National Academy of Sciences’ Report: “Conclusive and Substantial Evidence” Exists for Marijuana as Medicine

The National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine released a comprehensive report today acknowledging that “conclusive or substantial evidence” exists for marijuana as a medicine; especially in treating chronic pain. The report sharply criticized longstanding federal regulatory barriers to cannabis research, and denounced “the classification of cannabis as a Schedule I substance” under federal law.

“The National Academy of Science’s conclusions that marijuana possesses established therapeutic utility for certain patients and that it possesses an acceptable safety profile when compared to those of other medications or recreational intoxicants are not surprising”, says Paul Armentano, Deputy Director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). “This evidence has been available for some time, yet for decades marijuana policy in this country has largely been driven by rhetoric and emotion, not science and evidence.”

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Study: Cannabinoids are Safe, Effective for Pain Treatment

By Paul Armentano, NORML

Medical-MarijuanaCannabinoids are safe and effective for the treatment of chronic pain, according to the results of a systematic review of randomized controlled trials published in the Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology.

Investigators from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and McGill University in Montreal evaluated the results of 11 placebo-controlled trials conducted between the years 2010 and 2014. Trials assessed the use of various types of cannabinoid preparations, including herbal cannabis, liquid and oral cannabis extracts, and nabilone (a synthetic analog of THC), in pain treatment.

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Study: Patients Report Substituting Cannabis For Booze, Prescription Drugs

medcannabisBy Paul Armentano, NORML

Patients who possess legal access to cannabis frequently substitute it in place of alcohol and prescription drugs, according to survey data published online in the journal Drug and Alcohol Review.

Investigators from the University of Victoria in British Columbia assessed the influence of medical marijuana access on other drug-taking behaviors in a cohort of 473 Canadian adults licensed to engage in cannabis therapy.

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Study: Daily Cannabis Use For Chronic Pain Is Safe and Effective

kushBy Paul Armentano, NORML

Chronic pain patients who use herbal cannabis daily for one-year report reduced discomfort and increased quality of life compared to controls, and do not experience an increased risk of serious side effects, according to clinical data published online ahead of print in the Journal of Pain.

Researchers at McGill University in Montreal assessed the long-term health of 216 medicinal cannabis users with chronic non-cancer pain who consumed a daily standardized dose (12.5 percent THC) of herbal cannabis compared to 215 controls (chronic pain suffers who did not use cannabis). Subjects in study were approved by Health Canada to legally use medicinal cannabis and consumed, on average, 2.5 grams of herb per day, typically via inhalation or vaporization.

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Study: Cannabis Users Less Likely To Be Obese, Possess Lower Diabetes Risk

By Paul Armentano, NORML

flowerA history of cannabis use is associated with a lower likelihood of obesity and diabetes, according to population-based data published in the journal Obesity.

Investigators from the Conference of Quebec University Health Centers assessed cannabis use patterns and body mass index (BMI) in a cohort of 786 Inuit (Arctic aboriginal) adults ages 18 to 74. Researchers reported that subjects who consumed cannabis in the past year were more likely to possess a lower BMI, lower fasting insulin, and lower HOMA-IR (insulin resistance) as compared to those who did not use the substance.

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New Jersey: Statewide Poll Shows Strong Majority Support For Legalizing Recreational Cannabis

By Paul Armentano, NORML

new-jersey1Nearly six out of ten New Jersey adults favor legalizing the use and sale of marijuana, according to the results of a recently released Rutgers-Eagleton poll.

Fifty-eight percent of respondents said that they support “legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana for adults 21 and over.” Thirty-nine percent of respondents oppose legalizing cannabis.

Read moreNew Jersey: Statewide Poll Shows Strong Majority Support For Legalizing Recreational Cannabis

Oregon Cannabis Legalization Law Takes Effect, Sales Could Began by the Fall

cannabisohyeahBy Paul Armentano

PORTLAND, OR — Legislation took effect at midnight Wednesday permitting adults to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal use.

Fifty-six percent of state voters approved Measure 91 in November, which allows those over the age of 21 to legally possess up to one ounce of cannabis and/or to engage in the non-commercial cultivation of up to four marijuana plants (yielding up to eight ounces of marijuana).

Read moreOregon Cannabis Legalization Law Takes Effect, Sales Could Began by the Fall

Confirmed: DEA Head Michele Leonhart Stepping Down

By Paul Armentano, NORML

Drug Enforcement Administration head Michele Leonhart is stepping down, US Attorney General Eric Holder has confirmed.steppingdown

Members of the US House Oversight Committee gave Leonhart a vote of “no confidence” last week after an Office of the Inspector General report revealed that senior DEA officials had participated in sex parties arranged by Colombian drug cartels and had also received weapons and cash from cartel members. None of the agents involved were fired by director Leonhart.

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Parkinson’s Patients Report Subjective Relief From Cannabis, Finds New Study

By Paul Armentano, NORML

AURORA, CO — Patientsparkinsons with Parkinson’s self-report cannabis to be a highly efficacious alternative medicine in the treatment of the disease, according to survey data published online ahead of print in the journal Evidence-Based Complimentary and Alternative Medicine.

Investigators reported that cannabis use remains comparatively uncommon among patients with Parkinson’s disease. However, those respondents who acknowledged using the plant rated it as one of the “most effective” alternative treatment therapies available.

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Now Is The Time To Support Cannabis Law Reform In Your State

By Paul Armentano, NORML

Marijuanabigstock-marijuana-12446021-300x200 law reform legislation is presently pending in over 30 states. Is your state one of them? Visit NORML’s online ‘Take Action Center’ here to find out.

By clicking this link, you will have access to up-to-date bill status information. You can also quickly contact your elected officials and urge their support for these reforms with just one click.

Read moreNow Is The Time To Support Cannabis Law Reform In Your State