marijuana

Tell me again why this drug is illegal

Cannabis is an amazing natural substance. Forget the traditional psychoactive effects of the drug and look at the increasing findings of beneficial use of the drug.

It has now been discovered that cannabis is beneficial for halting the march of Alzheimer’s disease.

Memory loss, decline in brain function and communication skills are all clear indicators of Alzheimer’s disease. But the brain’s chemistry begins to change long before these telltale signs appear through the accumulation of what are known as amyloid beta proteins. These proteins go on to form brain plaques that correspond with the neurodegenerative disease, but what if it were possible to intervene somehow? Scientists are reporting that exposure to certain compounds in marijuana can cleanse the brain of harmful amyloid beta cells, offering up new clues as to how we might stop the disease in its early stages.

While we are learning more about Alzheimer’s everyday, with new insights into its destructive forces, the development of potential blood tests and treatments to reverse its symptoms being just a few recent breakthroughs in the area, there’s a whole lot we still don’t know.

How exactly the amyloid beta proteins give rise to plaques and in turn wreak havoc on the brain isn’t entirely clear, but that hasn’t stopped researchers working to avert the process altogether. The development of natural molecules, debris-clearing proteins and drugs inspired by snake venom have all shown promise as tools to stop or slow the buildup of plaques.   Read more »

Legalisation does NOT lead to an increase in young people smoking weed

The Washington Post reports:

Rates of marijuana use among Colorado’s teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the state’s voters legalized marijuana in 2012, new survey data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows.

In 2015, 21 percent of Colorado youths had used marijuana in the past 30 days. That rate is slightly lower than the national average and down slightly from the 25 percent who used marijuana in 2009, before legalization. The survey was based on a random sample of 17,000 middle and high school students in Colorado.

“The survey shows marijuana use has not increased since legalization, with four of five high school students continuing to say they don’t use marijuana, even occasionally,” the Colorado health department said in a news release.

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What do you think the biggest health risk is from consuming cannabis?

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Peter Dunne refuses to consider medicinal cannabis reform

It is time. Peter Dunne has served his purpose, which we have all forgotten what it was, but he’s served it nonetheless.

Time the electoral bus ran him over.

There won’t be any major changes to the current process for approving the use of medicinal cannabis products in New Zealand, following consultation with medical experts.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne asked officials in March to look at whether the current guidelines for assessing applications to prescribe cannabis-based products, including the need for ministerial sign-off, were still fit for purpose.

“The feedback received was unanimously supportive that the guidelines and process are sound,” said Mr Dunne on Thursday.

“The consistent feedback from experts in their field was that cannabis-based products should be treated no differently to other medicines — evidence-based principles should and will continue to be followed.”    Read more »

Colorado Marijuana reform wins over its most vocal opponent

As our politicians suddenly discover their voices on cannabis reform it might do well to note what Colorado’s governor has to say on the issue.

When Colorado voted to legalize recreational marijuana four years ago, one of the move’s chief critics was Gov. John Hickenlooper.

The moderate Democrat said that if he could “wave a magic wand” to reverse the decision, he would. Then he called voters “reckless” for approving it in the first place, a remark he later downgraded to “risky.”

“Colorado is known for many great things,” Hickenlooper said. “Marijuana should not be one of them.”

But the governor’s views have softened. During a recent panel discussion at the Milken Institute Global Conference in Los Angeles, he said that despite opposing the legalization of pot, his job was to “deliver on the will of the people of Colorado.”

“If I had that magic wand now, I don’t know if I would wave it,” he said. “It’s beginning to look like it might work.”

It was the latest in a series of comments Hickenlooper has made signaling what looks like an evolution of his views on marijuana. In April last year, during an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo, Hickenlooper said legal weed was “not as vexing as we thought it was going to be.”

And during an appearance on “60 Minutes,” he predicted that Colorado might “actually create a system that could work” in successfully regulating marijuana.

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Government asleep at the medical marijuana wheel

Has Labour finally managed to pick a winner?

Labour will legislate for medicinal cannabis “pretty quickly” after taking office, leader Andrew Little has confirmed.

Little said cannabis products should be available to anyone suffering chronic pain or a terminal condition if their GP signed off on it.

Labour MP Damien O’Connor has drafted a bill for Parliament that would shift the onus of decision making on medicinal cannabis away from the minister to GPs and medical professionals.

Currently individual applications must first get ministerial approval for medicinal cannabis. The first Kiwi to do so was teenager Alex Renton who died shortly after approval was given.    Read more »

Helen Kelly is the next to call out Peter Dunne’s bullshit

It is a red-letter day when Helen Kelly and I are on the same side.

Former CTU head Helen Kelly has labelled Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne’s speech on drug reform “dishonest”.

Her battle to access medicinal cannabis for her terminal lung cancer has unfolded publicly.

She’s currently taking cannabis products she sources illegally to relieve her pain.

Ms Kelly says the product she took last night made her violently ill, and she and other sufferers need a product that’s specialist-approved.

“I’m dying, and it’s considered not good enough for me because somehow it’s going to harm me, it’s ludicrous.”    Read more »

Community minded cops lighten the mood in Turangi

The cops in Turangi are really good with their community involvement sharing their weed with the community.

Grocery shoppers in Turangi on Friday could have been forgiven for thinking they were extras in a Cheech and Chong movie production.

Billowing clouds of marijuana-scented smoke were wafting across from the town’s police station, over the road and into the car park outside the New World supermarket.

Police bosses have apologised to the townsfolk for the accidental inundation of dope-laden vapours, which were emanating from a furnace at the police station where a recently-acquired haul of the illegal harvest was being incinerated.

However their fuming faux pas won’t be forgotten for a while, thanks to video footage shot by a bemused passer-by.

New Plymouth man Adam Green posted a video on Instagram and Facebook of the cannabis clouds drifting past him.    Read more »

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Peter Dunne should not be the person who makes medical decisions

In refusing to act on legalisation and putting in place a regime for synthetic cannabis but not including organic cannabis under that same regime Peter Dunne isn’t really the best person to be making decisions on medicinal cannabis on a case by case.

A cannabis-based product has been approved for a patient with severe Tourette’s Syndrome by the Associate Health Minister.

Peter Dunne has approved the use of the non-pharmaceutical grade product Aceso Calm Spray following an application from the person’s treating consultant.

It was chosen based on its low THC content.

Mr Dunne says the product was chosen over Sativex, a product shown to be effective in treating the condition, because of the reduced psychoactive side-effects.

“The application was comprehensive, innovative and considered.”    Read more »

Photo Of The Day

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High Times

 The Sisters of Cannabis

Self-proclaimed Nuns Fervently Fight for their Right to Grow Cannabis

The Sisters of the Valley’s “abbey” is a modest three-bedroom house on the outskirts of Merced, in a cul-de-sac next to the railroad tracks. (Sister Kate calls the frequent noise from passing trains “part of our penance”.) When visitors come to the door, Sister Kate asks them to wait outside until she can “sage” them with the smoke from a piece of wood from a Russian tree given to her by a shaman.

Sister Kate lives here with her “second sister”, Sister Darcy, and her youngest son.

But these aren’t your average nuns. The women grow marijuana in the garage, produce cannabidiol tinctures and salves in crockpots in the kitchen, and sell the merchandise through an Etsy store. (Cannabidiol, or CBD, is one of the active ingredients in marijuana that is prized for medicinal qualities and is not psychoactive.) The women perform their tasks wearing long denim skirts, white collared shirts and nun’s habits. And while their “order” is small – last week they ordained their third member, a marijuana grower in Mendocino County known as Sister Rose – they share the same dream as many California startup founders: scaling.

The sisters say they are in touch with women in New Jersey and Washington state who may be interested in joining up. “They’re out buying jean skirts and white blouses,” said Sister Kate. “We want there to be women in every city selling medicine.”

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