Travel Writer Rick Steves to Hold News Conference in Support of Ending Marijuana Prohibition in Illinois

Rick Steves

On Tuesday at 9a, Steves will join Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy to promote their legislation to regulate marijuana for adults; Steves will testify at legislative committee after event

CHICAGO, Nov. 27, 2017 /Weed Wire/ — Travel guru Rick Steves will visit Illinois on Tuesday to advocate for legislation to make marijuana legal for adults and regulate it similarly to alcohol. Steves will join Senate Appropriations Chairwoman Heather Steans (D-Chicago) and House Committee on Public Safety and Appropriations Chairwoman Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) for a news conference on Tuesday morning to discuss why Illinois lawmakers should support regulating and taxing marijuana. The event is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. CT in the James R. Thompson Center Blue Room on the 15th floor.

Directly following the news conference, Steves will testify across the street at a joint hearing of several committees of the Illinois General Assembly regarding economic opportunities following cannabis legalization. This hearing will take place at 10 a.m. in the Michael A. Bilandic Building on the 6th floor in Room C600.

Steves will be also be available for interviews on Tuesday afternoon between noon and 6 p.m. CT. Please contact Chris Lindsey to schedule a conversation.

Heather Steans

SB 316 and HB 2353, introduced by Chairwomen Steans and Cassidy, would make it legal for adults 21 and older to possess, grow, and purchase limited amounts of marijuana. The state would license and regulate businesses to cultivate, process, test, and sell marijuana to adults, and it would create and enforce strict health and safety regulations, such as testing and labeling requirements and restrictions on marketing.


Kelly Cassidy

WHAT: News conference featuring travel writer Rick Steves in support of legislation to regulate and tax marijuana for adult use

WHEN: Tuesday, November 28, 2017, news conference at 9 a.m. CT, hearing at 10 a.m. CT

Following his testimony, Steves will be available for interviews from 12 to 6 p.m. CT. To guarantee an interview with Rick Steves, please schedule ASAP with Chris Lindsey at or 406-540-2323.

Chris Lindsey

WHERE: News conference — James R. Thompson Center, 15th floor, Blue Room, 100 W. Randolph Street, Chicago; hearing — Michael A. Bilandic Building, 6th Floor, Room C600, 160 North LaSalle Street, Chicago

WHO: Rick Steves
Chairwoman Heather Steans
Chairwoman Kelly Cassidy
Chris Lindsey, Marijuana Policy Project
Additional members of the Coalition for a Safer Illinois

The Coalition for a Safer Illinois is a coalition of citizens, community leaders, and local and national organizations that support ending marijuana prohibition in Illinois and replacing it with a system in which marijuana is regulated and taxed similarly to alcohol. For more information, visit

New Mexico Study Finds Medical Marijuana May Help Reduce Opioid Addiction

Medical marijuana may help reduce opioid addiction in patients suffering from chronic pain, according to a new study published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.

Drs. Jacob Miguel Vigil and Sarah See Stith

Lead by Drs. Jacob Miguel Vigil and Sarah See Stith, researchers observed 37 patients suffering chronic pain who both habitually used opioids and chose to enroll in New Mexico’s medical marijuana program between the years 2010 and 2015.

For that same period of time, researchers also observed 29 similar patients that chose not to enroll in the state’s medical marijuana program and compared the two groups using the state’s Prescription Monitoring Program opioid records for a 21-month observation period.

At the end of the observation period, researchers found that patients using medical marijuana were 17 times more likely to cease their opioid prescriptions, five times more likely to reduce their daily opioid dosage and on average saw a 47% reduction in their daily opioid dosage, compared to a 10% increase in the group that chose not to use medical marijuana.

“Current levels and dangers of opioid use in the U.S. warrant the investigation of harm-reducing treatment alternatives,” Vigil said in a statement.

“Our results highlight the necessity of more extensive research into the possible uses of cannabis as a substitute for opioid painkillers, especially in the form of placebo-based, randomized controlled trials and larger sample observational studies.”

Il THC può trattare le malattie cardiovascolari indotte dal diabete – BeLeaf

Secondo un nuovo studio pubblicato dalla rivista BioMed Research International , il tetraidrocannabinolo (THC) potrebbe essere “un potenziale nuovo bersaglio per il trattamento delle malattie cardiovascolari indotte dal diabete”.

“Lo scopo di questo studio era di determinare se la somministrazione cronica di basse dosi di un  agonista del recettore cannabinoide non specifico  potesse fornire effetti cardioprotettivi in ​​un modello di diabete mellito di tipo I”, afferma l’abstract dello studio.

“Il diabete è stato indotto in ratti Wistar-Kyoto maschi di otto settimane.

A seguito dell’induzione del diabete, il 9- tetraidrocannabinolo è stato somministrato mediante iniezione intraperitoneale (0,15 mg kg -1  giorno -1 ) per un periodo di otto settimane fino a che gli animali hanno raggiunto sedici settimane di età. ”

Al termine del trattamento, sono state effettuate “valutazioni della reattività vascolare e della funzione ventricolare sinistra ed elettrofisiologia, come pure marcatori sierici di stress ossidativo e perossidazione lipidica”. Secondo i ricercatori, “la somministrazione di Δ 9 -Tetraidrocannabinolo a animali diabetici ha ridotto significativamente la glicemia e le concentrazioni e le alterazioni patologiche attenuate nei marcatori sierici dello stress ossidativo e della perossidazione lipidica.

Cambiamenti positivi agli indici biochimici negli animali diabetici hanno migliorato la funzione miocardica e vascolare.

Questo studio dimostra che “la somministrazione cronica di basse dosi di Δ 9-tetraidrocannabinolo può provocare effetti anti-iperglicemici e antiossidanti negli animali diabetici, portando a miglioramenti nella funzione degli organi terminali del sistema cardiovascolare. ”

L’abstract si conclude affermando che “Le implicazioni di questo studio suggeriscono che  i recettori dei cannabinoidi potrebbero essere un potenziale nuovo bersaglio per il trattamento delle malattie cardiovascolari indotte dal diabete”.

Lo studio completo, condotto dai ricercatori della  Central Queensland University in Australia, può essere trovato sul sito Web del National Institute of Health degli Stati Uniti cliccando qui .


Sorgente: Il THC può trattare le malattie cardiovascolari indotte dal diabete – BeLeaf

Grimes Encourages Kentucky Cities, Counties To Endorse Medical Marijuana

U.S. Marijuana Party of Kentucky

Posted: Nov 29, 2017 2:59 PM CST Updated: Nov 29, 2017 2:59 PM CST

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) – Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes is encouraging Kentucky cities and counties to endorse medical marijuana legislation which can help their citizens, many who are veterans fighting physical and mental illnesses, get care and relief they need.

“It’s clear momentum is building for medical cannabis in Kentucky. I challenge our local officials in cities and counties across the Commonwealth to join in the effort to bring relief to thousands of Kentuckians who suffer daily – their own citizens,” Grimes said. “This affects people in every county and corner of the state. Local officials should step up for their constituents to support medical cannabis legislation in the General Assembly in 2018. We can’t leave our people who are hurting behind.”

Maysville and Mason County have recently taken official action in support of…

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(KY) Magistrates voice support for legalizing medical cannabis

U.S. Marijuana Party of Kentucky


By Laura Harvey Lead Reporter

Nearly two weeks after Kentucky’s secretary of state announced convening a special task force to propose the legalization of medical cannabis, two Hopkins County magistrates have voiced their support for the action.

Currently, 29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia allow their citizens to use marijuana in some form — whether for recreation or medicinal purposes. The majority, including Illinois and Ohio, have legalized cannabis for medical purposes only.

On Nov. 15, Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes announced that she had created a task force to focus on a similar legislative proposal. The group includes members of the state’s medical community, law enforcement, medical marijuana advocates and military veterans.

State Rep. John Sims, of Flemingsburg is currently drafting medical marijuana legislation for the 2018 session. On Tuesday, two members of the Hopkins County Fiscal Court voiced their support for the proposal during…

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Sex differences in the endocannabinoid system lead to very different cannabis experiences

Recent study looks at how men and women might experience cannabis differently

Men are more likely to develop cannabis dependence, but women are prone to developing it faster, say some researchers. They think that this odd phenomenon is explained by sex differences in the endocannabinoid system that lead to very different cannabis experiences.

The idea is that the sex differences in this biological system would influence the type and severity of acute and withdrawal effects experienced by men and women, which ultimately influences their patterns of use or abuse.

However suggestive, this hypothesis is still equivocal. Some studies suggest that women have stronger withdrawal effects to cannabis, but others find no such evidence. Some argue that the differences are real but obscured by the fact that women use less cannabis. Yet others say that while the overall prevalence of withdrawal symptoms is the same, the two sexes experience different types of symptoms—but then they disagree on what these symptoms are.

Studies on the acute effects of cannabis are not much better. Some indicate that women experience higher subjective effects for smoked cannabis, and others find that women experience less. One study suggested that this varies as a function of dose, with women experiencing greater subjective effects at low doses and less effects at higher doses, when compared to men. Because the studies differ widely in terms of samples and methods, it is difficult to assess whose evidence is more solid. Similar issues exist regarding the acute cognitive effects experienced by both sides.

A study published last year in the journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research might help clarify some of these questions. A team of three researchers led by Dr. Carrie Cuttler from the Washington State University conducted a large online survey of recreational and medicinal cannabis users, inquiring about use patterns and perceived effects.

A considerably large sample of 2374 participants (42% of which were female) completed the survey. Men were more likely to use cannabis for recreational purposes, whereas females were more likely to use it for medicinal purposes. Not surprisingly, men reported using cannabis more frequently and in higher quantities.

While men and women did not differ in regard to the age of first use, the data showed that women were twice as likely to initiate cannabis use after the age of 30. In terms of preferred administration route, men were more likely to use joints, vaporizers and concentrates, whereas women were more likely to use pipes and oral products (edibles, tinctures, and capsules).

The two groups did not show any differences in reported trouble reducing or stopping cannabis use. They shared similar beliefs regarding its safety, with the only difference being that women were less likely to be aware that cannabis is addictive.

In line with previous studies, men and women reported different specific withdrawal symptoms. Men were more likely to experience insomnia and vivid dreams (probably related to THC disrupting REM sleep), while women were more likely to experience nausea and anxiety after cannabis cessation. When the authors summed the individual symptoms, they observed that overall 40% of the participants did not indicate experiencing any withdrawal symptoms.

In terms of acute effects, men were more likely to report improvements in memory, appetite, increased enthusiasm and ‘musicality’, as well as altered sense of time. In contrast, women were more likely to experience loss of appetite and increased desire of tidiness.

Nearly 60% of the participants used cannabis for medical purposes. The most frequent targets were anxiety, depression, pain and nausea, with several participants using cannabis for more than one issue.

Women used medical cannabis more often than men to treat anxiety, nausea, anorexia, irritable bowel syndrome, and headaches and migraines. No differences were observed for subjective efficacy of medical cannabis, except that men were more likely to experience headache/migraine relief from medical cannabis than women.

Overall, these results confirm that there are small but significant sex differences in cannabis use patterns, acute effects, and withdrawal effects. This information could be relevant to understand how changes in the endocannabinoid system relate to different impacts of cannabis intake.

In contrast, the researchers detected only trivial sex differences when it came to medical cannabis use, and in specific, to participants’ perceived efficacy in a myriad of conditions. This suggests that cannabis therapeutics can, for most cases, be designed without concerns for sexual differences.

CannaTrade 2018: la grande fiera internazionale della canapa a Zurigo – DolceVita

Dopo le edizioni di Berna e Basilea, anche nella prossima edizione il CannaTrade sarà organizzato a Zurigo, ma cambierà location rispetto al 2016, trasferendosi presso il padiglione fieristico del quartiere di Oerlikon, scelta che si preannuncia azzeccata anche in virtù della posizione del quartiere, posto nel centro della città

Il CannaTrade 2018 si preannuncia come sempre ricco di stand dove conoscere le principali novità europee sulla cannabis in tutte le sue sfaccettature, ricreativa, alimentare, terapeutica e industriale. Diversi stand saranno presenti anche a presentare infiorescenze e resine legali ad alto contenuto di CBD, un settore che proprio in Svizzera, anche grazie alla legislazione più favorevole che ammette varietà fino all’1% di THC, ha la sua avanguardia.

CannaTrade sarà aperta al pubblico venerdì 27 (dalle 11 alle 19),  sabato 28 (11-20) e domenica 29 aprile (11-18). L’ingresso costa tra i 13 e i 15 franchi svizzeri. Dolce Vita è media partner dell’evento e sarà presente tutti e tre i giorni con uno stand per conoscere i lettori e distribuire la rivista.

Per info:

Sorgente: CannaTrade 2018: la grande fiera internazionale della canapa a Zurigo – DolceVita

La Cannabis Light presto sarà venduta anche nelle tabaccherie? – DolceVita

Il mercato delle infiorescenze di canapa a contenuto legale di Thc, la cosiddetta cannabis light, sta diventando sempre più promettente, tanto da fare gola a molti. In Svizzera la Coop ne ha iniziato la distribuzione nei negozi della grande distribuzione, mentre in Italia è ora la Federazione italiana tabaccai (Fit) a fiutare l’affare.

In un comunicato la Fit chiede al Ministero della Salute e all’Agenzia delle dogane e dei monopoli di emettere «un intervento chiarificatore» affinché le tabaccherie italiane possano avere notizie certe «riguardo alla liceità o meno della vendita al pubblico dei prodotti a base di “cannabis light”».

Il comunicato si spinge oltre, dichiarando che in caso non arrivi nessuna comunicazione da parte degli enti preposti, i tabaccai si riterranno autorizzati a vendere le infiorescenze di canapa: «Resta inteso che in assenza di diverse indicazioni utili a rilevare profili di illiceità riguardo la vendita di tali prodotti, ci riterremo legittimati a ritenere tali attività non vietate dalla legge e, come tali, esercitabili anche dalla nostra rete».

E a dire il vero alcune tabaccherie, come ammesso anche dalla Fit, hanno già deciso di rompere gli indugi e iniziare a vendere la cannabis light. Un processo che però non è visto con favore da tutte le aziende produttrici, e anzi osteggiato fin dall’inizio da quella che per ora è maggiormente diffusa sul nascente mercato italiano: Easy Joint.

Sorgente: La Cannabis Light presto sarà venduta anche nelle tabaccherie? – DolceVita


When Moriah Barnhart’s 2-year-old daughter Dahlia was attacked by intense tremors, fever and nausea in May 2013, she rushed the girl to a Tampa emergency room. A week later, after surgery for an aggressive and cancerous brain tumor, Dahlia couldn’t eat, walk or talk.

Moriah Barnhart and Dahlia

Three weeks later, her left side partly paralyzed, Dahlia was moved to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis for experimental treatments. She soon stopped breathing, a device had to be implanted in her skull to drain excess fluid, and her chemotherapy drugs had spread sores throughout her mouth and gastrointestinal tract. Subsequent treatments caused nerve and brain damage, vomiting and weight loss.

Barnhart was determined to save her daughter’s life, but she agonized as the child struggled with pain and sickness. “You want to save your child. That’s your first and foremost instinct,” she said. “But after watching them suffer for so long it becomes a question of quality of life.”

Finally, after six months, Barnhart decided to try alternative treatments, ordering whole-plant extract cannabis oil sent to St. Jude’s and giving it to her daughter through a syringe. Dahlia, her mother said, awoke the next morning with a regular appetite after sleeping for more than a few hours for the first time in her life.

Marijuana is illegal in Florida in all forms. But at that point, Barnhart said, “there was no looking back.” In 2014, Barnhart founded CannaMoms, an organization that helps parents get information on medical cannabis, raises money for families and research, and petitions for the federal reclassification of marijuana.

Prompted by their children’s suffering, parents have risked prosecution and uprooted their families to use medical marijuana, sometimes leaving states where it is not legal for those where it is. And some, like Barnhart, have added their voices to the debate over legalization, becoming vocal advocates in states across the U.S.



Cannabis is a Schedule I drug in the eyes of the federal government, meaning it is found to have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin and LSD. Despite that status, 23 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. More are expected to vote on legalization measures in 2016.

Medical marijuana treatment for children has been a relatively small part of the national discussion surrounding the legalization of cannabis for medical and recreational purposes. Motivated by the health of their children, parents are organizing to accelerate medical research and the legislative process. In doing so, they sometimes skirt state and federal laws in search of relief for their children.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) opposes the use of medical marijuana in children except in end-of-life situations or when all other treatments have failed. Still, research is being done into the potential medical benefits of cannabis in both adults and children.

The National Cancer Institute has acknowledged marijuana’s potential benefits in treating chemotherapy side effects in patients. Stories like Dahlia’s, meanwhile, are largely the anecdotal byproduct of parents who have treated their children experimentally.

Kevin Chapman

“Everybody is doing something different,” said Kevin Chapman, a brain spinal cord and nervous system specialist at Children’s Hospital Colorado who is studying the usefulness of cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid found in marijuana, in treating epilepsy in children. “It’s fairly challenging to know exactly what is working.”

Experts say that until definitive research of marijuana’s medical usefulness is produced, it is unlikely that medical associations will endorse it as a treatment — and its federal status will remain.

“The big problem is that there are virtually no studies on it,” said Seth Ammerman, a clinical professor of adolescent medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine and member of the AAP. “It’s hard to recommend a treatment when there’s no big evidence base.”



As medical professionals wait for more conclusive evidence, parents are organizing to educate their communities and lobby government to change the stigma surrounding cannabis consumption for medical purposes.

Thalia Michelle’s son Lance was diagnosed with autism right before his third birthday, showing signs of aggression and hurting himself. Michelle, a self-described Republican in Austin, Texas, had never considered using marijuana to ease her son’s symptoms until Amy Fawell, a member of her support group for parents of autistic children, suggested she investigate cannabis treatments.

Amy Fawell

She began giving him hemp oil, which is legal to purchase, but not produce, in the U.S., orally.



“It opened up the entire world for us,” Michelle said of her son’s reaction to the treatment.

Michelle and her son, Lance, whose autism symptoms she treats with hemp oil

Michelle and Fawell went on to start Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism in March 2014. They lobbied to make autism a qualifying condition for medical marijuana; a bill passed by the Texas legislature this year only allowed CBD treatment, which uses cannabidiol for intractable epilepsy.

Michelle says MAMMA will continue to work with state legislators to expand access for more types of illnesses. “We’re a different demographic than they’re used to seeing,” she said. “When we talk about our lives, our kids, why this medicine is beneficial and why we believe we should have access, most people really get it.”

Elsewhere, parents have reached across state lines to try to break down the federal barriers to medical marijuana access.

The Parents Coalition for Rescheduling Medical Cannabis is made up of parents from Georgia, Alabama, Nebraska, Iowa and other states, many who worked toward legalization in their own states or moved to states where it is legal or there is better access to treatment. They hope to remove marijuana from its Schedule I classification to facilitate research, increase access and let families that have become so-called “refugees” return home.

Barnhart, meanwhile, says CannaMoms has been opening chapters across the country, and hopes to raise enough money in 2016 for a human study of the benefits of medical marijuana in the U.S. While there have been studies on the plant’s potential to treat chemotherapy side effects, there have been no clinical trials on humans for marijuana treatments for cancer, according to the National Cancer Institute.

Many of these parents continue treating their children with medical marijuana while risking criminal charges of child endangerment — even in states where medical marijuana is legal.

State child protection agencies have the authority to take children out of situations deemed dangerous, such as environments with controlled substances, according to experts. I marijuana is obtained by a parent illegally or bought legally by a parent and then administered to a child, protection agencies could intervene.

Charlie Rose

“It’s a legal minefield parents walk across on a daily basis,” said Charlie Rose, director of the Center for Excellence in Advocacy at Stetson University College of Law. “They often don’t know what the problems are until they step on them.


‘We’re proud to be criminals’

After Dahlia began the cannabis oil treatment, she was slowly weaned off morphine, drugs for neuropathic pain, nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulants. Barnhart moved her family to Colorado — after agreeing to continue less harsh oral chemotherapy and blood tests — for better access to cannabis oil.

Dahlia’s chemotherapy ended in June 2014, but Barnhart kept her on the cannabis oil. In the 12 months that followed, Dahlia’s MRI tests continued to show tumor shrinkage. The family moved back home to Florida, where access to cannabis oil was more limited.

After returning to Florida, Barnhart said, Dahlia’s cannabis treatment became much less consistent, and tests began to show new tumor growth. Barnhart says she immediately put Dahlia back on cannabis oil and is “still working to ensure she will have a consistent supply of tested, safe oil.”

“We already know we’re criminals, we’re proud to be criminals,” said Barnhart. “If we weren’t, we wouldn’t be doing everything we could to help our children. I’m proud to say I break bad laws to save lives.