This Week In Cannabis 7/24

PTSD research marches on (or out), Oregon readies for legalization vote, medical marijuana available from a place that practices medicine, and a self-medicated cure

PTSD Researchers Hitting the High Road
University of Arizona could see their budding study of medical marijuana’s effects on Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) move home, reports the Arizona Public Media.

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), the non-profit funding the research, are not excited about their lead researcher, Sue Sisley, losing her position at the university.

The organization is flexing its muscles by threatening to take their research (and their wares) to a more Sisley-friendly facility (with Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University on the short list) if she is not reinstated.

And for the record, it’s not only MAPS that believes her 15 years of experience is valuable either. Some 69,000 PTSD sufferers and veterans have signed an online petition to get her back into the saddle.

This is a bold move for MAPS, as it could potentially pose some setbacks for the fledgling study. Along with the group having to resubmit their already approved requests to the Food and Drug Administration, Department of Health and Human Service, and the Public Health Service, there is no guarantee that the Arizona Board of Regents would agree to grant Sisley employment at the other institutions that MAPS has earmarked for potential relocation.

UA is expected to respond by mid-August. If the outcome is not positive, as Sisley already suspects it will not be, she plans to take her case to Federal Court.

Legalization in Voters’ Hands
Oregon is all set to let the legalization of recreational marijuana be a matter decided by Oregonian voters this November, the LA Times is reporting.

With 88,500 signatures, Initiative Petition 53 has earned its place on the ballot. If passed (which most are convinced it will) Oregon would join Colorado and Washington state (come on Alaska!) in allowing the possession, cultivation, sale and recreational use of marijuana. Three down and a couple more to go….

Dispensing With the Legalities
Could MMJ become hospital-grade? If a Chicago hospital has its way, it might be one day reports the Chicago Sun-Times.

Amidst growing marijuana distribution and acquisition concerns for their patients, Swedish Covenant Hospital on Chicago’s North Side is keen on being the first hospital to distribute cannabis from their dispensary to those who qualify and are in need.

If that day comes, however, is not so much a matter of speculation as it is regulation. The state might be OK with it, but the federal government still isn’t. As much sense as it makes, it’s still a risky endeavor to be at the forefront of this proposition.

The potential blow-back from allowing medical marijuana dispensaries on site could include Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement issues, falling foul of the IRS, and criminal targeting.

Sounds too crazy to have medical marijuana available at a location where medicine is routinely practiced, doesn’t it?

Keeping Tabs on a Cure
From across the pond a story of a potential cure for cancer has surfaced. The Express is reporting that a 63-year-old Englishman, Mike Cutler, is now cancer-free after taking homemade marijuana tablets.

After concocting his own blend from a less-than-reputable supplier, Cutler—who described himself as, “a normal family man, not a druggie”—subscribed to his pill-a-day regimen. And apparently it worked.

Along with the pain he experienced, a biopsy from his medical provider confirmed that the cancer cells in his liver are gone. He credits the idea to a YouTube video that extolled the virtues of cannabis oil in treating cancer.

It would seem that our English medical peers share many of the same conclusions regarding the potential medical benefits of marijuana. They also face the same hesitance from the powers that be in embracing its widespread availability or use. Stiff upper lip and all that…