Vireo Health of New York’s Medical Cannabis Products Now Certified by OU Kosher

Vireo Health of New York (“Vireo”), one of only five companies licensed by the New York State Department of Health to produce and sell medical cannabis, announced today that all of the company’s products produced in New York have been certified as kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU), the world’s largest and most widely recognized kosher certification agency.

The trademarked OU symbol  will appear for the first time ever on medical cannabis products, including the Company’s vaporization cartridges, oils and capsules. These products will be made available for purchase to qualifying patients in Vireo’s four New York State retail dispensaries. The dispensaries are located in White Plains, Queens, Binghamton and Albany and are scheduled to begin opening during the first week of January.

“Being certified kosher by the OU will not only help us serve the dietary needs of the largest Jewish community in the United States, but also combat unfortunate stigmas associated with medical cannabis,” said Ari Hoffnung, Chief Executive Officer of Vireo Health of New York. “Today’s announcement sends an important message to New Yorkers of all faiths and backgrounds that using medical cannabis to alleviate pain and suffering does not in any way represent an embrace of ‘pot’ culture. Patients should never feel guilty or ashamed for using a product recommended by their physicians.”

“We are pleased to grant kosher certification to Vireo Health of New York’s medical cannabis products which were developed to alleviate pain and suffering in accordance with the New York State Compassionate Care Act,” said Rabbi Menachem Genack, Chief Executive Officer of OU Kosher. “Judaism prioritizes health and encourages the use of medicine designed to improve one’s health or reduce pain. Using medical cannabis products recommended by a physician should not be regarded as a chet, a sinful act, but rather as a mitzvah, an imperative, a commandment.”

“We are thrilled to be the first medical cannabis company in the world to join companies like Novartis and Pfizer that choose the OU for their kosher certification,” said Dr. Kyle Kingsley, Chief Executive Officer of Vireo Health, the parent company of Vireo Health of New York and Minnesota Medical Solutions. “Vireo and the OU both share a deep commitment to rigorous quality standards, and we look forward to broadening our relationship as we expand our operations into other states.”

***

Registered organizations may only manufacture medical cannabis products in forms approved by the Commissioner. Approved forms currently include liquid or oil preparations for metered oromucosal or sublingual administration or administration per tube, metered liquid or oil preparations for vaporization, and capsules for oral administration. The Compassionate Care Act expressly provides that a certified medical use of cannabis does not include smoking. For more information, visit https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/.

 

Read more: ou.org

The Top Ten Ways To Destroy Your Marijuana Business

We are always writing about how to succeed in the emerging marijuana industry while navigating its many legal pitfalls. We rarely though visit how to most effectively fail. But given that it’s the end of the year and that 2016 looks to be a big year for marijuana with potentially multiple state legalization ballot initiatives on the table, we want to write about how to best and most quickly fail in the marijuana industry (so, you know when you’re stepping in it in the future).

Recreational Marijuana1. Go all in and ask no questions. Those with a “gold-rush” mentality are best suited to avoid the cannabis industry. Though enthusiasm for a new enterprise is a great thing, anyone who believes they will get rich quick in the cannabis industry is sorely mistaken. Increasingly, cannabis businesses are behaving and being treated much like any other business venture, so any new entrant or even industry veteran needs to constantly be examining their bottom-line, their financial strategy, their ability to market, their market share and how to compete. The concept of the “Green Rush” is slowly fading along with the opportunists with no real industry plans or sustainability.

2. Lie to your bank. Cannabis businesses are still deceiving their banks into giving them bank accounts. We hate that folks feel the need to do that to avoid the public safety crisis created by an all-cash business, but we equally hate to see anyone violate federal and/or state law by lying to their bank. You should not be “omitting” what you are really doing when you apply to a bank, nor should you camouflage your business with a personal account or a shell management company, all of which can create personal liability by causing you to lose your corporate protection. Even worse they can (and sometimes do) invite federal agency scrutiny. If at all possible in your state, you should stick with banking with a financial institution that follows FinCEN guidelines. The best plan is to just tell the truth about your operation and make the rounds of financial institutions until you find one willing to bear the risk of taking on your account

3. License IP you don’t have. One of the fastest ways to invite bank-breaking litigation is to license intellectual property you don’t actually own and can’t actually use. For whatever reason, much of the cannabis industry is in denial about IP rights generally. Industry players seem never to tire of coming up with ornate and lengthy licensing agreements that sound nice and official, but that don’t really provide any IP rights or protections to anyone. Though there are definitely legal solutions for navigating the very hairy IP issues from state to state, you should not make the mistake of entering into hardcore negotiations for a licensing agreement when there’s really nothing there to license in the first place. Do your IP due diligence because many of these licensing agreements are going to be tested and you want to be sure yours can withstand the scrutiny.

4. Ignore local laws. Too many marijuana businesses have tunnel vision when it comes to knowing and navigating their local marijuana laws. Marijuana businesses easily forget that though their state is the arbiter of their operational license, their city and/or county also has plenty of say in whether they actually get to operate. Failing to acknowledge and abide by local laws, like zoning, land use, additional permitting or licensing, or time, place, and manner restrictions, leads to costly disputes with the marijuana business usually on the losing end due to local police powers. Don’t make the rookie mistake of thinking your city or county doesn’t matter.

5. Rush your due diligence. Marijuana entrepreneurs are notorious for jumping into bed together without having performed any due diligence regarding their putative partner company and its members. The cannabis industry is a new industry and that means you should take extra care in conducting due diligence on those with whom you will be doing business. On top of this, because the laws relevant to the cannabis industry are changing so frequently and because the regulatory stakes are so high, no business deal should be rushed. You do not want to enter into a deal only to find out that for whatever reason your new partner or the deal itself is illegal because of some new law. The faster you go the more susceptible you are to these sorts of mistakes.

6. Do everything on a hand shake. The marijuana businesses with the toughest (often irreversible) issues are those with nothing in writing. Though the legal enforceability of marijuana contracts from state to state is going to vary (there are some legal workarounds even for this), our cannabis business lawyers still encourage all marijuana businesses to memorialize all of their deals and transactions in a written contract. Indeed certain transactions must be in writing to be enforceable at all. You are a real business now and real businesses have written contracts.

7. Don’t pay your taxes. Even writing this makes me roll my eyes. Anyone at this point who thinks they can successfully evade the IRS or their own state and local taxes is just wrong. The IRS is not flexible regarding how it treats marijuana businesses and unless Congress reforms the tax code, that isn’t going to change. If I had to name one thing that has led to the ruin of more cannabis businesses than anything else, it would be failing to pay taxes.

8. Don’t worry about your neighbors. Woe to those marijuana businesses that think they can snub their neighbors without consequence. Many marijuana NIMBYs (“Not in My Back Yard” neighbors) have the ability to derail the establishment and success of a marijuana business. The best way to deal with an angry neighbor is by doing all that you can early on to work with your neighbors to prevent any escalation. For more on this, check out “How to Handle a Neighbor Who Wants to Shut Down Your Cannabis Business.”

9. Take advantage of every loophole. We recognize that sometimes in this industry it can be better to ask for forgiveness instead of permission, but cutting corners can lead to business-ending state or local law violations. Not every loophole in state or local rule making is going to be worth the risk and you need to engage in high-level risk analysis when figuring out when you should step on the gas and when you should yield to allow the state to catch up.

10. Don’t have an exit strategy. The failure rate in the cannabis industry is and will no doubt continue to be high, especially as states and local governments continue to constantly tinker with their laws in an effort to get everything just so. And if you are thinking that failure is no big deal because you can just file for bankruptcy, you are probably wrong on that as well since bankruptcy isn’t an option and even state receiverships are of dubious legality. Successful marijuana businesses plan for their end.

 

Read more: cannalawblog.com

Written By Hilary Bricken

cbd_vs_rick_simpson_oil

THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CBD OIL AND RICK SIMPSON OIL

CBD Oil vs. Rick Simpson Oil

Thanks to the highly successful documentary “Run From The Cure”, the Rick Simpson oil became a household name almost over night. While studies have long reported anti-tumor effects of cannabis, this was not mainstream knowledge until the documentary about Rick’s cancer cure let the cat out of the bag.

Ever since, a large number of people suffering from various diseases have been experimenting with the Simpson oil, and indeed many have anecdotally reported staggering results of remission. However, due to the illegal status of the oil, research on humans is very difficult to conduct, as governments are reluctant to hand out the necessary licenses and permits.

In addition to the Rick Simpson oil, the cannabinoid CBD has also received special attention. The cannabinoid shows a wide range of beneficial qualities, all while being absolutely non-psychoactive – and legal. Most famously, the anti-seizure properties of CBD cured the young girl Charlotte from her debilitating epileptic seizures, a case that was widely report in mainstream media and was also featured in Sanjay Gupta’s CNN documentary „Weed“.

For good reasons, CBD and Rick Simpson oil are receiving attention. There is not shortage of studies and anecdotal reports that show the beneficial aspects of cannabis. However, there is some confusion surrounding CBD oil, and how it is related to Rick Simpson oil. While they are similar in many aspects, they are still very different products.

Both oils are made from the same plant: cannabis, respectively hemp. From a botanical perspective, cannabis and hemp belong to the same plant genus – cannabis. However, due to geographical factors and through breeding, the plant has developed into different species and strains, which produce a different harvest: Hemp produces few and small flowers with low cannabinoid content, but in exchange hemp produces high amounts of fibre, which are used in many industrial applications. Cannabis, on the other hand, refers to the recreational and medical plant which produces big and potent cannabinoid-laden flowers, but only small amounts of fibre. Again, they are botanically from the same plant family – just bred into different strains that yield another product. Further, the Rick Simpson oil is almost always made particularly from Cannabis indica strains, which have been shown to be more effective for physical ailments. Sativa strains, on the other hand, are often made into Rick Simpson oil that is to be used for mental illnesses.

It is thus becoming apparent how the CBD oil and the Rick Simpson oil are very different products. Since they are coming from different strains (hemp and cannabis), they naturally contain different amounts of cannabinoids. The Rick Simpson oil is a full spectrum plant extract of potent cannabis. It therefore contains very high levels of THC and other cannabinoids; easily in the range of 50-60% THC and 10-15% CBD, depending on the strain that was used. In addition to high levels of THC and CBD, other cannabinoids such as CBN and CBG are also present in concentrated amounts.

The CBD oil, on the other hand, contains high levels of CBD, but only very, very small trace amounts of other cannabinoids such as THC or CBN. Our CBD oil contains 2.3% CBD, and only 0.173% THC. As research has shown, THC shows promising potential for many conditions, which is why this psychoactive cannabinoid is an important part in any cannabis based approach.

Consuming simply a larger amount of the CBD oil is both expensive and a digestive challenge, since it is olive oil based. But even then it would not match the wide range of cannabinoids that are present in a full spectrum extract such as the Rick Simpson oil.

It has to be made absolutely clear that under no circumstances is the CBD oil any replacement for the Rick Simpson oil. It is a different product that cannot possibly replace the full spectrum Rick Simpson oil.

Since it is impossible to legally obtain Rick Simpson oil, patients are forced to produce it themselves. Rick’s organization (www.phoenixtears.ca) has extensively documented the process, thereby making the Simpson oil accessible for everyone.

Read More: zamnesia.com

Cannabis Coffee Could Be The Next Big Thing

By SERA JANE GHALY on DECEMBER 3, 2015
Cannabis alcohol, cannabis edibles, cannabis weddings, cannabis lubricant – now cannabis coffee. Is it the next big thing? Well, the stoners out there who also love coffee must be plentiful, so it seems legitimate.
In fact, it sounds delicious.Adam Stites, the new cannabis coffee connoisseur, dreamed up this invention on a road trip in Washington. Although it hasn´t been an easy task for him, Sities has officially created a marijuana-infused coffee cream blend that is five-star standard.

Cannabis infused coffee cream

cannabis coffee

Adam Sitie´s dream started while he was road tripping, and admitted that his van was slow enough to allow for a lot of thinking time. So cannabis has been infused in food as well as alcohol, so why not enjoy a cannabis infused coffee? Needless to say, he gave his idea a test run, and despite having completely overestimated the dosage on the first attempt, decided to press on with the task.

His aim thereafter was to create the perfect blend of coffee and cannabis, so that the effects of the two would compliment each other. He says that a focused awareness from cannabis, as well as a bit of jitteriness from coffee would be the perfect couple. He also says that coffee is absorbed in the body almost instantly, whereas the effects of cannabis take around 45 to 90 minutes to take effect, therefore making the effects of caffeine longer lasting.

Not an easy task at hand

cannabis coffee

It didn´t take him long to realize that mixing the two components was going to be difficult. Firstly, Sities wanted to make sure he chose the perfect strain to blend with coffee to achieve the desired effect. Taking into account the two main components of marijuana (THC and CBD), he found the perfect combination that allows for a smooth marriage between coffee and cannabis.

Sities encountered some difficulties binding the coffee to the cannabis cream mixture because the cannabis separates itself in the coffee when it is brewed. This is because the components of cannabis are not soluble in water. Through a long process of trial and error, Sities concocted a mixture of plant emulsifiers, which ensure that the mixture stays together even when it is brewed.

His range includes plain coffee, coffee with sugar and milk, and even fruity drinks, all that contain their own secret recipe with everyone´s favorite herb. His product is expected to be packaged in sachets for an easy brew to enjoy on a Sunday morning.

Potential profits are huge

Pharma wants to make big profits from medical marijuana

The writing is completely on the wall. Revenue from coffee sales in the USA are enormous, and nothing short can be said of the rapidly growing cannabis market. This year, which has almost ended, counted $9.4 billion in coffee sales around America, and millions of dollars are being spent on cannabis around the country, too. The number is only expected to increase as it becomes legal in more states.

The potential for economic success in a canna-coffee market is huge, because it is mixing two products that Americans already love. More than that, the creators of this product have dedicated time to producing a product that tastes great and offers a desired effect. It is innovation in the canna-business that targets the audience precisely.

Read More: thestonerscookbook.com

Cannabis Makes Recovery for Opioid Addiction Easier

By Cannabis Now on December 3, 2015

cannabis

Minnesota medical marijuana expands to allow pain patients

By Kyle Potter on Dec. 2, 2015 at 1:28 p.m

It’s a dramatic change for the highly restricted Minnesota medical marijuana program, which has struggled with low enrollment, leading to high costs for patients

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota health officials will allow residents with intractable pain to buy medical marijuana starting in August, they announced Wednesday in a long-awaited decision that could expand enrollment in the state’s struggling program by thousands of patients.

After months of weighing input, Department of Health Commissioner Ed Ehlinger added intractable pain to the small list of qualifying conditions well ahead of a Jan. 1 deadline.

The state’s tight restrictions — the leaf form is still banned, and only two manufacturers make and sell marijuana pills, oils and vapors — made a difficult decision easier, Ehlinger said. That, combined with the stories from people suffering from constant pain, ultimately outweighed the medical community’s concerns that there’s not enough evidence to use medical marijuana to treat pain.

“People with intractable pain, their stories reiterated the fact that we don’t have enough science to keep this medication from people who need it,” he said.

Minnesota will be the 19th of the 24 states where medical marijuana is legal to extend the drug to people with intractable pain — defined in state law as pain that can’t otherwise be treated or cured. Dozens of those would-be patients had urged for it to be approved, eyeing medical marijuana as a possible relief from never-ending headaches or constant pain from back surgeries or car crashes.

It’s also a drastic change for a highly restricted program that has struggled with low enrollment in the nine conditions that currently qualify, leading to big costs for patients. As of Sunday, 760 patients were registered for the program, which was approved in 2014 and started selling the drug July 1. Just how much that number will jump is unclear, though state officials have previously indicated it could double or triple enrollment.

The state’s two manufacturers welcomed the news. LeafLine Labs’ chief executive, Manny Munson-Regala, said the company is planning how to staff for the extra demand and concoct a bevy of new medicines designed to treat patients in pain. Kyle Kingsley, chief executive at Minnesota Medical Solutions, said the addition would eventually allow them to reduce prices for their medicine.

Munson-Regala noted the enrollment bump could eventually be massive — pain patients outnumber all conditions by as much as 10 times in the other medical marijuana states that allow the condition, he said.

Kim Kelsey, whose 24-year-old son Alec is a patient for his seizures, is confident that the expansion will shore up lackluster enrollment, soothing her fears that the program will eventually collapse — and take her son’s medication with it.

“I’m so relieved and happy,” the Excelsior woman said after Ehlinger’s announcement. “We just hoped and prayed that this would get added because … not having enough patients would mean that we wouldn’t be able to get the medicine for our loved ones.”

Wednesday’s decision goes against a recommendation from a panel of medical experts that Ehlinger assembled for advice. They had cited the potential for drug abuse and a lack of solid medical evidence about medical marijuana’s efficacy in treating pain.

That hesitance was clear to current patients early on, finding that many doctors wouldn’t sign off on their participation. But Munson-Regala and state officials said it will be different when intractable pain patients can start registering a month in advance of the Aug. 1 sale date.

“They seem to be getting more comfortable and confident,” Michelle Larson, director of the state’s Office of Medical Cannabis, said of the medical community.

When the Legislature approved medical marijuana, it told Ehlinger that he must to decide whether to add intractable pain as a qualifying condition before considering other disorders. Now, he said, the state is setting up a framework to accept and consider other possible additions next year.

Lawmakers could vote to reverse the commissioner’s decision this spring, but it would have to pass both the Republican-controlled House and the DFL-held Senate.

Read More: thecannabist.co

11 Things You Didn’t Know About Earth’s Most Amazing Plant

By Weedhorn on 01 December 2015

Maybe you tried pot in college. Maybe you tried it at a Dave Matthews concert or with friends. Maybe you live in a state where recreational marijuana is now legal and you’re curious about it, or your only exposure to cannabis is “knowing a guy who knows a guy who’s got a forty-bag”.

Four U.S. states have legalized recreational marijuana, and more are on the way. 23 U.S. states have legalized medical marijuana. According to Pew Research nearly half of Americans have tried marijuana at one point in their life, but only about 10% are now regular users.

But how well does the casual pot smoker really know about earth’s most amazing (and most misunderstood) plant?We thought it was time to pull back the curtain and look at what cannabis is all about:

1. It would take 1,500 joints smoked at once to kill a person, but the cause of death would be carbon monoxide poisoning.

And yet no one has ever died from cannabis as far as we know.

2. There are over 200 slang words for marijuana.

And they’re all fine to use 🙂

3. The word, “marijuana” comes from a Mexican slang term for cannabis thought to have originated from the spanish pronounciation of the names “Mary” and “Jane”.

The U.S. government wanted it to sound more dangerous by using a mexican word.

4. A cannabis plant can grow up to 18 feet tall, and can grow 1-2″ per day.

Not only is the plant incredible, but it grows quickly.

5.Someone is arrested for marijuana in the U.S. every 42 seconds.

What is the war on drugs costing us?

6. Cannabis seeds were used as a food source in China as early as 6,000 – 3,000 B.C.

Back when humans just did what made sense.

7.Cannabis was listed in the United States Pharmacopoeia as a useful medicine for nausea, rheumatism and pain from 1850 to 1942.

Back before people were influenced by media, and large corporate entities couldn’t control the airwaves people thought of cannabis as a medicine, which it is.

8. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 made it illegal to possess, use, buy, sell or cultivate cannabis in the United States.

Oh, Tricky Dick you are some kind of monumental A-hole for starting the ridiculous war on weed.

9. Cancer.gov said in 2015 cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in a laboratory.

Word is getting out that cannabis is an effective weapon in the fight against cancer.

10. The reason cannabis is illegal will make you angry. It’s not because the reasons you’ve been told.

Racism and money for starters. Depending on how you talk to, it was either the DuPont family threatened by hemp as a natural resource that could put them out of business, or it was the pharmaceutical industry. Or a combination of lobbyists from powerful industries listed below…

11. Alcohol, Cigarettes and Pain Pills are legal despite being more harmful than pot.

That’s right. Cannabis is illegal despite being the least harmful one in the bunch. Conspiracy theorists would suggest the tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical industries have much stronger lobbyists.

Read More: weedhorn.com

Given 18 Months To Live, Cures Himself With Cannabis Oil

By  ADMIN on DECEMBER 1, 2015

The common thread among people who are using cannabis oil for medicine is that it works – and the most recent story of a man who was given 18 months to live and then cures himself with cannabis oil is another perfect example.

We have been discouraging the use of cannabis as medicine for so long now, but the medicinal properties of it are undeniable.

David Hibbit is another living example of how cannabis oil can cure cancer. Some would label his recovery as miraculous, but it´s the cannabis plant that is miraculous in and of itself. All we have to do is realize its healing potential and take advantage of the fruits of mother nature.

From stage-three to cancer free

man cures himself using cannabis oil

David Hibbit was originally told by doctors that he had anywhere between 9 months and 5 years to live after he was diagnosed with stage-three bowel cancer. His journey with cancer was long and arduous, after first being diagnosed with hemorrhoids. Doctors told him that his pain was a result of his hemorrhoids, but he was finally diagnosed with bowel cancer when some people would call it too late.

He was recommended usual treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy by his doctors, until eventually he realized that other options were available. Getting to the point of desperation, David started doing some research on other options available. Not to any of our surprise, he found that a lot of cancer patients were using cannabis oil to treat their symptoms.

Cannabis oil was David Hibbit´s magic medicine

man cures himself using cannabis oil

After only one month of using cannabis oil, Hibbit completely stopped all radiation therapy and chemotherapy. A few months afterwards, he underwent surgery to have his cancerous lymph nodes removed and following this surgery, his only form of treatment was cannabis oil.

Seven months after using cannabis oil regularly, he underwent an examination. He was found to becancer-free and the possibility of him growing old with his 5-year old son is actually becoming a reality. “It gets your pretty high and knocks you for six, but it’s nowhere near as bad as chemotherapy. The pain just seemed to disappear and it seems to have done the job” is David Hibbit´s commentary about using medical marijuana.

But still illegal in the UK?

man cures himself using cannabis oil

David Hibbit had to go out searching for this medicine despite all of the advice that was given to him, and despite how effective cannabis is, it remains highly illegal in the UK. In fact, Hibbit was lucky enough to have had a friend in his area who he could purchase the cannabis oil off. But it is not available for consumers, and is therefore not accessible to those who need it the most.

Although further tests have not confirmed whether Hibbit has relapsed or not, he may be the first person to have treated his cancer with the exclusive use of cannabis oil. This is a revolutionary event in persistence with cannabis, because its medicinal properties are so profound we can’t ignore them any longer after a case like this.

Read More: thestonerscookbook.com

Recreational Pot Will Be Legal Just About Everywhere Soon

By Todd Krainin on November 30, 2015

“When The New York Times says we should legalize marijuana, I think maybe I should re-evaluate my position,” jokes Reason senior editor Jacob Sullum, who spoke with Reason TV about the remarkable evolution of national drug policy over the last 25 years.

During the “Just Say No!” years of the 1980s, less than a quarter of Americans supported the legalization of marijuana. Today, even presidential candidates eager to claim the legacy of drug warrior Ronald Reagan are relaxing their views on prohibition.

“When they repealed alcohol prohibition, it was left up to the states what to do with alcohol,” says Sullum. “And so you have most of the Republican presidential candidates saying the federal government should not interfere if the states want to legalize. That’s really an amazing development.”

By contrast, progressives have been critics of the war on drugs, he says. It’s only when marijuana becomes an industry, run by capitalists, that the left get uneasy. Libertarians and progressives tend to spar over the nature of regulation of the drug business, not the need for or desirability of legalization itself.

Gallup.comIn 2016, recreational marijuana reform may be on the ballot in nearly a dozen states and Sullum is optimistic. With support for recreational marijuana polling at a record-high 58 percent, it’s only a question of how many states legalize in next year’s elections.

Sullum believes that California, the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996, is the best bet for passage and the most influential state in play. “There’s a good shot it’s going to pass. It’s kind of surprising that California has not legalized marijuana by now,” says Sullum, who is also the author of Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Usea nationally syndicated columnist, a drug-policy blogger at Forbes.

About 9 minutes. Produced and hosted by Todd Krainin. Thumbnail photo by Chuck Grimmett.

Read More: reason.com

Mexico Rules Consumption and Cultivation of Cannabis is a Fundamental Human Right

By Marco Torres on 30 November 2015

Mexico Rules Consumption and Cultivation of Cannabis Is A Fundamental Human Right

 

The world is slowly but surely turning the page on one of the most fundamental rights we have on this Earth — the right to consume, cultivate and possess a plant. That right has been stripped away from many populations globally for decades. Earlier this month, just days after voters in the US state of Ohio rejected a proposal to legalise cannabis for recreational use, Mexico has ruled that cannabis — whether smoking, consuming or cultivating — a fundamental human right.

The Mexican Supreme Court ruled by a 4 to 1 vote that banning the consumption and cultivation of cannabis for personal use violates the human right to free development of one’s personality.

“This vote by Mexico’s Supreme Court is extraordinary for two reasons,” says Hannah Hetzer of the US Drug Policy Alliance, which campaigns for the relaxation of drug laws. “First, it’s being argued on human-rights grounds, and secondly, it’s taking place in one of the countries that has suffered most from the war on drugs,” she says.

Cannabis reached the United States at the beginning of the 20th century, arriving in the southwest from Mexico, as immigrants fled the country during the Mexican Revolution of 1910-1911. The cultivation of cannabis, commonly known as marijuana, can be traced back at least 12,000 years, which places the plant among humanity’s oldest cultivated crops.However, modern humans have found it acceptable to prohibit the use of one of the most therapeutic plants in the world based on mostly political reasons.

A federal law called the Marijuana Tax Act banned its use and sales in 1937. Prior to 1937 in the United States (and 1928 in the United Kingdom), cannabis had enjoyed a 5,000 year run as a therapeutic plant with no history of illegality.

Four US states — Colorado, Washington, Alaska and Oregon — have legalised the personal use of cannabis and Canada is expected to follow suit. More than a dozen U.S. states have now completely decriminalized the act of possessing marijuana. It’s a far cry from initiatives in 2011 when the US federal government decreed that marijuana had no accepted medical useand should remain classified as a highly dangerous drug like heroin.

We now know that accepting and promoting the powerful health benefits of marijuana would instantly cut huge profits geared towards cancer treatment and the U.S. would have to admit it imprisons the population for no cause. Nearly half of all drug arrests in the United States are for marijuana.

Bills to legalise cannabis for medical use are under debate in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Costa Rica. The world is moving towards its inhabitants finally being able to once again possess, sell, transport and cultivate the plant.

Several other countries have moved towards more lenient laws on cannabis use, but none have done so solely on the basis of human rights. Most, like Ireland, which in early November moved towards legalising supervised heroin use and possible decriminalization of other drugs, have cited health, compassionate and economic grounds.

“We’re seeing a new rationality in relation to drug laws,” says David Nutt of Imperial College London, who is a former UK government adviser on drugs. “At last some countries have the courage to admit that the ‘war on drugs’ is futile and does more harm than good.”

For more information, please see The War On Drugs: How the “Land of the Free” Became the “Home of the Slaves” for Over 2 Million Americans.

Top 10 Health Benefits of Cannabis

1. Cancer: Cannabinoids, the active components of marijuana, inhibit tumor growth in and also kill cancer cells. Western governments have known this for a long time yet they continued to suppress the information so that cannabis prohibition and the profits generated by the drug industry proliferated.

THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body and activate these receptors. The researchers suggest that THC or other designer agents that activate these receptors might be used in a targeted fashion to treat lung cancer.

For more information, please see Over 100 Scientific Studies Agree: Cannabis Annihilates Cancer.

How Cannabis Helps My ADHD - A Patient’s Story

2. Tourette’s Syndrome: Tourette’s syndrome is a neurological condition characterized by uncontrollable facial grimaces, tics, and involuntary grunts, snorts and shouts. Dr. Kirsten Mueller-Vahl of the Hanover Medical College in Germany led a team that investigated the effects of chemicals called cannabinols in 12 adult Tourette’s patients. A single dose of the cannabinol produced a significant reduction in symptoms for several hours compared to placebo, the researchers reported.

3. Seizures: Marijuana is a muscle relaxant and has “antispasmodic” qualities that have proven to be a very effective treatment for seizures. There are numerous cases of people suffering from seizures that have only been able to function better through the use of marijuana.

4. Migraines: Since medicinal marijuana was legalized in California, doctors have reported that they have been able to treat more than 300,000 cases of migraines that conventional medicine couldn’t through marijuana.

5. Glaucoma: Marijuana’s treatment of glaucoma has been one of the best documented.

6. Multiple Sclerosis: Marijuana’s effects on multiple sclerosis patients became better documented when former talk-show host, Montel Williams began to use cannabis to treat his MS. Marijuana works to stop the neurological effects and muscle spasms that come from the fatal disease.

7. ADD and ADHD: A well documented USC study done about a year ago showed that marijuana is not only a perfect alternative for Ritalin but treats the disorder without any of the negative side effects of the pharmaceutical.

8. IBS and Crohn’s: Marijuana has shown that it can help with symptoms of the chronic diseases as it stops nausea, abdominal pain, and diarrhea.

9. Alzheimer’s Disease: Despite what you may have heard about marijuana’s effects on the brain, the Scripps Institute, in 2006, proved that the THC found in marijuana works to prevent Alzheimer’s by blocking the deposits in the brain that cause the disease.

10. Premenstrual Syndrome: Just like marijuana is used to treat IBS, it can be used to treat the cramps and discomfort that causes PMS symptoms. The use of cannabis for PMS actually goes all the way back to Queen Victoria.

For more information, please see: Cannabis: The Most Important Vegetable on the Planet.

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Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.

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