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6 Ways to Save Money by Making Your Cannabis Last Longer - Leafly

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 12:48

Leafly

6 Ways to Save Money by Making Your Cannabis Last Longer
Leafly
Every time I get to the bottom of my cannabis jar, I find myself thinking, “Damn, I already smoked all of that?!” Don't be like me—there are ways to make your cannabis purchases last longer between dispensary visits, and as long as you have some ...

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The FDA Just Torched 4 Companies for Claiming Marijuana Products Can Treat Cancer - Fortune

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:45

Fortune

The FDA Just Torched 4 Companies for Claiming Marijuana Products Can Treat Cancer
Fortune
As medical and fully legal recreational marijuana become increasingly common in America, claims about cannabis' health effects have finally been getting serious scrutiny. The medical literature to date paints a mixed picture of marijuana's effect on ...
FDA warns companies marketing unproven products, derived from marijuana, that claim to treat or cure cancerFDA.gov
Companies claim marijuana makes cancer “commit suicide,” FDA ...Ars Technica
FDA cracks down on bogus marijuana "cures" for cancerCBS News
New York Daily News -Bloomberg -Marijuana Moment -FDA
all 62 news articles »
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The Big Smoke: how would decriminalising cannabis change London? - Time Out (blog)

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:44

Time Out (blog)

The Big Smoke: how would decriminalising cannabis change London?
Time Out (blog)
If the Daily Mail is to be believed, then Ital Simpson, aka north London rapper Black the Ripper, is a 'hooligan'. His pro-cannabis YouTube stunts have included hotboxing the London Eye, the tube, a polling station and even an EasyJet plane. 'They ...

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The Feds Think Pot Is a Greater Threat Than Opioids

Alternet - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 10:31
Click here for reuse options! Prosecutorial priorities appear skewed.

By now, anyone who is awake is aware that the country is experiencing a lethal opioid crisis. Opioid overdose deaths are at record highs, President Trump has declared a national public health emergency, and Congress is considering an ever-growing number of bills aimed at addressing the crisis.

Someone needs to tell the DEA and the Justice Department. While their public policy pronouncements identify opioids as a key concern, a look at who is actually being prosecuted for federal drug offenses shows that heroin and prescription opioid cases account for only a small fraction of all federal drug cases.

Most tellingly, at a time when more than 60 million Americans enjoy legal marijuana in their home states and when opinion polls show strong and increasing majorities in favor of legalization nationwide, drug agents and federal prosecutors are still devoting more resources to marijuana than to heroin.

And it's not just marijuana. The feds also pursued more cases against methamphetamine offenders and cocaine offenders than they did against heroin dealers, even though the number of heroin and prescription opioid users far outnumbers either the meth or the cocaine using populations and even though meth and cocaine are far less implicated in the overdose crisis than heroin and prescription opioids.

Rhetoric is one thing; what actually happens on the ground is another. And as these 2016 statistics from United States Sentencing Commission demonstrate, heroin and prescription opioids have not been a high priority for either the DEA agents who bring cases or the US Attorneys' offices that prosecute them.  

According to the data, only 14.2% of federal drug prosecutions went after heroin. That's a 29% increase over 2012, but still only a small percentage of all drug cases. An additional 2.8% of cases involved oxycodone, but that figure has been declining for the past several years and is largely a remnant of pill mill prosecutions from early in this decade. Many of the oxycodone cases came from the Eastern District of Kentucky, one of the epicenters of the pill mill phenomenon.

Marijuana cases, on the other hand, made up 17.6% of all federal drug prosecutions last year—more than the heroin and oxycodone cases combined. And remember, this was last year, when the Obama administration was in power. While it's too early for 2017 statistics, it's probably safe to assume that a Justice Department led by marijuana foe Jeff Sessions is not going to oversee a decrease in pot cases.

But what the feds really have their eyes on is meth and cocaine. Meth accounted for a full third (33.6%) of all federal drug prosecutions, while powder and crack cocaine cases accounted for another 27.9%. The numbers don't lie: Federal drug enforcement efforts emphasize meth and coke, and then marijuana, over heroin and prescription opioids.

Anti-prohibitionists will argue that there should be no drug prosecutions; that drug prohibition only exacerbates the problems related to drug use, and that's a fair point. But we live in a prohibition regime, and the priorities of DEA agents and US attorneys in that regime are fair game. That the feds make marijuana a higher prosecutorial priority than heroin is just absurd. 

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Marijuana In Casinos? Not Until Federal Law Changes, Vegas Congresswoman Says - Forbes

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 09:33

Forbes

Marijuana In Casinos? Not Until Federal Law Changes, Vegas Congresswoman Says
Forbes
The Las Vegas Democrat has sponsored or signed onto bills and amendments that would protect state laws from Justice Department interference, allow marijuana businesses to use banks and let military veterans access medical cannabis recommendations ...

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Italian court rules its 'okay for Rastafarians to smoke marijuana when meditating' - The Independent

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 09:28

The Independent

Italian court rules its 'okay for Rastafarians to smoke marijuana when meditating'
The Independent
An Italian court has acquitted a man of cannabis possession because he is a Rastafarian and was using the drug to meditate. The 30-year-old was arrested in May last year after police found eight grams of cannabis in his pocket and a further 50 grams at ...

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If You Can't Afford $4,500 for a Dose of Medicine, You Don't Get to Live

Alternet - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 08:51
"We face a choice—watch as price-gouging constricts access to naloxone or do something about it."

The war on opioids is in full force, and we are losing. More than 64,000 Americans will die overdose deaths this year. Tighter regulations on prescription narcotics may just be shifting those with opioid addictions back to heroin cartels. During his last term, President Obama signed a bill funding $1 billion into programs combating opioid addiction, including programs that increased access to naloxone, the antidote for opioid overdoses. The current administration announced this year its plan to grant $485 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to states to fight opioid addiction. At the same time, synthetic opioids like carfentanil are proving highly resistant to common doses of naloxone, sometimes requiring 10 or more doses of naloxone to reverse an overdose.

The opioid crisis quickly became a state of emergency. More than 40 states responded by making naloxone available without a prescription for the express purpose of enabling family members to revive their loved ones in case of overdose. Other local initiatives have involved the push to make naloxone available to all first responders, including the police and even their K9s who may be exposed to lethal levels of opioids at crime scenes.

While these initial strides have helped to combat deaths from opioid overdose, the financial burden is becoming exhausting. Naloxone has been on the market since 1971 and became generic in 1985. The drug itself is cheap, with current wholesale price cited as $0.33 for a 2ml vial or $11.70 for 10 2ml vials by the International Medical Product Guide. Comparatively, in the US, a simple vial of naloxone is 40 times that price. Price-gauging poster child Mylan of the now infamous EpiPen scandal sells naloxone at $23.72/ml, Hospira sells it at $14.25/ml, Amphastar at $19.8/ml and West-Ward at $20.40/ml.

These prices are for the drug naloxone only, and do not include any of the delivery devices like auto-injectors or nasal injectors. As a result, they are only helpful to medically-trained persons like paramedics, often funded by state and local taxpayer dollars. Citing cost concerns, communities have begun to propose "one and done" or "three strikes" rules where people are limited on the number of overdose responses they get from city ambulance services -- so the next time they call, the city will just let them die. Middletown, Ohio, was one of those cities -- a town that is on track to spend over $2 million this year responding to opioid addiction problems, with $100,000 on Narcan alone.

With government capabilities already limited by cost, the burden of life-saving shifts to private (usually lay, non-medically trained) consumers of naloxone, almost always family members of an opiate user. These loved ones need a naloxone option that is easy to deliver in a crisis, without the training required for syringes and measurements needed to use simple vials of naloxone. This is where the price gouging becomes more appalling. For a drug that costs as low as $0.16/ml, current naloxone options for the lay consumer are exorbitantly cost prohibitive. The naloxone auto-injector by Kaleo Pharma costs $4,500, and the naloxone nasal spray by Adapt Pharma, a simple plastic nasal sprayer that could be manufactured for pennies, now costs $110. This is the price to save a life now, with a generic drug that has been on the market for nearly 50 years.

This is concerning, especially for people living in poverty who are disproportionately affected by addiction. Concerned by the public health ramifications of this, earlier this year,  31 US senators sent a letter to Kaleo, maker of Evzio, demanding an explanation for not only the cost of the drug, but also the 600 percent price hike in the drug. Like Mylan during the EpiPen scandal, Kaleo responded by citing donations of its product to various agencies, as well as a complicated web of rebates and discounts. These do make the drug more affordable for some patients, usually those with insurance, but more often than not, this results in increased market share as consumers are swayed to use the product and not enough impact from a population health perspective. Already, Kaleo has maxed its donations of product, but many that received those devices now rely on it. Meanwhile, Kaleo is enjoying a 20 percent overall market share on the retail naloxone dispensed. For the 40-64-year-olds that most often need naloxone, Kaleo holds an even more solid 50 percent of the market share.

Pharmaceutical price gouging has created a situation where access to life-saving medicines is limited by profit margins. As government agencies are already struggling with costs, the burden gets shifted to the private consumer. In that market, the message is clear: If you can't afford $4,500 for a dose of medicine, you don't get to live. In a way, haven't these pharmaceutical companies now become the "death panels" in the "rationing of health care" that we once so feared during the initial Affordable Care Act debates?

Naloxone is a life-saving drug, one that serves the public in an increasingly important way as we continue to search for other ways to limit the devastation caused by the ongoing opioid crisis.

As one example, Harm Reduction Therapeutics is a nonprofit pharmaceutical company that is working to maximize naloxone's over-the-counter availability while minimizing the price and financial burdens to consumers, first responders, and state and local governments. Co-founder and CEO Michael Hufford noted that "philanthropic foundations backing this new nonprofit pharmaceutical model will help with an urgently needed response to the opioid crisis, while realizing a tremendous return on their investment, measured not in dollars, but in lives saved."

With such public impact, it is time to stop relying on "pharma bros" and start creating and incentivizing nonprofit or government and academic-sponsored institutions for an alternative.  Store shelves need to be flooded with easy-to-use naloxone devices that are sold for what they cost to make and distribute. Only then will the supply of this life-saving generic drug begin to meet the tragic demand for it.

In the words of Hufford, "As lives are lost every day from opioid overdoses, and debate continues as to whether it formally constitutes a crisis, we face a choice -- watch as price-gouging constricts access to naloxone or do something about it. We have chosen to do something about it."

Correction: This article incorrectly stated the amount of funding for fighting opioid addiction provided by legislation signed by President Obama. The 21st Century Cures Act, a bill signed into law by Obama last year, provides $1 billion in opioid funding. 

Copyright, Truthout. Reprinted with permission. 

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Could Cigarettes and Booze Be the Real "Gateway Drugs"?

Alternet - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 08:37
Using these legal substances preps the brain for cocaine addiction, new research suggests.

 

 

Alcohol reshapes the brain in ways that make rats more likely to become cocaine addicts

The idea of a "gateway drug" may sound like a throwback to the "Just say no" era. But new research offers fresh evidence that alcohol and nicotine — two psychoactive agents that are legal, ubiquitous and widely used during adolescence — ease the path that leads from casual cocaine use to outright addiction.

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Marijuana Legalization And Crime: The Only Facts You Need To Know

Alternet - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 08:25
Researcher: Cannabis legislation 'is not predictive of higher crime rates.'

It’s been one of the primary claims made by the opponents of cannabis regulation for generations: Increased marijuana use will lead to more violent crime. Here are the facts about marijuana legalization and crime.

Earlier this year, Attorney General revived the debate when he declared:

“We’re seeing real violence around that (marijuana legalization). Experts are telling me there’s more violence around marijuana than one would think and there’s big money involved.”

The nation’s top cop didn’t provide any data or clarify where he received his information. (“Experts are telling me ..” is clearly not verifiable.)

But data provided by official state agencies simply does not support the claims of the attorney general. States that regulate and license the production and distribution of cannabis have not seen “more violence around marijuana.” Nor have they seen an increase in violent crime. Statistics demonstrate that many jurisdictions have experienced a drop in violent crime following legalization efforts.

An important caveat: Advocates on both sides of the issue will toss around numbers in an attempt to support their argument. But correlation does not necessarily imply causation. One thing is certain: The fear-mongering of increased crime surrounding marijuana regulation is a canard.

A 2014 study published by researchers at the University of Texas demonstrated that the enactment of “medical marijuana laws precedes a reduction in homicide and assault. … In sum, these findings run counter to arguments suggesting the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes poses a danger to public health in terms of exposure to violent crime and property crimes.”

Robert Morris from the University of Texas, analyzed data supplied from the FBI and found:

“[Medical marijuana legislation] is not predictive of higher crime rates and may be related to reductions in rates of homicide and assault. … Given the relationship between alcohol and violent crime, it may turn out that substituting marijuana for alcohol leads to minor reductions in violent crimes.”

Another study published by researchers at UCLA reported that the growth of medical marijuana outlets in urban areas “was not associated with violent crime or property crime rates.” The researchers suggested that medical marijuana dispensaries may reduce neighborhood crime because of the security precautions taken by business owners.

In the state of Washington, which legalized adult recreational consumption three years ago,  violent crime fell 10 percent statewide.

In Seattle, the state’s largest city, overall crime numbers in February 2017 were the lowest in five years. So far this year, there has been a major drop in crime rates.

Rates of violent crime and property crime fell in the city of Denver following legalization. Crime rates have similarly declined in Portland, Oregon according to a recent CATO think-tank policy report.

According to CATO’s researchers:

“The absence of significant adverse consequences is especially striking given the sometimes dire predictions made by legalization opponents.”

No credible data exists that supports an association between increased violent crime and regulated cannabis.  Studies suggest that violent crime goes down in states with legalized medical marijuana.

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'A very real danger': U.S. attorney general's views on marijuana ... - CBC.ca

Google - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 01:03

CBC.ca

'A very real danger': U.S. attorney general's views on marijuana ...
CBC.ca
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is staunchly against marijuana use in any form, recreational or medical, a position that leaves uncertainty for dispensary ...

and more »
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AK: 10/2 Music History - KWHL

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 00:29
kwhl.com Alaska sees continued growth in marijuana tax revenue (Thu Nov 02 18:29:49 2017 PDT)
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AK: Alaska sees continued growth in marijuana tax revenue - KWHL

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 00:29
kwhl.com The tax is imposed when marijuana is sold or transferred from a cultivation facility to a marijuana retailer or manufacturing facility. (Thu Nov 02 18:29:49 2017 PDT)
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AK: Marijuana tax collections increasing in Alaska

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 00:28
ktuu.com (US) Marijuana tax collections increasing in Alaska ... (Thu Nov 02 18:28:39 2017 PDT)
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AK: Mat-Su Borough Assembly Closes Marijuana Permit Loophole, Grandfathers Talkeetna Retail Shop - KTNA 88.9 FM

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 00:27
ktna.org Grandfathers Talkeetna Retail Shop Talkeetna Herb Company had already completed the state licensing process before the error in borough code was discovered. (Thu Nov 02 18:27:39 2017 PDT)
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AK: Fix to Borough Marijuana Business Loophole Delayed - KTNA 88.9 FM

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 00:27
ktna.org Fix to Borough Marijuana Business Loophole Delayed - KTNA 88.9 FM Fix to Borough Marijuana Business Loophole Delayed The amendment went through the boroughb s Marijuana Advisory Committee and Plann... (Thu Nov 02 18:27:39 2017 PDT)
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AK: Code Error Could Allow Talkeetna Cannabis Dispensary to Bypass Borough Permit - KTNA 88.9 FM

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 00:27
ktna.org Code Error Could Allow Talkeetna Cannabis Dispensary to Bypass Borough Permit - KTNA 88.9 FM Code Error Could Allow Talkeetna Cannabis Di... (Thu Nov 02 18:27:39 2017 PDT)
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FL: Bay County man arrested in drug bust at Callaway residence - Newstalk@101

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 00:23
info.newstalk101.com Bay County police more than 4 ounces of cocaine, 2 pounds of marijuana, 1 ounce of crack cocaine, 9 grams of methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia and $7,000 cash. Bay County police more than 4 ounces of cocaine, 2 pounds of marijuan... (Thu Nov 02 21:23:03 2017 PDT)
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CANADA: West Kelowna targetting more pot shops - Kelowna Capital News

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 00:21
kelownacapnews.com RCMP investigating four more dispensaries The City of West Kelowna is attempting to have all six marijuana dispensaries operating within the city closed The City of West Kelowna is attempting to have all six marijuana dispensaries operating within the city closed The City of West Kelowna is attempting to have all six marijuana dispensaries operating within the city closed Kirsten Jones. (Thu Nov 02 02:21:15 2017 PDT)
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CANADA: Central Okanagan cities staking out positions on pot shops - Kelowna Capital News

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 00:21
kelownacapnews.com Is one of the several marijuana dispensaries in West Kelowna told to shut down by Oct. 1. &mdash. (Thu Nov 02 02:21:15 2017 PDT)
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CANADA: Alistair Waters, Author at Kelowna Capital News

Bot - Cannabis - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 00:21
kelownacapnews.com Thereb s pot at the end of the rainbowb but is there money for municipalities too? (Thu Nov 02 02:21:15 2017 PDT)
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