Israel: Medical Marijuana, for Babies and Their Desperate Parents

Moments of joy are all too brief for Lavie Parush. They have been since the 2-year-old was born. "Gray" was the word his father used to describe his son, born unconscious. That night, Lavie had his first seizure.

"Immediately, they took him to the emergency room," said his father, Asaf Parush. "They doped him up and he was basically passed out the first week of his birth."

For six months, Parush and his wife, Noa, held on to the belief that Lavie's condition would improve. But the seizures worsened. He suffered dozens a day. Doctors diagnosed him with epilepsy and cerebral palsy. Lavie was severely brain damaged.


Israel Police Refusing to Ease Enforcement of Cannabis Laws

Police trying to promote more soft drug busts.

Twenty people a day are arrested in Israel for using soft drugs. In most cases they are ordinary citizens, young people starting their lives with a criminal record. Over 20,000 drug-related files are opened annually, more than half of them for personal use.

Following criticism by the public and media of police enforcement policies regarding consumption of soft drugs, former Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino declared in May 2015 that “it’s high time that the police and the state examine the traditional approach to cannabis.”


Getting Baked on Passover Not Just for Matzah, Rabbi Rules

Leading ultra-Orthodox authority blows away the haze, plants seed for marijuana use over the festival of freedom.

Getting baked on Passover is no longer just for matzah, a leading Orthodox rabbi ruled, after sniffing (but not smoking) some cannabis leaves recently.

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, widely considered the leading living ultra-Orthodox halachic authority, ruled that marijuana is kosher for Passover and can be either eaten or smoked over the eight-day Jewish festival, during which strict dietary laws apply.

Kanievsky gave the ruling in response to a question from the pro-marijuana group Siach, meaning both plant and conversation.


This 85-Year-Old Chemist Has Made Deciphering Marijuana's Medical Secrets His Life's Work

Raphael Mechoulam, an Israeli chemist, is best known for his work in the field of cannabis, including helping to isolate and synthesize its active component, called THC. But he is increasingly impatient to see his findings translate into clinical trials.

At the age of 85, he is hopeful the field to which he has devoted his life’s work has reached a possible inflection point. In March, the National Institutes of Health held a neuroscience research summit focused on marijuana and cannabinoids.


12 Amazing Health Benefits of Marijuana

In the past, whenever marijuana was mentioned, the first thing that popped into most people’s mind is the adverse health effects associated with smoking pot. However, this perception is quickly changing owing to the numerous scientific studies which show that marijuana has some medicinal properties. The findings of these studies have also significantly contributed to the legalization of medical marijuana in several countries around the world.


Israel: Marijuana gives hope to parents of brain-damaged baby

A family in Israel is using medical marijuana to treat their son's chronic health conditions.

It's their last hope, after many other treatments failed to bring the toddler any relief.

For two and a half year old Lavie Parush, moments of joy are all too brief.

Diagnosed with severe epilepsy and cerebral palsy from birth, leaving him with brain damage, he suffered seizures, dozens a day. Now they're nearly all gone, with just a few drops a day of medical marijuana-- cannabis oil-mixed with into his food.

"We saw a difference immediately and after a few weeks, we didn't see any seizures at all," Lavie's father Asaf Parush says.


US Firms Target Investment in Israeli Cannabis R&D

Already a pioneer in high-tech and cutting-edge agriculture, Israel is starting to attract American companies looking to bring medical marijuana know-how to a booming market back home.

Since 2014, U.S. firms have invested about $50 million (34.9 million pounds) in licensing Israeli medical marijuana patents, cannabis agro-tech startups and firms developing delivery devices such as inhalers, said Saul Kaye, CEO of iCAN, a private cannabis research hub.

"I expect it to grow to $100 million in the coming year," Kaye said at iCAN's CannaTech conference in Tel Aviv this month, one of the largest gatherings of medical marijuana experts.


Israel: The Epicenter of Cannabis Research and Innovation

When you think of cannabis and innovation, Israel likely doesn't come to mind. But as we've recently highlighted here on MERRY JANEIsrael is advanced when it comes to cannabis-related exploration.

Last week marked the second annual CannaTech conference, an international summit dedicated to accelerating cannabis innovation. 

The three-day event held in the capital city of Tel Avi featured courses on Israel's so-called 'Green Rush' including entrepreneurship, best practices in growing and research on the region's unique relationship with cannabis. It’s easy to see Israel quickly becoming a hub for the global cannabis community - and rightfully so.


In Israel, Seeds of a Heady Future for Medical Marijuana

With its moat, wall, barbed wire, armed guards and security cameras, the facility could be mistaken for a military base if it weren’t for the pungent odor of marijuana in the air.

Here, on the outskirts of a quiet village in northern Israel, 50,000 plants of 230 varieties grow at the country’s second-largest medical cannabis plantation.

“For cannabis, we are in the promised land with a good climate, 300 days of sunshine each year and perfect levels of humidity,” said Tamir Gedo, head of BOL Pharma, a company authorized by the Health Ministry to grow and distribute medical cannabis.

The recreational use of cannabis is illegal in the Jewish state, but for the past 10 years its therapeutic use has not only been permitted but also encouraged.


Israel: Forget the Startup Nation, Welcome to the Cannabis Nation

For a conference on marijuana, the Cannatech convention was remarkably free of reggae and thick smoke. If the three-day event held in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem March 7-9 featured fantasies, they were about financing and economic opportunities for the medical cannabis industry. And yeah, that whiff arose two or three times.


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