Researchers study neuroprotective properties in cannabis | Fox News

See our report on Melanie Dreher’s research here

With more states opting to legalize the sale of medical marijuana, researchers are taking a closer look at the use of cannabis to treat chronic illnesses

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March 20, 2012

With more states opting to legalize the sale of medical marijuana, researchers are taking a closer look at the use of cannabis to treat chronic illnesses.

Dr. Manny Alvarez, senior managing health editor of, recently sat down with the Medicine Hunter, Chris Kilham, to find out how it’s being studied. Continue reading

Medical Marijuana: A Science-Free Zone At The White House

In his pre-White House days:

Source: Huffington Post

President Obama came into office promising to reverse George W. Bush administration practices and elevate science over politics. He explicitly applied that principle to drug policy, an area long driven by ideology and prejudice. He quickly began to make good on the pledge by promoting three evidence-based drug policies: eliminating the ban on states using federal funding for syringe exchange programs to reduce the spread of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis; reforming the racially unjust crack-cocaine sentencing disparity that punished crack offenses more harshly than powder offenses; and vowing to end years of federal interference in the implementation of state medical marijuana laws.

But as a recent L.A. Times article makes dismayingly clear, the White House is putting the “science-free zone” sign back up. Continue reading

A rude federal awakening for medical pot dreams

Source: The News Tribune, Washington)

The feds have come down – hard – on the Legislature’s plans to expand medical marijuana far beyond the voters’ original mandate. Marijuana enthusiasts have only themselves to blame.

Gov. Chris Gregoire did the state a favor Wednesday by trying to clarify how the U.S. Department of Justice might react to the free-wheeling dope industry many lawmakers having been pushing to legalize with a new bill.

The two U.S. attorneys who cover Washington quickly spelled out their likely response: fines, property forfeitures, lawsuits and possible criminal prosecutions. Individual state officials might be targeted if they licensed grow operations and dispensaries, as the measure proposes.

Later Thursday, Gregoire said she would veto the legislation as written.

Read the U.S. attorneys’ letter and you’ll see where they’re coming from. The Justice Department, they said, isn’t interested in pursuing “seriously ill individuals who use marijuana as part of a medically recommended treatment regimen in compliance with state law.”

But marijuana profiteers – be they enabling doctors, retailers, wholesalers, processors or growers – are a different story. Continue reading

Danny Glover, Melissa Etheridge: Legalize marijuana

(Source)  Well, the word “bud” is in Buddha. Today, organizers of Saturday’s first-ever Buddhafest held a press conference in which celebrities and other big names spoke in favor of Proposition 19, the November 2nd ballot measure to legalize marijuana. Continue reading

No Accepted Medical Use? Three Perspectives on Medical Cannabis (

The U.S. government classifies marijuana—along with heroin and LSD—as a Schedule I drug, the most tightly restricted category of drugs in the United States. According to the federal government, Schedule I drugs are unsafe and have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.”


As medical marijuana proponents have pointed out since the Controlled Substances Act was passed by Congress in 1970, cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years, and there has never been a reported case of a marijuana overdose. Moreover, in recent years clinical researchers around the world have demonstrated the medicinal value of cannabis.

We talked to a doctor, a pharmacist, and a patient to get three firsthand perspectives on medical cannabis. Special thanks to Dr. Donald Abrams, JoAnna LaForce and Don Grubbs.

Approximately 10 minutes. Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

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Medical marijuana can aid in treatment of vets

Bob Kerrey is president of the New School in New York City, a Vietnam War veteran and a former U.S. senator from Nebraska. Jason Flom is on the board of directors of the Drug Policy Alliance, based in New York City.

(Source)  The Veterans Administration recently adopted a policy prohibiting VA physicians from recommending medical marijuana to their patients, even if marijuana is the safest and most effective medicine to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other service-related conditions.
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Marijuana could be an “exit drug”

Via New Mexico Independent An often heard assertion about marijuana is that it’s a “gateway drug,” one that leads young people into using more dangerous drugs over time. But new research and programs are now examining its potential as an exit drug.

A recent study of a medical marijuana patients group found that a significant number of them were using the drug as a substitute for alcohol and other drugs

Forty percent have used cannabis as a substitute for alcohol, 26% as a substitute for illicit drugs and 66% as a substitute for prescription drugs. The most common reasons given for substituting were: less adverse side effects (65%), better symptom management (57%), and less withdrawal potential (34%) with cannabis.

Continue reading