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Alert! I-131 to Repeal OMMA  
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a threat to OMMA Kevin Mannix, a powerful well connected Republican, has filed an initiative that would repeal the OMMA here in Oregon and replace it with an synthetic-marijuana system.

This is a threat to OMMA.
If it passes all patients would be forced at gunpoint to switch to marinol or other pharmaceutical synthetics allowed by him and the other Prohibitionists.

This is very serious. Mannix nearly was elected Governor and authored Measure 11 that gave Oregon long mandatory minimums for crimes. We will have to rise to the occasion, work together, and crush this attempt to return Oregon medical cannabis to the dark ages.

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Oregon's Medical Marijuana Law Under Attack!

Please help protect Oregon’s patients.

Right-wing Republican Kevin Mannix has filed an initiative that would abolish Oregon's Medical Marijuana Program, instantly making criminals of over 16,000 sick Oregon patients. Mannix, an insurance defense attorney and former chairperson of Oregon's Republican Party, even plans a tax-payer-funded-gift to the pharmaceutical industry by requiring the state of Oregon to purchase less-effective prescription drugs, like Marinol, for Oregon's medical marijuana patients, who he intends to treat like criminals.

This terrible initiative has national implications because if the right-wing Republicans, insurance companies, and Big Pharma manage to dismantle the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program, they will be emboldened to kill the programs of all of the other medical marijuana states. This is an important time for our movement and all of us, especially sick patients, need us to move forward, not back to a time where grandmothers stricken with glaucoma and cancer are treated as drug dealers. Kevin Mannix's Act can be read at:

http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/irr/2008/131text.pdf


WHAT IT IS GOING TO DO; and other Text of Interest:

Sec 1 This Act shall be known as the Oregon Crimefighting Act. The purpose of this Act is to reduce all types of crime in Oregon, thereby better protecting our people and stimulating economic growth through improved and aggressive prevention, early intervention, investigation, prosecution, accountability, and rehabilitation. Drug abuse and addiction are heavily associated with crime, and these problems are important targets of criminal justice laws. To fight crime, this Act:

-snip-

b. establishes Meth Strike Forces, to focus on drug crime,and a Coordinated Grant Program to improve funding for drug prevention and treatment programs;

c. allows tax credits for contributions to Meth Strike Force and drug prevention or treatment programs;

-snip-

g. replaces the Medical Marijuana Act with a more medically appropriate Marijuana Derivative and Synthetic Cannabinoid Prescription Program to focus help on those with legitimate needs

-snip-

Section 10. In order to reduce abuse of the system currently in place, the people hereby replace the "Medical Marijuana Act" with the following Marijuana Derivative and Synthetic Cannabinoid Prescription Program.

a. Cesamet and marinol are synthetic cannabinoids which are approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating loss of appetite and for treating nausea.

b. The provisions of this section, relating to Cesamet and Marinol use, may be expanded to include other drugs approved by the Food and Drug Administration that include cannabinoids, their derivatives or synthetic cannabinoids, if such drugs are to be used for purposes covered by this section. Such extension shall be by way of rules established by the Department of Human Services, which is authorized to make such rules.

c. When an attending physician or nurse practitioner determines that a patient will likely benefit from use of prescribed Cesamet or Marinol for a diagnosed debilitating medical condition, so as to prevent or mollify decreased appetite or severe nausea, or for control of intractable pain or other symptoms of the condition, and the patient does not have health insurance which covers the cost of such medication, the patient may apply to the Department of Human Services for provision of that part of the cost which is not covered by insurance. The Department of human Services shall promptly process the application and, upon confirming that the application meets the requirements of this Act, shall pay or reimburse the amount necessary to ensure delivery of Cesamet or Marinol to the patient.

d. The Department of Human Services shall establish rules for carrying out this Program. The Department may use the Oregon health Plan as a process for carrying out this Program, if the Department finds this will be efficacious.

e. The purpose of this program is to ensure the availability of Ceasmet and Marinol to patients who need such medication, regardless of coverage by health insurance. Because this is a benefit for Oregonians, at the expense of Oregon's government, no patient is eligible for participation in the Marijuana Derivative and Synthetic Cannabinoid Prescription Program unless the patient has been a legal resident of Oregon for at least one continuous year immediately preceding application for coverage under the Program.

f. The attending physician or nurse practitioner shall monitor the patient's use of Cesamet and Marinol on the same basis as other controlled substances.

g. For purposes of this section:

    i. "Attending physician" means a Doctor of Medicine or Osteopathy licensed in oregon under ORS Chapter 677.

    ii. "Controlled Substance" has the meaning given in ORS 475.005.

    iii. "Diagnosed debilitating medical condition" means a condition diagnosed by an attending physician or nurse practitioner who determines that the practice is cancer; multiple sclerosis; glaucoma; positive status for acquired immune deficiency syndrome; or any other condition where the attending physician or nurse practitioner believes that a prescription for the use of Cesamet or Marinol is a preferred form of treatment or a preferred form of necessary palliative care.

    iv. "nurse Practitioner" has the meaning given in ORS 678.010.

-snip-

Talking Points

To what "abuse of the MMA does he refer? This would be, it seems to us, a soft place in logic and would require some major evidence to prove. Wonder what it is, huh? There is report after report, study after study that attests that its definitely more efficacious when ingested by smoking or vaporizing as opposed to Marinol. Folks we know have tried Marinol and it was completely ineffective, and had uncomfortable and intractable diarrhea as one side-effect.

Give Mr. Mannix a call and tell him what you think of his crime initiative. Or better yet, fax him with mmj studies and reports. Request that he assist efforts against "abuse" of OMMP by providing the specifics of the evidence for "abuse" which this #131 is "responding" to. Please let him know that you oppose his plan to treat Oregon's sick patients like criminals. You can contact him at:

Kevin Mannix
2003 State Street, Salem OR 97301
Phone: (503) 364-1913 Fax: (503) 362-0513
kevin@mannixlawfirm.com.

Example - A
To: kevin@mannixlawfirm.com
Subject: MEDICAL CANNABIS
Dear Mr. Mannix:

Your proposal known as, the Oregon Crimefighting Act, has come to my attention.

My working background is in the healthcare field: first, as a nurse; second 25 years as a medicolegal transcriptionist. I've worked for two counties' medical examiners offices, AZ University College of Medicine, as well as trauma and acute care hospital medicolegal transcription. I have 30 years in the field having worked (and still working) closely with physicians and other clinicians. I am the mother of two, grandmother of four.

I was finally forced to retire early because of my degenerative disabilities I sought medical treatment for 13 years before I finally gave up on opioids, antidepressants (norepinephrine receptor inhibitors to dull the pain), and muscle relaxants that the doctors were giving me for my pain. I ve tried, literally, everything including the Fentanyl patches, which are 100x stronger than morphine, to no avail. My day-to-day life was excruciatingly painful physically as well as mentally foggy from the elevated level of the pharmaceutical drugs in my system and, finally, a family member suggested I try medical marijuana (MMJ), going on four years ago.

I took some time to do research and was astonished to find all the scientific evidence available; completely unbiased, objective (double blind studies, etc.), methodical investigation from, literally, all over the free world online. After educating myself, I then went to my primary care physician (PCP) and, after some discussion regarding the dismal failure of opioids for pain management, she gave me a recommendation for MMJ. Four years later, I can tell you my life has changed dramatically. I use MMJ as adjunctive therapy along with an extremely low dose of opioids and am off all other pain meds. As adjunctive treatment MMJ is very effective, but smoking (or vaporizing) is the most effective for many patients. I can speak for a trial of Marinol, personally, and say that it was completely ineffective in dulling my pain and gave me horrible diarrhea for days.

Forget it! I speak as only one individual, a subjective and anecdotal point of view to be sure, but also speak to the science and research done on this subject. Many patients share my dilemma, not to mention the cost to taxpayers for having to cover the exorbitant price of Marinol and/or Cesamet You have stated in the bill that there are problems with illegal activity for MMJ patients in OR. This, in fact, is not the case in the overall MMJ patient population. I was and still am a law-abiding citizen and voter and am tired of feeling that I'm a criminal when at least four physicians (including specialists in internal medicine, orthopedics, pulmonology, and family medicine PCP) have come to the same medical diagnoses and medical conclusions over 16 years of my suffering. There is so much to learn...if you dare. Please, before considering making this into law, remember the thousands of extremely ill patients out here who depend on this natural and efficacious medicine administered via smoking or vaporizing and educate yourself in the scientific facts. Legitimate MMJ patients are not criminals.

Please read the article below which addresses the smoking/vaporizing v.s. Marinol/Cesamet argument per scientific criteria.

Thanks for your time,


Note that dealing with Mannix - and this method of getting rid of OMMA - is not a one shot deal. If he gets this idea on the ballot what we will need to do is engage in a campaign to defeat the measure. This will mean writing letters, registering voters, raising money etc. If it does not get on the ballot, then we’ll likely see this or something like it later by some other path. We must be ever vigilant. Its not something any of us can do once and think that is enough.

Action! Resources; Orgs, Links and other Tools

SO, WHAT’S NEXT? Mannix, et al, have filed this initiative for the November 2008 ballot. It has a preliminary ballot title that fails to mention the repeal of the OMMA.

With an I-131 Comment Deadline of July 9, every OMMA supporter should write or fax comments to the Secretary of State's office challenging the Ballot Measure title and description.

The Secretary of State Elections Division won't take e-mail comments but said fax is OK: (Salem) 503-373-7414 is their fax number. (Salem) 503-986-1518 is voice and a human will answer. The snail mail taken from the SOS stationery is: Office of the Secretary of State, Elections Division 141 State Capitol Salem, OR 97310-0722

Would those of you who already sent comments please share them with us so we may learn from you? And, make sure you've forwarded this Alert on to everyone you know and gotten them to send in a comment as well. For those who are interested in preserving the OMMA and have not sent their comments; here are some examples.

Example - 1
Dear Mr. Bradbury and staff:

Thank you for allowing me to comment on I-131. My information is from the website of the Oregon SOS. I -131 is a very long and complicated initiative. Section 1 admits to 13 different goals of the initiative ("a" through "m"). Some have to do with crime, some with voting, some with medical care such as the Oregon Medical Marijuana Law, and some with executive branch staffing.

This initiative must be split up into several different initiatives because it is far too confusing to Oregon voters to have 13 different goals in one initiative. In particular the part about eliminating the Oregon Medical Marijuana Law that voters passed by popular initiative in 1998 - ORS 475.300 - 475.346 are repealed upon passage of this act in Section 10 (h) of I-131 - should be considered separately. The current title deceives Oregonians into overturning a law they already voted on and passed because it fails to mention the most important part of I-131.

The ballot title listed as, "Modifies Laws Addressing Crime Prevention, Criminal Prosecutions/Sanctions, Medical Marijuana, Law Enforcement; Creates Tax Credit" is an anemic attempt at a too complicated initiative. Oregonians will have no idea from this title they are repealing a ballot initiative they recently approved in 1998 and may need for their own care. As mentioned, any repeal of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Law of 1998 (Measure 67) should be considered as a separate initiative.

If you disagree, then the ballot title should as least say, "Repeals Medical Marijuana Law" such as, "Modifies Laws Addressing Crime Prevention, Criminal Prosecutions/Sanctions, Law Enforcement; Repeals Medical Marijuana Law; Creates Tax Credit".

Thank very much. Please contact me if I am unclear.

Sincerely,

Your Name
and Contact Info

Example - 2
Secretary of State Bill Bradbury
c/o Elections Division
141 State Capitol
Salem, OR 97310-0722
ORIGINAL VIA FAX TO 503-373-7414
CONFIRMATION BY MAIL

Re: Proposed Initiative Petition #131; Comments regarding procedural constitutional requirements and regarding proposed Ballot Title Dear Secretary Bradbury:

I write to comment on the above-referenced proposed initiative petition. Proposed initiative petition #131 is procedurally constitutionally deficient in that it violates the ‘single subject’ mandate of Article IV, Section 1(2)(d) of the Oregon Constitution (‘A proposed law or amendment to the Constitution shall embrace one subject only and matters properly connected therewith.’). Although the prosecution and conviction of persons accused of crime constitutes a single subject (State v. Fugate, 332 OR 195, 26 P3d 802 (2001), ‘crimefighting’ is not a single subject which includes both repealing the Medical Marijuana Act and creating a Retired Senior Volunteer Police program, to name just two of the subjects of the proposed initiative.

The breadth of the proposed initiative is reflected in the proposed ballot title, which identifies at least 5 separate ‘subjects’; “Crime Prevention” “Criminal Prosecutions/Sanctions” “Medical Marijuana” “Law Enforcement” and “Creates Tax Credit”. In this respect, the title violates Article IV, Section 20 of the Oregon Constitution.

Additionally, the title is misleading in describing one of the subjects as crime “prevention”. For example, neither prohibiting persons in custody from voting nor expediting DNA testing in rape or sexual abuse cases has anything at all to do with preventing crime. Neither, of course, does denying medical cannabis patients and their Secretary of State Bill Bradbury Re: Proposed Initiative Petition #131 July 6, 2007 Page 2 providers exception from the criminal law for their therapeutically appropriate use of medical cannabis.

The title is also misleading in that the effect of a ‘Yes’ vote is not merely to ‘modify’ the Medical Marijuana Act, but to repeal it. The replacement of the Medical Marijuana Act with a ‘Derivative and Synthetic Cannabinoid Prescription Program’ can hardly be considered a mere ‘modification’. Explaining that the proposed initiative “Repeals “Medical Marijuana Act”; adopts program for public payment of “synthetic cannabinoids”” in the Summary of the Ballot Title highlights the misleading nature of the Result of Yes Vote language instead of correcting it. Lastly, the unconstitutional scope of the initiative, in embracing more than one subject only and matters properly connected therewith, is also reflected in the final two words of the Summary “Other provisions.”

Thank you for your careful consideration of these objections and concerns.

Very truly yours,
Your Name

Example - 3
Dear Secretary of State Bill Bradbury:

I oppose Initiative 131 in its entirety.

The ballot title as currently drafted does not even mention that this proposal would scuttle Oregon's successful, self-funding medical marijuana program and mandate that the state replace it with an incredibly expensive prescription drug program. The prescription drugs recommended do not replace cannabis; in fact, the main medicinal cannabis compound for pain, spasms, seizures, glaucoma and other conditions is cannabidiol, or CBD, and it is not available pharmaceutically today. These expensive pharmaceuticals (that this proposal would mandate be purchased by the state) would not help the vast majority of the current medical marijuana patients licensed by the state health department. Please clarify the ballot title to include its effect on the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program and note the included mandate for a state-funded prescription drug program solely for this program's applicants.

Initiative 131 clearly violates our state initiative's restriction to a single subject.

Yours truly,

Registered Oregon Voter

This letter is on-line at the bottom of this web page: www.thc-foundation.org. It can be printed as a downloadable Word file from this site, or it can be cut-and-pasted into any other word processor.

Example - 4
Bill Bradbury
Secretary of State
Elections Division
141 State Capitol
Salem, OR 97310-0722

Re: Comment on petition #131; violation of procedural constitutional requirement

Thank you for considering my comments regarding petition #131. I urge you to reject this petition because it violates the single-subject requirement in the Oregon Constitution, Art IV, sec 1(2) (d) which states, “A proposed law or amendment to the Constitution shall embrace one subject only and matters properly connected therewith.” This proposed initiative would logroll Oregon voters, concerns matters not properly connected and would not allow voters to make distinct choices about each change proposed by the measure.

Petition #131’s draft title states that the proposed initiative “Modifies Laws Addressing Crime Prevention, Criminal Prosecutions/Sanctions, Medical Marijuana, Law Enforcement; Creates Tax Credit.” The proposed initiative would, among other things, require certain sex offenders to receive 25 year sentences, prevent sex offenders from holding office, prevent incarcerated persons from voting, require Oregon’s Attorney General to assist counties’ drug prosecutions and establish tax credits for contributions to drug programs. Also, while the draft title states that the initiative would modify laws addressing medical marijuana, the initiative would repeal the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act (OMMA) and replace the current medical marijuana program with a “synthetic cannabinoids” program at taxpayer expense. OMMA exempts qualified patients from criminal laws, thus the act pertains to non-criminal activity that should not be included in a proposed initiative that attempts to modify criminal laws. A program for public payments of “synthetic cannabinoids” also does not pertain to any criminal activity.

In 1998, 611,190 Oregon voters voted for OMMA, passing the initiative with 54% of the vote. This proposed initiative would nullify that vote without clearly explaining that to the voters. A more appropriate ballot title would explicitly state the fact that OMMA would be repealed. Measure 11, a previous anti-crime initiative was approved by 788,695 Oregon voters in 1994. Clearly, many Oregon voters approve of both OMMA and anti-crime laws. This petition, by logrolling anti-crime provisions with a provision repealing OMMA, would not allow voters to make a distinct choice about each proposed reform. One of the chief petitioners of this petition, Kevin Mannix, attempted to repeal OMMA as a state legislator in 1999 and he has admitted publicly in The Newberg Graphic that, “This initiative is clearly not about just that.” Any attempt to repeal OMMA should be done on its own merits, not in a petition that misleads and logrolls Oregon’s voters.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or concerns regarding my comment.

Sincerely,
Your Name

NOTE: One way to find a ballot title is go here: http://egov.sos.state.or.us/elec/web_irr_search.search_form Then search all of the 2008 initiatives. Look for 131 Anti-crime, click, and it has a preliminary ballot title that fails to mention the repeal of the OMMA.

And Then? If I-131 survives any challenges and become a petition, they must collect the required signatures by July 3, 2008 for the measure to appear on the ballot. If they collect sufficient signatures then the measure would be voted on at the November 2008 general election.

There are several possible desirable outcomes. Soundly defeating the measure at the 2008 election would be one. Convincing Mannix, et al, to refile their initiative without the repeal OMMA portion would be another. Them failing to get enough signatures would mean that there would be no vote and nothing would happen.

MERCY intends to resist these Prohibitionist assaults on OMMA. We will be gathering more information and will report back on a regular basis. PLEASE let us know if you or your group find out anything, get any feedback, etc. We REALLY need to Watchdog, Lobby and Network on this Folks! Click > here < for MS-WORD version of this Alert, click > here < for PDF version. Print these off, then Post, Hand Out and otherwise distribute all over the place. To stay in the loop, stay tuned to this webpage.

in the Newz

TAKING UP THE FIGHT TO PROTECT MEDICAL MARIJUANA
Proposed ballot measure would undo existing law; local woman stricken with a variety of maladies vows to fight the legislation * By David Sale, Newberg Graphic reporter.

Newberg resident Pamela Sterling is not ashamed of her drug use. Due to chronic illness, the 43-year-old former registered nurse enrolled four years ago in Oregon’s medical marijuana program, one of 231 current members in Yamhill County. Approved by voters in 1998, participants are issued cards identifying them as members on the recommendation of a qualified doctor ­ a M.D. or osteopath (D.O.) ­ who has diagnosed them with a qualifying condition such as glaucoma, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease or chronic pain. Enrollment allows members to possess and use marijuana, as well as to grow up to seven marijuana plants for personal use.

“I used to work as a labor and delivery (OB/GYN) nurse and I injured my neck and shoulder (on a difficult birth),” Sterling said. “I have a lot of muscle tremors and spasms and I used to be on a lot of pills, but medical marijuana has taken the place of that.” Sterling is not alone in her experience. A 2004 study at the University of California in San Francisco has shown that medical marijuana can lower, by up to half, a patient’s narcotics use.

“They had me on prescription painkillers like Dilaudid and Xanax, and then anti-Parkinson’s medication to deal with the side effects from those,” she said. “At one point they suggested putting me on methadone. I said no. It had gone too far.” But her desire to avoid using potentially addictive, opiate-based medication was not the only reason Sterling turned to medical marijuana.

She was also diagnosed with coeliac disease. Coeliac disease is an auto-immune disorder in which a patient’s digestive system is unable to digest wheat or wheat gluten (found in many foods), instead causing inflammation and damage to the intestines. Genetic in origin, coeliac disease can often be controlled through a wheat-free diet (substituting rice, corn or potatoes). But following a visit to Brazil for a medical conference, where she caught intestinal parasites from drinking water, Sterling’s digestive issues took a dramatic turn for the worse.

“I used to weigh well over 250 (pounds), I’m now down to 115 ­ for a while, I was literally starving,” she said. “I was living in a duplex at the time and my neighbor would hear me (vomiting) in the bathroom through the wall. They brought some weed over and suggested I try it. I’d grown up in southeast Missouri and never even smoked a cigarette ‘til I was in my 30s ­ but it worked really well to reduce my symptoms.”

So when Sterling heard that former state representative and political activist Kevin Mannix (R-Salem) was preparing an initiative that would replace Oregon’s medical marijuana program with synthetic alternatives, she decided to speak out.

“I’m not lighting a joint and trying to stick it in someone else’s mouth,” she said. “I only want the right to medicate myself the way my physicians and I see fit.” Mannix’ proposal, titled “The Oregon Crimefighting Act of 2008,” addresses many more issues than medical marijuana. Among its provisions are a program of tax credits to fund methamphetamine investigation and treatment; stiffer sentences for repeat arrests for drunk driving or sexual offenses; and increasing law enforcement.

But the act would also require the use of Marinol or Cesamet ­ pills containing a synthetic form of THC, the active ingredient in marijuana ­ to be used in place of medical marijuana. This change would “reduce abuse of the system currently in place,” the act states, and the synthetic alternatives would be covered under the Oregon Health Plan.

“I think that the legislature has failed to address these issues,” Mannix said. “This is about a complete reform of Oregon’s criminal justice system ­ along with the initiatives 40 and 41 that I’ve already filed, which will establish mandatory minimum sentencing and dedicate 15 percent of lottery proceeds to law enforcement.” Although Mannix attempted to overturn the medical marijuana act as a state legislator in 1999, “This initiative is clearly not about just that,” he said.

“There needs to be an alternative for people suffering from debilitating diseases, but it’s very clear that the issue (of abusing the current program) needs to be addressed,” he said. “This is very novel ­ no other state has offered to fully fund a prescription program to take medical marijuana’s place.”

But data showing widespread abuse of the program is difficult to come by. The Portland Police Bureau investigated 30 cases of illegal sales or fraudulent enrollment by participants ­ among more than 2,000 enrolled members in Multnomah County.

“The state police have just started putting together data this year,” said Polk County Sheriff Bob Wolfe, who serves on the Oregon State Sheriff’s Association legislative committee. “We’ve had a few cases in the county where cardholders are growing more than their allotment. We’ve also had cases where people break in and steal their plants. But the sheriff’s association doesn’t have a position on the act as yet ­ if it gets on the ballot, we’ll weigh in.”

“Don’t put us in the same category as meth users,” Sterling said. “I’ve heard of people having a card who get busted with 300 plants ­ but people also sell Xanax and morphine on the street. As a nurse, I’ve seen much more abuse of prescription medications than in this program.” Sterling is also concerned that the details of Mannix’s proposed initiative are unworkable. Members of the medical marijuana program must supply the plant themselves and Sterling said members often trade seeds or cuttings ­ “there’s no money exchanged.” Using synthetic alternatives, however, could prove expensive for Oregon.

“A Marinol prescription runs between $800 and $1,000 a month, depending on the dosage,” she said. “There’s over 14,000 patients enrolled in the medical marijuana program, according to the state’s figures. If just half of the patients are low-income or even just lacking health insurance, that’s $6 million per month that the state would have to pay. Mannix wants to create a deficit to kill the program.” Moreover, Sterling added, being forced to use a synthetic pill substitute would harm her personally.

“I can’t absorb the pill due to my digestive issues. That’s the whole issue with Marinol ­ those prescription painkillers I still take are in suppository or patch form,” she said. “A lot of people (using medical marijuana) with Crohn’s disease or other intestinal conditions have the same problem.” While the medical marijuana program has been controversial since its inception, Sterling said that open discussion is the solution.

“I have three kids, ages 19, 21, and 24, and they know I smoke marijuana ­ they know I’m ill and they’ve seen the symptoms,” she said. “The fear comes with lack of knowledge, lack of education. That’s what I’m trying to correct.”   Source: Newberg Graphic (OR) * Bookmark: (Marijuana - Medicinal)

Cannabis Has "Clear Medical Benefits" For HIV Patients, Study Says -- Smoked marijuana produces “substantial and comparable increases in food intake … with little evidence of discomfort and no impairment of cognitive performance”

New York, NY: Inhaling cannabis significantly increases daily caloric intake and body weight in HIV-positive patients, is well tolerated, and does not impair subjects’ cognitive performance, according to clinical trial data to be published in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes (JAIDS). Investigators at Columbia University in New York assessed the efficacy of inhaled cannabis and oral THC (Marinol) in a group of ten HIV-positive patients in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. All of the subjects participating in the study had prior experience using marijuana therapeutically and were taking at least two antiretroviral medications. Researchers reported that smoking cannabis (2.0 or 3.9 percent THC) four times daily "produced substantial … increases in food intake … with little evidence of discomfort and no impairment of cognitive performance."

On average, patients who smoked higher-grade cannabis (3.9 percent) increased their body weight by 1.1 kg over a four-day period. Researchers reported that inhaling cannabis increased the number of times subjects ate during the study, but did not alter the average number of calories consumed during each meal.

Investigators said that the administration of oral THC produced similar weight gains in patients, but only at doses that were "eight times current recommendations." The US Food and Drug Administration approved the prescription use of Marinol (a gelatin capsule containing synthetic THC in sesame oil) to treat HIV/AIDS-related cachexia in 1992. Subjects in the study reported feeling intoxicated after using either cannabis or oral THC, but remarked that these effects were "positive" and well tolerated."

Although not a primary outcome measure of the trial, authors reported that patients made far fewer requests for over-the-counter medications while taking either cannabis or oral THC than they did when administered placebo. Most of these requests were to treat patients’ gastrointestinal complaints (nausea, diarrhea, and upset stomach), investigators said. Patients in the study also reported that smoking higher-strength marijuana subjectively improved their sleep better than oral THC.

"The data demonstrate that over four days of administration, smoked marijuana and oral [THC] produced a similar range of positive effects: increasing food intake and body weight and producing a ‘good [drug] effect’ without producing uncomfortable levels of intoxication or impairing cognitive function," authors wrote.

They added, "Smoked marijuana … has a clear medical benefit in HIV-positive [subjects] by increasing food intake and improving mood and objective and subjective sleep measures."

A previous preliminary trial by Columbia investigators published in the journal Psychopharmacology in 2005 also reported that inhaling cannabis produce[s] substantial … increases in food intake [in HIV+ positive patients] without producing adverse effects."

Survey data indicates that an estimated one out of three HIV/AIDS patients in North America use cannabis therapeutically to combat symptoms of the disease or the side-effects of antiretroviral medications. Clinical trial data published in the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2003 reported that cannabis use by HIV patients is associated with increased CD4/T-cell counts compared to non-users. A separate study published in JAIDS in 2005 found that HIV/AIDS patients who report using medical marijuana are 3.3 times more likely to adhere to their antiretroviral therapy regimens than non-cannabis users.

Most recently, investigators at San Francisco General Hospital and the University of California's Pain Clinical Research Center reported this year in the journal Neurology that inhaling cannabis significantly reduced HIV-associated neuropathy (nerve pain) compared to placebo. The Columbia University study is one of the first US-led clinical trials to evaluate the efficacy of smoked cannabis to take place in nearly two decades and it is the first to compare the tolerability and efficacy of smoked marijuana and oral THC in HIV patients.

For more information, please contact Paul Armentano, NORML Senior Policy Analyst, at: paul@norml.org. Full text of the study, "Dronabinol and marijuana in HIV-positive marijuana smokers: caloric intake, mood, and sleep " will appear in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. Further discussion of this trial, as well as an exclusive interview with the study’s lead investigator, is available on the Thursday, June 28 edition of the NORML Daily Audio Stash, online at:


Mannix pushes for tougher meth crime sentencing * By Derek Sciba and KATU Web Staff

SALEM, Ore. - Attorney Kevin Mannix, the creator of Oregon's Measure 11, says he's close to putting his latest initiative on the November ballot. In 1994, Oregon voters passed Measure 11, which instituted tough prison sentences for 16 different violent crimes.

Now, Mannix is hoping voters support new legislation that would mandate longer sentences for those convicted of meth-related crimes including forgery, burglary, meth production and ID theft. Opponents say that Oregon prisons, which now cost $1.3 billion a year to fund, should be places of rehabilitation and not long-term incarceration. Mannix says "right now, we're the patsy state. This is the place to go if you want to steal cars or deal drugs."

He says the Oregon legislature has been "unwilling to bite the bullet and do what needs to be done." Clatsop County District Attorney Josh Marquis says under current sentencing guidelines, someone might serve 30 days for a first-degree burglary conviction. Under the new Mannix plan, the sentence would be three years. Currently, an identity thief might serve 10 days for his crime, but under the new plan, the sentence would again be three years in prison. Marquis says the new plan is far from perfect, but says the current sentencing guidelines are often weak. State Representative Chip Shields claims the state is already moving in the right direction to reduce meth and other crimes, and says the proposal would mean more prisoners, more prisons, and more money spent on the prison system. Shields says Oregon should be spending more money on prevention rather than incarceration.

"We are now spending $1.3 billion on prisons in this state," Shields says. " We are spending more on prisons than higher education and community colleges combined." Mannix says he is close to gathering enough signatures to get the measure on the November ballot.


Re: Mannix on the move. He sounds mighty confident.

http://www.oregoncatalyst.com/index.php?/archives/613-Kevin-Mannix-Update-June-6,-2007.html

-and-

Mannix is a busy boy this year. “The enemy of my enemy <?>”

http://www.edgeboston.com/index.php?ch=news&sc=glbt&sc2=news&sc3=&id=20665


More Information:

Remarkable Consumer Reports survey reveals Americans fed up with drug industry influence, FDA corruption. See: http://www.newstarget.com/021795.html

More than four out of five Americans think drug companies have too much influence over the Food and Drug Administration, and 84 percent believe that advertisements for prescription drugs with safety concerns should be outlawed, reveals a striking new survey from Consumer Reports.  

-snip-

• 84 percent agree that drug companies have "too much influence over the government officials who regulate them." More than two-thirds of those surveyed are concerned that drug companies actually pay the FDA to review and approve their drugs. It's a situation that turns drug companies into the "customers" of the FDA.


Cesamet:

http://www.cesamet.net/

Cesamet, a synthetic cannabinoid similar to the active ingredient found in naturally occurring Cannabis sativa L. [Marijuana; delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta-9-THC)], is contraindicated in any patient who has a history of hypersensitivity to any cannabinoid. Patients receiving treatment with Cesamet should be specifically warned not to drive, operate machinery, or engage in any hazardous activity while receiving Cesamet. During controlled clinical trials of Cesamet, virtually all patients experienced at least one adverse reaction. The most commonly encountered events were drowsiness, vertigo, dry mouth, euphoria (feeling “high”), ataxia, headache, and concentration difficulties. Cesamet should not be taken with alcohol, sedatives, hypnotics, or other psychoactive substances because these substances can potentiate the central nervous system (CNS) effects of nabilone. Since Cesamet can elevate supine and standing heart rates and cause postural hypotension, it should be used with caution in the elderly, and in patients with hypertension or heart disease. Cesamet should also be used with caution in patients with current or previous psychiatric disorders, (including manic depressive illness, depression, and schizophrenia) as the symptoms of these disease states may be unmasked by the use of cannabinoids. Cesamet should be used with caution in individuals receiving concomitant therapy with sedatives, hypnotics, or other psychoactive drugs because of the potential for additive or synergistic CNS effects. Cesamet should be used with caution in patients with a history of substance abuse, including alcohol abuse or dependence and marijuana use, since Cesamet contains a similar active compound to marijuana. Cesamet should be used with caution in pregnant patients, nursing mothers, or pediatric patients because it has not been studied in these patient populations.  

( http://www.walgreens.com/library/finddrug/druginfo1.jsp?particularDrug=Cesamet&id=649354 )

Overdose: If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include coma, fast heartbeat, hallucinations, severe dizziness, severe mental or mood changes, or trouble breathing.

20 EA - CESAMET 1MG CAPSULES $389.99


Marinol:

http://www.marinol.com/

MARINOL is approved for two uses. MARINOL treats nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy in patients who have failed to respond adequately to conventional treatments. MARINOL also treats appetite loss associated with weight loss in people who have acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).  

MARINOL should be used with caution in patients with a history of seizure disorder; patients with cardiac disorders; patients with a history of substance abuse (including alcohol abuse or dependence); patients with mania, depression, or schizophrenia (along with careful psychiatric monitoring); patients taking sedatives, hypnotics, or other psychoactive drugs; and in elderly patients, pregnant patients, nursing mothers, or pediatric patients.  

The most common adverse effects probably related to MARINOL are dizziness, euphoria, paranoid reaction, somnolence, thinking abnormal, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting.  

======

Marinol prices:

http://www.illinoisrxbuyingclub.com/drugs/price.php?

link=qoute&page=MARINOL

http://www.medicalmarijuanaprocon.org/pop/cost.htm

======

Marinol vs. Marijuana: Politics, Science, and Popular Culture

http://www.iowatelecom.net/~sharkhaus/marinol_long.html#groups

-snip-

The argument that marijuana contains more than one active ingredient, thereby implying that Marinol cannot possibly replicate all of marijuana's medical effects, finds favor among many physicians and physicians' groups. Arthur Leccese of Gambier College further explains this sentiment, "Consideration of the basic pharmacology of marijuana reveals the error of public policy that denied therapeutic benefit to those who might profit from inhalation, or oral consumption of more than one psychoactive component of the crude marijuana plant." (51) Since marijuana is composed of hundreds of compounds, it seems arbitrary for U.S. medical policy to only accept one of those compounds as medically valid. Many other respected organizations share this disapproval of current U.S. drug policy.For example, the following medical groups and journals favor medical marijuana over Marinol: National Academy of Sciences, American Public Health Association, California Academy of Family Physicians, San Francisco Medical Society, Federation of American Scientists, Psychopharmacology, and most recently, the New England Journal of Medicine. (52) Although these organizations normally carry tremendous influence, the current government drug policy disfavors medical marijuana to such an extent, that even these organizations lose their voice.  

-snip-

=======

from High Times 1994 * Marinol: The Little Synthetic That Couldn't

http://www.marijuanalibrary.org/HT_Marinol_0794.html

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008 at 09:58 PM:
a person from here wrote:
"> Mannix is still collecting signatures; the IP 131 Committee's revenue > > and expenses can be viewed online-the committee has received $50,000 > > from the Save our Society from Drugs organization out of Florida and > > several thousand dollars from Mannix and other anti- marijuana zealots

and it set off one of those little alarms...

Save Our Society from Drugs is another of Calvina Fay's (DFAF) orgs. That $50,000 is big money to be throwing around from a dinky little group like SOSD or DFAF... and it comes from that particularly obnoxious clique of Prohibitionists that goes all the way to the drug czar's office.

This is very important to somebody..."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 12:14 PM:
Thom D from Eagle Point Oregon wrote:
"I have many pinched nerves in my left side that acts up quite regularly. Heavy pain medication only creates more pychological troubles for me. Through the small amount use of Medical Marijuana I have found relief."

Tuesday, July 10 at 03:30 PM:
benovi60@yahoo.com from colorado wrote:
" 20 years ago Marijuana saved my daughter's life. She was anorexic and bulimic. At the present time she is working has a nice family. I am a RN working for Hospice Marijuana improves the well being of many.

Victoria I Beno
RN "

Saturday, July 7 at 05:12 PM:
Per from MERCY wrote:
"Many Thanx to the people who contributed to this action item in numerous ways - Dr. Rick, Lee, AE, AJ and VoterPower, the Folks at THCf and all you heroes out there."

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