[Vision2020] medical marijuana

Kenneth Marcy kmmos1 at frontier.com
Wed Jun 1 18:03:11 PDT 2011

On Wednesday 01 June 2011 16:03:18 Bill London wrote:
> The essay below was originally posted by Susan Engle of the Lewiston
> Tribune on her blog at the Tribune website, and then reprinted in the
> Tribune itself on page 8C today (June 1) on the best of the blogs page. 
> This is the most powerful statement I have yet read on this issues of
> pain, suffering, and relief (and medical marijuana).....thanks Susan....BL

The requisite knowledge to stop or alleviate lots of unnecessary pain and 
suffering has been available for a long time. Being the sometime science 
student that I am, I just happen to have a copy of the twelfth edition of 
Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, edited by Richard J. Lewis, Sr. The 
Library of Congress number for this edition has 1992 for a date, so this book 
is nearly two decades old. Here are three related entries:

hemp.   Soft white fibers 3 - 6 feet long. It is coarser than flax but stronger, 
more glossy, and more durable than cotton. Obtained from the stems of Cannabis 
sativa. Sources: Central Asia, Italy, USSR, India, U.S. Hazard: Combustible. 
May ignite spontaneously when wet. Use: blended with cotton or flax in toweling 
and heavy fabrics, twine, cordage, packing. See also cannabis.

tetrahydrocannibol.   C(21)H(30)O(2). The active principle of marijuana, a 
hallucinatory drug. It has been synthesized and is available in lab quantities 
subject to legal restrictions. Animal tests have indicated that it can retard 
cancer growth and may also promote acceptance of organ transplants in the 
human body.

cannabis.   (marijuana). CAS: 8063-14-7. Its principle, tetrahydrocannabinol, 
can be made synthetically. Derivation: Dried flowering cups of pistillate 
plants of Cannabis sativa. Habitat: Iran, India; cultivated in Mexico and 
Europe. Hazard: A mild hallucinogen. Sale is illegal in U.S. Use: Medicine, 
opthalmology (treatment of glaucoma).

(Yes, I noticed the spelling. The first is their typo, the second is correct.)

So, medical benefits have been known or suspected for twenty years or more. 
What has been done in the interim? Well, here's a six-year-old Web page about 
marijuana hypocrisy: http://cannabisnews.com/news/20/thread20844.shtml 

For more up-to-date information, here is the Wikipedia page for the active 
agent, tetrahydrocannabinol: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrahydrocannabinol 

As a practical matter, until the federal marijuana laws are changed to either 
legalize it altogether, or to legalize medical marijuana, or to allow states 
to set their own policies subject to federal rules, I doubt much can be done 
that is legally safe, administratively efficient, and medically effective. If the 
2012 federal elections bring to office a Congress more conducive to change, 
there may be some better hope for legislative as well as medical relief.


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