MMJ Gets a Boost from Major Doctors Group
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MMJ Gets a Boost from Major Doctors Group
Posted by CN Staff on November 10, 2009 at 20:37:10 PT
By John Hoeffel
Source: Los Angeles Times 
USA -- The American Medical Assn. on Tuesday urged the federal government to reconsider its classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use, a significant shift that puts the prestigious group behind calls for more research.The nation's largest physicians organization, with about 250,000 member doctors, the AMA has maintained since 1997 that marijuana should remain a Schedule I controlled substance, the most restrictive category, which also includes heroin and LSD.
In changing its policy, the group said its goal was to clear the way for clinical research, develop cannabis-based medicines and devise alternative ways to deliver the drug."Despite more than 30 years of clinical research, only a small number of randomized, controlled trials have been conducted on smoked cannabis," said Dr. Edward Langston, an AMA board member, noting that the limited number of studies was "insufficient to satisfy the current standards for a prescription drug product."The decision by the organization's delegates at a meeting in Houston marks another step in the evolving view of marijuana, which an AMA report notes was once linked by the federal government to homicidal mania. Since California voters approved the use of medical marijuana in 1996, marijuana has moved steadily into the cultural mainstream spurred by the growing awareness that it has some beneficial effects for chronically ill people.This year, the Obama administration sped up that drift when it ordered federal narcotics agents not to arrest medical marijuana users and providers who follow state laws. Polls show broadening support for marijuana legalization.Thirteen states allow the use of medical marijuana and about a dozen more have considered it this year.The AMA, however, also adopted as part of its new policy a sentence that admonishes: "This should not be viewed as an endorsement of state-based medical cannabis programs, the legalization of marijuana, or that scientific evidence on the therapeutic use of cannabis meets the current standards for a prescription drug product."The association also rejected a proposal to issue a more forceful call for marijuana to be rescheduled.Nevertheless, marijuana advocates welcomed the development. "They're clearly taking an open-minded stance and acknowledging that the evidence warrants a review. That is very big," said Bruce Mirken, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project. "It's not surprising that they are moving cautiously and one step at a time, but this is still a very significant change."Advocates also noted that the AMA rejected an amendment that they said would undercut the medical marijuana movement. The measure would have made it AMA's policy that "smoking is an inherently unsafe delivery method for any therapeutic agent, and therefore smoked marijuana should not be recommended for medical use."Dr. Michael M. Miller, a psychiatrist who practices addiction medicine, proposed the amendment. "Smoking is a bad delivery system because you're combusting something and inhaling it," he said.Reaction from the federal government was muted.Dawn Dearden, a spokeswoman for the Drug Enforcement Administration, said, "At this point, it's still a Schedule I drug, and we're going to treat it as such." The Food and Drug Administration declined to comment.In a statement, the office of the White House drug czar reiterated the administration's opposition to legalization and said that it would defer to "the FDA's judgment that the raw marijuana plant cannot meet the standards for identity, strength, quality, purity, packaging and labeling required of medicine."The DEA classifies drugs into five schedules, with the fifth being the least restrictive. Schedule II drugs, such as cocaine and morphine, are considered to have a high potential for abuse, but also to have accepted medical uses.Several petitions have been filed to reschedule marijuana. The first, filed in 1972, bounced back and forth between the DEA and the courts until it died in 1994. A petition filed in 2002 is under consideration.Kris Hermes, a spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, said that advocates hoped the petition would receive more attention. "Given the change of heart by the AMA, there is every opportunity for the Obama administration to do just that," he said.In a report released with its new policy, the AMA notes that the organization was "virtually alone" in opposing the first federal restrictions on marijuana, which were adopted in 1937. Cannabis had been used in various medicinal products for years, but fell in to disuse in the early 20th century.Sunil Aggarwal, a medical student at the University of Washington, helped spark the AMA's reconsideration after he researched marijuana's effect on 186 chronically ill patients. "I had reason to believe that there was medical good that could come from these products, and I wanted to see AMA policy reflect that," he said.The AMA is not the only major doctors organization to rethink marijuana. In 2008, the American College of Physicians, the second-largest physician group, called for "rigorous scientific evaluation of the potential therapeutic benefits of medical marijuana" and an "evidence-based review of marijuana's status as a Schedule I controlled substance."Last month, the California Medical Assn. passed resolutions that declared the criminalization of marijuana "a failed public health policy" and called on the organization to take part in the debate on changing current policy.Source: Los Angeles Times (CA)Author: John HoeffelPublished: November 11, 2009Copyright: 2009 Los Angeles TimesContact: letters latimes.comWebsite: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on November 11, 2009 at 17:37:52 PT
It may not be "Medford" that's "Picking" on you. But it looks like someone, somewhere, sure is.
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Comment #17 posted by GeoChemist on November 11, 2009 at 16:24:59 PT
The stupid LEO
"I think your head has become clouded from your erb" I rest my case
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Comment #16 posted by FoM on November 11, 2009 at 16:09:26 PT
MMJ: A Refresher on The 'Medical' Component
Medical Marijuana: A Refresher on The 'Medical' ComponentNovember 11, 2009 When it comes to medical marijuana, the nation's doctors seem to be softening their stance even as local officials harden theirs. All things considered, perhaps a refresher on the treatment and research realities is in order.Today's story on medical marijuana by staff writer John Hoeffel begins: "The American Medical Assn. on Tuesday urged the federal government to reconsider its classification of marijuana as a dangerous drug with no accepted medical use, a significant shift that puts the prestigious group behind calls for more research."And Tuesday's story begins: "As hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries have opened this year in a startling rollout across California, unnerved local officials have started to push back aggressively. Many cities and a few counties have banned them. Others have imposed emergency moratoriums. And some have started to sue dispensaries to force them to close. So far, the state's courts have sided with local officials."Now back to marijuana's uses and potential. This article from health journalist Judy Foreman offers an overview of marijuana's safety and effectiveness in treating pain, cancer and other conditions. It notes, "There is a growing body of studies, much of it supportive of the drug’s medical usage, though some of it cautionary.’’ For more, check out a 2008 L.A. Times Health section story by freelancer Jill U. Adams.And here's a nice explainer, via the National Pain Foundation, on how the drug affects pain. Plus a look at the issue from It poses the question: "Should marijuana be a medical option?""Medical" is the operative word for this element of the debate.— Tami DennisCopyright: 2009 Los Angeles TimesURL:
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Comment #15 posted by kaptinemo on November 11, 2009 at 15:55:03 PT:
Wannabe tin-pot dictators...may soon be tin-less
If only because the government cannot afford to pay them.Think about it. What's been happening nationally is already being felt at the lowest levels of government: the municipalities, the counties, and the States. much longer do those who attempt to lord it over their released 'charges' believe they will be able to? Especially when the issue will eventually, inexorably, inevitably force a decision: having to choose between placating an angry and desperate unemployed electorate that's run out of patience with the political system...or paying parole officers?The former will require massive cuts to the entire LEO/Prison system, with corresponding cuts to such 'services' as parole boards. Witness what's happening in California. There's simply no money. Zero. Zip. Nada. Nichivo. NONE. And what happens there sooner of later is mirrored in every State in the Union.Those who work in the system, expecting the fiscal cavalry to come racing over the hill, should lay off the booze and take up cannabis, in order to preserve what few brains cells the booze hasn't destroyed. They're the ones not thinking clearly, and are plainly in denial of their own impending organizational (and personal!) fiscal Armageddon. For jobs like theirs are definitely not of importance to national survival, as, say, a soldier's. A point which will be made all too clearly when the next round of mortgage defaults begin, in a few weeks. And in times of fiscal calamity, like as not, a form of triage always takes place. And that triage can be coldly the professional DrugWarriors and their enablers will learn to their horror.Yep, like my old instructors who survived the 'Nam used to tell me, over and over, "What comes around, goes around." When it's their turn, they'll know what kind of pain they've visited upon their fellow citizens.I can't wait...
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Comment #14 posted by runruff on November 11, 2009 at 13:10:39 PT
Reply from my Po
Medford is part of the U.S.District Court of Oregon. We are employee's of the court, and we follow the orders of the court.  
You need to get it out of your head that it is "Medford" that is picking on you. I think your head has become clouded from your erb. 
You will be receiving something in the mail soon, and i expect you to follow it. We will also be going back to court in the near future to 
straighten out this matter.  Scott E. Lewis
U.S. Probation
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Comment #13 posted by runruff on November 11, 2009 at 13:09:07 PT
Letter to my PO!
But recently, the U.S. Justice Department announced that it would be shifting its marijuana prosecution efforts, and, in a memo from Deputy Attorney General David W. Ogden, said that federal prosecutors “should not focus federal resources in your States on individuals whose actions are in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state laws providing for the medical use of marijuana.”This announcement signaled that the federal government will essentially be allowing individual states to decide the legality of medical marijuana for themselves.For legalization activists in states where medical marijuana is not legal, such as Florida, the new policy provides a powerful incentive to continue in efforts toward legalization.Since all federal employees essentially march to the same drum, naturally I wonder why Medford is out of step?Jerry 
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Comment #12 posted by museman on November 11, 2009 at 12:49:01 PT
runruff -our neck-of-the-woods
This is all cops, DAs, lawyers, and their support minions.State and local cops staked out known medical grows. Followed and had under surveilance at least 2 people I am aware of, 1 was stopped for alledged traffic, vehicle searched after verifying medical card status. No cannabis was found, and no charges were filed -including the so-called 'traffic violation.'They are profiling license plates from our valley, and the Williams valley. I myself was stopped on my way into Grants Pass, but I had all my 'papers' together. The Gestapo was disappointed.The increase in police presence here, went from 0 to more than 3 cars average per day, since the first harvests began in early October.Though mr. O supposedly put the kaibash on DEA, and cop persecution of 'medical marijuana growers and patients "who are in compliance with state law"' the fine print "...resources that should be used in the investigation and prosecution of of medical marijuana abusers..." pretty much gave the cops, lawyers, DAs, judges, etc. the green light to use all their sneaky underhanded lies, deceptions, tricks, traps, and extortions to carry on the drug war to the ful extent of the law -which they STILL BELIEVE THEY ARE!!!!The skirmishes nationwide are going in our favor -so tis said, but I'm afraid that the fangs we though pulled from the ultimate corruption of life called 'law' and all the attending servants, minions, and slaves, may only amount to some baby teeth. No solution that avoids the root issues that brought about all the lies, persecutions, social damage, eco-destruction, and continual war inflicted by the same class, ilk, and breed of 'people' since the first King sat on his throne, is going to do anything but set up another control for the rulers.COPS, and all their putred, souless, masters, need to be euthanized. Since the people can't get up enough fortitude to take the collective liberty and resolve what is necessary to remove the blighted spirit that rules over us, it will fall inevitably to the Greater Spirits of the Earth and the Cosmos to clean up our mess.None of the compromises being leglislated and discussed -as if they were solutions- are going to address the issues that are the root causes of the consciousness that prohibits the natural, inherent, and Ya given liberty every one of us has been robbed of. (by the status quo)But we can continue to argue and debate the nuances of shallow points of contention, while the same ol rotten spirit continues to harass, judge, imprison, thieve, lie, murder, condemn, and in general prove the existence of Satanic spirit by their continued action and mockery of all that is good.Sorry, but the evidence I see shows no tangible adress to the causes, only the symptoms. And any Healer ("doctors?" -LMAO) knows that one does not cure the ailment by mere treatment of the symptoms.The only real progress is in consciousness, that a significant number of supposedly 'in touch' and 'intelligent' people still cannot see, understand, or grasp in any useful way. And many mock the actual progress in consciousness that has been made by their Status Quo 'patent phrasing.' Defending the right of the elite to remain in power, by giving in one bit to their agendas is traitorous, but in a nation of willy-nilly compromisers, hardly anyone knows what CONVICTION and DEDICATION really means anymore. If it ain't on the mainstream (but shallow) 'majority', lemming, agenda, it can't have worth or value.Before its over there is going to be a lot of collateral damage, from the PIGS. And until THEY are addressed as the violent preverse, lying, stealing, sub-human predators that they are, look for more details in the mainstream media.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #11 posted by runruff on November 11, 2009 at 07:40:13 PT
More home grown tyranny!
Like I said, there will be money and herb to be stolen by LEO's right up until the last cow comes home!
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Comment #10 posted by runruff on November 11, 2009 at 07:13:32 PT
Yes but....
gun spelled backwards is n-u-g!
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on November 11, 2009 at 04:41:34 PT
UPI: AMA Body Calls for Medical Pot Review
November 11, 2009Houston -- The American Medical Association
 House of Delegates has called for a review of a U.S. ban on prescribing marijuana for medical use.Meeting in Houston, the group declined to endorse state-based medical marijuana programs but voted in favor of reviewing the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug, the AMA said on its Web site Tuesday. Schedule I is the only classification of controlled substances that may not be prescribed by a physician.URL:
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Comment #8 posted by GeoChemist on November 11, 2009 at 03:51:42 PT
I just love this line
"The DEA classifies drugs into five schedules." I didn't realize a high school diploma and six months at a community college were enough to obtain credentials to classify drugs. Most cops can't spell B-O-B backwards, but hey, here's a gun. 
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Comment #7 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on November 11, 2009 at 03:45:08 PT
Grape minds taste alike!
I didn't see your post, runruff, till after I posted mine.
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Comment #6 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on November 11, 2009 at 03:41:10 PT
Schedule 1 is our Berlin Wall
And the state of Cannabis Prohibition today reminds me of the state of Communism in the late 1980s.And before Reagan said it, I was telling people that Gorbachev could prove he was different by tearing down the Wall.Even after Reagan said it, no one could really imagine that it would really happen. After all, Communism had lasted 70 years. (Sound familiar?)So, before some right wing jerk off steals his thunder, I hope our Gorbachev will take my advice, and do the inevitable -Mr. Obama, tear down that wall!
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Comment #5 posted by runruff on November 11, 2009 at 02:58:16 PT
That was no brick, that was a wall!
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on November 11, 2009 at 02:56:42 PT
My name is Rip Van Winkle and I have just woke up after 40 years.What's new?
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Comment #3 posted by herbdoc215 on November 10, 2009 at 23:04:44 PT
I am one of those 186 people...
I even let Sunil (who is a double major PhD and MD in residency now with my MD) do a paper on my reaction to cannabis and how it's kept my opiate use at 100% the same for >20 years which in medical terms is a miracle in itself...that he just submitted to New England Journal of Medicine.
I even lived with him for a couple of weeks back in 05 so he could see effects himself up close that just got written up into paper. This is the umptenth time I've been poked and prodded but the first time I have seen it lead to light...there are a whole generation of researchers out there like Sunil who are the ones whom will end this war! peace, steve
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Comment #2 posted by MikeC on November 10, 2009 at 21:09:00 PT
That is great news! Another brick in the wall of prohibition has fallen.  
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on November 10, 2009 at 20:38:39 PT
We Really are Winning
We have had great news today.
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