Dick Durban is the first Senator in the United States to initiate a legislation that would be encouraging cannabis research on the federal level.
The new act is the Expanding Cannabis Research and Information Act according to which there will be complete allowance of research on cannabis federally.
It will be expanding studies on the pros and cons of cannabis use. Scientists in 2017 conducted a study on the current situation of research on cannabis via National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.
They found that cannabis is beneficial for coping many medical conditions. However, there is a lack of evidence-based research considering its side effects and harms. There is a narrow scape for research on the public health and safety effects from cannabis usage.
More room for advanced research
Over thirty US states have now legalized cannabis in some sort. With the lift from the federal ban, there will be room for cutting edge medicinal research on cannabis. There will be an in-depth understanding of cannabis usage for treating a specific population with disease. These target groups include pregnant women, children and elderly as well.
The federal law considers cannabis and its compounds to be Schedule I controlled substances according to the Drug Enforcement Administration DEA. It further states that cannabis does not have any medical benefit.
The classification implies limitations on cannabis accessibility and usage for research. Scientists will have to undergo many twisting procedures of regulations for every new research on cannabis.
It includes getting cannabis strains through the National Institutes of Health and licenses from the Drug Enforcement Agency. These are formalities in addition to the basic prerequisites.
It has made many conflicts in which many scientists were unable to conduct studies even in states where cannabis was fully available for all purposes.
What will the act imply?
It will be under the consideration of the act to direct these major authorities and regulatory bodies to develop an agenda for cannabis research on national scale. This will be prioritizing fundamental queries and loopholes in evidence.
Furthermore, it will include a study of diseases cannabis can cure effectively. In addition, it will study how cannabis influences susceptible population.
Moreover, there will be a study of long-term effects, delivery modes and addressing public safety concerns.
It will be directing higher authorities to acquire data on cannabis usage and its impact on public health. Surveys and analyses of medical records will help expanding data collection of public health about outcomes and product types.
Cannabis will now have an image of a schedule III instead of a schedule I substance under the Drug Enforcement Administration. It will lift barriers that scientists face while having access to cannabis.
The Centers of Excellence designation established through NIH would help streamline the research pathway. It will enabling universities to have a DEA inspection that would last around five to ten years. This will omit the need for specific approvals for every study.
In addition, it will be also expanding permissible suppliers for cannabis cultivation for research purposes.
Cannabis Activist Julian Stobbs Stabbed To Death
The Cannabis activist Julian Stobbs, who struggled for several years in order to legalize personal marijuana use in South Africa, has been killed in a robbery at his Lanseria farm near Johannesburg. This incident took place in the early hours of Friday morning.
According to reports, Stobbs and his wife, Myrtle Clark better known as the Dagga couple fought a battle through courts in order to legalize cannabis. The police put them behind bars in 2010 for growing and smoking cannabis. As a result, after their release, they filed the case in the court.
The Incident Of Robbery
The couple was asleep in their home located just outside Johannesburg when the burglars entered their home. They further entered into the couple’s bedroom and shot and stabbed him to death.
Myrtle didn’t get any physical injuries. The burglars took everything in the house along with them. This includes two cellphones and two laptops.
According to a statement on the Dagga couple Facebook page, the South African cannabis community is grieving over the death of such a courageous warrior.
The family is appealing that the people must respect their privacy at the moment. Moreover, the public must allow Myrtle and the family some space during these tough times. Further, they are quite grateful for the love they have received from the public up till now.
Als0 Read: Cannabis May Be A Cure For Various Cancers
A Courageous Warrior
The killing of Stobbs might prove to be a huge calamity for the cannabis society in South Africa. A long-time South African cannabis activist and businessman Tony Budden told that Stobbs and Clarke were quite determined to aware people about the plant and its benefits. The citizens called him a courageous warrior. He was the one who never got scared to stand up for what he truly believed in.
Arrest In 2010
A few years back in August, 2010, police swooped the couples home. As a result, they were accused of possessing marijuana with the intention of selling it in the market. Clarke later told about the raid that all that the officers found was a middle aged couple in their pajamas and some quantity of cannabis.
The police arrested them after a five-hour trial in their kitchen. Stobbs further told that the police put a revolver on his cheek when he was sitting in the lounge. Clarke stated that: “The more we thought about it, the more we realized this was a gross invasion of our privacy. This is about sovereignty, it’s about cognitive liberty, it’s about the very freedom of our minds.”
Tour To Various Other Countries
The couple travelled the whole South Africa in order to give statements to rural and farming communities. They introduced their manifesto through which they decided to develop a way for freedom of cannabis in South Africa.
They further travelled to United Nations in New York to spread their message at an international level. Moreover, they even appeared at hearings on the UN’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs in Vienna to further pass on their message.
Both of them also studied the current cannabis laws all around the world. They made an attempt to convince international experts to attest on their behalf about the health impacts of cannabis. Stobbs also admitted that he started smoking cannabis several years ago. According to him, the ones who use drugs have rights as well, they are not animals and must not be imprisoned.
Consequently, the police stopped arresting adults for growing cannabis for their own use.
Cannabis May Be A Cure For Various Cancers
Various innovative and developing countries have acknowledged the healing benefits of cannabis. It has been used in herbal remedies for centuries. Studies have also shown that they can actively help in the treatment of various cancers.
A number of studies have been conducted to study medicinal uses of cannabis. These also include people going through a cancer treatment. The studies suggest that marijuana can help in controlling the following:
Pain: Like opioids, marijuana works as one of the strongest pain relievers while treating patients living with cancer related pain. In addition to this, it may have anti-inflammatory effects that may help in curing pain.
Neuropathy: It is a medical term for nerve damage and is a frequent problem of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. It’s characteristics includes a feeling of weakness, numbness, itching and a flaming sensation in the hands and feet. Hence, marijuana provides comfort and liberation of pain resulting from neuropathy.
Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are one of the side effects of chemotherapy. Many cancer patients encounter these side effects. Dronabinol is a synthetic cannabinoid which is approved by U.S. Food and Drug Administration for such kind of side effects. Various other examinations clearly indicates that medical marijuana plays a valuable role in curing nausea and vomiting.
Anorexia or Cachexia: It is the medical term for the loss of appetite. Cachexia is the phenomenon of unintended loss of weight specially the loss of lean muscle and fat often followed by tiredness and a reduction in functional abilities.
FDA has also approved the synthetic cannabinoid Dronabinol for anorexia associated with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). However, there are not enough researches that indicates the effectiveness of medicinal marijuana in controlling of these symptoms. But, marijuana may increase the intake of food in HIV patients.
Anti-neoplastic: Lab and animal testing shows that marijuana might be productive in slowing down or preventing the development of certain tumors.
Conclusion Of The Study
However, this study shows that marijuana can be safe and secure in treating cancer but it does not indicates that marijuana will help in curing the disease. Hence, people must not only depend on marijuana for treatment while keeping themselves away from conventional medical care for cancer.
Side Effects Of Marijuana
Although THC may assist in reducing nausea and other symptoms, it also has a few side effects such as inability to think clearly or focus. The long-term side effects include psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia, depression or a person may become a bipolar patient. Additionally, respiratory disorders such as chronic bronchitis may also develop.
There is no as such evidence available that supports the use of medicinal marijuana. Moreover, since marijuana is considered as an illegal drug so the research and investigation on its medical use has been greatly reduced. However, interest in this field has greatly increased over the past few years. Furthermore, it requires a lot of studies in order to comprehend the benefits posed by marijuana to improve symptoms and standard of life for cancer patients.
When To See Your Doctor?
It is necessary to maintain an honest discussion with your doctor about any sorts of symptoms you are experiencing. As a result, this will allow your doctor to decide whether there is a need to prescribe medicinal marijuana for treatment or not.
There are numerous ways of consuming marijuana such as vaporization, edibles, pills or oils. If your doctor prescribes medical marijuana as a treatment for you then you must also discuss the most suitable form for you based on the availability of the products in your region. Moreover, it’s essential to remember that the side effects vary from person to person based on the product you have used.
Hence, you must also discuss the side effects you’re experiencing with your doctor in order to prevent further complications.
Marijuana On The Ballot: Nebraskans Collect 182,00 Signatures
The use of all kinds of Cannabis (Recreational or Medicinal) is illegal in Nebraska. Nebraska needed at least 122,000 signatures to get the issue of medical marijuana on the ballot for November. However, Nebraskans Collect 182,00 Signatures which is 60,000 more than what was initially needed.
122,000 was more than 10% of the voters in the state and the campaign was paused due to the pandemic. In such circumstances, it seemed impossible to collect such a large number of signatures in very less time. The campaign resumed in June. 123,000 signatures were successfully collected in June. However, before any decision the secretary of state will validate these signatures.
Nebraskans fully celebrated this moment of joy. Some families spoke to the media. Shari Lawlor, whose daughter Brooke has severe epilepsy said that now her daughter will have a chance to function like other kids of her age. She mentioned how every time people need medical cannabis, they have to drive across the border to get it. It seems highly unfair that some families across an imaginary line can access it while other families who live across that line cannot.
Charlotte Figi, a 13-year-old Colorado girl played a big role in this regard. She brought attention to CBD oil when she used it to treat her epilepsy. Sadly, Charlotte died in April due to complications of COVID-19. Lawlor said that it was Charlotte’s efforts that enabled Nebraskans to Collect 182,00 Signatures
Worldwide Legalization of Cannabis
It is important to remember that 33 states of the U.S. have legalized the use of medicinal Cannabis while 11 states have legalized the use of medical Cannabis. With these recent legalization, the demand and supply of cannabis increased by multifold. Increased demand led to increased research on the subject.
Cannabis has found many uses in our daily lives. It can treat something as painful as Sciatica Pain. The use of Cannabis can alleviate the frequency of seizures. It also reduces anxiety. it helps with the PTSD. Many people have found Cannabis useful in calming their nerves and dealing with insomnia.
COVID-19 & CANNABIS
In view of the recent pandemic, COVID-19, Cannabis has also found its utility in speeding up the recovery of COVID-19 patients. COVID-19 is a highly infectious disease that has infected over 11 million people in the world. It is a cause of nearly half a million deaths worldwide. Medical marijuana has helped many people recover from the deadly disease.
In the view of the situation, many different countries have also relaxed their laws on the use of cannabis and cannabis related products. COVID-19 very badly affected economies all around the world. Tax revenues generated by the sales of Cannabis might help lift the deflating economies.
DANGERS of Cannabis
Cannabis consists of two main compounds; CBD (Cannabinol) and THC (Tetrahydrocannabinol). While CBD is responsible for relaxing the brain and nerves, THC is responsible for the ‘buzz’ or ‘high feeling’. THC acts on specific receptors in brain cells and slowly deteriorates our brain.
The utility of Cannabis is undeniable. However, the governments must regularly monitor the use of Cannabis. Consumption in high quantities can be harmful for both the mind and the body.
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