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New Studies Expose Government Lies About Medical Pot

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By Paul Armentano
July 13, 2007

When Connecticut's Republican Gov. M. Jodi Rell vetoed legislation last month that would have allowed citizens with debilitating medical conditions to use medical cannabis under their doctor's supervision, she alleged that there was no proof of pot's therapeutic effectiveness and that legal alternatives are available by prescription. Now, a just-released clinical trial by researchers at Columbia University in New York is making the governor's statements ring hollow.

On June 21, just 24 hours after Gov. Rell's veto, the online database for the National Library of Medicine posted an a forthcoming study from the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes that reports, "Smoked marijuana … has a clear medical benefit in HIV-positive [patients] by increasing food intake and improving mood and objective and subjective sleep measures."

But that's not all investigators found. In a "first" for HIV/AIDS clinical research, scientists not only compared the efficacy of inhaled cannabis to a placebo (in this case, marijuana lacking the primary therapeutic and psychoactive compound THC), but they also tested pot against doses of the so-called "legal marijuana pill" known as dronabinol (aka Marinol). For those unfamiliar with dronabinol, it's a gelatin capsule containing synthetic THC in sesame oil that was approved by the FDA in 1992 specifically to treat HIV/AIDS-related cachexia (weight and appetite loss).

So just how did the nearly $1,000-a-month synthetic alternative compare to the real McCoy?

According to the study, subjects experienced increased appetites after smoking cannabis or taking Marinol. Patients also experienced equivalent weight gains after using both drugs (a little more than 1.1 kilograms over a four-day period). Here's the kicker, though. Investigators reported that patients needed to take "eight times" the recommended daily dosage of Marinol to equal the same therapeutic relief they achieved after smoking relatively low-strength (2 percent or 3.9 percent THC) pot!

In other words, a few hits of the U.S. government's herbal "schwag" (the use of federally grown pot is required in all FDA-approved marijuana trials) was as efficacious as a mega-dose of Uncle Sam's synthetic pot pill.

Clinicians further reported that smoking higher-strength marijuana -- that's the 3.9 percent pot for this study's purposes -- subjectively improved patients' sleep better than oral THC. Perhaps more important, authors reported that HIV patients made far fewer requests for over-the-counter 'rescue' medications while using cannabis. Scientists reported that most of these requests were to treat subjects' gastrointestinal complaints (nausea, diarrhea and upset stomach) -- conditions that have long been reported by patients to be alleviated with medical pot.

Of course, among those living with HIV/AIDS, scientific trials like the Columbia study only reinforce what they've already known for decades. (According to various surveys, between 25 and 37 percent of HIV/AIDS patients in North America self-report using cannabis medically to combat both symptoms of the disease as well as the side effects of antiretroviral medications.) That for many with debilitating and life-threatening diseases, pot as a medicine works.

It's just unfortunate that politicians like Gov. Rell choose to take their marching orders from drug warriors in Washington rather than to heed the advice of those patients and doctors who know far better.

A previous version of this article originally appeared in The Hartford Courant.

Paul Armentano is the senior policy analyst for the NORML Foundation in Washington, DC.

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Pfzier was owned by Bush, making drugs to dull the eccentricities and most special nuiancess of the mind which when any body speaks outloud on is called accting out of it, drunk, not their self or the brand new disease schzsophrenia which is more a drug suppressed order created by drugs not the affflicted person who may have been wounded by the harsh careless or God forbid evils that randomly exist or are created in this world. Giving drugs that are heavy enough to kill or seriously alter for months is immoral and wrong regardless of the thought associted with 'law'. To jump off the deep end and in to the swimming pool, new drugs that improve cognition or thought helpers have been worked on and for profit or at best neccesatity have been released and forced on people with legal backing and threats to the victimised. Medicinal science is the modern branch of herbal alchemy or witchcraft, the act or art of healing through herbs and words of caring reason and belief in another. Please remember to allow others to know they are loved and special no matter what they choose to place their faith in (a star a wish an old religious saying or their own way through the woods). Just wanted to ask how we can build devilish designs through the human mind with Pfiezer's plastic brain cell suppresors and not the drug free practices of magical traditions or remidies of a wiccan or natural source. All of the media has began its insalt on the voters asking them not to vote to allow canibods but ok to heorin, meth, anti-psyche-emotion-tranquilizers with no comment given toward ellected officials or hinting to vote for John McCain which I will obstain from saying if I am against or for him. The vote for marijuana says? Do you think marijuana should be legalized fro medicinally affected people, like those who need kemotherapy _ most of Michigan uses Nuclear Energy so we are all responsible for their well being for a walk through life, while they feel forced to be silent and their minds knowing a leak has deposited waste in Lake Michigan. It is un American meaning we do not have to comply with their fantasy of a new order as there is not one. But you don't need to be psychic or a futurist or government employee to know that for a fact because we've built a world web of flies and sleuths for that we'll have marijuana in Michigan regardless, in fact its harvest but will the good people who recieve oxycotton for pain and Vikadin for food or Godknowswhatalam from Kalamazoo? Or can the most beautiful flower other than Lotus live here in Michigan in a few different cubbords on the otherside of the Big Brother Bibical eye instead of more oxy's and heroin like opiates and meth like pharamucicals on the streets instead of the non addictive healing non cancer causing plant called marijuana. People have a fear of that name because of its roots, deep in this country it has grown for years. Good luck voting and tell them what to think when writing a new law for your own

OF COURSE the "government" would dismiss a "study" which is "CONCLUSIVE" on medical pot. Until their palms are greased with Big Pharma $$$$ $$$$ and a patent can be obtained to insure the $$$$ $$$$ is forthcoming for many, many years, the so-called anecdotal BUT FACTUAL reports of TRUE benefits of medical pot will of course be no only dismissed, but the research methods, which probably really are CORRECT will be under attack as will the researchers.
What a fascist world we live in.
And this has nothing to do with Germany.

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