Pubdate: Thu, 30 Sep 2004
Source: Arbiter, The (Boise State, ID Edu)
Copyright: 2004 The Arbiter
Author: Tim Teater, Special to The Arbiter
Bookmark: (Opinion)
Bookmark: (Cannabis - Medicinal)


A flood of emerging research and an avalanche of anecdotal evidence, and is 
showing medicinal cannabis' efficacy in the treatment of many diseases and 
conditions such as "wasting syndrome" secondary to AIDS, and cancer 
therapy, severe nausea and vomiting from chemotherapy, and narcotic pain 
therapy, multiple sclerosis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's 
Disease) and other neurological and neuromuscular diseases as well as 
spinal cord injury, neuropathic and other pain, Crohn's Disease, ulcerative 
colitis, glaucoma, anorexia and recurrent migraines and menstrual pain. In 
addition, research reveals that cannabinoids (the active compounds in 
cannabis) are neuroprotective, slowing the advance of neuromuscular diseases.

Major studies published between 2001 and 2003 show cannabinoids have a 
significant effect in fighting cancer cells.

Cannabinoids appear to arrest many kinds of cancer growths such as brain, 
breast, leukemias, and melanoma, through promotion of programmed cell death 
that is lost in tumors, and by arresting increased blood vessel production 
that feed tumors.

Cannabis is one of the safest medications known.

There is essentially no known toxic dose and it is not addictive.

Numerous health-related organizations have endorsed immediate patient access.

A few of these organizations are: The American Academy of Family 
Physicians, the American Nurses Association, the America Public Health 
Association, the California Medical Association, the Institute of Medicine, 
the Lymphoma Foundation, the New England Journal of Medicine, the American 
Medical Student Association, the American Preventive Medical Association, 
the Society of Addiction Medicine, and many more.

The American Medical Association has recognized the potential benefits of 
medicinal cannabis in calling for " adequate and well-controlled studies of 
smoked marijuana can be conducted in patients who have serious conditions 
for which preclinical, anecdotal, or controlled evidence suggests possible 
efficacy in including AIDS wasting syndrome, sever acute or delayed emesis 
induced by chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injury, dystonia, 
and neuropathic pain."

Reliable polling has shown more than 70 percent support of the American 
public for access to medicinal cannabis.

A federal (OMB) study revealed that in states with medicinal cannabis laws 
there are no significant diversion to the black market or increased law 
enforcement problems related to cannabis.

The federal government distributes cannabis under its "Compassionate Use 
Program. Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, 
Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have all passed medicinal cannabis 

Movements to provide for patient access are currently active in many other 
states including Idaho.

Patients in Idaho deserve the same access to medicinal cannabis as millions 
of Americans now enjoy in other states.

Medicinal cannabis has the potential to save and prolong the lives of 
Idahoans as well as significantly improve the quality of life for many sick 
and suffering patients. Besides good, compassionate medicine, this issue is 
at the heart of individual liberty and states' rights.

There is every reason to allow this safe effective and compassionate 
modality and no legitimate reason not to do so. Call or write your 
legislators and legislative delegation and sign a petition currently 
circulating around Idaho. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake