Texas' new cannabis laws screw PTSD sufferers. Again.

Back in 2015, the great state of Texas passed The Compassionate Use Act, making the use of cannabis for medical purposes totally cool... in a small number of instances. Only those with epilepsy are allowed to use the plant's properties to ease their symptoms and the cannabis that they're allowed to use must contain minuscule amounts of THC. This left Texans who'd like to turn to cannabis to help ease their way out of opioid use or deal with chronic pain, to saddle up and move to a less restrictive state or risk being arrested. Recently, the state's lawmakers looked to reforming the restrictive act, Once again, too small a group of folks wound up being told that they're cool to roll with a bit of cannabis in their lives. One of the biggest groups excluded: individuals suffering from PTSD.

From The Texas Observer:

Activists say opposition to cannabis reform is partially based on fearmongering over alleged dangers of marijuana by Republicans and law enforcement officials, a powerful group at the Lege. False claims and junk science often go unchallenged in a vacuum created by the lack of research into cannabis. (Marijuana’s status as a Schedule I drug is a significant barrier to studying the plant’s uses.) For three sessions, the Rural Sheriffs Association of Texas has peddled its report that falsely claims pot lowers IQ scores, is addictive and increases criminality. In March, Plano Police Sergeant Terence Holway told lawmakers in a committee hearing that “all drug addicts … started with marijuana.”

Brian Birdwell, a GOP state senator and Desert Storm Army veteran, spoke about his “highly guarded sense of danger” about marijuana for more than 20 minutes during the Senate debate of HB 3703.

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The difference between CBD and THC in cannabis, explained

With weed becoming welcome in more locales every week, a lot of folks may be considering partaking for the first time. If you count yourself among them, chances are that you already know what cannabis can do for you. However, it might also do you some good to understand exactly how it does what it does. This short video will see you sorted out. Read the rest

That Arctic doomsday seed vault? There's backup copies of cannabis in there, too. Lots.

This week, the "doomsday seed vault" (as it's known in headlines, anyway) made the news because scientists made the first "withdrawal" from the remote arctic store. But there's another reason to be excited about the underground vault on Norway's Svalbard archipelago. Weed! And when shit gets real, we're gonna need it. Read the rest

Get your medical marijuana card online

A quick web consultation and $95 will get you a doctor's letter of recommendation for medical marijuana. Read the rest

Washington State's medical marijuana milieu is almost too good to be true

Pinch me! I must be dreaming. Illustrated by Michael Arnold

City of Oakland sues to prevent closure of embattled medical marijuana dispensary

The NYT reports on a lawsuit filed by the City of Oakland in federal court to prevent the Department of Justice from seizing property leased to Harborside Health Center. Previous posts on Boing Boing about the facility here and here. Read the rest

Newt Gingrich's pro-medical marijuana letter to Journal of the American Medical Ass'n., 1982

"On Sept 16, 1981, Representative Stewart McKinney and I introduced legislation designed to end bureaucratic interference in the use of marijuana as a medicant. We believe licensed physicians are competent to employ marijuana, and patients have a right to obtain marijuana legally, under medical supervision, from a regulated source." Newt Gingrich, hypocritical piece of shit, was pro-medical-cannabis "way back before he wanted to behead people and cut off their hands for possessing it," notes Dangerous Minds. Read the rest

Why the raw cannabis juicing trend may not be all it's juiced up to be

Earlier today, I posted a quick link to an LA Weekly item about a new round of media attention devoted to Dr. William Courtney, and his research on juicing cannabis for health benefits.

The tl;dr of his idea: with raw cannabis juice, you don't get high, but you do get various health benefits.

Hmmm. I was curious about the largely uncritical internet coverage I was seeing, and wondered about the science—so I asked Michael Backes and Amy Robertson of Abatin Wellness Center of Sacramento what they thought. Abatin is a medical marijuana collective you may have heard of because of its link to MS sufferer and med-can advocate Montel Williams; they're also very legit and science-oriented, and Backes has a long history in technology and the sciences. The tl;dr of their response is: it's not quite that simple, and cannabis juicing could even pose some risks for certain patients. "The raw plants have substances to discourage critters from eating them that can cause allergic reactions in some," explains Robertson, "And can you imagine how unpleasant this would taste?"

"The throat irritation is based on the fact that the stems of cannabis have sharp little hairs," explains Backes. "Typically, this wouldn't be a problem for those juicing the plant, but make chewing on a cannabis stems a no-no."

More below.

And, a disclosure: the topic is of personal interest to me because I was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and I'm undergoing chemotherapy. Chemo sucks, and I have learned that medical cannabis is a very effective aid for related side effects—but not all delivery methods are equally helpful. Read the rest