The Week in Weed 5-19-12 Cannabis News

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Cheri Sicard, NORML Women's AllianceThis week: The Anti-Science Streak in Federal Marijuana Policy;  Study Confirms Marijuana May Ease Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms; The NYPD’s Racist Marijuana Arrest Crusade And Its National Implications; Clinical Trials for Cannabis and Prostate Cancer Warranted; Pro Medical Marijuana Candidate Wins Oregon Attorney General Race; Marijuana DUI Bill Fails for 3rd Time in Colorado;  and more.

MEDICAL

Study Confirms Marijuana May Ease Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms — Smoking marijuana cuts spasticity and pain that’s resistant to conventional treatments in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), although it does have some cognitive effects as well, a small clinical trial has unsurprisingly confirmed.

Clinical Trials for Cannabis and Prostate Cancer Warranted    Plant cannabinoids possess analgesic and anti-cancer effects and ought to be assessed in patients with prostate cancer, according to a literature review published in the Indian Journal of Urology.  A pair of investigators from Venezuela and the United States assessed the potential use of cannabis in the treatment of prostate cancer, concluding: “Prostate cancer cells possess increased expression of both cannabinoid 1 and 2 receptors, and stimulation of these results in decrease in cell viability, increased apoptosis, and decreased androgen receptor expression and prostate-specific antigen excretion. … It is our conclusion that it would be of interest to conduct clinical trials involving medicinal cannabis or other cannabinoid agonists, comparing clinical markers such as PSA with controls, especially in men with bone metastatic prostate cancer, whom would not only benefit from the possible anti-androgenic effects of cannabinoids but also from analgesia of bone pain, improving quality of life, while reducing narcotic consumption and preventing opioid dependence.”

POLITICS/LEGAL

The Anti-Science Streak in Federal Marijuana Policy The Atlantic contrasts the absurdities of our nation’s marijuana laws against the latest scientific research.

The NYPD’s Racist Marijuana Arrest Crusade And Its National Implications —  New York’s marijuana arrests, says a growing chorus of critics, are a prime example of how the nation’s drug laws disproportionately impact black and Latino communities.

Pro Medical Marijuana Candidate Wins Oregon Attorney General Race — With early results showing a commanding 62 to 38 percent lead, pro-medical marijuana candidate Ellen Rosenblum is the winner of the hotly contested race for attorney general of Oregon over fellow democrat Dwight Holton.  The candidates had seemed similar until the medical marijuana issue became a major part of the campaign, with Rosenblum’s friendliness to safe access for cannabis patients distinguishing her from her more hardline opponent, who was cast as an enemy of Oregon’s medical marijuana law.

Marijuana DUI Bill Fails for 3rd Time in Colorado — A marijuana DUI bill last week failed to clear the Colorado Senate, being voted down for the third time.

LA Council Member Proposes “Gentle Ban” On Medical Marijuana  A proposal for a “gentle” ban on medical marijuana clinics brought out some hardball politics at the Los Angeles City Council Wednesday.  The proposal would close dispensaries but allow patients to grow their own marijuana or share it through collectives. But a final decision was postponed after the ban was sent back to the council’s Planning and Land Use Management Committee for further study.

DEA Agent Implicated in Marijuana Trial Records Theft San Diego District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis presses on with the state trial of a medical marijuana patient in full compliance with California law — even after the feds refuse to prosecute and court records show the federal Drug Enforcement Administration’s involvement in theft of attorney-client records.

HEMP

Obama Administration Wrong to Deny farmers a Profitable Crop — Last week, White House officials finally responded to a popular petition, filed in September of 2011 on the “We the People” Web site, in support of allowing U.S. farmers to once again grow non-drug industrial hemp. The petition quickly gained signatures, passing the 5,000 mark needed to achieve a response in just 25 hours. Despite this, it took over seven months for the Obama Administration to respond, outraging and bewildering the hemp industry.  Rather than addressing the farming of non-drug hemp, the Obama Administration issued the same response they have issued to petitions advocating for legalizing marijuana, and repeated the same old tired Drug War lies that conflate non-drug industrial hemp, the oilseed and fiber varieties of cannabis, with marijuana.

Car of the Future: Made of Hemp and Fueled by Coffee — Researchers at the University of Jordan believe that used coffee grounds — typically containing about 10 percent oil — could be a source of biodiesel automobile fuel in the future. And more  researchers, these at Warwick University in the U.K., believe hemp fiber could replace the carbon fiber in auto bodywork.

LIFESTYLE

The End of the NORML Network — I for one am sad to report the end of an era with the closing of the NORML Network.  In this post, “Radical” Russ Belville who started and ran the project gives his side of the story.

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