Puffing is The Best Medicine

  Puffing is The Best Medicine

Posted by CN Staff on May 05, 2006 at 07:11:54 PT
By Lester Grinspoon M.D.  
Source: Los Angeles Times 

Los Angeles -- The Food And Drug Administration is contradicting itself. It recently reiterated its position that cannabis has no medical utility, but it also approved advanced clinical trials for a marijuana-derived drug called Sativex, a liquid preparation of two of the most therapeutically useful compounds of cannabis. This is the same agency that in 1985 approved Marinol, another oral cannabis-derived medicine.
Both Sativex and Marinol represent the "pharmaceuticalization" of marijuana. They are attempts to make available its quite obvious medicinal properties — to treat pain, appetite loss and many other ailments — while at the same time prohibiting it for any other use. Clinicians know that the herb — because it can be smoked or inhaled via a vaporizer — is a much more useful and reliable medicine than oral preparations. So it might be wise to consider exactly what Sativex can and can't do before it's marketed here.  A few years ago, the British firm GW Pharmaceuticals convinced Britain's Home Office that it should be allowed to develop Sativex because the drug could provide all of the medical benefits of cannabis without burdening patients with its "dangerous" effects — those of smoking and getting high. But there is very little evidence that smoking marijuana as a means of taking it represents a significant health risk. Although cannabis has been smoked widely in Western countries for more than four decades, there have been no reported cases of lung cancer or emphysema attributed to marijuana. I suspect that a day's breathing in any city with poor air quality poses more of a threat than inhaling a day's dose — which for many ailments is just a portion of a joint — of marijuana.Further, those who are concerned about the toxic effects of smoking can now use a vaporizer, which frees the cannabinoid molecules from the plant material without burning it and producing smoke. Note: Lester Grinspoon is an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and the author of "Marijuana, the Forbidden Medicine" (Yale University Press, 1997). Snipped:Complete Article: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: Lester Grinspoon M.D. Published: May 5, 2006 Copyright: 2006 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Marijuana The Forbidden Medicine Denies Medical Value of Marijuana Interview With Lester Grinspoon, M.D. Cannabis Odyssey - Harvard Crimson

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Comment #12 posted by whig on May 05, 2006 at 18:45:17 PT

Judgment day
Here's the Colbert "Press Secretary Audition" seen from the perspective of George W. Bush. has to have been a personal hell for him. Think what more he has to look forward to as it all falls down around his ears.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on May 05, 2006 at 17:10:30 PT

What worries you about the 60s generation. I think we are cool and smart and compassionate. We're still here.Psst I know you don't like us very much.Dr. Grinspoon is from way before the 60s generation. He must be around 78 years old.Excerpt: I was 44 years old in 1972 when I experienced this first marijuana high.
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Comment #10 posted by Sam Adams on May 05, 2006 at 16:57:04 PT

what a hero
What an excellent article and what a great guy! My only worry is that Dr. Grinspoon is from another generation, the 60s generation.  I wonder how many of his colleagues in the current generation of psychologists coming out of school share his disdain for Big Pharm.  I wonder how many of them are willing to stand up and speak this simple truth, rather than sit down and take the money.
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Comment #9 posted by mayan on May 05, 2006 at 16:22:42 PT

I read the transcript and I can't believe they let him in the building! Here's a great video link I posted here before which shows PNAC memeber Bill Kristol squirming like the worm that he is...Colbert Shakes up Bill Kristol - asks questions on PNAC that mainstream media will not:
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 05, 2006 at 14:16:31 PT

No No No No BGreen
I don't air my feelings. I keep them very much to myself. My poor husband hears me though. The poor man! LOL!
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Comment #7 posted by BGreen on May 05, 2006 at 13:50:10 PT

Outspoken is a common theme here at CNews
I don't think any of us can be praised for our restraint. LOLI'm really glad that others are emboldened to speak out, though.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 05, 2006 at 13:39:03 PT

It really was impressive. I want so much to help make our country good again and unless it does a complete turn around I might just give up, get a rocking chair and forget about it all. Neil Young has fired me up with his new and very gutsy album. If he can be that outspoken why should I be so afraid to buck them?
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Comment #5 posted by BGreen on May 05, 2006 at 13:33:47 PT

The Mainstream Media were squirming like snakes
They laughed like little lap dogs when bush did his "comedy" routine, but when Colbert spoke the truth in a humorous way they knew that their days of being the enablers to the drunken president are as numbered as all of the innocent people killed by the lies of this administration.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #4 posted by Dankhank on May 05, 2006 at 12:05:42 PT

Got it ...
I got it...from CSpan by way of Mininova, the whole show, he's about one hour into it ...It's priceless ...
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 05, 2006 at 11:23:57 PT

It's two separate videos on It really was something to see. I just checked and they pulled it. That doesn't surprise me at all.
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Comment #2 posted by dongenero on May 05, 2006 at 11:15:12 PT

OFF TOPIC-Stephen Colbert
This is off topic but, have you all seen the Stephen Colbert roast of Bush and the media. He was keynote speaker (somehow!)at the White House correspondent dinner.There is very little being said in the mainstream media (surprised?)but it is exploding on the internet.Itwas from last weekend so, kind of ols news but.....this one is a treasure for some time to come.....thankyoustephencolbert.orgsalon.comIt's all over the place if these don't do it. CSPAN has it available on their site too I believe. Enjoy!
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on May 05, 2006 at 08:42:48 PT

another from the l.a. times,1,430293.story?page=1&coll=la-headlines-healthAs assistant district attorney in San Francisco, Keith Vines prosecuted one of the largest illicit drug busts the city had ever seen. Then he came down with AIDS wasting syndrome and lost 60 pounds over three years.To stimulate his appetite, he started taking marinol, an FDA-approved drug containing THC, one of the active ingredients in marijuana. He says he couldn't control the dose of the drug, which must be swallowed. "I would be out of it for four or five hours," he says.
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