Pubdate: Mon, 30 Jun 2008
Source: Wisconsin State Journal (WI)
Copyright: 2008 Madison Newspapers, Inc.
Author: Gary Storck


"Heart troubles," the State Journal's Wednesday piece on Tim
Russert's abrupt passing despite treatment with the best Western
medicine could offer, points out a need for more alternatives.

In a 2004 study published in the journal Nature, "Low dose oral
cannabinoid therapy reduces progression of atherosclerosis in mice,"
Swiss scientists observed that cannabinoids, chemical compounds found
in marijuana, protect against heart disease by blocking the blood
vessel inflammation that causes plaque to form.

The cannabinoid used was delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), already
approved by the FDA as a schedule 3 drug. Although approved to
stimulate appetite in cancer and AIDS patients, doctors hypothetically
could prescribe it "off-label," meaning this treatment is available
today nationwide.

But since the media tends to overlook studies showing medical benefits
from cannabis, few are aware that cannabis or its constituent
cannabinoids may be a lifesaving alternative.

Why must we look abroad to learn more about the medical uses of
cannabis, and how did America get to the point where withholding this
potential lifesaver from patients is good public policy?

Gary Storck, Madison, director of communications, Is My Medicine
Legal Yet? 
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