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Please sign this petition if you would agree that the treatment of PD with Cannabis should be researched more or that it should be available as medicine. This kind of research should be happening in the United States! It would be if Cannabis/Marijuana was not Schedule I by the DEA. Schedule I drugs are the most dangerous drugs of all the drug schedules with potentially severe psychological or physical dependence. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are: heroin, LSD, Ecstasy. Cannabis does NOT need to be grouped with those drugs. No real research will be conducted on it as long as it is classified this way.


WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: Remove Marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act to Allow for its Medical Use.



Edited by CynthiaM

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Another example of the absolute idiocy of the medical establishment. In the desperate seach for the holy grail - controlling MJ - these morons found a drug that helps occasional users smoke less. The only problem is it has many side effects, like every other drug they push, Oh ya, and it doesn't work for everyone.  Easily fixed by prescribing MORE  pharmaceuticals!


They are using people who smoke about twice a week!  Quite a heavy addiction. Meanwhile  it is quite normal for a large segment of society to have 2 or 3 beers (or wine) after work every day! To promote this med as a potential fix for MJ reeks of desperation and is the work of educated fools..... (no shortage of those)


Get this - even with the pitiful results,the researcher wants to do a larger, longer study!



Advice:  Don't let school get in the way of an education.






Drug Controls Marijuana Use, But With Harsh Side Effects

By Rick Nauert PhD
~ 2 min read


A new study finds that combining the drug topiramate with psychological counseling curbed marijuana addiction among young smokers significantly more than did counseling alone.


In the small randomized control trial Brown University researchers, however, found that many study volunteers were unable to tolerate the medicine’s side effects.


Currently, there is no FDA-approved medication for treating cannabis dependence and misuse.


Meanwhile, the benefits of counseling treatment, such as motivational enhancement therapy (MET), aren’t enough to help many patients, said Robert Miranda Jr., associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior in the Alpert Medical School.


Miranda and his co-authors conducted the trial as the first test to determine whether topiramate, an epilepsy drug marketed as Topamax, could add to the benefits of traditional therapy. Topiramate has been studied as a potential treatment for alcohol and nicotine dependence and cocaine addiction.


Although researchers found that topiramate didn’t reduce the frequency of smoking significantly more than therapy alone, study participants who received the medication and MET used less marijuana each time, on average, than participants who got counseling and a placebo.


“The positive news is it did seem to have some effect and that effect seemed to really be focused on helping people reduce how much they smoke when they smoke,” said Miranda, lead author of the study in the journal Addiction Biology.


“It’s promising in the sense that it suggests that medications can help, but it asks questions about for whom it might be most effective because many people can’t tolerate the medication.


The pilot study was the first to test topiramate for cannabis dependence. Researchers recruited 66 volunteers, aged 15-24, who smoked at least twice weekly but were interested in receiving psychological and drug treatment to reduce marijuana use.


Heavy marijuana use is associated with impaired memory and executive cognitive function, difficulty sustaining attention and filtering out irrelevant information. Initial screening showed that more than half of the participants met clinical criteria for marijuana dependence or abuse.


The study design called for the placebo group and the group that received topiramate to both receive 50-minute MET sessions at weeks 1, 3 and 5 of the six-week study. MET involves professionally guided motivational discussion about quitting or reducing use.


Of the 66 volunteers, 40 received topiramate in doses that slowly scaled up from 25 miligrams in week one to 200 miligrams by week five, before being tapered out a few days after the study’s end.


Through consistent interviews and other means during the study, volunteers recalled how often they smoked and how much (urine tests also showed whether they were using marijuana and also taking either the medicine or placebo).


Both groups reduced the number of days on which they used marijuana by statistically similar amounts, but those who took the medication also used on average about 0.2 fewer grams of cannabis each time.


While Miranda said he was encouraged by the results showing a significant additional effect from the medication, it was clear the treatment was not for everyone.


At the end of the six-week study, 21 of the 40 subjects receiving the drug had dropped out compared to only 6 of the 26 people taking the placebo. Two thirds of those who left the study after using topiramate cited the side effects as their reason for leaving. They complained of problems such as depression, anxiety, trouble with coordination and balance, weight loss and unusual sensations.


One next step in the research, Miranda said, would be to conduct a larger and perhaps longer trial.


Pharmacogenetics, or determining whether genetic markers or other factors could predict who will have less difficulty with topiramate’s side effects is also an area of future study. The knowledge would allow any future clinical treatment to be targeted to patients who will benefit.

Edited by lethe

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Here's a few good Bill Hicks quotes to sum it up:


If you want to understand a society, take a good look at the drugs it uses. And what can this tell you about American culture? Well, look at the drugs we use. Except for pharmaceutical poison, there are essentially only two drugs that Western civilization tolerates: Caffeine from Monday to Friday to energize you enough to make you a productive member of society, and alcohol from Friday to Monday to keep you too stupid to figure out the prison that you are living in.

Bill Hicks


This is where we are at right now, as a whole. No one is left out of the loop. We are experiencing a reality based on a thin veneer of lies and illusions. A world where greed is our God and wisdom is sin, where division is key and unity is fantasy, where the ego-driven cleverness of the mind is praised, rather than the intelligence of the heart.

Bill Hicks


Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?

Bill Hicks

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Windsor's medical marijuana lounge can't use ashtrays


January 27, 2016

Ramsin Ishaq can smoke his medically prescribed marijuana all day long at a new vaping lounge in downtown Windsor, but health officials say he can't flick the ash from his joint in an ash tray.


That's because health officials ordered the owner of Higher Limits lounge to remove all ashtrays, which cannot be kept inside any business under Ontario's tobacco laws.


The situation is a bit of an odd conundrum for the owner, Jon Liedtke. Those same tobacco laws have no mention of marijuana, which is why he can legally operate.


Liedtke wants to work with health officials, so he found a creative work-around. He's asked his customers to leave ash on the tables and countertops until he can find a a more permanent solution.


"Hopefully we can work together to seek a resolution on it and if they're not willing to do that then we'll have to investigate some other options, which might mean meeting with the Ministry of Health," he said.


Liedtke and his fellow owners plan to consult with lounges in other municipalities in order to come up with several options. They'll then report back to the the health unit in the coming weeks.


Coming up with new regulations for smoking marijuana indoors could be coming soon, according to Kristy McBeth, director of knowledge management at the Windsor-Essex County Health Unit.


"I think it's something that will likely be considered moving forward in relation to the use of medical marijuana, specifically in public places and workplaces," she told CBC News. "But currently, from a public health perspective, this is not something that is covered."


Ishaq just appreciates having a place to go to smoke his medical marijuana, saying it can go a long way to eliminate social stigma about the drug.


"I think this is a great opportunity to shift the culture's view," he said. "People can take you seriously when you mention medical marijuana as a potential medical treatment."






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  Civil Disobedience: Georgia State Rep. Admits to Breaking the Law for Medical Marijuana Patients


By Monterey Bud on January 22, 2016



Maybe at some point there is a need for civil disobedience.” ~ Allen Peake


– Indeed…


Georgia State Rep. Allen Peake (R-Macon), a longtime advocate of medical marijuana in the Peach State, said he’s willing to break the law to help get medical marijuana to metro Atlanta families.


According to online sources, Rep. Peake made it clear to all who care, he’s been obtaining medicinal cannabis from states with applicable legislation and transporting it back to Georgia, benefiting his constituents in need


The Macon Republican explained:

“Listen, I made a commitment to these families when I got involved, that I was willing to do whatever it took to make sure they had access to a product from a reputable manufacturer. I’ve made good on that promise. If it involved civil disobedience, it’s been absolutely worth it.”


Peake has long been considered one of the primary founders of  George’s medical marijuana movement, battling his fellow Republicans to secure passage of an initiative that permitted the possession of cannabis oil for qualified patients in Georgia.


Not satisfied with his personal efforts on the issue, he’s now facilitating Atlanta’s sick and suffering in getting their medicine, regardless of the risks.


Ripping a page from Martin Luther King Jr.’s playbook, the Georgia representative noted there was obviously a certain level of concern, being a state lawmaker who is breaking the law.

In explaining his point of view, Peake noted:


Maybe at some point there is a need for civil disobedience. It comes down to, ‘What would I do if it were my child


Further demonstrating his commitment to obtaining medical marijuana for his constituents in need, Peake authored a new piece of legislation this year that would permit the cultivation of medical marijuana in Georgia within tight parameters. Additionally, HB 722 would include autism, Alzheimer’s and HIV as qualifying conditions.




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Jim McMahon: Medical Marijuana a ‘Godsend’



by William Bigelow29 Jan 201634


Super Bowl champion Jim McMahon now champions the use of medical marijuana to relieve pain caused by football.



McMahon, who was known to play with reckless abandon, has suffered from early onset dementia along with severe headaches, depression, memory loss, and vision and speech problems, according to The Chicago Tribune. He was also diagnosed with a broken neck.


The former Chicago Bears quarterback became addicted to prescription narcotic painkillers after he used them while playing, ingesting 100 Percocet pills a month.


“They were doing more harm than good,” he admitted. McMahon found he could wean himself from the drugs by using medical marijuana. He started using cannabis after his home state of Arizona approved medical marijuana in 2010. McMahon told the Tribune, “This medical marijuana has been a godsend. It relieves me of the pain — or thinking about it, anyway.”


McMahon said he smokes the cannabis in the morning, occasionally adding some in the afternoon, then uses the drug to help him sleep at night. He asserted the marijuana left him less groggy than the prescription drugs.


The American Medical Association doesn’t approve marijuana for medical use. But the Institute of Medicine concluded in 1999 that marijuana can deal with pain with similar results to codeine’s.


Because of drug testing, NFL players will avoid using marijuana for pain, but some have reportedly turned to synthetic marijuana for relief, believing it will fly under the radar of drug tests. On Jan. 10, Patriots defensive end Chandler Jones allegedly ingested synthetic marijuana and wound up in Norwood, Massachusetts, hospital. Last October, Seahawks fullback Derrick Coleman allegedly ingested synthetic marijuana, then was caught by police driving well over the speed limit and hitting another car; he was described as “delirious and aggravated” and “incoherent.”


Yet there is evidence that medical marijuana truly relieves pain in significant ways. Professor Yosef Sarne of Tel Aviv University’s Adelson Center for the Biology of Addictive Diseases at the Sackler Faculty of Medicine found that “even extremely low doses of THC [tetrahydrocannabinol]—around 1,000 to 10,000 times less than that in a conventional marijuana cigarette —administered over a wide window of one to seven days before or one to three days after injury can jumpstart biochemical processes which protect brain cells and preserve cognitive function over time.”


Dr. Mark Ware, an assistant professor of anesthesia and family medicine at McGill University in Montreal, recommended medical marijuana for the kind of nerve pain associated with football injuries.


When Amy Trask, who once served as the CEO of the Oakland Raiders, was asked when the NFL would allow medical marijuana to be used by its players, she replied:


… talking about responsible use of real, and not synthetic, marijuana, this is something that should be advanced and studied and evaluated, and then used if it can help. As I understand, the studies show it can help in two regards: pain management, and the linkage between the use of marijuana and perhaps the issue of head trauma … The stigma against marijuana is antiquated, and we’re learning that it can address pain and head trauma in a way that we are now addressing with extremely addictive narcotics, then I think it’s a simple choice, and I really and truly hope that the league walks away from this aversion to marijuana for historic reasons.



NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell stated in 2014, “We will obviously follow signs. We will follow medicine and if they determine this could be a proper usage in any context, we will consider that. Our medical experts are not saying that right now.”




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Medical Marijuana Is Now Legal Thanks To Congress





January 29, 2016 – The federal ban on medical marijuana is finally a thing of the past. Slipped inside a major budgetary spending bill that was purported to prevent the government from shutting down, is an interesting earmarked section that finally lifts the federal ban on medical marijuana.


The bill’s passage marks the first time Congress has approved nationally significant legislation backed by legalization advocates. It brings almost to a close two decades of tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana.


Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so.


The relevant excerpt of bill H.R. 83 text reads as follows:


“Sec. 538. None of the funds made available in this Act to the Department of Justice may be used, with respect to the States of Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin, to prevent such States from implementing their own State laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of medical marijuana. Sec. 539. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used in contravention of section 7606 (“Legitimacy of Industrial Hemp Research”) of the Agricultural Act of 2014 (Public Law 113-79) by the Department of Justice or the Drug Enforcement Administration.”


Cassandra Fairbanks, of the Bipartisan Report, notes that “The measure allows states to implement their own policies regarding medical marijuana, meaning the Department of Justice is now barred from interfering with state medical cannabis laws.”


“For a long time,” Fairbanks explains, “the federal government refused to respect the will of the voters in states with legalized medical marijuana, leading to raids and arrests of doctors, growers, and dispensaries.”


This bill was sponsored by Democrat representatives Dana Rohrabacher and Sam Farr. We reported on its passage last year, that was on a temporary basis. But over the summer it was approved over the summer by the House, with 242 votes to 186.


Finally, “the Senate Appropriations Committee subsequently passed the same amendment sponsored by Democratic Senator Barbara Mikulski, by a vote of 21 to 9.”


“The renewal of this amendment should bring relief for medical marijuana patients and business owners,” Michael Collins, Deputy Director of National Affairs for the Drug Policy Alliance said. “For decades Congress has been responsible for passing disastrous drug laws. It’s encouraging to see them starting to roll back the war on drugs by allowing states to set their own medical marijuana policies.”


Earlier this year, two congressmen just filed two separate House Bills on Friday that together would legalize marijuana at the federal level. That means an effective end to the U.S. government’s prohibition policy on the plant.


Representative Jared Polis (D-Colorado) recently introduced the Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act. This Bill proposes just what it sounds like. Marijuana would be legal, but regulated like alcohol. The Bill would completely remove marijuana from the Controlled Substances Act’s schedules.


The Drug Enforcement Administration would no longer have any say or oversight in policing and regulating the plant. Instead, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, would handle regulation of legal marijuana in the same way they regulate alcohol.


Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Oregon) also introduced the separate Marijuana Tax Revenue Act, which imposes a federal excise tax for regulated marijuana. While that might sound like a huge bummer to marijuana users, it provides a big incentive for politicians to make a progressive move on legalization.


States could still enact their own, individual prohibitions, but the federal ban that exists today would be gone.


Four states as well as the District of Columbia have completely legalized recreational marijuana. Washington DC still prohibits the sale of the plant, however. But beyond that, there are 23 states that have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. Proponents of legalization say it is only a matter of time before there is federal legalization… so what better time than now?


“While President Obama and the Justice Department have allowed the will of voters in states like Colorado and 22 other jurisdictions to move forward, small business owners, medical marijuana patients, and others who follow state laws still live with the fear that a new administration — or this one — could reverse course and turn them into criminals,”


Representative Polis explained in a statement released on Friday.

“It is time for us to replace the failed prohibition with a regulatory system that works and let states and municipalities decide for themselves if they want, or don’t want, to have legal marijuana within their borders.”


Representative Blumenauer said that the federal prohibition of marijuana has been “a failure” and a profound waste of tax dollars that have needlessly ruined lives.


“As more states move to legalize marijuana as Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Alaska have done,” Blumenauer added, “it’s imperative the federal government become a full partner in building a workable and safe framework.”

Edited by lethe

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From MJFF:


Ask the MD: Medical Marijuana and Parkinson's

by Rachel Dolhun, MD,

February 01, 2016



New York's first medical marijuana dispensary opened in January, over a year after the state became the 23rd to legalize the drug for medical use and the fifth to approve Parkinson's disease (PD) as a condition for its use. This news understandably led the patient and physician communities to ask a number of research and clinical questions about marijuana and Parkinson's.


Marijuana is derived from the plant Cannabis sativa, which contains more than 60 different compounds referred to as cannabinoids. One of these is the major "psychoactive" component — Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) — which causes alterations in perception, mood and behavior. The ratio of THC to the other cannabinoid compounds, which do not have these psychoactive effects, varies from plant to plant and among the various formulations of medical marijuana.


We naturally make our own cannabinoids that bind to receptors found throughout the body and brain — this is called the "endocannabinoid system." When these cannabinoids bind to receptors, they can impact brain chemicals, including dopamine, which decreases in Parkinson's. One area of the brain that contains a high number of these receptors is the basal ganglia — the complex of cells that controls movement and is affected in PD. Because the cannabinoids in marijuana work in some of the same sites and ways as those made by the body, researchers have looked into what role they could play in modifying PD and in treating motor and non-motor symptoms.


Research on Cannabinoids and Parkinson's to Date Is Inconclusive

Pre-clinical research (including work supported by MJFF in 2007 and 2012) has concentrated on learning about the structure and function of the endocannabinoid system, while determining if cannabinoids could help in Parkinson's. Early data suggests that cannabinoids have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other properties that could be neuroprotective. Pre-clinical studies evaluating symptomatic effects, though — improvement in motor symptoms and levodopa-induced dyskinesia — have produced varied results.


Clinical studies have demonstrated similarly inconsistent outcomes. Several cannabinoid trials have reported benefit on Parkinson's motor and non-motor symptoms including pain, sleep dysfunction, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder and psychosis. (Of course, numerous anecdotal accounts exist of marijuana aiding with these and a variety of other symptoms as well.) Complicating matters, four controlled clinical trials concluded that cannabinoids did not lessen motor symptoms but had mixed results regarding levodopa-induced dyskinesia.


The positive results should be read cautiously for several reasons:


small numbers of patients were enrolled,

many of the studies were observational (patients self-reported results through questionnaires) or uncontrolled and open-label (all participants took the study drug and were aware of this), and

different formulations (smoked cannabis, oral cannabinoids, etc.) and doses of marijuana and its derivatives were utilized.

The trials with negative results should also be interpreted carefully since they too included small numbers of volunteers and used varied doses and formulations of cannabinoids. However, they were placebo-controlled and therefore provide stronger evidence in support of the current prevailing clinical viewpoint, which is that cannabinoids are probably ineffective for Parkinson's motor symptoms and levodopa-induced dyskinesia.


Medical Marijuana Is Approved for Parkinson's in a Few States

The District of Columbia and 23 states have passed legislation allowing the use of marijuana-based products for medical purposes. The approved medical conditions, cannabinoid formulations (Minnesota and New York do not permit smoked cannabis, for example), and patient and physician requirements are different for each state. Typically patients must register in order to possess and use cannabinoids, and physician documentation of an approved condition is required for patient registration. Under federal law, doctors cannot prescribe cannabinoids, but state guidelines authorize qualified doctors to issue "certifications" that allow patients to obtain medical marijuana.


In five states (Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Mexico and New York), Parkinson's disease is an approved condition for use of medical marijuana. In some states, however, this diagnosis alone does not make a person eligible for the drug. In New York, for instance, one must have PD plus at least one approved associated condition — extreme malnutrition, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or severe or persistent muscle spasms. With regard to the latter, it's worth pointing out that if people with Parkinson's experience muscle problems they are more often cramps rather than spasms.


Medical Marijuana Has Potential Risks

In considering whether cannabinoids are a suitable therapy for Parkinson's symptoms, the potential benefits must be weighed against the possible side effects. Used in moderation, cannabinoids appear to be relatively well tolerated. Even so, a review of clinical trials involving cannabinoids showed that nearly seven percent of participants discontinued them due to issues such as nausea, dizziness, weakness, mood and behavioral changes, hallucinations and impairment of cognitive (memory/thinking) abilities. Of particular concern are potential influences on cognition, motivation and balance — Parkinson's impacts these areas in many people and it's unclear to what degree marijuana could exacerbate this. Furthermore, the risk of prescription drug interactions with medical marijuana is not known. No definite interactions have been found, but people with Parkinson's can be on complex medication regimens and caution always should be exercised when adding to them.


Potential harm of long-term use has not yet been established. Outside of clinical trials, though, chronic use of marijuana has been correlated with an increased risk of mood disorders and lung cancer.


Concerns about addiction and abuse are frequently raised, but these are controversial and focus mostly on marijuana acting as a "gateway" drug.


Further Research on Cannabinoids and Parkinson's Is Necessary

Review of the research to date on cannabinoids and PD stresses the need for additional work at both the pre-clinical and clinical levels. The goals include gaining a better understanding of the endocannabinoid system, clarifying conflicting data (specifically the mixed results regarding motor symptoms and levodopa-induced dyskinesia), and determining the tolerability, safety and efficacy of cannabinoids on individual motor and non-motor symptoms in Parkinson's. The only route to solid clinical data is through well-designed trials that include larger numbers of people with Parkinson's, make use of formal objective outcomes measures (i.e., tools other than patient surveys where able) and employ standardized cannabinoid formulations to allow better comparison of results across trials.

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Medical Marijuana May Help NFL Players Manage Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Pain, And Even Slow Disease Progression


Feb 8, 2016 03:07 PM By Samantha Olson
Medical marijuana could prove beneficial for football players who have sustained brain injuries. Photo courtesy of Pixabay, public domain.







NFL players experience the residual effects of brain injuries long after they retire from competing professionally. With each passing year, more and more football players are added to the list of those suffering from chronic brain injuries, yet federal medical marijuana policies, along with the NFL’s drug rules, forbid players access to marijuana for therapeutic purposes. The devastating and permanent consequences of chronic brain injuries will continue to affect the league unless the rules surrounding medical marijuana are updated to address the increasing rates of these injuries, says a former football player.


"If cannabis is implemented and [the NFL] can lead the science on this, they can resolve this brain injury situation in a big way," said former NFL player Kyle Turley, the co-founder of Gridiron Cannabis Coalition, an organization that includes other outspoken retired players.


In 2015, researchers from the Department of Veterans Affairs and Boston University identified chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 96 percent of the NFL players’ brains they examined.


The condition was discovered in 79 percent of high school, college, semi-pro and professional football players studied, According to Boston University’s CTE Center, the disease is a progressive degenerative condition found prevalently among athletes with a history of receptive brain trauma, particularly in retired professional football players and boxers. The negative effects, which can begin within months, years, or decades after the last brain trauma, include memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, and progressive dementia.


"The NFL's policy against medical marijuana is stupid and counterproductive," said Dale Gieringer, director of the California chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "There's no doubt NFL players would be better off with medical access to marijuana."


Marijuana can be grown with rich strains of its second leading ingredient, cannabidiol (CBD), which has demonstrated neuroprotective neurogenic effects, which means it can be used as a brain healing drug. Meanwhile, the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) ingredient in marijuana that’s responsible for its characteristic high can be dialed down so that the drug’s euphoric effects barely emerge. CBD provides relief from inflammation, pain, anxiety, psychosis, seizures, and spasms without the stoned effect. It has demonstrated benefits for those with a wide range of conditions, including arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, multiple-sclerosis, chronic pain, schizophrenia, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and epilepsy.


The high-inducing effects of THC have cast a long shadow over the benefits CBD could offer a patient or player, and has contributed to the delay in legalizing medical marijuana, according to Dr Bonni Goldstein, the medical director of Ghost Group, which specializes in treating pediatric seizures with medical cannabis. California was the first state to legalize medicinal marijuana; since then 23 more states allow doctors to prescribe marijuana as a therapy. Because the NFL is considered a non-profit organization, the federal government has the last say when it comes to their drug policies. Even if players sought to use CBD-rich strains of medicinal marijuana from a doctor in a legalized state to ease head injuries in between games, they’d be denied, fined, and subject to further penalties.


“Marijuana is not nearly as addictive as alcohol or even nicotine and caffeine for that matter,” Goldstein told Medical Daily. “It makes no sense. We can no longer talk about medical marijuana as if it’s the same as street pot. It’s a challenging thing when there’s still a stigma in the medical community.”














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Senator Warren Asks The CDC To Look At Marijuana As Potential Cure For Opioid Overdose Rate

Embarrassed by the failure of the CDC to rein in our nation’s catastrophic opioid habit, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) fired off a letter to the director of the Centers for Disease Control on Monday. According warren.senate.gov, her request was straightforward and on point: The CDC should collaborate with other federal agencies and explore the very real possibility that cannabis could play a critical role in helping wean the country from its savage addiction to opioids


While Sen. Warren has yet to openly get on her soapbox and embrace the full legalization of marijuana in the U.S., reformers have a serious friend in the Massachusetts Democrat. Last summer, Sen. Warren spearheaded a seemingly commonsense request when she and fellow progressives asked that a collective effort be put forth on the research of marijuana’s medicinal value by the Department of Health and Human Services, the Office of National Drug Control Policy, and the Drug Enforcement Agency.


Underwhelmed by the totality of their response, Sen. Warren’s recent letter to the head of the CDC, Dr. Thomas Friedan, has now asked they step in and get to work. Imploring them to “explore every opportunity” and to utilize every “tool available” to help fight the national menace of opioid addiction.


Warren’s letter specifically asked the CDC to drill down on one fundamental issue, “the use, uptake and effectiveness of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioids for pain treatment in states where it is legal” in addition to “the impact of the legalization of medical and recreational marijuana on opioid overdose deaths.”




Tasked with increasing the health security of our nation, imagine for a moment if the CDC decided to help end our national ignorance of cannabinoids?

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Judge strikes down law barring patients from growing medical marijuana


February 24, 2016


VANCOUVER - A Federal Court judge has struck down "arbitrary and overbroad" legislation introduced by the former Conservative government that barred medical marijuana patients from growing their own cannabis.


Judge Michael Phelan found that the Marijuana for Medical Purposes Regulations, which required patients to buy from licensed producers, violated their charter rights.


In a written ruling issued Wednesday, he suspended the decision to strike down the law for six months, allowing the federal Liberal government time to create a new medical marijuana regime.


Phelan also extended a court injunction that allowed people who held licences to grow their own marijuana to continue until a further court order.


The constitutional challenge was launched by four British Columbia residents who argued that the 2013 legislation blocked their access to affordable medicine.


"Their lives have been adversely impacted by the imposition of the relatively new regime to control the use of marijuana for medical purposes," Phelan wrote.


"I agree that the plaintiffs have ... demonstrated that cannabis can be produced safely and securely with limited risk to public safety and consistently with the promotion of public health."


Phelan heard the case between February and May 2015 in Vancouver's Federal Court.


Federal government lawyers argued the new regime ensures patients have a supply of safe medical marijuana while protecting the public from the potential ills of grow-operations in patients' homes.


But John Conroy, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, told the court that the legislation robbed patients of affordable access to medicine. Some people were left with no choice but to run afoul of the law, he argued, either by continuing to grow their own or by purchasing on the black market.


Phelan concluded that the plaintiffs have established that their charter rights have been infringed

by the legislation.


"Accepting that fire, mould, diversion, theft and violence are risks that inherently exist to a certain degree — although I note that these risks were not detailed — this significant restriction punishes those who are able to safely produce by abiding with local laws and taking simple precaution to reduce such risk."


Health Canada did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


The Liberals have committed to regulating and legalizing recreational marijuana, but have said little about any plans for medical marijuana since being elected.


Phelan awarded costs to the plaintiffs to be determined by the court at a later date.



Edited by lethe

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Of the 473 adult cannabis users surveyed by the Centre for Addictions Research of British Columbia, more than 86 percent of respondents reported giving up one or more of the substances for pot, with the majority (80.6 percent) forgoing pharmaceuticals for the non-toxic alternative.


Those under 40 were also more likely to substitute all three for cannabis, demonstrating its dynamic appeal for both recreational and medical purposes.


RELATED: Here's What Marijuana Does to Pain



People suffering from chronic pain might be particularly inclined to use cannabis instead of prescription medication in light of recent studies that establish its effectiveness at treating pain, improving the quality of patients' lives, and posing no risk of serious adverse side effects. But there are numerous studies that support the idea of marijuana as a safer, more effective alternative to dangerous, addictive pills for a range of illnesses.


Here are five prescription medications that could be replaced by cannabis.


1. Vicodin (painkillers)


Untitled%20presentation%20%282%29.jpgWikimedia/Drugs.com - drugs.com


Multiple studies have determined that marijuana is a effective treatment option for people suffering from chronic pain. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 44 Americans die each day from painkiller overdose.


RELATED: Here's What Marijuana Does to Pain


2. Xanax (anti-anxiety medication)


Untitled%20presentation%20%285%29.jpgWikimedia/Drugs.com - drugs.com


Not everyone can treat their anxiety with cannabis. For some, smoking pot causes acute anxiety and paranoia, but that effect is often connected with the type of marijuana that the user consumes. Whereas sativas, which are associated with cerebral highs, can sometimes induce anxiety (especially for infrequent users), indica strains of marijuana have been shown to reduce anxiety. 


RELATED: Here's How Marijuana Affects Anxiety


3. Adderall (stimulants)


Untitled%20presentation%20%283%29.jpgWikimedia/Drugs.com - drugs.com


Just as people who suffer from anxiety should be weary of using certain strains of cannabis to treat their disorder, people who want to replace their prescription stimulant with marijuana should be aware that sativas (as opposed to indicas) are more effective at treating ADHD and ADD. 


RELATED: Here's What Marijuana Does to Your Stress


4. Ambien (sleep aids)


Wikimedia/Drugs.com - drugs.comUntitled%20presentation%20%281%29.jpg


Using marijuana to treat sleeping problems is one of the most common applications. Studies and anecdotal reports suggest that it is safer and similarly effective at treating insomnia than prescription drugs such as Ambien, for example. 


RELATED: What Does Marijuana Do To Your Sleep Patterns?


5. Zoloft (antidepressants)


Untitled%20presentation%20%284%29.jpgWikimedia/Drugs.com - drugs.com


Many medical marijuana patients (and several studies) have found that cannabis serves as an effective treatment option for depression. While it might not be right for everyone, research has shown that smoking pot has less serious side effects than those that have been attributed to taking anti-depressants. 


RELATED: What Marijuana Really Does to Your Brain


For information about the best cannabis strains for each health issue listed above, check out Leafly.

Editor's note: This warticle as updated to include additional information about health issues associated with prescription medication.

Edited by lethe
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What can Canada learn from U.S., Uruguay about selling marijuana?


February 28, 2016

As the federal Liberals map out their plan for legalizing marijuana, they can look at how — and how successfully — a handful of other jurisdictions have overturned the prohibition of pot.


In 2012, Colorado and Washington became the first U.S. states to legalize marijuana. Within two years, each state set up a framework governing how retailers could start selling. 


But although the two states have much in common, they have different takes on key questions that Canada will have to consider, like whether residents will be able to grow their own plants as they can in Colorado, or whether laws should put limits on non-residents who buy marijuana here, like in Colorado — or leave the market open as Washington does.


To get a better idea of Canada's options, here's a look at how legalization has happened elsewhere.


Pot cookies in Colorado


Colorado became the first place in North America to sell legalized marijuana in January 2014. The state already had 493 medical marijuana dispensaries by that point, and it gave them first opportunity to sell to the public.


By the end of the year, the competition increased more than fourfold: 833 commercial sellers had sprouted up and 1,416 medical retailers were in the market, according to the state's 2014 Marijuana Enforcement Division annual report.


Residents could also grow their own marijuana, but no more than five plants at a time. Those crops have to be kept in a locked room, according to Colorado state law.


But that didn't keep the fledgling industry from moving plenty of product — with medical firms selling nearly 50,000 kilograms worth of dried flowers in 2014, roughly three times more than recreational sellers, state records show.


Cookies were another story.


Coloradans devoured more than 2.85 million pot cookies, brownies and other edibles in 2014 sold from commercial stores, outpacing medicinal treats by 890,000 sales, the annual report found.


This new hunger soon revealed a problem.


Although regulations set a maximum dose for edible products, they did not take into account how that could be distributed in a serving size, a 2015 report from the Canadian Centre for Substance Abuse says.

"For example, a single brownie could contain up to 10 doses."


After news media reported several overdoses, Colorado amended its regulations so that there could only be one "dose" per serving, the CCSA report says.


Cash only in U.S.


Marijuana cannot, however, be sold everywhere in Colorado; municipalities can prohibit both medical and commercial cannabis licences.


Of the state's 331 jurisdictions, 228 ban both types of marijuana sale, according to Colorado's state Department of Revenue, which oversees enforcement.


Washington also experienced some growing pains when it allowed marijuana into the market in July 2014. Because the state didn't have the same network of medical dispensaries as Colorado, it found itself overwhelmed by demand, the CCSA report found.


The problem may have been compounded by the fact that Washington forbids residents from growing their own plants, products of which CCSA senior policy analyst Rebecca Jesseman said found themselves ending up on the "black or grey markets" in Colorado.


But both states have a lot of policies in common: they only allow adults to buy marijuana, they have restrictions on drugs and driving, and they limit personal possession to 28 grams.


And both are facing the same obstacle with the federal government.


The U.S. Federal Reserve will not allow banking transactions connected to marijuana production.


"This situation also prevents normal banking operations, resulting in a primarily cash-based industry with corresponding safety and administrative issues," the CCSA February 2015 report says.


Turning a blind eye in the Netherlands


Contrary to the traveller's legend, cannabis is actu — up to five grams — to people older than 18.ally illegal in the Netherlands. The country adopted a so-called "toleration policy," which essentially means that prosecutors and police will turn a blind eye to coffee shops that sell small amounts


You cannot grow or sell your own marijuana in the European country. Someone caught growing five or fewer plants would likely just have them seized by police, according to the tolerance rule, but larger crops are still supposed to result in criminal charges.


Coffee shops are also supposed to ask patrons for identification, under stricter rules passed in 2013, according to the Dutch laws. But municipalities are responsible for enforce those, and Jesseman said that they rarely do.


Uruguay legalizes pot, but slowly


In 2013, Uruguay became the first country to approve the selling of legalized marijuana, with the decision becoming law the next year.


Residents can grow their own plants or join marijuana co-operatives, The Guardian reported. But despite the public interest in the issue, it's taken the country more than two years to set up a regulatory framework to begin selling through storefronts, the newspaper reported.


Fox News Latino reported this month that the two government-approved producers should harvest their first crop in the spring and have it ready for sale by mid-year.

Edited by lethe

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  Nevada No Longer a Gamble for Marijuana Patients


By Sponsored Post on March 1, 2016

Marijuana News


It’s nice to know Nevada has taken an active step to promote a healthy tourist population. It just makes sense since you can’t experience Vegas to its fullest if you’re not on you’re A-game. So along with detox spas to cure a “swear-off-the-stuff” hangover, anyone with a valid medical cannabis card, from any state with a comprehensive medical marijuana program, can legally buy medical marijuana in Nevada. You’ll also need a driver’s license or other government issued ID.


What permits the Silver State (as well as a few other states in the U.S.) to offer compassionate cannabis to out-of-staters is a law that requires Nevada to recognize an out of state visitor’s medical marijuana card. The new law went into effect January 1 of this year. The net is, if you’re a card carrying medical marijuana patient, you’re good to go. This is really a breakthrough since travelling across state lines with meds can be uncertain and unnerving, to say the least.


“The open medical marijuana market, with full reciprocity to other states and countries, will likely help the public in Nevada to become more comfortable with fully legalized adult use,” commented Ben Sillitoe of Oasis Medical Cannabis. “It is on the ballot in November and I believe the voters will be in favor.”


But it’s not all warm-fuzzy compassion. There are some serious numbers at play. Consider Nevada currently has less than 9,500 registered medical marijuana patients. While it’s immediately surrounded by states with a combined total of over 1,000,000 registered patients—all within a 2 hour flight of Las Vegas.


“The list of registered patients in Nevada is growing monthly,” observed Chris DeGraff dispensary manager for Nevada Medical Marijuana, “however the new law that allows patients with a valid card from ANY state to use their MMJ card in Nevada, is a game changer. Looking at the annual average of 42 million visitors to Las Vegas,  approximately 1.5 million will have valid medical marijuana cards they can use in state. The bottom line, Nevada’s cannabis sales are about to dramatically improve.”


Could this be baby steps, paving the way for legalization? We’ll find out this year, as Nevada goes to the polls to vote on full marijuana legalization this November.


So go visit the Silver State, get the appropriate meds and enjoy the many amazing places Nevada has to offer—the lights on the strip might look that much brighter. Just don’t forget your MMJ card, for now.


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  Cannabis oil a saving grace for Lake Country woman after end of life diagnosis


Cheryl Pearson has never smoked pot. Given just months to live after finally receiving a diagnosis of stage 4 ovarian cancer, the Lake Country resident was at first against the use of medicinal marijuana as part of her treatment.


But after a tumultuous ride through Canada’s medical system, which for nearly four years had misdiagnosed the reasons behind the rapid decline in her health, the impairment of her motor skills and the loss of use of her  bodily functions, Pearson is now a believer in the controversial treatment.


Today her cancer is in remission and she has lived well past December of 2013—the time her cancer doctors gave as her “end of life date.”


And while no one involved in her mainstream treatment is going to say it, it appears cannabis oil, made from the marijuana plant and administered to Cheryl by her family, played a major part in extending her life. It has given the family hope and has become a regular part of life for the Pearsons, a family of five, with three kids attending UBC Okanagan, including the couple’s oldest, who is now studying the effects of marijuana as a potential cancer-killing agent.


It was 2009 when Cheryl’s health began to take a turn for the worse. Originally she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Over the next four years Cheryl’s health rapidly declined while she and husband Chris fought for a proper diagnosis and some sort of treatment.


They had gone from an active family travelling around the province and supporting their kids in sports like motocross, to people bouncing from one frustrating appointment to the next.


It was during this time that Justin, an honour roll student at George Elliot Secondary, told his mom to hang on, asking Cheryl to keep fighting long enough so he could become a doctor and save her.


“Seeing her condition and how frustrating it was, as a kid you look at it and don’t understand,” said Justin, now just days away from turning 22 and in his fourth year at UBCO studying biology.


“You feel like doctors should be able to provide the best to heal that person. In my mind that was when I made the decision that medicine was what I wanted to get into.”


As Justin turned his focus to becoming a doctor to save his mom, his parents continued their struggle to get help. In 2013—four years from her initial MS diagnosis—they were finally told it was ovarian cancer after two large tumours were found. Doctors told the family to prepare to say goodbye and planned some final chemotherapy treatments.


Driven to help his wife, Chris had taken to researching alternative treatments and found all kinds of wild tales of how to fight cancer. Finally a friend in the community called him over and told him about cannabis oil and how it had helped their family.


The friend pointed to research done by fellow Canadian Rick Simpson, who through his ground-breaking research had published what’s become known as the Rick Simpson Protocol, containing specific instructions on how to extract cannabis oil from marijuana plants.


Simpson says he first discovered the healing properties of cannabis oil in 2003 as a potential cure for cancer as well as for many other ailments. Hearing about the Rick Simpson Protocol, Chris Pearson dove into action.


“With a termination date of six months, my number one focus was that the kids could remember the magnificence of mom,” said Chris. “She has been an amazing mom and I’ve watched people deteriorate when they get sick. I didn’t want my kids to remember her that way. I wanted her to go with dignity and be positively remembered as a happy person and easy to get along with. I absolutely didn’t think it would work. I thought I could just give her something for the pain.”


So as Cheryl began to prepare for a double-dose treatment of chemotherapy in July 2013, Chris went through the process to receive medicinal marijuana as a treatment so they could legally possess the drug. Using the described protocol, he produced cannabis oil.


But he still had to convince Cheryl to take it. Finally, it was in a meeting with the head pharmacist for the Canadian Cancer Society where Cheryl was convinced.


“My wife is dead set against cannabis, doing something that she grew up to believe is criminal,” said Chris, noting that the meeting with the pharmacist started to change her mind. “When I asked if it would work, he said there are no clinical trials but he advised us that three of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies had applied for patents for synthetic forms of this specifically for the treatment of cancer, so there is obviously something to the concept.”


A few days before her first chemo treatment, Cheryl started taking doses of cannabis oil. Then, just a few treatments into chemo, it was found that Cheryl was allergic to the chemotherapy drugs. She wouldn’t be able to continue with her chemo and again doctors informed the family to prepare for her death and to say goodbye.


However, she kept using the cannabis oil. It was the only thing she was taking.


Five weeks later they received a call from her oncologist stating that a recent CT scan had noted a dramatic improvement in her liver, and a 25 per cent reduction in her tumours.


The positive results would continue as tests showed the cancer in her body was decreasing. She was sent to Vancouver for surgery to remove the tumours.


“We went for the surgery and both tumours came out well,” said Chris. “Both tumours were completely dead when they ran them through tests.”


Soon she passed her date of termination and by March of 2014 Cheryl was officially in remission. Last weekend she spent Easter with her family by her side.


“Her end of life was going to be December 2013,” said Chris. “The chances they gave us were a five per cent chance to make it to December—it was impossible that she would make it through December. The fact we are now two-plus years later is something that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”


“I guess I never would have believed it—the results I saw from this plant,” added Cheryl. “Initially I only thought you could smoke it and I was not going that route. I didn’t have the knowledge. I was just thinking it was a puff of smoke and if I have cancer I’m not going to add to it.”

Edited by lethe

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well, don't know how i missed this !  i smoked pot when i was a hippie, and compared to the ONE small " toke " i took a couple of years ago,  the strength had changed ridiculously.   i didn't like it ( not MM, just a friends personal " stash " that he enjoyed ....i just wondered what it was like after about 50 years ).


if i had a reason to smoke marijuana for relief of symptoms of any disease, i would absolutely include it for its medicinal purposes.   i see no reason not to do whatever it takes to help with medical problems.  i was speaking to a friend, who explained how MM is grown and sold with certain combinations that range from mild to strong depending on the patient's needs.   in other words, i would be able to find something NOW that addressed my medical problems ( that i have none that i need it for )  that wouldn't knock me on my backside, but would cover the need i was trying to take care of.  he also explained that they grow some w/o THC, but still the other medicinal properties, so you wouldn't even get " loaded", but would have relief of certain symptoms that i would want to address.


i am surprised at all the rancor over this.  we take a crazy amount of drugs to deal with the different problems we have now with PD, adding marijuana, in a responsible manner, seems completely sane and sensible to me.  


when i smoked as a hippie, which was ridiculously MILD, i was doing it for fun.  it did not lead me down any filthy path of destruction.  i grew out of those years, and that was fine with me.   it seemed everyone at my college in the late 60's smoked, and i know of no one who didn't graduate and live productive lives.  i'm sure there were exceptions, but i am speaking of people close to me.


i am just shocked at the strength of the arguments here.   it is just another drug, like the many we already take, so i don't get the big deal.  that is just me i guess.   by the way, those who do want to smoke because you enjoy it, well, good for you, i hope it is legalized ...... because i do not believe the hype surrounding pot to be some horrid road to heroin.......or whatever.     lu

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Marijuana compounds brewed using yeast by Canadian biotech firms
April 17, 2016

New medical marijuana products produced by yeast could soon be on the market, the co-founder of a biotech company says. That could potentially lead to a wider range of cannabinoid-based drugs that proponents say could be more effective for treating certain medical conditions than medical marijuana itself.


In Canada, where the Liberal government has said it will legalize marijuana, medical marijuana is already used to treat a variety of conditions and symptoms, including lack of appetite in people with HIV/AIDS and nausea in those undergoing cancer treatment.


The most well-known cannabinoid is tetrahydrolcannabinol, or THC, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat nausea and improve appetite. It's found in large amounts in marijuana plants, which is the reason why medical marijuana is often prescribed to treat nausea and increase appetite.


But other cannabinoids, like cannabidiol (CBD) and cannabigerol (CBG) may have the potential to be potent treatments for other conditions as well. CBG also has its own medical properties. But it can also be easily chemically converted into other cannabinoids, including THC.


Hyasynth's researchers aren't the only ones working to brew cannabinoids using yeast. In a paper published in Biotechnology Letters in December, German biochemists announced they had genetically engineered yeast to produce THC.


And another Canadian firm, Anandia Labs, is well on its way toward brewing its own yeast-produced cannabinoids.


Chen says genes from marijuana are inserted into the yeast genome, where they produce the enzymes that create the cannabinoid. Before insertion, the yeast's metabolic systems are engineered "to get it to produce your molecules instead of its own molecules."


Yeast-produced cannabinoids could yield some impressive advantages in the pharmacological world.


Perhaps most exciting is the ability to isolate different compounds for study and treatment of particular diseases. Cannabinoids found in very small concentrations in marijuana plants could also be produced in more potent dosages.


"Marijuana produces lots and lots of THC, and lots and lots of another compound called CBD, but it also isn't a very good source of some of the minor cannabinoids," says Jonathan Page, CEO of Anandia Labs and a University of British Columbia botany professor.


Cost efficiencies?


Chen says growing cannabinoids using yeast is more efficient than artificial chemical synthesis. (Artificially produced THC pills are already on the market).


"Natural molecule production is done pretty well by nature, and so we're working with that as a basis as opposed to just trying to produce things straight from petroleum starting materials or something like that."


It's been suggested that producing cannabinoids through yeast could have a lower production cost than other methods, but Page says that's still up for debate.


"We don't have enough real data to support the fact that fermentation would be cheaper than chemical synthesis or plant production, so I can't really say that's going to be a clear advantage."


Chen says cannabinoid-producing yeast yields more consistent results than marijuana plants, even specialized strains. Factors like when a plant is harvested and how much light and water it gets can affect its drug profile.


"Maybe you're growing the same strain twice on two different occasions and maybe there's a slight difference in the temperature and that results in a big difference in the end product."


Still a place for plants


As beneficial as isolated cannabinoids may be, marijuana plants still have their place.


"Plants are some of the cheapest chemical production systems on the planet," says Page.


With just soil, water and light, you can grow a plant that can be made of 25 per cent or more, by dry weight, of the major chemical compounds like THC and CBD, he says.


"The other advantage is that plants are very easily scalable," he says, "in the sense that if you can grow two plants, you can grow a million plants … it's just a matter of planting more. Whereas scaling up in biotech systems like yeast fermentation can be quite technically challenging."


With momentum for increased medical marijuana research building, Chen says that in the near future, "you're going to see a lot more attention being paid towards these kinds of drugs."


His company is currently looking for potential commercial partners who can help get Hyasynth's products to market. He acknowledged they would have to tested and approved by regulators before hitting store shelves. Still, he believes all that could happen within the next year.

The federal government is currently reviewing its medical marijuana distribution regulations after a judge struck down a law mandating that cannabis be distributed only by licensed  providers through the mail.


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I am seriously considering trying marijuana for my tremor, which is still not adequately controlled with exercise.  I live in a state where marijuana is not legal, but it is decriminalized below 100 grams.


I have 4 questions:


1) do you think it would be possible to buy "street" marijuana that would be helpful for tremor.  Do street dealers typically sell different varieties of marijuana?  If so, is there a common variety that I should ask for?


2) if I vaporize the marijuana, will I smell like pot?  Does the vapor smell like pot?


3)  Is there an advantage to making oil/wax from the plants?  If so, what is the most effective way to use the oil/was?


4) I'm thinking about buying a Haze Vaporizer.  Are you familiar with that device and would you recommend it?


Thanks for your help!

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