Direct Action – US Schwag Tested on Canadian Patients, Bogus Study!

In this show, Chris and David inspire others to write letters to newspapers to expose Health Canada’s bogus NIDA shwag pot tests. Imagine the cruelty! Placebo pot 4 Canadian AIDS patients! NIDA who refused to give the Canadian Government seeds to grow for the Canadian Federal Program, and who state that their is “no medical use for marijuana”, are subverting the Canadian study by forcing their chemically altered standardized schwag as the test material. Take Direct Action Now!
Even more info regarding these studies is available in the discussion forums at www.cannabisculture.com – specifically the “current news and events” forum and the “Marijuana Party” forum.

You can send your letters to all of these papers, it’s basically the same article.

Ottawa Probes Marijuana’s Effect On Pain
Source: National Post (Canada)
Contact: [email protected]

First Clinical Pot Trial To Use U.S. Stash
Source: Globe and Mail (Canada)
Contact: [email protected]

St. Mike’s Study Probes Role Of Medical Pot
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Contact: [email protected]

Marijuana’s Effect On Hiv/aids Under Microscope
Source: Halifax Herald (CN NS)
Contact: [email protected]

First Canadian Trial of Medicinal Marijuana For HIV/AIDS
Source: Ottawa Citizen (CN ON)
Contact: [email protected]

Munchies May Be Just What Doctor Orders
Source: Winnipeg Free Press (CN MB)
Contact: [email protected]

Subjects Smoking Gov’t Marijuana
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Contact: [email protected]

Politicians;
Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, President of the Senate Committee on Cannabis.
Room 143 – East Block
Senate of Canada
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0A4

The House of Commons Committee on the Non-Medical Use of Drugs
Committee member email addresses:

Chair:
– Paddy Torsney (Liberal) [email protected]

Vice Chairs:
– Carole-Marie Allard (Liberal) [email protected]
– Randy White (Canadian Alliance) [email protected]

Members:
– André Bachand (P.C.) [email protected]
– Bernard Bigras (Bloc Quebecois) [email protected]
– Libby Davies (NDP) [email protected]
– Hedy Fry (Liberal) [email protected]
– Mac Harb (Liberal) [email protected]
– Dominic LeBlanc (Liberal) [email protected]
– Derek Lee (Liberal) [email protected]
– Réal Ménard (Bloc Quebequois) [email protected]
– Jacques Saada (Liberal) [email protected]
– Kevin Sorenson (Canadian Alliance) [email protected]

Dear Editor,

Regarding the SUBJECTS SMOKING GOV’T MARIJUANA story in the Thursday, 10th of October edition of the Edmonton Sun;

I deplore the “shwag tests” that Health Canada will be conducting using low-potency, chemically fertilized NIDA Mississippi bunk-weed. These tests do not respect the strain, quality or mode-of-administration preferences of the study subjects.

The only legitimate tests are those that study those who use cannabis in ways they have chosen to use cannabis, in order to remove the possibility of researcher bias interfering with results.

For just one example of the researcher bias impacting negatively on the results, we are told that “street marijuana contains compounds not found in study-grade marijuana”. Perhaps these compounds are medically effective? Consider the wisdom found in Chevallier’s Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants; 1996;

“The whole herb is worth more than the sum of it’s parts, and scientific research is increasingly showing that the active constituents of many herbs….interact in complex ways to produce the therapeutic effect.”

Ancedotal evidence (a collection of individual testament) was quite enough to give legitimacy to many of our most effective medicines. For example, asprin, digitalis and curare were not recognized as therapeutic through controlled experiments, but rather through folklore.

Cannabis is NOT Thalidomide, and does not require the “safety and efficacy tests” that became required of synthetic medicines following the Thalidomide disaster. Neither do any of the other herbs used from the beginning of time.

These tests will make sick and dying people suffer needlessly. In these tests, HIV patients must abstain from their pain and nausia and appetite-stimulation medicine for one month to remove the true medicine – the “street cannabis” – from their systems. Others will be given a “placebo” – meaning they will suffer and might die as a result of having NO medicine – just to satisfy the “controlled studies” criteria of anti-cannabis Health Canada. And the NIDA weed is notorious for it’s lack of potency and quality – you might as well consider all NIDA cannabis to be a “placebo”.

These tests, aside from being cruel, were designed to fail. We in the Canadian Cannabis community want cannabis to be tested on how intelligently it can be used, not on how badly research can be conducted. User wisdom and user autonomy must be factors in the present and any future research on cannabis.

Sincerely,

David Malmo-Levine
Cannabis consultant
www.pot-tv.net
www.potshotzine.com
www.cannabisculture.com
[email protected]
(be sure to include a city and telephone number)

Please also, if you have time, send your letter to these politicians, involved in the latest “non-medical” use of cannabis BS research study…..gotta educate and empower everyone!

“Participants will be barred from using non-study marijuana during the trial and will be tested to ensure they are honouring that rule. Street marijuana contains compounds not found in study-grade marijuana, Gough explained. “
These tests are meant to fail………

Canada: Subjects Smoking Gov’t Marijuana
URL: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v02/n1893/a10.html
Newshawk: Cannabis Health (http://www.cannabishealth.com/)
Pubdate: Thu, 10 Oct 2002
Source: Edmonton Sun (CN AB)
Copyright: 2002, Canoe Limited Partnership.
Contact: [email protected]
Website: http://www.fyiedmonton.com/htdocs/edmsun.shtml
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/135
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/mmjcn.htm (Cannabis – Medicinal – Canada)

SUBJECTS SMOKING GOV’T MARIJUANA

Toronto Research Targets Medicinal Pot

TORONTO ( CP ) — Will marijuana-induced munchies help people with HIV and AIDS combat nausea and avoid the weight-loss that the disease brings on? Researchers in Toronto are hoping to find out.

Canada’s first government-sponsored trial of medicinal marijuana in HIV/AIDS officially started yesterday, led by researchers from St. Michael’s Hospital and the Community Research Initiative of Toronto.

“I think the time is right to look at this,” said principal investigator Dr. Kevin Gough, medical director of HIV services at the hospital.

“Let’s find out what role, if any, that smoked cannabis has in, not only HIV and AIDS, but other medical illnesses as well.”

Advocates of medicinal marijuana believe the drug can be useful for a wide range of conditions. Anecdotal evidence suggests it helps in pain control, curbs nausea brought on by chemotherapy or HIV/AIDS drugs, and stimulates the appetite of people who have lost interest in eating as a result of their conditions or medications.

But anecdotal evidence doesn’t cut it when you are asking a government to allow large numbers of ill people to buy and smoke what is still an illegal substance.

So Health Canada has authorized research to gather clinical evidence that may have implications for Canadian policy, and that will likely be scrutinized by governments outside Canada as well.

The current study is a pilot to gather information that will be used to design a larger, multi-centre clinical trial. The pilot phase, involving 32 participants with HIV/AIDS, is expected to last about a year.

All participants will have smoked marijuana before. Because there is little consensus on any risks associated with marijuana use, researchers can’t ethically ask people to take the drug for the first time for a study.

But only people who haven’t used the drug in the previous 30 days will be eligible to take part. That’s to ensure there are no lingering effects of non-study marijuana in their systems.

Over a two-month period, each participant will be given three supplies of varying strengths of marijuana plus a placebo. They will be asked to use each for a period of one week and will not be informed which is which.

Throughout the study they will keep a diary detailing how much they smoked, how they felt, and how much and what they ate.

After using one strength for a week, they will be asked to go a week without smoking marijuana, to cleanse the drug from their systems.

Participants will be barred from using non-study marijuana during the trial and will be tested to ensure they are honouring that rule. Street marijuana contains compounds not found in study-grade marijuana, Gough explained.

Although Canada is in the process of developing its own supply of study-grade marijuana, the crop – being grown in an underground facility in Manitoba – isn’t ready for use. The marijuana for this study comes from the U.S. National Institute of Drug Abuse, currently the only producer of research-grade marijuana in North America.

Ottawa probes marijuana’s effect on pain
First clinical trial to follow 32 patients over eight weeks

Tom Arnold
National Post

Thursday, October 10, 2002

Jeff Vinnick, National Post
Anne McLellan, the federal Health Minister, said the government would not consider distributing medical marijuana without trials.

ADVERTISEMENT

The federal government is putting up $840,000 for Canada’s first clinical study into whether marijuana use can help ease pain.

The Community Research Initiative of Toronto and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto are to begin evaluating the therapeutic effects of smoked cannabis in HIV/AIDS.

In the clinical trial, 32 patients will be closely examined over eight weeks to test the safety of short-term exposure to different strengths of cannabis, and how cannabis interacts with HIV medications. The analysis will also include the effect of smoked marijuana on nausea, pain, mood and neuro-cognitive function.

The results of the study will help determine the design of a larger, multi-centre, clinical trial across the country. It is also important because Anne McLellan, the federal Health Minister, has said she will not proceed with medicinal legalization without clinical trials looking at the plant’s effectiveness.

“There is so little good concrete scientific data about the potential benefits or effects of smoked cannabis in a number of illnesses, including HIV and AIDS,” said Kevin Gough, an infectious diseases specialist who will act as the study’s principal investigator.

“HIV itself, the disease, and the medications we use to treat it, produce a number of side effects, including loss of appetite, nausea, and pain. Other diseases like cancer and multiple sclerosis can also lead to similar symptoms that might benefit from smoked cannabis, but the studies aren’t there.

“This is the first trial in Canada to be looking at cannabis in any medical context,” added Dr. Gough, who is also medical director of HIV services at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.

For those suffering from HIV or AIDS, loss of appetite and weight loss can be life threatening, said Derek Thaczuk, former chairman of the board of directors of the Community Research Initiative of Toronto, an organization dedicated to research on HIV and AIDS.

“There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest that smoking marijuana increases people’s appetite and therefore helps them gain weight,” he said. “What we’re doing with this study is subjecting it to some scientific rigour and trying to get quantitative answers to the question of ‘Can smoked cannabis help with this condition and if so, how much?’ “

The marijuana has been imported from the U.S. government’s National Institutes of Drug Abuse. The organization grows its own marijuana on a farm in Mississippi. The Canadian research team purchased 500 grams for the research project.

Mr. Thaczuk, who chairs the Toronto research initiative’s scientific committee, said work on the study has been carried out for two years with Health Canada, and the scientific and HIV/AIDS communities.

The study is based on a method known as a placebo-controlled crossover design. This means all participants will receive marijuana containing four different strengths of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at different times, including a placebo. Each patient will smoke the various forms of the drug for a week, monitoring their usage, pain level and weight. They will remain marijuana-free for the next week, but still self-monitoring.

Although they will be smoking medicinal pot in their own homes whenever they choose, they will undergo a battery of tests as an in-patient at a clinic once a week.

THC is the component of cannabis known to cause the “high” people experience. THC is also believed responsible for the drug’s potential medical benefits, such as appetite stimulation.

The study is expected to be completed within one year.
The federal government has funded another study, one in which researchers at McGill University will research the therapeutic effects of marijuana on neurological pain. The $235,000 project is to get underway this fall.

In August, Ms. McLellan prompted applause when she told doctors at a meeting of the Canadian Medical Association in New Brunswick that she was uncomfortable with people smoking pot to relieve pain and that the government would not look at distributing medicinal marijuana before it does clinical drug trials.

Ms. McLellan’s comments appeared to contradict her predecessor Allan Rock, who had suggested he was looking at easing up on legal access to the drug as medicine. However, she insisted she was not backing away from the government’s plan to distribute marijuana for medicinal purposes.

Like any other drug, she said, the safety, efficacy and long-term effects of marijuana must be studied before approval. Canadian doctors have led a powerful lobby against prescribing pot as medicine, arguing it has not been tested for safety or efficacy.

http://www.newswire.ca/releases/October2002/09/c9505.html

Canada’s first marijuana study to begin

Toronto Researchers to Explore Effects of Smoked Cannabis in HIV/AIDS

TORONTO, Oct. 9 /CNW/ – The Community Research Initiative of Toronto
(CRIT) and St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto announced today the start of the
first Canadian study evaluating the therapeutic effects of smoked cannabis in
HIV/AIDS. The study represents more than two years of development and planning
with Health Canada, the scientific and HIV/AIDS communities.
The goal of this pioneering research project is to create scientific
knowledge about the safety and efficacy of smoked marijuana and its ability to
increase appetite in patients with HIV/AIDS,” says Principal Investigator, Dr.
Kevin Gough, Medical Director, HIV Service, St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
Unlike previous cannabis studies, the Toronto team is conducting the research
on an outpatient basis. The study will also test the safety of short-term
exposure to different strengths of cannabis, and how cannabis interacts with
HIV medications. Secondary areas of analysis will include the role of smoked
marijuana on nausea, pain, mood and neuro-cognitive function. The results of
the pilot study will help determine the design of a larger, multi-centre,
clinical trial across Canada.
“There is anecdotal evidence suggesting that using marijuana
therapeutically may increase appetite, provide pain relief or reduce nausea,”
commented CRIT spokesperson, Derek Thaczuk. “Only when the safety and
effectiveness of medicinal marijuana is demonstrated in rigorous, carefully-
designed scientific studies, can it be accepted by the medical community.
Research of this nature is pivotal in understanding whether marijuana is a
credible therapy in disease management, ” he continued.
The study is a placebo-controlled crossover design, meaning that all
participants will receive cannabis containing different strengths of
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) at different times including a placebo (no THC).
THC is the component of cannabis known to cause the “high” people experience.
THC is also thought to be responsible for cannabis’ possible medical benefits
(e.g. appetite stimulation).
The study is being conducted by CRIT, a research organization that
focuses on community-initiated research in the area of HIV/AIDS, in
partnership with St. Michael’s Hospital and the Canadian HIV Trials Network
(CTN). St. Michael’s Hospital is a Catholic teaching and research hospital,
affiliated with the University of Toronto, specializing in heart and vascular
disease, inner city health, trauma/neurosurgery, diabetes comprehensive care,
minimal access therapeutics, and mobility disorders. CTN is a national
organization that coordinates clinical trials in HIV/AIDS. The funding for
this initiative has been provided by Health Canada.
Co-investigators for this study include; Sergio Rueda (Community Research
Initiative of Toronto), Dr. Joel Singer (Canadian HIV Trials Network), Dr.Tom
Chin (St. Michael’s Hospital), Dr. Ahmed Bayoumi (St. Michael’s Hospital), Dr.
Don Kilby (University of Ottawa), Pauline Darling (St. Michael’s Hospital),
Shelley Schwartzberg (St. Michael’s Hospital), Scott Walker (Sunnybrook Health
Science Centre) and Dr. Sean Rourke (St. Michael’s Hospital).

-30-

For further information: please contact: Audra Millis/Adah Pettingill,
NATIONAL Public Relations, (416) 848-1432/(416) 848-1386
This press release concerns more than one organization.
To view releases from one of these organizations, please select from below.

COMMUNITY RESEARCH INITIATIVE OF TORONTO
ST. MICHAEL’S HOSPITAL

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