Study: Cannabis May Provide Treatment Option for Parkinson’s Disease

Cannabis may help in the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease, according to a new study published in the journal Neurotherapeutics and published online by the U.S. National Institute of Health.

“Previous studies suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays an important role in the neuropathological basis of Parkinson’s disease (PD)”, begin’s the study’s abstract. “This study was designed to detect potential alterations in the cannabinoid receptors CB1 (CB1r) and CB2 (A isoform, CB2Ar), and in monoacylglycerol lipase (MAGL) gene expression in the substantia nigra (SN) and putamen (PUT) of patients with PD.”

According to researchers, the results of the present study “suggest that CB1r, CB2r, and MAGL are closely related to the neuropathological processes of PD.” Therefore, “the pharmacological modulation of these targets [such as through the consumption of cannabis] could represent a new potential therapeutic tool for the management of PD.”

For the full text of the study – conducted by researchers at Miguel Hernández University-CSIC, Instituto de Salud Carlos III and Universidad de Navarraclick here.

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Vermont Governor Signs Marijuana Legalization Bill Into Law, Takes Effect July 1

As expected, Vermont Governor Phil Scott on Monday officially signed a bill into law that makes marijuana legal for those 21 and older.

Governor Scott signing H. 511 into law makes Vermont the first state in U.S. history to legalize marijuana through state lawmakers (the other eight states with legal marijuana did so through the initiative process). The new law – which takes full effect on July 1 – allows those 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and cultivate up to two mature (and four immature) cannabis plants.

“After more than 15 years of hard work by MPP and our allies in the state, adults in Vermont no longer need to fear being fined or criminalized for low-level marijuana possession and cultivation,” said Matt Simon, New England political director for the Marijuana Policy Project. “This is a great step forward for the state and the whole region. Responsible adults will soon have the freedom to enjoy a safer option legally, and law enforcement will be free to concentrate on serious crimes with actual victims. We are looking forward to working with lawmakers and state leaders to continue improving marijuana laws in the Green Mountain State.”

Matthew Schweich, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, says that; “Gov. Scott and the Vermont Legislature made history today by removing penalties for adult possession and limited cultivation of marijuana, and they are almost certainly just the first to do so. Lawmakers around the country are finally catching up with their constituents and realizing that there is no reason to punish responsible adults for possessing a substance that is safer than alcohol. Vermont exhibited real leadership on this issue, and we urge other state legislatures to work toward sensible marijuana policies with the same diligence.”

Fifty-seven percent of Vermont voters support allowing adults 21 and older to possess and grow limited amounts of marijuana, according to a statewide survey in March by Public Policy Polling. An October 2017 Gallup poll found 64% of Americans support making marijuana legal.

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Washington Senate Committee Votes to Allow Financial Institutions to Service Marijuana Businesses

Legislation that would explicitly allow financial institutions in Washington State to provide services to licensed marijuana businesses has been approved by the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.

The vote on Senate Bill 5928 comes shortly after a companion bill – House Bill 2098was approved by the House Judiciary Committee. The bipartisan measure would provide “immunity from state criminal prosecution to a financial institution providing financial services to licensed marijuana businesses and qualifying patients, health care professionals, and providers under medical marijuana laws.”

For purposes of the bill, “financial institution” is defined as “a bank, trust company, mutual savings bank, savings and loan association, or credit union authorized to do business and accept deposits in Washington under state or federal law. Financial institutions are generally regulated by the Department of Financial Institutions.”

Although the measure wouldn’t protect financial institutions and marijuana businesses from a potential federal crackdown, it would give them assurance that they won’t be persecuted by the state.

The full text of Senate Bill 5928 can be found by clicking here.

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