Will marijuana play a role in the future of American politics?


If people let government decide which food they eat and medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny. 

– Thomas Jefferson


“Ready or not, marijuana is fueling massive change and has become a mainstream topic of significant importance to people of all ages in most households across America,” says Dr. David Bearman, expert in the history and role of marijuana. “Right now, all but four states have legalized at least some form of medical cannabis and the legalization of recreational use is growing faster than ever before.


“While neither political party has made marijuana a major centerpiece for discussion, marijuana politics stands to make a major difference in state and national political outcomes in the next elections.”


Dr. Bearman says that medical marijuana matters to the young, middle aged, and the old.


“It is more widely used, enjoyed, and appreciated than any of its detractors is willing to admit. There are numerous political candidates seeking to reform federal marijuana policies - from pushing to protect state laws to advocating marijuana's reclassification from a Schedule I drug like heroin to Schedule III drug so long term studies can be done on the drug's medical benefits. Cannabis reform is now occurring on multiple fronts.”


An August 2016 study published by Harvard Medical School identifies over 20 million people use medical marijuana in the United States.


A partial list of the known medical marijuana uses now includes:


  • As an appetite stimulant in AIDS and chemotherapy patients


  • To relieve pain (and its use is being recommended to doctors in lieu of prescribing opiates)


  • To help treat inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis


  • To treat chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting


  • To treat muscle spasticity and pain in multiple sclerosis


  • To reduce the growth of cancers


  • To treat cancer-related pain not managed by other pain medication


  • To treat drug-resistant epilepsy, particularly in children


  • To treat psychiatric disorders (e.g., anxiety, depression, PTSD, substance use disorders, and bipolar disorder)


  • To reduce the symptoms of conditions in the autism spectrum disorder


  • To reduce the side effects of treatment for Hepatitis C (nausea, fatigue, muscle aches, and depression).


  • To reduce the symptoms of autoimmune disease (e.g. Rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, fibromyalgia, Restless Leg Syndrome, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)


  • To help people get to sleep, get better quality sleep and awaken without a drug hangover


Although marijuana can help relieve the symptoms of many medical conditions and is used as medicine most states, its use is still prohibited by federal level.  In something of a Catch-22, the DEA and FDA complain that there is no data from large, long-term, well-designed studies.  In order to say that, they have to ignore at least 20 tincture of cannabis/Nabixamol studies that have been done in the UK.


These double-blind studies can only be legally done with the government’s cannabis, and the government rarely approves such studies.  Why?  Marijuana was made illegal in 1970s for political reasons and similar political reasons remain. The DEA seems more concerned with job protection than science or truth. The Federal Drug Administration continues to have concerns about potential risks versus benefits.


Forty-six states have passed laws, contrary to federal laws, to allow the use of marijuana for medical conditions. States have also made the move to decriminalize recreational marijuana use by adults or have similar measures on upcoming ballots.


“Medical and recreational marijuana is going to energize large portions of the voting populace, particularly among students, those looking for alternative health care options, and minorities,” Dr. Bearman says. “The growing awareness that marijuana is medicine is forcing change.”


One thing is for certain. Any attempts by Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to stamp out further legalization efforts is going to be met with a loud public outcry.  Their efforts would also be unconstitutional because of the states rights guaranteed by the 9th and 10th amendments as well as the 1925 SCOTUS decision in Linder v. United States that confirmed the regulation of the practice of medicine is a right reserved for the states.




Drugs are Not the Devil’s Tools

Dr. David Bearman


Color $65.00 B&W $45.00

Revised and updated November 2017

8 ½ x 11, 498 pages


Entertaining, lavishly illustrated and full of amazing stories, Drugs are NOT the Devil’s Tools takes the reader through the history of drugs and the origin of the onerous United States drug laws.


Dr. David Bearman shows how, through intertwining motives of discrimination and greed, often under the guise of morality, how those in power have created a drug policy that is completely dysfunctional. He details how drug laws have been very effective in further marginalizing discriminated-against groups and have been a total failure in every other respect.


Additionally, did you know:


  • We all have cannabis receptors in our bodies
  • Cannabis was legal in the US until 1943 and only removed because the powers that be wanted to get rid of hemp and create a market for nylon and other petroleum-based products
  • The American Medical Association opposed the removal of cannabis from pharmacies
  • There is no such thing as cannabis addiction




Understanding the Buzz About Medicinal Marijuana

The Green Living Show features The WeedmapsTM Speaker Series and Cannabis Exhibit
TORONTO, Ont. — The conversation about medicinal marijuana has gone mainstream.


According to Health Canada, an estimated 130,000 Canadians are registered to purchase medicinal marijuana from licensed producers. This volume of users, changes to regulations and prevalent anecdotal evidence has led to increased discussion about medicinal uses of marijuana.


Although Health Canada governs and regulates licensed producers and there are a variety of sources that contain up-to date information on medicinal marijuana, currently there is no single comprehensive source providing medical advice.


For patients living with chronic pain, post-traumatic stress disorder — or other illnesses that could be supported by the benefits of cannabis — navigating the information can be intimidating or overwhelming, and it can be an added challenge determining if you are getting your information from a reliable source. Being a relatively new field, many people are hesitant, either because of the associated stigma or they just don’t know where to start.


“As is the case with all matters relating to health, it’s crucial for consumers to be armed with information from credible sources so they can make an informed decision about what’s best for their health,” says Laurie Simmonds, President and CEO of Green Living Enterprises. “The Green Living Show is a great forum to discuss alternative health therapies and bring together a group of experts who can help provide clarity.”


The WeedmapsTM Speaker Series at the Green Living Show will feature exhibits and experts from GrowWise HealthMettrumApollo Cannabis ClinicSummertree Medical Clinic as well as Tokyo Smoke — the first Canadian consumer brand to launch as a licensed cannabis producer in Canada. These experts will be discussing a variety of topics such as the current medicinal regulations, what strains are most effective for specific ailments, the different methods of consumption, using cannabis as a treatment for sleep disorders, and a cannabis cooking demo.


Dr. Carolina Landolt, a leading Canadian rheumatologist with more than 10 years experience and the founder of Summertree Medical Clinic, is one of the experts who will be speaking at the Show. One of the fundamentals of her practice is demystifying medical cannabis for patients and other physicians.


“The stigma associated with medical cannabis presents a significant barrier to effective patient care,” says Dr. Landolt. “Medical cannabis is a reasonable option for individuals dealing with conditions such as chronic pain or insomnia, but often patients are afraid to explore this option due to prevailing negative myths and misconceptions regarding medical cannabis. The Green Living Show is a great place to speak directly with practitioners and other experts to get first-hand information.”


If you are looking for alternative therapies to complement your current health regime or are curious about your options, The Green Living Show’s cannabis-centered exhibitors and stage content is the place to help guide you in the right direction.


This April, discover all of these cannabis resources — plus 400 sustainable companies — at the Green Living Show taking place April 7th to 9th, 2017, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. For more info on leading a healthier, greener lifestyle, please visit greenlivingshow.ca. ‘Like’ it on Facebook, follow the Green Living Show on Twitter and Instagram@GreenLivingPage.


About WeedmapsTM

WeedmapsTM is the first and most comprehensive directory in Canada and the United States that provides patients with vital information on where and how they can get their legally prescribed medicinal marijuana.


About The Green Living Show

The Green Living Show is Canada’s largest consumer show dedicated to simple solutions for leading a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. This three-day event offers inspiration for all ages and features influential speakers; innovative products; eco home and garden design; local and organic food and wine tastings; health, wellness and yoga pavilions; eco fashion and green beauty makeovers; electric car test drives; nature exhibits and fun activities for the entire family.


About Green Living Enterprises 

Green Living Enterprises is Canada’s leading cause-marketing agency focused on social and environmental program development. Our team is led by award-winning industry experts in the fields of brand and program development; custom content; advertising, marketing and communications; and event management. Green Living Enterprises also includes Greenlivingonline.com and The Green Living Show, Canada’s largest consumer show dedicated to simple solutions for leading a healthy and sustainable lifestyle.

New CCSA Report Reveals Canadian Youth Perceptions on Marijuana

The Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse (CCSA) today released Canadian Youth Perceptions on Cannabis, a new study that offers a detailed look at the youth perspective on marijuana.

Against the backdrop of changes to the legal framework for marijuana, Canadian rates for marijuana use by young people remain among the highest in the world. To contribute to a better understanding of the issue, CCSA held focus groups with Canadians between the ages of 14 and 19.

Building on our 2013 report on the same subject, we developed Canadian Youth Perceptions on Cannabis to gain a more intimate understanding of the kinds of conversations that are taking place about marijuana every day in schools, at home and in the community. Youth views on marijuana, where they get their information and how they understand that information were all key questions that drove the research and laid the foundation for the key findings of this report.

The primary purpose for gathering these insights is to inform education, health promotion and prevention initiatives. Combining CCSA's previous research on youth perceptions and the current study, we are providing a clearer picture of what Canadian young people think about marijuana, what common misconceptions they hold, where there are gaps in the evidence and how best to move forward with prevention and education efforts, especially in light of anticipated changes to marijuana legislation.

Among the key findings from Canadian Youth Perceptions on Cannabis is that young people think marijuana is neither addictive nor harmful, and that it affects individuals differently. Some youth "self-prescribe" marijuana for stress and mental health management, such as for anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder or depression, as well as for relaxation purposes. And, while they have a preference for messaging about marijuana that is based on the evidence, the Internet, media, enforcement practices and government's intention to legalize it are important influences on the views of young people about marijuana.

Other key findings of the study include:

  • Participants identified peers, family, the availability of marijuana and the belief that marijuana is acceptable as influencing their decision to use it.
  • Some participants were also influenced by their beliefs in the medical, physical and mental health benefits of marijuana.
  • Participants thought that the effects of marijuana are based on the person and his or her attitudes, rather than the drug itself, a rationale that provides youth an opportunity to selectively decide when it is safe or harmful to use marijuana.
  • Most youth felt that long-term, frequent marijuana users were subject to negative health effects, whereas recreational users were not.
  • Many young people believe marijuana is less impairing than alcohol when it comes to driving, but recognize that using it before driving can slow reaction time and affect other skills needed to safely operate a vehicle.
  • Although many youth want facts about marijuana, the study found that they have difficulty navigating through conflicting messages, resulting in confusion, false beliefs and the likelihood that youth will rely on friends, drug dealers or personal experiences to form their opinions.

Next Steps

Canadian Youth Perceptions on Cannabis illustrates the complexity around the issue of youth marijuana use and confirms the importance of providing evidence-informed messaging to young people about the science around the effects of the substance.

By integrating findings from this report into future education and prevention efforts, those who work in health promotion and with youth can better address the misconceptions of young people while also promoting a dialogue that can lead to a greater understanding of why youth start using the drug. The study reveals that clear messaging about the legality of marijuana, the role of police, the health risks and risks related to marijuana-impaired driving, and the definition of marijuana impairment might help to increase awareness of its overall harms. A desire for low-risk cannabis use guidelines — a harm reduction approach — was also suggested by youth.


"Over the years, CCSA has produced research reports and policy briefs, and mobilized knowledge about marijuana aimed at increasing awareness of the evidence on this topic and informing policy and practice. To that end, we hope that the findings from our second Canadian Youth Perceptions on Cannabis report will help support the federal and provincial governments' work in establishing a framework for legalization, with a particular focus on keeping the substance out of the hands of youth and establishing public education efforts that reflect what we know from the evidence."

Rita Notarandrea, CEO, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

"It is essential that we have a balanced, evidence-informed picture of youths' perceptions of cannabis in order to move forward in providing a comprehensive body of evidence to parents and others who support youth and, of course, youth themselves. This report addresses that need."

Joanne Brown, Executive Director, Parent Action on Drugs

"This study connects us to the latest evidence which, in turn, helps us inform our own communication with youth and youth-centred organizations and schools in communities across Canada. This is particularly important at a time when we are preparing for legalized marijuana, with an expressed purpose in keeping the substance out of the hands of youth. We need more of this on the ground research for the future."

Mario Harel, President, Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police

"Legalization and regulation is an important, positive step towards a public health approach to cannabis and we know there is a higher proportion of cannabis users among youth aged 15–25 in Canada than in other developed countries. This report by CCSA sheds light on youth perceptions and provides some of the much-needed information for the public health community to craft evidence-informed health promotion messages and educational materials."

Ian Culbert, Executive Director, Canadian Public Health Association

CCSA was created by Parliament to provide national leadership to address substance use in Canada. A trusted council, we provide national guidance to decision makers by harnessing the power of research, curating knowledge and bringing together diverse perspectives.

CCSA activities and products are made possible through a financial contribution from Health Canada. The views of CCSA do not necessarily represent the views of the Government of Canada.

SOURCE Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse

For further information:

Andrea Brasset, Communications Advisor, Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse, Tel.: 613 235-4048 x 230 I Email: abrasset@ccsa.ca I Twitter: @CCSAcanada