Marijuana's Future as a Legal Medicine

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  Marijuana's Future as a Legal Medicine

Posted by CN Staff on April 20, 2009 at 06:43:41 PT
By Quetzalli Castro 
Source: Chicago Flame 

Illinois -- Scientists, politicians, pundits and everyday people want to understand what science has been able to accomplish so far with marijuana's medical potential. As medical marijuana was discovered, many questions have also risen: Can marijuana really help people with AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, or any of several other conditions it is purported to relieve? How does marijuana affect the human body? Could the potential benefits of legalizing marijuana for medicinal use possibly outweigh the risk of encouraging drug abuse? All of these questions remain to be answered completely, but Alison Mack is trying to give what answers she can in her book "Marijuana As Medicine: The Science beyond the Controversy."
Recently these questions are starting to be asked here in Illinois, mainly because of the medical marijuana bill that has passed in the Illinois Senate. Senate Bill 1381, sponsored by Sen. William Haine (D-Alton) and co-sponsored by Sen. Iris Martinez (D-Chicago) and Sen. Jeffrey Schoenberg (D-Evanston), would create the "Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program," allowing a person diagnosed by a doctor with a "debilitating medical condition" to legally possess marijuana. This bill still needs to be passed by the House and then signed by our governor before it becomes law, but once it does, Illinois will join the 13 other states that currently have legalized medical marijuana.Many never get past the media image of marijuana being a "gateway" drug, yet many are now seeing the medical discoveries and benefits of this drug. In the pursuit of finding new and better pain relievers, people discovered the pain-relieving properties of marijuana. It has since been used to treat a wide variety of painful conditions, from headache to the pain of childbirth, without the consequence of serious side effects.Now, the predominant use for medical marijuana has been to help AIDS patients. Mack asserts that the drug has "a purported ability to soothe a variety of debilitating symptoms." Many such patients echo the comments of the HIV-positive man cited in Mack's book, who claimed that marijuana calmed his stomach after taking medication, stimulated his appetite, eased his pain and lifted his mood. Because HIV attacks the immune system, it wreaks havoc throughout the body. Additionally, the virus also triggers a potentially lethal wasting syndrome, painful nerve damage and dementia. The AIDS patients cited by Mack have reported that marijuana eases all of these problems and more.Furthermore, not only is medical marijuana seen as useful for patients suffering from AIDS, but is also being increasingly recognized for the benefits that it gives to cancer patients as well. Mack reports, "People with cancer who use marijuana say that it benefits them in several ways: by quelling nausea, suppressing vomiting, increasing appetite, relieving pain, and soothing anxiety.There is considerable clinical evidence indicates that marijuana could yield a variety of useful medicines, especially for nausea, vomiting and appetite stimulation. Many of these symptoms are induced by chemotherapy, but with the use of marijuana, or marijuana-derived drugs such as Marinol, relief may be provided to these patients without serious side effects and without interfering with the chemotherapy.Although marijuana has been recently gaining momentum in becoming a legal medical use drug in Illinois, it's still difficult to remove the stigma that the drug also has in the eyes of the USA's law enforcement. The point here is to not let the impact of drug laws on society overshadow the science that is backing up the medical use of marijuana.Despite that there is a chance for medical marijuana becoming legalized in Illinois one should also know that there are strict regulations on how it will be distributed based on recommendations by the Institute of Medicine. Such IOM recommendations cite that there should only be short-term use of smoked marijuana (less than six months) for patients with debilitating symptoms (such as intractable pain or vomiting) and it must meet the following conditions: all other approved medications have failed to help alleviate the patient's symptoms, the symptoms can reasonably be expected to be relieved by rapid-onset cannabinoid drugs, and such treatment is administered under medical supervision.With the hope of legalization, IOM recommendations and other safety guidelines, patients suffering from several diseases may soon find an alternative way to find relief.For more information, check out Alison Mack's book, Marijuana As Medicine : The Science Beyond the Controversy.Source: Chicago Flame (IL Edu)Author: Quetzalli CastroPublished: April 20, 2009Copyright: 2009 Chicago FlameWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #17 posted by ekim on April 20, 2009 at 20:17:14 PT
you too
Larry King had Robert Redford on tonight wish he would just come on once and say hey iam wearing Hemp and please by Hemp bags instead of plastici bet the company that made the suit would get a bumphappy trails to all
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 20:10:33 PT
It's good to see you. 
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Comment #15 posted by ekim on April 20, 2009 at 20:04:37 PT
what if
every company that is or wants to use Cannabis in there product would stand up.what would that look like how long would it take to see all the company logos panned in a single film shot.what would as Kapt says joe or jenny six pack feel.would it hurt -- to see so many willing to make new jobs
and invest in cleaning and renewing our earth for the kids,at i time when all we are being told is to do with less and dont except much investment other than good uncle sam.or maybe it would be excitement seeing products and services that will help bring a change for 
all of us on this great planet
help end this war on a plant
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Comment #14 posted by josephlacerenza on April 20, 2009 at 15:50:12 PT
I was just wondering why no commercials on Comedy Central? Is that just preaching to the choir LoL?! It still would have been great to be watching Stephen Colbert or John Stewart and up pops a NORML legalize it commercial!!!!
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 14:00:50 PT
Our Brains Make Their Own Marijuana
Our Brains Make Their Own Marijuana: We're All Pot Heads Deep InsideApril 20th, 2009 U.S. and Brazilian scientists have just proven that one of Bob Dylan's most famous lines—"everybody must get stoned"— is correct. That's because they've discovered that the brain manufactures proteins that act like marijuana at specific receptors in the brain itself. This discovery, published online in The FASEB Journal, may lead to new marijuana-like drugs for managing pain, stimulating appetite, and preventing marijuana abuse. URL:
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 13:33:50 PT
New York Senate Dems To Consider Medical Marijuana
By Associated PressMonday April 20, 2009The movement to legalize medicinal marijuana is gaining momentum in New York, with a proposal to let some people grow their own or buy from a state-approved organization.Sen. Thomas Duane of New York City is introducing the bill, which will have a matching version sponsored by Manhattan Assemblyman Richard Gottfried.The Democrat-led Assembly has passed similar measures in recent years, but the issue fizzled in the formerly Republican-led Senate.Now Democrats have taken control of the Senate and the issue could get some traction. A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Malcolm Smith didn't immediately comment.Gov. David Paterson's office also did not comment on the proposal Duane is set to release tomorrow.Copyright: 2009 Associated PressURL:
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on April 20, 2009 at 13:06:50 PT
That's amazing, Paul.
"The ad was created by the public; it was voted on by the public; and all of the funds raised for the national ad buy were donated by the public (mostly $25 and $50 donations)."I know people will be amazed to hear it. Texas? I'm not surprised. Disappointed, but certainly not surprised. 
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Comment #10 posted by observer on April 20, 2009 at 12:57:19 PT
In A Narc's Eye
it's still difficult to remove the stigma that the drug also has in the eyes of the USA's law enforcementYeah, the Praetorian Guard really calls the shots here, don't they? I mean, we/they pay lip service to the "protect and serve" shtick but we all know the real score. In a police state, the police rule. They just "knock off" leaders that don't play ball, so what we have looks like a docile series of figureheads as leaders (docile to the police state, that is - vicious to the rest of us via their "Ready-For-Police-State" policies.)An editorial in the Guardian newspaper (UK) a few days ago ("The public are fast losing patience with thuggish policing" ) caught my attention.
``If all this wasn't enough, there is a wealth of video evidence online showing excessive force being used against demonstrators. Yet it's increasingly clear we cannot trust the police account of events.''
This part in particular stood out:
``Yet it's increasingly clear we cannot trust the police account of events.''
You could shorten that to read, simply, "we cannot trust the police".Lies the police state tells about cannabis fall squarely into that category.
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 12:54:58 PT

Thank you. I'll keep my eyes open and I hope to see it.
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Comment #8 posted by paul armentano on April 20, 2009 at 12:50:44 PT

Oh yeah, and FOM
The biggest statewide ad buy was in Ohio!
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Comment #7 posted by paul armentano on April 20, 2009 at 12:48:17 PT

Ad campaign: Hope
Hope et al.,The ad has been accepted and paid for by over 200 separate national cable outlets. It will run in all 50 states on the channels listed. Actually the only state where there was a real issue w/ cable outlets refusing to accept the ad was, predictably, Texas. (Some ads will run in Texas, but not as frequently and as throughout the state as in other regions.) A really notable thing about this ad campaign, and how it ties into what I’m calling the new marijuana zeitgeist: This is a completely ‘organic campaign.’ The ad was created by the public; it was voted on by the public; and all of the funds raised for the national ad buy were donated by the public (mostly $25 and $50 donations).
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Comment #6 posted by ekim on April 20, 2009 at 12:38:12 PT

NPR 4 pm Natl Public Radio
will be talking about legalization of cannabis sometime during the show.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on April 20, 2009 at 12:22:35 PT

Comment 3
Who is going to sell you'll time for the commercial, Paul. That will shock people to hear. They'll be amazed. It's something so needed. But before, stations have even taken money, and not given it back, and not played commercials.Hows it going to work out this time?
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 10:48:07 PT

Medical Marijuana Debate Takes To The Airwaves
Illinois’ Medical Marijuana Debate Takes To The AirwavesBy Kevin McDermott, Post-Dispatch Springfield BureauApril 20, 2009SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Proponents of legalizing medical marijuana in Illinois will unveil a television advertising campaign this week, the latest shot in an increasingly hot political battle over the issue.The ad campaign - to be formally announced in a Statehouse news conference Tuesday - is being touted by the national Marijuana Policy Project, which views Illinois as a key testing ground in the national debate over medical pot. The ad campaign comes in advance of a state Senate vote on the legalization proposal (SB1381) which could come by the end of this month.Proposals to legalize pot for medical purposes gets slapped down almost every year in Springfield. But there’s been a sense among proponents that this year might be different, with healthcare trumping the drug war as a top issue in the public eye lately. The Senate bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton - a former Madison County state’s attorney - isn’t exactly considered a raving liberal, and newly seated Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, has long backed the idea.On the other hand, law enforcement opposition to the idea seems to be stronger than ever, which carries some sway in Springfield, so it’s by no means a done deal. Stay tuned.URL:
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Comment #3 posted by paul armentano on April 20, 2009 at 10:33:21 PT

NORML Launches National TV Ad Campaign on 4/20
Marijuana Advocacy Group Launches TV Campaign on ‘4/20’
campaign-is-launched-in-conjunction-with-420/(Watch the ad at the link above!)Marijuana Advocacy Group Launches TV Campaign on ‘4/20’The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Foundation (NORML
Foundation) a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy organization, established in
1997, is purchasing advertising time on selective cable outlets to
underscore the urgency of decriminalizing cannabis.The NORML Foundation launched this pro-marijuana ad campaign to create
further political pressure on the federal government to recognize 1) the
ever-increasing support of Americans who favor cannabis legalization, 2) the
clear sea change of cannabis laws that’s been happening at the state level
since Californians voted in favor of medicinal access to cannabis in 1996,
and 3) to rally cannabis consumers and anti-prohibitionists on April 20, a
date on the calendar that has organically become a national day to both
publicly celebrate cannabis as well as protest 70 years of prohibition.The featured ad is the winner of NORML’s recent user-generated-content
contest that asks NORML supporters: ‘What would you say to President Obama
about legalizing marijuana?’New Jersey college student and up and coming filmmaker Jason Druss created
the winning submission and is the recipient of the contest’s $3,500 cash
grand prize after 6500 votes were cast on NORML’s webpage. “It’s time for
President Obama to endorse cannabis law reform where it is legally
controlled and taxed like alcohol and tobacco products,” stated Jason Druss.
“It’s shocking that students can lose out from federal student loans for
possessing a few joints, when pot’s been part of the college culture for
decades.’Marijuana, By the Numbers…
Thirteen states (with a population base of 115 million Americans) have
decriminalized cannabis possession; thirteen states (with a population base
of 75 million Americans) now have medical cannabis laws. Additionally, more
states than ever before are debating cannabis law reform, including
California and Massachusetts where legalization legislation have been
introduced.Since 1965, over 20 million Americans have been arrested on cannabis-related
charges—90% for possession-only; over 900,000 cannabis arrests are expected
again this year.According to numerous survey and polls, approximately 75% of Americans
support medical access to cannabis; 73% favor decriminalizing cannabis
possession for adults and 42% of Americans support legalizing cannabis.7,700 NORML Foundation ads are appearing on cable outlets nationwide (with a
strong media buy in Ohio) on CNN, CNBC, Fox News Channel, Fuse, FX Networks,
G4, MSNBC, CNN’s Headline News and Spike TV.
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on April 20, 2009 at 07:32:46 PT

Happy 420! 
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Comment #1 posted by OverwhelmSam on April 20, 2009 at 07:22:26 PT

It's 420!
Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control I will not be able to join the celebration until later this evening. Enjoy your day everybody!
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