A year after the federal government approved a study for the use of marijuana by veterans in treating post-traumatic stress disorder the work may at last get underway. The National Institute of Drug Abuse on Wednesday informed the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies that it is ready to supply researchers with marijuana needed for the study, Brad Burge, spokesman for MAPS, told Military.com. The study will mark the first federally approved study in which the subjects will be able to ingest the marijuana by smoking it, he said. It will also be “the first whole-plant marijuana study,” meaning the marijuana will not simply be an extract of the cannabis in a manufactured delivery system, such as a pill. Burge said 76 veterans will take part in the study, which will measure the effects of different potencies of smoked marijuana in treating their symptoms. The Veterans Affairs Department estimates that between 11 and 20 percent of Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans suffer from PTSD. For veterans of the Persian Gulf War, the estimate is 12 percent, and for Vietnam veterans, 15 percent, the VA estimates.
Recently, Canada’s Supreme Court met to determine whether cannabis-infused edibles should be allowed under the country’s medical marijuana program, the MMPR. While no ruling has been issued yet, the question presented was whether Health Canada restricting patients from legally accessing and consuming edibles in addition to physician-prescribed cannabis violates their patients’ constitutional right to life, liberty, and safety. Insisting you have a constitutional right to eat an infused cookie may seem a little absurd, but it’s what Owen Smith’s lawyer argued after his client was charged with possession for the purpose of trafficking and unlawful possession of cannabis after he was arrested for having infused cooking oil and a couple hundred cookies in 2009. Smith was acquitted in 2012 after the judge agreed that removing a patient’s choice of consuming edibles as a medicinal option forces that patient to smoke medical marijuana at the expense of his or her health.
Supporters and opponents of legalized marijuana in Ohio clashed over potential medical and economic impacts yesterday at a Columbus Metropolitan Club Forum. Representatives from ResponsibleOhio, the group pushing a legalization ballot issue for the Nov. 3 general election, said at the forum at the Athletic Club of Columbus that if passed, the measure would end a dangerous black market in Ohio. In its place, the group argued, would be a regulated system that would create jobs and provide help for people with chronic illnesses who would benefit from medical marijuana. Opponents from the Drug Free Action Alliance of Ohio and a similar group in Colorado countered that the legalization proposal is nothing more than a drug cartel intended to make a small number of people rich. They also argued it would trigger increased marijuana use by young people, and more health problems and societal costs.
Police in New Mexico’s capital appear to be largely ignoring a new city ordinance that decriminalizes possession of small amounts of marijuana, according to records. Dozens of police reports show that Santa Fe officers since November have been filing cases only under state statute in Magistrate Court. Those cases involve possession of an ounce or less of marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia. Since Nov. 5, when the last verifiable citation was issued under the city ordinance, there have been more than 70 charges under the state statute. After the Santa Fe council voted last summer to adopt the new ordinance, officers were given discretion to issue citations under either municipal or state law. Those charged under state law face a criminal petty misdemeanor – punishable by up to 15 days in jail and fines up to $100 – that remains on a person’s record. Under the city’s ordinance, offenders are charged with a civil violation subject to a maximum $25 fine.
A sign for what would be Arkansas’ first marijuana dispensary appeared on an abandoned EZ Mart location Wednesday. Of course, marijuana is still illegal in Arkansas. It is also likely no coincidence that the banner appeared on April 1. The ten-foot banner placed on the front of the building, located at 2341 N. College Ave., advertises “Arkansas grown” marijuana dispensary will open on April 20. According to the sign, the business would serve “Madison County’s finest” crops for both “medicinal and recreational” use. Nobody seems to know who placed the sign and the building owner has no idea where it came from, either.