Scientists call on US to allow research on cannabis meds for pets

Dr Byron Maas surveys a supply of marijuana products for dogs that lines a shelf in his veterinary clinic. They're selling well.

"The 'Up and Moving' is for joints and for pain," he explains. "The 'Calm and Quiet' is for real anxious dogs, to take away that anxiety."

People anxious to relieve suffering in their pets are increasingly turning to oils and powders that contain CBDs, a non-psychoactive component of marijuana.

But there's little data on whether they work, or if they have harmful side effects.

That's because Washington has been standing in the way of clinical trials, veterinarians and researchers say. Now, a push is underway to have barriers removed, so both pets and people can benefit.

Those barriers have had more than just a chilling effect.

When the federal Drug Enforcement Administration announced last year that even marijuana extracts with CBD and little or no THC - marijuana's intoxicating component - are an illegal Schedule 1 drug, the University of Pennsylvania halted its clinical trials. Colorado State University is pushing ahead.

The US Food and Drug Administration has warned companies that sell marijuana products online and via pet shops and animal hospitals that they're violating laws by offering "unapproved new animal drugs." The FDA threatened legal action.

But, seeing potential benefits of CBDs, the American Veterinary Medical Association's policy-making body said last summer it wants the DEA to declassify marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug "to facilitate research opportunities for veterinary and human medical uses."

It asked the board of the national veterinarians' organisation to investigate working with other stakeholders toward that goal. The board is awaiting a recommendation from two group councils.

"The concern our membership has is worry about people extrapolating their own dosages, looking to medicate their pets outside the realm of the medical professional," Board Chairman Michael Whitehair said in a telephone interview. "This is an important reason for us to continue the research."

medical marijuana concept
Medical cannabis. Source: istock.com



'Some days, I hate the way I look' - Winner of New Zealand's Curvaceous Top Model entered 'for a laugh'

A wedding company which put out a call for New Zealand's Curvaceous Top Model has found its star.

After receiving entries from more than 400 women across the country, Auckland-based Daisy Brides has found its curvy 'it' girl.

The winner, 25-year-old Alex Wood from Kerikeri, says she "entered for a laugh" and didn't expect to win.

"I didn't think this would happen. It was red wine night with my flatmate," Ms Wood says.

Ms Wood says feeling proud of her size has been a work in progress.

"Some days, I hate the way I look because I'm so tall and I stick out like a sore thumb, and then some days, someone will come up to me and be like -  'You're so tall, that must be so amazing,' and I'm like - 'Sometimes, it actually is. I don't have to wear heels.'"

Ms Wood is now on the books at 62 Models.

They were inundated after putting out a call for less traditional models. Source: Seven Sharp

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Dog walkers in south west Melbourne required to carry bags for picking up doggie-doo

A Melbourne council's number one priority is cracking down on dog walkers who do not carry plastic bags to pick up their pooches' number twos.

Unprepared owners face a $NZ220 fine for walking pets with no poo-bag on hand, with council officers in south-east Melbourne empowered to approach and question potential offenders.

Residents of suburban Berwick, Cranbourne, Narre Warren and Hallam could also be fined $500, up $300 from the previous penalty, if they fail to bin doggy business.

"The onus is clearly put back on the people who own dogs to do the right thing," the City of Casey mayor, Geoff Ablett, told ABC radio yesterday. "For those who don't, you could end up copping a harsh fine."

The council revised its animal waste penalties in late November after complaints from "fed up" ratepayers, Ablett said.

"This has been the number one priority, from the animal management side of things, that people want to see changed," he said. "Responsible dog owners think it's a great thing, the residents think it’s a great thing."

But local dog-walker Ben Smith questioned the severity of the fines and how the bag law would be enforced.

"What if they go twice? Are you going to take three or four [bags]?" The Cranbourne East Dog Owners Facebook group founder told 3AW, noting the council did not provide free bags at a local dog park.

The local council is focused on keeping the streets clean. Source: Seven Sharp


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