Can Pot Extend Ted Kennedy's Life? 

Can Pot Extend Ted Kennedy's Life? 
Posted by CN Staff on May 23, 2008 at 05:03:10 PT
By Paul Armentano, NORML
Source: AlterNet
USA -- In the 14 years I've worked in marijuana law reform, few events have struck me as so needlessly tragic as the federal government's consistent and deliberate stifling of medical cannabis research. Nowhere is the Fed's refusal to allow this science more overt and inhumane than as it pertains to the investigation of cannabinoids as anti-cancer agents, particularly in the treatment of gliomas.
As noted in today's wire stories regarding Sen. Edward Kennedy's diagnosis, glioma is an aggressive form of cancer that affects an estimated 10,000 Americans annually. Standard treatments for the cancer include radiation and chemotherapy, though neither procedure has proven particularly effective -- the disease kills approximately half its victims within one year and all within three years.But what if there was an alternative treatment for gliomas that could selectively target the cancer while leaving healthy cells intact? And what if federal bureaucrats were aware of this treatment, but deliberately withheld this information from the public?Sadly, the above questions are not hypothetical. As I originally wrote in a 2004 essay for, titled Pot Shows Promise as a Cancer Cure":In fact, the first experiment documenting pot's anti-tumor effects took place in 1974 at the Medical College of Virginia at the behest of the U.S. government. The results of that study, reported in an Aug. 18, 1974, Washington Post newspaper feature, were that marijuana's psychoactive component, THC, "slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent."Despite these favorable preliminary findings, U.S. government officials banished the study and refused to fund any follow-up research until conducting a similar -- though secret -- clinical trial in the mid-1990s. That study, conducted by the U.S. National Toxicology Program to the tune of $2 million, concluded that mice and rats administered high doses of THC over long periods had greater protection against malignant tumors than untreated controls.However, rather than publicize their findings, government researchers shelved the results, which only became public after a draft copy of its findings were leaked in 1997 to a medical journal which in turn forwarded the story to the national media.In the years since the completion of the National Toxicology trial, the U.S. government has yet to fund a single additional study examining the drug's potential anti-cancer properties. Is this a case of federal bureaucrats putting politics over the health and safety of patients? You be the judge.Fortunately, in the past 10 years scientists overseas have generously picked up where U.S. researchers so abruptly left off, reporting that cannabinoids can halt the spread of numerous cancer cells -- including prostate cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and in one human clinical trial, brain cancer.Writing earlier this year in the journal Expert Review of Neurotherapeutics, Italian researchers reiterated, "(C)annabinoids have displayed a great potency in reducing glioma tumor growth either in vitro or in animal experimental models. (They) appear to be selective antitumoral agents as they kill glioma cells without affecting the viability of nontransformed counterparts." Not one mainstream media outlet reported their findings. Perhaps now they'll pay better attention.What possible advancements in the treatment of cancer may have been achieved over the past 34 years had U.S. government officials chosen to advance -- rather than suppress -- clinical research into the anti-cancer effects of cannabis? It's a shame we have to speculate; it's even more tragic that the families of Senator Kennedy and thousands of others must suffer while we do.Watch a video of Paul Armentano explaining the relationship between cannabinoids and giloma. Armentano is the deputy director for the NORML Foundation in Washington, D.C. Complete Title: Can Pot Extend Ted Kennedy's Life? Too Bad It's IllegalSource: AlterNet (US)Author: Paul Armentano, NORMLPublished: May 23, 2008Copyright: 2008 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on June 02, 2008 at 08:32:09 PT
Amen to your prayer. I hope his surgery goes well. 
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on June 02, 2008 at 07:52:35 PT
Thank you for your comment. This tumor is really bad. He said he wants to get back to campaigning for Obama. I hope he will be able to do that.
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Comment #13 posted by afterburner on June 02, 2008 at 07:39:30 PT
I turned it over to the Lord
RE Sen. Edward Kennedy's surgery, radiation and chemo. Having seen relatives and friends suffer by these treatments, I struggled with this news. I turned it over to the Lord and prayed a prayer of agreement with the Kennedy family for the success of this procedure and complete healing. I hope, at least, Sen. Kennedy uses medical cannabis to counter the sometimes lethal effects of nausea from radiation and chemo.
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on June 02, 2008 at 05:15:56 PT
Senator Kennedy To Have Brain Surgery This Morning
I wish Senator Kennedy the very best today.June 2, 2008Excerpt: Kennedy associates hinted that he would seek experimental drug treatments.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on May 24, 2008 at 05:42:24 PT
Ever try to reform a chicken killing dog?
Wonder if having to carry the weight of the dead bodies she helped kill tied to her neck all day might help? Probably not. She's a strong, determined, purposely ignorant, self righteous, extremely driven woman. She does what she does well.Maybe all the beheaded of Mexico could have a meeting in her dreams tonight. Wouldn't bother her, though, would it?
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on May 24, 2008 at 05:37:11 PT
So many deaths to take credit for, Joyce...
"Our national network takes credit for stopping marijuana legalization in Mexico."So many deaths... and she's proud. An amazing woman, our Joyce.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on May 24, 2008 at 05:36:01 PT
Just My Thought
When people put drugs and cannabis in the same category they can make a point. Drugs can kill. Legal and illegal drugs can kill. Cannabis hasn't ever killed anyone. Sometimes I think people fight us just because they dislike the reform community in general.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on May 24, 2008 at 05:28:21 PT
Our Joyce...
She's a killer, isn't she?
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on May 24, 2008 at 05:27:19 PT
Another excerpt from Joyce's letter...
A major tragedy is that marijuana's harmful effects have been known since Sen. James Eastland ( D., Miss. ) held six days of hearings in 1974 to determine marijuana's health effects. Summed up: "Marijuana is harmful to all major body systems including the brain, heart, lungs and reproductive system." The difficulty remains getting the word out to the public. The U.K.'s "The Independent" recently headlined article "Cannabis: An apology" stating: "In 1997, this newspaper launched a campaign to decriminalize the drug. If only we had known then what we can reveal today." Having spoken to thousands of Mexican and American parents, many of whom have lost their children to drugs, I can attest to the fact that sorrow and grief are beyond measure in both countries. Anti-drug networks, mostly volunteer, remain passion-driven. 
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Comment #6 posted by Hope on May 24, 2008 at 05:19:05 PT
Joyce's latest work...'S NOT LEGALIZE HARMFUL DRUGSExcerpt: 
We have worked with high-ranking officials in both countries including the Mexican Embassy, the White House and the U.S. Congress. Our national network takes credit for stopping marijuana legalization in Mexico. In spite of a well-funded legalization effort in our own country by the Drug Policy Alliance and the Marijuana Policy Project, we continue to hold back legalization.Legalization? Never! 
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Comment #5 posted by BUDSNAXZ on May 23, 2008 at 21:29:44 PT
More Proof
All,Here's another site that I read about here in another stories comments a week or two ago and saw the You Tube videos for more proof that cannabis cures cancer. Here are the links: a shame it is that people would rather profit from people suffering and ultimately dieing from cancer over telling the truth and ending a scourge that killed my mother this year and millions before her. I hope this does wake up some key folks and let science do it's job to end cancer.Peace all,Mac
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Comment #4 posted by Sam Adams on May 23, 2008 at 10:23:31 PT
cannabis, miracle medicine
Imagine what might happen if high-dose cannabis were administered in conjunction with chemo and radiation, the tumors would be hurting! And cannabis would be hitting the cancer at the same time it was relieving the pain and nausea caused by the cancer and the other treatments.I guess for now only the Enlightened will be able to treat themselves this way. 
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Comment #3 posted by rainbow on May 23, 2008 at 08:40:24 PT
I just contacted my congress critter and told him about the embargoed research by the DEA and HHS. His answerer put the word murder in the conversation.I suggest that we all call our congress critters and suggest to them that Sen Kennedy might not have as hard a problem if the DEA did not embargo research and stymy further research.The drug warriors migth just take a direct hit with this one especially if Senator Kennedy gets wind of the embargoes 25 years agao.I am so mad at our fed government. They do not care at all about what can help. They just want to keep their industry going.To hell with sick people should be their motto.DEAth needs to go away.Cheers,
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on May 23, 2008 at 08:36:46 PT
Another worthy read... LIFESAVING MEDICAL TREATMENTS: NOT SO “ANECDOTAL,” AFTER ALL!(Cannabinoids are not mentioned in this article... but may be in future articles for this series, I think.)I hope Ted Kennedy goes to Spain or Israel or one of the other countries that maybe can help him get the cannabinoid treatment for his tumor. He should be able to afford it. I so hope he tries it.
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Comment #1 posted by dongenero on May 23, 2008 at 08:10:40 PT
Wonderful Paul!
Great job Paul. I hope this article gets some traction!
This needs to go viral.
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