CannaBiz: National Cancer Institute changes cannabis definition 

One step forward

Last week, The American Independent website reported that the National Cancer Institute (cancer.gov) has changed its definition of cannabis to include medicinal benefits, a first for a federal institution.

Under "Cannabis and Cannabinoids" on the Institute's website, it reads, "The potential benefits of medicinal cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic [anti-vomiting] effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep." This may help the drive to reclassify marijuana from a Schedule I narcotic, as one Schedule I condition is that the drug or substance have "no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States."

Likely in response, the Independent notes, the American Society of Addiction Medicine has issued a white paper saying it still does not support marijuana because the drug "does not accord with critically important aspects of the modern scientific model. It lacks quality control and standardization; can be contaminated with pesticides and microbes; and does not assure patients a reliable and reproducible dose."

Rocky Mountain high

Some hits from across the state:

House Bill 1261, the effort to limit the amount of THC present in a driver's blood to 5 nanograms, passed its third reading from the Colorado House of Representatives last week and is set to be reviewed by the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Co-sponsor Rep. Claire Levy — who, before the final vote, attempted to amend the limit to 8 nanograms but was rejected — told Westword, "It's not my place as a member of the House to tell the senators what to do. But if anybody asked me what I thought about it, I would tell them I offered that [amendment] in the House, that I thought it was supportable, and that I'd support it if it came out of the Senate that way."

• The Pueblo Chieftain reports that the Legislature has tentatively agreed to replace funding for the Circle Program, an addiction treatment program at the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Pueblo, with money generated by MMJ cardholder registrations. The program costs roughly $1 million annually.

• On April 5, Grand Junction voters will decide whether or not to ban medical marijuana centers in their city. The Grand Junction Daily Sentinel says early returns suggest the city will see a record voter turnout for a municipal election.

Compassion Pain Management, which operates centers in Lakewood and Louisville, is selling "Joints for Japan." Denver's 9NEWS says the center also considered calling the event "Bake for the Quake" or "Joint Relief."


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