The Week in Weed 7-14-12 Cannabis News
This Week: Marijuana Reveals Memory Mechanism; Marijuana Useful in Treating Obesity; Clinics Denying Pain Killers to Medical Marijuana Patients; Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein Wants to De-Schedule Marijuana; US Attorney Haag Seeks to Shutter Harborside Health Center; Dispensary Owners Acting as Federal Informants; California Research Backs Cannabis’ Therapeutic Claims; Credit Cards Refused at California Dispensaries due to Fed Interference; and more.
Marijuana Reveals Memory Mechanism — Until recently, most scientists believed that neurons were the all-important brain cells controlling mental functions and that the surrounding glial cells were little more than neuron supporters and “glue.” Now research published in March in Cell reveals that astrocytes, a type of glia, have a principal role in working memory. And the scientists made the discovery by getting mice stoned.
California Research Backs Cannabis’ Therapeutic Claims — After seven completed trials between 2002 and 2012, with five studies published and two pending, California researchers say the research shows pot does, in fact, have therapeutic value. “Every one of the studies showed a benefit,” said Dr. Igor Grant, a neuropsychiatrist who served as director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. “The convergence of evidence makes me convinced there is a medical benefit here, and there may be a niche for cannabis.”
Researchers Find Marijuana Useful in Treating Obesity – Research currently underway by GW Pharmaceuticals and the University of Buckingham has recently shown that some of the compounds found in marijuana can have a beneficial effect for people suffering from metabolic diseases associated with obesity. In animal trials, it was discovered that these compounds acted as appetite suppressants, lowered cholesterol, decreased fat buildup, and improved insulin response to sugars.
Clinics Denying Pain Killers to Medical Marijuana Patients — Should health care facilities have the power to make lifestyle decisions for you — and punish you when your choices don’t measure up to their ideals? More and more hospitals are making exactly those kinds of decisions when it comes to people who choose to use marijuana — even legal patients in medical marijuana states. Apparently, these places don’t mind looking exactly as if they have more loyalty to their Big Pharma benefactors than they do to their own patients.
US Attorney Haag Seeks to Shutter Harborside Health Center — Melinda Haag gives her excuse for targeting Oakland’s Harborside Health Center, despite the fact there is NO EVIDENCE they are operating outside of state law.
Dispensary Owners Acting as Federal Informants — Could your medical marijuana dispensary be reporting you to the Feds? Some California collective operators are working as confidential federal informants, according to chilling new information revealed as a result of an ongoing investigation into municipal corruption.
Credit Cards Refused at California Dispensaries due to Fed Interference — With pressure from the federal government, medical marijuana is set to become a cash-only business throughout the state. SF Weekly‘s “The Snitch” blog reports that merchant service providers — the middle men that process credit card transactions between vendors and companies like Visa and Mastercard — are being strong-armed into refusing payments from pot dispensaries starting this month.
Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein Wants to De-Schedule Marijuana – Jill Stein, the Green Party nominee for President of the United States, has a very clear concept of the mainstream roadblock to marijuana legalization. “We consider marijuana a substance which is dangerous because it is illegal,” she told Toke of the Town in an exclusive interview Friday morning. “But it is, in fact, not dangerous; it is far less a health concern than perfectly legal substances such as tobacco and alcohol.”
Owner of 1st Marijuana Dispensary Now Broke and Fighting IRS — Lynnette M. Shaw, the colorful pot activist who opened the first licensed medical marijuana dispensary in the United States, is fighting an Internal Revenue Service bill for $1.27 million in back income taxes and penalties and has filed for personal bankruptcy, listing $276,000 in state sales taxes among her debts.
Nancy Pelosi Addresses Medical Marijuana — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi reiterated her support for medical marijuana on Wednesday and indicated Democrats might be interested in taking changes to federal law after the election.
Ohio Decriminalizes Paraphernalia — Ohio will start treating people who get caught with a marijuana pipe the same way it treats those who get traffic tickets starting this fall, reversing an imbalance that punished possession of marijuana paraphernalia more harshly than possession of marijuana itself.
TAKE ACTION OPPORTUNITIES
Tell AG Holder Stop the Raids! — Demand Eric Holder keep his word and stop the medical marijuana raids in California.
Consider Voting Third Party — This presidential election we have two pro cannabis candidates in the race, and they are in the Libertarian and Green parties. This time, consider not voting for the lesser of two evils, but rather for a candidate you can respect on the issues that are most important to you. At least go to their websites, check them out, and then decide.