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A Blunt Force to Crush Floridians’ Opposition to Marijuana

March 2, 2016 - 12:30pm

The well-funded movement to medicalize marijuana spreading across our nation calls out for caution and restraint. Activists claim that marijuana is a safe medicine but de facto, it is evolving into a gateway for marijuana legalization. The claim conflicts with current science, with intelligent public health policy, with rigorous standards of the drug approval process, and with best practices of medicine.

In 2014, Floridians wisely rejected legalization of marijuana as a medicine by their votes on a ballot initiative.  This sensible outcome was shaped by enough funds to educate the public on the realities of this critical issue and to counter misinformation circulating in Florida. But once again, the persistent marijuana industry is knocking on the gates of Florida, this time through legislative action in the Florida state House.
 
Florida Senator Rob Bradley, R-Orange Park, recently introduced an amendment to Florida Bill SB 460. In its original form, the bill limits the potency THC, of the main psychoactive, intoxicating, and addictive substance in marijuana, to 0.8%.  The spirit of the bill was to provide access to cannabidiol, a candidate anti-seizure medication that has been essentially bred out of most of the marijuana sold in dispensaries nation-wide. Cannabidiol is not intoxicating, is not addictive, does not interfere with learning and memory, and may even oppose the psychosis induced by THC in susceptible people.  In its original language, the bill allows for “low-THC cannabis”, the dried flowers of which contain 0.8 percent or less of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the main psychoactive and addictive component of marijuana and more than 10 percent of cannabidiol (CBD).
 
The Bradley amendment is a “Hail Mary pass” or a “cloaking device” or a “stealth bomber” –choose your metaphor. It is a furtive attempt to circumvent the decision of sage Florida voters who turned down the medical marijuana ballot initiative in 2014. The original bill wisely set THC levels at 0.8%, which are not generally intoxicating. Instead of referring to low-THC-cannabis, the amendment (line 35 onwards) now refers to low-THC cannabis and/or medical cannabis. By not defining medical cannabis, nor stating limits on THC doses, it opens the floodgates to “anything goes” – unspecified THC levels in marijuana that may range from 0.8 percent to 80 percent.  In its current amended form, SB 460 creates a marijuana industry, allowing high potency marijuana and marijuana edibles (cookies, sodas, candy), which are inherently hazardous and without any scientific evidence of medical safety or effectiveness.
 
To circumvent FDA experts and the process, the marijuana industry and their advocates devised ballot or legislative initiatives, flooded public media, engaged in extensive lobbying of legislative bodies, with scientifically barren emotional claims. Whole plant marijuana as a medicine is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as the evidence is insufficient to fulfill rigorous criteria for approval. To weigh the scientific evidence within the legitimate drug approval process, the FDA convenes an expert team of chemists, pharmacologists, physicians, other scientists, statisticians who study thousands of pages of scientific data, before a decision is made to approve a drug and provide surveillance after approval. This effective and rigorous scientific process is reflected in physician and patient packet inserts of prescription drugs – they include the precise chemical composition of a drug that a patient will introduce into their body, how often to use it, evidence-based safe doses, how frequently it should be taken, what types of studies were used to show the drug’s effectiveness for a specific condition, how long it takes to have an effect and stay in the body, how the body metabolizes the drug, drug interactions, who should/should not use the drug, a list of unwanted side effects and what proportion of people manifest them, adverse events, and precautions, and other information. This type of document does not exist in marijuana dispensaries.  If a false claim is made or an adverse effect sets in, who will protect the public? If a pharmaceutical company makes a false claim for an approved drug, the FDA sweeps in and fines them. It has extracted over $10 billion from drug companies in the past few years for unapproved claims. If adverse events rise to unacceptable levels, the FDA can restrict use of the drug, or label the drug with a severe “Black Box” warning, or withdraw the drug. These protections don’t exist for marijuana; there is no recourse for patients. 
 
Why is whole plant marijuana not approved? Concerns focus on abuse liability, safety and effectiveness.

Abuse liability. Marijuana has high abuse potential, no currently approved medical use and is considered unsafe. At least 4.2 million Americans have a cannabis (marijuana) use disorder, with about 30.5 percent of current marijuana users harboring this problem. Long-time heavy users can experience a robust withdrawal, reflecting adaptive changes in the brain and body caused by the drug. Shortly after use, marijuana intoxicates and impairs higher brain functions, learning, memory, planning, and decision-making. Driving skills are reduced and the risk for injuries increases. Functioning at school or at work is compromised, especially because marijuana takes so long to clear from the body, days to weeks, and much longer compared with an alcohol binge. Complex human performance can be impaired as long as 24 hours after smoking a moderate dose of marijuana and the user may be unaware of the drug's influence. For 7 to 20 days, abstinent marijuana users may have impaired attention, concentration and impulse control. The most robust, durable deficits are documented in heavy, steady marijuana users. Even after one month of withdrawal, daily, heavy marijuana smokers can manifest impaired higher brain functions. Yet the indications for marijuana are for chronic medical conditions, requiring daily or more frequent use.

Safety. There is a strong association between marijuana use and psychosis or schizophrenia, in at least four ways: (1) marijuana can produce transient schizophrenia-like symptoms in some healthy individuals; (2) in those harboring a psychotic disorder, marijuana may worsen the symptoms, trigger relapse, and negatively affect the course of the illness; (3)  susceptible individuals in the general population develop a psychotic illness with heavy marijuana use, which is associated with age of onset of use, strength of THC in marijuana,  frequency and duration of use; (4) marijuana use is associated with lowering the age of onset of schizophrenia. Among youth, marijuana use is associated with poor grades and with high school drop-out rates, with those dropping out of school engaging in high rates of frequent marijuana use. Early use of heavy marijuana is associated with lower income, lower college degree completion, greater need for economic assistance, and higher unemployment.  In sum, marijuana use is associated with an increased risk of degraded brain function, increased motor vehicle crashes, emergency department visits, psychiatric symptoms, reduced educational and employment achievement, reduced motivation, increased use of, and addiction to other drugs, and adverse health effects on the developing fetus.
 
Effectiveness. The FDA is not the only body that has questioned the effectiveness of marijuana. Non-government academic physicians and scientists have extensively scrutinized biomedical research (meta-analyses) on the use of whole plant marijuana for medical indications. Independently, they have concluded that there is scant, inadequate or no evidence that whole plant medicine is valuable as a first line treatment for a myriad of medical conditions claimed by the marijuana lobby.  For edibles, rigorous evidence is at zero or near-zero levels. Indeed, many specialty medical associations (Neurology, Psychiatry, Ophthalmology, Pediatrics) do not endorse marijuana as a medicine.
 
Clearly, this collective information impacts the amended Florida bill! First, the amendment places no limits on THC concentration, and does not address marijuana potency to be used for a single medical condition. No potency limits for chronic conditions are incompatible with growing evidence that the stronger the marijuana and the more frequently it is used, the more likely (1) for symptoms of psychosis to appear, (2) for reduced age of onset of schizophrenia, (3) for increased impairment of driving and brain function. Second, in chronic medical conditions, daily and more frequent use of marijuana is likely and this will increase the many risks outlined above.  Third, the amendment is vague on who can use, at what dose and for which specific diseases or symptoms. Yet, the more frequently marijuana is used and the longer the period of use, the more likely (1) for susceptible persons to become addicted to marijuana; (2) to become addicted to other drugs; (3) to sustain a reduction in I.Q.; (4) to be on welfare and unemployed; (5) to have psychotic episodes; and (6) to be less likely to complete high school or college.  
 
The Bradley amendment, whether intended or not, is likely to set Florida on a well-trodden path to legalization of marijuana. Its current objective is to normalize and legalize distribution of potent, intoxicating marijuana as a medicine, in the absence of solid medical evidence.  If it passes, the safeguards in the amended bill will not protect the public from an inevitable march towards unfettered access to, and de facto legalization of marijuana. The bill has little to do with compassionate use of marijuana for health, as open-ended THC doses have no scientific basis in medicine. But it will ensure that high potency marijuana becomes available to the public at large, inevitably spreading to youth, the real target of the marijuana industry. Early onset of marijuana use greatly increases the risk of becoming addicted to marijuana and to other drugs. Efforts to shield youth from marijuana have failed in states with “medical marijuana” laws as in these states, youth use marijuana more than in nonmedical marijuana states. 
 
This amendment ignores the FDA, ignores meta-analyses completed by independent biomedical researchers, ignores the policy statements of reputable medical associations, and ignores current marijuana science.  In 2014, Floridians wisely voted not to accept THC-laden marijuana as a “medical option”. Senator Bradley’s current amendment maneuvers the bill around the will of the people. Above all, this bill ignores the voters of Florida and the democratic process.  Floridians should protest this amendment, a blunt force to suppress their opposition to marijuana.
 
Bertha K. Madras is a professor at Harvard Medical School.
 

Comments

The opinion by Bertha Madras, Ph.D. on medical marijuana, “A Blunt Force to Crush Floridians' Opposition to Marijuana,” (March 2) prior to the Legislature passing HB 307 “The Medical Use of Cannabis,” shows troubling misunderstanding of the subjects where she claims expertise. Her letter was circulated widely as a pro-prohibition manifesto, though the governor has just signed the bill. Madras seems unaware that nearly 58 percent of Florida voters said YES to medical marijuana in 2014, and polls consistently show 80 percent support for the general concept. Contrary to Madras’ assertions, cannabis is remarkably safe with well-recognized therapeutic uses. It can be created using best practices for growing food and processed using existing standards for human consumption. High standards should include forbidding dangerous pesticides and implementing serious penalties for their use: exactly opposite what was forced into HB 307. The bill doesn’t go near far enough, extending the right to try cannabis only to the terminally ill. It codifies a big-investor, pseudo-monopoly system that shuts out small businesses and job-making entrepreneurs, ignoring that free market pressures are the best force to drive quality control and affordability to patients. Where cannabis is currently allowed by the terminally ill, benefits it affords people in the dying process and the comfort it provides to survivors are palpable. Acknowledging in law the recognized palliative benefit of whole-plant cannabis, not just low-THC varieties, is a minimal step toward a policy based in real understanding of this medicine. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, cannabis was used in ancient civilizations as a grieving ritual, performed when someone in the community died. This was using cannabis as medicine, not only for those on death’s door but for those trying to move on with life. Today, using cannabis to alleviate stress and anxiety following trauma is well supported by preclinical research, but federal agencies tenaciously stonewall clinical trials that could yield stronger data. Madras raised numerous false flags to divert Florida voters. Anecdotally, patients who use cannabis have positive clinical outcomes, seemingly better than other patient groups. We see this validated in increasing numbers of scientific studies made possible only as governments repeal prohibition. The same meta-analyses Madras refers to actually found good support for the use of cannabis for pain and spasticity, conditions where high quality clinical trials have been allowed. While warning of high potency THC, Madras fails to mention an FDA approved synthetic version of 100 percent THC in pill form already exists. A 50 percent THC mixture called nabiximols is also widely used in other countries with an excellent safety profile. Israel is using medicinal cannabis with great success. She warns of drugged drivers causing accidents but terminally ill people often use more debilitating drugs for symptom control. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, when researchers controlled for demographic factors (age, gender, ethnicity) and alcohol use, they didn't find an increase in crash risk associated with marijuana use. Experiments to directly test driving impairment find cannabis clearly safer than alcohol. Most disturbing is Madras’ assertions about cannabis and the brain, an area where drug war luminaries selectively cite poorly controlled studies. Other highly reputable studies that control for things like multi-drug use, alcohol use, socio-economic factors or family genetics have found no difference between users and non-users. New research published in JAMA Psychiatry finds that although cannabis use has gone up in recent years, problems associated with its use such as addiction have not. While we are sensitive to issues of cannabis dependence, Madras hyperbolizes the risk and severity of withdrawal, conflating findings from heavy, chronic teen users with the issue that is actually at hand: the regulated use of cannabis as a medicine. We are cannabis reformers fighting for patients, not profits. We urge voters to keep focus on what the majority of Floridians understand quite well: cannabis is real medicine, and reforming cannabis policy is a moral imperative. Greg Gerdeman, Ph.D. is a a neurophysiologist with expertise in the endocannabinoid system and mechanisms of drug reward and addiction; Josephine Cannella-Krehl is a licensed clinical social worker working in the field of hospice & palliative care; and Jodi James, director of FLCAN.org, is dedicated to developing strategies for the creation of sensible cannabis policies. - See more at: http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/madras-misfires-marijuana-florida#sthash.LpQyIEVk.dpuf

A brief response to claims made: 1. No hard evidence that Herodotus was referring to cannabis use by Scythians; ancient medical treatments are not necessarily relevant today. China and India were the original nations using marijuana but they have banned marijuana for medical purposes, whereas several other signators to the 1961 Geneva Conventions have not. 2. THC concentrations: one has to consider % as well as total dose: 100% THC in FDA approved Marinol is a fixed dose of 2.5 mg or up to 10 mg delivered orally daily, with a relatively slow absorption of about 10-20%. Smoked 16% THC or 80% THC in butane hash oil can deliver 40 mg or more within minutes to the brain - about 4 - 16 times or more than the FDA approved dose. 3. Evidence for smoked marijuana in clinical trials. The few RCT trials for pain using smoked marijuana reduced pain, but nearly all subjects in the studies were experienced marijuana users, trials lasted only a few days to weeks, side effects were not adequately measured, opioids were also used but they did not provide information on whether subjects' opioid use was randomly assigned; the majority of the few drug naive subjects dropped out of the study and almost all were performed by the CMCR, a single entity. An intent to treat trial using anyone (experienced or not) would show how acceptable the side effects would be to a general population and not only in experienced marijuana users. High quality clinical trials don't require thousands of subjects. Instead, they require multi-center, carefully designed studies that consider in design, the unique properties of marijuana- a drug which has overlapping intoxicating and therapeutIc doses. 4. Safety: As marijuana is proposed for use in chronic medical conditions, studies lasting months to a year are needed to determine whether the drug interferes with daily life or function, or increases the risk for a Cannabis use disorder. For Example, the CMCR studies requried subjects to avoid driving. Conclusions from current studies remain inadequate for showing SAFETY and EFFICACY of dispensary marijuana for people with chronic medical conditions. None of the metaanalyses show adequate number of studies for safety and efficacy of smoked marijuana -but show limited therapeutic benefit for cannabinoids (nabiximols, Marinol, nabilone) including a mixture of THC and CBD for a very small number of medical conditions. In 2015, Nabiximols (THC/CBD) failed three phase III FDA approved clinical trials for alleviating patients' cancer pain. 6. Long term effects: A major concern is that most of the medical conditions in which dispensary marijuana is targeting in various states (multiple sclerosis, cancer, AIDS, epilepsy, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease) are associated cognitive degradation (learning and memory problems "chemo-brain") yet marijuana impairs cognitive function. 7. The policies of major medical associations with highest clinical claims by marijuana advocates (Neurology, Psychiatry, Pediatrics, Ophthalmology - for glaucoma) endorse further research, but conclude that current evidence is insufficient to endorse dispensary raw marijuana to treat a wide range of medical conditions. For example, a recent study showed that individuals using marijuana for PTSD fared worse while on the drug and better when not using. The study was not a RCT and data is needed from RCT. 8. Does the federal government block marijuana research? The search term "marijuana" in the NIH data base shows that 338 marijuana grants are currently funded by NIH, over 200 people are approved by the DEA to perform cannabinoid research in humans and 16 investigators are licensed to study smoked marijuana in human subjects. Over 500 human trials using the search term "marijuana" are listed in the clinical trials data base. 9. If the over $100 million spent on political and ad campaigns to promote marijuana had been spent instead on marijuana research, we would have been much further along in knowing the therapeutic potential of marijuana and its constituents than we are today. Science should be driving the research. 10. Modern medicine is not adequately managing a myriad of medical conditions and symptoms. This is why it's important to listen to personal accounts of marijuana users that claim marijuana alone makes them feel better. Effective, rigorous and thoughtful strategies are needed to address their needs. Their accounts can also be used to guide clinical trials.

My wife was diagnosed with cancer, ( before i learnt of Rick Simpsons oil / RSO ) the hospital said to do chemotherapy and radiotherapy.. she did.. and went through a lot.. but no cure, after a while the doctors said the cancer was spreading and we could look for alternatives.. i searched the internet and found out about the oil.. asked alot of questions.. watched the videos etc.. we made the oil our selves but it couldn't just work out we were doing more harm than good and the cancer was still there spreading, i searched more on the internet i found a testimony on how a lady got the oil via an email, i immediately copied the email: Drricksimpsonmedicals@outlook.com, i wrote to this very email and in an hour later i got a reply back asking me some few questions, and enlightened me on how to get the oil in the next 48hours, i placed my order and in the next 48hours the medication oil got to us. immediately my wife started using the oil, it been two months now, since my wife has been using the medication oil and the cancerous problems are gone this very fact was clarified by the doctor. i put up this piece of testimony for the sake of those ones who need this oil to please don't die in silence there is a cure for your cancer today For all cancer patients that lives in American region, Asia, Europe and the world at large, go get your Hemp oil by contacting: Drricksimpsonmedicals@outlook.com or Tel:+447031981834..+14707-479-7791 web: http://phoenixtears.ca/ Frank email :Drricksimpsonmedicals@outlook.com • Reply•Share ›

I was 46 years old when I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012. During my annual physical, my doctor noticed that my PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, score, which can be an indicator of prostate cancer, had risen since the previous year. He wanted me to see an urologist for some tests—namely, a biopsy—to see if I had any signs of prostate cancer. The test came back positive. My initial reaction after hearing the diagnosis was one of panic and anger. I was mad that this was happening to me, but then I made the decision that I had to do something about it. I wasn’t sure about continuing treatment with the urologist I’d seen near my home outside of Hartford, Connecticut. My hesitation was not to do with his medical expertise, but with the feeling he was not speaking to me as a whole person. So I ended his service as a physician with me. During my search for a new doctor, my sister, who works as a nurse, told me about cannabis oil, so we decided to give it a try, we order it on line through, phoenixtears_rickcannabis@outlook.com, and it was delivered to us, after using the cannabis oil for a month we went for test and found out that the cancer cells was reducing, i just want to let the world know that am free from cancer, and also my advice to dose who are fighting cancerous disease, please be proactive to treatment, do not wait till it get worst before seeking solution, their is absolute cure for cancer. Please fee free to email Phoenix Tears via phoenixtears_rickcannabis@outlook.com were i was able to purchase cannabis oil. Thanks Justin Regis.

I was 46 years old when I was first diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2012. During my annual physical, my doctor noticed that my PSA, or prostate-specific antigen, score, which can be an indicator of prostate cancer, had risen since the previous year. He wanted me to see an urologist for some tests—namely, a biopsy—to see if I had any signs of prostate cancer. The test came back positive. My initial reaction after hearing the diagnosis was one of panic and anger. I was mad that this was happening to me, but then I made the decision that I had to do something about it. I wasn’t sure about continuing treatment with the urologist I’d seen near my home outside of Hartford, Connecticut. My hesitation was not to do with his medical expertise, but with the feeling he was not speaking to me as a whole person. So I ended his service as a physician with me. During my search for a new doctor, my sister, who works as a nurse, told me about cannabis oil, so we decided to give it a try, we order it on line through, phoenixtears_rickcannabis@outlook.com, and it was delivered to us, after using the cannabis oil for a month we went for test and found out that the cancer cells was reducing, i just want to let the world know that am free from cancer, and also my advice to dose who are fighting cancerous disease, please be proactive to treatment, do not wait till it get worst before seeking solution, their is absolute cure for cancer. Please fee free to email Phoenix Tears via phoenixtears_rickcannabis@outlook.com were i was able to purchase cannabis oil. Thanks Justin Regis.

Four years ago I was diagnosed of diabetes, as if the pains of diabetes wasn’t bad enough Last year I was also diagnosed of cancer which was more critical in my case because of the diabetes which I already had. It was as if my world had come to an end because the doctor told me that it was only by the grace of the almighty that I was alive to receive their diagnosis. As usual I was given few weeks to live but the pains I went through made each day feel like my last and I was so scared cause I wasn’t ready to leave this world yet, I had a lot of things that I wanted to do that I hadn’t done yet and I knew the almighty wouldn’t call on me before I started my mission on earth. My little niece told me about Rick Simpson cannabis oil when she came visiting, she told me she heard her friend’s mom talking about it and she persuaded me to look it up, I watched some of his videos and read some comments online and I was pleased with what I saw so I gave him a call and sent him an email We talked and I was convinced that he was my ticket to my new dawn. I purchased the oil and I have being following the prescription that I was given for the past two months and there has being rapid improvement in my health, I no longer feel pains and I wake up each morning feeling revived, energized and rejuvenated.If you are passing through this pain, do try to get contact with him val Email. phoenixtears_rickcannabis@outlook.com Stadnik Lilya from VI.

Four years ago I was diagnosed of diabetes, as if the pains of diabetes wasn’t bad enough Last year I was also diagnosed of cancer which was more critical in my case because of the diabetes which I already had. It was as if my world had come to an end because the doctor told me that it was only by the grace of the almighty that I was alive to receive their diagnosis. As usual I was given few weeks to live but the pains I went through made each day feel like my last and I was so scared cause I wasn’t ready to leave this world yet, I had a lot of things that I wanted to do that I hadn’t done yet and I knew the almighty wouldn’t call on me before I started my mission on earth. My little niece told me about Rick Simpson cannabis oil when she came visiting, she told me she heard her friend’s mom talking about it and she persuaded me to look it up, I watched some of his videos and read some comments online and I was pleased with what I saw so I gave him a call and sent him an email We talked and I was convinced that he was my ticket to my new dawn. I purchased the oil and I have being following the prescription that I was given for the past two months and there has being rapid improvement in my health, I no longer feel pains and I wake up each morning feeling revived, energized and rejuvenated.If you are passing through this pain, do try to get contact with him val Email. phoenixtears_rickcannabis@outlook.com Stadnik Lilya from VI.

http://www.sunshinestatenews.com/story/madras-misfires-marijuana-florida#comment-13037

The National Institute on Cancer disagrees with your assessment. http://thenationalmarijuananews.com/2015/12/national-cancer-institute-finally-admits-thc-causes-45-remission-in-bladder-breast-and-liver-cancer/ "The National Cancer Institute recently released its report on medical marijuana. The overview of their conclusion is, THC (the active ingredient in marijuana) caused a 45 percent reduction in bladder cancer, remission in breast and liver cancer and more."

I never knew cannabis oil was indeed wonderful and very effective in treating cancer’ if not for the government and their so called rules in regulating cannabis my Dad would have still been alive. thanks to the newly policy for legalizing cannabis in my state i would have still lost my son to kidney cancer, i was really touched and surprised when i watch lots of documentary on how cannabis oil had helped lot of people whom their family members never thought they could make it after undergoing several ”Chemo” from the dept of my heart i must say a word of appreciation to Mr. Rick Simpson for the timely intervention in the life of my son suffering from Kidney Cancer. as i am writing this testimony on this Blog my Son is so strong and healthy in spite he hasn’t completed the total Dosage’ for your cannabis and medical consultation try and get in touched with him through his email: ricksimpsoncancercure247@gmail.com so he can enlightened you more Thanks...... Mr.alibekov mapat

I never knew cannabis oil was indeed wonderful and very effective in treating cancer’ if not for the government and their so called rules in regulating cannabis my Dad would have still been alive. thanks to the newly policy for legalizing cannabis in my state i would have still lost my son to kidney cancer, i was really touched and surprised when i watch lots of documentary on how cannabis oil had helped lot of people whom their family members never thought they could make it after undergoing several ”Chemo” from the dept of my heart i must say a word of appreciation to Mr. Rick Simpson for the timely intervention in the life of my son suffering from Kidney Cancer. as i am writing this testimony on this Blog my Son is so strong and healthy in spite he hasn’t completed the total Dosage’ for your cannabis and medical consultation try and get in touched with him through his email: ricksimpsoncancercure247@gmail.com so he can enlightened you more Thanks...... Mr.alibekov mapat

A great testimony I must share to all cancer patients in the world. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 primary liver cancer in March 2013. The doctor told us there was not much to be done since the tumor was 7 inches covering his lower lobe and also had spread to his lymph nodes. We decided to go home and called hospice which gave us morphine for pain. Ed hated the morphine which made him vomit and also affected his mind. After one week at home we decided to do what we have done for many years, rely on ourselves.We were only in Hospital for 3 days with severe Pain. The cancer had blocked his bile duct, after that we choose a Naturopath doctor and have not had conventional treatments. one day i came across the use of cannabis oil for treatment of cancer and i saw a post on how a cancer patient was cured with cannabis oil. I urgently needed help and i contacted the email :(phoenixtears47@gmail.com) to get the cannabis oil, i was given instructional guide on how to use it. After taking a gram of oil per day. Within a couple of weeks his pain and swollen stomach disappeared and with it came hope and a good quality of life. We never saw an ocologist and only have done a blood test after the first diagnose CT scan. His tumor marker went from over 6000 to normal and he is feeling well. We don’t know how this is going to play out, but enjoy every day and give thanks. As i am writing this post, my husband is free from liver cancer and the doctor confirmed that the cancer was cured permanently. For immediate assistance on every medical issue you and your family may be experiencing, contact Dr Rick via email: (phoenixtears47@gmail.com) for more information and the delivery process.

Was the oil you 'obtained' FDA approved? If not then your results are simply anecdotal and have no scientific basis here. Of course the fact that your husband is STILL ALIVE might convince some of the weight in a medical argument... but don't try to convince this author. I listened to her at a lecture on the efficacy of medical marijuana and she is totally against it and doesn't see any medical evidence that marijuana is at all useful for anything. If you ask me due to her job being the study of addiction to drugs her views seem a bit disengenuous to me. She speaks from an anti marijuana view amd defiently has an agenda.

A great testimony I must share to all cancer patients in the world. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 primary liver cancer in March 2013. The doctor told us there was not much to be done since the tumor was 7 inches covering his lower lobe and also had spread to his lymph nodes. We decided to go home and called hospice which gave us morphine for pain. Ed hated the morphine which made him vomit and also affected his mind. After one week at home we decided to do what we have done for many years, rely on ourselves.We were only in Hospital for 3 days with severe Pain. The cancer had blocked his bile duct, after that we choose a Naturopath doctor and have not had conventional treatments. one day i came across the use of cannabis oil for treatment of cancer and i saw a post on how a cancer patient was cured with cannabis oil. I urgently needed help and i contacted the email :(phoenixtears47@gmail.com) to get the cannabis oil, i was given instructional guide on how to use it. After taking a gram of oil per day. Within a couple of weeks his pain and swollen stomach disappeared and with it came hope and a good quality of life. We never saw an ocologist and only have done a blood test after the first diagnose CT scan. His tumor marker went from over 6000 to normal and he is feeling well. We don’t know how this is going to play out, but enjoy every day and give thanks. As i am writing this post, my husband is free from liver cancer and the doctor confirmed that the cancer was cured permanently. For immediate assistance on every medical issue you and your family may be experiencing, contact Dr Rick via email: (phoenixtears47@gmail.com) for more information and the delivery process.

AS A PRACTICING PSYCHIATRIST ON THE FRONT LINE OF ADDICTION REALITIES, I MUST APPLAUD DR. MADRAS' BALANCED AND EVIDENCE-BASED ARTICLE. WE CERTAINLY NEED TO DEVELOP PHARMACEUTICAL CANNABINOIDS FOLLOWING THE TRADITIONAL FDA SANCTIONED BASIC SCIENCE AND CLINICAL STUDIES. THE PROMOTION OF THIS PLANT AS MEDICINE IS ABSURD AND SERVES TO FILL THE POCKETS OF THOSE THAT WANT TO COMMERCIALIZE IT. HOPEFULLY REASON WILL PREVAIL AND WE WILL NOT RETURN TO THE "TURN ON TUNE OUT" MENTALITY OF THE 1960'S AND 1970'S.

you must be a quack because the stats that are in this article are fictional, they are designed to frighten and scare people away from cannabis, Doctor learn about the endocannaboid system and maybe you can stop abusing your patients

Your medical training seems to have removed your ability to think about freedom. The issue is...who has a right to say only select few have a right to use and make into expensive medicines that many many doctors then push for kick backs..... Shame on you.......try thinking for yourself not what society presents you with for you to follow blindly!

WHAT ABOUT ALL THE PHARMECUTICALS THAT PSHYCIASTRISTS DISH OUT TO ELEMENTARY KIDS LIKE ADDERALL WHICH IS AN AMPHETAMINE. IS THAT OK WTH YOU???? BTW TYPING IN ALL CAPS IS CONSIDERED STUPID BY MANY INTERNET USERS.

No sensible person would believe a scientific report just because it is published. But when numerous papers are published that show how marijuana is addictive and harmful then people need to start paying attention. The medical marijuana argument seems to be based more on anecdote and testimony rather than peer-tested research. What makes me suspect the medical marijuana argument is that I do not see the medical profession, or charities that help sufferers of MS, glaucoma, epilepsy, and cancer queuing up to support the use of marijuana in its raw form as a treatment.

Seriously do some research. Concentrate on epilepsy and cancer first and then do some more critical thinking please.

I have recently updated a large scientific report on cannabis. It was first written in 2006 for The Centre for Social Justice UK. It now runs to 185 pages. Some of your commentators might like to have a good look at it. http://www.cannabisskunksense.co.uk/uploads/site-files/CannabiscombineddocumentFeb2016.pdf

Great job, Dr Madras. Anyone debating legalisation of marijuana and other drugs should first read local facts from the Pulitzer Prize-winning Gazette. Separating fact from fiction, it covers regulation, crime, youthful addiction and medical marijuana. “The ugly truth is that Colorado was suckered. It was promised regulation and has been met by an industry that fights tooth and nail any restrictions that limit its profitability” is a conclusion (http://gazette.com/clearingthehaze). Rocky Mountain High also reveals post-legalisation pot use figures ( www.dbrecoveryresources.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/FINAL-NSDUH-Results-Jan-2016-Release.pdf). Smart Approaches to Marijuana published the fact-based Big Marijuana Claims Vs The Science (https://learnaboutsam.org/the-issues/big-marijuana-claims-vs-the-science). Finally, in the UK, a rigorous 10-year followup of the Lambeth depenalisation of cannabis revealed increased crime and hospitalisations: a warning to be heeded (www.dbrecoveryresources.com/2014/04/crime-and-the-depenalisation-of-pot).

The science clearly shows harms from THC to our adolescents, teenagers and young adults. Educating on the negative effects of this drug--as with ANY drug--is simply responsible behavior. Why is it ok to educate on the risks of tobacco or the effects of alcohol or the side effects of prescriptions--but when it comes to marijuana--there's this big resistance to admitting there are side effects. There are numerous case studies to show the addiction rate, the mental illnesses, the deaths associated with marijuana use and many other effects--including IQ reduction, loss of income, relationship issues, etc. Let's get our heads out of the sand and man up to these issues and let our youth understand that they are at risk. Adults--do whatever the heck you want--but do not put our children at risk. We are not ready to legalize--there are simply too many issues not addressed properly at this time. 1. Drugged Driving (leading to fatal auto accidents with marijuana in the system)--we currently have no way to test for this impairment. THC stays in the fatty tissue cells for 30-60 days, leeching out and continuously causing impairment. This also presents a problem for people such as your surgeon using on Sunday for a backache and performing surgery on Monday--still impaired... we don't have a way to regulate this at this time. 2. States where legal have seen 2x the teen addiction rate. It is a fact that when there is increased usage--as in legalized states--there is increased usage amongst children. 3. Why are we claiming we need to sell a drug through a store? If it's truly a medicine, let's treat it as such and deliver it through a pharmacy, non-smoke, properly dosed, properly directed by a doctor not a sales person and properly checked for content--dispensaries' products do not control for pesticides, molds and bacteria--which are very harmful for someone with a compromised immune system. I have to wonder why there is so much pushback by users--defending their rights to use, without consideration for society's harms and for the deception to our youth by telling them this is a natural plant with no side effects. Once you are exposed to the aftermath, the loss, the broken families, etc. that we in the recovery industry see, you cannot help but temper your view and understand this is a real problem. And please, let's stop trying to divert the conversation by saying "what about alcohol?" What about it--it's another drug. Comparing drugs is simply not useful when we are trying to show negative outcomes of this drug based on the use of this drug. It's a diversion tactic that users try to employ as an argument to legalize marijuana. Consider this--when the teenage brain is developing, THC products disrupt this process. The effects can be lifelong, irreversible and for some unbearable--for many this level of THC triggers psychosis. BE SMART. EDUCATE ON THESE EFFECTS. The science is there. Irrefutable studies, case histories and personal witnesses to this problem. Studies also from Harvard, from top research centers worldwide, from neuroscientists. Those who refuse to look at this potentially devastating aftermath of marijuana use by our youth, need to take a long look in the mirror and consider your motivations. This is a new problem, as the THC levels have never been this potent. In the next 5-10 years we will see major issues as a result. www.oscdoc.com. EDUCATE OUR YOUTH.

Dear friend, I don't doubt your dedication to fighting substance abuse and protecting our youth from self-destructive behaviors. How could any reasonable person object to advocating for a healthy mind, body, and soul? I don't doubt that the abuse of substances of many kinds can lead to brain damage, poor health, the awful downward spiral of addiction, and the possible negative and insidious effects on society at large. We agree on that. As adults we should be steadfast in providing the role model that a healthy lifestyle is the ideal. However, we all know that the reality is that illegal drugs have always been available. I don't suggest we stop trying to keep our fellow citizens healthy and safe. What I implore you to consider, is offering the residents of Florida who are in intractable pain, suffer from seizures, endure debilitating spasms, and other dreadful medical conditions to have safe and legal access to medical cannabis. What is their alternative? Opioids are probably a worse option for some, and for others there is no other medicine currently available. I realize you may view "medical cannabis" as a "de facto gateway" to "recreational cannabis." Some folks may very well have that hidden agenda. But, does that mean those people who suffer - right now, every day - should be denied some palliative relief? Anyone who really wants cannabis can get it, so that's not the issue. The issue is: do you really want to deny those patients what is, essentially, their only hope for relief? Surely you realize those folks who want a high can get it off the streets, already. Dr. Madras is right about the horrors of drug abuse and is correct in communicating the harms that can come from cannabis. She would gain more respect - and credibility - by disclosing more openly that research on cannabis is very restricted and physicians across the country are recommending that the DEA should consider rescheduling cannabis (see American College of Physicians and other physician professional organization websites). Everyone is aware of the potential harms from cannabis - that is a given. Please, consider that for some in Florida, every day that goes by is one more day with pain, with spasms, or with seizures. I want to believe that you are not so dogmatic that you would sacrifice the palliative care of these patients for ideological purity. I suspect your position will evolve as we gain more insight into the "entourage effect" of medical cannabis. In addition to the "whole plant" approach that seems to work for some patients, I suspect you will be encouraged by the emerging research on the dozens of compounds found in cannabis that Dr. Madras mentioned. I remain hopeful that Dr. Madras will move to more fully open the research on cannabis. For better or worse, science and medicine have an entrenched political apparatus that controls the enterprise of "research." I respect and appreciate your opinion and I'm glad you fight for the common good.

Thank you Dr Madras for the time & energy it takes to fight Big MJ whose revenue last year was estimated at >$50 billion!!! While the pot zelaots &/or narcobarons involved in this pot industry are amassing a fortune they could care less "turbo-pot" is altering some of this young generation's mental health in the most insidious & catastrophic ways. Let the actual stories of MJ HARMS begin. No longer are parents, like myself, going to allow the hoax of this industry to get away with murder!!! I hope everyone understands the wrath of a Mama Bear when her cub has been attacked. A movement is underway to wake up the sleeping public to the reality today's potent strains of marijuana & all its derivatives are triggering upon countless young, vulnerable brains & in some cases- it's too late. Why has the ASAM organization recently amended it's position statement to include MJ products should not be sold to any age 25 & under!!!!

Dr. Madras, 10 year old Alexis Bortell from Texas had multiple epileptic seizures each day, many life threatening, despite the utter failure of pharmaceutical medications to treat them. With cannabis she has been seizure free for well over 300 days. She is a medical refugee who fled her home and relocated to Colorado. How many children have suffered and died because they couldn't afford to relocate? What would you tell Alexis? Take away her medication and let her suffer and possibly die from a life threatening seizure? Cannabis is more dangerous than her seizures? what would you tell all the other children suffering from Dravet's syndrome? They should wait while you figure out why cannabis is medicine? And they can suffer and die in the meanwhile? People are tired of suffering, dying, and waiting.

When no existing therapy works or has intolerable side effects, we, as a society need to view the lack of treatment for the medical conditions for which cannabis can provide relief from suffering, as a form of abuse. It abusive and cruel to deny palliative relief to those genuinely suffering. Sadism is not a medicine. Patients don't have time to wait while others fiddle and diddle.

I have epilepsy and pot actually makes my seizures worse. So does the oil. Just being next to someone smoking or vaping pot makes me have seizures, if I breathe in the second hand smoke or vapor. It actually makes a lot of people with Epilepsy worse. Thanks but no thanks, I will wait for FDA approved Epilepsy medications.

Some people are allergic to aspirin. Let's ban aspirin.

Let's ban peanuts, strawberries and chocolate too (which can be deadly). And chocolate causes obesity which is the second leading cause of preventable death (cigarettes is the first). What does the harms of skiing, boxing and alcohol have anything to do with 1) my right to engage in these activities, and 2) whether or not they are valuable even if you think they aren't?

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