Cannabis for cancer – Minnesota researchers reveal results
A new study published in the Journal of Oncology Practice shows promising results for cannabis and its potential to treat common side effects found within cancer patients.
Researchers from the Oncology Research at Health Partners/Park Nicollet recently concluded the four-month-long-project that surveyed 743 cancer patients in Minnesota’s developing medical marijuana program, surveying patients every time they “went for a refill” at their dispensary.
On average, cancer patients pain declined from 8 to 6.7 (on a scale of 10), while a majority also reported symptoms like nausea and insomnia transitioning from the “severe” to “moderate” levels of discomfort.
While the study is encouraging, it has its limitations – researchers were not able to isolate cannabis, meaning other drugs could have attributed to the decreases in pain.
Still, the study is one of the largest of its kind and showed few adverse side effects experienced by cancer patients using cannabis.
NYC officials looking to better protect workers rights
On Tuesday, New York City Council passed a bill that would ban a majority of employers from screening candidates for cannabis use.
Some occupations, including law enforcement and any job requiring the maintenance of heavy machinery, will not be protected. However, the bill bans most other public and private employers from using cannabis-related drug tests.
The decision comes in light of continued public pressure from local nonprofits, including Drug Policy Alliance and Empire State NORML – two organizations that continue to fight for criminal justice reform in New York City.
“Testing isn’t a deterrent to using marijuana, it’s an impediment to opportunity that dates back to the Reagan era– a war on drugs measure that’s now a war on workers,” explained Public Advocate for NYC, Jumaane Williams
Last year, Vox reported that nearly 70% of large employers utilize pre-employment cannabis drug screenings – as legalization continues to spread across the US, expect more advocates to push for reform at the office as these policies are outdated, and often target people of lower-income status.
Spain study sheds light on the dangers of black market cannabis
Researchers in Spain, in partnership with Science Direct, recently released concerning findings in a new study that analyzed the adulteration and contamination of hashish found within Madrid’s black market.
Hashish, or hash, is a commonly purchased resin derived from cannabis that is most popular in European & Middle Eastern countries; largely because the resin is easier to smuggle across borders in comparison to cannabis flower.
Researchers purchased 90 random samples of hash in Madrid, and found that 88.3% were not suitable for consumption, forcing them to deem this as a serious public health issue.
Fecal matter, E. coli, Aspergillus (mold), and toxic metals were all found within the samples. These toxins can be dangerous to anyone, but those with weaker immune systems would be especially at risk.
The black market study reflects similar results found across the globe; here in the US, recent studies have found that black market cartridges contain multiple pesticides.
Cannabis reform bills approved in Connecticut
This Monday, Connecticut’s Judiciary Committee approved three separate bills relating to cannabis.
The first, and most debated, was a bill that would decriminalize cannabis, expunge past records, and legalize adult-use – it passed on Monday in a 21-19 vote.
The other two bills, which also passed, relate to DUI testing for cannabis and drug usage at the workplace.
The split vote was largely divided by party lines, with Republican lawmakers sighting decade-old propaganda, highlighting the extreme dangers legalization presents to children.
The bills will now be sent to the House – but lawmakers are expected to add more details in the coming weeks before the next vote takes place.