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Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s first medical cannabis documentary, “Weed,” changed the debate forever. Bringing into the national consciousness as it did the plight of parents who in many cases are forced to choose between breaking the law, treating their kids, or moving, “Weed” fomented a revolution in awareness of the healing powers of pot.
His follow-up, “Weed 2,” also arguably advanced the ball down the field, but it was very much a mixed bag, with both plusses and minuses.
One of the best things in “Weed 2″ was Dr. Gupta’s cogent explanation of what he called “the Entourage Effect,” another way of saying that all of the naturally occurring cannabinoids in marijuana potentiate each others’ effects in a synergistic fashion. This is why Full Extract Cannabis Oil is more effective than any single-cannabinoid extract ever will be, and this is why Big Pharma’s single-cannabinoid preparations like Marinol are so woefully ineffective.
The medical research group American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) has issued a new scientific review entitled “Cannabis in the Treatment of Epilepsy,” which it is offering for free to the public. The review compiles much of the leading and historical research on epilepsy and cannabis (medical marijuana) for use by scientists, physicians, patients, and parents, as well as those producing and manufacturing it for treatment.
This newly compiled scientific information on epilepsy and medical marijuana comes as CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta aired a follow-up documentary to last year’s “Weed,” both of which feature children whose parents use cannabis to help treat rare and sever forms of epilepsy unresponsive to medication. “Weed 2” highlights the plight of Vivian Wilson, a two-year-old who suffered 75 seizures a day, while Dr. Gupta’s first documentary featured Charlotte Figi, a seven-year-old whose use of cannabis reduced her seizures from 300 per week to three or four a month.
“This review of cannabis and epilepsy provides scientific foundation for the claims being made by CNN correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta,” said ASA Executive Director Steph Sherer. “This material provides us with the tools to increase our knowledge and build on the research that already exists.”
For the first time in history, the Kentucky Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved a bill which would legalize the medical use of marijuana-derived CBD oil.
The oil, which is useful in controlling seizures, including those among children with uncontrollable epilepsy, is extracted from the cannabis plant. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is not psychoactive, unlike tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, which is responsible for the “high” from marijuana.
Senate Bill 124, sponsored by Sen. Julie Denton (R-Louisville) would allow the University of Kentucky and University of Louisville medical schools to conduct research and allow anyone enrolled in a U.S. FDA trial to be treated with CBD oil, reports Gregory A. Hall at the Louisville Courier-Journal.
The New Hampshire House of Representatives approved a bill 215-92 on Wednesday that would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana. The strong bipartisan support for the bill indicates the measure could withstand a veto from Gov. Maggie Hassan, who has expressed disapproval for such legislation despite broad public support. The bill will now go to the Senate, where it will be scheduled for a public hearing.
“This is a big step toward reducing the harms caused by marijuana prohibition,” said Matt Simon, the Goffstown-based New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which is supporting the bill.
“New Hampshire residents are sick and tired of seeing their tax dollars used to criminalize people for using a substance that is safer than alcohol,” Simon said. “The Senate and Gov. Hassan should join the House and the majority of state voters in supporting this sensible reform.”
The New York State Assembly on Wednesday introduced and passed their one-house budget proposal, which, for the first time ever, includes the New York’s comprehensive medical marijuana proposal – the Compassionate Care Act (A.6357-A -Gottfried) / S.4406-A -Savino). As the Assembly gathered to pass the measure, dozens of patients, families, caregivers and healthcare providers descended on Albany to press the State Senate to pass the Compassionate Care Act.
The patients are living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, severe seizure disorders, and other serious, debilitating medical conditions, and the families include parents of children who suffer from severe forms of epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome. They participated in a public hearing on medical marijuana, then met with legislators throughout the day and, finally, attended a free public event about medical marijuana Wednesday night in Latham at the HopeClub.
“I’m traveling to Albany from Long Island, with my son Oliver, because he suffers from severe seizures that could potentially be alleviated by medical marijuana,” said Missy Miller of Atlantic Beach. “I thought our leaders in Albany were elected to represent the people. With 88 percent of New York voters supporting medical marijuana, I’m finding it hard to understand why the Senate won’t vote on the bill that could save my son’s life.”
A bill which would legalize medical marijuana has stalled at Minnesota’s Capitol, but supporters say they will continue pushing for Governor Mark Dayton’s support on the issue. Gov. Dayton has said a “compromise” with state law enforcement officials is necessary to win his support — but law enforcement has refused to compromise.
Negotiations are deadlocked, according to the bill’s chief sponsor in the Minnesota House, Rep. Carly Melin (DFL-Hibbing), reports Christopher Snowbeck at the Pioneer Press.
“We had offered them a number of concessions,” Melin said. “They still rejected the proposal, so I just don’t know where to go from here.”
Legalization is raking in the cash for Colorado, where state coffers are $2 million fatter from taxes on recreational marijuana from January, the very first month it was legal to sell non-medicinal cannabis in the Rocky Mountain State.
State officials said the numbers are about what they expected, reports Katie Lobosco at CNN Money. Colorado on New Year’s Day became the first state to allow the sale of recreational marijuana to adults 21 or older; it’s considered the first place in the world where cannabis will be tracked and regulated “from seed to sale.”
The state gets a 15 percent excise tax, a 10 percent “special” sales tax and a 2.9 percent sales tax on recreational cannabis, as well as application and license fees. Just the 2.9 percent sales tax, and the license and application fees, apply to medical marijuana, which Colorado voters legalized back in 2000.
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