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Cannabis townhall meeting set for Monday in New West - The Record (New Westminster)

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 14:23

The Record (New Westminster)

Cannabis townhall meeting set for Monday in New West
The Record (New Westminster)
The city is hosting an open council workshop on Monday, June 18 at 6 p.m. to get public input regarding the future regulatory framework for the sale of cannabis in New Westminster. The sale of cannabis is currently prohibited in New West, but will ...

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New Cannabis NB stores to market weed for different 'occasions ... - CBC.ca

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 13:15

CBC.ca

New Cannabis NB stores to market weed for different 'occasions ...
CBC.ca
New Cannabis NB stores will categorize weed for different 'occasions' — with a different product depending on what you like to do once you're high.

and more »
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How Toast Aims To Build The Moët Hennessy Of Cannabis: Colorado Edition - Forbes

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 11:51

Forbes

How Toast Aims To Build The Moët Hennessy Of Cannabis: Colorado Edition
Forbes
Today's estimated $75 billion legalized marijuana market enjoyed the highest of times in 2014, two years after recreational weed became legalized. Dispensaries opened their doors to the delight of millions of Americans who could finally partake legally ...

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Here's Why We Believe That Medical Marijuana Stock Aphria Is ... - Forbes

Google - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 11:40

Forbes

Here's Why We Believe That Medical Marijuana Stock Aphria Is ...
Forbes
As Canada comes close to legalizing marijuana for personal use, Canadian pot stocks are on the rise. According to market research, the sales of Canadian ...

and more »
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Expanding Medicare to Everyone Is the Only Way We Can Fully Protect It

Alternet - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 07:37
Our health care system is incredibly inefficient.

Medicare is under attack. The only way to fully protect it is to expand it to everyone.

Today’s Republican politicians have made no secret of their desire to end Medicare as we know it. For years, they have supported raising Medicare’s age of eligibility from age 65 to age 67 and transforming it from a guaranteed benefit program into one in which the government gives you an inadequate “voucher” for private health insurance. The well-respected Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has explained that the Republican proposals “would shift substantial costs to Medicare beneficiaries and… leave many 65- and 66-year olds without any health coverage at all.”

This anti-Medicare battle is one that conservatives have been waging since its enactment. Like Social Security, which they argued at the time of its passage was “socialism,” opponents in 1965 accused Medicare of being “socialized” medicine and claimed it would put the government between you and your doctor.

Social Security and Medicare have now stood the test of time. That means it’s harder for opponents to scare you about “socialism” and government “interference.” Instead, they claim that the issue is affordability, and that they are simply trying to “save” Social Security and Medicare. But these programs don’t need saving. They are both solutions, not problems. The fight is about ideology and values, as well as whether to protect the profits of powerful political donors.

Those who oppose Medicare are against government-sponsored insurance. They want to keep for-profit corporate middle men involved in delivering our health care. But that is what is truly unaffordable, as well as morally bankrupt.

Our health care system is incredibly inefficient. Just look at the drug prices we pay. They are the highest in the world.

The following graph, prepared by the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, projects the nation’s health care costs over 75 years, assuming that future costs rise at their historical rate.

If we keep going as we have been, our health care costs will eventually consume 99 percent of GDP. Obviously, that is impossible. We cannot spend all of our collective wealth on health care and leave nothing for food, housing, and other necessities! Rising health care costs overall are what is unsustainable, not Medicare.

While Medicare and Medicaid are much more efficient than private sector insurance, they cannot keep their costs in check when overall health care costs are rising so rapidly. This is particularly true when Donald Trump and the other Republicans hamstring Medicare by prohibiting it from negotiating for lower drug prices and implementing other cost-saving measures. It is overall costs, private as well as public, that must be addressed.

By ending Medicare and substituting vouchers so that seniors and people with disabilities must fend for themselves against private insurance companies, what Republicans aim to do is to shift costs away from the government and onto the shoulders of seniors, people with disabilities, and low-income families. That will make the government balance sheet look better, but it will cause all of our health care costs to go up.

If Republicans are successful in raising Medicare’s initial age of eligibility from 65 to 67, for example, that action alone would reduce the federal government’s balance sheet by $5.7 billion—but it would cost individuals, employers, and states $11.4 billion! And that’s only in the first year.

Ending Medicare—or simply continuing to constrain it, so that it can’t even negotiate for lower drug prices—will enrich corporations but bury the rest of us. It will allow Republicans to cut taxes even more for their billionaire donors and spend more on military contractors, while more and more of us will have to choose between health care and food.

That is no solution. Market-based provision of health care using for-profit corporations is vastly inferior to universal, government-sponsored health insurance, which is the most effective and efficient way to cover everyone. Insurance is most cost-efficient and reliable when the risks can be spread across as broad a population as possible and when no one can purchase the insurance only when personal risk factors increase—a practice known as adverse selection.

Only the national government has the power and ability to establish a nationwide, universal risk pool, which makes adverse selection impossible. And when the federal government administers the insurance, overhead is minimized. Instead of high-paid CEOs, hardworking civil servants are in charge. And other costs, like advertising and marketing, are unnecessary. Moreover, the government is not seeking a profit for shareholders. Consequently, the government can provide health care less expensively and more efficiently for everyone.

For these reasons, every other industrialized country provides universal health care coverage, spends far less as a percentage of GDP, and produces better outcomes. But we don’t have to look to other countries to see the advantages.

Given the greater efficiency of government-sponsored wage and health insurance, it is not surprising that Social Security and Medicare are so cost effective. More than 99 cents of every dollar Social Security spends is paid in benefits. Less than a penny goes to administration. These are much lower administrative costs than can be found under Social Security’s private sector counterparts.

Similarly, Medicare covers seniors and people with disabilities, people who, on average, have the worst health and the most expensive medical conditions, requiring the largest numbers of doctor and hospital visits. Accordingly, they have the largest number of health care claims. Yet, Medicare is significantly more efficient than private health insurance.

According to the most recent Trustees Report, Medicare spends just 1.1 penny of every dollar on administrative costs. The rest is paid in benefits. In contrast the administrative costs of private health insurance average around 11 to 17 percent. In some cases, they can run as high as 30 percent.

Medicare’s per capita administrative costs are substantially lower than those in the private sector. And that is without universal coverage, which would allow even greater efficiencies and even lower prices.

It is noteworthy that if the United States had the same per capita health care cost as any other industrialized country, our nation would project long-term federal budget surpluses for the foreseeable future. (The Center for Economic and Policy Research has an online calculator that allows you to pick any of those other countries and see the effect on the U.S. budget.)

Unless we extend Medicare to everyone, costs will rise, giving Republicans the excuse that they want to cut or, worse, privatize Medicare. By replacing for-profit insurance corporations with Medicare for All, we will lower Medicare’s per capita costs and dramatically reduce how much our nation spends on health care. This will free up resources to provide better benefits and still have money left over for other pressing federal needs.

Medicare for All is extremely wise policy. Its efficiency will make adding dental, hearing, vision, and other important treatments much more affordable. Unlike cutting Medicare, which would shift costs to seniors and people with disabilities, expanding Medicare would reduce the costs all of us pay.

So why isn’t Medicare for All the law of the land yet? Big Pharma and other powerful donors know that it would reduce their profits. Therefore, they have resisted this sensible solution for a century. They fight against Medicare for All so that their profits can grow even larger at the expense of the rest of us.

Including everyone in Medicare will protect the program politically. Instead of politicians and their corporate donors playing the young against the old, they will instead have to bow to the will of all of us. Expanding Medicare will finally force politicians to improve Medicare, eliminating lifetime caps and making other reforms that should have been enacted long ago. If they refuse, we can vote them out of office in favor of elected officials who listen to the people.

Medicare for All will be better for seniors, better for people with disabilities and better for all of us. It will make guaranteed, high quality health care a right, not a privilege. But to win against the powerful special interests and their political lackeys, we must all stand together and make sure our voices are heard and our votes counted.

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Mind Molding Psychedelic Drugs Could Treat Depression and Other Mental Illnesses

Alternet - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 07:02
Psychedelic drugs have inspired great songs and works of art. But they may also have potential for treating disease like depression and PTSD by helping to regrow damaged regions of the brain.

It seems that psychedelics do more than simply alter perception. According to the latest research from my colleagues and me, they change the structures of neurons themselves.

My research group has been studying the effects of psychedelics on neuronal structure and function, and we found that these compounds cause neurons to grow. A lot. Many of these compounds are well-known and include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocin (from magic mushrooms), N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT, from ayahuasca) and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, aka ecstasy).

These are among the most powerful drugs known to affect brain function, and our research shows that they can alter the structure of the brain as well. Changes in neuronal structure are important because they can impact how the brain is wired, and consequently, how we feel, think and behave.

Prior to our study, there were relatively few compounds known to have such drastic and rapid effects on neuronal structure. One of those compounds was ketamine – a dissociative anesthetic and quite possibly the best fast-acting antidepressant that we have available to us at the moment.

If you think of a neuron like a tree, then its dendrites would be the large branches, and its dendritic spines – which receive signals from other neurons – would be the small branches. Some of these small branches might have leaves, or synapses in the case of a neuron. In fact, neuroscientists often use terms like “arbor” and “pruning” much like a horticulturist would. When we grew neurons in a dish – which is not unlike growing a plant in a pot – and fed them psychedelic compounds, the neurons sprouted more dendritic branches, grew more dendritic spines, and formed more connections with neighboring neurons.

Rethinking depression

Thanks to studies on ketamine, slow-acting antidepressants and chronic stress models of depression, scientists now know that depression is not simply the result of a “chemical imbalance,” as pharmaceutical companies like to suggest. It is far more complicated and involves structural changes in key neural circuits that regulate emotion, anxiety, memory and reward.

One of the hallmarks of depression is the atrophy of neurons in the prefrontal cortex – a region of the brain that controls anxiety and regulates mood among other things. Basically, these branches and spines shrivel up, disconnecting from other neurons in the brain. One hypothesis for why ketamine is so effective is because it can rapidly regrow the arbors and spines of these critical neurons.

Like ketamine, psychedelics have shown promise in the clinic for treating neuropsychiatric diseases. The DMT-containing herbal tea known as ayahuasca produces fast-acting antidepressant effects within a day, psilocybin eases the anxiety of terminally ill cancer patients and MDMA can reduce fear in those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Our recent papers suggest the intriguing possibility that psychedelic compounds and ketamine might share a common therapeutic mechanism.

Psychedelics vs. psychoplastogens

Strictly speaking, a psychedelic is a “mind-manifesting” drug – a definition that’s open to interpretation. They tend to produce perceptual distortions or hallucinations by activating 5-HT2A receptors. Our research group has found that compounds typically regarded as psychedelics, like LSD and DMT, as well as those that are sometimes called psychedelics, like MDMA, and those that are not usually called psychedelics, like ketamine, are all capable of profoundly impacting neuronal structure.

Our group has coined the term “psychoplastogen” to refer to such compounds, and we believe that these molecules may hold the key to treating a wide variety of brain diseases.

Our studies on neurons grown in dishes, as well as experiments performed using fruit flies and rodents, have demonstrated that several psychoplastogens, including psychedelics and ketamine, encourage neurons to grow more branches and spines. It seems that all of these compounds work by activating mTOR – a key protein involved in cell growth.

The biochemical machinery that regulates mTOR activity is intricate. As we tease apart how psychedelics and other psychoplastogens turn on mTOR signaling, we might be able to engineer compounds that only produce the therapeutic effects on neuronal growth while bypassing pathways that lead to undesired hallucinations.

This figure shows the effects of three psychedelics and one control (VEH) on cortical neurons. These neurons were treated for 24 hours before being visualized using super-resolution microscopy. The colors represent proteins found in specific locations of the neuron. Orange protrusions from the purple dendrite indicate dendritic spines. Ly et al., CC BY-ND

The field has known for some time now that psychedelics can produce lasting positive effects on brain function, and it’s possible that these long-lasting changes result from the psychoplastogenic effects of these drugs. If true, this would suggest that psychoplastogens might be used to repair circuits that are damaged in mood and anxiety disorders.

Panacea or poison?

Many diseases, such as depression and anxiety disorders, are characterized by atrophy of dendritic branches and spines. Therefore, compounds capable of rapidly promoting dendritic growth, like psychedelics, have broad therapeutic potential. The number of papers demonstrating that psychedelics can produce therapeutic effects continues to grow every year.

However, we should temper our enthusiasm because we do not yet know all of the risks associated with using these drugs. For example, it’s possible that promoting neuronal growth during development could have negative consequences by interfering with the normal processes by which neural circuits are refined. We just don’t know, yet.

Similarly, it is unclear what effects psychoplastogens will have on the aging brain. It’s important to keep in mind that excessive mTOR activation is also associated with a number of diseases including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and Alzheimer’s disease.

To me, it’s obvious that we need to understand how these powerful compounds affect the brain, in both positive and negative ways, if we hope to fully comprehend the fundamental laws governing how the nervous system works and how to fix it when it doesn’t.

David E. Olson, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry; Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine; Center for Neuroscience, University of California, Davis

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

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OR: Top US attorney in Oregon charges 9 in fraud, pot scheme - KOIN

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:58
koin.com (US) (AP) - Oregon's top federal prosecutor has charged nine people with financial and drug crimes in what he says was a scheme to defraud banks and use the money to grow marijuana for the black market. (Wed Jun 13 21:58:33 2018 PDT)
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OR: Willamette Week -- Portland News, Movies, Music, Restaurants, Arts - Willamette Week

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:30
wweek.com (US) The cannabis honeymoon is over. (Wed Jun 13 22:30:45 2018 PDT)
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OR: Willamette Week -- Portland News, Movies, Music, Restaurants, Arts - Willamette Week

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:30
wweek.com (US) A TED Talks-Styled Educational Cannabis Series is Coming to Portland Weed is legal for adult use in nine states and the District of Columbia. (Wed Jun 13 22:30:45 2018 PDT)
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OR: Willamette Week -- Portland News, Movies, Music, Restaurants, Arts - Willamette Week

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:30
wweek.com (US) Deep-Pocketed Investors Are Storming Oregonb s Cannabis Market. (Wed Jun 13 22:30:45 2018 PDT)
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OR: Green Hop Brings Cannabis and Hip-Hop Together in North Portland - Willamette Week

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:30
wweek.com (US) Green Hop Brings Cannabis and Hip-Hop Together in North Portland - Willamette Week Green Hop Brings Cannabis and Hip-Hop Together in North Portland Green Hop c... (Wed Jun 13 22:30:45 2018 PDT)
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OR: Willamette Week -- Portland News, Movies, Music, Restaurants, Arts - Willamette Week

Drug News Bot - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:30
wweek.com (US) The cannabis honeymoon is over. (Wed Jun 13 22:30:45 2018 PDT) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(75%), $propaganda_theme3(50%), $propaganda_theme6(75%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $plants(100%), $intoxicant(100%), $cannabis(100%), $school(100%)]
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OR: Willamette Week -- Portland News, Movies, Music, Restaurants, Arts - Willamette Week

Drug News Bot - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:30
wweek.com (US) A TED Talks-Styled Educational Cannabis Series is Coming to Portland Weed is legal for adult use in nine states and the District of Columbia. (Wed Jun 13 22:30:45 2018 PDT) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(75%), $propaganda_theme3(50%), $propaganda_theme6(75%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $plants(100%), $intoxicant(100%), $cannabis(100%), $cannabis_industry(85%), $school(100%)]
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OR: Willamette Week -- Portland News, Movies, Music, Restaurants, Arts - Willamette Week

Drug News Bot - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:30
wweek.com (US) Deep-Pocketed Investors Are Storming Oregonb s Cannabis Market. (Wed Jun 13 22:30:45 2018 PDT) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(75%), $propaganda_theme6(75%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $plants(100%), $intoxicant(100%), $cannabis(100%), $cannabis_industry(70%), $school(100%)]
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OR: Green Hop Brings Cannabis and Hip-Hop Together in North Portland - Willamette Week

Drug News Bot - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:30
wweek.com (US) Green Hop Brings Cannabis and Hip-Hop Together in North Portland - Willamette Week Green Hop Brings Cannabis and Hip-Hop Together in North Portland Green Hop c... (Wed Jun 13 22:30:45 2018 PDT) [$drug_related(100%), $drugwar_propaganda(90%), $propaganda_theme1(90%), $addiction(60%), $propaganda_theme2(60%), $propaganda_theme3(75%), $propaganda_theme5(60%), $propaganda_theme6(75%), $illegal_drugs(100%), $drugs(95%), $compassion_club(100%), $plants(100%), $intoxicant(100%), $medical_cannabis(100%), $cannabis(100%), $cannabis_industry(85%), $various_drugs(95%), $youth(60%), $school(100%), $aggrandizement(100%)]
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OR: 19th Annual Global Cannabis March/Oregon Cannabis Festival - Salem-News.Com

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:25
salem-news.com (US) Will participate in the annual Global Cannabis March. B Even though legalization is now a reality in Oregon. We have much work to do. (Wed Jun 13 22:25:08 2018 PDT)
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OR: 2018 Granny Storm Crow's List Released - Salem-News.Com

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:25
salem-news.com (US) Cannabis News Storm Crow Salem-News.com Cannabis De-Classified "Marijuana is such a big thing. An effective herbal medicine that is safer to use than common aspirin has no business being a Schedule I drug! (Wed Jun 13 22:25:08 2018 PDT)
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OR: Hemp Farming Act of 2018 to Legalize Hemp and Spur New Markets - Salem-News.Com

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:25
salem-news.com (US) The Hemp Farming Act of 2018 which stipulates that hemp will be legalized and removed from the Controlled Substances Act and also makes industrial hemp eligible for crop insurance. (Wed Jun 13 22:25:08 2018 PDT)
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OR: Merkley Cosponsors Landmark Bill to End Federal Prohibition of Marijuana - Salem-News.Com

Bot - Cannabis - Wed, 06/13/2018 - 01:25
salem-news.com (US) Spearheading bipartisan efforts to enable banks to serve legal cannabis businesses so they donb t have to operate in all cash. (Wed Jun 13 22:25:08 2018 PDT)
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