The US Court of Appeals ruled last week that the schedule I classification (meaning cannabis, like heroin, has no medical value and a high risk of abuse and addiction) petitions to the DEA to reschedule cannabis must be acted on "with adequate dispatch." The DEA has a long history of delaying any such action and the court recognized this as a factor in the case brought by the plaintiffs. They "tabled" the case meaning they keep jurisdiction over this matter and could force the DEA in the future if they play their usual "ignore it" game.
"Edibles" is the catch all word for orally administered cannabis. Orally administered cannabis is different from inhaled cannabis in ways that give it certain advantages such as increased potency and a longer duration of effect. It also has some disadvantages which can make it a bit difficult to use..
The largest increase in growth of medical cannabis use is in people older than 55 years. From 2013-2014 it rose by more than half. Many people seem surprised by these numbers as this is the age group who have traditionally opposed to any legalization of cannabis. They grew up with the beginning of the war on drugs, Mrs. Reagan' "just say no" campaign, the ads showing an egg frying on an iron skillet as a metaphor for "your brain on drugs" and likely know someone" who" family has been ravaged by drug abuse.
Professional as well as college and even high school football players are subject to injury as a routine part of game play. The wear and tear on their bodies frequently results in players developing chronic pain. What was once called "dementia pugilistica" in prize fighters, has beennewly recognized as Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), which is brain injury as the result of the regularly encountered head trauma, causes difficulties for players long after they have left the sport. Both of these problems are usually a lifelong problem for those so affected. Treatment of the pain has usually been in the form of non-steroidal anti inflammatory agents and prescription opioids, both of which can cause even more problems for those players. The commonly used Toradol (a very potent NSAID) injections can result in ulcers, gastrointestinal bleeding, increased risk of strokes, heart attacks and kidney damage. The opioid medications have risks of addiction, sometimes intolerable side effects and the risk of respiratory depression and death. CTE is without any good treatment options at present, although lithium (a drug with high toxicity unless very closely monitored and managed) has been used to decrease the higher risk of suicides in these people.
The state of Colorado has joined Illinois and New York in adding all conditions for which a doctor would prescribe an opioid for as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis. This includes acute pain occurring after an injury or surgery in addition to the longstanding chronic pain conditions which most states permitting medical cannabis currently recognize. The idea is that by decreasing the exposure of the population to opioids and by decreasing the amount of opioids dispensed and potentially available to be diverted for misuse, that opioid abuse and addiction can be reduced.