Australia Legalizes Magic Mushrooms and MDMA for Medical Purposes

The Australian government has announced that it is rescheduling psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and MDMA to allow for medical use for those with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and treat-resistant depression.

The country is moving the substances to Schedule 8 under the country’s drug code, allowing psychiatrists to prescribe them for medical and therapeutic uses. The substances will remain in the stricter Schedule 9 for non-medical use.

“The decision acknowledges the current lack of options for patients with specific treatment-resistant mental illnesses,” said Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) on Friday. “It means that psilocybin and MDMA can be used therapeutically in a controlled medical setting starting on July 1. However, patients may be vulnerable during psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, requiring controls to protect these patients.”
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Enough Signatures Collected in Florida to Put Marijuana Legalization Initiative Before Supreme Court

Proponents of a constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana in Florida have submitted enough signatures to put the proposal before the state’s Supreme Court, clearing an important hurdle on the way to putting the measure to a vote in 2024.

According to the Division of Elections’ website, the “Smart & Safe Florida” political committee submitted 294,037 valid petition signatures as of Thursday, well more than the 222,898 signatures required to put their initiative before the Supreme Court.

Once the signatures are verified, the Supreme Court will review the wording of the proposal to ensure that includes just one primary subject and is not misleading to voters.
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Study: Inhaled Cannabidiol Impedes Tumor Growth

The results of a study published by the journal Human Cell “suggest, for the first time, that inhalant CBD can impede lung cancer growth by suppressing CD44 and angiogenesis.”

Conducted by researchers at Augusta University (Georgia), the Virginia Commonwealth University and the Georgia Institute of Cannabis Research, the study was epublished online by the National Library of Medicine. The study was funded by the Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University.

“Lung cancer remains the most chronic form of cancer and the leading cause of cancer mortality in the world”, states the study. “Despite significant improvements in the treatment of lung cancer, the current therapeutic interventions are only partially effective, necessitating the continued search for better, novel alternative treatments.”
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Yale Announces Plan to Establish the Yale Center for the Science of Cannabis and Cannabinoids

Yale School of Medicine will establish a research center to study the acute and chronic effects of cannabis and cannabinoids on neurodevelopment and mental health, according to a recent press release.

The Yale Center for the Science of Cannabis and Cannabinoids will be led by Deepak Cyril D’Souza, MD, Albert E. Kent Professor of Psychiatry and a leading expert on the pharmacology of cannabinoids.

Announcement of establishment of the center was made January 30, 2023, by Nancy J. Brown, MD, Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine and C.N.H. Long Professor of Internal Medicine; and John H. Krystal, MD, Robert L. McNeil, Jr. Professor of Translational Research; professor of psychiatry, of neuroscience, and of psychology; and chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry.
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U.S. Judge Rules Prohibition On Marijuana Users Owning Guns Is Unconstitutional

A federal judge rules today that the law prohibiting marijuana users from possessing firearms is unconstitutional.

The federal judge in Oklahoma cited last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that significantly expanded gun rights as the basis for their conclusion that it’s unconstitutional to ban marijuana users from owning firearms.

U.S. District Judge Patrick Wyrick, an appointee of former Republican President Donald Trump in Oklahoma City, on Friday dismissed an indictment against a man charged in August with violating that ban, saying it infringed his right to bear arms under the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment. This is according to a Reuters report released today.
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Minnesota Marijuana Legalization Bill Passes 6th House Committee

A sixth committee in the Minnesota House of Representatives has passed legislation to legalize marijuana which has already been approved by four senate committees.

The House Agriculture Finance and Policy Committee passed measure through the committee in a voice vote, making it the sixth committee to pass the bill. A companion bill in the Senate has been passed by four committees. It will need to be passed by seven more House committees and 14 more Senate committees before it can receive votes by the full chambers.

“Minnesotans are ready for this”, said Representative Zack Stephenson, the bill’s prime sponsor in the House, prior to the committee’s vote. “Our current laws regarding cannabis are doing more harm than good. Minnesotans deserve the freedom and respect to make their own decisions about cannabis use.”
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Legal Marijuana Sales Begin in Missouri Next Week

The legal distribution of recreational marijuana will begin in less than a week in Missouri.

Legal marijuana sales for everyone 21 and older begins in the state on February 8th, just three months after voters passed an initiative to make such sales possible. The initiative passed 53% to 47%, placing them among 20 other states with legal marijuana.

Most medical marijuana dispensaries started the official conversion process to allow them to sell recreational marijuana on December 8th, which was followed by a 60-day review period by the state. This 60-day period ends on February 8th, hence that being the sale sales will begin
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Study: Medical Marijuana Significantly Reduces Opioid Usage

Medical marijuana was associated with reductions in opioid dosages “which may lower their risk of opioid-related morbidity and mortality”, according to a new study published by the American Medical Association.

Conducted by researchers at New York’s Department of Health, the objective of the study was to ” assess changes in opioid dosages among patients receiving MC [medical cannabis] for longer duration compared with shorter duration.”

This cohort study of New York State Prescription Monitoring Program data from 2017 to 2019 included patients receiving MC for chronic pain while also receiving opioid treatment. Of these, patients receiving LOT [long-term opioid therapy] prior to receiving MC were selected. Individuals were studied for 8 months after starting MC. Data were analyzed from November 2021 to February 2022.
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Poll: 67% of Texans Support Legalizing Marijuana, 82% Support Medical Marijuana

A massive majority of those in Texas support legalizing recreational marijuana, and an even larger percentage support decriminalizing marijuana and legalizing it for medical use.

This is according to a new survey conducted by YouGov and the University of Houston. The poll found that 67% of adults in Texas support legalizing marijuana for all uses, for all adults. When asked about decriminalizing marijuana, support jumps to a staggering 81%. Support is even higher – albeit barely – for medical marijuana legalization, with 82% in support.

The poll found strong support across party lines. Although Democrats support recreational legalization at a much higher rate – 80% – support among independents and Republicans is also high at 66% and 55% respectively.
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Poll Finds Majority of Adults in Hawaii Support Legalizing Marijuana

According to new polling a majority of adults in Hawaii are in favor of passing a law that legalized recreational marijuana.

The poll, conducted by SMS Hawai’i, found that 52% of Hawaii residents who are adults support legalizing marijuana, with just 31% opposed. This leaves 17% undecided, although if all 17% decided to oppose legalization it would still maintain majority support.

“Reasons for support are varied, but tend to center on social and economic benefits, the belief that citizens should have the ability to choose what to do with their bodies, and the fact that cannabis is perceived to be safe, especially compared to prescription drugs”, states the authors of the poll. “Reasons for opposition are equally varied, but focus on the perception that society may be harmed, the belief that cannabis itself is harmful (and a potential gateway to other drugs), and insistence that cannabis will be abused if legalized”.
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