Cannabis News Marijuana Policy Project
  Much Better Choices Than Marijuana for Medical Use
Posted by CN Staff on February 23, 2006 at 06:59:12 PT
By Jeff Stone 
Source: North County Times 

medical California -- The ethical quandary that I have as a pharmacist is allowing lay people to open dispensaries for profit and supply marijuana to people without any quality control over what's dispensed or accountability to those being dispensed this potent drug. Can we ensure that marijuana is pure and unadulterated?

In the 1960s, the active ingredient in marijuana (THC) had a potency of about 0.5 percent. With modern hybridization today, THC can exceed 25 percent!

Who will appropriately counsel patients on the effects of marijuana and potential dangerous drug interactions when mixed with other drugs, including alcohol? Who ensures that marijuana dispensed is truly for "medical needs" rather than sold for recreational use?

Without these safeguards, I will predict that marijuana will become more prevalent in our schools, more abused by our youth, more fatal vehicular accidents will occur and crimes committed while under the influence will increase, including sexual assaults and homicides.

I seriously question the efficacy of utilizing marijuana for certain medical conditions: The medical facts are clear and straightforward:

Nausea: In studies, marijuana was found to be no more effective than an old anti-nausea prescription medicine called Compazine. Newer more effective anti-nausea medicines have been produced with fewer side effects.

Weight loss prevention: Studies show that marijuana can increase appetite but has not been proven effective in increasing weight gain. Contemporary practitioners commonly use an inexpensive drug called megestrol, which better stimulates appetite and weight gain in 80 percent of patients treated.

Spasticity: Studies have shown that patients with spasticity diseases, e.g. multiple sclerosis, perceived a decline in spasticity when, in fact, the spasticity was made worse.

Glaucoma: Marijuana has never been shown to be equal or better than existing drugs to treat glaucoma, yet has significantly more side effects.

THC has been concentrated in capsular form and is sold in pharmacies under the trade name Marinol. Via prescription, a physician can monitor the use and can quantify the dose for each patient under their care. The pharmacist can ensure compliance to the doctor's orders, can educate the patient on side effects, drug interactions, and warn patients about the potent pharmacological effects of the drug which may impair the patient's cognitive and or motor functions.

The legal quandary that I face as a public official ---- sworn to uphold the laws of local, state, and federal government ---- is that state and federal law conflict. State law allows medical marijuana to be cultivated, dispensed, and used for medicinal purposes, while federal law still recognizes marijuana as an illegal drug placed in the same category as heroin.

Under California law, pharmacists must observe the stricter of state or federal law. Under the supremacy clause in the U.S. Constitution, federal law is the supreme law of the land and may deem Proposition 215 a potentially unconstitutional initiative.

To get a clearer understanding on the challenges we face ethically and legally, I'll ask the Board of Supervisors to join with San Diego County in seeking declaratory relief. Only then will we truly know how to respond to ensure we are not condoning the breaking of one law to enforce another.

Jeff Stone, a Riverside County supervisor, is a doctor of pharmacology.

Note: Jeff Stone - Proposition 215, "The Compassionate Use of Marijuana Initiative," has placed local government in a legal and ethical quandary.

Source: North County Times (CA)
Author: Jeff Stone
Published: Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Copyright: 2006 North County Times

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Comment #10 posted by FoM on February 23, 2006 at 11:43:58 PT
What a Day
There have been rumors that Neil suffered another brain episode. I don't think it's true but it has the Rust List buzzing and then to see what that guy looks like from that one web site today too. I hope Neil is really ok.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #9 posted by whig on February 23, 2006 at 11:21:25 PT
LOL. That was so true.

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Comment #8 posted by museman on February 23, 2006 at 11:13:32 PT
Sir You Are A Liar
Everythng that has been stated here is from the 'What to say about marijuana when the facts don't bear out' handbook. If you Mr. Jeff Stone actually believe these lies and misinformed biased 'studies' then you are a fool. If you deliberately deny the wealth of actual documented facts concerning the lies created in the Unconstitutional 'war on some drugs', then you are a liar of criminal proportion, pull your head out of your comfortable status quo posterior and join the human race.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #7 posted by BGreen on February 23, 2006 at 10:45:33 PT
I mean, look at all the profits I can make
Look, I can buy these little bottles of pills and mark them up by 300%, charging most of this to the federal government and insurance companies, and then I can pay for my HUGE house and vacation home.

I've been getting "gifts" from these pharmaceutical companies since I was in pharmacy school, so I have an obligation to push their pills.

I'm an expert on medicine, so even though I have NO CLUE about ANYTHING that has do with medical cannabis, I'll posture and try to convince you that all of these pills with pages upon pages of side effects, (ranging from insomnia, drowsiness, and loss of sexual desire to tuberculosis, liver failure, kidney failure and DEATH,) are MUCH SAFER THAN CANNABIS.

Come on, trust me because I'm a "doctor" of pharmacology, and you are just a bunch of inbred idiots.


Jeff Stone

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by whig on February 23, 2006 at 09:23:03 PT
Music for Max

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Comment #5 posted by Max Flowers on February 23, 2006 at 08:37:11 PT
He's obviously worried about the drop in business his pharmacy is going to experience when medical cannabis gets easier to get and becomes less criminalized. He doesn't care about what makes people feel better, he cares about how much money his damn pharmacy makes.

I'm coming to believe that most medical professionals in America don't really want us to heal---they want us to stay ill so they can keep charging us for services and pharmaceuticals. It's appalling.

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Comment #4 posted by mai_bong_city on February 23, 2006 at 08:30:04 PT
reading this pharm-assist's ridiculous assumptions cast-about as fact just makes me nauseous. how can a true man of science dispute fact? his allegiance is to the feds obviously and the pharmaceutical companies - he can't make money off marijuana, that's all. an idiot. they shouldn't have given him the space to speak such garbage. but free speech and all - still - truth in journalism would be nice. don't these reporters check on these statements before printing them as irrefutable to those that don't know any better to look beyond their msm-noses? it's fueling the ignorant fire.... now i definitely need my morning medication.

stay free, fellow world citizens! and enjoy -


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Comment #3 posted by Max Flowers on February 23, 2006 at 08:26:09 PT
Hey Jeff Stone
We don't care how effective you say your precious pharmaceuticals are---we choose a safer, NATURAL treatment, in use for thousands of years as medicine, instead of icky synthetic chemicals, okay? Can you get that through your thick, government-loving, pharma-biased head?

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #2 posted by FoM on February 23, 2006 at 07:29:30 PT
News Article from Snipped Source
Medical Marijuana is a Growing Controversy


February 23, 2006

Stacy Hochanadel wakes up most mornings wondering if today is the day he'll get arrested.

The 29-year-old is the owner of CannaHelp, a medical marijuana dispensary on El Paseo in Palm Desert. Every day he walks a fine line between California's medical marijuana laws, which say what he's doing is legal, and federal anti-drug laws, which say he's a criminal.

"Anything can happen," said Hochanadel, a medical marijuana user himself. "I could get arrested. I'm willing to do it."

But today, what's preoccupying Hochanadel and the close to 500 clients at his dispensary is whether the Palm Desert City Council will vote at its meeting to revoke CannaHelp's business license.

And if they do, dispensary supporters say, CannaHelp's future - and safe access to medical marijuana in the area - could be severely affected.

"He's providing (medical marijuana) for people who cannot obtain it by growing their own," said Lanny Swerdlow of Palm Springs, who heads the Marijuana Anti-Prohibition Project, a patient support group. "Otherwise they'll have to turn to criminals back on the street."

Complete Article:

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on February 23, 2006 at 07:25:46 PT
News Article from Snipped Source
Of Pizzas, Prop. 215 and (shhhhh!) Pot

February 23, 2006

In the pharmacopeia of medical pot, prescription pizza packs a healthy buzz.

Consider this cheesy recipe for “Portobello Bacon Pizza,” posted on the Web site of Legal Ease Inc., the company whose San Marcos marijuana dispensary has been thrust into the North County news recently:

Complete Article:

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