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  10 Reasons The U.S. Military Should Use Pot
Posted by CN Staff on December 29, 2009 at 14:09:58 PT
By Penny Coleman, AlterNet 
Source: AlterNet 

medical USA -- "There’s a lot of things I’m passionate about, but getting a prescription for my marijuana from the VA is probably at the top of my list. I’d be like a kid waiting up for Santa if I thought he might be bringing me one of those. Haha!"

On top of a 100 percent disability rating with PTSD, "Charlie" -- who asked that his real name not be used -- came home from Afghanistan with a traumatic brain injury, a back injury and gastrointestinal problems. The VA pulled every magic trick out of its bag to treat him. But nothing worked. What did work was marijuana.

Shirak-e-Mazar, the milk of Mazar, is what got Charlie through his deployment in Afghanistan. Shirak-e-Mazar is what Afghanis call the paper-thin sheets of hashish that sell for about $1.50 an ounce. It’s a 5000-year-old recipe, perfected in the Mazar-e-Sharif region, for preparing the compressed resin glands of the marijuana plant, and unless things have changed since Charlie left Afghanistan in 2004, it’s available, well, just about everywhere.

So was alcohol, but according to Charlie, it didn't provide the same kind of relief: "You get some drinks in you, you get nice and loose; you drop your inhibitions and think you're invincible. But you haven’t dealt with the stress; you've just kind of blocked it; you don't really understand the possible outcomes of what you’re about to do—or you don't care.

"Smoking though ... you can appreciate the stresses and understand everything that's going on, but you’re still relaxed enough to do what you have to do, and do it well."

Since he got home, he says he is “smoking about one and a half grams a day, depending on how I'm doing. I go through an ounce in three to four weeks. I'm medicating for PTSD, but also a back injury and gastrointestinal problems, so if I had to do things like shovel the walk ... I would have to smoke a little more."

Unfortunately, Charlie does not live in one of the 13 states that have authorized the use of medical marijuana. In the rest of the states, federal law still applies, and according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) marijuana is still classified as a Schedule I drug. Schedule I drugs are those deemed most dangerous, more so than cocaine, oxycodone and methamphetamines, all of which are Schedule II.

“Me and the rest of my veterans' group talk about it all the time," he says. "Most of them also medicate with marijuana. If you asked any of us what, out of everything, was most effective in PTSD treatment, we would tell you marijuana." But the VA is a federal agency, so even in the 13 states where doctors are at liberty to suggest that patients try marijuana, they are prohibited from dispensing it.

The first two years after he got home, Charlie and his wife were still active duty. Marijuana was too risky, so he drank. A lot. So much that he almost killed himself and his wife. "Alcohol seemed to exaggerate all the negative feelings, the anger, the rage, the depression, the desperation."

Since Charlie was discharged in 2006, the VA has pulled an astonishing variety of medications out of its magic bag. Charlie's list is an impressive one that many, perhaps most, vets who have gone to the VA for help with post-combat stress and pain issues will recognize.

“I’ve been on six different antidepressants, lorazepam for anxiety; two sleep aids, Ambien and something else; three medications for my stomach problems, including omeprazole; and Topomax and amyltriptomine for migraines.

“Even if the sleeping pills got me to sleep, I’d still wake up in the middle of the night from nightmares. The only difference is that WITH the pills I'd wake up dizzy and disoriented. The disorientation made for a smooth transition into flashbacks, and if you want to see a vet have a bad episode, make sure he/she is completely disoriented and wake them suddenly in the dark. (Don't try this at home -- danger, danger!)

“The lorazepam was prescribed for the anxiety caused by the antidepressants, but it turned me into some kind of shuffling Ozzie Osborne zombie. I didn't have the physical energy to do anything but lay on the couch. Topomax and amyltriptomine turned me into a sloppy, silly bedlamite, groggy like I’d had too much to drink and babbling like a face-painted Anna Nicole Smith. Oh, and the Topomax had me hurling up last year's Christmas dinner.

"I’ve gone through pain management more times than I can count on my hands, and I've had over twelve series of epidermal steroid injections done to my lower back. None of them ever did anything for me. Except of course make my stomach problems much worse. I started smoking [marijuana] again three years ago, and it's been the best pain management I've found. I can pick up my thirty-pound daughter for a while now, which might not seem like a big deal, but it is. Oh, as for helping with hypervigilance, it does, but given the current legal status of my medication of choice in this state, I am hypervigilant for the police."

And not without cause.

Even in states where medical marijuana has been approved, conflicting state and federal laws have provided law enforcement agencies with an excuse to prosecute according to personal prejudice.

Recently, the Obama Department of Justice instructed prosecutors to leave legitimate growers of medical marijuana alone. That is a step in the right direction, but there are at least 10 reasons why they should be encouraged to continue moving toward saner and clearer policies.

1) Until proven otherwise, marijuana is the safest thing they’ve got in their pharmacopoeia.

Marijuana has been used worldwide to treat pain, stress and any number of other ailments since the third millennium BCE.

It has been outlawed in the United States since 1937, but since 1970, with passage of the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana has been classified as a Schedule I drug, with a “high potential for abuse,” "no currently accepted medical use" and a "lack of accepted safety" for use of any kind.

The Schedule I classification has meant that for the better part of 40 years, claims could be made that marijuana would turn you into a serial psycho-killer, a spotted owl or a socialist, and nobody could prove them wrong.

Daunting layers of federal permits discouraged serious study of the substance's efficacy, and strictly controlled access to the only legally grown supply have meant that grants were awarded only to those folks who weren’t looking for anything nice to say about pot.

Schedule I drugs can't even be the subject of research or study.

But this November, the young guard at the American Medical Association (AMA) gleefully hip-checked the doomy, gloomy straight-laced old guard out of the way and voted to revisit marijuana’s Schedule I classification.

After reviewing all the reliable information available, their conclusion was this (PDF):


"Adverse reactions observed in short-term randomized, placebo controlled trials of smoked cannabis to date are mostly mild without substantial impairment. Physicians who comply with their ethical obligations to ‘first do no harm' and to 'relieve pain and suffering' should be protected in their endeavors, including advising and counseling their patients on the use of cannabis for therapeutic purposes."

In taking that position, the AMA joined the American College of Physicians, the country's second largest physician group, which in February 2008, had adopted a similar resolution.

As former Surgeon General Dr. Jocelyn Elders wrote in AlterNet in 2008, it’s time "to put science ahead of politics.”

2) Reduce our dependence on foreign opioids.

Chronic pain is the leading indication for medical marijuana use, accounting for 90 percent of the patients in Oregon’s medical marijuana program.

Recently, research done both in Canada and the United States has demonstrated a synergistic interaction between cannabis and opioids. Patients who smoked a little weed along with their meds found they could decrease their opioid dose by between 60-100 percent.

So consider that if the entrenched drug warriors were finally outflanked, VA doctors would be allowed to prescribe marijuana and our vets could reduce their consumption of opioids.

3) Restore the reputation of the VA among veterans.

After all the criticism of the VA for limiting access, shredding claims, misdiagnosing illnesses as a cost-saving trick and using soldiers as uninformed guinea pigs to test pharmaceutical drugs linked to suicide and other violent side effects, veterans invited by the VA to knowingly participate in a marijuana study might be inclined to allow the euphorogenic qualities associated with cannabis to blur their outrage, even to the point of forgiveness.

4) Israeli rats have less stress than American soldiers.

In an article published in the September issue of the Journal of Neuroscience, Israeli scientists revealed that injecting synthetic marijuana into the brains of rats allowed them to recover faster from trauma. In fact, it “cancelled out the symptoms of stress."

The researchers predicted that marijuana may help patients overcome life stresses that worsen reawakened trauma and other symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

5) And then there is Sativex.

Savitex is an oromucosal spray, developed by the British firm GW Pharmaceuticals, that has been called “liquid marijuana" because it is derived from the entire botanical cannabis plant. In 2005, the Canadian government approved its use for relief of neuropathic pain and the FDA has agreed to trials in the U.S. prior to an approval application.

It will be challenging to persuade patients that Sativex, which will surely cost more than what can be grown in your backyard, is the better choice. No pharmaceutical preparation, synthetic or natural, has yet proven as effective as the smoked plant. In fact, the only proven advantage of such medications is that they are legal.

Those FDA trials, by the way, were supposed to be completed by the end of 2009.

6) We gave Big Pharma 40 years of government handouts and they came up with zilch.

Instead of paying extortionist rates, imagine if the VA could say, “Sorry, Bayer, but you’re going to have to make it cheap and make it good, or they’ll just grow their own."

It’s a piece of cake to go around Big Pharma on this one. All you need is a little sun, soil and TLC, or a grow-lamp in your basement. And the good fortune to get to your crop before the cops, the local kids or the deer.

How easy? Since 2006, entrepreneurial Americans have grown enough marijuana to displace corn as the leading cash crop in America.

7) The growing process is itself demonstrably therapeutic.

A recent study out of the Naval Postgraduate School and Stanford University predicts that as many as 35 percent of returning soldiers could have PTSD. The number of veterans who have already served in Iraq and Afghanistan has reached 1.8 million.

Another study, courtesy of the Pentagon, estimates that as many as 360,000, or 20 percent of the veterans of these current wars have suffered traumatic brain injuries.

That’s a lot of new fists that will be banging on the doors of an already overwhelmed VA asking for help. How serendipitous then, that a promising treatment option being offered to traumatized veterans across the country is gardening.

8. We could fill some budget gaps.

Imagine the savings for states like Washington that are currently facing huge financial deficits. Washington announced this month that a bill to legalize marijuana altogether will be on the ballot in 2010.

The circularity is sweet; the logic hopefully irresistible. Traumatized veterans could be hired by the state to garden, which relieves their post-combat stress symptoms and also affords them an income and the self-respect that comes with employment. The crop they grow will medicate their own psychic distress and that of other veterans, while at the same time replenish the state coffers when sold in state-run liquor stores.

Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, a Seattle Democrat who is sponsoring the legalization bill, said she expected legal sale of marijuana could bring in as much money as alcohol; more than $300 million a year.

It will also challenge legislators in other cash-strapped municipalities to consider the billions of dollars worth of marijuana that is currently going untaxed, and whether they want to stand on principle or on solvency.

9) Suicide prevention.

The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder acknowledges that there is “disagreement whether pharmacotherapy should be considered a first-line treatment for PTSD."

As illustration, their manual, "Treatment of the Returning Iraq War Veteran," states: “We recommend SSRIs as first-line medications for PTSD pharmacotherapy in men and women with military-related PTSD."

The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry reports that 89 percent of veterans with PTSD are prescribed antidepressants and 34 percent antipsychotics by the VA.

Of the specific medications identified as potentially useful, all but two come with black box warnings of suicide or increased risk of death.

In October, VA Secretary Eric K. Shinseki announced that, "(m)ore Veterans have committed suicide since 2001 than we have lost on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan—each one a tragedy."

Soldier suicides are at an all-time high and so are prescriptions for all kinds of new and dangerous drugs. Nobody can say for sure if there is a connection between those two facts, and I would never suggest that marijuana could or should take the place of SSRIs or any other drugs proven to be effective in managing PTSD. Or that marijuana could prevent soldier suicides. But the vast majority of drugs the VA prescribes for PTSD are known to worsen depression, increase suicidal thinking or increase risk of death in enough people to warrant the warning.

The same is not true of marijuana.

10) It would bring some coherence to our nation's drug policies.

It is just possible that Tim Leary was right when he said that "(p)sychedelic drugs cause paranoia, confusion, and total loss of reality in politicians that have never taken them."

Daniel Robelo of the Drug Policy Alliance says, “The federal government has a duty to help veterans receive the most effective treatment available for their combat-related conditions, and for PTSD and chronic pain, marijuana is often that treatment. All veterans (and non-veterans) who might benefit should have unfettered access to this effective medicine, which is well within the margin of safety for any drug, and in fact, much less dangerous than most drugs commonly used to treat PTSD and pain."

Penny Coleman is the widow of a Vietnam veteran who took his own life after coming home. Her latest book, Flashback: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Suicide and the Lessons of War, was released on Memorial Day 2006. Her Web site is Flashback.


Newshawk: Dankhank
Source: AlterNet (US)
Author: Penny Coleman, AlterNet
Published: December 29, 2009
Copyright: 2009 Independent Media Institute

CannabisNews Medical Marijuana Archives

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Comment #33 posted by Hope on December 31, 2009 at 12:56:48 PT
Should have tiny urled that one!


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Comment #32 posted by Hope on December 31, 2009 at 12:55:31 PT
For you, RChandar on this New Year's Eve.
And It Stoned Me

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Comment #31 posted by Hope on December 31, 2009 at 12:25:37 PT
I'm so sorry. It sounds like you live in hell. I wish you could move from that awful place.

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Comment #30 posted by rchandar on December 31, 2009 at 11:55:00 PT:

Miami Is...
...ever hear, every day, how you're going to get beat up by the neighbors?

...did everything the neighbors say constitute a threat, a derogatory insult, a defamation of your character?

...can't sleep at night, because you're going to die, and soon?

...anyone have a concept of what Hell is?

...think the neighbors are watching you when you're on the Web, when you apply for jobs, when you are enjoying your spare time?

Well, my brethren, that's what Miami is like. One big "smelly b@#%$thole".

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Comment #29 posted by rchandar on December 31, 2009 at 11:50:34 PT:

For You Young People....
...don't mean to rattle your cage. After all, I have seen their parents and can assure you, they are equally horrible humans.


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Comment #28 posted by rchandar on December 31, 2009 at 11:48:26 PT:

All I hear from my neighbor are lame platitutes like, "I need you to quit smoking weed" and "I'll kick your f@3kin' b@#tthole". You should see the number of epithets that are my daily bread here:

Piece of s@#t B#%hole F##got a## (which is usually screamed at the front of the door)

A kind of vicious persecution has set in here. I don't know why I should have anything to do with the neighbors, I here all kinds of criminal violence plans made and justified, daily. After a while, you start seeing the world like this, and it's tragic. The young are very cruel to the older people: for your luxury and sexual freedom, basically everything goes and destroy other people's lives. Whatever keeps you fed, that's it!

But thanks for the comment.


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Comment #27 posted by Hope on December 31, 2009 at 09:57:41 PT
It can all start with you.

If you have a neighbor... an old man or woman alone. A single parent struggling with raising a child or sickness... you can ask them if they need something from the store. You can take them some soup and crackers or a portion of some culinary creation you whipped up. There's little tiny things you can do to make someone else have a bit of hope that comes from realizing that maybe someone, somewhere does care about what is happening to them... even if it's in a very small way.

Loneliness can be a terrible thing... and sadly, people can be very lonely with people all around them.

I appreciate any alone time I have... but I have felt that thing... that loneliness... only twice in my life, I think. But I didn't like it.

Sometimes an understanding smile or actually "seeing" someone when you look their way can be a help.

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Comment #26 posted by Hope on December 31, 2009 at 09:45:13 PT
You're welcome. I remember you mentioning that accident once before. It's scary. I'm so afraid of traffic accidents. I'm sorry your family and friends and neighbors weren't much help at such an awful time.

The only time I've seen people be like they ought to be to each other at times like that is within church groups. Of course, with caring, they are all in "Your business" and all, but that's very comforting in bad times.

Most people feel like they should not "Interfere" in other people's business... their life... but a church membership usually has no problems with that. It's not a bad interfere to lend a helping hand or a comforting touch. It's a wonderful "interference".

The people in my little church amaze me. I'm not good at it, but there are people that feel they should drive miles and miles, all over Texas, to comfort people, visit them, mow yards, shop, feed animals, sit with the families during surgeries, and cook stuff and come help you with your washing and chores if you're sick or injured.

When my grandmother was sick, I was comforted to see how much her church cared. Yes, they kept the phone ringing and they were always stopping by to encourage her and wake her up and stuff... but it was good. There's no requirement... except for those that heed the call of love... of caring. They don't have to do it... those people who come to the aid of others, but they do it, and it's sweet to see and humbling to receive and rewarding to do.

In general, though, unless it's a rural or particularly close suburban neighborhood, people tend to avoid involvement or just caring for each other, even when someone is having a very hard time.

I'm glad that guy was there to pray with you and comfort you.

I don't know who gave you that hug... but I'm sending you a big cyber hug.

It's blessed I am to have a part in this conversation, this resistance to a bad thing, this deadly and destructive prohibition, with so many extraordinarily bright, concerned, and decent people and you're one of them. Thank you for bothering to be a part of it all.

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Comment #25 posted by rchandar on December 31, 2009 at 09:22:22 PT:

Should any of you be worried about the recent attempted bombing of the flight to Detroit, allow me to disarm it. Of course, our favored terrorist friend did not disembark in A'dam, nor were there any indications he had anything to do with drugs...

...I'm surprised he got on the plane without any trouble, really, I am! As far as I remember, Dutch security going out of the country is very, very strict. Any flight to the USA? Welcome to Secureop Nederland. These guys are so stiff and formal, you would be arrested at a coat-and-tie if they were the security. You will be asked a bunch of uncomfortable questions--where you stayed, where you went, what hotel you went to, why you like Holland, who packed your bags, and so on and so forth. If there's a shadow of a doubt, they will search you. You will be searched--twice. I'm very surpised this man got through, though he seems somewhat of a dummy to me: he had the explosive, but did not know what to do with it and was easily apprehended.

Schiphol Airport isn't an easy airport to police--come inside friends, see the Dutch Army soldiers with machine guns walking around! No, I foresee no problems with this, I know they will handle it successfully. It's actually good news because it alerts governments already in a lot of trouble for race-related problems--i.e., how do we separate normal citizens from the Al-Qaedas of the world.


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Comment #24 posted by rchandar on December 31, 2009 at 09:00:01 PT:

I thank you so much for telling me that. Wasn't easy: I was sitting in the car, with a plate attached to my head, and called my father. He listened to nothing that I said: you have a job, go do it, no excuses. The department chair--and the department--were very rude to me; they fired me at the end of the term because I was "missing class," when in reality I was in a lot of pain and people weren't very sympathetic.

If I remember correctly, when the accident happened--this was in Acacia County, near Baton Rouge--a minister came over to me and "faith-healed" me. He held my hand and said, "Lord Jesus, if there is life in this young man, let him speak." And we said 'Amen," and he returned, "Praise Jesus."

Many things turned against us in recent years--I can recall that, when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer, it was one of the few times in my life that I cried. Alone. For the most part, no one came to us to offer any warmth, love, or even support. Everything was 'business as usual.'

I did receive one hug--guess who????


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Comment #23 posted by Hope on December 31, 2009 at 08:19:22 PT
I'm very thankful you survived that accident.

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Comment #22 posted by rchandar on December 31, 2009 at 06:56:50 PT:

Mazar e Sharif
Hmm, I noticed that the article includes a brief sentence or two about Afghan, and I would like to add a few...

...should you be luckier than I at the present moment, Afghan is very available in Amsterdam and pretty cheap--about $60 for a 5-gram bag. It's pretty mellow stuff, strong enough to hit you but you won't get very high. I will say that it tastes better than virtually any hash you could ever try--Nepali, Moroccan, Indian--they're all stronger or laced with more chemicals. Myself, I was in a big highway accident last year--got plowed over by a truck and suffered a back "contusion" that was extremely painful.

Guess what healed my back? Wasn't the aspirin, you bet...

Happy New Year, Cannabis Fidelis.

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Comment #21 posted by FoM on December 30, 2009 at 14:13:14 PT
What a nice story. I know it would all be ok if I did have to go all of a sudden. I haven't met the surgeon so far but once I do I'm sure he will be fine. Someone has the swine flu today at the hospital. It might be better to extend the surgery if the hospital is having problems with the flu. Don't want to get sick along with surgery. Bad combination.

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Comment #20 posted by Hope on December 30, 2009 at 14:12:10 PT
His suit...
unless it was the drugs... was a lovely dark gray with a sort of a pinkish iridescent watered silk quality to it. Beautifully tailored. Beautiful fabric. Probably custom made. Like the guys in an old fifties or sixties singing group might wear. It wasn't funky looking, but it was extraordinary.

It was cool. It wasn't what I usually saw him in at all.

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Comment #19 posted by Hope on December 30, 2009 at 14:07:22 PT
New Years Eve
The night my son was born, New Year's Eve night, my doctor was at a party. He'd come and see about me (small town), then go back to the party. He looked so nice, I remember. He had a very, very pretty suit on. He missed the stroke of midnight at the party. He was with me. My son was born three minutes after midnight.

The hospital has grown since those days. Mega grown compared to how small it was then. They have an entire wing named after that doctor now.

He was in and out of a New Year's Eve party, but he didn't appear to be drinking.

In the scheme of things, that night is a fine memory.

Even if you did have an emergency, I think an on call surgeon would purposely avoid drinking.

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Comment #18 posted by FoM on December 30, 2009 at 12:30:31 PT
Yes it is but that's the way it goes. I am being very careful and know when it would be time to go to the emergency room if I must. I hope nothing happens on New Years Eve. Doctors can get a little tipsy if they are off duty and on call on a big drinking holiday like New Years Eve.

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Comment #17 posted by Hope on December 30, 2009 at 12:21:04 PT
Two more weeks
That's nerve wracking.

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Comment #16 posted by FoM on December 30, 2009 at 12:18:31 PT
Nothing really has changed. The surgeon is on vacation so unless I develop any complications I will see him on the 15th of January. What's a couple more weeks! LOL!

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Comment #15 posted by Hope on December 30, 2009 at 11:13:36 PT
Glad you made it back ok.
Hope we had a good report.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #14 posted by FoM on December 30, 2009 at 09:58:23 PT
Another Note
I'm back but I can't find any news to post so far. Maybe something will surface later in the day. We're coming up on New Years Eve so that could be why nothing is going on. I hope everyone has a safe and fun New Years Eve tomorrow.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #13 posted by runruff on December 30, 2009 at 06:51:29 PT
"you can't sue God."
I know a lawyer that would!

The Pope, no doubt!

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Comment #12 posted by FoM on December 30, 2009 at 05:23:00 PT
Just a Note
I haven't found any news to post so far today. I must go to the doctor so I will catch up when we get home.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #11 posted by RevRayGreen on December 30, 2009 at 04:08:36 PT
Comment #9 posted by The GCW
you can't sue God.

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Comment #10 posted by The GCW on December 29, 2009 at 21:13:29 PT
a lot of relief for a lot of people
CN BC: B.C. Man Gets Licence for Record Number of Marijuana

"It brings a lot of relief for a lot of people," he said. "You are much better off to use cannabis to control pain than opiates, because of the side effect, such as dependence, addiction, constipation and liver damage. You do not have anything like that with cannabis," he said.

Pubdate: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)

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Comment #9 posted by The GCW on December 29, 2009 at 20:12:44 PT
Maybe it's time for another study.
I'm speculatin'; could be wrong...

I haven't heard anyone die from using cannabis for health reasons. Haven't heard anyone even express disapointment when the plant is kind -(not tampered with like Gov's. paraquat).

I've heard of many many people who've had bad reactions to pills including death and My guess is a lot of those involve people taking docors and pill pharmers to court...

Maybe it's time for a study to show the probability of people making law suits due to bad reactions, side effects, death etc. compared to people who sue from using cannabis.

How many law suits have been filed in America last year for problems due to pills?

Cannabis has been used for a long time...

How many law suits have there been due to unhappy people having bad reactions, side effects or displaying symptoms of death? -using cannabis


The American public may be interested in knowing and it may help convince people to change their ways...

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Comment #8 posted by EAH on December 29, 2009 at 19:25:32 PT:

Paul's post
It amazes me, the cognitive disconnect of the MSM and Prohibs. They trot out reports of the dangers of cannabis to teens and then sit back nodding their heads at us as if the conclusion should be obvious. They smugly believe such reports bolster arguments to continue prohibition; which is really an endorsement of black market distribution and control of cannabis. If they are really concerned about teenagers, isn't the current model a total LACK of control? Aren't teens at risk BECAUSE of prohibition? Isn't legalization the BEST way to effectively reduce availability to teens? These people are deluded. What will it take to wake then up and open their eyes?

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Comment #7 posted by FoM on December 29, 2009 at 18:20:10 PT
John Tyler
I agree that alcohol and prescription medicine can be deadly. My husband is on many different pills now and I am on a few. Neither of us would consider drinking alcohol. The Liver can fail.

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Comment #6 posted by John Tyler on December 29, 2009 at 17:58:51 PT
too many medications
If you have real or imagined medical problems or mental health issues the medical profession is more than willing to over prescribe many and various medications for you. These meds may have some nasty side effects. I suspect that even the doctors don’t know all of the side effects. The recent deaths of actress Brittany Murphy, Michael Jackson, and Anna Nicole Smith illustrate this point, gradual or maybe not so gradual overdosing and death from prescriptions. If you are famous this is a big deal. If you are not famous the prescription overdose death is often listed as due to “natural causes” like sudden heart failure, so as not to cause an investigation into the doctors and pharmacies involved. Medical mistakes are buried. I’m not saying you should not take meds when necessary, just be very aware of what you are taking, and why, and what the side effects can be especially when used in conjunction with other meds (the more meds, the more problems) and with alcohol. If you have to take serious meds, you probably should not drink at all, ever. Your liver has to work hard to clear all of that stuff out of your system. Don’t overwork it or you will really be sorry. A friend of mine died a couple of years ago from years of prescription meds for health issues and excessive drinking. He died a “natural death” caused by liver failure after a year of suffering. It was a drag and he was very pitiful.

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Comment #5 posted by josephlacerenza on December 29, 2009 at 16:40:51 PT
We are soo lucky to have you fighting with us and not against us!! All too often the reporters seem to be on the take, and if they are not, then they are not real journalists according to the MSM!!

I just had the medical cannabis talk with my 13 year old. He tried to tell me that weed, marijuana, and cannabis are different. Who is teaching our kids this BS?!!!

He was afraid that my cannabis use would kill me!!! I had to then show him that alcohol and cigarettes kill more people, and that according to the government he professes told him cannabis is different then weed, has no recorded death from the overdose of cannabis.

Who is the government trying to control? And, why?! Do we not spend enough money? Oh, I know what it is, we KNOW!!! When that veil comes down and you see the real Wizard of Oz he appears to be naked, vulnerable!!! And, no self respecting wizard wants to be known as a fraud, because then his lies lose all control, weight, RELEVANCE!!

There is nothing more fearsome to a politician than loosing relevance, just ask John McCain.

[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by FoM on December 29, 2009 at 16:36:13 PT
Conservatives Trot Out Tired Stories
Conservatives Trot Out Tired Stories at Medical Marijuana Hearing


By Jim Lundstrom

Wisconsin -- Spell check Rep. Leah Vukmir's name in a Word document, and "vomit" is the first suggestion that comes up for her last name. Witness her boneheaded testimony at the Dec. 15 Joint Committee on Health and you will want to vomit. In her lap.

The subject was medical marijuana, or, specifically, the Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act, which was jointly introduced by Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D. Middleton) and Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Madison). Pocan and now retired northwoods Sen. Frank Boyle introduced similar legislation in 2007, but it died in committee; Vukmir chaired the Assembly health committee at the time.

Vukmir - a pediatric nurse who has represented the Wauwautosa constituency since 2002 and now is running for the 5th District Senate seat - was a vocal opponent of the first medical marijuana bill, but she outdid herself at the Dec. 15 reintroduction of the bill named for Mondovi resident Jacki Rickert -- go here for her story:


[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by The GCW on December 29, 2009 at 15:35:30 PT
runruff & Paul,
It would be reasonable to assume soldiers may confuse who the enemy is.


I'm a cannabis activist but it sounds like cannabis is bad for rats and they should not use it.

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Comment #2 posted by Paul armentano on December 29, 2009 at 15:18:03 PT
Huff Po: 'Reefer Mad' Mainstream Media Does It Aga

'Reefer Mad' Mainstream Media Does It Again

by Paul Armentano

For anyone who missed the worldwide corporate media's hysterical anti-pot headlines last week, here's a sampling:

Cannabis more damaging to adolescent brains than previously known

via Emax Health

"New research shows that teens who consume cannabis daily can suffer anxiety and depression. Smoking marijuana can have long-term irreversible effects on adolescent brains, and is more harmful to teens than previously known."

Teen marijuana use affects brain permanently: study

via CBC News

"The findings suggest daily marijuana use by teens can cause depression and anxiety, and have an irreversible effect on the brain."

Pot damage on teens worse than thought

via UPI wire services

"Daily consumption of marijuana in teens can cause depression and anxiety, and have irreversible long-term effect on the brain, Canadian researchers say."

Cannabis brain damage worse in teens than thought: study

via The Canadian Press

"The effects of daily cannabis use on teenage brains is worse than originally thought, and the long-term effects appear to be irreversible, new research from McGill University suggests."

Sounds scary, huh? It's meant to. Only there's three serious problems with the mainstream media's alarmist coverage.

1) No adolescents -- or for that matter, any human beings whatsoever -- actually participated in the study.

2) No actual cannabis was consumed in the study.

3) No permanent brain damage was reported in the study.

Don't believe me? Well then, check out the actual source of the headlines yourself.

Chronic exposure to cannabinoids during adolescence but not during adulthood impairs emotional behaviour and monoaminergic neurotransmission

via PubMed

"We tested this hypothesis by administering the CB(1) receptor agonist WIN55,212-2, once daily for 20 days to adolescent and adult rats. ... Chronic adolescent exposure but not adult exposure to low (0.2 mg/kg) and high (1.0 mg/kg) doses led to depression-like behaviour in the forced swim and sucrose preference test, while the high dose also induced anxiety-like consequences in the novelty-suppressed feeding test. ... These (findings) suggest that long-term exposure to cannabinoids during adolescence induces anxiety-like and depression-like behaviours in adulthood and that this may be instigated by serotonergic hypoactivity and noradrenergic hyperactivity."

To summarize: Investigators administered daily doses of a highly potent synthetic cannabinoid receptor agonist WIN,55,212-2 to both adolescent rats and adult rats for 20 days. Days following their exposure, researchers documented altered serotonin production in younger rats. (Why investigators presumed that the change in serotonin production would be permanent I have no idea. After the initial 20-day waiting period, researchers do not appear to have tested the rats' serotonin levels ever again.) Researchers also documented supposed depression-like and anxiety-like behavior in certain rats, based on various elaborate animal models and preference tests.

Yet somehow based on this speculative preclinical evidence, the mainstream media -- in unison -- proclaimed:

Reefer badness

via San Diego Tribune

"A study of Canadian teenagers ... found that smoking the illicit drug is harder on young brains than originally thought. Writing in the journal Neurobiology of Disease, researchers at McGill University in Montreal said daily consumption of cannabis in teens can cause significant depression and anxiety and have an irreversible long-term effect on the brain."

In truth, the purported 'study' never said anything of the sort!

So why the does the MSM consistently get the story wrong when it comes to pot? You can check out my previous thoughts on the issue here.

[ Post Comment ]
Comment #1 posted by runruff on December 29, 2009 at 14:56:09 PT
This is one of those articles that makes too
much sense!

While the soldiers fighting for freedom do not have the freedom to choose a medicine that works to heal their wounds?

Or grow a plant?

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