NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- January 20, 2005

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- January 20, 2005
Posted by CN Staff on January 20, 2005 at 16:27:06 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Cannabis Extracts Reduce Cancer Pain, Study SaysJanuary 20, 2005 - Salisbury, United KingdomSalisbury, United Kingdom: Medicinal cannabis extracts significantly reduce pain in cancer patients compared to placebo, according to the results of clinical trial data announced this week by Britain's GW Pharmaceuticals.
One hundred and seventy-seven patients with advanced cancer participated in the double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial. Patients in the trial suffered from chronic pain and were unresponsive to standard analgesic therapies. Volunteers were administered either Sativex (an oral spray containing precise doses of the cannabinoids THC and CBD), a THC-only extract, or placebo. All of the patients in the study remained on their existing analgesic medications during the trial."Sativex achieved a statistically significant improvement in comparison to placebo in pain," the company announced in a prepared statement. "A responder analysis showed that approximately 40 percent of patients on Sativex showed greater than 30 percent improvement in their pain."Patients administered extracts containing primarily THC did not experience a significant alleviation in pain.Commenting on the results of the study, GW Pharmaceuticals spokesperson Stephen Wright said: "Patients in this trial were suffering intense pain as a result of their cancer despite using currently available strong opioid treatments and therefore have a very high clinical need. The data from this important trial further demonstrates the broad potential of Sativex, not only in its initial Multiple Sclerosis and neuropathic pain markets, but also in cancer and potentially other types of chronic pain. These positive results suggest that Sativex may represent a valuable new treatment option for this group of patients."In December, Health Canada issued a "Qualifying Notice" for the approval of Sativex for the treatment of neuropathic pain associated with Multiple Sclerosis. However, British regulatory approval for the drug was delayed after an advisory body of the British Medicines and Health products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) announced late last year that it required further clinical evidence of Sativex's ability to alleviate MS-associated spasticity in a "clinically relevant" manner.The company is also initiating plans to seek regulatory approval for the prescription use of Sativex in the United States, Reuters News Service reported.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500 or visit: http://www.gwpharm.comDL: Pharma Buoyed by Hopes for Cannabis Drug Painkiller Hope for Cancer Patients Tolerant "Drugged Driving" Limits Unconstitutional, German Supreme Court SaysJanuary 20, 2005 - Berlin, GermanyBerlin, Germany: A national law that defined motorists with any detectable level of drugs or marijuana (THC) in their blood as impaired per se has been struck down by the German Supreme Court.The Court determined that the prosecution of persons who test positive for trace levels of drugs, but are not otherwise impaired, was not the legislative intent of the law. However, the Court did not clarify the law to establish set guidelines at which drivers who test positive for drugs in the blood can be considered legally impaired.Similar "zero tolerance" drugged driving laws classifying motorists who test positive for any amount of illicit drugs or drug metabolites (non-psychoactive compounds produced from the chemical changes of a drug in the body) in their bodily fluids (blood, saliva, sweat and/or urine) as criminally impaired have been enacted in eleven US states: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Utah, and Wisconsin.Though no scientific consensus yet exists specifying per se impairment levels for marijuana, drivers with THC levels in their blood below 5ng/ml are not associated with elevated risks of having a traffic accident in culpability surveys.Speaking last August at the 17th International Conference on Alcohol, Drugs and Traffic Safety (ICADTS) in Glasgow, Scotland, presenters from an international working panel of physicians, forensic toxicologists and traffic scientists, led by Drs. Franjo Grotenhermen of Germany's nova-Institut and Gunter Berghaus of the University of Cologne, said: "Commonly consumed doses of THC may cause maximum psychomotor impairment in some behavioral areas comparable to that equivalent to a BAC of above 0.08 percent. ... [However,] relevant acute effects typically subside within 3-4 hours after smoking. ... According to culpability studies, THC levels in blood serum below 5 ng/ml were not associated with an elevated accident risk. Even a THC serum level of between 5 and 10 ng/ml may not be associated with an above normal accident risk. [Therefore,] unless they are under the acute influence of the drug, both frequent and infrequent users of cannabis do not seem to have a higher accident risk than non-users."For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500. For a summary of European DUID laws, please visit: Government Considers Pot DecriminalizationJanuary 20, 2005 - Warsaw, PolandWarsaw, Poland: The Polish Parliament is considering legislation proposed by the Ministry of Health that seeks to decriminalize the personal use of cannabis and other controlled substances.Stating his support for the law change, Health Minister Marek Balicki said: "We still have the illusion that if we have criminal punishment for illicit drugs possession, then we will solve the drug problem. Making criminals from young people that have tried drugs is without sense. This is not a good road."In recent years, several European and Eastern European nations - including the United Kingdom, Russia, Belgium, Croatia and Portugal - have liberalized and/or decriminalized the possession and use cannabis.For a summary of European cannabis laws, please visit: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: January 20, 2005Copyright: 2005 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- Jan. 13, 2005 NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- Jan. 06, 2005
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 24, 2005 at 15:45:20 PT
New Hampshire Considers Decriminalization
NORML: Take Action Now! NORML Supporter:NORML is pleased to announce that House Bill 197, a bill to decriminalizemarijuana, has been introduced in the New Hampshire Legislature. Now 
is the time to contact your state legislators and strongly urge them to support this important piece of legislation.Please take two minutes of your time to write your state legislators and tell them how important it is that they support marijuana decriminalization. NORML has created pre-written letters that you can send to your legislators by visiting: law-abiding citizens who smoke marijuana responsibly are not part of the crime problem, and we must stop treating them like 
criminals. In 2003, the last year for which we have data, law enforcement arrested over 755,000 persons for marijuana violations.  This total far exceeds the total number of arrests for all violent crime combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Surely, our limited law enforcement resources would be better served targeting more serious and violent crimes.Marijuana decriminalization currently enjoys support from the majority of Americans. According to the latest CNN/Time Magazine poll on the 
subject, 72% of Americans favor a fine over criminal penalties for the possession of marijuana.This bill recommends that minor marijuana offenders in New Hampshire will face a maximum penalty of a ticket and a small fine in lieu of criminal
arrest and prosecution. This is a step in the right direction, but it will only receive serious consideration if the elected officials in New
Hampshire hear an unmistakable message of support from their constituents.Please take two minutes to send a letter to your elected officials in support of this bill at: you for your help.Sincerely,Kris Krane
Associate Director
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on January 21, 2005 at 10:22:09 PT
Power To The People
afterburner on the satellite radio this song is playing and it sure makes me feel good! I just wanted to share this.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on January 21, 2005 at 09:58:29 PT
That's a good article. The article mentioned Homegrown. I read on the Rust List people asking questions about Homegrown. I know the one song but there must be an album.
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on January 21, 2005 at 01:40:40 PT
More Good News
email for YOU:{From : Bill Piper, DPAlliance alerts 
Sent : January 20, 2005 2:15:03 PM 
To : YOU 
Subject : Enormous Victory for Live Music 
 {Enormous Victory for Live Music{Dear YOU,{There is great news to report in the fight to Protect Live Music. As you may know, the Drug Policy Alliance spent 2004 battling against the CLEAN-UP Act in Congress.{While there was much in the bill we liked -- it provided funding for safe cleaning of illegal methamphetamine laboratories -- we opposed a key provision that would have punished nightclub owners and music promoters for their customers' drug use.{Well, not only did the CLEAN-UP Act not pass last year, but earlier this month a new version of the CLEAN-UP Act was introduced that does NOT even contain the controversial provision.{This is an enormous victory for the Alliance and our supporters; live music fans across the country; musicians, club owners and activists; and the Protect Live Music campaign. It's also a great way to start to 2005. We are grateful to the thousands of Alliance supporters like you who took action against the CLEAN-UP Act through our website and in protests last year.{Of course, it's possible that this provision or something like it will surface again in other legislation. We're on the lookout for it and will keep you informed.{Thank you for your support and dedication to drug-policy reform.{Sincerely,{Bill Piper
Director of National Affairs
Drug Policy Alliance{PS: We hope you will take the opportunity to celebrate this important victory by frequenting your favorite live music establishment.{More Info{In 2004, our supporters used our website to circulate petitions in opposition to the CLEAN-UP Act, called and wrote their members of Congress, and held protests across the country. The coordinated work of Alliance staff, ROAR, and other groups was clearly being felt not just on Capitol Hill but across the country. This helped stall the CLEAN-UP Act in committee. Our media efforts were successful as well, with the Act's anti-music provision often being slapped with the dreaded "controversial" label in press reports. A staffer for the Congressman who introduced the bill told the Alliance they regretted even including the provision in the CLEAN-UP Act. The bill finally died in December when Congress adjourned for the year. Congress's new version of the bill -- HR 13, which was just introduced -- does not contain the harmful anti-music provision.{To Contact or Make a Donation by Mail to the Drug Policy Alliance{Drug Policy Alliance
70 West 36th Street, 16th Floor
New York, NY 10018{Get a PDF copy of the Donation Form.
For subscription problems please contact Jeanette Irwin, Director, Internet Communications jirwin, 202.216.0035 
{ | Take Action | Donate | Privacy Policy}
 ***** Remember the line in Fahrenheit 9/11 quoting Congressman John Conyers, (D-MI)?"Sit down, my son. We don't read most of the bills. Do you really know what would entail if we were to read every bill that we pass?"I guess, Michael Moore and DPA are the only ones actually reading the bills Congress and the Senate passes. No wonder we get so much bad legislation! But not this time. Celebrate!
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Comment #1 posted by afterburner on January 21, 2005 at 00:51:03 PT
On NORML: the Good News Continues
After a stressful day of the Presidential inauguration and all the fears that it implies and the GW Pharma good news that also sparks fears, let us chill to the sounds of some funky music: The history of music and marijuana (part two) 
by Russell Cronin (20 Jan, 2005) From funk to flower power, reggae to rock, stoners expand musical boundaries. 
What a cast! Neil is there "Party on, Wayne. Party on, Garth."
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