Weed is Legal in Canada

lighter and joint

Canadians can get high on their own supply thanks to marijuana legalization in the country, which starts today. The motivation for making marijuana illegal in Canada is arguably based on classism and racism. Indeed, the entire war on drugs has destroyed so many lives and it’s time for us to change our approach to drugs from a criminal issues to a health issue. Canada might be setting the stage for that switch; since a serious benefit is that people who were charged for pot should have the charges repealed this week.

Now go relax by enjoying some pot in a reasonable fashion.

The prime minister has argued that Canada’s nearly century-old laws criminalising use of the drug have been ineffective, given that Canadians are still among the world’s heaviest users.

Government officials told reporters on Tuesday that they are currently considering a fast-track process to allow people who have been convicted of possession to apply for legal pardons. There are currently some 500,000 Canadians with existing criminal records for possession.

Read more.

Marijuana Decriminalization Lowers Youth Crime Rate

Marijuana has been recently decriminalized in a few states in the USA, and based off of data from California the overall rate of youth arrests will drop dramatically. This is good news because now so many young lives won’t be destroyed for participating in using a drug that has negligible health effects (way less than alcohol) and is an insanely costly law to enforce. In Canada, the majority of Canadians encourage decriminalization for similar reasons.

The San Francisco-based Center on Juvenile & Criminal Justice (CJCJ) recently released a policy briefing with an analysis of arrest data collected by the California Department of Justice’s Criminal Justice Statistics Center. The briefing, “California Youth Crime Plunges to All-Time Low,” identifies a new state marijuana decriminalization law that applies to juveniles, not just adults, as the driving force behind the plummeting arrest totals.

After the new pot law went into effect in January 2011, simple marijuana possession arrests of California juveniles fell from 14,991 in 2010 to 5,831 in 2011, a 61 percent difference, the report by CJCJ senior research fellow Mike Males found.

Read more at AlterNet

Weed to Fight Cancer

Medical marijuana is nothing new, in fact it is legal in many places already. What is new is that the active ingredient in marijuana that gets people high has been shown to attack cancer cells that modern science cannot eliminate!

Investigators at Complutense University in Spain assessed the anti-tumor activity of the cannabinoids THC and CBD (cannabidiol) in glioma xenografts (tissue grafts).

Authors reported that the administration of THC in combination with TMZ (the benchmark agent for the management of glioblastoma) “enhanced autophagy” (programmed cell death) in malignant tissue. The combined administration of THC, CBD, and TMZ “remarkably reduce[d] the growth of glioma xenografts … [and] produced a strong antitumoral action in both TMZ-sensitive and TMZ-resistant tumors.”

They concluded, “Altogether, our findings support that the combined administration of TMZ and cannabinoids could be therapeutically exploited for the management of GBM (gliobastoma multiforme).”

A 2006 pilot study published in the British Journal of Cancer reported that the intratumoral administration of THC was associated with reduced tumor cell proliferation in two of nine human subjects with GBM, which is highly resistant to conventional anti-cancer treatments.

Read more here.

Smoke Weed for Pain Relief

Smoking marijuana can make life better for those who suffer from chronic neuropathic pain. This new research from McGill University shows that even small amounts of THC can make a noted difference in chronic pain levels. The article also shows how difficult it is to do research on marijuana in today’s political climate, so good on the researchers for sticking to their science!

The finding comes from what researchers in Montreal believe to be the first outpatient clinical trial of smoked cannabis, involving 21 people with chronic neuropathic pain.

The results, which included improvements in mood and sleep, were published Monday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

“Even with this kind of fixed dosing and limited exposure, we were able to show in a blinded fashion that the patients did obtain some analgesia, improvements in sleep quality and on one of the subscales of the quality-of-life measure, we found that the anxiety was mildly improved as well,” Ware said.

“This may help in developing policy, or improving policy, or improving doctors’ willingness to consider this as an approach when all else has failed.”

Side-effects — the euphoria associated with smoking pot — were “very, very rare,” Ware said.

“I think because the doses we used were very low,” he explained.

The Star has more

Get High and Fight Cancer

A new drug derived from marijuana is now available to Canadians, but you don’t actually get high from it. Sativex is a drug that uses part of the marijuana plant that has no psychoactive effects to relive pain – relatively, this can be like getting high. The U.K. has already approved drugs based off of marijuana which means Canada isn’t the first nation to do this.

Gordon said Sativex, which is primarily composed of THC and cannabidiol – a non-psychoactive cannabinoid – hasn’t produced any adverse side-effects in patients, something other pain medications, particularly opioids, can’t claim.

She said patients who react negatively to other medications shouldn’t have to suffer because of their sensitivity.

“Any extra tool in that tool kit to allow for increased comfort is welcome,” she said.

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