NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- August 21, 2003

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin -- August 21, 2003
Posted by CN Staff on August 21, 2003 at 15:55:54 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
UK Government Okays Nationwide Pot For Pain StudyAugust 21, 2003 - London, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom: Four hundred patients at thirty-five hospitals nationwide will participate in an upcoming clinical trial assessing marijuana's effectiveness in the treatment of post-operative pain, Britain's Medical Research Council has announced.
The study's participants will be randomly assigned one of four oral treatments following surgery including standardized cannabis extract, THC, a standard analgesic, or a placebo. Researchers will then assess how well patients respond to pain over a six hour period following treatment.A 1998 report by The British House of Lords Science and Technology Committee highlighted marijuana's pain-relieving properties, stating, "There is scientific evidence that cannabinoids possess pain-relieving properties, and some clinical evidence to support their medical use in this indication." The report recommended reclassifying cannabis so that physicians could legally prescribe it as an analgesic, but Parliament rejected that recommendation.For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751.DL:'Pot Pills' Go On Trial in Britain Will Test Cannabis for Pain Relief To Get Cannabis in Hospital Patients To Be Given Cannabis Skidmore College Touted As Nation's Top School For PotAugust 21, 2003 - Saratoga Springs, NY, USASaratoga Springs, NY: Skidmore University is the nation's most marijuana-friendly campus, according to The Princeton Review's annual sourcebook, "The Best 351 Colleges," released this week. The report, which is based on candid survey results from 106,000 students nationwide, ranks hundreds of colleges in various categories such as academic achievement and quality of life.Skidmore College edged Lewis & Clark College, University of Colorado at Boulder, University of Wisconsin at Madison, and the University of Vermont to emerge as this year's top school for "higher" learning. The United States Air Force Academy ranked #1 on Princeton Review's "Top 20" list of least pot-friendly campuses.A similar poll ranking the top ten "counterculture colleges" was also released this week by High Times Magazine.For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre, NORML Foundation Executive Director, at (202) 483-8751.DL: Ranked No. 1 Party School Safe For HIV Patients, Study Says -- Patients Inhaling Cannabis Experienced No Detectable Change In Viral Load, Also Gained Weight, T-CellsAugust 21, 2003 - San Francisco, CA, USASan Francisco, CA: Short-term use of oral and inhaled marijuana does not elevate viral load in individuals with HIV infection who are receiving antiretroviral medications, according to the results of clinical trial data published this week in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine.The results of the trial suggest that the medicinal use of inhaled marijuana has "acceptable safety in a vulnerable immune-compromised patient population," authors concluded.Sixty-two HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral regimens participated in the 25-day double-blind, placebo controlled trail. Patients were randomized to three groups: 20 received smoked marijuana, 22 received oral THC, and 20 received an oral placebo.Researchers found no detectable change in viral levels among patients in any of the three groups. (Rising HIV virus levels in the blood tend to indicate disease progression.) In addition, patients who smoked marijuana increased their CD 4 and CD 8 T lymphocyte cell counts by approximately 20 percent. T-cells are essential disease-fighting white blood cells that defend against infections. The HIV virus targets and destroys these cells.Lead author Donald Abrams of the University of California at San Francisco called the latter results "intriguing," stating, "At a minimum, it contradicts findings ... suggesting that smoked marijuana suppresses the immune system."Authors additionally noted that volunteers who received either oral THC or inhaled marijuana experienced increased weight gain compared to placebo, though the weight gain was fat and not lean body mass."These findings suggest no major, short-term harmful effects and possibly some beneficial effects of cannabinoids in HIV-infected patients taking protease inhibitors," editors of the Annals of Internal Medicine summarized.Additional trials examining the therapeutic potential of cannabinoids in HIV and other patient populations are ongoing at the University of California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research.For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of the NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751. Abstracts of the study, entitled "Short-Term Effects of Cannabinoids in Patients with HIV-1 Infection," are available at: and Cannabis May Mix After All Study Finds No Harm to HIV+ Patients Use Does Not Accelerate HIV Infection Pot Compound Reduces Agitation, Improves Appetite In Alzheimer's Patients, Study SaysAugust 21, 2003 - Chicago, IL, USAChicago, IL: A synthetic version of the marijuana compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) reduced agitation and stimulated weight gain in patients with Alzheimer's disease, according to clinical trial data presented this week at the annual meeting of the International Psychogeriatric Association.Researchers presented data from a retrospective review of 48 patients residing in a dementia unit of an assisted living facility or nursing home. Patients in the trial received up to 10 mg of synthetic THC daily for one month. Thirty-one patients (66 percent) experienced significant improvement in agitation, and 33 (69 percent) experienced observable functional improvements as a result of the treatment, scientists found.In addition, all 48 volunteers gained weight during the trial. Weight loss, a common symptom associated with Alzheimer's disease, is a predictive factor of mortality.No adverse side effects to the THC treatment were reported.In May, speakers at the annual meeting of the American Geriatrics Society presented similar findings from a nine-patient clinical trial. A 1997 trial of 12 Alzheimer patients also found that THC significantly decreased negative feelings and induced weight gain.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at (202) 483-5500.DL: Marijuana Compound Reduces Agitation Times for Alzheimers NORML Foundation (DC)Published: August 21, 2003Copyright: 2003 NORML Contact: norml Website:'s Weekly News Bulletin -- August 13, 2003's Weekly News Bulletin -- August 07, 2003
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #10 posted by FoM on August 23, 2003 at 09:20:41 PT
Thanks for the warning. I would never go to that country. She always had more adventure in her spirit then me!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Richard Lake on August 22, 2003 at 10:00:54 PT:
One Month To Go - Cheryl Miller Memorial Project -
One Month To Go - CHERYL MILLER MEMORIAL PROJECT - September 22 and 23, 2003Please forward this message to other lists, forums, usenet news groups, and anybody else that may be interested. Thank You!NOTE: The Project's website has been extensively updated in the last week. Please visit it for more details - to join the Project announcment list if you wish - and tell your friends about it:****************************Below are a collection of recent announcments about the Project from various supporting organizations:-----Subject: Remember a Medical Marijuana HeroTake Action Now! http://cheryldcmemorial.orgDear Medical Marijuana Supporters,I've been involved in the fight for safe access to medicinal marijuana since doctors diagnosed my late wife Cheryl with multiple sclerosis in 1971. Throughout her life, to relieve her pain and suffering Cheryl, under the direction of her physician, tried numerous medications (including the THC capsule Marinol). Yet nothing relieved her symptoms like natural marijuana. Marijuana was the only remedy that alleviated my wife's pain.Cheryl died from pneumonia and other MS-related complications on June 7th. In the 57 years of her life she accomplished more than I could have imagined. Though MS left Cheryl severely disabled, she lobbied tirelessly for the legalization of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and made numerous trips to Washington, DC to meet with her representatives and take part in acts of civil disobedience.In honor of her dedication and inspiring courage several groups, including ASA, are organizing a vigil, press conference, and patient-lobby day in Washington, DC in memory of Cheryl.Please join ASA and me in keeping Cheryl's work and memory alive.What We're Doing:On the morning of September 22nd, medical marijuana patients from around the nation will visit the Multiple Sclerosis Society to encourage the organization to reconsider its stance against the use of medicinal cannabis. According to recently completed clinical trials in other countries, cannabinoids significantly alleviate pain and other nuerogenic symptoms associated with MS. In other countries, including England, MS patients, and MS researchers, are driving the approval of marijuana as a medicine.Late that day, patients and activists will gather at the U.S. Supreme Court for a candlelight vigil and silent protest commemorating those patients who died without legal access to their medicine. Blown-up posters portraying Cheryl and other deceased patients will be displayed in front of the court, where activists will be asked to place sentimental items that will remind them of Cheryl's struggle.At 11:00 am on September 24th, patients, members of Congress, activists, and drug policy reform organizations will host a press conference at the Rayburn House office building on Capitol Hill. Patients will demand that the members of Congress who ignored Cheryl over the years now listen to those whom she inspired. Patients will also highlight the effectiveness of marijuana in treating MS and focus attention on the need to pass HR 2233, the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act; and HR 1717, the Truth in Trials Act. People who cannot be present that day are encouraged to participate in a National Phone Slam in support of both bills.Immediately following the press conference, this coalition of patients, activists, and organizations will spend the rest of the day lobbying their members of Congress and urge them to hold hearings on the two marijuana bills that are currently stalled in committee. In addition, patients will also target those Congressmen who recently spoke out against medical marijuana on the house floor, notably Rep. John Mica (R-FL) and Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), will specifically be targeted by the out-of-town patients. This coalition will also visit the offices of each member of the Health and Judiciary Committees, where these important bills are being held up. (To see where your US Represntative stands on medical marijuana, visit This Is Important:I hope that by bringing attention to the plight of my late wife Cheryl, I can hasten the day when marijuana will be made available so that others are no longer needlessly forced to suffer with pain or risk arrest. Throughout much of her life, Cheryl risked arrest and jail to use the only medication that alleviated her suffering. Cheryl chose to take this risk, though many other patients are simply forced to suffer.What I Am Asking You to Do:We have estimated the cost of shuttling patients to this event at approximately $1,500 per patient. Our goal is to pay for at least 15 patients to come to DC for the vigil, press conference, and lobby day. You can help by agreeing to sponsor one of the patients right now by making a pledge for this project in the amount of $1,500. To do so, please click: http://cheryldcmemorial.orgIf you can't afford to sponsor a patient, I hope you'll consider making a smaller contribution to this effort, or raising money from friends, family, and medical marijuana supporters in your area to sponsor a patient.If You Can't Make a Donation or Attend the Vigil:Please encourage others to make a financial contribution to this project right now by forwarding this email to friends and family or involve yourself by sending an item that reminds you of Cheryl's struggle to the NORML office. Sentimental items will be placed on the steps of the Supreme Court during the Tuesday evening vigil. I envision this display to be one of the most emotional aspects of the project. For this purpose, small sentimental items can be sent to:NORML  The Cheryl Miller Project
1600 K St. NW Suite 501
Washington, DC 20006This project is important to me, to Cheryl's memory, and to other medical marijuana patients who are suffering because of the government's insane war against them and their medicine. I hope you will help make an impact on Congress by contributing to this project.Sincerely,Jim Miller
jimmiller norml.orgP.S. If you'd like to contribute to this project by using Paypal, please click here: http://cheryldcmemorial.orgHilary McQuie
Political Director
Americans for Safe Access
1678 Shattuck Ave. #317
Berkeley, CA 94709
Phone: 510-486-8083
Fax: 510-486-8090****************************For immediate release August 20, 2003WISCONSIN MEDICAL MARIJUANA ACTIVISTS TO TRAVEL TO WASHINGTON DC TO ASK, "IS MY MEDICINE LEGAL YET?"Mondovi & Madison Wisconsin - Two longtime Wisconsin medical marijuana activists are helping to spearhead a Washington D.C. memorial for a New Jersey multiple sclerosis patient and fellow medical marijuana activist who died of complications from the disease on June 7. Jacki Rickert and Gary Storck, from the group, Is My Medicine Legal YET? ( will be traveling to Washington to memorialize the late Cheryl Miller (, and visit congressional offices with other medical marijuana patients and advocates September 22-23, 2003. The two worked closely with Cheryl and her husband Jim, joining them on a number of lobbying trips to Washington, including one in 1999, when Jim Miller was arrested as the foursome blocked the former Georgia Republican Rep. Bob Barr's office doorway, to protest his opposition to medical marijuana. Barr went on to lose a GOP primary in 2002 after the Libertarian Party began airing a tv commercial featuring the seriously ill and paralyzed Cheryl Miller asking Barr why he would keep medical marijuana from her ( will include a candlelight memorial vigil at the U.S. Supreme Court on the evening of September 22, and a press conference and lobbying day on September 23. Supporters who cannot make the trip to Washington will be encouraged to contact congressional representatives by phone on September 23. Earlier on the 22nd, multiple sclerosis patients attending the event will visit offices of the MS Society to protest the group's refusal to support legal access to medical marijuana for MS patients, and their failure to provide accurate information on the medicinal benefits of marijuanaIMMLY founder and director Jacki Rickert said, "It's going to be really hard to go to Washington and not see Cheryl. From the first time we met back in 1997, we really hit it off. We made a pact - we would be friends and sisters for life. Cheryl was one person I could never say no to." Rickert said she and Cheryl had dreamed for years of holding a candlelight vigil for medical marijuana patients in Washington, "She kept asking, 'this time?' It's not like seeing Cheryl's physical presence, but believe me, she will be there." Rickert adds, "She'll have the best seat in the house.""I last saw Cheryl in Washington last summer," said IMMLY director of communications, Gary Storck. "The Millers and I were part of a press conference in the Capitol, for last session's medical marijuana bill. That day, we started planning what would have been Cheryl's 10th lifetime trek to Washington for late spring, but she ran out of time. Nevertheless, her spirit will definitely be with us at the Supreme Court, the halls of Congress and at the D.C. office of the MS Society." Storck added, "I can't think of a better way to celebrate her life and honor her memory than by doing what Cheryl loved to do."For further details, please visit the website of the Cheryl Miller Memorial Project:****************************SAVE THE DATE: September 22-24, 2003, will be days of remembrance and lobbying for Cheryl Miller and all those who have died before they could legally access their medicine. For more information, please visit .======================================================================TO: Marijuana policy reform advocatesFROM: Alexis Baden-Mayer, MPP national field directorDATE: Wednesday, August 20, 2003SUBJECT: Take action in Cheryl Miller's memory to pass the federal medical marijuana legislation for which she fought======================================================================Too many Americans suffering from conditions for which marijuana can be beneficial -- or can make their suffering more bearable -- die without ever being able to legally access it. Sadly, Cheryl Miller (May 21, 1946 - June 7, 2003), who lived with multiple sclerosis for 32 years, is now among them. While she was alive, Cheryl openly defied state and federal laws to claim her right to use marijuana, the only medicine that reduced the pain and spasticity of her degenerative condition.Please write to Congress in her memory and ask your elected officials to pass the bill she advocated, H.R. 2233, the States' Rights to Medical Marijuana Act. You can fax a pre-written letter from MPP's Web site by visiting . This link will take you directly to a page where you will enter your address. You then just need to click send when the letter appears (although you should feel free to edit it first).Cheryl Miller risked her health and freedom countless times to share her personal experiences with politicians and the public. This is a risk that few medical marijuana patients living outside the law are willing to take. Cheryl not only admitted that she used medical marijuana; she had the courage to take a public stand. After getting arrested for eating marijuana in a congressional office, Cheryl explained, "Every day, I live in fear that my husband and I will be arrested and imprisoned. I was arrested today so that some day, other patients will not have to be."Please take action to help realize Cheryl's goal of freeing medical marijuana patients from the fear of arrest by visiting . Cheryl devoted 10 of the most difficult years of her life to this cause. It takes only two minutes to honor her memory by sending a pre-written letter to Congress. ==================================================
- Cheryl Miller Memorial Project -
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by Motavation on August 22, 2003 at 01:20:32 PT:
Whoa there little missy
Malaysia: Fisherman To Hang For Drug PeddlingKOTA BARU: A 57-year-old fisherman was sent to the gallows after he was found guilty of trafficking in more than 500gm of cannabis two years ago.'d steer clear of this country
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by FoM on August 21, 2003 at 20:57:05 PT
EJ That Sounds Like Fun
I have a friend that was my best friend when we were growing up but she lives on a boat in Malaysia somewhere and I haven't seen her since we both went our separate ways and we both got married. It's funny how you remember one special friend that you wish you could see one more time. Enjoy!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by E_Johnson on August 21, 2003 at 20:47:06 PT
My how NORML has changed
Gosh the NORML news is almost like reading a medical journal review these days.Hoodathunkit back in the day?I'm going to my HS reunion sooon and I'm looking forward to lighting one up with my former cannabuddies.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by FoM on August 21, 2003 at 20:16:00 PT
The GCW Thanks!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by The GCW on August 21, 2003 at 20:00:59 PT
Mayan - US: CO: Land of the free
Mayan, Speaking about prison...Pubdate: Aug. 21-28, 2003 
Source: Boulder Weekly (CO) Pamela White
(letters letters Every once in a blue moon the federal government says something we need to hear. On Sunday, Aug. 17, the government admitted that 1 in 37 American adults is serving or has served time in federal or state prison. As the Associated Press wrote in their headline on the subject, "5.6 million in U.S. have prison experience."The statistics were released by the Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Statistics in its first-ever glimpse at the pervasiveness of prison "experience" among American adults. According to the report, 2.7 percent of the U.S. adult population have served time or are currently locked up a state or federal prisons. The report projects that an estimated 7.7 million people–about 3.4 percent of the nation’s projected adult population–will have served time by 2010.It’s the second jaw-dropping report to come out of the bureau in recent weeks. Last month, the agency announced that 2.1 million people–about 3.4 percent of the adult population–were currently serving prison sentences. That’s a higher percentage than at any other time in U.S. history.To understand why these statistics are shocking, one need only look at the rest of the world. Put simply, the United States, which likes to see itself as No. 1, truly is the world’s leader–when it comes to the number of people behind bars. The United States incarcerates a greater percentage of its population than any other nation.Compare the United States to China, for example. U.S. officials like to criticize China for its rampant abuses of human rights. Yet China, with a population that far exceeds that of the United States, has only 1.8 million people in prison.The U.S. incarceration rate is three times that of Iran, five times that of Tanzania and five to eight times that of Western European nations.Ironically, to find a nation the incarceration rate of which approaches that of the United States, one must look to Russia, the nation most Americans were taught to fear during the Cold War as being the enemy of freedom. Yet, Russia’s incarceration rate has dropped over the past couple of years, as the Russian government has moved to address prison conditions and incarceration rates, while that of the United States continues to rise.Who’s the enemy of freedom now?Perhaps even more shocking than the statistics themselves are the comparison to U.S. statistics from happier times. In 1974, only 2.3 percent of the adult male population was in prison, compared to 4.9 percent today. A person born in 1974 had only a 1.9 percent chance of going to prison, while those born in 1991 have a 5.2 percent chance of spending time in Club Fed.Apologists for the U.S. system like to point to the nation’s economic and ethnic diversity, while whining that the United States faces problems unlike those of any other nation. But those conditions existed in the ’70s, as well.If you want to know why so many Americans are serving time, look at the crimes for which they were sentenced. The Sentencing Project has done just that and reports that drug offenders make up about 36 percent of inmates serving time in state prisons and a staggering 71 percent of federal inmates.The War on Some Drugs, ostensibly fought to keep Americans safe, continues to put record numbers of Americans in prison, destroying lives and making a mockery of justice. This year alone, the Bush administration plans to spend $2.3 billion to turn curious people, addicts, thrill-seekers and those with emotional problems into criminals.Compare that to the relatively paltry $1.6 billion the government is willing to spend on drug treatment programs, and it becomes quite clear that incarceration, not treatment, is the U.S. priority when it comes to drugs.But the War on Drugs is not to blame alone. Incarceration is the preferred response to a host of social problems in the United States–mental illness, poverty, racial stress. Rather than addressing the underlying issues that cause criminality, we get tough on crime. The result? People are put away for absurd lengths of time, like the felon who stole videos from Blockbuster and was sentenced to 50 years to life under the Three Strikes law.There are undoubtedly lots of people in the United States who have no problem with the idea that those who break the law spend years in prison. But a prison sentence carries very real psychological consequences, leaving children without parents, subjecting young inmates to an environment of violence and abuse, stripping people of what dignity they might have had. And there are other options, ranging from drug treatment to house arrest to community corrections, just to name a few.As with most things in life, deeper understanding comes when you follow the money. That’s why you won’t find our leaders on the forefront of sentencing reform. Prisons are big business in America and are supported by a bloated law enforcement industry that wants very much to retain its taxpayer funding. It’s unlikely that the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the CIA (which deals drugs) or even your local district attorneys are going to support legal reforms that put them out of business.Fortunately, they don’t hold the reins of power unless we let them. It’s time for Americans to make ending the War on Drugs and the nation’s high incarceration rate political priorities. As the government’s own statistics prove, we could use more freedom in the Land of the Free.Respond: letters 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by Petard on August 21, 2003 at 19:06:16 PT
Now that Jeb's pill popping, crack smoking daughter is off probabtion he gives the green light to "strict enforcement" and cuts back on treatment options. What'll he do the next time she screws herself up in a pitful cry for attention from her absentee parents? Maybe he's hoping she commits a federal crime so her uncle can sell her a pardon? Then again we're coming up on an election year. Maybe he's thinking if he can't win support he'll eliminate their vote? That seems to be GW's plan, lock 'em up, strip their citizenship, or leave 'em unemployed so long they don't have gas money to drive to the polls or they can't take time out from their job hunt to cast a ballott. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by mayan on August 21, 2003 at 17:24:18 PT
Florida Sucks
Sorry if you live in Florida. It seems that Florida prisons are short on bed space after more people were locked up in one month then ever before. Jeb's answer? He signed an emergency measure shifting more than $65 million from reserves into a flurry of new prison construction...Florida State prisons lock up 3,000 new inmates -
More drug convictions, less funding for treatment cited as factors in surge:
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by mayan on August 21, 2003 at 16:48:27 PT
Scientific Evidence
"A 1998 report by The British House of Lords Science and Technology Committee highlighted marijuana's pain-relieving properties, stating, "There is scientific evidence that cannabinoids possess pain-relieving properties, and some clinical evidence to support their medical use in this indication." The report recommended reclassifying cannabis so that physicians could legally prescribe it as an analgesic, but Parliament rejected that recommendation."Is it just coincidence that the same countries that are waging wars for oil are the same countries that are trying to stifle scientific evidence regarding medical cannabis?. Now that there is such a tremendous public outcry, they will study what every thinking individual already knows!The way out is the way in...Four 9/11 Moms Battle Bush: Two Years after 9/11 - 25 Things We Now Know: Did Bush Not Act On 9/11? Interesting Day: President Bush's Movements and Actions on 9/11: 9/11 Allowed to Happen? Thompson's Complete 9/11 Timeline:
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment