Updated NORML Report Reviews Nearly 200 Studies On The Therapeutic Use Of Cannabis

Cannabis female flowers closeup with trichomes...

“As we continue to sort through the emerging science of cannabis and cannabinoids, one thing remains clear: a functional cannabinoid system is essential for health.”

NORML has recently posted online the fourth edition of its popular and comprehensive booklet, “Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis & Cannabinoids: A Review of the Recent Scientific Literature.”

Updated and revised for 2011, this report reviews approximately 200 newly published scientific studies assessing the safety and efficacy of marijuana and its compounds in the treatment and management of nineteen clinical indications: Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), chronic pain, diabetes mellitus, dystonia, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, gliomas and other cancers, hepatitis C, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hypertension, incontinence, methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus (MRSA), multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, pruritus, rheumatoid arthritis, sleep apnea, and Tourette’s syndrome.

Explains the report’s lead author, NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano: “The conditions profiled in this report were chosen because patients frequently inquire about the therapeutic use of cannabis to treat these disorders. In addition, many of the indications included in this report may be moderated by cannabis therapy. In several cases, preclinical data and clinical indicates that cannabinoids may halt the progression of these diseases in a more efficacious manner than available pharmaceuticals.

The updated report also features a new section, authored by osteopath and medical cannabis specialist Dr. Dustin Sulak, highlighting the significance of the endocannabinoid system and its role in maintaining mental and physiological health.


Illustration from the Vienna Dioscurides

Beyond treating symptoms, beyond even curing disease, can cannabis help us prevent disease and promote health by stimulating an ancient system that is hard-wired into all of us? I now believe the answer is yes.”

“As we continue to sort through the emerging science of cannabis and cannabinoids, one thing remains clear: a functional cannabinoid system is essential for health,” writes Dr. Sulak. “From embryonic implantation on the wall of our mother’s uterus, to nursing and growth, to responding to injuries, endocannabinoids help us survive in a quickly changing and increasingly hostile environment. As I realized this, I began to wonder: can an individual enhance his/her cannabinoid system by taking supplemental cannabis? Beyond treating symptoms, beyond even curing disease, can cannabis help us prevent disease and promote health by stimulating an ancient system that is hard-wired into all of us? I now believe the answer is yes.

Full text of the report is now available online here. Hard copies will be available for purchase shortly. Print copies of the third edition of this report will be made available at a reduced rate for those seeking bulk orders. (Please e-mail NORML for further details.)

Read the original article on the NORML blog.

Over 2,500 Subjects Since 1995 Have Used Marijuana-Based Medicines In Controlled Clinical Trials

[Via NORML – editor’s note: This post is excerpted from this week’s forthcoming NORML weekly media advisory. To have NORML’s media advisories delivered straight to your in-box, sign up for NORML’s free e-zine here.]

Researchers worldwide have performed 37 separate clinical trials assessing the therapeutic safety and efficacy of inhaled cannabis and marijuana-based medicines since 2005, according to a review published online last week in the journal Cannabinoids: The Journal of the International Association for Cannabinoid Medicines (IACM).
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CBS bans ads calling for marijuana legalization

UPDATE – 3-5-10

VICTORY! CBS Will Accept NORML Marijuana Legalization Ad

Here is the original post from 2-12-10:

“I just received word from CBS and they will not approve your ad. If CBS changes their morals we will let you know.”

Send your comments to CBS here.

Change.Org Petition is here – urging CBS executives to accept the NORML video.

(Source Alternet)  Representatives from the CBS Corporation and Neutron Media Screen Marketing have rejected a paid advertisement from the NORML Foundation, the educational arm of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), that was intended to appear on the CBS Super Screen billboard in New York City’s Times Square.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The fifteen-second ad, which asserts that taxing and regulating the adult use and sale of marijuana would raise ‘billions of dollars in national revenue, was scheduled to appear on CBS’s 42nd Street digital billboard beginning on Monday, February 1, 2010.

Representatives from Neutron Media approached NORML in mid-January about placing the ad, which was scheduled to air 18 times per day for a two-month period. The NORML Foundation entered into a contractual agreement with Neutron Media to air two separate NORML advertisements, and produced an initial ad exclusively for broadcast on the CBS digital billboard.

Days after NORML’s submitted the ad, the organization received the following e-mail, dated February 3, from a representative from Neutron Media stated: “I just received word from CBS and they will not approve your ad. If CBS changes their morals we will let you know.”

Commenting on CBS’ last minute rejection of the ad, NORML Foundation Executive Allen St. Pierre said,

“Major media corporations like CBS have no problem airing programming that allows them to profit off the public’s interest in marijuana and marijuana law reform, such as Showtime’s hit series Weeds and the CBSnews.com online series ‘Marijuana Nation.’

Yet these same corporate entities balk at airing media that calls on reforming America’s criminal marijuana policies – policies that have led directly to the arrest of over 20 million Americans since 1965.

How can advocates be expected to change these failed policies when those that control America’s airwaves refuse to allow them a public forum to voice their point of view?”

According to the results of a December 2009 Angus Reid survey, fifty-three percent of Americans now support legalizing marijuana.

St. Pierre continued: “University studies show that regulating the adult use of marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol would raise over $30 billion annually in new tax revenue, while saving an addition $15 billion per year in law enforcement costs. The content of NORML’s ad is based on sound, readily identifiable data. Moreover, the message of NORML’s advertisement is supported by a majority of the public. CBS’ denial of this ad spot is based on the company’s political and cultural bias and nothing more.”

Last summer NORML entered into negotiations with CBS to launch a live Saturday night radio broadcast on the corporation’s ChatAboutIt.com talk radio network. CBS representatives initially agreed to the programming, but then abruptly canceled the contract after NORML had raised the funding to produce its first show.

In 2009, the NORML Foundation launched the first-ever nationwide television ad campaign calling for the regulation of marijuana by adults. The Foundation purchased over 7,700 ad buys on prominent cable networks like CNBC, Fox News, G4, and FX. The ad campaign did not air on any CBS-affiliated networks.

Last week, moderators of a February 1 live YouTube debate with President Barack Obama failed to ask any questions regarding marijuana policy, even though the topic was the top vote getter on the website’s Citizen Tube/State of the Union poll.

by Paul Armentano
February 10, 2010

(Source: High Times)  St. Pierre claims “CBS not allowing a free exchange of ideas is one more reason why prohibition has lasted so long.”

A second NORML ad (the mockup version pictured below), which would have made its way into the CBS Super Screen rotation a few weeks after the original spot, would have examined 2009 police arrests records with an emphasis on racial disparity in marijuana arrests. Its slogan would have been, “If President Obama grew up in NYC, today he might be known as ‘Barry the drug criminal.’”


This comment from a Huffington Post reader was too good not to share:

While I support the efforts of Allen St. Pierre and NORML, I must disagree with his opinion as to why CBS pulled the ad.

CBS and all the other networks sell billions in ad time to Big Pharma, while NORML and other pro-law reform organizations represent a tiny fraction of potential ad revenue. Why would CBS allow any such organization to advertise a cause which is in direct opposition to Big Pharma? Medical cannabis threatens their bottom line. Why would anyone choose to take pharmaceutical drugs which are responsible for countless deaths if they could have access to a natural medicine which has not claimed a single life? America knows the truth, our government knows the truth, and Big Pharma knows the truth. Cannabis is an effective medicine for numerous ailments.


Portland’s Cannabis Cafe on Democracy Now!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The Cannabis Cafe, which opened this month in Portland, Oregon is the first marijuana cafe of its kind in the country. Although it doesn’t sell marijuana on the premises, the Cannabis Café allows any of Portlands estimated 21,000 licensed medical-marijuana users a space to consume marijuana in a social setting. We speak with Madeline Martinez, executive-Director of the Oregon chapter of NORML—The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws—which runs the Cannabis Café.


NORML Warms Up Medical Marijuana Proposal in Missouri

It’s a real human tragedy to find a safer alternative” to pharmaceuticals “and then to be hit so hard by a legal system that doesn’t understand


Source: Columbia Daily Tribune (MO) 11-10-09 —  In a panel discussion yesterday in Ellis Auditorium, nine patients described a dizzying array of illnesses ranging from epilepsy to a rare joint disorder known as Larsen syndrome.  Two sat in wheelchairs, and one young man told the audience he was there to speak on behalf of his father, who is bedridden with multiple sclerosis.

All panelists said they had found one drug that significantly calms the symptoms: marijuana.

https://i2.wp.com/laist.com/attachments/lindsayrebecca/MarijuanaPlant.jpgThe Missouri conference of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws gathered yesterday at the University of Missouri, and advocates say they are gearing up for a renewed push to pass medical reform legislation in the state.

In a daylong roster of speakers, none was more powerful than the sufferers of chronic illnesses who say smoking marijuana calms their nerves, decreases nausea and eases pain.  And, they say, they’re tired of being treated like criminals for using it.

“It’s a real human tragedy to find a safer alternative” to pharmaceuticals “and then to be hit so hard by a legal system that doesn’t understand,” said a Columbia resident and marijuana user who was charged with a felony in South Dakota for growing cannabis.  The man, who asked not to be named, said he smokes to treat pain associated with a urological condition.

Brian Chitwood of Farmington said that when he was being treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma he was given chemotherapy drugs that left him with a nonstop feeling of nausea.  He found that smoking a joint could restore his equilibrium.

There were other cancer patients that asked me, ‘How come you go out back and you come back smiling?’ ” Chitwood said.  “So I took two of them out back, and they came back smiling, too.”

In 2004, Columbia became the first municipality in the state to allow patients with a doctor’s written permission to possess less than 35 grams of marijuana.  At the conference, one patient proudly displayed her written doctor’s recommendation, and others discussed creating a database for the public of sympathetic Columbia physicians.

But advocates said Columbia laws don’t go far enough, that they put medical users in a bind by stipulating that they cannot legally grow their own crop and forcing them onto the streets to enter into a criminal transaction to make a purchase.

Over the past year, Columbia has had two murders associated with robberies during marijuana transactions.

“I can’t buy it.  I wish I could grow it on my porch, and then I would know exactly what I was getting,” said Christy Welliver, an MS sufferer who has a medical recommendation from a Columbia physician to use marijuana to prevent muscle spasms.  “But I can’t do that, so I do have to rely on people giving it to me because I won’t break the law.”

A House bill introduced during the last legislative session in Jefferson City would have legalized medical marijuana for a long list of afflictions such as MS, cancer, fibromyalgia and AIDS.  NORML advocates plan to urge the bill’s sponsor, Rep.  Kate Meiners of Kansas City, to file it again in the upcoming session.

But Paul Armentano, the deputy director of the national NORML organization, urged advocates to push for a bill that gives doctors the widest possible latitude in prescribing cannabis.  As a cautionary example, he cited the medical marijuana law in Vermont, where strict qualifications have limited marijuana treatment to only 35 people.