Category: Correspondence

What is Causing the Opiate Epidemic?

Here’s the conclusion of a piercing op-ed by Jessika Bohon in The Guardian (thanks to Doug McVay for sending): “…Addiction is a symptom for many young adults, not the root problem. The only group of 25 to 44 year olds that did not see their death rate go up was those with four-year college degrees. “It is critical that young Americans without college degrees also find employment that provides them with a decent income and a bit of the American dream. People without college degrees are 370% more likely to experience severe pain. But opioids and the medicalization of poverty cannot replace a job with a...

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MBC to assess “impact of cannabis use on physicians”

From Stephen Robinson, MD, of the SCC to Howard Krauss, MD, of the Medical Board of California, June 14: Greetings, Dr. Krauss: I am writing as a Board member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. As you’re aware, guidelines developed by the Medical Board of California (MBC) governing both the recommending of medical cannabis, and its use, by physicians, has direct bearing on our members.  We were pleased you expressed a willingness to seek out research scientists who could provide the MBC with an objective foundation for their deliberations. At the last meeting of the Marijuana Task Force, I believe...

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Cannabis and Immunotherapy

A reader in the UK asks: “Are there any studies or research notes on the use of medical marijuana while undergoing immunotherapy for the treatment of cancer?” The short answer from Joe D. Goldstrich, MD, FACC, June 17, 2017: “THC is sometimes used to down-regulate the immune system (auto-immune diseases). Based on this article and other research, in my opinion, it would not be appropriate to use THC in conjunction with immune therapies. I have worked with one patent who, despite my advice, decided to use cannabinoids with Keytruda, an immune therapy. His glioblastoma continued to grow. I have...

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A Peruvian Paige Figi

Nancy Sajben, MD, forwards a story from the Guardian about a Peruvian mom whose son has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and is using black-market cannabis oil to alleviate his seizures and other symptoms. Just like Colorado’s Paige Figi and thousands of US parents whose children have seizure disorders, Ana Alvarez is pushing her government to provide safe access now. The Peruvian government and medical establishment are stalling in the name of science. As reported by Dan Collyns: Peru’s leading anti-drugs NGO, Cedro, would only support the use of cannabis oil for children if it contained virtually no THC, the principle mind-altering...

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Background on Cannabis v. Alcohol

“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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