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IACM-Bulletin of 02 January 2011

Israel: Medical cannabis distribution centre raided by the police in Tel Aviv

According to a report by the Jerusalem Post the police raided a distribution centre for cannabis in Tel Aviv on 15 December. Police say they suspect that a significant amount of the drug was given to criminal organizations that had acquired fake prescriptions. Dozens of disabled and terminally ill people protested outside the storefront on Rehov Ibn Gvirol run by Tikkun Olam, on 19 December. Police arrested two managers of the storefront and held them for questioning for several hours, on suspicion of illegal drug trafficking. Shai Meir, spokesman for Tikkun Olam, the nation’s largest medical cannabis supplier, told reporters at the organization’s headquarters in a north Tel Aviv apartment that police actions against the clinic and its patients mainly harmed those seeking medical treatment.

“The bottom line is that the only ones who have suffered as a result of these police actions are the patients," Meir said. Dozens of patients, many of them in wheelchairs, clamored to receive their monthly doses at a makeshift drug counter set up in the apartment’s backyard on Sunday. Many of the patients were not able to receive their cannabis after Tikkun Olam closed its doors following the police raid, and by Sunday afternoon the courtyard was full of patients showing their prescriptions and identification cards.

More at:
www.jpost.com/Health/Article.aspx?id=200176

(Source: Jersusalem Post of 20 December 2010)

News in brief

Spain: Cannabis clubs
The number of member-only cannabis clubs is rising in Spain as users exploit the law, which allows consumption of cannabis in private. The spacious Paracuellos de Jarama club in a small town near Madrid, situated in a former restaurant, is equipped with a bar, kitchen, billiard tables and TV screens. The association's president, Pedro Álvaro Zamora said: "This is not Amsterdam, this is not a coffee shop. This is our association's club house and it is a private place." It is the most sophisticated of up to 40 cannabis clubs that have sprung up in garages and back rooms around Spain since cannabis users worked out that laws making it illegal to consume in public did not apply to private, member-only, clubs. (Source: The Guardian of 28 December 2010)

USA: New Mexico
Changes of the medical cannabis program of New Mexico were announced, including fees for producers of cannabis of between 5,000 and 30,000 US Dollars (about 3,700 – 22,000 EURos). The Health Department also agreed to license eight new growers, boosting the state total to 25 and to allow growers to produce 150 mature plants and seedlings. Under earlier regulations, the limit was 95 plants. (Source: www.bloomberg.com of 17 December 2010)

USA: Colorado
For Colorado tougher, new rules are intended for the medical use of cannabis. It is expected that the new rules will be adopted early this year and does not need approval by lawmakers. Colorado will dictate how growers can raise cannabis plants and how the drug can be sold to the state's 116,000 patients who are allowed to use cannabis. (Source: Associated Press of 17 December 2010)

Science: Pain
According to research at the University of Calgary, Canada, local application of the endocannabinoid degradation inhibitor URB597 reduced pain in animal models of osteoarthritis. URB597 was injected into the affected joints of guinea pigs. The effects were mediated by the CB1 receptor. (Source: Schuelert N, et al. Pain. 2010 Dec 23. [in press])

Science: Liver and brain damage
According to scientists from Greece and Israel the natural cannabinoid CBD (cannabidiol) improves brain and liver function in an animal model for brain damage (encephalopathy) caused by liver failure. (Source: Avraham Y, et al. Br J Pharmacol. 2010 Dec 23. [in press])

Science: Fibrosis of the skin
According to research of the University of Siena, Italy, the synthetic cannabinoid WIN55,212-2 reduced fibrosis of the skin in an animal model of scleroderma. Skin fibrosis was induced by local injections of bleomycin in mice. Author noted that the cannabinoid is "capable of preventing skin fibrosis in a mouse model of scleroderma." (Source: Balistreri E, et al. Ann Rheum Dis. 2010 Dec 21. [in press])

Science: Obesity
According to research of the University of Gdansk, Poland, cannabidiol (CBD) decreased body weight gain in rats in a dose-dependent manner. This effect was at least in part mediated by the CB2 receptor. (Source: Ignatowska-Jankowska B, et al. Neurosci Lett. 2010 Dec 17. [in press])

Science: Bladder emptying
According to scientists from Sweden, Germany and the US the selective CB2 receptor agonist cannabinor improved bladder emptying in rats with partial obstruction of the urethra. They concluded that "selective cannabinoid 2 receptor activation may be a novel principle to enable improved bladder function after partial urethral obstruction." (Source: Gratzke C, et al. J Urol. 2010 Dec 18. [in press])

Science: Cancer of the prostate
According to research at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, USA, the endocannabinoid noladin ether showed anti-proliferative effects in prostate carcinoma cells. This effect was not mediated by cannabinoid receptors. (Source: Nithipatikom K, et al. Prostaglandins Other Lipid Mediat. 2010 Dec 15. [in press])

A glimpse @ the past

One year ago

Two years ago

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