Fw: [drugwar] Wire: OPED: Arrest MS, Not Patients

Preston Peet ptpeet at nyc.rr.com
Wed Sep 24 14:03:51 EDT 2003


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Richard Lake" <rlake at mapinc.org>
To: <drugwar at mindvox.com>
Sent: Wednesday, September 24, 2003 10:00 AM
Subject: [drugwar] Wire: OPED: Arrest MS, Not Patients


>
> URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v03/n1447/a11.html
>
> Pubdate: Mon, 21 Sep 2003
> Source: United Press International (Wire)
> Copyright: 2003 United Press International
> Author: Paul Armentano
> Note: The author is a senior policy analyst for the NORML Foundation, a
> group that supports the liberalization of America's marijuana laws, in
> Washington.
> Also: The first photos of the march on Washington are on line at
> http://www.cheryldcmemorial.org/92203_ms_pts_ms_soc.htm - more to follow.
> Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmj.htm (Cannabis - Medicinal)
> Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/people/Cheryl+Miller
>
> ARREST MS, NOT PATIENTS
>
> WASHINGTON, Sept. 22 (UPI) -- A potential breakthrough in the treatment of
> multiple sclerosis could lie on the horizon, and it may come from an
unlikely
> source: marijuana.
>
> According to clinical findings published in the most recent issue of the
> journal Brain, cannabinoids (ingredients in marijuana) offer
neuroprotection
> against allergic encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS. After
> analyzing the findings, authors at London's Institute of Neurology
concluded,
> "In addition to symptom management, cannabis may also slow down the
> neurodegenerative processes that ultimately lead to chronic disability in
> multiple sclerosis and probably other diseases."
>
> Their statement gives hope to the estimated 350,000 patients in the United
> States living with MS, a debilitating and sometimes fatal disorder of the
> central nervous system. Although previous human studies have indicated
that pot
> may provide therapeutic relief to common symptoms of MS such as muscle
spasms,
> tremor, and incontinence, the London study is one of the first to indicate
that
> cannabinoids may also potentially stave off the disease.
>
> Unfortunately, far too many politicians remain in the dark about
marijuana's
> medicinal value, with many in Congress opting to punish medicinal pot
patients
> rather than support them. In an effort to change this view, dozens of MS
> patients who use marijuana therapeutically are descending on Washington
this
> week to bring needed attention to the medicinal marijuana issue. Patients
will
> be holding a candlelight vigil in front of the Supreme Court in honor of
Cheryl
> Miller -- a longtime medical marijuana activist who died of MS-related
> complications in June -- as well as a press conference with various
members of
> Congress in support of House Bill 2233, the "States' Rights to Medical
> Marijuana Act."
>
> "Throughout much of her life, Cheryl risked arrest and jail to use the
only
> medication that alleviated her suffering," remembers her husband Jim
Miller,
> organizer of the patient march on Washington. "I hope that by bringing
> attention to the plight of my late wife Cheryl, I can hasten the day when
> marijuana will be made available so that others are no longer needlessly
forced
> to suffer with pain or risk arrest."
>
> Further research on the use of marijuana as a medicine is forthcoming.
> Nevertheless, it appears that many MS sufferers have already learned what
the
> scientific community is just now discovering. For example, a recent
British
> survey of MS patients found that 43 percent of respondents used marijuana
> therapeutically. Among them, nearly three quarters said that pot mitigated
> their spasms, and more than half said it alleviated their pain.
>
> Clinical data published in the spring edition of the journal Clinical
> Rehabilitation affirmed these perceptions. The study, performed by
researchers
> at Oxford University, found that MS patients administered whole-plant
marijuana
> extracts experienced improved pain relief, bladder control, and spasticity
> compared to placebo. As a result, these pot extracts are now being
evaluated by
> the UK's National Institute for Clinical Excellence, which is expected to
make
> a decision regarding the drugs' legalization this fall.
>
> Meanwhile, a survey published last month in the Canadian Journal of
> Neurological Sciences reported that 96 percent of Canadian MS patients
believe
> that marijuana is therapeutically useful for treating the disease. Of
those who
> admitted using marijuana medicinally, the majority found it to be
beneficial,
> particularly in the treatment of chronic pain, spasticity and depression.
>
> With scientific evidence mounting and large numbers of MS sufferers
already
> using marijuana medicinally, it's time to for Congress to acknowledge
pot's
> emerging role as a therapeutic agent, and stand up for the rights of
patients
> who ease their pain and suffering through the use of marijuana.
> - --- 
>
>
>
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