Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Headlines: Alcohol deaths; 'No-high' strains; Edible regulations

by David Downs
Mon, Apr 12, 2010 at 10:00 AM

Today in the headlines: college kids lobby for grass over booze, citing 97,000 alcohol-related sexual assaults each year; a local dispensary cultivates a no-buzz cannabis strain for pain relief; edibles to be regulated in Berkeley; and growers team up with narcotics cops to give a tacit endorsement to legalization. Read them after the jump.

Salon makes the case for cannabis, noting it's much much safer than alcohol:

It's time for reformers to play up the safety claim for pot: It's less dangerous than alcohol ...
Last week, students at 80 colleges asked their schools to reduce penalties for marijuana possession so that they are no greater than penalties for alcohol possession. It's a request with safety in mind: According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, alcohol use by college kids contributes to roughly 1,700 deaths, 600,000 injuries and 97,000 sexual assaults every year. By contrast, "The use of marijuana itself has not been found to contribute to any deaths, there has never been a single fatal marijuana overdose in history (and) all objective research on marijuana has also concluded that it does not contribute to injuries, assaults, sexual abuse, or violent or aggressive behavior," as the group Safer Alternative For Enjoyable Recreation notes.


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Harborside Health Center announces stone-free medicine. The local model dispensary says the strain is low in psychoactive THC and high in pain-relieving CBD.
In response to the shortage of CBD rich cannabis varieties, Harborside has initiated a program to identify such strains, and encourage growers to propagate them. Because CBD modulates the psycho activity of THC, some patients respond better to varieties of cannabis which couple low THC levels with high CBD levels, because they enhance medical efficacy while reducing or eliminating psycho activity. This is particularly true for cannabis-naive patients, who have no prior experience with it, prior to receiving a recommendation from their doctor.

"Ultimately, there will be greater demand for CBD-rich cannabis, than there is for cannabis that just gets you high," predicts DeAngelo. "Only a small percentage of people enjoy the psycho activity of cannabis, but almost everybody can benefit from its medical properties".



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Along with the rise of medicinal cannabis has come a concurrent rise in THC-derived cakes, cookies, and other edibles for those who prefer not to smoke it. Berkeley plans to regulate such edibles bakeries. Berkeley's Medical Cannabis Commission is to consider a proposition later this month that would allow the city's dispensaries to bake edibles in designated properties.

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Lastly, the Los Angeles Times gets in on the pro-pot backlash story up in Northern California, where growers see their profits threatened by possible legalization. Folks, when the cops and the drug dealers are both against a ballot measure, it becomes a tacit endorsement for legalization. Let's end the lock-ups and end the rip-offs, already.

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