Source: Los Angeles Times
Contact:  2132374712
Pubdate: October 20, 1997 
Author: Peter Gorman, Executive Editor,  High Times Magazine


High Times Magazine's 10th Annual Cannabis Cup Features Expert Panel on the
Controversial Issue of Medical Marijuana 

Alternative medicinal therapies are now becoming more and more accepted and
practiced, from herbology and homeopathy, to acupuncture and visualization,
and cannabis is one of the oldest medicinal herbs known to man. 

Around the world, marijuana has been used as a medicine for at least 5000
years, with earliest records dating back to the rule of Chinese Emperor
Shen Nung in about 2737 B.C. 

In the U.S., cannabis tinctures were widely used from the early 1800s
through 1937 for ailments such as teething pain, arthritis, epilepsy and

On Nov. 24th, High Times magazine, long regarded as an authority in the
field of medical, environmental and spiritual uses of the cannabis sativa
plant, will kick off its 10th annual "Cannabis Cup" gathering in Amsterdam. 

This year, a special panel on medical marijuana, its uses, and the
controversy surrounding it, will be one of the highlights of the event. It
will be especially relevant, given the one year anniversary of the passing
of California's Proposition 215 and the struggles that have ensued to make
it work. 

The panel will be hosted by Peter Gorman, Executive Editor of High Times
and the leading journalist on medical marijuana in the country. 

In addition to writing over 200 news stories on popular science and
pharmacology for such magazines as Playboy, Omni, The New York Times, Elle,
Penthouse and others, in 1990 Peter Gorman received the Blue Mountain

In addition, Gorman also collects pharmaceuticalbotanical specimens for
Indians for The New York Botanical Gardens and Shaman Pharmaceutical Corp.,
and acts as a consultant for National Geographic's Explorer and the BBC
series, Nature. 

The acceptance of the use of marijuana as medicine has been gaining steady
momentum around the world. With the passing in 1996 of California's
Proposition 215 and Arizona's Proposition 200, making it legal in those
states to prescribe marijuana to patients for medical purposes, it is
conceivable that before the end of the century, more states around the
country will follow suit. 

The enactment of these new laws has also created a very complicated and
heated issue with large grey areas. 

As The New York Times Sunday Magazine observes, "California's experiment
with medical marijuana could well turn out to be a turning point in the
drug war, if for no other reason than it is rapidly transforming what has
long been a simplistic monologue about drugs  Just Say No  into a
complex conversation between the people and their government. So far, the
most compelling voices in that conversation belong to the patients, the
doctors, the growers and the cops who together are struggling to carve out
a place for legal marijuana in the face of fierce opposition from

Marijuana has been a quiet, relatively uncontroversial part of American
medical practice until, in the late '80s, the federal Drug Enforcement
Administration held hearings on reclassifying marijuana into a prescribable
legal category. "Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest
therapeutically active substances known to man," concluded the DEA's own
Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young. 

When DEA bureaucrats overruled their own legal authority to keep marijuana
unprescribable, patients and their advocates began mounting initiative
projects statebystate, resulting so far in Props 200 and 215. 

And although the passing of Prop 215 and 200 have been encouraging to those
who desperately need marijuana to relieve the intense nausea from cancer
and AIDS drugs so they can eat, and those who need it to stave off
blindness from glaucoma, doctors prescribing or recommending marijuana to
their patients have met with threats of license revocation at the national

This is just a small sample of the kinds of issues which will be discussed
during the medicalmarijuana panel at High Times' 10th Annual Cannibis Cup.
The panel is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 25th at 3 P.M. at Hemp Hall at the
Melkweg in Amsterdam. 

Call JLM for details if you'd like to cover. For ticket information contact
High Times magazine at 212/3877372. 

Copyright Los Angeles Times