Category: Uncategorized

Over the Transom, March 24, 2017

 • Harold Varmus, MD, has an op-ed in the March 22 New York Times bemoaning Trump’s proposal to cut funding for the National Institutes of Health by about 18%. Varmus, once an English major was the director of NIH from 1993 to 1999 and of the National Cancer Institute from 2010 to 2015. Donna Shalala described him as “the best hire of the Clinton Administration.” He opines: “As I have learned from my own time at the N.I.H., this is not about Republicans versus Democrats. It is about a more fundamental divide, between those who believe in evidence as a basis for life-altering and...

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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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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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‘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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