The first Dutch cannabis pharmacy: Hanzeplein in Groningen
The pharmacy Hanzeplein in Groningen (http://www.hanzeplein.nl) is the first Dutch cannabis pharmacy. It sells medical cannabis grown by the company Bedrocan at 6 Euros per gramme. Thus, the price is similar to that in coffee-shops and cheaper than usually in pharmacies. This is a pilot project in cooperation with the Stichting Medicinale Cannabis and the Office for Medicinal Cannabis of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports. Patients need a prescription from their doctor.
Medical marijuana produced by Bedrocan (photo: "Bedrocan" strain) finally available at a decent price.
Science: Moderate cannabis use has a positive effect on treatment for cocaine dependence in patients with comorbid ADHD and cocaine dependence. According to a study of the New York State Psychiatric Institute moderate/intermittent cannabis users were more successful than other patients in abstaining from cocaine use in a sample of 92 cocaine dependend patients diagnosed with current ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) aged 25 to 51. They participated in a clinical trial of methylphenidate for treatment of ADHD and cocaine dependence in an outpatient setting. The study investigated the effects of cannabis use on treatment retention and abstinence from cocaine. At week 14, retention rates were 24 percent among abstainers, 57 percent among intermittent/moderate users, and 39 percent among heavy/regular users. Cannabis use also was associated with higher rates of abstinence from cocaine. Among those subjects in the study who reported using cannabis intermittently, 39 percent achieved two or more weeks of abstinence from cocaine, compared to only 26 percent of subjects who reported not using cannabis during treatment. The study was the first to assess the use of cannabis on treatment outcomes in patients diagnosed with cocaine dependence.
USA: California - A state judge on 6 December upheld California's law permitting
the use of cannabis for medical purposes, rejecting a lawsuit by three counties challenging the ten years old law. The counties, led by San Diego, argued that local governments of the counties shouldn't be bound to uphold state laws that are weaker than the federal prohibition of cannabis. State attorneys responded that California was entitled to pass its own laws suspending state prosecution for medical cannabis use.
Canada: Poll on medical use. In a nationwide survey, an 93 per cent of Canadians indicated they accept the idea of people legally smoking cannabis for health reasons. Nearly three in four (70 per cent) not only accept the practice but also personally approve of the behaviour. However, the political reality contradicts this nationwide opinion: The federal government's decision to cancel the Medical Marijuana Research Program (MMRP) sends a strong message that clinical research into the risks and benefits of herbal cannabis - the kind distributed by Ottawa under Supreme Court order - is not a priority. The discontinuation also signals Canada is no longer interested in being a leader in cannabinoid research despite its unique position as the only country with a federally controlled marijuana grow-op to supply registered users.
Canada: Case against local culture shop owners takes a turn as lawyer takes similar course argued by abortion activist Henry Morgentaler. The lawyer for Holy smoke co-owners Paul DeFelice and Alan Middlemiss, and associates Akka Annis and Kelsey Stratas, will use a defense employed by abortion activist Henry Morgentaler to acquit his clients of their drug trafficking and possession charges. While not acknowledging that his clients are guilty of trafficking or possession of a variety of marijuana, hashish, and psilocybin, Nelson lawyer Donald Skogstad said he plans to argue that their alleged trafficking of those substances was the "lesser of two evils".
"...You could argue it's a harm reduction issue" said Skogstad. "If marijuana is available at a fair price in a very clean product in a safe environment not dealing in the back alley where you might get your wallet taken. [People are] not buying crystal meth."
The Greenish Warbler