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Sunday, 08 October 2006

Medical Marijuana News Archive

 

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New Jersey Considers Medical Marijuana Bill

On June 8th, a Senate health committee will discuss a medical marijuana bill authored by Senator Nicholas Scutari. This is the first time medical marijuana will have the floor in New Jersey and represents a trend that opposes the federal opinion on marijuana. Although the bill faces opposition from conservatives, Governor Corzine said last year that he would sign such bill into law.

Ken Wolski, Executive Director of the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey, states that written testimony from individuals around the country is welcomed and may be submitted to the committee members. If you’re so inclined, please send your one-page testimony to Ken at: This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it

For more information on the New Jersey Senate debate, click here . To view the text of the bill, click here

 

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FDA Credibility Continues Downward Spiral

The FDA’s statement that there is no evidence marijuana is medically beneficial really irked the folks at Cancer Monthly. As folks who have suffered the effects of cancer, they have a special insight.

According to their website, Cancer Monthly was founded three years ago by volunteers whose lives were forever changed by cancer. They sought factual information about treatment therapies with little luck. Therefore, today they provide patients with a summary of the latest clinical results of cancer therapies presented by oncologists, researchers, and other cancer professionals working in over 340 hospitals and research institutions around the world.

In a recent press release they strongly slammed the FDA statement as being, "… made apparently without any research and demonstrates that the needs of cancer patients play little if any role in the decisions of this disgraceful organization." To read more click here .

 

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Marijuana Has Potential as an Anti-Inflammatory Drug

The May 5th issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry reports that Japanese scientists discovered cannabinoids (compounds found in marijuana) cause some white blood cells to lose their ability to migrate to the sites of infection and inflammation. Because cannabinoids appear to suppress activated white blood cells, the scientists believe cannabinoids have a potential use in the treatment of inflammatory diseases. For more information on this article, check out ScienceDaily.com .

 

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Bicycling Across the Country For Medical Marijuana

Ken Locke, a medical marijuana patient, with a crew of five has crossed four states on a 3,000-mile cross-country trip to highlight the plight of medical marijuana patients. Because of devastating side effects, three years ago Locke gave up all medications prescribed for a traumatic brain injury and he now uses only medical marijuana with better results.

On a mission to educate, advocate and motivate the public, Locke feels that he is riding for everyone who needs the freedom to use whatever medicine raises his or her quality of life. For more information please check out the article written about Locke’s impending trip.  To contact him and his crew directly write to j4j@info

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FDA Misstatements Reverberate Around the World

Following the FDA’s April 20th statement that denied the efficacy of marijuana as a medicine The Economist, the premier news and business publication in England, published an article entitled Reefer madness – Marijuana is medically useful, whether politicians like it or not.

The article proposes that if marijuana were discovered today it would be hailed as a medical breakthrough, but because of the political controversy research is unfortunately impeded. It goes on to say that the FDA statement is odd because it lacks common sense. Not only has marijuana been used as a medicinal plant for millennia, but it is used today all over the world, despite its illegality, to relieve pain and anxiety, to aid sleep and to prevent seizures and muscle spasms. To read  the Economist article, click here .

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FDA Misstatement Continues to be rebuked at Home

An article recently appearing in the Los Angeles Times and reprinted in the Austin American Statesman on 5/9/06 also rebuked the FDA statement, calling it contradictory. Emeritus professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, Lester Grinspoon, pointed out the hypocrisy of FDA’s statement by noting that the FDA approved Marinol, a marijuana derived medicine in 1985, and recently approved clinical trials for Sativex, a another marijuana derived drug. Grinspoon grants that the “pharmaceuticalization” of marijuana has promise, but believes that, “for now medicines such as Sativex provide only one advantage over the herb: They’re legal.”

No electronic copy of the Statesman re-print could be found so please look at the Times article here ,
To comment on this article you can send a letter to the editor of the Statesman at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it Letters should not exceed 150 words and include your full name, address and day and evening phone numbers.

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 Raiding Medical Marijuana Patients Wastes Taxpayer Money

Since its founding in 1986, the million member strong Citizens Against Government Waste claims they have saved taxpayers $758.7 billion dollars. They recently came out with a report, Wasted in the War on Drugs: Office of National Drug Control Policies Wasted Efforts. The medical marijuana section starts on page 8 and states, "It is useless to throw millions of dollars into attacking patients that are simply trying to find the most effectual medicine possible."

As an example of this waste they point out that shortly after 9/11 the DEA raided a Los Angeles Hospice that was a leading provider of medical marijuana. 1,000 medical marijuana patients were arrested and prosecuted as a result - obviously not only economically wasteful, but cruel as well. Do they really think taking legal action against the dying is going to change their behavior? 

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Spanish Clinical Trial Shows that Cannabinoids Can Shrink Brain Tumors

Evidence has shown that cannabinoids can reduce tumors in animals and now the first pilot phase 1 clinical trial recently took place in Spain with promising results. The tumors of nine patients, who have reoccurring brain tumors, were injected with cannabinoids. The delivery mechanism proved to be safe and two of the patients manifested reduced tumor cell proliferation, setting the stage for future clinical trials.

Hinchey Rohrabacher Amendment Fails

Thank all of you who called your Representatives asking them to support the Hinchey-Rohrabacher amendment, which would have prohibited the federal government from undermining state medical marijuana laws. Unfortunately, the amendment did not pass. The final vote was 163 in favor and 259 against. Though it is disappointing, support for the amendment has increased. Two more Representatives voted in favor of it this year than last. To either thank or spank your Congressman for their vote click here .

Presbyterian Church Votes to Support Legal Access to Medical Marijuana

On a brighter note, more religious faiths are supporting patients and doctors and calling for legal access to medical marijuana. The Presbyterian Church (USA) joins the United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Union for Reform Judaism, Progressive National Baptist Convention, and the Unitarian Universalist Association in support of medical marijuana. For more information please view the following link: http://www.idpi.us

Cannabis Constituent Lowers Blood Pressure and Relaxes Blood Vessels

A pharmacology student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem recently won a Kaye Innovation Award for developing a synthetic cannabis compound shown to reduce blood pressure. For more information please read: http://www.sciencedaily.com

 

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White House gets it Wrong During New Jersey Medical Marijuana Hearing

Gripping testimony heard during a New Jersey Senate Health Committee on a medical marijuana bill, 6/8/06, pitted the government against advocates. The parents of a young man who died of cancer told lawmakers that marijuana helped their son in his final days. But a White House official warned that passing a medical marijuana bill would send the "wrong message" to young people. How could they get it so wrong? Approving medical marijuana sends a message of compassion - a characteristic needed by the young and old alike.

You can find more information at www.mpp.org

 

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Cannabis Extract, Cannador, Reduces Postoperative Pain

Though the FDA would have us believe differently, science keeps confirming the medical efficacy of marijuana. Fortunately other countries are progressing with valuable research and we are able to hear about the new developments.

A recent study of Cannador, a cannabis extract capsule developed by GW Pharmaceuticals in England, demonstrated that the medicine reduced postoperative pain. Results of the clinical trial were published in Anesthesiology, the official journal of the American Society of Anesthesiologists. Also reporting on the results were the BBC.

Pharmaceutical spokesman, Mark Roberson told the BBC, "This latest trial is another welcome contribution to the body of evidence that cannabinoids have a role to play in medicine." To view the BBC article: news.bbc.co.uk . The Anesthesiology abstract can be found at: www.anesthesiology.org

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Fight Ahead for San Diego Lawsuit

A California Superior Court judge ruled on June 9th that San Diego's lawsuit against the state's medical marijuana law could proceed. But, it won't go forward without a fight.

Americans for Safe Access (ASA) immediately announced that they, along with American Civil Liberties Union and the Drug Policy Alliance would take legal action. In a press release issued by ASA, Margaret Dooley of the Alliance said, "Complying with the law is not optional. It's an obligation." To read the San Diego Union Tribune article: www.signonsandiego.com

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South Dakotans Will Vote on Medical Marijuana in November

A medical marijuana initiative has officially qualified for the November South Dakota ballot. More than 24,000 signatures were handed in, giving voters the option to do what the legislature has not. A recent poll showed that 64% of the residents in South Dakota think that seriously ill people should have the right to use medical marijuana with their doctor's recommendation. Visit the website of South Dakotans for medical marijuana for more: http://sdmedicalmarijuana.org

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Help Stop the Feds from Interfering with State Medical Marijuana Laws

Congress will soon debate the Hinchey Medical Marijuana amendment, which would prevent the federal government from interfering with state medical marijuana laws. It would end the DEA raids on medical marijuana patients and caregivers who are acting in accordance with state law.

Your help is needed. Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is leading the movement to support this amendment and proposes a well thought out plan of action.

To view how your Texas representative voted on the amendment last year, please view this document and to find out who your Texas Congressional Representive is, click here . To read ASA’s plan of action click here

 

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Smoking Marijuana Does Not Increase Risk of Lung Cancer

Looking for evidence that heavy marijuana smoking causes lung cancer, senior researcher, Dr. Donald Tashkin from the University of California Los Angeles, came up empty handed. He proved instead that there is no elevated cancer risk for even the heaviest marijuana users. The results of the study were presented on 5/23/06 at a meeting of the American Thoracic Society. To read the press report, click here.

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Cannabinoid May Prevent Diabetic Blindness


A recent study appearing in the American Journal of Pathology demonstrates that the cannibinoid, cannabidiol or CBD for short, prevents retinal cell death in diabetic rats. This indicates that CBD may be quite useful in preventing diabetic retinopathy, the leading cause of blindness in adults.

The link to the abstract of the scientific study, written in very scientific terms, explains in simple terms that CBD treatment reduces neuortoxicity, inflammation and retinal cell death. To visit the abstract of the study, click here

Last Updated ( Friday, 01 December 2006 )
 
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