NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- October 22, 2003

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- October 22, 2003
Posted by CN Staff on October 22, 2003 at 23:55:32 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Nebulized Marinol Offers Advantages Over Oral Pill, Study SaysOctober 22, 2003 - Tampa, FL, USATampa, FL: Pulmonary administration of synthetic THC is faster acting and delivers greater concentrations of the drug than does oral administration of the Marinol pill, according to clinical trial data presented at the 32nd Annual Meeting of the American College of Clinical Pharmacology.
Peak plasma concentrations of the drug were achieved in volunteers who inhaled THC within 15 to 30 minutes versus 45 minutes to 2 hours for those administered the drug orally. Volunteers who inhaled THC also had lower plasma concentrations of the 11-OH-dronabinol metabolite, a psychoactive compound produced by the liver when THC is ingested.Through pulmonary delivery, THC "will be able to reach the systemic circulation quickly while bypassing first-pass metabolism, resulting in a rapid onset of action," lead researcher Jodi Miller of Solvay Pharmaceuticals said. "Higher bioavailablity may lead to lower therapeutic doses which may decrease adverse events."Though Marinol has been legal in the US since 1985, many patients report that they prefer whole smoked marijuana because it's faster acting, easier to titrate, and less psychoactive than the oral pill.For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751.DL: Compound Recommended For Tourette's Syndrome, Medical Journal SaysOctober 22, 2003 - Hannover, GermanyHanover, Germany: The efficacy of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, is sufficient enough to warrant its clinical use in the treatment of Tourette's Syndrome (TS), according to a clinical review published in this month's issue of the journal Expert Opinion in Pharmacotherapy.The review cites favorable results from a pair of recent randomized trials that found THC significantly reduced tics in TS patients. No serious adverse effects occurred and no impairment on neuropsychological performance was observed in either trial."If well-established drugs either fail to improve tics or cause significant adverse effects, in adult patients, therapy with Delta(9)-THC should be tried," the author concludes. The author speculates that "herbal cannabis" may also be beneficial in the treatment of TS, but notes that comparative studies examining marijuana versus synthetic cannabinoids have not been conducted.Tourette's syndrome is a neuropsychiatric disorder that is characterized by sudden spasms, so called "tics," that occur especially in the face, neck, and shoulders.For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751. Full text of the study, entitled "Cannabinoids reduce symptoms of Tourette's syndrome," is available in the October 2003 issue of the journal Expert Opinion in Pharmacotherapy.DL: To Move Forward With Marijuana Decrim ProposalOctober 22, 2003 - Paris, FranceParis, France: Prime Minister Jean Pierre Raffarin is backing a plan to amend French law to downgrade marijuana possession to a fine-only offense, according to published reports in L'Express.The magazine says that the PM has "promised" to reform the 1970 law, which calls for a maximum penalty of one year in jail for minor marijuana offenses. The proposed change would eliminate the threat of jail time and instead impose a small fine on pot offenders. If enacted, the proposal would essentially ratify what is already existing police practice, as fewer than 10 percent of marijuana possession cases are prosecuted by French authorities.France is one of only a handful of European nations that has not formally decriminalized cannabis possession and use.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-8751. A summary of European marijuana laws is available online at: To Advocate Regulating Cannabis Before State Legislators At Special Joint Hearing Next WeekOctober 22, 2003 - Annapolis, MD, USAAnnapolis, MD: NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup will testify in favor of the legalization of marijuana at a special joint legislative hearing to be held next Tuesday, October 28, before the Maryland Senate Special Committee on Substance Abuse, the House Special Committee on Drug and Alcohol Abuse, and the Baltimore City Senators and Delegates. The hearing will take place at Coppin State College in Baltimore at the J. Millard Tawes College Center.The hearing is in response to a 2003 Baltimore City Grand Jury report which advocates citing non-violent drug offenders rather than arresting and incarcerating them. The report further suggests establishing a government-run "regulated distribution system" whereby certain drug users could legally purchase personal use quantities of controlled substances.Stroup will concentrate his remarks specifically on the use of marijuana by adults, noting that NORML supports the eventual development of a legally controlled market for cannabis, where consumers could buy pot from a safe, legal source."Marijuana legalization exists on various levels in a handful of European nations like the Netherlands and Switzerland, both of which enjoy lower rates of marijuana use than the United States," he says. "Such a system would reduce many of the health and criminal problems presently associated with the prohibition of marijuana, including the crime, corruption and violence associated with a black market. In addition, it would free up significant amounts of law enforcement resources to focus on more serious and violent crimes, including terrorism."For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup or Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500.DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: October 16, 2003Copyright: 2003 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- Oct. 16, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- Oct. 8, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- Oct. 2, 2003
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