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IACM-Bulletin of 14 February 2010

USA: The state of Colorado tries to restrict the recommendation of cannabis by physicians

Stunned at the rapid increase in the number of registered medical cannabis patients in the state, the Colorado Senate voted overwhelmingly on 1 February to impose new restrictions on physicians who make medical cannabis recommendations. The Senate voted 34-1 to pass the bill. The measure bars doctors from writing recommendations inside dispensaries that sell medical cannabis. It requires that doctors review a person's medical history and give them a full exam before recommending that they become a legal user of medical cannabis. Those between 18 and 21 would have to get the approval of two doctors, which is already required for patients under 18. The measure is now going to the state House of Representatives.

Another bill to create more oversight for the hundreds of dispensaries that have opened up in Colorado, most of them in the last year, has also been recently introduced. The number of people getting medical cannabis cards has been growing rapidly since last year. The number of dispensaries has also increased and lawmakers fear some are working too closely with doctors to allow recreational users to become legal medical cannabis users. So far, about 17,000 people have received their medical cannabis cards from the state and another 20,000 or so have applied and are waiting for approval.

More at:
- www.dailycamera.com/state-west-news/ci_14299431
- stopthedrugwar.org/chronicle/619/colorado_medical_marijuana_regulations_bill_passes_senate_doctors
- www.summitdaily.com/article/20100203/NEWS/100209931&parentprofile=search

(Sources: Associated Press of 29 January 2010, Drug War Chronicle of 5 February 2010, Summit Daily News of 3 February 2010)

News in brief

Canada: Symposium
The CCIC (Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids) invites to participate to a Cannabinoids and Pain Symposium on 28 August, 2010, in Montreal, Canada. It is an official satellite symposium of the 13th World Congress on Pain. Speakers include Donald Abrams, Pierre Beaulieu, Vincenzo Di Marzo, Matthew Hill, Andrea Hohmann, Jason McDougall, Roger Pertwee and Mark Ware. The abstract deadline is 1 March. More information at: www.ccic.net/symposium. (Source: CCIC)

Germany: Workshop
Dr. Andreas Zimmer, a professor at the University of Bonn, and Dr. Beat Lutz, a professor at the University of Mainz, invite to Bonn for the Workshop on "The Endocannabinoid System: From Physiology to Pathophysiology" on 18-19 June 2010. The abstract submission deadline is 31 March 2010. Among the speakers are: Itai Bab, Markus Leweke, Benjamin F. Cravatt, Pal Pacher, Manuel Guzmán, Olga Valverde, István Katona, and Hanns Ulrich Zeilhofer. More information at: www.cannabinoid2010.uni-bonn.de. (Source: Andreas Zimmer)

Science: Effect of cannabis laws
Laws against cannabis use have failed to cut its use around the world and have led to policies that are intrusive, socially divisive and expensive, according to an international group of drug policy experts. In a new book looking at cannabis policies, the experts said that, while the drug harmed some users, it had only a modest effect on society. The book, called "Cannabis Policy: Moving Beyond Stalemate", was published by Britain's Oxford University Press and the Beckley Foundation. (Source: Reuters of 26 January 2010)

Science: THC and haloperidol
In a clinical study at the Centre for Human Drug Research, Leiden, the Netherlands, the effects of the antipsychotic medication haloperidol on THC effects were investigated. 35 healthy subjects received THC, haloperidol or a combination. The study showed that haloperidol reduces psychotic-like effects induced by THC but not the "feeling high". (Source: Liem-Moolenaar M, et al. J Psychopharmacol. 2010 Feb 8. [Electronic publication ahead of print])

Science: Caries
According to a study at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, cannabis users had no higher risk for development of caries than tobacco smokers. However, the use of cannabis was associated with a lower frequency of daily tooth brushing and a higher consumption of sugar-containing beverages. (Source: Schulz-Katterbach M, et al. Schweiz Monatsschr Zahnmed 2009;119(6):576-83.)

Science: Detection of THC
In a study at the University of Berne, Switzerland, with 12 subjects, who smoked one cannabis cigarette with 70 mg THC peak concentrations and detection times were analysed. THC and THC-COOH were detectable in urine up to 2-8 and 48-120 hours, respectively. (Source: Brenneisen R, et al. Anal Bioanal Chem. 2010 Jan 30. [Electronic publication ahead of print])

Science: Alzheimer's disease
According to research at the University of British Columbia, Canada, the use of a cannabinoid (HU210) in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease was not associated with an improved outcome. (Source: Chen B, et al. Curr Alzheimer Res. 2009 Dec 31. [Electronic publication ahead of print])

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