Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Pot Eases Pain of Multiple Sclerosis, the Journal Neurology Concedes

By David Downs
Tue, Apr 29, 2014 at 2:00 PM

The roughly 2.5 million people in the world who suffer from multiple sclerosis — an inflammatory disease of the nerves — might be surprised to learn the hippies were right: Cannabis treats symptoms of multiple sclerosis, the journal Neurology concluded Monday.

Cannabis — which the federal government calls “marijuana” — is “effective” “for reducing patient-centered measures” of spasticity in M.S. sufferers.

click to enlarge M.S. treatments often include injections. Cannabis is also effective for pain and spasms, Neurology concludes. - FLICKR - EMILY RAWLINGS
  • Flickr - Emily Rawlings
  • M.S. treatments often include injections. Cannabis is also effective for pain and spasms, Neurology concludes.

Cannabis is also “effective” on “central pain or painful spasms (including spasticity-related pain, excluding neuropathic pain)” caused by M.S., the authors conclude.

Experts on the Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology concluded pot works after reviewing 65 years of medical cannabis studies on the treatment of symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS), epilepsy, and movement disorders. Thirty-four studies met inclusion criteria and eight were rated as Class I.

Yet, M.S. patients continue to needlessly suffer across California and the rest of the country due to cannabis prohibition, CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta told me last month.

The federal government considers cannabis a schedule 1 drug - more dangerous than heroin, meth, and LSD - with no medical uses and high potential for abuse. The Drug Enforcement Administration as well as federal grants foment this opinion in the police departments of California — who maintain “there is no such thing” as medical cannabis.

These groups — led by the drug war lobby at the California Police Chiefs Association — have worked to ban medical cannabis access points in the vast majority of California and are now at work on banning the cultivation of even a single cannabis plant for medical use. They also want to ban adults under 21 from getting high-THC recommendations, like those explicitly found effective by Neurology.

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