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The Hempire News - August 04

It's a medical special this month. No, don't stop reading now. The campaign to legalise medicinal use has concerns for us all, and not just because of the incalculable suffering which will be prevented.

The simple fact is there's no way recreational use will be sanctioned before medicinal use. In the timeline leading inexorably to legalisation medical use comes first. The sooner patients can use cannabis, the sooner we'll all be able to.


Medical Breakthroughs
Brain tumours are one of the most vicious forms of cancer. Sufferers have to undergo surgery, radiotherapy and then chemotherapy; all very serious treatments with very serious side-effects. About 4,400 Britons develop the disease each year most of whom, despite best efforts, do not out live it.

Many scientists are now looking for ways to cut off blood supply to the tumour and thus stop it growing. A Spanish study has found cannabinoids help stop the sprouting of new blood vessels, both in live rats and in human tissue. However, human trials are needed. The main obstacle to which being this ridiculous law.
- full story here


Not that the Spanish study is the first to indicate cannabis might help cancer sufferers. That came way back in 1974 when US government research found laboratory mice administered THC had their cancer growth slowed so much they lived about a third longer.

The cancers affected were those of the lung and breast as well as virus induced leukaemia. All cancers which affect a lot of people. You'd think this kind of revelation would be well distributed. But then you don't think like a government. The report was shelved and no follow-up studies were conducted for more than twenty years.

The next attempt to discover things never-to-tell-anyone-about was unsurprisingly conducted in secret. This also found that rats injected with THC had more protection from malignant tumours. This was also shelved. All current research about cannabis and cancer has since been conducted outside America.

The U.S. has some of the best doctors, the best scientists and the best facilities. It quite obviously has the most money. Their refusal to investigate the benefits of cannabis because of some misguided moral view will be to their eternal shame.
- full story here


HIV and AIDS victims also undergo a range of treatments with very serious side-effects. Try to imagine, as one sufferer describes: "Days on end of vomiting. Sleepless nights for weeks on end. Not to be able to eat for two or three weeks due to your fear that within minutes of ingesting food you will lose it."

Cannabis is proven to simulate appetite and suppress nausea. Its side-effects are minimal. The greatest risk is that of arrest. Which, if you're in Africa - the continent with the highest incidence of HIV - is a very real risk indeed. Africa needs US handouts and this administration blocks aid to countries seen as soft on drugs.
- full story here


Prohibitionists love to claim cannabis causes schizophrenia. Partly because this fits their doom-laden view of the world. Mostly because all their other claims have been proved wrong. Just like this one will soon be.

The start has come thanks to Dutch scientists. Who've said, in a very authoritative, peer-reviewed, journal that there is no scientific proof prohibitionists' claims are true. Unfortunately, not much detail is available at present, however, the article says recent research was questioned. Which can only mean they reviewed and discarded conclusions found in the prohibitionist-friendly Swedish and Australian studies.

The scientists do state clearly those who suffer from schizophrenia, or those with a family history of the disease, should be dissuaded from using cannabis.
- full story here


Prohibitionists get confused about a link between cannabis and schizophrenia because so many sufferers use the substance. This link has long puzzled scientists too, but a recent study sheds light on possible reasons for its existence.

Researchers discovered that people experiencing severe schizophrenia often have low levels of the body's natural cannabis, anandamide. This led them to theorise that anandamide is released in response to a psychotic episode in an attempt to control the episode's severity. Which turns existing theory, that the release of anandamide is what triggers psychotic episodes, on its head.

Schizophrenics who use cannabis have more severe episodes than those who don't. This may be because cannabis makes anandamide receptors less sensitive. But might it not also be because sufferers naturally gravitate towards cannabis in an attempt to supplement what their body can't provide?
- full story here


Anandamide, and the body's other natural cannabinoids, do their job when attached to receptors found in the brain and immune system. Precisely what this job is we don't know. What we do know is molluscs have cannabinoid receptors too.

Five hundred million years of evolution stands between us and the lowly invertebrate. Five hundred million years of natural selection and we still have cannabinoid receptors. Why they're so important remains a mystery. Thanks, in part, to prohibition.
- full story here


The Israeli Army is trialling the use of THC on troops suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Which is good. Well it's one step nearer giving them THC before battle.
- full story here
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Medical Cautions
Cannabis smoking severely increases the chance you'll become addicted to nicotine. An Australian study found teenagers who smoke cannabis every day are four times more likely to become addicted to cigarettes by the time they're 20. Weekly cannabis use increases the risk threefold and monthly use doubles it.
- full story here


Many epileptics seem to gravitate towards cannabis for the same reason cancer and HIV suffers do, its benefits are greater and its side-effects less. However, new research indicates that cannabis may make some seizures worse.

There are apparently two types of epilepsy. Cannabis can help sufferers whose epilepsy starts in the brain stem. This research indicates it could hurt those whose epilepsy starts in the front of the brain.

If you, or someone you know, is epileptic and uses cannabis the advise is "don't use whopping big doses and be sensitive to the kind of epilepsy you have."
- full story here
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Medical Cannabis and the Law (Britain)
Whilst the law prohibits using cannabis for medicinal purposes judges and juries are increasingly disinclined to punish genuine sufferers. Ian Howarth gets acute eczema so bad he's regularly admitted to hospital. For him, the only medicine which works is cannabis. Ian was given a conditional discharge after being caught with 17 plants.
- full story here


Gary Campbell suffers from rheumatoid arthritis and was found with nearly 400 grams of cannabis and a small grow-op. The judge described it as exceptional circumstances which warranted an exceptional decision and so suspended his 28-day sentence.
- full story here


Without clear legislation some still suffer. Colin Lindley, for example. Colin has got liver disease and hepatitis C, but was jailed for nine months for growing medicinal cannabis.

This isn't a clear case though. Colin was arrested and bailed. Then was caught growing again. Then again. This multiple breach of bail conditions seems to have been the deciding factor in a custodial sentence.

His persistence may seem stupid unless we take circumstances into consideration. Colin is a desperately ill man who can't afford street prices for cannabis. Why should he stop growing his own?
- full story here
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Miscellaneous News
They do love their War on Drugs in America; part one. Terrell Jones nearly found himself excluded from school last month. His crime, wearing a t-shirt reading 'Hempstead NY 516'. The administrators thought this was some obscure drug reference. It's not. It's a town. People from Hemel Hempstead beware.
- full story here


They do love their War on Drugs in America; part two. The Harris County Narcotics Task Force are a diligent lot. Problem is they're not very bright. Eight officers operating on a tip-off raided Blair Davis's home, pointed guns in his face and handcuffed him for an hour. His crime, growing something which looked like cannabis.

The Texas star hibiscus has confused drug agents before; well it does have roughly the same kind of leaves. Any confusion can be easily cleared up though. Cannabis plants don't grow big white flowers.
- full story here


Ganjaman is the world's newest, and possibly slowest, superhero. His latest mission is to battle Doctor Bong. A despicably evil individual who not only turns smokers into flesh eating zombies but also sends henchmen to kill Gordon Brown. Gordon Brown?
- full story here