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THE LEADING SOURCE FOR PROS & CONS OF CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES
Accepted Medical Use 1. When the Controlled Substances Act was passed in 1970, it mentioned that in order for a drug to be classified in the most restrictive Schedule I category it must meet the following standard (among others):
"The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States."
2. According to the DEA's Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young, in his "Opinion and Recommended Ruling, Findings of Fact, Conclusion of Law and Decision of Administrative Law Judge" from 9/6/88:
"The Act [CSA] does not specify by whom a drug or substance must be 'accepted [for] medical use in treatment' in order to meet the Act's 'accepted' requirement for placement in Schedule II. Department of Justice witnesses told Congress during hearings in 1970 preceding passage of the Act that 'the medical Profession' would make this determination, that the matter would be 'determined by the medical community.' The Deputy Chief Counsel of BNDD [Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs - the precursor to the DEA] whose office had written the bill with this language in it, told the House subcommittee that 'this basic determination...is not made by any part of the federal government. It is made by the medical community as to whether or not the drug has medical use of doesn't...
The overwhelming preponderance of evidence in this record establishes that marijuana has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States for nausea and vomiting resulting from chemotherapy treatments in some cancer patients. To conclude otherwise, on this record, would be unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious."
3. In a May 16, 1994 Final Order by the DEA Deputy Administer, Stephen Green wrote the following in response to an Order dated 12/9/93 from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit which remanded the matter of a petition from Carl Eric Olsen to the DEA for a ruling:
"Then Administrator John C. Lawn previously determined that marijuana does not have a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and as a result must remain in Schedule I...
Then-Administrator Lawn's final order was appealed to the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit which returned the matter to the DEA for an explanation of the factors in determining 'currently accepted medical use'... In response to the remand, then-Administrator Bonner issued a final order in which he determined that for a substance to have a 'currently accepted medical use' the following must exist:
the drug's chemistry must be known and reproducible;
there must be adequate safety studies;
there must be adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy;
the drug must be accepted by qualified experts;
the scientific evidence must be widely available.
Then-Administrator Bonner concluded that marijuana failed to meet all elements of the five-part test and, therefore, did not meet the statutorily prescribed criteria for a Schedule II substance."
AIDS Wasting The involuntary loss of more than 10% of body weight, plus more than 30 days of either diarrhea, or weakness and fever. Wasting (cachexia) is linked to disease progression and death. Losing just 5% of body weight can have the same negative effects.
Antiemetic That which stops vomiting.
Blind Trials "In a blind trial, patients do not know whether they receive the new drug or a placebo." - MSN Encarta Ecncylopedia
Cachexia General physical wasting and malnutrition, usually associated with a chronic disease (see AIDS Wasting).
Cancer A malignant tumor of potentially unlimited growth.
Cannabidiol One of several cannabinoids in Cannabis Sativa.
Cannabinoid A class of chemicals that include the active "ingredients" in marijuana. There are currently three classes of cannabinoids:
Phytocannabinoids occur in plants, such as marijuana
Endocannabinoids occur naturally in the brain
Synthetic cannabinoids are created in laboratories and are not known to exist naturally
The most discussed cannabinoids in the medical marijuana debate are cannabinol (CBN), cannabidiol (CBD) and delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta 9-THC).
Cannabis All parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L. (marijuana)
Cannabis Club An organized group of patients and/or caregivers joining together to supply cannabis to patients.
Carcinogenic A substance or agent producing or inciting cancer.
Caregiver A person who has agreed to undertake responsibility for managing the health and well-being of a person. In some states, a patient's Primary Caregiver is afforded the same protections from arrest and sanctions as the medical marijuana patient they care for.
CB1 / CB2 Receptors Cannabis-based molecules found on the surfaces of brain cells, that enable these cells to communicate with neurotransmitters, hormones, and other messenger molecules.
Chemotherapy The use of chemical agents in the treatment or control of disease. It is most commonly used to fight cancer, either by pill or IV drip, and has been known to cause extreme nausea and vomiting.
Clinical Trials A research study to answer specific questions about vacines, new therapies or new ways of using known treatments.
Controlled Substance A drug or other substance, or immediate precursor, included in schedule I, II, III, IV, or V of the U.S. Government's Controlled Substances Act.
DEA The United States Drug Enforcement Administration, whose main purpose is to enforce the controlled substances laws and regulations of the United States.
Decriminalization To remove or reduce the criminal classification or status of; especially: to repeal a strict ban on while keeping under some form of regulation. This term is used in regards to medical marijuana to refer to a lessening of the laws for possession or use of marijuana.
Dronabinol Synthetic preparation of tetrahydrocannabinol for medical uses. Marketed under the name Marinol.
Drug A substance used as a medication or in the preparation of medication.
Drug Abuse Use of a drug either without prescription or in excess of the recommended or prescribed dosage.
Drug Diversion Giving or selling a drug lawfully obtained to another who has not the permission to use or obtain that drug.
Drug Reform A change in the drug laws, most usually referred to in terms of lessening the laws for use or possession of a drug.
Double-Blind Trial "In a double-blind trial, neither patients nor physicians know who is receiving the new treatment. This secrecy is important because patients who know they are taking a powerful new drug may expect to feel better and report improvement to doctors. Researchers who know that a patient is receiving the test treatment may also see improvements that really do not exist." - MSN Encarta Ecncylopedia
Efficacy The power to produce an effect. A drug is considered to have efficacy if it produces the desired effect.
Endocannabinoid A cannabinoid that naturally develops in the brain.
Epilepsy Any of various disorders marked by disturbed electrical rhythms of the central nervous system and typically manifested by convulsive attacks (seizures).
FDA The United States Food and Drug Administration, whose main goal is to protect the public health.
FDA Compassionate Exemption Emergency and Treatment INDs are also known as "Compassionate" INDs, but the term "compassionate" is not in the IND regulations.
Gateway Theory The theory that experimenting with one drug will naturally lead the person to try other, more harmful drugs.
Genus A category of biological classification ranking between the family and the species. i.e., Cannabis is a genus in flowering plant family
Glandular trichomes Microscopic features used to identify herbal cannabis or cannabis resin. They produce an exudate containing cannabinoids and are located mostly around the flowering tops of female plants of Cannabis sativa.
Glaucoma A disease of the eye marked by increased pressure within the eyeball, damage to the optic nerve, and gradual loss of vision. The increased eye pressure, like in a balloon with too much air, stretches the eye beyond stability.
Hashish The unadulterated resin from the flowering tops of the female hemp plant (Cannabis sativa) that is smoked, chewed, or swallowed in a liquid.
Hash Oil A dark green or black tar-like material made by solvent extraction of either cannabis resin or herbal cannabis. May contain 30-50% THC.
Hemp The North American Industrial Hemp Council and Webster's Collegiate Dictionary describes hemp as "a tall widely cultivated Asiatic herb (Cannabis sativa) of the mulberry family with tough bast fiber used especially for cordage (ropes)." Any other plant that also produces such fiber can be called hemp. The Columbia History of the World states that "the oldest relic of human industry is a bit of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC." According to the Department of Energy, "hemp as a biomass fuel producer requires the least specialized growing and processing procedures of all hemp products. The hydrocarbons in hemp can be processed into a wide range of biomass energy sources, from fuel pellets to liquid fuels and gas. Development of biofuels could significantly reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and nuclear power." Also, a psychoactive drug (as marijuana or hashish) from hemp. Although both plants are from the species cannabis, hemp contains virtually no THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the active ingredient in marijuana.
Hepatic Relating to, affecting, associated with, supplying, or draining the liver.
HIV/AIDS A virus that infects and destroys helper T-cells of the immune system causing the marked reduction in their numbers that is diagnostic of AIDS.
Immune System The bodily system that protects the body from foreign substances, cells, and tissues by producing the immune response.
IND Program The Investigational New Drug (IND) Program is a program sponsored by the FDA which allows researchers to test new drugs prior to approval.
Initiatives A procedure enabling a specified number of voters by petition to propose a law and secure its submission to the electorate or legislature for approval.
Intraocular Pressure Pressure within the eye. A condition that steadily increases the eye pressure until blindness ensues is called "Glaucoma".
IOM Report The 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine that examined the medical use of marijuana.
Joint A cannabis cigarette. Often referred to as a reefer, spliff, etc.
Marijuana All parts of the plant Cannabis sativa L. The word "marijuana" could come from "Mariguana," the name of one of the Bahamian islands.
Marinol A man-made medicine containing the active ingredient dronabinol, synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or delta-9-THC (as it is commonly known).
Medical Necessity The common law legal doctrine that an illegal action to prevent a greater harm is not a crime, i.e. if an individual steals a boat to rescue a drowning person, the stealing of the boat is not considered a crime.
Medicine A substance or preparation used in treating disease; something that affects well-being.
Metabolism The sum of the processes by which a particular substance is handled in the living body.
Multiple Sclerosis A diseased condition marked by patches of hardened tissue in the brain or spinal cord and associated with partial or complete paralysis and jerking muscle tremor.
Narcotic A drug that in moderate doses dulls the senses, relieves pain and induces profound sleep but in excessive doses causes stupor, coma or convulsions.
Neurology A neurologist is a medical doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system. A neurologist's educational background and medical training includes an undergraduate degree, four years of medical school, a one-year internship and three years of specialized training. Many neurologists also have additional training in one area of neurology such as stroke, epilepsy or movement disorders.
NIDA The National Institute on Drug Abuse is a U.S. government agency whose primary mission is "to lead the Nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction." NIDA is currently the only agency in the U.S. contracted to supply marijuana for research and IND programs.
Nostrum Defined by Webster's as "a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness."
Oncology The study of cancer/tumors. An oncologist is a physician specially trained in cancer treatment. The oncologist is an expert in knowing what tests are needed to determine the type, location, and extent of the cancer. Once a diagnosis is determined, the treatment best suited for the type of cancer found will be recommended.
Paraquat Paraquat is an herbicide (weed killer) once promoted by the United States for use in Mexico to destroy marijuana plants. Research found that this herbicide was dangerous both to workers who applied it to the plants and to people who smoked the marijuana harvested from them. Paraquat is now banned in the United States, although it is still legal for some uses in Mexico. Paraquat may cause lung damage by inhalation, it may cause esophageal erosions or ulcers from ingestion and absorption through the gut, or it can cause skin breakdown through contact with intact skin.
Peer-Reviewed Studies "Scientists typically submit their papers to the editorial board of a journal specializing in a particular field of research. Before the paper is accepted for publication, the editorial board sends it out for peer review. During this procedure a panel of experts, or referees, assesses the paper, judging whether or not the research has been carried out in a fully scientific manner. If the referees are satisfied, publication goes ahead. If they have reservations, some of the research may have to be repeated, but if they identify serious flaws, the entire paper may be rejected for publication." -MSN Encarta Encyclopedia
Physician Recommendation In medical marijuana, since a "prescription" for marijuana is not permitted under U.S. law, many MD's will recommend or approve marijuana for medical use, feeling this action is protected under the U.S. Constitution's 1st Amendment right to free speech.
Pot Slang for marijuana/cannabis. The word is rooted in the Mexican spanish "potiguaya," which are marijuana leaves after their pods have been removed. The word may be derived from potacion de guaya, a potation (from the Lating potere, "to drink") that causes guaya, "lamentation" in Latin American spanish.
Potency Usually refers to the THC content.
Prescription A written direction for a therapeutic or corrective agent, specifically: one for the preparation and use of a medicine.
Psychoactive Drugs that affect the mind or behavior.
Purity The proportion of active constituent (THC) in a product. For most medical marijuana users, it often refers to the absence of additives such as pesticides and other chemicals.
Referendum The principle or practice of submitting to popular vote a measure passed upon or proposed by a legislative body or by popular initiative.
Rescheduling Moving a drug from one of the five classifications of controlled substances to another. Medical Marijuana advocates desire that marijuana be RESCHEDULED from it's current position on Schedule I to a lesser-controlled Schedule II or Schedule III.
Sinsemilla The Spanish word for "seedless." The highest potency of herbal cannabis comprising the flowering tops of unfertilized female plants.
Skunk Herbal cannabis with a characteristic odor that is similar to the smell of the skunk animal. May have a high potency.
Spasticity Relating to, or characterized by involuntary and abnormal muscular contractions. (See Multiple Sclerosis).
Species A category of biological classification ranking immediately below the genus [...] and being designated by a binomial that consists of the name of the genus followed by a Latin or latinized uncapitalized noun or adjective agreeing grammatically with the genus name, i.e. Cannabis indica, Cannabis sativa. Hemp is a common name for Cannabis sativa and the name most used when the plant is grown for non-drug purposes.
Stepping Stone The theory that experimenting with one drug will naturally lead the person to try other, more harmful drugs.
Strain A group of plants with a presumed common ancestry with clear-cut physiological but usually not morphological distinctions. Cannabis strains are often referred to as pure indica, mostly indica, indica/sativa, mostly sativa, or pure sativa . Growers or distributors might use other names.
Synthetic THC Synthetic delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) is a liquid solution in sesame oil in soft gelatin capsules, manufactured by Unimed Pharmaceuticals. THC is one of the 66 naturally occurring cannabinoid components of Cannabis sativa L.
T-Cells The type of white blood cells responsible for Immune reactions; they also protect against infection by parasites, fungi, and protozoans and can kill cancerous cells. An HIV/AIDS infection harms T-cells, making it increasingly difficult for the individual to fight off minor and more serious infections and diseases.
Terminal Occurring at or contributing to the end of life.
THC Abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol. The main psychoactive component of cannabis, and is produced in glandular trichomes, particularly in the unfertilized female flowering tops of the plant.
Titrate Determining the strength of a solution or the concentration of a substance in solution in terms of the smallest amount of a reagent of known concentration required to bring about a given effect in reaction with a known volume of the test solution. In medical marijuana, this refers to how much one can smoke/consume in order to produce the first desired effects.
Toxicity Relating to, or caused by a poison or toxin. A substance in small doses may not be harmful, but large doses can produce toxicity in the body.
Trichomes Hairs or trichomes may be formed on all parts of a plant as outgrowths from an epidermal cell. The development of hairs may involve cell division where the long outgrowth is unicellular but the base is multicellular. Marijuana plants have large concentrations of cannabinoids in the trichomes.