All are invited to California NORML’s conference marking the
100th anniversary of marijuana prohibition in California.
Cannabis in California: Ending the 100 Year War
January 26 & 27, 2013
Ft. Mason Conference Center, San Francisco
All are invited to California NORML’s conference marking the 100th
anniversary of marijuana prohibition in California. This two-day
event, held January 26 & 27, 2013 at Ft. Mason Conference Center in
San Francisco, will explore the history, causes and costs of the war
on cannabis, and strategies for ending it.
Speakers at this historic conference will include leading experts on
cannabis, reform movement leaders, public officials, attorneys,
scientific and medical experts.
Following up on Cal NORML’s “Next Steps” conferences of 2011, we will
discuss concrete measures to reform California’s cannabis laws, both
medical and otherwise, through legislation, litigation and ballot
Special early bird CalNORML Member Registration is $65 for both days.
Non-Member Earlybird Registration is $75.
The Radisson at Fisherman’s Wharf is offering a special room rate for
Call 415-392-6700 and ask for the California NORML group rate.
By Tuan C. Nguyen | September 21, 2012, 4:39 AM PDT
An extraordinary discovery may someday give the controversial notion of “medical marijuana” a potent new meaning.
Turns out that the recreationally popular cannabis plant contains compounds that could stop and even reverse the growth of various aggressive forms of cancer. The finding, initially reported in 2007, may lead to the development of an effective treatment without toxic side effects.
Since the late 80’s, researchers have investigated the possibility that marijuana may possess anti-tumor properties. It began after a biologist in Madrid noticed that exposing brain cancer cells to tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the chemical responsible for that sensation of being “high,” caused them to die. Follow-up studies conducted at Harvard University confirmed that injections of THC and other compounds known as “cannabinoids” lead to a positive outcome, both slowing down tumor growth by killing cancer cells while leaving healthy cells virtually unscathed.
Now a pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco are hoping to take what has been years of promising research a step further. Dr. Pierre Desprez in collaboration with his research partner Sean McAllister found that the compounds halted the spread of cancer cells by disabling ID-1, a gene shown to be a mechanism for the kind of rapid metastasis common in aggressive types of cancer such as lung and brain cancer. After a series of lab tests using a non-psychoactive chemical extract called Cannabidiol to treat malignant human breast cells in mice, the researchers hope to develop a pill that can demonstrate efficacy in human clinical trials.
It took us about 20 years of research to figure this out, but we are very excited,” Desprez, told the Huffington Post. “We want to get started with trials as soon as possible.”
The researchers hope to develop a safe drug that, at the very least, can be integrated into a patient’s treatment program and help to lessen the toxic effects of conventional therapies such as chemotherapy. Another advantage is that as a non-psychoactive chemical, CBD wont produce any mind-altering effects and, in case you’re wondering, it won’t leave the door open for those who want to inhale it.
“We used injections in the animal testing and are also testing pills,” Desprez said. “But you could never get enough Cannabidiol for it to be effective just from smoking.”
Everyday We Write the Book
“Everyday I Write the Book” is a true song by Elvis Costello and it’s also our aim —to post news, analysis, and relevant history that people interested in the medical marijuana movement might find useful.
I’ve been covering the movement in earnest since 1996, when California voters passed Proposition 15, which allowed doctors to approve cannabis use by patients. It’s a big story with many facets —science, politics, law, medicine, history, economics— and a cast of thousands, and a supporting case of millions.
My day job as an editor at the University of California San Francisco enabled me to follow advances on the scientific front. And I had good connections on the political and medical fronts, including Dennis Peron —whose San Francisco Cannabis Buyers’ Club had given rise to the Prop 215 campaign— and Tod Mikuriya, MD, the Berkeley-based psychiatrist who had published the suppressed pre-prohibition medical literature on marijuana and helped draft Prop 215.
In 2000 I joined the ranks of law enforcement as public information officer for the District Attorney of San Francisco, Terence Hallinan. Getting an inside view of how the “War on Drugs” is actually prosecuted —even in the city and county of San Francisco under “America’s most progressive DA”— confirmed my outside view. Two-thirds of all criminal cases involve drugs. Enforcing drug prohibition is the excuse for maintaining an outsized police force. Abolition in one county can’t be achieved.
In 2003 I producedO’Shaughnessy’s in support of Dr. Mikuriya, who was being prosecuted by the Medical Board of California. Tod had organized a group of doctors (now called the Society of Cannabis Clinicians) who were monitoring cannabis use by patients. He wanted a journal that would publish the SCC doctors’ findings and observations, and keep them up-to-date on what scientists were learning about the endocannabinoid system, and report on relevant political and legal developments of interest. By design, O’Shaughnessy’s came out as a cross between a medical journal and a defense-committee leaflet. “Hybrid vigor!” Tod proclaimed.
He died in 2006. The SCC abides under the leadership of Jeffrey Hergenrather, MD. O’Shaughnessy’s abides as a tabloid distributed by SCC members to their patients —and now online. Martin A. Lee has been an editor since 2009.
Viewpoints expressed on this site and in O’Shaughnessy’s do not reflect positions taken by the SCC. Signed pieces present the opinions of the authors; unsigned pieces present the opinions of the editors. Contents (c) 2012 by O’Shaughnessy’s. All rights reserved. Please address reprint requests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can the government shut down proactive methods of treatment?! HOW! CARE ABOUT PEOPLE NOT PRINTED PAPER!!!!
As many people hit middle age, they often start to notice that their memory and mental clarity are not what they used to be. We suddenly can’t remember where we put the keys just a moment ago, or an old acquaintance’s name, or the name of an old band we used to love. As the brain fades, we euphemistically refer to these occurrences as “senior moments.”
While seemingly innocent, this loss of mental focus can potentially have a detrimental impact on our professional, social, and personal well-being.
It happens to most of us, but is it inevitable?
Neuroscientists are increasingly showing that there’s actually a lot that can be done. It turns that the brain needs exercise in much the same way our muscles do, and the right mental workouts can significantly improve our basic cognitive functions. Thinking is essentially a process of making neural connections in the brain. To a certain extent, our ability to excel in making the neural connections that drive intelligence is inherited. However, because these connections are made through effort and practice, scientists believe that intelligence can expand and fluctuate according to mental effort.
Now, a new San Francisco Web-based company has taken it a step further and developed the first “brain training program” designed to actually help people improve and regain their mental sharpness. Called Lumosity, it was designed by some of the leading experts in neuroscience and cognitive psychology from Stanford University.
Lumosity, is far more than an online place to exercise your mental skills. That’s because they have integrated these exercises into a Web-based program that allows you to systematically improve your memory and attention skills. The program keeps track of your progress and provides detailed feedback on your performance and improvement. Most importantly, it constantly modifies and enhances the games you play to build on the strengths you are developing–much like an effective exercise routine requires you to increase resistance and vary your muscle use.
Does it work?
Apparently it does. In randomized, controlled clinical trials Lumosity was shown to significantly improve basic cognitive functions. One study showed students improved their scores on math tests by 34 percent after using Lumosity for six weeks, significantly greater gains than those made by other students in the same class, who were not training with the Lumosity program.
The company says its users have reported clearer and quicker thinking, improved memory for names, numbers, directions, increased alertness and awareness, elevated mood, and better concentration at work or while driving.
While many of the games at Lumosity are free, a modest subscription fee is required to use the full program over the long term.
However, Lumosity is currently offering a free trial of their program to new users so that you can see how well it works before you decide to subscribe. The trial is completely free (no credit card required) and the company believes the results will speak for themselves.