By Ethan A. Huff, Staff Writer, NaturalNews.com
The human brain contains an extensive network of special receptor sites that modulate nervous system function only when activated by the appropriate cannabinoid compounds, many of which are found in abundance in the marijuana plant. And emerging research continues to uncover the unique role these cannabinoids play in protecting brain function, which in turn helps deter the aging process and even reverse the damaging effects of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia and cognitive abnormality.
One of the latest discoveries concerning cannabinoids involves their ability to act as antioxidants in the brain. Researchers from Germany found that the brain’s cannabinoid system is fully capable of not only cleansing damaged brain cells from the brain, but also triggering the production of new brain cells within the brain, a concept that contradicts years of conventional thinking about how the brain works. Cannabinoids also supercharge mitochondria in the brain, which are the powerhouses of energy that maintain proper cell function.
Published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, these discoveries shed new insight on how natural marijuana cannabinoids hold the capacity to literally quell the brain inflammation responsible for causing cognitive decline, neural failure, and brain degeneration. By supplying these receptor sites with cannabinoids, patients may be able to overcome brain conditions like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, and many other conditions, not to mention premature brain aging, all conditions for which modern science has failed to find real solutions.
“I’ve been trying to find a drug that will reduce brain inflammation and restore cognitive function in rats for over 25 years; cannabinoids are the first and only class of drugs that have ever been effective,” said Gary Wenk, a professor of neuroscience, immunology and medical genetics at Ohio State University (OSU) who helped with the research. “I think that the perception about this drug is changing and in the future people will be less fearful,” he added, referencing the fact that marijuana is still viewed mostly negatively by many people.Marijuana cannabinoids help restore the body’s own natural cellular abilities
Ever since researchers first discovered the existence of cannabinoid receptor systems in rat brains back in 1988, independent scientists largely unconcerned with the stigma of marijuana have been gradually forming a piecemeal understanding of how the system works, and how cannabinoids can help prevent and reverse all sorts of chronic conditions that result from a lack of these important compounds. Today, marijuana research is moving forward more strongly than ever, and this taboo plant is finally receiving proper recognition as the medical “superfood” that it truly is.
“Cannabis actually goes upstream, it provides feedback from the postsynaptic nerve to the presynaptic nerve, which is unheard of in neural chemistry,” explains Dr. William Courtney, founder of the Cannabis International Foundation (CIF), which is actively working to consolidate all available and relevant science on marijuana’s medical uses for the purpose of promoting a reformation in health maintenance, restoration, and wellness around the world. “
The phytocannabinoids from this plant augment the body’s attempt to restore an increased function to a normal level. So [marijuana cannabinoids] mimic the regulatory system of cellular physiology.”
You can learn more about the work of CIF, as well as watch a 15-minute introductory video into the group’s work, entitled Leaf, by visiting: http://www.cannabisinternational.org/
Sources for this article include:
The post Marijuana Cannabinoids Slow Brain Degradation and Aging, Reverse Dementia: Here’s How appeared first on The Joint Blog.
From Michigan to the White House: Marijuana Activist Plans to Roll Wheelchair 520 Miles for Legalization
Throughout cannabis prohibition, people have been fighting to end the devastating policy. Now, Curtis Kile, Michigan resident and cannabis activist, is gearing up for a demonstration to declare legalization as the only rational option.
Curtis is preparing for the first ever “Cannabis Roll” – he is going to roll his wheelchair from his front door in Taylor, Michigan, to the White House in Washington D.C..
The 520 mile journey in support of legalization is scheduled to begin June 14th, and will end on July 4th, Independence Day, at the front door of the White House, where Kile hopes to have the opportunity to speak to President Obama about the necessity of cannabis legalization, as stated in this letter sent to the President:
Dear President Obama,
My name is Curtis G. Kile and I am writing you as a concerned American, but most of all a concerned parent in regards to the current state of our country. I am a 52 year old single parent that had to over come many challenges in my life due to being born with Cerebral Palsy which has confined me to living my life in the sitting position since I am confined to a wheel chair. I was really excited when you ran for the office of the president of the united states because I also believed it was time for a change in American politics and our country as a whole.
I am compelled to carry out the mission that my late father Charles Curtis Kile Jr. started over 3 decades ago with an organization that he founded called United Marijuana Smokers Of Michigan. My father was an auto worker who became addicted to alcohol like many other Americans it did nothing but practically destroyed his life. It wasn’t until my father stopped drinking and started using cannabis did he realize that using his words (this plant is truly a gift from God). He would do research and find out that cannabis was also good for many other things including that of medicine for the sick and could even help repair major damage done to our planet by the human race just to name a few. He was dedicated to legalization of cannabis and vowed to tell the truth about this plant and see that it was legalized.
In my opinion, your first term as president was a rough one and I applaud your efforts in trying to revive our American economy. I like the fact that you have an open door policy when it comes to inviting citizens to the white house that have innovative ideas that can help get the United States on the right track again. We need a country where it is a safe place for our children and many generations to come to that have a chance to achieve the American dream. I am not rich, I am just a regular American and I have many common sense ideas that can save the planet as a whole after all we are all human beings.
I live in Taylor Michigan, on June 14, 2013 I am going to roll my wheel chair from my home to the front door of your house the white house and I plan to arrive there on the 4th of July to discuss the legalization of Cannabis and many other issues to stimulate and repair not only our economy but the planet as a whole. If you truly have an open door policy I invite you to meet me at the white house and allow me to show you my plan to bring peace, prosperity and end poverty in our country and save the planet.
I truly hope that you will take a few moments to meet with me, God bless you and your family.
Curtis G. Kile
In order to make it to the White House by the deadline of July 4th, Kile will have to average roughly 25 miles per day in his wheelchair; nevertheless, he is determined. “This is not just about legalizing marijuana”, says Kile, “it is about those people who have died needlessly due to cancer or any other illness that effects our loved ones when cannabis has so much potential and can save this planet and repair the economy.” Kile has dedicated this event to his father, Charles C. Kile, who passed away from cancer in 2011.
Those who wish to find out more about the event can do so by visiting the United Marijuana Smokers Of Michigan website or e-mailing email@example.com.
Study: Hemp Seed Oil Associated With Improved Clinical and Immunological Parameters In Multiple Sclerosis Patients
The consumption of legal hemp seed nutritional oil, in conjunction with the intake of evening primrose oils and a restricted diet high in Hot-natured foods (such as pepper) and low in saturated fats and sugars, is associated with “significant improvement” in symptom management and immunological characteristics in subjects with multiple sclerosis, according to clinical trial data published this month in the scientific journal BioImpacts.
Researchers at Tabriz University of Medical Sciences in Iran assessed the impact of hemp seed oil, evening primrose oils, and a restricted diet for a period of six months in 23 patients diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS. Researchers reported that participants at the study’s completion “were healthier in comparison to baseline,” concluding that “clinical and immunological parameters showed improvement in the patients after the intervention.” They noted that hemp seed oil possesses potent antioxidative properties and also likely acts on specific signaling pathways that regulate inflammatory responses — two characteristics that would presumably make it beneficial in the treatment of MS.
Authors concluded: “After 6 months, significant improvements in extended disability status score were found. … [O]ur study demonstrates for the first time in the literature a decrease in both clinical and pro- inflammatory disease activity in MS patients during periods of dietary intervention. Our data demonstrated that co-supplemented hemp seed and evening primrose oils with Hot-natured diet intervention may decrease the risk of developing MS.”
Previously published clinical trials assessing the impact of inhaled cannabis and extracted organic cannabinoids in patients with MS have demonstrated that plant cannabinoids can alleviate disease symptoms — such as involuntary spasticity, neuropathy, and bladder dysfunction — and, in some subjects, may actually moderate disease progression. Nonetheless, the National MS Society shares little enthusiasm for cannabis or cannabis-derived products as a therapeutic option for MS patients, stating on its website: “[B]ased on the studies to date — and the fact that long-term use of marijuana may be associated with significant, serious side effects — it is the opinion of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Medical Advisory Board that there are currently insufficient data to recommend marijuana or its derivatives as a treatment for MS symptoms.”
New Jersey State Assemblywoman Linda Stender and State Senator Nicholas Scutari have announced that they will file companion measures next week which would alter the state’s medical marijuana law, which is one of the strictest in the nation (currently only one dispensary is open in the entire state, which has a waiting list hundreds deep). In addition to legalizing marijuana food items, such as medicated brownies, the measure would ease restrictions on those under 18 who are attempting to become a patient.
Under current law, someone under 18, regardless of how dire their medical situation, needs to have approval from three different individuals before they can become a patient: A psychiatrist, a pediatrician and a physician. For parents attempting to register their children as a qualified medical marijuana patient, the problem often lies in getting a psychiatrist to sign off. One doctor, Anthony Anzalone of Rutherford, has been told by state Health Department to stop enrolling children as patients until more doctors are willing to do the same.
In addition, the measure would allow dispensaries to produce and sell a variety of marijuana food items, something that it currently illegal under state law, although lotions and lozenges are allowed.
The inspiration for the legislation was 2 year old Vivian Wilson, a child with Dravet syndrome, a rare and severe form of epilepsy that pharmaceutical medicine hasn’t been known to control, and which can lead to dozens of seizures a day. Vivian’s parents, while attempting to enroll her in the state’s medical marijuana program, found the requirements to be unreasonably difficult, indicating that other children who could benefit from medical cannabis may be having the same trouble The parents contacted their state’s elected officials, which led to Stender and Scutari announcing this new legislation.
“My grandchildren are this age,” stated Assemblywoman Stender, “The fact that a 2 year old would be seizing 15 times a day — you want to do whatever you can to help. She’s unable to access what could be potentially life changing for her.”
The measure will be formally introduced next week, and will be assigned to a committee in the following days.
The post New Jersey Measure Announced to Legalize Marijuana Edibles, Ease Restrictions on Youth Patients appeared first on The Joint Blog.
DFW NORML proudly presents the Texas Regional NORML Conference at the Norris Conference Center (304 Houston St. Fort Worth, Texas 76102-7404) in downtown Fort Worth from June 7 – 9. This historic event includes over a dozen speakers such as Keith Stroup, founder of NORML, Judge Jim Gray, the 2012 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Nominee, expert cultivation and concentrate tips, medicinal alternatives to smoking, an exclusive screening of the new documentary American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny, patient testimonials, a hemp fashion show, reception and live art show, two after parties, vendors, prizes and more than a few surprises.
The primary goals for the Texas Regional NORML Conference are:
1.) Give Texans an honest, entertaining and interactive cannabis education.
2.) Showcase the strength of the Texas effort to end prohibition.
3.) Call all Texans to action because now is the time to get involved!
This historic event includes over a dozen speakers including Keith Stroup, founder of NORML, an exclusive screening of the new documentary American Drug War 2: Cannabis Destiny, expert cultivation and concentrate tips, a hemp fashion show, reception and live art show, two after parties, vendors, prizes and more than a few surprises.
Get your 3 Day pass for a $100 donation which includes all days of the conference, the reception, both after parties and a swag bag full of goodies provided by our generous sponsors. Discounted pricing available for students, seniors, veterans, media and NORML chapters.REGISTRATION DEADLINE
The deadline for online registration of the Texas Regional NORML Conference is 6/7. Otherwise, you can register in person 6/7 – 6/9 for the same price!CONFIRMED SPEAKERS:
(Click the names with links to view short videos with the speakers)
- Judge Jim Gray, 2012 Libertarian Party Vice Presidential Nominee and author of“Why Our Drug Laws Have Failed and What We Can Do About It”
- Keith Stroup, Founder & Legal Counsel at NORML
- “Radical” Russ Belville of 420radio.org
- Mike Hyde – Founder of the Cash Hyde Foundation and father of Cash Hyde
- Cheyanne Weldon, Executive Director of Texas NORML
- Shaun McAlister, Executive Director of DFW NORML
- Erik Altieri, Communications Director & Chapter Coordinator for NORML
- Jamie Balagia – Public Information Officer and Attorney at San Antonio NORML
- Joy Strickland – Founder of Mothers Against Teen Violence
- Clif Deuvall – Co-chair of Texas at US Marijuana Party of Texas, Chairman at Texas Cannabis Party and Founder Norml of Waco Inc. at NORML
- Leslie Burgoyne, DFW NORML Family Law Attorney
- Reverend Russell Elleven – Unitarian Universalist Minister
- Derek Cross – Author at Hemp Healthy Today
- Allen Patterson – Chairman of the Tarrant County Libertarian Party
- Larry Talley – Strategist for DFW NORML, speaker for Law Enforcement Against Prohibition and retired US Navy
- Terry Nelson – Executive Board Member at Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), former Border Patrol agent and Homeland Security Supervisor
- Toni Ann Hanskett-Mills – Patient Advocate for Medical Cannabis Patients with 28 yrs experience in Direct Patient Care
- Stephen Betzen – Founder of the Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care
- Margarita McAuliffe – Students for Sensible Drug Policy and Texas Moms United
Hope to see you in Texas soon!
Senator Ron Wyden has introduced an amendment to Senate Bill 3240, the Senate version of this year’s federal farm bill, that requires the federal government to respect state laws allowing the cultivation of industrial hemp. Hemp is a distinct variety of the plant species cannabis sativa that contains only trace (less than one percent) amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive compound in cannabis.
The amendment language mimics the “Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2013,” which remains pending as stand-alone legislation in both the House and Senate but has yet to receive a legislative hearing. Senator Wyden’s provision to the Senate’s Farm Bill amends the Controlled Substances Act to exclude industrial hemp from the definition of marijuana. The measure grants state legislatures the authority to license and regulate the commercial production of hemp as an industrial and agricultural commodity.
“For me, what’s important is that people see, particularly in our state, there’s someone buying it at Costco in Oregon,” Senator Wyden previously stated in support of this Act, “I adopted what I think is a modest position, which is if you can buy it at a store in Oregon, our farmers ought to be able to make some money growing it.”
Eight states – Colorado, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia – have enacted statutory changes defining industrial hemp as distinct agricultural product and allowing for its regulated commercial production. Passage of this amendment would remove existing federal barriers and allow these states and others the authority to do so without running afoul of federal anti-drug laws.
Senator Wyden’s amendment is co-sponsored by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) has also expressed his support for this proposal.
According to a Congressional Research Service report, “The United States is the only developed nation in which industrial hemp is not an established crop.”
Click here to quickly and easily contact your Senator in support of industrial hemp.
Congressman Adam Smith, a Democrat from Washington State, recently became the 16th lawmakers to join as a cosponsor for H.R. 1523, the Respect State Marijuana Laws Act, a federal measure which would require the government to respect states that legalize marijuana, whether for medicine or recreation. The measure has bipartisan support, and has garnered more attention and political support than any such measure before it.
Congressman Smith’s support is important, as he’s the first representative from Washington State – a state which recently legalized marijuana possession – to sign on in support of the measure. Marijuana reform advocates have recently put heat on reps from Washington, as none of them had signed on to the measure. Hopefully Smith’s support will push Washington’s other officials to do the same.
Whether you’re in Washington State, or any other state in the U.S., you should contact your federal elected officials (which you can look up by clicking here) and urge them to respect states which take the sensible approach of legalizing marijuana.
The post Washington Congressman Signs on as Sponsor of Federal Bill to Respect State Marijuana Laws appeared first on The Joint Blog.
Members of the New Hampshire Senate voted 18 to 6 today in favor of an amended version of House Bill 573, which allows for the physician-authorized use and state-licensed dispensing of cannabis to qualified patients. House lawmakers had previously voted 286 to 64 in March in favor of a broader version of the bill.
As amended by the Senate, HB 573 would establish up to four state-sanctioned marijuana dispensing facilities. (The House version allowed for up to five facilities.) State-qualified patients would be allowed to possess up to two ounces of cannabis, but they would only be legally able to obtain it from a state-licensed dispensary. (The House version of the bill provided provisions for home cultivation.) Under the amended bill, patients lacking a state-issued identification card would not be permitted to raise an affirmative defense, meaning that patients who could benefit immediately from the therapeutic use of cannabis will be forced to wait several months until after the bill’s passage in order to obtain the necessary paperwork to receive any legal protection under the law. The Senate also voted to eliminate post-traumatic stress from the list of authorized conditions for which a physician could legally recommend marijuana therapy.
The measure also stipulates that qualified patients must possess a preexisting relationship with their physician (of at least 90 days) and that they have previously pursued conventional remedies to treat their condition.
Newly-elected Democrat Gov. Maggie Hassan had voiced her opposition to several elements of the House version, which spurred the Senate to adopt several changes.
The Senate version of the bill now goes back to the House, whose members will either sign off on or, more likely, reject the Senate’s amendments. The latter action would create the need for a “committee of conference,” at which time a special committee of House representatives and senators will compromise on a final version of the bill. That language will then be forwarded to the governor’s desk.
If you reside in New Hampshire, there is still time to contact the Governor’s office and urge her to rethink her position on these controversial Senate amendments. Tell her that these Senate provisions will hurt, not help, patients in New Hampshire. Implore her that seriously ill patients can not wait years for for dispensaries to become available and that they require a home grow alternative. You can call the Governor’s office or use NORML’s ‘Act’ page here.
Finally, House Bill 573 co-sponsor, Rep. Donald “Ted” Wright, has launched a Change.org petition urging Gov. Hassan to amend her position. Whether or not you reside in New Hampshire, please sign the petition and share it with your friends and colleagues.
For information on how you can support pending marijuana law reform legislation in other states, please visit here.
The Ohio Ballot Board – as well as Ohio’s attorney general – has given final approval to an initiative drive aimed at legalizing medical marijuana, as well as hemp. The initiative is sponsored by the Ohio Rights Group, who collected the 1,000 necessary signatures to get an initiative put before the board. Now that the initiative has been approved, the group will need to collect roughly 385,000 valid signatures in order to qualify for the general election ballot. The group has until July 6th to make this year’s ballot, but can continue collecting aiming for the 2014 ballot if they miss that deadline.
The initiative, if approved by voters, would authorize qualified patients aged 18 and older to possess, use, cultivate and acquire medical marijuana. The Ohio Commission of Cannabis Control would be established to determine regulations.
In addition, the initiative would legalize the cultivation of hemp, with oversight by the Ohio Department of Agriculture.
This initiative drives comes as lawmakers in the state discuss recently-filed legislation to legalize marijuana as both a medicine, and as a recreational substance.
The post Ohio Ballot Board Unanimously Approves Initiative to Legalize Medical Marijuana and Hemp appeared first on The Joint Blog.
As expected, New Hampshire’s full Senate has voted, 18 to 6, to approve a measure which legalizes the possession and state-licensed sale of medicinal marijuana. The proposal - House Bill 573 – has already passed the House, but will be sent back for final approval, given that the Senate approved an amended version which removes a provision allowing patients to grow their own. House leaders are expected to ask the Senate to come to a compromise, such as allowing patients to cultivate marijuana until dispensaries are up and operating.
The proposal is supported by the state’s governor, although she is opposed to a home-grow provision (despite having voted for one while she was a senator). What this indicates is that the law is going to pass the House, and be signed by the governor, regardless, which will make New Hampshire the 20th medical marijuana state (possibly the 21st if Illinois beats them to it – a measure has already passed the Senate and House and awaits the governor’s signature). The question mark left remaining is whether or not a compromise will be reached that allows home-cultivation.
New Hampshire residents should contact members of their state’s Senate and House, urging them to allow qualified patients or their caregiver to grow cannabis at home, so that they aren’t forced to rely on the black-market while state-licensed dispensaries are being established.
Once the measure becomes law, patients will have a legal defense for possessing up to 2 ounces of marijuana.
The post New Hampshire Senate Approves Bill Legalizing Medical Marijuana appeared first on The Joint Blog.
Today Nevada’s Senate Finance Committee approved Senate Bill 374 – which would legalize medical cannabis dispensaries – with a unanimous vote . The measure has already passed the Senate Judiciary Committee (which was also unanimous), and now heads towards a full Senate vote, where its passage would send it to the Assembly for consideration.
In Nevada, the possession and usage of medical marijuana is a constitutional right, approved by voters in 2000. However, the law doesn’t allow for any safe access points for patients to obtain their medicine.
Senate Bill 374 would finally provide patients with a legal method of purchasing their medicine by explicitly legalizing dispensaries throughout the state. Licensing and regulations would be handled by the state’s Health Division. Dispensary operators would have the option of being for, or non-profit.
Lawmakers in Nevada have until June 3rd to get this measure approved, which is when the legislative session ends.
Patients and advocates in Nevada should be contacting their elected officials, urging them to support Senate Bill 374, to allow patients safe access to their constitutionally approved medicine.
The post Senate Committee Votes Unanimously to Legalize Medical Cannabis Dispensaries in Nevada appeared first on The Joint Blog.