Posts Tagged ‘healing’

California Legislation Would Stop Cops From Policing For Profit

marijuana and Cash

The hearing for Assembly Bill 639 to reform asset forfeiture in California
has fortunately been rescheduled to Tuesday, July 5th. This bill, while not perfect, is an attempt to prevent California law enforcement authorities from using federal authority to perform asset forfeitures. Cutting off this loophole is important; the federal Equitable Sharing program allows state and local law enforcement to ignore state law about the process and disposition of forfeitures. Most dangerously, Equitable Sharing allows state and local law enforcement to directly retain forfeiture proceeds (in other words, policing for profit).

This bill should be particularly important for Drug War reformers; much of Drug War enforcement is paid for by federal forfeiture dollars that get spent by state and local police on military equipment, drug task salaries and bonuses, and the organization infrastructure that allows the existence of the Drug War. California state and local law enforcement now receive upwards of $70 million a year through Equitable Sharing forfeiture dollars alone.

I am working with Christina Walsh of the Institute for Justice to solicit
testimony from forfeiture victims to submit to the California Senate Public
Safety Committee on Tuesday, July 5th. Please contact me if you are
interested in submitting testimony (we can help you draft such testimony).

You can reach me at Eapen@ForfeitureReform.com.

Many thanks

Eapen Thampy
Executive Director, Americans for Forfeiture Reform
3630 Holmes St., Kansas City, MO, 64109
Phone: 573-673-5351
Email: Eapen@ForfeitureReform.com or Eapen.Thampy@gmail.com
Web: http://www.forfeiturereform.com and

http://www.facebook.com/ForfeitureReform

Marijuana Compound Helps Treat HIV In Animal Testing

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The long-term administration of delta-9-THC, the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana, is associated with decreased mortality in monkeys infected with the simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), a primate model of HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) disease, according to in vivo experimental trial data published in the June issue of the journal AIDS Research and Human Retroviruses.

Investigators at the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center assessed the impact of chronic intramuscular THC administration compared to placebo on immune and metabolic indicators of SIV disease during the initial six-month phase of infection.

Researchers reported, “Contrary to what we expected, … delta-9-THC treatment clearly did not increase disease progression, and indeed resulted in generalized attenuation of classic markers of SIV disease.” Authors also reported that THC administration was associated with “decreased early mortality from SIV infection” and “retention of body mass.”

marijuana medicine

Investigators concluded, “These results indicate that chronic delta-9-THC does not increase viral load or aggravate morbidity and may actually ameliorate SIV disease progression.”

Clinical trials have previously documented that the short-term inhalation of cannabis does not adversely impact viral loads in HIV patients, and may even improve immune function.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, “Cannabinoid administration attenuates the progression of simian immunodeficiency virus,” is available online here:http://www.liebertonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1089/aid.2010.0218. Additional studies documenting the disease modifying potential of marijuana is available in the NORML handbook, Emerging Clinical Applications For Cannabis & Cannabinoids: Fourth Edition, available online at: http://norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7002.

From Norml.org

Government Forced NCI To Censor Medical Cannabis Facts

Thumbnail image for government_censorship_-1.jpeg
Graphic: NORML Stash Blog
Fuck censorship.

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In March, the National Cancer Agency (NCI), a component agency of the National Institutes of Health, acknowledged the medicinal benefits of marijuana in its online treatment database. But the information only stayed up a few days, before it was scrubbed from the site.

Now, newly obtained documents reveal not only how NCI database contributors arrived at their March 17 summary of marijuana’s medical uses, but also the furious politicking that went into quickly scrubbing that summary of information regarding the potential tumor-fighting effects of cannabis, reports Kyle Daly at the Washington Independent.
Phil Mocek, a civil liberties activist with the Seattle-based Cannabis Defense Coalition, obtained the documents as a result of a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request he filed in March after reading coverage of the NCI’s action. Mocek has made some of the hundreds of pages of at-times heated email exchanges and summary alterations available on MuckRock, a website devoted to FOIA requests and government documents.
The treatment database on NCI’s website is called the Physician Data Query (PDQ). The PDQ entry on cannabis and cannabinoids is maintained by the Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) Editorial Board. The lead reviewer on the marijuana summary statement is CAM board member Donald Abrams, director of integrative oncology at the University of California-San Francisco cancer center.
Abrams advocates the use of cannabis in cancer treatment, and his wish to accurately portray its medical applications becomes clear early in the documents.
On March 24, just a week after the finished summary had gone online, Susan Weiss — chief of the Office of Science Policy and Communications within the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — sent NCI officials an email saying her agency had just become aware of the summary. Weiss told them the NIDA wanted the summary changed to acknowledge that the FDA hasn’t approved marijuana; to take away any implication that it was recommending prescribing marijuana; to highlight the supposed “addiction potential” of marijuana; and to link to the NIDA’s own page on the supposed “adverse effects of marijuana.”
The NCI balked at the last two requests: “I am unaware of any convincing evidence indicating that marijuana is addictive,” communications officer Rick Manrow of the the NCI reasonably said.
But the agency agreed the first two requests were fair. The CAM board grappled for days with how to cooperate with the NIDA without compromising its independence or editorial integrity. Meanwhile, yet more federal agencies offered their two cents’ worth.
“[A press officer with the FDA] contacted me this morning because he has been getting calls from FDA staff, as well as at least one high-profile reporter, asking about NCI’s ‘endorsement of medical marijuana.’ I provided him with the background I had,” wrote Brooke Hardison, NCI media relations analyst. “He needs to provide information for staff at the FDA, and they are trying to figure out how to respond to this issue. I suggested that it might be good for him to have a conversation with those more closely involved in this issue.”
Meanwhile, national attention to the story continued to grow, and NIDA, notoriously anti-pot, was worried about this whole “marijuana treats cancer” thing.
On learning that Ethan Nadelmann, founder and executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance had tweeted about the summary, the NIDA’s Weiss wrote to NCI, “We will be contacting our colleagues at ONDCP [Office of National Drug Control Policy] just to give them a heads up about it.”
Weiss also wrote to her NIDA colleagues, saying “We think that ONDCP needs to be informed.”
The ONDCP, of course, is the office of the Drug Czar. Current czar Gil Kerlikowske, as with all drug czars, is bound by law to oppose marijuana legalization for any purpose, even to save cancer patients.
In any event, the NCI caved to the NIDA’s demands by removing any implied support for prescribing marijuana — noting that the FDA hasn’t approved cannabis as as prescription drug — and, much to the consternation of lead reviewer Abrams, removing a reference to marijuana’s anti-tumor properties.
“You know, the epidemiological data from Kaiser and Tashkin do possibly support an anti-tumor effect in humans,” Abrams wrote. “After reflecting for a few hours, I am not happy that NIDA has been able to impose their agenda on us. The text was vetted by the whole Board. I would ask that we [involve] the whole Editorial Board in the discussion before being bulldogged.
“I am considering resigning from the Board if we allow politics to trump science!” Abrams wrote.
All the relevant CAM board members eventually agreed to the version that went up on March 29 and 30. That last day was when Phil Mocek submitted his FOIA request and is thus the last day that appears in the records given to him.
It is interesting to note that, toward the end of the correspondence record, NCI and NIDA officials were discussing the latter agency providing further information on the supposed “adverse effects of marijuana” so that the CAM Board could “take it into consideration” during its May 6 meeting. Several NCI and CAM members said any “convincing evidence” could result in larger changes to the entry.
NIDA prepared a list of anti-marijuana talking points, including the claim that nine percent of cannabis users “become addicted to the drug” and a completely undocumented claim that marijuana use leads to permanent cognitive impairment, in the hopes of causing just such changes in the NCI’s entry.
But, the Independent reports, May 6 came and went without any additional changes being made to the database.
One can only imagine the kinds of behind-the-scenes wrangling that continues as we speak.
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Graphic: NORML Stash Blog
“NCI apparently got a talking to from someone” ~ Radical Russ Belville, NORML. Turns out Radical Russ was right, and NIDA was doing the talking.

Marijuana Use Associated With ‘Superior’ Cognitive Performance in Schizophrenic Patients

Toronto, Ontario–(ENEWSPF)–April 8, 2011.  Schizophrenic patients with a history of cannabis use demonstrate “superior neurocognitive performance” compared to non-users, according to the findings of a meta-analysis to be published in the journal Schizophrenia Research.

Investigators at the University of Toronto, Institute of Medical Sciences, performed a meta-analysis to determine the magnitude of the effect of cannabis consumption on cognition in subjects with schizophrenia. Eight studies met inclusion criteria, yielding a total sample of 942 subjects. Three hundred and fifty six of these participants were cannabis users with schizophrenia, and 586 were patients with no history of cannabis use. Neuropsychological tests were grouped into seven domains: general cognitive ability and intelligence; selective, sustained and divided attention; executive abilities; working memory and learning; retrieval and recognition; receptive and expressive language abilities and visuo-spatial and construction abilities.
Authors determined, “[R]elated statistics of differences in performance … all suggest superior cognitive functioning in cannabis-using patients as compared to non-using patient.”
Researchers stopped short of attributing subjects’ cannabis use to the improved outcome, noting that patients with superior cognitive skills may simply be more likely to acquire cannabis than subjects with lesser abilities.
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