Archive for the 'Cannabis' category

Will Washington State leegalizeetmon?

Aug 10 2012 Published by under Cannabis

From here we learn that WA voters are to consider Initiative 502 which would legalize marijuana. For recreational purposes.

Seems to be the same deal as the initiative that failed to pass muster with voters in our dope smokingist, weed growingist and reputably most individual "thing" friendly state of California.

Perhaps the good folks of WA will see it differently.

In my estimation the hook for this (tax money to balance the state budget) poses the same Catch22 which hung the proposition in Cali. Dope smokers don't like the idea of Marlboro Green becoming the only provider. They fear "regulation and taxation" means corporate profits and no more home growing. Or perhaps that corporatizing and commodifying the product would leave them in a situation similar to the beer industry in the US before microbrews came roaring back. whichever way it went, I think it was a segment of *dope fans*, ironically enough, that doomed the California effort.

It will be interesting to see if the WA folks who like the kinde learn from the prior example and line up in support. (and can be bothered to vote, naturally)

45 responses so far

Cannabis hyperemesis: A brief update

Apr 28 2012 Published by under Cannabis

Dirk Hanson's post on cannabis hyperemesis garnered another pertinent user comment:

Anonymous said...

My son suffers from this cannabinoid hyperemesis. At this moment he is here at my home on the couch suffering. I have been up with him for 3 days with the vomiting and hot baths. He says this time its over for good. This is our third bout. The first two time we went to ER, they put him on a drip to hydrate him, and gave him some pain medicine and nausea medicine. After a few hours he went home and recovered. This time we went to Urgent Care, put him on a drip, pain med, Benadryl, and Zofran. He felt better. That was yesterday, today we are right back with the nausea, but the Zofran limits the vomiting. I'm hoping tomorrow will be much better. He hasn't eaten for 3 days. He let me take a video of him at Urgent Care before treatment, and in the video he was heaving and begging himself with tears never to smoke again. My son has smoked for 14 years.

I reviewed several case reports back in 2010. The comment thread was robust (this was originally posted at the Sb version of the blog) and there was considerable skepticism that the case report data was convincing. So I thought I'd do a PubMed search for cannabis hyperemesis and see if any additional case reports have been published. There seem to be at least 17 new items in Pubmed since the Soriano-Co et al 2010 that I referenced in the update.

One in particular struck my eye. Simonetto and colleagues (2012) performed a records review at the Mayo Clinic. They found 98 cases of unexplained, cyclic vomiting which appeared to match the cannabis hyperemesis profile out of 1571 patients with unexplained vomiting and at least some record of prior cannabis use. The profile/diagnosis was created from the prior Case Report literature that I reviewed but unfortunately I can't get access to this paper to tell you more.

The other thing to think about is the relative increase in case reports in the past year or two. As I think I commented at the time, this is typical of relatively rare and inexplicable health phenomena. The Case Reports originally trickle out...this makes the medical establishment more aware and so they may reconsider their prior stance vis a vis so-called "psychogenic" causes. A few more doctors may obtain a much better cannabis use history then they otherwise would have done. More cases turn up. More Case Reports are published. etc. It's a recursive process.

I think we're seeing this at work.

And as more cases emerge, separated in time and space, the denialist position of blaming a contaminated cannabis product (or bad bongs) gets harder and harder to sustain.

111 responses so far

Annual Use of Cannabimimetic (Spice/K2, etc) Products in 12th Graders

Dec 22 2011 Published by under Cannabis, Public Health, Uncategorized

The Monitoring the Future study has added the synthetic marijuana products (see here, here, here for additional) to their annual survey. Data on annual use rates are now available for the 12th grader segment. I have taken the liberty of graphing the annual use rates for a selection of the more common drugs in this 2011 dataset.
What you can see (click on the graph to see a bigger version) is that these products are more popular than a host of drugs that have a considerably longer history. These packets of plant material spritzed with one or more full endocannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists (see dr leigh here, here for details) only really appeared on the US market in 2010 in broad availability.

Not too shabby to already be beating these other drugs, eh?

Unfortunately the full monographs aren't available yet and the update tables for "lifetime" and "30 day" do not appear to include the synthetic marijuana category yet. Nevertheless, it's a good thing that this drug category has been added to the survey. As we go forward it will be interesting to see if popularity continues or if this was a brief flash in the pan related to broad quasi-licit availability of these products.

These data will also provide a nice comparison to more limited investigations such as this one. Hu et al (2011) report 8% cannabimimetic use in a sample of 852 college students collected in September of 2010.
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The Annual Prevalence table is here.

MtF 2011 update page

To the Maximus Foundation (@FakeWeed)

21 responses so far

Congress moves to control synthetic cannabimimetic (K2/Spice) and designer cathinone (mephedrone/MDPV) drugs

HR 1254 (pdf) has passed the House.

This Act would criminalize possession of a range of compounds which activate the endogenous cannabinoid CB1 receptor. The language covers several structural classes as well as an extended list of, e.g. the JWH-xxx compounds. In essence this is another attempt on the analog front in which the DEA is not able to move quickly enough on specific new drugs that emerge within a general neuropharmacological class.

The bill also doubles the amount of time the DEA has to generate the support for a final rule, once an emergency action has been invoked.

The House Resolution next addresses 17 compounds in the likely stimulant/empathogen class, with most of them being cathinone derivatives. Readers of this blog will be familiar with the well known 4-methylmethcathinone (mephedrone) and 3,4-methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV) on this list.

One assumes that Chuck Schumer will be leading the charge on this in the Senate and that it will pass in short order...opposition to this sort of legislation is not usually robust among elected politicians.

8 responses so far

Because nothing is more compassionate and caring than half-nekkid chicks

Nov 28 2011 Published by under Cannabis, Medicine and Law

From the Sacramento Bee:

At the "Kush Expo Medical Marijuana Show" in Anaheim this month, the 420 Nurses were joined by the Ganja Juice girls and a bikini troupe for an Orange County dispensary sponsoring the Expo's "Hot Kush Girl" contest. A whooping, largely male throng cheered as 21 women competed for signature edition bongs and cash prizes.

"The marijuana industry is male-dominated, and dudes love to look at hot chicks," said Ngaio Bealum, Sacramento publisher of a marijuana lifestyle magazine called West Coast Cannabis.

And this, my friends, is yet more evidence that medical marijuana and compassionate care nonsense is 10% about legitimate treatment for health problems and 90% about schmokin' some weed.

In more ridiculousness, you too can try to be a "420 Nurse". Aka, Pot Pinup.
h/t: @Dirk57

76 responses so far

Jurors convict K2/Spice Synthetic Cannabis Seller Under Analog Provision

Sep 12 2011 Published by under Cannabis

Following up* on the case of Eric Srack who was prosecuted for selling a synthetic cannabis product containing the cannabimimetic compound JWH-081. The Salina Journal reports:

Jurors found Eric W. Srack guilty Tuesday morning of three felony counts of sale, delivery or distribution of JWH-081, an analog of an illegal substance.

As you will recall, this particular compound was not one of the ones listed (JWH-018, JWH-073, JWH-200, CP-47,497, and cannabicyclohexanol) ) on the recent scheduling action by the DEA.

You will also recall that this whole blossoming retail market in cannabimimetic products showed quite clearly that the Federal Analog Law, despite having an "OR" between its two key provisions (acts like, looks like) was in fact being interpreted as having an "AND" between these two provisions in case law. The above mentioned compounds were clearly endocannabinoid CB1 receptor agonists, therefore they "act like" the Schedule I drug Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol. They did not however look structurally like THC. So it appeared to be the case in summer-fall 2010 that DEA's "watching and evaluating" language was the same as saying "Yup, these are not currently illegal folks, go nuts!".

Putting at least one of the JWH-xxx compounds on the Schedule, however, had the potential to support the "AND" interpretation of the Federal Analog Act language. All that matters going forward from here is the case law.

This is the first successful conviction that I've heard of. If it holds up, it is a highly significant turning point for the legal status of these cannabimimetic, synthetic marijuana products.

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*hmm, actually that may be one of the posts I've failed to recover from Sb.

5 responses so far

CPDD Annual Meeting 2011!!!!!111111!!!!!

Did I mention I enjoy learning more about the neurobiological and behavioral effects of recreational drugs as well as the development and treatment of addictions?

The College on Problems of Drug Dependence will be holding their annual meeting in Hollywood Florida this upcoming week. I've been going through the Itinerary Planner and Program Book to get a preview. There are a few presentations that touch on topics that we've blogged about here at the DrugMonkey blog, including

-treating the hyponatremia associated with MDMA-induced medical emergency

-vaccination against drug abuse

-exercise as a potential therapy for, or antidote against, stimulant drug addiction

-JWH-018 and other synthetic cannabinoid constituents of Spice/K2 and similar "incense" products

-some preclinical studies on mephedrone / 4-methylmethcathinone

-presentations from the DEA on scheduling actions that are in progress

I'm certainly looking forward to seeing a lot of interesting new data over the next week.

3 responses so far

In the event all the discussion of representation is boring you...

Mar 17 2011 Published by under Cannabis, Drug Abuse Science

we're talking about cannabimimetic "incense" or "potpourri" products and the Analog provision of the Controlled Substances Act over at Scienceblogs.

No responses yet

DrugFacts 2010 Repost: Comparing Cannabis and Nicotine Withdrawal

Nov 08 2010 Published by under Cannabis, Drug Abuse Science, Nicotine

This is Drug Facts Week, an effort of NIDA to promote understanding of the effects of recreational drugs. I have a little bit of interest in such things. Unfortunately, I've been a bit busy and will continue to be so this week. So I thought I would get at least partially in the game with a series of re-posts. This post originally went up at Scienceblogs.com on April 29, 2008.


For some reason many people are in denial about cannabis dependence and wish to assert that there is no such thing, or if there is, it is somehow of lesser importance than is dependence on other substances of abuse. There are many ways to assess importance of course. What gets me going, however, are the assertions about cannabis abuse and dependence that are informed by anecdote and personal experience with a handful of users instead of an understanding of the available evidence.
To provide a little context for todays' post, I took MarkH of denialism blog to task for his expression of what I viewed as standard cannabis science denialism a fair while ago. In a comment following his post, MarkH specifically identified nicotine withdrawal as being worse than cannabis withdrawal. This is the perfect setup since there are two recent papers which set out explicitly to test this hypothesis. Let us see what they found, shall we?

Continue Reading »

12 responses so far

Exploring the arguments for California's marijuana legalization initiative

Oct 19 2010 Published by under Cannabis, General Politics


BikeMonkey Guest Post
The KPBS public broadcast station has been working on an exploration of Proposition 19, the ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. This will be on the tee vee October 19. Nice to finally see some journalistic effort. The Prop 19 initiative has been unbelievably absent from the public airwaves, given the topic.

There was a teaser interview on the radio and I picked up a couple of interesting points.

The number of people in the CA state prison system for marijuana charges that would be impacted by Prop 19 amount to 0.8% of the total population. This is true for three large County jail systems as well.

The numbers of these individuals in prison have been dropping over the past decade.

Be wary of claims of arrest costs- advocates like to amortize total police department costs across all "arrests". Law officer points out that most marijuana arrests that would be affected by Prop 19 are not even booked- they are arrested, cited and released instead of being taken down to the police office. This is a substantial difference in per-arrest cost.

The RAND Corporation study was mentioned- if you haven't seen it, their report [pdf] shows that claims of the proponents that this will significantly affect the big political bugaboo of "Mexican drug cartels" is overblown. Way overblown.

Of 140 surveyed elected local officials (mayors, city council members, etc), 41 would go on record as opposed to Prop 19. Nobody else would provide a pro or con response.

The Obama Administration is firmly opposed to Prop 19.

Attorney General Eric Holder...says the Justice Department strongly opposes California's Proposition 19 and remains firmly committed to enforcing the federal Controlled Substances Act in all states.

He made the comments in a letter to former chiefs of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. The Associated Press obtained a copy of the letter, dated Wednesday.

"We will vigorously enforce the CSA against those individuals and organizations that possess, manufacture or distribute marijuana for recreational use, even if such activities are permitted under state law," Holder wrote.

No responses yet

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