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IACM-Bulletin of January 29, 2012
The governor of Arizona, Jan Brewer, on 13 January directed state officials to implement sections of an approved 2010 voter initiative that allows for the licensed production and distribution of cannabis for therapeutic purposes. The law removes criminal penalties for the use and possession of up to 2.5 ounces (about 70 grams) of cannabis by patients who are registered with the state Department of Health. The law also mandates the state to adopt rules for the establishment of up to 125 cannabis dispensaries, which would be legally authorized to produce and dispense cannabis to patients with authorisation.
On 4 January a federal judge had thrown out the complaint of Brewer and state Attorney General Tom Horne against the voter-approved medical cannabis law. The complaint filed in May 2011 sought a judgment on whether state officials administering Arizona's medical-cannabis programs could be at risk for federal prosecution. U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton dismissed the complaint without prejudice, ruling enforcement actions by federal officials posed no genuine threat to state officials seeking to implement the law. "Plaintiffs," wrote Bolton "have not shown that any action against state employees in this state is imminent or even threatened." Further, the complaint did not show any state officials had been prosecuted in other states for "participation in state medical marijuana licensing schemes."
(Sources: Huffington Post of 5 January 2012, NORML of 19 January 2012)
Two-thirds of Canadian adults favour legalizing cannabis, a survey indicated. The Forum Research telephone poll of 1,160 people found 66 percent of respondents favoured government control of cannabis, similar to alcohol and tobacco. (Source: UPI of 18 January 2012)
A judge has ruled that Montana's medical cannabis law doesn't shield providers of the drug from federal prosecution. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy on 20 January dismissed a civil lawsuit filed by 14 individuals and businesses that were among more than two dozen medical cannabis providers raided by federal agents last year across Montana. (Source: Associated Press of 23 January 2012)
On 12 January federal prosecutors in Colorado launched raids against nearly two dozen medical cannabis dispensaries located within 1,000 feet of schools, giving the proprietors 45 days to cease operations or face civil and criminal penalties. (Source: Reuters of 12 January 2012)
According to a study at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, USA, social anxiety disorders are associated with cannabis use disorders. Researchers found that anxiety disorders precede cannabis use disorders in the majority of cases. They conducted a survey in adults, 2957 of whom had a cannabis use disorder and no anxiety, 1643 had anxiety and no cannabis use disorder, and 340 had both disorders. (Source: Buckner JD, et al. Drug Alcohol Depend. 2012 Jan 20. [in press])
Researchers of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, demonstrated that the non-psychotropic plant cannabinoid cannabidiol (CBD) reduced inflammation in a mouse model of acute lung injury. They noted that this effect may be mediated through the adenosine A(2A) receptor. (Source: Ribeiro A, et al. Eur J Pharmacol. 2012 Jan 12. [in press])
According to research at Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University in Nagpur, India, the endocannabinoid anandamide inhibits marble-burying behaviour in mice. This behaviour is a model for assessing obsessive-compulsive disorder. This effect was mediated by the vanilloid receptor. (Source: Umathe SN, et al. Neuropharmacology. 2012 Jan 11. [in press])
According to research at the Cajal Institute in Madrid, Spain, the administration of synthetic cannabinoids (WIN 55,212-2 and JWH-133) for 4 months to mice prevented inflammation of the brain, lowered levels of beta-amyloid and improved cognitive performance. Beta-amyloid is a substance, which is found in large amounts in nerve cells of patients with Alzheimer's disease and is toxic to nerve cells. (Source: Martin Moreno AM, et al. J Neuroinflammation 2012;9(1):8.)
In a study at the Medical School of Hannover, Germany, with 56 people undergoing general anaesthesia with propofol or thiopental/sevoflurane there was no difference in blood levels of the endocannabinoid anandamide. Researchers found no evidence that FAAH (fatty acid amide hydrolase), the enzyme responsible for the degradation of anandamide, was inhibited by propofol, as reported in a previous study. (Source: Jarzimski C, et al. Br J Clin Pharmacol. 2012 Jan 13. [in press])