Obama and Medical Pot: More Research Needed

Barack Obama is not a supporter of medical marijuana. He is a supporter of more research to determine if it helps reduce pain.

When a voter asked Obama if he was for the legalization of medical marijuana, Obama said that he wasn't in favor of legalization without scientific evidence and tight controls.

..."My attitude is if the science and the doctors suggest that the best palliative care and the way to relieve pain and suffering is medical marijuana then that's something I'm open to ..... (my emphasis).....He added that he was concerned that the reasons for the use of marijuana would grow and create a "slippery slope."

There is a plethora of research showing that medicinal pot reduces pain and relieves disease symptoms.[More....]

Despite continued political debates regarding the legality of medicinal marijuana, clinical investigations of the therapeutic use of cannabinoids are now more prevalent than at any time in history. A search of the National Library of Medicine's PubMed website quantifies this fact. A keyword search using the terms "cannabinoids, 1996" reveals just 258 scientific journal articles published on the subject for that year. Perform this same search for the year 2006, and one will find close to 1,000 published scientific studies.

Studies are now underway to determine if it also slows the progression of various diseases:

As clinical research into the therapeutic value of cannabinoids has proliferated exponentially, so too has investigators' understanding of cannabis' remarkable capability to combat disease. Whereas researchers in the 1970s, 80s, and 90s primarily assessed cannabis' ability to temporarily alleviate various disease symptoms — such as the nausea associated with cancer chemotherapy — scientists today are exploring the potential role of cannabinoids to alter disease progression. Of particular interest, scientists are investigating cannabinoids' capacity to moderate autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as their role in the treatment of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer's disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig's disease.)

All of the Democratic candidates have endorsed ending federal raids on medical marijuana clinics in the states that have legalized marijuana. Obama was the last of the ten to do so.

In short, Obama is a lot like Hillary on the subject of marijuana: Both want more research for medical marijuana, both would end federal raids in states where medical pot is legal, and neither favor decriminalization.

If medical pot is your issue, Bill Richardson or Dennis Kucinich is your candidate.

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    ah, the "reefer madness" syndrome (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by cpinva on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 04:14:27 PM EST
    strikes again! if there were an award given for the all-time most successful propaganda campaign, it would be for that waged against pot. for such a rubbishy looking weed, it's brought strong men & women to their knees, fueled a multi-billion dollar (and totally unsuccessful) war against it, millions incarcerated because of it, and no actual scientific evidence to support any of the adverse claims made against it.

    not that i'm suggesting pot is necessarily good for you, smoking anything probably isn't, but's it certainly on par, if not less dangerous than, alcohol and tobacco.

    by god, that is a few dollars well spent!

    meanwhile, millions die or are severely incapacitated annually, because of perfectly legal, yet dangerous pharmecuticals peddled through dr's offices. the companies that manufacture them make billions in profits, enjoy extensive tax breaks and favorable patent protection laws.

    is this a great country, or what?

    that's a crock of bat guano (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by cpinva on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 12:00:00 AM EST
    I somehow think that if the medical marijuana people were pushing only for the use of the medicine THC and not pushing so hard for the delivery system (smoking), then they wouldn't be greeted by such cynicism.

    who cares what method is used to deliver the drug? this just another bs puritan argument: if they are enjoying it, even though it's medicinally sound, it must be bad!

    geez, grow up, get a grip.

    Insomnia could be cured with marijuana (5.00 / 0) (#20)
    by lilybart on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 08:15:39 AM EST
    I have many friends in NYC who rely on cocktails of ambein and other crap to try to get to sleep.

    If they threw all that stuff out and smoked before bed, they would sleep like babies.

    yes indeed, (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by cpinva on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 04:33:45 PM EST
    the "bard of baltimore"! he raised cynicism to an art form, praise be his name. lol

    the country could sorely use his incisive wit and insight now.

    As someone who has no dog in the hunt (1.00 / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 04:59:05 PM EST
    I can only note that this proves again that the legalization of MJ is not going to be won through the medical treatment effort.

    "smoking it" (1.00 / 1) (#13)
    by diogenes on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 11:09:49 PM EST
    THC is available as a FDA-approved tablet, Marinol.  Very few of the people who clamor for medical pot have tried Marinol under supervised conditions.  Of course, like any psychoactive drug, it works faster and makes you higher when smoked rather than when taken by mouth.  Think of methamphetamine or nicotine.  I somehow think that if the medical marijuana people were pushing only for the use of the medicine THC and not pushing so hard for the delivery system (smoking), then they wouldn't be greeted by such cynicism.

    THC is only one of the active cannibinoids. (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by Ben Masel on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 11:34:13 PM EST
    Sativex, a patented extract of the whole plant, has been shown in UK studies more effective then Marinol for Multiple Sclerosis spasticity. Approved in  Canada.

    Marinol's also quite pricey, 8 times black market herbal cannabis.

    In the 1930s, the standard meansof adminstering medicinal cannabis was alcohol tincture. Arguably, if removed from the controlled substances act, this preperation would be exempt from the FDA process, which grandfatered any medication listed in the 1931 Pharmacopeia. I've got a 1936 edition, with tincture  of cannabis still listed.


    You are wrong on price (1.00 / 0) (#21)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 10:30:20 AM EST
    In fact, it shows a month supply of MJ at $514 vs $678. for Marinol. Somehow saving $164 doesn't seem worth getting arrested.

    See comment #30

    Again. As someone who doesn't self prescribe/use any drugs besides a glass of wine and maybe a vodka on the rocks, I don't care if you use MJ.
    OK an occasional Advil.

    But you aren't going to win based on medical uses. That's as transparent as a windowpane and becomes immediately involved in a bunch of claims and counterclaims resulting in confusion. People do not opt for change when they are confused. Plus, the facts are that some people do become psychologically addicted, if not physically, smoking anything is harmful and any drug that alters reality is harmful. That's why pain killers require a Rx. Used incorrectly that can mask serious problems.

    There are two issues that should bring support.

    1. The cost of enforcement and personal suffering had become huge. Many people recognize that all of this is for a result that is at best, questionable.

    2. Push for strict regulation of MJ and stricter regulation tobacco and alcohol. Develop a means to test for MJ use/impairment to be used by the police as a means to get MJ impaired drivers off the road.

    In the meantime Perky Katie will have a report on CBS tonight re Rx addiction.....

    that's "has become huge" (1.00 / 0) (#23)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 10:35:17 AM EST
    Contradicted by testimony (none / 0) (#26)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 02:45:00 PM EST
    before the Wisconsin Senate's Health Committee Nov. 18, from David L. Bearman, M.D, who prescribes more Marinol than any other MD in Santa Barbara County in California. Sorry, no transcipt, I was in the room. Here's video

    Come back when you have a transcript (1.00 / 1) (#28)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 12:07:30 AM EST
    My links speak for themselves.

    BTW - I am not arguing the benefits (1.00 / 0) (#29)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 12:21:25 AM EST
    Just that you are off on price.


    SavRx is a real sure enough company offering to sell a month's supply (30 pills) of 10 mg for $639.15

    2.5 mg pills are around $167.

    Are you challenging that MJ would be significantly cheaper in the same dosages??


    That's Sativex, not Marinol. (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 09:49:54 AM EST
    Sativex is an alcohol extract of the natural plant. Inherently much cheaper to produce than the totaly synthesised pure THC of Marinol. Currently, Marinol is prescribable in the US, Schedule III, while Sativex is not approved.

    Evidently future Senatorial candidates are (1.00 / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 05:27:35 PM EST
    not required to read. From the link:

    Sav-Rx is a Private Pharmacy Exclusively for Sav-Rx Group Members

    MARINOL CAP 10MG Qty 60    Sav-Rx Price $1278.30
    MARINOL CAP 2.5MG     Qty 60    Sav-Rx Price $335.95

    If Sav-Rx is advertising Marinol and then providing something else I think the state's AG office should be notified, or perhaps the FDA.

    Will you do the honors? It would a nice resume builder for your campaign....


    Ya caught me. (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 07:43:58 PM EST
    On first glance confused SavRX with Sativex.

    I wonder if the price quoted, much cheaper than I've heard of in the past, os to the recent expiration of the patent on marinol.

    Still much higher than costs for herbal cannabis in a non-prohibition environment.


    Not Really (5.00 / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 08:06:01 PM EST
    High quality Humbolt is way less expensive than the crude imitations aka Sativex and Marinol. If the patient uses a vaporizer, one ounce can last three to six months.

    Dr. Squeaky?? (1.00 / 0) (#39)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 08:31:45 PM EST
    Didn't know that. What med school did you graduate from???

    Not that much higher (1.00 / 0) (#40)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 08:46:58 PM EST
    if I can believe the prices in this link, which look well documented. I confess to knowing nothing about MJ pricing, but Blue Goose is about $22.00 per liter and a glass of Kendall Jackson cab at my local bar/restaurant of choice is $7.50.

    However, if accurate, the link shows about a $5.00 difference per day on average... As I noted before, $150 per month isn't work getting arrested... Attorneys don't work that cheap.


    Those marijuana prices are pretty high. (5.00 / 0) (#43)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 11:42:13 PM EST
    Here in WI, top of the line runs $4000 a lb, "average" $1700, "shwag" $900. And we don't have a medical defence.

    Production costs in Cali are higher. Most is done indoors, under expensive lights, and anything outdoor requires irrigation. Here, it's just plant, remeve males, harvest.


    Here's marinol over $20 a pill (none / 0) (#44)
    by Ben Masel on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 11:48:13 PM EST
    And your point is??? (none / 0) (#45)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:19:31 PM EST
    From your link:
    60 capsules (10 mg)      $1,298.68

    From Sav-Rx (my link)

    MARINOL CAP 10MG Qty 60 Sav-Rx Price $1278.30

    I am not surprised to see almost no spread. As a family whose yearly drug bill is in the $10,000 range (Thank God for Bush's Medicare Part D) level two (non-generics) are almost always very close in price, no matter where you shop, assuming it's not a small local pharmacy


    Marinol and driving paradox (5.00 / 1) (#18)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 01:15:34 AM EST
    Most, maybe all, of the States with zero tolerance drugged driving laws exempt medications under prescription. So it's legal to drive on marinol, even thou it generally leaves the patient more wasted than if they'd been titrating a dosage of smoed herbal cannabis.

    Hmmmmm (1.00 / 0) (#22)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 10:32:20 AM EST
    So it's legal to drive on marinol,

    Well, I had a friend who got nailed because of pain killers used for an impacted wisdom tooth extraction..

    Can you show some details on your claim????


    I'm not aware of (none / 0) (#24)
    by Deconstructionist on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 10:50:56 AM EST
     any state that does not have laws against driving impaired  under the influence of prescribed drugs. Possibly, there a  few states without such laws but certainly not most and obviously not "all."

      The differences tend to be "practical" not legal. We have non-invasive,  cheap and convenient tests to measure BAC which are routinely administered. That is not the case with other drugs (legal or illegal; prescribed or not-- so Masel's claim is nonsense) and is one of the reasons prosecutions for "drugged driving" are so rare compared to drunk driving. Another reason is that the manifestations of alcohol intoxication are more readily apparent to the naked eye. Another reason is that alcohol influence laws are "per se" in most states meaning the state is not required to prove actual impairment but merely a BAC above the legal limit; there is no arbitrary legal limit for drugs and the state must prove impairment which is muchmore difficult in many cases.



    Wisconsin Statutes, passed in '03 (5.00 / 1) (#25)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 02:33:51 PM EST
    Wisconsin's "Baby Like Law"

    (1) No person may drive or operate a motor vehicle while:...
    (am) The person has a detectable amount of a restricted controlled substance in his or her blood.
    (d) In an action under par. (am) that is based on the defendant allegedly having a detectable amount of methamphetamine, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in his or her blood, the defendant has a defense if he or she proves by a preponderance of the evidence that at the time of the incident or occurrence he or she had a valid prescription for methamphetamine or one of its metabolic precursors, gamma-hydroxybutyric acid, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol.

    Excepting the 5 surviving grandfathered patients in the Federeal IND program, he only valid prescriptions for delta9THC in this State would be for Marinol. It's illegal to operate when impaired by prescribed drugs, but detection of a trivial amount in the bloodstream is not taken as per se evidence of impairment.


    Apples/oranges (5.00 / 0) (#31)
    by Gus on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 05:09:50 PM EST
    you're talking black market cannabis prices. As someone with some knowledge of growing it, I can tell you it ain't that expensive to produce.

    Also (none / 0) (#2)
    by Ben Masel on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 04:20:16 PM EST
    Gravel, Paul, and Tancredo (!)

    Bill Clinton (none / 0) (#3)
    by Ben Masel on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 04:28:37 PM EST
    As a Candidate, met with my friend Jacki Rickert for 8 minutes in Osseo, Wisconsin on his Mississippi River bus tour just after the democrati convention. She'd been approved for the Federal govt's medical marijuana program, and was awaiting her State approval when PoppaBush closed the program.

    Bill: "When I'm president you'll get your medicine."

    Writing the White House after his inaugural, she got multiple copies of the same form letter as the rest of us: "If drugs were legal, my brother Roger would be dead.

    HHS under Clinton/Shalala barred even research protocols on medicinal uses of cannabis, a policy finally eased when Tommy Thompson replaced Shalala.

    I support legalization. (none / 0) (#4)
    by masslib on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 04:36:42 PM EST
    Hillary was disappointing on this.  The research is in.  This is just excuse making.

    A cowardly politician reply (none / 0) (#5)
    by DavidDvorkin on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 04:40:56 PM EST
    Trying to satisfy all parties and inevitably angering all of them.

    What's so disappointing about Hillary (none / 0) (#6)
    by masslib on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 04:53:40 PM EST
    here is she knows the benefits of medical marijuana.  She's too well versed in health issues to not know.  Look at the answer she gives where she cites the benefits of poppy, which is ironic given how dangerous oxicontin can be.  

    Hard To Believe (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 04:56:01 PM EST
    That Obama or Clinton actually believe that more research has to be done. Must be 'finger in the wind' syndrome.

    What does an ex-smoker lung cancer patient (none / 0) (#9)
    by ding7777 on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 07:20:42 PM EST
    do for cancer chemotherapy nausea relief? Is smoking pot the only way?

    From what I've read, smoking it (none / 0) (#11)
    by masslib on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 08:19:40 PM EST
    works best, and there is no conclusive evidence that it causes health problems.  

    What works best depends (none / 0) (#17)
    by Ben Masel on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 01:07:08 AM EST
    on the particulars. The patient should decide, based on what works best for them. I know an amputee, who finds his phantom limb pain best alleviated by topical application of cannavbis infused butter.

    Oh, I see, You are responding to the person above, (none / 0) (#12)
    by masslib on Sun Nov 25, 2007 at 08:20:35 PM EST

    Of course Obama needs more research on it. (none / 0) (#19)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 26, 2007 at 05:51:33 AM EST
    Without more research, hopefully at least eight  more years of research, how can anyone seriously expect him to do what's expected of him and avoid taking a stand on it.

    Good point (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 05:30:24 PM EST
    I guess the doctor and patient can't establish an effective dosage of say 2.5 vs 7.5 mg.....

    BTW (1.00 / 1) (#34)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 05:44:11 PM EST
    I still note that I don't care. I am merely pointing out how easily the various points can be blown away.

    As long as the country, as a whole, sees medical MJ as a stalking horse for legalization, it is a no win situation.


    You continually repeat (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 07:18:42 PM EST
    this same 'call him a pig fu*ker and make him deny it' bogus claim.

    Point out with a link one comment showing anyone asserting it.


    Besides yourself. (5.00 / 0) (#36)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 07:19:14 PM EST
    Clean your potty mouth up and I will (1.00 / 1) (#41)
    by jimakaPPJ on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 08:49:56 PM EST

    Otherwise, shove off.

    (That's a Naval Aviation term meaning go away.)


    IOW you have nothing (5.00 / 0) (#42)
    by Edger on Tue Nov 27, 2007 at 08:52:26 PM EST
    Unlike you (1.00 / 1) (#46)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:24:23 PM EST
    I have provided links.

    Fact. It's what's for dinner.



    Great. (none / 0) (#47)
    by Edger on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 07:01:05 PM EST
    Got a link to your links? Or just another bogus claim?

    I gave you links. (1.00 / 1) (#48)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 06:52:09 AM EST
    Can you read???

    Great. (none / 0) (#49)
    by Edger on Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 08:01:57 AM EST
    Got a link to your links? Or just another bogus claim?