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California’s largest doctor group calls for marijuana legalization

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The California Medical Association, the state’s largest doctor group, on Friday adopted a resolution to support the legalization of marijuana for medical uses, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The group’s support of medical marijuana comes after U.S. prosecutors in California threatened to seize the properties of licensed California marijuana dispensaries if they don’t close up shop within 45 days. U.S. attorneys in California have also threatened to target newspapers, radio stations and other media outlets that advertise for dispensaries.

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The California Medical Association said the discrepancy between state and federal law created an untenable situation for physicians. The use of marijuana for medical purposes is legal under California law, but the drug is still classified as a Schedule I substance under federal law, a classification reserved for dangerous drugs with no real medicinal value.

“It’s an uncomfortable position for doctors,” said Dr. Donald Lyman, the physician who wrote the new policy. “It is an open question whether cannabis is useful or not. That question can only be answered once it is legalized and more research is done. Then, and only then, can we know what it is useful for.”

In August, the California Medical Association issued recommendations for physicians on medical marijuana, saying that the drug “may be effective for treatment of nausea, anorexia, pain and other conditions (i.e., spasticity), but that more clinical research is needed regarding specific indications, dosing, and the management of side effects.”

The group is skeptical of marijuana’s medical value, but believes the drug’s criminalization has “proven to be a failed public health policy.” They would like to see marijuana regulated in a manner similar to tobacco and alcohol, and no longer classified as a Schedule I substance.

But the Drug Enforcement Administration denied a nine-year-old petition to initiate proceedings to reschedule marijuana in late June, claiming that, “marijuana has a high potential for abuse, has no accepted medical use in the United States, and lacks an acceptable level of safety for use even under medical supervision.” The medical marijuana advocacy groups Americans for Safe Access (ASA) and the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC) have filed a lawsuit against federal agency over the issue.

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The use of medical marijuana has been legalized in 16 states and the District of Columbia. But, according to the DEA, marijuana cannot be considered to have medicinal value because there is a lack of scientific studies assessing its safety and efficacy as a medicine.

The American Medical Association, the largest physician’s organization in the U.S., adopted a resolution in 2009 calling on the DEA to reclassify marijuana to facilitate research on marijuana-based medicines.

“Results of short term controlled trials indicate that smoked cannabis reduces neuropathic pain, improves appetite and caloric intake especially in patients with reduced muscle mass, and may relieve spasticity and pain in patients with multiple sclerosis,” the AMA’s resolution (PDF) reads.

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A whopping 14 percent of new US COVID-19 cases are coming from Texas

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With the daily number of new coronavirus infections in Texas now exceeding that of most other states, experts say Texas has become a hot spot of the global pandemic and that more aggressive measures are needed to slow the virus’ spread.

Texas’ new confirmed cases of the coronavirus now make up around 14% of the U.S. total — measured by a seven-day average — a significantly higher proportion than its 9% share of the nation’s population. Since July 1, the U.S. has reported 358,027 new infections. Of those, 50,599 were in Texas.

On Tuesday, the Texas Department of State Health Services reported more than 10,000 new cases — representing nearly 20% of the nation’s new cases for the day. It could be a “catch-up” from the July 4 holiday, DSHS spokesman Chris Van Deusen said, noting that numbers reported Sunday and Monday were lower.

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Devastating new ad uses Ronald Reagan’s words against Trump to stunning effect

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The Lincoln Project is not the only right-wing group that has been creating attack ads slamming President Donald Trump. Another is Republican Voters Against Trump, which uses the words of President Ronald Reagan in its latest video to illustrate Trump’s failures as president.

In the ad — which lasts one minute and 40 seconds — RVAT contrast Reagan’s words with images of the U.S. during the Trump era. The message is not subtle: Under Trump, the United States is a long way from Reagan’s vision for the country.

The ad isn’t aimed at liberals and progressives, many of whom would argue that Reagan’s economic policies were bad for the American working class during the 1980s. It asks Republicans: “Has your party left you?”

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The sheep-like loyalty of Trump supporters is starting to backfire

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Donald Trump thinks his voters are morons. This universal truth was once again demonstrated this week by a Facebook ad working Trump’s new statue-oriented campaign strategy. The ad declared, “WE WILL PROTECT THIS” and featured a photo of … no, not some racist-loser Confederate general astride a horse but “Cristo Redentor,” the famous statue of Jesus Christ that sits atop Mount Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro, which, for those keeping track, is not in the United States but in Brazil, a sovereign nation in a different continent.

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