• From Steve Robinson MD

This excellent documentary aired on NBC December 16. The focus is on the San Francisco Bay Area and  movement that preceded the industry. SCC founder Tod Mikuriya, MD, gets credit for his pioneering role —and so do Pebbles Trippet, Dennis Peron, Mary Jane Rathbun (Brownie Mary), and Jeff Jones. It will be shown again on New Year’s Eve at 10 pm.

• From Dean Hillel Weiss, MD:

In response to the medical establishment’s disdain for N=1 trials:

The New York Times just ran an article on using radiation for patients with persistent arrhythmias despite multiple attempts at conventional ablation. Oncologists take great efforts to avoid the heart when they’re using radiation on tumors over concerns that the valves or other crucial cardiac tissues might be negatively impacted. So the selected patients were literally on their last legs. Five patients, n=5. They  had no other options and were thus subjected to an experimental procedure with a fairly good chance at killing them.

Although the side effect profile of cannabis is exponentially more favorable —if it doesn’t work it’s a paragon of “do no harm”— doctors and patients frustrated with the lack of relief from “conventional treatment options”  must jump through infinitely more hoops to prove both safety and that all other options have been tried

The hypocrisy and double standards of those allegedly concerned with everyone’s long term health should they opt to inhale ganja smoke would be laughable in a rational world. They’re not afraid of the potential side effects, they’re quaking that it might in fact, despite their decades of hollering hot air, be beneficial.

• From Bobby and Daisy Eisenberg:

Just released from the California Department of Health —an advisory on the safety of cell phones, 

• From Perry Solomon, MD (to the HelloMD email list):

As some of you may know, most cities and counties won’t be ready to sell recreational cannabis by Jan 1., and many locales may not be ready for some time—best estimates range anywhere from six to 18 months.

There’s a lot of confusion surrounding legalization, especially regarding medical cards. We’ve gathered a few key points to help you stay informed:

    • A medical marijuana recommendation (MMR) is given to you by a doctor and is always needed to purchase medical cannabis. If you’ve used our telehealth services, this is the document you’re able to print out immediately following your doctor consultation.
    • The state of California is issuing cards, or MMICs, through its Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program. An MMIC offers holders a tax discount on medical cannabis and can only be obtained by those who already have an MMR. You do NOT need an MMIC to purchase medical cannabis from a dispensary.
    • All MMRs from HelloMD are valid until the expiration date—you do NOT need a new MMR starting Jan. 1.
    • A number of cities and counties are only allowing medical sales—and even in cities and counties that do allow recreational sales, there will be dispensaries that only have medical licenses. To purchase cannabis in cities, counties and dispensaries that only permit medical sales, you will need an MMR.
    • MMRs allow you to purchase more cannabis than is normally allowed under legalization—for example, 8 oz of flower for MMR holders vs. 1 oz for those without a recommendation.
  • MMRs also have the added benefit of letting you consult with a doctor—instead of a budtender—on what products are best for you.

If you consistently rely on cannabis to address health issues, getting an MMR ensures that you’ll have steady access to marijuana as California slowly transitions to legalization in 2018—so if you don’t have an MMR, get one now.