Di seguito gli interventi pubblicati in questa sezione, in ordine cronologico.
The problem with chemicals in marijuana like THC and CBD is the fact that they are highly insoluble in water. So far, this has mostly restricted patients to smoking or eating the plant, which makes it difficult to target tumor cells without affecting other parts of the body as well.
However, using tiny particles of polycaprolactone (a biodegradable polymer) to encapsulate THC, researchers say they've developed a novel delivery system for THC that can be used to fight cancer.
Writing in the Journal of Drug Targeting, the Spanish group explained how the microparticles make THC easier to work with.
"Delta9-THC is an oily viscous resin that is very sticky at ambient conditions making it difficult to handle and to accurately weight small amounts and prepare suspensions for injection."
Interestingly, the microparticles were actually better at inhibiting cancer growth in cell cultures compared with THC by itself. The outer layer of the microparticle allows THC to slowly diffuse through, resulting in a sustained release that lasted for at least 2 weeks in the study.
While more research is required, the group believes this delivery system could "reduce dosing frequency and enhance patient compliance" and even be used together with other cancer treatments.
"In the future, these systems might be used in combination with other anticancer drugs or conventional therapies in order to increase therapeutic efficacy."
Alternative delivery systems for marijuana-based treatments seem to be a popular focus of studies. Besides pills like Marinol and oral sprays like Sativex that have already been approved by certain countries, researchers have experimented with inhalers, skin patches and even rectal suppositories.
On the other hand, encapsulating THC in microparticles happens to be a first in this promising field of cancer research.
The study was funded by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation and Complutense University
It is just incredible how crappy Facebook is in general. The comment tool box is especially shitty.
Really?! YES! And you know it. There is no point in hiding your feelings; just say it: 'Send em (Fakebook) to Hell!'.
Have you ever tried Facebook's so called "developers" section where you can "create" apps (applications)? Have you ever got mad because there are no solutions, valid indications or answers and all you get is frustration because you lost your precious time on their products?
I've got to tell you the truth, folks! It's all a lie, just a big fu**cking lie: there are no apps, no functionality, no convenience on having the Facebook comment box on your website or blog, it's only just another way to get your phone number and/or credit card data.
That's right! What kind of fascist authentification way is to ask a Facebook user for the debit card details to activate his account?! This should be illegal! But it's just another way for Facebook to get your personal informations and pass them to their parteners...Don't believe that? Read then: 2004: Facebook is created with CIA money and U.S Military backing. Facebook was originally conceived as a sexist and elitist Harvard tool to rate who was “Hot or Not” or this: Tired of helping CIA? Quit Facebook, Venezuela minister urges .
Have you ever noticed that you are being bullied by Facebook, your comments are being censured from your contacts' walls or worse? That's what we're talking about!
But let's get back to your problem (not our problem anymore because TurismoAssociati decided to pass on Disqus comments application): the FascistFacebook Comments box that should let people comment on content on your site using their Facebook profile and show this activity to their friends in news feed. It SHOULD also contain built-in moderation tools and special social relevance ranking. CRAP! No such a thing, and we begun looking at this Social Plugin long time ago...
You all started HERE
and after their security check inserted the codes in the body and head of your website pages.
But then you realized you were being mislead: Facebook comments on your website or blog basicly worked except the fact that when someone comments on one article that same comment shows up on every article on the website. Obviously, you don't want that.
So why is it so difficult to find a solution to that? Googling you always find the generic instructions but you never find the real solution that works for any website (not just WordPress, but dBlog too or any other). Here it is the code to replace the URL to comment on:
This "worked", but then you realised you had two other problems...
Hell, yeah! The admin/moderation comment tool does not work properly (or at all) and the comments made for the same article on Facebook will not appear on your website, like you smart developer thought (and should be, but Facebook is developed by morons, just think of its bastard father, Mark Zuckerberg).
So why use it or why lose your time with any Facebook social plug-ins applications boxes fascist tools and any other of their weird stuff, when there are not so many webmasters that use them?! Get smart! Leave Facebook alone. Fuck them!
Asked yourself why the indications on how to do anything there are so hairy and hard to understand? Because are written by non english speakers in globish, not english and you don't understand if the Facebook foreign developers are talking about 'comment or content' on their video.
So our advice is: forget the Facebook comments plug in for your website alone, it will just be a breach to your privacy and blog and phone contact and credit card details and who knows what else and try to use any other transparent free product. It works better and saves you a lot of time and stress.Good luck!
Author: Ford Turani for TurismoAssociati.it
Inflammation is a common factor in the progression of each of these disorders. But previous studies suggest that marijuana can help control inflammation by acting on specific pathways present in immune cells.
In the latest study, Dr. Yuri Persidsky of Temple University and his team studied the role of these pathways, CB2 receptors, using human cell cultures. Published this month in the American Journal of Pathology, they concluded that activating CB2 receptors could reduce brain tissue damage by preventing immune cells from crossing from the blood stream into the brain.
These results indicate that selective CB2 activation in leukocytes decreases key steps in monocyte-BBB (blood-brain barrier) engagement, thus suppressing inflammatory leukocyte responses and preventing neuroinflammation.
Shilpa Buch, Ph.D, a professor at the Nebraska Medical Center’s Department of Pharmacology and Experimental Neuroscience, noted the importance of the new findings in an accompanying commentary.
None of the previous studies have addressed anti-inflammatory effects of CB2 activation in monocytes in such a comprehensive fashion.
According to Dr. Buch, the migration of immune cells called monocytes plays a critical role in a wide variety of inflammatory diseases.
The development and maintenance of chronic inflammation appear to be underlying causes of numerous human diseases such as atherosclerosis, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, chronic hepatitis, bone disorders, and neurodegeneration (including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis and chronic infections of the central nervous system like HIV-1). In all of these diseases, tissue infiltration by monocytes differentiating into macrophages plays a critical role.
Some studies suggest that stimulating CB1 pathways – which are found mostly in the brain and are responsible for the marijuana high – may also have anti-inflammatory potential.
But as Dr. Buch notes, treatments “devoid of the psychoactive effects of CB1 activation” are preferred by doctors.
And while a CB2-specific treatment has yet to be tested in humans, she adds that previous studies have already shown promising results in animal models of atherosclerosis, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, liver and kidney injury and arthritis.
The study was published ahead of print and received funding from the National Institutes of Health and the Intramural Research Program of the NIH-NIAAA
Hungary is making history of the first order.
Not since the 1930s in Germany has a major European country dared to escape from the clutches of the Rothschild-controlled international banking cartels. This is stupendous news that should encourage nationalist patriots worldwide to increase the fight for freedom from financial tyranny.
Already in 2011, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban promised to serve justice on his socialist predecessors, who sold the nation's people into unending debt slavery under the lash of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the terrorist state of Israel. Those earlier administrations were riddled with Israelis in high places, to the fury of the masses, who finally elected Orban's Fidesz party in response.
According to a report on the German-language website "National Journal", Orban has now moved to unseat the usurers from their throne. The popular, nationalistic prime minister told the IMF that Hungary neither wants nor needs further "assistance" from that proxy of the Rothschild-owned Federal Reserve Bank. No longer will Hungarians be forced to pay usurious interest to private, unaccountable central bankers.
Instead, the Hungarian government has assumed sovereignty over its own currency and now issues money debt free, as it is needed. The results have been nothing short of remarkable. The nation's economy, formerly staggering under deep indebtedness, has recovered rapidly and by means not seen since National Socialist Germany.
The Hungarian Economic Ministry announced that it has, thanks to a "disciplined budget policy", repaid on August 12, 2013, the remaining €2.2B owed to the IMF — well before the March 2014 due date. Orban declared: "Hungary enjoys the trust of investors", by which is not meant the IMF, the Fed or any other tentacle of the Rothschild financial empire. Rather, he was referring to investors who produce something in Hungary for Hungarians and cause true economic growth. This is not the "paper prosperity" of plutocratic pirates, but the sort of production that actually employs people and improves their lives.
With Hungary now free from the shackles of servitude to debt slavers, it is no wonder that the president of the Hungarian central bank, operated by the government for the public welfare and not private enrichment, has demanded that the IMF close its offices in that ancient European land. In addition, the state attorney general, echoing Iceland's efforts, has brought charges against the last three previous prime ministers because of the criminal amount of debt into which they plunged the nation.
The only step remaining, which would completely destroy the power of the banksters in Hungary, is for that country to implement a barter system for foreign exchange, as existed in Germany under the National Socialists and exists today in the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, or BRICS, international economic coalition. And if the United States would follow the lead of Hungary, Americans could be freed from the usurers' tyranny and likewise hope for a return to peaceful prosperity.
Author: Ronald L. Ray is a freelance author residing in the free state of Kansas. He is a descendant of several patriots of the American War for Independence. - Source: americanfreepress.net
One of America’s most respected military figures charged publicly that long-standing allegations about the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons may have been, in his words, “an Israeli false flag operation” calculated to stir up opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, long perceived by Israel as a threat to its geopolitical agenda.
And now that the United States seems poised to attack Syria on the basis of new claims about the use of such weapons, what former Army Col. Lawrence Wilkerson told Current TV on May 3 bears noting.
A longtime military intimate of Gen. Colin Powell, and later his chief of staff when Powell was secretary of state under “W” Bush, Wilkerson said his intelligence sources dismissed claims at that time that Assad’s military had used chemical weapons against terrorist forces.
Having loomed over Assad for months, that charge has been reinvigorated and the media revels in the possibility the U.S. will now attack Syria.
However,The Los Angeles Times reported Aug. 27 that Germany’s Focus magazine—citing a former Israeli intelligence official—said Israel was the primary source for current charges about Syria’s alleged use of chemical warfare.
Noting “U.S. intelligence sources long have relied on Israel to help provide intelligence about Syria” the Times didn’t mention it was also Israel that previously supplied the Bush administration much of the false data about supposed weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, which provided the pretext for the invasion of that Arab republic.
The media carefully suppresses the fact that — as demanded by the Israeli lobby in Washington — U.S. tax dollars (underwriting Israeli covert expertise) instigated the rebellion against Assad that led to the civil war that U.S. blood and treasure are now expected to resolve in a manner satisfactory to Israel.
Although the media suggests the Pentagon is eager for war on Syria, the fact is that—just as before the Iraq war when multiple military leaders were warning of the dangers of such a venture—top brass are likewise urging restraint vis-à-vis Syria. Even Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey recently told Congress that U.S. intervention in Syria would not be in America’s interests.
Yet, despite widespread public opposition to war, many Republicans and Democrats alike— bankrolled by pro-Israel campaign contributors— are clamoring for action.
Author: Michael Collins Piper - Source: americanfreepress.net
The truth can hurt you, but it can also set you free!
In 2001 when 9/11 happened, the world was in shock and the people did not know how to react, much less suspect it had been orchestrated by the CIA. And when the Iraq war happened, everyone trusted President Bush enough to go into Iraq to get those WMDs that were never found. Yet the whole time, no one had been prepared for the huge psychological warfare operations the Bush Administration was putting in place. Yes, a lot of people called George Bush a fascist, but not much else could be heard. No one mentioned that his grandfather had helped fund Hitler (1), or that his father was still being regularly briefed about new CIA operations and old. And if there was it was marginalized and acclaimed as conspiracy theories, by even George Bush himself. Then, somehow the Patriot act came out from nowhere, as if it had been writ overnight, and in came the Department of Homeland Security (a modern version of Gestapo) as well as Guantanamo (which was even more curious seeing as how we hadn’t trusted the Cubans in over 50 years). And again the people bowed down and did not question.
Now in 2013, we finally have all the facts, and this is how it goes:
2003: Bush Administration monitors anarchist groups in the U.S (Reported by Michael Moore)
2004: Facebook is created with CIA money and U.S Military backing (2). Facebook was originally conceived as a sexist and elitist Harvard tool to rate who was “Hot or Not” .
2006: Oracle billionaire Larry Ellison worked on a CIA project with the code-name “Oracle” (over 3 billion devices use Java by Oracle) (3)
2007: Palantir (officially) starts creating online censorship software for the U.S Military (4), when reports dating back to 2004 state that the Department of Homeland Security had hired up to 50,000 agents to monitor the internet.
2009: FOIA Documents Reveal DHS Social Media Monitoring During Obama Inauguration (5)
2011: Many complaints from anti-war activists and non-profits about censorship start to arise. (6) (7) (8)
2011: EFF.org get $15 million donation from Palantir. (9)
2012: Project Censored puts “US Military Manipulates the Social Media” at #2 (10) on their most censored list (Operation Earnest Voice mentioned), with More US Soldiers Committed Suicide Than Died in Combat as #1.
Now this might all seem pretty abstract to you, but let me put it into perspective now that you have the timeline. The U.S Military thanks to Operation Earnest Voice had the capability to censor Iraqi activists, as well as journalists all over the world working for big publications (with close affiliations to the CIA). Which means that the effects of these psychological operations caused something like this: “When the war ended with tens of thousands Iraqi dead and an electricity and sanitation supply deliberately “bombed into the stone age”, the west followed up with sanctions. It is now estimated by the UN that these sanctions, which have prevented repairs to sewage and water plants on the one hand and denied basic medicines on the other, have been responsible for the deaths of around one million people, many of them children. Other sources put this figure at 1.5 million.” (11)
There had been rumors that the Bush Administration had lied about the number of casualties, only counting those actively killed by U.S Soldiers, and not those who died from lack of basic necessities. And to think that meanwhile the U.S Military and CIA were developing software to be used in our homeland, by Homeland Security still to this day seems surreal. Not to mention that the CIA would rig elections for George Bush and Obama (who had worked for CIA front companies in the past, and whose mother was an advocate for the IMF’s devastating free-market capitalist policies, in countries like Chile under Pinochet).
As an internet activist and founder of an anarchist non-profit, I have been attacked, harassed, and censored by the U.S Military since 2009 (when my non-profit was still a blog gaining a large audience). Our members and volunteers have also encountered the same issues. One volunteer was even given death threats by an angry U.S soldier who lost composure while attacking us with fake personas. And a teenage member’s parents were questioned by the FBI for their son visiting our Facebook page. We also had a member who I have not heard of since, who set up an Occupy protest in front of Facebook Headquarters in Palo Alto, and was censored on Facebook. Therefore only 12 people came to her event. At the event they were met immediately by Palo Alto police, who apparently were very violent and put our volunteer into a coma. All attempts since by our non-profit to expose this were “astroturfed” by Google and Facebook. Our website has since been under continuous DoS attacks ever since by government hackers. And our Paypal account was immediately shut down by Paypal. Last month Facebook shut down our page for over 6 out of 30 days, with no reason, and activated it again when too many people started asking questions about us (we have a very small but strong group of supporters and volunteers on Facebook, whom have been endlessly persecuted by “CIA Facebook”). We even set up a social network on our website which was compromised and hacked into. And many anti-war activists are reporting similar damages. Even lawyers are getting hard to find in order to demand retribution, since no lawyer likes going up against the United States Government.
The numbers are still not clear, but the U.S Military has definitely been censoring millions of anti-war voices and even “impeach Bush” voices since 2004(12). And we now know that Google was working with the U.S Military prior to the creation of Facebook. Nothing more than a great National Socialist PR campaign, with merchandising, lots of censorship and a global pro-capitalist police state set up. When we cannot forget that the United States since World War 2 has killed more people for the same corporations and banks who funded Nazis all over Europe, the business plan (Investigated by a Rockefeller) and continued through the CIA since 1947 (13). These are the same people who funded General Franco and went to his funeral (funeral attended by Rockefellers), as well as those who funded King Constantine and the Shah of Iran. Not to mention that these are also the same people who murdered and censored European anarchists and after world war 2, and even before world war 2 in the U.S.
After the French revolution, the working class demanded that anarchists be (left) and hierarchists be (right), this idea was obscured with communism and socialism which were hierarchist systems (systemically fascist), and would later murder anarchists and jail them in gulags, just like the fascists in Europe with concentration camps. In other words what can be called the perpetual and conscientious culling of the masses by the ruling class. “Taking out the weeds”. And as it so turns out, I recently discovered that the Swastika was chosen by the Nazis, because it represented the brutal caste system in India, which for thousands of years has ritualized the murdering of lower castes by upper castes as a divine right (14).
We are right in the middle of global class warfare being played out by the 1% who own over 60% of this planet’s wealth and assume none of the responsibilities. The 1% (about 10 million millionaires and billionaires) who pollute our planet, allow 16,000 children a day to die from starvation, and millions to die from toxic products in their environments, which were originally sold for quick profit. We are being run by a bunch of lunatics who have covered our planet with nuclear bombs and proxy wars, ordain that this perpetually hierarchist system is flawless, and that mass slavery and servitude are inevitable. But in reality, it goes against thousands of years of collective history. To try and go against 6 billion people today is absolute folly. And if they succeed, their empire will eventually fall to barbarism and feudalism just like every empire in the past. Then this planet will be remembered as nothing more than a shooting star, which crashed because the pilots thought they were too divine to share shifts and/or profits.
1. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2004/sep/25/usa.secondworldwar “George Bush’s grandfather, the late US senator Prescott Bush, was a director and shareholder of companies that profited from their involvement with the financial backers of Nazi Germany. The Guardian has obtained confirmation from newly discovered files in the US National Archives that a firm of which Prescott Bush was a director was involved with the financial architects of Nazism.”
The main change is to eliminate personal production in favour of licensed commercial producers who would be inspected and audited by Health Canada.
Spokesperson Stéphane Shank said the government just finished a consultation period on the changes last month. The government is now analyzing the results, with a plan to implement the changes by March 31, 2014.
Currently there are three types of medical marijuana licences — authorization to possess, personal-use production (can only produce for yourself), and designated-person production (can produce for someone authorized to possess).
The licences to possess marijuana or grow marijuana for yourself require a medical declaration by a doctor. Doctors are supposed to ensure patients have severe pain or other health problems that cannot or should not be treated by a conventional treatment.
Someone with a recent criminal record for drug activity cannot get a licence to grow for someone else. Health Canada requires a criminal conviction to revoke someone’s licence.
However, Shank said the government cannot readily provide statistics about how many licences have been revoked.
Health Canada has 15 inspectors.
The amount of marijuana someone can produce is based on a specific calculation on the patient’s medical needs and can vary widely. There are extra steps if the maximum amount is more than 5 grams dried daily.
Those with a licence to produce marijuana for another person can hold two licences, and only four licences are allowed to be used at one address, Shank said.
For more information about the Marihuana Medical Access Program and planned changes visit Health Canada’s website.
Source: thespec.com via truthonpot.com
Under this legislation, substances are separated into one of five Schedules (classifications) according to their potential for abuse, accepted medicinal use and international trade laws.
Cannabis is currently classified as a Schedule I substance – a position it has retained since the Controlled Substances Act was drafted over 42 years ago.
Schedule I Laws
The classification of a Schedule I controlled substance is assigned to only the most dangerous and least medically useful of drugs, which subjects both researchers and offenders to the highest level of restrictions and penalties that can be administered. For a drug to be placed in the Schedule I category, it must fulfill all three points of the following criteria:
1. The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
2. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
3. There is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.
Title 21 of the U.S.C. § 812b
Classification of Cannabis
Even at first glance, the definition of a Schedule I substance seems a bit too harsh to be applied to marijuana. In fact, among other drugs that share the same category – such as heroine and opiates – none can make claim to being a treatment for so many disorders while having no risk for overdose like cannabis can. Although its potential for abuse might still be debatable, an overwhelming amount of scientific evidence gathered over the past few decades has proved the last two points as being grossly inaccurate.
So how has cannabis managed to maintain such a mistaken classification under federal drug policy for all these years? To answer that question, let’s look at how marijuana came to be classified as a Schedule I substance in the first place.
National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse
While the Controlled Substances Act was being drafted in 1970, marijuana was placed in its Schedule I category on advice from Assistant Secretary of Health Roger E. Egeberg. In his letter to Harley O. Staggers, Chairman of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, Egeberg made it clear that the classification was meant to be temporary:
“Dear Mr. Chairman: In a prior communication, comments requested by your committee on the scientific aspects of the drug classification scheme incorporated in H.R. 18583 were provided. This communication is concerned with the proposed classification of marihuana.
It is presently classed in schedule I(C) along with its active constituents, the tetrahydrocannibinols and other psychotropic drugs.
Some question has been raised whether the use of the plant itself produces “severe psychological or physical dependence” as required by a schedule I or even schedule II criterion. Since there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it, our recommendation is that marijuana be retained within schedule I at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve the issue. If those studies make it appropriate for the Attorney General to change the placement of marijuana to a different schedule, he may do so in accordance with the authority provided under section 201 of the bill…”
Sincerely yours, (signed) Roger O. Egeberg, M.D.
The reference to “the completion of certain studies now underway” was to the National Commission of Marijuana and Drug Abuse, which was created by public law 91-513 for the specific purpose of studying marijuana abuse in the United States.
The Commission was chaired by former Pennsylvania Governor Raymond P. Shafer and consisted of 13 members, 9 of which were handpicked by President Nixon himself. To date, the National Commission on Marijuana and Drug Abuse is the only congressional commission to ever assess marijuana policy.
In 1972, the Commission completed and presented their report entitled “Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding” to Congress, which detailed their investigation and overall recommendation for marijuana to be reclassified and prohibition to be ended.
Marihuana: A Signal of Misunderstanding
In their report, the commission determined that minor possession offenses should be decriminalized under federal law. Likewise, the Commission recommended that states should also eliminate criminal penalties for minor pot offenses.
“[T]he criminal law is too harsh a tool to apply to personal possession even in the effort to discourage use. It implies an overwhelming indictment of the behavior which we believe is not appropriate. The actual and potential harm of use of the drug is not great enough to justify intrusion by the criminal law into private behavior, a step which our society takes only with the greatest reluctance.”
The report acknowledged that, decades earlier, “the absence of adequate understanding of the effects of the drug” combined with “lurid accounts of [largely unsubstantiated] ‘marijuana atrocities” greatly affected public opinion and labeled the stereotypical user as “physically aggressive, lacking in self-control, irresponsible, mentally ill and, perhaps most alarming, criminally inclined and dangerous.” However, the Commission found that the drug typically inhibited aggression “by pacifying the user… and generally produc[ed] states of drowsiness, lethargy, timidity and passivity.”
The findings of the report were met with expected resistance from Congress and were largely ignored by the Nixon Administration. As the infamous white-house tapes would reveal, President Nixon fostered a strong opposition to the Commission’s recommendation even before it was released. In 1971 – a year before the report was completed – Nixon warned Shafer, “You’re enough of a pro to know that for you to come out with something that would run counter to what the Congress feels and what the country feels, and what we’re planning to do, would make your commission just look bad as hell.”
And despite the firm recommendation of the federally commissioned report that took years to complete, cannabis retained its classification as a Schedule I narcotic under the Controlled Substances Act, which prevents any person or organization from free access to the cannabis plant – whether for recreational, industrial or medical purposes.
To this day, the decision of the Nixon Administration to ignore the Commission’s recommendation to end prohibition continues to be upheld by federal policymakers.
Luckily, many sufferers around the world have discovered the benefits of medical marijuana and are using it legally or illegally to treat their symptoms.
It is believed that 1-4% of MS patients in the UK are treating themselves with marijuana and as much as 14-16% of MS patients in Canada.
What is MS?
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder affecting the brain and spinal cord. It is the most common cause of neurological disability in young people and tends to strike around the age of 30.
The disease is caused by the body’s own immune system attacking and damaging the myelin sheath – an important part of nerve cells that help in conducting nerve signals. As a result, the ability of nerve cells to communicate with each other is compromised.
Almost any neurological symptom can occur due to MS. As the disease progresses, physical and cognitive disability eventually result. Symptoms of MS include:
• Cognitive impairment
• Muscle stiffness
• Poor mobility and balance
• Vision problems
• Urinary incontinence
• Sexual dysfunction
How Can Marijuana Help?
Over the years, many studies have investigated the effects of medical marijuana on multiple sclerosis. Clinical studies have shown that cannabis is effective in providing relief from many of the symptoms associated with MS. A small number of studies have provided evidence suggesting that cannabinoids may even inhibit the progression of the disease.
One of the largest studies to investigate the effects of cannabinoids on multiple sclerosis was a randomized clinical trial (RCT) involving 667 patients from 33 medical centers in the UK. The subjects were assigned to one of three groups: synthetic THC (Marinol®), whole cannabis extract (Cannador®), or placebo.
During the 15 week trial period and 12 month follow-up, patients given cannabinoid-based medicine reported improvements in symptoms of spasticity, spasms, pain levels and quality of sleep. Results from the follow-up study also showed reductions in certain measures of disability associated with MS.
Pain is one of the more debilitating symptoms of MS and remains challenging to treat with traditional medications. It’s no surprise that patients given cannabinoid-based medications report significant pain relief as studies have proven marijuana to be an effective analgesic. Medical marijuana is especially helpful for MS patients who suffer from a specific type of pain called neuropathic pain. Studies have found that cannabis is just as effective (if not more) at treating neuropathic pain than currently prescribed pharmaceuticals.
Bladder problems such as urinary incontinence are another common symptom that may be effectively treated with cannabis. Although research on this topic is sparse, studies including the RCT mentioned above and a smaller open-label pilot study have both found cannabinoids to significantly reduce the bladder problems associated with MS.
Marijuana’s potential for treating the symptoms of multiple sclerosis is gradually beginning to be recognized around the world. Currently, cannabis and/or cannabinoid-based medications can be legally prescribed to MS patients in Canada, Denmark, Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Is Marijuana The Cure?
No one has yet to claim that marijuana is the cure for multiple sclerosis. However, there are a small number of studies involving animal models that seem to show that cannabinoids can protect neurons from degeneration, which would ultimately slow the progression of the disease.
In a study published in 2003, researchers from the University College of London’s Institute of Neurology concluded “…in addition to symptom management, cannabis may also slow the neurodegenerative processes that ultimately lead to chronic disability in multiple sclerosis and probably other diseases.”
Another study published in 2012 by Spanish researchers came to a similar conclusion.
Despite such positive findings, these studies only represent the early stages of clinical research. Much more needs to be investigated before the scientific community will be ready to draw any conclusions about cannabis and MS.
The measure is backed by the government of President Jose Mujica, who says it will remove profits from drug dealers and divert users from harder drugs.
Under the bill, only the government would be allowed to sell marijuana.
The state would assume "the control and regulation of the importation, exportation, plantation, cultivation, the harvest, the production, the acquisition, the storage, the commercialisation and the distribution of cannabis and its by-products".
Buyers would have to be registered on a database and be over the age of 18. They would be able to buy up to 40g (1.4oz) per month in specially licensed pharmacies or grow up to six plants at home.
Foreigners would be excluded from the measure.
The bill was approved by 50 of the 96 MPs present in the lower house following a fierce 13-hour debate in the capital, Montevideo.
The supporters of the measure argued that the fight against drugs and drug trafficking had failed, and the country needed "new alternatives".
"The regulation is not to promote consumption; consumption already exists," said Sebastian Sabini of the governing centre-left Frente Amplio (Broad Front) coalition, which has a majority of one in the lower house.
Marijuana use has reportedly doubled in Uruguay over the past year. An estimated 22 tonnes of marijuana are being sold in the country annually, according to Uruguay's National Drugs Committee.
But Gerardo Amarilla of the opposition National Party said the government was "playing with fire" given the health risks he said were linked to marijuana use.
All eyes were on Dario Perez, a member of the governing coalition but a strong opponent of the bill, whose vote could have scuppered the bill.
During his 20-minute speech, Mr Perez reiterated his belief that the issue should be put to a referendum and not have been "imposed" by the government.
But to applause by supporters of the bill in the public gallery, he finally concluded that as long as he was a member of the coalition, he would vote with it, despite his personal misgivings.
The bill is now expected to be approved by the Senate, where the left-wing government has a bigger majority.
But opposition politicians said that even if the law made it through the senate, they would launch a petition to have it overturned.
A survey carried out before the vote by polling organisation Cifra suggested 63% of Uruguayans opposed the bill.
The progress of the bill is being watched closely across the region, says BBC Mundo correspondent in the region Ignacio de los Reyes.
For decades, drug trafficking has caused tens of thousands of deaths throughout Latin America.
Uruguay may have not experienced the bloodshed caused by drug trafficking, but the proposal could be seen as a test for violence-torn nations looking for an end to their drug wars, our correspondent adds.
The vote also comes just days after Pope Francis criticised drug legalisation plans during a visit to neighbouring Brazil.
The pontiff said it was "necessary to tackle the problems which are at the root of drug abuse, promoting more justice, educating the youth with the values that live in society, standing by those who face hardship and giving them hope for the future".