Tag Archives: American Academy of Pediatrics

Bipartisan Group of Senators Introduce MEDS Act

Schatz_Brian_small
Sen. Brian Schatz from his website. Photo above is of Senator Hatch in front of the Capital

This week four Senators introduced the the MEDS Act to streamline the process of approving any medicine derived from the cannabis plant.  Senator Chris Coons of Delaware, Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah (shown above), Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii and Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina introduced the Marijuana Effective Drug Studies Act (MEDS) of 2016.

The MEDS Act offers comprehensive, responsible solutions instead of “medicine by ballot initiative,” or the poorly-designed CARERS Act.

Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii explains: “The MEDS Act will remove excessive barriers that make it difficult for researchers to study the effectiveness and safety of marijuana, and hopefully, give patients more treatment options.”

Senator Thom Tillis of North Carolina said: “The MEDS Act is a commonsense, bipartisan effort to remove unnecessary barriers that will give scientists the ability to study the biochemical processes, impact, dosing, risks and possible benefits of cannabidiol and other components of the marijuana plant.”

ThomTillis
Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina. Photo: Political Insider

As Smart Approaches to Marijuana which supports the bill explains, the bill:

*Enables more research on marijuana by creating a faster, more streamlined process for obtaining approval from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to conduct research, including the ability to amend and supplement research proposals without reapplying. Currently, researchers who want to conduct research on marijuana must interface with several federal agencies and engage in a complex application process that can take a year or longer must start from scratch if they make any changes to their research proposal;

*Eliminates the burdensome requirement of some DEA field offices that marijuana be kept in bolted safes – a requirement not possible in many research and clinical settings – and codifies current DEA regulations that allow marijuana to be stored in securely locked, substantially constructed cabinets; and

*Requires the licensing of marijuana manufacturers for the purpose of valid scientific and clinical research and drug development and establishes manufacturing licenses for the commercial production of FDA-approved medical marijuana products.

Dr. Kevin Sabet, President of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, said. “Despite state laws, raw marijuana (smoked or ingested) is not medicine, and has never passed through the rigorous FDA approval process to ensure the health and safety of patients.  The plant’s components should be studied so those in need can access any therapeutic benefits while knowing dosage, side effects, and contraindications. And more broadly speaking, the MEDS Act upholds the important, basic principle that all medications-including marijuana-based drugs-should go through the scientific process and accessed through legitimate doctors.”

1394123794000-Chris-Coons-2
Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware. Photo: Getty Images

The American Medical Association, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Society of Addiction Medicine, American Preventive Medical Association, American Pain Society, American Society of Anesthesiologists, and the American Academy of Pain Medicine in support of the MEDS Act.

We salute the bipartisan nature of this bill.   In the House of Representatives, Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon, Rep. Sam Farr of California, Rep. Morgan Griffith of Virginia and Rep Andy Harris of Maryland are expected to introduce a similar bill.

The MEDS Act represents a great improvement over the CARERS Act.  Three Senators presented the CARERS Act to garner media attention last year.  It was a dramatic gesture.  We live in a time when too many people believe that anything derived from nature, such is poison ivy or snake oil, must be safe because it is “from nature” or “a gift from God.”  Sometimes these purveyors of natural medicine make promises that cannot be kept.

Many states do not keep track of doctors and others who prescribe “medical” marijuana for nebulous reasons.  Other states, such as New Jersey and Illinois, have highly controlled program.

Psychiatric problems that have ballooned in states that give out medical marijuana without reasonable medical purpose, but that can be addressed at a later date.   For this reason a doctor in Florida, is urging residents in his states not to pass Amendment 2.  “The easy access to marijuana has led to exacerbations of chronic health conditions, particularly mental health disease. It is difficult to fully quantify the worsening of psychosis, anxiety, depression and other mental health diseases, but easy access to marijuana and other narcotics makes a bad condition worse.”  warned Dr. Allen Weiss, head of the Naples Health Care System.

Please follow and like us:

American Epilepsy Association Statement on CBD Oils

The following letter was written by Dr. Amy Brooks-Kayal to a state representative in Pennsylvania.  Here is an article where the letter had been published.

March 22, 2015

Dear Representative,

As Pennsylvania considers enacting new cannabis legislation (HB 193), I write to offer the perspective of the American Epilepsy Society (AES), the leading U.S. organization of clinical and research professionals specializing in the treatment and care of people with epilepsy. Continue reading American Epilepsy Association Statement on CBD Oils

Please follow and like us:

Marijuana: What Parents Need to Know Today

Today’s Reality

For more information, download this brochure from Narconon.  Even if you smoked pot 20+ years ago without harm, today’s situation is different.  We want our children to avoid marijuana because they care about the risks in marijuana itself.  Here’s the facts for raising your children today:

* Marijuana has been modified since 1994. The THC, which gives the high, is 3-10x stronger in the plants of today.  If a child begins using today’s pot , it’s like to learning to drink with grain alcohol, instead of beeror wine.  Also, youth today frequently use the potent “dabs” “wax” and “budder.”  These are extractions can have 40-80% THC.

* Marijuana is addictive, contrary to a popular myth, particularly with today’s stronger strains of pot.

* In states with medical marijuana, teen usage is much higher than in other states, and many teens who use pot get it from some marijuana cardholders.

* Those who begin in adolescence or their teens, have an addiction rate of 17 percent, as opposed to 9 percent for those who begin using marijuana as an adult.

*Emergency Department hospitalizations from marijuana rose from 281,000 to 455,000 between 2004 and 2011, making it 2nd amongst the illegal drugs causing ER treatment.

* Individuals responses to marijuana can be vary greatly, and the potential for paranoia and psychotic reactions are real side effects, omitted in the pot propaganda.

* Marijuana is fat soluble and stays in the body for weeks, which is why some people have flashbacks.

* The  brain, which is 1/3 fat, isn’t fully developed until age 25 or later, and until it is, marijuana can cause irreversible damage.

* Marijuana is not as widely used as alcohol,  6-7% of the adult population, vs.  66% who drink, one reason the comparison doesn’t work.

* Marijuana usage causes traffic deaths and it is not safe to combine with driving.

* More teens seek substance abuse treatment for pot than any other legal or illegal substance.

* Marijuana is a gateway drug,  because nearly every young person who develops a drug addiction begins with marijuana.  Early pot users such as Robert Downey, Jr. (age 9), and Cameron Douglas  (age 13), prove that the stranglehold of drug addiction lasts for years.

* A multi-year study out of New Zealand, tracking marijuana users and through their mid-30s showed IQs decrease an 6-8 percentage points over time.  Again, we point to the medical studies summarized on this webpage.

* In a recent study, schizophrenics who have used marijuana had an onset of the disease 2-1/2 years earlier than those who did not use marijuana.

* Marijuana can trigger psychotic symptoms and/or mental illness, and cognitive decline in youth, more quickly than alcohol, while tobacco does not.

* Since marijuana usage increases the odds of developing a mental illness, expansion of pot will expand mental health treatment needs.

* Efforts to legalize for age 21+  hide the motivation to attract young users and build big profits.  Legal pot mean more young users.

* Marijuana usage is associated with greater risk for testicular cancer in males.

* With universal health care, all of us will pay for the increase in medical care for those needing help from pot abuse.

* The number of pot-related hospitalizations in Colorado accelerated in 2009 and went out of control in the the first half of 2014.

* Existing mental health issues, such as ADHD, anxiety and depression, greatly increase the use of drugs for self-medication.

Mental Health, Physical Health Alike

“We cannot promote a comprehensive system of mental health treatment and marijuana legalization, which increases permissiveness for a drug that directly contributes to mental illness,”  states former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, who fought tirelessly on behalf of parity for mental health treatment. Kennedy and policy expert Kevin Sabet promote  Smart Approaches to Marijuana.

* The National Alliance for Mental Illness lists four illegal drugs which cause psychosis: cannabis, LSD, methamphetamine and heroin and two classes of legal drugs, amphetamines and steroids. Pharmaceutical drugs are sold with warnings, while marijuana isn’t.

Sharon Levy, Chairwoman of the American Academy of Pediatrics committee on substance abuse, said “We’re losing the public health battle” and policy is being made by legalization advocates who might be misinformed about marijuana’s dangers.”

 

Please follow and like us: