Trudeau Gives Justice Minister Mandate To Legalize Cannabis

November 13, 2015
By James McClure

Canada is officially on the road to legalization. In a letter outlining her responsibilities, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has instructed Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould to begin the process of legalizing and regulating cannabis in Canada.

The letter to Wilson-Raybould (pictured above with Trudeau) reads, “I will expect you to work with your colleagues and through established legislative, regulatory, and Cabinet processes to deliver on your top priorities.”

The subsequent bulleted list of objectives includes, “Working with the Ministers of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Health, create a federal-provincial-territorial process that will lead to the legalization and regulation of marijuana.”

That means Minister Wilson-Raybould will team up with Ralph Goodale (Public Safety) and Jane Philpott (Health) to get the job done.

Wilson-Raybould is a former prosecutor, regional chief

The new Justice Minister’s background includes working as a prosecutor, a British Columbia Treaty commissioner and a regional chief of the Assembly of First Nations.

During the recent campaign, she was endorsed by Sensible BC, a pro-legalization group that singled out Wilson-Raybould as a candidate who could help defeat Conservative politicians who opposed legalization.

“Our goal is to elect the most cannabis-friendly candidates who have the best chance of beating the Conservatives,” said Sensible BC director Dana Larsen.

We couldn’t find any record of Wilson-Raybould’s views on cannabis reform, so it may have just been a general endorsement of the party’s position. But there’s no doubt Larsen and other activists will be expecting much of the minister tasked with overhauling Canada’s cannabis laws.

Wilson-Raybould is from the B.C. riding, Vancouver-Granville, which may have influenced Trudeau’s selection process because the province is the leader on cannabis reforms nationwide.

Dr. Philpott is a doctor, outspoken advocate for legalization

The new Health Minister is a family doctor in Markham, Ontario, teaches at the University of Toronto, and leads numerous community health initiatives. She also practiced medicine in Niger for a decade, and helped set up training program for village health workers.

During the recent election campaign, she became an outspoken proponent of the Liberal Party’s plan to legalize cannabis. She used her Twitter account to rebut statements by former Toronto police chief and Conservative cabinet minister Julian Fantino: “Fantino completely distorts LPC approach. In fact, regulation will make marijuana less accessible to minors,” she posted in mid-August.

Ralph Goodale is a veteran Liberal cabinet minister

The new Public Safety minister was first elected to Parliament more than 40 years ago. He has served in many different cabinet roles under former Liberal prime ministers, including Natural Resources, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Public Works and Government Services, and Minister of Finance.

In response to a New York Times editorial last year, Goodale praised the paper for making a reasoned case for legalization.

“It’s one more serious comment with a lot of intellectual heft behind it that makes the point that the current regime of absolute prohibition doesn’t work,” said Goodale. “All of the profit is ending up in the hands of gangs and society is no healthier and no safer. So surely there is room for intelligent discussion about how to do it better.”

Medical Benefits of Cannabis Oil

Cannabis oil is gathering an unstoppable momentum as a world class healer, and there is little or nothing Western Governments are going to be able to do stop it. Cases are popping up all over the world showing that cannabis oil has healed some very serious diseases, including anxiety disorders, epilepsy, MS (Multiple Sclerosis), cerebral palsy and cancer. This young man healed his stage IV throat, stomach and pancreatic cancer with cannabis oil. This Australian women healed her terminal stage IV lung cancer with it. Wallace Rose in the video clip above explains how cannabis oil cured his stage IV pancreatic cancer. It is a fundamental human right, no matter where you live on the planet, to be able to access and use whatever medicine you want to heal yourself. And, thankfully, we are beginning to see that Governments worldwide will not have the power to stand in the way of this natural right any longer.

What’s the Difference among Cannabis, Hemp and Marijuana?

First of all, let’s clear up some definitions. Cannabis sativa is the plant and species; hemp and marijuana are both varieties or subspecies of it. Marijuana is actually a Spanish slang term meaning “Mary-Jane”. Marijuana is simply considered to have a higher THC content than hemp. THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol) is one of the unique phytonutrients or plant chemicals of cannabis. However, both hemp and marijuana contain various cannabinoids, a class of chemicals that activate cell membrane receptors.

A Brief History of the Suppression of Cannabis

To those unfamiliar with the beginning of the United States, it may come as a shock to learn that hemp was a big part of the inception. Not only was hemp (in all of its forms) completely legal, but also it was actually required to be planted by the early colonists! The Founding Fathers made references to it in their writings and grew it themselves. It was widely know that hemp was an incredible plant with a wide variety of uses: textiles, rope, clothing, paper, fuel, nutrition, medicine and recreation. So how did hemp fall from such exalted status to become an illegal “controlled substance”, for which you could be imprisoned due to mere possession of it?

The answer, as with many of aspects of the global conspiracy, comes back to the mega rich and powerful ruling elite families, in this case the Rockefellers. I have written other articles exposing how the Rockefellers invented modern (Western) medicine and created the Big Pharma cartel as a way to sell their petroleum-based drugs. John D. Rockefeller had the reputation as a ruthless businessman who once said, “Competition is sin.” The prohibition movement of the 1920s to ban alcohol was not really about making America more pure or morally upright. It was about the bottom line; Rockefeller wanted to eliminate competition to oil for fuel for motor-based vehicles. Similarly, the movement to ban hemp was also an attempt to destroy competition to oil-based products. Hemp is a powerful competitor to crude oil in many ways. Thus, the propaganda campaign was launched to demonized hemp and marijuana by inventing the fake phenomenon of “reefer madness”. The brainwashing worked and Congress outlawed the plant in various stages, eventually declaring it a controlled substance in 1970.

What is Cannabis Oil?

Cannabis oil is not to be confused with hempseed oil, which is the nutritional oil made from pressing hemp seeds, and is used as a food not a medicine. Medicinal cannabis oil is made by gathering large quantities of cannabis leaves from female plants, using a solvent to strip off some or all of the THC, and boiling off the excess water to produce a rich, gold or brown-colored concentrate. Depending on who is making it, the final product may have little or no THC, the chemical responsible for getting people “high”. For more information on one way to prepare cannabis oil, see Rick Simpson’s Run From The Cure.

Science has not yet discovered all of the hundreds or thousands of cannabis phytonutrients which are responsible for the healing effects of cannabis oil, but one of the main ones is CBD (Cannabidiol). Excitingly, CBD is being studied all over the world as people are beginning to realize its phenomenal healing benefits. Many clinical studies have shown that CBD is a very effective painkiller – especially for peripheral neuropathy associated with diabetes, arthritis, MS, cancer and other neurodegenerative conditions. CBD is especially brilliant because itprevents and suppresses inflammation. This means it is both a preventative and curative natural medicine. Chronic low level inflammation, as you may know, is the hidden cause of much pain and many diseases, so the potential for cannabis oil to help a lot of people is huge.

How Does Cannabis Oil Beat Cancer?

All of the cells in our body have cannabinoid receptor sites, including cells which have gone rogue and become cancerous. The brilliant thing about cannabis oil is that its THC and CBD connect to these cannabinoid receptor sites, causing the cell to increase ceramide, which then causes apoptosis or cell death. However, normal cells are unaffected by this, so cannabis oil is a targeted killer of cancer cells, leaving healthy cells intact. It reminds my very much of laetrile (or amygdalin or Vitamin B17) which functions in exactly the same way with cyanide as a targeted killer of cancer. As Dennis Hill writes, “Nature has designed the perfect medicine that fits exactly with our own immune system of receptors and signaling metabolites to provide rapid and complete immune response for systemic integrity and metabolic homeostasis.”

The Unstoppable Momentum of Cannabis Oil in the US

Due to recent changes in State legislation in 2014, marijuana is now legal in 20 of the 50 states in the USA. In 2 of these states (Colorado and Washington), it is fully legalized for recreational use, with Oregon and Alaska to come, while the other states or territories require a medical marijuana license (you can see the state-by-state details here). So it has already come a long way, and will continue to go much further. I predict at one point it will be legal in all 50 states in the US, and eventually throughout the world. There is already legislation pending in other American states, and the US Federal Government just decided in its 2015 spending measure that it would no longer allocate funds to the DOJ (Department of Justice) to enforce marijuana laws. That’s the beginning of the end of Federal cannabis prohibition!

The Unstoppable Momentum of Cannabis Oil Throughout the World

Many countries around the world are leaning towards legalization, including the Czech Republic, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Argentina and India, according to this article. Uruguay became the first country in 2013 to fully legalize cannabis. It is also legal in North Korea, believe it or not!

The Case of Cannabis Oil Shows the People Have the Power

Cannabis can have healing effects not just as cannabis oil; check out this video showing the power of raw cannabis leaves too. Truth be told, the healing power of cannabis has just barely been tapped. And, for those who don’t need to use cannabis medicinally, why not add it to your diet? The nutritional profile of hemp is unparalleled. Its protein profile is similar to that of human blood. It contains all 8 essential amino acids, as well as 2 key globulins, albumin and edestin (the latter of which is found only in hemp seeds). Edestin is so similar to protein found in the human body that it can actually repair your DNA! Additionally, hemp seeds contain the essential fatty acids linoleic acid (omega-6) and alpha-linoleic acid (omega-3) – in the ideal ratio for optimal health (3:1). These healthy fats reduce inflammation, boost the immune system and are responsible for strong and shiny skin, hair and nails. Hemp seeds have high quantities of iron, magnesium and zinc, and so combat many ailments resulting from a deficiency in these minerals. Other benefits of hemp seeds include reducing craving for junk foods and boosting memory.

The case of cannabis is a further positive indication to me that the NWO elite, the global conspirators, are not as powerful as they would like to think. We the people ultimately have the power, and the truth will ultimately triumph over lies, just as the powerful medicinal value of cannabis has outrun and outstripped the propaganda of “reefer madness”. Sometimes, though, it does take a long time for truth to prevail …

About the Author:

Makia Freeman is the editor of The Freedom Articles and senior researcher at ToolsForFreedom.com, writing on many aspects of truth and freedom, from exposing aspects of the global conspiracy to suggesting solutions for how humanity can create a new system of peace and abundance.

Cannabis Use Has Different Sexual Health Effects for Men and Women

The use of medical marijuana has proven to be effective for treating a wide range of both physical ailments and psychiatric conditions. Studies pointing to marijuana as an effective treatment option has motivated lawmakers to pursue the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes in individual states all over the country. One medical issue impacted by cannabis use is sexual health. Studies indicate that marijuana has different effects on men as it does on women when it comes to both sex drive and sex life satisfaction.

Cannabis and Men’s Sexual Health

There are countless studies aimed at measuring the impact of marijuana use on men’s sexual health, particularly when it comes to testosterone production. A study conducted as part of a joint collaboration between the Reproductive Biology Research Foundation and the Missouri Clinical and Biochemical Laboratory found that cannabis does indeed have an impact on testosterone production.

However, it is important to note that this study related to intensive marijuana use that was primarily recreational in nature. When marijuana is used for medical purposes, the effects on those who are utilizing cannabis to ease the symptoms of a medical condition may not experience the ill effects of marijuana when it comes to sexual health. The difference is in part due to the use of modified strains for medical use as compared with recreational marijuana. High levels of THC cause the body to produce lower levels of testosterone. Additionally, men should be aware that any negative impact on testosterone production is temporary in nature. Discontinuing use of marijuana in this specific situation allows the body to regulate hormone levels once again.

Perhaps the most confusing characteristic of studies related to men’s sexual health and cannabis use is the differing results from scientific studies seeking to measure the same variable: testosterone levels. The results of a study conducted through the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Research Center at Harvard Medical School-McLean Hospital in Belmont, Massachusetts, concluded that marijuana use does not have a significant impact on testosterone, although the key word here is “significant.” These studies did indicate an impact on testosterone levels, but researchers in this instance felt that the impact was not a strong one. In many cases, determining whether medical marijuana can be beneficial to sexual health is a matter of discussing personal details with a licensed medical provider.

Cannabis and Women’s Sexual Health

On the other hand, there are claims that topical oils containing medical marijuana are able to enhance the sexual experience for women. The results of a study conducted through the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, support the theory that cannabis is able to improve sexual health for women by increasing arousal and strengthening the physiological responses to sexual stimulation.

After a topical oil containing cannabis was applied to test subjects, one group of subjects was shown erotic films. The other group was not given an outside stimulus. Physiological responses related to blood flow associated with sexual arousal were measured, and test subjects were found to have an increased sexual response following the application of the cannabis oil. In addition, subjective responses to questions concerning perceived sensation were answered positively after application of the oil. The ultimate conclusion of the study was that a topical oil containing medical marijuana is an effective treatment for low sex drive in women.

Medical marijuana containing a lower-than-average THC concentration has also been used to improve sexual health in women. The low-THC cannabis increases sensitivity and delays orgasm to give couples more time to share the intimate experience. Positive effects on women’s sexual health seem to be most associated with cannabis with a THC level around 14 percent, while standard THC concentrations typically fall between 15 and 20 percent.

The need to stay at a THC concentration of 14 percent or lower for women’s sexual health benefits is believed to be linked to the effects that higher concentrations have on estrogen production. Standard THC levels in medical marijuana can decrease sex drive by throwing estrogen levels out of balance.

Some women report that medical marijuana is also able to help with any psychological blocks that may be preventing them from enjoying a healthy sex life. However, it is important to note that medical marijuana used to ease anxiety related to sexual activity should be used at the advice of a licensed medical provider.

Conclusion

In response to the question if medical marijuana should be prescribed to improve sexual health, the answer is that it depends on the specific dysfunction and also the gender to which it’s being prescribed. Some men may find that their hormone levels are negatively affected through cannabis use for medicinal purposes, while some women can enhance the strength of orgasms through the use of medical marijuana infused into a topical oil. The best way to determine whether medical marijuana can help with sexual health is to discuss the unique facts of a particular situation with a HelloMD-participating doctor.

Sources:

http://www.cnbc.com/2014/08/04/women-find-sexual-helpwith-cannabis.html

http://www.menshealth.co.uk/healthy/addictions/effects-of-smoking-weed

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21269404

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/m/pubmed/22462722/

http://www.nejm.org/doi/pdf/10.1056/NEJM197404182901602

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM197411142912003

http://nymag.com/thecut/2015/06/can-this-marijuana-give-women-better-sex.html

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/all-about-sex/201003/how-does-marijuana-affect-your-sex-life

Canadian Study Supports Safety of Medical Cannabis for Chronic Pain

A team of Canadian doctors and researchers led by Dr. Mark Ware from McGill University evaluated long-term safety and efficacy of using cannabis to treat chronic pain.

Recently, a team of Canadian doctors and researchers led by Dr. Mark Ware from McGill University worked with seven clinics across Canada to evaluate the long-term safety and efficacy of using cannabis to treat chronic pain. Their results, newly published in the Journal of Pain, lend support to the use of cannabis to manage chronic pain within a monitored treatment program.

The study followed 431 adults with chronic non-cancer pain over the course of a year. Half of them were assigned to a cannabis treatment group while the other half were assigned to a control group. In all subjects, the pain had been present for at least six months, was rated moderate to severe, and other attempts at treatment had been ineffective.

The cannabis group was provided with medicinal cannabis from Canadian provider Prairie Plant Systems (the parent company of CanniMed) which contained 12.5% THC. Subjects used a median of 2.5 grams per day and were allowed to use the delivery system of their choosing. 27% chose to only smoke and 8% only consumed cannabis orally, while 61% preferred a combination of smoking, vaporization, and oral ingestion.

Use of medical cannabis to treat chronic pain did not increase the risk of serious adverse events, but it was associated with an increase in the risk of non-serious adverse events, the most common of which were headaches, nausea, drowsiness, and dizziness. Experienced cannabis users had a lower incidence of adverse events. The cannabis group also had a higher rate of non-serious respiratory conditions, which is consistent with other research associating long-term cannabis smoking with a higher risk of developing bronchitis.

Concerning the efficacy of cannabis for pain management, the cannabis group showed significant improvements in pain intensity and quality of life, as well as improvements in symptom distress and mood disturbances related to their pain.

In summary, the results point to the safety and efficacy of up to 2.5 grams per day of 12.5% THC cannabis being used by current cannabis users as part of a carefully monitored chronic pain management program when other treatments have not been successful.

This study signifies a major step forward for medicinal cannabis research, as it is the first cohort study of the long-term safety of medical cannabis use ever conducted. In Canada, the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR) require the signature of a health professional in order for a medical document to be granted, but some physicians have previously hesitated to do so due to a lack of research on long-term effects.

While the results support the safety and efficacy of medical cannabis for managing chronic pain, authors note that the cannabis group was composed of a majority of current cannabis users and that non-serious adverse events would have likely been higher if more inexperienced users were included. In light of this, they suggest that future research focus on characterizing safety issues specific to new users, and that studies with extended observation periods be conducted.

Full study available here: http://www.jpain.org/article/S1526-5900(15)00837-8/pdf

Marijuana Mixed With Coconut Oil Kills Cancer Cells

An amazing article brought to our attention by the great Jason Beck, owner of AHHS, dispensary in West Hollywood California.

Healthylifeland.com really broke things down regarding cannabis and cancer. After seamlessly pointing out the unjustified prohibition and scheduling of marijuana, one of the most important points is made:

“There have been over 20000 studies and papers on the cannabis plant and its use, yet a third of that is published in the last 4 years.”

Which is an understatement to say the least, it seems that each day more uses, discoveries, revelations, news, mergers, and investments.

But some “nuggets” of information are significantly more important than others…like this one:

Healthylifeland.com reports:

Instead of smoking and inhaling marijuana, there are pills infused in coconut oil, allowing them easy entry into the liver. Coconut oil is used because of its fatty acids which bind well with the cannabinoids. It also has health properties. Half of the fat in coconut oil is made from the lauric acid, a fat not found in nature. Lauric acid has been praised for its healing abilities and is present in mother’s milk. It can actually be found in just 3 sources: butterfat, palm kernel and coconut oil.
In the body, this acid is converted into monolaurin, which is a powerful antiviral, antibacterial and antiprotozoal substance. It’s a monoglyceride, meaning it can destroy lipid coated viruses such as HIV, herpes or influenza.
Testimony – a success story
While many are still skeptic for marijuana use in medicine purposes, Stan and Barb Rutner are living proof of its properties.
Barb had two fights with breast cancer while Stan was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, which disappeared after treatment. However, it reappeared in 2011, when cancerous nodes were found in Stan’s lungs, and later in his brain. A very tough situation. As he went through therapy, Stan and his family found a natural way of improving his quality of life – cannabis. He and Barb too tried it and it worked wonders.
The Rutner’s daughter Corrine and her husband researched a little and found that the cannabis pills infused with coconut oil were the best choice. After just two weeks, Stan stopped using the oxygen tank. Then he gained weight, and become stronger overall. After a few months, his brain cancer was gone!
They are now completely assured that cannabis is an anti-cancer miracle. According to John, the Rutner’s son-in-law, “There is no doubt in my mind that cannabis pulled my father-in-law out of the wasting stages of cancer and enabled him to gain strength and in turn fight this horrible cell malfunction with success. While many would say that the chemo and radiation could have played apart, he would never have lived long enough to find out without cannabis oil.”

B.C. doctors criticize Canada’s strict medical marijuana rules

VANCOUVER – The Canadian Medical Association and the federal government apply a far more rigid standard to prescribing marijuana than other drugs, resulting in negative — or even deadly — consequences, say experts from the B.C. Centre for Excellent in HIV/AIDS.

Medical marijuana is held to a different standard than other prescription drugs despite research suggesting it has therapeutic benefits, say three experts from the centre in a commentary published Friday in the Journal of the Canadian Public Health Association.

“When it comes to prescription marijuana, patients’ needs should be considered above political considerations,” Dr. Julio Montaner, one of the authors, said in a news release. “There could be great harm in ignoring the medical uses of marijuana.”

The government and the CMA are being overly cautious, co-author Dr. Thomas Kerr said in an interview.

“This is just not how we deliver medical care and why we’re doing it in the case of cannabis is beyond me,” he said.

Several recent studies have shown prescription cannabis can have therapeutic benefits, but the CMA and others have failed to acknowledge the research, resulting in a position that isn’t based on evidence, Kerr’s commentary said.

Other studies have shown prescribing cannabis may lead to a reduction in overdoses and deaths associated with prescription opioid.

“This can’t be taken too lightly because Canada, like the U.S., is in the midst of an epidemic of prescription opioid abuse and related overdose deaths,” Kerr said.

While marijuana is not associated with an elevated risk of mortality, prescription opioids contribute to nearly half of all overdose deaths — a leading cause of accident related mortality, the article points out.

Under Canada’s current medical marijuana laws, patients must obtain prescription cannabis from federally licensed producers, generally through the mail. There are currently 26 licensed producers listed on Health Canada’s website.

The idea of sending prescription drugs through the mail is odd, Kerr said.

“We would never do that in the case of treating someone with diabetes,” he said. “Really, people should have access to experts who can counsel them on appropriate dosing, potential side effects and their management and who can also provide other options and clinical followup.”

The caution towards cannabis comes because it is illegal and because the federal government “has been making up the science on the fly,” Kerr said, pointing to the example of Stephen Harper saying that marijuana is “infinitely worse” than tobacco.

“It’s unfortunate that the federal government has really failed to deliver an effective medical-cannabis program and it’s unfortunate that they’ve also misrepresented the science in this area,” he said.

Kerr said government and other interested agencies should consider implementing a system where cannabis is legalized, and both medical and recreational use are regulated using evidence-based discussions and approaches.

Kerr is co-director of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS’s Urban Health Research Initiative. His co-authors are Montaner, director of the centre, and Stephanie Lake, a research assistant at the centre.

Canada: Medical Marijuana Can Be A Huge Help For People In Pain

People who experience chronic pain can go for years without relief, jumping from one medication to the next without necessarily relieving any of their symptoms.

But hope for these conditions has been found in the form of medical marijuana — as long as doctors continue to study it and prescribe it.

Dr. Mark Ware is one of the preeminent physicians in the world when it comes to pain management and treatment. As the director of clinical research at the Alan Edwards Pain Unit at the McGill University Health Centre (as well as an associate professor at the university and the executive director of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids), he’s spent the last 16 years investigating how medical marijuana can reduce pain in patients.

“I’m a big proponent of the interdisciplinary approach — taking a multiple approach to manage, live and find ways to alleviate some of the suffering that goes along with chronic pain. And the fact is, we are limited with the tools we have to treat pain, both pharmalogical and non-pharmalogical.”

Cannabis, for the record, is considered a pharmacalogical approach, thanks to its active ingredients that bind to receptors in the human body that trigger a response.

In Canada, the Category 1 approved conditions from Health Canada for possessing dried marijuana for medicinal use are:

Any symptom treated within the context of compassionate end-of-life care,

OR

Symptoms related to
Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from multiple sclerosis
Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from a spinal cord injury
Severe pain and/or persistent muscle spasms from a spinal cord disease
Severe pain, cachexia, anorexia, weight loss, and/or severe nausea from cancer
Severe pain, cachexia, anorexia, weight loss, and/or severe nausea from HIV/AIDS infection
Severe pain from severe forms of arthritis
Seizures from epilepsy

There is a second category, which is defined as “a debilitating symptom that is associated with a medical condition or with the medical treatment of that condition, other than those described in Category 1.”

It’s a vague definition, and for some, that can mean plenty of frustration. Keith Mullan, a former Navy officer, told the CBC it took three months — and a lot of paperwork — to get his prescription refilled recently. Veterans are one of the populations that often use medical marijuana to deal with past injuries — Veterans Affairs Canada paid out $5.2 million for marijuana prescriptions for former soldiers in 2014-2015, according to the CBC.

“One of the biggest areas of discovery has been PTSD and the nightmares associated with that,” Ware says. “What happens with patients is that they’ve been exposed to some form of trauma, and your brain normally has a way of extinguishing that trauma. For example, somebody who has given birth has experienced a painful, major life event, and you have memories of that pain and discomfort, but the brain has a way of extinguishing it. We have the ability to forget something that was painful because it enables us to do it again.

“Someone with PTSD doesn’t have that ability to extinguish that memory so it keeps coming back — they get flashbacks or nightmares when they’re sleeping so they relive it again. This is an area where the endocannaboid system has been shown to be important in extinguishing those memories. If that system is not working properly, you have those consistent memories. Cannaboids can help extinguish those memories in that specific area of the brain.”

Ware, who sees medicinal marijuana as part of a pain treatment plan, not the be-all-and-end-all, knows there are plenty of challenges to be faced when both studying and distributing the drug.

“Cannabis has been touted by many patients over many years as something that helps them manage their pain, and it’s come to us through a different route than we normally learn about drugs,” he says. “It’s a unique situation where we have patients telling us what the drug is doing for them, that from there, we can then study to see if that’s true.”

Everything from the “giggle factor” of stoner weed culture to the legalities of distribution to figuring out exactly how to have people smoke it in non-smoking facilities have proven to be obstacles along the way, but Ware has seen enough results to make him want to keep going.

The pain conditions in which cannabanoids have been shown to be most effective are those caused by damage to the nervous system, either peripheral or central. That can include diabetic neuropathy, post-traumatic pain after surgery and HIV-associated neuropathy in the case of the peripheral system, and multiple sclerosis or a spinal cord injury for the central system.

Patients report a number of effects from cannabis, including improved sleep and help for their anxiety or stress, as well as a reduction in discomfort.

“They tell us, ‘It doesn’t really make my pain go away, but it allows me to focus on something other than the pain,'” explains Ware. “That sounds like, ‘Duh, they’re stoned,’ but these are patients who are trying really hard to function and have normal social and work lives.”

Ware also notes that small studies have linked cannabanoids to helping with chronic pain syndromes, like fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer — both the pain associated with the disease, and the treatment. But of course, more research is needed, and the drug isn’t for everyone.

In honour of Arthritis Awareness Month in September, the Arthritis Society launched an explanatory series specifically for those suffering from the joint disorder who were interested in access to cannabis for the pain. In it, they noted 65 per cent of Canadians who request access to medical cannabis do so for arthritis pain, and went through the various challenges patients can encounter when trying to access the drug, including a physician’s hesitation to prescribe it.

A 2012 study from the Canadian Medical Association found that 60 per cent of physicians who responded to a survey on the topic would “never” or “seldom” honour a request for access to medical cannabis. But with more research, it’s possible these opinions will change, and that’s just what people like Ware are trying to accomplish.

Ware points out that cannabanoids don’t have the same toxicity issues as other drugs used for pain management, like opioids and anti-inflammatories, in that the drug itself in high doses doesn’t cause death or major health disorders. But that said, there are other factors to consider when prescribing it to patients.

“It’s a remarkably safe compound from a purely pharmacalogical standpoint,” he says, “but then you have to take that and apply it to other people who may be taking other medications, or have other conditions, or other interactions. A lot of patients with chronic pain also have mental health issues like anxiety, depression. How is the drug interacting with those conditions? Is it helping or harming? These are important long-term effects that need to be evaluated.”

According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, marijuana is not to prescribed to those under the age of 25, “unless all other conventional therapeutic options have been attempted and have failed to alleviate the patient’s symptoms.”

Ware points out that developing teenage brains are very susceptible to THC, the psychoactive ingredient in the plant. And when administered at too young an age, it can have important effects, including triggering a latent psychosis.

“We don’t think [cannabis] causes [psychosis] by itself — most of the time there’s some underlying risk factor that cannabis can unmask or reveal. We don’t know exactly what those are, but we can’t screen for it, so we can’t advise who should use it. Conservatively, people set the age at 25, because at that point we think the brain has finished its development. It depends on the age of onset, and how much is being used.”

One big condition cannabanoids don’t seem to touch is acute pain, like a twisted ankle or a toothache. If anything, Ware warns, it can make the pain worse because you become more aware of it.

And just because the conditions noted above have been helped by prescription cannabanoids, that doesn’t mean any old weed will do. Ware points out the meds prescribed by professionals can have very different effects than street drugs.

“I think it’s worth thinking about cannabis not as the end game in all of this, but maybe for some people a part of their pain management, especially if coupled with other things like exercise, positive thinking, stretching and the like,” says Ware.

“I don’t think of cannabis as a miracle cure — I think it’s a piece of the puzzle that in the right hands can be used to help patients.”

News Moderator: Jacob Redmond 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Medical Marijuana Can Be A Huge Help For People In Pain
Author: Rebecca Zamon
Contact: Email The Author
Photo Credit: Aspen Peak Magazine
Website: Huffington Post Canada

‘Marijuana is infinitely worse’ than tobacco, Harper says as he encourages pot debate to go up in smoke

MONTREAL — Marijuana is “infinitely worse” than tobacco and its use should be widely discouraged in Canada, Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says.

The remarks come the morning after the federal leaders’ French-language debate, in which Harper’s clash with Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau over the issue of legalization was among the evening’s more memorable exchanges.

The Liberals support legalization; Trudeau argued during the debate that if pot were legal and regulated, young people would be less able to easily procure the drug than they are currently.

The Conservatives are vehemently opposed to the idea, with Harper saying that regulating its sale in the same way as cigarettes or alcohol would do nothing to keep it out of the hands of kids.

When asked Saturday how the Conservatives square that position with the fact medicinal marijuana is currently used by thousands of Canadians to treat a variety of causes, Harper said there’s overwhelming evidence about the drug’s long-term effects.

Last year, Health Canada kicked off an anti-marijuana ad campaign — repeated shortly before the start of the election campaign — that said the drug was responsible for lower IQs, a statement derived from two separate studies whose conclusions have since been challenged.

The Conservatives also often link marijuana use to increased risks of mental health issues, such as psychosis and schizophrenia, but medical research on that is divided as well.

Harper likened what the government is trying to do with marijuana to its tobacco control strategy.

“We’ve spent a couple of generations trying to reduce the use of tobacco in Canada with a lot of success,” he said.

“Tobacco is a product that does a lot of damage — marijuana is infinitely worse and is something we do not want to encourage.”

A government survey of tobacco use found that the overall smoking rate among Canadians over the age of 15 declined from 25 per cent in 1999 to 16 per cent in 2012.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

By contrast, Statistics Canada has reported that the prevalence of marijuana use among Canadians over the age of 15 has remained relatively stable, with 12 per cent reporting they used the drug in the last year both in 2002 and 2012.

However, the Canadian Cancer Society notes that while 85 per cent of lung cancers can be directly linked to smoking, more evidence is needed to know whether there’s a similar cancer risk posed by smoking marijuana.

While some studies suggest there is an increased risk, the quality of the research is not as strong as the evidence on tobacco and cancer, the society says on its website.

The Ironic Comparison Of Cannabis and Pharmaceuticals

Comparing Testing, Health Benefits and Side Effects

Proponents and advocates of the medical cannabis industry have long pointed at the pharmaceutical industry as to why medical cannabis is not further along in research, development and most importantly, application. On one hand, it would be a safe assumption to say that cannabis is currently one of the most tested and researched substances in America. However, the application of medical cannabis continues to move at a snail’s pace, if not a dead snail’s pace. On the other hand, America continues to see new pharmaceuticals pushed behind the counter of your local pharmacy nearly as quickly as they restock the candy aisle. So what is behind all of these pharmaceuticals, and their FDA approvals, that are being deemed as useful and effective in the treatments to which they are claiming? Well, it turns out that answer is much less than you think.

In a recent analysis of the past 206 FDA supported pharmaceutical drugs, over 36% of those (74 drugs) were approved on the basis of a single clinical trial. Furthermore, many of those 200+ FDA approved drugs were passed through with little, if any, research as to the long-term side effects. Now, the theory behind the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as well as the public expectation, is that the FDA will test and vet these substances before they hit the market.

Many Americans consider FDA approval as a legitimate medical claim. In fact, in a nationwide study of nearly 3,000 Americans, 39% reported that they believe the FDA only approves ‘extremely effective’ drugs. 25% of people in the same study are of the opinion that the FDA only passes pharmaceuticals that have no serious side effects. Unfortunately, this belief is very dangerous, for patients as well as medical physicians who might take the FDA endorsement at face value.

In a recent analysis of the past 206 FDA supported pharmaceutical drugs, over 36% of those (74 drugs) were approved on the basis of a single clinical trial.1

The blind leap of faith is not only dangerous due to the lack of clinical trials, but the side effects listed with these pharmaceuticals are vast and often overwhelming. A recent study conducted by Dr. Jon Duke, assistant professor of medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine, analyzed 5,600 drug labels and found more than 500,000 listed effects. Their findings indicated that more commonly recommended pharmaceuticals came with an average of 100 side effects, with some listing as many as 525. Now, obviously most of the side effects listed are less than likely, but the fact that the FDA is passing these medicines, often with one clinical trial and an average of 100 side effects, says all that needs to be sad about the hypocritical state of the medical system in America.

To make the comparison, feel free to visit PubMed, the National Library of Medicine’s database. A simple search for the term ‘cannabis’ will yield you over 14,000 studies, dating all the way back to 1843 and Dr. John Clendinning’s ‘Observations on the Medicinal Properties of the Cannabis Sativa of India.’ Now, a study is certainly not a clinical trial. However, as cannabis is federally illegal, those clinical trials have not been allowed and are left as ‘studies’. If we could speculate that those studies would have turned in to legal clinical trials, which, given the ‘anecdotal’ medicinal evidence, would be the case, then we could assume a certain percentage of these 14,000 studies would have become legal trials.

If we were then so bold as to take the FDA single-study approval percentage and apply it to even a third of these studies, you would have well over 1,000 cannabis related medications approved for medical use. However, currently the FDA has approved 0 cannabis related substances for medicinal use.

The National Cancer Institute, the federally recognized authority on cancer research, recently released their findings that ‘Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory.’

But what about the long-term side effects? Cannabis has to be as bad for you as the pharmaceutical alternative, right? Well that depends on who you ask. If you were to ask Dr. Jordan Bechtold, a psychology research fellow at the University of Pittsburg, he would say that cannabis use, especially as a teenager, does not lead to long-term side effects. Dr. Bechtold was part of a recent research group who, in conjunction with PITT and Rutgers University, followed 408 males from adolescence to their mid 30’s for the study. The findings were thereafter published in Psychology of Addictive Behaviors and disseminated through the American Psychological Association (APA).

“What we found was a little surprising. There were no differences in any of the mental or physical health outcomes that we measured regardless of the amount of frequency of marijuana used during adolescence.” – Dr. Jordan Bechtold – University of Pittsburg Psychology Research Fellow 

In the spirit of comparison, a simple search for ‘pharmaceutical long-term effects’ yields dozens of results that correlate to studies showing drastically negative side effects to long-term prescription pharmaceutical consumption. Not to mention thereported prescription drug overdose total, which according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a federally operated agency, in 2013 topped 24,000 people, 15,000 more than heroin.

So, in order to potentially overdose on a cannabis edible, one would have to eat 2.2 million times the suggested dose in 15 minutes.

Now, in order to hit the comparison out of the park, one most point out one last bit of information. Throughout the history of cannabis consumption, as far as we can trace it back that is, there are no documented cases of a cannabis consumer dying from overdose. It’s been reported that science has, however, figured out the amount of cannabis one would need to consume edibly in order to be at risk for a lethal reaction. That number is 22 kilograms. The recommended dose for a cannabis edible is 10 millagrams. So, in order to potentially overdose on a cannabis edible, one would have to eat 2.2 million times the suggested dose in 15 minutes. In terms of smoking cannabis, those numbers are comically more impossible to reach.

The point of all of this information is not to demonize the pharmaceutical industry, and not to glorify cannabis as the end-all perfect solution to medical treatments. Rather, this article simply aims to jumpstart the conversation as to the hypocrisy in which America allows medical treatments to be developed and approved for human consumption. For those who already knew this information, it is a data and research based compilation they can share with the skeptics in their lives. These studies are not coming from the cannabis community. Instead, these studies are coming from national renown medical colleges and federally funded research. In fact, the National Cancer Institute, the federally recognized authority on cancer research, recently released their findings that ‘Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory.’

So we did it. We’ve found a possible cure for cancer. After all of these years, and the billions of dollars that have gone towards researching this terrible disease, America has finally found something that could reverse the curse and treat suffering and dying patients. Let’s throw it in a single clinical trial and push it through the FDA. Oh wait…the treatment is cannabis related? Whoops. Never mind, back to the drawing board. This is the state of medicine in America right now. Sadly, this is not just one man’s opinion. This information is based on facts, research and information that is accessible to everyone, even the American government. Your move America.

What are your thoughts on this comparison? What do you think needs to happen so that cannabis can be treated in the same medical light as the pharmaceutical world? Do you even want it to be?

B.C. could legalize marijuana, says former U.S. prosecutor

B.C. could legalize marijuana on its own without federal approval, believes a former prosecutor that helped legalize pot south of the border in 2012.

Marijuana falls under federal jurisdiction in Canada, but with some creativity local politicians can push from the bottom up for change, saysTonia Winchester the former deputy campaign director for Yes on I-502.

“I think it’s possible for something like that to happen in B.C. But I think it will take a lot of creativity and courage on the local level to really stand-up and say our communities are ready for something different and I think B.C. is really poised to do that,” she said.

Winchester is speaking at the Union of B.C. Municipalities annual general meeting on the role cities need to play when it comes to legalizing pot and the lessons they can take away from Washington state.

Tonia Winchester the former deputy campaign director for Yes on I-502 is in Vancouver to speak with the Union of B.C. Municipalities on legalization of marijuana in Washington. (Charlie Cho/CBC)

“I think it’s challenging as a politician to step out and be pro-marijuana. Because people think if you are pro-marijuana, you are pro the use of marijuana. But what we are really talking about is what is the best policy for our community,” she explained.

Regulating and taxing marijuana is about taking money out of the hands of cartels, freeing up law enforcement to work on other matters and investing in drug treatment and education, she said.

“I think really B.C. and the politicians here are poised to have that same conversation. What can we do that is better for communities than putting more people behind bars,” she said.