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#232370 - 03/14/07 04:39 PM Marijuana, the wonder drug
Marty Offline
A new study in the journal Neurology is being hailed as unassailable proof that marijuana is a valuable medicine. It is a sad commentary on the state of modern medicine that we still need "proof" of something that medicine has known for 5,000 years.

Lester Grinspoon, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School, is the coauthor of "Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine."


Marijuana, the wonder drug
Lester Grinspoon
The Boston Globe
Thursday, March 1, 2007
CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts: A new study in the journal Neurology is being hailed as unassailable proof that marijuana is a valuable medicine. It is a sad commentary on the state of modern medicine that we still need "proof" of something that medicine has known for 5,000 years.

The study, from the University of California at San Francisco, found that smoked marijuana was effective at relieving the extreme pain of a debilitating condition known as peripheral neuropathy.

It was a study of HIV patients, but a similar type of pain caused by damage to nerves afflicts people with many other illnesses including diabetes and multiple sclerosis.

Neuropathic pain is notoriously resistant to treatment with conventional pain drugs. Even powerful and addictive narcotics like morphine and OxyContin often provide little relief. This study leaves no doubt that marijuana can safely ease this type of pain.

As all marijuana research in the United States must be, the new study was conducted with government-supplied marijuana of notoriously poor quality. So it probably underestimated the potential benefit.

This is all good news, but it should not be news at all. In the 40-odd years I have been studying the medicinal uses of marijuana, I have learned that the recorded history of this medicine goes back to ancient times.

In the 19th century it became a well-established Western medicine whose versatility and safety were unquestioned. From 1840 to 1900, American and European medical journals published over 100 papers on the therapeutic uses of marijuana, also known as cannabis.

Our knowledge has advanced greatly over the years. Scientists have identified over 60 unique constituents in marijuana, called cannabinoids, and we have learned much about how they work. We have also learned that our own bodies produce similar chemicals, called endocannabinoids.

The mountain of accumulated anecdotal evidence that pointed the way to the present and other clinical studies also strongly suggests there are a number of other devastating disorders and symptoms for which marijuana has been used for centuries.

They deserve the same careful, methodologically sound research.

While few such studies have so far been completed, all have lent weight to what medicine already knew but had largely forgotten or ignored: Marijuana is effective at relieving nausea and vomiting, spasticity, appetite loss, certain types of pain and other debilitating symptoms. And it is extraordinarily safe — safer than most medicines prescribed every day.

If marijuana were a new discovery rather than a well-known substance carrying cultural and political baggage, it would be hailed as a wonder drug.

The pharmaceutical industry is scrambling to isolate cannabinoids and synthesize analogs and to package them in non-smokable forms. In time, companies will almost certainly come up with products and delivery systems that are more useful and less expensive than herbal marijuana.

However, the analogs they have produced so far are more expensive than herbal marijuana, and none has shown any improvement over the plant nature gave us to take orally or to smoke.

We live in an antismoking environment. But as a method of delivering certain medicinal compounds, smoking marijuana has some real advantages: The effect is almost instantaneous, allowing the patient to fine-tune his or her dose to get the needed relief without intoxication.

Smoked marijuana has never been demonstrated to have serious pulmonary consequences, but in any case the technology to inhale these cannabinoids without smoking marijuana already exists as vaporizers that allow for smoke-free inhalation.

Hopefully the UCSF study will add to the pressure on the U.S. government to rethink its irrational ban on the medicinal use of marijuana — and its destructive attacks on patients and caregivers in states that have chosen to allow such use.

Rather than admit they have been mistaken all these years, federal officials can cite "important new data" and start revamping outdated and destructive policies.

Such legislation would bring much-needed relief to millions suffering from cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, arthritis and other debilitating illnesses.

#232373 - 03/14/07 04:45 PM Re: Marijuana, the wonder drug [Re: Marty]
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Well done Marty. Too bad the drug companies don't have their lobbyists working on it (but why would they, I thought for a minute they had the public's best interest at 'heart').

Check out my site: www.ambergriscayerealestate.net

#232376 - 03/14/07 04:47 PM Re: Marijuana, the wonder drug [Re: Sir Isaac Newton]
Marty Offline
i personally think it was made illegal for du pont et al. too much good stuff made from hemp they wanted made from oil.

#232378 - 03/14/07 04:48 PM Re: Marijuana, the wonder drug [Re: Marty]

#232382 - 03/14/07 05:01 PM Re: Marijuana, the wonder drug [Re: ]
Otteralum Offline
Prohibition, like socialism, fails every time it's tried.
I will have a Belikin -- put it on klcman's tab.

#232385 - 03/14/07 05:06 PM Re: Marijuana, the wonder drug [Re: Otteralum]
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
EEEEEZE!........pass the dutchie on the lef han side! Here ya' go Rykat, remember, puff puff pass.
Check out my site: www.ambergriscayerealestate.net

#232390 - 03/14/07 05:11 PM Re: Marijuana, the wonder drug [Re: Marty]
Marty Offline
you think i'm crazy rykat? here's insanity


SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A California woman whose doctor says marijuana is the only medicine keeping her alive can face federal prosecution on drug charges, a U.S. appeals court ruled Wednesday.

The case was brought by Angel Raich, an Oakland mother of two who suffers from scoliosis, a brain tumor, chronic nausea and other ailments. On her doctor's advice, she eats or smokes marijuana every couple of hours to ease her pain and bolster a nonexistent appetite as conventional drugs did not work.

The Supreme Court ruled against Raich two years ago, saying that medical marijuana users and their suppliers could be prosecuted for breaching federal drug laws even if they lived in a state such as California where medical pot is legal.

Because of that ruling, the issue before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was narrowed to the so-called right to life theory: that marijuana should be allowed if it is the only viable option to keep a patient alive.

Raich, 41, sobbed when she was told of the decision and said she would continue using the drug.

"I'm sure not going to let them kill me," she said. "Oh my God."

Although the three-judge appeals panel refused Raich's request to block enforcement of the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, it left open the possibility that if she were arrested and prosecuted, she might be able to argue that she possessed marijuana as a last resort to stay alive, in what is known as a "medical necessity defense."

"I have to get myself busted in order to try to save my life," Raich said.

#232411 - 03/14/07 07:40 PM Re: Marijuana, the wonder drug [Re: Marty]
LaurieMar Offline
I like it.

#232412 - 03/14/07 07:50 PM Re: Marijuana, the wonder drug [Re: LaurieMar]
SP Daily Offline
I sure hope that Rykat or his loved ones (if he has any) never get into this position. Would he just tough it out to avoid the "killer weed"?

#232417 - 03/14/07 08:12 PM Re: Marijuana, the wonder drug [Re: SP Daily]
Sir Isaac Newton Offline
Jesse, we still do have a few Archie Bunkers left in the World. Thank God we are in the new Millenium!

If GWB and Chavez and Kim and the angry man from Iran got together and smoked a bong full, we would all be at peace and all the junk food companies stock would sky rocket! People would eat more, drive slowers, care more, worry less, less stress, live longer, purchase more food supplies, farmers make more money, stores sell more and extra money would be available to help the poor.

Check out my site: www.ambergriscayerealestate.net

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