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    Richard Lake 9:44 am on October 26, 2010 Permalink  

    Could Legalizing Marijuana in California Help Cure Breast 

    Newshawk: Medical Marijuana
    Pubdate: Tue, 26 Oct 2010
    Source: AlterNet (US Web)
    Author: Mary Jane Borden

    For 70 years, we’ve been taught that marijuana has no accepted
    medical use and that its high potential for abuse demands absolute
    prohibition. Medical research has been nearly impossible since
    obtaining the substance for legitimate studies is restricted by the
    federal government.

    But for a moment, forget the anti-drug ads of stoned teenagers
    passing the bong and click instead on the National Library of
    Medicine’s website, “” Look under “breast cancer and
    cannabinoid” and you will find studies in scientific journals like
    Breast Cancer Research and Treatment that should warrant immediate
    action: “Our data demonstrate the efficacy of CBD in pre-clinical
    models of breast cancer. The results have the potential to lead to
    the development of novel non-toxic compounds for the treatment of
    breast cancer metastasis…”

    A study in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics says, “These results
    indicate that CB1 and CB2 receptors could be used to develop novel
    therapeutic strategies against breast cancer growth and metastasis.”
    And this from the journal Molecular Cancer: “these results provide a
    strong preclinical evidence for the use of cannabinoid-based
    therapies for the management of ErbB2-positive breast cancer.” What’s
    more, this basic research also extols the safety of potential
    cannabinoid therapies.

    The science behind these studies finds that the human body contains
    its own internal system interrelated with molecules in the cannabis
    plant–AKA marijuana. A neurological signaling structure called the
    endocannabinoid system is now known to govern numerous bodily
    processes like appetite, pain, and even the birth of new brain cells.
    Cannabinoid receptors, called CB1 and CB2, are located in various
    cell membranes and activated by the body’s own cannabinoid molecules
    (endocannabinoids), as well as those unique to the cannabis plant
    (THC, CBD) and synthetically-derived cannabinoids like MarinolRegistered .

    And now, the latest research is proving that cannabinoids, as part of
    this bodily system, play a mitigating role in breast cancer.

    Breast cancer is a frightening diagnosis that will confront about 1
    in 8 American women this year. Some 40,000 will die from it. An
    unusual lump in a breast can grow through four increasingly incurable
    stages and sometimes into other tissue. Therapies involve invasive
    surgery, heavy radiation, and toxic chemotherapy. Current anti-cancer
    drugs may kill cancer cells, but they also destroy non-cancerous
    tissue and damage heart muscle. Intractable nausea and vomiting
    comprise just one side effect. The disease may be worse than the cure
    but the cure can also kill.

    But suppose some scientist has just come out of the jungle with an
    unknown plant that holds this much promise. It would be featured in
    the nightly news and on the front page of every newspaper. Well, we
    now have before us scientific clues that seem to point toward a
    revolution in breast cancer treatment, yet the government still
    manages to bury this amazing discovery.

    Why? Politics. The “Devil Weed” has always been a favorite target for
    tough-on-crime politicians. Over the decades, they have assembled a
    labyrinth of governmental agencies with multi-billion dollar budgets
    that enforce marijuana laws, ignore the science, thwart clinical
    research–and constantly reinforce anti-pot stereotypes.


  • avatar

    Richard Lake 8:09 am on September 29, 2010 Permalink  

    #457: Common Cause 

    DrugSense FOCUS Alert #457 – Wednesday, September 29th, 2010

    Today the Los Angeles Times printed an OPED you may wish to forward
    to your conservative friends.

    You may forward this FOCUS Alert. You may also email any FOCUS Alert
    from this webpage

    Please also consider writing a letter to the editor about this OPED.

    Professor Miron’s Cato Institute study is on line at

    (More …)

  • avatar

    Richard Lake 9:35 am on May 3, 2010 Permalink  

    California Marijuana Initiatives, Then and Now 

    “The last time an initiative to legalize pot outright was put before California voters, in 1972, it was trounced.” wrote a San Francisco Chronicle reporter in a front page article today which you may read at

    While the statement is true, there are differences between the 1972 California Marijuana Initiative, Proposition 19, and this year’s much more complex initiative which you may read at Here are some facts to consider:

    The newspaper article noted “… that opposition to legalization in California polled at around 80 percent until voters authorized pot in 1996 for medical use. By the early 2000s, those in favor of legalization were polling above 40 percent. Last year, with the state deep in budgetary crisis, a Field Poll cracked the halfway mark and put support in California at 56 percent.”

    Just before election day in 1972 the respected Field Poll stated that support for that initiative was at 15%. But the election results came in at 33.4%.  What happened?  The largest factor was voter turnout. What was most significant about the turnout was that about 7% of the voters voted ONLY on Proposition 19! If the reform community is well mobilized something similar could happen this November.

    Did you know that Proposition 19 was the last initiative placed on the ballot in California by people power alone?  There were no paid signature gatherers for that initiative.

    In 1972 all the California newspapers that we knew of editorialized strongly against the initiative, except one. The Weed News newspaper in Weed, California editorialized in favor of the initiative. When I visited the editor he told me he did not know anything about marijuana but thought that it was not the business of anybody what any person wanted to smoke.

    Today, months before election day, we are already seeing some editorial page opinions which support the initiative. See

    This year we will see hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions, spent both for and against the initiative. In 1972 the total spent was all on our side, perhaps a quarter million in all.

    Finally, the end result of the 1972 initiative was that as a result of the vote the issue had a respectable constituency. The draconian California law of the time which could result in years in the state’s prisons for a few joints was changed by the Moscone Act of 1976 to the current one ounce misdemeanor law. Those results are analyzed at

    Win or lose, this year’s California initiative will move the issue of legalizing marijuana forward, both in California and nationally.

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