Study: Cannabis May Treat Parkinson’s Disease and Other Movement Disorders

Cannabis have be an effective treatment option for those with Parkinson’s disease and other movement disorders, according to a new study published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.

“Cannabis and related compounds have recently been studied as promising therapeutic agents in treatment of neurodegenerative and movement disorders including Parkinson’s disease”, begins the study’s abstract. “In this review we have examined the potential benefits of medical marijuana and cannabinoids in the treatment of both motor and nonmotor symptoms as well as in slowing the progression of the disease. We have looked into any scientific evidence that indicates the potential use of marijuana and/or related compounds for the treatment of PD.”

According to researchers; “Current treatments of PD provide only relief of motor symptoms and are associated with adverse effects such as dyskinesia. In addition, these therapies do not slow the progression of the disease.” Therefore, “there is an urgent need for safer drugs that can treat both motor and nonmotor symptoms of PD as well as drugs that slow the progression of the disease.”

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Wisconsin Senate Unanimously Approves Bill to Legalize Hemp

The Wisconsin Senate has unanimously approved a measure that would legalize the production and cultivation of industrial hemp.

The Senate approved the hemp legalization measure with a vote of 33 to 0, sending it to the state’s Assembly. The Assembly is expected to pass the bill, which could happen as soon as today. If approved by the Assembly the measure would be sent to Governor Scott Walker who would have the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without his signature or vetoing it (though a veto could be overturned by a 2/3rds vote in the legislature).

Under the proposed law, a system of state licenses would be established that could be obtained by farmers in order to legally grow and cultivate hemp. The legislation initially labelled hemp as having no more than 1% THC, but the Senate amended it so that the maximum THC is 0.3%; hemp being grown above this level would be illegal.

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New Jersey Governor-Elect Vows to Legalize Marijuana in First 100 Days

New Jersey voters have elected Philip D. Murphy as their next governor.

New Jersey Governor-elect Philip Murphy.

The election of Governor-elect Murphy comes as amazing news to advocates of marijuana legalization; the former Wall Street banker says he has a plan to legalize marijuana in his first 100 days in office. If successful, New Jersey would become the 9th state to legalize marijuana for personal use.

Governor-elect Murphy’s position on legalizing marijuana couldn’t be further from the position of outgoing Governor Chris Christie, who staunchly opposes legalization and has done everything in his power to weaken the state’s medical cannabis program. Christie is leaving office with the lowest approval rating for a governor in New Jersey history.

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California Initiative Would Legalize Magic Mushrooms

Proponents of a California initiative to legalize psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms have been cleared by Secretary of State Alex Padilla to begin collecting signatures.

Psilocybin mushrooms.

Advocates of the California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative (Initiative 17-0024) are aiming to place the initiative on the 2018 general election. To do so, they must collect signatures from 365,880 registered California voters by the end of April.

If placed on the ballot and passed into law by voters, the initiative – introduced by Marina mayoral candidate Kevin Saunders – would eliminate all criminal penalties associated with magic mushrooms for those 21 and older. This includes removing penalties for “possessioin, sale, transport and cultivation of psilocybin”. If approved, California would become the first state in the U.S. to legalize magic mushrooms.

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Study: Those Who Use Psychedelics Less Likely to Commit Crimes

Consumers of psychedelics drugs such as magic mushrooms are less likely to commit various crimes, according to a new study published by the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms.

“Some evidence suggests classic psychedelics may inhibit criminal behavior, but the extent of these effects has not been comprehensively explored”, states the study’s abstract. “In this study, we tested the relationships of classic psychedelic use and psilocybin use per se with criminal behavior among over 480,000 United States adult respondents pooled from the last 13 available years of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2002 through 2014) while controlling for numerous covariates.”

Lifetime classic psychedelic use “was associated with a reduced odds of past year larceny/theft, past year assault, past year arrest for a property crime , and past year arrest for a violent crime.” In contrast, “lifetime illicit use of other drugs was, by and large, associated with an increased odds of these outcomes. Lifetime classic psychedelic use, like lifetime illicit use of almost all other substances, was associated with an increased odds of past year drug distribution.”

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California Company Becomes First to Offer Commercial Insurance to Marijuana Businesses

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has announced that for the first time legal marijuana businesses in the state now have an insurance company willing to offer them commercial insurance.

According to Jones, legal marijuana businesses are now able to purchase commercial insurance from Golden Bear Insurance Company, the first company willing to offer such services to the marijuana industry. The insurer was given approval last week to began providing commercial insurance to marijuana businesses that are explicitly following state law.

“Consumers who visit cannabis businesses, workers who work there, businesses who sell products to or rent property to cannabis businesses, and the investors, owners and operators of cannabis businesses all should have insurance coverage available to help them recover when something goes wrong just as any other legalized business does,” said commissioner Jones in a statement.

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Walgreens Stocking Overdose Reversal Drug in Stores Nationwide, No Prescription Needed

As part of its “comprehensive national plan to combat drug abuse”, Walgreens is now stocking Narcan (Nalaxone), an FDA-approved nasal spray that helps reverse opioid overdoses, in all of its more than 8,000 pharmacies nationwide. 

“By stocking Narcan in all our pharmacies, we are making it easier for families and caregivers to help their loved ones by having it on hand in case it is needed,” Rick Gates, Walgreens group vice president of pharmacy, said in a press release. “As a pharmacy we are committed to making Narcan more accessible in the communities we serve.”

In addition, Walgreens is adopting Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations by educating patients about Narcan when they are dispensed a controlled substance greater than 50 morphine milligram equivalents (MME) and may be at risk of accidental overdose.

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Ontario Announces the First 14 Cities to Have Legal Marijuana Stores

The Liquor Control Board of Ontario has announced the first cities that will be home to legal marijuana stores.

Last month Ontario officials unveiled their framework for the legal marijuana industry, which includes having 150 marijuana stores open by 2020, with online sales beginning next year. Yesterday, the Liquor Control Board announced the first 14 cities where legal marijuana outlets will be open.

Those cities will be:

  • Brampton
  • Vaughan
  • Toronto
  • London

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Belize Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession

The country of Belize has officially decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use.

Belize Governor General Colville Young signed into law today a bill decriminalizing the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana. The bill “provides for the imposition of monetary and non-recordable penalties for the possession of cannabis in such amounts occurring on school premises, in specified circumstances, and decriminalizes the smoking of cannabis on private premises.”

“I think this act will also allow for law enforcement personnel and the ministry to focus and concentrate more on the serious crimes that are affecting and plaguing our societies and our communities across this country and like the leader of the opposition said he would have wanted to see the whole legalization of marijuana, but I believe that it is prudent that we as a responsible government take this one step at a time as we progress to ensure that we always make the right decision that will be a betterment for our nation”, said Hon. Wilfred Elrington, Belize’s Minister of Home Affairs, following the bill’s approval in the House of Representatives.

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Poll: Overwhelming Majority of Veterans Support Medical Cannabis

According to a new survey commissioned by the American Legion, a vast majority of Veterans in the U.S. are in support of cannabis as medicine.

According to the survey, 81% of veterans support legalizing medical cannabis at the federal level. An even higher number of veteran caregivers are in support, at 83%.

The survey had 1,360 respondents from across the U.S., with 802 being either a military veteran (513) or a non-professional veteran caregiver (289). 92% of respondents from both groups support medical research on cannabis, while 82% of respondents favor legalizing medical cannabis. Support was found across the political spectrum, with 88% of conservatives  supporting medical cannabis legalization, compared to 90% of liberals and 70% of those who consider themselves non aligned with any particular ideology.

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