Physicians Unlikely To Embrace MJ as Medicine

Physicians Unlikely To Embrace MJ as Medicine
Posted by CN Staff on December 02, 2007 at 05:23:03 PT
By Keith Humphreys
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco, CA -- It wasn't just women with breast cancer who were excited last month when scientists at California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute showed that a compound found in marijuana may be able to block the growth of aggressive tumors. This finding also cheered activists who hope that mainstream medicine will soon embrace marijuana as a treatment. For a range of reasons, that's extremely unlikely.Effective medicines can of course be derived from plants. Digoxin from foxglove, atropine from belladonna and quinine from cinchona are only a few examples.
The marijuana plant likewise contains potentially therapeutic compounds known as cannabinoids, one of which, cannabidiol, was examined in the breast cancer study. Other research has examined tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) - the cannabinoid in marijuana that is primarily responsible for the plant's psychoactive effects (e.g., feeling "high," hallucinations, changes in mood). THC has been shown to benefit at least some patients with a range of problems, including chemotherapy-induced nausea and the tremors and muscles spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.Nonetheless, only a minority of physicians harbor great enthusiasm for prescribing marijuana cigarettes. Indeed, a survey of almost a thousand physicians by Brown University researchers showed that doctors are significantly less supportive of medical marijuana than is the general public. Older members of the field remember vividly the era when most physicians smoked tobacco cigarettes and cheerfully rated Camel their favorite brand. The tobacco industry built on this foundation with deceptive advertisements linking doctors with smoking in the public mind (currently on exhibit at the UC San Francisco library on 530 Parnassus Ave.), which damaged medicine's credibility.These bitter historical experiences, supplemented by decades of subsequent research evidence that smoke inhalation of all forms (even wood smoke) can cause acute and long-term respiratory damage, make many physicians wary of recommending a smoked medicine. A smoked plant has the further disadvantage from a medical perspective of not being pure (e.g., what if the plant had been sprayed with pesticide?) or of a standardized dose. This exposes the patient to risk of side effects, and the physician to risk of malpractice. Snipped:Complete Article: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)Author: Keith HumphreysPublished: Sunday, December 2, 2007Copyright: 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.Contact: letters sfchronicle.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #9 posted by afterburner on December 03, 2007 at 23:59:32 PT
Meanwhile, Back in Canada
Ottawa restricting access to medical pot: Lawyers. Dec. 03, 2007. The federal government must loosen unfair restrictions that are preventing seriously ill Canadians from obtaining the medical marijuana they need to treat their debilitating illnesses, lawyers for the sick argued today in Federal Court.more
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Comment #8 posted by Sam Adams on December 03, 2007 at 12:07:47 PT
The Chronicle is still a Hearst paper, but it's usually supportive of med MJ.Thank you for your post about Arnold - I've criticized the AG and governor of CA for years for the same reason. They're almost stone silent as the DEA raids their citizens, who voted for legal protection for these people. It's interesting that Jerry Brown is now the AG, and he's even quieter than the last one. He sold out completely! Turned his back on the liberals & hippies that launched his early career. I guess that's just the typical American leadership, isn't it?
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Comment #7 posted by Max Flowers on December 03, 2007 at 10:06:06 PT
This line says it all, doesn't it
Copyright: 2007 Hearst Communications Inc.Up to the same old disinformation they've been up to since the 1930s!
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Comment #6 posted by Max Flowers on December 03, 2007 at 09:56:07 PT
Medical cannabis taxes
To my knowledge there hasn't been a proper test case in California on this issue of city or state taxes collected on medical cannabis and how that affects its legality. I suspect the federal angle will stay the same as it has been, and they will ignore any taxes paid to cities or states as irrelevant. If states would just assert their sovereignty on these issues to the feds (i.e., stand up to them and be loyal to the people of the state), the DEA would lose the political power to interfere that they currently derive almost solely from these kowtowing governors and police chiefs. If, for example, Gov. Schwarzenegger publicly stated to the DEA "hands off medical cannabis in Kally-Fohrnyah, and I mean it. You can keep working hard drugs, but you will stop these irrational attacks on harmless medical patients and the people who supply their medicine" ---I guarantee you, the raids would stop that very day, because they would then know that they would have to do ugly, messy public fights with Arnold every time they did another raid, and they don't have the stomach for that. Also, they cannot legally do operations without clearance from the governor of a state. 
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Comment #5 posted by Sam adams on December 02, 2007 at 18:42:32 PT
what a joke
This article is SO full of complete BS that it's almost laughable. The pill-pushing psychiatrist weighs in on herbal cannabis medicine.To anyone used to reading articles on cannabis, it's quickly obvious that this guy is a hardcore prohibitionist in sheep's clothing. He immediately equates medical MJ to "marijuana cigarettes".  Once that fallacy is established, he then makes a quick attempt to attack vaporization - it's too addictive! And where is the proof of this, I wonder?There is none. He makes a fanciful equating of opium being refined into heroin, as if this had ANYTHING to do with the "addictiveness" of cannabinoids.I love the line about the terrible risk of using cannabis "cigarettes" - you don't know what's in them! Impurities could be in there! Of course, the pills coming out of Chinese drug factories NEVER have any impurities, do they? I'll bet this guy couldn't even begin to name 20% of the ingredients in any of the drugs he prescribes every day. Of course patients will know their cannabis is pure, they'd be growing it themselves if it wasn't for you and your crooked medical profession.This guy is nothing more than a highly trained bullsh** artist. Just think of the crates of pharmaceutical chemicals rolling off his prescription pad. 6 million kids on Prozac alone. They won't have to worry if it's addictive, their brain will be flooded with Prozac or Ritalin 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the rest of their childhood.  Guess that takes care of withdrawal, eh?The mistake was made when the federal govt. took away our right to take medicine and gave it to another man. That is tyranny. That is not freedom. Now, we're subject to whim of cruel liars like this guy to get relief from suffering. 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on December 02, 2007 at 18:19:16 PT
Maybe someone knows more then what I think since I am not from California so I am really guessing. Paying taxes could maybe help in a defense if a club gets raided and the money will help the city but I don't know how much more it will do.
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Comment #3 posted by mykeyb420 on December 02, 2007 at 17:59:59 PT
med pot taxes
 I find you two articles on medical marijauna very interesting. I am a medical cannabis user in SF and recently the "clubs" have started charging a tax on my medicine. They say it is to cover the cost of sales tax. So I am wondering if someone gets busted for cannabis,,if they are legally permitted to use it, and they get busted or have their meds taken away,,is this taxation without representation? Or how about a club,,if they get busted, and they pay their fair share of tax,,what happens if the DEA raids them anyway?? is This taxation without representation????or is it just an excuse to raise the prices??
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Comment #2 posted by ripit on December 02, 2007 at 17:07:04 PT:
yeah and
theres still a lot of ppl out there who don'tknow about vaporizors. and what do they have to say about ingesting cannabis or tinctures?
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Comment #1 posted by John Tyler on December 02, 2007 at 11:29:24 PT
hanging back
Doctors are a cautious lot. They invested a lot or time, effort and money to become doctors. It's a big deal. They are not likely to risk a controversy over medical cannabis. It is difficult for them to administer accurately and then there are the state and local medical boards hovering over them, not to mention the DEA ready to pounce on them too. I expect them to hang back until the dust settles on this issue.
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