Faster Recovery, Stronger Bone
A new study conducted by Tel Aviv University scientists and reported in the Journal of Bone and Mineral Research has found that one of the ingredients in marijuana significantly speeds up and enhances the healing process in broken bones. The key element, cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) provided measurable improvements in healing mid-femoral leg fractures within eight weeks, even when isolated from other cannabis chemicals. In addition, according to one study author, after treatment with CBD "the healed bone will be harder to break in the future." CBD is not psychoactive, thus is neither disorienting nor in itself illegal, and has been shown to be safe for medical use in previous studies, which determined that it also benefits from anti-inflammatory properties.
DEA Interference Now Outlawed
It hasn't received much notice in the media, but when President Obama signs the 1,603-page federal spending bill this week, it will signal the end of the federal government's decades long opposition to medicinal marijuana, and a fundamental change in national drug policy. A measure included in the bill specifically prohibits federal drug agents from staging raids or otherwise interfering with individual states' medicinal marijuana programs. Similar measures in the past failed to win sufficient Congressional support, but traditional advocates, mostly Democrats, were joined this time by Republicans who endorsed the proposal in the name of states' rights, and who were very likely influenced by surveys showing that even a healthy majority of Republican voters favor legalizing medicinal pot.
17th US State to Approve Weed
Medical marijuana has been legalized in Connecticut making it the 17th US state to legalize the drug. Other states, plus the District of Columbia, where medical marijuana is legal, have reported abuses and CT’s law entails restrictions to prevent abuse. Says Governor Dannel Malloy, "With careful regulation and safeguards, this law will allow a doctor and a patient to decide what is in that patient's best interest.” Patients and their caregivers must register with the Department of Protection and a doctor must certify that there is a medical need for the drug. "For years, we've heard from so many patients with chronic diseases who undergo treatments like chemotherapy or radiation and are denied the palliative benefits that medical marijuana would provide," adds the governor.
Amazing They Answered the Phone
According to the most recent Gallup Poll, a record 50% of Americans now say that marijuana should be legalized, and 70% favor MDs being allowed to prescribe it to relieve pain or suffering. The pro-legalization percentage in polls, which was 12% in 1969 (versus 84% opposed), held steady in the mid-20% range from around 1978 to 1995, but has inched up steadily since then, hitting 40% in 2009 and 46% in 2010. This is also the first Gallup poll in which more Americans favor legalization than oppose it, 50% to 46%. A nationwide survey in 2009 found that nearly 17% of Americans 12 years old or older had used it in the previous month, an increase over surveys taken in the years 2002-2008. Given that 69% of those aged 18-29 are in favor, its legalization seems ultimately assured.
The Controversy Continues
The CA Medical Assn, the state’s largest medical group representing more than 35,000 doctors, calls for the legalization of marijuana. Dr. Donald Lyman, author of the group’s new policy, says it was born out of frustration with CA’s medical marijuana law which allows doctors to prescribe the illegal substance. "It’s an uncomfortable position for doctors. It is an open question whether cannabis is useful or not. That question can only be answered once it is legalized and more research is done. Then, and only then, can we know what it is useful for." The CMA calls for the regulation of marijuana use - and the debate to legalize the substance rages on. Last year CA voters rejected Prop 19 which would have legalized the cultivation and possession of limited amounts of cannabis.
Weed Approved in Washington, DC
The District of Columbia Council approved a measure allowing patients suffering from certain chronic illnesses to receive two ounces per month of medical marijuana from city-regulated dispensaries. The vote was unanimous. New York Times reports that the medical marijuana amount allowed per patient each month may be moved up by the mayor to four ounces without further council action. Patients with glaucoma, cancer, HIV and other chronic illnesses may soon be prescribed medical marijuana in the District of Columbia. Medical marijuana is believed to help with side effects from chemotherapy. For glaucoma patients, marijuana can lower eye pressure. As long as federal lawmakers don't object, DC will join the 14 states that currently allow marijuana for medical purposes.