NORML PAC Endorses John Fetterman for PA Lieutenant Governor

John Fetterman

The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Political Action Committee (NORML PAC) has announced its formal endorsement of John Fetterman for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania.

“Mr. Fetterman has been an unrelenting champion for reversing Pennsylvania’s failed and draconic policies when it comes to marijuana,” stated NORML PAC Executive Director Erik Altieri, “He understands the absolute devastation prohibition has wrought on families across the state, most acutely in already marginalized communities. Having John Fetterman as Lieutenant Governor would be a huge step forward in advancing civil liberties and racial justice in the Keystone State, we are proud to support his candidacy and call upon voters to cast their vote for him in the upcoming primary and then send him to Harrisburg in November. Together, we can make real progress towards sensible marijuana policy in Pennsylvania.”

Upon receiving the NORML PAC endorsement, Fetterman said, “I will never shy away from the doing the right thing, and fully legalizing marijuana is the right thing for Pennsylvania. We should go full-on Colorado. It’s a simple solution to the devastation I have seen first-hand of the Opioid Crisis, and the disproportionate impact of mass incarceration on communities of color. As Lt. Governor I will be the leading voice on this issue in Harrisburg.”

Jeff Reidy, Executive Director of the Lehigh Valley NORML chapter commented on the National group’s endorsement saying, “Presenting John Fetterman with this National NORML endorsement represents the unanimous support of NORML Chapters statewide, and the community’s support for his campaign and his family values. Mr Fetterman has long been a supporter of cannabis reform, our organization, and our end goal of legalization.”
According to the latest polling conducted by Independence Communications & Campaigns, Fetterman is leading the field of six candidates in the race for Lt. Governor with 20% of the vote. A September 2017 poll from Franklin and Marshall revealed that 59% of Pennsylvanians believe marijuana should be legalized and only 31% were opposed, the highest level of support the firm has reported for legalization since they began asking the question in 2006.

Learn more about John Fetterman and his campaign by visiting his website, Facebook, or Twitter.

The Pennsylvania Democratic Primary will be held on Tuesday, May 15th. You can check your voter registration and find your polling place by clicking HERE.

Trump says he’ll support protections for legal marijuana. Here’s what politicians and cannabis insiders are saying.

Politicians and cannabis industry insiders, alike, were surprised Friday morning by Colorado Sen. Cory Gardner’s announcement that he has struck a deal with President Donald J. Trump that would protect states’ marijuana laws from federal interference.

In a statement that summarized much of the reaction, Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR), the co-founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus, called the announcement “another head spinning moment.”

“We should hope for the best, but not take anything for granted. Trump changes his mind constantly, and Republican leadership is still in our way,” he said in a statement. “Momentum is clearly building in the states and here in DC. The tide is changing. Now is the time to redouble our efforts.”

He followed up with at tweet that asked, “can you feel the earth shifting for lasting marijuana reform??

Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, a co-founder of the Congressional Cannabis Caucus expressed cautions optimism.

“I am cautiously optimistic that this announcement is a meaningful step forward for the states’ rights and sensible marijuana policy,” Polis said in a statement to The Cannabist. “This is the type of solution I have advocated for during my time in Congress, most notably with the McClintock-Polis amendment, which I have repeatedly offered to prevent the federal government from interfering with states that have legalized marijuana.”

California Congresswoman Barbara Lee said in a statement emailed to The Cannabist that she hopes President Trump makes good on this commitment, because the federal government has no business interfering in states that have decriminalized cannabis. …

The Disgusting Hypocrisy of John Boehner

In a disgusting display of hypocrisy, former House Speaker John Boehner

John Boehner

joined the marijuana legalization movement earlier this week after opposing cannabis reform for decades. Boehner claims that his position on marijuana has “evolved” in recent years, but the move is depressingly consistent with his stance toward cashing in on his political influence.

Boehner declared his new position on marijuana at the same time as announcing his decision to join the cannabis investment group Acreage Holdings  as a member of its board of advisors (likely a euphemism for unregistered lobbyists).

That coincidence might seem innocent until you consider Boehner’s track record of selling out to to special-interest groups.

Back in 1995, then Congressman Boehner handed out checks from tobacco lobbyists to his colleagues on the floor of the House of Representatives while the chamber was deliberating whether or not to support government subsidies for tobacco farmers. That’s right: he was acting as Big Tobacco’s messenger boy by brazenly handing out checks in plain sight.

So it’s no surprise that after leaving Congress in 2015, Boehner immediately took a position as a lobbyist for Reynolds America – the distributors of Camels, which just so happen to be Boehner’s favorite cigarettes. It was the perfect job for the politician that NPR dubbed “the nation’s highest-ranking smoker” during his tenure as House Speaker. But that title is actually a misnomer because Boehner only approved of puffing one specific plant.

NEWS It’s Autism Awareness Month: Is Cannabis the Answer to Alleviating ASD Symptoms?

According to the CDC, one out of every 68 children in the U.S is born with autism. That’s a thirty percent increase from last year. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) affects people in varying degrees, from high-functioning folks who are verbal and often excel in areas like music, math and art, while less-functional ASD patients may harm themselves or have difficulty doing everyday tasks.

Scientists don’t fully understand what causes autism, but they are beginning to gain a better idea of its roots. Research shows that autism is tied to early brain development. In other cases, researchers identified environmental factors like a genetic predisposition to autism, which affects early brain development. The age of the parent, illness during conception and/or pregnancy, and lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during pregnancy (or other difficulties during pregnancy) are all risk factors.

With an increased number of children affected, more parents are searching for treatment, most notably parents with self-harming, nonsocial, nonverbal autistic children—children like Kalel Santiago. According to Dr. Giovanni Martinez, a clinical psychologist in Puerto Rico, Kalel couldn’t speak at all before his treatments with hemp oil. Because of his lack of speech, he acted out aggressively. After twice-daily doses of the hemp spray, Kalel began to speak for the first time in his life. “He started using the product three weeks ago. He was a full non-verbal patient. He only made sounds. The only change in his treatments was the use of CBD,” Dr. Martinez told Forbes.

The Santiagos use a CBD spray from a company called Hemp Health, and they’re not alone. Mothers Advocating Medical Marijuana for Autism (MAMMA) spans seven states, including Arizona, Georgia, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, Iowa and Illinois. They advocate for the right to treat their autistic children with medical marijuana, arguing that the antipsychotic medications doctors typically prescribe to ASD patients have adverse and sometimes serious side effects.

The two FDA-approved antipsychotics prescribed to autistic children are Risperidone (brand name Risperdal) and Aripiprazole (brand name Abilify). The serious side effects for Risperdal consist of “difficulty swallowing, muscle spasms, shaking (tremor), mental/mood changes (such as anxiety, restlessness), signs of infection (such as fever, persistent sore throat), interrupted breathing during sleep,” and even fainting and seizures. The side effects of Abilify consist of much of the same, including drooling and uncontrollable limb movements. It’s clear why these parents have chosen an alternative to these side effects, considering cannabidiol has no reported negative effects. And that’s where the dilemma lies.
All evidence showing cannabinoids can help with the symptoms of autism have been purely anecdotal—until now. In December of last year, the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) started working with Zelda Therapeutics, an Australian biopharmaceutical company, to study the effects of cannabis on children with autism. The hospital will not be providing the children with any cannabis, however: “We’re not giving them anything. We’re just gathering data to educate ourselves,” confirms Athena Zuppa, MD, MSCE, director of the hospital’s Center for Clinical Pharmacology. Pennsylvania set the precedent as the first state to count autism as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana, now one of eight states to have done so, along with the Washington, D.C.

This observational study will track patients who already use medical marijuana to treat autism, providing the empirical evidence needed to prove cannabis as an accepted form of treatment for the growing autistic population. But this is far from the first study done. In January of last year in Israel, Dr. Adi Aran set up the first-ever clinical trial to examine whether cannabis can treat autism symptoms. His study includes patients from ages five to twenty-nine, using two different types of cannabis oil and a placebo.

The findings from Dr. Aran’s study will give the rest of the world the push it needs to further their own medical cannabis research and treatment plans. Dr. Aran did warn, however, that cannabis “won’t cure the symptoms, that’s for sure. It will never cure autism. But it certainly can help the quality of life of the families.”

This National Autism Awareness Month, let’s promote awareness and acceptance. Acknowledge the importance of this month and continue the efforts of those affected by ASD—they deserve to have a choice in the medications and treatments used by their loved ones. Legalization of medical marijuana across the country could alleviate the pain and suffering of so many. Contact your state and county representatives, talk to your local hospitals, and if there’s not a group like MAMMA near you, create your own. In essence, live the DOPE life with us and continue to Defend Our Plant Everywhere.

Martellus Bennett: ‘About 89%’ of NFL players use marijuana

U.S. Marijuana Party of Kentucky


A.J. Perez, USA TODAY Sports Published 7:13 p.m. ET April 11, 2018

Estimates on the percentage of NFL players who use marijuana have been made, but recently retired tight end Martellus Bennett pinned the number pretty high.

“I want to say about 89%,” Bennett said on a Bleacher Report podcast hosted by Chris Simms and Adam Lefkoe.

Asked if it’s shocking when he finds out a teammate doesn’t smoke weed, Bennett responded, “You don’t smoke, bro?”

Bennett explained NFL players use it for reasons other than getting high, reasons which have been behind the push by many to allow the use of medical marijuana as an alternative to opioid painkillers and other prescription drugs.

“There are times of the year where your body just hurts so bad,” Bennett said. “You don’t want to be popping pills all the time. There are anti-inflammatory drugs you take so long that they…

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Home Office Denies FOI Request In Cover-Up Of All Information On Cannabis Production Licences

Peter Reynolds

On 6th March 2018 CLEAR submitted a Freedom of Information Request to the Home Office asking for full details of the licences accounting for the legal production of cannabis in the UK.  This arose from the story which we broke on 4th March revealing that the UK is the world’s largest producer and exporter of legal cannabis, this according to data provided to the International Narcotics Control Board (INCB) by the government.

The Home Office has refused the request.  Its grounds for refusal are that disclosure “would, or would be likely to, prejudice the commercial interests of any person or would be likely to prejudice the prevention or detection of crime“.

Presumably this means that the commercial interest of GW Pharmaceuticals and whoever else has been granted such licences would be prejudiced and that they would risk robbery or other crime at their places of business.

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PODS May Aid in Transporting Growth Factors for Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, Other Diseases

PODS (POlyhedrin Delivery System), a new technology designed to transport any protein in the human body, may open up new approaches in treating multiple sclerosis (MS) and other diseases, says its British developer, Cell Guidance Systems.

Created by Hajime Mori, a professor at Japan’s Kyoto Institute of Technology, PODS is based on a survival mechanism used by viruses.

Taking advantage of cubic microstructures formed by a protein called polyhedrin, PODS can stably transport and protect proteins across a range of extreme physical conditions. In the presence of proteases – enzymes that break down proteins – polyhedrin microcrystals are destroyed and slowly release their cargo. This allows PODS to transport unstable proteins such as growth factors, while ensuring a targeted constant release over weeks and months with only a single application.

“As with drugs, delivery mechanism for growth factors makes all the difference,” Christian Pernstich, research director at Cell Guidance Systems, said in a press release. “Standard growth factors are inflexible, sometimes unreliable and lack durability. POD technology overcomes these limitations in a very elegant way.”

The delivery of growth factors helps tissue recover in MS and many other medical conditions. Current MS treatment strategies focus mainly on relieving symptoms of the disease, and not so much on repairing the targeted destruction of central nervous system myelin that actually causes MS. The answer may lie in a new therapy that enables the efficient delivery of growth factors that which could regenerate myelin in MS patients.

Cell Guidance Systems is now conducting preclinical studies on PODS use for Parkinson’s disease, bone regeneration and other conditions.

“As well as research applications, we are actively exploring the medical potential of this technology for vaccine production and for delivery of therapeutic proteins,” said Pernstich. “We are aiming to regenerate tissues that have been damaged by diseases such as multiple sclerosis, osteoarthritis and Parkinson’s disease. It is a very promising and exciting technology.”

Umbria: un convegno per unire le due anime della canapa, medica ed industriale – DolceVita

Riunire in un convegno le due anime della canapa, quella industriale rivolta a settori come l’alimentare, il tessile, il cartario e la bioedilizia e quella terapeutica destinata all’uso medico per la cura di varie patologie umane ma anche animali grazie alla declinazione ad uso veterinario del principio attivo.

E’ l’idea dell’associazione Canapamo che insieme alla Cantina di Filippo ed all’azienda Umbria Canapa hanno scelto come data l’8 aprile che cade all’interno della settimana medioevale di Bevagna, ricca di fascino ed evocazioni storiche. “Quale miglior location se non il mercato coperto delle Gaite?” si chiedono gli organizzatori specificando che in questo luogo la manifestazione in passato ha riportato in scena gli antichi canapari, i lavoratori della canapa che facevano parte di questa terra e che qui l’hanno coltivata per decenni.

“In Umbria ormai la canapa sta dilagando”,  racconta Simone Casagrande Moretti, il presidente dell’associazione sottolineando che: “Nella nostra Regione diverse aziende agricole hanno messo o sono intenzionate a convertire parte dei loro terreni verso la coltivazione della canapa. Il perché va cercato nella sempre più pressante necessità di diversificare, di trovare, anche in colture antiche come in questo caso, nuovi mercati e nuovi sbocchi. Perché la canapa può essere il futuro per una crescita etica e bio della nostra economia agricola ed industriale ma anche per il segmento occupazionale con le nuove professionalità e specializzazioni che si verranno a creare”.

L’evento di domenica 8 aprile (QUI il programma completo) “Canapa Industriale e Cannabis Terapeutica: due mondi a confronto” sarà dunque una nuova occasione di approfondimento per tutti gli interessati.

Dalle ore 9.30 e durante la mattinata si parlerà di canapa nell’alimentare, nella bioedilizia, nella produzione di carta e nel tessile. Nella sessione pomeridiana invece, a partire dalle 15.00, si tratterà il tema Cannabis Terapeutica con l’intervento del dottor Mantovani, farmacista emiliano che da anni prepara farmaci a base di cannabis, della dottoressa Battaglia e del dottor Baldi che utilizzano i cannabinoidi l’una in ambito veterinario l’altro nelle terapie della cura del dolore cronico. Concluderanno la giornata l’intervento dei pazienti fibromialgici umbri e l’A.GI.FAR, ………..

Sorgente: Umbria: un convegno per unire le due anime della canapa, medica ed industriale – DolceVita