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IACM-Bulletin of October 27, 2002


🌐 USA β€” Cannabis-law reform initiatives at the November elections

Voters in Arizona and Nevada will decide on state wide cannabis-law reform initiatives at this year's mid-term elections on 5 November. There are also an additional local initiative in San Francisco and a measure on the cultivation of industrial hemp in South Dakota.

Arizona (Proposition 203): Voters will decide whether existing marijuana penalties on the possession of up to two ounces of marijuana should be reduced from a criminal offence to a civil violation punishable by a fine (1 ounce = 28.5 grams). The measure would also amend Arizona's existing medicinal marijuana law. It would allow state-registered patients or their caregivers to legally possess up to two ounces of cannabis, and requires state officials to implement a medicinal cannabis distribution system.

Nevada (Question 9): Question 9 would eliminate criminal and civil penalties for the use or possession of up to three ounces of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older, and mandate the state to implement a system whereby adults could obtain marijuana through a legally regulated market.

Citizens of the town of San Francisco will decide whether they want the city to grow marijuana for patients. About 3,600 people in San Francisco have permission to use cannabis as medicine.

(Sources: Las Vegas Review-Journal of 20 October 2002, NORML of 24 October 2002)

News in brief

🌐 Canada/USA β€” Implications on trade across the border

Officials of the U.S. government said they may drastically decrease trade across the northern U.S. border if the Canadian government relaxes its marijuana laws. They say that decriminalizing of cannabis being considered by the Canadian government would increase trafficking by organized crime elements. The U.S.A. would respond with tighter border checks that could hinder trade crucial to the Canadian economy. (Source: Associated Press of 15 October 2002)

🌐 USA β€” New York governor candidates

Several candidates for governor in New York expressed their support for the medical use of cannabis, including Independence Party candidate B. Thomas Golisano, and Democratic Party candidate H. Carl McCall. New York Governor George Pataki (Republican) opposes this idea. The candidates of the Marijuana Reform Party, the Greens and the Libertarian Party support general legalisation of cannabis. (Source: Associated Press of 16 October 2002)

🏷️ Science β€” Vomiting

Several cannabinoids (among them THC) inhibited activation of 5-HT(3A) receptors independently of cannabinoid receptors. 5-HT3 (serotonin) antagonists are very effective drugs against vomiting. Researchers assume that cannabinoids act at a modulatory site of the 5-HT(3A) receptor and conclude: "This site is a potential target for new analgesic and antiemetic drugs." (Source: Barann M, et al. Br J Pharmacol 2002 Nov;137(5):589-96)

🏷️ Science β€” Alzheimer's disease

Basic research shows that the endocannabinoids anandamide and noladin ether prevent the neurotoxicity of the amyloid-beta peptide which plays an important role in Alzheimer's disease. (Source: Milton N. Neurosci Lett 2002 Oct 31;332(2):127)

🏷️ Science β€” Glaucoma

The effect of the novel putative endogenous cannabinoid noladin ether on intraocular pressure was investigated. Noladin ether decreased intraocular pressure immediately after local administration at the rabbit eye, while the known endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonylglycerol (2-AG) cause a transient increase first. The effects on intraocular pressure of noladin ether differed from those of the known endocannabinoids probably because of its more stable chemical structure. They were probably mediated by the CB1 receptor. (Source: Laine K, et al. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2002 Oct;43(10):3216-22)