Let Our Patients Toke

Let Our Patients Toke
Posted by CN Staff on December 01, 2008 at 06:52:51 PT
By Alecks Kim 
Source: Chicago Flame 
Michigan -- In November's election, Michigan became the thirteenth state of the United States to legalize medical marijuana, defying federal law in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which classifies "marihuana" as a Class I drug. When Congress passed this act, it audaciously declared cannabis to have a high potential for abuse, a lack of acceptable safety in use, and no medical value. Meanwhile, they scheduled cocaine - a drug which had caused countless deaths, was known to be dangerously addictive and involved in international organized crime - as a Class II drug. 
Apparently, the venerable usage of marijuana in medicine was spurious compared to cocaine's highly limited utility in certain anesthetic applications (in which the highly toxic drug can often be replaced by safer medications anyways).Ever since then, groups like NORML have called upon Congress to rethink marijuana's scheduling as the large body of (now legally difficult to conduct, yet persevering) medical research involving cannabis continues to grow.We've all heard by now that this humble little shrub can be used to alleviate chronic pain, nausea, asthma and glaucoma. AIDS sufferers and chemotherapy patients often make the news after federal agents seize their medical marijuana and arrest their suppliers. But the almost miraculous-seeming pharmacological array present in these plants has been revealed to offer much more to modern medicine. It has slowed the growth of lung tumors and decreased hardening of the arteries in lab rats and mice. Just this past summer, certain compounds from marijuana were shown to be able to kill the MRSA superbug, which is difficult to treat with current antibiotics.To keep medical marijuana illegal is to be contemptuous of science and our patients. Time and time again, marijuana has been shown to be safe and effective. Yet in 2004 Merck had to pull its anti-inflamatory drug Vioxx from the market after it killed an FDA-estimated 27,000. Surely if we allow such insufficiently tested drugs to be sold to the public, a plant that had been deemed by multiple authorities to be less dangerous than alcohol is safe enough. Our legislation regarding marijuana must have been authored by individuals who were either highly irrational, or let their offense at the youth culture and its attack on their generation's entrenched mores supercede expert medical opinion. And indeed, after the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse relseased its report in 1973 stating that with zero related fatalities and zero linked deviancy or drug abuse, marijuana should be decriminalized, President Nixon regarded it as rubbish, even though he himself had appointed nine of the thirteen commissioners to skew their findings.Of course, just because our current marijuana policy is highly politicized and moralistic, doesn't mean that it can't be changed to be more compassionate and medically sound. More than a dozen states and their voters have disregarded and undermined cannabis' schedule by Congress in demanding marijuana for their patients. So I say this to anyone with a speck of empathy in their hearts: please show some compassion to our patients, and let them have cannabis.Source: Chicago Flame (IL Edu)Author: Alecks Kim Published: December 1, 2008Copyright: 2008 Chicago FlameWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #3 posted by fight_4_freedom on December 02, 2008 at 15:23:45 PT
Great article from my neighboring city of Saginaw
It features a story about my friend and fellow minorml member Charles Snyder.Worth a read. It was even put on the front page with a big old picture of Charles. Not to mention it was the Sunday paper!"Trying to ease my suffering"Sunday, November 30, 2008THE SAGINAW NEWSUnlike former president Bill Clinton, Charles H. Snyder III inhales.On bad days, he heats up marijuana three times a day. On good days, it's less.However, on bad days -- when the chronic pain from glaucoma and the rare genetic disorder Nail-patella syndrome becomes unbearable -- the 31-year-old Genesee County resident sniffs more marijuana through an electric vaporizer."For seven years, doctors tried to find the right formula of pain pills to help me lead a more normal life," said the married father of a toddler daughter. "They never found the right combination or dosage amount that didn't make things worse. It's not about getting high. I'm not a thug. I'm trying to ease my suffering."Snyder estimates he's one of approximately 50,000 Michigan patients struggling with chronic pain who rejoiced when citizens passed the controversial Proposal 1 in the Nov. 4 general election.When the proposal takes effect Thursday, Michigan will join Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington in permitting medical marijuana to treat cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, chronic pain and HIV/AIDS -- without fear of state prosecution.Compassionate?Snyder is a member of the Ferndale-based medical marijuana reform advocacy group Michigan Coalition for Compassionate Care.An unemployed construction worker, he began using marijuana after reading about the relief it provides. Absent or underdeveloped kneecaps and thumbnails characterize Nail-Patella, which causes bone, joint, fingernails and kidney abnormalities.He began buying it seven years ago from "underground people I trust."He uses a vaporizer to heat the drug to 356 to 392 degrees -- nearly the same temperature as baking a cake -- to release active cannabinoids, but below the point where the heat produces carcinogenic tars and noxious gases."There are less than 100 people in mid-Michigan that I'm aware of using marijuana for medical reasons, but who knows for sure, since people are afraid of being put through the ringer or arrested," Snyder said. "For me it's more important to have some type of quality of life, so the fear and danger involved with buying illegal drugs are worth it because I'm taking a more proactive role in my overall well being."The proposal allows people to use and grow marijuana to treat certain medical conditions with a physician's authorization. However, users of the mind-altering drug -- also known as cannabis, weed, herb, maryjane, reefer, 'the chronic', pot and blunts -- must register with the state.Once licensed, patients may possess 2.5 ounces or less of marijuana and cultivate no more than 12 plants in an enclosed, locked facility, according to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. complete article here
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Comment #2 posted by HempWorld on December 01, 2008 at 16:10:03 PT
Let Our Patients Vaporize!
Science May 2003: "The Volcano” Vaporizer virtually eliminates Toxins in Herbal medicine Delivery A new study has shown that the vaporization of cannabis in "The Volcano” vaporization device drastically reduces the production of harmful substances in comparison to smoking and produces a virtually pure flow of cannabinoids with very few by-products. The smoke of combusted cannabis normally contains similar toxins to those found in tobacco smoke and smoke from other plant material; substances that can damage tissue and can lead to chronic bronchitis and cancer.The study, conducted by Chemic Labs in Canton, Mass., tested vapors from cannabis heated in "The Volcano” and compared them to smoke produced by combusted marijuana. "The Volcano” is designed to heat material to temperatures of 130° to 230° C (266° to 446° F) where medically active vapors are produced, but below the threshold of combustion where smoke is formed. Previous studies have found that vaporizers can reduce harmful toxins in cannabis smoke. However this is the first study to analyze the gas phase of the vapor for a wide range of toxins. A preliminary study was first conducted of the best vaporizers currently available on the market to discover which vaporizer is the most likely candidate for approval by a clinical study undertaken by the American Food and Drug Association, the FDA.This study discovered that "The Volcano” manufactured in Germany, was the selected device due to its first-class quality, convincing design and superb analysis values.The analysis showed that "The Volcano” vapor was remarkably clean, consisting of 95% of THC with traces of cannabinol (CBN). The remaining 5% consisted of small amounts of three other components: one suspected cannabinoid relative, one suspected PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon) and caryophyllene, a fragrant oil (fragrant). In contrast, over 111 different chemicals appeared in the gas (smoke) of combusted cannabis , including a half dozen known PAHs. Non-cannabinoids accounted for as much as 88% of the total gas content of the smoke.Cannabinoids are non-toxic; the risk to the respiratory tracts derives from the combusted harmful substances alone.The study was sponsored by the US-American organizations the Californian NORML, MAPS and MPP to the tune of $ 57,000. It used cannabis supplied by the US authority NIDA with a THC content of 4 %.A quantitative analysis found that "The Volcano” delivered 46% of the THC into vapor following three 45-second exposures of the cannabis sample to the heat. Previous studies showed typical effectiveness of cannabis cigarettes for experienced smokers to be approximately 25 %. It was pointed out that additional heat exposure combined with intermittent rubbing of the sample made an even higher efficiency possible. The study, however, was primarily concerned with providing evidence to the FDA (Food and Drug Association) that no harmful substance was present.Dr. Donald Abrams of the University of California, San Francisco, has been a granted FDA approval and permission to do Medical Cannabis Research for the California Center in San Diego to test "The Volcano” on human subjects.
Vaporize it!
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Comment #1 posted by runruff on December 01, 2008 at 14:32:49 PT
sounds a bit like 
"Let My People Grow"!
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