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IACM-Bulletin of February 4, 2001


Science — First issue of the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics

The first issue of the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics has been released. Excerpts from the abstracts:

(1) Hollister L: Marijuana (cannabis) as medicine. JCT 2001;1(1):5-27.

"The modern published literature on the therapeutic potential of cannabis has been reviewed. (...) Marinol or dronabinol, is available for treating nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy and as an adjunct to weight loss in patients with wasting syndrome associated with AIDS. Although such approval currently applies only to orally administered THC, for practical purposes smoked marijuana should also be expected to be equally effective. Promising leads, also often fragile, suggest possible uses for treating chronic pain syndromes, neurological disease with spasticity and other causes of weight loss. These indications require more study."

(2) Musty RE, Rossi R: Effects of smoked cannabis and oral delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol on nausea and emesis after cancer chemotherapy: An review of state clinical trials. JCT 2001;1(1):29-42.

"(...) Method: Technical reports were obtained from 6 states which had conducted clinical trials. Each protocol was examined for the procedure used, the experimental design of the clinical trial and the results obtained. Data were available on 748 patients who smoked marijuana to and/or after cancer chemotherapy and 345 patients who used the oral THC capsule. Results: Patients who smoked marijuana experienced 70-100% relief from nausea and vomiting, while those who used the THC capsule experienced 76-88% relief. (...)"

(3) Lozano I: The therapeutic use of Cannabis sativa (L.) in Arabic medicine. JCT 2001;1(1):63-70.

"Arabic scientists were several centuries ahead of our current knowledge of the curative power of hemp (Cannabis sativa L., Cannabaceae). (...) We review in this paper the therapeutic uses of the plant in Arabic medicine from the 8th to the 18th century. Arab physicians knew and used its diuretic, anti-emetic, anti-epileptic, anti-inflammatory, painkilling and antipyretic properties, among others."

More articles by Vincenzo Di Marzo, John McPartland, Ethan Russo, Jacques-Joseph Moreau de Tours (translation from French by Ethan Russo), and Jon Gettman.

This first issue of the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics is available at no charge to anyone requesting a copy. Requests should be sent to:

Print Journal Division ? Sample Copies

The Haworth Press, Inc.

10 Alice Street

Binghamton, NY 13904-1580


Spain — Cancer patients demand medical use of marijuana

Agata, an organization in Catalonia that supports breast cancer patients, demands legal access to marijuana for patients suffering from side effects of chemotherapy. The group obtained support by all political parties of Catalonia and the Catalan Health Council for a request to the government. The final decision has to be made by the Spanish Health Minister.

Agata also met with the Catalan Cancer Institute and various public hospitals of Catalonia. A speaker of Agata said: "Most of the physicians are aware of the cannabis effects and do not oppose its consumption, if patients get the drug for themselves."

In Spain, the sale of marijuana is illegal but the law does not punish personal use. According to Agata the medical use of cannabis should be legalized as well. "We do not want therapeutic use to be a privilege of informed women, but we want a medical improvement available for everybody," the group said.

(Sources: La Vanguardia Digital of 27 January 2001, El Periódico de Barcelona of 27 January 2001)

USA — Bills for medical use of cannabis in several states

NEW MEXICO: Governor Gary Johnson now has some support among Republicans and Democrats to change the state's drug laws. A bill was introduced in the Senate and in the House of Representatives, that would allow seriously ill patients to use marijuana as a medicine. The bill calls on the state Health Department to register patients who could qualify for help and to control how they get marijuana. Patients could grow their own marijuana plants at home. (Source: Albuquerque Tribune of 31 January 2001)

SOUTH DAKOTA: Legislators said no to a bill that would allow the medical use of marijuana. Senators said marijuana as a medicine is worth investigating. However, federal laws and problems for state law enforcement make passage of such a bill difficult. (Source: Pierre Capital Journal of 24 January 2001)

WYOMING: The Senate Judiciary Committee has voted against a bill that would have allowed the medical use of marijuana. The committee voted 3-1 on 24 January against the measure sponsored by Senator Keith Goodenough. Goodenough said this is probably the fifth time he has proposed allowing medical use of marijuana, failing each time. (Source: Casper Star-Tribune of 25 January 2001)

TEXAS: Terry Keel, member of the house of Representatives and a former Travis County prosecutor and sheriff, has filed a bill allowing a defendant charged with marijuana possession to claim as a defence that the drug was recommended by a physician for treatment of a medical condition. The burden of proof would be on the defendant. It does not decriminalize the drug and avoids conflicting with federal laws banning use of the drug. Although doctors still cannot prescribe marijuana, they sometimes recommend it. (Source: Austin American-Statesman of 2 February 2001)

News in brief


Marion Caspers-Merk (Social Democratic Party) will follow Christa Nickels (Green Party) as Drugs Commissioner of the Government. This change followed the resignation of Health Minister Andrea Fischer (Green Party) and the inauguration of Ulla Schmidt (Social Democrats) as the new Health Minister. Nickels was a strong supporter of the medical use of cannabis. (Source: Press release of the Federal Health Ministry of 31 January 2001)


The World Drug Report 2000 released by the Vienna-based Office for Drug Control and Crime Prevention of the United Nations estimates that roughly 180 million people, or 4.2 percent of the world's population aged 15 and over, consumed illegal drugs in the late 1990s. There were about 144 million users of cannabis, followed by amphetamine-type stimulants (29 million), cocaine (14 million) and opiates (13.5 million). (Source: Reuters of 22 January 2001)