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January 2018
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Good riddance to the Cole Memo

There’s been a lot of talk about how Attorney General Jeff Sessions has eliminated the Cole Memo – an advisory document intended to reduce the focus on federal prosecutions of state-legal cannabis operations as long as a list of guidelines were followed.

In reality, the Cole Memo was limited, vague, and had no force of law – any Attorney General could overturn it at will (as Sessions has done). It was the appearance of the federal government respecting state law without having to actually, you know, do it.

The good thing about Sessions’ tone-deaf action is that it’s woken a lot of people up to the absurdity of still having a federal prohibition that could allow prosecutors to arrest citizens for openly following state law. Sessions has managed to anger liberals, conservatives and libertarians through his action.

Perhaps the absence of the Cole Memo, and the outrage following its repeal, will finally get Congress to act and do something meaningful.

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217 comments to Good riddance to the Cole Memo

  • DdC

    Democrats picked Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-MA) to respond to President Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday. He was one of only ten Democrats to vote against a 2015 amendment protecting medical cannabis patients and providers from federal prosecution. He also opposed measures on medical marijuana for veterans and CBD for kids with epilepsy, putting him way out of step with voters and his party.

    Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL) is bringing a medical cannabis patient as his guest to the State of the Union speech.

    A leaked U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons memo directs corrections officials to identify inmates for transfer to private facilities.

    New data shows that 86% of those arrested for low-level marijuana possession in New York City in 2017 were black or Hispanic.

    Ignorant Jeff Orders Moral Thing to do. Profit Prisons

  • DdC

    U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, speaking at a Drug Enforcement Administration graduation ceremony, claimed that increased support for legalization and ending the war on drugs has led to more drug overdose deaths.

    A study concluded that legalizing marijuana in Washington State ” prevented 638 overdose deaths and lead to over 3,600 individuals seeking treatment for opioid abuse disorders.”

    Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) tweeted, “Marijuana can be a lifesaving alternative to opioids. Over 90% of veterans want the federal government to research marijuana. I’m urging @TheJusticeDept and @DEAHQ to license growers of the plant for research.”

    Ignorant Jeff. Miner’s Lullaby Drug Overdoses & MMJ
    Trump Opiod Idiots.jpg

  • Servetus

    Any good news for cannabis is bad news for Big Pharma. In New York, the addiction treatment pharmaceutical industry is set to forgo future medicinal profits thanks to an herbal remedy that’s rapidly becoming available OTC in other states:

    January 28, 2018 — ALBANY — State lawmakers are looking to medical marijuana to help combat the epidemic of opioid addiction.

    Legislation introduced this month in both the Senate and Assembly would expand the legal uses of medical marijuana in New York to include opioid addiction treatment.

    “We have an opioid crisis and people are dying and this may be a path to keep people from dying and keep them from relapsing,” said Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell (D-Manhattan), who introduced the measure. O’Donnell and other supporters of the bill say medical marijuana can be an effective weapon against many symptoms recovering addicts experience, including nausea and anxiety.

    It also poses less risk than existing opioid-based treatments such as methadone or Vivitrol, they said. […]

  • KeystonedCanuckCops

    Const. Vittorio Dominelli, a 10 year veteran, and Const. Jamie Young, who has been on the force for two years — complained of hallucinations, according to a police source. The third officer — who offered assistance — suffered a head wound while trying to help one of the officers.

    “All three were medical emergencies,” said a police source.

    It started Saturday night with a raid and seizure of a marijuana dispensary retail outlet in the Black Creek Dr.-Eglinton Ave. area. Two officers tasked with guarding evidence were later allegedly experiencing dizziness and impairment from something consumed from that stash.

    After “eating” what was allegedly a seized cannabis edible, the two officers are said to have become separated. One phoned an off-duty colleague who mistook the call for it being a kidnapping and put out a call for backup.

    “He was up in a tree,” said a police source. “Up there with the birds.”

    Meanwhile, a female officer was allegedly wandering around in an altered state at great risk to herself and perhaps others, according to a source.

  • WalStMonky


    Old propaganda never dies. It just lurks in the background waiting for the laughter to subside. I’d make you guess but it’s doubtful that anyone would predict the return of this particular stupidity: Man teats caused by cannabis have returned!

    Well at least professionals other than stand up comics are making money from the fiction this time around.

  • WalStMonky


    I’ve decided that since Jeff Sessions has managed to have such a profound effect on the US cannabis market. Despite having no resources to prosecute cannabis producers and/or vendors and bloviation his only tool to achieve his goal I think that he deserves to have a strain of cannabis named after him. The strain should be a reflection of the man so I went looking for cannabis that’s old, shriveled up and impotent. After employing a cadre of lackeys and stooges who performed a months’ long search I was only able to locate one that fits. Without further fanfare, here’s JeffSessions!

    Yes, that’s ElSohly bunkweed. But I’m pretty sure that more than a few strains of cannabis have more than one name.

  • WalStMonky


    Just one more thing: I predict that the POTUS will tell AG Sessions to keep his cotton picking hands off of medicinal cannabis in his SOTU speech this evening.

  • Servetus

    Mexico has unleashed its military once again in a futile effort to make 2018 less bloody than 2017, a year that left 25,000 people dead as a consequence of US drug policies designed to stem cartels (plazas?) via Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy plan:

    January 28, 2018 — …Sales said federal police troops would be deployed in the states of Colima and Baja California Sur, the resort town of Cancun and the border city of Ciudad Juarez, among others. He said more details would be forthcoming within days.

    Earlier this month, the United States slapped its most stringent travel warnings on the states of Colima, Michoacan, Sinaloa, Tamaulipas and Guerrero, ranking them as bad as war-ravaged Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.

    At least 25 people were murdered in Mexico this weekend, according to officials and local media, including nine men who were executed at a house party in a suburb of the wealthy northern industrial city of Monterrey. […]

    The drug war has managed to shorten Mexico’s President Enrique Nieto’s political career, whose party now trails a distant third in the polls. It’s as if the drug war is a flame that draws political moths. Every advocate who flutters near it gets their wings scorched.

  • Servetus

    The touted success of Plan Colombia bringing peace and prosperity to the region is no longer a matter of academic debate. Failure of the policy is now complete because Trump doesn’t need no stinkin’ peace:

    …Colombia is currently the world leader in cocaine production, generating a staggering 900 metric tons per year, and up over a third since 2015. The increase comes despite more than 15 years of Drug-War efforts that have cost American taxpayers some $10 billion—much of that coming as part of the controversial “Plan Colombia.”

    “The spike in coca cultivation has become a central issue in US-Colombian relations,” said the Wilson Center’s Arnson, who estimates that “90 percent of the cocaine consumed in the United States still comes from Colombia—about the same percentage as a decade and a half ago.”

    The cocaine boom, along with the authorities’ inability to provide safety and viable infrastructure in large swaths of the country, demonstrate that “the achievements of Plan Colombia were vastly oversold,” Arnson said.

    But that hasn’t stopped the Trump administration from doubling down on those same failed policies. In September POTUS threatened to blacklist Colombia as a narco state on the order of Bolivia or Venezuela—which would cost the country millions of dollars per year in U.S. aid—if the Santos administration didn’t step up its coca-crop eradication efforts.

    Although Colombian authorities had balked at the resumption of aerial fumigation, due to proven long-term health complications for those getting sprayed from the sky, Bogotá finally kowtowed to Trump and other far-right Republicans by increasing its manual eradication program. Thousands of soldiers and police were sent into the mountains to dig up coca fields, which are often the sole source income for families in outlying regions.

    Some farmers, however, resisted seeing their cash crops destroyed without the compensation already pledged by the government. The heavy-handed approach pushed for by Trump and company culminated in a police massacre of cocaleros last October near the Pacific port city of Tumaco. The shortened timetable demanded by Washington also forced the government to walk back assurances of financial restitution and crop swapping it had made to the FARC and their rural constituents.

    All those broken promises encouraged FARC fighters to abandon the social rehabilitation camps and return to the jungle, thus weakening Bogotá’s place at the table with ELN during the Quito talks.

    “During the FARC negotiations, President Obama took an active interest in the dialogue, and in fortifying democracy and international relations,” Acero said, when asked about the present U.S. administration’s approach. “President Trump’s tendency is much more to the right, much more dictatorial, and apparently without regard for democracy.”

    In fact, some involved in the FARC peace negotiations have openly criticized Trump’s “militarism” as endangering an end to the conflict in Colombia.

    Given the historical precedent set by the U.S. in helping to arm the BACRIM, and the direct role Trump and other Drug-War hawks have played in undermining the Santos regime’s talks with both the ELN and the FARC—even many neutral observers have come to believe that leaders in Washington are unconcerned with ending the conflict, so long as their own agenda is met.

    “[Trump] doesn’t seem to care anything about peace,” security consultant Acero said. “The Drug War is all that interests him.” […] [emphasis added]

  • Mouthy

    The movie, ‘Thank You For Your Service’ talked about taking MDMA for PTSD. But the problem with this part of the movie is when the soldier takes XTC has got TBI, which may further hurt his brain. It showed a couple of dog-fighting gangsters sharing a blunt, but never mentioned how much better cannabis would be for TBI and PTSD. MDMA should only be reserved once the brain has begun to heal from a TBI series of injuries. Right now, there are soldiers who survive war and later down the line die from TBI.

  • Will

    Lets say for a moment you’re a physician — a doctor — or even a snake oil salesperson. Now lets say you have a ‘complicated stock portfolio’ that includes tobacco company stocks. Odd, but hey, money is to be made. But you’ve been appointed, by the biggest moron in history to ever become president, to head the CDC, which is supposedly committed to substantially reducing tobacco consumption. And after your appointment you continue to invest in tobacco stocks. Wait! Lets be clear now, your ‘financial account manager’ is to blame. Yeah sure…;

    Trump’s top health official traded tobacco stock while leading anti-smoking efforts

    “You don’t buy tobacco stocks when you are the head of the CDC. It’s ridiculous, it gives a terrible appearance,” said Richard Painter, who served as George W. Bush’s chief ethics lawyer from 2005 to 2007. He described the move as “tone deaf,” given CDC’s role in leading anti-smoking efforts.

    Even if Fitzgerald, a medical doctor, and former Georgia Department of Public Health commissioner, met all of the legal requirements, “it stinks to high heaven,” Painter said.

    When something stinks even higher than heaven, where is that exactly? How bad must it smell?

    • jean valjean

      ust like George W.’s parents bought stocks in C.C.A. and other private prison companies when daddy was president and ramping up the drug war. At the time, in 1993 when Bush senior was running for re-election, he warned “we need more, more prisons….to take these people off the streets.” Barbara’s portfolio rose comfortably.

  • Servetus

    Joseph Kennedy III is a rising star in what has become a strangely beleaguered and anachronistic Democratic Party.

    Like Joe Biden and cousin Patrick Kennedy, Joe is an ardent prohibitionist in league with the drug treatment industrial complex, as well as being an investor in Big Pharma. It’s a family affair. Joe’s cousin Robert Kennedy Jr. is an anti-vaxxer repeating the same type of mistake his religious predecessors did in the early 19th century by opposing small pox vaccinations — RIP anti-vaxxers.

    Here are some factoids:

    ●…Congressman Kennedy remains staunchly opposed to [drug law] reform. In 2015, Kennedy opposed a congressional amendment that would’ve barred the Department of Justice from interfering with states that had defied federal prohibition by legalizing cannabis for medicinal or recreational use. To be clear, the amendment was not about legalizing cannabis. It was about respecting the rights of states, the civil liberties of cannabis consumers and the wishes of patients who use medical marijuana.

    That same year, Kennedy voted against the congressional amendment protecting states that have legalized medical marijuana from prosecution. So it seems like he’s not only against legalization, but he’s also in favor of letting federal agents round up people with cancer, severe epilepsy, HIV and other debilitating conditions that have been approved for medical marijuana by state regulators. […]

    His reasoning makes two things clear: first, he’s seriously behind the times since he chose to argue about medical marijuana (which his state legalized in 2013) while his constituents had moved on to debating recreational legalization. Which is about as bad as responding to Trump’s electoral victories in the Southern States by saying you’re not quite on board with the Louisiana Purchase yet.

    Secondly, Kennedy’s position makes it clear that he hasn’t paid attention to the social damage caused by prohibition — damage that is threatening his family’s legacy as leaders of the civil rights movement. […]

    Other factors fail to support Joe Kennedy’s cred. For instance, he maintains a conflict of interest involving needle exchanges for opioid addicts, as he has invested money in a pharmaceutical company that markets a hepatitis C drug called Sovaldi costing $1000 per pill. Gilead also makes drugs for HIV and hepatitis B:

    ●Joe Has Invested in Pharmaceuticals, Including the Controversial Gilead Sciences:

    Boston Globe delved a little more deeply into his pharma investments, writing in May 2016 that he had earned stock value of up to $434,999 from Gilead Sciences Inc., the manufacturer of the high-priced hepatitis C drug called Sovaldi. He earned between $15,001 and $50,000 in capital gains after selling part of his stock in the company in 2014, after purchasing the stock in 2012. He purchased the stock during hepatitis C’s spread in Massachusetts, the Globe reported, with cases skyrocketing from 10 in 2011 to 174 in 2013. […]

    Ironically, Joe Kennedy III owes his vast wealth to the illicit booze industry:

    ●Joe’s Net Worth Is Estimated to Be Between $18 and $43 Million, Mostly from Trusts

    The LA Times reported in 2009 that Joseph Kennedy [I] set his fortune in a series of family trusts hidden from the public. These trusts gave out a small amount of money annually to the Kennedy family and are invested conservatively by financial experts. The goal is to keep the principal in place, so the trusts aren’t decimated by economic downturns. Joseph accumulated this money in the first place with a liquor distribution business and real estate investments.

    Joe Kennedy III enables fascists:

    ●On July 24, 2013, Kennedy was one of seven members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus[39] (CPC) who voted against the Amash-Conyers amendment to limit Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which tried to restrict NSA surveillance programs.

    Joe Kennedy backs the addiction treatment industry, as does cousin Patrick in collusion with his partner Kevin Sabet:

    ●WASHINGTON DC – January 14, 2018 — United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Congressman Joe Kennedy III (D-Mass.) last week reintroduced the Behavioral Health Coverage Transparency Act, which will hold health insurers accountable for providing adequate mental health benefits and increase transparency for consumers seeking coverage for mental illness and substance use disorders. [emphasis added]

    • DdC

      1/31/18, Joe Kennedy III wrote:

      When I gave my response last night to the State of the
      Union, I did so from Fall River, Massachusetts — a proud
      American city, built by immigrants and hard work.

      It was a fitting place to gather as our nation reflects. bla bla bla

      Hey Joey

      With wealthy pharmaceutical profiteers voting against Vets using cannabis or kids using CBD why don’t you take the democrats and shove it where the sun don’t shine. We don’t need more GOPerverts, especially in sheeps clothing. Asshole!

    • jean valjean

      Joe is all in favor of harm increase if it’s making him money.

  • AvramMcTosh

    Israel Officially Decriminalizes Marijuana Use
    First-time offenders will face $270 fine if caught using marijuana in a public place, but criminal charges will only be brought if person re-offends four times.

    MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), the chairwoman of the Knesset Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, said that “this is an important step, but not the end of the road.

  • Servetus

    An important breakthrough in biochemistry research in Switzerland led by Paola Picotti will allow a greater range of investigations into cannabinoid and other small molecule interactions with receptor sites:

    1-FEB-2018 — Science now has a new “omics” – an interactomics, which deals with the interactions between proteins and small molecules. Having previously focused on genomics or proteomics, system biologists can now add protein-metabolite interactomics to the mix. Genomics is concerned with the systematic analysis of all of an organism’s genes, while proteomics deals with the entire set of proteins within a biological unit.

    With protein-metabolite interactomics, the group led by Paola Picotti, professor of Molecular Systems Biology at ETH Zurich, has now added another level to the existing “omics”. The researchers recently published a study in the journal Cell, in which they systematically analysed and quantified the interactions of all proteins with metabolites (small metabolic molecules) on the level of the whole proteome for the first time, establishing the relationships between them. […]

    Knowledge about the protein-metabolite interactome (the interactions between proteins and metabolites and the molecular (signal) networks belonging to them), was previously very limited compared with what was known about interactions between different proteins or between proteins and DNA or RNA. The study has now sharply increased this knowledge.

    Using this approach with E. coli, Picotti and her team discovered about 1,650 different protein-metabolite interactions, of which over 1,400 were previously unknown. Thousands of binding sites on proteins to which metabolites can attach also came to light. “Although the metabolism of E. coli and associated molecules is already very well known, we succeeded in discovering many new interactions and the corresponding binding sites,” says Picotti. This proves the method’s enormous potential: “The data that we produce with this technique will help to identify new regulatory mechanisms, unknown enzymes and new metabolic reactions in the cell.” […]

    AAAS Public Release: Measuring molecular interactions–Protein-metabolite interactions

  • DdC

    If the American people ever find out what we have done, they would chase us down the street and lynch us.’
    ~ 1992 by George Herbert Walker Bush

    George H.W. Bush: Biggest. Drug Lord. Ever.

    George H.W. Bush: Biggest. Drug Lord. Ever.2
    This is part two in an ongoing series attempting to provide in a systematic way the best evidence of CIA drug trafficking in general, and President George H.W. Bush’s key role in those activities in particular.

    Bush Crimes Against Humanity

  • Mike

    chase us down the street and lynch us

    when i saw Made in America and the movie said thousands
    of men were brought here and untold numbers melted into
    the night, that air fields and hangars of planes being
    used to transport all sort of ill gotten gains.

    one can understand that quote.

    Tonight on Planet Green Trees guest Howard Wooldridge
    of COPS said NRA was looking at Medical Marijuana.

    starts at 128:30

    • jean valjean

      Thanks for that Mike. Good to have an update on legalization moves in Michigan. It always seemed to me that public opinion on cannabis legalization in Mi was way ahead of the Republican administration in Lansing. Time to vote the bums out.

  • Servetus

    University of Rochester Medical Center scientists have just dealt the latest blow to Prohibition and prohibitionists, this time showing moderate amounts of alcohol are good for the brain:

    2-FEB-2018 — While a couple of glasses of wine can help clear the mind after a busy day, new research shows that it may actually help clean the mind as well. The new study, which appears in the journal Scientific Reports, shows that low levels of alcohol consumption tamp down inflammation and helps the brain clear away toxins, including those associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

    “Prolonged intake of excessive amounts of ethanol is known to have adverse effects on the central nervous system,” said Maiken Nedergaard, M.D., D.M.Sc., co-director of the Center for Translational Neuromedicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) and lead author of the study. “However, in this study we have shown for the first time that low doses of alcohol are potentially beneficial to brain health, namely it improves the brain’s ability to remove waste.”[…]

    The finding adds to a growing body of research that point to the health benefits of low doses of alcohol. While excessive consumption of alcohol is a well-documented health hazard, many studies have linked lower levels of drinking with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as a number of cancers.[…]

    Animals that were exposed to low levels of alcohol consumption, analogous to approximately 2 ½ drinks per day, actually showed less inflammation in the brain and their glymphatic system was more efficient in moving CSF through the brain and removing waste, compared to control mice who were not exposed to alcohol. The low dose animals’ performance in the cognitive and motor tests was identical to the controls. […]

    In wine, there’s health: Low levels of alcohol good for the brain

    For people whose lips have never touched alcohol, Kevin Sabet and Donald Trump, for example, the prognosis is grim given the amount of neural deterioration that may have already occurred.

  • jean valjean

    Trump and ICE take a lesson from Hitler and the Gestapo: go for the disabled first.

  • SiegWeed

    German police association calls for complete legalization of cannabis

    “The prohibition of cannabis has historically been seen as arbitrary and has not yet been implemented in an intelligent and effective manner,” the head of BDK, André Schulz, told Bild newspaper on Monday.

    “In the history of mankind there has never been a society without the use of drugs; this is something that has to be accepted,” he added.

    “My prediction is cannabis will not be banned for long in Germany.‎”

    The BDK therefore advocates a “complete decriminalization of cannabis use,” Schulz said, adding that the current legal system is stigmatizing people and promoting criminal careers.

    • jean valjean

      This was the bit that got me though:

      “Meanwhile a survey conducted in November found that over half of German citizens – 63 percent – are opposed to the legalization of marijuana.”

      The sea change in public opinion that has swept through the American population (though not the federal government) has yet to materialize in Britain or Germany. The propaganda of decades still resonates for far too many and plays to their stereotypes about who these weed smokers actually are. After 45 years I personally am still waiting for common sense to prevail on the “arbitary” nature of cannabis prohibition.

      • SiegWeed

        It depends on which organization is carrying out the poll, and how the question is framed. Done in an honest manner, the result is soon reversed.

        A recent poll conducted by the Mafo market research institute on the behalf of Playboy Deutschland shows majority support for the legalization of cannabis in Germany for the first time.

        According to the survey, 57.5 percent of the German population believe cannabis should be legal for adults to purchase and consume. In addition, 90.5 percent of the more than 1,000 interview respondents do not believe the current drug policy works to prevent people from purchasing or consuming the banned herb

        • jean valjean

          And on that point, the BBC has had a story tonight about a teenager who went to his dealer to buy cannabis and ended up buying fentanyl, on which he subsequently overdosed. His distraught mother has been led to believe that this tragic accident is entirely due to fentanyl and ‘drug dealers [who] were “playing Russian Roulette with our lives.”‘
          Ignorance of the role of prohibition in this young man’s death is understandable from his mother, but the BBC has clearly failed in its duty to report the fact that a regulated market in legal cannabis would have prevented this occurrence.

      • DdC

        After 45 years I personally am still waiting for common sense to prevail on the “arbitary” nature of cannabis prohibition.

        We can only fight prohibitionists gossip with science and fact they pay big bucks and make big bucks rejecting. Vested ignorance must be exposed in the drug war and in politicians we pay. Lies should have consequences for the liars. Especially the oxymoronic corporate media impersonating a citizens free press.

        The BBC is a ‘public corporation’: neither a private corporation nor a government department. The high ideal is that it is held in trust for the public of the UK by the BBC Trust

        Lies and reefer mad fear mongering
        doesn’t promote Trust or High Ideals.

        Fentanyl-Laced Weed Is Fake News,
        But Who’s to Blame for This Hoax

        The Truth Behind Reports of ‘Fentanyl-Laced Pot’ · High Times

        FACT CHECK: Is Fentanyl-Laced Marijuana On The Rise? –
        At numerous times in 2017, local news stories reporting overdose incidents from “fentanyl-laced” marijuana have gone viral. Fentanyl, a relatively cheap opioid that is much stronger than heroin, is sometimes cut with other opioids to increase potency. On 8 February 2017, the Facebook page of Ohio’s Painesville Township Fire Department posted a warning:

        FYI-The Painesville Twp Fire Dept. has been called to 3 unresponsive person calls in the last 12 hours. The common denominator appears to be marijuana laced with an unknown opiate. The victims are unaware they are using anything other than marijuana but are overdosing like they had used heroin or fentanyl. Be cautious and call 911 asap if you suspect an overdose.

        It turns out, however, that these victims had indeed been using other illicit drugs and that they were not honest about the role these drugs may have played when asked by first responders, forcing a clarification: This report was similar to viral stories originating from London, Ontario on 8 August 2017:

        Don’t Believe the Hype: Fentanyl-Laced Marijuana Is a Dangerous Myth
        Aug 25, 2017 – Still, like a vampire, the myth of marijuana laced with the deadly opioid fentanyl refuses to die. It first went nationwide in June, thanks to an Ohio U.S. senator’s press conference, and while a VICE debunking at the time should have driven a stake through its heart, it has risen again this month.

        Why is Kevin Abraham Sabet-Sharghi SAM
        against building schools? Why are reefer madhatters not busted for decades of perjury about the dangers. Oh, taxes trump lives?

        Georgia Dems Cultivate Legalization Bills for School Funding

        When the present resident sets the bar,
        the Lie and Odor gopers fall in line.
        Drumpf did say he’s breaking records in the stock market…

        — Dow plunges 1175…
        worst point decline in history.

  • Servetus

    Charles Darwin’s “abominable mystery”, the date of origin for flowering plants (AKA marijuana), is now less mysterious according to lead author Dr Jose Barba-Montoya at the University College London Dept. of Genetics, Evolution & Environment:

    4-FEB-2018 — Flowering plants likely originated between 149 and 256 million years ago…

    “To uncover the key to solving the mystery of when flowers originated, we carefully analysed the genetic make-up of flowering plants, and the rate at which mutations accumulate in their genomes.”

    Through the lens of the fossil record, flowering plants appear to have diversified suddenly, precipitating a Cretaceous Terrestrial Revolution in which pollinators, herbivores and predators underwent explosive co-evolution. […]

    Palaeontological timescales calibrate the family tree of plants to geological time based on the oldest fossil evidence for its component branches. Molecular timescales build on this approach, using additional evidence from genomes for the genetic distances between species, aiming to overcome gaps in the fossil record.

    “Previous studies into molecular timescales failed to explore the implications of experimental variables and so they inaccurately estimate the probable age of flowering plants with undue precision,” said Professor Ziheng Yang (UCL Genetics, Evolution & Environment) and senior author of the study.

    “Similarly, interpretations of the fossil record have not fully recognised its shortcomings as an archive of evolutionary history, that is, that the oldest fossil evidence of flowering plants comes from very advanced, not primitive flowering plant lineages,” Professor Donoghue added.

    The researchers compiled a large collection of genetic data for many flowering plant groups including a dataset of 83 genes from 644 taxa, together with a comprehensive set of fossil evidence to address the timescale of flowering plant diversification. […]

    AAAS Public Release: When did flowers originate?

  • Mike

    with all the yelling about a memo

    seems pretty quiet when it comes to

    hope American Made will get nominated and elevate discussion

  • jean valjean

    Another crazy comes tumbling out of the attic for all to see, this time touting flu-shot Jesus.
    “By his straaaahfes he will heal you!”

  • Servetus

    The DEA’s perpetual war continues unabated in Mexico with expected results. Belén Fernández asks, “Is Mexico The Most Dangerous Country On Earth?”:

    February 05, 2018 — …Amnesty International has noted that, as a result of Mexico’s drug war, reports of torture and other ill-treatment by Mexican police and military officials grew by 600 percent between 2003 and 2013.

    And according to a 2016 Amnesty International document, Mexican security forces “routinely torture and ill-treat women” who they detain in group arrests in order to “to boost figures and show society that the government’s security efforts are yielding results”.

    When it comes to keeping the old casus belli alive, the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) is in the very same boat on the other side of the border; after all, if you actually win a war on drugs, there’ll be no more incoming funds to fight that war forever and ever.

    As Carmen Boullosa and Mike Wallace observe in their book A Narco History: How the United States and Mexico Jointly Created the ‘Mexican Drug War’, the DEA would “be hard-pressed to justify its annual budget of roughly $2.5bn if the legal ground shifted beneath it” towards drug decriminalisation.

    In 2006, as Ginger Thompson ably narrates in a New Yorker piece titled “Trafficking in Terror”, the DEA hoisted itself onto the ever-profitable war on terror bandwagon with the help of the scary new crime of “narco-terrorism”.

    But just as the US is unqualified to fight a literal war on terror – engaging as it does in regular bouts of terror-inducing activity across the globe – the country’s drug war credentials are somewhat less than impeccable, particularly when one considers New York Times headlines like “The CIA Drug Connection Is as Old as the Agency”. […]

    • SiegWeed

      Thanks Mike!

      It’s just gone live and they keep using the ‘M’ word.


      Wanda James Co-owner of the cannabis company “Simply Pure,” based in Denver, Colorado.

      Beau Kilmer Co-director, RAND Drug Policy Research Center and co-author of “Marijuana Legalization: What Everyone Needs to Know”.

      Bruce Barcott Deputy editor of, the world’s largest cannabis information resource. He’s also the author of “Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in the US”

      Amanda Chicago Lewis Investigative reporter covering the marijuana industry. She writes a cannabis column for Rolling Stone, and has written marijuana exposes for Buzzfeed, GQ and Vice.

      Governor John Hickenlooper Democratic governor of Colorado; former mayor of Denver, beer brewer and geologist

  • Servetus

    Marijuana can’t perform its magic in reducing opioid deaths if its availability is reduced by overly-strict state or local laws that impede access to marijuana dispensaries. A RAND Corporation study calls for loosening cannabis regulations where needed. According to coauthor Rosalie Liccardo Pacula:

    6-FEB-2018 — …The report — the most-detailed examination of medical marijuana and opioid deaths conducted to date — found that legalizing medical marijuana was associated with lower levels of opioid deaths only in states that had provisions for dispensaries that made medical marijuana easily available to patients. Opioid death rates were not lower in states that just provided legal protections to patients and caregivers, allowing them to grow their own marijuana.

    In addition, the association between medical marijuana dispensaries and fewer opioid deaths appears to have declined sharply after 2010, when states began to tighten requirements on sales by dispensaries.

    “Our findings are consistent with previous studies showing an association between the legalization of medical marijuana and lower deaths from overdoses of opioids,” said Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, co-author of the study and co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center.

    “However, our findings show that the mechanism for this was loosely regulated medical marijuana dispensaries, and that the association between these laws and opioid mortality has declined over time as state laws have more tightly regulated medical dispensaries and the opioid crisis shifted from prescription opioids to heroin and fentanyl,” Pacula said. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Study questions link between medical marijuana and fewer opioid deaths: Association appears to be changing as medical marijuana laws and opioid epidemic change

  • DdC

    In an interview with Vanity Fair, Musk was asked about BitCoin. He seems to support it, especially in the areas of being able to securely pay for illegal items, as ‘there are some things that are illegal that shouldn’t be’.

    ☮ I guess marijuana is potentially one of those things.

    What does Elon Musk think of marijuana?

    View from SpaceX Launch Control.
    Apparently, there is a car in orbit around Earth.

    Tesla’s big battery is undercutting Australia’s energy cartels

    Elon Musk’s Falcon Heavy rocket launches successfully

  • DdC

    Sessions has a suggestion to tame the opioid crisis:
    Bufferin and less marijuana

    AG Bueregard Sessions spoke Tuesday evening at a Heritage Foundation event to celebrate former President Ronald Reagan’s birthday, and he was eager to tie Trump to Reagan. One of the ways the Trump administration is echoing Reagan’s legacy, he said, is by cracking down on drug use, blaming “lax enforcement, permissive rhetoric, and the media” for undermining Nancy Reagan’s “just say no” message, especially with marijuana.

    During a question-and-answer period, Sessions addressed the opioid epidemic, which is killing an estimated 175 Americans a day. Under President Trump, Kellyanne Conway and other political appointees are in charge of handing the opioid crisis, ref

    “Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger.”

    “Parallel to the training of the body a struggle against the poisoning of the soul must begin. Our whole public life today is like a hothouse for sexual ideas and simulations. Just look at the bill of fare served up in our movies, vaudeville and theaters, and you will hardly be able to deny that this is not the right kind of food, particularly for the youth…Theater, art, literature, cinema, press, posters, and window displays must be cleansed of all manifestations of our rotting world and placed in the service of a moral, political, and cultural idea.”

    Sessions is Eager to tie Trump to Reagan.

    Shibari 100% Natural Hemp Rope, 10 Meters (32ft)

    ☮ There is massive evidence for cannabis being a legitimate example of a “panacea”

    ☮ Pot instead of opiates? Total substitution success rate 25% – partial substitution success rate 75%-97%

    ☮ The US government relentlessly prevents studies that would determine if pot “cured” cancer

    ☮ Increases crash odds: THC: 5%, penicillin: 25%, Legal Alcohol levels: 293%

    ☮ Legalization does not lead to more deaths from car crashes

    • Will


      Opioids got you down?;

      “Sometimes, you just need to take two Bufferins or something and go to bed.”

      -Jefferson Bufferin Sessions

      So much winning…

  • Servetus

    People who drink excessively, to the point of adversely affecting their brains’ neurogenesis, have a new friend—a drug called tandospirone. Neuroscientist Professor Selena Bartlett explains:

    8-FEB-2018 — Queensland University of Technology (QUT) researchers have identified a drug that could potentially help our brains reboot and reverse the damaging impacts of heavy alcohol consumption on regeneration of brain cells.

    Their studies in adult mice show that two weeks of daily treatment with the drug tandospirone reversed the effects of 15 weeks of binge-like alcohol consumption on neurogenesis – the ability of the brain to grow and replace neurons (brain cells). The findings have been published in Scientific Reports.

    ●This is the first time tandospirone has be shown to reverse the deficit in brain neurogenesis induced by heavy alcohol consumption

    ●Tandospirone acts selectively on a serotonin receptor (5-HT1A)

    ●The researchers also showed in mice that the drug was effective in stopping anxiety-like behaviours associated with alcohol withdrawal, and this was accompanied by a significant decrease in binge-like alcohol intake

    “This is a novel discovery that tandospirone can reverse the deficit in neurogenesis caused by alcohol,” said study leader neuroscientist Professor Selena Bartlett from QUT’s Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation.

    “We know that with heavy drinking you are inhibiting your ability to grow new neurons, brain cells. Alcohol is specifically very damaging for neurons.

    “Other studies in mice have shown that tandospirone improves brain neurogenesis, but this is the first time it has been shown that it can totally reverse the neurogenic deficits induced by alcohol.

    “This opens the way to look at if neurogenesis is associated with other substance-abuse deficits, such as in memory and learning, and whether this compound can reverse these.”

    Professor Bartlett, who is based at the Translational Research Institute, said the discovery by study co-authors QUT postdoctoral research fellows Dr Arnauld Belmer and Dr Omkar Patkar came about serendipitously after research started in a different direction.

    “It was surprising, and exciting,” Dr Belmer said.

    “This drug is relatively new and available only in China and Japan. It is commonly used there and shown to be highly effective in treating general anxiety and well tolerated with limited adverse effects.” […]

    AAAS Public Release: Drug shown to reverse brain deficits caused by alcohol [video]

    Original Study:

    Drugs like tandospirone have the potential to toss Jesus-based drug treatment programs into the dustbins of history. The new pharmacology will ultimately obliterate religiously-based schemes that use ineffective drug treatments to covertly promote a particular religion; for example, Scientology. Sheldon Adelson will lose clients for his addiction centers once a doctor can intervene and mail the patient a prescription to counter an addiction or its effects. As a result, we can expect the usual resistance to the use of compounds such as tandospirone by the religious right.

  • GreenDucks

    Canadian cannabis companies with operations in the U.S. are breathing a sigh of relief, after Canadian securities regulators decided on Thursday not to take dramatic action against companies with risky assets south of the border.

    “Today’s ruling is really just a reconfirmation of their earlier view,” said Marc Lustig, CEO of Ottawa-based CannaRoyalty Corp., which operates in California, Washington and Arizona. “It’s extremely positive not just for Canadian companies like CannaRoyalty that have U.S. assets, but it’s quite positive for the Cannabis sector as a whole.”

    • darkcycle

      Green ducks? Look more like green mountain goats, to me, Malc. 😉

      • RedRoseFormula

        I’m afraid that the science of avatar-manipulation is proving to be far more difficult than I had ever imagined.

        • jean valjean

          Swastika one was good though. Now, how to tag it to Donald Dumph…

        • darkcycle

          Malc…if I could have my old Avatar thingy back, I’d be grateful. Kinda like looking in my bathroom mirror, but not recognizing my reflection. But, hey, whatever. 🙂

        • TheSquirmyOne

          Sorry, Darkcycle, you’re assumption that my experiments have robbed you of your charming complexion are absolutely correct. I think I may have terminated Pete’s thumbs-up system, also. Sorry Pete! And Activist1 was also correct when she claimed I’d hacked her machine, back many moons ago. I’ll tell you all about it one day soon.

          First I have to at least make another daring attempt at an orange Swastika for Jean.

          It’ll probably end up all squirmy but nothing like orange at all. Here goes!

        • darkcycle

          Doesn’t hurt to ask. But hey…that’s pete’s couch…why waste time mucking about here, when there are prohibitionist Avatars that could use a little tweaking… 😉

        • TheSquirmyOne

          Doesn’t hurt to ask, but why in the world would you believe I’d be capable of any of that?

          Any fool can change the color or shape of an avatar. Yours, just like many others, changed because the more there are the more complex the rest become so as to accommodate individual recognition.

          All I’m really good at is having fun, posting drugwar facts, drugwar news, and delicious mis-direction.

          The clue was in my latest name. Thanks for playing, Darky!

        • darkcycle

          Why in the world…because I know you and for quite a while now. Malcolm Kyle on top of the pile…jus glad we’re on the same side, Mate!!
          BTW, next time you step outside there breathe deep….we gave openness and our freedom of thought up recently….we all need to enjoy it vicariously, now. 🙁

        • TheSquirmyOne

          Then you also know that everything I initially said could all still be true, especially Linda’s computer — a truly European joint venture, co-ordinated from NL using hackers from Bristol 🙂

          Still waiting patently for your visit; we have loads to talk about.

  • EmeraldPragmatism

    The work of IDPU and the Ana Liffey Drug Project, supported by the LSE’s Knowledge Exchange and Impact Fund, has helped drive discussions on the introduction of a Supervised Injection Facilities (SIFs). These are legally sanctioned premises where people can inject pre-obtained drugs, under medical or nursing supervision.

    On 16th May 2017 the Irish Government legislated for SIFs and then began the process of establishing the first pilot service, which is due to open in Dublin City Centre in 2018. The LSE’s IDPU team is now working with the Ana Liffey Drug Project to highlight the international evidence base on the decriminalisation of drug consumption as a means to further shift drug policies away from a criminal justice orientation further towards a health orientation.

  • Servetus

    The International Criminal Court (ICC) is investigating Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for crimes against humanity under Part 2, Article 7 of the Rome Statute. Duterte’s drug sweep killed an estimated 4000 to 12,000 people:

    …Param-Preet Singh, associate director of Human Rights Watch’s international justice program, told ThinkProgress that although it’s true that the ICC has yet to launch an all-out investigation, it represents progress.[…]

    What might add to the punch of a potential trial before the ICC — assuming things go that far — would be a U.N. investigation. An ICC trial could take anywhere from six months to ten years, whereas a U.N. investigation, she said, has “clearer timelines for reporting, at least.”

    The danger, Singh said, is that the U.N. will just figure “the ICC has it covered,” but a double-barrel approach is the way to “shrink the space for impunity in these crimes.”

    Although it’s hard to predict if the United States will eventually take a different stance towards Duterte’s actions, “Increased ICC scrutiny makes it harder to brush off these abuses as businesses as usual,” said Singh. At the very least, she added, “It’s useful leverage with other countries that know better.”[…]

    Donald Trump had a big laugh when Duterte called journalists “spies”. It would be ideal if the spies and the ICC could nail Trump on a collusion charge for publicly complimenting Duterte on his deadly methods of drug enforcement.

  • MayorGreen

    A ton of weed was found in a Mexican Mayor’s truck:

    One week on, state Interior Secretary José María Fraustro Siller confirmed that the seized drugs belonged to the mayor of Parras.

    Madero, who was sworn in just last month, has not issued a statement and his whereabouts remain unknown.

  • jean valjean

    “OxyContin Drugmaker Vows To Stop Promoting Opioids To Doctors”

    Sounds like a plea to me.

  • Servetus

    Two sociologists at Ohio State University, Bridget Freisthler and Jeff Grabmeier, announced they have hard evidence that four medical marijuana dispensaries in California are selling marijuana to certain suspicious looking customers who only use it recreationally:

    12-FEB-2018 — A study of four medical marijuana outlets in California suggests that many of their customers don’t fit the profile expected for businesses focused on sick patients.

    Researchers found that some of the dispensaries attracted many customers outside of their immediate area and appeared to target specific ethnic, gender and/or age groups.

    None of that would be expected if these outlets serviced only people with medical needs, according to the researchers.

    “There are only so many potential medical marijuana users out there. At some point some of these businesses get creative and try to find ways to build their business,” said Bridget Freisthler, co-author of the study and professor of social work at The Ohio State University.

    If they were truly selling only for medical purposes, these marijuana dispensaries should be acting much like pharmacies, Freisthler said.

    “Pharmacies attract people who live in the neighborhood or maybe work nearby. If you need a prescription, you’re not going to go across town to fill it – you’re going to go to the pharmacy closest to where you live. That’s what we should be seeing with medical marijuana dispensaries.”

    Instead, these dispensaries are acting more like bars, which develop niche markets like sports bars or biker bars, she said. […]

    AAAS Public Release: Evidence that medical marijuana outlets sell to other users: Study finds customers don’t reflect the local population

    Biker bars? Really? I suggest the people most likely to use medical marijuana may have somehow been acculturated to cannabis prior to consuming it for legitimate treatments of an authentic illness. They didn’t start out by fearing weed, so they weren’t afraid to try it medically.

    In Cincinnati, the population is white, conservative, and largely of German descent. While a person in a particular Ohio community might trigger a xenophobic profiling of “ethnic, gender and/or age groups” of the type displayed by Freisthler and Grabmeier; in California, unless it’s a rural community, it’s much less likely to happen.

  • Servetus

    Trouble from Canada. Two doctors, John A. Staples (Vancouver) and Donald A. Redelmeier (Toronto), have crunched some numbers and correlated 4/20 celebrations in the US with an increase in traffic fatalities. They published their results in JAMA—“The April 20 Cannabis Celebration and Fatal Traffic Crashes in the United States”:

    February 12, 2018–We examined a quarter-century of national data and found a 12% increase in the relative risk of a fatal traffic crash after 4:20 pm on April 20 compared with identical time intervals on control days. Although the vast majority of Americans do not celebrate 4/20, the observed association was comparable in magnitude to the increase in traffic risks observed on Superbowl Sunday. Policy makers may wish to consider these risks when liberalizing marijuana laws, paying particular attention to regulatory and enforcement strategies to curtail drugged driving.

    A press release from the AAAS added this:

    12-FEB-2018 — The investigators found that April 20 was associated with a 12 per cent increase in the risk of a fatal traffic crash. Among drivers younger than 21 years of age, the risk was 38 per cent higher than on control days. The overall increase amounted to 142 additional deaths over the 25-year study period.

    Since the 4/20 holiday was first popularized in 1991, annual events in Denver, San Francisco, Vancouver, and other cities have grown to include tens of thousands of attendees. It isn’t known how commonly drivers get behind the wheel while high on 4/20, but a 2011 study of U.S. college freshmen found 44 per cent of cannabis users drove soon after consuming marijuana in the month prior to the survey. Only half of cannabis users in the 2017 Canadian Cannabis Survey thought cannabis use affected driving.

    “Assuming fewer than 10 per cent of Americans drive while high on April 20, our results suggest that drug use at 4/20 celebrations more than doubles the risk of a fatal crash,” said Redelmeier.

    Staples and Redelmeier hope that authorities will respond to these results by encouraging safer 4/20 travel options, including public transit, rideshares, taxis and designated drivers. The investigators also note that cannabis retailers and 4/20 event organizers have an opportunity to serve their customers and save lives by warning users not to drive while high. […]

    And this disclaimer comes from a second AAAS Public Release that gives a quick summary of the paper:

    12-FEB-2018–How (Study Design): Analysis of publicly available statistical data. Researchers were not intervening for purposes of the study and cannot control all the natural differences that could explain the study findings.

    Results: The risk of a fatal traffic crash was higher after 4:20 p.m. on April 20 compared with the identical time on other days used for comparison.

  • TheSquirmyOne

    Jeff Sessions, your name will go down in history, but not the way you wish it.

    Jeff Sessions Is Steamed Over Senator’s Cannabis Blockade

    “It’s just getting to be frustrating!” the attorney general said in a speech to the National Sheriffs Association on Monday. “We’re trying to confirm a number of important component heads at the Department of Justice,” but “we can’t even get a vote!”

    “I’m Attorney General of the United States. I don’t have the authority to say that something is legal when it is illegal—even if I wanted to. I cannot and will not pretend that a duly enacted law of this country—like the federal ban on marijuana—does not exist. Marijuana is illegal in the United States—even in Colorado, California, and everywhere else in America.”

  • Servetus

    Quack medicine wants its cut. There seems to be no end to the fears being generated by marijuana’s use for pain when it comes to medical and pharmaceutical professionals. Now the osteopaths are claiming cannabis leads to schizophrenia and they are advising anyone desiring to use marijuana medicinally to clear it with osteopaths first.

    CHICAGO–February 12, 2018–Schizophrenia and other psychiatric issues may be triggered by marijuana use, according to a research analysis in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

    With states rapidly legalizing cannabis for medicinal and recreational use, physicians will be increasingly pressed to counsel patients on their frequency of use and dosage, as well as associated risks. The special report in the JAOA aggregates what is known to help physicians give the best evidence-based recommendations.

    “We have a special concern for young people in their late teens and early twenties, whose brains are still developing,” says Jeramy Peters, DO, lead study author and psychiatrist at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

    Dr. Peters adds that while there is no simple way to predict which young people might develop mental health issues as a result of marijuana use, a family history of mental illness could suggest potential risk.

    “Pediatricians should be aware of this, especially for patients who have exhibited symptoms of anxiety and depression, and be willing to have candid discussions about cannabis,” says Dr. Peters. […]

    AAAS Public Release: New cannabis products highly potent, pose mental health risks — Cannabis can activate latent psychiatric issues, physician counsel is recommended before use, according to comprehensive research in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association

    I’m waiting for the chiropractors to show up and demand their piece of the action.

  • Servetus

    Research on alcohol cravings at the biomolecular level show that glutamate is the molecule of interest, with comparatively lesser activity attributed to dopamine. The discovery undermines NIDA Director Nora Volkow’s position that dopamine is the major culprit in all drug use disorders:

    12-FEB-2018 — Alcohol dependence and alcohol use disorders occur in about 30 percent of all Americans, taking a severe toll on people’s lives, as well as on the health care system and economy. Ninety percent of all attempts to cure the dependence or abuse of alcohol result in relapse within four years. These relapses are primarily triggered by sights, sounds and situations associated with past drinking experiences.

    “This is the first study to document changes in glutamate levels during exposure to alcohol cues in people with alcohol use disorders and shines a spotlight on glutamate levels as an important target for new therapies to treat the condition,” said Sharlene Newman, a professor in the IU Bloomington College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences.

    The study, recently published in the Journal of Alcohol and Alcoholism, builds upon research by scientists such as George Rebec, a professor emeritus in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences who previously found that sights and sounds associated with addictive substances such as cocaine or alcohol affect glutamate levels in the brains of rats addicted to these substances. These sights and sounds are called “cues” because they elicit a craving for the previously abused substance.

    “Glutamate is the real workhorse of all transmitters in the brain,” Rebec said. “Dopamine is the more popularly known neurotransmitter, a lack of which contributes to depression, anxiety, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Parkinson’s disease — but it actually accounts for less than 5 percent of all synaptic activity. By contrast, glutamate accounts for about 50 percent of this activity and is especially involved in the reward-motivation circuits integral to addiction.” […]

    AAAS Public Release: IU-led study finds neurotransmitter may play a role in alcohol relapse, addiction — A study on alcohol addiction led by Indiana University finds the neurotransmitter glutamate may play a role in some addiction cravings

  • jean valjean

    The Sackler family are turning on each other… won’t be long now before their “reputational laundering” gets the King’s New Clothes treatment. I see a very messy law suit on the horizon.

    This too: “US drug companies accused of being ‘cheerleaders’ for opioids.”

    • TheSquirmyOnes

      … But current legal action eclipses what has gone before.

      “Purdue Pharma could go bankrupt,” said Moore.

      Pivotal in reaching Big Tobacco’s settlement were whistleblowers and a smaller cigarette company turning state’s evidence, Moore said, something he’s not counting out regarding Big Pharma.

      Meanwhile, he said: “Let’s say someone gets a conscience inside the Sackler family and says ‘let’s fix this’. They could do that right now.”

  • jean valjean

    “Trump’s Budget Doubles Down on the Drug War…
    Plenty of spending on cops, and money to burn on a border wall that will accomplish nothing.”

    “The DEA gets a spending increase of $400 million, despite its legacy of obstruction, thuggery, and corruption.”

  • Servetus

    Israeli researchers R. Abuhasira, L. B. Schleider, R. Mechoulam, and V. Novack have established the efficacy of cannabis therapy for use by physicians to treat the aches and pains of old age and other medical problems:

    BEER-SHEVA, Israel…February 13, 2018 – Medical cannabis therapy can significantly reduce chronic pain in patients age 65 and older without adverse effects, according to researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and the Cannabis Clinical Research Institute at Soroka University Medical Center.

    The new study, published in The European Journal of Internal Medicine, found cannabis therapy is safe and efficacious for elderly patients who are seeking to address cancer symptoms, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and other medical issues. […]

    This older population represents a growing segment of medical cannabis users, ranging from approximately seven percent to more than 33 percent, depending on the country. Recent U.S. polls indicate Americans over 65 represent 14 percent of the total population and use more than 30 percent of all prescription drugs, including highly addictive painkillers.

    BGU researchers surveyed 2,736 patients 65 years and older who received medical cannabis through “Tikun Olam,” the largest Israeli medical cannabis supplier. More than 60 percent were prescribed medical cannabis due to the pain, particularly pain associated with cancer. After six months of treatment, more than 93 percent of 901 respondents reported their pain dropped from a median of eight to four on a 10-point scale. Close to 60 percent of patients who originally reported “bad” or “very bad” quality of life upgraded to “good” or “very good” after six months. More than 70 percent of patients surveyed reported moderate to significant improvement in their condition.

    The most commonly reported adverse effects were dizziness (9.7 percent) and dry mouth (7.1 percent). After six months, more than 18 percent of patients surveyed had stopped using opioid analgesics or had reduced their dosage. […]

    While the researchers state their findings to date indicate cannabis may decrease dependence on prescription medicines, including opioids, more evidence-based data from this special, aging population is imperative.

    AAAS Public Release: Medical cannabis significantly safer for elderly with chronic pain than opioids

  • DdC

    Thoughts and Prayers, there, all better.

    The White House & Congress will respond to America’s epidemic of school shootings with flurries of invisible thoughts & prayers for Parkland, Florida. Because actually doing something might save *your* child, but could lose *their* #NRA check.

    Everythings olay, you’re safe

    FYI: I’ll be donating $1 to one of these people’s democratic opponents everytime one of you says “Thoughts and Prayers” so we can #VoteGOPout I encourage everyone else to do the same There’s no reasoning w/ greed

    Jeff Sessions Is Steamed Over Senator’s Cannabis Blockade

    Regulations: Cannabis vs Arm sales

    Jeff Sessions Says People Should ‘Tough It Out’ and Take Aspirin Instead of Opioids

    Allowing Access To Marijuana May Help States Fix Their Opioid Problem

    Trump wants to allow concealed weapons everywhere. This bill would do that. via @MotherJones

    Pennsylvania GOP takes gerrymandering in an unfortunate direction

  • Mike

    interesting studies — MI has hundreds of thousands that have tales to tell. Along with millions of others all across
    the Country that are logging as well.

    Good AG are needed — MI has a great candidate

  • jean valjean

    Anyone seen Pete recently?

  • Servetus

    LEAP member Jeff Kaufman explains his opposition to drug wars and prohibition in a piece from the Hudson Valley News by Alexander Reed Kelly:

    Like many who enter law enforcement, Jeff Kaufman joined the New York Police Department in 1980 because he wanted to serve his community. He left six years later because the state’s drug laws made that impossible.

    “As cops we need to develop trust with the community to get to people who need our help and protect the public from violence,” Kaufman told me in late January. “We depend on the community to do our jobs, and the ‘War on Drugs’ created an incredible source of distrust and corruption that made these problems impossible to fight.”

    Since 2004 Kaufman has worked with the Law Enforcement Action Partnership, an international group of more than 1,000 current and former police officers, judges, prosecutors and other law enforcement professionals who advocate the legalization and control of all drugs as a means to justice and public safety.

    Kaufman’s varied 40-year career gave him extensive experience with the problems of the poor. As a prosecutor with the N.Y.P.D.’s Legal Bureau in the mid-1980s, he helped the department seize the property of people who sold or used drugs. “We couldn’t catch the guys with the big bucks, so we went after little people,” he said. “We took their property, anything of value they had, and turned it into police resources.” […]