Pubdate: Mon, 11 Nov 2013
Source: Salt Lake Tribune (UT)
Copyright: 2013 The Salt Lake Tribune
Author: Kirsten Stewart


Health) Utahn Moves to Colorado for Treatment Amid Push to Approve Use
of Extract Here.

Brian Scott endured six grueling months of chemo-therapy in 2012 only
to see his acute myeloid leukemia, a fast-growing cancer of the blood,

The St. George man was admitted this summer to Primary Children's
Medical Center for a second, more intensive infusion of toxic
chemicals in preparation for a stem cell transplant. This time, the
treatments nearly killed him.

The 225-pound fullback, who carried the Hurricane Tigers to their
first state championship, captured three state wrestling crowns and
won a Southern Utah University football scholarship, called it quits
on chemo. Brian, now 20, moved to Colorado this summer for an
alternative treatment: medical marijuana.

"This is not just about kids. Adults need it, too, and not just for
nausea and pain," said Brian's mom, Jane Scott, referring to the push
by a group of Utah moms to import a cannabis extract for their
children with epilepsy.

The extract comes from a plant, cultivated by the nonprofit Realm of
Caring Foundation in Colorado Springs, that is high in cannabidiol
(CBD) but low in tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive chemical
component that creates a high in users. It's so low in THC that, Utah
parents argue, it meets agricultural standards for hemp used in
clothing and lotions.

They make their pitch Tuesday to the state's Controlled Substance
Advisory Committee, a group of doctors, cops and prosecutors that
advises lawmakers on the scheduling of drugs.

Because there's a growing waiting list for the low-THC extract, Realm
of Caring reserves it for children. Brian uses another Realm product
with a slightly lower CBD to THC ratio.

"Death is a possibility with or without the chemo," Jane said, "and we
all decided if he lives, he will have a life and won't just be
fighting a disease for years on end."

'Spitting blood) Brian was diagnosed at 18, weeks before he was
scheduled to leave on a mission for the LDS Church to Uruguay. He was
optimistic during his first round of chemotherapy in 2012 and fully
intended to take advantage of his SUU scholarship, his mother said.

The cancer returned three months into his remission, and he started a
second round of chemo this summer.

"The chemo attacks all the rapidly growing cells in your body,
including your hair and the cells lining your mouth and esophagus,
which became raw and infected the second time around," Jane said. "He
was spitting blood and couldn't eat or drink and had to be kept on IV
fluids for several weeks."

The transplant doctor wanted Brian to resume chemotherapy when he was
strong enough and said, "I can give you five times what you're getting
now," recalled Jane.

Brian, then 19, said, "No."

Doctors had already downgraded his five-year survival odds from 80 to
50 percent. "He just felt like his body wouldn't live through it,"
Jane said.

Doing Internet research, she found studies on the cancer-arresting
properties of compounds in marijuana known as cannabinoids. She
watched a video by another Utah mom who had moved to Colorado Springs
from Kanab to get cannabis oil for her son with leukemia.

On the July day the Scotts resolved they would make the same move,
they received grave news from Luke Maese in the hematology and
oncology department at Primary Children's, the doctor closest to Brian.

The cancer, untraceable after the last round of his interrupted chemo,
was back.

"We had already told him we weren't going the transplant route," Jane
wrote on a blog she kept of their experience, "to which he replied to
Brian in all sincerity, 'You're going to die!' "

Within weeks, Brian was settled in Colorado and taking cannabis pills
from the Realm of Caring.


Marijuana history

Cannabis is a 38-million-year-old plant, one of humankind's oldest
cultivated crops that has been used medicinally since at least 2800
BCE, writes Julie Holland, an MD, in "The Pot Book: a Complete Guide
to Cannabis."

"In America cannabis was a patent medicine, an ingredient in numerous
tinctures and extracts throughout the 1800s and early 1900s," Holland

But concerns about its recreational use gave rise to a series of legal
restrictions, starting with the Marihuana Tax Stamp Act in the 1937
and culminating with the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which
classified marijuana as a Schedule I drug alongside heroin and LSD,
deeming it to have no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse.
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