31 December 2012


Cannabis, family Cannabaceae; species: Cannabis indica, Cannabis ruderalia, and Cannabis sativa L., has been found on every continent in this hemisphere, it was used long before its first recorded uses. It’s safe to believe, that no historian knows which peoples were first to experience her treasures.

In every society where people discovered Cannabis hemp, they often discovered the five uses for hemp which include; hempen fibers, oil from the seeds, the seeds for food, a medicine, and for its narcotic properties. Cannabis use has existed for over ten thousand years, and is one of the oldest crops used for cultivation. It was cultivated in China as early as 4000 BC. Most cultures viewed hemp as a gift, or treasure, from the Divine Sprit, to be used during ceremonials, at which time it was either burned as incense, ingested for deep meditative and heighten awareness, smoked for pleasure, or worn for clothing during these ceremonies. Hemp has been mentioned in many important documents over its recorded history, The Zend-Avesta, a sacred book used by the peoples of India dating back to 600 BC, spoke of hemp’s intoxicating resin. The Chinese emperor and herbalist, Chen-Nung wrote about hemp’s medicinal uses 5000 years ago, his pharmacoepia recorded its effects on malaria, female disorders, and many other illnesses, hemp was referred to as, Ma-fen “hemp fruit”, said; “if taken in excess, will produce hallucinations”. The Anatomy of Melancholy, published in 1621 recommended hemp for depression. The New English Dispensatory, of 1764 suggested applying hemp roots to the skin for inflammation.

In Africa hemp was used for dysentery, and fevers, today some tribes use hemp to treat snake bites, and women smoke it before childbirth. During the seventeenth century peasants believed in the magical power of hemp, and practiced their traditions. On Saint John’s Eve, farmers would pick flowers from their hemp plants and feed them to their livestock to protect the animals from evil and sickness.

A western physician by the name of W.B. O’Shaughnessey published in 1839 of the benefits of cannabis for the treatment of rabies, rheumatism, epilepsy, and tetanus. He also reported that a tincture of hemp and alcohol taken orally was found an effective analgesic.

Henry VIII required the cultivation of one quarter acre of hemp for every sixty acres of land under tillage, for maritime purposes in England.

The British began cultivating hemp in its Canadian colonies in 1606, cultivation began for Virginia in 1611. The Pilgrims introduced cultivation to New England as early as 1632, they learned about the cultivation of hemp from the Native Americans people.

Hemp Equals Freedom In The New World

Hemp was already in the new world when the first European colonist arrived, thought to have been introduced from China by explorers, migrating birds from across the Bering Strait, or possibly drifting shipwrecks.

It is reported that the colonist were not eager to grow hemp, however the European motherland wanted hemp, and cultivation was deemed mandatory. The Puritans at Jamestown grew hemp, as part of their contract with the Virginia Company. Jean Talon at the order of France Quebec colony minister, confiscated all thread the colonist possessed and forced them to buy it back from him with hemp. Talon supplied the seeds to farmers, which had to be reimbursed after hemp crops were harvested. Mandatory cultivation of hemp continued throughout the New World, the General Court in 1637 at Hartford Connecticut, and the Massachusetts courts in 1639 ordered all families to plant one teaspoon of hemp seed. “that we might in time have supply of linen cloth among ourselves.” Several colonies passed legal tender laws, hemp was so valued it was used to pay taxes.

Until 1776 many colonies passed laws to encourage farmers to produce hemp, Virginia designed laws to compel farmers, fining those who did not comply. Lobbyist were hired to promote, and education the public about the importance of hemp. Books were published that wanted to establish hemp as America’s trademark product.

Colonies under the crown, were banned from spinning and weaving hemp, this fostered dependence to England, which was demanding raw materials from the colonies as a way to increase its labor forces. The exported fibers, were then bought back as finished products from England. As the market was flooded with hemp, immigrant weavers from Ireland arrived in Massachusetts, setting up shop and passing their skills to the peasantry. What may have seem a small movement, grew into self-sufficiency from the British Crown, to the extent of a boycott of English fabric products. These were some of the conditions which lead into the War of Independence from the British. The American paper industry was born of hemp, linen, and cotton rags which provided writing materials throughout the war, essential for communication.

In 1777, Edward Antil wrote in his introduction of Observations on the Raising and Dressing of Hemp, “hemp is one of the most profitable productions the earth furnishes in northern climates; as it employs a great number of poor people in a very advantageous manner, if its manufacture is carried on properly: It … becomes worthy of the serious attention … of every trading man, who truly loves his country.”

The Importance Of Hemp And The War Efforts

In preparation of war, mandatory cultivation laws were passed, and colonist increased their production of hemp, for paper and clothes. Colonist were convinced to take up arms, as they read pamphlets published on hemp paper. Thomas Paine in 1776 encouraged colonist to fight for freedom with Common Sense he writes “in almost every article of defense we abound. Hemp flourishes even to rankness, so that we need not want cordage.”

The founding fathers of this nation George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were both promoters of hemp, as noted in their farm diaries spoke of their experiences as hemp farmers. Throughout Washington’s farm diary he spoke about the quality of seeds, always taking care to sow seeds in best areas on his farm. He documented the importance’s of cultivating seeds at the proper time taking care to pull the male plants from the females. In 1790’s Washington began cultivating “Indian hemp” which he said produced the best quality of plant, and noted its superior quality to common hemp mostly grown during that time. Both Washington and Jefferson disliked tobacco, and on occasion they would exchange gifts of a smoking mixtures, Washington reportedly enjoyed smoking hemp flowers, however there is no hard evidence.

Jefferson, was also a promoter of hemp, and during his tenure as Governor of Virginia he kept reserves of hemp, and in May of 1781 used hemp as currency when money from the government was in short supply.

Jefferson believed hemp to be a superior crop to tobacco, which he said exhausted the soil, used to much manure, provided no nourishment for cattle. Hemp on the other hand “was of the first necessity to commerce and marine, in other words to the wealth and protection of the country.” Around 1815 Jefferson received the first US patent for his hemp breaking machine, which reportedly did the work of ten men.

Kentucky was a large supplier of hemp, primarily because the soil would not sustain a grain crop. In 1792 its legislature levied a tax of twenty dollars per ton on imported hemp, this worked to Kentucky’s advantage and by 1850 domestic hemp crops increased and the amount of imported hemp dramatically decreased.

Hemp Production In The 19th and 20th Centuries

The belief that hemp was one of the most important crops to the common wealth, continued throughout the 19th century. As production increased, more states like Illinois, California, and Nebraska began to grow hemp, with more domestic hemp available, creative ideas for hemp use increased. In 1841, Congress ordered the Navy to buy domestic hemp, and in 1843 they appropriated fifty thousand dollars to purchase American hemp.

Hemp Production was a hard and tedious process, its production was always relegated to the slaves in this countries. After the Civil War when labor was no longer free, there was a great decline in the domestic cultivation of hemp. In 1861 G.F. Schaffer of New York patented the Hemp Dresser, used to prepare hemp for manufacturing. After Schaffer invention, many improvements to his machine followed.

By the early 20th century, industrialization, lead to inventions, of machines that would do the work of many, this was caused by the abolition of slavery. One of the most important inventions to the hemp industry was the Decorticator machine, it was hailed as the invention to revolutionize the hemp industry. In an article from Popular Mechanics magazine dated February 1938 spoke of hemp as a cash crop soon to be worth a billion dollars. [See the Popular Mechanics article “New Billion Dollar Crop.”]

Unfortunately its praises came one year to late, the passage of the Marihuana Tax Act HR 6385 was enacted, this required a $100 transfer tax on the sale of marihuana. The issue for those in opposition of this tax related to the underhanded manner in which this tax was enacted. Those thought to gain the most were Hearst who owned large timber holdings which feed the paper industry. DuPont who dominated the petrochemical market, which manufactured plastics, paints, and other products of fossil fuels and the Secretary of the Treasury and owner of Gulf oil Andrew Mellon who pushed legislation through congress giving tax breaks to oil companies. The Conspiracy was against hemp, it threaten certain vested financial and industrial interest especially those in the paper and petrochemical industries.

Through the Hearst newspaper chains racist propaganda messages were abound, it was Hearst that coined the phase “Marihuana Madness” this was related to Mexicans, African Americans, and jazz musicians, use of marihuana said to caused excessive sex, and violence, and threatened the safety of white women and children. Following this campaign against hemp it was not long before the complete prohibition of hemp was enacted.

As history continues so does this chapter.

Hat tip to GlobalHemp.com for this excellent article.

Truth Theory

06 December 2012

A Guide to Cannabis Law in Australia

"Marijuana Use Most Rampant in Australia,” read a New York Times headline in January 2012. Cannabis – marijuana, weed, pot, hash; whichever other name you prefer – remains the most widely used illicit substance in Australia today by a big margin. Approximately 1.9 million Australians aged 14 years and over have used cannabis at least once during the past year; more than a quarter of a million smoke cannabis every day, according to data compiled by the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC). Keep in mind, too, that these figures were taken as part of the 2010 National Drug Strategy Household Survey; plenty more users were either unaccounted for, or chose to lie about their drug usage, so the true figures are probably even higher. This reality can be viewed one of two ways, depending on your personal politics.
Either: it’s great that so many Australians enjoy the occasional puff, as its illegality is an arbitrary hangover from conservative generations past, and its negative effects are significantly less serious than those incurred by alcohol abuse or tobacco addiction.
Or: it’s outrageous that so many Australians smoke up, as cannabis is a devil weed whose availability should be pushed further underground lest its psychological and subversive effects further corrupt otherwise sensible citizens.

Illicit drug use is not a topic that attracts moderate views. Weaned on the powerful moralising of media sensationalism, political cowardice, and harsh words from the police force, many Australians are raised to believe that drugs are bad; the province of losers and law-breakers.
Progressive views are slowly prevailing across the Western world, though, as many realise that the Nixon-led ‘war on drugs’ – which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2011 – did very little to break the cycle of power, violence and addiction that has forever plagued illicit drug culture. (For a succinct primer on the topic, my brother Stuart McMillen recently published a 40-page comic, ‘War On Drugs’, which outlines why drug prohibition hasn’t worked.)

Immediately following the 2012 Presidential Election results in November, cannabis users worldwide rejoiced at the surprising news that two states in the war-on-drugs heartland, Colorado and Washington, had voted to legalise recreational use under state law. Colorado users will be able to grow up to six plants; in Washington, users will buy from state-licensed providers, and the sale of cannabis will be taxed and regulated, much the same as alcohol and tobacco already is. If you’re over 21, the drug will be legal to sell, smoke and carry – as long as you don’t drive while high.
Australian pot smokers wondered whether they might see a similar decision – if not soon, then at least in their lifetimes. TheVine snooped around on your behalf, with a view to determine Australia’s current cannabis laws on a state-by-state basis and look to its future legal status.
Dr Alex Wodak, president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, points out that Australian states don't have ballot initiatives like the one that led to the recent weed votes; in fact, most US states don't. “Australia will not see ballot initiatives on taxing and regulating cannabis like Colorado and Washington states,” Wodak tells TheVine. “Our cannabis reforms started in the 1980s in South Australia. We have had two decades of creeping liberalisation of our cannabis laws at the state/territory level. I think this process will accelerate now, but that it will still take a couple of decades before Australia taxes and regulates cannabis in all states and territories.”
Legal weed in Australia? “It's now inevitable,” continues Wodak. “There are so many contradictions and issues undermining cannabis prohibition. Sooner or later, the bosses of one or the other major [political] parties will realise that it is in their interest to get there first. But all social policy reform is slow.”
To illustrate, Wodak points out that 2012 is the 40th anniversary of South Australia becoming the first state to begin reducing the emphasis on the criminal law in relation to homosexuality. Jailing someone on the basis of the sexuality is a social policy that looks completely abhorrent and archaic nowadays. “I might be wrong,” he says, “but I think taxing and regulating cannabis will be slow to happen in Australia, and we will first go through many stages of watering down our criminal laws.” 
So what is the current state of Australia’s cannabis possession laws? The answers might surprise you. AsThe New York Times put it earlier in 2012: “The prevalence of marijuana use in Australia is widely accepted, if not openly condoned, and at least three states have moved to decriminalise the possession of small quantities for personal use.”
Decriminalised: Australian Capital Territory, Northern Territory and South Australia. Make no mistake, cannabis possession is still illegal in these three states and territories – like it is in the rest of the country – yet adults caught with a ‘small amount’ of pot will have the option to pay a fine or attend a drug assessment program rather than receiving a criminal conviction.
Source: National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre
The definition of ‘small amount’ varies wildly: in South Australia, the first state to decriminalise minor cannabis offences in 1987, a first-time offender can be found carrying up to 100 grams of plant material, 20 grams of resin, or one (non-hydroponic) cannabis plant, and pay a maximum fine of $150. In the ACT, a ‘small amount’ is up to 25 grams of plant material or two plants, for which you’ll receive a $100 fine. Northern Territory cannabis users can be found with up to 50 grams of plant, 10 grams of resin, 1 gram of oil, 10 grams of seed or 2 plants. The fine is $200. All of these states have a time limit on ‘expiating’, or paying the fine, from 28 to 60 days. If you fail to pay, you may be charged for a criminal offence.

Criminalised: Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia. Cannabis possession in these five states will attract a criminal offence if found guilty. For first-time offenders holding a ‘small amount’ – there’s that phrase again – conviction is unlikely, due to the states’ fondness for education- and treatment-focused ‘diversion programs’, which aim to keep non-violent drug offenders out of prison. (Worth noting: this is the exact opposite of what’s been dubbed the United States’ ‘prison industrial complex’, which was largely born out of Nixon’s ‘war on drugs’.)
The NCPIC points out that police officers are asked to use their professional judgement when deciding whether to ‘divert’ or charge those in possession of pot. This decision might come down to something as simple as your demeanour or attitude upon being stopped by the police.
Put simply: don’t be a dick to cops, because it won’t do you any good. Be polite and courteous, just like your parents taught you, and you’ll likely come out with a caution and/or a date to attend a diversion program. Sure, they’ll confiscate your stash, but that’s a better outcome than being handcuffed.
(To dwell on this point for a moment, it’s well worth reading American author Tucker Max’s detailed guide to dealing with police.  It’s written for an American audience, but many of his points are universal. Key takeaway: “People have this notion that cops have a strict, iron-clad set of legal guidelines they must follow in every circumstance; that’s preposterous. They have a HUGE amount of discretion at the scene. If you didn’t do anything serious and the cop thinks you are a citizen because you treated him with respect and deferred to his power, he has the ability to give you every benefit of the doubt – and most times he will, if for no other reason than to avoid all the monotonous paperwork.”)
Source: National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre
As with the decriminalised states, ‘small amounts’ vary: up to 10 grams of cannabis in Western Australia, 15 grams in New South Wales, and 50 grams in Tasmania, Victoria and Queensland. Offenders may also be cautioned multiple times in some states; three times in ten years for Tasmanians, though only once in QLD and WA. Queensland police must offer diversion to minor cannabis offenders; this is a point of difference from other state police officers, who use their own judgement as to whether or not to offer diversion or to charge the offender. (Worth noting for TheVine’s younger readers: those aged under 18 years are ineligible for the state drug diversion programs, as are those with history of drug offences.)
For more detailed information concerning all of the intricacies surrounding cannabis possession in Australia, the NCPIC has a detailed and up-to-date fact-sheet on their website.
Trafficable quantities of cannabis vary state-by-state, too. Northern Territory has the lowest threshold for cannabis leaf, at 50 grams; in SA and WA, it’s 100 grams; 250g in Victoria; 300g in ACT and NSW; 500g in Queensland, and a whopping 1000g (1kg) in Tasmania.
The number of plants required to constitute a potential trafficking offence range from five (in NSW and NT) to 20 in Tasmania; the remaining states require ten plants, though in Queensland it’s measured in terms of aggregate weight up to 500 grams; theoretically, this could include a hundred cannabis plants weighing five grams each. Oil and resin quantities vary; see the below table, taken from a 2010 report compiled by theDrug Policy Modelling Program at UNSW.
Source: UNSW Drug Policy Modelling Program, 2010
How many Australians are actually charged with cannabis possession and/or trafficking? The numbers are on the rise: according to the Australian Crime Commission (ACC)’s 2010-11 illicit drug data report, cannabis arrests accounted for over two-thirds of illicit drug related arrests in Australia.
 “The number of national cannabis arrests are currently the highest reported in the last decade, increasing from 57,170 in 2009–10, to 58,760 in 2010–11,” the report notes. “‘Consumer’ (as opposed to ‘provider’) arrests accounted for 87 per cent of national cannabis arrests in 2010–11. Cannabis is the main illicit drug seized in Australia, accounting for 72% of the total number and 58% of the total weight of national illicit drug seizures in 2010–11.” Despite the increase in seizures, the overall weight of seized cannabis decreased slightly, from 5,989 kilograms in 2009–10 to 5,452 kilograms in 2010–11 – see the below graph for comparison. (The ACC report also includes a state-by-state breakdown of arrests and seizures; in 2010-11, Queensland topped both.)

Image source: ACC illicit drug data report 2010-11
Clearly, Australians love smoking weed. It's been estimated that the turnover of the Australian cannabis industry is about twice the size of our wine industry. (The estimate was made by University of Western Australia economists Kenneth W Clements and Mert Daryal, in their 1999 paper The Economics of Marijuana Consumption)
“Cannabis wouldn't be used by almost two million Australians every year if they didn’t think there were some benefits for them in using the drug,” says Dr Alex Wodak. “No one is putting a gun to their head. I assume they like getting relaxed and comfortable, and like getting that way with cannabis. It isn't harmless, but the harms are minimal compared to (legal) alcohol and tobacco.” Tobacco accounts for 7.8% of the nation’s disease burden; alcohol for 2.3%, all illicit drugs for 2% and cannabis accounts for 0.2% (ie. one tenth of all illicit drugs). These figures are quoted from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s 2003 report on burden of disease and injury.
According to Wodak, most of the drug’s adverse health consequences are wilfully talked up to help maintain cannabis prohibition. “Yet we ignore the very harmful effects of cannabis prohibition,” he continues. “Its cost (no-one knows); its ineffectiveness (of Australian drug users in 2011, 94% found hydro cannabis and 76% found bush cannabis ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ to obtain); its tendency to corrupt large numbers of police and who-knows-what other public officials); and the damage it does to so-called ‘cannabis offenders’ (harm to personal relationships, jobs, travel, accommodation, and so on).”    
Despite the work of organisations such as the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, legal cannabis in Australia remains out of reach for the time being. Though it’s decriminalised in three states, it’s still a long way from regulation a la Colorado and Washington.
“It will be very interesting to watch what happens in Washington State and Colorado,” says Dr Monica Barratt of the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI). “Their experiences will help shape our understanding of the consequences of moving from prohibition to regulation, and how different countries can optimise the system so it produces less overall harm.” Barratt says that the NDRI is working toward the latter aim through its anonymous survey of cannabis growers, ‘World Wide Weed’; Fairfax Media, publisher of TheVine.com.au, is also currently co-sponsoring a Global Drug Survey.
 “The next questions for Colorado and Washington State are: what will the US federal government do about this, and how will the new laws be implemented?” says Barratt. “If other states in the US also take this action, and especially if the federal US administration changes their approach to cannabis, then I think it is more likely that Australian law may change in the long term. Conversely, if the federal US administration remains firm on cannabis prohibition, I doubt Australia would move. In the short term, I don’t expect any cannabis law reforms supported federally, as I see us living in a fairly conservative era on these issues.”
Disclaimer: this article is provided for educational purposes only. None of the information here is intended to be taken as legal advice applicable to your location or situation. If in doubt, call a lawyer, not TheVine.

6 December 2012

12 November 2012

Marijuana Smokers Breathe Easy Says The University of Alabama

As of January 10, 2012, a new study has been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association exonerating marijuana from the bad reputation of being as harmful to your lungs when smoked as tobacco cigarettes. Researchers at the University of California San Francisco and the University of Alabama at Birmingham completed a twenty-year study between 1986 and 2006 on over 5,000 adults over the age of 21 in four American cities. Study co-author Dr. Stefan Kertesz is a professor of preventive medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He explained that the studies measured the pulmonary obstruction in individuals with up to seven joint-years of lifetime exposure (one joint per day for seven years or one joint per week for 49 years). "What this study clarifies," Kertesz explains in a released video, "is that the relationship to marijuana and lung function changes depending on how much a person has taken in over the course of a lifetime."

Lung function was determined by testing the volume of expiration in the first second of exhaling and the amount of air a person can force out in one second after taking a deep breath. The higher an individual’s number, the better the lung functionality. The study found that at the level of one marijuana cigarette per week for 49 years, or one joint a day for seven years patients who only smoked tobacco had 24 fewer milliliters of volume in the first second of an exhalation than the average of someone who doesn’t smoke at all. Marijuana smokers who did not smoke tobacco had 0.7 more milliliters of volume. The marijuana-only smokers also had 8.2 milliliters more air exhaled after a full inhalation in comparison to non-smokers while tobacco-only smokers had 19 milliliters less. Researchers were surprised to find an increased airflow with increased exposure to marijuana up to a certain level. The results are surprising, because marijuana smoke contains similar noxious ingredients and chemicals as tobacco smoke, which is known to impair lung function. Until now it has been unclear whether regular marijuana smoking led to the same injuries to the lungs. It was speculated by Dr. Keresz that the way pot is smoked (the common exercise of holding one's breath after inhaling cannabis smoke to increase its heady effects) might have some cause to people to doing well with the lung function test. Pulmonologist, Dr. Donald Tashkin from the University of California also added that one reason marijuana smoke might not be as harmful as tobacco smoke, despite containing similar noxious ingredients, may be the fact that its active ingredient, THC, has anti-inflammatory effects. “We don’t know for sure,” he said, “but a very reasonable possibility is that THC may actually interfere with the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.”

Basically, though these studies do not depict what the consequences are of inhaling marijuana smoke, their findings suggest that occasional use of marijuana may not be linked with unfavorable consequences on pulmonary function.  Marijuana is designated by the U.S. government as a Schedule I drug, which declares it has no medicinal purposes.  Previous studies have shown that the drug can be used to treat multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, nausea, and pain.  It has been known to have beneficial effects on pain control, mood, appetite, and managing of other chronic symptoms.  Despite these facts, marijuana continues to be depicted as more damaging to us than it’s legal counterpart tobacco. Marijuana activists, medical patients, and recreational users alike will rejoice knowing the evidence shows otherwise.

Published: 02/08/2012 by Terrica America

08 November 2012

Colorado, Washington state legalise pot

In Washington it will no longer be illegal for adults aged 21 and over to possess a small amount of cannabis.
Colorado and Washington have enthusiastically leapt into history, becoming the first US states to reject federal drug-control policy and legalise recreational cannabis use.
The vote puts Washington and Colorado to the left of the Netherlands on cannabis law, and makes them the nexus of a new social experiment with uncertain consequences. National and international media watched as vote counts rolled into Initiative 502's election-night party in Seattle amid jubilant cheers.
"Today the state of Washington looked at 75 years of national marijuana prohibition and said it is time for a new approach," said Alison Holcomb, I-502's campaign manager and primary architect.
In both Washington and Colorado, voters backed legalising cannabis by a 55 per cent to 45 per cent margin. The third state with pot on its ballot - Oregon - turned a similar measure down by the same percentage.
In Washington, as of December 6, it will no longer be illegal for adults 21 and over to possess an ounce of marijuana. A new "drugged driving" law for marijuana impairment also kicks in then.
Tuesday's vote also begins a yearlong process for the state Liquor Control Board to set rules for heavily taxed and regulated sales at state-licensed cannabis stores, which are expected to raise $US1.9 billion ($A1.83 billion) in new revenue over five years.
Many legal experts expect the US Justice Department to push back and perhaps sue, but Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes said Seattle's US Attorney Jenny Durkan told him on Tuesday the federal government "has no plans, except to talk."
Initiative 502 ran a disciplined campaign with a tightly focused message, criticising what it called the failed "war on drugs" without endorsing marijuana use itself.
I-502 spent heavily, raising more than $6 million, including more than $2 million from Peter B Lewis of Ohio, chairman of Progressive Insurance.
A broad group of mainstream leaders - including former top federal law-enforcement officials, the King County sheriff, the entire Seattle City Council, public-health experts, African-American leaders and the state labour council - backed the measure. John McKay, US attorney in Seattle under the George W Bush administration, became a public face of the campaign.
The initiative faced surprisingly little organised opposition. The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs and a state drug-treatment-prevention group were opposed, but did not raise money to counter I-502's $2.8 million TV-ad spending in October.
The loudest opposition came from some in the medical-marijuana industry, who said they feared being ensnared by I-502's DUI law, which does not exempt patients.

SBS World News Australia

8 NOV 2012, 9:09 AM   -   SOURCE: AAP

04 November 2012

Spain Study Confirms Hemp Oil Cures Cancer Without Side Effects

“The medical science is strongly in favor of THC laden hemp oil as a primary cancer therapy, not just in a supportive role to control the side effects of chemotherapy. The International Medical Verities Association is putting hemp oil on its cancer protocol. It is a prioritized protocol list whose top five items are magnesium chloride, iodine, selenium, Alpha Lipoic Acid and sodium bicarbonate. It makes perfect sense to drop hemp oil right into the middle of this nutritional crossfire of anti cancer medicines, which are all available without prescription.
Hemp oil has long been recognised as one of the most versatile and beneficial substances known to man. Derived from hemp seeds (a member of the achene family of fruits) it has been regarded as a superfood due to its high essential fatty acid content and the unique ratio of omega3 to omega6 and gamma linolenic acid (GLA) – 2:5:1. Hemp oil, is known to contain up to 5% of pure GLA, a much higher concentration than any other plant, even higher than spirulina. For thousands of years, the hemp plant has been used in elixirs and medicinal teas because of its healing properties and now medical science is zeroing in on the properties of its active substances.
Both the commercial legal type of hemp oil and the illegal THC laden hemp oil are one of the most power-packed protein sources available in the plant kingdom. Its oil can be used in many nutritional and transdermal applications. In other chapters in my Winning the War on Cancer book we will discuss in-depth about GLA and cancer and also the interesting work of Dr. Johanna Budwig. She uses flax seed oil instead of hemp oil to cure cancer – through effecting changes in cell walls – using these omega3 and omega6 laden medicinal oils.
Actually there is another way to use medical marijuana without smoking the leaf. According to Dr. Tod H. Mikuriya, “The usual irritating and toxic breakdown products of burning utilized with smoking are totally avoided with vaporization. Extraction and inhaling cannabinoid essential oils below ignition temperature of both crude and refined cannabis products affords significant mitigation of irritation to the oral cavity, and tracheobronchial tree from pyrollytic breakdown products.
Dr. Mikuriya continues saying “The usual irritating and toxic breakdown products of burning utilized with smoking are totally avoided with vaporization. Extraction and inhaling cannabinoid essential oils below ignition temperature of both crude and refined cannabis products affords significant mitigation of irritation to the oral cavity, and tracheobronchial tree from pyrollytic breakdown products.”
Rick Simpson, the man in the above mentioned videos, has been making hemp oil and sharing it with friends and neighbors without charging for it. In small doses, he says, it makes you well without getting you high. “Well you can’t deny your own eyes can you?” Simpson asks. “Here’s someone dying of cancer and they’re not dying anymore. I don’t care if the medicine comes from a tomato plant, potato plant or a hemp plant, if the medicine is safe and helps and works, why not use it?” he asks.
When a person has cancer and is dying this question reaches a critical point. The bravery of Rick Simpson from Canada in showing us how to make hemp oil for ourselves offers many people a hope that should be increasingly appreciated as money dries up for expensive cancer treatments. We are going to need inexpensive medicines in the future and there is nothing better than the ones we can make reasonably cheaply ourselves.
For most people in the world it is illegal so the choice could come down to breaking the law or dying. There is no research to indicate what advantages oral use of hemp oil vs. vaporization but we can assume that advantage would be nutritional with oral intake. Dr. Budwig Below work would sustain this point of view especially for cancer patients.
The Science
According to Dr. Robert Ramer and Dr. Burkhard Hinz of the University of Rostock in Germany medical marijuana can be an effective treatment for cancer. Their research was published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute Advance Access on December 25th of 2007 in a paper entitled Inhibition of Cancer Cell Invasion by Cannabinoids via Increased Expression of Tissue Inhibitor of Matrix Metalloproteinases-1.
The biggest contribution of this breakthrough discovery, is that the expression of TIMP-1 was shown to be stimulated by cannabinoid receptor activation and to mediate the anti-invasive effect of cannabinoids. Prior to now the cellular mechanisms underlying this effect were unclear and the relevance of the findings to the behavior of tumor cells in vivo remains to be determined.
Marijuana cuts lung cancer tumor growth in half, a 2007 Harvard Medical School study shows. The active ingredient in marijuana cuts tumor growth in lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread, say researchers at Harvard University who tested the chemical in both lab and mouse studies.
This is the first set of experiments to show that the compound, Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), inhibits EGF-induced growth and migration in epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) expressing non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. Lung cancers that over-express EGFR are usually highly aggressive and resistant to chemotherapy. THC that targets cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2 is similar in function to endocannabinoids, which are cannabinoids that are naturally produced in the body and activate these receptors.
“The beauty of this study is that we are showing that a substance of abuse, if used prudently, may offer a new road to therapy against lung cancer,” said Anju Preet, Ph.D., a researcher in the Division of Experimental Medicine. Acting through cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, endocannabinoids (as well as THC) are thought to play a role in variety of biological functions, including pain and anxiety control, and inflammation.
Researchers reported in the August 15, 2004 issue of Cancer Research, the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, that marijuana’s constituents inhibited the spread of brain cancer in human tumor biopsies.[vii] In a related development, a research team from the University of South Florida further noted that THC can also selectively inhibit the activation and replication of gamma herpes viruses. The viruses, which can lie dormant for years within white blood cells before becoming active and spreading to other cells, are thought to increase one’s chances of developing cancers such as Kaposi’s Sarcoma, Burkitt’s lymphoma and Hodgkin’s disease.
In 1998, a research team at Madrid’s Complutense University discovered that THC can selectively induce programmed cell death in brain tumor cells without negatively impacting surrounding healthy cells. Then in 2000, they reported in the journal Nature Medicine that injections of synthetic THC eradicated malignant gliomas (brain tumors) in one-third of treated rats, and prolonged life in another third by six weeks.
Led by Dr. Manuel Guzman the Spanish team announced they had destroyed incurable brain cancer tumors in rats by injecting them with THC. They reported in the March 2002 issue of “Nature Medicine” that they injected the brains of 45 rats with cancer cells, producing tumors whose presence they confirmed through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). On the 12th day they injected 15 of the rats with THC and 15 with Win-55,212-2 a synthetic compound similar to THC.
Researchers at the University of Milan in Naples, Italy, reported in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics that non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana inhibited the growth of glioma cells in a dose-dependent manner, and selectively targeted and killed malignant cells through apoptosis. “Non-psychoactive CBD produce[s] a significant anti-tumor activity both in vitro and in vivo, thus suggesting a possible application of CBD as an antineoplastic agent.”
The first experiment documenting pot’s anti-tumor effects took place in 1974 at the Medical College of Virginia at the behest of the U.S. government. The results of that study, reported in an Aug. 18, 1974, Washington Post newspaper feature, were that marijuana’s psychoactive component, THC, “slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.”
Funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice — lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia. The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research even though the researchers “found that THC slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent.”
“Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids,” an article in a 1975 Journal of the National Cancer Institute reports, “Lewis lung adenocarcinoma growth was retarded by the oral administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBN)” — two types of cannabinoids, a family of active components in marijuana. “Mice treated for 20 consecutive days with THC and CBN had reduced primary tumor size.”
Marijuana relieves pain that narcotics like morphine and OxyContin have hardly any effect on, and could help ease suffering from illnesses such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes and cancer.
According to Devra Davis in her book Secret History of the War on Cancer, 1.5 million lives have been lost because Americans failed to act on existing knowledge about the environmental causes of cancer. It is impossible to calculate the added deaths from suppressed ‘cancer cures’ but we do know of the terrible suffering of hundreds of thousands of people who have been jailed for marijuana use.
Hemp oil with THC included has the making of a primary cancer treatment, which even alone seems to have a great chance of turning the tide against cancer tumors. It has the added advantage of safety, ease of use, lack of side effects and low cost if one makes it oneself. Surrounded by other medicinal anti-cancer substances in a full protocol it’s hard to imagine anyone failing and falling in their war on cancer.
THC should be included in every cancer protocol.
Sodium bicarbonate is another excellent anti tumor substance that reduces tumors but is much more difficult to administer than THC hemp oil. Cannabinoids are able to pass through all barriers in the body like Alpha Lipoic Acid so simple oral intake is sufficient. With bicarbonate we need intravenous applications and often even this is not sufficient, often we have to use catheters and few doctors in the world are willing to administer this way.
In the end all cancer treatments that are not promoted by mainstream oncology are illegal. No licensed doctor is going to claim that are curing cancer with sodium bicarbonate though they will treat people with cancer explaining they are balancing pH or some other metabolic profile with this common emergency room medicine found also most kitchens of the world. More than several states have passed laws making medical marijuana legal but the federal government will not relax and let people be free to choose their treatments even if their lives depend on it.
Davis notes that the cowardice of research scientists, who publish thoroughly referenced reports but pull their punches at the end, by claiming that more research needs to be done before action can be taken. Statements like these are exploited by industry that buys time to make much more money. It is a deliberate attempt that creates wholesale public doubt from small data gaps and remaining scientific uncertainties.
They have done that with everything right up to and including sunlight. Everything is thought to be dangerous except the pharmaceutical drugs which are the most dangerous substances of all. Stomach wrenching chemotherapy and the death principle of radiation are legal yet safe THC laden hemp oil is not.
It is legal for doctors to attack people with their poisons but you can go to jail for trying to save yourself or a loved one from cancer with the oil of a simple garden weed. Our civilization has put up with this insanity but there is a great price being paid. In a mad medical world people die that need not and this is a terrible sadness that has destroyed the integrity and ethics of modern medicine.
The science for the use of hemp oil is credible, specific fact-based, and is documented in detail. There is absolutely no reason to not legalize medical marijuana and create an immediate production and distribution of THC hemp oil to cancer patients. Unfortunately we live in a world populated with governments and medical henchmen who would rather see people die cruel deaths then have access to a safe and effect cancer drug.
Meanwhile the Food and Drug Administration approved Genentech’s best-selling drug, Avastin, as a treatment for breast cancer, in a decision, according to the New York Times, “that appeared to lower the threshold somewhat for approval of certain cancer drugs. The big question was whether it was enough for a drug temporarily to stop cancer from worsening — as Avastin had done in a clinical trial — or was it necessary for a drug to enable patients to live longer, which Avastin had failed to do. Oncologists and patient advocates were divided, in part because of the drug’s sometimes severe side effects.”
The differences between Avastin and hemp oil are huge. First Avastin will earn Genentech hundreds of millions where THC hemp oil will earn no one anything. Second there are no severe or even mild side effects to taking hemp oil and lastly it is not a temporary answer but a real solution. Certainly hemp oil will ensure a longer life.”
22 October 2012

Israel encourages use of medical marijuana

Moshe Rute survived the Holocaust by hiding in a barn full of chickens. He nearly lost the use of his hands after a stroke two years ago. He became debilitated by recurring nightmares of his childhood following his wife's death last year. 

"But after I found this, everything has been better," said the 80-year-old, as he gingerly packed a pipe with marijuana. 

Rute, who lives at the Hadarim nursing home outside of Tel Aviv, is one of more than 10,000 patients who have official government permission to consume marijuana in Israel, a number that has swelled dramatically, up from serving just a few hundred patients in 2005. 

The medical cannabis industry is expanding as well, fueled by Israel's strong research sector in medicine and technology — and notably, by government encouragement. Unlike in the United States and much of Europe, the issue inspires almost no controversy among the government and the country's leadership. Even influential senior rabbis do not voice any opposition to its spread, and secular Israelis have a liberal attitude on marijuana. 

Now, Israel's Health Ministry is considering the distribution of medical marijuana through pharmacies beginning next year, a step taken by only a few countries, including Holland, which has traditionally led the way in Europe in legalizing medical uses of the drug. 

Marijuana is illegal in Israel, but medical use has been permitted since the early 1990s for cancer patients and those with pain-related illnesses such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Patients can smoke the drug, ingest it in liquid form, or apply it to the skin as a balm. 

A hot topic in America 
In stark contrast, medical use is still hotly contested in the United States, with only 17 states and Washington, D.C., permitting medical marijuana for various approved conditions. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says smoked marijuana is not medicine, and "has not withstood the rigors of science." In Europe, Spain, Germany and Austria have allowed or decriminalized some degrees of medical marijuana use. 

The numbers of patients authorized to use marijuana in Israel is still far lower than those in the U.S. states, where it is legal. Colorado, for example, has 82,000 registered users in a population of 5 million, compared the 10,000 in Israel, a country of 8 million people. 

But Israelis seem enthusiastic about advancing the industry. "

When push comes to shove, and people see how suffering people are benefiting, I'm sure everyone will get behind it," said Yuli Edelstein, Israeli Minister of Public Diplomacy, as he toured Israel's largest marijuana growing farm, Tikun Olam, on Thursday and lauded the facility as an example of Israel's technological and medical advancements. 

The Hadarim nursing home, which encourages medical marijuana use, gives its patients cannabis produced at Tikun Olam farm, tucked away on nearly 3 acres in the picturesque Galilee region. 

The company, one of around eight government-sanctioned grow-operations in Israel, distributes cannabis for medical purposes to almost 2,000 Israeli patients who have a recommendation from a doctor. The cannabis can be picked up at the company's store in Tel Aviv, or administered in a medical center. 

This year, the company also developed a marijuana strain used by a quarter of its customers, said to carry all the reported medical benefits of cannabis, but without THC, the psychoactive chemical component that causes a high. The cannabis is instead made with high quantities of CBD, a substance that is believed to be an anti-inflammatory ingredient, which helps alleviate pain. 

"This is just the tip of the iceberg. It's the future," says Zach Klein, head of research and development at Tikun Olam, whose logo reads "This is God's doing, and it's marvelous in our eyes." 

Itay Goor Aryeh, director of the Pain Management Center at the Sheba Medical Center near Tel Aviv, noted that THC was first isolated in marijuana by Israeli scientists in 1964. "So we are really on the cutting edge of not just the growing and distribution, but also on the basic science of cannabis," he said. 

Legalization allows research 
He said legalizing medical cannabis allows authorities to conduct more research and learn more about how to regulate its use. 

"It has to be researched more, it has to be regulated more, so we know what exactly we're giving the patient, which strains are better," Aryeh said. "If you don't allow it, you will never know." 

Aryeh and other proponents say medicinal marijuana is cost-effective and dramatically reduces patients' needs for other pain medications, like morphine, that can produce unwanted side effects. 

Ruth Gallily, a professor of immunology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has been studying the supposed anti-inflammatory effects of CBD for the past few decades. "We're finally reaching the stage where it's becoming accepted, and not thought of as 'bad,' but we still have a ways to go," she said. "Now the next challenge may be the major drug companies accepting the plant." 

Inbal Sikorin, the head nurse at Hadarim Nursing Home, said the benefits of cannabis for her patients are undeniable. 

"We know how to extend life, but sometimes it's not pleasant and can cause a great deal of suffering, so we're looking to alleviate this, to add quality to longevity," she said, while administering cannabis to a patient using a vaporizer. "Cannabis meets this need. Almost all our patients are eating again, and their moods have improved tremendously." 

Rute, the nursing home resident, said the cannabis may not change his reality, but makes it easier to accept. 

His small room at the residence is adorned with pictures of his deceased wife and figurines of chickens, which he collects because he sees them as a symbol of pain and hope from his years in hiding during the Holocaust. 

"I've been a Holocaust child all my life," says Rute, recalling how his father died at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp in Germany, and how nights were cold in the barn where his neighbor kept him and his several siblings safely hidden. 

"I'm now 80 and I'm still a Holocaust child, but I'm finally able to better cope." 

The Detroit News 
4 November 2012

Use of Cannabis During Pregnancy

Warnings that cannabis causes birth defects date back to the late 1960s.1 Some researchers claimed to have found chromosomal abnormalities in blood cells taken from cannabis users. They predicted that young men and women who used cannabis would produce deformed babies.2 Although later studies disproved this theory,3 some current drug education materials still claim that genetic damage is passed on by cannabis users to their children.4

Today, researchers look for a direct effect of THC [for tetrahydrocannabinol, either of two physiologically active isomers, C21H30O2, from hemp plant resin] on the foetus. In animal studies, THC has been shown to produce spontaneous abortion, low birth weight, and physical deformities—but only with extremely large doses, only in some species of rodents, and only when THC is given at specific times during pregnancy.5 Because the effects of drugs on foetal development differ substantially across species,6 these studies have little or no relevance to humans. Studies with primates show little evidence of foetal harm from THC.7 In one study, researchers exposed chimpanzees to high doses of THC for up to 152 days and found no change in the sexual behavior, fertility, or health of their offspring.8

Dozens of studies have compared the newborn babies of women who used cannabis during pregnancy with the babies of women who did not. Mainly, they have looked for differences in birth weight, birth length, head circumference, chest circumference, gestational age, neurological development, and physical abnormalities. Most of these studies, including the largest study to date with a sample of over twelve thousand women,9 have found no differences between babies exposed to cannabis prenatally and babies not exposed.10 Given the large number of studies and the large number of measures, some differences are likely to occur by chance. Indeed, researchers have found differences in both directions. In some studies, the babies of cannabis users appear healthier and hardier.11 In others, researchers have found more adverse outcomes in the babies of cannabis users.12

When adverse outcomes are found, they are inconsistent from one study to another, always relatively minor, and appear to have no impact on infant health or mortality.13 For example, in one recent study, researchers reported a statistically significant effect of cannabis on birth length. The cannabis exposed babies, on average, were less than two-tenths of one inch shorter than babies not exposed to cannabis 14 Another study found a negative effect of cannabis on birth weight, but only for White women in the sample.15 In a third study, cannabis exposure had no effect on birth weight, but a small negative effect on gestational age.16 Overall, this research indicates no adverse effect of prenatal cannabis exposure on the physical health of newborns.

Researchers have also examined older children for the effects of prenatal exposure to cannabis. A study of one-year-olds found no differences between cannabis exposed and nonexposed babies on measures of health, temperament, personality, sleeping patterns, eating habits, psychomotor ability, physical development, or mental functioning.17 In two studies, one of three-year-olds,18 the other of four-year-olds,19 there was no effect of prenatal cannabis exposure on children’s overall IQ test scores. However, in the first study, when researches looked at Black and White children separately, they found, among Black children only, slightly lower scores on two subscales of the IQ test. On one subscale, it was children exposed to cannabis only during the first trimester who scored lower. On the other subscale, it was children exposed during the second trimester who scored lower.20 In neither case did the frequency or quantity of mothers’ cannabis use affect the outcomes. This makes it highly unlikely they were actually caused by cannabis  Nonetheless, this study is now cited as evidence that using cannabis during pregnancy impairs the intellectual capacity of children.21

Also widely cited are two recent case-control studies describing a relationship between cannabis use by pregnant women and two rare forms of cancer in their children. A case-control study compares people with a specific disease (the case sample) to people without the disease (the control sample). Using this method, researchers identify group differences in background, environment, lifestyle, drug use, diet, and the like that are possible causes of the disease.

A study of children with non-lymphoblastic leukemia reported a tenfold greater risk related to their mothers’ use of cannabis during pregnancy.22 A second study reported a threefold greater risk of rhabdomyosarcoma.23 These calculations were based on women’s reports that they used cannabis at some point during pregnancy. In the first study, ten out of the 204 case-group mothers (5 percent) reported cannabis use, compared to one out of the 204 control-group mothers (0.5 percent). In the second study, 8 percent of case-group mothers reported using cannabis, compared to 4.3 percent of controls. 

These studies do not prove that cannabis use by pregnant women causes cancer in their children. They report a statistical association based solely on women’s self-reports of cannabis use. It is likely that both groups of mothers under-reported cannabis use; in other studies, researchers have found that cannabis use by pregnant women typically ranges from 10 to 30 percent.24 There is reason to suspect greater under-reporting by control-group mothers, who were randomly selected and questioned about their cannabis use on the telephone. Because the mothers of the sick children were trying to help researches identify the cause of their children’s disease, they had more reason to be honest about their illegal drug use.

Like all case-control studies, these two studies identified many differences between case-group mothers and control-group mothers, all of which could possibly lead scientists to discover the cause of these rare forms of cancer. Other factors associated with childhood rhabdomyosarcoma include low socioeconomic status, fathers’ cigarette smoking, a family history of allergies, children’s exposure to environmental chemicals, childhood diets that include organ meats, mothers’ use of antibiotics during pregnancy, mothers being over age thirty at the time of the child’s birth, overdue delivery, and the child having had fewer immunizations.25 Without additional research, none of the factors that are statistically associated with childhood cancer can be identified as causes of childhood cancer. At this time, there is no corroborative evidence to link cannabis with cancer. In fact, in a recent study, researchers found significantly lower rates of cancer in rats and mice following two years of exposure to extremely large doses of THC.26

Since 1978, psychologist Peter Fried and his colleagues have collected longitudinal data on prenatal cannabis exposure as part of the Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study (OPPS). Over the years, these researchers have administered hundreds of tests to the same group of children, assessing their physical development, psychomotor ability, emotional and psychological adjustment, cognitive functioning, intellectual capacity, and behaviour.

Out of all the OPPS studies and all the tests given, researchers have found very few differences between cannabis exposed and nonexposed children. At age one, researchers found that cannabis- exposed infants scored higher on one set of cognitive tests.27 At age three, the children of moderate cannabis users (one to five joints per week during pregnancy) had higher scores on one test of psychomotor ability.28 At age four, the children of women who smoked cannabis heavily during pregnancy (an average of nineteen joints per week) scored lower on one subscale of one cognitive test.29 However, at ages five and six, this difference was no longer present.30 When the children were six, the researchers added several new measures of “attentional behavior.” The children of heavy marijuana users scored lower on one computer-based test of “vigilance.”31 Eleven new psychological and cognitive tests, administered to six- to nine-year-olds, showed no statistically significant differences between the children of cannabis users and nonusers. Parents rated cannabis exposed children as having more “conduct problems,” but this difference disappeared after the researchers controlled for confounding variables.32

Despite the overwhelming similarities in the children of cannabis users and nonusers, in their published reports OPPS researchers consistently highlight the occasional negative finding. Fried believes that these findings underestimate the harms of prenatal cannabis exposure. He suggests that “more sensitive measures” are needed because:

instruments that provide a general description of cognitive abilities may not be capable of identifying nuances in neuro-behaviour that may discriminate between the cannabis exposed and non-cannabis exposed children. . . . Tests that examine specific characteristics that may underline cognitive performance may be more appropriate and successful.33

Recently, Fried predicted that a new test of “executive function” would reveal cannabis related deficits in preteen youngsters.34 A short time later, Fried announced that preliminary analysis of his data showed this effect was present.35 Almost immediately, his announcement appeared in U.S. government reports as evidence of cannabis s harm to the foetus.36 Additional reports of harm based on the OPPS sample, which now includes fewer than thirty cannabis exposed children, may be forthcoming—despite the fact that, according to Fried, the consequences of prenatal drug exposure typically diminish as children get older.37

After controlling for known confounding variables, Fried estimates that prenatal drug exposure accounts for 8 percent or less of the variance in children’s scores on developmental and cognitive tests—and this estimate is for alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis combined.38 In essentially all studies, cannabis contributes less than alcohol or tobacco.39 In addition, the findings differ from one study to another, and show no consistent relationship of foetal harm to either the timing or degree of cannabis exposure. While it is sensible to advise women to abstain from all drugs during pregnancy, the weight of current scientific evidence suggests that cannabis does not directly harm the human foetus.

1. F. Hecht et al., “Lysergic-Acid-Diethylamide and Cannabis as Possible Teratogens in Man,” Lancet 2 (1968): 1087. G. Carakushansky et al., “Lysergide and Cannabis as Possible Teratogens in Man,” Lancet 1 (1969): 150–151.

2. T. H. Maugh, “Marihuana: The Grass May No Longer Be Greener,” Science 185 (1974): 683–685. 

3. S. Matsuyama and L. Jarvik, “Effects of Marihuana on the Genetic and Immune Systems,” in R. C. Petersen (ed.), Marihuana Research Findings, 1976 (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1977), 179–193. K. Morishima, “Effects of Cannabis and Natural Cannabinoids on Chromosomes and Ova,” in M. C. Braude and J. L. Ludford (eds.), Marijuana Effects on the Endocrine and Reproductive Systems (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1984), 25–45.

4. Parents Resource Institute for Drug Education, Marijuana: Effects on the Male, (Atlanta, GA: PRIDE, 1996). W. R. Spence, Marijuana: Its Effects and Hazards (Waco, TX: Health Edco, undated). Peggy Mann, The Sad Story of Mary Wanna (New York: Woodmere Press, 1988), 30.

5. J. Herclerode, “The Effect of Marijuana on Reproduction and Development,” in R. C. Petersen (ed.), Marijuana Research Findings: 1980 (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1980), 137–166. E. L. Abel, “Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Cannabinoids,” in T. M. Pinkert (ed.), Current Research on the Consequences of Maternal Drug Abuse (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1985), 20–35. D. Hutchings and D. Dow-Edwards, “Animal Models of Opiate, Cocaine, and Cannabis Use,” Clinics in Perinatology 18 (1991): 1–22. M. Behnke and F. D. Eyler “The Consequences of Prenatal Substance Use for the Developing Fetus, Newborn, and Young Child,” International Journal of the Addictions 28 (1993): 1341–1391. T. Wenger et al., “Effects of Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol on Pregnancy, Puberty, and the Neuroendocrine System,” in L. Murphy and A. Bartke (eds.), Marijuana/Cannabinoids: Neurobiology and Neurophysiology (Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 1992), 539–560.

6. A. M. Rudolph, “Animal Models for Study of Fetal Drug Exposure,” in C. N. Chiang and C. C. Lee (eds.), Prenatal Drug Exposure: Kinetics and Dynamics (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1985), 5–16

7. P. A. Fried, “Postnatal Consequences of Maternal Marijuana Use,” in T. M. Pinkert (ed.), Current Research on the Consequences of Maternal Drug Abuse (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1985), 61–72. M. S. Golub et al., “Peer and Maternal Social Interaction Patterns in Offspring of Rhesus Monkeys Treated Chronically with Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol,” in S. Agurell, The Cannabinoids: Chemical, Pharmacological, and Therapeutic Aspects (Orlando, FL: Academic Press, 1984), 657–667. J. Herclerode (1980), see Note 5.

8. D. M. Grilly et al., “Observations on the Reproductive Activity of Chimpanzees Following Long-Term Exposure to Marijuana,” Pharmacology 11 (1974): 304–307.

9. S. Linn et al., “The Association of Marijuana use with Outcome of Pregnancy,” American Journal of Public Health 73 (1983): 1161–1164.

10. P. H. Shiono et al., “The Impact of Cocaine and Marijuana Use on Low Birth Weight and Preterm Birth: A Multicenter Study,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 172 (1995): 19–27. E. M. Knight et al., “Relationships of Serum Illicit Drug Concentrations During Pregnancy to Maternal Nutritional Status,” Journal of Nutrition 124 (1994): 973–980S. K. Tennes and C. Blackard, “Maternal Alcohol Consumption, Birthweight, and Minor Physical Abnormalities,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 138 (1980): 774–780. J. Hayes et al., “Newborn Outcomes with Maternal Marijuana Use in Jamaican Women,” Pediatric Nursing 14 (1988): 107–110. P. A. Fried and C. M. O’Connell, “A Comparison of the Effects of Prenatal Exposure to Tobacco, Alcohol, Cannabis and Caffeine on Birth Size and Subsequent Growth,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 9 (1987): 79–85. C. M. O’Connell and P. A. Fried, “An Investigation of Prenatal Cannabis Exposure and Minor Physical Anomalies in a Low Risk Population,” Neurobehavioral Toxicology and Teratology 6 (1984): 345–350. G. A. Richardson et al., “The Effect of Prenatal Alcohol, Marijuana and Tobacco Exposure on Neonatal Behavior,” Infant Behavioral Development 12 (1989): 199–209. S. Astley, “Analysis of Facial Shape in Children Gestationally Exposed to Marijuana, Alcohol, and/or Cocaine,” Pediatrics 89 (1992): 67–77. F. R. Witter and J. R. Niebyl, “Marijuana Use in Pregnancy and Pregnancy Outcome,” American Journal of Perinatology 7 (1990): 36–38.

11. M. C. Dreher et al., “Prenatal Exposure and Neonatal Outcomes in Jamaica: An Ethnographic Study,” Pediatrics 93 (1994): 254–60. K. Tennes et al., “Marijuana: Prenatal and Postnatal Exposure in the Human,” in T. M. Pinkert (ed.), Current Research on the Consequences of Maternal Drug Abuse (Rockville, MD: National Institute on Drug Abuse, 1985), 48–60.

12. E. E. Hatch and M. B. Bracken, “Effect of Marijuana Use in Pregnancy on Fetal Growth,” American Journal of Epidemiology 124 (1986): 986–993. J. Kline et al., “Cigarettes, Alcohol and Marijuana: Varying Associations with Birthweight,” International Journal of Epidemiology 16 (1987): 44–51. B. Zuckerman et al., “Effects of Maternal Marijuana and Cocaine Use on Fetal Growth,” New England Journal of Medicine 320 (1989): 762–768. P. A. Fried et al., “Marijuana Use During Pregnancy and Decreased Length of Gestation,” American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 150 (1984): 23–26. R. Hingson et al., “Effects of Maternal Drinking and Marijuana Use on Fetal Growth and Development,” Pediatrics 70 (1982): 539–546. P. A. Fried and J. E. Makin, “Neonatal Behavioral Correlates of Prenatal Exposure to Marijuana, Cigarettes and Alcohol in a Low Risk Population,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 9 (1987): 1–7. M. D. Cornelius et al., “Prenatal Tobacco and Marijuana Use Among Adolescents: Effects on Offspring Gestational Age, Growth, and Morphology,” Pediatrics 95 (1995): 738–743. N. Day et al., “Prenatal Marijuana Use and Neonatal Outcome,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology13 (1991): 329–334. 

13. N. L. Day and G. A. Richardson, “Prenatal Marijuana Use: Epidemiology, Methodologic Issues, and Infant Outcome,” Clinics in Perinatology 18 (1991): 77–91. G. A. Richardson et al., “The Impact of Marijuana and Cocaine Use on the Infant and Child,” Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology 36 (1993): 302–318. M. D. Cornelius et al. (1995), see Note 12. C. D. Coles et al., “Effects of Cocaine, Alcohol, and Other Drug Use in Pregnancy on Neonatal Growth and Neurobehavioral Status,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 14 (1992): 22–33.

14. N. Day et al. (1991), see Note 12.

15. E. E. Hatch and M. B. Bracken (1986), see Note 12.

16. P. A. Fried et al. (1984), see Note 12.

17. K. Tennes et al. (1985), see Note 11.

18. N. L. Day et al., “Effect of Prenatal Marijuana Exposure on the Cognitive Development of Offspring at Age Three,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 16 (1994): 169–175.

19. A. P. Streissguth, et al., “IQ at Age 4 in Relation to Maternal Alcohol Use and Smoking During Pregnancy,” Developmental Psychology 25 (1989): 3–11.

20. See Note 18.

21. Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse, Legalization: Panacea or Pandora’s Box (New York, 1995). Drug Watch Oregon, Marijuana Research Review 2 (1995): 4.

22. L. L. Robison et al., “Maternal Drug Use and Risk of Non-Lymphoblastic Leukemia Among Offspring,” Cancer 63 (1989): 1904–1911.

23. S. Grufferman et al., “Parents’ Use of Cocaine and Marijuana and Increased Risk of Rhabdomyosarcoma in Their Children,” Cancer Causes and Control 4 (1993): 217–224.

24. N. L. Day et al., “The Epidemiology of Alcohol, Marijuana and Cocaine Use Among Women of Childbearing Age and Pregnant Women,” Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology 36 (1993): 232–245.

25. S. Grufferman et al., “Environmental Factors in the Etiology of Rhabdomyosarcoma in Childhood,” Journal of the National Cancer Institute 68 (1982): 107–113.

26. National Toxicology Program, Toxicology and Carcinogenesis: Studies of 1-Trans-Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol in F344/N Rats and B6c3F1 Mice (Rockville, MD: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1996).

27. P. A. Fried and B. Watkinson, “12- and 24-Month Neurobehavioral Follow-Up of Children Prenatally Exposed to Marijuana, Cigarettes and Alcohol,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 10 (1988): 305–313.

28. P. A. Fried and B. Watkinson, “36- and 48-Month Neurobehavioral Follow-Up of Children Prenatally Exposed to Marijuana, Cigarettes and Alcohol,” Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 11 (1990): 49–58.

29. Ibid.

30. P. A. Fried et al., “60- and 72-Month Follow-Up of Children Prenatally Exposed to Marijuana, Cigarettes, and Alcohol: Cognitive and Language Assessment,” Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics 13 (1992): 383–391.

31. P. A. Fried et al., “A Follow-Up Study of Attentional Behavior in 6-Year-Old Children Exposed Prenatally to Marijuana, Cigarettes, and Alcohol,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 14 (1992): 299–311.

32. C. M. O’Connell and P. A. Fried, “Prenatal Exposure to Cannabis: A Preliminary Report of Postnatal Consequences in School-Age Children,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 13 (1991): 631–639.

33. P. A. Fried, “Prenatal Exposure to Marijuana and Tobacco During Infancy, Early and Middle Childhood: Effects and Attempts at a Synthesis,” Archives of Toxicology 17 (1995): 240–241.

34. P. A. Fried, “The Ottawa Prenatal Prospective Study (OPPS): Methodological Issues and Findings—It’s Easy to Throw the Baby Out With the Bath Water,” Life Sciences 56 (1995): 2159–2168.

35. National Conference on Marijuana Use: Prevention, Treatment, and Research, sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Arlington, VA: July 1995).

36. Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, “Marijuana: Its Uses and Effects,” Prevention Pipeline 8, no. 5 (1995): 3–5.

37. P. A. Fried, “Prenatal Exposure to Tobacco and Marijuana: Effects During Pregnancy, Infancy, and Early Childhood,” Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology 36 (1993): 319–337.

38. Ibid.

39. P. A. Fried, “Cigarettes and Marijuana: Are There Measurable Long-Term Neurobehavioral Teratogenic Effects?” Neurotoxicology 10 (1989): 577–584. N. Day et al., “The Effects of Prenatal Tobacco and Marijuana Use on Offspring Growth from Birth through 3 Years of Age,” Neurotoxicology and Teratology 14 (1992): 407–414. H. M. Barr et al., “Infant Size at 8 Months of Age: Relationship to Maternal Use of Alcohol, Nicotine, and Caffeine During Pregnancy,” Pediatrics 74 (1984): 336–341. P. A. Fried and B. Watkinson (1990), see Note 28. A. P. Streissguth et al. (1989), see Note 19. M. D. Cornelius et al. (1995), see Note 12. J. Kline et al. (1987), see Note 12. P. A. Fried (1995), see Note 33.

This article is excerpted from Marijuana Myths, Marijuana Facts: A Review of the Scientific Evidence by Lynn Zimmer, PhD, and John P. Morgan, MD 
For more information, visit www.drugpolicy.org.