Is Big Pharma Trying To Take The Fun Out of Pot?
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Is Big Pharma Trying To Take The Fun Out of Pot?
Posted by CN Staff on July 25, 2009 at 04:21:04 PT
By Steven Wishnia, AlterNet 
Source: AlterNet
USA -- Pricey pharmaceutical-marketing newsletters have touted cannabis-derived drugs as the next blockbuster for the industry, but the biggest companies are primarily researching drugs whose effect is the opposite of the cannabis herb.Numerous drug researchers are trying to develop medications that replicate the herb's therapeutic effects without the harm of inhaling smoke and the side effect of getting people high.
Others are looking into cannabinoid agonists, drugs that enhance the body's natural cannabinoid system -- or cannabinoid antagonists, which disrupt it -- and have been the pharmaceutical industry's main focus. Despite the millions of medical-marijuana users, both U.S. government restrictions and drug companies' need for exclusive ownership have limited research into herbal cannabis.In any case, it will likely be a while before many cannabis-derived drugs arrive in your local pharmacy."There's a lot of interest out there, but there's nothing that's going to be released in the next week," said a longtime medical-cannabis researcher who asked to remain anonymous.So far, only three such drugs are on the market.• Cesamet (Valeant Pharmaceuticals), used for chemotherapy-nausea treatment, went on sale in the United States in 2006. It contains nabilone, a synthetic analog of THC, the primary psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.• Marinol, synthetic THC in capsules, has been on the market since 1986. It is now manufactured by the Belgian firm Solvay Pharmaceuticals, and generic versions are beginning to come out.• Sativex, a whole-cannabis-extract spray produced by the British firm GW Pharmaceuticals, is available in Canada. It is oromucosal, meaning it is absorbed by the mucous membranes under the tongue and on the inside of the cheeks, and it contains approximately equal proportions of THC and cannabidiol (CBD). CBD is a cannabinoid thought to reduce both pain and the more nerve-jangling aspects of the marijuana high. The spray is undergoing Phase III trials -- large-scale human studies of its efficacy -- for multiple sclerosis in Europe and cancer pain in the U.S.At least five of the world's top 10 pharmaceutical companies have looked into the field. In 2006, there were about 18 cannabinoid-related compounds under active pharmaceutical development, says Dr. George Kunos, scientific director of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health. They were primarily cannabinoid antagonists.Many of those, however, may never make it to market. New drugs need to be proven safe and effective, drug companies want them to be profitable, and the approval process can take as long as 10 years.In January, Novartis announced that it had completed Phase I tests of a cannabinoid agonist called CRA13, which might be used to treat chronic pain. Phase I tests are a small-scale study of the drug's safety, how well human subjects tolerate it, and its "pharmacokinetics" -- how quickly it gets into the body, where it goes and how long it stays.Big Pharma's first move into cannabinoid drugs, however, ended in failure. In 2006, the French company Sanofi-Aventis began selling in Europe rimonabant, a cannabinoid antagonist, as an appetite suppressant under the brand name Acomplia.By blocking the action of natural cannabinoids at "CB1 receptor" sites in the brain, Acomplia created the opposite of the "munchies." (As one drug company put it, activation of CB1 receptors "appears to provoke food intake even in the setting of satiety.") The drug also showed promise for diabetes, says Kunos, because it increased the body's sensitivity to insulin. A British pharmaceutical-business newsletter predicted that Acomplia would be "the first of the cannabinoid blockbusters."The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, however, rejected Acomplia in 2007, because its side effects included suicidal thoughts. Last fall, the European Medical Agency recommended taking the drug off the market because it increased the risk of depression. In November, Sanofi-Aventis announced it was stopping all research on it.Pfizer and Merck Sharp & Dohme, which had similar drugs in Phase III trials, suspended their development as well. Solvay, which had had a marketing deal with Bristol-Myers Squibb for a cannabis antagonist it called SLV319, also canceled its research. Phase II studies had found SLV319 an effective anti-obesity drug, but the company's head of research cited "high regulatory hurdles."The risks might have been foreseen. Because the endocannabinoid system was not discovered until the early '90s, its role in regulating emotions and the effects of disrupting it are far from understood.In 2003, neurochemist Dale Deutsch, former head of the International Cannabinoid Research Society, predicted that cannabinoid antagonists would be effective appetite suppressants, but that people taking them "might be really irritable."Drug researchers are now trying to find a cannabinoid antagonist without the psychiatric side effects. Meanwhile, "online pharmacies" still advertise rimonabant with "discreet packaging" and "anonymous delivery."Johnson & Johnson says it is not researching cannabinoid drugs, and a company spokesperson said it was "not aware of any" other companies doing so. On the other hand, drug companies are not likely to tell competitors about the research they're doing."This is all proprietary information," notes Paul Armentano of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. "I have reason to believe there has been an explosion in cannabinoid-based drug research, but we in the general public are not going to be made aware of it until these drugs are close to market."  5 Types of Pot Drugs  Researchers are looking into five main areas for cannabinoid drugs. The first two comprise plant extracts and purified forms of THC. The other three involve drugs that affect the endocannabinoid system.GW Pharmaceuticals' Sativex is the whole-plant extract closest to U.S. availability. It has been in development for several years. It was designed as a spray so it would get into the body and act almost as quickly as smoked cannabis does. This would avoid the main complaints patients have about orally administered THC: that it can take an hour or more to take effect, that it is difficult to calculate whether a dose will be ineffective or overwhelming, and that oral medications are useless if you're too nauseous to keep them down.GW has also just begun research on whether CBD combined with another cannabinoid, THCV, might help treat Type 2 diabetes.Longtime medical-marijuana advocates Dr. Robert Melamede, a biologist at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and California activist Steve Kubby co-founded Cannabis Science, Inc. The company says it plans to develop plant-based drugs and proprietary delivery systems for them, introducing them in the Canadian market first. It also offered "420 Commemorative Certificates" to anyone who bought stock before April 20. In early July, however, the company fired Kubby amid mutual accusations of financial malfeasance.One major obstacle for U.S. researchers trying to develop plant-based cannabis drugs is the federal restrictions on the supply of the plant. The only legal source is the lab of Dr. Mahmoud ElSohly at the University of Mississippi. He has had an exclusive contract with the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which must approve researchers' requests to obtain cannabis, for almost 40 years.NIDA has had a strong prejudice in favor of studies aimed at evaluating marijuana's abuse potential. It has denied a supply to several well-known researchers planning studies on medical cannabis.The Drug Enforcement Administration has refused to grant anyone else a license to grow cannabis for research. In January, it denied one to Lyle Craker, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, who had applied in 2001 and wound up suing to get the agency to act on his request. The DEA overruled its own administrative judge, who in 2007 had urged ending the federal monopoly. The judge summarized the testimony of one medical witness for the DEA as "he considers medical marijuana an excuse for legalization.""You can't get permission to even touch the marijuana," says Armentano.Fewer obstacles exist in Europe. But when Weleda AG, a German herbal-medicine and cosmetics company, funded a British study of THC-CBD extract for multiple-sclerosis spasticity, it was terminated for lack of volunteers.Generic forms of Marinol, THC under the name "dronabinol," are beginning to reach the U.S. market. Two leading generic-drug manufacturers, Par Pharmaceutical and Watson Pharmaceuticals, began selling it last year, with Watson the authorized licensee of Solvay.Bionorica AG, a veteran German herbal-medicine company, is seeking FDA approval for a version of dronabinol containing THC extracted from plants. The company has been selling it in pharmacies in Germany and Austria for the past 10 or 12 years, says Gary Klein, its U.S. representative. It's also looking at developing THC in droplets that would be absorbed on the underside of the tongue.ElSohly, who has the U.S. government monopoly on research cannabis, is working with Mallinckrodt to develop a plant-extract form of Marinol. Medical-cannabis advocates sharply criticize him for that. Americans for Safe Access charges that he "benefits from such a monopoly by financially profiting from the research and sale of cannabis-based pharmaceuticals."ElSohly has also patented a suppository containing THC hemisuccinate, which breaks down into THC once it is absorbed by the body. That is "not a popular form of drug delivery," observes the anonymous medical-marijuana researcher. (The 1960s comedian Lenny Bruce would disagree; he enjoyed morphine suppositories.)Cannasat Therapeutics, a Canadian company, is applying to patent a THC pill called Relivar for neuropathic pain. Like some triptan migraine-abortive drugs, the pill would melt in the mouth instead of having to be digested. The company claims that this will make the drug act faster, get a higher proportion of it into the blood, and make it less intoxicating than oral THC pills. Cannasat is also working on a CBD-based treatment for schizophrenia.Research into the cannabinoid agonists-drugs, which enhance cannabinoids binding to receptors in the brain and body, has mainly been "preclinical," with tests on animals instead of humans, according to Kunos. Drug companies, he adds, have strong objections to them because they would be psychoactive, essentially mimicking the action of marijuana in the brain.Pharmos, an Israeli company, had high hopes for a nonpsychoactive synthetic cannabinoid called HU-211. Preliminary studies indicated that it could protect the brain from the cascading neurochemical inferno set off by a stroke or traumatic injury, but Phase III studies in 2004 found it not significantly more effective than a placebo.A fourth area is drugs that inhibit FAAH, the enzyme in the brain that breaks down the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2AG. These would work in a manner roughly analogous to antidepressants like Prozac, which inhibit the reuptake of serotonin. Danielle Piomelli of the University of California at Irvine has patented several possible FAAH-inhibiting medications, including an anxiety reducer, a cough suppressor and a pain reliever.Finally, research into cannabinoid antagonists continues. Kunos says the goal now is to find one that's "non-brain-penetrant," a drug that would affect only cannabinoid receptors outside the brain, and therefore wouldn't have the psychiatric side effects that derailed rimonabant. He says the animal models are promising.7TM Pharma, a Danish company that specializes in drugs for metabolic disorders, plans to start trials of a cannabinoid antagonist this year in the treatment of obesity and Type 2 diabetes. It says the drug "has been designed to exclusively exert its therapeutic effect through CB1 receptors located in the peripheral tissue" instead of those in the brain.  The Medical Possibilities of Cannabis Meanwhile, numerous academic researchers are uncovering myriad medical possibilities for cannabis and the cannabinoids. In one study released in the last year, researchers at Complutense University in Madrid found that THC caused brain-cancer cells to destroy themselves.At the University of Erlangen in Germany, a CB2-receptor agonist reduced the dermal thickening and fibrosis found in the early stages of multiple sclerosis, and it also diminished the damage done by lowered blood supply to the brain in an animal model of stroke.A Canadian military psychiatrist said that nabilone reduced or eliminated nightmares in 34 of the 47 post-traumatic stress syndrome patients he studied.The University of California at San Diego is currently investigating whether vaporized cannabis can help relieve diabetic neuropathic pain.Medical-marijuana advocates maintain that whole-plant drugs will be the most effective. Research has shown that the synergy of multiple cannabinoids works better than any single molecule in the plant, argues Caren Woodson of Americans for Safe Access."The strongest drug isn't necessarily the best," adds the anonymous researcher. The body's systems are subtle and need "a gentle nudge, not a big shove," he argues, and potent synthetic molecules are more likely to be toxic than substances people have used for thousands of years. The liver, he says, will have a hard time processing "a hairy molecule with lots of fluorine and side chains."The profit system puts the pure cannabis herb at a disadvantage. Drug companies are not going to put time and money into a substance they can't patent, notes Woodson. On the other hand, they can patent tinctures, methods of extraction, and vaporizers -- which boil the THC into an inhalable steam instead of burning the herb into a toxic smoke.Those means of drug administration are also more likely to satisfy the medical community's anathema to smoking and its desire for precise, standardized doses.Woodson suspects that the focus on synthetic cannabinoids may be a "backdoor way" to deny approval of medical marijuana. On the other hand, she notes, the FDA has approved four Phase I studies of smoked marijuana for pain relief in HIV-AIDS patients, and the state of California is funding them. At this point, she says, "anything that gets the FDA one step closer to approving cannabis" is a good thing."We could be looking at the aspirin of the 21st century," she says, but it's not going to happen until "pharmaceutical companies can investigate it in the same way that they investigate any other drug."Steven Wishnia is a New York-based journalist and musician. The author of Exit 25 Utopia and The Cannabis Companion, he has won two New York City Independent Press Association awards for his coverage of housing issues. He is looking for a job.Source: AlterNet (US)Author:   Steven Wishnia, AlterNetPublished: July 25, 2009Copyright: 2009 Independent Media InstituteContact: letters Website: -- Cannabis Archives
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Comment #40 posted by Yanxor on July 28, 2009 at 22:27:17 PT
Take-the-fun-out research is a double edged sword
So what if companies are TRYING to take the fun out of the drug. Aside from purifying the chemicals in cannabis and testing them individually on various subjects, other research is modifying and generating these chemicals in an almost random fashion.That's how you get JWH-359 and HU-210, the latter having a potency 100-800X that of THC.It's a transition comparable to that between khat and amphetamines. It's opening up a can of worms for the recreational usage of synthetic cannabinoids - it's already happening with "legal highs" like Spice. - Documentary relating to the popularization of legal highs.
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Comment #39 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on July 27, 2009 at 12:55:48 PT
It doesn't matter what the drug bzar says,
if H.R. 2835: Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act passes -
Text of H.R. 2835: Medical Marijuana Patient Protection Act
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Comment #38 posted by FoM on July 27, 2009 at 07:05:39 PT
Please keep your politics off of CNews. We need to work with our current administration for a few years. It isn't election time either.
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Comment #37 posted by runruff on July 27, 2009 at 06:46:15 PT
Fragged Amerika!
This United States experiment is about over. There is writing on the wall. With greed and power struggles at the constitutional level, we are imploding as a nation!Bankers and Wall Street treat our economy as if it were their personal money tree. Now the tree withers and dies form lack of care.70 years of tyranny on it's own people in the name of anything [WoD] is constitutional blasphemy!Health care has become so predatory that it is almost medieval in it's concept. [health care in America and much of the world is run by the DuPonts]-see The Nylon Curtain-We're going broke, Secession is looking good to more and more states. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction! The negative actions the power players have brought onto this country will create a powerful and negative reaction. It is just plain physics. The natural order of things. What evil one does not bring down on ones self will visit upon the child for seven generations.It is not a wish for Amerika so much as a prediction. It is not so much a reckoning for Amerika as it is yen and yang. The light evolves into night. The bad energy will multiply until the whole thing comes crashing down like rotten barn rafters in a hurricane.25 years from now we won't recognize the place! 
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Comment #36 posted by anunlikelyally on July 27, 2009 at 05:16:08 PT:
Anyone else smell that?
After waiting to see if the recent Drug Czar's statements were true or not, and in fact they are indeed true and accurate, then all I gotta say is: mmmmmmmmmmmmm, catch a big ole whiff of that "Change" coming from DC. Smells good, don't it?Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Ho-hum, Amerika.Good riddance to Washington. We're making more progress at the state and local levels anyway, just look at recent victories like decriminalization in (unincorporated) Cook County, a medical cannabis review in Iowa, and hemp in Oregon. The real fight is taking place at these levels, not in DC. The fight comes from winning over each and every free mind out in the real world and not the puppets of special interests in the halls of Congress (save for Ron Paul, the most honest man we've got up there on the Hill). We wouldn't need to lobby for Congressional action if the Federal government would just respect the 10th Amendment and not use the galaxy-wide loophole of the "Interstate Commerce Clause" to ram all sorts of crazy regulations down our throats. It'd be nice if the Federal government respected the Constitution. Period. Don't we deserve a Federal government that remains strictly confined to the social contract our Founding Fathers wrote with the blood of their generation?
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Comment #35 posted by HempWorld on July 26, 2009 at 21:41:38 PT
OT on Discovery ... 
Walter Cronkite an American Hero!Respect!
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Comment #34 posted by Had Enough on July 26, 2009 at 16:40:25 PT
Announcing a new Meetup for PUFMM - South Florida!
What: BENEFEST - A PUFMM benefit show and signature driveWhen: August 1, 2009 8:00 PMdonation: $5.00 per personWhere:Benefest4244 Peters RoadFort Lauderdale, FL 33317Our first South Florida benefit show is coming up to help raise money for the cause and collect signatures. The cover is $5 donation at the door. There are about 6 bands, one rapper, and one belly dancer (random but awesome we thought).Please come out and help collect signatures. Make sure to tell everyone you know and include it on your facebook, myspace, and twitter pages. Call radio stations and local newspapers to get the word out. We need your help to accomplish our goals.A special thanks to Shara Lunon for setting this up! shara lunon.Learn more here:************
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Comment #33 posted by FoM on July 26, 2009 at 15:09:09 PT
I really hope something good happens for you in Iowa.
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Comment #32 posted by FoM on July 26, 2009 at 12:07:16 PT
Had Enough
Thank you. The poll numbers keep going up and up. I am beginning to actually think that people might be ok with decriminalizing marijuana. There are so many states that aren't progressive and decrim seems to settle better. 
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Comment #31 posted by Had Enough on July 26, 2009 at 11:17:44 PT
CNN Poll
Should marijuana be decriminalized?Yes	66%	216676 No	18%	59199 Only for medical use	16%	51365 Total Votes: 327240 
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Comment #30 posted by RevRayGreen on July 26, 2009 at 09:34:12 PT
Peoeple will think he's advertising or 
promoting marijuana from the air. Imagine that.......maybe he can cut his losses by selling the banner on e-bay. Carl's Cannabis Corner 7/25/09- Iowans 4 Medical Marijuana Respond to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy & Thistles: While reefer madness grips state board-"A thistle to the Iowa Board of Pharmacy for a gratuitous personal attack on a Des Moines man who wants Iowans to be able to use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Nearly a third of the board's 13-page order denying the petition from Carl Olsen consists of a detailed recitation of his rap sheet on drug-related charges that fairly drips with contempt and sarcasm. The board may be right that Olsen's interest in marijuana goes beyond the pharmacological, but that is irrelevant to the question: Should doctors be allowed to prescribe marijuana to relieve certain medical conditions? This recalls a quip from Don Marquis, a New York newspaper columnist in the '20s, who said, "An idea isn't responsible for the people who believe in it."
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on July 26, 2009 at 07:17:53 PT
Interesting Press Release
Giant Bud Banner Half the Size of Football Field Flies Sunday Protesting Hydroponics Industry Cartel Monopoly that's Harming California's Medical Marijuana PatientsJuly 26, 2009URL:
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on July 26, 2009 at 06:33:59 PT
CNN Poll: Should Marijuana Be Decriminalized?
Current Results:Yes -- 66% -- 182825 No -- 18% -- 51241 Only for medical use -- 16% -- 44927 Total Votes: 278993
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Comment #27 posted by Hope on July 25, 2009 at 17:59:20 PT
The murders...
One theory is that they went to take the pot thinking no one was home and when they were home... they killed them and ran. I don't know what happened, of course. I can only imagine from what I read. But people are murdered and other people are killers and that's all really, really awful.
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on July 25, 2009 at 17:53:31 PT
Steven Wishnia
Outstanding research and put together so well.This is a great article. There are things in this article that I don't recall hearing about before. Like the research on cannabinoids for helping schizophrenia.This is a real article. A real piece of journalism. He didn't just throw this together without much thought. Very well done.Thank you, Mr. Wishnia.
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 16:44:25 PT
If it was about marijuana why did they only spend a few minutes in the house, murder them and then run? They went into the house to murder them is my opinion. Maybe they thought they had money or were going to turn them in since they were under surveillance because of the marijuana the couple was growing which was probably medical. 
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on July 25, 2009 at 16:34:31 PT
Maybe you're right...
about it not being about the pot. But they sure are spinning it like it is.
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Comment #23 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 15:59:39 PT
The Murders in Kerman
The more I read about this horrible crime the more concerned I get. The only way that things will ever change is when the prices gets down to virtually nothing. It isn't about marijuana. It's all about money. If people could buy an ounce of good quality marijuana for under $50 the crimes would stop. I honestly thought that by now prices would be very low but they seem to be very high. I don't get it and probably never will.This murder might not even be about marijuana.
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Comment #22 posted by Hope on July 25, 2009 at 15:47:09 PT
The murders in Kerman.
It's so sickening. It's looking gang related to me... just my theory... but I grieve over it. I can't help but wonder if we could have ended prohibition and pot weren't so ridiculously expensive anymore and with so prevalent and risky a black market....might they not have suffered what they did and what their family, friends, and neighbors are suffering now? I feel bad that probably prohibition had a lot to do with their deaths. A lot. And I feel bad that we haven't been able to end it yet. Every day... every week, every month it continues... there is more danger, deadly danger, than there has to be... because of the prohibition.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 15:19:14 PT
Make lots of good quality friends and please be careful. Things are bad out there in some areas.
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Comment #20 posted by MikeC on July 25, 2009 at 15:13:32 PT
FoM, Hope
Thank you both for the well wishes. I really appreciate it.Hopefully I'll make a friend or two this week!
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on July 25, 2009 at 15:08:16 PT
MikeC and DankHank
Have fun and be safe.
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Comment #18 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 15:05:17 PT
Have a great time. I have been to LA and it was nice particularly because it was in January and icy and snowy back here and just beautiful weather out there. The ground moved a lot though. It was after the North Ridge earthquake and they had lots of after shocks.
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on July 25, 2009 at 14:22:07 PT
Comment 14 BGreen
If history is any lesson, you're probably right.
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Comment #16 posted by MikeC on July 25, 2009 at 14:07:28 PT
Every poll on marijuana is overwhelmingly in favor of medical use, decrim, or outright legalization. Too bad our elected officials don't listen to the very people who put them in office.On another note I am headed to San Mateo, California this week for work. I have never been to California before so I am really looking forward to my trip. I have to work during the day but I am going to try and see a few sights in the late afternoon/evening.
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 13:02:56 PT
Current Results on CNN Poll
Should marijuana be decriminalized?Yes -- 65% -- 104521 No -- 18% -- 29919 
Only for medical use -- 17% -- 27603 Total Votes: 162043
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Comment #14 posted by BGreen on July 25, 2009 at 13:00:03 PT
Yep, there's nothing that takes the "fun" out
Yep, there's nothing that takes the "fun" out of pot faster than taking a safe plant that I can grow for almost nothing in my backyard and turning it into a toxic pharmaceutical chemical that I could never afford even if I chose their prescription poison over my herbal remedy.Whee, what fun!I'll bet you everything I own that they'll create a poisonous substance from synthesizing one of the naturally occurring components of cannabis and then put the blame squarely on the cannabis plant itself. Voila, Nora D. Volkow will get her death wish of fatalities she can blame on cannabis.The Reverend Bud Green
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 12:59:58 PT
Enjoy the pool! 
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 12:59:02 PT
I hope and pray we don't repeat what happened in the 70s. I believe we should learn from history so we don't repeat it. I'm not paranoid but somethings I have seen recently honestly scare me.
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on July 25, 2009 at 12:45:32 PT
Same here, FoM. We know they're out there. It's not paranoia. They aren't going to step aside and let change happen easily, even though they should know it's for the better. They're lives revolve around keeping prohibition alive and strong... doing it's worst... regardless. Reason, commonsense, and respect of others is not part of the "anti-drug"... prohibitionist agenda.They aren't going to take any change easily and they know how to throw their weight around... big time. They've been doing it for a long, long time now. The entirety of the prohibitionists are a formidable opposition and not to be taken lightly.I'd be worried I'd lost some brain cells if I wasn't concerned about whatever they are plotting and planning, and I'm sure, fervently.Brace yourselves.
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Comment #10 posted by Dankhank on July 25, 2009 at 12:37:48 PT
i VOTED ...
first thing after setting up laptop in Dallas room.Here for a few days ...Nice weather, too.Going to the pool.Later all ...
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 12:25:33 PT
I Share This Concern
Excerpt: The Wild West show that is California's marijuana reality could also energize the anti-reform faction, Sterling said. "For those of us outside California, it's hard to fathom what's going on there. I don't think anyone back East can imagine a dispensary operating every quarter-mile along Connecticut Avenue," he explained. "I ask myself if this is growing in a way that could create a potential powerful reaction like we saw in the 1970s. There has already been a smattering of stories about marijuana use in school by patients. Will there be exposés next fall about medical marijuana getting into the schools, kids getting stoned? People in the movement have to be aware that very real and powerful emotions can be unleashed by these changes," he warned.URL:
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 12:21:12 PT
The article from Stop The Drug War reinforces the reality that we are moving in a new direction. It's been a long time coming but it is happening. Wisdom and reason are finally surfacing into the drug war argument. It's calm and steady. 
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on July 25, 2009 at 12:13:14 PT
Comment 3
Eric Sterling is quoted in that article at StopTheDrugWar.I really admire him and do trust him. He was a major prohibitionist and I really believe him when he says he realizes now that the WoD is not good and especially the cannabis prohibition.He's smart. Really smart and I'm glad he's on our side.I can't trust Bob Barr the same way, though, for several reasons.
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Comment #6 posted by tintala on July 25, 2009 at 11:35:35 PT:
64% said yes. Big PHARM is a joke, does anyone hear who "SMOKE" cannabis have any negative effects from smoking on their lungs? As a respritory therapist, I have not seen ANY effects on the lungs from CANNABIS , on even the heaviest smokers. TOBACOO ON THE OTHER HAND......GO VOTE ON CNN. 
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 10:20:40 PT
CNN Poll: Should Marijuana Be Decriminalized?
Current Results:Yes -- 64% -- 80990 No -- 19% -- 23734 Only for medical use -- 17% -- 21878 Total Votes: 126602
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 07:39:39 PT
Is It Time To Legalize Marijuana?
Addictions & Answers: Is It Time To Legalize Marijuana?July 25, 2009URL:
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 07:22:41 PT
Winds of Change Are Blowing in Washington
Feature: Winds of Change Are Blowing in Washington -- Drug Reforms Finally Move in CongressJuly 24, 2009What a difference a change of administration makes. After eight years of almost no progress during the Bush administration, drug reform is on the agenda at the Capitol, and various reform bills are moving forward. With Democrats firmly in control of both the Senate and the House, as well as the White House, 2009 could be the year the federal drug policy logjam begins to break apart. While most of the country's and the Congress's attention is focused on health care reform and the economic crisis, congressional committees are slowly working their way through a number of drug reform issues. Here's some of what's going on:URL:
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 25, 2009 at 05:34:03 PT
OT: Needle Exchange
Roll Call Vote:Souder of Indiana Amendment***House Bill Lifts Ban On Needle ExchangesThe House on Friday approved a bill that would lift the 21-year ban on using federal money for needle exchange programs, a move that could give the District and other cities more flexibility in their efforts to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS among intravenous drug users.URL:
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Comment #1 posted by GeoChemist on July 25, 2009 at 05:03:54 PT
The Genie's out of the bottle........
.......and holding an indictment. Title: Cancer Curb is Studied, Doctors Eye Drug Found in Marijuana
Excerpt: They will tell a scientific meeting in Montreal Wednesday of their wok that, Dr. Louis S. Harris said yesterday, “may open up an important new research area of the type that occurs very rarely.” Dated August 18, 1974. What I want to know is: Who’s going to pay for this genocide?
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