Western Standard

The Shotgun Blog

« China to Barack Obama: respect free trade | Main | Leaked CPC Policy resolutions »

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thankful for medical marijuana

A great post on one of my favorite blogs, YourDailyChum.com on why the passage of Proposal 1 in Michigan was a victory for liberty, and compassion.

Here's an excerpt from the Chum Master:

As you may have guessed, I’m very passionate about this subject. While I’ve become kind of an amateur medicinal marijuana expert because of my policy studies in grad school, I also have a personal stake in this movement. In the interest of disclosure, yes, I do have a condition that is covered under Prop 1. I share these details only to perhaps put a familiar face on this vote. Some of you may have visited me in the hospital after one of my surgeries, or had me skip out on work or family functions because I’m knocked out on pain meds or side effects from treatment. I’ve been on 21 different medications in the last 3 yrs to keep my condition in check but so far, the most relief I can manage is a few months before the medicine decreases in effectiveness. Every “miracle drug” I’ve tried had results far less impressive than the shiny drug co. booklet promised. I will evaluate whether to use marijuana when the law is in full effect after I consult with my doctors and my employer to see if my employer will accommodate the new legislation or not. However, it’s comforting to know that an option which has demonstrated tremendous effectiveness, with far fewer side effects than my current meds, is legally available. Playing with my two little babies while hooked up to assorted machinery, although exciting, isn’t as easy as one would think.

I met some amazing people while working on this initiative, people whose suffering and bravery far exceed my own. These people and their loved ones were forced to sneak around to avoid arrest and prosecution. They and their families have gone through a hell that you and I can never imagine and marijuana has been the only medicine that enabled them to go through yet another round of chemotherapy, or to ease the debilitating nerve pain that keeps them bedridden, or prevents them from vomiting up the meds that keeps AIDS/HIV from taking their life.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by Isaac Morehouse on November 7, 2008 | Permalink

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
https://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d834515b5d69e2010535e0b960970c

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Thankful for medical marijuana:

Comments

With all due respect to the Chum and his condition, his appeal is unconvincing for the following reasons:

1. He reveals he has a personal stake in the issue. He isn’t speaking objectively; he freely admits that he is “passionate” about it. That should make people less inclined to take his advice, not more so. “Putting a familiar face” on a subject, along with rousing tales of bravery and well-meaning civil disobedience, do often help to persuade people who think with their hearts (which in truth is not thinking at all), but it doesn’t make for a better argument. At best, it’s a plea for mercy; at worst, it’s a cynical attempt at emotional manipulation and blackmail. In an argument that’s sure to shatter a few illusions, Bush did the same to persuade the American people that war in Iraq was necessary. Remember the “mushroom cloud” speech? A flawed method of persuasion is still flawed, even if the cause thus promoted is just.

2. There are comparatively few conditions for which marijuana is helpful, compared to the tremendous recreational (read: habit-forming and harmful) use of the drug. In all instances, marijuana but masks the symptoms of the illness; it is not a cure for anything, any more than morphine is a cure for terminal cancer. While more habit-forming than pot, morphine is accepted within the pharmacopeia because the analgesic effects of opiates have been well documented for thousands of years. Most of the existing evidence concerning the efficacy of marijuana, on the other hand, is anecdotal. Which means we have an equally strong case that magnets and copper bracelets help with arthritis. Medical marijuana would get a much smoother ride through the proofing process if many of its most vocal advocates weren’t such scruffy, weedy-looking characters. Remember, it was doctors who originally removed it from the pharmacopeia in 1942, not politicians.

3. Yes, medical marijuana can help with nausea. So can synthetic derivatives such as Marinol, although admittedly smoked pot takes effect much faster and also allows one to better regulate the dose. (Whether the typical patient would be skilled enough to take advantage of this is an interesting question.) Either drug is an immunomodulative which on the face of it seems a poor choice for someone with an already compromised immune system.

Do I think that marijuana should be offered as an alternative treatment when other drugs fail? Yes--by prescription only, in a form that allows ingestion without stinking up the entire block. But arguments like this do the movement few favours.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 9:15:52 AM


Shane:

With all due respect, the above is not an argument. It is a story, or rather an expression of why someone is thankful for the passage of this bill. During the entire campaign for this, which the Chum Master participate in, he never once mentioned his personal story or appealed to emotions as above. He provided all of the extremely sound arguments for legalization and against the illogical, inconsistent and paternalistic ideas behind illegalization.

As the posts title suggests, this is simply a post facto expression of thanks, and an opportunity for him to share what he didn't during the campaign - that he has a personal stake, and he is thankful for another option.

Posted by: Isaac | 2008-11-07 9:26:31 AM


Isaac, did he argue for outright legalization (unrestricted use, meaning pot would be less restricted than Viagra), or for restriction only (available but only with prescription)? The first argument is untenable; there is some merit to the second.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 10:12:37 AM


Not to mention Shane once again tries to misrepresent the facts:

- A personal stake has no impact upon the validity of any argument, positive or negative. Yet, compassion dictates this is a moral good, and that in itself is a valid argument.

- There are plent of medical conditions that can be helped by use of marijuana. This has been confirmed by Health Canada, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the British Medical Association, among many many others. The postive effects of MM has been verified in countless medical studies across the globe, and is anything but 'anecdotal'.

- There are documented cases of medicinal marijuana use dating back to 18th century BC, across several continenets.

Shane might be an obstructionist, but his dishonest tactics certainly do not help his credibility, nor his argumentation.

Posted by: Q | 2008-11-07 10:21:27 AM


"The first argument is untenable; there is some merit to the second."

You're getting soft, Shane. :-)

Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-11-07 10:21:52 AM


Q is right, Shane, and appeal to compassion or personal benefit is not a fallacy in a moral argument.

That's because we ought to, in general, accept Pareto optimality, or the claim that if something benefits someone, then that's a reason for us to endorse it (it's not a decisive reason, but it is *a* reason).

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-11-07 1:36:10 PM


Shane,

I don't have much to say to your comments as they've already been addressed, but I thought I'd add some context to my original blog posting. The posting wasn't an argument for the adoption of Prop. 1, it was in response to the passage of that bill on election night this past Tuesday. I was thrilled to see it pass, and so I sent a personal email out to family and friends, one of them being Isaac, to thank them for their support of the proposal. Isaac suggested I post in on my blog, http://www.YourDailyChum.com, so I did and then Isaac linked to it. If you read the original posting on my blog it might be more clear to you that it wasn't an argument at all, but an expression of gratitude.

I worked on the campaign from beginning to finish, and never mentioned my condition on my blog, or when talking to people in public. Like Isaac mentioned, I focused on arguments against the prohibition of marijuana as medicine, as well as detailed the legal restrictions of the measure, which can be found at:
http://stoparrestingpatients.org/about-initiative

I'm graduating with a double-master's in April, in both political science and public administration. I know how to structure an argument, which is why I had to chuckle all the more when reading your detailed critique of my non-argument.

The Chum Master

p.s. While it has been nearly 10 hrs. since I last shaved, I would hardly characterize myself as a "scruffy, weedy-looking character." In fact, I'm actually pretty clean-cut. In fact, I don't personally know any vocal medicinal proponents like the ones you described. But, perhaps I'm too "passionate" to objectively evaluate their hair/hygiene.

Posted by: The Chum Master | 2008-11-07 2:35:30 PM


Q wrote: “1. Not to mention Shane once again tries to misrepresent the facts:”

1. “SHANE WANTS TO PUT HALF OUR KIDS IN JAIL! SHAME! SHAME!” You’re the last one to accuse anyone of misrepresentation, Q.

2. Compassion also dictates that abortion is a moral wrong, and that the needs of victims should be served before those of the criminals. The difference is that social ethics also demand these things, whereas in the case of medical marijuana compassion cannot override the negatives associated with the indiscriminate use of this drug. No fact is misrepresented here.

3. Today’s doctors view marijuana in a more sympathetic light than did the physicians half a century ago; perhaps because so many of them smoked it while they were at college. (Recreational marijuana use in 1942 was actually quite rare.) In any case, for every study that suggests marijuana has some medicinal value, there is a study that demonstrates its harmful effects. Some “studies” claim that marijuana cures cancer. And some presumably educated specimens even believe that it teaches the secrets of stellar fusion, particularly while hang-gliding stoned. I also stated only that there were “comparatively few” conditions for which marijuana was helpful, not that it was of no medicinal use whatever. In other words, it may have some use, but its not the panacea of the alchemists. No fact is misrepresented here.

4. And also documented cases of bleeding dating back to the 18th century B.C., across several continents.

5. “SHANE WANTS TO PUT HALF OUR KIDS IN JAIL! SHAME! SHAME!” What was that about dishonest tactics, Q?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 3:18:04 PM


P.M. wrote: “1. Q is right, Shane, and appeal to compassion or personal benefit is not a fallacy in a moral argument.”

1. There is no such thing as a moral argument. Argument is about logic, not feelings. At its least rational, it’s about ethics—the desire to pursue the best ends by the best means. An appeal to compassion is a loser’s ploy, typically employed as a last resort when the facts don’t line up on your side.

2. You mean the way robbing people benefits the robber? The issue ought to be whether something can benefit people generally, not just one specific individual, and whether the overall good done outweighs the overall harm done. Focusing on a single individual distracts from such principled thinking and drags one down into the morass of emotional narcissism.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 3:22:27 PM


Shane,

"You mean the way robbing people benefits the robber? The issue ought to be whether something can benefit people generally, not just one specific individual, and whether the overall good done outweighs the overall harm done."

Peter knows this, which is why he referred to Pareto optimality. You're attacking a claim he never made. If an action benefits someone but harms others, it is not Pareto efficient.

Here's a quote from the Wikipedia article on Pareto efficiency:
"Given a set of alternative allocations of, say, goods or income for a set of individuals, a movement from one allocation to another that can make at least one individual better off without making any other individual worse off is called a Pareto improvement."

Did you even understand the case Peter was making?

Posted by: Kalim Kassam | 2008-11-07 3:36:47 PM


Chum Master,

Please don’t bore me with your academic credentials. I’ve noticed that people who have earned those letters after their name tend to flash them like a police badge, as if it automatically gives them expanded competence in all subjects under the Sun and means that anyone who can’t present similar credentials should just shut the hell up. Sorry, I don’t buy it. In political science and public administration the emphasis is on manipulating people, not thinking rationally. People are more easily swayed by emotion than logic, so that is what you are trained to use. It shows, too.

I am well aware that you were offering an expression of gratitude and that the measure had already passed. Furthermore, as I said, I don’t oppose the use of marijuana for medical purposes, under controls similar to morphine and other narcotics, provided that such measures don’t cause more problems than they solve. And as for “weedy-looking” proponents of medical marijuana (or lack thereof, in your area), you likely haven’t been to British Columbia in a while, what with Budoracle the Stellar Fusion Scientist and our very own Prince of Pot Marc Emery.

P.S. If you’re graduating with a double major and “know how to structure an argument,” why do you offer the non-argument that you “would not characterize” yourself as “a scruffy, weedy-looking character”? What you would or would not call yourself does not amount to an argument because it furnishes no proof. This just goes back to my first point—it does not matter what you think. It only matters what you can PROVE. The doctors who removed marijuana from the pharmacopeia in 1942, were they all idiots and political hacks? And if so, why is it impossible that the same is true now, marijuana being re-legalized for equally frivolous reasons?

When a drug produces extreme paranoid reactions in up to four percent of the population, it’s a non-starter for FDA approval. Heart medications issued to millions have been pulled over a few dozen heart attacks that showed vague statistical correlations to use of that drug. Drug companies have eaten billions of dollars and many people who could have been helped have been denied, depending on how you choose to look at it, but it’s all in pursuit of the safest possible medications. Why should the bar be lowered for marijuana? Because it helps you and a few people you know?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 3:38:41 PM


Kalim wrote: “Peter knows this, which is why he referred to Pareto optimality. You're attacking a claim he never made. If an action benefits someone but harms others, it is not Pareto efficient.”

Exactly. Now, where are the negatives of medical marijuana? No one seems willing to point them out, but they do exist. There is lung damage and potential psychological harm to the patient, and there is the fantastic stink that can pervade an entire apartment block.

Kalim wrote: “Did you even understand the case Peter was making?”

Perfectly. But it was imperfectly made; it addresses only one side of the equation, as explained above. Furthermore, there is no such thing as a Pareto optimality; it is a philosophical device, an economic fiction. While the distribution of wealth is not a zero-sum game, the distribution of resources, rights, privileges, and property always is, de facto if not de jure. I don’t oppose medical marijuana in principle. I do oppose bad implementation, which is almost certain to result if the change is wrought by activists. We're talking about the effects of a drug on the human brain and misuse of that drug on the fabric of society, not separate drinking fountains.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 3:47:20 PM


(1) Whether or not you believe anything about me personally does not change the fact you are deliberately misrepresenting fact.

(2) Abortion clearly has the intent of harming another life. Medicinal use of marijuana harms nobody except the individual, so your comparison is invalid. Not to mention changing the entire point: compassion is a moral argument in itself.

(3) Your conjecture regarding any person's thought is totally useless, you are not a god. Modern, educated and scientifically motivated medical associations across the globe all endorse the use of medicinal marijuana. Period.

(4) Yes, except bleeding has been totally dicredited by science, as has your false claim that pots positive effects have not been observed for centuries. Many of the same applications for modern use medical marijuana have been observed for centuries across the globe. That is a fact.

(5) Im not dishonest at all, you claim marijuana use is rising only because of "poor enforcement", and since over 50% of our current high school students smoke marijuana, the only logical conclusion is you desire to incriminate all of them in order to decrease use? How else can one interpret your statements?

Posted by: Q | 2008-11-07 4:13:31 PM


Shane,

Have some fun man, I was just joking around with the closing. I hear ya about some eggheads flashing their academic credentials to anyone within earshot. I wasn't attempting to do that, but if it came across that way, I apologize. I have Ph.d students in some of my classes that certainly fit your description. For someone that seems to have a desire for truth and reason, you seem to make like blanket statements about others, be it marijuana advocates or entire disciplines of study.

Have a great weekend.

Posted by: Chum Master | 2008-11-07 5:00:54 PM


Back to the topic: Cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Cannabis products, especially tinctures, were manufactured by pharmaceutical giants, like Merck, and were widely prescribed for pain and other symptoms in the U.S., from the mid-1800s until the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was passed, over the objections of the American Medical Association.

Cannabis was already included in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia for decades, until less-than-scientific "reefer madness" led to its illegitimate removal in 1942.

Cannabis has been studied and dissected for centuries. The extensive government-supported studies of the last three decades to establish marijuana's harm -- to support the harsh prohibition -- have instead provided a record of cannabis's amazing safety profile.

In 1988, the DEA's own Chief Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young concluded, after two years of hearings and enough expert testimony to fill 15 volumes, that:

"Marijuana, IN ITS NATURAL FORM [capitals added], is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known … The evidence in this record clearly shows that marijuana has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress of great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision."

Despite millions of people using cannabis over thousands of years, there are no credible accounts of a single overdose (the scarcity of cannabinoid receptors in the medulla oblongata, responsible for controlling respiratory and cardiovascular functions, explains the virtual absence of reports of fatal cannabis overdose in humans). Compare this to FDA-approved medications, which kill tens of thousands of people per year, even when properly prescribed and properly taken.

And for the record, if the FDA continues to blatantly lie about the medical efficacy of cannabis, we can go around them; we don't need them to reschedule cannabis to allow it to be used as a medicine at the Federal level.

In addition to its most well-known anti-emetic or anti-nausea properties, cannabis also has analgesic (pain inhibiting); anxiolytic (anxiety relieving); anti-depressant; anti-psychotic; anti-rheumatoid arthritic; anti-tumoral; anti-inflammatory; anti-oxidative, anti-excitotoxic (slows nerve cell death) and even anti-convulsant properties.

Because of this amazing array of healing properties, cannabis is used in the treatment of many conditions and diseases, including Cancer; Glaucoma; HIV/AIDS+; Cachexia; Severe Pain; Severe Nausea; Seizures, including those that are characteristic of Epilepsy; Alzheimer’s disease; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s Disease); Diabetes Mellitus; Dystonia; Fibromyalgia; Gastrointestinal disorders; Gliomas; Hepatitis C; Hypertension; Incontinence; Multiple Sclerosis; Osteoporosis; Pruritis; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Tourette’s Syndrome; Parkinson’s; Huntington’s, to name just a few.

EndtheLies.

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 5:51:13 PM


Q wrote: “1. Whether or not you believe anything about me personally does not change the fact you are deliberately misrepresenting fact.”

1. Not one of which you have seen fit to name. Are we just supposed to take your word for it?

2. Medicinal use of marijuana harms no one except the individual—not true. If a legally prescribed drug harms the patient, then it is the prescribing physician and the FDA, not the patient, who are responsible. Not to mention the fact that there is no such thing as a moral argument because argument as classically defined is the preserve of logic and/or ethics, not feelings.

3. I am not a god, but I can spot trends, and the baby boomers—to whom most doctors now belong—haven’t exactly distinguished themselves by a virtuous, drug-free existence. Some doctors argue for marijuana; others against. There is no more consensus here than there is for global warming—most scientists believe the issue is NOT settled, because to call any issue settled is contrary to the scientific method.

4. And in 1942, pot’s medicinal effects were totally discredited by science as well, at least to the extent that the anticipated benefit was outweighed by the anticipated problems. That is also a fact. To presume that you automatically know better than people who lived fifty years ago by dint of your birthdate is hubris.

5. First, your 50% figure has been discredited on multiple occasions. Your statement insinuates that half of all students are regular users. It’s more like half of all students have used at some point in their life, even if only once. Secondly, breaking the law does not necessarily mean a jail term. Fines and restorative justice are also options. But in your zeal to make hay, you took your largest brush, slapped it into the bucket and began slashing in frenzied lunatic strokes, “SHANE WANTS TO PUT HALF OUR KIDS IN JAIL!!!” Misrepresenting the facts? Yes, you most certainly are.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 6:00:26 PM


Chum:

"Have some fun, man"??? I appreciate your attempt to lighten things up, but just between ourselves: [whispers] Remarks like that don't do much to enhance the image of grad students in general. [normal voice] Have a good weekend yourself. :-)

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 6:04:52 PM


Does cannabis really have anti-cancer properties?

While we still need a lot more research on cannabis to hone in on all of its healing properties, there is a growing, strong body of evidence that suggests cannabis does indeed have anti-tumor and anti-cancer effects.

In fact, back in 1974, a study at the Medical College of Virginia found that marijuana's psychoactive component, THC, "slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent." (Quote from Aug. 18, 1974, Washington Post).

Just this past January (2008), investigators at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health found that the administration of cannabinoids halted the spread of a wide range of cancers, including brain cancer, breast cancer, lung cancer, lymphoma, pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer.

Given cannabis can uniquely target malignant cells while ignoring healthy cells; and given cannabis is essentially non-toxic, cannabis offers significant advantages over standard chemotherapy treatments, according to this recent study from U. of Wisconsin.

These studies reinforce the findings from other studies:

DECREASED TUMOR BURDEN IN LEUKEMIA CELLS EXPOSED TO CANNABIDIOL:
"Exposure of leukemia cells to cannabidiol led to CB2-mediated reduction in cell viability and induction in apoptosis … [and] a significant decrease in tumor burden and an increase in apoptotic tumors in vivo."
— McKallip, Robert J., et al., "Cannabidiol-Induced Apoptosis in Human Leukemia Cells: A Novel Role of Cannabidiol in the Regulation of p22phox and Nox4 Expression," Molecular Pharmacology, June 5, 2006

PROMISING ANTI-TUMOR EFFECTS OBSERVED:
"A strong and statistically significant anti-tumor effect was observed … In particular, for a highly malignant human breast carcinoma cell line … cannabidiol and a cannabidiol-rich extract counteract cell growth both in vivo and in vitro as well as tumor metastasis in vivo."
— Ligresti, Alessia, et al., "Anti-Tumor Activity of Plant Cannabinoids with Emphasis on the Effect of Cannabidiol on Human Breast Carcinoma," Journal of Pharmacology And Experimental Therapeutics, May 25, 2006

THC AND INHIBITION OF TUMOR CELL PROLIFERATION:
"[THC] inhibited tumour-cell proliferation in vitro and decreased tumour-cell Ki67 immunostaining.”
— Guzman, M., et al., "A Pilot Clinical Study of Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in Patients With Recurrent Glioblastoma Multiforme," British Journal of Cancer, July 2006

POSSIBLE TUMOR GROWTH INHIBITION:
“There is recent evidence from cell culture systems and animal models that 9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the principal psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and other cannabinoids may inhibit the growth of some tumors by modulating key signaling pathways leading to growth arrest and cell death, as well as inhibiting tumor angiogenesis…antitumoral associations have been observed for several types of malignancies including brain, prostate, thyroid, lung, and breast.”
— Tashkin, D., et al., “Marijuana Use and the Risk of Lung and Upper Aerodigestive Tract Cancers: Results of a Population-Based Case-Control Study,” Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention, October 2006

And here's a link/address to a summary of much of the available research on marijuana's anti-cancer effect, including a time-lapse video showing how THC selectively kills cancer cells without affecting the normal brain cells:

http://safeaccess.ca/research/cancer.htm

In short, we need the U.S. FEDS to stop obstructing cannabis research to explore all of cannabis's healing potential.

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 6:12:20 PM


Poser-who-impersonates-Hippocrates wrote: “1. Back to the topic: Cannabis has been used medicinally for thousands of years…”

1. And many completely useless and even outright harmful preparations have been used for thousands of years, from rubbing camel manure on bald heads in ancient Egypt to trying to keep the skin young-looking with white lead. From medieval attempts to feed people with clysters to modern attempts to collect orgone. Furthermore, in the 19th century, it was common for parents to use narcotics to quiet noisy children. Past use is not justification for present use. Otherwise, I except all gun control legislation to be repealed forever.

2. In what way was it illegitimate? Because you say so? Are you going to back this claim, or are we just supposed to take your word for it? The Marijuana Tax Act was passed in 1937, retaining marijuana for medicinal use; it was doctors, not politicians, who denounced it in 1942.

3. Along with everything else on which scientists could lay their hands. Next.

4., 5. At best, that’s an argument for medical marijuana with a prescription. It certainly isn’t grounds for outright decriminalization, which is what most pot activists today want. Also, pot is not the only drug capable of “relieving distress.” You can get the same effect with whiskey, and alcohol’s effects on the operation of motor vehicles and complex machinery are at least well understood. Far more research needs to be done into the effects of marijuana before it passes the strict criteria of the FDA. Or are you going to argue that because of this drug’s hallowed and mythical history that it should be exempt from the rules?

6. An often-supported statistic that does little to advance the case. Just because a substance has a high LD-50 doesn’t mean it isn’t doing harm to you. If second-hand tobacco smoke is such a bad thing, why are people expected to put up with the much more potent and damaging (not to mention psychoactive) marijuana second-hand smoke?

7. No, you can’t. Not unless you want to go to jail. By the way, where is your proof of their lying? Again, do you think it’s just enough that you say it? This open defiance betrays an activist’s bent and hints at delusions of persecution. Do you realize how much that damages your argument?

8. Well, holy shit! You didn’t tell me you’d stumbled onto the universal panacea! Honestly, do you really expect the authorities to seriously believe that ONE substance could have all those beneficial properties? Anti-TUMORAL? Please, give it up. If it were as wonderful as all that pressure from “Big Pharma” to legalize it would have overcome legal resistance long ago and drug companies would be racing to deliver ever-more-potent strains of the drug in twenty-eight designer flavours.

9. Let’s settle this right now, Hippo—marijuana is a cure for NOTHING. The best it can do is relieve symptoms. I’m not against using it for what it’s proven to be effective against, but I see no reason why it shouldn’t have to go through the same approval process as any other drug, or held to the same standards as every other drug. Certainly not on the say-so of a few loudmouthed know-it-alls.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 6:25:42 PM


KEY EXCERPTS FROM THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS ON MEDICAL MARIJUANA:

"A clear discord exists between the scientific community and federal legal and regulatory agencies over the medicinal value of marijuana, which impedes the expansion of research..."

"EVIDENCE NOT ONLY SUPPORTS THE USE OF MEDICAL MARIJUANA IN CERTAIN CONDITIONS BUT ALSO SUGGESTS NUMEROUS INDICATIONS FOR CANNABINOIDS [capitals added]..."

"Anecdotal, survey and clinical trial data suggest that smoked marijuana and oral THC provide relief of spasticity, pain and tremor in some patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), spinal cord injuries or other trauma."

"For patients with AIDS or those undergoing chemotherapy, who suffer severe pain, nausea and appetite loss, cannabinoid drugs may provide symptom relief not found in any other medication."

"The science on medical marijuana should not be obscured or hindered by the debate surrounding the legalization of marijuana for general use."

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is the largest medical specialty organization and the second largest physician group in the United States, representing 124,000 members specializing in internal medicine and related subspecialties, including cardiology, neurology, pulmonary disease, oncology and infectious diseases.

The ACP publishes "Annals of Internal Medicine," the most widely cited medical specialty journal in the world. Here's a link to the ACP's recent position paper on medical marijuana, entitled "Supporting Research into the Therapeutic Role of Marijuana":

http://www.acponline.org/acp_news/medmarinews.htm

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 6:34:19 PM


NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES INSTITUTE OF MEDICINE (IOM)

"Scientific data indicate the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoid drugs… for pain relief, control of nausea and vomiting, and appetite stimulation. … For certain patients, such as the terminally ill or those with debilitating symptoms, the long-term risks [associated with smoking] are not of great concern. … [Therefore,] clinical trials of marijuana for medical purposes should be conducted. … There are patients with debilitating symptoms for whom smoked marijuana might provide relief. … Except for the harms associated with smoking, the adverse effects of marijuana use are within the range of effects tolerated for other medicines.”

Reference: "Marijuana as Medicine: Assessing the Science Base," National Academy Press: Washington, DC. 1999

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 6:40:14 PM


Shane, you're usually a little better than this.

1. A moral argument is an argument that contains values in the premises and in the conclusion. But the use of values does not imply that the argument somehow runs afoul of logic or reason, or that it makes use of emotions or feelings in any way. For example, here is a moral argument:
1. We all ought to X, when in circumstance C
2. P is in circumstance C
3. Therefore, P ought to X

No emotion, no feeling, moral argument.

2. Pareto optimality may be rare, but it is not a fiction. There are many cases of something benefiting at least one person, and harming no one.

3. My response to your objection to the use of compassion was not intended to address the issue of marijuana policy. It was merely intended to show that the use of compassion can play a role in moral arguments. So your response to Kalim: "...Now, where are the negatives of medical marijuana? [etc.]..." is a non sequitor, and does not apply to the point I was making.

4. Marijuana can have negative effects. Including those you mentioned.

5. The current policies of the FDA are probably irrational. Suppose the following is true: 100 people might get drug A. If they get drug A, 4 of them will most certainly die, directly because of the drug (and for no other reason). If none of them get drug A, 10 of them will most certainly die (from the condition that they have).

You said that there is a 4% standard for the FDA. I don't know if that's true. But the above example is consistent with a 4% standard (it can be changed to accommodate whatever precise requirements the FDA has).

From my recollection of experimental psychology and philosophy, people tend to think that it is worse that you die from taking a pill, than your dying from a disease. This is probably irrational, or untenable. Keeping all other things constant (including suffering, and other relevant considerations), whether I die from a pill or a disease ought to be a matter of indifference, since I'm dead either way.

With use of the drug, 4 people die. Without the drug, 10 do. We need to know not merely that marijuana has bad outcomes in some proportion of cases, we need to know our opportunity costs. We need to know what proportion of people would have had their suffering alleviated through marijuana. Then we can rationally compare them, and we can come to a rational drug policy.

The rational pro-medicinal marijuana position is: if it alleviates more pain than it causes (allowing for the extent, duration, and severity of the pain), then it ought to be permitted, perhaps under doctor supervision.

The rational anti-medicinal marijuana position is the converse.

6. The above argument assumes that we only value pain and its alleviation. If we value personal autonomy and individual liberty, as well as pain and its alleviation, then the scale will shift.

(Agreed: We need an argument for why permitting medical marijuana is consistent with, or promotes, autonomy and individual liberty. It is possible to make a reasonable argument to the effect that marijuana use undermines, rather than promotes, autonomy. I don't find the arguments, which I won't recount here, for the latter position persuasive.)

Shane, Chum, Isaac, Kalim, Q, and everyone else: Have a lovely weekend!

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-11-07 6:48:11 PM


Cannabis and the FDA

The FDA would never pass cannabis through their "payoff process", because cannabis can't kill you (from toxicity). In order to get through the FDA's process, a medication has to be able to kill a lot of people, like Vioxx, which passed through the FDA's approval process in record time -- with flying colors -- and then killed close to 30,000 from "sudden cardiac events" in just a few years (FDA figures).

But seriously, according to noted cannabis expert, Dr. Lester Grinspoon:

The modern FDA protocol is not necessary to establish a risk-benefit estimate for a drug with such a history. To impose this protocol on cannabis would be like making the same demand of aspirin, which was accepted as a medicine more than 60 years before the advent of the double-blind controlled study. Many years of experience have shown us that aspirin has many uses and limited toxicity, yet today it could not be marshalled through the FDA approval process. The patent has long since expired, and with it the incentive to underwrite the enormous cost of this modern seal of approval. Cannabis too is unpatentable, so the only source of funding for a "start-from-scratch" approval would be the government, which is, to put it mildly, unlikely to be helpful. [End Quote]

And here's a link to the "History of Cannabis as a Medicine," by the aforementioned Lester Grinspoon, M.D., Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. This history was expert testimony for the 2005 DEA hearings regarding the FED's obstruction of research:

http://www.maps.org/mmj/grinspoon_history_cannabis_medicine.pdf

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 6:57:42 PM


Hippo wrote: “1. A clear discord exists between the scientific community and federal legal and regulatory agencies over the medicinal value of marijuana, which impedes the expansion of research..."

1. Wow. You found “discord.” Shocking.

2. I never said I opposed the use of marijuana for treating conditions it has been shown to work on. However, it is not the panacea its proponents say it is. They do not aid their cause by raising unrealistic expectations. Many promising treatments have foundered before FDA approval because the difference between the reality and the early promise proved too great to ignore.

3. To “suggest” is not enough. It warrants further research, not wholesale acceptance. Granted such research should not be hindered. A plant is no more capable of immorality than a firearm. It is the potential for misuse that calls for reasonable restrictions. At issue should be the amount of restriction necessary, not whether it SHOULD be necessary; that’s already been demonstrated.

4. “May”?

5. Agreed.

6. All this paper suggests is that further research is warranted. I could have told you that. I DID tell you that.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 7:22:38 PM


Shane,

I never said cannabis "cures" anything; but if you looked at the research I linked-to with an objective and scientifically-capable eye, you might realize that Cannabis in fact has healing properties that need to be fully explored. We may discover that cannabis does indeed cure, but we don't really know yet.

As far as cannabis's anti-cancer effects, the research I linked-to is highly valid & speaks for itself.

And the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 was illegitimate, because it was not based on science at all, but politics and ignorance. The Chief Counsel to the AMA, Dr. William Woodward, stated to Congress that, "The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marijuana is a dangerous drug" and warned that a prohibition "loses sight of the fact that future investigation may show that there are substantial medical uses for Cannabis."

Here's a great link to more info on the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937 from "The Forbidden Fruit and the Tree of Knowledge: An Inquiry into the Legal History of American Marihuana Prohibition" by Professors Richard J. Bonnie & Charles H. Whitebread, II, Virginia Law Review, Volume 56, October 1970 Number 6

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/studies/vlr/vlr4.htm

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 7:25:50 PM


PM,

1. Values are ethics-based, PM, not feeling-based. Otherwise your values would change every time you stubbed your toe. The desire to behave ethically is emotionally motivated, but that does not leave ethical behaviour at the mercy of your passions of the moment. Ethics are a system, not a fleeting whim.

1a. Your example is less a moral argument than an article of faith. Without the premise “we all ought to,” there is no argument. Whether P is in C is also a judgement call, itself subject to proof. Your point seems to be that moral arguments require no proof. I agree. That’s what makes them dangerous, at least as defined by you.

2. Now would have been an excellent time to furnish an example…

3. Apparently, as defined by you, anything can play a role in moral arguments. The basic message seems to be that moral arguments are held to a lower standard than rational arguments, as more criteria, some entirely subjective, are admissible. That being the case, should we be basing policy on them?

4. Agreed. The ethical (as opposed to moral) question should be: Will the good done outweigh the harm done? If the marijuana is to be used medicinally and it is as effective as its proponents suggest, then the answer is yes, and it should be allowed to go through the standard trials and approval process prior to re-admission to the pharmacopeia. If it is to be used recreationally, the answer is a resounding no.

5. I never said there was a 4% standard for the FDA; I said that this is one estimate for the number of people who will suffer severe paranoia attacks following the ingestion of cannabis. The “failure rate,” if you will, tolerated by the FDA is typically much lower than this. They don’t want their stamp of approval on something that will KILL someone. Granted, letting someone die is regrettable, but that is less of an ethical violation than actually poisoning them. Perhaps if Bush had been able to reform tort law as he wanted, the climes would be more favourable. But since the party of the trial lawyer now has control of both Houses of Congress and the White House, good luck.

6. Unfortunately, since the recreational use of marijuana and other drugs such as heroin and cocaine has been shown to cause tremendous harm, and not just for the users, the “personal autonomy and liberty” argument is a non-starter.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 7:36:05 PM


Hippo wrote: “1. The FDA would never pass cannabis through their "payoff process", because cannabis can't kill you (from toxicity). In order to get through the FDA's process, a medication has to be able to kill a lot of people, like Vioxx, which passed through the FDA's approval process in record time -- with flying colors -- and then killed close to 30,000 from "sudden cardiac events" in just a few years (FDA figures).”

1. Sure, Hippo. Should I start playing the X-Files theme while you’re feeding your paranoid streak with conspiracy theories?

2. Basically the guy’s begging an exception for his pet project. Well, I’m sure that doesn’t happen very often. Despite Grinspoon’s apparent belief to the contrary, the scientific method DID exist in 1899, when Aspirin was patented. Furthermore, Aspirin doesn’t play fast and loose with your neurotransmitters. Many years of use have shown us that pot makes you stoned and that regular use can affect short-term memory and other higher brain functions. Sorry, but when you’re dealing with a drug that was DELETED from the pharmacopeia, re-instituting it requires due scrutiny.

3. This is an opinion piece. It is not proof of anything. Should I direct you to Wilhelm Reich’s opinion pieces on the healing powers of orgone therapy? How about phrenology?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 7:44:34 PM


1.i) To claim that values are "ethics-based" and not "feeling-based" is to beg the question against those who insist that ethics have a basis in feelings. For example, Adam Smith, David Hume, and other ethicists who think sympathy and empathy are at the root of ethics. It is not true *by definition* that ethics are feelings-free. For that, you need an argument.

1.ii) Further, it does not follow from the claim that ethics are feelings-based that they change "every time you stubbed your toe." In fact, it is possible that ethics are based on feelings, but do not change at all. Unless you are using a precise and technical meaning of "feelings," in which case I ask you to provide a definition.

1.iii) The desire to behave ethically *may* be emotionally motivated, but there is a dispute within metaethics about whether or not David Hume was right about motivational externalism (versus motivational internalism). I believe that, at the moment, most contemporary metaethicists accept the claim that your *judgment* (not a feeling) that x is wrong (or right) is *automatically* motivational, regardless of your feelings.

1.iv) Your distinction between a "system" and a "fleeting whim" has nothing to do with this discussion. A "feeling" may or may not be fleeting. And a feeling and a whim are not identical.

1.a.i) My example is an example of an argument. An argument is a set of propositions which logically lead to a conclusion. A proposition in that argument, like my first proposition, may or may not be true, but its truth or falsehood has no bearing on whether or not it counts as an instance of an argument. That's a question of whether or not a particular argument is sound or unsound.

1.a.ii) Moral arguments require proof. Nothing that I said implies that I don't believe this. I also did not "define" a moral argument, I gave an instance of it. An instance is not a definition.


2. Okay: I think I will watch an episode of House on my computer. No one is harmed, I'm benefited.

3.i) Moral arguments are an instance of rational arguments, they are not contrasted with rational arguments. You are making category errors all over the place.

3.ii) Moral arguments are not held to a lower
standard, that is no part of my message. I did not provide a theory about what is or is not permissibly included in moral arguments, because that would mean changing the subject. Don't change the subject.

3.iii) I wonder what you would like to base policy on? Without values, we are utterly and totally without guidance for policy *of any sort*. Without values, we can have no sensible policies whatsoever. If you care to provide me with an example of what you take to be a value-free policy, I will demonstrate that you are wrong to think it doesn't require values.

4. You are a bit of a stickler, but a reasonable man. I appreciate that.

5.i) My mistake on the 4%.

5.ii) It is hard to believe that we have a case of killing vs. letting die when it comes to the FDA. The FDA actively prevents what would otherwise count as a consenting exchange of drugs for money. The FDA is not "letting die," the FDA is "preventing use."

5.iii) I wonder how you plan on defending this claim: "Granted, letting someone die is regrettable, but that is less of an ethical violation than actually poisoning them." Given what you've said about moral arguments.

6. Actually, it is not a non-starter. What we need to know is how much weight we will place on individual liberty and autonomy compared with the weight of suffering and harm. But we can't go forward with this debate until you make it clear to me what you think amounts to a legitimate moral argument. For example, you seem to suggest that the proposition "suffering is bad" is true. But I'd like to learn a lot more about how *you* come to that conclusion (I share the belief).

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-11-07 8:19:33 PM


To clarify, the "clear discord" statement and all the other excerpts (in quotes) under the American College of Physicians' (ACP) comment above came from the ACP, not me.

So Shane, if you have a problem with the American College of Physicians' comments, take it up with them. Again, the ACP is one of the most widely cited health organizations in the world. I'm guessing they know a little more about the topic than you do.

And please knock off the ad hominem crap. It makes you look like you have no real point.

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 8:49:31 PM


PMJaworski said, "It is hard to believe that we have a case of killing vs. letting die when it comes to the FDA. The FDA actively prevents what would otherwise count as a consenting exchange of drugs for money. The FDA is not "letting die," the FDA is "preventing use."

I was making a joke when I said the FDA only passes drugs that kill; but the truth is the FDA is doing a horrible job of protecting us from dangerous medications.

For instance, Vioxx was supposed to cure all the GI side-effects of Ibuprofen, but ended up killing thousands of people instead. Still waiting for the first overdose on cannabis. And yes, the FDA did have reservations about Vioxx but pushed it out on the market despite these reservations.

According to a startling but quickly buried JAMA study done in late 90s, even properly prescribed and properly taken FDA-approved medications kill tens of thousands of people per year. Here's part of the conclusion (from JAMA, not me):

Conclusion: “Perhaps, our most surprising result was the large number of fatal ADRs [Adverse Drug Reactions]. We estimated that in 1994 in the United States 106000 (95% CI, 76000-137000) hospital patients died from an ADR. Thus, we deduced that ADRs may rank from the fourth to sixth leading cause of death. Even if the lower confidence limit of 76000 fatalities was used to be conservative, we estimated that ADRs could still constitute the sixth leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease (743460), cancer (529904), stroke (150108), pulmonary disease (101077), and accidents (90523); this would rank ADRs ahead of pneumonia (75719) and diabetes (53894).18 Moreover, when we used the mean value of 106000 fatalities, we estimated that ADRs could rank fourth, after heart disease, cancer, and stroke as a leading cause of death."

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/full/279/15/1200?ijkey=F8guE.zA8WYTs

(if you skip the ad at the JAMA link, it should take you to the study; but if the link doesn't work, here's the important info: JAMA - Incidence of Adverse Drug Reactions in Hospitalized Patients - A Meta-analysis of Prospective Studies. Jason Lazarou, MSc; Bruce H. Pomeranz, MD, PhD; Paul N. Corey, PhD; JAMA.1998; 279:1200-1205.)

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 9:08:26 PM


PM,

1a. “Begging the question” is itself a logical fallacy. Look it up. Sympathy and empathy may indeed be at the root of ethics, but that does not mean that the ethical system that results is feelings-based. Ethical systems in medicine, law, and government are very much experience-based and known for that apparent lack of “feeling.”

1b. This is a retread of 1a. An emotion is an unthinking, visceral, highly basic mental process based on our genetic heritage, more akin to instinct than to thought, designed to perpetuate the species to the maximum extent possible, even as the same emotions and instincts help perpetuate other species. It’s a far remove from sapient thought, so far discovered only in humans (and only in some specimens at that).

1c. If that’s true, PM, why are ethics/values arguments so passionate in nature? Why do so many people refuse to see the truth even when it is unmasked before their eyes, preferring to take refuge in comforting lies?

1d. It has to do with this discussion to the extent that ethics, while probably ultimately motivated by feelings, are not derived from them. This is an important distinction and is fair game whenever you try to advance the case for a “moral argument” that by definition consists of things that cannot be measured.

1e. Yes, a set of arguments that LOGICALLY lead to a conclusion. A moral argument does not logically lead to anything, because they are not based entirely on objective fact; they require at least one article of faith, assumed to be true, usually the “rightness” or “wrongness” of something. Logic functions with facts only; it is incompatible with emotion or subjective ideas.

1f. I know what a moral argument is, PM; I’m not sure if you know. As I say above, it must contain at least one “fact” that is assumed or considered to be true, rather than objectively known to be true.

2. Unless your decision to watch House instead of something else lowers the ratings of another program just enough so that its producers decide to cancel it and throw the cast out of work. Exotic and unlikely, sure, but it does serve to illustrate that what you do can effect others in ways you might not at first consider.

3a. Uh-huh.

3b. The subject was the admissibility of personal experiences or anecdotes in arguments intended to advocate for a position. You brought up the subject of moral arguments, not I. That it has taken a turn you did not expect, do not blame me.

3c. Excuse me, policy could quite efficiently be based on Boolean logic. It would be a pretty damned inhuman and protean existence, to be sure, but it would be possible, despite your assertion to the contrary. In fact, it is the policy that Nature operates upon. Utterly merciless to the individual for the sake of the species, merciless to the species for the sake of the ecosystem. From this valueless swamp of amorality and chaos trudged forth you and I. Clearly Nature is doing something right. I don’t advocate such a pitiless approach, but on the other hand emotional appeals are essentially self-serving and narcissistic and insinuate that the individual in question is somehow special and deserves more of a shot than the others. It’s that I cannot abide.

4. Thanks.

5a. The criteria used by the FDA are complex. A drug whose side effects consist of incontinence will receive more leeway than a drug whose side effects include sudden unexpected death. That said, four percent is a significant number that cannot be simply dismissed—not if they are to do their job of guardians of the public pharmacology.

5b. Ah, PM, the FDA takes such decisions as a matter of course. In truth, many of us do. When deciding what schools receive seismic upgrading, for example, the state (or province) is forced to play a similar numbers game. Also, your “letting die” and “preventing use” example is a bit of a split hair, as the latter leads directly to the former.

5c. For one thing, merely allowing someone to die instead of actually wasting them reduces your chances of getting sacked, sued, prosecuted, or murdered. Inaction is by nature less culpable than action.

6. So you’re taking real, physical suffering and death on the one hand—things that directly affect the viability of the species—and putting them on the scales against an abstract, entirely fabricated concept like personal liberty. At the risk of invoking Godwin’s Law, Hitler took the same risk, although in his case the fabricated concept was racial purity. No, I don’t like to watch others suffer. But I expect leaders to pass legislation based on facts and time-tested ethics, not what I like. Otherwise I’d ask for a Porsche.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 9:26:39 PM


Medical marijuana progress in the USA is stalled for lack of credible, modern research.
It is a fact that US lawmakers will only accept US based research, they cannot by law consider foreign research. This is what happened with Industrial hemp- no US research so no US action.

Government & in particular US Governemnt is not in the business of creating practical reality or providing proof to validate anybodys projects.The market place is supposed to do all that, the Govt will act as referee and watch for harm and act in the public interest to neutralize harm with legislation..

There is little or no research into the effects of cannabis for medicine in the US at present because the US Govt is not obliged to do that basic research- that is the job for the market- and it seems the market is not particularily interested in doing basic research into medical marijuana at this time. The market is not prevented or thwarted from doing research by the US govt- any qualified researcher can apply for permits to study actual cannabis material.aka "pot"

When the people who want medical marijuana arrange for & underwrite their own credible research, and present the findings to those in the position to modify medical access law, OK. Then the task at legal reform regarding cannabis in medicine can start--

You understand, Marijuana is not regarded as a miracle cure, a substance of great promise, or even a passable substitute for other known preparations by the market-at this time.

If new compelling evidence about the value & effectivness of cannabis is discovered,by reasonable legitimate research and presented in a way that healh workers & government officials can see for themselves, then it is very likely that those who presently see little or no value in cannabis as medicine will sit up and take notice. Perhaps even become supporters & champions of medical marijuana.

This happened in Canada a sdecade ago when good research was presented to government concerning Industrial hemp-- and modern, properly presented evidence clearly demonstrating the safety and value of Industrial hemp convinced those whos task it was to pass judgement to permit Industrial hemp in a legal climate of escalating on the clamp down on drug type cannabis. So it can be done..if the presenters of medical marijuana have done their homework

But its fair to say that so far, the last word on cannabis in the non hippy health world is that cannabis was dumped from the Pharmacopia on four continents two generations ago as more trouble than it was worth; because there were other preparations available that did a better job than cannabis without the undesirable side effects. Maybe thats not true anymore, but it will have to be _shown to be untrue.

If cannabis is as wonderful as it is said to be we would all like to see the proof.

Posted by: 419 | 2008-11-07 9:26:44 PM


Hippo,

1. Okay; THEY found “discord.” My mistake. Still…shocking.

2. I don’t have to take it up with them, Hippo. I can disagree with them and vote for laws they disapprove of without arguing with them. They can do the same with me. Furthermore, the existence of “discord” is not the same as saying, “Everything the DEA believes is bogus and this money-sucking dinosaur should be shown the path to the Le Brea Tar Pits at the earliest possible convenience.” You mined their writings for a sound bite that would help your case. Not exactly a slam-dunk argument.

3. You accuse the DEA of lying, end your opening post with “Endthelies” and tell ME to knock off the ad hominem crap? Sit on it and rotate, you hypocrite.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 9:32:03 PM


Hippo wrote: “1. I was making a joke when I said the FDA only passes drugs that kill; but the truth is the FDA is doing a horrible job of protecting us from dangerous medications.”

1. Is that what the College of Physicians says (again), or is this your own personal belief? I find it hard to believe a professional body would use the word “horrible.”

2. Yes, some drugs have a higher LD-50 than cannabis, but they’re legal (or at least were), while cannabis is still illegal. Bitter much? You complain of ad hominem crap, but insert petulant crap like this. And the FDA did not “push” Vioxx; they merely approved it despite reservations, because the promise seemed worth it. All this does is reinforce the necessity of subjecting new drugs to strict scrutiny before approving them. And since marijuana is almost never given in a clinical setting, you can bet that the records on MJ deaths, if they exist, are a lot sketchier than they are for prescribed drugs. For instance, allergies to marijuana have been documented, though seldom officially (for obvious reasons).

3. Ooh, here we go, the big conspiracy scandal! Loaded language like “startling” and “quickly buried.” Notice the term “ADR” which means “Adverse Drug Reaction.” According to the study, serious and fatal ADRs are not separated out according to dose-dependent (type A) and allergic reactions/idiosyncratic (type B). So the fact is that in many of these cases we have no idea what the true cause was. Medical intervention, including the ingestion of drugs, always entails risk. Responsible doctors (and FDA officials) constantly weigh that risk against the risk of doing nothing. That they are not always right is inevitable. If you think the FDA is so awful, perhaps you’d prefer to try the 100% state-owned and –run medical systems in Cuba or North Korea? That is, if you don’t mind buying your own sutures on the black market.

Give it up, Hippo. You’re not going to bring down “Big Pharma” with this half-assed crap. I've heard more convincing arguments from college students who were ON pot at the time in question.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 9:46:19 PM


419...I couldn't have put it better myself.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 9:49:23 PM


On Pharmaceutical Companies & Cannabis

While the FDA claims cannabis has no medical value, the pharmaceutical companies have been scrambling to come up with synthetic versions of cannabis's healing compounds, cannabinoids. But so far, natural cannabis has been much more effective than the synthetic versions, like Marinol, which is a synthetic version of the single most psychoactive cannabinoid, THC.

According to "The Endocannabinoid System as an Emerging Target of Pharmacotherapy" by the National Institute of Health, "The growing interest in the underlying science [of cannabis] has been matched by a growth in the number of cannabinoid drugs in pharmaceutical development from two in 1995 to 27 in 2004."

From 2 products to 27. I guess Big Pharma is scrambling after all to come up with cannabis-based medicines.

Not to mention, even the FEDS (Department of Health and Human Services) worked to get a patent on "Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants," while they were simultaneously lying to us about cannabis's medical efficacy.

Here's what US Patent 6630507 has to say about the active compounds in cannabis, cannabinoids:

"Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids
useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia.

Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidiol, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention."[End of Quote from Patent # 6630507].

Here's a link to the patent, to see for yourself:

http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/6630507.html

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 10:33:46 PM


DEA JUDGE FRANCIS L. YOUNG'S CONCLUSIONS ON CANNABIS AS A MEDICINE (after two years of hearings and enough expert testimony):

"Cannabis / Marijuana’s Accepted Safety for Use Under Medical Supervision

3. The most obvious concern when dealing with drug safety is the possibility of lethal effects. Can the drug cause death?

4. Nearly all medicines have toxic, potentially lethal effects. But marijuana (cannabis) is not such a substance. There is no record in the extensive medical literature describing a proven, documented cannabis-induced fatality.

5. This is a remarkable statement. First, the record on cannabis encompasses 5,000 years of human experience. Second, cannabis is now used daily by enormous numbers of people throughout the world. Estimates suggest that 20-million to 50-million Americans routinely, albeit illegally, smoke marijuana without the benefit of direct medical supervision.

Yet, despite this long history of use and the extraordinarily high numbers of social smokers, there are simply no credible medical reports to suggest that consuming cannabis has caused a single death.

6. By contrast aspirin, a commonly used over- the-counter medicine, causes hundreds of deaths each year.

7. Drugs in medicine are routinely given what is called an LD-50. The LD-50 rating indicates at what dosage fifty percent of test animals receiving a drug will die as a result of drug induced toxicity. A number of researchers have attempted to determine cannabis’s LD-50 rating in test animal, without success. Simply stated, researchers have been unable to give animals enough cannabis to induce death.

8. At present it is estimated that cannabis’s LD-50 is around 1:20,000 or 1:40,000. In layman terms this means that in order to induce death a marijuana smoker would have to consume 20,000 to 40,000 time as much cannabis as is contained in one marijuana cigarette. NIDA-supplied marijuana cigarettes weigh approximately .9 grams. A smoker would theoretically have to consume nearly 1,500 pounds of cannabis within about 15 minutes to induce a lethal response.

9. In practical terms, cannabis cannot induce a lethal response as a result of drug-related toxicity...

16. Marijuana, IN ITS NATURAL FORM [capital letters added], is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis, cannabis can be safely used with a supervised routine of medical care.

...The evidence in this record clearly shows that cannabis has been accepted as capable of relieving the distress from great numbers of very ill people, and doing so with safety under medical supervision.

It would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious for the DEA to continue to stand between those sufferers and the benefits of this substance in light of the evidence in this record."[END OF JUDGE YOUNG'S EXCERPT]

Tragically, the DEA essentially ignored Judge Young's hard work and conclusions and shelved the truth.

If you really want to delve into it, here's a link to the whole deal [UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE - Drug Enforcement Administration,“In The Matter Of MARIJUANA RESCHEDULING PETITION,” Docket No. 86-22 OPINION AND RECOMMENDED RULING, FINDINGS OF FACT, CONCLUSIONS OF LAW AND DECISION OF ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE FRANCIS L. YOUNG, Administrative Law Judge DATED: SEPTEMBER 6, 1988]:

http://www.druglibrary.org/schaffer/library/s...

And here’s a link to a great summary to Judge Young’s landmark decision the DEA fought to ignore:

http://www.fcda.org/pdf/young88.fcda.pdf


Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 10:47:35 PM


Shane,

The earlier JAMA study I linked-to on fatal adverse drug reactions [adr] from FDA-approved medication referred to properly prescribed and properly taken medications.

If you had actually linked to the study you would have immediately seen that the study "excluded errors in drug administration, noncompliance, overdose, drug abuse, therapeutic failures, and possible ADRs."

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 10:56:14 PM


1a. Yes. I accused you of begging the question on purpose, knowing that it counts as a fallacy. To say that an ethical view is based on sympathy is equivalent to saying that an ethical view is sympathy-based. Unless you have a special, technical distinction in mind between something being based on feelings and something being feelings-based.

1c. I don't know. But a moral argument (in the sense of premises leading logically to a conclusion) is not an argument *about* morals (in the sense of a dispute between parties about what is to count as a value, what we should value, and what value trumps what other one, etc.).

1e. At this point I see that we are talking about two different things.

1f. It needn't contain any facts, it need only contain propositions for it to count as an instance of an argument. That is the definitional requirement. It seems to me like you are introducing a normative standard that tells us that the only *good* instance of an argument is an argument that contains only things that are measurable, facts, and so on. That other kinds of arguments are *bad* arguments. That doesn't make them non-arguments.

2. All I need is an instance. Is it possible that my decision to watch "House" benefits me and harms no one? Yes.

3b. I didn't blame you.

3c. What counts as "efficient," Shane? Efficiency is normative. Separately, ought we to use boolean logic? You said it would lead to *bad* outcomes, and that you didn't endorse it. So which policy should we choose, and for what reason? That will involve a whole lot of values. I'm still adamant; it is impossible to do policy work without values.

4. You bet.

5b. Actually, we're splitting a hair that's been split. The distinction between killing and letting die is a hair-splitting one, but it makes a world of difference to our moral assessment of the people involved. Similarly, I maintain that the distinction between "letting die" and "preventing use" makes a world of difference to our moral appraisal of the FDA.

5c. Exactly--inaction is less culpable. Which is why "preventing use" (action) versus "letting die" (inaction) is such a vital distinction.

6. Why should I care about the "viability of the species"? (Please note: I endorse the view that "viability of the species" matters. I'm asking because of your view about ethics.)

Separately, we can put any two things on a scale, like an elephant and a feather, for example. We might think that suffering is the elephant, and autonomy is the feather. Also, I haven't said what weight I attach to what. At the moment, I'm merely trying to clear up the brush and figure out what *you* value, and what *you* think has weight.

There are multiple "time-tested" ethical views. They conflict, and are not coherent one with another. Which time-tested ethical view do you endorse, and on the basis of what selection procedure? And how did you come up with the selection procedure to choose between the various, incompatible, but time-tested, ethical views? (I wouldn't ask you these questions if you weren't such a positivist about ethics. But you seem to be, so I'm testing to see whether or not you have answers to questions that lead the majority of ethicists to abandon that kind of positivism).

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-11-07 10:58:41 PM


419: http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu/geninfo/index.htm

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-11-07 11:00:45 PM


"Marijuana has an extremely wide acute margin of safety for use under medical supervision and cannot cause lethal reactions … [G]reater harm is caused by the legal consequences of its prohibition than possible risks of medicinal use."
-- American Public Health Association, Resolution #9513, "Access to Therapeutic Marijuana/Cannabis," 1995

“[A] federal policy that prohibits physicians from alleviating suffering by prescribing marijuana for seriously ill patients is misguided, heavy-handed, and inhumane."
— Dr. Jerome Kassirer, "Federal Foolishness and Marijuana," editorial, New England Journal of Medicine, January 30, 1997

"The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, DEPRIVING THE SICK OF NEEDED HELP, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents... Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy ... and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with 'scientific support' ... fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others" William F. Buckley, Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-07 11:09:24 PM


Re: Pareto - Peter specifically said "Pareto optimality," which is indeed rare if it exists in its perfect form at all, but Pareto improvements - where doing an action benefits some with no costs to others are not rare.

I've also heard Pareto improvements described as situations in which the winners win more than the losers lose. This is even less rare and would clearly apply to the case of medical marijuana in particular, as while people across the country smoking legal marijuana might make Shane rather uncomfortable and increase the number of marijuana-related comments left by Shane on the Shotgun, it could help an AIDS patient to avoid choking on their own vomit and dying.

Additionally, the existence of negative effects of a drug ought not be ignored, but they are also not necessarily serious enough to outweigh the benefits. (Shane often interprets a fact's inability to convince others of his position as the ignorance of that fact by others.)

As Shane mentioned earlier, morphine is far worse in terms of addiction-forming potential, side effects, etc., than marijuana and it is legal because many people find that it helps them deal with terrible pain. If a heart drug could cause cancer in 30 years but stops heart attacks from happening now, there are fairly obvious reasons for assuming the risk associated with taking the drug anyway. Chemotherapy has terrible side effects yet people make difficult but educated and well-informed decisions to undergo treatment every day.

These decisions about what risks to assume and what drugs to use ought to be taken by the patient and their doctor, not the government, in much the same way that the decision about how much to spend trying to save one's life ought to be taken by the patient and not by OHIP or the Ontario government. To insist that one decision ought not be in the hands of patients and doctors is analagous to insisting the same of the other.

And if you are persuaded by that argument, then I'd ask what, exactly, changes when you stop being a sick person that takes away your moral authority to make those sorts of decisions for yourself?

Posted by: Janet | 2008-11-07 11:29:38 PM


Hippo wrote: “1. While the FDA claims cannabis has no medical value, the pharmaceutical companies have been scrambling to come up with synthetic versions of cannabis's healing compounds, cannabinoids…”

1. Funny, usually the conspiracy nuts tell us that Big Pharma is desperate to keep medical pot and derivatives thereof OFF the market, in the fear that no one will ever buy any of their other products again. And Marinol’s “inferiority” to marijuana lies chiefly in the fact that Marinol is taken orally and takes up to an hour to work, whereas smoked pot works in about five minutes. With Marinol, on the other hand, you’re getting a known dose of known potency.

2. Well, if synthetic derivatives that can do the same thing marijuana can do are just around the corner, why all the hoopla about legalizing the weed itself, along with the attendant treaty violations, law-enforcement problems, and so on?

3. It’s still not the panacea you make it out to be. Just because something’s natural doesn’t make it healthier for you. Think curare and cobra venom.

4. “They” were “lying” to “us.” I can hear, within the farthest recesses of that, echoes of “BUSH LIED!” I’m telling you, you’ll turn off more people than you’ll convert with this conspiracy-theory talk.

5. - 8. Big deal. There were no fewer then 365 patents granted to inventors of “perpetual motion machines” in England from 1860 to 1900, despite the formulation of thermodynamics theory by Clausius and Kelvin in the early 1850s, that scientifically proved the impossibility of perpetual motion. You wouldn’t believe the number of bullshit patents on file. Quoting a single patent is essentially quoting the inventor’s opinion, and as I told you before, opinion pieces don’t cut it.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 11:30:49 PM


Hippo wrote: “3. The most obvious concern when dealing with drug safety is the possibility of lethal effects. Can the drug cause death?”

3. But is that the ONLY concern? Hardly.

4. You could get stoned and throw yourself off a bridge (or try to drive, and drive off one). You don’t die from the direct pharmacological action of the drug, but you die nonetheless, and endanger others in the process. So who’s responsible for holding Doobie Dan down until the danger passes? This is a bad case of tunnel vision.

5. Again, the infatuation with LD-50. It ignores the other effects, specifically to other people. But then, marijuana proponents tend to be a selfish lot.

6. Which consist almost entirely of deliberate overdoses or allergic reactions. Come on, I cracked that one open after ten seconds on Google. Do you even check this stuff, or do you just accept it blindly because it jibes with what you already believe?

7., 8., 9. Retread of 3. and 4. Did you (or his honour) think we wouldn’t notice? If a drug cannot kill you, but ingesting enough of it reduces you to a lifelong state of whimpering imbecility (typical of baby boomers), tell me—is the drug safe?

16. Define “natural form.” Because the high-potency strains coming out of the grow ops these days are anything but. The statement “it has been accepted by great numbers of ill people” is argumentum ad populum and not science. To call something unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious is a subjective interpretation, is not science, and is an appeal to emotion.

Also, calling something “tragic” is also an appeal to emotion, and of course I notice you couldn’t resist one last accusation of “THEY SUPPRESSED THE TRUTH!” Honestly, Hippo, do you think you’ll win this debate by quoting opinion pieces? The judge is not a scientist, and judge’s rulings get overturned every day. At the end of the game, this opinion, illustrious though its author may be, is still just that—an opinion. It proves nothing.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 11:44:41 PM


Hippo wrote: “If you had actually linked to the study you would have immediately seen that the study "excluded errors in drug administration, noncompliance, overdose, drug abuse, therapeutic failures, and possible ADRs.”

I did read that part, actually. I also read the part that says, and I quote: “Eight ADRIn articles included the proportion of type A44 (dose-dependent ADRs) and type B44 (idiosyncratic and/or allergic ADRs). Of the "all severities" ADRIn, 76.2% (95% CI, 71.0%-81.4%) were type A reactions and 23.8% (95% CI, 18.6%-29.0%) were type B reactions. Unfortunately, none of these studies reported the proportion of type A and type B reactions for serious and fatal ADRs.” Which is no more than what I said.

You’re getting desperate, Hippo, I can see it. You’re just listing opinion piece after opinion piece, as if that constituted proof. You ignore those that don’t agree with your beliefs and post links only to those that do. Did you think I wouldn’t spot the pattern?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-07 11:48:20 PM


PM,

1a. How do I phrase this so you can understand? The DESIRE to be ethical is motivated by emotion, out of a belief that the ethics themselves are beneficial. But those ethics do not themselves have to be based on emotion. The medical, legal, and governmental ethical systems are based on millennia of experience with what works best.

1c. I’ll tell you why. Because most people who make emotional pleas don’t give a crap about ethics. Their interests are purely selfish. Even when they’re doing something ostensibly for someone else, it’s really mostly about them. They get to go to bed at night telling themselves what enlightened, evolved creatures they are. And those are the GOOD ones. The bad ones are just in it for what they can get for themselves, period, and screw everybody else.

1e. Apparently.

1f. A classical argument is defined as the minor premise in a logical syllogism. Syllogisms only work when both the major and the minor premises are known facts.

2. And is it possible that it is not? Also yes. The question is: Which?

3b. You accused me of changing the subject. I haven’t. I’ve merely followed the direction in which you led this discussion.

3c. Efficiency is generally defined as maximum benefit for minimum sacrifice. There are countless variants but that’s essentially the core meaning. Pure Boolean logic would lead to unethical outcomes as contemporary society currently defines ethics, but logic, tempered by ethics, is still a much fairer arbiter than passion. It is impossible for HUMANS to do policy work without values. In this sense values and ethics are interchangeable.

5b. You can maintain it all you like; that doesn’t mean you’ve proven it. This is merely your opinion. All our legal and ethical traditions maintain that inaction, or even action in ignorance, is less culpable than action with foreknowledge.

5c. This is like the parable of the slow-moving trolley. The FDA is not giving its approval to a drug; it is NOT DOING something; it is not acting on that drug’s behalf. You could argue that avoiding an action counts as an action, I suppose, but that’s getting into some pretty murky philosophical ground there. Properly put, the FDA does nothing and the law-enforcement community and professional bodies do something based on the FDA doing nothing.

6. I value whatever better benefits the species as a whole. All other things being equal, real and concrete things like the loss of individuals outweighs intangibles like rights. And that’s just from a logical perspective.

To say that there are multiple ethical systems that conflict with one another, without providing examples, and then asking me to compare them, is rather a tall order, don’t you think?

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-08 12:06:44 AM


Janet wrote: “1. I've also heard Pareto improvements described as situations in which the winners win more than the losers lose…”

1. And I’ve heard of little green men. NO ANECDOTES PLEASE, this is a serious discussion, despite your petulant little barb about my increased presence on the Shotgun. What are you, twelve? I have not said that the medical positives of marijuana should be ignored. I have said that the drug should go through the same approval process every other drug goes through, the more so since it was once DELETED from the pharmacopeia, despite people’s comparisons of it to Aspirin and—I’m waiting for it—Wrigley’s Double-Mint.

2. Again, the personal shots. Grow up, will you? So many of marijuana’s supporters seem to be caught in perpetual adolescence. I am well aware that the positives of medical marijuana may outweigh the negatives, but if there is promise of that, then why the objection to it going through the standard approval process? Are you prepared to accept any liability that results from rushing an untested product to market? If not, zip it.

3. First, the device of the hypothetical argument is a logical fallacy and a cheap cheat with no place in debate. There is NOT a heart drug that prevents heart attacks but causes cancer in 30 years, of which I am aware, that is withheld from the market on that basis. (If there is, please quote it.) Secondly, chemotherapy retards and, in many cases, cures cancer. Marijuana does not cure cancer. It does not cure AIDS. It does not cure anything. So it’s not a valid comparison.

4. “Ought not” is subjective statement and constitutes opinion, not fact.

5. This question’s tortured syntax makes no sense at all. It sounds like you’re saying that a sick person’s right to decide for himself stops when he stops being a sick person.

Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2008-11-08 12:21:07 AM


That's funny, Shane, I was thinking the same thing (just how do I explain this so that Shane will understand? I'll try to be patient with you, if you promise to be patient with me.)

1a. We're not communicating properly. Let's try to get a common language. I suggest this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internalism

1c. But this isn't about what "most" people do with emotion or passion, it's about whether or not emotion and passion have a legitimate role to play in ethics. I say they do. That most people don't know *how* emotions and passions should work in ethics is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater. (And I agree with your generalization.)

1f. A syllogism is an argument. A minor premise is not an argument, it is a premise. A syllogism "works" (is valid) when the conclusion necessarily follows from the premises. A syllogism works (is sound) when it is both valid, and the premises are true. A syllogism works (is cogent) when the premises are true and the conclusion is probable. A syllogism may contain no facts at all, and still "work". But don't take my word for it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logical_argument

2. The question is: Is there one instance in the history of the universe where one person was benefited and no one was harmed? The answer is: Yes.

3c. And here I thought you were going to demonstrate how value-free policy was going to work. But you didn't. You merely demonstrated that values are an ineliminable part of policy.

5b. I did prove it, using your assumptions, not mine. Combine my points 5b and 5c above.

5c. Avoiding an action is not an action, I agree with you. I think it should have been clear that this: "Properly put, the FDA does nothing and the law-enforcement community and professional bodies do something based on the FDA doing nothing," is what I meant.

6. "From a logical perspective"? I'm sure you mean "logical" in a colloquial, and not technical, sense, but even that doesn't make much sense. Values like "benefit the species as a whole the most" are not derived from a logical perspective. You either have an "intuition" that this is a value, or you've deduced it from some prior normative claims. If the latter, then the source of those normative claims are either the result of "intuition" or deductions from yet more prior normative claims. And if the latter, then... (Normativity is devilishly difficult, Shane. You can't maintain your position credibly. I suggest you give up your attempt at moral positivism. You can't derive *foundational* values from facts, and facts are not values).

Yes, it is a tall order. But what time-tested ethical view did you have in mind? Act utilitarianism? Rule utilitarianism? Some kind of Kantianism? Virtue ethics? Ethical egoism?

It is simply impossible to use "time-tested" as a standard without offering the length of time that you think is relevant, and what counts as having passed a test.

Is it that the group/culture/individual survived, whereas other groups/cultures/individuals failed to survive? But survival is only interesting if we think it provides us with a moral reason. And that's extremely controversial. It's controversial because it's hard to see what is normative about brute survival anyways.

Is the test, instead, that most people have accepted it as a guide to action? If that's the case, then why isn't that an instance of the fallacy of appeal to popularity?

Anyone can say that their ethical view has been "time-tested," and all they need to do is change the standard for what counts as "tested" or the number of years/centuries(/days?/minutes?) that are to count for the "time" part.

Instead of worrying about these things, why not start in the middle on the basis of agreement? We're agreed that harming persons is bad, right? And we're agreed (I hope) that autonomy is good, right?

Our next step would be to provide a story for what counts as a "harm" and what is meant by "autonomy."

Thirdly, we can discuss the rankings of those values (and we won't try to wonder too much about the source, origin, or derivation of these values, unless we disagree).

Finally, we can dispute the facts about whether or not this or that policy will or won't bring about harm (or benefit), or a reduction (or improvement) in autonomy.

We can play "prove that, prove that, prove that" games until we're blue in the face. But if we, instead, work with the values that are common to one another, we can begin to persuade one another about marijuana policy.

Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-11-08 1:19:36 AM


1. Synthetic cannabis derivatives have thus far proven to be inferior to the real deal, but it may be that certain conditions respond more favorably to a future synthetic.

I'm excited about the research to create cannabis-based synthetics, but God's/Mother Nature's recipe has successfully treated a wide array of symptoms for thousands of years. And it is hard to keep a pill down, as Janet already explained, when you are puking your guts out.

And I never mentioned anything about a "conspiracy." However, you seem to be using the word a lot.

2. I did say that the FDA "pushed" Vioxx onto the market. However, it would have been more accurate if I said Merck pushed Vioxx onto the market -- and right below the FDA's radar (somehow) -- despite Merck knowing Vioxx had significant cardiovascular risks as early as 1998.

And when the FDA's own Associate Director in the Office of Drug Safety, Dr. David Graham, told a US Senate hearing that the FDA had failed in its duty to the protect the public from Vioxx, the FDA tried to discredit him.

Here are two great links on Vioxx. The first one is about Dr. Graham and his "whistle-blowing"; and the second link is about Merck pushing Vioxx right by the FDA, despite Merck knowing Vioxx had significant cardiovascular risks:

1.
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/16855.php

2.
http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-wellbeing/health-news/exposed-how-drugs-giant-pushed-vioxx-painkiller-503793.html

Posted by: Hippocrates | 2008-11-08 1:31:01 AM


Hey Chum Master,

Congrats. It takes a special kind of persistence to win at something the way you did!

Enjoy the improvement to your health as well as the victory.

I don't even bother with this idiocy of legality so that a clever hateful controlling moron such as Shane, can dance someone through a legal fandango, in a Kangaroo ballroom.

There was never any validity to making it illegal.

The lies layered on have no adhesive strength and like an avalanche, they have given way.

There is no valid reason for any government control on this substance whatsoever, and it would be contrary to the goal of making our society safer.

It is a wonder plant, a medicine, a pleasant relaxant-non intoxicating, it is a food product and source of fiber for clothing and or paper. It is a legume crop and a soil replenishing cover.

There is no reason for it to have been made illegal. The most likely reason was that our racist anal fore fathers wanted to keep other cultures out. See how the karma gods punish these religious fraud artists and hateful morons with organized crime so the likes of these idiots can call down legalistic bullshit. Mind you own facken business and all would get along better!

Allowing the tragedies of alcohol in a free society balanced against a free will, and comparing this to the demonization of a miracle plant which allows me enhanced perception, a more colorful imagination, a happy mood and I can walk talk, drive, and perform as normal, in fact I can't be picked out of a crowd of non users by any observable deviation from normal behavior of the rest. Except, I might have better reactions, more creative ideas and better communication skills, more enhanced cognitive functions as well as coordination and balance. (At 58 I can stand still on my bike pedals and stay up through a light change just after having smoked a joint.)

There is no need at all for the government to get its grimy crime causing paws on this substance at all. It is not dangerous. All the danger comes from the law! And someone feels it has changed.

http://vancouver.en.craigslist.ca/pol/909775185.html


Also this one is starting to get noticed quite a bit as to documented proof exactly how stupid smoking pot makes you compared to the Minister of Public Safety, the Justice Minister, and the Commissioner of the RCMP, 2 lawyers unaware that they were breaking a serious crime with the commissioner of the RCMP, At the very moment that they were calling me stupid.

The worst thing about it the private vendetta Mr. Cotler pursued Mr. Ahenekew for will, while excusing His Buddy Zacardelli for a greater crime, is currently coming to light, through the efforts of this toker who enjoys marijuana for many beneficial reasons:
http://www.archive.org/details/AnEmailCanChangeTheWorld

Posted by: budoracle | 2008-11-08 2:22:29 AM



The comments to this entry are closed.