Romney: Not a Compassionate Conservative
Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was confronted head-on over the issue of medical marijuana. Clayton Holton, told Romney he has muscular dystrophy and said five of his doctors say he is "living proof medical marijuana works."
"I am completely against legalizing it for everyone, but there is medical purposes for it," Holton told Romney.
Romney pointed out that there is synthetic marijuana as well as other pain medications available.
"It makes me sick. I have tried it, and it makes me throw up," Holton said. "My question for you is will you arrest me or my doctors if I get medical marijuana."
Romney illustrated he's clearly not a compassionate man saying, "I am not in favor of medical marijuana being legal in the country," Romney said as he moved on to greet other people.
Holton continued, "Excuse me, will you please answer my question?"
"I think I have. I am not in favor of legalizing medical marijuana," the Massachusetts Republican said.
-- CNN Political Ticker
October 8, 2007
Think Again: Drugs
Prohibition has failed -- again. Instead of treating the demand for illegal drugs as a market, and addicts as patients, policymakers the world over have boosted the profits of drug lords and fostered narcostates that would frighten Al Capone. Finally, a smarter drug control regime that values reality over rhetoric is rising to replace the "war" on drugs.
"The Global War on Drugs Can Be Won"
No, it canít. A "drug-free world," which the United Nations describes as a realistic goal, is no more attainable than an "alcohol-free world" -- and no one has talked about that with a straight face since the repeal of Prohibition in the United States in 1933. Yet futile rhetoric about winning a "war on drugs" persists, despite mountains of evidence documenting its moral and ideological bankruptcy. [read complete article
Pills Becoming the New Marijuana
"I wouldn't be surprised if right now at this point in time, there are more kids abusing prescription drugs than abusing marijuana," said Joseph A. Califano Jr., chairman and president of CASA, the National Center on Alcohol and Substance Abuse. According to a CASA report, between 1993 and 2005 the proportion of college students abusing Vicodin and other opiods went up 343 percent. The numbers increased 450 percent for tranquilizers such as Xanax and Valium, and 93 percent for stimulants, including Adderall.
Young people don't have to go far to get these drugs. "Prescription drugs are very easy for kids to get," Califano said. "They can get them from the Internet. They can get them from their parents' medicine cabinets. They can get them from their friends."
"They don't have to go to the streets and deal with some guy they don't know and get marijuana where they don't know what's in it," Califano said. "Also, they see their parents using these drugs, so they seem safe."
-- Elizabeth Cohen
July 5, 2007
Deadly $2 Heroin Affects Young Teens
A highly addictive drug known as "cheese heroin" has killed 21 teenagers in the Dallas area over the past two years. Authorities are working to stop the fad before it spreads across the nation. The drug can be snorted with a straw or through a ballpoint pen and causes drowsiness and lethargy, as well as euphoria, excessive thirst and disorientation.
Cheese heroin is a blend of black tar Mexican heroin and crushed over-the-counter medications containing diphenhydramine, an antihistamine, found in products such as Tylenol PM. The combination hits the body with a double whammy, "you're getting two downers at once," says Dallas police detective Monty Moncibais. "If you take the body and you start slowing everything down, everything inside your body, eventually you're going to slow down the heart until it stops and, when it stops, you're dead."
-- Tracy Sabo
June 12, 2007
Since 1996, twelve states have legalized medical marijuana use: AK, CA, CO, HI, ME, MT, NV, NM, OR, RI, VT and WA. New Mexico's legislation was signed into law by Governor Bill Richardson on April 2, 2007. The new law takes effect on July 1, 2007; mandates the State Department of Health, by October 1, 2007, promulgate rules governing the use and distribution of medical cannabis to state-authorized patients. These rules shall address the creation of state-licensed "cannabis production facilities," the development of a confidential patient registry and a state-authorized marijuana distribution system, and "define the amount of cannabis that is necessary to constitute an adequate supply" for qualified patients.
-- National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws
Cannabis Study Finds Less Cancer Risk Than Tobacco
Cannabis smoke is not as carcinogenic as that of tobacco, according to a research review reported in the Harm Reduction Journal. The two drugs are chemically very similar, but their effects differ due to their respective active ingredients.
Both types of smoke contain the same carcinogenic compounds - but whereas nicotine activates the compounds, THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, has been shown to neutralise some compounds in experiments on mice. The authors warn that, as cannabis is frequently smoked with tobacco, the two together may produce unexpected effects.
Marijuana Aids Therapy
Marijuana can improve the effectiveness of drug therapy for hepatitis C, a potentially deadly viral infection that affects more than 3 million Americans, a study has found. The work adds to a growing literature supporting the notion that in some circumstances pot can offer medical benefits.
Treatment for hepatitis C involves months of therapy with two powerful drugs, interferon and ribavirin, that have severe side effects, including extreme fatigue, nausea, muscle aches, loss of appetite and depression. Because of those side effects, many patients do not finish treatment and the virus ends up destroying their livers.
Researchers at the University of California at San Francisco and at an Oakland substance abuse center tracked the progress of 71 hepatitis C patients taking the difficult therapy. Tests and interviews indicated that 22 smoked marijuana every day or two during the treatment period while 49 rarely or never did.
At the end of the six-month treatment, 19 (86 percent) of those who used marijuana had successfully completed the therapy -- meaning they took at least 80 percent of their doses over at least 80 percent of the period. Only 29 (59 percent) of the nonsmokers achieved that goal.
Similarly, 54 percent of the marijuana users achieved a "sustained virological response," the gold standard goal of therapy, meaning they had no sign of the virus in their bodies six months after the treatment was over. That compared with only 18 percent of those who did not smoke pot.
While it is possible that the marijuana had a specific, positive biomedical effect, it is more likely that it helped patients by reducing depression, improving appetite and offering psychological benefits that helped the patients tolerate the treatment's side effects, the team reports in the current issue of the European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
Marijuana may stave off Alzheimer's
WASHINGTON, (Reuters) -- Good news for aging hippies: Smoking pot may stave off Alzheimer's disease.
New research shows that the active ingredient in marijuana may prevent the progression of the disease by preserving levels of an important neurotransmitter that allows the brain to function.
Researchers at the Scripps Research Institute in California found that marijuana's active ingredient, delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, can prevent the neurotransmitter acetylcholine from breaking down more effectively than commercially marketed drugs.
THC is also more effective at blocking clumps of protein that can inhibit memory and cognition in Alzheimer's patients, the researchers reported in the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.
The researchers said their discovery could lead to more effective drug treatment for Alzheimer's, the leading cause of dementia among the elderly.
Those afflicted with Alzheimer's suffer from memory loss, impaired decision-making, and diminished language and movement skills. The ultimate cause of the disease is unknown, though it is believed to be hereditary.
Marijuana is used to relieve glaucoma and can help reduce side effects from cancer and AIDS treatment.
Possessing marijuana for recreational use is illegal in many parts of the world, including the United States, though some states allow possession for medical purposes.
-- CNN Online
POSTED: 7:57 p.m. EDT, October 5, 2006
CNN Online News Services