Florida regulators have done far too little to make voter-approved
medical marijuana widely available for patients suffering from chronic
illnesses. A circuit court judge in Tallahassee ruled last week there
is a price for that obstruction, finding that in the absence of state
regulations, Tampa's Joe Redner is legally entitled to grow his own
pot for medical use. The ruling applies only to Redner, who has lung
cancer. But it's a victory for medical marijuana patients and their
advocates who should not have to wait for a stubborn bureaucracy to
get access to medical care that the Florida Constitution allows.
[continues 549 words]
SAN DIEGO - Support for drugs like Suboxone, Vivitrol and methadone
was one of the rallying cries at the annual American Society for
Addiction Medicine conference this week in California.
Broadly known as medication-assisted treatments, the drugs are
sometimes-controversial tools for battling the growing opioid
epidemic. Though they work in different ways, all three can be taken
long-term to reduce the chance of relapse into drug use.
"It's not a matter of ideology," said ASAM president Dr. Kelly Clark.
"It's a matter of the facts show a person's risk of dying is higher
when they don't take medication."
[continues 546 words]
The Medical Board of Ohio this week approved certificates for
physicians to recommend medical marijuana, another step toward the
legal sale of medicinal pot in the state.
Of the three dozen doctors approved to issue recommendations for
medical marijuana, only two are in the Toledo-area, although more can
be certified later. Dr. Ryan Lakin, medical director for Omni Medical
Services, is based out of Toledo. Dr. Mark Neumann is based out of
Patients can't be prescribed medical marijuana because it's illegal
under federal law, so doctors must recommend its use.
[continues 323 words]
By the time Thomas Hodorowski made the connection between his
marijuana habit and the bouts of pain and vomiting that left him
incapacitated every few weeks, he had been to the emergency room
dozens of times, tried anti-nausea drugs, anti-anxiety medications and
antidepressants, endured an upper endoscopy procedure and two
colonoscopies, seen a psychiatrist and had his appendix and
The only way to get relief for the nausea and pain was to take a hot
He often stayed in the shower for hours at a time. When the hot water
ran out, "the pain was unbearable, like somebody was wringing my
stomach out like a washcloth," said Hodorowski, 28, a production and
shipping assistant who lives outside Chicago.
[continues 892 words]
A Louisiana House committee voted Thursday (April 5) in favor of a
proposal to expand the use of medical marijuana to treat people with
chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder and glaucoma. The bill
cleared committee with an 8-4 vote.
HB 579, sponsored by Rep. Edward James, D-Baton Rouge, met some debate
before the vote. Opponents questioned whether there was enough medical
research establishing medical marijuana as an effective treatment for
people with chronic medical conditions.
A 2016 law allowed the use of medical marijuana to treat certain
conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, muscular dystrophy
and epilepsy. James' bill would add glaucoma, severe muscle spasms,
intractable pain and PTSD to the list.
[continues 502 words]
After battling Lyme disease and other ailments for nearly 20 years,
Bridgitte Pascale tried "almost everything" to alleviate her pain
without relying on opioids.
Though doctors prescribed Percocet and muscle relaxers, she turned to
acupuncture and later medical marijuana, which she says are the "only
things that help" with the chronic aches and pains she manages daily.
Such alternative treatments are emerging as safe havens for some
patients concerned about the dangers of painkillers. But while many
swear by the benefit, health insurance generally doesn't cover them.
[continues 1026 words]
Can legalizing marijuana fight the problem of opioid addiction and
fatal overdoses? Two new studies in the debate suggest it may.
Pot can relieve chronic pain in adults, so advocates for liberalizing
marijuana laws have proposed it as a lower-risk alternative to
opioids. But some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid
use, and so might make the epidemic worse.
The new studies don't directly assess the effect of legalizing
marijuana on opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Instead, they find
evidence that legalization may reduce the prescribing of opioids.
Over-prescribing is considered a key factor in the opioid epidemic.
[continues 474 words]
Gov. Murphy greatly expanded New Jersey's medical marijuana program
Tuesday, opening the door to tens of thousands of new patients and
allowing the five dispensaries spread across the state to add
satellite retail centers and cultivation facilities.
The governor added to the list of ailments that qualify for a cannabis
prescription. He also cleared the way for any doctor in the state to
prescribe cannabis, ending a system in which only those physicians who
registered -- and thus, joined a publicly available list of providers
- -- could do so. He said some doctors had been reluctant to participate
in the program because they viewed joining the list as a stigma.
[continues 670 words]
Cure Oahu, backed by a local private investment group, opened with 10
strains, including top sellers Master Kush, Da Glue, Sour Chem and
Sunset Mango. The dispensary in the former Bank of Hawaii branch
building at 727 Kapahulu Ave. said there was heavy demand for indica,
sativa and hybrid flower strains as well as tinctures and lozenges,
which sold out shortly after opening.
The 5,434-square-foot building has had a major makeover with a
high-tech, 2,400-square-foot open lobby and dispensing area with two
private consultation booths and large electronic tablet stations where
customers can browse through information and choose from a variety of
strains. Patients are also able to register and order products online
before coming into the dispensary.
[continues 136 words]
Following President Trump's rollout of his administration's policy
response to the opioid crisis, it has become clear that the president
would rather waste federal resources trying to execute drug dealers
than allow Americans the option to use medical cannabis.
In his speech in New Hampshire, the president mentioned a terminally
ill patient's "right to try" experimental medications that can enhance
quality of life, but ignored the National Institute of Drug Abuse's
own grudging admission that cannabis use is linked to health
improvements in people suffering a range of diseases, from cancer to
[continues 838 words]
Doctors would decide which patients should use marijuana as medicine
instead of being limited by a narrow list of eligible diseases set by
law, under a sweeping medical marijuana overhaul approved by a state
Assembly panel Thursday.
The measure that cleared the Assembly Health Committee would also
allow registered patients to buy up to four ounces of cannabis, or
twice as much as they are permitted to obtain now.
The dispensaries and cultivators would be divided evenly in the
northern, central and southern regions of the state, including the six
who are already licensed to grow and sell.
[continues 454 words]
In 2018 we find ourselves battling an opioid crisis that has been
years in the making. Opioids are drugs that act on the nervous system
to relieve pain and were originally derived from opium but now also
include synthetic preparations.
In the mid-1990s, their use by physicians was heavily promoted by the
pharmaceutical industry, leading to greater prescribing for both acute
and chronic pain. Patients using opioids can develop a dependency or
There are two sources of opioids: those that are produced by the
pharmaceutical industry and those that are illicitly produced.
Recently, the illicit supply has become so contaminated with fentanyl
(a very powerful opioid) or fentanyl-like substances that many people
are at risk of an unintended acute and potentially fatal poisoning.
[continues 541 words]
When New Jersey State Sen. Nicholas Scutari introduced a 62-page bill
and primer on how to legalize marijuana almost one year ago, he
chuckled when asked if it had a prayer of passing.
The legal sale of recreational marijuana had not yet begun in any
other East Coast state, and yes, Chris Christie, the Republican
governor at the time, had threatened a veto.
The bill, Scutari insisted, would give lawmakers time to digest and
debate the issue so that a palatable package would be "ready for the
[continues 1067 words]
With legal recreational marijuana in the wings, Lethbridge remains
divided on its use.
The latest survey of city residents shows an even 50-50 split when
asked if they support legalization. But support is up from 43.9 per
cent in 2016 and 46.6 per cent last year, as reported by the Citizen
Society Research Lab at Lethbridge College.
On several other oncecontroversial issues, however, there's less
disagreement. Lethbridge residents continue to agree largely with
same-gender marriage (77.3 per cent), doctorassisted death (79.5 per
cent) and a woman's right to abortion (81.7 per cent).
[continues 510 words]
Deadly fentanyl is tightening its grip on London's jail, with reports
of several female inmates overdosing early this week, one needing five
doses of naloxone spray to be revived.
Twice in the last week, large amounts were found on women trying to
smuggle the druginto the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC),
The province confirmed Wednesday four female inmates were found in
medical distress Monday night.
"Staff acted quickly in attending to the inmates and calling 911.
Paramedics arrived and transported three inmates to the hospital,
while the other inmate was attended to by staff at the facility," said
Andrew Morrison, spokesperson for the Ministry of Community Safety and
[continues 354 words]
For years, Kentucky veterans have approached us with a question that
has no good answer: "Why are my comrades in other states able to treat
PTSD and pain with medical cannabis while I cannot?"
Frustrated and confused, these men and women struggle daily with the
effects of post-traumatic stress triggered by the horrors of war and
chronic pain from injuries suffered in combat.
One is Eric Pollack whose PTSD became so unbearable that he nearly
became part of a depressing statistic. In Kentucky, the veteran
suicide rate is 10 percent higher than the national average.
[continues 694 words]
Medical cannabis take-up hampered by lack of research and red
I picked up a View magazine while I was waiting for the bus a few
weeks back. There was an article on the 15 or so uses of cannabis, so
after I caught up with CATCH (Citizens at City Hall), I turned to the
article on cannabis looking for some useful information.
By this time, I was on the bus, seated on a side seat, next to an
elderly woman. I could feel she was reading over my shoulder, so I
turned to her slightly. She asked me the name of the paper and we
started a conversation about cannabis.
[continues 633 words]
For years, doctors turned to opioid painkillers as a first-line
treatment for chronic back pain and aches in the joints. Even as the
dangers of addiction and overdoses became more clear, the drugs'
pain-relieving benefits were still thought to justify their risks.
Now researchers have hard data that challenges this view.
In the first randomized clinical trial to make a head-to-head
comparison between opioids and other kinds of pain medications,
patients who took opioids fared no better over the long term than
patients who used safer alternatives.
[continues 694 words]
A San Diego County resident is among 40 people nationwide to become
infected with salmonella bacteria linked to kratom, the controversial
tropical herb that many have begun using to treat opioid addiction
despite an import ban from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
According to the county Health and Human Services Agency, a
44-year-old, whose gender and city of residence were not released,
became ill in January.
Testing performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention confirmed that symptoms were caused by the same subspecies
of the salmonella bacteria that has now produced cases in 27 states.
[continues 695 words]
The United States is the midst of an opioid crisis. Ninety Americans
die each day from opioid overdoses on prescription opioids, heroin, or
fentanyl, and Massachusetts has not been spared. Many states are using
the best available tools to battle the crisis, with an eye on
developing better science and policy to put an end to the crisis. As
more states implement either medical or legalized recreational
cannabis policies, they should consider whether cannabis can play a
role in the opioid crisis.
[continues 601 words]