MARIJUANA-NEWS

“When I was a kid I inhaled frequently. That was the point.”―Barack Obama

Canadian Marijuana Stocks’ Trading Halted Amid Panic Buying And Selling

The hottest stocks in Canada right now are in the medical marijuana business.

So much money is flowing into marijuana stocks on the TSX that trading had to be halted multiple times Wednesday due to excessive price increases — followed by excessive price declines.

It’s largely due to the U.S. election last week, in which four states — California, Massachusetts, Nevada and Maine — legalized marijuana for recreational purposes. Canada’s medical marijuana producers, as well as some investors, see potential for expansion into the U.S.

More than one-fifth of Americans now live in states where weed is fully legal.

originalWorkers in a grow room at Tweed, a medical marijuana company in Smiths Falls, Ont., March, 2014. Tweed, now a subsidiary of Canopy Growth, set up shop in an abandoned Hershey chocolate factory. (Photo: Joe O’Connal)

Canopy Growth Corp., the first publicly-traded cannabis company in Canada, soared last week to become the country’s first business of its kind to reach a $1-billion valuation.

On Wednesday, the company’s value soared all the way to $2 billion, the National Post reports — before giving up all those gains, and then some. It was the most heavily traded stock on the TSX Wednesday.

Trading in Canopy was halted five times yesterday, BNN reported. Its shares rose as much as 33 per cent from open, then fell as far as 27 per cent, before closing down about 15 per cent for the day.

“Any time there’s more media attention to the sector it brings in more investors.”
— Jason Zandberg, PI Financial

Numerous other companies had their shares halted as well, including Aphria Inc., Aurora Cannabis Inc., Mettrum Health Corp., OrganiGram Holdings and Supreme Pharmaceuticals Inc., BNN reported.

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada says it halts trading whenever a stock’s price changes by more than 10 per cent during a five-minute period.

Some weed stocks saw massive jumps of more than 50 per cent, Bloomberg reported.

“Any time there’s more media attention to the sector it brings in more investors,” marijuana analyst Jason Zandberg of PI Financial told the news service.

“We found that there’s been a lot of interest from U.S. investors. They have a difficulty in investing in the sector given the weird framework that’s in the U.S. where it’s illegal at a federal level.”

The federal Liberal government has said it will introduce marijuana legalization legislation in the spring of 2017.

Canopy CEO Bruce Linton told Bloomberg he expects the Liberals to set up a system where marijuana will be sold through government-run outlets like liquor stores.

“We can probably carry a tax burden of 25 per cent or so and end up in the consumer hands on a still cost-competitive basis, with a superior product,” Linton said.

 

SOURCE: By Deniel Tencer, The Huffington Post Canada

 

Legal pot in Canada could sell for $5 a gram — or less

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Uncle Ike’s Budget Bud is the cheapest pot we’ve found anywhere.

A product line of a Seattle, Wa.-based marijuana retailer, it lives up to its name at US$99 an ounce. That works out to $4.76 a gram Canadian, and it would put the cost of a joint in the $1.50-$2 range.

But you get what you pay for, an email from Washington State-based marijuana writer Steve Elliott makes clear.

“It smokes more harshly and burns the throat a bit more than the expensive stuff,” he writes.

There’s more leaf material making up the weight than with a higher-priced product, he explains, and “it’s not exactly ‘bragging rights’ material if you get it out in front of your friends.”

On the other hand, though the journey is rougher, the destination is much the same:

“The high is often comparable to more expensive weed, but … the taste is nowhere near as fine.”

Under legalization, how cheap could marijuana get? At the low end, in the $5 a gram range, says Bruce Linton, CEO of  Canopy Growth, a large medical marijuana growing facility in Smiths Falls, Ont., which plans to produce recreational pot after legalization.

The cheapest medical marijuana is sold in that price range now. Medreleaf’s cheapest strains for medical customers are $5 a gram. (Medreleaf, a Markham, Ont.-based grower also sells low-THC trimmings, leaf material left behind when buds are prepared, for $3 a gram.)

Aphria, a grower in Leamington, Ont., starts at $7.20. The lowest-priced strain from Tweed, a Canopy Growth company (Boaty McBoatface), is $6.

Canopy tried pricing medical pot at $5, but couldn’t make money on it, Linton says:

“We found that it was a great way to introduce and bring patients on, but it’s not a sustainable price at which you can run a business.”

Washington State applies a 37 per cent excise tax to recreational pot, so the profit margin on Budget Bud must be tiny. (Uncle Ike’s didn’t respond to a request for comment.)

For many years, Canadian provinces have imposed minimum prices on alcohol for a combination of public health and tax reasons. (Basic distilled spirits can be produced very cheaply: a 750ml bottle of vodka costs $6.75 for a distillery to make, but retail prices start around $25.)

But with a parallel illegal marijuana market still in place, governments can’t afford to price legal pot too high, Linton argues.

“You could pick any big number as a minimum price. You don’t actually achieve anything for public health — you achieve the opposite, because the product will be supplied, but by suppliers who have no obligation to test, or not use pesticides or fungicides. It’s a tricky piece of work.”

Earlier this month, the Parliamentary Budget Office estimated that the pre-tax price of legal cannabis wouldn’t go below $6.67 a gram, with a mid-point estimate around $7.50.

At least the second number is about right, Linton says: “So far in the medical space, by making it market-based, it has sort of levelled in the range that the government estimated.”

“There will probably be some stuff which is five bucks, (but) I suspect that you’re going to find an average price of $7-$8 a gram.”

 

SOURCE: News  Global News, by Patrick Cain. (National Online Journalist)

Is marijuana an effective painkiller?

2016-01-14T094958Z_1_LYNXNPEC0D0FB_RTROPTP_3_NEW-YORK-MARIJUANA.JPGThe inside of the Columbia Care medical marijuana dispensary inNew York on Jan. 7, 2016.

About half the states have legalized marijuana for medical use, and Pennsylvania appears ready to join them. Most patients who sign up for the drug indicate they’re taking it for pain.
But is there evidence that it works?

Simple question, complicated answer. Turns out it works for some kinds of pain, but not others, and helps some people more than others.

“The short answer is yes,” said David Casarett, director of palliative care for Penn Medicine and author of Stoned: A Doctor’s Case for Medical Marijuana. “But I don’t think we really know how it works.”

Federal drug authorities long have asserted that marijuana has “no currently accepted medical use” and have kept it classified, along with heroin and LSD, under the Drug Enforcement Administration’s most-restricted-drug category.

Given the rapidly shifting landscape, the National Institutes of Health next week is holding a neuroscience research summit near Washington to review the evidence on marijuana and its benefits.

This week, the Pennsylvania House approved a legalization measure, and the Senate is expected to follow suit this year. Gov. Wolf has promised to sign it when it reaches his desk.

In its current form, the legislation would prohibit smoking marijuana, allowing forms such as pills, oils, and ointments. New Jersey allows smoking, but adds another limitation: Medical marijuana is legal only for pain associated with cancer and HIV.

Pennsylvania’s bill allows pot for any pain that cannot be treated with prescription painkillers, or pain classified as neuropathic.

Neuropathic pain is complex and common. It can be triggered by phantom limb syndrome, diabetes, chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, shingles, and autoimmune diseases such as lupus. It doesn’t respond well to opioids, the addictive painkillers that also were in the news this week, due to new guidelines suggesting how doctors should prescribe them.

Researchers emphasize that pot is no panacea.

“Cannabis cannot be used to treat all kinds of pain,” said Jahan Marcu, scientist at Americans for Safe Access, a nonprofit medical-marijuana advocacy group. “It’s not going to help you with a broken leg.”

That’s technically known as nociceptive pain, the sharp, throbbing ache caused by tissue damage. There isn’t good evidence that cannabis touches that pain.

But unlike opioids, which have spurred a rising tide of fatal overdoses, cannabis-based products are not deadly.

Barth Wilsey, scheduled to speak Wednesday at the NIH summit, has led research on marijuana and neuropathic pain as director of the University of California Center for Cannabis Research.

“The evidence is moderate,” Wilsey said, referring to an analysis published in JAMA last year that evaluated 63 studies on THC, the most-researched molecular compound in marijuana, for treating pain.

Several of those studies, led by Wilsey and published in the Journal of Pain, found low doses of THC significantly reduced neuropathic pain.

In addition, results from a Canadian study published last year in the Journal of Pain found medical marijuana was mostly safe for treating chronic pain.

Recently in Jerusalem, 176 patients with chronic pain, many of whom got little relief from opioids, were given a 20-gram supply of marijuana every month for two years. The patients reported a “long-term improvement in pain scores” along with a “significant reduction in opioid use,” according to researchers from the Hadassah-Hebrew University Medical Center. The study was published last month in the Clinical Journal for Pain.

No large-scale clinical trials have been conducted, in part because such trials are generally undertaken by pharmaceutical companies. Because marijuana remains a Schedule I drug under DEA rules, no company can market it for prescription use, though some prescription drugs do contain derivatives from cannabis.

The finding about marijuana’s effect on opioid use echoes a 2014 study at Penn. The study, led by researchers at the Perelman School of Medicine, found states that legalized medical marijuana saw a 25 percent decrease in opioid-related deaths after the law was enacted.

Wilsey said that though medical marijuana may help many people suffering from pain, and doesn’t carry the risk of fatal overdose, it does not come without hazards.

In people with coronary artery disease, consuming it may increase the risk of heart attacks “because marijuana races the heart,” he said.

An increasing number of studies indicate that in adolescents, pot can alter brain development. For some users, mental illnesses may become more acute.

“And pregnant women shouldn’t touch it,” Wilsey said. “There’s evidence their offspring can suffer with lower academic achievement later in life.

“So there are a bunch of conditions.”

 

SOURCE: http://www.philly.com, by SAM WOOD

Marijuana’s effect on sleeping still unclear

Marijuana’s effect on sleeping still unclear

At least once a week, I hear from patients that smoking marijuana helps them to relax and to sleep. I know that other clinicians hear the same thing because they ask me about it at insomnia workshops. Does cannabis really improve sleep?

Several studies done in the 1970s examined the effects of smoked marijuana on objective sleep patterns, measured using polysomnography. This method of overnight recording involves the tracking of brain waves, eye movements and muscle tone in order to distinguish the sleep stages and their pattern of occurrence throughout the night.

Contrary to popular belief, smoking marijuana did not necessarily make it easier to get to sleep. Participants in some studies fell asleep faster while those in other studies took somewhat longer to fall asleep. There were also inconsistent effects on the amount of slow wave sleep, or deep sleep. The most consistent finding across these studies was that marijuana was associated with a reduction in rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, the stage in which most of our dreaming occurs.

The main active constituent of marijuana was isolated in 1964 as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Since then, dozens of other constituents have been characterized, including cannabidiol (CBD), an important component thought to have muscle relaxant, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.

Fast-forward to the 21st century: It is now possible to create cannabis-based medicines with certain doses and combinations of THC and CBD. By having control over the specific drug composition, better studies on the effects of cannabis on sleep are possible.

However, few researchers have explored this. Rather, the studies today are mainly looking for effects on symptoms such as pain, muscle spasms and appetite; sleep is sometimes asked about, but rarely measured with polysomnography.

What we take away from these newer studies is that participants report a positive effect on their sleep with these compounds and that the THC component of cannabis may be more responsible for this than the CBD. There are insufficient data to say anything about the effect on sleep stages.

What we do know is that sleep becomes very disrupted when people who are using cannabis on a regular basis start withdrawing from it. Sleep difficulty and strange dreams are prominent withdrawal effects. Polysomnographic data show that it takes longer for people to fall asleep, their sleep is disrupted, deep sleep is reduced and REM sleep is increased.

What seems like a simple question – “Does cannabis really improve sleep?” – does not have a simple answer. Well-designed studies with good measurement of sleep are lacking. What research has been done is complicated by variations in the dose and chemical composition of cannabis, method of use (smoked, oral spray, capsule), time of use in relation to bedtime, the participants’ pattern of prior exposure to cannabis, and their medical and sleep histories.

Although the general feeling among users is that cannabis helps their sleep, there is as yet no clear evidence of this from research. This does not mean that the effects are absent. The experience of sleep is a subjective and personal thing, and all the reports of people’s improved sleep with cannabis cannot be discounted. It is likely that some positive effects are present but clouded by problems in research design and measurement.

What’s clear is that when cannabis is stopped after regular use, poor sleep is likely to occur, including more stage REM accompanied by weird dreams. This we can all agree on and, in a backward sort of way, it speaks to the substantial effects of cannabis on sleep.

SOURCE: http://www.theglobeandmail.com

This Latest Marijuana Study Could Blaze a Trail for Legalization

Researchers from the U.K. make an interesting find when it comes to the correlation between adolescent marijuana use and IQ scores.

Marijuana Pixabay
 IMAGE SOURCE: PIXABAY.

The year may have only just begun, but 2016 is shaping up to arguably be the most important in marijuana’s history.

Don’t get me wrong, we’ve witnessed a number of marijuana milestones over the last two decades. In 1996, California became the first state to approve the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Since then 22 additional states, along with Washington, D.C., have also legalized its use for select ailments. In 2012, residents in Washington state and Colorado voted in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use in persons aged 21 and up. And, just last year, the federal government relaxed research standards and removed many of the hoops researchers needed to jump through to conduct studies into the benefits and/or risks of marijuana.

2016: A big year for state-level legalization?
This year could be even more profound. It’s possible that roughly one dozen states could have some form of medical, recreational, or medical and recreational, initiative or referendum on the ballot for voters to decide. As we saw last week, in Vermont things may be decided solely at the legislative level for the first time ever. In other words, the upcoming elections could expand marijuana’s influence at the fastest pace in history.

But, of course, there’s still one major hurdle — the one cloud that continues to overhang the industry and keeps the federal government from considering the decriminalization or legalization of marijuana on a national level. Namely, the long-term safety of the drug.

Phil Cdc

For decades researchers have been examining the potentially harmful effects of using marijuana, giving lawmakers an extended look at what risks the drug could pose. But only in the past decade, or even less, have researchers really been supplementing the other side of the coin and looking at the possible benefits of marijuana. For marijuana supporters and businesses alike, the best thing that can happen, aside from continued state-level approvals, is for researchers to make key discoveries that marijuana is either beneficial or considerably less harmful than once believed.

One such study, which was published earlier this month in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, could indeed be a stepping stone for marijuana supporters.

This marijuana study could stir the pot for legalization
The study involved a half-dozen London-based researchers who set out on examining the effect (if any) of cannabis on 2,235 teenagers. Previous studies have suggested a correlation between cannabis use and lower IQ scores, so researchers were curious if cannabis was the factor to blame.

In the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children, children had their IQ tested at the age of eight, and then once more at the age of 15. According to the study, some 24% had tried marijuana at least once by age 15, and 3.3% had used marijuana at least 50 times.

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Now here’s where things get interesting. The researchers’ findings did show that cannabis users, especially those who were habitual users, score lower on IQ tests compared to non-users. But, researchers concluded that marijuana does not appear to be to blame. When a number of linear regressions and other control factors were applied, and adjustments were made, the IQ scores of modest users and non-users did not differ. Essentially, what researchers discovered was that other external factors, and the use of potentially IQ-altering products, such as alcohol, appear to be the more likely culprits behind the lower IQ readings, and not cannabis.

In the words of researchers,

“After adjustment to account for these group differences, cannabis use by the age of 15 did not predict either lower teenage IQ scores or poorer educational performance. These findings therefore suggest that cannabis use at the modest levels used by this sample of teenagers is not by itself causally related to cognitive impairment. Instead, our findings imply that previously reported associations between adolescent cannabis use and poorer intellectual and educational outcomes may be confounded to a significant degree by related factors.”

Worry over the general safety of the drug and adolescent use is one of the primary reasons marijuana remains a schedule 1 drug at the federal level, and studies like this could help the movement towards legalization, or at least decriminalization.

Inaction to be expected
The results from the U.K.-based study are good news for the marijuana industry as a whole, but it’s not a game-changer from the perspective of Congress. Think of understanding marijuana’s safety as trying to put together a 50,000-piece puzzle, and the U.K. study is just one of those pieces. Lawmakers in the U.S. simply don’t believe they have a broad enough set of data to make a longer-term determination on marijuana – and so we wait.

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IMAGE SOURCE: FLICKR USER TONY WEBSTER.

Furthermore, being in an election year Congress is liable to be more tied up with political wrangling and larger macroeconomic issues such as job growth than it is with the potential legalization of marijuana. Until recently the idea of bringing marijuana up as a topic in an election was considered taboo, so most politicians have chosen to take a “wait-and-see” approach to the drug.

If 2016 turns out to be a stalemate of a year at the federal level, it’ll mean more of the same challenges for marijuana businesses and a continually tough environment to make money for investors. With the federal government unwavering on its view of marijuana as illegal, it means marijuana-based businesses have no easy access to capital since banks have to jump through a number of loopholes to work with the industry, and it also means a tax disadvantage since marijuana-based businesses have no ability to take normal business deductions. That’s a formula that slows expansion and lowers profitability, which isn’t exactly a recipe for success from the standpoint of investors.

It’s true that marijuana has plenty of potential if the federal government ever does change its stance, but until such time (if that time ever comes), marijuana remains a risky investment that may be best off avoided.

 

 

SOURCE: http://www.fool.com

The Endocannabinoid System: A History of Endocannabinoids and Cannabis

The Endocannabinoid System: A History of Endocannabinoids and Cannabis

Have you ever wondered why marijuana affects us the way it does? What is it that makes THC and CBD react with our bodies, healing and offering relief to the ill? What makes this plant such a diverse medicine, able to treat such a large number of vastly different conditions?

If you had asked this question fifty years ago, there wouldn’t have been an answer for you to find. Unfortunately, the extraction methods available in the early 1900s made it difficult to determine which one of the 80+ cannabinoids found in cannabis was the psychoactive cannabinoid responsible for the effects of marijuana.

The truth is, it’s only been in the last couple of decades that scientists have truly even begun to understand the ways cannabis works within our bodies.

It all started with a scientific breakthrough in 1964, when a scientist from Israel named Raphael Mechoulam was able to identify and isolate THC for the first time – just prior to which they were able to identify CBD as well.

Being able to isolate these cannabinoids for the first time was the first stepping stone in discovering the endocannabinoid system – a biological system that can be found in just about any living thing with a vertebrate.

“By using a plant that has been around for thousands of years, we discovered a new physiological system of immense importance,” says Raphael Mechoulam, the dean of the transnational cannabinoid research community. “We wouldn’t have been able to get there if we had not looked at the plant.”

In 1988, the first cannabinoid receptor was found in the brain of a rat. Initially found by Allyn Howlett and William Devane these cannabinoid receptors turned out to be plentiful in the brain – more so than any other neurotransmitter receptor.

Soon after this discovery researchers started using a synthetic form of THC (which is actually FDA approved these days, to treat severe nausea and wasting syndrome) to start mapping the CB receptors in the brain. Not much of a surprise, the receptors were located primarily found in the regions responsible for mental and physiological processes including memory, higher cognition, motor coordination, appetite and emotions among other places.

This would only begin to explain how cannabinoids affect our brains and bodies – already however, it was becoming clear that cannabinoids likely played a larger part in our physiology than we ever expected. After all, why would we have cannabinoid receptors if cannabinoids could only be delivered from external sources?

It wasn’t until two years later in 1990 before the next big breakthrough; when Lisa Matsuda announced at the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine that she and her colleagues at the National Institute of Mental Health had managed to pinpoint the DNA sequence that defines a THC-sensitive receptor in a rat’s brain.

Not long after this announcement they were able to successfully clone that receptor – allowing them to create molecules that “fit” or “activate” the receptors. Scientists were also able to develop genetically altered mice that lacked this specific receptor – meaning THC should have no effect on them.

When THC was given to the “knockout mice” as they were called, they found that because the THC had nowhere to bind, there was no way to trigger any psychoactive activity – proving once and for all that THC works by activating specific cannabinoid receptors in the brain and central nervous system.

Soon after, in 1993, a second cannabinoid receptor was found – as a part of the immune and nervous systems. Dubbed CB2 (the CB receptors in the brain officially dubbed CB1 receptors) receptors they are found to be plentiful throughout the gut, spleen, liver, heart kidneys, bones, blood vessels, lymph cells and even the reproductive organs.

However that curious, pesky question remained unanswered – why do we have cannabinoid receptors in the first place?

The answer to that question started to unfold in 1992, when the first endocannabinoid was discovered. Anandamide was the first, naturally occurring endogenous cannabinoid, or endocannabinoid. It was found by Raphael Mechoulam as well as NIMH researchers William Devane and Dr. Lumir Hanus.

This is still only one of two known and relatively well-understood endocannabinoids. It attaches to the same CB receptors as THC and it was named after the Sanskrit word for bliss.

A second endocannabinoid was identified in 1995, discovered by none other than Mechoulam’s group yet again. This second major endocannabinoid was dubbed 2-arachidonoylglycerol or “2-AG” to keep it simple. This particular endocannabinoid attaches to both CB1 and CB2 receptors.

It was these discoveries, working backwards, tracing the metabolic pathways of THC, which allowed scientists to discover an entirely unknown molecular signaling system that resides within us – and within thousands of other biological lifeforms, basically everything on our planet with the exception of insects.

Due to the role cannabis played in discovering this system it was rightfully named the endocannabinoid system. While we knew about the plant first – this cellular process has been happening within us for millions of years. According to Dr. John McPartland, the system started evolving as long ago as 600 million years back – when complex life meant a sponge.

There is evidence that a possible third CB receptor has still gone unidentified, thirteen years after the CB2 receptor was initially discovered.

Since then, we have found out that the endocannabinoid system is responsible for maintaining many of our normal bodily functions – everything from helping to maintain healthy bone density (as found in a study with mice and the previously mentioned “knockout mice”) to naturally preventing diabetes – and that’s only the beginning.

It’s interesting to see how far we’ve come – fifty years ago THC had just been identified – now, thanks to the discovery of that one cannabinoid we’ve discovered an entire molecular system within our bodies that we never knew about.

Actually, the endocannabinoid system is possibly the single-most important system within our entire bodies – responsible for maintaining homeostasis. Basically, if our endocannabinoid system is out-of-whack, your whole body could be at risk as it is responsible for many of our normal day to day functions.

The possibilities that come with understanding the endocannabinoid system are practically endless. This one system helps to regulate almost every aspect of our well-being – meaning if we can learn to manipulate these receptors (with use of cannabinoids from cannabis) we could possibly have the answer to not only curing diseases, but preventing them all together.

Is it so hard to think that if supplementing unbalanced naturally occurring endocannabinoids with the cannabinoids from cannabis is able to manage, relieve or control a condition (such as ALS, Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s) and even cure cancer – that it might be possible to use the same process to prevent such conditions in the first place?

“I now believe the answer is yes. Research has shown that small doses of cannabinoids from cannabis can signal the body to make more endocannabinoids and build more cannabinoid receptors. This is why many first-time cannabis users don’t feel an effect, but by their second or third time using the herb they have built more cannabinoid receptors and are ready to respond. More receptors increase a person’s sensitivity to cannabinoids; smaller doses have larger effects, and the individual has an enhanced baseline of endocannabinoid activity. I believe that small, regular doses of cannabis might act as a tonic to our most central physiologic healing system.” – Dustin Sulak, DO (Taken from a blog post from NORML.org)

While there is not much specific scientific data to support these claims, it’s only a matter of time. We’re learning more and more every year about cannabis and the endocannabinoid system. Just look at how far we’ve come in half a century – look at how differently cannabis is viewed by millennials versus how our grandparents viewed it at our age.

In the article by Sulak on NORML.org, there was a quote he used that particularly stuck out to me…

“There were never so many able, active minds at work on the problems of disease as now, and all their discoveries are tending toward the simple truth that you can’t improve on nature.” – Thomas Edison, 1902

The thing here is, this is still 100% true today, over 100 years later. There are thousands of brilliant men and women working in pharmaceuticals, working to create medicines to do exactly what cannabis is already capable of doing. Why do we (humans), always think we have a better way to do things?

Why do we have FDA approved drugs that mimic THC and are potentially stronger than naturally occurring THC – yet the plant that gave way to that drug is considered a highly dangerous drug with no medical value?

People are starting to see however, that sometimes, the best solution is a natural one. One that has been around and been used for thousands of years to treat conditions of all sorts. With the understanding of the endocannabinoid system comes the chance to bring the truth about cannabis to light – finally allowing us to understand how one plant can have such a positive impact on so many different ailments.

Now that we’ve all got a good understanding of exactly how the endocannabinoid system was discovered through cannabis, it will be easier to understand how the endocannabinoid system works. So be on the look-out for the next installment – The Chemistry of Cannabinoids and the Human Body – where we will look at how cannabinoids THC and CBD lock-on to the CB receptors, in turn causing the medicinal benefits that people have come to trust over more traditional medicines.

 

 

 

SOURCES: http://www.marijuanatimes.org, by JULIA GRANOWICZ

Sanders Leaves Michigan, Cops Begin Raiding Medical Marijuana Shops Next Day

Sanders Leaves Michigan, Cops Begin Raiding Medical Marijuana Shops Next Day

you were looking for an example of how the Michigan government has politicized every aspect of state authority, you just found it.

Homeland Security, Michigan State Police and other agencies raided nine medical marijuana distribution centers in the town of Gaylord, Michigan Thursday night, just weeks after the City Council passed an ordinance in support of dispensaries.

Not only did they hit those nine, they have swept out a total of at least a dozen mid-Michigan dispensaries within 48 hours. The raids began less than 24 hours after liberal candidate Bernie Sanders won Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary election.

The primary election was called by news media in favor of Bernie Sanders at 11:00 pm on March 8. By 6:00 pm on March 9, theraiding of medical marijuana patient homes and businesses had begun.

Governor Rick Snyder strikes again, this time with a blue fist.

DETAILS

A press release issued on Friday, March 11 by law enforcement give credit to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 3 different Sheriff’s offices, 4 different narcotics task forces and the State Police for taking down the medical marijuana patients and their businesses.

No precipitating incident drove this new rampage- there was no change in law, no fatal traffic accident, no public outcry. The only event which could have generated this kind of response was the adoption of the pro-dispensary ordinance in Gaylord.

And the passing of that ordinance must have really pissed off state-based law enforcement agencies. On May 27, 2015 the State Police and their local narcotics teams hit 8 Gaylord dispensaries. On September 3rd, citizens filed a petition to make dispensaries, or provisioning centers, legal to operate with city approval. On January 11 the City Councilpassed the ordinance, which added medical marijuana provisioning centers as an approved and protected use in certain commercial areas. The ordinance was to go into effect 30 days after, or approx. February 10.

It’s like the Gaylord City Council flipped the Michigan State Police post the bird and said, stay out of my yard. This is what our citizens want, and we agree.

The raids happened on March 9, before any Center could get through the licensing process. Apparently the State Police wanted to squash businesses before they could gain the protection of local zoning laws.

Police agencies like to claim they can raid locally-empowered but not state-sanctioned dispensaries at any time in Michigan. This recent action is a series of inter-agency coordinated raids involving dozens of police vehicles and an unknown amount of manpower over several days which was clearly planned for some time, leading to questions about the political timing of the raids.

TIMING IS EVERYTHING

Was this really a totally random act of enforcement by police of a law that has existed for years?

Let’s evaluate the circumstance. The centers in question have been known to exist for a long time- some centers, for years in the same location. The eyes of the nation were upon Michigan, and now they are not. No more coverage of the Flint Water Crisis on a daily basis, no more candidate offices and the CNN cameras. That ended on March 8.

On March 9, the raids began.

It would have been very unwise to raid these medical marijuana distribution centers before a pro-marijuana law reform candidate like Bernie Sanders came to Michigan. Any stories of widespread police raids and suffering marijuana patients would have elevated the issue of cannabis’ Schedule 1 status into the Michigan presidential debates. Sanders does very well when the subject of marijuana enters the debate.

Similarly, the Flint Water Crisis occupied the media’s attention for months before the candidates and debates arrived. This was a time when media investigators were poking and prodding for any angle on government’s overreach of authority, and raiding the homes of sick people is an act of government that is not widely supported by the populace.

Add to that the January 29th dismissal of one charge and a not guilty finding on another charge against Al Witt, one of the men charged in the May raids on Gaylord dispensaries. Witt was convicted of only one charge, a conviction that will likely be appealed. This must have frustrated some Sheriffs.

It doesn’t take a big leap to imagine that the State Police may have wanted to drop on the Centers after the ordinance was adopted in early January but were told to wait, to avoid any unwanted attention to Governor Snyder during his administration’s time of crisis.

Then, they were most likely told to wait again until after the Presidential candidates and their attendant news media left the state and all eyes were elsewhere. The candidates left; the raids began.

Boy, they sure didn’t wait for long.

 

SOURCES: The Compassion Chronicles

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