New Study: Marijuana Useful for Treating Pain 
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New Study: Marijuana Useful for Treating Pain 
Posted by CN Staff on February 17, 2010 at 19:53:02 PT
By Josh Richman, Contra Costa Times
Source: Contra Costa Times
Sacramento, CA -- Medical marijuana is a promising treatment for some specific pain-related medical conditions, researchers from the University of California's Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research reported Wednesday.State-funded studies conducted over the past decade have found marijuana effective by itself or in combination with other drugs for conditions such as nerve pain associated with HIV and muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.
Although California was the first of 14 states to legalize marijuana's medical use, it remains the only state to have spent public money on researching the drug's efficacy. It has been 20 years since the last results of U.S. clinical trials of smoked marijuana."This study confirms all of the anecdotal evidence" of suffering eased by marijuana, said state Sen. Mark Leno, D-San Francisco.Leno was joined at a Capitol news conference by researchers and by former state Sen. John Vasconcellos, D-Santa Clara, who authored the 1999 legislation commissioning this $8.7 million worth of research following the 1996 passage of Proposition 215, which legalized marijuana for medical purposes.The center's director, Dr. Igor Grant, said two more studies are still in progress, to be finished by sometime next year with the $400,000 left from the Legislature's original appropriation. After that, he said, the center will remain as an "administrative entity" to interact with federal agencies about its research results and to consult with other researchers. Drug companies haven't been interested in funding the center's research, he said.Leno said there won't be any more state money coming."I think there was a window of opportunity when Senator Vasconcellos was here," he said, but now, even appropriating a few million dollars from the cash-strapped state budget for further research "would mean something else gets cut even further."But Leno said results from research already conducted should help Congress reopen the debate over "why the federal government is coming between a doctor and his or her patients" regarding a drug for which there's now more scientific evidence of efficacy. Red Tape  Grant said the research took a long time mostly because of all the federal bureaucracy involved in obtaining marijuana for studies."It's just a very cumbersome system and it takes a while to get anything done," he said.California law permits use of marijuana for "anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief. Grant acknowledged Wednesday that the center's studies touched on only a few of these areas. "There may well be other uses, but those should be subject to scientific investigation, too," he said, adding that he doesn't believe the research will have any bearing on this year's coming battles over a ballot measure and legislation that would legalize marijuana for recreational use."Our focus really has been on medical applications," he said. "The issue of social and recreational use? That's for somebody else."Later Wednesday, Drug Policy Alliance California State Director Stephen Gutwillig called the research "significant and worthwhile.""But it doesn't fill the enormous vacuum created by the federal government's monopoly on the supply of marijuana that can be used in clinical research," Gutwillig said.The only legal source of marijuana for these and other studies is the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which oversees a farm at the University of Mississippi.More than 80 million Americans live in the 14 states with medical-marijuana laws, Gutwillig noted."That alone cries out for a vast acceleration in research," he said. Short on Volunteers  Researchers didn't find enough participants for a proposed study on combining marijuana with narcotic painkillers for cancer pain relief because it would have required either nine days of hospitalization or 16 weeks without driving. Another proposed study, on using marijuana to quell nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy, couldn't begin because researchers "could not identify a sufficient number of patients with sufficiently severe nausea," the report says. "It appeared that current anti-nausea treatments are often highly effective."And another study, of marijuana use for advanced cancer pain that's unresponsive to all other painkillers, had to be scrapped because most patients referred through local hospices "were often already smoking cannabis for pain control" without the clinical controls necessary for proper research.Read more about the CMCR's research at: Contra Costa Times (CA)Author: Josh Richman, Contra Costa TimesPublished: December 17, 2009Copyright: 2010 Bay Area News GroupContact: letters cctimes.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #2 posted by runruff on February 18, 2010 at 04:37:11 PT
DEA, how they look to the watching world?
"These DEA raids are out of compliance with both the will of Colorado voters and that of the White House," I guess it is not politically correct to point out how out of compliance they really are: anti-nature, anti-god, anti-constitution, anti-bill of rights, anti-humane, anti-budget, anti-health, anti-children, anti-suffering relief, anti-econonic recovery and anti-the right thing to do!DEA, how they look to the watching world?Sociopaths are cocerned about how they appeare to others but they tend to have such narrow vision when it comes to raw greed.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on February 17, 2010 at 20:00:58 PT
Colorado and Obama update
The DEA recently gained attention for busting a legal medical cannabis grower in Colorado.Now, it just so happens Obama is going to be in Colorado tomorrow, in Denver.So naturally there will be a protest for the Prez.-0-Medical Marijuana Patients and Supporters to Rally at Thursday Obama Event
Sensible Colorado leads protesters in call for end to recent "rogue" DEA raids and release of licensed provider and recent arrestee Chris Bartkowicz 
On Thursday, February 18, at an event to be attended by President Obama, medical marijuana patients and supporters will participate in a protest of the continuing federal raids of medical marijuana patients and providers in Colorado. 
This event is a response to the recent Drug Enforcement Administration raids of two front-range medical marijuana testing facilities and the Feb. 12 raid of a licensed medical marijuana grower in Highlands Ranch.   "These DEA raids are out of compliance with both the will of Colorado voters and that of the White House," said Brian Vicente, event organizer and director of Sensible Colorado. "In particular, the recent, armed raid and arrest of licensed medical marijuana provider Chris Bartkowicz, highlights the rogue nature of the regional DEA office. President Obama needs to be made aware of this agency's miscreant actions."   
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