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As an advocate of the full legalization of marijuana, I find it interesting that the arguments chosen by Chelsey Johnson in her Nov. 11 letter to the editor — “Rethinking medical marijuana” — are so bureaucratic.
Do we really care whether people buy regular or extra-strength Tylenol? The fact that drug-related crime in California and Colorado has gone down seems to have flown by her. And the fact that thousands of cancer and AIDS patients are seeing significant quality of life benefits apparently doesn’t matter either.
The Dept. of Health and Human Services filed for and was awarded a patent on the medical benefits of cannabinoids derived from cannabis, based on studies done at the National Institute of Health. The patent (#6,630,507) awarded in 2003, states unequivocally that cannabinoids are neuroprotectants and anti-inflammitory, and as such are useful in the prevention and treatment of a wide variety of diseases including stroke, trauma, auto-immune disorders, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and HIV dementia. That’s prevention and treatment…
Moments from now, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office will return hash it seized from medical marijuana patient Gregory VonAlmen — and Von Almen’s attorney, Rob Corry, believes the decision sets a precedent by establishing that marijuana concentrate and other related products are also protected by Amendment 20, which legalized MMJ in Colorado.
The Heritage Foundation’s Charles Stimson has released a completely bonkers prohibitionist screed on marijuana. Will the think tank retract it? If you want to read one of the most absurd “policy” articles about marijuana in history, go quickly to the website of the Heritage Foundation to read “Legalizing Marijuana: Why Citizens Should Just Say No.” I say quickly because it is truly so absurd, I believe it will be taken down from the site soon.
The Flower contrasts a utopian society that freely farms and consumes a pleasure giving flower with a society where the same flower is illegal and its consumption is prohibited. The animation is a meditation on the social and economic costs of marijuana prohibition.
In a landmark reversal, the American Medical Association urged the federal government to review marijuana’s schedule classification from a Schedule I drug, meaning it has no medicinal value, so that further ‘development of cannabinoid-based medicines’ can be achieved.
Since 1970, the only government-based research in the country was in the University of Mississippi, where medical marijuana has been grown and distributed, but with little research and control. With the AMA requesting marijuana be reclassified so that medicine can further the advancements of medical marijuana research and help determine the efficacy of medical cannabis for all it’s potential.
Actually I was very skeptical rather than opposed. The first person who introduced me to the possibility that cannabis was medicinal was my father who was a pharmacist. We were talking about prohibition and he mentioned that when he was a freshman in pharmacy school at the University of Minnesota in 1928 and one of their assignments was to make tincture of cannabis. He said, we had to be very careful because the alcohol was illegal. I’ve got his 1927 Remmington’s Textbook of Pharmacy and on page 999 and 1000 it tells you how to make tincture of cannabis. It also says that it is useful for relief of pain and a tranquilizer. In the process of marginalizing quackery we also tended to marginalize homeopaths, naturopaths, osteopaths all of whom placed greater importance on herbal medicine that allopathic doctors, the doctors that we today called MD’s. There still was interest in plant based medicine but there was a problem that it was not standardized. However, as late as 1937 the AMA testified against the marijuana tax act. First off, they said we don’t have any idea why you are not calling this cannabis obviously we need to explore that why was it called marijuana when that’s not what it was called at that time. And secondly he said, yes, this is decreasingly being prescribed by physicians because of lack of standardization.
I started doing recommendations for the medical use of cannabis in the spring of 2000. I have noticed a real thawing on the attitude of physicians. I have at least 80 physicians in Southern Santa Barbara county refer one of more of their patients to me to evaluate them for recommendations for the medical use of cannabis under the terms of proposition 215. I have also found that physicians have become more and more curious about how this stuff works. Americans for Safe Access, about two years ago, asked me to speak to Kaiser Hospital in San Jose because somebody contacted them and would like to have a doctor come in and talk to us about this (medical cannabis). And the physicians listened to that with at least some respect and some with great interest. There were some people that didn’t agree. I think part of that is the way we marginalize herbal medicine as I discussed earlier. We have looked at manufactured medicines as being easier to characterize and easier to understand. But what we tend to forget as physicians I think, is that we have evolved with the plants and that manufactured pharmaceuticals contain structures that aren’t found in nature and are more difficult for the body to metabolize than structures that are found in nature.
MedicalMarijuana411.com sits down with David Bearman, M.D. Dr. Bearman helped found the countrys third free clinic in Seattle, Washington in 1967, directed the Haight Ashbury Drug Treatment Program, and founded the Isla Vista Medical Clinic in 1970. He has worked at all levels of government, including being a Medical Officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, Director of Health Services at San Diego State University and Director and Medical Officer of the Sutter County Health Department.