When Todd Mitchem's mother was diagnosed with cancer a second time, her doctor told her that she had only six months remaining to put her affairs in order.
"That was a terrifying moment," Mitchem recalled. "Her doctor was so convinced of her prognosis that we began to accept the inevitable. Saying goodbye to my mother was going to be the hardest thing I could imagine doing."
At the time Mitchem's mother's doctor asked that she head to Pennsylvania to visit a wellness clinic and to undergo limited radiation. This visit could potentially extend her life as much as another month.
During this time Mitchem's mother found out about the many properties of marijuana, but in her state the plant was still illegal. Mitchem's mother began growing pot plants in her house and baking them into muffins with the hope that this self-treatment would extend her life a few extra and precious months.
That was six years ago and she is still alive today.
Todd Mitchem of Todd Mitchem Cannabis Consulting and CannaSearch LLC is on a mission to help doctors understand that they must learn about the benefits of cannabis in the body as a wellness medicine. "Doctors in many states now have a powerful medicine available to their patients if they will simply take the time to learn about cannabis," he said.
Activists plan to engage ruling party in discussion following caucus meeting
Back in January, then-Minister Michael Dunkley told the public that compassionate cannabis permit applications could be filed with his office, with a doctor’s support. This has proven to be untrue, with the Permanent Secretary as well as the Health Ministry Chief Medical Officer denying the program’s very existence./ (Please see below attachments for proof of the license program’s cancellation).
“Gravely ill and dying patients took the Premier at his word, and scurried from doctor to doctor, sapping their final reserves of time and energy, only to find out that Government had secretly cancelled the program, despite taking public credit for their alleged compassion,” Gordon explained.
Gordon called the government’s gambit a “dirty trick” to play on the gravely ill and dying. At least two Bermudian patients have died while waiting for access to medical cannabis, needlessly suffering, according to Gordon.
Patients are now insisting on face-to-face talks with the Premier, outside the formal time-limited caucus meeting guidelines, because, Gordon says: “The time for sound bites and stock answers is over. We want direct, honest talks with follow-up questions because we were lied to, and we don’t trust these guys anymore.”
Celebrity chef Payton Curry will be taking charge of an upcoming cannabis cooking website featuring infused foods, MarijuanaRecipes.com announced on Wednesday.
The site is set to launch "in the very near future," according to parent company Northsight Capital, Inc. MarijuanaRecipes.com will link to the company's cannabis industry website and mobile phone app, "WeedDepot," delivering content including directions, information, articles and ratings for medicinal and recreational users of cannabis.
Chef Curry has been seen on many popular TV programs in the Phoenix area, including Fox News, Good Morning America, and others. A restaurant owner, Curry has also given instructions on television for the proper use of medical marijuana in the cooking process, and has held local cannabis cooking classes for hundreds of participants.
In addition to developing the marijuana recipes site, Chef Curry will be doing live and video cooking classes, which will be available on www.MarijuanaRecipes.com and www.WeedDepot.com, with worldwide streaming video.
WeedDepot is designed to attract cannabis consumers and to appeal to cannabis related businesses in all 50 states. Cannabis related businesses will be able to advertise and deliver content to consumers through this robust platform set to launch the week of September 4, 2014.
"Northsight does not handle, grow, distribute, sell or manufacture cannabis or cannabis related products," the company notes in a prepared statement.
Cannabis Science, Inc., a United States-based company specializing in marijuana formulation-based drug development and related consulting, on Tuesday provided an updated guidance report on its current pre-clinical drug development programs underway, beginning with scientific cannabis cultivation programs in Europe and North America, testing multiple marijuana strains for multiple critical ailments.
"The company's efforts in Spain complement Cannabis Science's plans in Canada and the company's current, pre-clinical collaboration with the Institute for Research, Hospitalization and Health Care on Aging (INRCA) in Italy, where the company is testing toxicity and efficacy of cannabinoid formulations for neurobehavioral diseases including sleep disorders," said Mario S. Lap, director and president of European Operations at Cannabis Science.
The facilities are located in the Alicante region of Spain; the company said it has successfully initiated an agricultural program spanning combined 15 hectares parceled according to seed strains and growth cycles and protocols. The tests focus on production requirements and research framework to conduct scientific testing of the active constituents in the cannabis plant.
The company said it will set those protocols "to multiply optimal results into drug formulation regimens for pre-clinical studies."
By Steve Elliott
Marijuana advocates might have an extra reason to celebrate if Florida voters approve a proposed constitutional amendment which would legalize cannabis for medicinal use: Passage of Amendment 2 would also preempt Florida's "bong ban," which forbids the sale of pipes or paraphernalia used to smoke pot, according to the head of the organization which backs the amendment.
Amendment 2's definition of marijuana's medical use includes "related supplies," points out Ben Pollara, campaign manager for United For Care, reports James L. Rosica at The Tampa Tribune.
Anything currently outlaws as "drug paraphernalia" in Florida, including "metal, wooden, acrylic, glass, stone, plastic or ceramic pipes," may be legally sold if used to smoke cannabis to treat medical conditions, Pollara said.
That would even include "2-liter-type soda bottles," which Florida lawmakers somehow found it necessary to ban when used with a controlled substance.
The former University of Florida Levin College of Law dean who drafted the language for Amendment 2 didn't disagree with Pollara's interpretation, but said it would probably be sorted out in the courts.
By Steve Elliott
States which have legalized medical marijuana for chronic pain have significantly fewer overdose deaths from prescription painkillers, according to a new study published on Monday in the JAMA Internal Medicine, the journal of the American Medical Association.
Scientists looked at medicinal cannabis laws and death certificate data in all 50 states between 1999 and 2010, reports Saundra Young at CNN. During that period, 13 states had medical marijuana laws in place.
"We found there was about a 25 percent lower rate of prescription painkiller overdose deaths on average after implementation of a medical marijuana law," said lead study author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber.
In 2010 alone, marijuana saved 1,700 lives in states which permit its medicinal use, based on the number of overdose deaths that would have been expected before such laws were passed, according to the study.
"It can be challenging for people to control chronic pain, so I think the more options we have, the better," Bachhuber, who has treated many chronic pain patients as a primary care doctor at Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center, said. "But I think it's important, of course, to weigh the risks and benefits of medical marijuana."
By Steve Elliott
The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) on August 20, at its annual meeting in Toronto, voted on and approved a delegate resolution opposing the smoking of medical marijuana and other other plant material. Now Bedrocan Cannabis Corp., a licensed Canadian producer of medicinal cannabis, has come out in support of the CMA motion.
"The CMA is quite right to point out that there are particular hazards associated with smoking any plant material, including medical cannabis," Bedrocan Canada's statement reads. "While some patients, particularly those who use small quantities, choose to smoke medical cannabis, the preferred method of delivery is via the use of a vaporizer -- a device that heats cannabis to release the cannabinoids (the active ingredients), but does not burn it.
"There is good clinical evidence to show that vaporized cannabis contains significantly lower levels of toxins and harmful chemicals," Bedrocan's statement reads.
"In addition, there is one medicinal cannabis vaporizer, the Vapormed Volcano Medic®, approved in Canada as a class 2 medical device," Bedrocan's statement reads. "The use of a vaporizer allows patients to use cannabis to manage the symptoms of health conditions such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis, anxiety, insomnia and other conditions, while avoiding the degree of risk involved in smoking a plant product.
The third annual International Conference on Cannabinoids, a multilingual conference bringing together industry experts and stakeholders, will be held at the Faculty of Medicine of Strasbourg, France, on October 22.
Cannabis Science, Inc., a U.S. company specializing in cannabis formulation-based drug development and related consulting, on Friday announce its sponsorship of the conference, hosted by L'Union Francophone pour les Cannab inoides en Medecine (UFCM iCare). Researchers, health professionals, and patients will discuss the development of medical cannabis in Europe and North America.
"Cannabis Science is delighted to contribute to the UFCM iCare initiatives to encourage discussion and promote innovation in the medical cannabis arena as the company strives to move forward in bringing cannabinoid-based medicines to patients on a global basis," said Dorothy H. Bray, Ph.D., director, president and CEO of Cannabis Science, Inc.
French law provides for a regulatory framework for the research and development of cannabinoid-based medicine that will then be available to patients in mainstream pharmacies. The upcoming conference of international experts is intended to facilitate patient-driven dialog with the researchers and with the industry.
UFCM, the leading medical cannabis charity in France, has assembled a team of prominent speakers including Professor Raphael Mechoulam from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in Israel and Professor Jerome Sèze from Department of Neurology, University Hospital of Strasbourg in France.
By Steve Elliott
A Minnesota mother has been charged with child endangerment for giving her son medical marijuana to treat his pain.
Cannabis oil has been a lifesaver for 15-year-old Trey Brown, according to his mother Angela Brown, reports Liz Collin at WCCO.
"No mother should have to hold their child so they don't hurt themselves," Angela said, "He didn't want to live."
Three years ago, Trey suffered a traumatic brain injury at a baseball game. "It's been a very, very rough three years," said David Brown, Trey's father.
One pitch at a game of baseball with friends changed Trey's life forever.
"It just hurts my brain everywhere," Trey said. "I really can't explain the pain."
Trey gets headaches, muscle spasms and seizures. His condition got so bad, he wasn't able to go to school, and started to punch and cut himself.
"I was afraid to go to the bathroom; he'd be harming himself," Angela said.
Minnesota doctors seemed unable to help. Last winter, the Browns went to Colorado, where they found something that worked.
"Within an hour of him taking it, we could tell a difference," Angela said. They brought some cannabis oil back with them from Boulder, Colorado.
"I felt better -- the pain went away," Trey said. But when he school asked why Trey was doing so much better, teachers didn't like his parents' answer.
By Steve Elliott
Connecticut's first medical marijuana dispensary opened on Wednesday night in South Windsor, and the state's other five dispensaries reportedly won't be far behind.
The grand opening of Prime Wellness of Connecticut gave potential patients and the public a chance to see the facilities, meet pharmacists and growers, and get information, reports Amanda Cuda at Ctpost.com. There's just one thing, though: The dispensary won't have any actual marijuana until next month, though staff members have been consulting with patients since last week, according to Director of Operations Brett Sicklick.
"I think people have been really shocked and surprised when the enter the facility for the first time," Sicklick said. "We really took as much of a medical approach as we possibly could."
Prime Wellness is one of six dispensaries in Connecticut approved for a license from the state Department of Consumer Protection. The others are in Hartford, Branford, Bethel, Uncasville and Bristol. Sicklick said Prime Wellness will serve patients from all over the state.
Some patients have already been registered for about two years, according to Sicklick, and are looking forward to finally receiving treatment through the dispensary. He said the shop expects from 200 to 300 patients seeking marijuana when the medicine arrives.
Tasmanian Minister for Primary Industries Jeremy Rockliff has been exposed for misleading the public over the extent of poppy industry concerns about a medicinal cannabis trial and potential industry in Tasmania, Greens Health spokesperson, Cassy O’Connor MP, said on Wednesday.
“When Mr Rockliff came out on 3rd of July this year in support of the Health Minister’s rejection of a medicinal cannabis trial in Tasmania, he cited concerns expressed by the poppy industry as a reason for the trial’s rejection,” O’Connor said. “We now know, as a result of Right to Information requests of three government agencies, that Mr Rockliff was misrepresenting the industry and using a fallacious argument to support the Health Minister’s unpopular and poorly argued rejection of a medical cannabis trial in Tasmania.”
“Since then, a number of poppy industry leaders -– including Mr Rockliff’s own father -– have stated that they can see no conflict between the existing world class Tasmanian poppy industry and medicinal cannabis in Tasmania, and indeed that there is enormous potential for Tasmania to establish a medicinal cannabis industry building on that strong reputation,” O'Connor said.
“The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association has expressed a similar view," O'Connor said. "They can see no issue for the established poppy industry in Tasmania but do see the potential medicinal cannabis has as a regulated crop for Tasmanian farmers.
By Steve Elliott
An anti-marijuana group in Florida is making new claims that legalizing cannabis for medicinal purposes could lead to date rape.
The group "No On 2" recently posted an ad on Facebook asking, "Will the face of date rape look like a cookie?" In the ad, a man and a woman are portrayed hugging, with an arrow pointing to a Photoshopped cannabis cookie in the man's back pocket, reports Jeff Skrzypek at WPTV.
"I absolutely thought it was fake," said Florida state Senator Jeff Clemens, who supports medical marijuana. "I thought it was a joke."
The ad opposes Amendment 2, which will appear on the Florida ballot in November. If the amendment gets 60 percent or more of the vote, it would legalize medical marijuana in the Sunshine State.
Clemens said he simply couldn't believe No On 2 would post such an outrageous ad.
"I think any woman should find that offensive to somehow suggest that if you use medical marijuana to deal with a health issue ... that somehow that's going to make you more susceptible to rape," Sen. Clemens said. "It's really beyond the pale."
Hundreds commented on the ad on the No On 2 Facebook page, with many claiming it was inappropriate and offensive.
By Steve Elliott
Canada's ban on medical marijuana edibles and body creams is unconstitutional, a B.C. Court of Appeal judge ruled on Thursday.
The judge instructed Parliament to recraft the Controlled Drugs and Substance Act to allow medicinal cannabis patients to use products made from cannabis extracts, including creams, salves, oils, brownies, cakes, cookies and chocolate bars, reports CBC News.
The court challenge came from the case of Owen Smith, who was charged with marijuana trafficking for baking cannabis cookies and producing topical cannabis creams for a Victoria medical marijuana club in 2009.
Smith was caught baking more than 200 marijuana cookies for the Victoria Cannabis Buyers Club, and had a supply of cannabis-infused cooking oils and some dried marijuana in his apartment when he was arrested.
He was acquitted in April; 2012 after the B.C. Supreme Court ruled Canada's medical marijuana regulations were unconstitutional, because patients were denied access to edible products and other derivatives.
Supreme Court Justice Robert Johnston ruled that allowing dried cannabis flowers alone was arbitrary, and did little to further any legitimate state interest.
Health Canada currently allows patients suffering from debilitating illnesses to access dried marijuana flowers for medicinal purposes. They can get the cannabis through Health Canada-approved growers, or can get permission to grow it themselves.
By Steve Elliott
It was a short-lived triumph. The approval of medical marijuana that had been granted by Norfolk Island's government was overturned on Thursday by the Australian Commonwealth.
The island's administrator, former Liberal MP Gary Hardgrave, vetoed the decision made by Norfolk Island authorities, reports Sam Ikin at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Hardgrave said the license issued to THC under section 7A of the Dangerous Drugs Act's 1997 provision, which was included for the purpose of establishing an industrial hemp industry on Norfolk Islasnd. "There is no reasonable prospect of a hemp industry being established on Norfolk Island in the near future and Tascann's proposal to cultivate cannabis for medical treatments is fundamentally different to, and inconsistent with, that purpose," Hardgrave said in a prepared statement.
The Australian Government has a range of obligations under international law regarding the cultivation and trade of illicit drugs," Hardgrave said. "The licence issued to Tascann may not adequately address these obligations and it was issued without consulting the relevant federal authorities."
"This smacks of U.S. meddling and is a further instance of monopoly medical marijuana with GW being the only provider globally," Mark Heinrich of Australia told Hemp News early Thursday. "In Australia we believe Novartis has been meddling and lobbying the Feds to force this outcome."
By Steve Elliott
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin on Wednesday announced she wants to work with lawmakers in the next session of the Legislature to legalize cannabidiol oil (CBD) on a limited, medically supervised, trial-only basis.
CBD is a component of the marijuana plant; unlike THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), it does not produce a high. The compound has shown effectiveness in quelling seizures in toddlers with epilepsy and other conditions. The CBD oil isn't smoked; it is not considered a recreational drug.
"I do not support legalizing the recreational use of marijuana," Fallin said, reports Laura Noland at KFOR-TV. "Nor do I support a broadly defined 'medicinal' marijuana use that makes it easy for healthy adults and teenagers to find and buy drugs."
"I do support allowing potentially life-saving medicine to find its way to children in need," the Republican Governor said. "I am very interested in allowing limited, heavily supervised use of non-intoxicating CBD to be delivered on a trial basis to sick children in Oklahoma."
Rep. Jon Echols is preparing to lead a legislative study of allowing medical trials for CBD in treating children affected by severe seizures. Echols said he decided to take on the issue when his niece was told CBD may help with her medical condition.