NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - August 13, 2008

NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - August 13, 2008
Posted by CN Staff on August 13, 2008 at 14:10:43 PT
Weekly Press Release
Source: NORML
 World's Largest Annual Pot 'Protestival' To Take Place This Weekend August 13, 2008 - Seattle, WA, USSeattle, WA: Event organizers are expecting nearly 150,000 attendees at this weekend's 17th annual Seattle Hempfest taking place this Saturday and Sunday at Myrtle Edwards Park in downtown Seattle. More than 70 speakers and 60 bands will participate on five stages during the two-day event, which is now recognized as the largest marijuana law reform gathering in the world.
Speakers at this year's event include NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, NORML Founder Keith Stroup, patient advocates Madeline Martinez and Angel Raich, authors Jack Herer and Ed Rosenthal, and PBS travel host and NORML Advisory Board Member Rick Steves.The theme of this year's weekend festival is: "Industrial Hemp, and What It Can Do for America."A complete schedule of this year's Seattle Hempfest speakers and events. DL: Schizophrenics Report Subjective Relief From Cannabis, Study Says  September 13, 2008 - Adelaide, AustraliaAdelaide, Australia: Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia report obtaining subjective relief from cannabis to control various symptoms associated with the disease, according to survey data published in the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.An investigator at Flinders University in South Australia interviewed 30 patients aged between 18 and 65 who had a DSM-IV comorbid diagnosis of schizophrenia and cannabis 'abuse.' The investigator reported that over half of the respondents reported using cannabis to control schizophrenic symptoms. Of those interviewed, 25 patients reported that smoking cannabis reduced their anxiety; 21 patients said that marijuana helped them to forget childhood trauma; and 12 stated that cannabis "enhanc[ed] their spiritual awareness."Ten respondents reported that cannabis "makes the voices louder and clearer;" eight patients said that pot "enhanced their cognitive processes;" and five stated that it "increased their physical or mental energy." Finally, eight patients said that the legalization of cannabis would "improve their mental state" because it would reduce the anxiety and paranoia associated with using an illegal drug.Commenting on the study, NORML Advisory Board Member Dr. Mitch Earleywine, author of the book "Understanding Marijuana: A New Look at the Scientific Evidence," said that these patients' testimonials lend credibility to the theory that a large part of the association between marijuana and schizophrenia may be explained by self-medication. "It's not that cannabis use is causing schizophrenia," he said. "It's that patients notice the initial symptoms of schizophrenia and turn to marijuana for relief."For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, "The effects of cannabis abuse on the symptoms of schizophrenia: Patient perspectives," appears in the August issue of the International Journal of Mental Health Nursing.DL: Cannabis Halts HIV Pain, Study Says Clinical Trial Results Undermine Feds' 'Flat Earth' Position That Pot Lacks Medical EfficacyAugust 13, 2008 - San Diego, CA, USSan Diego, CA: Inhaled cannabis significantly reduces HIV-associated neuropathy compared to placebo, according to clinical trial data published online on the website of the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.Investigators at the University of California at San Diego, in conjunction with the University of California Center for Medical Cannabis Research, assessed the efficacy of inhaled cannabis in 28 HIV patients with neuropathic (nerve-related) pain not adequately controlled by other pain-relievers. Researchers reported that the proportion of subjects achieving a pain reduction of 30 percent or more was greater for those smoking cannabis than among those smoking the placebo.“Smoked cannabis … (1-8% THC) significantly reduced neuropathic pain intensity in HIV-associated DPSN (distal sensory polyneuropathy) compared to placebo, when added to stable concomitant analgesics,” authors concluded. “Mood disturbance, physical disability, and quality of life all improved significantly during study treatment. … Our findings suggest that cannabinoid therapy may be an effective option for pain relief in patients with medically intractable pain due to HIV-associated DSPN.” The study is the third clinical trial conducted by CMCR investigators to determine that inhaled cannabis significantly reduces chronic neuropathy, a condition that is typically unresponsive to both opioids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen.Commenting on the study, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano said: “It is becoming increasingly apparent why the US government has tried to stonewall clinical research on the therapeutic effects of inhaled cannabis. Each new trial the Feds approve provides additional evidence undermining the government's 'flat Earth' position that cannabis is without medical value.”For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director. Full text of the study, “Smoked medicinal cannabis for neuropathic pain in HIV: a randomized, crossover clinical trial,” will appear in the journal Neuropsychopharmacology.DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: August 13, 2008Copyright: 2008 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 
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Comment #12 posted by Hope on August 15, 2008 at 09:16:05 PT
Interesting article at Elle Anxiety Disorders
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on August 14, 2008 at 20:00:00 PT
I can share a similar observation with you from thirty five or forty years ago. About ten o'clock, on leaving a visit with my parents in the small town they were living in, my husband stopped at a little gas station on the edge of town as we were going home, that was open and lit for business.I watched him go inside the station and was puzzled at how long he was staying and I saw the attendant raising his own shirt and showing his stomach to my husband.When my husband returned, he said that when he went in to buy the cigarettes or matches or whatever it was that he wanted, the attendant pulled a gun on him. He thought "Oh no! This guys totally crazy!"He was dismayed and starting backing away and assuring him that he meant no harm and all that. The attendant decided that he was ok... after holding him at gun point for a bit and related to him how he had been shot in the belly by someone, just a few months or weeks before, coming into the same station at night, to rob him. He'd gone crazy with fear and anger. On relating the story, we learned he'd done the same thing to others. Swat teams didn't come rushing down on the man then like they would probably now. We didn't even call the police. We just didn't stop there in the evenings anymore and warned others not to. 
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Comment #10 posted by museman on August 14, 2008 at 14:46:19 PT
That tradition you speak of; what used to be referred to in pre-christian tribal consiousness -at least in my ancestral roots- as the Bards, has assumed historical standing, as in 'like it was back in the day.'In the psychedelic/spiritual/music revolution of the recent past, that tradition found new application, and on the community level seemed to be a valid occupation for some. However, the same imbalance of values that has the rich richer, and the poor poorer, predetermined the value of art and music based on low-chakra, and a total void of spiritually, and usually intelligence as well. There is no honorable, respectable venue for a Bard, except around the campfire, and, as you say, in the living room. But those opportunities are not sufficient for a modern Bard to ply his arts, talents, and skills. Fortunately, I can bear witness to the fact that the tradition is not completely dead, and can happily report a new generation has picked up the baton and carries it into this century. Their opportunites are so fewer than those of my own generation, it will be difficult for them to hold the kind of integrity that true creativity (I believe) requires, in the realm of a world that scoffs at magic and wonder (unless produced by hollowood.) There is great hope in this; that a way long travelled by individuals, few in each generation, has become established wihtin our culture, even though the ways and means have attempted its destruction and stifled its potentials and growth at every opportunity, it only grows stronger.As a once-upon-a-time bard myself, I can sum it up; In the last 20 years or so I have had the opportunity and PROPER ENVIRONMENT to be a Bard, to the fullest extent of the meaning, exactly once. That is due to my sensitive nature, which is directly relative and connected to my bardhood.You see, like any other person who labors at their work, a musician likes respect. (The hollowood world has turned that into 'adoration' and 'celebrity.') Without the environment of respect, one can 'play' and 'perform' 'music' but magic -which is definitely a missing aspect in most of the contemporary 'musical' experiences available from the wealthy aristocratic system that determines what 'art' is in terms of 'worth' and 'value'- magic is unavailable under those terms and conditions (unless of course the Great Spirit chooses to get involved) and a Bard cannot be a bard under those conditions.Thats why I became a bandsman. Its a lot harder to ignore my screaming guitar, and the words, coming at you at earth-shaking decibels, than my finely played acoustic sparklingly clear at a whispers' volume level. -respect.Unkat is a writer. He has been working on an animation of his story "The Lost Planet" for a few years. The contemporary 'value system' proclaims that the incredible focus, dedication of intricate, meticulate, tedious, time-consuming labors it took him to produce his animation with software and hardware now obsolete, is as obsolete and not worthy of note because of values based on fear and profit obsession.His talent, in my mind is unquestionable. His knowlege of sound engineering however, is a littel sketchy. That I am helping with.We are collaborating, as artists. It is art. Many who are hollowooded won't think much of it, 'cause it's certainly not a mega-billion-dollar production. Here's a truth that I'd like to promote;"No persons time is worth more, or less, than any other persons time."This overqualifying a persons 'value' based on their actual or potential for 'earnings' and 'dollar value' has got to be left in the dust if we are ever going to achieve some kind of real social/economic balance
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Comment #9 posted by rchandar on August 14, 2008 at 10:51:05 PT:
Unkat, Museman
Yeah, it's a great tradition, if I remember. The guy who hangs out with the crowd at someone's house or apt and plays music, and shares some smoke, in return for a night's stay. And he is usually a great lover, too, someone I had always envied. There are thousands of you, man. You keep it all going. That's the great thing about my job--I'm constantly reminded.
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Comment #8 posted by rchandar on August 14, 2008 at 10:45:07 PT:
yeah, like I said, I probably wouldn't want that kind of job, even if it paid. It is strange, though: in some towns people don't even bat an eyelash if you take those things without buying a coffee--IF you buy something else. Maybe in another couple of years all the gas station will be closed doorways where you'd have to come up to the booth to buy something--most here already are.But, bad customer service is bad. It shows disrespect for the people who spend their earnings on YOU. Commercials don't help much--it's a tacit way of saying: "we can't be nice to you in person, so allow us to be nice and wonderful on the television." You may enjoy the product anyway, but rarely will have any good contact with the people who sell them to you. It almost becomes like: I have to get through fourteen people at the exit who basically dislike, distrust, disapprove of me personally, to eat tonight with my family.Anyways, I bought sugar and the coffee tastes passable again. Or, I could drink it without sugar, which is actually not bad. Or, quit drinking coffee altogether, since it's not good for one's health.But I'll tell you all this--no way I'm going to steal sugar packets again--learned my lesson--LOL!!Please tell unkat that he is a brave person who is sure to find many friends who can help him--if he already hasn't. In our crowd, always a lot of "have work, will travel" people who are given to generously, and always seem to give something back.    
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Comment #7 posted by museman on August 14, 2008 at 10:23:22 PT
1 word; Fear.Fear is the root of jealousy, it is the prime motivator in our 'modern' society. Fear provides the foundation for a host of justifications for bad behavior, and 'law' and 'enforcement' and the power base for unscrupulous men to make their profit.Fear makes a person initially distrustful, full of suspicion, and as likely to turn on you as the one who intended harm in the first place. Fear gives power to the government, the church, and other institutions -all created and maintained by fear as the prime mover and shaker.Having decided many many years ago, that my hair would not stop growing, I stopped cutting it. I'm not a black man, hispanic, or of a 'race of color' -a 'racial' minority, but believe me, I've gotten my own share of prejudice and bigotry. I still get it just for the words I write, and amazingly so; still, for the length of my hair. All because of fear and deliberate ignorance.Fear is held in higher esteem in our society than any other attitude or emotion, even though hollowood makes a great imaginary tale of our supposed reverence for Love. The proof is in the pudding however, and your post is an example of the taste of that pudding.Fear and loathing in Amerika;We've seen the big dog wag its tail; TERRORISM! Unknown, invisible adversaries waiting for the unsuspecting, unwary american to walk out their 'safe' door into the clutches of wild-eyed arabs who want to behead you and show the world on youttube. No one is safe! Only by giving away your power to question the state- willingly or not, it doeasn't matter- (NSA, WOD, PATRIOT ACT) can you have a reasonable expectation of safety from the boogie men.And of course there is the ALMIGHTY JOB. The fear and stigma of unemployment is just unreal, even though the conditions are set up and controlled to bring the 'reality' of poverty down on your head at the earliest opportunity - all you have to do is question authority, and they will see to it that you cannot get equitable work and compensation.One of our friends and posters, Unkat, is currently homeless because of a ridiculous rule that states you must make 3-times your monthly rent in order to qualify! He had a job, but lost it because of fear and money. The fear that he wouldn't have enough to pay rent -not his fear, based on the real fact of being homeless, against the imaginary fear of some possibe future that the rich man won't get his cut.Fear is the enemy. Fear is the little death. Fear is the mind killer. Fear is the hollow displacement that won't allow faith, love, joy, and happiness to enter in, because the space inside is filled already.The only way to deal with fear, is inside ones own self. You cannot force someone to see reason, or logic, when they are focussed on fear, especially when they are so duped by the status quo they think their fear is a righteous way to be.The fear in such people makes you angry. Makes you want to take some kind of action, but of course that anger is related to ones own fears of 'social inadequacies' or emotional attacks, or the simple bursting of ones bubble of good vibes by a fearful heart, mind, and spirit.Fear provokes conflict and war. From the household to the streets of Iraq.Just for some few who cannot think outside the box;Fear, and its often mis-associated 'caution, and wisdom' are two completely different animals.Though some plattitudinal 'scientists' may claim that fear is a natural,' primal 'fact of life' their perspective is from inside the comfortable safety of the ignorance of the status quo, and incomplete at best, erroneous and misleading in effect.Fear is a dis-ease. It is the rot in our souls.The answer of course is practicing love and faith on a daily basis, even when fearful people constantly and consistently throw shit in your face.peace
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Comment #6 posted by rchandar on August 14, 2008 at 08:59:01 PT:
Observations of Today's World
Hello--I thought I'd share a recent experience with you all. It happened last night, at about 1 in the morning, here in Miami.I had run out of sugar, and I do love coffee. What with the supermarkets closed by 10, I thought I'd drive off to a nearby gas station and pick off a few nutrasweet packets from the coffee section. As it turns out: almost none of these gas stations have them anymore. After striking out at three gas stations, I chose the largest one. I walked in, said "hi" to the clerk, and walked down to the coffee section, with a dollar in my pocket (not enough to buy coffee). I had been without coffee for two days. I pick off a few packets of sugar and walk toward the clerk with the intention of buying a candy bar.The clerk immediately becomes agitated and starts shouting, "put it back! put it back or I call police!" I pleaded with him: "do you have any sugar to sell?" Now empowered and threatening: "I lock up the place and call police!" Luckily I made it to the door, though he was staring at me when I drove off. After that, I gave in, and picked up the remaining $1.30 from home to go buy sugar in another gas station.I could understand the clerk's complaint. Maybe he had been robbed before, this being a major city and crime being prevalent, and him standing there alone at 1 in the morning. BUT--SUGAR PACKETS??? WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO, HAVE ME ARRESTED FOR ATTEMPTED BURGLARY, FOR A F ##KING SUGAR PACKET? And I was going to buy something from him. Shows me how bad this world has become. When the grocer, who provides food, treats the customer with threats and danger, simply for being a consumer who supports him, what does that say about society? Was it necessary to threaten an unarmed man with jail simply because he was willing to buy products at his store, at 1am?I'd love to hear any interpretation. Peace.--rchandar
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on August 13, 2008 at 20:35:15 PT
Before drug testing I don't remember any problems. To me drug testing is to control people and to help insurance companies. A person can get drunk and in 8 hours pass a drug test I think. Is a hung over person sober? Can a person with a serious hang over operate dangerous machinery? 
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Comment #4 posted by Paint with light on August 13, 2008 at 20:05:31 PT
Mere consumption should not be the determinant of impairment.As with big pharma drugs, each person's reaction varies.Some people are never impaired equal to the effects of a .08 alcohol reading, even after smoking a lot.Give the same warning as blood pressure medicine and others.Be careful until you are familiar with this drug's effects.Don't drive if you feel impaired.Legally, let's have equal laws to alcohol.
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Comment #3 posted by goblet on August 13, 2008 at 18:52:41 PT
FoM "molecular imprinting"
after reading the article I wonder if it will test for metabolites which all here know does not indicate recency of cannabis consumption or level of "impairment" - I've heard many prohibs say that that they would support reform if there was a way to test like for DUI, since of course if cannabis is regulated everyone will go out and drive stoned, teachers pilots school-bus-drivers and brain surgeons included.
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Comment #2 posted by afterburner on August 13, 2008 at 18:14:45 PT
"Industrial Hemp, and What It Can Do for America''
The Many Environmental and Health Benefits of Hemp. 
Tuesday, August 12, 2008 by: Sheryl Walters (see all articles by this author)
| Key concepts: hemp, health benefits and food
[also mentions bio-fuel]
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on August 13, 2008 at 14:13:36 PT
Indiana Company Formed To Improve MJ Detection
August 13, 2008Two Purdue University researchers and a northern Indiana biotechnology firm are launching a company to improve detecting in marijuana in a person's system. Intelimmune LLC will focus on developing a more reliable and accurate diagnostic tool for identfying tetrehydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana. The company is creating a "molecular imprinting" saliva test that would provide results in about five minutes.Complete Article:
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