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Smoking marijuana may be an effective treatment for pain and spasticity experienced by multiple sclerosis patients, the UC San Diego School of Medicine says in a new report.

The study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal and led by Jody Corey-Bloom, MD, PhD, a professor of neurosciences and director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center at UCSD, placed 30 adult multiple sclerosis patients into either a study group or placebo control group. One group smoked one marijuana cigarette daily for three days, the other group was given placebos to smoke. After an 11 day interval, the groups were switched, so that all volunteers ingested both cannabis and a placebo.

Sixty-three percent of study participants were women, and over half required the use of devices to assist in walking, with 20 percent using a wheelchair. The average participant age was 50.

“We found that smoked cannabis was superior to placebo in reducing symptoms and pain in patients with treatment-resistant spasticity, or excessive muscle contractions,” Corey-Bloom reports.

Patients reported 50 percent less pain while using marijuana, and tests that “graded the intensity of muscle tone by measuring such things as resistance in range of motion and rigidity” showed marked improvements in the cannabis users.

Though the results were promising, a release from UCSD says that “smoking cannabis did have mild effects on attention and concentration.”

Another study from the medical journal Neurology cited by the Huffington Post found that multiple sclerosis patients who smoke marijuana doubled their risk of developing cognitive impairments.

“Whatever benefits patients feel they might be getting from smoking marijuana might come at the cost of further cognitive compromise,” says Dr. Anthony Feinstein, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Toronto, lead researcher on the other study, completed last year.

UCSD researchers are calling for a larger, longer term study to confirm their findings and determine whether a lower cannabis dosage can achieve the desired physical benefits without the impact on cognitive function.

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Comments

malcolmkyle May 15, 2012 @ 8:28 a.m.

In 1988, after reviewing all scientific evidence brought forth in a lengthy lawsuit against the government’s prohibition of medical marijuana, the DEA’s own administrative law judge (Judge Francis Young) wrote: “MARIJUANA, IN ITS NATURAL FORM, IS ONE OF THE SAFEST THERAPEUTICALLY ACTIVE SUBSTANCES KNOWN. IN STRICT MEDICAL TERMS, MARIJUANA IS SAFER THAN MANY FOODS WE COMMONLY CONSUME.” http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/show/109464

Anyone that wants marijuana is already getting it. Legalizing and regulating marijuana is not adding another harmful intoxicant to society, legalizing gives people the legal opportunity to make the SAFER CHOICE! Alcohol, tobacco, many Rx drugs, many over the counter drugs, even caffeine, aspirin and non-aspirin, can all be deadly and are well documented as being the direct cause of hundreds of thousands of deaths in the USA every year. http://www.saferchoice.org/content/view/24/53/

No person of any age, in all of recorded history, has ever died from marijuana, marijuana is nontoxic. Many have died from marijuana prohibition and tens of millions have been caged or otherwise seriously harmed. The US arrests someone on marijuana charge every 38 seconds. In 2010, 52.1% of the 1,638,846 total arrests for prohibition violations were for marijuana -- making a calculated total of 853,839. Would you rather have your kid locked up with killers and child molesters or would you prefer to do your own proper parenting? http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Marijuana#Total

Watch this FL man that gets his marijuana from the Federal government destroy all the lies about marijuana consumers being lazy and unproductive. Watch him destroy all the lies about long term heavy marijuana use being harmful. Learn the truth about marijuana: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvzX8a...

Listen to these high ranking narcotics officers expose the harms and waste of the drug war: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LayaGk...

The World Health Organization Documents Failure of U.S. Drug Policies - according to the world's leading substance abuse researchers, the US has the highest rates of marijuana and cocaine use. http://www.alternet.org/drugreporter/90295/

Cannabis Reduces Infant Mortality: http://www.salem-news.com/articles/june272010/marijuana-infants-sc.php - The "cannabis" infants have a mortality rate almost half of what the "No drugs" infants have!

If you want to know how far the federal government will go to promote its mendacious anti-marijuana message read this: http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2000/03/31/magazines

Protestant, Catholic and Jewish Clergy Speak Out Against The War On Drugs: 
http://www.csdp.org/news/news/clergydvd.htm

Free online book: The Emperor Wears No Clothes:
http://www.jackherer.com/chapter01.html

Here's a documentary about marijuana curing cancer. There are 7 parts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjhT92...

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Twister May 15, 2012 @ 3:19 p.m.

What is the current "legal" status in San Diego? How much (number of plants, dimensions of growing plot) does the local ordinance permit?

What is the status of the state law?

As a practical matter, what is the status of local federal enforcement of federal law?

What drives federal policy?

What is the Attorney General's policy position?

What are the penalties for what amounts of possession?

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