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1US FL: Editorial: Redner's Court Win On Medical Marijuana SendsSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL)          Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

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.

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2US CA: Experts Push For Opioid Treatment, Against Medical MarijuanaSun, 15 Apr 2018
Source:Houston Chronicle (TX) Author:Blakinger, Keri Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/18/2018

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."

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3 US OH: Two Toledo-Area Doctors Get Ok To Recommend Medical PotSat, 14 Apr 2018
Source:Blade, The (Toledo, OH)          Area:Ohio Lines:66 Added:04/17/2018

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 Temperance.

Patients can't be prescribed medical marijuana because it's illegal under federal law, so doctors must recommend its use.

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4US CA: A Nasty -- And Really Severe -- Marijuana Side Effect IsSun, 08 Apr 2018
Source:Fresno Bee, The (CA) Author:Rabin, Roni Caryn Area:California Lines:Excerpt Added:04/11/2018

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 gallbladder removed.

The only way to get relief for the nausea and pain was to take a hot shower.

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.

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5US LA: Bill Allowing Medical Marijuana To Treat Chronic Pain, PTSDThu, 05 Apr 2018
Source:Times-Picayune, The (New Orleans, LA) Author:Clark, Maria Area:Louisiana Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2018

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.

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6US FL: Are Medical Marijuana, Acupuncture Alternatives To Opioids?Mon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Tampa Tribune (FL) Author:Griffin, Justine Area:Florida Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2018

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.

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7 US: Studies Link Legal Marijuana With Fewer Opioid PrescriptionsMon, 02 Apr 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Ritter, Malcolm Area:United States Lines:81 Added:04/03/2018

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.

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8 US NJ: Gov. Murphy Greatly Expands New Jersey's Medical MarijuanaTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:New Jersey Lines:106 Added:03/31/2018

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.

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9 US HI: Cure Oahu Begins Cannabis SalesTue, 27 Mar 2018
Source:Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI) Author:Consillio, Kristen Area:Hawaii Lines:45 Added:03/31/2018

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.

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10 US FL: Oped: Clear The Air About Making Medical Marijuana AccessibleWed, 28 Mar 2018
Source:Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL) Author:Kalsi, Kamal Area:Florida Lines:120 Added:03/28/2018

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 AIDS.

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11 US NJ: Doctors -- Not Politicians -- Should Decide Who Gets MedicalThu, 22 Mar 2018
Source:Bridgeton News (NJ) Author:Livio, Susan K. Area:New Jersey Lines:87 Added:03/22/2018

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.

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12 CN ON: Column: Opioid crisis in Peterborough: Overdose PreventionTue, 13 Mar 2018
Source:Peterborough Examiner, The (CN ON) Author:Salvaterra, Rosana Area:Ontario Lines:95 Added:03/16/2018

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 addiction.

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.

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13 US PA: Legalized Pot In New Jersey - Not So FastFri, 09 Mar 2018
Source:Philadelphia Daily News (PA) Author:Hefler, Jan Area:Pennsylvania Lines:156 Added:03/13/2018

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 next governor."

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14 CN AB: Support For Marijuana Is Divided In Poll Of Local ContentiousWed, 07 Mar 2018
Source:Lethbridge Herald (CN AB) Author:Mabell, Dave Area:Alberta Lines:98 Added:03/10/2018

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).

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15 CN ON: Smuggling, Ods Flag Growing Opioid Agony At Troubled JailThu, 08 Mar 2018
Source:London Free Press (CN ON) Author:Richmond, Randy Area:Ontario Lines:87 Added:03/10/2018

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), sources say.

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 Correctional Services.

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16 US KY: Oped: It's Time To Legalize Medical Marijuana In KentuckyWed, 07 Mar 2018
Source:Lexington Herald-Leader (KY) Author:Lundergan, Alison Area:Kentucky Lines:115 Added:03/10/2018

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.

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17 CN ON: Column: To Reduce Stigma, Increase ResearchTue, 06 Mar 2018
Source:Hamilton Spectator (CN ON) Author:Shkimba, Margaret Area:Ontario Lines:88 Added:03/10/2018

Medical cannabis take-up hampered by lack of research and red tape

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.

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18 US: For All Their Risks, Opioids Had No Pain-Relieving AdvantageTue, 06 Mar 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Kaplan, Karen Area:United States Lines:112 Added:03/09/2018

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.

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19 US CA: Salmonella Outbreak Linked To Kratom Hits San Diego AreaSat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Los Angeles Times (CA) Author:Sisson, Paul Area:California Lines:115 Added:03/08/2018

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.

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20 US: Oped: Balance On Cannabis May Lead To Answers On OpioidsSat, 03 Mar 2018
Source:Boston Globe (MA) Author:Hill, Kevin P. Area:United States Lines:89 Added:03/08/2018

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.

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