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IACM-Bulletin of January 18, 2009


IACM β€” Call for papers for the IACM Conference in October 2009

CALL FOR PAPERS: The program committee would like to invite you to present your research at the IACM 5th Conference on Cannabinoids in Medicine in Cologne, Germany, on 2-3 October. You may submit your abstract electronically until 15 April 2009 for oral presentations and until 15 June 2009 for poster presentations to If your abstract is accepted you will have free access to the meeting. Speakers may ask the IACM for a subsidy of their travel expenses.

IACM AWARD: During the Meeting the IACM will honour four persons for special achievements regarding the re-introduction of cannabis and cannabinoids as medicine. The IACM Award Committee consisting of Donald Abrams, Ester Fride, Giovanni Marsicano, Mario van der Stelt, Mauro Maccarrone and Raphael Mechoulam will elect the Awardees. Each award is associated with a price money of 500 Euros (about 650 US Dollars).

IACM GENERAL MEETING: During the meeting the IACM will held its annual General Meeting. Regular members will elect the new Board of Directors (a maximum of 10 members) including the chairman. Associate members will elect the patient representatives (a maximum of 2 members). Members of the IACM are invited to make suggestions for candidates by e-mail to Suggestions can also be made during the General Meeting. IACM members will get a written invitation to the General Meeting together with the printed IACM-News in July.

More information on the IACM 2009 Conference, including Call for Papers at

USA β€” Discussion on the implementation of the cannabis law in Michigan

In November 2008 Michigan became the 13th state of the US to legalize the medical use of cannabis. Recently a set of draft rules for this medical cannabis program presented at a state Department of Community Health public hearing were met with intense criticism from the public, with some saying that the proposals contradict the law passed in November by voters.

Medical cannabis users criticised that the rules require useable cannabis to be kept in a locked cabinet and patients and caregivers to keep an inventory of their cannabis. They also questioned proposed rules that would allow government officials to inspect medical cannabis patients' inventories and prohibit medical cannabis to be consumed in public view, even on private property. They noted that the law passed by voters does not allow much interference from the state, except to establish a system to issue identification cards to medical cannabis patients and control the list of diseases that would make a patient eligible to use the substance. A representative of the department said that the purpose of the public hearing was just to gain input on what rules might and might not work.

More at:

(Source: City Pulse of 5 January 2009)

News in brief

USA β€” Cultivation of cannabis

The Drug Enforcement Administration has rejected a petition by a University of Massachusetts-Amherst professor to let him grow cannabis for medical research. The DEA's ruling of 7 January said Lyle Craker, a horticulturist who heads the university's medicinal plant program, failed to demonstrate that the government's long-time monopoly on producing and distributing the drug for medical research was "inadequate." Craker's suit claimed government-grown cannabis lacks the potency medical researchers need to make important breakthroughs. He also alleged there wasn't enough of the drug freely available for scientists across the country to work with. (Source: Associated Press of 13 January 2009)

USA β€” New Mexico

The state Department of Health is accepting applications from non-profit businesses that want to produce and distribute medical cannabis to certified patients in New Mexico. Qualified patients also can apply to produce medical cannabis for themselves. The department announced on 9 January it has finalized regulations for identification cards and a production and distribution system under the state medical cannabis program that went into effect in 2007. (Source: Associated Press of 9 January 2009)

Belgium β€” Survey on medical cannabis

Professor Tom Decorte of the University of Gent is conducting a survey on people, who are growing cannabis (illegally) for medicinal purposes. He is looking for participants. The study will be done by interviewing growers who want to participate. Conditions are: living in the Flemish part of Belgium and having realised at least one harvest for medical use. The information is confidential and only for scientific purposes. Growers who want to participate please contact Robert Timmers at (Source: Personal communication)

Science β€” High blood pressure

According to research at the University of Nottingham, UK, the endocannabinoid anandamide and a synthetic cannabinoid (WIN55,212-2) reduced hypertension in rats, that were made hypertensive by certain substances. These effects were associated with increased vasodilatation of arteries. In rats with normal blood pressure these cannabinoids did not decrease blood pressure. (Source: Ho WS, et al. Br J Pharmacol 2009;156(1):94-104.)

Science β€” Protection of the heart

Animal studies with rats showed that the endocannabinoid anandamide protected the heart against damage caused by doxorubicin. Doxorubicin is a medical drug used in the treatment of cancer. (Source: Hydock DS, et al. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Jan 7. [Electronic publication ahead of print])

Science β€” Ajulemic acid

Research with human cells and mice shows that ajulemic acid, a synthetic cannabinoid in clinical research, increased the formation of lipoxin A4, a substance produced by the body, which reduces inflammation. (Source: Zurier RB, et al. FASEB J. 2009 Jan 5. [Electronic publication ahead of print]

USA β€” Surgeon general

Barack Obama has offered the job of the so-called surgeon general to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a neurosurgeon, who is known to be opposed to the legalisation of cannabis for medical uses in 13 states of the United States. The Surgeon General of the United States is the leading spokesperson on matters of public health in the U.S. government. (Source: Washington Post of 6 January 2009)