troops to arrest farmers and destroy crops and equipment. This is Lebanon though, and the farmers themselves are veteran warriors of the various decades of conflict and they are well-armed with vehicle mounted machine guns, rocket launchers, rocket-propelled grenades and more.

With the rise of Isis and the Nusra Front and other fundamentalist Islamic armies in Syria and Iraq, the picture suddenly looks very different. The Lebanese army now appreciates the presence of these hardened pot farmers on the Syrian border. Indeed, militias of farmers, knowing that their lives and livelihoods are threatened by the approaching Sunni armies have already participated in border battles, holding back the onslaught.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”, indeed, and for now, the marijuana fields of the bekaa are safe, while the armies of Lebanon turn their attention to their wrathful foes to the east.

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Capsules

Marijuana – safest therapeutic drug

The Safety Profile of Medical Cannabis

By Suzanna Mountain

Scientists and Archeologists are in agreement, ancients cultivated cannabis for medical, psychedelic and divinatory use.  Marijuana has remained in use worldwide for the same purposes till today.  In 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act put an end to all forms of legal pot use in America.  The illegality of cannabis was reaffirmed in 1970 when it was officially classified as a Schedule I substance, a classification reserved only for drugs which have no medicinal value, are highly addictive, and are not safe for medical use under the supervision of a medical professional.  This is the most severe drug classification there is. Even as medical and recreational legality spread across the nation,  the Obama administration has made it clear that there is no reason to even review cannabis’ classification.

Meanwhile, research on the medical benefits of marijuana are ground breaking on every front.  No justification for marijuana’s classification as a Schedule I substance have arisen.  Just the opposite.  With over 20,000 peer reviewed articles published on the medical benefits of marijuana, it is becoming apparent that marijuana is the miracle drug many people suffering from a wide variety of ailments have been looking for.

“Evidence is accumulating that cannabinoids may be useful medicine for certain indications. … The classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug as well as the continuing controversy as to whether or not cannabis is of medical value are obstacles to medical progress in this area. Based on evidence currently available the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.” – published in Open Neurology Journal in 2012

Marijuana is arguably the safest therapeutic drug available.  It is impossible to consume a fatal dose regardless of potency.  According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “There are no recorded cases of overdose fatalities attributed to cannabis, and the estimated lethal dose for humans extrapolated from animal studies is so high that it cannot be achieved by … users.” Studies at McGill University found that even the medical use of THC and CBD extracts in much higher concentrations than found in cannabis plant matter itself rarely led to adverse affects.

This is of course not to suggest that marijuana is entirely harmless.  Certain types of psychological instability can be triggered or worsened by cannabis use.  People with decreased lung function should of course steer clear of excessive smoke inhalation.  But it must be said, overall, a safer pain killer is not available.

 

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Government hypocrisy over marijuana patent

Do as We Say Not As We Do

The Federal government of the United States currently classifies Marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug.  In order to be classified as such, the feds are claiming that marijuana has a high potential for abuse, cannot provide any medical benefits, and that the drug cannot be used safely under medical supervision.  This legal classification of marijuana warrants the exorbitant use of government funds (read: our tax dollars) to fight the cultivation, distribution and use of the harmless green weed.  Not to mention the horrifying statistics about overcrowding in jails;  the amount of marijuana related “criminals” doing time, and the disproportionate number of single mothers, Blacks and Hispanics doing jail time for weed crime.   Why would our government waste so much time and money to fight a drug that NO ONE HAS EVER DIED FROM? They must truly believe that this substance is a drug which has a high potential for abuse and cannot provide any medical benefit.  Right?

Surprisingly, or more accurately, hypocritically, an excerpt from the US government patents on Marijuana states the following: “Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.”

Meet US Patent 6630507. The U.S. government patented marijuana for medical use in 2003.  For 12 years, people have been going to jail for the use of a drug on which the U.S. owns the medical patent .  The injustice of the government who holds a medical patent on marijuana jailing people for using it is too great for the flag holders of the Western World.

The Federal Government is talking out of both sides of its mouth.  On one hand, it holds this patent.  On the other hand, a FDA spokeswoman recently claimed that “smoked marijuana has no currently accepted or proven medical use in the United States and is not an approved medical treatment.”

Why are they being so deceptive?  Who stands to benefit from such hypocrisy?

Finding a plant is a discovery, not an invention.  So the laws of plant patents are rather specific.  It would not be accurate to say that the government holds a patent on marijuana.  Rather, the government has a patent on particular medial applications of a class of cannabinoids.  Cannabinoids that are non-psychoactive compounds both naturally occurring in cannabis and synthetically reproduced. The implication of the governments patent are mostly financial for them.  No one can legally treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke, and diseases caused by oxidative stress, such as heart attack, Crohn’s disease, diabetes and arthritis with cannabinoids without paying the government.  The ethics of such a patent, no matter who it belongs to, are debatable.

(Not) Surprisingly, the government has strict control over what cannabis related research universities can conduct.   Even when a campus does get the green light for green studies, they must obtain their weed from a government approved source.

 

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