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Safety and efficacy of nabiximols on spasticity symptoms in patients with motor neuron disease (CANALS): a multicentre, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, phase 2 trial

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New York and Virginia take steps to legalize marijuana

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“The legalization of marijuana is a racial and criminal justice imperative, and today’s vote is a critical step towards a fairer and more just system”.*

New York Attorney General Letitia James

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill on Wednesday to legalize adult use of marijuana, making it the 15th U.S. state to allow recreational use of the drug, while Virginia moved to legalize possession of small amounts by July, reports Reuters.*

Cuomo said the bill, which was approved by the state Assembly late on Tuesday night, would also wipe the slate clean for many people previously charged with marijuana crimes.

“The bill creates automatic expungement of previous marijuana convictions that would now be legal,” Cuomo wrote on Twitter, announcing that he had just signed the legislation. “This is a historic day.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam proposed moving up the legalization of simple possession of marijuana to July rather than wait until 2024.

Northam said racial disparities in prosecution of marijuana-related crimes prompted him to accelerate the timetable. He cited a report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission which found that Black residents were more than three times as likely to be arrested for possessing small amounts of the drug.

“Our Commonwealth is committed to legalizing marijuana in an equitable way,” Northam said in a statement.

NORML, a pro-marijuana group, earlier welcomed the news from New York state, saying that tens of thousands of New Yorkers were arrested every year over petty marijuana offenses, and that most were young, poor, and people of color.

“The legalization of marijuana is a racial and criminal justice imperative, and today’s vote is a critical step towards a fairer and more just system,” New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement.

New York state’s official website recently projected that tax collection from the adult-use cannabis program would reach $350 million annually and also create 30,000 to 60,000 new jobs across the state.

* original article

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Pilot trials on controlled cannabis delivery may begin in May

The validity of the pilot project section of the Narcotics Act is limited to ten years. Apart from the pilot tests, the general ban on non-medical cannabis remains in force throughout Switzerland.*

Federal Council

The Federal Council adopted, at its meeting of March 31, 2021, the ordinance on pilot tests for the controlled release of cannabis for non-medical purposes. The text specifies the strict conditions under which the studies may be carried out. The aim of these trials is to provide a solid scientific basis for future decisions on the regulation of cannabis, reports the Federal Council’s communications service.

As of May 15, 2021, requests for the implementation of pilot trials on the consumption of cannabis for non-medical purposes can be filed with the Federal Office of Public Health. These studies should help to increase knowledge about the advantages and disadvantages of controlled access to cannabis. In particular, they will make it possible to assess and document, in a scientific framework, its effects on the health of users and on consumption habits, but also to measure its impact on the local illicit drug market as well as on the protection of young people. and on public safety.*

Controlled products and risk awareness*

As part of the pilot tests, consumers will be able to legally acquire various cannabis products. The proposed cannabis must meet high quality requirements and be organically grown. As supply chains are followed and tightly controlled from seed to product distribution, the black market will be bypassed. In addition to product information, participants will be made aware of the risks associated with consumption by point of sale staff who will be trained accordingly.*

Strictly supervised pilot tests*

Pilot tests will be rigorously supervised. Strict youth and health protection requirements as well as a total advertising ban will be applied. The quantity of cannabis that participants can buy per month will be limited, its resale prohibited, as will its consumption in public places. Only adults who already use cannabis will be able to participate in a study, minors will be excluded. Participants must also reside in the canton where the pilot test is set up. Finally, their state of health will be monitored throughout the study.*

The validity of the article on pilot projects of the Narcotics Act is limited to ten years. Apart from the pilot tests, the general ban on non-medical cannabis remains in force throughout Switzerland.*

* original article

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*** ndlr. : –.

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Morocco set to legalise cannabis production for medical use*

Though growing cannabis is currently illegal in Morocco, it has long been tolerated and the North African kingdom is among the top global producers.*

U.N. drug agency

Morocco plans to allow the farming, export and domestic sale of cannabis for medical and industrial use, the government said on Thursday, a move it hopes will help impoverished farmers in the Rif mountains amid a growing legal global market for the drug, report Reuters.*

Past attempts to legalise cannabis farming in Morocco have failed, but the co-ruling PJD party, the largest in parliament, dropped its opposition after the U.N. drug agency removed the plant from its list of most tightly controlled narcotic drugs.*

The bill, which the cabinet is expected to approve next week, aims to improve farmers’ incomes, protect them from drug traffickers who now control the trade in cannabis and gain access to the booming legal international market for the drug.*

Cannabis is mostly grown in the northern Rif mountains, which in recent years have seen protests over economic inequality.*

The draft law, seen by Reuters, envisages a national agency to monitor production, transportation and sales. The recreational use of cannabis in Morocco would still be banned.*

Parliament, where the moderate Islamist PJD is the biggest party, must still approve the plan.*

Though growing cannabis is currently illegal in Morocco, it has long been tolerated and the North African kingdom is among the top global producers, according to the U.N. drug agency.*

Morocco reduced the amount of land where cannabis is cultivated from 134,000 hectares in 2003 to 47,000 hectares six years ago, the Interior Ministry has said.*

In December, the U.N. drug agency’s member states narrowly voted to remove cannabis from the most tightly controlled category of drugs, following the World Health Organization’s recommendation to make research into its medical use easier.*

Morocco was among the countries backing the change.*

* original article

** image

*** ndlr. : –.

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Access to medical cannabis will be facilitated in Switzerland*

“Not everyone responds to cannabinoids. Some people have a favorable clinical response and will be relieved, while others will not”*

Head of clinic HUG, Déborah Lidsk-Haziz

The Council of States confirmed on Monday the desire to lift the ban on therapeutic cannabis in Switzerland. Currently issued under authorization, the change of law will avoid this administrative step. However, the treatments will not be reimbursed by LaMal, reports Radio Télévision Suisse.*

Les médecins pourront prescrire du cannabis à des fins médicales sans autorisation. Après le National, le Conseil des Etats a accepté lundi à l’unanimité la modification de la loi sur les stupéfiants. Les malades auront ainsi plus facilement accès à ces médicaments.*

Doctors will be able to prescribe cannabis for medical purposes without authorization. After the National, the Council of States unanimously accepted the modification of the law on narcotics on Monday. Patients will thus have easier access to these drugs.*

Authorized export

According to the Minister of Health Alain Berset, the administrative obstacles and the costly procedure push some patients to obtain supplies directly on the black market. The law will therefore make it possible to better adapt to the current system.*

The cultivation, manufacture and marketing of cannabis for medical use will be possible under the authorization and control system provided by Swissmedic. The commercial export of cannabis for medical use will also be allowed. On the other hand, there is no question of growing your own plants for personal use.*

Medical caution

Despite the growing popularity of the treatment, caution remains in the Primary Medicine Service of HUG. “Not everyone responds to cannabinoids. Some people have a favorable clinical response, will be relieved, while others will not, “explains clinic manager Deborah Lidsk-Haziza. *

She continues, “So there is a variability in the therapeutic response that cannot be explained. This is the reason why it is important not to present it as a miracle cure. However, in some patients it significantly reduces pain associated with, for example, chemotherapy when opioids fail. Prescribed in the second line, it can thus promote sleep while reducing opioids and improving quality of life.”*

The head of clinic nonetheless emphasizes that these drugs do not replace conventional treatments and remain narcotics, which can have significant side effects.*

The law change does not take into account the reimbursement of cannabis-based treatments by compulsory health insurance.*

To date, only one cannabis-based drug, used to relieve the effects of multiple sclerosis, is recognized by Swissmedic and reimbursed by insurance.*

Despite the change in the law, other treatments costing 2 to 300 francs per month can only be reimbursed by LaMal at the request of doctors and at the goodwill of insurance companies, according to the explanations of the Federal Office of Health. public.*

A report from the Federal Department of Home Affairs on the effectiveness of cannabis-based medicines, with a view to possible reimbursement, is expected in 2021.*

* original article

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Anxiety & Cannabis

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The role of the CB1 receptor in the regulation of sleep

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The endocannabinoid system in modulating fear, anxiety, and stress

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Acute induction of anxiety in humans by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol related to amygdalar cannabinoid-1 (CB1) receptors

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The endocannabinoid system in guarding against fear, anxiety and stress

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