WA’s Cannabis Employment Protections, Psilocybin-Color Blindness Case Study, & Ketamine’s Rise Explained

May 19, 2023 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 3 Minutes

Washington cannabis consumers gained new employment protections, a study investigated how psilocybin can help folks with color blindness, and ketamine is having its heyday.

Let’s dive into this week’s canna-news!

Washington State Bulks Up Cannabis-Employment Rights

Washington cannabis consumers, rejoice! The Evergreen State is taking steps to increase employment protections for cannabis consumers.

The recently passed Senate Bill 5132 bans employers from requiring pre-employment drug tests for non-psychoactive cannabis metabolites. The bill also prohibits employers from discriminating against workers who use cannabis in their off time—as long as it does not affect job performance. This means workplaces will essentially treat cannabis use the same way they treat alcohol consumption.

The bill goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2024. In the meantime, employers will be tasked with doing a thorough review of their current drug testing policies. The review period will give employers a chance to identify safety-sensitive positions for which the new drug test ban is not appropriate. SB 5132 already has a number of exceptions built-in for safety-sensitive jobs like law enforcement, firefighting, and first responders.

What do you think of Washington’s new cannabis-employment bill? Would you like to see your state do something similar? Let us know in the comments!

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Report Uncovers Psilocybin’s Impact on Color Blindness

A case report from the Neurological Institute (NI) in Cleveland looked at psilocybin’s potential to help those with color blindness. The case report built off data self-study complied by an Institute colleague and combined it with past reports of colorblind individuals who experienced vision improvements after consuming psilocybin.

The self-report involved an individual with Red-Green Color Vision Deficiency (CVD). The subject self-administered an Ishihara Test in order to gauge their color vision improvement after taking 5 grams of dried magic mushrooms. Test data showed that the subject experienced peak partial vision improvement around eight days after consuming psilocybin. Vision improvements persisted for about 16 days after psilocybin consumption.

Researchers believe these vision improvements are due to alterations in brain activity rather than directly impacting the eyes. Even so, the NI says the self-study, along with various other reports, is enough to conclude that this topic deserves further research.

The Science Behind Ketamine’s Rise

Ketamine has quickly become one of the hottest alternative medicines on the market thanks to its ability to help those with depression and chronic pain. So, how exactly is ketamine able to do this? Let’s dive into the science.

Chronic pain stemming from nerve damage is one of the most difficult conditions to treat. This is because the complexity of the nervous system makes it difficult to pin down the exact source of the pain. Ketamine is great at dealing with this type of pain because it binds directly to nerve receptors causing the issue. Once bound, ketamine inhibits NMDA receptors which, if left unregulated, can lead to the sensitization of areas around the body.

Ketamine has also shown immense potential as an antidepressant. Depression, like chronic pain, is linked to the damaging effects of unregulated NMDA receptors—which ketamine blocks. Further, ketamine is also effective at triggering serotonin receptors, similar to traditional depression medication. It is important to note that ketamine is most effective at treating depression in very small doses.

This is just a basic overview of ketamine and its potential benefits. Make sure you check in with a medical professional before pursuing any ketamine treatments.

Post Your Comments

N. Grim says:

May 19, 2023 at 4:26 pm

Wish that my state of Illinois would do the same as the State of Washington.