Conference to question medical cannabis

Discussion in '420Lounge' started by Xion Mythos, May 16, 2004.

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  1. Xion Mythos

    Xion Mythos XzeroCopy

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    Pregnant women with morning sickness and children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder might try taking marijuana, according to experts who will speak at an international conference in Charlottesville.

    [Suetaznote: Hmmn, must be a pretty harmful drug if medical experts are recommending it to pregnant women. ]

    Mary Lynn Mathre, president of Patients Out of Time, said it’s well known that marijuana can reduce pain and stimulate appetite, which is helpful for AIDS patients. But she said people who attend the Third National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics will hear about lesser-known benefits of the drug.

    For example, a California physician will present new research on how marijuana might help calm children with ADHD. The youngest known cannabis patient in the United States, who at age 2 was given cannabis to treat hyperactivity and anxiety, also will speak.

    [Suetaznote: I'd love to hear what this person has to say.]

    In addition, the dean of the University of Iowa College of Nursing will discuss how cannabis can provide relief to pregnant women with morning sickness.

    “During pregnancy, many women suffer from extreme morning sickness,” Mathre said. “They experience vomiting and nausea. There have been studies in Canada and Jamaica showing that pregnant women benefit from therapeutic cannabis.”

    Mathre, who is a registered nurse, will talk about the various ways to ingest medical cannabis, including eye drops, vaporizers, topical salves and suppositories.

    [Suetaznote: Eyedrops and suppositories?! Never heard of this before. I think I'd rather smoke it than shove it up my ... Heh, I'd love to send Bush a marijuana suppository. What next, THC in breath mints?]

    The conference will be held May 20-22 at the Omni Charlottesville Hotel. It’s jointly sponsored by Patients Out of Time and the Office of Continuing Medical Education at the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

    [Suetaznote: Oh how I wish I could attend this!]

    Doctors and experts from all over the world will gather at the event to discuss the medicinal uses of marijuana.

    “When it comes to marijuana, everybody has the impression of people sitting around getting high and doing wild and crazy things. So it’s dismissed,” said Dr. John Rowlingson, a UVa professor of anesthesiology.

    [Suetaznote: So true!]

    “As a scientist, I can’t dismiss the medicinal benefits of marijuana just because it’s an emotional social issue,” he said. “This is an opportunity for scientific people to get together and discuss the scientific elements, not the emotional ones.”

    [Suetaznote: Well said!]

    Al Byrne, chief operating officer for Patients Out of Time, says the most exciting prospect for making cannabis available to the ill is a petition seeking to have the Drug Enforcement Administration re-classify marijuana. An update on the petition will be given at the conference.

    “A petition was presented to the DEA to take cannabis off the Schedule I list of drugs in the fall of 2002,” Byrne said. “We want it to be listed as a Schedule III or IV drug so it could be used by the medical community.”

    “The DEA is in the final process of reviewing the petition,” he said. “They will either pass it on to Health and Human Services for approval or deny it.”

    [Suetaznote: My guess is they'll deny it.]

    The DEA’s Web site calls marijuana a “dangerous, addictive drug that poses significant health threats to users.” It further states that marijuana has no medical value that can’t be met more effectively by legal drugs.

    But Rowlingson says there’s no question that there are patients who would benefit from cannabis treatment.

    “I think there are select people for whom the drugs in marijuana will work,” Rowlingson said. “It’s effective for people with glaucoma because it eases high pressure in the eyes. It also controls nausea after chemotherapy.”

    He says more studies are needed to figure out which illnesses call for marijuana treatment and who would benefit most.

    “There is going to be a growing lack of interest in prescribing narcotics,” Rowlingson said. “Narcotics really don’t take the pain away, they just cover up pain. I think for many people, marijuana would have less side effects and better outcomes.”

    “We have to make this substance in some way more medically available,” he said. “If someone was in pain and couldn’t get Motrin, no one in the world would put up with that.”
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