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Source: @norml @WeedConnection
Posted By: norml@weedconnection.com
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- Wed, 01 Nov 2017 04:20:21 PST

Gallup: Americans' Support For Legalization Tops Record High

Princeton, NJ: Sixty-four percent of US adults, including majorities of self-identified Democrats, Independents, and Republicans, say that the adult use of marijuana ought to be legal, according to nationwide polling data compiled by Gallup.

The percentage is the highest level of support ever reported by Gallup, which has polled the question since 1969. It is also the first time that a majority of Republicans have expressed support for legalizing marijuana.

"At a time when the majority of states now are regulating marijuana use in some form, and when nearly two-thirds of voters endorse legalizing the plant's use by adults, it makes no sense from a political, fiscal, or moral perspective for Congress or the Trump administration to continue to advocate for the federal prohibition of marijuana," said NORML Political Director Justin Strekal.

Public support for legalization increased four percent since 2016, according to the poll, and has more than doubled over the past two decades.

The poll possesses a margin of error of +/- four percentage points.

Study: Cannabis Use Inversely Associated With Fatty Liver Disease

Stanford, CA: Adults with a history of cannabis use are less likely to suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) than are those who have not used the substance, according to data published online in the journal PLoS One. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is the most prevalent form of liver disease, affecting an estimated 80 to 100 million people in the United States.

Researchers from Stanford University in California and the Seoul National University College of Medicine in South Korea evaluated the association between marijuana and NAFLD in a nationally representative sample of over 22,000 adults. Researchers reported that cannabis use independently predicted a lower risk of suspected NAFLD in a dose-dependent manner.

"Active marijuana use provided a protective effect against NAFLD independent of known metabolic risk factors," authors determined. "[W]e conclude that current marijuana use may favorably impact the pathogenesis of NAFLD in US adults."

The findings are similar to those of a prior study published in the same journal in May. In that study, authors reported that frequent consumers of cannabis were 52 percent less likely to be diagnosed with NAFLD as compared to non-users, while occasional consumers were 15 percent less likely to suffer from the disease.

Separate data published online earlier this month in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis also concluded that daily cannabis use is independently associated with a reduced prevalence of fatty liver disease in patients co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C.

Full text of the study, "Inverse association of marijuana use with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease among adults in the United States," appears in PLoS One.

Study: Parkinson's Patients Report Long-Term Benefits From Cannabis

Tel Aviv, Israel: Patients with Parkinson's disease report long-term therapeutic benefits from the daily use of medical cannabis, according to data published online ahead of print in the journal Clinical Neuropharmacology.

Investigators at Tel Aviv University in Israel conducted a retrospective assessment of the daily use of cannabis in 47 patients with Parkinson's disease over a period of several months.

Most (82 percent) of the patients reported that medical cannabis "improved their overall symptoms." Specifically, cannabis administration was associated with reductions in pain, stiffness, and tremor as well as with improvements in mood and sleep quality. Participants were also less likely to report suffering from falls after initiating cannabis use.

Authors concluded, "[T]he results of our study demonstrate that most of the users had found MC (medical cannabis) to improve their condition, and that MC treatment was safe, without major side effects."

A 2014 observational study similarly reported "significant improvement" in PD symptoms - including changes in tremor, rigidity, and in bradykinsea (slowness of movement - 30 minutes following cannabis inhalation treatment.

Full text of the study, "Medical cannabis in Parkinson's disease: Real life patients' experience," appears in Clinical Neuropharmacology.

Maine: Governor Threatens To Veto Legislation Regulating Voter-Approved Cannabis Sales

Augusta, ME: Republican Gov. Paul LePage has threatened to veto legislation regulating the production and sales of cannabis to adults. Members of the House and Senate approved the legislation this week during a one-day special session, but did so without a veto-proof majority.

A majority of Maine voters decided last November in favor of a statewide initiative legalizing the adult use, retail production, and licensed sale of marijuana. Governor LePage lobbied against the measure and in January lawmakers passed emergency legislation delaying the enactment of many of its provisions until February 2018. Since that time, the Governor has refused to work with lawmakers with regard to how to regulate marijuana sales and other provisions of the law. The Governor did endorse legislation that sought to delay any further implementation of the law until 2019, but lawmakers defeated that measure.

Governor LePage has until November 3 to either sign the legislation, veto it, or let it become law absent his signature.

Presently, adults may legally possess, consume, and cultivate personal use quantities of cannabis, but no regulations exist governing its retail production or sale.

Peru: Lawmakers Approve Legislation To Regulate Medical Cannabis Oils

Lima, Peru: Lawmakers have approved legislation to oversee the production and regulation of certain cannabis-derived oil products. Passage of the measure comes months after lawmakers had depenalized activities specific to the medical use of cannabis for "serious and terminal diseases."

Regulators have 60 days to iron out the details of the new program.

Other South American countries that have recently taken steps to regulate the distribution of cannabis products include Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Uruguay.

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