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Mom Spurs Marijuana-Autism Study In Philadelphia

By Mark Abrams

Erica Daniels was nearly at wit’s end in trying to find ways to ease her son Leo’s autism symptoms. And then, she came upon marijuana – or rather a substance in the plant called Cannabidiol.

Daniels says the use of the “medication” to help her son find relief and has the permission of state health authorities to use it while Pennsylvania launches its medical marijuana industry.

“I’ve noticed differences in his language, in his mood, in our ability to just be a family,” she says. “The quality of life for him and our whole family has dramatically changed.”

Read the full article HERE.

Can Kids With Cancer Use Medical Marijuana? Here’s Why Some Experts Think It’s Possible

By 

Adults with cancer often turn to using medical marijuana to relieve the side effects of chemotherapy, but can kids with cancer use medical marijuana, too? A new study published in Pediatrics found that many pediatric oncologists would feel comfortable recommending it for children for the very same reasons they would offer it to adults, since it eases the pain, nausea, and lack of appetite that comes along with cancer treatment.

However, those pediatricians who were already licensed to write prescriptions for medical marijuana were way less likely to say they would offer it to children — but not for the reasons you might think. The study found that because of discrepancy between federal and state laws, most doctors fear that giving marijuana to sick kids could get them in trouble with federal authorities, even though it’s legal in their state.

So many of the docs who would refrain from recommending marijuana to kids aren’t doing so because they don’t believe in its efficacy, but because it would go against their hospital procedures or their own fears of getting in trouble.

Study co-author Kelly Michelson, MD, Critical Care physician at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, said in a press release via Eureka Alert accompanying the study:

It is not surprising that providers who are eligible to certify for medical marijuana were more cautious about recommending it, given that their licensure could be jeopardized due to federal prohibition. Institutional policies also may have influenced their attitudes. Lurie Children’s, for example, prohibits pediatric providers from facilitating medical marijuana access in accordance with the federal law, even though it is legal in Illinois.

The survey included talking to 288 pediatricians in Illinois, Massachusetts and Washington, all states that have made medical marijuana legal. According to the research, nearly a third of them had received one or more requests for medical marijuana and 92 percent of those doctors were willing to help kids with cancer access it. The laws and the lack of industry standards about dosing and potency were the biggest barriers to recommending it, the study found. Only 2 percent of doctors said that they would never consider marijuana for pediatric patients.

Michelson added in the same press release:

 

Read the full article HERE

Can medical marijuana users have firearms? Police say no

As Pennsylvania prepares to issue medical marijuana cards by year’s end, patients will find firearms out of their reach, state and federal law enforcement authorities say.

At issue is the federal classification of marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug— one with “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” the same as heroin and LSD and other hallucinogens, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“There are no exceptions in federal law for marijuana used for medicinal or recreational purposes,” said Special Agent Joshua E. Jackson, spokesman for the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives in Washington, D.C.

Pennsylvania attorneys specializing in medical marijuana law told lehighvalleylive.com they were surprised firearms ownership is an issue at all with patients. Steve Schain, whose Hoban Law Group is “100 percent devoted to cannabis and hemp law,” said the program was created by state law, and there is no mention of firearms.

“I don’t think anybody’s going to bring it up,” said Andrew Sacks, managing partner at Sacks Weston Diamond LLC in Philadelphia.

The trouble is, it’s an automatic “no” when a legitimate medical marijuana user applies for a background check to purchase or transfer a firearm or ammunition, or to obtain a license to carry a concealed firearm, according to the ATF and Pennsylvania State Police.

The federal background check form was amended in the past year to explicitly point out the no-exceptions federal prohibition, said Major Scott C. Price, state police director of the Bureau of Records and Identification.

“Are you an unlawful user of, or addicted to, marijuana or any depressant, stimulant, narcotic drug or any other controlled substance?” questions 11e reads on the ATF Form 4473. “Warning: The use or possession of marijuana remains unlawful under Federal law regardless of whether it has been legalized or decriminalized for medicinal or recreational purposes in the state where you reside.”

The ATF sent a letter saying as much to firearms sellers in 2011, Price noted. Answer “yes” on the form, and the retailer won’t even run the background check, which will look at the database of medical marijuana cardholders, he said.

“So, in fact, an individual who is issued a medical marijuana card in Pennsylvania who is a user of medical marijuana, that individual would be prohibited from purchasing or technically possession of a firearm under federal law,” Price said Tuesday.

This firearms prohibition is gaining recognition in Pennsylvania as the state prepares to issue prescription cards. As of Nov. 16, more than 6,000 patients registered to receive cannabis for the treatment of symptoms of any of 17 approved conditions, according to the state Department of Health.

Holders of the $50 state medical marijuana ID card are expected to be able to purchase cannabis products from approved dispensaries beginning in 2018. The prohibition on purchasing firearms does not apply to medical marijuana caregivers, who can obtain cannabis products for up to five patients.

A list of medical marijuana docs in Philly region

by Sam Wood

This is a list of physicians in the Philadelphia region who have been approved to recommend medical marijuana as of Nov. 1 by the state Department of Health. The complete registry is expected to be updated on Nov. 8 and regularly as more doctors take the continuing education course and become registered. Two of the doctors listed will not be able to recommend cannabis because their licenses are suspended. For complete cannabis coverage to Philly.com/cannabis.

Read the full article HERE.

17 US House Representatives Support Regulating Cannabis Like Alcohol

BY 

US House Representatives from 10 different states are now on board with legalizing cannabis on the federal level with the same regulations as alcoholic beverages.

The Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act is supported by 16 Democrats and one Republican Representative — Rep. Rohrabacher, Dana [R-CA-48], bringing the total up to 17 representatives.

Another possible supporter is the Florida GOP Congressmen Matt Gaetz, who is pushing the federal government to make it easier for researchers to study cannabis.

Meanwhile, on the East Coast, Pennsylvania just handed out its first 100 licenses to doctors who intend on prescribing medical marijuana.

A couple weeks ago, Pennsylvania also approved its first medical marijuana grower as well, so it seems that the Keystone state is on a very weed friendly track.

 

Read more HERE

 

Adult marijuana use increasing in US, two studies show

That’s according to findings from two different studies – the National Survey on Drug Use and Health and a report from the Public Health Institute.

The National Survey found that in 2016:

  • Nearly 21% of U.S. residents between the ages of 18 and 25 used cannabis at least monthly.
  • Among adults 26-34, monthly consumers made up almost 15% of the general public.

Those numbers are the highest rates of marijuana use since 1985, The Washington Post reported.

According to Newsweek, the Public Health Institute’s study found that:

  • Cannabis consumption among women “almost doubled between 1984 and 2015, from 5.5% of adults to 10.6%.”
  • 14.7% more men have been using cannabis since 2000.
  • Overall, just under 13% of American adults have tried cannabis since 2015, which is up from 6.7% 10 years ago.

The takeaway seems to be that cannabis still has a long way to go before it’s realistically competing with alcohol as America’s drug of choice, but its overall popularity is on the rise.

Read more HERE.

Philly-area law firms bullish on cannabis despite grave legal risks

by Sam Wood, Staff Writer  @samwoodiii  samwood@phillynews.com

 

Lawyers going into the marijuana business face potential arrest, disbarment, and even imprisonment. But they’re gambling that the smoke will clear, and the federal government will eventually legalize cannabis.

 Many of Philadelphia’s biggest firms — Duane MorrisFox Rothschild, and Cozen O’Connor among them — have set up practices recently to serve cannabis growers, dispensaries, and related entrepreneurs as the state aggressively gear up to make medical marijuana available to patients by early 2018. Last month, Pepper Hamilton“formalized” its marijuana industry group.

“We saw it as a growth opportunity,” said Joseph C. Bedwick, a partner at Cozen O’Connor. But the continuing disconnect between state and federal laws, and the Trump administration’s antipathy toward marijuana , has created what Bedwick calls “a big ball of uncertainty.”

“At any moment, theoretically, they can say, ‘We’re going to crack down on this,’ ” Bedwick said. And with so many attorneys getting into the cannabis game, some doubt there will be enough work to sustain those practices.

Marijuana has been legalized in some form by legislatures in 26 states — Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware among them — and the District of Columbia. But federal law, under the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, supersedes all state laws. And the U.S. government continues to view marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance; it considers cannabis to have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.” It remains a federal crime to possess, grow, distribute, or prescribe marijuana in any form.

Under the Obama administration, the U.S. Department of Justice took a hands-off approach to enforcement. A 2013 memorandum advised U.S. attorneys not to prosecute businesses that comply with state laws. A congressional rider to an appropriations bill, known as the Rohrabacher-Blumenauer amendment, forbids the justice department from spending money to prosecute medical cannabis patients and state-compliant programs. But neither the memo nor the amendment grants immunity, and both could be revoked without warning.

 

 

Read the full article HERE

How Effective Is Medical Marijuana? Here’s A Closer Look At 14 Different Uses

Whether you’re in the camp to legalize marijuana or would rather keep it restricted (no judging, here!), it’s high time to size up its medical claims. Pot pre-dates the Egyptian pyramids—but it took till now for 23 states to give their A-Okay for its medicinal use. Prevention asked top docs whether cannabis, med-speak for marijuana, is actually helpful (or at least promising) for nearly two dozen health woes ranging from multiple sclerosis to migraines, cancer pain to epilepsy.

Two things to keep in mind as you’re reading: Most of the research involves marijuana or its individual psychoactive compounds administered in carefully measured doses—a far cry from the variability in strains being sold on the street or even in dispensaries. “That’s the equivalent of buying penicillin at a flea market,” contends Ivor Grant, MD, chair of the department of psychiatry at the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. And there’s just not a lot of research yet, period. The FDA hasn’t removed marijuana from its “schedule-one” drug designation, which it reserves for substances that have no acceptable medical use. “Few doctors have the special permission required to work with schedule-one drugs,” notes Otis Brawley, MD, chief medical and scientific officer of the American Cancer Society. “Cocaine is less restricted than marijuana.”

Even so, experts have been able to cobble together enough info to tell you what has merit and what’s just bogus. Pot, here’s your first report card.

Read the full article at Prevention.com