Posts Tagged ‘medical marijuana news’

Find The Right Marijuana Strain For You At Leafly.com

By Steve Elliott
Thursday, August 18, 2011, at 12:20 pm
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Graphic: Leafly.com
Leafly helps you make sense of the plethora of medical marijuana strains available.

​Leafly.com, online for just over a year now, is a powerful resource which can help medical marijuana patients find the strains which work best for them. Since its debut in June 2010, patients have used the site to explore the dispensary options available and to match strains with symptoms.

When I entered one of my favorite strains, Afgoo, Leafly told me the effects, medical uses, and where I could find it, listing five dispensaries from 10 to 35 miles away.

Toke of the Town had a chance to chat with Mike Juberg, on the sales team at Leafly.com, about what the site has to offer.

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Graphic: Leafly.com
Toke: Tell me when Leafly got started, and what inspired its creation.

Mike: We started building Leafly in March of 2010 shortly after receiving our medical marijuana recommendations. We were overwhelmed by the strain choices at dispensaries and had no good resources to help make an informed decision on which to try.
We were also disappointed by the existing choices of dispensary locator sites. The majority are clones of each other and most suffer the same problems with speed and poor user experience; we knew we could do it better.
After two months of weekend work we launched the site in June 2010 and the response has been tremendous.
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Graphic: Leafly.com
Toke: What is the most powerful feature available to patients on Leafly?

Mike: The most talked-about feature on our site is the explore page (http://www.leafly.com/explore). This is a great starting point for patients new to the mmj world. You can filter strains by their effects and drill down until you find one that best suits your needs. There is also the option of only showing strains available at dispensaries near you, so you are sure to find what you need.
Toke: What’s the most important thing to know for patients new to Leafly?
Mike: As a new patient the sheer number of varieties of cannabis within a dispensary can be a bit overwhelming. For participating dispensaries we have menus integrated with Leafly data to help new patients make selections best for them.
New patients should also know that we take privacy very seriously. We have made conscious decisions at every step to ensure discretion. All aspects of the design intentionally exclude the iconic leaf image and pictures of bud are shown only on photo pages, so it won’t be obvious what you are looking at to coworkers glancing over your shoulder at work.
To register for an account we don’t require an email address and all your profile information is hidden by default. You have to opt in to be public, which some people are comfortable doing and others are not.
Toke: What’s next in Leafly’s future?

Mike: We have a long roadmap of product enhancements and new dispensary services we are working on, as well as new mobile and web apps to help the cannabis community. Everything is top secret right now. 🙂
Toke: What makes Leafly’s dispensary offerings unique?

Mike: While other sites only provide a means to advertise a dispensary we do that while also creating products that simplify their operations. Things like SMS services for patient outreach, social media integration, pushing menus out to multiple sites, and an unmatched analytics platform so they can track visitor trending over time.
With more on the horizon we like to use our technological know-how to solve real problems that dispensary owners face every day.

Who Benefits From Obama’s Reefer Maddness?

Defending its crack-down on legal medical marijuana dealers, the DEA has disingenuously declared that pot is an ineffective treatment for pain. But over at the FDA, the first painkiller made from cannabis is sailing toward approval.
Obama seems to want to have it both ways: Weed has medical benefits, but then again it doesn’t; it’s as dangerous as heroin, but safe enough to give to sick patients in medical experiments. Whose interests are being served here, and who’s getting the shaft?
It’s hard to deny claims by critics that the president has largely given the shaft to advocates of medical marijuana. Hitting the re-election trail this week, Obama had to duck a question about his record on pot-for-pain at a Minnesota town hall meeting, leaving unresolved—after more than two and a half years—his campaign promise to respect the right of patients to make decisions about their own care. Instead his administration has pursued a confused two-pronged policy: allowing Big Pharma unimpeded license to pursue the profitable medical marijuana market, while threatening thousands of patients using state-licensed cannabis with federal intervention and even arrest.
Critics liken Obama’s cannabis conundrum to the way he dealt with the financial crisis—bailing out Wall Street while leaving millions of homes on Main Street to fall into foreclosure. If this sounds like too harsh a condemnation of a president that rabid Republicans have done nothing but hate on, try making sense of recent developments in federal medical-marijuana policy.
Back in March, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) exercised its emergency authority to outlaw the use of five “fake” marijuana products like Spice and K2. “These products consist of plant materials that have been coated with research chemicals that claim to mimic THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, and are sold at a variety of retail outlets, in head shops and over the Internet,” the DEA said in a prepared statement.
(Read more) http://www.thefix.com

Why Synthetic Cannabis Is Stupid

Breaking news out of Australia, specifically Joondalup, reports that five  people were hospitalized after inhaling a new form of Kronic, the most popular synthetic marijuana available (or not available–depending on the country). We’ve warned you about this before, but now I have to tell you again with more of an emphasis on just how idiotic these synthetic compounds are. STOP SMOKING IT! There’s more chastising to come after the break because if five random people in Australia had been HMJ readers or had friends that read it, they would have avoided a miserable trip to the hospital.

If you’re unfamiliar with my obvious disdain for these cheap (AND LEGAL!) offshoots of our beloved marijuana, then you can read these posts. Or read this, and bang your head against the wall for being a sycophantic tool vulnerable to the whims and fancies of the most diabolical of species: the ad-copy writer:

The Auckland-based manufacturing company believed to be importing the product into Australia describes the product on its website as ‘the height of innovation’ and that the new Kronic was developed ‘in response to demand.’

‘Containing no banned substances, the latest in our line of premium home-grown smoking blends will deliver you a smooth, haze-filled blaze,’ it reads.

Which is utter horseshit. The same type of horseshit that all manufacturers of synthetic products espouse so you’ll buy their product and they can make money off your lemmings-based consumerism. Conspicuous idiocy more than showing off the hip, new drug available. FourLoko is one thing, but this shit just isn’t right.

If you’re smoking this hooey because real marijuana is illegal, then you need to start thinking a little bit about synthetic vs. organic. Marijuana buds come from the ground. If you’re religious, you could say God created marijuana. If you’re a vegan or a tree-hugger, you could say Mother Nature created herb. If you’re a secular anarchist, you could say fuck “the man” and smoke REAL marijuana to do just that (it’s still prohibited on a federal level).  Regardless, don’t mess with the crappy man-made shit. Man made war, and strife and all the shit. We’ve fucked our planet up, but our abused world still grows delicious herb without our prodding. Man-made idrugs always lose.

Smoke marijuana instead of its followers. No one is going to the hospital for that. If you get sick or die from synthetic marijuana you’ve lost all my sympathy. I’ve warned you enough. Now call all your buddies in Australia and tell them the same.

I’d rather go blind then smoke that crap.

http://www.hailmaryjane.com

7 cannabis studies that will change everything…

​​ Welcome to Room 420, where your instructor is Mr. Ron Marczyk and your subjects are wellness, disease prevention, self actualization, and chillin’.
Worth Repeating
​By Ron Marczyk, R.N.
Since the 1960s, the major milestones our country has achieved are incredible.
We elected an African-American president, women’s issues have made tremendous progress, and gays and lesbians can marry.
But cannabis is still illegal…?  Not for long! 
As the tsunami of hard empirical positive medical cannabis research builds, it meets the inevitable changing younger demographics of our country, and with the need for new cannabis- based jobs and new tax revenue.
The cannabis legalization tipping point is close at hand!
“Cannabis is the people’s medicine” and has overwhelming public support.
Let’s knock this last domino over!
And to that end…
I would like to highlight several 2011 research papers that discuss the most current findings regarding medical cannabis treatment and disease prevention.

The following medical papers focus on:
• Cancer and colon cancer prevention,
• Inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn’s disease
• Vomiting from chemotherapy
• Osteoporosis
• Traumatic brain injury
• Heart disease /Heart attack
The concept of the endocannabinoid system was outlined a mere 14 years ago, and looks how far we have come!
Today “phytocannabinoid therapeutics” is the newest, fastest growing field in medical research.
As this medical cannabis evidence-based tsunami approaches, its main therapeutic action appears to restoring homeostasis to multiple body systems.
The action by which phytocannabinoids heal is by reestablishing the proper immune set points within CB 1/2 receptors in both brain and body.
Perhaps the root of many human illnesses is an anandamide deficiency, which, when corrected and rebalanced by THC intake, produces homeostasis.
Whatever anandamide does in the body, phytocannabinoids mimic. My prediction is that phytocannabinoids will ultimately be found to be an vital to human health.
Phytocannabinoids mimic the same actions of Anandamide in the brain and body, which maintain homeostasis, maintaining wellness and disease prevention!    

Cannabinoid Uses.jpg
Graphic: TRENDS In Pharmacological Sciences
Pharmacological actions of non-psychotropic cannabinoids (with the indication of the proposed mechanisms of action). Abbreviations: D 9 -THC, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinol; D 8 -THC, D 8 -tetrahydrocannabinol; CBN, cannabinol; CBD, cannabidiol; D 9 -THCV, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabivarin; CBC, cannabichromene; CBG, cannabigerol; D 9 -THCA, D 9 -tetrahydrocannabinolic acid; CBDA, cannabidiolic acid; TRPV1, transient receptor potential vanilloid type 1; PPARg, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor g; ROS, reactive oxygen species; 5-HT1A, 5-hydroxytryptamine receptor subtype 1A; FAAH, fatty acid amide hydrolase. (+), direct or indirect activation; “, increase; #, decrease.
It’s All About THC
THC is unique, in that it is only found in one plant on earth.
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Photo: Rhinoseeds
Power Flower strain
​ The female cannabis plant is a THC-resin factory. THC, which makes up the plant’s resin, has the important job of collecting pollen from the male plant for fertilization. No THC-laced resin, no seed production.  Additionally, this resin tastes very bad to herbivores, which leave it alone, and it also offers superior UV protection to the plant at high altitudes.
A cannabis sativa flower coated with trichomes, which contain more THC than any other part of the plant
The cannabis plant has only two functions: to make THC and seeds.
THC is the most abundant “phytocannabinoid” within the cannabis plant.
All other THC-like substances in the plant are THC intermediate metabolites being assembled by the plant on their way to becoming THC.
Once the plant is cut down and dies, the THC degrades into cannabindiol.  Cannabinol (CBN) is the primary product of THC degradation, and there is usually little of it in a fresh plant. CBN content increases as THC degrades in storage, and with exposure to light and air, and it is only mildly psychoactive.
Why would just this one plant, and the phytocannabinoids it produces control not one, but two dedicated molecular receptors for phytocannabinoids, with more predicted to still be discovered?
Did evolution intend for them to be naturally consumed for proper body function? As any other plant-derived antioxidant?
How THC talks to the brain and immune system
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Graphic: How Stuff Works
​All healing, cancer fighting and aging in your body is controlled by the immune system.
Phytocannabinoids appear to control the activity level of the immune system up or down, so that it doesn’t attack its host or respond too weakly to cellular dysfunction. Whenever you hear the term “anti-inflammatory activity,” think “cannabis immune system control.”
CB1 cannabigenic receptors are the majority of receptor type in the synaptic clef. THC-activated CB1 brain receptors directly link up and control the microglial cells in the brain; the microglia is the specialized white blood cells that make up the brain’s dedicated immune system.
Cannabidiol is degraded THC. It activates CB2 receptors mostly in the body. In both cases, THC controls both immune systems (brain and body), in one form or another. It seems that CB1 brain receptors link up to CB2 body receptors, which in turn control many autoimmune diseases.
The word used to describe this cannabis brain/body link up is Psychoneuroimmunology.
Mind = neurotransmitter = immune system communication system, or in this case
Cannabinergic Psychoneuroimmunology” — cannabinoid-induced immune system healing.
Cannabis consciousness repairs your immune system: never underestimate the power of a bong hit!
#1:   “The Endocannabinoid System and Cancer: Therapeutic Implication” 
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Photo: WhyProhibition.ca
​Findings: Delta 9 THC as a treatment for breast, prostate, brain and bone cancer
“This review updates the relationship between the endocannabinoid system and anti-tumor actions (inhibition of cell proliferation and migration, induction of apoptosis, reduction of tumor growth) of the cannabinoids in different types of cancer.”
“The therapeutic potential of cannabinoids for cancer, as identified in clinical trials, is also discussed. Identification of safe and effective treatments to manage and improve cancer therapy is critical to improve quality of life and reduce unnecessary suffering in cancer patients.”
“In this regard, cannabis-like, compounds offer therapeutic potential for the treatment of breast, prostate and bone cancer in patients. Further basic research on anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids as well as clinical trials of cannabinoid therapeutic efficacy in breast, prostate and bone cancer is therefore warranted.”
“The available literature suggests that the endocannabinoid system may be targeted to suppress the evolution and progression of breast, prostate and bone cancer as well as the accompanying pain syndromes. Although this review focuses on these three types of cancer, activation of the endocannabinoid signaling system produces anti-cancer effects in other types of cancer including skin, brain gliomas and lung.”
“Interestingly, cannabis trials in population based studies failed to show any evidence for increased risk of respiratory symptoms/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or lung cancer (Tashkin, 2005) associated with smoking cannabis.”
“Moreover, synthetic cannabinoids (Delta 9 THC) and the endocannabinoid system play a role in inhibiting cancer cell proliferation and angiogenesis, reducing tumor growth and metastases and inducing apoptosis ( self destruction for cancer cells) in all three types of cancers reviewed here.
“These observations raise the possibility that a dysregulation of the endocannabinoid system may promote cancer, by fostering physiological conditions that allow cancer cells to proliferate, migrate and grow.”
IMPORTANT: This is a very intriguing observation. What is being implied here is that some people may be suffering from an anandamide deficiency! Just as a diabetic is insulin deficiencient and must supplement their body with insulin, in this case THC is the vital medicine needed to replace low levels of anandamide.
These observations also raise the exciting possibility that enhancing cannabinoid tone (code for THC locking into the CB1 receptor) through cannabinoid based pharmacotherapies may attenuate these harmful processes to produce anti-cancer effects in humans.
Bottom line:  Smoking marijuana prevents cancer body-wide.
#2:  “Update on the Endocannabinoid System as an Anticancer Target” 
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Graphic: Americans for Safe Access
​Findings: antitumor effects, cancer prevention
“Recent studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system (ECS) could offer an attractive antitumor target. Numerous findings suggest the involvement of this system (constituted mainly by cannabinoid receptors, endogenous compounds and the enzymes for their synthesis and degradation) in cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo.”
“This review covers literature from the past decade which highlights the potential of targeting the ECS for cancer treatment. In particular, the levels of endocannabinoids and the expression of their receptors in several types of cancer are discussed, along with the signaling pathways involved in the endocannabinoid antitumor effects.”
“Furthermore, targeting the ECS with agents that activate cannabinoid receptors (This means THC) or inhibitors of endogenous degrading systems such as fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitors may have relevant therapeutic impact on tumor growth. Additional studies into the downstream consequences of endocannabinoid treatment are required and may illuminate other potential therapeutic targets.”
#3:  “Cannabinoids and the gut: new developments and emerging concepts”
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Photo: Top News
​Findings: THC and inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), colitis, colon cancer, vomiting/chemotherapy
“Disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract have been treated with herbal and plant-based remedies for centuries. Prominent amongst these therapeutics are preparations derived from the marijuana plant Cannabis.  Cannabis has been used to treat a variety of GI conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain.”
“Cannabis has been used to treat gastrointestinal (GI) conditions that range from enteric infections and inflammatory conditions to disorders of motility, emesis and abdominal pain.”
“The mechanistic basis of these treatments emerged after the discovery of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol as the major constituent of Cannabis. Further progress was made when the receptors for Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol were identified as part of an endocannabinoid system, that consists of specific cannabinoid receptors.”
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Sites of action of cannabinoids in the enteric nervous system. CB2 receptors indicated with the marijuana leaf.
​  “Anatomical, physiological and pharmacological studies have shown that the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and organ-specific actions.” (CB2 receptors are embedded within the lining of the intestines in large numbers.)
“They are involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastro protection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation in the gut.”
“As we have shown, the endocannabinoid system is widely distributed throughout the gut, with regional variation and specific regional or organ-specific actions.”
“CB2 receptors are involved in the regulation of food intake, nausea and emesis, gastric secretion and gastro protection, GI motility, ion transport, visceral sensation, intestinal inflammation and cell proliferation (cancer)”
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How THC/cannabidiol activates the CB1/2 receptors to shut down colon cancer by signaling cancer cells to self-destruct
​ “Preclinical models have shown that modifying the endocannabinoid system can have beneficial effects…. Pharmacological agents that act on these targets have been shown in preclinical models to have therapeutic potential.” [THC is the Pharmacological agent mentioned.]
Colorectal Cancer Prevention Model

Cannabiols via CB1 and possibly CB2 receptor activation, have been shown to exert apoptotic actions in several colorectal cancer cell lines.
See the illustration at left for how THC/cannabidiol activates the CB1/2 receptors to shut down colon cancer by signaling cancer cells to self-destruct.
#4:   “Gut feelings about the endocannabinoid system”
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Graphic: CMR Journal
Schematic illustration of the functional roles of the endocannabinoid system (ECS) in the gastrointestinal tract. The ECS regulates four major functional elements in the gut: motility, secretion, inflammation, and sensation in health and disease. Major components of the ECS that have been defined in each of these functional roles are shown: CB1 and CB2 receptors, anandamide (AEA), fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH), and the endocannabinoid membrane transporter (EMT). For motility, the CB2 receptors only appear to be active under pathophysiological conditions and are shown italicized.
​ Findings: Stemming from the centuries-old and well known effects of Cannabis on intestinal motility and secretion, research on the role of the endocannabinoid system in gut function and dysfunction has received ever increasing attention since the discovery of the cannabinoid receptors and their endogenous ligands, the endocannabinoids.
In this article, some of the most recent developments in this field are discussed, with particular emphasis on new data, most of which are published in Neurogastroenterology & Motility, on the potential tonic endocannabinoid control of intestinal motility, the function of cannabinoid type-1 (CB1) receptors in gastric function, visceral pain, inflammation and sepsis, the emerging role of cannabinoid type-2 (CB2) receptors in the gut, and the pharmacology of endocannabinoid-related molecules and plant cannabinoids not necessarily acting via cannabinoid CB1 and CB2 receptors.
These novel data highlight the multi-faceted aspects of endocannabinoid function in the GI tract, support the feasibility of the future therapeutic exploitation of this signaling system for the treatment of GI disorders, and leave space for some intriguing new hypotheses on the role of endocannabinoids in the gut.
#5: “Cannabinoids and the skeleton: from marijuana to reversal of bone loss”
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Graphic: Medicinal Cannabis
​Findings: CB2 receptors maintain bone remodeling balance, thus protecting the skeleton against age-related bone loss.
The active component of marijuana, Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol, activates the CB1 and CB2 cannabinoid receptors, thus mimicking the action of endogenous cannabinoids.
CB1 is predominantly neuronal and mediates the cannabinoid psychotropic effects. CB2 is predominantly expressed in peripheral tissues, mainly in pathological conditions. So far the main endocannabinoids, anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol, have been found in bone at ‘brain’ levels.
The CB1 receptor is present mainly in skeletal sympathetic nerve terminals, thus regulating the adrenergic tonic restrain of bone formation. CB2 is expressed in osteoblasts and osteoclasts, stimulates bone formation, and inhibits bone resorption.
Because low bone mass is the only spontaneous phenotype so far reported in CB2 mutant mice, it appears that the main physiologic involvement of CB2 is associated with maintaining bone remodeling at balance, thus protecting the skeleton against age-related bone loss.
Indeed, in humans, polymorphisms in CNR2, the gene encoding CB2, are strongly associated with postmenopausal osteoporosis. Preclinical studies have shown that a synthetic CB2-specific agonist rescues ovariectomy-induced bone loss.
Taken together, the reports on cannabinoid receptors in mice and humans pave the way for the development of 1) diagnostic measures to identify osteoporosis-susceptible polymorphisms in CNR2, and 2) cannabinoid drugs to combat osteoporosis.
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Graphic: Fit Body Bootcamp
​​Findings: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents the leading cause of death in young individuals.
FINDING:  THC activation of the CB1 receptor is the same as the action of anaidemide on CB1 This article discusses how anandamide increases in the brain after injury, so THC may have the potential to become a front line emergency medicine in the future.
“There is a large body of evidence showing that eCB are markedly increased in response to pathogenic traumatic head injury events.”
“This fact, as well as numerous studies on experimental models of brain toxicity, neuroinflammation and trauma supports the notion that the eCB are part of the brain’s compensatory or repair mechanisms.”
These are mediated via CB receptors signalling pathways that are linked to neuronal survival and repair. The levels of 2-AG, the most highly abundant eCB, are significantly elevated after TBI and when administered to TBI mice, 2-AG decreases brain edema, inflammation and infarct volume and improves clinical recovery.( So would THC.)
This review is focused on the role the eCB system plays as a self-neuroprotective mechanism and its potential as a basis for the development of novel therapeutic modality for the treatment of CNS pathologies with special emphasis on TBI.
Bottom line:  For proof see U.S government 2003 patent
#7:  “Acute administration of cannabidiol in vivo suppresses ischaemia-induced cardiac arrhythmias and reduces infarct size when given at reperfusion”
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Graphic: Cannabis N.I.
Not only is CBD cardioprotective — it is also an anti-epileptic, sedative, anxiolytic, antipsychotic, antioxidant, neuroprotectant, anti-inflammatory, anti-diabetic, anti-emetic, and anti-tumorant.
​ Findings:  Cannabidiol (CBD) is a phytocannabinoid, with anti-apoptotic, (the process of programmed cell death) anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects and has recently been shown to exert a tissue sparing effect during chronic myocardial ischaemia and reperfusion (I/R).
However, it is not known whether CBD is cardioprotective in the acute phase of I/R injury and the present studies tested this hypothesis.
EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Male Sprague-Dawley rats received either vehicle or CBD (10 or 50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) 10 min before 30 min coronary artery occlusion or CBD (50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) 10 min before reperfusion (2 h). The appearance of ventricular arrhythmias during the ischaemic and immediate post-reperfusion periods were recorded and the hearts excised for infarct size determination and assessment of mast cell degranulation. Arterial blood was withdrawn at the end of the reperfusion period to assess platelet aggregation in response to collagen.
KEY RESULTS: “CBD reduced both the total number of ischaemia-induced arrhythmias and infarct size when administered prior to ischaemia, an effect that was dose-dependent. Infarct size was also reduced when CBD was given prior to reperfusion. CBD (50 microg kg(-1) i.v.) given prior to ischaemia, but not at reperfusion, attenuated collagen-induced platelet aggregation compared with control, but had no effect on ischaemia-induced mast cell degranulation.”
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: “This study demonstrates that CBD is cardioprotective in the acute phase of I/R by both reducing ventricular arrhythmias and attenuating infarct size. The anti-arrhythmic effect, but not the tissue sparing effect, may be mediated through an inhibitory effect on platelet activation.”
Remember to exercise your ganja rights! Every day is a Ganja day!

Boulder Boots 1/3 MMJ Collectives…”High Standards”

Boulder Co city officials have rejected more than 1/3 of the applications from people seeking to run medical marijuana dispensaries or growing operations in the city, slowing the pace of what once was seen as a Wild West-style rush for riches.

Ten months after the initial 119 business-license applications were turned in by Boulder’s November deadline — set when the City Council last year approved sweeping new regulations for the budding industry — 40 medical marijuana companies have licenses to operate.

So far, 41 of those 119 applications, from existing businesses that had opened prior to adoption of the new rules, have been rejected for reasons that include zoning problems, incomplete paperwork and — in about half of the cases — the sometimes extensive criminal records of owners, operators and investors.

City officials say the vast majority of the 38 applications that remain in their queue have passed their initial background checks and are well on their way to being awarded business licenses.

As for those medical marijuana business owners who have been denied licenses, some have closed shop or moved to cities with less stringent rules. Some fired or bought out employees and partners with problematic pasts.

And many others are appealing the city’s decisions — a tactic that allows them to stay open and keep their fingers in Boulder’s multimillion-dollar marijuana industry while they plot their next steps.

(Source)

Activist Steve Kubby Wants to Regulate Marijuana Like Wine in California

CANNABIS CULTURE – Long-time pot activist Steve Kubby is back with a new marijuana ballot initiative for California. In this interview with Cannabis Culture, he explains why the Golden State should regulate marijuana like wine.

Proposition 19, the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana in California, was narrowly defeated during the November 2010 election. At the time, we figured tenacious activists would start building the next legalization campaign right away. We were right.

Steve Kubby, one of the activists responsible for the successful Proposition 215 that legalized medical marijuana in California in 1996, is back with a new initiative that is already gaining support and making headlines, thanks to the help of some big-name supporters like former US Judge Jim Gray.

In July, Kubby and his team were cleared to begin circulating ballot petitions after the title and summary of their new initiative, The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012, was accepted by the California secretary of states’s office.

Cannabis Culture Editor Jeremiah Vandermeer is pleased to present this interview with Steve Kubby, recorded on Thursday, July 28, 2011.

Cannabis Culture: Great to see all of the positive media attention payed to your proposed initiative in recent weeks. This must be giving the campaign quite a boost.

Steve Kubby: Were pretty happy – I mean we were in USA Today, The Washington Post. I saw a report in Turkey. We were even on a Spanish-language channel in Southern California, so we know there’s a pretty high level of interest.

CC: Does submitting early give you guys an advantage over other ballot initiatives?

SK: We planned all along to submit an initiative in August. I was concerned about how the attorney general would respond to an initiative, and what kind of language they would use, so we submitted this version and sure enough they tried to change our “regulation” initiative to a “legalization” initiative. We know “legalization” doesn’t test at all as high as “regulation”, so we’re going to go back and make sure they give us “regulation”. We’re going to change some terms in our initiative so that it’s more clear-cut that it’s going to be regulated by California’s Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, just as wine is regulated. So it was really very shrewd of us to submit early. We will file early in August which means will be done by the middle of February and the election cycle doesn’t really begin until March. We want to end right there because after March the price for signatures can double and even triple.

Right now if we can complete by March we know that we’ll pay $1.86 a signature, which comes to $1.4 million. We’d rather pay that than $3 or $4 each, which we could get stuck with if we started too late. At the same time we need time to wrap up our fundraising. We have a signed contract with one of the top political fundraisers on the West Coast, we’ve got the Libertarian party helping out, and we’ve got our own network of individuals who believe in our kind of politics.

CC: Have you been in touch with Richard Lee and the activists who ran the Prop 19 campaign? What are their thoughts?

SK: The old Prop 19 folks have created a new organization called the Coalition for Cannabis Policy Reform. We’ve been in touch with them and we’re looking forward to working with them. They have informed us that none of the funders seem interested in funding a California initiate again; they want to put their money in Colorado and Washington. They’re going after the old funders that I was the first one to get when I ran the Proposition 215 campaign in 1996 and I’ve gone on to other funders. We have our own circle of funders and were not under the same restraints that the other reformed organizations are all under.

CC: Why is the wine regulation model the best one suited for regulating cannabis in California?

SK: First and foremost, wine is something that people understand that can be used in moderation and doesn’t automatically lead to violence or impairment. People are used to the idea of a group getting together, having some wine and then going home or whatever else they’re going to do. So we wanted to put it on that level because that, in fact, is how cannabis is used as well.

If you were an alien from another planet and you came to earth and you suck people doing different activities you would classify pot smoking and wine drinking as highly social interactions with a low potential for violence or injury. So we wanted to put it in that context because that’s where it belongs. It doesn’t need to be regulated like nuclear plutonium. Plutonium is probably easier for researchers to get than marijuana. We didn’t want to put it in the category of hard booze because that would be wrongfully portraying what cannabis is all about – and it would be opening us up to attacks as another form of teenage drinking and abuse. So out of those possibilities, treating it like wine makes the most sense.

In addition to that, Judge Gray and deputy police chief Steven Downing from the LAPD told me their buddies are all telling them privately, “why don’t you just regulate it like booze”. They understand this. Well we compromised and said “how would you feel if we treated it like wine” and Judge Gray and chief Downing agreed. So that was the great unification model for bringing police, judges and activists together.

David Malmo-Levine has done an absolutely fantastic job for us and has published a comprehensive article comparing the California wine and cannabis industries. He has helped to educate Judge Gray and Chief Downing. Chief Downing even told him how much he had learned reading his paper. David is our official online director of communications and we all really appreciate having him on our team.

CC: Has the acceptance of the title and summary boosted the campaigns credibility? How much do public perceptions play into things at this stage and are you being taken more seriously?

SK: I probably have the best track record of anyone in town because I’ve only worked on the successful Prop 215 campaign. Of course, when we started that up, not only were people convinced that we wouldn’t succeed, but nobody, not even the sleaziest sex tabloid, would agree to use the term medical marijuana. They wouldn’t print it and wouldn’t say it. Absolutely wouldn’t tolerate it. So when we finally qualified for the ballot I remember getting some of the staff together and sitting down in front of the television. I remember saying “they’re going to have to say it, they’re going to have to say medical marijuana”. We were all just kind of transfixed about the possibility they would actually say that on television. So they did Prop to 213 and 214 and when they got to 215 they said “medical marijuana” – and then they said it again and again and again. They said it like it was just a regular word and our jaws were on the floor. We were just staring at the TV. Ever since, of course, it’s become an everyday word. But there was that day that it went from the taboo word to the everyday word. So I’ve seen firsthand how people’s perceptions can change once you qualify something for the ballot.

And certainly we are very grateful for all the hard work and trail-blazing that Prop 19 has done for us, because they have paved the way. When we came out, we didn’t qualify for the ballot, we just qualified for the title and summary. That should be a non-event but 260 different media outlets picked it up. We were in all of the media we wanted to be and we are now being taken very seriously.

CC: How does the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine initiative differ from others like Prop 19?

SK: Everything the reform movement is currently working on is limited to one ounce. Washington: one ounce. Colorado, recreational legalization: one ounce. California – I’ve seen the draft that one of the reform organizations is working on and honest to God, they are going for one ounce again. Now, one ounce in California is currently an infraction. Who the Hell is going to raise millions of dollars to turn an infraction into a non-infraction for just an ounce? We have no limit on how much pot is legal. It’s all legal. There’s is a 12-plant limit on growing indoors, but that is it – and no criminal penalties for cultivation, period.

CC: And dried personal amounts?

SK: We’re not even getting into that. We don’t want anyone coming around measuring dried amounts. It’s all legal under our system -– or regulated, as we like to call it. The only way you can screw up is if you sell marijuana and don’t pay the regular sales tax, like you do on anything else that you sell. Unlike Prop 19, we don’t invent any new laws or any new taxes. Sales tax is already in place so there is no need to introduce a new tax.

It’s light-years beyond everybody else but it really sounds reasonable when you read it.

CC: Right now, what’s the best way for people to help you?

SK: Everyone wants to get an initiative petition and start signing up people right away, but we are still 60 days away from that stage. When we’re ready to get signatures, we’re not going to have any volunteer signatures. A very painful lesson that I learned during the Prop 215 campaign is that volunteer signature-gathering does not work. Professional signature gatherers are a must.

So what can people do? They can go to our website and they’ll see we have installed the sign-up form where we can get basic information on them and then there in the system. Then they’ll get the latest updates and can take part in our proactive system. What can they do once their in? Well, this is all about money – I’m sorry but that’s just the reality.

What they can do is help us raise the money. Every $1.80 buys a signature – a validated signature. That’s someone who doesn’t just get the signature but also validates that it’s a registered voter. We need 800,000 signatures, so do the math. We need to raise $1.4 million.

We’ve got the big money coming in later on, but right now it’s really critical that the media sees how much money we can raise each day. Giving us money now in the first few weeks of this campaign is going to determine how respectful and interested the mainstream media is going to be in this campaign. If you don’t send any money later but can just send money in the next week or so, you’ve made the biggest impact you could possibly make. The biggest bang for the buck. And what you’ll be making is a contribution to history.

Read the The Regulate Marijuana Like Wine Act of 2012

Read the CC article “Crystal Clear Glasses and Unbleached Rollies”, a comprehensive comparison and contrasting of the California wine and California cannabis industries by activist David Malmo-Levine.

Stay tuned to Cannabis Culture for more information about the Regulate Marijuana Like Wine initiative in California.

Jeremiah Vandermeer is editor of Cannabis Culture. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

Couple Held In Death Of Medical Marijuana Distributor

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Photo: Long Beach Post
Police say they’ve identified the man in this security camera footage from a Beverly Hills convenience store as Marcel Mackabee, who has been arrested for the murder of medical marijuana distributor Philip Williamson.

​A husband and wife have been arrested in the March 24 Long Beach slaying of a medical marijuana distributor.

Marcel Mackabee on Tuesday was charged with one count of murder, and his wife, Rosemary Sayegh, was charged as an accessory in the shooting death of Philip Victor Williamson, according to police, reports Greg Mellen at the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
Robbery was the motive for Williamson’s murder, according to police, who said the victim may have had $500,000 and seven pounds of marijuana at the time of his death.
More arrests are expected, according to police.

The couple, both of Granada Hills, were arrested over the weekend. Sayegh, 32, was apprehended in Granada Hills and his wife Mackabee, 29, was arrested in Chico.
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Photo: OC Weekly
Philip Victor Williamson, 29, was gunned down in a Long Beach alleyway.
Mackabee is being held on $1 million bail and Sayegh on $500,000. Both are scheduled to return to Long Beach Superior Court on Tuesday.
Williamson, 29, was gunned down in an alleyway off the 1500 block of Pine Avenue in downtown Long Beach, according to police.
Long Beach Police Department homicide detectives learned that Williamson, who lived in Los Angeles, delivered marijuana grown in Chico throughout the L.A. area.
The murder was committed for the sole purpose of robbery, police believe.
Williamson was found about 10:30 p.m. on March 24 by police, suffering from a gunshot wound to his upper body. He died less than 24 hours later from his injuries.
Long Beach police said they traveled to Chico several times for evidence during their investigation. That led to a tip that Williamson was seen with a man in a black Toyota 4Runner around the time of his death.
Security camera footage from a Beverly Hills convenience store showed a man in a black sweatshirt and black pants making a purchase and leaving in a black Toyota 4Runner on the day Williamson was murdered. A receipt from that store was found in the victim’s home.
Police now say the man in black was Mackabee, and that the receipt was his.
In late July, police traveled to Chico and Granada HIlls with search warrants and later made the arrests; the investigation is ongoing.
Sayegh was arrested Friday, and her husband, Mackasbee, was arrested on Saturday in connection with Williamson’s killing, reports My FOX LA.
The marijuana and cash have not been recovered, according to police.
$10,000 reward offered by the L.A. County Supervisors’ Office has “generated information,” according to police, but they still want help from the public.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detectives Scott Lasch and Donald Goodman at 562-570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted at www.tipsoft.com.
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