Health Canada To Face Lawsuit Over New Medical Marijuana Rules – Leaf Science

A B.C. lawyer and marijuana rights advocate, John Conroy, is close to filing a lawsuit on behalf of patients who say Health Canada’s new marijuana rules infringes on their rights to access the medicine.

Conroy and his legal team expects to file a constitutional challenge within weeks, reports the Vancouver Sun. They’ve reviewed more than 3,000 statements from patients across Canada and will pick 15 of the best to act as representatives in court.

While Health Canada’s implemented the changes in June, Conroy says the preparation process took longer than expected.

But he believes there’s still enough time before April 2013 – when the transition period ends and the new rules take over completely. By April next year, patients will no longer be allowed to grow medical marijuana at home.

Conroy tells the Vancouver Sun that he hopes a court injunction can extend the deadline until a resolution is reached.

“Still, we’re going to be looking for injunctive relief so that after March 31 – when the new rules come into effect – the status quo is maintained until after the court ruling so there is no damage done to these people and they have a supply of medicine.”

Conroy says about 60-70% of approved marijuana patients are on fixed disability pensions and will be unable to afford their medicine under the new system. The rules require that all patients purchase marijuana from large-scale producers, with the average price estimated to be $7-8 per gram.

Conroy says the current expense for patients who grow at home ranges from $1-4 per gram. Currently, close to 80% of approved patients grow for themselves or have a person designated to grow for them.

“We’re not asking the government to spend money and support these people. We’re just asking they be allowed to keep doing what they have been allowed to do. We think they should at the very least grandfather-in the current personal production licences.”

So far, the cost of medical marijuana has not been covered by major insurance providers. However, some patients have received support from Veteran Affairs Canada.

If the constitutional challenge fails, Conroy says he will consider helping patients sue for the money they spent on renovations and cultivation equipment to grow under the old rules.

[Vancouver Sun]

Health Canada To Face Lawsuit Over New Medical Marijuana Rules – Leaf Science.


Advocates, doctors urge state to add PTSD to medical pot treatment – Cronkite News

PHOENIX – Mike Ulinger, who retired after 30 years as a Phoenix firefighter, said he couldn’t go anywhere or do anything and became an alcoholic to self-treat post-traumatic stress disorder he attributes to his job.

“You don’t have to have a bullet coming at you to get PTSD,” he said.

On Tuesday, Ulinger and others, including several doctors, urged the Arizona Department of Health Services to add PTSD to the list of debilitating conditions qualifying patients for medical marijuana.

Ulinger said at a public hearing, which also addressed whether to add migraines and depression as qualifying conditions, that using marijuana had eased his PTSD symptoms.

“I don’t drink anymore,” he said. “I use marijuana.”

In 2010, Arizonans approved Proposition 203, calling for the medical use of marijuana, by fewer than 5,000 votes out of 1.6 million cast.

At present, eight distinct medical conditions qualify for medical marijuana treatment: cancer, Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease-associated agitation.

Other chronic diseases, conditions or treatments, such as muscle spasms caused by multiple sclerosis nausea, may also qualify.

The University of Arizona’s College of Public Health will create a final report for the Arizona Department of Health Services that incorporates public testimony, online comment and a review of medical literature. Will Humble, the agency’s director, will make a final decision by early January.

One doctor testified that he was concerned about marijuana smoke raising cancer risks, but others urged state health officials to consider new peer-reviewed studies supporting medical marijuana’s effectiveness treating PTSD symptoms, along with evidence from Israeli and Canadian studies.

Dr. Richard Strand, a retired Valley radiologist, said that although there is new research available showing that marijuana improves PTSD symptoms, federal agencies make it difficult to do prospective, double-blind studies considered the gold-standard in medicine.

“I am not a user, prescriber or a dispenser, but it’s hard to ignore how much the current evidence shows marijuana can help control PTSD symptoms, and maybe some Prop. 203 funds can be used to do more studies here in Arizona,” Strand said.

Attorney Joshua Miller with Greene Consulting Group, a legal firm engaged by marijuana advocacy groups, said that it is important that veterans have marijuana as a treatment choice for PTSD since “they develop this condition as they fight abroad for our freedoms.”

“When they come home, they do not yet have the freedom to choose a safe and effective treatment for their condition,” Miller said. “We are here today to ask you to grant that freedom.”

Jim Dyer, a Tucson medical malpractice attorney who uses medical marijuana as treatment for multiple sclerosis, a condition that now prevents him from practicing law, said he wants to make sure that decision-makers consider peer-reviewed evidence on both sides of the question.

“But, you don’t have any peer-reviewed articles that say it doesn’t help,” Dyer said.

Qualifying conditions:

• Cancer

• Glaucoma

• Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)

• Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)

• Hepatitis C

• Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

• Crohn’s disease

• Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease

• A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or the treatment for a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that causes: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe and chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe or persistent muscle spasms.

Advocates, doctors urge state to add PTSD to medical pot treatment – Cronkite News.


Cannabis Country: New Study Proves CBDs Kill Leukemia Cells

Last week, we wrote about how GW Pharmaceuticals will supply the US government with cannabis-derived cannabidiol (CBD) for a special Investigative New Drug program, so at least 50 children with epilepsy can try the non-psychoactive marijuana-derived compound as a way to control seizures and treat their disease.

Now, a GW-funded study published in the journal Anticancer Research has shown that cannabinoids – “the bioactive components of the cannabis plant that display a diverse range of therapeutic qualities” — can kill cancerous cells related to leukemia.

“Cannabinoids have a complex action; it hits a number of important processes that cancers need to survive,” Dr. Wai Liu, an author of the study, told The Huffington Post. “For that reason, it has really good potential over other drugs that only have one function. I am impressed by its activity profile, and feel it has a great future, especially if used with standard chemotherapies.”

One thing that doesn’t impress the St. George’s University of London oncologist, and his funders at GW Pharmaceuticals, however, is cannabis itself. While cannabinoids derived from marijuana display a “diverse range of therapeutic qualities” that “target and switch off” cancer cell growth, Dr. Liu described traditional cannabis oil as “crude,” taking great pains to tout pharmaceutical preparations over all other methods of ingesting this medicine. A position that neatly aligns with GW Pharmaceutical’s vested interest in eliminating any and all competition for its patented, “whole-plant extracts” of cannabis.

GW already produces Sativex, the world’s first plant-derived cannabinoid prescription drug, currently available in 11 countries for the treatment of spasticity due to multiple sclerosis. And they’ve got plans in the work to win approval for their product in the US, while greatly expanding the number of conditions for which Sativex can be prescribed.

In this new study, researchers grew leukemia cells, then cultured them with six pure cannabinoids derived from marijuana plants, noting the effects of CBD (Cannabidiol), CBDA (Cannabidiolic acid), CBG (Cannbigerol), CBGA (Cannabigerolic acid), CBGV (Cannabigevarin) and CBGVA (Cannabigevaric acid) — both in isolation and in various combinations.

Their findings indicated CBD might be especially effective in killing cancerous cells. Which makes sense given the many patients and physicians around the world already using high-CBD cannabis oil successfully.
The lesson here? Don’t let Big Pharma fool you with a bunch of trademarks, technical jargon and corporate double-speak. What this research really proves is that ingesting cannabis medicine can have profound anti-cancer effects. And you can put that in your pipe and smoke it.

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Cannabis Country: New Study Proves CBDs Kill Leukemia Cells.