Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another Government Road Block

The Department Of Health and Human Services (it has very little to do with health and is into denying services) has denied permission for an FDA approved study of cannabis for treating PTSD.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has blocked a pilot study to examine the benefits of marijuana for veterans with treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The study was sponsored by the nonprofit research organization the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), and would have been conducted by Dr. Sue Sisley of the University of Arizona at Phoenix.

“Hundreds of veterans in medical marijuana states already report using marijuana to control their PTSD symptoms,” MAPS said in a statement. “The growing number of service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with combat-related trauma combined with large numbers of treatment-resistant veterans highlights the pressing need for research into additional treatments for PTSD.”
It seems the Federales have an impenetrable wall to keep this reseach on cannabis from getting done.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has denied researchers requests to obtain licenses to grow marijuana, claiming that the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) — overseen by the HHS — can be the only one to supply marijuana for Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated research.
Clever boys.

It seems like actual veterans are taking matters into their own hands. Green leafy matters.
“My life went downhill from the moment I came back from Iraq,” Begin, now a 31-year-old veteran, tells Danger Room. “Doctors at Bethesda had me on so much, and on such high doses of everything, that I didn’t even know what was a symptom and what was a side effect.”

At one point, Begin, diagnosed with PTSD shortly after coming home, was taking more than 100 pills a day. So many that he would stuff dozens of bottles into a backpack to lug everywhere he went. Now, he’s cut his dependency on prescriptions to zero. Their replacement? Five joints a day.

“Using marijuana balances me out,” he says. “It takes those peaks and valleys of PTSD and it softens them. It makes my life manageable.”

Begin’s now launched an online petition asking the feds to change their course on marijuana as a treatment for PTSD. In September, the first-ever study proposed to evaluate marijuana as a potential treatment for PTSD was blocked by officials at the National Institutes on Drug Abuse (NIDA). With an estimated 37 percent of this generation’s vets afflicted with PTSD, and a dearth of effective treatment options available, Begin thinks pot deserves, at the very least, a single study.
He is not the only veteran who thinks that cannabis ought to be an official medicine. I wrote about Jamey Raines recently.

And what do you know? Our friends the Israelis are on the case.
D., a 26-year-old woman from the north of Israel, says she began to suffer from nightmares about seven years ago, after her partner raped her. After undergoing various forms of therapy, she thought she had largely put the trauma behind her. Then, two years ago, she chanced to see the rapist not far from her home. The nightmares came swarming back.

"I fell into a depression that went on until not long ago, during which I hardly slept or ate," she says in a quiet voice. "My whole life turned upside down. I left my job. Everything came to a stop. I went back to taking antidepressants and tranquilizers - Cipralex, Lustral and Prozac; sleeping pills that made me addicted. It was a nightmare. There was no way I could get through the day without those pills. Then I discovered cannabis."
So war trauma is not the only way to get PTSD? Maybe that explains why 70% of female Heroin users report being sexually attacked. When they were children. Too bad no famous sports figures (in so far as we know) are involved. Too bad we can't figure a way to give such kids a pass. Until we figure out better ways to help them heal. Currently a long slow process that is not a sure thing.

H/T Drug Policy Forum of Texas

Cross Posted at Classical Values

1 comment: United States Marijuana Party said...

From: Senator Leahy []
Sent: 12/6/2011 4:45:19 PM
To: []
Subject: From Senator Patrick Leahy

Dear Ms. Ericson:

Thank you for contacting me about decriminalizing marijuana.
I appreciate hearing from you.

In the past two decades, states across the country
have repeatedly passed legislation making it possible
to prescribe or recommend the use of marijuana for medical purposes.
Despite existing state laws, marijuana is still a Schedule I drug
under the Federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970
and federal agencies, such as the Drug Enforcement Agency,
continued to enforce federal laws, even where state laws
allow for the use and possession of medical marijuana.

On March 18, 2009, Attorney General Holder announced
that the Department of Justice would shift its policy to
end medical marijuana raids. This is a big step toward
ensuring that decisions made at the state level are no
preempted by federal officials. It will also free up important
federal resources to focus on the drug traffickers and
dealers who maliciously poison our streets.

However, in general, I do not believe that illicit drugs
should be decriminalized. I believe the public health and public
safety implications of decriminalizing addictive and mind altering
substances outweigh any potential benefits gained by increased tax revenue.

Should any legislation on this issue come before the Senate,
I will be sure to keep your thoughts in mind. Thank you again for contacting me.


United States Senator