Vol. 7, Number 2
cheryl riley, James Freire,
Dr. David Bearman,
Gradi Jordan, Ed Glick,
Sunil K Aggarwal,
Al Byrne, Amanda Reiman,
Jim Greig, Joan Bello,
AAMC El Dorado County CA
AAMC Rhode Island
New Georgia Director - Cleveland Batton
We now have a new AAMC Director for Georgia. Cleveland Batton is going to do his utmost to snowball the education of the many benefits of cannabis. "People say that Georgia will be the last to legalize Cannabis if it ever does, but I feel differently. I want to be the change. Instead of waiting around for someone else to do something I want to take the first initiative in pushing Georgia toward the legalization of medical marijuana and then progress towards recreational usage."
On September 2, 2014, the AP ran an article headlined with the hysterical question, “Will traffic deaths rise as states legalize pot?” It seems to be unencumbered by the facts. The fact is that experience, epidemiology and research demonstrate that cannabis either has almost no effect on driving, no effect or causes people to drive more safely.
Department of Transportation
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study entitled "Marijuana and Actual Driving performance”, "THC's adverse effects on driving performance appear relatively small" and "Evidence from the present and previous studies strongly suggests that alcohol encourages risky driving, whereas THC encourages greater caution."
The U.S. Department of Transportation ( DOT) has said, “It is not possible to conclude anything about a driver’s impairment on the basis of his/her plasma concentrations of THC and THC-COOH determined in a single sample.”
We also know from the FDA that they support driving and operating heavy equipment after use of dronabinol (delta 9 THC). THC is the principal euphoriant in cannabis. The FDA approved package insert for Marinol™ (THC) states that patients receiving treatment with Marinol (generic is dronabinol) should be specifically warned not to drive, operate machinery, or engage in any hazardous activity until it is established that they are able to tolerate the drug and to perform such tasks safely.
Then there are numerous studies which demonstrate that cannabis does not adversely affect driving and some that show it may improve driving and hand-eye coordination. In 1968, while at Harvard, Dr. Andrew Weil, chairman of the Department of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona School of Medicine, did physiological research on cannabis. He found that the hand-eye coordination among regular users of cannabis, actually improved after consuming cannabis.
Driving Simulation Studies
There were driving simulator studies done by the Washington State Highway Department. This study found that, "Simulated driving scores for subjects experiencing a normal social 'high' and the same subjects under control conditions are not significantly different. (47.46 errors to 47.49 errors out of a possible 405) after two marijuana cigarettes. However, there were significantly more errors for alcohol-intoxicated subjects than for control subjects," (95+ errors) after two shots of distilled spirits.
Further evidence that the accident in question in the article was not associated with cannabis is the fact that the driver was speeding. According to the DOT the effect of cannabis on driving is that drivers drive slower and more carefully.
The article quotes the prosecutor, who never spent one day in medical school, that there was a potential lethal combination of “speed and weed.” As the DOT points out, there is no basis for this conclusion. Many studies have shown a decrease in accidents with people using cannabis compared to drivers using no drugs at all. One reason is that cannabis use is associated with driving slower not faster. On the other hand speed and alcohol has been conclusively proven to be associated with each other and an increased accident risk.
We have over a decade of experience with medicinal cannabis which demonstrates an impressive decrease in traffic deaths in states where medicinal cannabis is legal. For instance, from 2008 to 2012 the fatality rates in California fell by 20%. In contrast, Texas, a non-medicinal cannabis state, had a decline of less than 1% over the same time period. California and Texas both had about the same number of fatalities in 2008, a shade under 4,000 in each state. If cannabis use increased motor vehicle accident fatality rate then the fatality rate should be higher in California than Texas. It is clearly decreasing in California while Texas remained essentially the same over the same time period.
A 1993 study of cannabis and driving sponsored by the U.S. National Highway Safety Traffic Administration included a review of the literature. The authors Robbe & O’Hanlon comments in summary of their literature review and of their own results include the following:
Yet there is little if any evidence to indicate that drivers who have used marijuana alone are any more likely to cause serious accidents than drug-free drivers.”
My conclusion is that the AP should check the facts and not equate an unscientific opinion unencumbered by research or facts.
Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Indiana: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.
North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
South Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
South Dakota: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
Tennessee: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Texas: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Wisconsin: Considering a medical marijuana law.
Featured Recipe - Coma Cookies by Jay R. Cavanaugh, PhD.
Medical relief from the Canny Bus Trip Kit
There’s a dilemma in making medical cannabis edibles. In general, the stronger they are the worse they taste. Who wants a bitter tasting cookie? Who wants a great tasting cookie that doesn’t work? Compounding the dilemma is the fact that the stronger the cannabutter used in baking, the more the butter acts like oil which dramatically alters the baking properties.
Nurse Nancy Wife co-cook and I have come up with a modified cookie recipe that seems to solve the dilemma. WARNING: These cookies are not called “Coma” for nothing. They are very strong potent medicine used to treat severe muscle pain and cramping and insomnia related to chronic pain. Do not drive for at least 8 hours after ingestion.
First, we made Black Out Butter from high grade trim. This is nasty tasting stuff but has the needed potency. It is estimated that each cookie made from this recipe has from 0.7 grams to 1.5 grams of cannabis. Second, we didn’t combine our cannabutter with dairy butter as we usually do in our recipes. We used pure cannabutter. Third, we reduced the amount of additional ingredients to further increase the relative amounts of cannabinoids in the cookie and to keep the cookies moist.
2 cups all purpose flour
Sift together the dry ingredients (except the steel cut oats) and set aside. Cream the cannabutter and sugars then add the vanilla and mix in the eggs. Don’t overwork the butter and sugar or it will break down. Mix (we used an electric mixer) the set aside dry ingredients into the creamed butter. Mix in the oats with a heavy spoon and blend. Fold in the currants, cranberries, and pecans. Chill the batter (we made two portions and froze them). With the batter still cold roll the dough into balls about golf ball size.
Place the cookie balls on a greased baking pan and bake at 300 degrees for 15-17 minutes.
Hint: The cookies will flatten out and not rise as usual. They will be chewy and crispy at the same time. Keep the cookies in an airtight container (they should stay fresh a month that way).
Options: You may use raisins instead of currants. You may also want to add a teaspoon of lemon zest and/or some allspice or ground cloves.
Recommended beverage: Guatemalan Antigua coffee
Final note: Eat one whole cookie, sip coffee, and relax. You are now on a pain free vacation.
May 21-23, 2015
West Palm Beach, Florida USA
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Medical Marijuana States
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Rhode Island *
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# States with legal marijuana