Author: Fred Gardner

The Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics (2001-2004)

Ethan Russo’s Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics was too far ahead of its time —as recounted in O’Shaughnessy’s, Spring 2004: The respected Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics” is folding after a three-year run, but editor Ethan Russo, MD, hopes no one will conclude that the field isn’t thriving. “Tough times for the journal,” he says, “should not imply that there’s any dearth of information to support clinical cannabis. Exactly the opposite is true.”  So why didn’t JCANT make it? Russo, a neurologist at the University of Montana, credits Lester Grinspoon, MD, with advancing the journal idea in 1998.  A 24-member editorial board...

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MJ vs ETOH —Take 2

“I don’t think I ever had a single shift where at least one of the patients I was taking care of was in that hospital bed at least partially due to their use of alcohol.” —Lanny Swerdlow, RN. Lanny Swerdlow asked in an email  if  “Dr. Mikuriya tried to get the study (Cannabis as a Substitute for Alcohol, which had run in O’Shaughnessy’s) published in a peer-reviewed journal and got turned down?”  Our off-the-top response is hereby corrected and expanded. Thanks to Jerry Mandel, Ethan Russo, MD, and Shobhit Arora, MD, for their input.   Tod had written a case report,...

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Marijuana as a Substitute for Alcohol

From Lanny Swerdlow, RN:   I imagine you have seen the recent study showing that beer consumption has decreased in states with legal mj. Anecdotally that shouldn’t really be a surprise but there really haven’t been many studies to confirm that. I know that in summer 2003 edition of O’Shaughnessy’s, Dr. Mikuriya published a study of 92 mmj patients who had used mj to get off alcohol. Are you aware of any study published before Dr. Mikuriya’s study about cannabis as a substitute for alcohol? I can’t find any. I would think that this was a fairly controversial position...

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California Med Board Gossip

From Kaiser Health News by Jenny Gold: California Medical Board President Faces Questions Over Vote In Sexual Misconduct Case The president of the Medical Board of California is facing questions from critics about a business deal he struck after the board decided to reinstate the license of a doctor who engaged in sexual misconduct with patients. In 2012, Dr. Dev GnanaDev, new to the board and not yet president, was part of a disciplinary panel that voted to reinstate Dr. Hari Reddy. The Victorville family physician had lost his license in 2003 after the board found he had engaged in...

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Corporate Colombian Cannabis Coming

Small Farmers Did Better Under FARC Mom-and-pop marijuana growers in Colombia are now getting less than half the price that “Marxist-Leninist guerillas” paid for their buds, it was revealed incidentally towards the end of a long March 9 New York Times story by Nicholas Casey. The piece was accompanied by a photo of a woman named Blanca Riveros trimming her plants in a comfortable-looking stucco cottage with her school-age son sitting nearby at a computer. Excerpts follow: She trims the plants and gets them ready for Colombian drug traffickers. After school, her son helps cut more. The business was long overseen by the...

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‘Treatment’ Providers Ponder MJ Legalization

Kevin Hill’s paper in JAMA March 14, “Cannabis Use and Risk for Substance Use Disorders and Mood or Anxiety Disorders,” caught the attention of Diane Dickinson, MD. Hill is an addiction specialist at McLean Hospital, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. He begins with an expression of concern:  “Health care professionals often are concerned about whether cannabis use will lead to psychiatric illnesses such as substance use disorders, anxiety disorders, or mood disorders among their patients. Many stakeholders are concerned that an association between cannabis use and psychiatric illnesses will lead to a steady increase in these illnesses as more states...

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The Official Definition of ‘Cannabis Abuse’

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association is known as “The Bible” of the profession. The DSM has a double purpose: it endows the field of Psychiatry with a facade of rigor and it facilitates billing.   The DSM defines and assigns a number to every ailment of the mind and spirit for which psychotherapists provide treatment, physicians prescribe medication, and insurance companies reimburse.  The first DSM, published in 1952, listed 106 disorders. By increasing the number of disorders and the broadness of the definitions over the years, the DSM authors —establishment psychiatrists with drug-company funding— have increased the number of...

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In the Psychiatrists’ Hall of Shame

By Bruce E. Levine In 2014, Melissa Delbello became Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Cincinnati, and earlier this year, she was listed by Cincinnati Magazine as one of Cincinnati’s “top psychiatrists.” This despite the fact that in 2008, Delbello was rebuked by a U.S. Senator on the Senate Floor following a New York Times exposé about her. In 2008, Delbello was included in a Congressional investigation on psychiatrists violating federal and university regulations in their receipt of large sums of money from drug companies. An appalled U.S. Senator Charles Grassley told Americans...

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Dr. Scott Gottleib to head FDA

GW Pharmaceuticals, Insys, and other companies seeking FDA approval for cannabinoid drugs must have breathed a sigh of relief when Trump chose Scott Gottleib, MD, to head the agency, instead of Jim O’Neill, a libertarian who was in the running. O’Neill may have ditched the agency’s proof-of-efficacy requirement. (It has only been since 1962, BTW,  that the FDA has required drug companies to submit data proving the effectiveness of a new drug. Till then approval was based on evidence of safety.) O’Neill reportedly praised the idea of “letting the market decide” whether new drugs actually work. About Scott Gottleib, Wikipedia tells us: Prior to attending medical...

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