Category: Second Column

A ‘Severe’ Case of Cannabis Use Disorder

  Picture a gigantic, inverted pyramid resting on a wee, small point. The apex has become the base.    Cannabis Prohibition —which generates billions of US dollars for therapists, law enforcers, and bureaucrats— now depends almost entirely on the existence of “Cannabis Use Disorders” as defined by the American Psychiatric Association. No longer can the “experts” claim that smoking marijuana causes lung cancer and COPD (thanks to the very thorough clinical trial led by UCLA’s Donald Tashkin, MD).  The actual pulmonary insult is Bronchitis, which disappears within weeks when one stops smoking.   In the latest version of the...

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The Treatment Racket Needs Cleaning Up

The cruel corruption of the Drug Treatment Racket is described by Lizette Alvarez of the New York Times in a piece focused on Delray Beach, Florida. An accompanying photo by Scott McIntyre shows young white cops and paramedics treating a young white man empathetically as he emerges from an overdose. It’s exactly how all citizens should be treated.  In the period ahead, Cannabis will be incorporated into Recovery protocols —a strategy advocated by Tod Mikuriya, MD, more than 20 years ago. And “Harm Reduction” will enter the lingo, just like “CBD” and “terpenes.”  Cassandra sez she’s sure of it. ...

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Over the Transom

The One-Paragraph Letter from 1980 That Fueled the Opioid Crisis (Forwarded by Steve Robinson MD) What do you do when a letter in a prestigious medical journal has been so routinely miscited it’s taken on a life of its own? Like when pharmaceutical companies have used its data to spin their dangerous painkillers as safe, and the resulting overprescription fueled an opioid epidemic now consuming the country? So this week, the New England Journal of Medicine, which published the original letter in 1980, is issuing a corrective. It’s a new study, a bit meta, from a team led by David Juurlink at the University of Toronto that tracked how the five-sentence letter passed through the game of academic citation telephone to become evidence that opioids are safe for chronic pain. In fact, it said no such thing. In the 1980s, Hershel Jick, a doctor at Boston University Medical Center, had a database of hospital records that he used to monitor side effects from drugs. Journalist Sam Quinones tells the story in his book, Dreamland: The True Tale of America’s Opiate Epidemic. Something, perhaps a newspaper article, got Jick interested in looking at addiction. So he asked a graduate student, Jane Porter, to help calculate how many patients in the database got addicted after being treated with pain medicines, and dashed off a letter to the New England Journal of...

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Opioid Use After Cesareans

  By Nancy Humphrey   Most women who undergo a cesarean childbirth are prescribed more opioid pain medications than needed upon release from the hospital, a Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) study shows. The study, published online on June 8 in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in print in July, studied 179 cesarean patients from VUMC over an eight-week period to examine the variation in opioid prescribing and consumption after cesarean delivery, the most common major surgical procedure performed in the United States. “What we found is that prescribers, partly in order to expedite a patient’s release from the hospital,...

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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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