Number of fatal crashes involving drivers with marijuana in their system up since legalization

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Number of fatal crashes involving drivers with marijuana in their system up since legalization

The Columbian / Associated Press

Number of fatal crashes involving drivers with marijuana in their system up since legalization

YAKIMA — The number of fatal Washington crashes involving drivers with marijuana in their system rose to 79 last year — more than double that of 2012 when voters legalized its recreational use.

In Yakima County, however, the number has remained essentially unchanged at an average of about five a year, according to the state Traffic Safety Commission.

But experts caution the statistics focus only on fatal crashes and don’t provide a complete picture of the impact pot is having on road safety.

When issuing impaired driving citations, most police agencies don’t differentiate between alcohol, pot or other drugs. They’re simply categorized as DUIs.

As a result, data regarding marijuana-impaired drivers isn’t complete. No statewide data is kept on serious injury accidents involving marijuana because of reporting inconsistencies by local police agencies, according to the safety commission.

Also, researchers are studying if current methods of testing for marijuana impairment and whether the current legal limit of THC in a person’s system is an accurate assessment of impairment.

From a traffic safety standpoint, the state wasn’t ready for the legalization of recreational marijuana, said Nathan Weller, a Pullman-based consultant helping Washington State University with a marijuana-impairment study.

“The amount of challenges that went along with it was unknown at the time (of voter approval) and now we’re playing catch-up,” he said.

Data shortfall

The Yakima Police Department has seen the number of DUIs creep up since pot was legalized, from 296 in 2012 compared with 331 in 2016. But like so many other agencies, it doesn’t track what substance caused the impairment.

State lawmakers would have to mandate such a tracking system before departments would take on that responsibility, said Debbie Stadler with the department’s records office.

Assessing whether a driver is impaired by marijuana often is difficult, let alone establishing a tracking system, said Yakima County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Brusic.

Unlike alcohol, marijuana is stored in a person’s fatty tissue, which can cause a regular user to test for high concentrations in their system without being high at the time.

On the flip side, a driver could be high on pot by ingesting it without noticeable signs of impairment, Brusic said, all factors that can make it difficult to prove marijuana use as the cause of a particular incident.

“In my opinion, we may never get to the point where we can track it like alcohol,” he said.

Sobriety tests

Most officers use a standard field sobriety test that initially focuses on impairment rather than determining whether a driver is over the legal limit, said Washington State Patrol Sgt. Brandon Villanti, who works in the impaired driving unit in Seattle.

“We look for impairment and inability to provide attention, motor skills, ability to operate a motor vehicle,” he said. “So our officers are not making an arrest on legal limit but on impairment, and that is confirmed with a blood or breath test.”

But those tests may not be adequate considering the variables of involving marijuana intoxication. Eating pot products can take one to five hours before the peak affect kicks in, compared to the more immediate affect produced by smoking it. That can make it difficult to determine the level of impairment at the time of an accident, Weller said.

For example, someone who smoked it may have a low level of THC in their blood an hour later even though they were high when they were driving, he said.

A person who ingests pot may not have been high at the time of driving but later test positive at a police station, Weller said.

And pot is hard for users to regulate compared with alcohol. For many people it’s safe to drive one hour after a drink, two hours after two drinks, and so on because the amount of alcohol in each drink is regulated.

But quantifying the amount of THC in products isn’t as easy, Weller said.

Participants described getting higher off some products that claimed to have lower THC concentrations than others, he said.

“It’s a rabbit hole right now,” Weller said. “We’re just scratching the surface.”

Researchers in the WSU study are working on developing a Breathalyzer similar to ones used to detect alcohol, he said.

Similar work is being done in Colorado, where fatal crashes involving marijuana have shot up since legalization there in 2012.

Villanti said there are times when a blood test may not reveal the impairment an officer sees on the road. Depending on the case, a drug recognition expert may be brought in to investigate. There are 200 recognition experts in the state who can not only identify a substance of drug but calculate what a person’s level of intoxication was hours before a test, he said.

Experts are usually brought in to investigate serious injury crashes. Villanti said.

“If it’s a vehicular homicide, I think we’re definitely going to put in the resources needed to prosecute,” he said.

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 03 Oct 2017 16:05:51 +0000

Atlanta City Council Unanimously Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

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Atlanta City Council Unanimously Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance

In a unanimous vote Atlanta’s full City Council has given approval to a marijuana decrim measure.

Today the council unanimously approved Ordinance 17-O-1152, introduced by Councilmember Kwanza Hall on March 20th.

“Today we stand with every parent of Atlanta who is fearful of or has seen their children’s lives destroyed, or careers ruined because of a racist policy that unjustly incarcerated minorities by more than ninety percent,” said Hall following the vote.  “Reforming the racist marijuana laws on the book in Atlanta has been just one in a number of reforms that I have fought for.

Hall continued; “And one of the leaders who recognized the unfairness and harshness of the law was Dr. George Napper, who was our city’s first African American Chief of Police, and I’d like to thank him for his support”.

This legislation was one in a series of justice reform policies Councilman Hall has introduced, including “Ban the Box” which passed in 2014, the creation of the Pre-Arrest Diversion Pilot Program in 2015, a law enforcement transparency and accountability measure and legislation to end broken windows policing in 2016.

One of the most powerful speakers during the vote was Charnette Trimble of Council District 4.  “You destroy the black male, and you destroy the black family unit.”

The ordinance changes the penalty in the Atlanta Municipal code for possession of marijuana less than an ounce from the “general penalty” –which is a fine of up to $1000 and up to six months in jail–to a maximum fine of $75 and no jail time.

The legislation had been held since May. A key fact presented during the debate is that in Atlanta, the overwhelming number of arrests for marijuana-related offenses are African Americans (92%), even though studies have determined usage is at similar levels across racial demographics.

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, 02 Oct 2017 21:16:40 +0000

Marijuana industry looks to add more women, minorities

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Marijuana industry looks to add more women, minorities

The Columbian / Associated Press

Marijuana industry looks to add more women, minorities

WASHINGTON — Compared to a year ago, times may seem tough for those banking on the legalization of marijuana.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has raised “serious questions” about legalization, appears less friendly to the cannabis industry than his predecessor. Even after the District of Columbia permitted recreational use of the drug in 2015, arrests in the city for public use of marijuana are on the rise.

Yet, a panel of speakers who gathered Wednesday at Howard University said entrepreneurs — particularly women and minorities — should not fear what those in the marijuana industry call “the cannabis space.”

“It’s a good business — we’re at the start, it’s brand new,” said Lisa Scott, a former chef who runs Bud Appetit, an edibles company based in D.C. “So many minorities are locked up — white people are getting filthy rich from it.”

The panel, “Minority Leaders in Cannabis,” came together through Women Grow, a national for-profit group founded in Denver in 2014 “as a catalyst for women to influence and succeed in the cannabis industry as the end of marijuana prohibition occurs on a national scale,” according to its website.

Chanda Macias, head of the group’s D.C. chapter and owner of a dispensary in Dupont Circle, said cultivating diversity in the marijuana business is vital.

“We are the leaders — the minority leaders — in cannabis, and we make cannabis look good,” Macias said at the event.

The hurdles to people of color seeking to produce and sell marijuana products are significant, those on the panel said. The war on drugs disproportionately targeted minorities, and criminal histories can complicate applications for dispensary licenses.

Meanwhile, communities destroyed by the crack epidemic are not always eager to welcome a pot business to the block — even though those communities could benefit economically and physically from marijuana products, advocates said.

“Prohibition is built on a racist formula,” said Rachel Knox, a member of a family of doctors in Portland whose practice focuses on cannabis. “The health-care disparity between blacks and whites is large.”

After the election of President Donald Trump, some in the industry worry about the specter of federal action against the marijuana industry. The drug, a federal Schedule 1 controlled substance, has a “high potential for abuse” and “no medically accepted use” in the eyes of the federal government.

“I can’t say I feel comfortable,” Macias said. “As the industry continues to change, less minorities participate because of their fears.”

But according to Marvin Washington, a cannabis investor and former New York Jets defensive lineman, minorities have a historic chance to turn a bad break into a good one.

“We have the opportunity to do this right and make sure the people that suffered when cannabis was in the black market … have the opportunity to participate in the upswing,” he said.

Washington, a plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the Department of Justice that seeks marijuana legalization, also discounted the possibility that Sessions would somehow re-criminalize marijuana across the nation after legalization in D.C. and elsewhere.

“The genie is out of the bottle,” he said. “I’m not sure how you get it back in.”

As the issue winds its way through the courts, Gia Mor?n, Women Grow’s communications director, said it’s important for a new industry to address diversity early — and avoid the battles that Silicon Valley is fighting over minority representation.

“We are calling it out early,” Morón said. “We’re starting out saying, ‘You’re going to do better.’ … I hope in five years we’re not talking about diversity.”

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 21 Sep 2017 23:53:54 +0000

Las Vegas Gets 24-Hour Marijuana Store

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Las Vegas Gets 24-Hour Marijuana Store

Las Vegas has become one of the first places in the United States where marijuana can be purchased legally 24 hours a day.

The Las Vegas City Council has voted Wednesday in favor of allowing Oasis Cannabis, a legal marijuana shop in the city, to stay open 24 hours a day. Up until this point city code forced all marijuana outlets to close between by 3am, and open no earlier than 6am. The vote by the council was unanimous, with Mayor Carolyn Goodman abstaining from the vote given his son has financial interest in some marijuana-related businesses.

The vote by the council brings the city in line with North Las Vegas, which also allows its cannabis outlets to stay open 24 hours a day. Clark County Commissions voted on Tuesday to allow the 26 cannabis outlets in the county to stay open all-day.

Prior to the vote Las Vegas City Councilmember Lois Tarkanian asked Oasis Cannabis CEO Benjamin Stilltoe why why being open a few extra hours would make a different, Stilltoe said; “We have people lined up at our door at 6 a.m., and (we) are rushing people out at 3 a.m.”, and noted that several businesses around him including a tavern are open 24 hours a day.

Oasis Cannabis is located near the Stratosphere at 1800 Industrial Road. According to Stilltoe, their new 24-hour business hours begin today.

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 Fri, 22 Sep 2017 07:05:59 +0000

Report: Marijuana Legalization May Have Led to Drop in Murder and Rape Rates in Washington and Oregon

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Report: Marijuana Legalization May Have Led to Drop in Murder and Rape Rates in Washington and Oregon

A new report by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy (WSIPP) has found that marijuana legalization may have helped to reduce rape and murder rates in both Washington and Oregon.

In their second assessment report on the impact of marijuana legalization, WSIPP also found no evidence that marijuana legalization has increased marijuana usage rates among adults or adolescents, and found legalization to have no impact on hard drug use, property crimes or  violent crimes.

“[A]mong respondents under age 21, those living in counties with higher sales were significantly less likely to report use of cannabis in the past 30 days”, says Justin Strekal, poliyical director for NORML, speaking on the report. Stekal says the report shows “evidence that nonmedical legalization in Washington and Oregon may have led to a drop in rape and murder rates”.

For the full WSIPP report, click here.

The report is the second of four WSIPP is required to do, the first being in 2015, the next being in 2022, and the final one in 2032.

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 Sat, 23 Sep 2017 06:49:16 +0000

Marijuana-Infused Tea

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Marijuana-Infused Tea

How to Make and Use Marijuana Flour

09-19-2017

marijuana flour

You go to your local dispensary and check out the edibles — so many goodies! If you’re the frugal type, you might find some of them too expensive and opt for traditional weed instead. Or, you might feel inspired to make your own.
Then, you wonder — how do you make homemade edibles without large chunks of weed in them? Somehow, the edible bakers manage to make them taste more… Read more

The Connecticut Hospice and Medical Marijuana

09-15-2017

ct hospice marijuana

The United States has a severe opioid problem and many of the addictions begin in medical care. When a patient experiences severe pain, a doctor will sometimes prescribe opioids to relieve their symptoms. This can act as a slippery slope — one in three painkiller patients become dependent or addicted.
This addiction can be a devastating one. We desperately need to find an alternate,… Read more

All About Medicinal Cannabis Oil

09-14-2017

cannabis oil

When reading about the benefits of medical marijuana and testimonies from patients, you may have seen something about cannabis oil, or CBD oil. Like other marijuana products, cannabis oil is starting to grow in popularity as the stigma against marijuana reduces.
As an informed patient, you may wonder if cannabis oil could work for you. After all, it has so many glowing testimonies out there…. Read more

Convection vs. Conduction Vaporizers

09-11-2017

convection vs conduction vaporizers

Inhaling cannabis lets you get relief quickly, but the most popular inhalation method, smoking, isn’t exactly the healthiest way to consume medical marijuana. So what do you do if you need the fastest alleviation of your symptoms with fewer health risks? Vaping works as a healthier alternative to smoking due to the much lower amount of toxins you take in.
To vape marijuana, you need to… Read more

Breathalyzers for Detecting Marijuana

09-05-2017

marijuana breathalyzers

You’ve seen it on the cop shows. Someone’s driving under the influence, so the officer pulls out a breathalyzer and finds the driver has alcohol in their system. Alcohol can seriously impair your ability to drive, not to mention driving drunk is illegal.
But, what about marijuana? While the police currently don’t have a way to check for the marijuana in your system on the… Read more

Cannabis-Infused Soap

08-29-2017

marijuana soap

Cannabis is a natural ingredient that can be added to many types of products. There are several ways to consume medical marijuana — most typically it’s ingested through the lungs or stomach. However, marijuana can also be useful as a topical product and has some health benefits when applied to the skin. Adding it to soap can make those health benefits more easily accessible by… Read more

Marijuana Training Program for Doctors in MA

08-25-2017

ma marijuana doctors

The medical marijuana program in Massachusetts requires doctors to register with the state before recommending marijuana therapy to their patients. For most medical practitioners, medical training is ongoing throughout their career. Training in the use of medical marijuana can be difficult to obtain because of the restrictions under federal law. The Massachusetts Medical Society now offers an… Read more

Can You Donate Blood While Taking Medical Marijuana?

08-24-2017

marijuana-donate-blood

Donating blood is a volunteer activity that many people take very seriously. Donated blood is used for many medical procedures, especially emergencies. The blood you donate could save a life, as the American Red Cross reminds us periodically when blood supplies are low.
If you’ve ever donated blood, you know there’s a screening process to qualify you for donation. There are a… Read more

Medical Marijuana and Work Drug Tests

08-22-2017

marijuana work drug test

Although people in the U.S. are welcoming the new medical marijuana laws, there is still uncertainty among employers and employees alike on how to handle using it legally in the workplace. As an employee using medical cannabis or considering getting a recommendation for it, you may have questions about the work drug test in your workplace and the adverse implications of positive test… Read more

Marijuana Aromatherapy

08-21-2017

marijuana aromatherapy

The aroma, and flavor, in most foods is a result of the naturally occurring oils in the food. Coffee has a strong aroma, while the smell of a fresh avocado is particularly faint. The cannabis plant also contains oils that produce a distinct smell. There are more than 200 terpenes, or essential oils, produced in the cannabis plant, each adding a different note to the aroma.
Different parts of… Read more

(Why?)

Published at Tue, 26 Sep 2017 04:00:00 +0000

What Is Hash?

Sm3DBF.jpg

What Is Hash?

How to Make and Use Marijuana Flour

09-19-2017

marijuana flour

You go to your local dispensary and check out the edibles — so many goodies! If you’re the frugal type, you might find some of them too expensive and opt for traditional weed instead. Or, you might feel inspired to make your own.
Then, you wonder — how do you make homemade edibles without large chunks of weed in them? Somehow, the edible bakers manage to make them taste more… Read more

The Connecticut Hospice and Medical Marijuana

09-15-2017

ct hospice marijuana

The United States has a severe opioid problem and many of the addictions begin in medical care. When a patient experiences severe pain, a doctor will sometimes prescribe opioids to relieve their symptoms. This can act as a slippery slope — one in three painkiller patients become dependent or addicted.
This addiction can be a devastating one. We desperately need to find an alternate,… Read more

All About Medicinal Cannabis Oil

09-14-2017

cannabis oil

When reading about the benefits of medical marijuana and testimonies from patients, you may have seen something about cannabis oil, or CBD oil. Like other marijuana products, cannabis oil is starting to grow in popularity as the stigma against marijuana reduces.
As an informed patient, you may wonder if cannabis oil could work for you. After all, it has so many glowing testimonies out there…. Read more

Convection vs. Conduction Vaporizers

09-11-2017

convection vs conduction vaporizers

Inhaling cannabis lets you get relief quickly, but the most popular inhalation method, smoking, isn’t exactly the healthiest way to consume medical marijuana. So what do you do if you need the fastest alleviation of your symptoms with fewer health risks? Vaping works as a healthier alternative to smoking due to the much lower amount of toxins you take in.
To vape marijuana, you need to… Read more

Breathalyzers for Detecting Marijuana

09-05-2017

marijuana breathalyzers

You’ve seen it on the cop shows. Someone’s driving under the influence, so the officer pulls out a breathalyzer and finds the driver has alcohol in their system. Alcohol can seriously impair your ability to drive, not to mention driving drunk is illegal.
But, what about marijuana? While the police currently don’t have a way to check for the marijuana in your system on the… Read more

Cannabis-Infused Soap

08-29-2017

marijuana soap

Cannabis is a natural ingredient that can be added to many types of products. There are several ways to consume medical marijuana — most typically it’s ingested through the lungs or stomach. However, marijuana can also be useful as a topical product and has some health benefits when applied to the skin. Adding it to soap can make those health benefits more easily accessible by… Read more

Marijuana Training Program for Doctors in MA

08-25-2017

ma marijuana doctors

The medical marijuana program in Massachusetts requires doctors to register with the state before recommending marijuana therapy to their patients. For most medical practitioners, medical training is ongoing throughout their career. Training in the use of medical marijuana can be difficult to obtain because of the restrictions under federal law. The Massachusetts Medical Society now offers an… Read more

Can You Donate Blood While Taking Medical Marijuana?

08-24-2017

marijuana-donate-blood

Donating blood is a volunteer activity that many people take very seriously. Donated blood is used for many medical procedures, especially emergencies. The blood you donate could save a life, as the American Red Cross reminds us periodically when blood supplies are low.
If you’ve ever donated blood, you know there’s a screening process to qualify you for donation. There are a… Read more

Medical Marijuana and Work Drug Tests

08-22-2017

marijuana work drug test

Although people in the U.S. are welcoming the new medical marijuana laws, there is still uncertainty among employers and employees alike on how to handle using it legally in the workplace. As an employee using medical cannabis or considering getting a recommendation for it, you may have questions about the work drug test in your workplace and the adverse implications of positive test… Read more

Marijuana Aromatherapy

08-21-2017

marijuana aromatherapy

The aroma, and flavor, in most foods is a result of the naturally occurring oils in the food. Coffee has a strong aroma, while the smell of a fresh avocado is particularly faint. The cannabis plant also contains oils that produce a distinct smell. There are more than 200 terpenes, or essential oils, produced in the cannabis plant, each adding a different note to the aroma.
Different parts of… Read more

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 28 Sep 2017 04:00:00 +0000

Groove Grinder From Aerospace (Review)

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Groove Grinder From Aerospace (Review)

Mrs. Nice Guy

There are endless options of grinders on the market, so how do you decide which is worth your money?

That’s where I come in…because I just received a Groove Grinder from Aerospace. This 4 piece, 63mm CNC Groove Grinder comes with a magnetic lid, kief catcher/sifter, and a guitar pick scraper with double-lead threading.

I currently have two grinders, one was a cheap “herb grinder” I got for $9 on Amazon, and the other is a Sutra (not a real review) that I received last year that I’ve been using since. While I do love the Sutra it’s a bit different than the Groove Grinder because the shred patterns are different. While the Sutra Grinder has razor sharp shredding teeth, the Groove Grinder uses a coaxial turbine technology for a new type of shredding pattern.

It’s hard to completely remove stems from some buds, especially if they’re super sticky and most grinders will shred the stems along with your buds. That’s not the case with the new shred pattern from the Groove Grinder, it gives you a light feathery grind each time you use it and also separates unwanted materials *cough* stems and sticks *cough* and that’s pretty fucking dope!

The new radial shredding design and the end result of how well shredded my weed was had me impressed. I thought that the consistency did in fact feel different from other grinders which all use the same shredding teeth pattern, it’s nice to have different options. I did find that with stickier buds instead of falling straight through to the next chamber that some of the weed would get stuck and that became kind of bothersome. There is an easy remedy for this, I used the scraper/pick that was included and one of my vape poker tools to poke the product through.

Treat yo self and purchase a Groove Grinder from Vape World ($59.99), they come in a variety of colors.

The post Groove Grinder From Aerospace (Review) appeared first on Mrs. Nice Guy.

(Why?)

Published at Thu, 14 Sep 2017 18:22:29 +0000

Delaware Governor Signs Medical Marijuana PTSD Bill

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Delaware Governor Signs Medical Marijuana PTSD Bill

Delaware Governor John Carney has signed into law a bill that allows those with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to more easily become medical marijuana patients.

Governor Carney has signed the Bravery Bill into law, allowing those with PTSD to become legal medical marijuana patients if they receive a recommendation from a licensed physician. Before the new law those with PTSD could only get approval for medical marijuana use if they were recommended it by a licensed psychiatrist.

The Bravery Bill was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Margaret Rose Henry, and received strong bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and Senate.

With the signing of the Bravery Bill, Delaware now joins New Hampshire, Minnesota, New Jersey, Michigan, California, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Arizona, Washington, Rhode Island and Oregon as states that allow those with PTSD to legally use medical cannabis.

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 Fri, 15 Sep 2017 22:32:07 +0000

The Connecticut Hospice and Medical Marijuana

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The Connecticut Hospice and Medical Marijuana

Posted by Jason Draizin on 09/15/2017 in Medical Marijuana

ct hospice marijuana

The United States has a severe opioid problem and many of the addictions begin in medical care. When a patient experiences severe pain, a doctor will sometimes prescribe opioids to relieve their symptoms. This can act as a slippery slope — one in three painkiller patients become dependent or addicted.

This addiction can be a devastating one. We desperately need to find an alternate, non-addictive medication for pain relief that patients can use to replace opioids. We’ve compiled considerable resources detailing the painkilling properties of marijuana. However, to gain legitimacy in the medical industry, we need more empirical data on marijuana medicine before it can become a mainstay.

It turns out that places like The Connecticut Hospice want to get that data to change how we view pain relief. As a member of the fight for legal medical marijuana, they want to use evidence and compassion for good.

About The Connecticut Hospice

The Connecticut Hospice knows their stuff. They’ve been in the industry for quite a while, having opened as the first American hospice in 1974. They aim to treat every patient as an entire person instead of just addressing their diagnosis or symptoms. In addition to reducing patients’ symptoms in their final days, they address their social, spiritual and emotional needs.

To meet the goal of tackling every part of a patient’s palliative care, they try to think out of the box to find new methods of care. For instance, they offer therapy animals and strolls in bed down a promenade. One of their newer approaches is medical marijuana treatment.

Medical Cannabis and Opioid in Connecticut

Connecticut legalized medical marijuana in 2012. So, while they don’t have as much experience with legalized medical marijuana as a state like California, they have enough of a foundation to move forward with clinical studies. Researchers are beginning to study cannabis safely and legally.

And just in time. More Connecticut patients become addicted to opioids every day, with prescription painkillers often serving as a “gateway drug.” While 100 people died from heroin addiction in 2012, that number went up to 400 just three years later in 2015.

Progressively, Connecticut is on the way to changing how we view conventional medicine. The Connecticut Hospice is a part of that movement.

How The Connecticut Hospice Study Began

As a hospice employee, you witness the entire process of a patients’ final days — both the good and the bad moments. Wen-Jen Hwu never forgot the experience she had with patients when she was a fellow at The Connecticut Hospice.

So, as chairman of The Connecticut Hospice’s Professional Advisory Committee, she worked together with the organization’s staff to design a study. They aim to research the impact of cannabis treatment on patients at The Connecticut Hospice who volunteer to participate.

After three years of managing paperwork, the team had their research approved in 2016. The study began in May 2017 and is still in progress at the time of writing. Since the study is slated to last six months, it will end in November 2017.

What Questions Does The Connecticut Hospice Study Aim to Answer?

If you’re familiar with research methods and standards, you may know that researchers must specify exactly what they want to find out. For instance, instead of stating that you want to study cannabis and mood, you would need to refine it into something exact like cannabidiol’s effect on depression patients.

This means that The Connecticut Hospice aims to find answers to particular questions they have about the impact of medicinal cannabis use on hospice patients. Some of the questions they ask include:

  • Does medical marijuana change the pain scores reported by hospice patients? By how much?
  • Can cannabis medicine counteract the food and digestion-related side effects of narcotic painkillers?
    • Does it improve reduced appetite due to painkillers?
    • Does it relieve nausea and vomiting caused by painkillers?
    • Can marijuana medicine reduce depression symptoms and improve the patient’s quality of life?
    • How does each component of medical marijuana impact the patient’s treatment?

Overall, The Connecticut Hospice intends to conduct and use their research the same way that they treat their patients — holistically. By looking at their data from a quality of life perspective, they can further their goals of making their patients’ palliative care a happier and healthier experience.

The Nitty-Gritty Details

In addition to specifying the exact ideas behind a study, researchers need to outline precisely how they want to get their information. They must state how many people will be involved, the dosage amounts, the time that someone gets a dose and other such numbers. Knowing these figures helps us understand how we can apply the results to things that happen in everyday life.

hospice marijuana study

The Connecticut Hospice detailed how they’re going to find the answers to their questions. Here are some facts about their methodology:

  • 65 patients are participating in the study
  • The Connecticut Hospice’s nurses will use non-invasive methods to administer medical marijuana to patients as a supplement to their opioid painkillers
  • Each patient will receive a medical cannabis capsule three times a day for a five-day period
  • Researchers will ask the patients questions about their quality of life every eight hours during the five days

Our Study on Medical Marijuana

Speaking of research, did you know that we’re conducting a survey of our own that you can take part in? Using our Symptom Tracker tool, you can enter information about the traditional medicine you take, your marijuana medicine and the symptoms you experience.

By recording the ways that marijuana benefits your health, we can help prove that marijuana is a legitimate medicine that should be federally legal. We keep your information private, so there is no need to worry about people knowing your patient status.

Using the power of data, we can change the medical industry as we know it. We hope you can join folks like The Connecticut Hospice and us in promoting alternative medicine.

(Why?)

Published at Fri, 15 Sep 2017 04:00:00 +0000