Category: Dispatches

Vietnamarijuana

By Fred Gardner    The Vietnam War, a film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, is being shown over 10 nights on PBS. I wonder if they’ll make the point that back in the ’60s, roughly the same people who wanted US troops out of Vietnam —including many US troops— wanted the freedom to smoke marijuana. The issues intertwined. Everyone who smoked marijuana knew firsthand that the US government was lying about its harmfulness. This knowledge made millions of people suspicious that the government was lying about Vietnam, too. So the popularity of marijuana contributed to the demand for peace. But at the...

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Disagreement on MBC ‘Agreement’

La Jolla Pain Management Specialist Nancy Sajben, MD, appreciates the “Agreement” that the Medical Board of California intends to provide to physicians for signing by cannabis-using patients. Sajben writes: “These agreements are quite traditional when considering prescription opioids for pain. We cannot assume patients understand safe use. “It covers the bases specified by law and would reassure many of the patients I see who are afraid to use it and allows some legal protection to an MD. “There is no substitute for regular followup as required for monthly opioid prescriptions, but that is not usually possible with prescriptions for MMJ.” Other members...

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California’s New Guidelines for Cannabis Clinicians

By Fred Gardner.  Practice guidelines governing the recommendation of cannabis by physicians were  discussed at an Aug. 30 meeting in Sacramento of the Medical Board of California’s Marijuana* Task Force. The draft guidelines were deemed satisfactory by Steve Robinson, MD (a board member of the Society of Cannabis Clinicians), Perry Solomon, MD (a founder of HelloMD), and Dale Gieringer, PhD, director of California NORML. Each had seen looming threats that did not materialize. The MBC has been reviewing its guidelines in response to a recommendation from the Federation of State Medical Boards that all states adopt “model guidelines” drafted...

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The Obvious Frame-up of Zach Randolph

NBA star Zach Randolph, 36, was arrested in Watts August 9  “on suspicion of possessing marijuana with intent to sell, according to Los Angeles Police Department Officer Norma Eisenman.” So said the Associated Press  account of the arrest, which occurred after an LAPD Gang Squad broke up a peaceful gathering and the participants protested. The charges against Randolph are preposterous on their face. He just signed a $24 million contract with the Sacramento Kings, doesn’t need and doesn’t need to wring a few extra bucks from his brothers and sisters in the projects. The Times piece included this freighted sentence: “Police...

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South African Court Won’t Hear Dr. Donald Abrams

“In London en route to Johannesburg for The Trial of the Plant!” Dr. Donald Abrams emailed on July 24, with an attachment describing the event, which also featured Drs. David Nutt and Ethan Nadelmann. On August 4 Abrams forwarded  this excellent account of why he didn’t get to testify. The good doctor has taken a thousand hits and insults over the decades, yet he retains his equanimity, dignity, and professionalism, and the number of papers he has published in peer-reviewed journals keeps growing. By Kevin Bloom of Daily Maverick For the opening four days of the first truly scientific hearing...

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