Pubdate: Fri, 18 Apr 2014
Source: Tampa Bay Times (FL)
Copyright: 2014 St. Petersburg Times
Author: John G. Chase


Re: Wired to work with marijuana? | April 14

I worry that the miraculous effect that pot's cannabinoid molecule 
has on epilepsy will eclipse the benefits of pot's other components. 
CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta described the benefits as an 'entourage 
effect,' a term coined by Israeli researchers in 1998 to describe the 
synergistic effect of the multitude of components found in the whole plant.

As the future unfolds, we'll see these components isolated, tested, 
FDA-approved and marketed. Meanwhile, patients with ailments that 
benefit from the whole plant should be allowed to have it. While 
likely not the panacea claimed by zealous supporters, pot is 
certainly not the bugaboo claimed by zealous detractors.

As if the medical benefits were not enough, recent research papers 
are finding that states with legal medical pot are seeing 
improvements in public safety, as compared to states where medical 
pot is still illegal. They found reductions in suicides, traffic 
fatalities and beer consumption - all with no significant change in 
pot use. Most recently, a paper in PLOS One , a peer-reviewed 
scientific journal, reported reductions in serious crime and 
concluded, 'These findings run counter to arguments suggesting the 
legalization of marijuana for medical purposes poses a danger to 
public health in terms of exposure to violent crime and property 
crimes.' In November, vote for Amendment 2 to let patients have the 
whole plant.

John G. Chase, Palm Harbor
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