PTSD Update

PTSD is often characterized by anxiety, nightmares, sudden flashbacks. Management includes working with a psychiatrist using conventional medications and a psychologist using behavioral therapy. It is not uncommon for a patient to have to go through many different anti-depressants or anxiolytics before one finds the correct drug and titration. But sometimes even the best medications fail to treat someone with Post-traumatic stress disorder adequately. Psychotherapy may be helpful in some patients depending on the patient. In others, there is less benefit and some dislike the thought of reliving the experience in order to learn coping mechanisms.
Alternatives include non-pharmacologic measures including relaxation techniques such as doing yoga, Tai Chi or meditation. Exercise can often boost the mood and doing enjoyable activities may help alleviate symptoms without the addition of pharmacologic agents.
Medical Marijuana as a solution for symptoms of cognitive impairment in war veterans

In one study, 24 patients were enrolled in a study for executive function and were registered medical marijuana users. After 3 months, 11 patients returned and using the Stroop Color Word Test, were found to have a higher level of executive function and increased speed completing tasks without being inaccurate. Patients reported less insomnia, less depression, better attention, less impulsivity and a better quality of life. There was less use of pharmacologic use and less use of opioid agents by 42% in conjunction with medical marijuana. Larger clinical randomized controlled clinical studies are needed. (Gruber, et al, “Splendor in the Grass? A pilot study assessing the impact of medical marijuana on executive function,” Front. Pharmacology, 2016,. Oct., 13 (7):355.)

Medical Marijuana as a solution for and PTSD symptom in war veterans
Cannabidiol works at the level of the 5HT1 receptor causing patients to feel less anxious and may be used in post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, it has been found to have a role in modulating memory and instead of the learned fear response and may help with PTSD by modulating the conditioned response to a stimulus that normally begets anxiety and fearfulness. In other words, instead of the heart rate increasing or having flashbacks when a war scene is on TV, medical marijuana can exert its effect by modulating behavior by changing the learned response by not responding the same way and being calm in face of a previously anxiety-inciting war scene. (Uhernik, et al, “Learning and memory are modulated by cannabidiol when administered during trace fear-conditioning,” Neurobiology of Learned Memory, 2018, Feb., 9, 149:58-76. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2018.02.009)

PTSD and traumatic brain injury are real problems faced by war veterans returning with blast injury, blunt-injury or combination type combat-related injuries. Medical marijuana may be an excellent non-intoxicating solution when cannabidiol is taken or combined with low dose tetrahydrocannabinol which can help with depression, anxiety and help modulate responses to post-traumatic stress disorder. Medical marijuana can help with executive function and attention and may be beneficial in treating war veterans suffering from mild traumatic brain injury.

Cannabidiol interacts with the 5-HT1A receptor which is an important receptor in mitigating the symptoms of anxiety. Serotonin works through the 5HT1A receptors. Some anxiolytics and anti-depressants work through an increase in serotonin which boosts the mood. Cannabidiol itself is known to have a calming effect with none of the euphoria found in THC alone. Cannabidiol is non-intoxicating and when combined with low dose tetrahydrocannabinol has great medical effects. Lee, et al, “Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorder,” British Journal of Pharmacology, 2017, Oct., 174 (19): 3242-3256. doi: 10.1111/bph.13724. (Epub. 2017 Mar. 9.)

In summary, when medications and therapy are found to be ineffective for post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety or depression, cannabidiol which is non-intoxicating may be an effective therapeutic option alone or in conjunction with low dose THC and should be considered.

Uhernik, et al, “Learning and memory are modulated by cannabidiol when administered during trace fear-conditioning,” Neurobiology of Learned Memory, 2018, Feb., 9, 149:58-76. doi: 10.1016/j.nlm.2018.02.009 (Epub ahead of print)
Lee, et al, “Cannabidiol regulation of emotion and emotional memory processing: relevance for treating anxiety-related and substance abuse disorder,” British Journal of Pharmacology, 2017, Oct., 174 (19): 3242-3256. doi: 10.1111/bph.13724. (Epub. 2017 Mar. 9.)

CBD and Anxiety Update

Anxiety is a state of unease, a sense of restlessness. For someone with clinical anxiety, they can be fearful in normal non threatening situations daily. The chronic fearfulness can interfere with day to day life and lead to sleep disruptions and chronic disease.

Current approach to anxiety

The current armamentarium of a physician includes prescribing anti-anxiety agents, referring to a therapist, recommending relaxation techniques such as yoga, Tai Chi or meditation, or any physician’s all-time fallback choice which is to refer to a psychiatrist. Many medications take weeks to take effect and after all that, not all of them are effective requiring several trials of medications to get to one that may even partially work. A therapist is beneficial, however, cons include the patient not having enough time or resources. In some patients it may help in others, similar to medications, it does diddly squat. In addition, some patients must cope with anxiety through natural means due to the prohibitive nature of their occupation. Some highly sensitive occupations disallow any use of anti-anxiety agents which might be potentially sedating in a patient’s history which could cost them their jobs. Medications may be helpful in certain populations but it often takes time to find the right agent and the right dose.

The science and mechanisms behind anxiety

The mechanism of anxiety and its complexities are studied. At the chemical level, it is thought to be due to the lack of serotonin. Many anti-anxiety agents work at the level of the serotonin receptor. But the thought processes underlying anxiety are far more complex than at a single chemical level which likely is the reason why many medications do not work given the complexity of the emotional response.

Neuroimaging studies have elucidated that anxiety may be attributed to the involvement of an amygdala to prefrontal cortex circuit. Instead of the normal fear response one has to certain stimuli, the amygdala is overly responsive to the threat. This leads to an abnormal attentional and interpretive response level that is consistently fearful. Anxious patients perceive neutral events with negative connotations and lead to physiologic responses including increased heart rate, sweating, heavier breathing.


Cannabidiol is the non-intoxicating phytocannabinoid from the Cannabis sativa plant. It has a weak affinity for the CB1 receptor and one needs 100 times the amount to get the same euphoria as tetrahydrocannabinol. Cannabidiol is found to help with anxiety. It works at the level of the 5HT-1 receptor to exert its anxiolytic properties.

In one study of 24 patients with anxiety who were about to give a presentation, cannabidiol was given at 600mg. Their anxiety, cognitive impairment, and alert arousal response were much lower compared to the control group who had a placebo. The placebo group had much higher anxiety, greater discomfort, and alert responses (Bergamaschi, et al, “Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naive social phobia patients,” Neuropsychopharmacology, 2011, May, 36 (6): 1219-26).

Another study showed 400 mg CBD given to adults (Crippa, Neural basis of anxiolytic effects of CBD in social anxiety. J Psychopharm 2011)

In a pediatric case series report which can be read here - – even 25mg a couple hours before bed helped sleep.

CBD and Epilepsy Update

Dr. D. what research supports CBD for epilepsy?

Studies of Cannabidiol on seizure control encompass animal models, longitudinal observational studies, case series and currently randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled clinical trials.

Mechanisms by which cannabidiol works

Endocannabinoids are increased as a result of hyperexcitability in the nervous system. CBD can regulate intracellular calcium during hyperexcitability states in the hippocampus / temporal lobe. CBD can regulate NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor transmission and increased serotonergic 5HT-1A (5-hydroxytryptamine) receptor transmission and reduces GABA, 5-HT1A, and norepinephrine synaptic uptake (Do Val-da-Silva, et al, “Protective effects of cannabidiol against seizures and neuronal death in a rat model of mesial temporal lobe epilepsy,” Front. Pharmacol., 2017, 8:131.). Cannabidiol is thought to be neuroprotective through its role in controlling intracellular calcium. Excess calcium can activate a cascade of neurochemical events leading to cell degeneration and death through lipases, endonucleases, and proteases. In one study in rat models, there was a suggestion that treatment of seizures was not just at the neurotransmitter level but also modulates the oscillatory nature, neuronal loss and post-ictal lethargy of the status epilepticus model.

Scientific evidence in animal models

Animal studies show that the effectiveness of cannabis is at the level of the CB1 receptor. With the deletion of the CB1 receptors in the forebrain excitatory neurons in the mice model, Kainate-induced seizures were more prominent. The presence of CB1 receptors in the hippocampal gyrus seems to protect against Kainate-induced seizures. Viral-induced CB1 overexpression resulted in less Kainate-induced seizures, CA pyramidal cell 3 cell death. This demonstrates that the presence of the CB1 receptor can limit seizures and reduces gliosis and apoptosis (Rosenberg, et al, “Cannabinoids and epilepsy,” Neurotherapeutics, 2015, Oct., 12 (4):747-768.).

In animal studies, the CB1 receptors increased 1 week after pilocarpine-induced seizures in the CA1-3 striatum oriens and the dentate gyrus. Patients with temporal lobe epilepsy had reduced Anandamide and increased CB1 receptors suggesting an up-regulation of the CB1 receptor as a homeostatic mechanism in the presence of seizures which can reduce excitatory neurotransmitters (Rosenberg, et al, “Cannabinoids and epilepsy,” Neurotherapeutics, 2015, Oct., 12 (4):747-768.). This compensatory mechanism may be impaired with long-standing seizures and hippocampal sclerosis and refractoriness to pharmacologic measures.

Case series report

In a small study on patients with tumors with seizures, in 3 patients who were medically refractory were started on cannabidiol (Epidiolex) to treat seizures. 2 out of the 3 had improvement in seizures while all 3 had improvement in the severity in the University of Alabama (Warren, et al, “The use of cannabidiol for seizure management in patients with brain tumor-related epilepsy,” Neurocase, 2017, Oct.-Dec., 23 (5-6):287-291).

Evidence in longitudinal observational studies

In one study of 57 patients, ages 1-20 years old, CBD:THC was given at a ratio of 20:1 with the CBD component of 11.4 mg/kg/day. The patients were followed longitudinally for 3 months with a follow-up time of 18 months. 56% or 26 patients had <50% reduction of seizures. No difference was noted between the causes of the seizure and the type of cannabis used. Younger ages of 10 years old and below had a statistically better outcome compared to an older age. Those with higher doses of CBD of >11.4mg/kg/day had a statistically better outcome compared to 11.4mg/kg/day and below. There were side effects in about 46% of patients leading to stopping the protocol. These studies suggest that cannabidiol enriched treatment may be beneficial in seizure control particularly in the pediatric population. (Hausman-Kedem, M., et al, “Efficacy of CBD-enriched medical cannabis for treatment of refractory epilepsy in children and adolescents – an observational longitudinal study,” Brain Dev., 2018 Apr., pii:S0387-7604 (18)30112-8 doi: 10.1016/j.braindev2018.03.013).

Open-label studies

In an open-label trial, 214 patients were studied between the ages 1-30, with pharmacoresistant epilepsy. There were 162 in the safety follow-up of 12 weeks, 137 were in the efficacy analysis. For the safety group, 33 had Dravet syndrome and 31 had Lennox-Gastaut syndrome. The rest had medically refractory seizures from different causes. Side effects were mild to moderate including diarrhea, lack of appetite, somnolence, fatigue, and convulsion. 5 had a cessation of treatment related to adverse effects. Serious events were reported in 48 patients with 1 death unrelated to cannabidiol. 20 had severe adverse effect including status epilepticus. The median number of seizures at baseline was 30 which was reduced to 15 per month with a 36.5% reduction of motor seizures (Devinsky, et al, “Cannabidiol in patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy: an open label interventional trial,” Lancet Neurology, 2016, Mar., 15 (3):270-8).

Evidence in randomized controlled clinical trials

In a multi-country study was performed on Dravet syndrome and effect of cannabidiol in a randomized double-blind trial of cannabidiol versus placebo and in young adults between the ages of 2-18. Dravet syndrome is an epileptic syndrome involving myoclonic epilepsy during childhood which may progress attributed to an SCN1A gene abnormality. There was a 4 week baseline period followed by a 14 week treatment period. The dosages of cannabidiol were increased gradually to 20mg/kg/day. Those in the cannabidiol group was matched to a placebo control. The endpoints were the percentage of change and Caregiver Global Impression of Change (CGIC). In 23 center in the U.S. and in Europe, 120 patients underwent randomization, mean age was 9.8 years old. 108 completed treatment. The median number of drugs was 3 and the most commonly taken were clobazam, valproate, stiripentol, levetiracetam, and topiramate. The most common type of seizures was generalized tonic-clonic followed by secondary generalized tonic-clonic seizures. 114/118 children presented with developmental delay. Adverse reactions were mild to moderate including somnolence, diarrhea and loss of appetite. Elevated liver enzymes were found in those taking valproate likely related to drug-drug interactions. The reduction of seizures was considered meaningful while no change in non-convulsive episodes was noted. In the cannabidiol group, convulsive seizures reduced from 12.4 seizures to 5.9 per month while the placebo control group had a reduction of seizures from 14.9 to 14.1 which was not statistically significant. A reduction of more than 50% of seizures occurred in 43% of patients in the cannabidiol group and 27% in the control cohort. 3 patients in the cannabidiol group and no one in the placebo group became free of seizures. 62% of caregivers thought the condition improved in the cannabidiol group as opposed to 34% in the placebo group (5).

Another randomized placebo-controlled trial in Lennox-Gastaut syndrome was done using cannabidiol versus placebo. Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome is characterized by multiple seizure types with a slow spike and wave of 2.5 Hz or slower on EEG. This study covered 30 clinical trial centers between the ages 2-55 with 2 or more seizures per week over 28 days. 225 patients were randomized with 76 in the group for cannabidiol at 20mg/kg/day, 73 in the cannabidiol group at 10mg/kg/day and 76 in the placebo cohort. The reduction in median of drop attacks was 41.9% in the 20mg cannabidiol group, 37% in the 10mg cannabidiol group and 17.2% in the placebo group which was statistically significant. Side effects were somnolence, diarrhea and poor appetite which was dose-related. 9% had higher liver function tests. The study concluded that addition of cannabidiol of either 10mg/kg/day or 20mg/kg/day in addition to standard anti-epileptic agents resulted in a significant reduction of seizures (Devinsky, et al, “Effect of cannabidiol on drop seizures in the Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome,” NEJM, 2018, May, 378:1888-1897).

Cannabidiol as an add-on adjunct for refractory seizures

In another study in Slovenia, add-on cannabidiol was given to 66 patients who were deemed medically refractory at a dosage of 8mg/kg/day. 32 or 48% of patients experienced fewer seizures of more than 50% reduction. 14 (21%) were seizure free. No patient had to worsen and 15 or 22.7% there was no effect. Patients reported less robust seizures, less recovery time and less time duration of the seizures as positive outcomes. Adverse effects were seen in 5 patients or 0.07% of patients. They concluded that there are some beneficial effects of cannabidiol as an add-on adjunctive treatment in controlling medically refractory epilepsy. However, this study focused on cannabidiol as an adjunctive treatment, not as monotherapy. Regardless, there are some beneficial aspects as evidenced in this study (Neubauer, D., et al, “Cannabidiol for treatment of refractory childhood epilepsies: experience from a single tertiary epilepsy center in Slovenia,” Epilepsy Behav., 2018 Apr., 81:79-85. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2018.02.009).

In summary

There is ever growing evidence that cannabidiol which is the non-psychoactive component of the Cannabis sativa plant is effective in treating intractable seizures, from the mouse model to randomized controlled clinical trials, which can no longer be ignored. There are mostly mild to moderate side effects involving mild diarrhea. There were no fatal outcomes associated with the use of cannabidiol.

Cannabis history with Dr. D. – 1500 to present day


Psychoactive strains of cannabis were native to Africa, while non-psychoactive hemp grew in Europe. African Slaves brought the seeds for the psychoactive variety to South America, where they grew the herb along side the sugar cane. From South America Cannabis smoking spread spread up through Mexico, into the USA and around the globe. Science never found all the dangers of cannabis that propaganda fed to the American people. Politics and agencies needing funding overrode science and human traditions for decades – here is the timeline of the evolution of cannabis and hemp and the series of events that lead to prohibition:


Cannabis was part of the fabric of human society for thousands of years before it was mistakenly outlawed by the director of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics after they had nothing to do when alcohol prohibition ended. Cannabis prohibition was enacted as a way to specifically target blacks and hispanics and keep them down in society.


1500s – African Slaves brought cannabis to South America where they worked on sugar plantations. Smoking cannabis spread throughout South America, Mexico and slowly into the United States.


1532 – French doctor wrote of the medical effects of cannabis.


1621 – Hemp was written of by the English as a remedy for depression


1619 – Hemp was mandated to be grown by the King in Britain and the Virginia Assembly for its valuable fibers


1753 – Carl Linnaeus named the plant Cannabis sativa


1830 – Dr. O’Shaunessy, an Irish doctor, supervised construction projects in India and began experimenting with Cannabis as a medicine after observing the locals, publishing a paper in 1842 about the uses of cannabis. He noted many uses: pain killer, muscle relaxant, anti-convulsant, appetite stimulant and more.


1842 – London pharmacies sold cannabis tinctures


1850 – Hemp was the United State’s 3rd largest crop


1850s – Cannabis introduced to Jamaica by Indian slaves brought by the British colonizers.


1854 – US Pharmacopeia listed Indian Hemp


1854 – The medical text the “Dispensatory of the United States” lists cannabis as used for treating menstrual cramps.


1854 – Cannabis tinctures sold throughout US pharmacies


1860 – Ohio State Medical Society conducted a government survey that collected data from doctors that cannabis was used for many conditions.


1880s – There were hash parlors in every American city operating without stigma


1894 – Indian Hemp Commission – The British were concerned about Ganja use in their colony India so they commissioned what became a 3,000 page report which concluded no link between cannabis and crime, no link of cannabis causing concerning psychosis in man, and no damaging effect of cannabis on society.


1906 – Pure Food and Drug Act passed giving the US Government control over all drugs Americans took.


1913 – California made cannabis illegal to target Mexicans


1913 – Jamaica bans cannabis cultivation and consumption was imposed by colonial decree.


1914 – Harrison Act made drugs like cocaine illegal for non medical use (but not cannabis yet)


1914 – El Paso bans cannabis as a way to target Mexican migrants


1919 – Texas outlawed cannabis


1920 – Alcohol prohibition goes into effect with the 20th Amendment


1916-1920s – U.S. Troops stationed along the Mexican border pick up smoking cannabis as a past time


1925 – US Government committee investigated American soldiers smoking cannabis when off duty in Panama, Central America. Committee concluded cannabis was not addictive and caused no deleterious effects.


1928 – Cannabis banned in Great Britain


1929 – Narcotics Farm Act misclassified Indian Hemp as a dangerous narcotic.


1930 – Harry Anslinger becomes director of the new Federal Bureau of Narcotics. Some have called Anslinger the father of the war on drugs. Anslinger was a hard core alcohol prohibitionist who when prohibition ended in 1933 needed a new target, and that was cannabis.


1933 – Alcohol prohibition ends


1934 – Great depression, Bureau of Narcotics funding was slashed. Anslinger was an opportunist who despite fact peddled fictitious pot fueled crime stories, many targeting minorities.


1937 – North Carolina Representative introduced House Bill 6385, the Marijuana Tax Act, to prohibit cannabis use by heavy tax, the bill was drafted by Anslinger. Anslinger testified about crimes falsely attributed to cannabis use. Others thought the bill was an effort by powerful families such as the Du Pont’s to suppress hemp as the plant was a threat to their vast timber holdings as new technology had been invented to process hemp. Anslinger then used the power to arrest many for violating the act. Roosevelt signed into law.


1937 – Anslinger began to carry out arrests leading to prison time for simple crimes of not paying the Marihuana Tax.


1941 – Anslinger gets the US Pharmacopeia to remove cannabis


1942 – Cannabis tinctures are used as truth serum by CIA


1943 – Anslinger uses cannabis to arrest and profile many prominent Jazz musicians, many black.


1943- LSD discovered by a doctor working for Sandoz Pharma. At this time LSD was legal and the CIA used LSD for interrogation and psychiatrists used LSD in psychotherapy to bring the subconscious to the conscious.


1944 – La Guardia Report – New York Academy of Medicine studies cannabis for years and declares cannabis not be classified as a narcotic, that cannabis use does not cause long term degradation of people’s bodies, minds or morals. Cannabis was not linked to crime and declared not addictive. Anslinger debunked the science with his false morality, criticizing the report.


1948 – Cannabis removed from British pharmacopeia


1951 -Boggs Act – Anslinger lobbies for tougher drug penalties, citing that communists use drugs. Boggs Act passes levying 2-5 year prison sentences for simple possession of cannabis.


1956 – Narcotics Control Act – which called for increased penalties in regards to cannabis


1958 – Police in San Francisco raid cannabis community as well as homosexual communities


1958 – A poet named Arthur Ginsberg watches his friend go to prison of 2 years for a few joints. He decides laws must change. He will become a major advocate for cannabis legalization. The FBI would profile Ginsberg for smoking pot and being a homosexual.


1950s – Cold war era conformity and link of cannabis to communism resulted in strict prohibition. Prohibition so strict that Hollywood got permission from Anslinger before mentioning cannabis.


1950s – Counter Culture Beat Literary Movement –  a literary movement started by a group of authors whose work explored and influenced American culture and politics in the post-World War II era. The bulk of their work was published and popularized throughout the 1950s. Central elements of Beat culture are rejection of standard narrative values, spiritual quest, exploration of American and Eastern religions, rejection of materialism, explicit portrayals of the human condition, experimentation with psychedelic drugs, and sexual liberation and exploration. Jack Kerouac introduced the phrase “Beat Generation” in 1948 to characterize a perceived underground, anti-conformist youth movement in New York.[6]


Allen Ginsberg‘s Howl (1956), William S. Burroughs‘s Naked Lunch (1959) and Jack Kerouac‘s On the Road (1957) are among the best known examples of Beat literature.[3] Both Howl and Naked Lunch were the focus of obscenity trials that ultimately helped to liberalize publishing in the United States.[4][5] The members of the Beat Generation developed a reputation as new bohemian hedonists, who celebrated non-conformity and spontaneous creativity.


The core group of Beat Generation authors – Herbert HunckeAllen GinsbergWilliam S. BurroughsLucien Carr, and Jack Kerouac – met in 1944 in and around the Columbia University campus in New York City. Later, in the mid-1950s, the central figures (with the exception of Burroughs and Carr) ended up together in San Francisco where they met and became friends of figures associated with the San Francisco Renaissance.


In the 1960s, elements of the expanding Beat movement were incorporated into the hippie and larger counterculture movements. Neal Cassady, as the driver for Ken Kesey‘s bus Further, was the primary bridge between these two generations. Allen Ginsberg’s work also became an integral element of early 1960s hippie culture.


1959 – A young man named Robert Zimmerman smoked his first cannabis. He would become Bob Dylan. Dylan linked his inspiration to Ginsberg and Kerouac.


1960 – JFK elected.


1960s – The repressed pot smokers from jazz clubs are no longer a few, they became the a torrent of middle class whites using cannabis known as the mass counter culture rebellion of the 1960s – a direct push back against the conformist 1950s, fueled by the curious people that tried cannabis and KNEW the government was telling a big lie. How can you trust your government if they lie about cannabis and lock you up for it?


1960 – Ginsberg visits Harvard to meet psychology professor Tim Leary to participate in a Psilocybin experiment. Psliocybin was a hallucinogen derived from mushrooms, but not as potent as lysergic acid diethyl amide-25, known as LSD.


1961 – The renegade homosexual poet Ginsberg is featured on a live TV show anchored by John Cosby with two other guests an anthropologist and novelist and Ginsberg publicly live on TV got all guests to agree cannabis was harmless and should not be illegal. The Federal Bureau of Narcotics aired a 7 minute rebuttal video.


Ginsberg handed out copies of the La Guardia Report and tried to get the La Guardia report republished.


Late 1950s into 60s – US Army experiments with cannabis concentrates as non lethal chemical warfare agents testing them on GIs.


1959 – Dr. Todd Mikuriya begins studying cannabis.


1960s – Dutch Provos (provocateurs) pro cannabis group forms.


1961 – U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs – something Anslinger championed. The resulting Treaty meant all signatory countries had to adopt and maintain penal measures against cannabis and other drugs.


1962 – JFK fires Anslinger and does not like his hard cop attitude. Federal Narcotics Bureau shown to have high level corruption.


1963 – White House Conference on Narcotics and Drug Abuse authorized by JFK


1963 – JFK assassinated.


1963 – Half of California cannabis arrests are now white people. The times were changing.


1964- Bob Dylan introduced the Beatles to cannabis for the first time.


1964 – Ralphael Mechoulam discovers THC structure (partially funded by US Government)


1964 – Lowell Eggemeier walks into a San Francisco police station and rips a hit off a joint in an act of civil disobedience. His lawyer James Wright prepared briefs citing the Indian Hemp Commission Study and the La Guardia Report. White also formed the first organization dedicated to legalizing cannabis: LEMAR (Legalize Marijuana).


1964 – Ginsberg is in S.F. for the fist LEMAR protest. He returns to New York City to set up a chapter.


1965 – Ginsberg leads pro marijuana march in NYC.


1966 – Small LEMAR chapters begin sprouting in cities.


1965 – Vietnam. Cannabis was used by most soldiers.


1966 – LSD is outlawed in the US


1967 – Beatles glamorize weed. Protests break out. London has connections to the LEMAR organizations in USA. Ginsberg addresses a crowd in London. 65 prominent British citizens run a full newspaper ad calling for legalization – the Beatles paid for the ad! Ginsberg meets Beetles.


1967 – Dutch pro cannabis group “Provos” group disbands amidst police confrontations. Two members Hoekert and Grootveld continue activism.


1968 – Wooten Report by British Parliament’s Commission on Drug Dependence – Reported many Brits used cannabis and that it was less harmful than alcohol, opiates, or barbiturates. Cannabis did not lead to progression of drugs. The report agreed with the Indian Hemp Commission of 1894 that moderate use of cannabis lead to no long term problems in people and caused no harms to society.


1968 – United States ratifies the U.N. Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs Treaty – there was a clause, however, which made provision that drugs must be made available medically without penalty for the relief of pain and suffering.


1968 – Dr. Mikuriya eventually becomes director of National Institute of Mental Health. Mikuriya was a casual cannabis user. He pushed for legalization, but was instead sent to spy and gather data on hippie communities in NorCal. Mikuriya resigned 4 months later after being disillusioned with bureaucrats.


1969 – Dr. Mikuriya networks with pro-drug groups in New York and meets Ginsberg.


1969 – US Government under Nixon begins more anti pot border searches. Forces Mexican government to outlaw cannabis cultivation.


1969 – Tim Leary takes a 30 year sentence for smuggling less than an ounce of cannabis across the Texas border all the way to the Supreme Court. He wins and the Supreme Court strikes down the Marihuana Tax Act. Nixon and the government still jailed


1969 – John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary all meet in Montreal, Canada.


1969 – Thomas Forcade an American cannabis smuggler moves to NYC and works for the Underground Press Syndicate – a cannbis, youth culture, psychedelic, college newspaper clearing house.


1969 – Grootveld and Hoekert found the Lowlands Weed Company


1970 – NORML launches in Washington, D.C. lead by lawyer Keith Stroup. Advisory board had noted doctors, law enforcement and scholars.


1970 – Michael Aldrich (prominent LEMAR member), and Mikiuriya form Amorphia in California – a successor to LEMAR


1970s – Steve DeAngelo leds a Yippie activists in a commune in Washington D.C. nicknamed the Outlaw Collective. Yippies and NORML part ways as normal wants to take a polished approach while the Yippies stage wild protests.


1970 – Nixon was not pleased about Leary setting back cannabis law, he pushed the Controlled Substances Act which passed. The law allowed for no knock raids by cops and created the drug scheduling system 1-5. The attorney general named cannabis a schedule 1 drug, supposedly a temporary listing pending a presidential review. Nixon’s inner circle wrote in his diary that Nixon told them the war on drugs was a camouflage way to get blacks.


1971 – Nixon holds press conference declaring all out war on cannabis and drugs.


1971 – John Lennon leads a protest to release John Sinclair who was serving a 10 year sentence for selling two joints. Ginsberg, Ed Sanders, Stevie Wonder all help. 3 days later the Michigan Supreme Court released Sinclair and his conviction was overturned. The decision struck down Michigan cannabis laws as unconstitutional. The victory is celebrated yearly by the Ann Arbor Hash Bash. Ann Arbor City Council made having cannabis a $5 fine. The publicity brought by Lennon helped eleven states decriminalize cannabis in the 1970s.


1971 – UCLA ophthalmologist Dr. Hepler was contracted by NIDA to study cannabis’ effect on the eye so that law enforcement may identify users. Instead the most important discovery Hepler made was that cannabis lowered intraocular pressure and he used cannabis to treat several patients, publishing his results in the American Journal of Ophthalmology.


1972 – Nixon directs FBI to nail Lennon on drug charges and get him out of the country. Nixon was a heavy drinker, sleeping pill, and amphetamine user.


1973 – Nixon creates the DEA by Presidential Fiat. The DEA recruited hardcore anti drug individuals from the CIA and Anslinger’s disbanded Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs.


1972 – As part of the Controlled Substances Act the Shafer Report was published. The report so called due to the Governor Shafer of Pennsylvania being the chair consisted of 50 scientists, police, citizens, and doctors. The report found no detrimental effects from cannabis and recommended the President stop politicizing cannabis and legalize cannabis! Nixon ignored the report.


1972 – William F. Buckley a prominent conservative comes out in favor of legalization


1972 – California Marijuana Initiative – A grass roots legalization movement spearheaded by Amorphia – lead to the first vote for decriminalization of cannabis. Proposition 19 lost but 1/3 of voters voted for decriminalization. Dr. Mikuriya was crucial in spreading the movement.


1972 – Richard Cowan from Texas cuts his political writing teeth. A prominent upper class Texan where cannabis was punishable by life imprisonment he like smoking cannabis with his rich friends – he would later become Executive Director of NORML.


1972 – Canadian Le Dain Commission publishes their report on marijuana. Urged government to legalize cannabis and regulate it like alcohol.


1972 – Dutch student Wernard Bruining opens the first ‘tea house’ in Amsterdam. It was named Mellow Yellow after song by Donovan.


1972 – Baan Commission – Study of cannabis commissioned by Dutch government, Psychiatrist Dr. Baan led the study and his report agreed with the Le Dain Commission and Shafer Report – cannabis was harmless and should be legalized.


1972 – Jack Herer meets Michael Aldrich while volunteering for the California Marijuana Initiative.


1972 – NORML petitions the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs to recognize marijauna’s medical value and remove it from schedule I.


1976 – Dutch government heeds the advice of Baan Commission and legalizes possession and retail sale of cannabis. Marijuana prohibition is dangerous because it puts cannabis seekers in contact with people peddling other more dangerous substances.


1973 – Mikuriya publishes compendium of his patients and conditions he treated patients with cannabis in California.


1973 – National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) founded.


1973 – Rockefeller Anti Drug Laws


1973 – Opiate receptors discovered in mammalian brain.


1973 – NORML has success in Oregon which became the first state to decriminalize less than an ounce of cannabis.


1974 – Senator James Eastland, a racist mississippi democrat, convenes hearings titled “Marijuana-Hashish Epidemic and its Impact on US Security”. According to Eastland subversive groups spread the epidemic from the University of Berkeley. If marijuana culture was not crushed  Eastland spouted the lack of morals and hedonism would destroy society. The hearings were designed to refute the Shafer Commission and only interviewed people that had terrible things to say such as: brain damage, DNA damage, obesity, sterility, and was a gateway drug. The hearings peddled the later discredited research of Dr. Nahas of Columbia who cited cellular damage from cannabis and brain damage. He was later slammed by the New England Journal of Medicine for poor methods. Nahas and others testified without scientific basis that cannabis caused “amotivational syndrome”.


1974 – Dr. Heath of Tulane University (who previously had worked for the CIA’s MK-ULTRA mind control research program) does a shitty experiment where he put gas masks on rhesus monkeys and pumped 63 joints worth of cannabis smoke into the masks within 5 minutes. The resulting brain damage from carbon monoxide and suffocation was falsely attributed to cannabis by the corrupt Heath.


1974 – NIDA spends millions to find harmful effects of cannabis.


1974 – Thomas Forcade starts his magazine fully devoted to recreational drugs, High Times.


1975 – Analgesic effects of THC documented in the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics


1975 – NIDA conducts 3 year study on the island of Jamaica, studying the Rastafarians to look for harmful effects of cannabis. No harmful effects are found and the anthropologists note that the widespread use of cannabis is likely responsible for much lower rates of alcoholism on the island than other parts of Caribbean. They also heard of reports that cannabis allowed fishermen to see better at night.


1975 – NIDA Costa Rica cannabis smoking study and hash smoking in Greece. Studies fail to find harm.


1974 – US Government funded researchers at the Medical College of Virginia discover that injecting cannabinoids into tumors in mice prolonged their lives by 36%. The discovery was repressed and not for 25 more years would scientists in Spain and Israel rediscover the anti tumor properties of cannabinoids.


1975 – Police in D.C. raid Robert Randalls house for growing cannabis for his glaucoma.


1975 – DEA now has 10,000 agents stationed around the world.


1975 – New England Journal of Medicine publishes that THC reduces chemotherapy induced nausea and vomiting.


1975 – Mikuriya and Mechoulam meet at a NIDA conference.


1976 – California legislature passes the Moscone Act which reduced the penalty of less than an ounce of pot from a felony to a misdemeanor with a max $100 fine.


1976 – Amorphia merges with NORML


1976 – Alaska decriminalizes cannabis


1976 – Robert Randall a young professor with glaucoma successfully sues the federal government for raiding his house for cultivation, after he began growing cannabis after accidentally discovering that smoking a joint controlled his glaucoma better than any prescription drug or surgery possible at the time. He fought the charges on the basis of “medical necessity”. Keith Stroup of NORML supported Randall who was able to network Randall to Dr. Hepler who in a sworn affidavit testified that without cannabis Randall would go blind. Judge Washington wrote that marijuana prohibition was not well founded and all evidence being used against it was unsubstantiated. The government had to provide Randall 300 joints a month from the research farm at the University of Mississippi and he smoked 10 joints a day and never went blind.


1977 – MIT scientist Doc Humes uses cannabis and also uses cannabis to aid in his wife’s labor pains. He wrote of the truth about cannabis – about the biphasic effect the drug has – at low does acting as an illuminant and high doses as a hypnotic. Humes wrote how even if people do not acknowledge cannabis use as medicinal, all use is a form of self medication from the stress of modern life. He lamented the thousands of young people arrested for using the least harmful medication available to cope with stress.


1977 – 458,000 people arrested on marijuana charges


1978 – President Carter announces a change in drug policy. The U.S. Justice Department announced they would no longer make cannabis enforcement a priority.


1978 – Hawaii declares cannabis has out valued the sugar crop.


1978 – NORML fractures with the suicide of Thomas Forcade. Stroup was fired.


1979 – Ed Holloway and expert cannabis grower relocates to Holland from California. Old Ed was turned onto cannabis by his son, a Vietnam Vet. He would inspire Bruining and others to turn Amsterdam into the Jamaica of Europe.


1980 – Holloway shares his growing techniques with Dutch the pro cannabis Bruining and Hoekert. Ed teaches cloning and Sea of Green techniques. Old Ed’s Seeds were the first to be commercially sold in Holland, by the Lowlands Weed Company owned by Bruining and Hoekert.


1980s – NIDA sends researchers back to Jamaica in hopes studying effects on pregnancy would show harm. University of Massachusetts researchers found no harm to infants of mothers that used cannabis during pregnancy and breast feeding and even evidence of benefit for mother and infant.


1980 – Reagan elected. The religious right and conservatives turn a blind eye to pharma, tobacco, and alcohol and use marijuana as a way to target and take revenge on the liberals from the cultural revolution of the 1960s.


1970s/1980s – The spread of Indica seeds from Afghanistan and Nepal (imported by the Brotherhood of Love) that could flower in colder regions changed what Americans could grow cannabis. The Sacred Seed Company spread strains like Northern Lights, Skunk #1 and Haze.


1980s – As Reagan ramps up the drug war American pot specialists flee to the Netherlands where state licensed coffee shops could sell cannabis.


– Watch Orange Sunshine:


1980s – Americans fleeing to the Netherlands bring advanced indoor growing tech.


1980s – Steve DeAngelo and Jack Herer live together in D.C. while DeAngelo finances a cannabis movement by selling it.


– Jack Herer – Watch


1980s – American cocaine and crack addiction levels sky rocket as marijuana is attacked and the CIA allows cocaine trafficking by its assets.


19080s – Dutch entrepreneur Ben Donkers opens Sensi Seeds which preserves landrace seeds from around the world. He also opened the Hash Museum in Amsterdam and recruited Ed Rosenthal to be the curator. Rosenthal was well known for his “Ask Ed” column in High Times.


1981 – Randall forms the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (ACT)


1981 – AIDs epidemic breaks out. S.F. homosexual population is ravaged by disease. Dying men need medical marijuana.


1982 – Reagan restarts Nixon’s all out war on drugs. Nancy Reagan would tell the American people to say no to marijuana while she was addicted to prescription tranquilizers – her daughter would even say her war on drugs was a form of denial.


1982 – National Academies of Science (NAS) publishes another huge report which took 8 years to compile on cannabis. The NAS report recommends legalization and found no brain damage from cannabis. Reagan ignores report. Reagan places H.W. Bush in charge of the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System. Law enforcement staff grew by 36% under Reagan and prison staff grew by 86%.


1982 – Randall lobbies Newt Gingrich to introduce a bill to establish a federal program to supply cannabis with life or sense threatening illnesses. Reagan’s drug war makes the political climate too hostile and Newt withdraws the bill.


1982 – Irvin Rosenfeld becomes the second person in the USA to get a federal cannabis license. His job at a brokerage firm required him to handle millions of dollars for thousands of clients – all done while smoking his 10 prescribed joints a day. Under the Compassionate Use Protocol each patient was supposed to be a research subject to study if cannabis was effective. The FDA never investigated if those that got the drug benefited and NIDA neglected to carry out the required follow up of patients.


1983 – Reagan convinces congress to amend the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act that barred American soldiers from being used to enforce civilian law on American soil. Reagan authorizes military resources to be used in the drug war.


1983 – The war on drugs focuses on the border and spraying Mexican cannabis with pesticides leads to a surge of domestically grown cannabis in Cali and Oregon.


1983 – DEA identifies the Emerald Triangle as the area encompassing Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity Counties.


1980s – The Reagan lead and federally funded Campaign Against Marijuana Planting sends fatigue dressed narcs to raid the Emerald Triangle with 24 hour check points, helicopters, warrantless searches and seizures. The semi military operations were a chance for right wing fanatics to exact revenge on those with left leaning politics with marijuana as the scapegoat.


1980s – Many Vietnam Vets find nothing calms the flash backs to unimaginable gore and death than cannabis.


1983 – 34 states plus Washington, D.C. passed bills supporting medical marijuana


1983 – Federal government refused to release cannabis from the University of Mississippi garden for research.


1983 – U.S. Attorney General Smith grants the CIA an exemption from having to report on drug smuggling by agency assets. The exemption allowed multiple traffickers to be let off the hook because they were also doing work for the CIA.


1983 – D.A.R.E. is founded. Brain child of Los Angeles police chief Daryl Gates who maintained that casual drug users should be taken out and shot. Alcohol and tobacco, though they were the most commonly used substances were not DARE’s s target. DARE was later criticized as fear mongering.


1984 – Congress passes the Comprehensive Crime Control Act. Gave law enforcement increased powers to seize any assets possibly purchased with drug money, including houses. Raised the federal marijuana penalties. Police could seize the home of a pot grower without trial, but not a murderer’s house. Police departments became dependent on funds from seized assets to finance themselves and buy things like weapons. The seized assets law got police departments hooked on drug money.


1984 – Boland Amendment passed expressly forbidding US Military aid to contra rebels in Nicaragua.


1985 – Dr. Schuster, head of NIDA under Reagan was under significant pressure to find something wrong with marijuana. He admitted they were never able to prove marijuana caused brain damage.


1985 – White blocking research into cannabis the plant the FDA, the government partially funded and fast tracked Marinol, synthetic pure THC, approving the drug for use to treat nausea in cancer patients in 1985. Reagan wanted marinol rushed to market to placate medical marijuana advocates.


1985 – Mendocino residents band together and a federal Judge restricts CAMP personnel from entering any private property except open fields without a warrant. CAMP enforcement and mandatory marijuana jail terms of 5 years for 100 plants drive the price paid for cannabis sky high.


1985 – Operation Delta-9 – US Government launches the largest anti marijuana operation in 3 day nationwide campaign that eradicated 250,000 cannabis plants.


1985 – Aerial drug surveillance and improved tech leads to a surge of indoor hydro operations.


1985 – NIDA denies Dr. Donald Abrahams cannabis to do research to see whether smoked cannabis or THC pills helped AIDs patients better.


1986 – CBS poll lists illicit drug abuse as nations top concern.


1986 – Anti-Drug Abuse Act signed by Reagan. 29 mandatory minimum sentences. The act required longer sentences for crack dealers to target black ghetto communities.


1986 – Reagan brings in an era of piss testing for drugs by himself and other government officials taking piss tests.


1986 – Iran Contra Scandal. Col. North fired. The governments complicity in large scale drug trafficking in order to supply weapons to the contras is exposed.


1986 – DEA finally hears the matter of rescheduling cannabis. Judge Young rules that the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 did not give the DEA power to tell doctors if they should include cannabis in their practice or not. However, the ruling of an administrative judge was not binding, only a recommendation and John Lawn, DEA Director, under H.W. Bush chose to ignore the governments own findings yet again, as had Reagan and Nixon.


1987 – 39 year old Kentucky glaucoma patients farm raided. 90 acre farm seized without ability to challenge the seizure for 30 pot plants.


1987 – First High Times Cannabis cup held in Amsterdam


1988 – Prozac is approved and becomes first line therapy for certain mood disorders. Prozac was approved by the FDA dispite some studies showing no greater effect than placebo. Side effects included: headaches, loss of libido, liver failure, bone depletion, increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and suicidal behavior. Infants exposed to Prozac in utero had increased rates of autism, neurological disorders, and heart defects.


1988 – Anti Drug Abuse Act – expanded forfeiture laws and earmarked 1 billion dollars for law enforcement.


1988 – Cannabinoid receptors discovered in mammalian brain.


1989 – Hortapharm is established by David Watson (winner of first cannabis cup in Amsterdam) and his partner Robert Clarke. Hortapharm explored cannabinoid pharmacology, including CBD and THC plants.


1989 – The new drug war doubled the prison population from 500,000 in 1980 to 1 million in 1989


1989 – US invades Panama, ordered by Bush after Noriega (who was allowed to smuggle tons of cocaine) steps out of line with US policy.


1989 – Lt Col. Oliver North and other US officials banned from Costa Rica after Costa Rica found evidence the CIA was allowing for the trafficking of cocaine. While Reagan spouted hardline drug laws his operatives including H.W. Bush and Col. North allowed drugs to flow in order to break the law and supply the contras.


1989 – President Bush announces a new 7.8 billion dollar federal anti narcotics budget. The drug czar to lead the charge is a hold over from Reagan who was overweight, a compulsive gambler, and 2 pack a day smoker. Bennet is n charge of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). Bennet had a grudge against those from the 60s and 70s that had “lost respect for authority”. He was quoted as saying he had no problem with drug dealers being beheaded, and didn’t believe in due process or fair trial in drug cases.


1989 – President Bush launches an operation known as Black Thursday to target indoor grow operations and hydroponic stores in an effort coordinated across 48 states.


1990 – DNA sequence of rat cannabinoid receptor discovered.


1990 – 1 in 8 Americans are on anti-depressants .


1990 – Cannabis activist Dennis Peron in S.F. launches Proposition P which urged Cali legislature and California Medical Association to legalize hemp preparations for medicinal use.


1991 – Peron founds the Cannabis Buyers Club in S.F.


1991 – Police are seizing 1.5 billion in drug assets


1992 – 17 major European cities sign the Frankfurt charter agreeing to tolerate the social use of cannabis.


1992 – Dr. Dre’s album “The Chronic” goes platinum.


1992 – 2002 NYC sees an 882% increase in cannabis arrests. Hardliners Giuliani and Bloomberg let low level pot possession become the number one reason for arrest.


1992 – Bush Administration shuts off Carter’s Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program for cannabis that allowed the government to provide cannabis to the ill. Overwhelmed by AIDs patients they still closed the system. US Public Health Service Director Mason says cannabis should not be made available because it will make them more likely to do drugs, share needles, and send the wrong message to our youth, turning his back on thousands of dying young gay men.


1992 – Mechoulam discovers the first “endocannabinod” anandamide made by the body.


1992 – Oklahoma sentences a paraplegic to life in prison for growing.


1992 – Clinton elected. He fails to follow through on his campaign promises of drug reform. He refuses to reinstate the Compassionate IND program and escalated the drug war with 800% higher marijuana arrests under his presidency than Bush.


1995 – Mechoulam discovers another endocannabinoid: 2-AG.


1990s – The internet and world wide web lead to a surge of home growing. People could get tips just by logging on instead of fleeing to Amsterdam.


1995  – Peron begins holding weekly meetings at the S.F. Cannabis Buyers’ Club to push for a grassroots campaign for full legalization. The Compassionate Use Act was filed in Sacramento in 1995. It would be called Proposition 215 and would be headquartered out of a Santa Monica office. Police and federal opposition was fierce. Carter, Ford, Feinstein, and Boxer all spoke out against Prop 215.


1995 – Ethan Nadelmann hears of Peron’s push and gets George Soros to invest funds in the legalization push.


1995 – European parliament votes for decriminalizing cannabis possession.


1995 – Al Byrne a Vietnam Vet with PTSD and his wife Mary Mathre an addiction specialist and nurse would found Patients Out of Time (POT) as an organization to educate health care providers about cannabis.


1996 – Police are seizing 3 billion in drug assets.


1996 – Attorney General of California orders the S.F. Buyers Club raided and the doors are smashed in with a battering ram by armed officers.


1996 – Prop 215 passes. At exactly one minute past mid night on Nov 6th 1996 Prop 215 became section 11362.5 of the California Health and Safety Code, meaning that with a doctors recommendation it was legal to posses and cultivate medical marijuana for personal use.


1996 – California Attorney General Lungren and officials in Washington, D.C. plan anti drug plans.


1996 – The Administrations Response to the Passage of California Proposition 215 is published stating that state and federal officers will prosecute all marijuana cases and people can try using their medical use excuse to the courts.


1997 – Cali A.G.’s office sends memo to all law enforcement personnel to forward any information on cannabis recommendations by Dr. Tod Mikuriya and another prominent pro cannabis physician.


1997 – Judge rules S.F. Buyers Club can reopen with the passage of 215.


1997 – Oakland passes a resolution protecting medical marijuana users.


1997 – American Researchers discover a pain pathway in the brain that releases endocannabinoids in response to pain signals to diminish pain. Thus cannabinoids are mimicking our own internal pain control system.


1997 – Judge Smith issues a Temporary Restraining Order blocking any government action to punish California doctors who recommend cannabis until the Supreme court could hear Conant v. McCaffery. The restraining order was made permanent in 1999 and upheld in 2002. However, California AG Lungren sent bulletins to law enforcement stating the 215 did not protect patients from arrest.


1997 – New England Journal of Medicine publishes that the Federal response to 215 is out of step with reality.


1997 – 15 dispensaries pop up around California.


1997 – Federal agents raid Flower Therapy in the S.F. Mission district.


1997 – 50 armed LA Sherriff agents raid a Bel Air mansion and find what they describe as the largest marijuana seizure the department had ever made. The mansion belonged to a medical marijuana patient, Todd McCormick, who was also an amateur pot gardener who after in 1995 fleeing California to Amsterdam and learning from Old Ed. McCormick’s bail was set at $100,000 and was paid by actor Woody Harrelson. The case was handed over to the Feds who ultimately gave McCormick a 5 year sentence while his author friend, sick with HIV, collapsed and died in 2000 due to the stress of being labeled a drug kingpin and being denied medical marijuana.


1997 – Orange Country arrests and hands out a 6 year sentence to a ankylosing spondylitis patient.


1997 – LA arrests and imprisons a sickle cell anemia patient.


1997 – A Texan named Enrique Hernandez is killed by US Marines on border patrol duty. The 18 year old was on his own property and no drugs were ever found.


1997 – The Netherlands Institute of Mental Health and Addiction reaffirms that cannabis is NOT a gateway drug and that social factors NOT marijuana leads to harder drug experimentation.


1998 – The British government publishes “Cannabis: The Scientific and Medical Evidence.” The report stated the urgency for cannabis research.


1998 – Geoffrey Guy an astute businessman with a pharma and botany background gets the British Parliament to license his business, G.W. Pharmaceuticals to grow and posses cannabis for medical trials. G.W. purchases the rights to a variety of high grade genetics from HortaPharm – the Dutch firm established by Americans Watson and Clarke.


1998 – Clinton administration brings civil suite against the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Club and 5 other NorCal dispensaries. The city of Oakland deputizes the OCBC as a city agency to shield the group from the feds. OCBC shuts down as US District Judge threatens to hold them in contempt.


1998 – S.F. Cannabis Buyers’ Club is closed after California A.G. Lungren wins on an appeal. Lungren uses his victory on appeal to raid shops all over Cali.


1998 – “The Big Lebowski” and “the Dude” become famous.


1998 – McCaffery funds a secret project at Montana State University to create a super fungus that would target cannabis and coca plants.


1998 – Clinton spends 2 billion dollars on anti drug ads in is second term.


1998 – McCaffrey tours Amsterdam and lies to Americans telling the world the Dutch had double the murder rate of the US. The US actually had 4.5X the murder rate of the Netherlands.


1998 – Cannabis College founded in Amsterdam


– Visit


1998 – General Barry McCaffrey head of Clinton’s drug war warned the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that the drug movement was all about well organized leftists that wanted to legalize all drugs in the US.


1998 – Project Columbia starts – the Clinton multibillion dollar full on counter insurgency operation.


1998 – Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Arizona vote to legalize medical marijuana.


1998 – Washington, D.C. votes for Initiative 59, a California style medical marijuana act.


1998 – Steve Kubby a once adventure sport junkie is plagued by pheochromocytoma and is diagnosed as terminally ill in his late 20s. His buddy Richard “Cheech” Marin brings him a joint to smoke. Kubby loves the relief the herb gives him. His doctors later found out he was still alive after taking no medication and realized that him smoking cannabis daily had arrested his tumor, as all other pheochromocytoma patients of theirs were long dead. He runs for Governor of California in 1998 highlighting the 2,000 people a year killed by aspirin compared to zero by cannabis.


1998 – California AG Lungren is defeated by democrat Bill Lockyer. Lockyer would not set a state policy for protecting Prop 215, but he would allow its implementation where local law enforcement did not object, agreeing to not intervene in S.F. dispensaries. Sprawling rural jurisdictions however like Bakersfield, Sacramento, Lake Tahoe, and San Joaquin valley were run by rogue cops that were also deputized by the feds.


1998 – Congress passes House Resolution 117 which opposed medical marijuana and classified marijuana as dangerous and addictive.


1998 – Tuolumne County arrests a blind, 35 year old Myron Mower for using cannabis to cope with his diabetes. Mower would appeal.


1998 – National Institute of Mental Health researcher Aidan Hampson disclose that compounds in marijuana may protect brain cells in those who suffer stroke and traumatic brain injuries. Hampson is impressed by CBD that he notes has a greater antioxidant potency than Vitamin C or Vitamin E.


1999 – Marinol (THC) downgraded from schedule II to schedule III – drugs with minimal abuse potential. Pure edible THC often induced panic attacks and overdoses – the effect was not the same as smoking the plant.


1999 – Republican Bob Barr of Georgia put language into the D.C. budget that did not allow funds to be used to count ballots of medical marijuana votes. The votes were never tallied for Initiative 59 – though it was thought to be from exit polls a landslide victory for marijuana. The Clinton Administration called the Barr Amendment sensible.


1999 – Kubby’s home is raided by swat teams. His doctors would testify at his trial that cannabis was literally keeping him alive. Kubby flees to Canada claiming asylum from US drug warriors.


1999 – UCSD cannabis research program launched as required by Prop 215.


1999 – National Academies of Science publishes: Marijuana as Medicine – Assessing the Science Base. For the first time a government study discussed the CB1 and CB2 receptors. It stated few users develop dependence, for those that do withdrawal is mild and short-lived.


1999 – Berkley Patients Group is opened by a long time activist Debby Goldsberry who helped organize the national Cannabis Action Network (CAN) which had previously traveled all over the country drumming up support for legalization via caravan. Goldsberry originally got her inspiration from the Outlaws house in D.C., where she would stay when in the city, lead by Steve DeAngelo. She first opened the Cannabis Consumer’s Union in Berkeley, was arrested, sued the city and settled out of court with the city paying her legal bill.


1999 – California Dr. Fry and her attorney husband Dale Shafer create the California Medical Research Center in the town of Cool, CA. They offered clones and start kits to patients.

2001 – Missoula Study – Dr. Ethan Russo puts together a non governmental study of the 4 remaining living government sanctioned marijuana patients. A battery of tests and interviews were performed and the team concluded cannabis was effective in glaucoma, chronic musculoskeletal pain, spasm, nausea, and spasticity of multiple sclerosis.


2001 – The US Supreme Court ruled unanimously against the Oakland Cannabis Buyers’ Club. No medical necessity arguments would be allowed in Federal court since marijuana was a schedule 1 drug with no accepted medical use per the court. President Bush was delighted with the victory and scaled up his war on California cannabis.


2001 – George Bush elected. John Ashcroft is made Attorney General. Ashcroft states he wants to renew and relaunch the drug war. They pushed for student urine testing. Waters, Ashcroft’s drug czar made no qualms stating the drug war was a conservative cultural revolution. The Drug Control policy of USA was a culture war raging since the 1960s.


2001 – Dr. Fry’s California home is raided by 12 unmarked black SUVs. Federal agents took her personal property including her wedding ring as well as all her patient records. She was targeted for giving out cannabis recommendations.


2001 – September 11th 2001 – 3,056 Americans die. The DEA, FBI, DOD squandered resources on cannabis enforcement while Osama Bin Laden dispatched suicide attacks. A few months after Sept. 11th the FBI transferred 400 agents from anti drug work to anti terror work.


2001 – DEA raids the West Hollywood dispensary Los Angeles Cannabis Research Center.


2001 – Steve DeAngelo moves to Oakland from D.C.


2001 – Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment passes in house. Bars justice department from using funds to interfere with state medical marijuana programs.


2002 – DEA raids Wo/Man’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM) a Santa Cruz hospice service run by the Corrals. As the raid continues citizens block the road refusing to let the DEA leave until the Corrals are released. They are released and never charged.


2002 – People v. Mower – Mower wins and the precedent gives patients the ability to fight for dismissal of charges.


2002 – S.F.’s city authorized Harm Reduction Center is raided by the DEA. Ed Rosenthal’s home in S.F. is raided. Rosenthal is up for a life sentence, the feds do not allow the jury to be shown evidence he was licensed by Oakland for a medical grow. The jury finds him guilty and is then informed the government withheld the truth. The jury calls fora retrial and Ed is sentenced to one day in jail time already served.


2002 – Americans for Safe Access founded. They would become the best support group for the emerging medical marijuana industry. ASA attorneys would sue California cities banning cannabis, sue the CHP so they could no longer confiscate patients cannabis of patients in transit at traffic stops.


2002 – ASA petitions for cannabis to be removed from schedule 1


2003 – Mary Mathre declares every nurse in America should be educated about the evidence based therapeutic uses of cannabis.


2003 – Based on Aidan Hampson’s research the US Department of Health and Human Services secures a patent for the use of cannabinoids as neuroprotectants, possibly useful in Alzheimer’s disease, stroke, Parkinson’s, and HIV dementia.


2003 – Operation Pipe Dreams is launched in a nationwide crackdown on cannabis paraphernalia. Tommy Choong’s LA home was raided by SWAT teams and helicopters as he had a glass company that advertised in High Times. The feds threatened his wife and son with paraphernalia charges and get Choong to cop a plea. He would loose $120,000 in assets, a $20,000 fine, $100,000 + in attorneys fees and served 9 months in prison. The feds really just didn’t like his in your face flaunting of law in his comedy.


2003 – The medical board sentences Dr. Todd Mikuriya to 5 years probation for gross negligence in practice. The case built by the board was fictional and was a lynching of Dr. M. He was also fined $75,000 dollars. The board would also investigate Dr. Frank Lucido, and Dr. David Bearman who refused to turn over records and won in a 3 year court battle.

2004 – 27 year old Johnathan Magbie, a quadriplegic from being hit by a drunk driver, is murdered by the D.C. government as he is ordered to ten days in jail for his refusal to stop smoking cannabis as it was the only thing that made his pain and spasticity bearable. Without the proper care he died in jail four days into his stay from asphyxiation from not having his ventilator.


2004 – DEA strike force busts Charles Lepp a Vietnam Vet that turned his medicine into a business. The drip irrigation system feeding 32,000 marijuana plants was the most complex marijuana operation discovered in the world per the DEA.


2004 – California Senate Bill 420 by John Vasconcellos passes mandated counties issue medical marijuana ID cards so cops could easily identify legit users.


2004 – Oakland issues city dispensary permits. Los Angeles in chaos.


2004 – SAFER movement founded to highlight how much better cannabis is for you than alcohol.


2005 – Canada approves G.W. Pharma’s Sativex – a 1:1 Sublingual Spray.


2005 – A paper published in the journal Addictive Behaviors documents that marijuana smokers were less depressed and had less psychiatric problems than their non smoking counterparts.


2005 – The US Supreme Court rules against medicinal cannabis patients, stating that Congress had the authority to ban home grown cannabis because it could continue to interstate market for cannabis.


2005 – San Diego becomes one of the most anti cannabis parts of California working closely with Feds to shut down cannabis operations.


2005 – Marc Emery is raided and will go to prison in the USA.


2005 – California’s prisons are overcrowded with drug convicts. The governor allocates 7.4 billion dollars to build new prisons.


2005 – Dr. Tashkin published that cannbis is not linked w cancer.


2005 – TV show Weeds airs. 4 dispensaries operate in LA.


2005 – California appellate court ruling People v. Urziceanu that non profit cooperatives could accept money in exchange for medicine.


2006 – Bush pressures Gov. Schwarzenegger to veto a bill allowing hemp to be cultivated.


2006 – Harborside Dispensary opened in Oakland by DeAngelo.


4/20/2016 – FDA releases statement that cannabis has no medical application. That was a lie.


2006 – Evidence is discovered that California police chiefs were working with the DEA to not follow California cannabis law and still go after legal medical dispensaries.


2006 – San Diego County sues California contending that Prop 215 was nullified by the 1970 Controlled Substances Act because of the Supremacy Clause in the constitution. A federal judge dismissed the case saying the CSA was not meant to regulate a states medical practice.


2006 – Rimonabant, a synthetic cannabinoid, approved in Europe for weight loss. Dangerous side effects of the pure CB1 antagonist emerged and was pulled from the market.


2006 – Scientists Lynn DeLisi shows no changes in the adolescent brain with cannabis use.


2006 – NIDA looking to fund research to discredit marijuana funds research to study brain when megadoses of THC and synthetic cannabinoids are injected. The brain wave changes they found, while having nothing to do with real world adolescent use were used to falsely say cannabis damaged brains.


2007 – 11 LA dispensaries are raided at gunpoint by DEA agents assisted by LAPD in Janurary. 10 more shops would be raided that July.


2007 – LA City Council announces moratorium on new dispensaries until they can regulate.


2007 – CBD reported to stop mad cow disease


2007 – 187 dispensaries operate in LA


2007 – Swiss study shows adolescent cannabis users have no more problems than non users. A British study linked above average IQ to later cannabis use.


2008 – The only people in North America that can access CBD are MS patients in Canada.


2008 – DeAngelo starts an analytical lab testing cannabis samples at Harborside and tracks CBD rich cannabis.


2009 – Harborside takes in 20 million gross earnings.


2009 – Researchers at UCSD found evidence that adolescents who smoke cannabis may be less susceptible to brain damage from binge drinking. CBD has been proven to reduce alcohol induced cell death.


2010 – Michael Krawitz lobbies the Obama Administration to announce that Veterans hospitals would no longer penalize patients or cut them off from other medications for using cannabis.


2010 – 46.5% of Californians vote for Prop 19 – which would have regulated and taxed cannabis. There was massive resistance and funding of the anti Prop 19 campaign by the California Beer and Beverage Distributors and California law enforcement. Obama and Holder said legalization was not in their vocabulary. Some were against Prop 19 because it would have still allowed for a disproportionate arrest of black and brown youth.


2010 – LA city council is in chaos over cannabis. A measure to ban dispensaries is struck down by a Superior Court judge.


2010 – Measure M passes in LA adding a 5% tax to all brick and mortar dispensaries. ASA argues against the tax stating why should they be taxed 10x higher than any other business.


2013 – Dr. D. graduates from medical school.


2014 – Colorado Amendment 64 leads to legalization.

How to use cannabis, CBD, vape pens for pain

For chronic pain – based on YOUR personal preference try using cannabis in one of the following ways: smoking, a dry herb vaporizer, a vape pen or a tincture. A 1:1 ratio of CBD: THC in your vape oil or flower is a good starting point (research seems to show that THC and CBD work better together for pain than alone). If you desire less psychoactivity try a 2:1,3:1, or 4:1 ratio or higher of CBD: THC. If you desire more psychoactivity try a vape cartridige or flower higher in THC.

What time of the day it is also factors into how many people use cannabis with many taking advantage of the sleep-inducing effects of THC by using a more THC dominant product in the evening, and a lighter product during the day with more CBD, like a 1:1, 2:1 or 3:1 ratio.

Conferences I have attended have shown that slowly increasing the amount of puffs you take from a single puff every 4-6 hours day one to one to three puffs every 4-6 hours, on day two, greatly reduce unwanted side effects.

Does CBD or THC help with pain by themselves? Sure! There seems to be data indicating CBD and THC help reduce pain individually. Some patients I see do end up using some THC in the mixture which gives them better relief. CBD only products are commonly used by those avoiding the THC high or that need relief when at work and being under the influence of THC is not tolerated.

Be aware of the wide range of dosages for which CBD has been orally dosed in the literature. Different dosages have been anywhere from a few milligrams a day to hundreds of milligrams a day in humans in different trials. I would slowly try increasing dosages until you find something works for you, or add in some THC. We often have patients report finding CBD dosed orally working well for them when they dose it around 1mg per kg of body weight. We commonly see humans dosed with between 100mg-800mg of CBD twice a day in research we review.

Research shows that most people orally dosing THC end up using between 5-20 milligrams every 4-8 hours to aid in pain and sleep. Start low and go slow! Remember cannabis can take 2 hours to feel the effects from if you metabolism is slow.

How to use cannabis, CBD, vape pens to help anxiety

Many people and report using cannabis as an anti anxiety medication. We see several common ways people use cannabis to relieve anxiety.

One is a 1-3 times a day dosing regimen with pure CBD tinctures. Patients have reported results anywhere from 20 mgs to 300 mgs and usually dose every 4-8 hours.

CBD vape is also another common way people use CBD, which is absorbed by the body within seconds or minutes and may be of use when rapid relief is needed or in unexpectedly stressful situations.

Many people prefer smoking cannabis with THC in the buds to aid there anxiety, although remember for a minority of people sometimes too much THC can worsen anxiety.

Vaporizing or smoking cannabis for anxiety is common – we would recommend starting with a balanced 1:1 CBD:THC ratio in your flower or oil and then seeing if you prefer higher CBD or THC as you experiment with different products.

Some people report they prefer stains with more sedating terpenes commonly referred to as Indicas for helping anxiety.

Pure CBD vapes or tinctures are often choices for people who cannot be under the psychoactive influence of THC during the work day.

How to use cannabis, CBD, vape pens to help sleep

In regards to cannabis and sleep your quick and dirty guide is:

CBD does not help you sleep by making you sleepy – HOWEVER if anxiety is the root cause of your insomnia CBD does have promising research showing its anxiety reliving properties and thus may help relieve anxiety and help sleep. You can vaporize CBD in which case the time of onset of effects will be rapid. Oral tinctures can work as well, just remember orally dosed CBD does not reach peak serum levels until 3 hours after intake – thus take your CBD a couple hours before bed. Milligram doses we have seen range between 20mg to 300 mg. Start low and see what helps you. Thankfully CBD has been shown to have very few side effects which are usually mild.

THC has research showing it can help people fall to sleep more quickly.

If smoking flowers using a bong, bowl or joint:

Some people recommend Indica strains – this is meaningless to the informed consumer. You want to see the lab test showing the cannabinoid and terpene profile and look for the higher concentrations of sedating terpenes like myrcene. High THC levels will also have stronger sedating effects. Any good budtender should be able to show you a test and explain the chemical composition to some degree.

If Vaping Oil

THC oil will work, or you can try a strain specific CO2 extract that is from a strain that has high concentrations of sedating terpenes.

If eating:

Research shows most people use between 5 and 20 mg of THC to aid in sleep. Remember if dosing orally time of onset can range from 30 minutes to 1.5 hours and last 4-8 hours.