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Marijuana news from around the world

Nevada State Athletic Commission

Medical Marijuana Industry News September 21, 2012

lab research

New Evidence Showing Marijuana Fighting Cancer Emerges…

Marijuana.net has been providing updates on studies that highlight marijuana’s potential provide medical relief.  Many of these studies show pain relief, while others have demonstrated that cannabis may hold the ability to actually fight cancer.  Several years ago, there was a government study released showing this.  More recently, Rick Simpson’s California Tears Hemp Oil has received praise from many who have used it to help fight their own cancer.  Only months ago, Tommy Chong announced he would be seeking similar treatment.  Although many of these breakthroughs have not received the deserved attention, it appears a new study is gaining a little more visibility.  Huffington Post is reporting that two researchers from California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco identified a compound in marijuana that can stop the metastasis of many aggressive forms of cancer.  One of the researchers leading the study, Pierre Desprez, described the findings by saying “It took us about 20 years of research to figure this out, but we are very excited.”  The findings seem to revolve around cannabidiol (CBD), a cannabinoid that has received a great deal of attention as of late.  This is also the cannabinoid found in the newly created Israeli marijuana that produces pain relief with no psychedelic effects.  Desprez has been studying the ID1 gene, which causes cancer to spread.  With the help of another scientist, Sean McAllister, who has studied CBD in depth, the two were able to determine that CBD can stop the spreading of cancer.  Desprez also said “What we found was that his Cannabidiol could essentially ‘turn off’ the ID-1… “We likely would not have found this on our own, That’s why collaboration is so essential to scientific discovery.”  Scientific collaboration on the issue can be difficult as experimenting with marijuana is often not allowed under current U.S. law.

 

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Fiona Apple Arrested for Marijuana Possession…

This week has been an eventful one in terms of musicians and marijuana.  Earlier this week we reported that Lady Gaga smoked a joint on stage during a performance in Amsterdam and praised the benefits of marijuana.  Now we have learned that longtime musician, Fiona Apple, has now been linked to marijuana.  However Fiona Apple was arrested at a border stop in Sierra Blanca Texas due to marijuana and hashish possession.  While the marijuana charge is a misdemeanor, possessing any amount hashish is considered a felony in Texas The singer has been on tour for her fourth studio album “The Idler Wheel”.  This particular border checkpoint in Sierra Blanca has also been a problem for other entertainers as Willie Nelson and Snoop Dog have also been caught with marijuana there.  It is unclear how severe her charges will be.

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Boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Jr. Tests Positive for Marijuana

Julio Cesar Chávez Jr. comes from a family of boxers with a rich history.  His father, Julio Cesar Chávez is often mentioned as the best fighter to ever come out of Mexico.  Chavez Jr.’s brother is also a professional boxer.  Chavez junior was a champion in his own right and only lost his WBC championship belt to Sergio Martinez only days ago, a title he held since June of 2011.  Unfortunately for Chavez Jr. he may be at risk to lose more as he recently tested positive for marijuana.  Because his previous fight was in Las Vegas, Chavez Jr. will face a review from the Nevada State Athletic Commission.  Chavez Jr. has prior issues such as a DWI so it is unclear how the commission will rule.  In theory they could revoke his license to fight or make him forfeit the entire $3 million purse from the Martinez fight.  Chavez Jr.’s promoter, Bob Arum of Top Rank, tried to calm the situation down.  He said “I can’t really get excited about it. There’s no promoter in boxing who could pass the marijuana test, including myself.  “Julio is going to have to explain to the commission what happened and the commission will be guided accordingly. If there was a trace of marijuana, to me, it’s not the same as using a performance-enhancing drug. That is cheating.”  The issue of treating marijuana as a performance enhancer has come under fire especially as recent Olympians were banned from the games solely based on testing positive for marijuana.

 

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Marijuana and Sports News

sports

Sports are looking up.

In the past month the marijuana community has heard some great news from the world of sports.  And this news comes from around the world.  The National Basketball Association (USA) has decided to soften its approach to marijuana testing.  The Australian Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports (COMPPS) has also decided to take a new look at what constitutes “performance enhancing drugs” as opposed to simply “banned substances” and all of this is causing the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to also review its rules.  Furthermore, UFC fighter Nick Diaz’s recent drug suspension and legal rebuttals are forcing the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) and the UFC to also address their stance on marijuana.  Also, Martin Mayhew, GM of the Detroit Lions, has also spoken of his views on marijuana usage by NFL players and draftees.  As these incidents move forward, the sports world is poised to make decisions that can and will have ripple effects outside of sports into the social and political fabric of the world.  Although nothing has been set in stone yet, the best part is that all these associations are taking the time to look at marijuana in a methodical and scientifically informed manner to reach a proper decision.  It appears that old prejudices and scare stories may be set aside with old arbitrary rulings.

The latest thunder from down under comes with quite a bang as the COMPPS has said that it believes marijuana should not be grouped with performance enhancers such as Human Growth Hormone and Anabolic steroids.  Under current WADA rules a substance is placed on the banned list if it meets the following criteria: “It’s proven to be performance enhancing, it goes against the spirit of the sport, or it’s dangerous to the health of athletes.”  Under those rules, anyone who tests positive for marijuana faces a two-year ban.  With COMPPS’ declaration it seems that things are going to relax a bit for Australian athletes.  Although, if any compete on an international level they are still subject to WADA rules.  However, WADA President John Fahey had this to say, “There are those who believe our current criteria needs to be amended and that will be given appropriate consideration through this review process…Specifically to cannabis, I can only say to those, particularly in the football codes who have expressed concern that we’re focusing on an area that really isn’t about cheating in sport, I urge them to put a request up to WADA, which will be given to our list committee, who will examine it…I won’t express a view I’ll simply say it will be thoroughly examined. There are some substances today that are banned in some sports, but not in others. That may well be an option they [the WADA banned-list committee] may wish to come to the board with in due course. But I won’t pre-empt that, I’ll let them decide without any influence from me.”  The sports world will have to wait a while for any final determination, as WADA’s new drug codes will not be released until November 2013.

American sports commissions are also moving in a positive direction.  When the NBA restructured its labor agreement they altered their drug testing policy.  As it now stands, players will only be tested for performance-enhancing drugs during the off-season.  Marijuana is no longer on that list.  Although illegal during the season, it means that players who use marijuana for pain or anxiety will get to medicate without fear of suspensions once that final buzzer has sounded.  Inside the NFL it seems that cannabis is causing quite a stir.  The Detroit Lions have made headlines as several of this year’s draft picks have been arrested for marijuana-related charges.  The Lions are not the only team whose players have had troubles in the recent past (The New England Patriots and Cincinnati Bengals also made the news for their players). But it seems that the league is thinking less of this controversy as its toxicity has waned to the public eye.  The Lions’ GM Martin Mayhew recently spoke out about players’ off-field actions and concerns.  Although contracts will still have morality clauses, and players should think before breaking the law, it appears that league penalties may reduce in severity and clubs will have more flexibility in handling these affairs.

From the Ultimate Fighting Championship comes news concerning contender Nick Diaz.  After fighting at UFC 143 in February he tested positive for marijuana metabolites, the residual compounds indicative of marijuana use.  Nick has tested positive once before and this may lead to sterner reprimands for the second charge.  Nick is a California native and holds a medical marijuana card from the state.  However, the fight and test were conducted in Nevada, and under NSAC rules he is immediately suspended for 45 days pending a hearing.  At this time, the 45 day limit has expired and Nick is suing for violation of his due process rights, concerning his rights to make a living.  NSAC executive director Keith Kizer spoke about the suspension and an in-court statement that failing his drug test posed a “threat to public safety.” Kizer took the stance that marijuana is not on the NSAC approved substance list and therefore Nick is in violation.  His statement did seem to leave an opening for a debate on whether or not marijuana should continue to be on the banned substance list.  Diaz has stated that he medicates in order to control his ADHD which would impair his ability to focus on training, as well as for pain management.  And furthermore, he does not medicate in the week prior to his fights to keep his head clear and reflexes sharp.  This certainly seems unjust considering that professional ballplayers can get a shot of cortisone and take a few pain killers so they can pitch in an ALCS game, and not to be able to recall the game later.

The case for marijuana has never been stronger.  It’s presence abounds in state’s politics, as it jockeys for position in the national spotlight.  The horrors of the failed Drug War in Mexico make headlines every week.  And now it is taking over the spotlight in global sports.  Many have called for national talks concerning its legality. But Marijuana.net believes now is the right time for a worldwide reckoning concerning the future of humanity and the cannabis plant.  It offers so much to help mankind, and asks for so little in return; it only needs a plot of land, steady sunshine, and some water.  Hey ref, put down the red card.

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