Israeli researchers say more doctors should recommend marijuana to cancer patients
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, January, 30th 2012 by THCFinder
Time for doctors to get on the ball and start recommending medicine that really works!
More than two-thirds of cancer patients who were prescribed medical marijuana to combat pain are reportedly satisfied with the treatment, according to a comprehensive study conducted for the first time in Israel.
The study - conducted recently at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer, in conjunction with the Israel Cancer Association - involved 264 cancer patients who were treated with medical marijuana for a full year.
Some 61 percent of the respondents reported a significant improvement in their quality of life as a result of the medical marijuana, while 56 percent noted an improvement in their ability to manage pain. In general, 67 percent were in favor of the treatment, while 65 percent said they would recommend it to other patients.
The findings were presented earlier this month at an Israeli Oncologists Union conference in Eilat. The study was led by Dr. Ido Wolf, the director of oncology at the Sheba Cancer Center, with the assistance of researchers Yasmin Leshem, Damien Urbach, Adato Berliz, Tamar Ben Ephraim and Meital Gerty.
According to the study, the most common types of cancer for which medical marijuana is prescribed are lung cancer (21 percent ), breast cancer (12 percent ) and pancreatic cancer (10 percent ).
Researchers found that an average of 325 days passed between the time that patients were diagnosed with cancer and the time that they submitted permit requests to grow or possess medical marijuana. About 81 percent of those requests cited pain resulting from the illness. Some 8 percent of patients requested medical marijuana to combat nausea, while another 8 percent complained of weakness.
Most cancer patients who are currently being treated with medical marijuana are advised of the option only in the advanced stages of the illness, according to researchers. "The treatment should be offered to the patients in earlier stages of cancer," the report notes.
The study shows that 39 percent of respondents were initially advised of the treatment by friends, other patients or the media, rather than by their doctors. According to the study, "The treatment should be offered to patients by trained medical teams because we are dealing with an effective treatment."
Legislators ask DEA to reclassify marijuana
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, January, 27th 2012 by THCFinder
A bipartisan group of 42 state lawmakers signed a letter asking the DEA to reschedule marijuana to a classification that could allow it be prescribed and sold in pharmacies.
The letter and a joint House-Senate resolution introduced yesterday piggy-back on Gov. Chris Gregoire’s existing petition to reschedule marijuana, which is also supported by a handful of other states. The lawmakers, like Gregoire, see rescheduling marijuana as the simplest, clearest solution to the conflict between federal prohibition of marijuana and Washington’s medical marijuana law.
“The divergence in state and federal law creates a situation where there is no regulated and safe system to supply legitimate patients who need medical cannabis. More to the point, it is clear that the long-standing classification of medical use of cannabis in the United States as an illegal Schedule I substance is fundamentally flawed and should be changed.”
Lawmakers – in the state, and in Congress – have taken this position before; Newt Gingrich in 1981 backed a rescheduling petition as a young U.S. Representative from Georgia. But it feels like a groundswell of renewed interest in reclassification and legalization from the less-than-usual suspects.
A hearing on the resolution is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Feb. 2 in the Senate Health and Long-term Care committee.
Medical marijuana helped cancer patient improve
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Fri, January, 27th 2012 by THCFinder
I don’t understand why New Jersey doesn’t look at states with successful medical marijuana programs for help with initiating the programs here.
Oregon is one such state. My sister lives in Oregon, and was diagnosed with multiple myeloma last spring. Her appetite diminished to nothing. She lost 60 pounds and was in danger of dying, not from her cancer but from malnutrition.
Medical marijuana helped her regain some appetite. As she grew stronger, her cancer went into remission. She was able to tolerate treatments and use less pain medication.
Marinol, the synthetic form of marijuana, did not work for her. My sister is 69, not a pot-smoking junkie as portrayed in the movies of earlier times that convinced many — obviously our governor is one — of the evils of marijuana.
Marijuana deserves its place in the pharmacology for treatment to patients who need it. In order for them to get it, someone must be allowed to grow and sell it.
Shame on our federal government for not stepping in and making this happen. Shame on our state for pretending to be helping while throwing up roadblocks.
Support the growth and sale, and hope you and yours never need it.
Patient Advocates File Appeal Brief In Federal Case To Reclassify Medical Marijuana with the DEA
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, January, 26th 2012 by THCFinder
Washington, DC --(ENEWSPF)--January 26, 2012. The country's leading medical marijuana advocacy group, Americans for Safe Access (ASA), filed an appeal brief today in the D.C. Circuit to compel the federal government to reclassify marijuana for medical use. In July 2011, the federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) denied a petition filed in 2002 by the Coalition for Rescheduling Cannabis (CRC), which was denied only after the coalition sued the government for unreasonable delay. The ASA brief filed today is an appeal of the CRC rescheduling denial.
"By ignoring the wealth of scientific evidence that clearly shows the therapeutic value of marijuana, the Obama Administration is playing politics at the expense of sick and dying Americans," said ASA Chief Counsel Joe Elford, who filed the appeal today. "For the first time in more than 15 years we will be able to present evidence in court to challenge the government's flawed position on medical marijuana." Although two other rescheduling petitions have been filed since the establishment of the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, the merits of medical efficacy was reviewed only once by the courts in 1994.
The ASA appeal brief asserts that the federal government acted arbitrarily and capriciously in its efforts to deny marijuana to millions of patients throughout the United States. ASA argues in the brief that the DEA has no "license to apply different criteria to marijuana than to other drugs, ignore critical scientific data, misrepresent social science research, or rely upon unsubstantiated assumptions, as the DEA has done in this case." ASA is urging the court to "require the DEA to analyze the scientific data evenhandedly," and order "a hearing and findings based on the scientific record."
Patient advocates argue that by failing to reclassify marijuana, the federal government has stifled meaningful research into a wide array of therapeutic uses, such as pain relief, appetite stimulation, nausea suppression, and spasticity control among many other benefits. In 1988, the government ignored the ruling of its own Administrative Law Judge Francis Young who said that, "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man."
Kansans Call For Legalization Of Medical Marijuana
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Wed, January, 25th 2012 by THCFinder
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - "Support safe medicine," the signs said. "We would like safe access to medical marijuana," Esau Freeman shouted.
"Oh I'm very upset," Freeman said. "I feel like these legislators are being obstructionists, they're dragging their feet," he said.
Freeman, a member of MedCanKan.org, was just one of about 20 activists in a small, but passionate crowd gathered at 914 SW Harrison Street to support legalizing marijuana for medicinal use.
The rally was organized by the Kannabis Project, a political action committee "to reform cannabis laws in Kansas" - just ahead of an hearing on the issue inside the Docking State Office Building.
The Cannabis Compassion and Care Act, or HB 2330 received an informational hearing Tuesday in the House Health and Human Services Committee - after it languished in the House for a year.
Time, organizers say, could mean life or death for a patient.
"My mother developed terrible psoriasis and arthritis, and I encouraged her to use it," he said, referring to cannabis . "And she felt like the law was the law, and she didn't use it and she was prescribed FDA-approved drugs - which actually killed her," he said.
HB 2330, introduced by Rep. Gayle Finney of Wichita, would legalize marijuana use for patients with certain debilitating medical conditions, served by designated care centers.
Advocates say cannabis reduces pain, moderates nausea and increases appetite among people suffering from cancer, aids, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis c and other maladies.
But the measure has made little headway since Finney introduced it last year.
Committee chairwoman Brenda Landwehr had walked out of a hearing on a similar bill two years ago.
"We'd like for [the committee] to actually have a real hearing, listen to this honest and fair debate about it, have a discussion about it. And then get this bill out of the committee and move it to the floor," she said.
Opponents of medical marijuana say that's the wrong place to decide on a medical issue.
"Marijuana is not a medicine," Dr. Eric Voth, an addiction specialist at Stormont-Vail Healthcare, said. "It's very impure, it's very unreliable. And to vote to make something a medicine, bypasses the FDA and it creates something by popular vote," he said.
"And that is a very serious thing we should not embrace." Voth also serves as chairman of the Institute on Global Drug Policy.
Freeman says that though medical marijuana doesn't cure, his mother would have avoided the drug that killed her.
"I think that if she hadn't taken that risk with an FDA-approved medicine, she'd still be here today to play with my daughter," he said.
California Supreme Court to rule on medical marijuana tiff
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Mon, January, 23rd 2012 by THCFinder
The issue of whether cities and counties in the state of California can ban medical marijuana stores - as some have done - will be reviewed by the California Supreme Court. But don't hold your breath as the ruling is as long as 2 years down the road.
The state's supreme court held closed door sessions last week and made the decision they would review rulings made by lower appeals California courts. This makes lower court decisions that have gone against medical marijuana stores are now put on hold until such time as the Supreme Court makes a ruling.
The chief counsel for a medical marijuana advocacy group called 'Americans for Safe Access', Joe Elford, told media after the Supreme Court decision that patients have been harmed by the lower court decisions and he applauded the higher courts decisions to review them.
"These cases were very problematic for patients and their ability to safely and legally access a medication that works for them," Elford said. "We're very pleased that local governments will now be unable to use appellate court decisions to deny patients access to medical marijuana in their own communities."
Supreme Court to look at two marijuana issues:
The court said there are two issues they will review. There have been rulings in California in which cities and counties have ruled against medical marijuana stores and sought to shut them down. For example, in L.A. due to lower court rulings the city was planning to bar all medical marijuana dispensaries.
The Supreme Court will also look at the state and Federal government remaining at loggerheads, with state law allowing medical marijuana dispensaries, and federal saying marijuana is not legal, period. The state legalized medical marijuana in 1996, the first state in the U.S. to do so.
There are now 16 states and DC in which the use of marijuana is permitted with the recommendation of a doctor, the latest state to join the list is Delaware last year. Medical marijuana is also legal in Canada and other countries.
No timeline for the review as yet been announced.
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