New Research Backing up Medical Marijuana
While the federal government says marijuana has no medicinal value and does its best to stifle research, the state of California has spent nearly $9 million studying the effects of medical cannabis.
But after about a dozen years, things are coming to an end as the budget for these studies is drying up.
The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research in California — established by the Legislature to find out if marijuana has therapeutic value — has now all but completed America’s most comprehensive studies into the efficacy of pot.
And what did they find?
A myriad of areas of study were researched, and marijuana was found to provide pain relief for those with HIV/AIDS and other painful ailments, plus the “Volcano” Vaporizer was found to deliver a healthier form of cannabis. Those are just some of the 300 subjects researched since the Center was established in 1999.
“Every one of the studies showed a benefit,” said Dr. Igor Grant, a neuropsychiatrist who served as director of the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research. “The convergence of evidence makes me convinced there is a medical benefit here and there may be a niche for cannabis.”
Dr. Grant says the federal government scheduling of marijuana in the same category as heroin and LSD and claiming it has no medical value “is completely at odds with the existing science.”
“It is intellectually dishonest to say it has no value whatsoever, because it’s just not true,” he said.
Dr. Donald Abrams at UC San Francisco and Dr. Ronald Ellis at UC San Diego knew AIDS and HIV patients with nerve damage were treating themselves with cannabis to quell shooting pains, so they sought to find out.
In separate clinical trials between 2002 and 2006, Abrams and Ellis found that patients infected with HIV got marked pain relief from pot — even on top of prescription pain medications.
In May, a published study by Jody Corey-Bloom, director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at UC San Diego, reported that 30 patients smoking marijuana got noticeable relief from painful spasticity.
Marijuana has obvious medical benefits, and it’s time the federal government reschedules cannabis and allows full-blown research nationwide.
Researchers in AZ Say Marijuana Not Effective for a Range of Issues; What are they Smoking?
As health department officials in Arizona consider adding more ailments to the list of those qualified for medical marijuana (http://www.thcfinder.com), a new study from researchers at the University of Arizona are saying that there is little or no evidence that marijuana helps with the new conditions to be added.
The researchers, working for the state Department of Health Services, which oversees the state's medical-marijuana program, reviewed dozens of scientific studies related to marijuana use for the four medical conditions - anxiety, migraines, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder - and determined that most of the research was of little value in deducing the medicinal risks and benefits.
"The key question for us is: Do the benefits outweigh the risks?" said Will Humble, state health director. "And there's just not that much research in this area to help form our policy decisions."
It’s true that research is important, but we must always remember that these decisions affect real people, and aren’t just a bunch of lab results. Will Humble will be making the decision on adding the four ailments, and it seems as though he is taking all things into account, including personal testimony and reviews of documents submitted by people who want to expand the medical-marijuana program.
It is very accurate to say that more research needs to be done on marijuana and its medical properties; there is likely so much more the cannabis plant can do. But while the federal government drags its feet and delays such research, real people are suffering from real ailments and they get real relief from marijuana.
Beyond that, you have to wonder what studies these researchers were looking at, because there are many studies that point to marijuana’s efficacy with these ailments that can be found with a simple Google search.
Medical Marijuanas 78-Year-Old Billionaire Supporter
The main financial backer of the ballot measure in Massachusetts to legalize medicinal marijuana is 78-year old billionaire and former chairman of Progressive Insurance, Peter Lewis.
Lewis has given $525,000 to the campaign behind the measure in MA, and has given an estimated $40 million to marijuana law reform measures nationwide.
Lewis says he was a recreational marijuana smoker earlier in his life, but after an infection took his lower left leg, he realized firsthand the value of marijuana as a pain killer. On his experience in the hospital dealing with the pain, Lewis writes, “I was very glad I had marijuana. It didn’t exactly eliminate the pain, but it made the pain tolerable — and it let me avoid those heavy-duty narcotic pain relievers that leave you incapacitated.”
In 2012 alone Lewis has donated to reform efforts in Washington, Colorado, and his home state of Ohio.
The reason the propaganda against marijuana has been so successful is the money behind it. From William Randolph Hearst’s smear campaign against marijuana in the 1930’s to the alcohol and pharmaceutical companies funding the drug-free America campaigns in modern times, there have always been rich people looking to profit off of marijuana prohibition.
But here is a rich man using his money to actually bring about political change that will help millions of people, millions of sick people.
Simply put, the medical marijuana movement needs more money behind it. Political campaigns cannot be effective without money, for signature gathering all the way to getting out the vote on Election Day.
Elected officials on all levels would be more amenable to look into the medical marijuana issue if they were getting campaign money from MMJ supporters like Peter Lewis. This is why medical marijuana support in places like the U.S. Congress lags so far behind public polls; money.
A Big Mistake In Obama's War on Medical Marijuana
SAN FRANCISCO -- An Oakland medical marijuana dispensary that has been billed as the largest pot shop on the planet has been targeted for closure by federal prosecutors in Northern California, suggesting that a crackdown on the state's medical marijuana industry remains well under way.
I now find the need to consider actions regarding marijuana superstores such as Harborside. The larger the operation, the greater the likelihood that there will be abuse of the state's medical marijuana laws, and marijuana in the hands of individuals who do not have a demonstrated medical need. - U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag
Arizona Considers Adding more Ailments to MMJ Qualifying List
Voters in Arizona approved medical marijuana in the fall of 2010, and after the Governor’s stalling, medical marijuana dispensaries are finally starting to open across the state. Now advocates are looking to capitalize on their momentum by getting more ailments adding to the medical marijuana qualifying list, thereby adding more patients that can legally be helped.
Arizona health officials are considering adding post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety and migraines to a list that currently includes cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Lou Gehrig's disease, Crohn's disease or Alzheimer's disease.
Ingrid Joya runs Elements Caregivers Collective, a medical-marijuana caregiver collective in northeast Phoenix, and she is excited about the prospect of helping more people. “I absolutely think the program should be expanded,” she said. “We were one of the co-sponsors of the PTSD application. The state didn't touch on any mental-health issues. And I think with PTSD, there's enough data and research that suggests marijuana can work very effectively on it. When you think of how marijuana works as a blocker in the brain, it makes sense that it would work with PTSD because most people suffering from it are reliving those memories.”
But Carolyn Short, chairwoman of Keep Arizona Drug Free, is against every aspect of the MMJ law. “I think they should voluntarily get rid of it before the federal government comes into the state and shuts it down,” Carolyn opined. “It's illegal. It's an unconstitutional law that is going to get struck down, and I think we're wasting a whole lot of time. Under federal law, marijuana is illegal to use, grow or sell. There is no exception for marijuana sold for so-called medical marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.”
While Carolyn’s bedside manner leaves a lot to be desired, she has somewhat of a point when it comes to the feds. The Department of Justice is dead-set against medical marijuana and they have the muscle to back up their threats. It’s only a matter of time before Arizona becomes a target.
Oregon Ends Medical Marijuana Deductions for Food Stamp Eligibility
Last week we told you (http://www.thcfinder.com)about the state of Oregon allowing medical marijuana expenses to be deducted when calculating whether or not someone is eligible for food stamp benefits. It seemed like a rather enlightened view for a state government to take. So you can guess what happened next.
The federal government has stepped and and told Oregon – as well as Maine and New Mexico – that they can no longer do this, or they will face sanctions.
In Oregon deducting medical marijuana expenses from your income for food stamps has been the practice since voters legalized medical cannabis in 1998. But the recent media coverage alerted the feds, who decided this was unacceptable.
"It's a sad day when we have to see this kind of retreat based on what appears to be federal pressure and federal intimidation," said Kris Hermes, a spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, the country's largest medical marijuana advocacy group. "It makes one wonder when the federal government is going to come around and realize this is indeed a public health issue and address the problem accordingly. It's a problem only in the sense that the federal government is creating the problem."
Obama and his underlings talk about public health and not wanting to hurt patients all the time, but who else could this hurt but patients in these three states? Where is their healthcare? Where is their hope and change?
"States that currently allow for the deduction of medical marijuana must cease this practice immediately and make any necessary corrections to their state policy manuals and instructions," wrote Lizbeth Silbermann, director of the USDA's Food and Nutrition Service's program development division.
"States that are not in compliance may face penalties for any overissuance of SNAP benefits," she wrote.
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