Switzerland May Soon Legalize Medical Marijuana

The Swiss government on Wednesday put forth a proposal to legalize marijuana as prescription medicine.

The proposal would allow prescriptions for marijuana to treat cancer and other serious ailments report Reuters. Separate from a Swiss government push to allow some cities to experiment with recreational marijuana, the proposition would replace the current system in which those seeking medical cannabis must apply for an exception from the Federal Health Office to get what is otherwise an illegal drug.

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Marijuana is Safe and Effective in Treating Fibromyalgia, Says Study

According to new research, the use of marijuana is a safe and effective treatment for those with fibromyalgia.

The study, titled Safety and efficacy of medical cannabis in fibromyalgia, was published by the Journal of Clinical Medicine and was published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

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Illinois Legalizes Marijuana

Illinois has officially become the 11th U.S. state to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes.

As reported by the Associated Press, Illinois’ new governor signed the legislation into law today making his state the 11th to approve marijuana for recreational use in a program offering legal remedies and economic benefits to minorities whose lives critics say were damaged by a wayward war on drugs.

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Pot in Vermont: The Latest on the Recreational Legalization Front

 

Last year was a historical moment for both the state of Vermont and the marijuana community. Vermont became the first state to legalize marijuana with a legislative vote rather than a ballot initiative.

However, it became clear quickly that the new laws weren’t as liberal as some probably would have liked. While a good first step, there is still much ground to be covered in terms of true recreational legalization.

Keep reading to discover what’s going on with Vermont’s marijuana laws and some possible changes and what they could mean in the future.

Read morePot in Vermont: The Latest on the Recreational Legalization Front

Canada’s federal and provincial governments earned C$186 million (roughly $140 million) in tax revenues from direct sales of cannabis in the first 5-1/2 months of legalization.

According to a report by Statistics Canada (first reported on by Reuters), Ottawa collected a combined C$55 million in revenue via federal excise and goods and services taxes. Provincial tax revenues were estimated at a combined C$132 million. Although this is obviously a large number, the figures were below projections, said Robyn Gibbard, an economist for the Conference Board of Canada think tank, “thanks in part to the bumpy rollout of legalization last fall.” Gibbard says; “However, we think that as the kinks are worked out, governments can expect strong growth in revenues from cannabis sales going forward”.

Read moreCanada’s federal and provincial governments earned C$186 million (roughly $140 million) in tax revenues from direct sales of cannabis in the first 5-1/2 months of legalization.

Study: Strong Majority of Hospice Professionals Support Medical Marijuana

A large majority of hospice  professionals support medical marijuana, according to a new study published in The Journal of Palliative Medicine and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

For the study – titled A survey of hospice professional regarding medical cannabis practices – researchers surveyed a nationally representative sample of 310 hospice professionals (primarily nurses) from 40 states. 91% of respondents said that they endorse medical marijuana for hospice patients. In addition, 90% stated that they have fielded questions from patients regarding medical marijuana, and 73% said that they’ve had a patient who has used it.

The study states that “[R]egardless of legal status, hospice staff overwhelmingly support patient access to MC (medical cannabis). Those who practice in states where MC is not yet legal wish that it was.”

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New Mexico Adds Opioid Use Disorder and Other Ailments as Qualifying Medical Marijuana Condition

New Mexico health officials on Thursday expanded the list of qualifying conditions for the state’s medical cannabis program to include opioid use disorder and several others, reports the Associated Press.

In addition to adding opioid use disorder, officials added Alzheimer’s disease, autism spectrum disorder and three degenerative neurological disorders.

First-year Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), a former state health secretary, campaigned on a pledge to open up the medical marijuana program to people struggling with opioid use and addiction after the previous administration rejected petitions for the change.

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Presence Of THC In Blood is Not Associated With Crash Culpability, Finds Study

According to a new study, drivers who test positive for THC do not possess a significantly increased risk of being responsible for a non-fatal motor vehicle accident.

For the study, researchers at the University of British Columbia compared the likelihood of crash responsibility in drivers testing positive for THC and/or other substances as compared to drug-free drivers over a six-year period (2010 to 2016).

As reported on by NORML, the state found that, “In this multi-site observational study of non-fatally injured drivers, we found no increase in crash risk, after adjustment for age, sex, and use of other impairing substances, in drivers with THC<5ng/ml. For drivers with THC>5ngml there may be an increased risk of crash responsibility, but this result was statistically non-significant and further study is required. … Our findings … suggest that the impact of cannabis on road safety is relatively small at present time.”

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Study: Medical Marijuana Legalization Associated With Lower Opioid Prescription Rates

According to a new study published by the journal Preventive Medicine, medical marijuana legalization is associated with reduced opioid prescription rates.

The study, titled “Association between cannabis laws and opioid prescriptions among privately insured adults in the US,” analyzed how different cannabis laws influenced the rate of opioid prescriptions among adults from different age groups in 2016.

According to High Times, who first reported on the study, researchers examined the relationships between a few different variables. First, age, breaking it up into five groups, 18-25, 26-35, 36-45, 46-55, and 56-64 years. Second, changes in state cannabis law, whether decriminalization, medical legalization, or adult-use legalization. And third, the pattern and rate of opioid prescriptions, broken down into greater than 30-day and greater than 90-day prescriptions.

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