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Fri Jul 4, 2014, 03:58 AM

Israel and Canada Join To Study and Implement Medical Marijuana Uses [View all]

Israel has been at the forefront of marijuana research since Raphael Mechoulam isolated and identified the THC molecule in the 1960s.

The Israeli government distributes medical marijuana through MECHAR, a tax-supported cannabis provider network. Funding for research comes from the Israeli Ministry of Health, and from private contributions. Israel has a flourishing $40 million dollar medical cannabis industry.

While research efforts have been constantly, obnoxiously hindered in the states by federal agencies (as well as petty religious zealots like Arizona's Kimberly Yee), the Israeli government is funding and supporting breakthrough research on the many healing potentials of the cannabis plant. Doctors from around the world look to Israel for their path-breaking studies in the use of cannabis to treat basal-cell carcinoma, PTSD, Crohn's disease, fibromyaliga, Parkinsons' Disease and, now, pediatric epilepsy.

The patient-approval process is much more rigorous than California, America's originator of legal medical cannabis for states, and is often aimed at end of life issues.

While Israel has a historically strict drug policy, it does not share the U.S.’s lengthy and tumultuous history with the cannabis plant. ...(and) doesn't have a “stoner” stereotype—while Israelis are often wary of trying the new drug, there is no serious stigma surrounding the use of the cannabis herb for medical purposes. So... there was “never any question” that cannabis would be viewed as “strictly medical” when it was introduced to Israeli patients.

Instead of marijuana, however, Israel does has a hash subculture. Hash is the traditional form of cannabis in the region. Mechoulam obtained his first cannabis for research from hashish seizures. He and his research partners first tested the hashish themselves before conducting their research, as Mechoulam has related many times when telling this history.

Boaz Wachtel, and his participation in Israel’s Ale Yarok political party, is credited with the effort to decriminalize cannabis in Israel.

Wachtel said Israel—which has the highest ratio of university degrees to the population in the world and produces more scientific papers per capita than any other nation—has become a world leader in cannabis research as a result of the U.S.’s continued blockade of cannabis research. He says this is wonderful for Israel, but not for society at large.

“By denying people access to medical cannabis the U.S. has criminalized patients,” he said.


So, because of America's religious zealots, scientific research finds friendlier environs outside of their reach. The Republican Party needs to jettison this faction because they are harming this nation by their anti-science, hair-on-fire zealotry. While other nations are operating multi-million dollar research projects, collaborating across nations to supply data looking at what may be the most important medical breakthrough of the late twentieth century - the discovery and study of the endocannabinoid system and the interaction with cannabis to maintain homeostasis - the U.S. has to deal with reactionaries like Kimberly Yee, Chris Christie, and groups like SAM.

If these reactionaries would simply acknowledge that marijuana is safer than alcohol, and best managed outside of the black market for things other than medical uses, we could move forward, rather than remain a nation that gives Nixon high fives in his grave every time a drug warrior opens his or her mouth.

(Patrick Kennedy, at the SAM site, has a big picture and quote about cannabis causing mental illness, when this has recently, yet again, been rebuked by science. We now have Kennedys on record as an anti-vaccination crusader and drug war liar. If anyone wants to know why I despise political dynasties, those are prime examples... but I digress.)

Cynic that I am, I have to wonder how much the alcohol industry lobby plays into the concerns about cannabis...


Neil Closner, the former vice president of Business Development for Toronto’s world-renowned Mount Sinai Hospital, is now CEO of MedReleaf, a licensed producer and supplier of medical cannabis which works out of a 55,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Markham, Ontario, just minutes east of Toronto.

As Closner noted, Israel and Canada are coming together to combine the growing skills of Canadian marijuana growers (one of three areas in the world, since Ronald Reagan, that focused on hybridization of marijuana, along with Amsterdam and Northern California.)

As of January 2014, both Israel and Canada, along with other nations, have contacted Uruguay, the first nation to legalize cannabis since the U.S. demanded worldwide illegal status in the Uniform Narcotics Act(s), to grow cannabis for their nations. In Uruguay, the marijuana industry is entirely nationalized. Production, sale and distribution of cannabis is all contained within a governing entity that allows consumers to purchase 40 grams (1.4 oz) per month for $1.00/gram.

Uruguay, Canada and Israel have all decided to ignore the (largely ceremonial, or cover for nations) United Nations International Narcotic Control Board, which refuses to recognize the medical value of cannabis because this board follows the will of federal agencies in the U.S. who do not recognize the medical value of cannabis. Uruguay's President, in response to INCB criticism, said his government aims to take the marijuana market out of the hands of cartels and put it into the hands of the people of the nation...and into the hands of people in the nation of Israel, and the researchers there looking at marijuana as a palliative for many health issues related to aging.

...“Tikun Olam,” (Hebrew for “repairing the world”) is in partnership with, MedReleaf, (and) is also currently collaborating on nearly two dozen cannabis-related research studies with doctors and professors at eight leading hospitals in Israel including the Hadassah Medical Centre in Jerusalem, Wolfson Medical Centre in Holon, Sheba Medical Center at Tel hashomer, Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba and Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Centre.

...“Our partnership with Tikun Olam gives us a significant scientific advantage,” says Closner. “We have access to treatment data from more than 7,000 of their patients, that will give us great insight into the effectiveness and efficacy of various strains and, in turn, an advanced ability to work with patients and physicians to create the most beneficial treatment protocols. The partnership also provides us with exclusive access to an array of proprietary medical cannabis varieties.”

Two of the varieties to which Closner refers are Erez, the best-selling variety in Israel, and AviDekel. Erez, with its high tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) content, is well known for treating sleep disorders and managing pain, nausea, inflammation, and indigestion. AviDekel, a sativa-dominant strain, contains very high levels of cannabidiol (CBD), and virtually no THC, which, by the way, means no “getting high.” CBD is a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that has been shown to have a positive impact on disorders such as multiple sclerosis, arthritis and epilepsy, amongst other ailments.

If Canada and Israel combine with Uruguay to obtain cannabis for research, no doubt Uruguay will also become a leading nation in the production of cannabis strains chosen for medical purposes.

In the meantime, MedReleaf projects they will up their capacity to grow 150,000 plants at any one time to supply medical cannabis for Canadians and Israelis.

And in the meantime, small-time, small-minded state and federal Senators hold up or deny medical research, federal agencies deny federal research, Congress refuses to address the issue of cannabis scheduling, and the world goes on without them, leaving them to their places, in the dustbin of history, as footnotes to explain how the U.S. gave up its place as a world-class research nation because...reefer madness.

Maybe the drug warriors would like to look at the new-fangled use of leeches to draw bad humors out of the body.

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Reply Israel and Canada Join To Study and Implement Medical Marijuana Uses [View all]
RainDog Jul 2014 OP
littlemissmartypants Jul 2014 #1
RainDog Jul 2014 #2
Ruby the Liberal Jul 2014 #3
RainDog Jul 2014 #5
RainDog Jul 2014 #6
Ruby the Liberal Jul 2014 #7
Uncle Joe Jul 2014 #4
wordpix Jul 2014 #8
Ruby the Liberal Jul 2014 #9
wordpix Aug 2014 #10