Tuesday, May 06, 2008

latest medical marijuana news

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Although hostility toward the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes continues, science has established its usefulness for patients living with certain types of pain. The latest research supports the efficacy of medical marijuana for treatment of neuropathic pain.

Low-Dose Pot Eases Pain While Keeping Mind Clear
Giving carefully calibrated doses of smoked marijuana to people with neuropathic pain, which can be difficult-to-treat and extremely painful, can ease their pain without clouding their minds, California researchers report.

Neuropathic pain can result from spinal cord injury, diabetes-related nerve damage, multiple sclerosis, or other types of nerve injury, and is typically treated with a wide range of drugs including antidepressants, anticonvulsants, opioids, and anti-inflammatories, the study's lead author, Dr. Barth Wilsey of the University of California, Davis Medical Center, told Reuters Health. Wilsey became interested in testing marijuana for treating neuropathic pain, he said in an interview, after many of his patients told him they were already smoking pot to cope.

Marijke Durning at the Help My Hurt blog shared an interview with the author of a book on using medical marijuana this week:

Author of How-to Marijuana, Step-by-Step Guide to Medical Marijuana

Marijke also recently wrote about research on the use of marijuana for treatment of migraines:

Marijuana for Migraine?

Finally, a patient in need of a liver transplant who seems to have been denied an organ because he used medical marijuana (legally, under state law) died last week:

Pot Eased Suffering, May Have Cost His Life

His lawyer, Douglas Hiatt, said that although no one told him why Garon was turned down for a transplant, he suspects it was because he used marijuana with medical approval, as allowed under state law, to ease the symptoms of advanced hepatitis C.

Garon died a week after a University of Washington Medical Center committee had for the second time denied him a spot on the liver transplant list. Harborview Medical Center previously turned him down. No reasons were given for the denials, Hiatt said.

Harborview said he would be considered if he avoided pot for six months, and the UW Medical Center offered to reconsider if he enrolled in a 60-day drug treatment program, but doctors said his liver disease was too advanced for him to last that long, Hiatt said. The university hospital committee agreed to reconsider anyway, then denied him again.

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