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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘cannabis’

Israeli Physician Advocates Legalizing Cannabis Completely

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

An Israeli physician who sees patients in the northern Negev city of Arad advocates the legalization of cannabis altogether — not just for medicinal purposes — saying that more than 100 years of bans on various drugs have not stopped substance abuse. In fact, Dr. Yuval Rabinovich says it’s time to legalize everything.

“As physicians, we are not very good in refusing patients’ requests, but the society expects this from us,” Rabinovich said originally in a response to a post on a colleague’s Facebook page. “The primary problem is regulation. Politicians think that banning something that is bad for you is a good idea.”

Speaking to JewishPress.com in an interview on November 1, Rabinovich said that after more than a century of fighting heroin use, “we didn’t succeed in preventing people from getting it — and the price didn’t even drop.”

“Medicinal” cannabis has the “alleged attributes of classic panacea,” Rabinovich said, “a remedy for all diseases with the proof for none: fibromyalgia, epilepsy, cancer pain, Parkinson’s disease. The list is endless.”

He also noted that so-called “medicinal” cannabis has “no standardization of use: dosing, route of administration, post marketing follow-up, or anything else,” and went on to say that the “worst thing about cannabis is that it is described as harmless, a thing that it is definitely not.

“We are now 99 years since Prohibition. Alcohol was banned unless you could get a prescription, and indeed it was prescribed,” Rabinovich said. There were prescriptions for alcohol to relieve anemia, tuberculosis, pneumonia, high blood pressure, “and whatever you would expect from an early 20th century panacea.”

It is time, he said, “to put away with regulating substances and legalize everything.”

He pointed to alcohol as “a good example,” saying that one is not allowed to drive under its influence, nor is anyone allowed to sell it to children.

“Apart from that, as doctors we advise you not to consume it in large quantities, but you do not break any law if you do. This way we have good regulation. We tax it, the manufacturing conditions are adequate, and we do not pretend it to be a medicine.”

The Israeli Ministry of Health includes a Medical Cannabis Unit, which is the authorized unit that “examines applications and issues permits to hold, use and research dangerous drugs under the Dangerous Drugs Ordinance.

“The Medical Cannabis Unit examines medical recommendations to use cannabis for medical purposes, in accordance with the established procedures,” including as an adjunct treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Hana Levi Julian

Agriculture Minister: Israeli Farmers Will Export Cannabis in Two Years

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) is planning for Israel to begin exporting medical cannabis, Cannabis Magazine reported on Sunday. Referring to the new experimental cannabis farm at Israel’s Volcani Institute for Agricultural Engineering, Ariel promised that “within two years we will have a regulated protocol for growing cannabis, at which point we’ll allow farmers to grow it.” Nevertheless, the minister would not refer to Cannabis as an agricultural product.

The program regulating the medical cannabis industry was approved by the Israeli government some two months ago. But because of the objections of Health Minister Yakov Litzman (UTJ), and despite the support of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), the program does not include approval for growing cannabis for export.

Unfortunately, cannabis growers in Israel are saying the only way they could afford to sell their product in Israel at a reasonable price is if they could raise most of their crops for export.

At the same time, the fact that the Volcani Institute is experimenting with Israeli cannabis suggests that eventually, when the time is right politically, Israeli cannabis might blow the competition out of the bong, since it is renowned for its agricultural research, focusing on plant sciences, animal sciences, plant protection, soil and environmental sciences, food sciences, and agricultural engineering, that have made Israeli farm products among the most prized in the world.

A sign announcing the launch of Israel's health ministry's medical cannabis center. / Photo courtesy Volcani Institute

A sign announcing the launch of Israel’s health ministry’s medical cannabis center. / Photo courtesy Volcani Institute

Over the weekend, Minister Ariel told Israel Radio that “the Agriculture Ministry is now devoting significant-size plots for experimentation and exhibition of cannabis growing,” in preparation for instructing Israeli farmers on the most efficient and productive methods of growing the plant. Ariel said he does intend to eventually reach a political consensus in the Netanyahu cabinet in favor of exporting cannabis. He expects the process of cultivating products, developing the proper protocol for growing and shipping, and getting political approval to take about two years, which means this could take place during the current Netanyahu government.

JNi.Media

Knesset Committee Wants Less War on Cannabis, More War on Alcohol

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz), Chair of the Knesstet Committee to Combat Drug and Alcohol Abuse, was highly critical this week of the new campaign of the Israel Anti-Drug Authority. She suggested the campaign was “based on false information, outdated, archaic, irrelevant, and most important — disappointing.” She added: “After all this time that we’ve been sitting here, exposed to the real danger of youth addiction, I for one am disappointed.”

It should be noted that MK Zandberg is a known supporter of the legalization of cannabis, and in 2013 submitted a bill decriminalizing personal use of Marijuana. She has been a supporter of the fight of medical cannabis patients against the Health Ministry, and was a guest speaker at a 2013 rally for legalization at Rabin Square. She said in a television interview that she smokes cannabis and views this as “normative behavior.”

Acting Director General of the Authority, Eitan Gorni, told the committee that “we think cannabis is dangerous. After a long time during which we haven’t dealt with cannabis, and in light of the great outcry and the attempt to say that cannabis is not dangerous it was decided to launch a broad advertising campaign. In light of the numerous attempts on the part of the side that supports Marijuana to deliver messages, we believe there should be counter messages, which is why we launched the campaign.”

One 15-second radio ad in the new campaign features a mother who says her daughter was destroyed by using Marijuana, followed by an anchor saying there’s no such thing as light drugs.

Meanwhile, the committee was informed that the Israel Anti-Drug Authority CEO, Yair Geller, has resigned last May, about a year and a half after being suspended for his role in the bribery scandal involving Yisrael Beiteinu, and eight months after police recommended his indictment for bribery, fraud, and breach of trust. During his 17 months of suspension, Geller grossed close to $208,000 in salary and bonuses, according to media reports.

Eitan Eckstein, director of a rehab center, also warned the committee against taking cannabis use lightly. “Go to the beaches and see for yourselves what joints are doing to people. Most of the girls started with grass and it led them to prostitution. On the eve of summer vacation it’s a time to invest a lot in telling parents to set limits, and that if they suspect something untoward they should seek advice.”

Chair Zandberg suggested that “alcohol is much more dangerous, which is why I’m disappointed that you invest in a campaign against a future [cannabis] legislation [instead of fighting youth alcohol use].”

MK Merav Ben Ari (Kulanu) told the committee, “When I was working with youths I had a much tougher time with alcohol than with cannabis.” Turning to the You have to the Israel Anti-Drug Authority officials, she added, “You must understand that you can’t keep devoting your budgets to cannabis. I get the feeling that all you’re campaigning against is cannabis.”

David Israel

New Training Program Prepares Israeli Doctors to Prescribe Medical Cannabis

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

It will probably be a long time before Israelis see medical cannabis on the shelves of their pharmacies — if ever — but many of their doctors are likely to be trained and certified in prescribing the drug as a new medication within the next several weeks.

Two main objectives set by Health Minister Yaacov Litzman towards the goal of making the product more available to Israeli patients were reached on Thursday.

The sale of medical cannabis to pharmacies is going to become easier, and certification and permits for doctors to prescribe the product for their patients will also be eased.

In fact, the accreditation of doctors for prescribing the plant as a treatment is only weeks away, according to a report posted Thursday by Galei Tzahal Army Radio.

The Israel Medical Association is providing a two-day training program in cooperation with the Health Ministry to prepare doctors across a range of specialties for accreditation in the use of the drug as a treatment.

“Physicians who want to learn how to treat with cannabis will learn when to prescribe it and when not to,” Dr. Leonid Eidelman told the radio station.

The training will be led by teams from the Israel Medical Association and the medical cannabis unit at the Ministry of Health, headed by Dr. Michael Dor.

Hana Levi Julian

Medical Marijuana to be Available at Pharmacies

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Israelis soon will be able to take a doctor’s prescription for marijuana to the local pharmacy, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said Monday.

He noted that pharmacies issue prescriptions for other drugs that are considered narcotics and that procedures are well-supervised. A case in point is Ritalin. A person wanting to fill a prescription for the drug, which when ground up and sniffed can be extremely dangerous, has to wait at the counter until the pharmacist opens the safe.

“I will fight an aggressive war not to allow this to get out of control,” said Litzman, who in effect is the Health Minster, a title he does not accept because the Hareidi Yehadut Torah (United Torah Judaism) party does not want to be part of a “Zionist” Cabinet.

He said that making marijuana available at pharmacies awaits court approval concerning tenders for growers of “grass.”

Litzman said that there procedures overseeing prescriptions for marijuana will be issued either through law or administrative orders.

Health Ministry Prof. Boaz Lev added that officials will make it possible for more doctors to be able to prescribe marijuana for medicinal use.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Israeli Scientists Testing Cannabis Treatment for Diabetes

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

Israeli scientists at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have tracked down a specific chemical compound in the cannabis plant, a cannabinoid called “cannabidiol” that researchers say can be used to treat diabetes.

The best source for cannabidiol, or CBD as it is called, appears to be hemp – a plant with no potential for abuse and which has no psychoactive properties.

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam is the researcher known for discovering CBD as well as his collaboration with researcher Dr. Ruth Gallily, also from Hebrew University. It was Mechoulam who discovered receptors for cannabinoids not only in the brain, but elsewhere as well, in other body tissues. The discovery opened up an entirely new area of research into how coucannabinoids could be modified to fit different receptors, and thereby treat different illnesses.
Meanwhile, the discovery is already heading to market. An Israeli company called ISA Scientific has recently signed a worldwide collaboration and licensing deal with Yissum, the technology-transfer company of Hebrew University, as well as Hadasit, the technology-transfer company of Hadassah Medical Organization of Jerusalem, and KIR, the Kennedy Trust for Rheumatology Research in the UK.

The agreement backs the creation and development of specific therapies using cannabidiol (CBD) by the inter-disciplinary research team headed by Mechoulam. KIR director and immunologist Sir Marc Feldman is also involved in the effort, as are Hadassah researchers and physicians Chaim Lotan, Lolan Weiss and Ronen Durst.

Phase I clinical trials on dosing and safety are now underway in Israel, according to ISA Scientific CEO Mark J. Rosenfeld. “Arrangements for Phase 2 trials on treating diabetes and chronic pain are in process,” he said in a statement.

Rosenfeld added that the firm’s Israeli research and development team had been working on the issue of an oral delivery system. Very little CBD reaches the bloodstream when taken by mouth, according to an article posted to the Israel21c news website, necessitating a more efficient system. The problem was solved “with propietary nanotechnology” currently being integrated into the firm’s clinical trials.

According to Rosenfeld, CBD seems to have no major side effects, and apparently does not affect activities such as work, school, sports or driving. More to the point, the company says in a statement on its website that it is working towards creating a way to “control diabetes into the medical market place.

“CBD may even help prevent diabetes.”

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Marijuana Companies Smoking Up Wall Street

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The Israeli-based One World Cannabis (OWC) company is going to be traded over the counter on Wall Street after the Dynamic Applications merges with it, Globes business newspaper reported.

Other Israel companies on Wall Street and involved in the marijuana industry are Therapix, Cannabics Pharmaceuticals and Breed It.

Many Wall Street analysts predict that marijuana will become legal throughout the United States and will be a multi-billion dollar industry. Israel has approved allowing family doctors to prescribe medicinal marijuana.

One World Cannabis which deals in research and development of cannabis-based treatments for diseases, including treatments for diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy.

There is no evidence to substantiate that smoking marijuana can cure Parkinson’s Disease, but studies show that cannabis can be useful in treating it.

One World Cannabis intends to generate clinical data for various medical conditions based on the development of specific cannabis strains, the combinations of the cannabinoids THC and CBD, and optimal dosages.

The company’s first clinical trials are to be for fibromyalgia, psoriasis/basal cell carcinoma, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and seizures. The company’s second set of clinical trials, which have not yet begun and are not yet funded, are anticipated to focus on the development of cannabis medicines for Crohn’s Disease, Parkinson’s Disease, Tourette’s Syndrome, migraines, chronic pain, Alzheimer’s Disease, pediatric epilepsy, prostate cancer and diabetes.

One World Cannabis recently raised $2 million and is discussing with several Israeli hospitals the possibility of carrying out clinical trials.

It also plans to set up a non-profit organization on behalf of the use of marijuana for the medical use.

Cannabics Pharmaceuticals is focused on developing and marketing drugs, therapies and food supplements based on the active ingredients found in unique strains of the cannabis plant.

Its main product is Cannabics SR, a sustained release medical cannabis capsule designed for cancer patients as a palliative care treatment.

Cannabics recently received from the Israeli Health Ministry permission to establish an advanced R&D laboratory for medical research in the field of cannabinoid science.

The company says its aim is to be one of the first and few companies in the world to commercialize indication specific and clinically tested cannabis-based medical products.

Dr. Zohar Koren, CEO, stated, “The exciting scientific field of cannabinoid research has been largely neglected throughout most of the 20th century due to a total ban on this field of research. Thus, the available scientific knowledge regarding active cannabinoids and their mechanisms of action in various disease pathways is dramatically lacking in comparison to other therapeutic fields. There is a huge space of uncharted territory to explore with regards to the potential therapeutic roles of this class of compounds for diverse indications.”

Therapix Biosciences Ltd is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on synthetic cannabinoid-based therapies and has invested $1.5 million in medical cannabis company LaraPharm, which is developing a formulation of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis to work in an inhaler.

Therapix Bio (vegan trade Over the Counter in New York in October.

BreedIT Corp, through its Israeli subsidiary BreedIT Ltd,  develops sophisticated agro-breeding solutions for plant breeders and researchers.

Colorado-based Dr. Alan Shackelford, a practicing physician and expert in cannabinoid medicine, is a member of the company’s scientific advisory board. He was one of the two physicians who prescribed the marijuana strain which has become known as Charlotte’s Web to a six-year old girl, who suffered from 20 to 60 seizures per day from the incurable genetic disorder, Dravet Syndrome, with seizures being reduced to one or two per month.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-marijuana-companies-smoking-up-wall-street/2014/12/16/

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