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Cannabis Common Sense Friday's, 8-9PM Pacific Time (Live Stream)
Next Online Show: #685 05-17-13 - 8-9PM PDT
The show that tells truth about marijuana & the politics behind its prohibition.
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By ANITA HOFSCHNEIDER, Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) — Two Hawaii state Senate committees have given initial approval to allow privately-funded industrial hemp research.
The approvals Monday afternoon come after a House committee passed a measure last week to establish a pilot program using industrial hemp to get rid of toxins in soil.
Sen. Will Espero, a Democrat who authored the Senate bill, says industrial hemp research could help Hawaii grow its economy.
Espero says hemp has the potential to spur a variety of industries ranging from agriculture to fashion.
"You can even build a house out of hemp today," Espero said. "I saw something on YouTube recently."
Law enforcement officials oppose the bill, saying the law would make it harder for them to regulate marijuana.
The Maui Police Department submitted testimony saying that it doesn't have enough resources to deal with monitoring private hemp research facilities.
Espero says the state used to permit industrial hemp research but allowed the law to sunset in part because of the stigma associated with cannabis.
The Hawaii Legislature is also considering a bill to legalize marijuana. The House Committee on the Judiciary held a hearing Friday addressing marijuana legalization and will make a decision about the bill Thursday.
Espero says industrial hemp research is a separate issue.
He says he is optimistic about the industrial hemp research proposal passing the Legislature.
By Victoria Colliver, SF Gate
Marijuana, already shown to reduce pain and nausea in cancer patients, may be promising as a cancer-fighting agent against some of the most aggressive forms of the disease.
A growing body of early research shows a compound found in marijuana - one that does not produce the plant's psychotropic high - seems to have the ability to "turn off" the activity of a gene responsible for metastasis in breast and other types of cancers.
Two scientists at San Francisco's California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute first released data five years ago that showed how this compound - called cannabidiol - reduced the aggressiveness of human breast cancer cells in the lab.
Last year, they published a small study that showed it had a similar effect on mice. Now, the researchers are on the cusp of releasing data, also on animals, that expands upon these results, and hope to move forward as soon as possible with human clinical trials.
"The preclinical trial data is very strong, and there's no toxicity. There's really a lot of research to move ahead with and to get people excited," said Sean McAllister, who along with scientist Pierre Desprez, has been studying the active molecules in marijuana - called cannabinoids - as potent inhibitors of metastatic disease for the past decade.
By Sunil Aggarwal, M.D., Ph.D., PGY-3, NYU Medical Center
The article "Medical Marijuana: Clearing Away the Smoke" by Grant, Atkinson, Gouaux, and Wilsey published this month in Bentham Science’s 5-year-old, peer-reviewed, National Library of Medicine-indexed and internationally edited Open Neurology Journal represents a major milestone in the consolidation of knowledge and regularizing of clinical practice with regards to the medicinal use of cannabis.
The authors, well-established faculty members or associates at leading American academic medical centers, have yet again reviewed the gold-standard clinical trials-based evidence for medical uses of cannabis and related cannabinoids and have found:
1. that it is inaccurate to say that cannabis lacks medical utility or that information on its safety is lacking
2. that judgments on relative benefits and risks of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicines need to be viewed within the broader context of risk-benefit of other standard agents as well, many of which are associated with more serious adverse events, and
3. that enough information and clinical experience exists that an algorithm can be constructed to guide decision-making for physicians who may be considering recommending medicinal cannabis to patients with neuropathic pain, which the authors offer.
Silver Tour Targets the Over-65 Set; A Rabbi's Interpretation of 'High Holy Day'
By Arian Campo-Flores, WSJ
LAKE WORTH, Fla.—Selma Yeshion, an 83-year-old retiree here, says she long considered marijuana a menace. "I thought it was something that was addictive" and "would lead to harder drugs," she says.
With more states opting to legalize the sale of medical marijuana, researchers are taking a closer look at the use of cannabis to treat chronic illnesses.
Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of FoxNews.com, recently sat down with the Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham, to find out how it’s being studied.
Dr. Manny: Now from the medical marijuana perspective, as far as the treatment of chronic illnesses, what is it about cannabis that makes it that special?
Medicine Hunter: Well, it seems that there are primarily two things – there's the THC, that's what people associated with getting high. And that appears to have a saliatory effect on the eyes in case of glaucoma. For people who are suffering from chemotherapy and can't eat, it helps to get their appetite back. And we also know that it is a potent pain reliever – and science on that goes back to the 1890s.
But there’s another agent in cannabis that is getting more attention now, and that is called cannabidiol. And this is something that you can swallow by the bucket-full, and it won't get you high at all. But it appears to have profound nerve-protective and brain-enhancing properties. And interestingly enough, it also induces an anti-anxiety effect.
By Ardee Napolitano, The Daily Collegian
Unlike tobacco, smoking marijuana – even when done regularly – does not damage the performance of people’s lungs, according to a recent study published by The Journal of the American Medical Association.
The two-decade research, which followed 5,000 people who smoked an equivalent of one joint per day over the course of seven years, found out that despite their regular marijuana use, subjects were still able to push out a normal amount of air in one second after taking a deep breath. This means that only minimal if any pulmonary obstruction has developed, contrary to findings involving tobacco.
“Recent evidence indicates that smoking marijuana, for lung cancer, is not as bad as smoking tobacco is,” said Lyle Craker, a plant sciences professor at the University of Massachusetts who has studied medical marijuana for several years now. “Marijuana is relatively less dangerous than some other drugs.”
One possible explanation from the authors of the study states that because marijuana users “train” themselves to hold in the smoke, they were able to maintain proper breathing cycles.
Still, smoking marijuana can result in heavy coughing and is linked to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA). The NIDA also states that cannabis impairs users’ senses by reducing attention span and motivation, which makes them prone to accidents.
Mitch Wertlieb, VPR News
A Vermont lawmaker wants to let people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder be treated for the condition with legally prescribed medical marijuana.
The idea is to help sufferers sleep better if they're plagued by disturbing dreams brought on by PTSD, and calm themselves from feelings of panic and anxiety associated with the disorder.
That's the subject of today's Regional Report, when we take a look at stories of interest on-line and in newspapers around the state. The medical marijuana story is reported by Krista Langlois in the Valley News this week. Langois tells VPR's Mitch Wertlieb that the bill is being introduced in the House by Thetford State Representative Jim Masland.
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
Kentucky farmers may soon be able to plant the crop their forefathers grew: hemp.
Farmers throughout the state believe hemp will overtake tobacco as Kentucky's cash crop, creating a significant economic impact, especially after processing centers are built across the state.
Agriculture Commissioner James Comer is spearheading the Kentucky Industrial Hemp Commission pushing to bring the crop back via House Bill 286. If the bill is approved by the General Assembly, Comer will petition federal authorities for a permit for Kentucky to grow hemp.
"It's symbolic," Comer proclaimed. "But this will send a message to Washington that we're serious about this in Kentucky." "There's a void in many family farms," he said. "I believe that industrial hemp is a viable option for family farmers in Kentucky."
"University of Louisville did a study several years ago and said it would create 17,000 jobs immediately," according to Sen. Joe Pendleton, D-Hopkinsville.
By Debi Brazzale, Colorado News Agency
Denver, Colo. — Planting fields of hemp to absorb toxins in contaminated soil is a concept worth looking at, said two rural lawmakers at the Capitol.
Rep. Wes McKinley, D-Walsh, and Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg, D-Sterling, are having a bill drafted that would create a pilot program, funded by gifts, grants and donations, to research the crop’s potential.
Areas that may benefit, said McKinley, are Rocky Flats, once the site of a nuclear weapons plant, and the Cotter Corporation’s uranium mine near Golden, as well as numerous abandoned mining properties around the state.
The hemp plants, which have been shown to absorb toxins from soil, would also provide benefits to both farmers and consumers, said McKinley.
"It would be nice to clean up these contaminated areas," said McKinley. "Hemp can be a very beneficial crop providing food, fuel and fiber."
Sonnenberg says if the study proves right, the plant could address agricultural problems with contaminated soil, too.
"There are so many possibilities for industrial hemp that it only makes sense to create win-win situations for agriculture," said Sonnenberg.
Studies have already shown the benefits of marijuana for those suffering from PTSD, but can our government agencies be convinced?
By Martin Mulcahey, The Atlantic
Researchers are one bureaucratic hurdle away from gaining approval for the first clinical examination on the benefits of marijuana for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), working under the auspices of the University of Arizona College of Medicine, are preparing a three-month study of combat veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The plan is on hold until the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Public Health Service (part of the Department of Health and Human Services) agrees to sell researchers the marijuana needed for research -- or until the marijuana can be legally imported. Social and political intrigue surrounding this research is far reaching, attracting opposing factions who must cede biases for the greater good and well-being of servicemen and servicewomen.
By Matt Smith, CNN
Medical marijuana advocates are hoping state governments can succeed where their efforts have failed by asking federal authorities to reclassify pot as a drug with medical use.
Shortly before Christmas, Colorado became the fourth state to ask the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to reclassify marijuana as a narcotic in the same league as heavyweight painkillers including oxycodone. The governors of Washington and Rhode Island filed a formal petition with the agency in November, and Vermont signed onto that request shortly afterward.
A UCSF study suggests patients with chronic pain may experience greater relief if their doctors add cannabinoids – the main ingredient in cannabis or medical marijuana – to an opiates-only treatment. The findings, from a small-scale study, also suggest that a combined therapy could result in reduced opiate dosages.
By UCSF Staff
More than 76 million Americans suffer from chronic pain – more people than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined, according to the National Centers for Health Statistics.
"Pain is a big problem in America and chronic pain is a reason many people utilize the health care system," said the paper's lead author, Donald Abrams, MD, professor of clinical medicine at UCSF and chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center (SFGH). "And chronic pain is, unfortunately, one of the problems we’re least capable of managing effectively."
In a paper published this month in Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics, researchers examined the interaction between cannabinoids and opiates in the first human study of its kind. They found the combination of the two components reduced pain more than using opiates alone, similar to results previously found in animal studies.
David Piller, Hemp News Correspondent
A friend of mine recently put together a survey for a ethnography research methods class on the topic of creating effective hemp education and promoting hemp awareness. Below are a few of my responses.
What is your educational platform (or pro-hemp argument) that you use when doing hemp outreach?
My main "argument" is that if we are truly serious about maximizing the growth of the green economy and creating a sustainable future, industrial hemp must become, once again, one of the United States' primary crops. I stress how cultivating hemp will do more to help clean our air, soil, and water than any patented technology our scientists can offer. I include hemp nutritional benefits and communicate how making more hemp foods available to our citizens, we can improve the quality of life of many and reduce our long term health care costs.
Do you change this platform for various audiences: when and why?
Yes and no.
I think it is important to make things as simple as possible for people to grasp hemp’s true potential, and I always strive to bring it down to a healthy environment, healthy food, and healthy industries to lay a solid foundation to build a dialogue upon.
Oregon Hemp History, Connecting the Past to the Future
By Michael Bachara, Hemp News Correspondent
In the early 1990's, C & S Specialty Builder's Supply (namely Bill Conde, Dave Seber, Barry Davis, and Tim Pate) in Harrisburg, Oregon, imported regulated bales of hemp and began working on a medium density fiberboard (MDF). The evolution of hemp MDF as a viable building supply option began when Bill Conde of C & S took their hemp fiber research and ideas to Paul Maulberg, the head of Washington State University's Wood Engineering Laboratory.
Conde explains in a 2005 Mycotopia blog, "We asked if [Maulberg] would consider trying some hemp fiber to make some experimental hemp MDF, and his reply was, 'You bet, hemp is the King Cong of fiber. I would love a chance to work with some."
Excitedly, Conde and team began the process working with Maulberg on creation and testing of the hemp MDF. It was soon discovered how strong the hemp fiber truly was, as the full-length hemp fibers jammed both of the processing machines and brought things to a standstill. The process for breaking down the fibers was redesigned and restarted with ultimate success.