NORML's News Bulletin - March 22, 2001

NORML's News Bulletin - March 22, 2001
Posted by FoM on March 22, 2001 at 15:06:03 PT
U.K. Lords To Parliament: Stop Arresting Patients
Source: NORML
London, United Kingdom: For the second time in three years, the U.K. House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology is urging Parliament to hasten their efforts to legalize marijuana-based medications, and is demanding they exempt medical marijuana patients from criminal prosecution until such drugs are developed. "In the absence of a viable alternative medicine, ... we consider it undesirable to prosecute genuine therapeutic users of cannabis who possess or grow cannabis for their own use," committee members affirmed in a ten-page report released yesterday. 
"This unsatisfactory situation underlines the need to legalize cannabis preparations for therapeutic use."  On this matter, Lords criticized drug regulatory officials of "dragging their feet," and accused the Medicines Control Agency - England's equivalent of the Food and Drug Administration - of failing to deal with marijuana "in the same impartial manner as other medicines." Lords blamed MCA officials of purposely ignoring "the long history of safe therapeutic cannabis use," and questioned their assertion that marijuana-based therapeutics be classified as "new medicines."  "The MCA persists in treating ... cannabis [and its constituents] ... as 'new medicines' though [they] ... have a long history of human use and appeared in the British Pharmacopoeia until 1948," they said.  Lords called the MCA's attitude toward cannabis "overly cautious," and alleged that their approach will needlessly delay the legal production of marijuana-based medicines another two or three years.  "Patients with severe conditions such as multiple sclerosis are being denied the right to make informed choices about their medication," they charged. "Patients and doctors should certainly be informed about the [possible health risks] the MCA have raised, but these concerns should not prevent them from having access to what promises to be the only effective medication available to them."  The Lords most recent report follows a 1998 inquiry that found the evidence in support of the therapeutic benefit of medical marijuana sufficient to justify changing Britain's drug laws. Parliament summarily rejected their recommendation, but did agree to sponsor clinical trials regarding marijuana's medical efficacy.  For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director, at (202) 483-8751. To access the report, please visit: Back Medical Use of Cannabis Lords Back Cannabis Use Find Drug War Strategies Ineffective, Favor Legalizing Medical Marijuana:  Washington, DC: Three out of four Americans believe we are losing the war on drugs and support changing federal law to allow physicians to prescribe medical marijuana, according to the findings of a nationwide poll released yesterday by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press. The findings are consistent with previous surveys demonstrating strong public support for medical marijuana, and a growing disapproval for current anti-drug strategies.  Though a majority of Americans voiced their discontent with present drug policy, most seemed reluctant to try alternative strategies such as abolishing mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenders. However, a majority did support treating drug use as a health issue rather than as a criminal offense.  The Pew findings reinforce previous data indicating that Americans view the medical and recreational use of marijuana as separate issues. While 73 percent of respondents said they support legal access to medical marijuana, just under half said that small amounts of marijuana should be decriminalized for recreational use, a figure slightly higher than reported in previous years.  For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director, at (202) 483-8751.Pew Research Center Web Site War Approach Seen as Failure War Disheartens Americans New Mexico Legislature Ends Without Passing Medical Marijuana Bill:  Santa Fe, NM: A proposal approved by both the House and Senate to exempt medical marijuana patients from criminal penalties under state law died Saturday when the session convened before lawmakers could agree upon a final version of the bill. The legislation was one of several drug-law reform bills spearheaded by Governor Gary Johnson (R), who is an advocate of alternative drug strategies.  The chief difference between the two medical bills was that the House legislation included a "sunset clause" that would have forced lawmakers to re-approve the program every four years. The Senate version contained no such amendment. Both chambers must approve identical language before legislation may be sent to the governor.  While Johnson expressed disappointment that the proposed medical marijuana plan failed to reach his desk, he said he was pleased with the attention his harm-reduction plan received from lawmakers. "All of the drug reform bills advanced throughout the legislative session," he told NORML. "All were advancing when the session came to an end; some passed and none were voted down." Johnson stressed that no equivalent group of drug-law reform proposals had ever "advanced as far in legislative process in any state."  Johnson said that he intends to ask lawmakers to reconsider the bill this September when they reconvene for a special session.  For more information, please contact R. Keith Stroup, NORML Executive Director, at (202) 483-5500. NORML's News Index Compacts OK'd, Most Drug Reforms Not Drug Reform Goes To Pot NORML Archives CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by CannabisMythsExposed on March 23, 2001 at 08:51:22 PT
I meant CBD of course, not the record company!
CBS indeed!
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Comment #1 posted by CannabisMythsExposed on March 23, 2001 at 08:49:58 PT:
Toxicity of CBS
The following passage is taken from the Lords latest report. It would appear that the Medicines Control Agency (the UK FDA) are stalling by claiming possible toxicity from CBS. Perhaps the good Dr Russo may comment on this:22. By contrast, the MCA are unhappy with the toxicology data on CBD. They said that there is some evidence that CBD inhibits spermatogenesis in animals, and that overall there is a lack of adequate data. The MCA have therefore not permitted Dr Zajicek to proceed with his trial of Cannador (cannabis oil) capsules beyond 15 weeks. Moreover, the MCA's decision to insist on further toxicology data on CBD could delay the production of a cannabis-based medicine by G. W. Pharmaceuticals by as much as 2 to 3 years. Were the MCA not to require further extensive toxicological studies on CBD, G. W. Pharmaceuticals claim that they could have a cannabis-based prescription medicine available for patients in 2003. 23. We note that, according to G. W. Pharmaceuticals, the Canadian regulatory authorities have stated that they do not require additional animal toxicology studies for CBD. We put this to the MCA, who refused to comment (Q. 5); we found this refusal highly unsatisfactory.
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