NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - September 18, 2008

  NORML's Weekly News Bulletin - September 18, 2008

Posted by CN Staff on September 18, 2008 at 13:39:28 PT
Weekly Press Release 
Source: NORML 

Cannabis May Halt Progression Of Multiple Sclerosis, Study Says September 18, 2008 - London, United KingdomLondon, United Kingdom: Cannabinoids possess neuroprotective properties and may modify the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a review published in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design.
Investigators at the London School of Medicine, Neuroscience Center reported that cannabinoids likely hold therapeutic value for MS patients beyond providing temporary symptomatic relief. “Recent clinical trials may indeed suggest that cannabis has some potential to relieve, pain, spasms and spasticity in MS,” authors wrote. “In addition, CB(1) and CB(2) cannabinoid receptor stimulation may also have anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective potential. Therefore cannabinoids may not only offer symptom control but may also slow the neurodegenerative disease progression that ultimately leads to the accumulation of disability.”A recent expert opinion paper published by the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society concluded that cannabis possesses the potential to treat MS symptoms as well as moderate disease progression, but stopped short of recommending that patients use it therapeutically.Survey data indicates that an estimated one in four patients with MS use medicinal cannabis.For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul Full text of the study, “The endocannabinoid system and multiple sclerosis,” appears in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design.Note: “Cannabinoids may not only offer symptom control but may also slow … disease progression”DL: Annual Boston Freedom Rally Takes Place This Weekend September 18, 2008 - Boston, MA, USABoston, MA: The Massachusetts chapter of NORML (MassCann) will hold the 19th annual Freedom Rally this Saturday, September 20, at the Boston Common in downtown Boston. The event is the largest marijuana law reform gathering on the east coast.Speakers at this year’s event include NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, NORML founder Keith Stroup, author Steve Bloom (Pot Culture), High Times Magazine associate publisher Rick Cusick, and Congressional candidate John Cunningham.MassCann NORML will also be holding an awards banquet in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Friday, September 19.This November, Massachusetts’ voters will decide on a statewide ballot measure that seeks to replace criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana with a civil fine of no more than $100.For more information on the Freedom Rally, please visit: http://www.masscann.orgDL: Less Than One-Month Left To Register For NORML’s 2008 National Conference  September 18, 2008 - Washington, DC, USAWashington, DC: NORML’s 37th annual national conference is less than one-month away, but attendees still have time to take advantage of discounted pricing by visiting: year’s ‘extravaganja’ takes place in Berkeley, California on Friday, October 17 and Saturday, October 18 at the Doubletree Hotel & Executive Meeting Center. Plenary sessions at this year’s conference include:Getting the Story Wrong: How the Media Lie About Cannabis The Legal Marijuana Generation: Growing Up In The Age of Legal Pot The War On Pot Is a War On Young People What If We Arrested 20 Million Americans And Nobody Noticed? The Politics of Marijuana And HealthIn addition, on Sunday, October 19, NORML's Legal Committee and the faculty of Oaksterdam University will co-sponsor a special, third-day session, entitled "Cannabusiness 102." This unique, one-day seminar will outline step-by-step how to establish a legally-compliant medical marijuana business in the state of California.Mark your calendar now and plan to join us as we focus on the latest marijuana policy developments at the state and federal levels, celebrate our victories over the past year, and hear from the world's leading activists and cannabis law reform organizations. Mingle with celebrities and members of NORML's staff and Board of Directors in one of the most cannabis friendly cities in the world.Additional details about this year's national conference – including patient accommodations, vending and sponsorship opportunities, conference scheduling, and a guide to NORML social events – are now available online at NORML's 2008 Conference Registration page here: more information, please call (202) 483-5500. Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs), about this year's NORML Conference. DL: Arrests For Year 2007: 872,721 Tops Record High -Five Percent Increase Over 2006 September 15, 2008 - Washington, DCWashington, DC: Police arrested a record 872,721 persons for marijuana violations in 2007, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation's annual Uniform Crime Report, released today. This is the largest total number of annual arrests for cannabis ever recorded by the FBI.Cannabis arrests now comprise nearly 47.5 percent of all drug arrests in the United States."These numbers belie the myth that police do not target and arrest minor cannabis offenders," said NORML Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, who noted that at current rates, a cannabis consumer is arrested every 37 seconds in America. "This effort is a tremendous waste of criminal justice resources that diverts law enforcement personnel away from focusing on serious and violent crime, including the war on terrorism."Of those charged with marijuana violations, approximately 89 percent, 775,138 Americans were charged with possession only. The remaining 97,583 individuals were charged with "sale/manufacture," a category that includes all cultivation offenses, even those where the marijuana was being grown for personal or medical use. Nearly three in four of those arrested are under age 30."Present policies have done little if anything to decrease marijuana's availability or dissuade youth from trying it," St. Pierre said, noting young people in the U.S. now frequently report that they have easier access to pot than alcohol or tobacco."Two other major points standout from today’s record marijuana arrests: Overall, there has been a dramatic 195 percent increase in marijuana arrests in the last 15 years -- yet the public's access to pot remains largely unfettered and the self-reported use of cannabis remains largely unchanged. Second, America’s Midwest is decidedly the hotbed for cannabis arrests with over 60 percent of all cannabis-related arrests. The region of America with the least amount of cannabis arrests is the West with 29 percent. This latter result is arguably a testament to the passage of various state and local decriminalization efforts over the past several years.""Of further note, this year the Midwest saw a 13.3% increase in cannabis sales/cultivation-related arrests, while the West saw a 14% increase in possession-related cannabis arrests."The total number of marijuana arrests in the U.S. for 2007 far exceeded the total number of arrests in the U.S. for all violent crimes combined, including murder, manslaughter, forcible rape, robbery and aggravated assault.Annual marijuana arrests have nearly tripled since the early 1990s."Arresting hundreds of thousands of Americans who smoke marijuana responsibly needlessly destroys the lives of otherwise law abiding citizens," St. Pierre said, adding that nearly 9 million Americans have been arrested on marijuana charges in the past ten years. During this same time, arrests for cocaine and heroin have declined sharply, implying that increased enforcement of marijuana laws is being achieved at the expense of enforcing laws against the possession and trafficking of more dangerous drugs.In fact, October 10, 2008 will mark the arrest of the 20 millionth cannabis consumer arrested under cannabis prohibition, circa 1937.St. Pierre concluded: "Enforcing marijuana prohibition costs taxpayers between $10 billion and $12 billion annually and has led to the arrest of nearly 20 million Americans. Nevertheless, nearly 100 million Americans acknowledge having used marijuana during their lives. It makes no sense to continue to treat nearly half of all Americans as criminals for their use of a substance that poses far fewer health risks than alcohol or tobacco. A better and more sensible solution would be to tax and regulate cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco."DL: NORML Foundation (DC)Published: September 18, 2008Copyright: 2008 NORML Contact: norml Website: NORML Archives 

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Comment #6 posted by Paint with light on September 18, 2008 at 22:48:19 PT
Sounds good to me
"A better and more sensible solution would be to tax and regulate cannabis in a manner similar to alcohol and tobacco".Agreed.Equal with alcohol is all I keep asking.
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Comment #5 posted by John Tyler on September 18, 2008 at 20:22:07 PT
in the news
Is this totally crazy or what?  Tonight on the news there was a story about how scientist are running all over the rain forests looking for medicinal plants, which is fine, I hope they find some, however, they are not allowed by our government to do research on our on well know miracle plant, that can be found in every part of this country, because it's politically incorrect. It doesn’t make sense because it’s political.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on September 18, 2008 at 17:52:12 PT
Storm Crow 
That's really fine. 
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Comment #3 posted by Storm Crow on September 18, 2008 at 17:13:51 PT
On and off topic-
Cannabis vs MS- Marijuana Helps MS Patients Alleviate Pain, Spasms for tremor in multiple sclerosis. whole plant Cannabis extracts can improve intractable neurogenic symptoms? can find a lot more like that at now a Nevada new article- Chronic delays
Medical marijuana patients smolder while awaiting ID cards
"The state has not helped to advance the [medical marijuana] program at all," says activist Beth Soloe.IF there's ever an official poster girl for Nevada's medical marijuana program, one east Las Vegas woman would likely own the title for life.Racked with the pain of a crumbling spine, a series of broken bones and a short-circuiting central nervous system, 43-year-old Tammy ekes out her days in a dusty trailer park near the rocky lip of the Las Vegas Valley's eastern rim. Fibromyalgia wracks her body with a relentless pain and keeps her pretty close to home. So does a nasty case of reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a chronic neurological syndrome that causes constant burning and a hypersensitivity to touch. So do the blood clots; the plastic elbow doctors shoehorned into her right arm after a nasty fall about two years ago; the severe swelling in her right leg that won't go down no matter how many water pills she eats; and the herniated blister packs that used to be her vertebrae.On the days she can actually walk, Tammy ambles along with a cane or, if her husband can take her outside, a wheelchair. At night, she sleeps strapped to an oxygen mask that keeps her blood gases at the right mixture.This is some life.For 18 years, Tammy says, high-octane painkillers and prescription muscle relaxants allowed her some semblance of a normal existence. That is, until they stopped working and began to destroy her teeth.Two years ago, Tammy tried a new drug out of near desperation: marijuana. That chance encounter with the demon weed changed everything, Tammy says. For the first time in years, she could control her pain with just three or four puffs a day. A couple more drags on a pipe, and eating (and keeping on weight) became easier, too.(Snipped) (FoM, I know that was pretty long for a snip, but this is a very long article! This is only a small part of it. )
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Comment #2 posted by charmed quark on September 18, 2008 at 16:45:39 PT
MS Society doesn't recommend cannabis
I just find that amazing.
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on September 18, 2008 at 16:27:15 PT
Cannabis Halts Progression Of Multiple Sclerosis
Yes, in fact Cannabis is the only substance known to man to have properties of auto-genesis, it can actually create new neurons (brains). Therefore I believe the case has already been made it just has not been proven in a double blind scientific study.Researching Cannabis or Cannabinoids is morally wrong because it interferes with the profits of the Pharmaceutical companies ...Meanwhile we have millions of people dying from diseases, 'we cannot cure.'But hey, you still can't have it, even if you have MS or Cancer or many other life threatening and debilitating illnesses.
On a mission from God!
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