Irish America Magazine Honors

Irish America Magazine - December 2018I’m very honored to be included in Irish America Magazine’s 2018 Health Care and Life Science 50.

I’m on page 63 and there is a good article about the current state of medical cannabis in the U.S. on page 68. Check out the digital issue here: https://issuu.com/irishame

Many thanks to the folks at Irish America for choosing me to be in such good company. My father would be bursting his buttons. 😀🇮🇪 ❖

Oh Canada, don’t …

imageCanada has been an international leader with respect to cannabis regulation. They first legalized cannabis for medical purposes in 2000 and they have become the second nation to legalize marijuana for adult use, a program that will launch in October 2018.  But, ironically, this national program designed to decriminalize and expand the rights of all Canadians to possess marijuana is threatening the existence of the nation’s premiere medical cannabis program.

The shocking suggestion to kill Canada’s medical cannabis program has come from the country’s top medical group, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). And their reasoning behind the suggestion is even more shocking: CMA wants the program to close because some of its members are “uncomfortable” prescribing cannabis due to a “lack of high-quality research.”

A story on the Canadian Broadcasting Commission (CBC) website quotes leading CMA spokespersons with a stunning lack of knowledge and compassion. Like federal bureaucrats here in the U.S., the CMA seems incapable of delineating between medical use and recreational use, assuming that cannabis is cannabis and any supply will do, even if you need it medically.

Surrendering their intellectual sovereignty to the knee-jerk reactions of anti-marijuana zealots, the CMA does not take this opportunity to applaud a new day in drug regulation that could actually lead to that “high quality” research they are seeking. Instead they have chosen to abrogate their responsibility to “do no harm.” Sending the seriously ill to a recreationally-oriented dispensary risks exposing these patients to unnecessarily high dosing of THC at a time when research — yes, CMA, it is being conducted — shows that micro-dosing is often the best route for patients.

Meanwhile the Canadian Nurses Association (CNA) has arrived at the proper conclusion— maintain separate programs. Karey Shuhendler, a spokesperson with the 139,000 member CNA says, “”Protecting a medical stream helps to ensure that there’s going to be product produced for medical purposes, and that access to those products won’t be minimized and swayed toward a more commercially driven product demand.”

Unfortunately the CMA is not alone in its backward thinking. Several of the states in the U.S. that have both medical and recreational use programs have chosen to merge the two and abandon the patients. This demonstrates that despite tremendous strides in terms of educating the public, medical cannabis reformers have failed to impress upon regulators the fundamental differences between recreational and medical use.

It’s ironic that, once again, patients are being forced to lobby for compassionate regulations that provide them with what they need. Twenty years ago the goal was legal  access to any cannabis but now we have learned too much about the endogenous cannabinoid system to return blindly to “smoke as directed.” Patients need quantifiable, well-tested product with the best analysis available relative to cannabinoid content.  And they need the type of leadership demonstrated by the Canadian Nurses Association. ❖

The “First Lady of Medical Marijuana” Alice O’Leary-Randall tells the story of how her husband Robert Randall became the first medical marijuana patient.

Monte Content is a Denver-based company that creates 2-3 minute educational videos on various topics relating to cannabis. Those videos are then put onto a kiosk that can entertain patients and customers as they wait to be admitted into a dispensary. While in Denver recently Monte Content asked me to sit down for an interview on the history of the medical cannabis movement. You can see the results here. Feel free to share and if you own or are affiliated with a dispensary consider contacting Monte Content about their product.

Senate Hearings Reveal Drug Agencies’ Strategies for Medical Cannabis | Cannabis Now

On July 13, Dr. Weiss testified before the Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, part of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on the topic of  “Researching the Potential Medical Benefits and Risks of Marijuana.” Laying aside what seems like an inappropriate subcommittee to hear testimony on the science of cannabis (the focus is crime and terrorism), the testimony did release some interesting tidbits.

Read more at: Senate Hearings Reveal Drug Agencies’ Strategies for Medical Cannabis – Cannabis Now

Terror in the Present and the Past|Huff Post (07/01/2016)

 

Terrorists

World got you down, bunkie? 

There’s good reason. Terror and unrest seem to abound. Brexit threatens to isolate the U.K., casting it back to the 1950s. Donald Trump wants America to return to that time as well, with his nativism and clearly racist comments. And then there is Orlando—the slaughter of 49 innocent souls, most in the prime of their lives, murdered by a deranged man who had as much to do with ISIS as Lee Harvey Oswald had to do with Communists. Don’t get that connection? You need to learn your history.

 

Source: Terror in the Present and the Past

Buds & Brushes: The Art of Healing | Cannabis Now (06/27/2016)

The use of cannabis by those experiencing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is well known, but cannabis doesn’t cure PTSD. In fact, there are many who feel that PTSD can never be cured since the underlying problem is memory of psychological trauma that can never be fully erased. PTSD, like grief, must be assimilated into […]

Source: Buds & Brushes: The Art of Healing | Cannabis Now

Healthcare Professionals are Needed in Dispensaries | Cannabis Now (01/06/21016)

As we enter the second decade of state-authorized medical cannabis the growing pains are evident and the maturing industry is entering a time of reckoning. Having millions of Americans legally using cannabis, medically or otherwise, is a true victory but, frankly, the time has come for a bit of reform within the industry. Those of […]

Source: Healthcare Professionals are Needed in Dispensaries | Cannabis Now

Father Facebook|Huff Post (02/08/2016)

th-1

 

 

 

 

Ma Bell is long gone, replaced, it seems, by Father Facebook. 

Back in the 20th Century, Bell Telephone was often referred to as Ma Bell because, in the words of Urban Dictionary, it was “the entire national telephone network.” It’s true. Many people can recall a time when Ma Bell was the only telephone service in the country. Lily Tomlin’s career got a big lift with her snarky telephone …..

 

Source: Father Facebook

International Prohibition: The Next Battleground | Cannabis Now (01/20/2016)

Recently two U.S. cannabis reformers Steph Sherer of Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and Michael Krawitz of Veterans for Medical Cannabis Access (VMCA) traveled to Geneva to address a committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) about cannabis reform. In the complicated scheme of international drug control, WHO is similar to the U.S. Food and […]

Source: International Prohibition: The Next Battleground | Cannabis Now