Medical Marijuana Alternative Exists for Patients

††Medical Marijuana Alternative Exists for Patients

Posted by CN Staff on January 23, 2007 at 06:32:49 PT
By Josh Premako, Senior Staff Writer †
Source: The Signal†

California -- While the debate over medical marijuana rages on, there remains another option for those who are suffering. It's called Marinol, a small orange capsule offered as an alternative to marijuana.First approved by the Food and Drug Administration more than 20 years ago, Marinol's main ingredient is dronabinol, which is a synthetic version of Delta-9-THC - the main component of marijuana.
In 1982, it was approved by the FDA to treat nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy for treating cancer. In 1992, it was approved for treating the loss of appetite in AIDS patients.The drug both stimulates appetite and reduces nausea and vomiting, according to a Web site for Solvay Pharmaceuticals, the maker of Marinol."We do use it occasionally," said Dr. Gerald Subar, director of pharmacy at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital.With what Subar called a fairly rapid absorption time of between 30 minutes to an hour, Marinol can produce a "high," which he said is defined as easy laughing, heightened awareness and elation.He said there is a low rate of addiction with the drug, which is listed by the FDA as Class 3.Class 1 drugs - none of which can be prescribed -include LSD, marijuana and methamphetamine, he said. Class 5, the lowest designation, includes cough syrups with codeine.Another recently-approved drug containing a synthetic THC is also available, Subar said, and added that that particular drug is a Class 2 and specifically targets nausea and vomiting.Prescriptions for Marinol are regularly filled at Valencia Pharmacy, said chief pharmacist Jan Balthasar, and he said that is likely the case for many pharmacies in the valley.However, a prescription alternative to marijuana is not necessarily the end-all solution, said William Dolphin, spokesman for Americans for Safe Access.He referenced reports where he said Marinol users found the drug to be far more psychoactive than marijuana.Additionally, Dolphin said while it can take as much as 40 minutes for Marinol to take effect, inhaled marijuana can take effect in as little as 15 seconds - and the dose is easier to control."People tend to prefer the plant," he said, although he added that "(Marinol's) certainly an answer for some patients."Even Subar conceded that "there are legitimate uses for (medical marijuana)," and said while there are abuses it is a fine line.For the time being, Marinol may be the only legitimate option for local residents who don't want to leave the valley to visit a medical marijuana dispensary.Earlier this month, Sgt. Phil Morris of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station's Narcotics Bureau said he was contacted by an individual planning to set up a marijuana dispensary in Castaic.On Jan. 18, Bruce McClendon, director of planning for the county told The Signal that no applications had been filed nor approvals granted for a facility in Castaic. Last week, Morris said that anecdotally he has heard that after learning of potential community opposition to a dispensary, the individual who contacted him has decided not to pursue opening a marijuana facility.Source: Signal, The (CA)Author: Josh Premako, Senior Staff Writer Published: Tuesday January 23, 2007Copyright: 2007 The SignalContact: bfranks the-signal.comWebsite: For Safe Access Medical Marijuana Archives 

Home †† Comment †† Email †† Register †† Recent Comments †† Help

Comment #18 posted by doc james on January 24, 2007 at 07:41:12 PT
felon schmelon... so what richard
Ed is a friend of mine and so what if he is a felon. Half of amerikkka is a felon..... because of outdated and racist drug laws, and so am I. thhppppppp!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by charmed quark on January 24, 2007 at 07:39:41 PT
A lot more than 40 minutes
With me, it takes about 2 hours for the Marinol to take full effect. When I get a major attack it can sure seem like a very long time waiting for it to work.And I can attest that it is more psychoactive than the real stuff for the same effective dose. And while it works OK for some of my symptoms it does not work nearly as well for my spasticity as the real thing.But it is sure better than nothing.The high cost of the drug compared to cannabis isn't an issue with me as my insurance covers it. I think I pay $30 out of pocket for 2 months worth.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by Hope on January 23, 2007 at 16:17:01 PT
"Title should read Medical Marijuana Alternative Exists for Drug Companies".Exactly.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by MikeEEEEE on January 23, 2007 at 14:20:17 PT
Title should read
Medical Marijuana Alternative Exists for Drug CompaniesThe drug war was born of prejudice, but in todays modern society it's different. While there is still prejudice, more people tolerate different cultural groups, such as racial differences and gays.The bottom-line is: The war on marijuana exists because the drug companies cannot make money on a plant a patient can grow. It's all about money in this country.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by Toker00 on January 23, 2007 at 14:15:15 PT
OT: Virtual March on Washington
 Ask Your Friends to Join the Virtual March on WashingtonThis Saturday, January 27, will be the largest anti-war protest since the war began on 3/19/03, with a big march in Washington DC:
and local events across the country:
(More details below).Of course only a small fraction of America will participate in these events because of time, money, or lack of awareness due to the corporate media blackout of all progressive organizing.We really need everyone who opposes the Iraq War to speak up NOW. That's why we're making it easy with a Virtual March on Washington: oppose Bush's escalation by 68%-26% - that's 153 million adults and millions more teens. Yet George Bush still adamantly refuses to listen to us, and Congress is moving too slowly to stop him.Each of us knows 5, 10, 20, 50, or 100 people who share our opposition to Bush's War but won't march in the streets.All we ask is they take 1 minute to email their Representatives: will tally the emails on the right side of the page and hope to collect as many as we possibly can.Can you help us by reaching out to your personal email lists? Click here: News: Rep. Jim McGovern to introduce "The Safe and Orderly Withdrawal Act"This week, our friend and ally Rep. Jim McGovern will introduce new legislation, "The Safe and Orderly Withdrawal Act of 2007," calling for the safe and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. troops from Iraq within 30 days of enactment to be completed within 180 days. The withdrawal would be paid for by already appropriated funds and all funds for deployment of U.S. troops would be terminated upon completion of the withdrawal. More: PDA interview with Rep. Jim McGovern
By David Swanson, PDA Board MemberIn an exclusive interview conducted Jan. 22 for PDA by David Swanson, Rep. McGovern commented on a range of issues:* The urgency of this moment: "This war has gone on longer than our involvement in WW II. It is time to step it up a notch and to urge Congress to finally live up to its constitutional responsibility."* Upcoming "supplemental" funding bills: "I donít want to be talking about emergency supplementals in 2008 or 2009. I want this war over! I donít want the next Presidential election to be about the war in Iraq."More: Tony Trupiano visits with Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA)
Listen to this podcast: This Petition in Support of McGovern's Bill and Lobby in Washington on January 27th, 28th, and 29thCome to Washington, D.C., on January 27. Join in the march for peace being organized by United for Peace and Justice, a march dedicated to Ending the War Now!. (Some of us will also march for impeachment.)TIP: Buy a dozen or more Impeachment Shirts, bring them to D.C., sell them at a profit, and pay for your trip.Come to the workshops and trainings (including on how to lobby for investigations with the ultimate goal of impeachment) on January 28th and come with us to meet with your Congress Member and Senators on January 29th. It's not too late to register: comprehensive list of all sorts of related events in Washington and elsewhere in the coming days, see:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by Dankhank on January 23, 2007 at 13:01:59 PT
Ed .....
Hey Richard !!!How 'bout you get off Ed's ass and move on ...Have you ever met the Man?I have toked with him at the Liberty Bell and I do not care if he was receiving a planeload of Cannabis, I will vote for him if the option ever presents itself.Maybe the Governor of NJ can pardon him, I don't care ...just lay off Ed ... please ...peace to all who believe Cannabis is Good.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by laduncon on January 23, 2007 at 10:23:11 PT
Times are a changin' & paradigms rearrangin'
The same people who once denied that cannabis had any medical utility, or that medical marijuana even existed, are now trying to push the "medical marijuana alternative" of marinol onto patients. I mean, who wouldn't want to pay a pharmaceutical company for an inferior knock-off (synthetic THC) of what could be grown at home at a relatively nominal cost (the real deal cannabis)? Perhaps we should listen to those who have been at the forefront of medical cannabis activism, rather than those that have attempted to squash or demonize it from the very beginning."People tend to prefer the plant," he said...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by FoM on January 23, 2007 at 09:28:55 PT
One More Off Topic Article
U.S. Diplomat Tells Iran to Back Off in Gulf
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by FoM on January 23, 2007 at 09:26:29 PT
OT: Significant Cheney Role?
Prosecutor Says Libby Destroyed Cheney MemoExcerpt: Jan. 23: Judging by the prosecutor's opening arguments, Vice President Dick Cheney's role in the CIA leak case could be significant. NBC News analyst Jonathan Alter reports.MSNBC
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by goneposthole on January 23, 2007 at 09:07:02 PT
bottom line
The dishonorable Grassley is more than willing to suborn himself regarding a matter that doesn't fit his agenda.The unexamined government isn't worth having.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by Richard Zuckerman on January 23, 2007 at 09:00:24 PT:
Those of you reaching the age of majority, listen up. This U.S. Senator Grassley is out of touch with reality and should be voted out. We must all register to vote, research every potential candidate for public office, and show up on Election Day to put these old farts out to pasture! U.S. Senator Grassley will not even allow us to grow Hemp? I say VOTE THE OLD WINDBAG OUT OF OFFICE!! You will notice I have mentioned that you should research every potential candidate running for election. One recent perfect example is the most recent election for U.S. Senator for New Jersey. Ed Forchion ran for Legalize Marijuana Party for U.S. Senator for New Jersey. He has a fine Web site, However, Ed Forchion had been convicted of a felony after having been found to have been involved in receiving pounds of Cannabis in a FedEx delivery. He received perhaps 6,000 thousand votes for Legalize Marijuana Party. These votes were wasted because Ed Forchion is legally disqualified from holding public office due to the felony conviction. You must be stark raving Mad to believe that the Bush administration would grant Ed Forchion a conditional Pardon to hold public office as U.S. Senator for New Jersey in Legalize Marijuana Party!! The platform of Libertarian Party subsumes the platform of Legalize Marijuana Party. Moreover, Libertarian Party candidates would most likely not endorse a convicted felon to run for public office. The Legalize Marijuana Party should not have endorsed a convicted felon for public office! 6,000 votes wasted which could have gone to Libertarian Party or Green Party!!!
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 23, 2007 at 07:48:38 PT

OT: Justices Find California's Sentencing Law Flawed
By David G. Savage and Henry Weinstein, Times Staff WritersJanuary 23, 2007 WASHINGTON ó The Supreme Court struck down part of California's sentencing law Monday in a ruling that could give thousands of recently convicted state prisoners a chance for a shorter sentence.In a 6-3 decision, the high court said California's system is flawed because it gives judges too much power to add extra years to a prison sentence.URL:,1,7920945.story
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #6 posted by goneposthole on January 23, 2007 at 07:37:42 PT

Ignore The Federal Government 
Cannabis growers completely ignore the law and grow cannabis to meet the demand.You can lead a bull to the whatchamacallit, but you can't make him stampede.You can pass laws prohibiting the use of alcohol, but people won't obey them.You can pass laws prohibiting the use of cannabis, but people won't obey those either.Their senses tell them differently.There are no laws prohibiting voters from telling Senator Grassley to take a hike and send him packing.Cannabis is here to stay, the US government is not. Ignore the rascals.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 23, 2007 at 07:32:01 PT

I didn't know who that Senator was and I did a google search and he is a republican. It doesn't surprise me. Not all Dems are ok with our issue but there are way more then with them.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #4 posted by ekim on January 23, 2007 at 07:27:48 PT

Sen. Grasly is aganist USA Farmers growing Hemp
Sen. Grasley was just on C-Span Wash Journal.
He was asked if he would give a tax break to farmers that want to make the industrial enzymes for cellulastic ethanol he said that the Feds are getting money to research the enzymes and it will take about 3 years. 
He made no mention of the fact that the NREL National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden Co has said that they have got the price of the enzymes down to 25cents a gal. Sen. Grasly said that switchgrass was needed for the cellulose feedstock. The Sen. was also asked if he would support the USA Farmer being able to grow Hemp as Canada is growing 50,000 acres and the American Farmer is not allowed to grow 1 acre.He said that he would not support the growing of Hemp as there is no way to separate the Marijuana from being grown with the Hemp. He went on to say that during WW2 Iowa had Hemp mills all over the State. He never addresed the question of how could Canada tell the difference and how can we compete wiht China that has been growing Cannabis for thousands of years and just completed the largest ethanol plant ever and the DEA will not allow it here.He kept saying that we need jobs and workers but something in his mind will not let him make this conection. 

[ Post Comment ]


Comment #3 posted by kroeme on January 23, 2007 at 07:14:59 PT:

Marinol vs. Marijuana
Marinol is generally more psychoactive than marijuana because after it is ingested it is chemically altered in the liver from Delta-9-THC to Delta-11-THC, which is the more psychoactive cannabinoid. If you eat marijuana instead of smoking it (if properly prepared) you will get the same psychoactive effect. Regular marijuana users, however, may find Marinol too weak, and taking too much will give one headaches.
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #2 posted by FoM on January 23, 2007 at 07:09:43 PT

LTE By Gary Storck
Gary Storck: Congress Should Protect Americans Legally Using Medical Marijuana
[ Post Comment ]


Comment #1 posted by goneposthole on January 23, 2007 at 07:01:37 PT

From what I hear
People who have had Marinol get unbelievably stoned after taking it.
[ Post Comment ]

††Post Comment