NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - May 17, 2007

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - May 17, 2007
Posted by CN Staff on May 17, 2007 at 16:47:19 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 
Cannabis Use May "Improve" Brain Function In Schizophrenics, Study SaysMay 17, 2007 - Berlin, GermanyBerlin, Germany: Cannabis use is associated with improved cognition in schizophrenic patients, according to clinical trial data to be published in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry.
Investigators at the University of Berlin assessed the impact of cannabis on cognitive functions in schizophrenic patients who reported prior use of pot versus patients who reported no history of substance abuse. Researchers reported that cannabis use was not associated with any decline in cognition, and that those subjects who reported using marijuana prior to their first psychotic episode showed improved cognitive performance on certain tests compared to non-users. "[T]o our surprise, cannabis abusing schizophrenic patients … achieved results either similar to those [achieved] by the non-using cannabis schizophrenic patients or, at times, performed even better than them," investigators concluded. "[R]ather than deteriorating neuropsychological performance, cannabis [use] prior to [a patient’s] first psychotic episode improved cognition in some tests."According to the study’s authors, cognitive dysfunctions are present in more than 80 percent of patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.A separate 2005 study by investigators at Manchester Metropolitan University in Britain previously reported that schizophrenic patients who consumed cannabis prior to disease onset possessed greater cognitive skills after ten years than did non-users.Neurocognitive studies performed on healthy volunteers generally report that the use of marijuana, even long-term, is not associated with any significant or long-lasting declines in cognitive function. For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at: paul Full text of the study, "Cannabis induces different cognitive changes in schizophrenic patients and in healthy controls," will appear in a forthcoming issue of Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry. DL: Amend Washington State Medi-Pot LawMay 17, 2007 - Olympia, WA, USAOlympia, WA: Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire signed Senate Bill 6032 into law last week, amending the state’s nearly nine-year-old medical cannabis measure. Fifty-nine percent of state voters initially approved the law in 1998, which enacts statewide legal protections for patients who use cannabis under the supervision of their physician.The amended law, which takes effect on July 22, 2007, mandates the state Department of Health to "adopt rules defining the quantity of marijuana that could reasonably be presumed to be a sixty-day supply for qualifying patients." The Department is instructed to report its findings to the legislature by July 1, 2008.Currently, patients may legally possess or cultivate up to a sixty-day supply of marijuana for therapeutic purposes. Lawmakers have never clarified how much cannabis legally constitutes a "sixty-day" supply, instead leaving the issue to be interpreted subjectively by local law enforcement.As amended, patients who possess larger quantities of cannabis than those approved by the Department will continue to receive legal protection under the law if they present evidence indicating that they require such amounts to adequately treat their qualifying medical condition.Senate Bill 6032 also affirms changes previously recommended by the state's Medical Quality Assurance Commission to expand the state's list of qualifying conditions to include Crohn's disease, hepatitis c, and any "diseases, including anorexia, which results in nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, and/or spasticity, when these symptoms are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications."The new law also limits the ability of police to seize medicinal cannabis that is "determined ... [to be] possessed lawfully [by an authorized patients] under the ... law."Though SB 6032 was approved overwhelmingly by the legislature, Washington’s medical marijuana patient community was strongly divided over the proposal – with many patient groups actively opposing the bill. Full text of Washington’s amended medical cannabis law is available online at: Red Tape Thwarts Patients’ Access To Legal Medi-Pot Supply, Study Says Past Pot Use May Be Detected In Sweat For Up To Four Weeks, Study SaysMay 17, 2007 - Baltimore, MD, USABaltimore, MD: The primary psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, THC, may be detectable at low levels in the sweat of daily cannabis users for up to four weeks after they cease using the drug, according to clinical trial data published in the journal Forensic Science International.Investigators at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) assessed the sensitivity of sweat patch technology in 11 daily cannabis users. All of the subjects tested positive for THC during their first week of abstinence, three tested positive for two weeks, and one subject continued to test positive for four weeks after ceasing his use of cannabis. By contrast, subjects administered daily doses of oral THC did not have a positive sweat patch result.Sweat patches consist of an absorbed cellulose pad that is applied to the skin with an adhesive and is generally worn by subjects for up to one week. The technology is primarily used in drug treatment and criminal justice settings.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at: paul norml.orgFull text of the study, "Excretion of Delta(9)-tetrahydrocannabinol in sweat," appears in the May issue of the journal Forensic Science International. DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: May 17, 2007Copyright: 2007 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #6 posted by afterburner on May 20, 2007 at 21:04:12 PT
More Reefer Madness Yellow Journalism in Australia
More Reefer Madness Yellow Journalism in Australia comments
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Comment #5 posted by Had Enough on May 18, 2007 at 07:02:32 PT
Re: #4
History repeats itself. Again.Anslinger, Hearst, Dupont, Rockefeller, all would be proud.I’m sure John P. is grinning also.I think this time around though, people might be a little smarter than this, I’m hoping.Time for the ‘Tipper’ Gore & Co, of the day, to enter the stage with publicity campaigns for ratings involving music and video games…. No, It will be ‘Reefer Madness’ instead. No, It will be both…Psychos are Psychos, weather they play video games, smoke pot, drink alcohol, shoot guns or heroin, smoke crack, drive cars, fly planes, CEOs’ of big corp., are leaders of church, or elected or appointed to office, or not. They are everywhere. Whackos are whacko, period, this will not be addressed.Thanks afterburner for posting that.
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Comment #4 posted by afterburner on May 17, 2007 at 21:13:22 PT
UK Spin Determined to Resurrect 'Reefer Madness'
Meanwhile, back in Jolly Old (Prohibitionist) England, a violent knife incident involving imitation of a video game is blamed on cannabis:Student's cannabis rampage emulates ultra-violent computer game
Daily Mail, UK - May 15, 2007
"Dominic Anderson terrified onlookers as he threw himself onto cars and attacked police officers with the blade during a 'psychotic episode' brought on by ..."Check the comments.Student’s Canabis Fuelled 'Saints Row Rampage' Spong the comments.Student cut his wrists after taking cannabis
Portsmouth News, UK - May 14, 2007
"Dominic Anderson threw himself in front of cars and attacked police officers with the blade during a psychotic episode brought on by the drug. ..."§ionid=456"Judge Graham White imposed a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years saying: 'It was your taking of the cannabis that led to this psychotic episode but for this you would have never been involved in this kind of behaviour.'"Check the comments and Related Articles (on alcohol violence). 
College student fights Police - Blames Xbox 360
XBOX 360 Wire, Lanarkshire - May 15, 2007
"Nov 13th of last year, a Mr. Dominic Anderson sat down for a session of Saints Row with some friends. Being a young college kid, sitting down for a session ..." Note the date Nov 13th. Why is this suddenly news on May 14 and 15, 2007?Check the comment:One Response to “College student fights Police - Blames Xbox 360” Jack Says: 
May 15th, 2007 at 4:53 pm 
"There is currently a huge push by the media in Britain to revive ‘reefer madness’. This incident just enhances the historical revisitation, because reefer madness was a frequently used argument by defense lawyers in the ’30s and ’40s. Interestingly, most attacks allegedly induced by smoking marijuana involved an ax or other cutting instrument. However, most judges back then did NOT buy the ‘temporay insanity/reefer madness’ defense . Apparently their modern counterparts are more gullible.."A previous UK scare story:Boy on skunk cannabis butchered a grandmother
Last updated at 11:35am on 3rd April 2007
 Comments (27) "A teenager who was crazed by high-strength cannabis butchered a grandmother after 'voices in his head' told him to stab a woman. "Ezekiel Maxwell, a paranoid schizophrenic, launched the horrific attack after years of smoking super-strength 'skunk weed'." Here's one comment responding to the Ezekiel Maxwell scare story in the Daily Mail:
"If the reason for the stories we hear circulated by the media and politicians regarding cannabis are meant to reflect a genuine concern for the well being of it's citizens, then all would be fair and dandy with our democracy. You would expect that if any other substance caused similar concerns then it too would also come under public scrutiny. Here's a few facts and figures from an American study on Alcohol. "percentages of violent offenders who were drinking at the time of the offence as follows
86 percent of homicide offenders, 
37 percent of assault offenders,
60 percent of sexual offenders, 
57 percent of men and 27 percent of women involved in marital violence 
13 percent of child abusers. "But its always 'cannabis's fault'... this story also confirms that Ezekiel Maxwell was using 'cocaine' a class A drug when he was 14!
This 'Cannabis Psychosis Scaremongering' that the UK has been bombarded with is just a scapegoat for the Government's failings in mental health care."Ezekiel Maxwell was using cocaine & was prescribed anti-psychotic drugs (yes, we've seen how these have been implicated in suicide attempts and murders). What was Dominic Anderson involved with besides cannabis? He's still alive, unlike some of the school shooters. It is the height of journalistic negligence *not* to provide all the relevant facts for the sake of public safety and mental health. Thank God, Germany is doing real science in the form of "clinical trial data" instead of muckraking yellow journalism and court opinions.
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Comment #3 posted by John Tyler on May 17, 2007 at 20:15:28 PT
tax money at waste
On the topic of a deranged War on Drugs there is an article on about a big khat bust. It seems the DEA and others have spent 18 months and 100s of thousands of thousands of dollars (possibly millions, they won’t say) busting a khat smuggling ring. The courts are now about to throw the charges out because in reality khat is no stronger than an expresso coffee. Khat could even be removed from Schedule I. What a total waste of time and money. We’re used to that though.
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on May 17, 2007 at 18:30:43 PT
Shot Down In Flames
From the first article on the bulletin...Berlin, Germany: Cannabis use is associated with improved cognition in schizophrenic patients, according to clinical trial data to be published in the journal Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology & Biological Psychiatry.Once again, the prohibitionist propaganda is shot down in flames. Ouch!On a different note, let's help Ron Paul take back our country... Neo-Con Republican Party Hijackers Seek To Ban Ron Paul (Take action & spread the word!): WAY OUT IS THE WAY IN...Rosie Blog Bubbling With Discussion of 9/11 Truth Guests: Makers of Loose Change to appear on The View - May 24th: Another Fox News Smear Job On Ron Paul, Alex Jones & 9/11 Truth: Want CIA to Release 9/11 Report:,,-6641625,00.html9/11 Info: WAS AN INSIDE JOB - OUR NATION IS IN PERIL:
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on May 17, 2007 at 18:09:31 PT
The Sarin scandal -- maybe it's time to speak out
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Scientists have found evidence that the kind of low-level exposure to sarin gas experienced by more than 100,000 U.S. troops in the first Gulf war can cause "lasting brain deficits," The New York Times reported Wednesday.While the results are preliminary, scientists working with the U.S. Department of Defense said they found apparent changes in the brain's connective tissue -- known as white matter -- in soldiers exposed to the gas.The extent of the changes -- less white matter and slightly larger brain cavities -- correspond to the extent of exposure, the Times reported on its Web site. The results are to be published in the June issue of the journal NeuroToxicology, it said." soldiers ought to be treated with cannainoids. It kills me to see people suffer like this because our government is incapable of admitting it's been wrong.
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