Cannabis poisoning sends pooch to hospital

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Cannabis poisoning sends pooch to hospital

The Columbian / Associated Press

Cannabis poisoning sends pooch to hospital

Of all the things Andy Healy worried could poison her dogs, cannabis wasn’t on the radar.

That changed, though, after what was supposed to be a fun 15-mile hike in the woods ended with an evacuation and a trip to an emergency animal hospital.

Healy set out Oct. 29 on the Siouxon Creek Trail in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest with her friends Laura Stockton and Rick Blevins and her two 5-year-old border collies, Fen and Jil.

Nearly 13 miles into the hike, Fen began to stumble and weave. She sat down and was unable to get back up. She lost the ability to move her front legs; then, she couldn’t move her back legs. When Healy reached out to touch her dog, Fen flinched. Then, her eyes glazed over.

Immediately, Healy knew her dog had been poisoned. Based on the symptoms, Healy suspected cannabis poisoning. Healy, a trauma nurse, had researched the topic after recreational marijuana use became legal in Washington, but she never imagined Fen would come across cannabis in the middle of the woods.

But Dr. Heather Poncelow, a veterinarian at Columbia River Veterinary Specialists in Vancouver, said it’s more common than people probably think.

Poncelow and her colleagues frequently see THC toxicity in dogs. And while it’s more common to see poisoning in dogs that got into cannabis in their home, exposure happens in parks and other public places “relatively frequently,” Poncelow said.

The good news, though, is THC toxicity is rarely fatal.

“It’s extremely uncommon, or rare, that a pet would die from THC toxicity,” Poncelow said.

Fortunately, Fen has fully recovered, but not without leaving Healy with a harrowing story to tell.

Rescuing Fen

Healy often hikes alone and has thought about how she would evacuate one of her 35-pound dogs if something were to happen. But a recent hip replacement surgery, from which Healy is still recovering and building endurance, would have hampered those efforts.

“It would’ve been all I could do to carry her out,” Healy said of Fen.

Luckily for Healy, her hiking partners are also her teammates with Silver Star Search and Rescue out of Washougal. The trio used trekking poles, a tarp and some line in their packs — along with tree branches — to create a litter to carry Fen the 2 1/2 miles back to the car.

It was dusk by the time they reached the trailhead, and Fen was unresponsive. Her breathing was shallow — just six breaths per minute — and her body temperature was dropping.

Healy made the nearly two-hour drive to Columbia River Veterinary Specialists, where veterinarians treated Fen for hypothermia, warmed her up and monitored her breathing.

“They assured me that this looks like classic marijuana poisoning,” Healy said.

A few hours later, Healy took Fen back to their Ridgefield home. Another 10 hours would pass before Fen could stand and walk and another day before she was running and playing.

Healy suspects Fen came across a cannabis edible while the group stopped at a vacant campsite to rest and eat a snack. Fen and Jil were exploring the area, and Healy admits she was distracted while talking to her companions.

Healy doesn’t think anyone left the edible intentionally. More likely, she said, a camper dropped it without realizing.

The troubling thing with cannabis edibles, Poncelow said, is many of them are meant to provide multiple doses. A dog, however, will eat the whole thing.

“When they’re getting edibles, they’re getting exposed to more THC than if they got a hold of a half-smoked joint,” she said.

Columbia River Veterinary Specialists see about one to three cases of THC toxicity each week. While that hasn’t changed since marijuana became legalized, people do seem to be more cavalier and don’t secure their cannabis from pets and children, Poncelow said.

Healy hopes Fen’s experience serves as a warning and a reminder about the danger marijuana poses when it gets in the wrong hands — or paws.

“People need to think of it as leaving a loaded gun around a kid,” she said. “It’s not harmless.”

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Published at Mon, 13 Nov 2017 14:02:49 +0000

Michigan: Enough Signatures Gathered to Put Marijuana Legalization to a Public Vote

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Michigan: Enough Signatures Gathered to Put Marijuana Legalization to a Public Vote

Marijuana  legalization advocates in Michigan have gathered enough signatures to place the issue to a vote of the people during the November, 2018 general election.

The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol announced this week that it’s gathered over 360,000 signatures on their initiative to legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older. This is well more than the 252,523 valid signatures required by state law to place a ballot initiative on the ballot. However, before the group can submit the signatures they must first pay $30,000 to professional signature gatherers in order to obtain the petitions, something spokesperson Josh Hovey says should be accomplished by Thanksgiving.

The proposed initiative would legalize the possession, cultivation and use of marijuana for those 21 and older, while establishing a system of licensed marijuana retail outlets. Cannabis would be taxed with a 10% excise tax and a 6% sales tax, with funding going towards schools, local governments and road repairs.

If the initiative is placed on the ballot and passed by, Michigan would become the 9th state to legalize marijuana for personal use.

The Committee to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol is a partnership between the Marijuana Policy Project, the ACLU of Michigan, the Drug Policy Alliance, the National Patients Rights AssociationMichigan NORMLMI Legalize, the Michigan Cannabis Coalition, and lawyers from the State Bar of Michigan Marijuana Law Section.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Fri, 17 Nov 2017 23:15:49 +0000

Study Finds Cannabinoids May Effectively Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Study Finds Cannabinoids May Effectively Treat Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Results of a new study “support the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in patients with OSA [obstructive sleep apnea]”.

For the study, published in the journal Sleep and epublished ahead of print by the National Institute of Health, “73 adults with moderate or severe OSA received either placebo (N=25), 2.5mg dronabinol (N=21) or 10mg dronabinol (N=27) daily, one hour before bedtime for up to 6 weeks.” Dronabinol, also called Marinol, is a synthetic THC meant to mimic the effects of natural, cannabis-based THC.

‘These findings support the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in patients with OSA” states the study’s abstract. “In comparison to placebo, dronabinol was associated with lower AHI [Apnea–hypopnea index], improved subjective sleepiness and greater overall treatment satisfaction. Larger scale clinical trials will be necessary to clarify the best potential approach(es) to cannabinoid therapy in OSA.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Tue, 14 Nov 2017 02:25:44 +0000

Price hike coming with California’s new pot market

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Price hike coming with California’s new pot market

The Columbian / Associated Press

Price hike coming with California’s new pot market

LOS ANGELES — California’s legal marijuana marketplace is coming with a kaleidoscope of new taxes and fees that could influence where it’s grown, how pot cookies and other munchies are produced and the price tag on just about everything.

Be ready for sticker shock.

On a retail level, it costs about $35 to buy a small bag of good quality medical marijuana in Los Angeles, enough to roll five or six joints.

But in 2018, when legal sales take hold and additional taxes kick in, the cost of that same purchase in the new recreational market is expected to increase at the retail counter to $50 or $60.

At the high end, that’s about a 70 percent jump.

Medical pot purchases are expected to rise in cost too, but not as steeply, industry experts say.

Or consider cannabis leaves, a sort of bottom-shelf product that comes from trimming prized plant buds. The loose, snipped leaves are typically gathered up and processed for use in cannabis-laced foods, ointments, concentrates and candies.

Growers sell a trash bag stuffed with clippings to manufacturers for about $50. But come January, the state will tax those leaves at $44 a pound.

That means the tax payment on a bag holding 7 or 8 pounds would exceed the current market price by five or six times, forcing a huge price hike or, more likely, rendering it essentially valueless.

“All it would become is compost,” predicted Ryan Jennemann of THC Design in Los Angeles, whose company has used the leaves to manufacture concentrated oils.

Governments struggling to keep up with the cost of everything from worker pensions to paving streets are eager for the cascade of new tax money from commercial pot sales that could eventually top $1 billion statewide.

But higher taxes for businesses and consumers give the state’s thriving illicit market a built-in advantage. Operators in the legal market have been urging regulators to be aggressive about shutting down rogue operators.

Market advantage

Donnie Anderson, a Los Angeles medical cultivator and retailer, predicted the higher level of state taxation next year is “just going to help the illicit market thrive.” He said more needs to be done to cut the cost, especially for medical users, many of whom won’t be able to absorb a price jump.

The increased tax rates are just one part of California’s sprawling plan to transform its long-standing medical and illegal markets into a multibillion-dollar regulated economy, the nation’s largest legal pot shop.

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Published at Mon, 06 Nov 2017 14:05:18 +0000

Can I Buy Medical Marijuana Outside of My Home State?

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Can I Buy Medical Marijuana Outside of My Home State?

Posted by Jason Draizin on 11/06/2017 in Medical Marijuana

buy marijuana out of state

Most folks with a medical marijuana card have to travel outside of their home state from time to time. After all, medical marijuana patients go on work trips, visit loved ones and go on vacation like everyone else. But, since cannabis laws vary from state to state, it can be difficult to determine how to medicate when out of state.

Things get especially tricky when you need to buy new medicine in a different state. Not every state that accepts medical cannabis cards from other states lets the cardholder buy medication.

But, that still means some states do allow the purchase of marijuana medicine by non-residents. Let’s look at these states and learn what you need to know as a medical marijuana patient.

Recreational vs. Medical Marijuana Use

When using the list of states below, it helps to know the difference between recreational marijuana use and medical marijuana use. Legally, they can be entirely different.

States that permit recreational cannabis use let anyone 21 or over use weed to get high. They often treat marijuana like alcohol, imposing standard regulations to discourage abuse. Patients 21 and over who visit these states can buy medicine, but you should do further research if you have a minor patient in tow.

Medical marijuana states have a program that lets patients with specific conditions use weed to find relief. While many recreational states also have medical programs, not every medical state lets you use pot recreationally.

What Is Reciprocity?

Reciprocity means that a state accepts medical marijuana registrations from other states. It permits different things for different states. Depending where you go, you may be allowed to possess medicine only or both possess and purchase medication.

marijuana reciprocity

Here’s what you need to know when visiting the following states.

Alaska

  • Requirements for Purchase:Alaska permits recreational marijuana use, so anyone 21 and over can buy marijuana products. Dispensaries do not accept out-of-state cards for medical purchases.
  • Types of Medicine Sold: You can buy just about any quality-tested recreational product.
  • Possession Limits: Visitors can carry up to one ounce of marijuana on their person.
  • Other Things to Consider: Alaska residents can possess up to four ounces of medicine in their home.

California

  • Requirements for Purchase: As a recreational state, California allows people over 21 to buy from a dispensary. It does not recognize out-of-state medical IDs, so you can’t make medical purchases.
  • Types of Medicine Sold: California dispensaries sell any marijuana product approved through quality testing.
  • Possession Limits: You can keep up to eight ounces of cannabis at a time.
  • Other Things to Consider: The ASA considers California as the state with the safest medical marijuana access in the United States.

Colorado

  • Requirements for Purchase: While Colorado doesn’t recognize out-of-state cards for buying medicine, folks over 21 can buy marijuana products.
  • Types of Medicine Sold: You can purchase any kind of cannabis item that has gone through inspection for quality.
  • Possession Limits: Colorado will let you carry up to two ounces of cannabis.
  • Other Things to Consider: You can’t smoke or vape in public.

Hawaii

  • Requirements for Purchase: In 2018, out-of-state patients can buy medical marijuana by registering with the state.
  • Types of Medicine Sold: Dispensaries in Hawaii can sell strains and concentrates.
  • Possession Limits: Hawaii lets you have four ounces of weed within a 15-day period and eight ounces within a 30-day period.
  • Other Things to Consider: Many aspects of Hawaii’s medical marijuana laws are still under discussion.

Maine

  • Requirements for Purchase:Maine permits medical sales and will soon offer recreational sales. Members of the state’s program and out-of-staters who complete the proper paperwork can possess and purchase medicinal weed.
  • Types of Medicine Sold: You can find any marijuana medicine produced in a legitimate facility in Maine dispensaries.
  • Possession Limits: Visiting patients can have up to two and a half ounces of weed.
  • Other Things to Consider: Since recreational laws went into effect at the beginning of 2017, dispensaries are still preparing for compliance.

Michigan

  • Requirements for Purchase:Michigan permits medical purchases only.
  • Types of Medicine Sold: Patients can buy both inhalable and non-inhalable marijuana medicine.
  • Possession Limits: You can hold up to two and a half ounces of medicine at a time.
  • Other Things to Consider: Each city in Michigan can decide whether to allow dispensaries, so access depends on where you visit.

Nevada

  • Requirements for Purchase: You can buy both recreational and medical marijuana in Nevada. So, only patients under 21 need to worry about bringing their card.
  • Types of Medicine Sold: Nevada dispensaries sell any marijuana product made in a safe and high-quality facility.
  • Possession Limits: Marijuana users can possess up to two and a half ounces of edibles and other cannabis-infused items or up to one ounce of bud.
  • Other Things to Consider: You can’t use marijuana in public spaces in Nevada.

Oregon

  • Requirements for Purchase:Oregon does not recognize medical cards from non-residents, but many of its counties allow recreational sales.
  • Types of Medicine Sold: Dispensaries sell any inspected and approved cannabis products.
  • Possession Limits: Patients can have up to 24 ounces of usable marijuana at once.
  • Other Things to Consider: Each county determines its marijuana laws, so some will sell recreational weed while others won’t.

Washington

  • Requirements for Purchase:Washington lets you purchase marijuana recreationally, but it does not accept out-of-state licenses.
  • Types of Medicine Sold: Patients can get any kind of quality-tested medication.
  • Possession Limits: You can carry up to 24 ounces of pot at home and up to one ounce in person.
  • Other Things to Consider: Patients can’t medicate in public spaces.

Go on a Medical Marijuana Information Journey

Whether you’re new to medical marijuana or have been using it to medicate your symptoms for years, you can always use up-to-date knowledge about the medicinal cannabis scene.

Going on vacation? Read our blog post on marijuana tourism to get some tips on medicating with and enjoying cannabis. For more information about marijuana-friendly states, we track the current state of cannabis laws on our pages for legal states and non-legal states.

Have any other questions? A bonafide cannabis physician can provide the answers or direct you to someone who has them.

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Published at Mon, 06 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Best Marijuana Edibles for Sleep Aid

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Best Marijuana Edibles for Sleep Aid

Posted by Jason Draizin on 11/09/2017 in Medical Marijuana

marijuana edibles for sleep

After considering the side effects and dependency potential of standard sleep medicine, some patients opt for medical marijuana to help them sleep. Since it has fewer dependency issues and milder side effects, cannabis helps tons of folks with their insomnia without the risks.

Many of these patients medicate with edibles. Edibles are an accessible and familiar way to consume marijuana. Not everyone has smoked or vaped, but everyone has eaten food!

Whether you’re new to eating edibles for sleep or have a medicated midnight snack every evening, we can help you brainstorm what edibles will work best for you.

What Are Marijuana Edibles?

Weed connoisseurs use the term “edible” to refer to any consumable product with marijuana or cannabinoids in it. Edibles include food, snacks and cooking ingredients. You can commonly find them at marijuana dispensaries.

Popular weed edibles you can buy include:

  • Desserts, such as brownies and cookies
  • Candies, like chocolates, lollipops and hard candy
  • Snacks, like popcorn and cheese doodles
  • Drinks, such as juice and tea

In addition to buying cannabis goodies, you can also make your own. DIY edibles are great for folks who can only purchase marijuana flowers in their state and patients with specific dietary needs. If you know basic cooking skills, you can make an edible!

What Kinds of Edibles Help With Sleep?

While dispensaries often carry a large selection of edible products, the variety can make it difficult to know what will help you sleep and what won’t. You might not realize that certain types of regular food enable you to sleep more than others. To understand what will work best for you, you should apply the same rules that apply to food without weed in it.

In general, eating something before bed is better than nothing. Having a small, healthy snack before you go to sleep will prevent you from getting hungry in the middle of the night. Hunger can make it harder to fall asleep or wake you up in the middle of the night.

However, we recommend sticking to healthier options if possible. Many prepackaged edibles have high amounts of fat and sugar, and food with large amounts of fat and sugar can disrupt your sleep.

So, that leaves the question: what food promotes sleep? Foods high in sleep hormones like tryptophan and serotonin — such as turkey, low-fat dairy products, honey, oats and bananas — can help. Herbal teas without caffeine will relax you, too.

As you can see, many of those sleep-promoting foods often don’t appear in the typical edibles section at your dispensary. So, if possible, you should make your own marijuana-infused foods that implement them.

How to Make Your Own Edibles for Bedtime

Making yourself a weed treat before bed is as easy as whipping up something in the kitchen. Patients of any cooking skill level can make an edible — you just need to know a recipe or two! Here are a few to start with:

  • Weed Tea: Making marijuana tea takes a little more effort than making regular herbal tea, but it works as a great bedtime beverage. We have an in-depth guide on our blog, but in a nutshell, making cannabis tea involves combining a fat with marijuana and adding it to the tea of your choice. Try picking an herbal tea that provides sleep benefits.

marijuana tea

  • Cannabutter: If you need more versatility, you can try making cannabutter, or butter infused with cannabis. You can add a small amount to food to add cannabinoids to it — just don’t add too much, since too much fat inhibits sleep. It also makes it easy to brew marijuana tea, since the fat and marijuana are already infused together.
  • Marijuana Flour: Another flexible marijuana ingredient is marijuana flour, which doesn’t contain the fat that cannabutter does. You can use it as a replacement for flour in recipes or supplement existing food with it. Marijuana flour is simply finely ground marijuana, so it’s very easy to make.

Best Strains to Use in Edibles for Sleep Aid

When you make your edibles, you should consider the strain of the marijuana you use. Every kind of marijuana plant has different qualities. So, not just any bud you get will work the best for helping you sleep.

Cannabis comes in two major categories — indica and sativa. Indica strains are known for promoting restfulness, and sativa strains give a jolt of energy. So, logically, you want to use either a pure indica strain or a hybrid strain with mostly indica in it to help you sleep.

Digging a little into the chemistry behind marijuana, the chemicals in each strain type shape how they make you feel. Indica has more of the cannabinoid CBD, which relaxes you without making you feel high. So, if you’d like, you can use CBD oil in place of a strain and see if it makes you sleepy.

If you do use regular bud to make your goodies, some indica strains work better for sleep than others. Here are some of our recommendations for more common strains:

  • OG Kush: When bred using primarily indica strains, OG Kush can address depression and anxiety in addition to your sleep problems.
  • One to One: If you find indica-dominant marijuana sedates you too much, you can try this strain, which balances out indica’s effects with sativa.
  • Atomic Northern Lights: Patients dealing with appetite issues should try out this variety.
  • Crimea Blue: If you deal with eye pressure from a condition like glaucoma, Crimea Blue can relieve it while promoting a good night’s rest.

Marijuana farmers grow thousands of strains, so consider this list just the tip of the iceberg. Just like anything else related to medical marijuana, make sure to do your research before deciding what to use.

More Brain Food for Your Perusal

Speaking of research, did you know that we offer all sorts of yummy knowledge on cannabis and health?

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Published at Thu, 09 Nov 2017 05:00:00 +0000

Study: Those Who Use Psychedelics Less Likely to Commit Crimes

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Study: Those Who Use Psychedelics Less Likely to Commit Crimes

Consumers of psychedelics drugs such as magic mushrooms are less likely to commit various crimes, according to a new study published by the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms.

“Some evidence suggests classic psychedelics may inhibit criminal behavior, but the extent of these effects has not been comprehensively explored”, states the study’s abstract. “In this study, we tested the relationships of classic psychedelic use and psilocybin use per se with criminal behavior among over 480,000 United States adult respondents pooled from the last 13 available years of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2002 through 2014) while controlling for numerous covariates.”

Lifetime classic psychedelic use “was associated with a reduced odds of past year larceny/theft, past year assault, past year arrest for a property crime , and past year arrest for a violent crime.” In contrast, “lifetime illicit use of other drugs was, by and large, associated with an increased odds of these outcomes. Lifetime classic psychedelic use, like lifetime illicit use of almost all other substances, was associated with an increased odds of past year drug distribution.”

According to researchers; “Results were consistent with a protective effect of psilocybin for antisocial criminal behavior.”

The study concludes by stating that; “These findings contribute to a compelling rationale for the initiation of clinical research with classic psychedelics, including psilocybin, in forensic settings.”

The full study can be found by clicking here.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

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Published at Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:33:03 +0000

California Initiative Would Legalize Magic Mushrooms

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California Initiative Would Legalize Magic Mushrooms

Proponents of a California initiative to legalize psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms have been cleared by Secretary of State Alex Padilla to begin collecting signatures.

Psilocybin mushrooms.

Advocates of the California Psilocybin Legalization Initiative (Initiative 17-0024) are aiming to place the initiative on the 2018 general election. To do so, they must collect signatures from 365,880 registered California voters by the end of April.

If placed on the ballot and passed into law by voters, the initiative – introduced by Marina mayoral candidate Kevin Saunders – would eliminate all criminal penalties associated with magic mushrooms for those 21 and older. This includes removing penalties for “possessioin, sale, transport and cultivation of psilocybin”. If approved, California would become the first state in the U.S. to legalize magic mushrooms.

Under current law, those caught possessing magic mushrooms – even a small amount for personal use – can be charged with a misdemeanor and imprisoned for up to a year.

About Anthony Martinelli

Anthony, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of TheJointBlog, has worked closely with numerous elected officials who support cannabis law reform, including as the former Campaign Manager for Washington State Representative Dave Upthegrove. He has also been published by multiple media outlets, including the Seattle Times. He can be reached at TheJointBlog@TheJointBlog.com.

(Why?)

Published at Mon, 06 Nov 2017 19:44:00 +0000