Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Beyond Sativex

While Sativex (a metered dosage whole cannabis preparation) proves the lie, a new study published in the November 2006 Harm Reduction Journal suggests the health outcomes issue is wider than just what one can be prescribed (and thus morally approved).

Here is some selected notes from the Canadian research.

Valid clinical studies of herbal cannabis require a product which is acceptable to patients in order to maximize adherence to study protocols. (Sounds awfully like informed consent to me./Blair) The study shows that medical cannabis users can appreciate differences in herbal product. A more acceptable cannabis product may increase recruitment and retention in clinical studies of medical cannabis.

To our knowledge, this is the first ever evaluation of medical cannabis products for physical and smoking characteristics by authorized patients. We have shown that subjects may appreciate differences between cannabis preparations on the basis of physical characteristics of the herbal material, specifically general appearance and colour. We did not show differences in individual smoking characteristics, but overall impressions confirmed that subjects favoured higher THC content, higher humidity and larger grind size.

The detected differences between products could have arisen by chance, or may have been influenced by other factors such as the use of different modes of administration (pipes and joints). Further study should limit the modes of administration to reduce confounding by these factors. (Au contraire... the study should be enhanced to provide research insight into modes of use.../Blair)

Like Wow Man... some godamn honesty makes for a refreshing change...
Lets see if the NZ Green Party understand the significance and support 'home grow' and to seek the repeal of the bong bill for its inconsistencies and breaches of good faith and human rights.

Consider the wider implications of cannabis use as replacement therapy (hell its supposed to work for methadone, why not cannabis? ). THere is a legacy of exonerative testimony that cannabis replaces alchol. Thats a major head start in harm reduction/minimisation.

Marijuana, the Anti-Drug

The extent to which medical cannabis users discontinue or reduce their use of pharmaceutical and over-the-counter drugs is a recurring theme in a recent survey of pro-cannabis (PC) California doctors. The drug-reduction phenomenon has obvious scientific implications. Medicating with cannabis enables people to lay off stimulants as well as sedatives -suggesting that the herb's active ingredients restore homeostasis to various bodily systems. (Lab studies confirm that cannabinoids normalize the tempo of many other neurotransmission systems.) The political implications are equally obvious. Legalizing herbal cannabis would devastate the pharmaceutical manufacturers and allied corporations in the chemicals, oil, "food," and banking sectors. Put simply, the synthetic drug makers stand to lose half their sales if and when the American people get legal access to cannabis.

In the 10 years since Proposition 215 made it legal for California doctors to approve cannabis use by patients, the PC docs did not adopt a common intake questionnaire, and, with one exception, did not collect systematic data on which pharmaceutical drugs their patients had chosen to stop taking. However, the consistency with which the doctors describe this phenomenon has a force as impressive as any slickly presented "hard" data.

Blair Anderson
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