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Medical Marijuana Policy

Setting The Agenda For The Medical Marijuana Revolution

medical marijuana
(via wikipedia.com)

Last Sunday Dr. Sanjay Gupta continued his groundbreaking reporting on medical marijuana with Weed 3, which continued to introduce Americans to new stories of patients benefiting from medical marijuana and document the challenges that continue to slow down progress in this critical area. Weed 3 included important moments like President Obama signaling his support for medical marijuana and documenting the political commitment of Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ),  Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Rand Paul (R-KY) to reform federal policy on medical marijuana with the CARERS Act.  Patient profiles like that of U.S. veteran Sean Kiernan who uses medical marijuana to treat PTSD symptoms again showed Americans that medical marijuana can have tremendous benefits in the lives of suffering patients.

“CNN’s Weed 3 showed how patient advocates are fighting for and winning the right to safe access to medical marijuana for themselves as well as researchers,” said Steph Sherer executive director of Americans for Safe Access. “Political leaders like President Obama, Senators Booker, Gillibrand and Paul are supporting medical marijuana reform because they understand the huge difference it can make in patient’s lives.”

Weed 3 also highlighted the important veterans PTSD study that researchers Rick Doblin and Dr. Sue Sisley are moving forward with despite significant political obstacles that have delayed and threatened to prevent the study from being conducted.

“Dr. Gupta’s reporting has showed that America is moving forward in the area of medical research, but there is little doubt that too many obstacles remain in place,” said Mike Liszewski, Government Affair Director of Americans for Safe Access. “The National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) monopoly on the supply of cannabis available for government-approved research has proven to be a failure due to their inability to produce particular strains in a timely and consistent fashion. One of the many ways the CARERS Act would help move research forward is ending NIDA’s crippling monopoly on growing research marijuana.

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With over 50,000 active members in all 50 states, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) is the largest national member-based organization of patients, medical professionals, scientists and concerned citizens promoting safe and legal access to cannabis for therapeutic use and research. ASA works to overcome political and legal barriers by creating policies that improve access to medical cannabis for patients and researchers through legislation, education, litigation, grassroots actions, advocacy and services for patients and the caregivers.

Source: Americans for Safe Accessmake a donation

  • It’s time to wake up and REPEAL Cannabis Prohibition.

    NOT “Legalize”: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Legalize

    NOT “Decriminalize”: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Decriminalize

    but REPEAL: http://dictionary.com/browse/REPEAL

    If you want to be FREE ( http://dictionary.com/browse/FREE )
    stop begging to be LEGAL ( http://dictionary.com/browse/LEGAL )

    • 2buds4me

      Legal and Regulated…. like Tomatoes.

      • YOU’RE NOT PAYING ATTENTION!!!

        When you go to a bar and see some big hairy-assed axe-murderer-lookin’ biker-type dude strolling your way with a scowl on his face, do you say “Please don’t hit me.” or do you say “You look like a fag.”?

        When he stomps your head in the first time, do you say “Stop hitting me!” or “My grandma hits harder than you!”

        If you keep begging for statutory enslavement, and you keep INCREASING your statutory enslavement, when do you grow up, take 10 seconds TO READ INFORMATION ABOUT THE WORDS YOU USE THAT IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOUR WILFULLY IGNORANT EYES RIGHT THIS SECOND, and CHANGE what you say to actually represent what you “believe you’re saying, but are too wilfully ignorant to actually look up!”

        Are you some new, special kind of idiot?

        You DO realize that YOUR METHOD of consistently using THE WRONG WORDS means that we’re all going to be long since dead before ANYTHING changes, right? That it HAS NEVER WORKED in the past, IS NOT WORKING now, and CAN NEVER WORK, because it was NEVER DESIGNED TO WORK IN FAVOUR OF THE PEOPLE!

        • 2buds4me

          Look Dumba$$ – we’re on the same freaking side – Go take a dump on someone else. I was adding to your comment without putting myself up on YOUR soapbox. Cannabis is a freaking plant… and like tomatoes deserves to be free and unregulated. Anyone who believes otherwise is as you so un-poetically state “begging for statutory (self imposed) enslavement”. I understand the “system” is broken – and It’s my belief it cannot be fixed and must be replaced. I therefore resign myself at this time to a state of “self-help” and staying underground. I care for my own needs – not relying on either cartel or “high profit” though like minded individuals. I stand illegally healed from over 5 decades of medical problems and will continue to self medicate for the rest of my life. My secret garden in an illegal state is well hidden and spread over 30 miles. My “SARDONIC” take on regulation should have been clearly understood – even without a dictionary.

          In-fighting in the community is like in-breading. Serves no other purpose than to water down intelligence and shrink the gene pool. You want to call like-minded people to action – don’t put them down. Want to have people get people to follow you – lead the charge without $hitting on your fellow weedists.

          I’m overgrowing MY end of the world – what have you planted lately.

          Signed
          just another one of the ignorant masses

          • If we WERE on the same side, you would have taken the few short seconds required to look up the meaning of the word “FREE” and the word “LEGAL”, and you would understand that the two are different words because they are different concepts, and thus, they return DIFFERENT RESULTS.

            “Continuing to beg for statutory legality” is NOT substantially equivalent to “demanding the restoration of FREEDOM by the repeal of the statutes which removed our freedom.”

            You “say you agree” wth the basic concepts, and then deliberately re-state the opposite by using language which is DIAMETRICALLY OPPOSED to what you say you want.

            But you’re smarter than me-by your own declaration–so you can now educate me by explaining how using words that describe the opposite of what is needed will–despite 50+ years of obvious and provable and documented evidence to the contrary–finally return the opposite results to what is continually being begged for.

            Until you look up the meaning of the words you use, you’re dragging EVERYONE ELSE down with you.

            Set a precedent: UNDERSTAND THE LANGUAGE! Other people MIGHT just follow your lead, and then we can finally make some POSITIVE progress for a change, instead of continually losing ground every time we “believe we won.”

            Look at what’s going on in Washington and Colorado RIGHT NOW!

            They “knew they finally WON!!!”, but THEIR EMPLOYEES are just “rejiggering the statutes” to remove their rights AGAIN!

            The ONLY WAY we’re going to END the prohibition of cannabis is to REPEAL THE STATUTES ENTIRELY!

            There ARE NO OTHER ARGUMENTS that will result in the restoration of the freedom of the people of this planet but to REMOVE THE PIECES OF PAPER THAT WHICH REMOVED THEIR RIGHTS!

  • Cyndysub

    This is wonderful and it would be nice if this was the last nail in the coffin for the anti weed people. Let’s hold of on the 21 gun salute for a while though. ?

  • wowFAD

    Honestly, I’m more excited about the mainstreaming of the issue than I am about their choice of content. Weed 3 was a bit disingenuous at times when, to me, it appeared as though they were implying only a handful of scientists have been trying to research cannabis. Many have tried. A cabal of lettered federal agencies (DEA, NIDA, ONDCP, etc) with a vested interest in preventing cannabis research don’t simply hinder its progress, they have rigged the system to prevent it almost entirely. Research would lead to rescheduling. So they work diligently to prevent it. Especially the NIDA!

    The NIDA is the only licensed producer/distributer of cannabis for research purposes in the US. The DEA hasn’t licensed anyone else. The documentary made it appear as if the NIDA has been doing its best to let cannabis research happen, celebrating their new boom in cultivation at Ole Miss. The man in charge of the grow was being truthful when he said there wasn’t much demand for the cannabis his farm grew six or seven years ago — the NIDA hardly ever approves any clinical research that might show cannabis is safe and/or beneficial. There wasn’t any demand because the NIDA wasn’t *allowing* that demand to reach Ole Miss. The NIDA is the primary bottleneck preventing clinical cannabis research in the United States.

    Up until the moment the first “Weed” showed on CNN, 93% of the studies approved (and funded) by the NIDA sought to show cannabis is dangerous or harmful in some way. Often that research produced “inconclusive” results that sometimes implied cannabis REDUCED or somehow mitigated/moderated the harms they were studying. Years ago, the NIDA gave over a million dollars to researchers in Buffalo, NY seeking to find the link between cannabis use and domestic violence. An article about the burgeoning research appeared on this very blog, complete with a planted troll in the comment thread insisting cannabis sent her boyfriend into fits of anger and violent rage. Not only did nobody believe the troll then, within this last year, the Buffalo researchers came back and said they found a *negative* correlation — that couples who use cannabis are *less* likely to be involved in domestic violence.

    No kidding, we’ve wasted hundreds of millions of dollars over the years trying to make the fried egg analogy of your “brain on drugs” into more than just hopeful speculation by the Reagan administration (or part of a balanced breakfast). The NIDA has been one of the biggest obstacles to the truth getting out by simply preventing certain research, yes, but also by funding research that tried to legitimize the propaganda they’ve been selling the public for decades. At one point, the NIDA funded the research that created the dangerous and sometimes lethal synthetic cannabis (K2, spice) because they were trying to find a way to alter cannabis to make it less enjoyable.

    Clinical studies showing cannabinoids destroy cancer cells were being conducted in Spain as early as 2005 and quite recently in Israel, as well. But there are studies implying cannabis could be a viable, effective treatment of both cancer and epilepsy dating back to the 1970s! Politics brought that research to a stop. “Western medicine” should have had cancer, Alzheimer’s, epilepsy, and PTSD handled by proven-safe cannabis treatments, by now, with many other psychoses and debilitating conditions in the treatment pipeline. And maybe we would have, if it weren’t for the NIDA. I don’t know. Maybe we’re supposed to pretend like the NIDA hasn’t been a first-class pain in the ass for cannabis research — for decades — the same way some folks have agreed to pretend Eric Holder hasn’t been the admiral of the drug war flagship for six years. Someday, someone will write a book about altering concepts by controlling public perception, and I have no doubt 98% of its examples will be from BOTH sides of our bonehead drug war.

    • newageblues

      When it comes to causing misery, there’s nothing to compare with cancer. How big a political earthquake is there going to be if cannabis is recognized as an important therapy for cancer, capable of shrinking tumors? And that research into that possibility and into other possible vital therapeutic uses has been suppressed for decades? I think the medical marijuana earthquake is underway and is going to intensify, perhaps dramatically.
      A lot of people are going to have to apologize for their catastrophic error in judgement, or just slink away as more of the true cost of their control freak war on the “wrong” drugs comes to light.

      • wowFAD

        One would hope they’d apologize for what they’ve done, but in the world we live in, I highly doubt it. Robert DuPont has never uttered the word “Sorry” in regards to the part he’s played in drumming up the drug war in the first place. It’s been getting more and more well-known that cannabis in its own right has anti-cancer properties — that it doesn’t simply treat the negative side-effects of chemo. Many of the folks who are responsible for keeping the cure for cancer illegal are still alive, and will likely live long enough to learn what a terrible mistake they made. Reagan didn’t. DuPont might. Sabet certainly will. Whether or not they even consider an apology for the countless lives and unquantifiable suffering they’ve caused depends on a host of personal factors, but I highly doubt (given their professions) they have the integrity or character to let that thought creep into their minds.

        • 2buds4me

          Sociopaths have nothing to apologize for – for they never see the wrong they do. Their moral compass is so screwed up they never see it. For an in depth study read the book “Snakes in Suits” and realize most CEO’s, and a lot of Politicians fall into that mold – or are being taught that these amoral attitudes are to be desired – sought after – emulated.

    • 2buds4me

      See how it’s always been about power and control – one group over another (Seth Rogan called it “the reds against the blues”) never about safety or efficacy or health. The needs of the few in power always outweigh the needs of the many to ease their suffering. Ending suffering always comes at a high cost – all our lives, monies and liberties stand forfeit when it comes to power and control. No price seems to high to pay – to keep prohibition in place.

      • wowFAD

        I also call them the red team and the blue team to obviate how they treat our political process like a sport. Or rather, not like a *real* sport, but a rigged sport where the conflict is staged for entertainment, like wrestling.

  • Lawrence Goodwin

    Excellent brief analysis. We are forever indebted to Dr Sanjay Gupta for delving into cannabis research so publicly with this series. Maybe Weed 4 won’t even be necessary before the 2016 election! :) Still, I can’t be the only one to detest yet another Divide and Conquer tactic being deployed in many states, especially the Empire State: Separating people with real “medical” problems from people who “really” want legal cannabis for recreation. We’re ALL Americans with equal rights to liberty, justice and happiness. Since it’s now crystal clear that the Feds have been LYING for 44 years, defining “marihuana” in law with “no accepted medical value,” why should we trust ANY law they pass? I truly believe that recreational use of cannabis IS medical use, acting as a fine defense against illness, anxiety and especially the depression caused by our woefully arrogant lawmakers. Their cannabis prohibition has been among the biggest frauds ever perpetrated on Americans from Day 1.

  • PharmD

    This series is INCREDIBLY impressive. Honestly, they are fantastic and Dr. Gupta does an amazing job informing the public.

    That said, the MOST impressive thing about all of this to me is that Dr. Gupta admitted he was wrong in the first place, and then followed up with action. It really takes some melons to say to the world that you were wrong…. about everything, and that changes need to be made. He 100% is worthy of an award and I believe he will receive one.