Category: Correspondence

Vietnam Flashback from Dr. O’Connell

News that Tom Hayden will be speaking at the NORML conference in LA next week inspired a flashback from Tom O’Connell, MD. The NORML agenda identifies Hayden as “former CA Assemblyman, Caravan for Peace.” But to those with the wide-angle view, like Dr. O’Connell, Hayden will forever be a founder of Students for a Democratic Society and a leader of the movement that helped end U.S. military intervention in Vietnam. O’Connell recalls: “I’d been taking care of wounded GIs from ‘Nam in Japan from November ‘65 on —the first big engagement between American troops and the NVA regulars in...

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Who is responsible for fact checking?

We were sent this piece from the Huffington Post, which reads like a press release. Is there really a 10,000 member Medical Marijuana Chamber of Commerce or does Mr. Leto just want to call attention to his statement about Obama? Can a writer just send stuff to HuffPo and they run it? Whose responsibility is it to fact check in this brave new world? Right now the Repugs are filling people’s minds with blatant lies —like Obama’s cutting MediCare when he’s actually making the insurers cough up some dough. The Democrats are irate but impotent as corporate money buys the airwaves.  “Reform movement” honchos and honchettes have also been getting away with telling a lie about Obama’s position on their special single issue. They do it by lifting one clause from a long riff  in which Obama, campaigning in Oregon in 2008, restated the Demo-Prohibitionist line on marijuana.  “Treat it as a medicine,” the first words out of his mouth, was the Clinton-Gore rhetoric and it means clinical trials, Cannabis from NIDA, DEA approval, FDA approval, etc. —the old four-cornered stall. Taking a few words out of context can be an effective misquote. Dennis Peron’s detractors did it to him when he said “in a country that’s giving Prozac to shy teenagers, all marijuana use is medical.”  But I digress. Our Reform leaders, to maximize their leverage with the President, continue...

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CBD from Hemp?

Hi . I am an Oregon Medical Marijuana Program member . I am taking Rick Simpson oil every night before bed to eliminate my prostate cancer ( early stage) . I do not have the lab report on this oil yet . I may be having it tested in August when I am in Portland again . I understand that industrial hemp has a relatively  high CBD fraction (?) w/out the THC . Is this true and shouldn’t hemp oil have this CBD content ? IOWords,  can’t I buy Canadian Hemp oil or hemp ” hearts ” and get the CBD that I need ?   –Name Withheld  Editor: Sorry for delay in getting back to you. We’re an all-volunteer effort. Industrial hemp has more CBD than THC in it, but the overall cannabinoid content in industrial hemp is very low. There’s far less than in medicinal cannabis. So even though you get more CBD compared to THC in industrial hemp, it’s not a bountiful source of cannabidiol compared to CBD-rich cannabis (which Project CBD defines as strains that have  a minimum of 4 percent CBD). As for the hempseed oil and powder you can get in health food stores, it’s very healthy but astringent —it dries the body—  so you have to make an effort to hydrate more when you use it. Hempseed oil is a great source of...

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How Jill Stein can Help Barack Obama

July 18  We asked Lester Grinspoon, the grand old man of the medical marijuana movement, “What’s your line on Jill Stein, MD (the Green Party candidate for President)? She sounded great in the NY Times piece and on Amy Goodman’s show.” Grinspoon’s reply July 16:  “I think she is ‘great’!  However, she will siphon votes from Barack Obama and that, in this most critical of elections, we simply cannot afford.  I would welcome and support her campaign in a contest which offered very little choice, but that is not true in this upcoming election.” We agree that  Obama is infinitely preferable to Mitt Romney. We think Romney will heartlessly expedite The Disaster that Obama wishes he could forestall. But it’s July, not late October, and the question is whose campaign should we be publicizing? I say Stein’s —even if your most ardent hope is for Obama’s re-election. It’s now accepted as a truism that Nader siphoned votes from Gore in Florida, costing him the election. Saulny of the Times writes, “Experts point to Ralph Nader, the Green Party nominee in 2000, who was seen by many Democrats as siphoning just enough votes from Al Gore in one state, Florida, to tip the election to the Republican, George W. Bush.” At the recent High Times Cannabis Cup I met a lawyer named Michael Levensohn who is defending a young mom, wife of a grower, whose kids...

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“The guy with the red hair”

July 24  From Tom O’Connell, MD Media coverage of the murderous rampage in Colorado has portrayed James Holmes as “evil.” Have these reporters never heard of the disorder called “Schizophrenia” that typically manifests in early adulthood? In my senior year in medical school I saw and spoke with hundreds of schizophrenics at a huge VA hospital in New Jersey. We med students lived with them five days a week for a month. All were veterans of WW2. The milder ones could have a modicum of freedom, so we ate with them in their mess hall and went to the same movies. Those on the locked wards (where we spent most of our days) were less able to care for themselves, but weren’t considered dangerous. When I came out to SF as an intern at San Francisco General in the late 1950s, I saw and examined hundreds more during a month of working every other night on the Psych unit to which all patients had been brought involuntarily by Sheriff’s deputies on either “psych” or “stimulants” petitions sworn to by friends or families. The classifications were amazingly accurate. You have to appreciate that the only self-medications easily available in that era were cigarettes and booze and there was NO effective antipsychotic therapy (and no pot). San Francisco was the alcohol capital of the “Free World.” Those who were not schizophrenics...

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