NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 2, 2003

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- July 2, 2003
Posted by CN Staff on July 03, 2003 at 17:29:22 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
Company Commences First Ever US Trial Of Pot For Head TraumaJuly 2, 2003 - Iselin, NJ, USAIselin, NJ: The Pharmos pharmaceutical company announced on Tuesday the commencement of the first ever Phase III US study on the effectiveness of the synthetic marijuana derivative Dexanabinol for the treatment of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI).
An estimated 270 US patients in some 15 trauma centers will take part in the double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trail. US patient recruitment is expected to be completed by the end of the year.Worldwide, Pharmos has already enrolled some 630 patients throughout Europe, Australia and Israel to participate in the trial. Results from the trial are expected to be available late next year. "Positive data from the [Phase III] study could enable Pharmos to submit an NDA (New Drug Application) to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) requesting marketing approval in the US as the first therapeutic treatment for TBI," the company said in a press release."A previous Phase II trial by Pharmos of 67 Israeli patients found that Dexanabinol reduced mortality and eased intracranial pressure in patients suffering from severe head injuries.A 1999 report by the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine (IOM) concluded that marijuana's neuroprotective qualities are the "most promient" of its potential therapeutic applications.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-8751.DL: Drug Could Curb Brain Damage Ingredient Helps Head Injuries May Reduce Brain Trauma Damage Court Strikes Down DEA Hemp Food Ban On Procedural GroundsJuly 2, 2003 - San Francisco, CA, USASan Francisco, CA: The Ninth US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 on Monday to invalidate an October 2001 DEA "Interpretive Rule" criminalizing the possession and manufacture of any edible hemp seed or oil products that contain trace amounts of THC. The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and seven hemp food companies had filed a pair of lawsuits urging the court to strike down the DEA regulations because the minute amounts of THC in hemp products are non-psychoactive and insignificant.The federal appeals court did not rule on the merits of the hemp foods ban, but rather determined it to be "procedurally invalid" because the DEA failed to give sufficient advance warning or allow for public comment before imposing the rule. The court has yet to rule on the legality of the DEA's "Final Rule," which also calls for a ban on hemp foods.Vote Hemp President Eric Steenstra called the ruling "great news" because hemp foods will now remain legal until the court decides on the hemp industry's challenge to the DEA's "Final Rule." This court ruling "not only ensures hemp foods will continue to be legally available to consumers, ... but also strikes a major blow to the ultimate validity of the DEA's 'Final Rule,'" he said.For more information, please contact Keith Stroup, Executive Director of NORML, at (202) 483-5500. Additional information on the HIA lawsuit is available online from: http://www.votehemp.comDL: Court Overturns Ban On Hemp In Food Circuit Court Blocks DEA Hemp Rule Long-Term Use Of Marijuana Has Minimal Impact On Cognition, Study Says - Results Reveal No "Substantial, Systematic Effect" Of Chronic Pot Smoking On Neurocognitive PerformanceJuly 2, 2003 - San Diego, CA, USASan Diego, CA: Smoking marijuana long-term has little-to-no impact on neurocognitive performance in adults, according to findings published last week in the Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society.Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine analyzed data from 15 previously published, controlled studies regarding the impact of long-term, recreational marijuana use on neurocognitive performance including simple reaction time, verbal/language skills, executive function, motor skills, learning, and recognition, among other measurements."The results of our meta-analytic study failed to reveal a substantial, systematic effect of long-term, regular cannabis consumption on the neurocognitive functioning of users who were not acutely intoxicated," authors determined.Marijuana smokers were indistinguishable from non-users in six of the eight neurocognitive ability areas surveyed, the study found. The two exceptions were in the domains of "learning" and "forgetting" (failure to recall or recognize), though authors said that marijuana's apparent negative impact on these skills was so slight that "the 'real life' impact of such a small and selective effect is questionable."Because the studies did not measure volunteers' neurocognitive abilities prior to their marijuana use, nor distinguish between marijuana-only smokers and polydrug users, authors said it was impossible to verify whether the small but measurable decrements to learning and forgetting were due to marijuana or other factors. Authors did note, however, that by failing to control for such factors, they "actually increased the likelihood of finding a [negative] cannabis effect." As a result, they said it was "surprising to find [that marijuana has] such few and small effects" on neurocognitive abilities."The small magnitude of the effect[s] ... suggests that cannabis compounds ... should have a good margin of safety from a neurocognitive standpoint," especially in controlled settings, authors concluded.Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of The NORML Foundation, said that the results reinforce NORML's core position that marijuana prohibition causes far greater harm than the responsible use of marijuana itself. "The only significant long-term impact marijuana has upon cognitive function is upon those who continue to irrationally demonize and criminalize this plant," he said.For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation, at (202) 483-8751.DL: Long-Term Effects Of Marijuana Found Pot Doesn't Hurt Thinking Skills Pot Doesn't Harm Brain Function Annual Rally, Parade and Concert to End Marijuana Prohibition - Friday July 4th, 2003 - Washington DCJuly 2, 2003 - Washington, DC, USARally is from Noon - 3:00pm * New Location* Farragut Square (17th and Connecticut Ave. NW between the Farragut West and Farragut North Metro stops)Walk in the Peace mile parade to End the War on DrugsConcert 2:00pm - 9:00pm (23rd & Constitution Ave. NW)Speakers include organizer John Pylka, SSDP's Shawn Heller, DRCNet's David Guard and Yippie Dana Beal.DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: July 2, 2003Copyright: 2003 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- June 26, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- June 19, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- June 12, 2003
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