Drug News and Discussions

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Yuli Ban
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A single dose of psilocybin has a lasting therapeutic effect on migraine headache, according to a new placebo-controlled study
Scientists have started to investigate whether psilocybin, the primary substance responsible for the psychedelic effects of “magic” mushrooms, could be helpful to those who suffer from migraine headache. Their new findings, published in Neurotherapeutics, provide preliminary evidence that the drug could provide long-lasting therapeutic benefits to migraine sufferers.

Anecdotal reports have circulated for years that psilocybin lessens migraine symptoms. But there has been little scientific evidence to back the claims. The newly published research is the first double-blind, placebo-controlled study to examine whether psilocybin affects migraine disease.

“As a headache medicine physician, I see the need for a better understanding of headache disorders, including migraine, and the need for more treatment options. I’ve also studied the neuropharmacology of psychedelics for a number of years and appreciate their ability to help us understand more about the workings of the human brain,” explained study author Emmanuelle A. D. Schindler (@eadschindler), an assistant professor of neurology at Yale School of Medicine.
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Psychedelic Medicine Company Approved To Study Sublingual Psilocybin For Major Depressive Disorder
Psychedelic drug development company Cybin will launch a phase two clinical trial on its sublingual formulation of psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in “magic mushrooms”, for patients with Major Depressive Disorder later this year.

The company announced that the ethics board at the University of the West Indies Hospital in Jamaica granted approval this week.

Doug Drysdale, the company’s CEO, says the approval to start a clinical trial is a big step.

“I really think we have the opportunity to revolutionize how you treat mental illness,” says Drysdale, who worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 30 years before joining Cybin. “There’s nothing else out there today that could enable you to remove a person’s depressive symptoms for potentially months at a time.”

The start of the trial is still subject to final confirmation by Jamaica’s Ministry of Health.
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Democrats Unveil Bill to Decriminalize Drug Possession at Federal Level, Expunge Records
Source: Newsweek
A bill to end criminal penalties for drug possession at the federal level was unveiled by Democrats on Tuesday, ahead of the 50th anniversary when President Richard Nixon declared the "war on drugs."

The Drug Policy Reform Act (DPRA) would decriminalize personal use possession of all scheduled drugs—including marijuana, heroin and cocaine—and automatically expunge records and provide for resentencing for those serving time for certain drug-related arrests. It would also prohibit the denial of employment, immigration status, public benefits, voting rights, and more based upon a criminal history for drug possession.

The legislation, proposed by Representatives Cori Bush of Missouri and Bonnie Watson Coleman of New Jersey, also calls for the country to address substance abuse with more health-centered approaches.

"The United States has not simply failed in how we carried out the War on Drugs—the War on Drugs stands as a stain on our national conscience since its very inception," Coleman said in a statement.
Read more: https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics ... li=BBnb7Kz
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Connecticut lawmakers legalize recreational marijuana
Come July 1, possession of marijuana will be legal in Connecticut, and retail sales will likely be underway by May 2022.

The state Senate voted 16 to 11 Thursday to approve the use of recreational cannabis and sent the bill to Gov. Ned Lamont for signature.

Lamont said he would sign the bill.

A months long process to legalize marijuana, which some lawmakers noted has been decades in the making, at last reached a conclusion.

Locally, state Senators Cathy Osten, D-Sprague and Norm Needleman, D-Essex voted yes. State Sen. Heather Somers, R-Groton, voted no. State Sen. Paul Formica, R-East Lyme, who is on vacation, did not cast a vote. On Wednesday, all four senators had agreed that the extended nature of the special session would cause a number of legislators to miss Thursday's vote. A total of nine senators statewide were absent or did not vote.

The Senate was voting on the bill for a third time. The state House failed to call the bill in time during the regular session, causing a special session and requiring a second vote. When the Senate passed the bill a second time, an amendment drew a veto threat from Lamont. The first vote was 19-17 in favor, and the second vote was 19-12.

The governor's Chief of Staff Paul Mounds sent out a statement Tuesday evening opposing an amendment that would have included people with past cannabis convictions as social equity applicants, saying it "opens the floodgates for tens of thousands of previously ineligible applicants to enter the adult-use cannabis industry."

"That is not equity, and Governor Lamont will veto this bill if it reaches his desk in its current form," he said.
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Louisiana bill decriminalizing marijuana signed into law Tuesday
A bill to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use in Louisiana will become law after Gov. John Bel Edwards signed the legislation from Democratic Rep. Cedric Glover Tuesday.

"This is not a decision I took lightly," Edwards said. "The state of Louisiana should no longer incarcerate people for minor legal infractions, especially those that are legal in many states, that can ruin lives and destroy families, as well as cost taxpayers."

Although Edwards said the bill won't technically "decriminalize" possession of small amounts of pot, the penalty would be less than most speeding tickets.
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Johnson & Johnson agrees to stop selling opioids nationwide in $230 million settlement with New York
Source: CNBC

New York Attorney General Letitia James announced on Saturday that Johnson & Johnson has agreed to halt sales of opioids nationwide in a $230 million settlement with New York state.

As part of the settlement, the company will resolve opioids-related claims and allocate payments over nine years. It could also pay $30 million more in the first year if the state executive chamber signs into law new legislation creating an opioid settlement fund, according to the press release from James’ office.

“The opioid epidemic has wreaked havoc on countless communities across New York state and the rest of the nation, leaving millions still addicted to dangerous and deadly opioids,” James said in a statement.
Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/06/26/jj-agre ... -york.html
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Clarence Thomas Suggests Federal Marijuana Laws May Be Unconstitutional While Balking About Case the
Source: Law and Crime
Clarence Thomas Suggests Federal Marijuana Laws May Be Unconstitutional While Balking About Case the Supreme Court Didn’t Take

Justice Clarence Thomas disagreed with the Supreme Court’s denial of certiorari — that’s a refusal to hear — a tax case Monday, and the conservative justice’s statement strongly suggests he believes any federal marijuana ban is unconstitutional.

The case is Standing Akimbo, LLC v. United States, in which the owners of a Colorado marijuana dispensary appealed an unfavorable tax decision that treated them differently from other business owners. The Internal Revenue Code does not allow a tax deduction or credit for expenses incurred by establishments whose business model “consists of trafficking in controlled substances” in violation of federal or state law. Despite marijuana being legal for both medical and recreational use in many states, it remains a controlled substance under federal law. As a result, business that dispense marijuana are denied tax benefits that would be available to other businesses.

Thomas began his statement disagreeing with the Court’s refusal to hear the case by commenting that the legal landscape with regard to marijuana has changed dramatically in the past 16 years. In 2005, the Court held in Gonzales v. Raich that Congress could prohibit the cultivation and use of marijuana — even when done entirely within one state’s borders — to avoid causing a “gaping hole” in Congress’ “closed regulatory system.” Since then, however, many states have legalized both medicinal and recreational cannabis use.

The result is that the federal government now has what Justice Thomas called a “half-in, half-out regime that simultaneously tolerates and forbids local use of marijuana.”
Read more: https://lawandcrime.com/supreme-court/c ... idnt-take/
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Recreational marijuana legal to possess, grow in New Mexico

29 June 2021, 23:36

SANTA FE, N.M. -- It's legal for people in New Mexico to possess recreational marijuana and grow those plants at home as of Tuesday, the same day regulators opened discussions on rules for the launch of pot sales next year.

The milestone was celebrated by cannabis consumers and advocates for criminal justice reform who say poor and minority communities have been prosecuted disproportionately for using marijuana. Now, the scent of marijuana no longer is an adequate cause for searching vehicles and property in New Mexico.

Recreational marijuana is now legal in 16 states and Washington, D.C., with Connecticut and Virginia set to join the list Thursday.

https://abcnews.go.com/Business/wireSto ... o-78567910
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Yuli Ban
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Psychedelic Mushrooms Can Regrow Brain Tissue Lost in Depression
It turns out, psychedelic mushroom trips may change your life.

A psychedelic drug called psilocybin, which shows up naturally in some mushrooms, has shown signs of increasing durable connections between neurons in mouse brains, according to a new study published in the journal Neuron.

In other words, the damage depression does to your brain might be reversible with psychedelic mushrooms, and scientists think the trip itself could play a vital role.

"We not only saw a 10% increase in the number of neuronal connections, but also they were on average about 10% larger, so the connections were stronger as well," said the study's lead author Alex Kwan, who is also an associate professor of both psychiatry and neuroscience at Yale, in an embargoed release shared with IE. Earlier laboratory experiments hinted that psilocybin, in addition to the anesthetic ketamine, can reduce the effects of depression. But this latest research showed these compounds also increase the density of dendritic spines, creating small protrusions on nerve cells capable of enhancing the way information transmits from one neuron to the next. Depression and chronic stress are known factors in the reduction of these crucial neuronal connections.
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Senate Democrats unveiling push to legalize marijuana at federal level
Source: The Hill
Senate Democrats on Wednesday are unveiling a renewed push to legalize marijuana at the federal level.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) will hold a news conference to introduce a discussion draft of the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act.

According to a summary of the discussion draft obtained by NBC News, the legislation is intended to expunge federal convictions of nonviolent marijuana charges, remove the drug from the Controlled Substances Act and set up a system to tax marijuana in states that legalize it.

The proposal still allows individual states to set their own marijuana laws, however.
Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/senate/562 ... eral-level
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