Feds’ Praise for Pot Goes Up in Smoke
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Feds’ Praise for Pot Goes Up in Smoke
Posted by CN Staff on March 30, 2011 at 15:56:21 PT
By Stephen Dinan, The Washington Times
Source: Washington Times 
Washington, D.C. -- For a brief time earlier this month the National Cancer Institute, a branch of the federal government’s National Institutes of Health, had posted a webpage touting the possible benefits of marijuana in fighting cancer tumors. But less than two weeks after it went up, the webpage was altered and the approving words stricken.The webpage, added to’s “alternative medicine” section earlier this month, is still there, and still says marijuana has “potential benefits” for treating symptoms of cancer - a groundbreaking assertion for a government-affiliated organization.
But the updated page deletes this praise for marijuana’s ability to combat cancer. “In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct anti-tumor effect,” the excised passage read.The advice is now less supportive, and refers only to symptoms, not to cures: “Though no relevant surveys of practice patterns exist, it appears that physicians caring for cancer patients who prescribe medicinal cannabis predominantly do so for symptom management.”NCI officials initially referred questions to Dr. Donald Abrams, a member of the editorial team. But in an email exchange Tuesday and Wednesday, Dr. Abrams said he was busy and referred questions back to NCI, which then pointed to a webpage written Wednesday by the complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) editorial team that said the changes tried to “add clarification.”“The CAM Board lead reviewers realized that the previous wording could have been misinterpreted as being a recommendation for prescribing cannabis, which was not the intent of the board,” the posting said. “In addition, the current evidence for the anti-tumor properties of cannabis is discussed only in the context of laboratory studies and not in research involving human subjects.”The posting said the work is independent of NCI and NIH.Medical marijuana advocates said they suspected political pressure forced the change, but considered even the current website language a victory since NCI still touts the “potential benefits” of cannabis for treatment of symptoms of people living with cancer, such as pain and sleep problems.“We’re very pleased that NCI, and really NIH, have finally recognized marijuana as a complementary alternative medicine,” said Kris Hermes, a spokesman for Americans for Safe Access, which promotes medical marijuana use and research. “That is a significant step forward. But just as importantly, it points to a contradiction in the federal policy on medical marijuana, and it’s a contradiction that needs to be resolved.”Medical marijuana has become a hot topic in recent years, and 15 states plus the District of Columbia have legalized cannabis use for medicinal purposes. Rules vary across the states, though they generally require a doctor’s permission to obtain or grow marijuana for personal use.Advocates say it can relieve pain, nausea, weight loss and eye pressure symptoms of glaucoma.But the federal government has classified cannabis as a so-called Schedule 1 drug, meaning there is no recognized medical use.In February 2009, The Washington Times reported that the Drug Enforcement Administration was continuing to raid medical marijuana shops — despite President Obama’s campaign pledge to halt those raids.A month later, the Justice Department announced new guidelines designed to end raids on legitimate medical marijuana distributors in those states where they were legal.In addition to the contradictions between federal and state law, Mr. Hermes said the NCI’s web posting there is now a contradiction within the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees both NCI and other federal agencies which do not recognize a medical use.“The federal government is walking a very fine line with respect to what is really a double standard, that is, [it] can say that marijuana has therapeutic value, and yet at the same time say that there’s no evidence that supports really the statements being made,” he said.A spokesman for HHS did not respond to a request for comment in time for this story.An NCI spokeswoman directed questions about political pressure to be directed to Dr. Jeffrey White, director of the Office of Cancer Complementary and Alternative Medicine. But the spokeswoman said Dr. White wasn’t available for an interview until Thursday.In a sign of how far the medical marijuana industry has moved into the mainstream, marijuana industry advocates hosted a Washington press briefing Wednesday to talk up the industry’s economic impact and plead with the government to recognize them as legitimate.“The truth here is that the industry is creating jobs, generating tax revenue and providing a product to patients that is far less harmful than many pharmaceutical products out there, and it is just time the government treats it like a true American business,” said Steve Fox, spokesman for the National Cannabis Industry Association at a briefing at the National Press Club.Industry officials project that the legal medical cannabis market will reach $1.7 billion in 2011.Josh Brown contributed to this article.Source: Washington Times (DC)Author: Stephen Dinan, The Washington TimesPublished: March 30, 2011Copyright: 2011 The Washington Times, LLC Website: letters washingtontimes.comURL: Medical Marijuana Archives
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on April 05, 2011 at 14:23:50 PT
That's very interesting. I will have to check it out.
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Comment #13 posted by Hope on April 05, 2011 at 12:40:33 PT
Obama to visit Facebook, hold townhall on April 20
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Comment #12 posted by museman on April 01, 2011 at 11:31:58 PT
runruff -correction;
that would be a "pharma-psuedocal" mistake!LEGALIZE IT!
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Comment #11 posted by runruff on March 31, 2011 at 03:34:09 PT
I made a...
...pharma-pseudo mistake!
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Comment #10 posted by runruff on March 31, 2011 at 03:32:18 PT
Pseudo mistake!
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on March 31, 2011 at 03:29:54 PT
Pharma-psudo medicine.
It is becoming more clear that there has been a conspiracy between the phama-psudo medicine corps and the federal government to cover up cancer cures since 1975.This is the worst crime of the century. Worse even than the Nazis or even Pol Pot's killing fields.If this country were of the same spirit as me, we would cleaning house in Washington and wall street right now.This proves that government and politicians are like a baby diaper that must be changed often and for the same same reasons!
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on March 30, 2011 at 18:01:19 PT
National Cancer Institute: Antitumor Effects 
One study in mice and rats suggested that cannabinoids may have a protective effect against the development of certain types of tumors. During this 2-year study, groups of mice and rats were given various doses of THC by gavage. A dose-related decrease in the incidence of hepatic adenoma tumors and hepatocellular carcinoma was observed in the mice. Decreased incidences of benign tumors (polyps and adenomas) in other organs (mammary gland, uterus, pituitary, testis, and pancreas) were also noted in the rats. In another study, delta-9-THC, delta-8-THC, and cannabinol were found to inhibit the growth of Lewis lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro and in vivo . In addition, other tumors have been shown to be sensitive to cannabinoid-induced growth inhibition.Cannabinoids may cause antitumor effects by various mechanisms, including induction of cell death, inhibition of cell growth, and inhibition of tumor angiogenesis and metastasis. Cannabinoids appear to kill tumor cells but do not affect their nontransformed counterparts and may even protect them from cell death. These compounds have been shown to induce apoptosis in glioma cells in culture and induce regression of glioma tumors in mice and rats. Cannabinoids protect normal glial cells of astroglial and oligodendroglial lineages from apoptosis mediated by the CB1 receptor. In an in vivo model using severe combined immunodeficient mice, subcutaneous tumors were generated by inoculating the animals with cells from human non-small cell lung carcinoma cell lines. Tumor growth was inhibited by 60% in THC-treated mice compared with vehicle-treated control mice. Tumor specimens revealed that THC had antiangiogenic and antiproliferative effects.In addition, both plant-derived and endogenous cannabinoids have been studied for anti- inflammatory effects. A mouse study demonstrated that endogenous cannabinoid system signaling is likely to provide intrinsic protection against colonic inflammation. As a result, a hypothesis that phytocannabinoids and endocannabinoids may be useful in the prevention and treatment of colorectal cancer has been developed.Another study has shown delta-9-THC is a potent and selective antiviral agent against Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV), also known as human herpesvirus. The researchers concluded that additional studies on cannabinoids and herpesviruses are warranted, as they may lead to the development of drugs that inhibit the reactivation of these oncogenic viruses. Subsequently, another group of investigators reported increased efficiency of KSHV infection of human dermal microvascular epithelial cells in the presence of low doses of delta-9-THC.URL:
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on March 30, 2011 at 17:48:59 PT
One More Thought
I look at news articles a certain way. I have posted over 26,000 articles so I have seen a lot of them that are not exactly right. If I do not see quotes in an article then I take it with a grain of salt.When I was a child we played a game called: Whisper Down The Lane. Someone would say something to one person and that person would whisper what the first person said in the ear of the next person and by the time you went thru a number of people it was totally different then the original whisper. News is like that too.
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on March 30, 2011 at 16:55:48 PT
Grey areas have created problems. People see making a lot of money and almost become blinded to what is allowed and what isn't allowed. I watched articles change and I knew that is what wasn't said but just wishful thinking. 
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Comment #5 posted by josephlacerenza on March 30, 2011 at 16:46:26 PT
STRICT COMPLIANCE with State Law , Obama Said!
That was one of the reasons Big Sky Patient Care was raided. They partook in a LARGE caregiver to caregiver transfer of medical marijuana. Our law is explicate as to where a patient can get their medication, their caregiver.But, and this is that "grey" area, a caregiver is aloud to acquire, transfer, grow and otherwise obtain cannabis for THEIR patient. It does not state anywhere that caregiver can obtain/acquire that MMJ, from their patient, a different patient, or another caregiver, and it does not say you can't.Big Sky Patient Care operated in this grey area sometimes. The Healing Center on the other hand, would only service their patients. And, would not sell to other caregivers. They were not raided, nor others that operated in the strictest adherence to state law.This I believe was Obama's intention.
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on March 30, 2011 at 16:39:25 PT
I went and did a search to try to find out what was said. This is what I found. On Monday, Obama's Justice Department issued a three-page memo to the U.S. Attorneys in each state that they "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."URL:***“It will not be a priority to use federal resources to prosecute patients with serious illnesses or their caregivers who are complying with state laws on medical marijuana,” Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said in a statement accompanying the memo, “but we will not tolerate drug traffickers who hide behind claims of compliance with state law to mask activities that are clearly illegal.” URL:***According to the Justice Department memo, "prosecution of individuals with cancer or other serious illnesses who use marijuana as part of a recommended treatment regimen consistent with applicable state law, or those caregivers in clear and unambiguous compliance with existing state law who provide such individuals with marijuana, is unlikely to be an efficient use of limited federal resources." URL:***"We will not use our limited resources in the fight against the marijuana trade against those people who are using it consistent with state law and to fight serious illnesses, such as cancer or other diseases," Attorney General Eric Holder said last week. URL:
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on March 30, 2011 at 16:12:17 PT
The way I thought I read it:
I thought Obama was saying He will let dispensaries alone as long as they are obeying state laws.I'm pretty sure I read and heard that many times but of course I could be mistaken.
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on March 30, 2011 at 16:10:37 PT
I'm sorry if this has been posted but I hope everyone saw the great news out of Canada - the conservatives have been thrown out by the voters - and ALL the bad drug policy bills they filed were thrown out with them!! big turnaround for Canada: ON TAXPAYERS, BUT DUMB ON CRIMEThe non-confidence motion that toppled the Harper government kills 
every bill before the House and Senate, including the Tories' ill 
considered tough-on-crime package.It, more than any other, led to the historic contempt citation 
against the Conservatives after the government balked at providing 
comprehensive information on the costs attached to it.Considering that conservatives around the world are backing away from 
mandatory minimums and other tough-on-crime measures that the 
Conservatives are pitching, it was an ironic sword for the Tories to die on.Rather than choosing less expensive, long-term rehabilitative 
solutions, the Conservatives are stubbornly bent on building prisons 
and other punitive measures, which none other than Conrad Black 
describes as "brutish."
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on March 30, 2011 at 16:02:14 PT
Just a Comment
Excerpt: In February 2009, The Washington Times reported that the Drug Enforcement Administration was continuing to raid medical marijuana shops — despite President Obama’s campaign pledge to halt those raids.I don't recall Obama saying anything about pot shops just people who use marijuana and have a card from a state that says they can. They will not go after them. That's the way I read it all.
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