News On The Green

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Breathe Easier

As we collectively undertake social distancing in an effort to “flatten the curve” of the COVID-19 pandemic, medical cannabis patients face the question of whether to change our cannabinoid delivery method in response to coronavirus. While the benefits of cannabis use are many, smoking plant material is definitely the least healthy way to ingest cannabis. Smoke of any kind irritates the cilia, which work to expel mucus, dirt, bacteria, viruses and other irritants from the lungs, predisposing one to communicable illnesses like COVID-19. If you’re not a fan of vaping, all is not lost. In fact, even vaping isn’t the greatest idea right now because (although it’s probably better than old-school Bic-flicking combustion) it is also harmful to cilia. For medical cannabis patients who are willing to venture into the world of cannabis edibles, beverages, concentrates, oils and sublingual tinctures and extracts, this pandemic could prove an ideal opportunity to update your cannabis consumption method to something less smoky and more sustainable over the long-term.
Leafly reports that these unprecedented times lend credence to the notion that everyone ought to consider giving their lungs a break right now, regardless of age, underlying condition or other COVID-19 risk factors. The publication quotes Dr. Alexander Krotty on the subject: “Inhalation of particulate matter—whether due to cigarettes, marijuana, coal burning, stove burning, or pollution—has always led to diminished lung function and increased susceptibility to lung infections.”

Sheltering in Place

NPR reports that San Francisco’s recent “shelter in place” order mandated that only “essential businesses,” like gas stations, pharmacies, banks and grocery stores could stay open during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Cannabis dispensaries weren’t on the city’s list of those essential businesses. But that medical access snafu was rectified a day later, when San Francisco Mayor London Breed held a press conference to announce the oversight. Breed noted that, “In terms of the cannabis dispensaries, the Department of Public Health today clarified that since cannabis has medical uses, dispensaries will be allowed to operate as essential businesses, just as pharmacies are allowed to do.” Meanwhile, in Baltimore, Md., the city’s top prosecutor moved to dismiss charges against people for traffic and drug crimes to combat the spread of COVID-19. As Marijuana Moment reports, Maryland State Attorney Marilyn Mosby outlined a number of offenses that “should not result in incarceration.” Mosby maintains that charges such as drug possession, attempted drug distribution, prostitution, traffic offenses and public urination shouldn’t land people behind bars right now: “Putting these individuals in jail could exacerbate the public health crisis by exposing inmates to the virus. This policy is in place for now as an attempt to save lives. We will assess the policy at a later date and time when this global pandemic is over,” said Mosby.

Noah Friedlander via Wikimedia Commons

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