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Sunday, March 29, 2009

US Government supplies FDA approved medical marijuana

Irvin Rosenfeld and the Compassionate IND -- Medical Marijuana Proof and Government Lies.

Irv Rosenfeld's appearance at the Illinois medical marijuana hearings has drawn quite a bit of attention and interest. People have been asking me questions about him and the program, so I thought I'd go into more detail.

But first... Steve at decrimwatch was also at the hearings yesterday and provides a fabulous perspective on the detention of Irv Rosenfeld.

"The government does give marijuana to patients. I'm living proof," he told reporters during a press conference. "I'm also living proof that it works well. I'm also living proof that the government doesn't want to know how well it works. If they want to do research, all they have to do is contact me."

He brought a tin can full of marijuana cigarettes that he picks up at his pharmacy each month and showed them to a room full of astonished state legislators during the hearing. Shortly after his presentation, he found himself surrounded by four burly state security officers.... [read the rest]

You see, Irv Rosenfeld is one of a small group of patients who actually gets medical marijuana legally from the federal government -- yep, that same federal government that sends storm troopers to arrest California patients doing the same thing. He is part of the Compassionate IND (Investigational New Drug) program and gets about 300 marijuana cigarettes in a metal tin prescribed to last 25 days.

He was a real hit at the Illinois House Committee hearing yesterday. The press was particularly fascinated by the notion that someone could be legally carrying around a tin of marijuana in the State Capital. (seen here examining Irv's tin and supporting letters)

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And no surprise. It's not common knowledge. The federal government doesn't want people to know. They don't deny the existence of the program, but they sure avoid talking about it.

How did Irv become a federal medical marijuana patient?

It all started in 1976 in a fascinating case...

U.S. v. Randall

In 1976, a Washington, D.C. man afflicted by glaucoma employed the little-used Common Law doctrine of necessity to defend himself against criminal charges of marijuana cultivation. On November 24, 1976, federal Judge James Washington ruled Randall's use of marijuana constituted a "medical necessity." In part, Judge Washington ruled:

While blindness was shown by competent medical testimony to be the otherwise inevitable result of defendant's disease, no adverse effects from the smoking of marijuana have been demonstrated.... Medical evidence suggests that the medical prohibition is not well-founded.

Judge Washington dismissed criminal charges against Randall. Concurrent with this judicial determination, federal agencies responding to a May, 1976 petition filed by Randall, began providing this patient with licit, FDA-approved access to government supplies of medical marijuana. Randall was the first American to receive marijuana for the treatment of a medical disorder.

Randall chose not to be silent about his victory, and started organizing others, which led to:

Randall v. U.S.

In 1978, federal agencies, disquieted by Randall's outspoken opposition to the medical prohibition, sought to silence him by disrupting his legal access to marijuana.

In response, Randall, represented pro bono publico by the law firm of Steptoe & Johnson, brought suit against FDA, DEA, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Department of Justice and the Department of Health, Education & Welfare.

Twenty-four hours after the suit was filed, federal agencies requested an out-of-court settlement. The resulting settlement provided Randall with prescriptive access to marijuana through a federal pharmacy located near his home.

The settlement in Randall v. U.S. became the legal basis for FDA's Compassionate IND program. Initially, this program was limited to patients afflicted by marijuana-responsive disorders and some orphan drugs. In the mid-1980's however, the Compassionate IND concept was expanded to include HIV-positive people seeking legal access to drugs which had not yet received final FDA marketing approval.

Irv Rosenfeld met Randall, who convinced him to go after the same legal arrangement, which he successfully did (around 1983). Irv has a rare degenerative bone disease called multiple congenital cartilaginous exostoses, a painful bone disease.

More patients joined the Compassionate IND program, but in the 1980s, it looked like it would grow significantly because of AIDS. So The George H.W. Bush administration shut it down in 1991.

Again, from

The Compassionate IND program was closed because too many people were asking for access to medical marijuana supplies. In order for marijuana to be classified as a prohibited Schedule I drug it must not have "accepted medical use in treatment" in the United States. The federal government knew that hundreds of approved Compassionate INDs would quickly undermine that criteria and marijuana would have to be rescheduled. Rather than respond in an honest and open way, the federal government closed the Compassionate IND program for marijuana.

The existing patients were grandfathered in because it would require public and embarrassing court cases to deny them medicine at this point. The AIDS patients in the program died (this was prior to the AIDS cocktails that could prolong life). And finally, Randall died, making Irv Rosenfeld now the oldest living legal federal marijuana patient.

Seven are alive, two of which remain anonymous.

They continue to get their marijuana on a fairly regular basis. They have to work with a pharmacy that's been approved by NIDA and that has a secure safe. Then usually a five month supply is shipped at once, and the patient is informed so they can pick it up. The marijuana is grown on a farm at the University of Mississippi, mostly from seeds of Mexican origin, rolled and packaged at the Research Triangle Institute in North Carolina under the supervision of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).

Irv's current supply was grown in 1997, and frozen until needed. It's low grade marijuana with very low levels of THC, which explains the large amount that must be smoked to serve the medical purposes.

The patients have no other contact with the federal government. There's no ID card or official paperwork -- only some decades-old letters and phone numbers of the pharmacy and an old DEA friend that keep him out of trouble when he's detained (as he was yesterday).

Irv gets animated and almost angry when he talks about the federal government's complete and utter lack interest in him over the past 22 years that they've been supplying him with 10-12 joints a day.

He notes that they've had a perfect opportunity to do a full scale study on long-term controlled use of medical marijuana, and they aren't interested. They don't even want to know. All the talk about not having sufficient evidence, about not having controlled scientific studies. Total crap.

"Go ahead, study me!" he exclaimed.

So some of the patients got involved in their own study (excerpts from the study by Ethan Russo, MD are available at CannabisMD). They received MRI scans of the brain, pulmonary function tests, chest x-ray, neuropsychological tests, hormone and immunological assays, electroencephalography (brain wave recording), P300 testing, history, and neurological clinical examination. The results? Other than their original condition for which they were taking marijuana, there was nothing wrong with them. No significant adverse affects from smoking 10-12 joints a day. Irv even had 108% lung capacity. That's after smoking marijuana for over 30 years, 22 years for the federal government. That's over 80,000 federal marijuana cigarettes.

This is medical marijuana, the drug that the federal government declares to be too dangerous to be used as medicine, and yet that they supply to 7 patients every month.

Irv Rosenfeld is grateful that he gets his medicine, but finds it extremely unfair that others cannot, so he feels that it's his responsibility to help spread the word. He was riveting on the Montel show, and was a hit yesterday at the hearing. He single-handedly made numerous people in the room realize how much of a liar the drug czar is (although unfortunately that was not enough, as the Drug Czar carries significant political clout).

Irv's a real dynamo. He's a successful stockbroker working in a fast-paced industry while smoking marijuana every day. He's an outstanding public speaker, and the entire room is drawn to him. He's a terrific asset to the medical marijuana movement -- not only as a good speaker, but because in the end, when the drug warriors claim that medical marijuana is dangerous, Irv stands in front of them proudly and strongly and demands:

"Explain me!"

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The truth about medical marijuana:

In the end, it's really quite simple. Here's what you say to those who would deny medical marijuana.

  1. When they say there's no proof that it works, ask them to explain that directly to a medical marijuana patient.
  2. When they say that marijuana is dangerous, ask them to explain Irv Rosenfeld.
  3. When they say they're worried about the message that's sent to children, ask them to explain the fact that in states that have passed medical marijuana, recreational use by teens has dropped.
  4. And finally, ask them: "Why do you want to throw sick people in jail for following the advice of their doctor?"

No dating, thanks, just sex

Sunday Star Times

ON THE TOWN: Young Kiwi women have an average of 20 sexual partners.

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Dating culture is dead - instead, young New Zealand women are regularly getting drunk and cruising around in packs looking for men to have sex with.

That's one of the findings of a TVNZ Sunday investigation into the sexual behaviour of New Zealand women. The programme makers did the story after Kiwi women last year topped the Durex Sexual Wellbeing Global Survey as the world's most promiscuous.

They are reported to have an average of 20 sexual partners, double that of their Australian and British counterparts and almost three times the global average of seven.

TVNZ Sunday correspondent Janet McIntyre said there was anecdotal evidence from the five women on the show that the Durex survey findings were valid.

"There's a new kind of mating ritual sex is the point of entry into the relationship."

If the first-up sex wasn't any good women weren't prepared to waste their time progressing the relationship.

"There's no dating culture any more." In candid interviews about their sexual experiences some of the women who are all in their twenties felt empowered by having sex and wanted to celebrate and enjoy it.

McIntyre said all the women who had experienced one-night stands had been affected by alcohol, a term described by at least one expert in a report as "getting pissed and hooking up".

Men are also feeling the impact from the new sexual tactics being employed by women.

The Sunday Star-Times' Being a Bloke survey last year found that 29% of the 5000 men surveyed felt they had been pressured into having sex or had had sex unwillingly.

Exploring the Islands of Greece (PHOTOSET)

marcelgermain > Collections> around the world

Church in Oia, Santorini (Greece)

Summer holidays 2008.
We visited Rhodes, Symi, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos and Delos.

This set includes (in this order):
* Santorini
* Mykonos
* Delos
* Crete
* Rodes
* Symi
67 photos | 21,243 views
items are from between 15 Jun 2008 & 29 Sep 2008.
Nightscape of Fira, Santorini by marcelgermainOia by night (Santorini) by marcelgermainBlue-domed church (Santorini) by marcelgermainAnother summer night falls over Oia by marcelgermainCycladic Windmill (Firostefani, Santorini) by marcelgermain

Blue-domed church at sunset by marcelgermainSantorini Blues by marcelgermainThe Magic of Santorini by marcelgermain Greek Minimalism (I) by marcelgermain

Church in Oia, Santorini (Greece) by marcelgermainEnjoying the view by marcelgermainPanorama of Oia, Santorini by marcelgermainBlue door by marcelgermainBlue-domed churches by marcelgermain

A dream in blue and white by marcelgermainStairway in Oia, Santorini by marcelgermainRelaxing in Santorini by marcelgermainDreaming of the sea by marcelgermainAegean Sunset (Fira, Santorini) by marcelgermain

Olive tree (green on pink) by marcelgermainPurple Sunset (Fira, Santorini) by marcelgermainA vision of light by marcelgermainSantorini sunset by marcelgermainWindmill at sunset (Oia, Santorini) by marcelgermain

Aegean Sunset by marcelgermainA beautiful summer story... by marcelgermainSunset with boat by marcelgermainRed Beach (Santorini) by marcelgermain'Little Venice' (II) (Mykonos) by marcelgermain

'Little Venice' sunset by marcelgermain'Little Venice' (I) - Mykonos by marcelgermainParaportiani Church, Mykonos by marcelgermainPanagia Paraportianí by marcelgermainGreek Minimalism (II) by marcelgermain

Please sit by marcelgermainSeaside alley (Mykonos) by marcelgermainRefreshing! by marcelgermainToy Chapel by marcelgermainDelos - Terrace of the Lions by marcelgermain

Three columns (Knossos) by marcelgermainAn evening in Rethymno by marcelgermainThe golden hour by marcelgermainA magical evening in Chania by marcelgermainChania (the harbour by night) by marcelgermain

Summer dreams (Elafonisi, Crete) by marcelgermainHeraklion port and fortress (Crete, Greece) by marcelgermainDolphin fresco detail (Knossos) by marcelgermainThe Queen's Megaron (Knossos) by marcelgermainThrone Room (Knossos) by marcelgermain

Clothes line by marcelgermainView from the Acropolis of Lindos by marcelgermainA night in Rhodes by marcelgermainMandraki harbour at night by marcelgermainIppokratous Square by marcelgermain

Medusa mosaic (Rhodes) by marcelgermainLight and colors of a Greek afternoon by marcelgermainThe Sword and the Rose by marcelgermainLindian waters by marcelgermainPrickly pear by marcelgermain

Medieval walls in Rhodes by marcelgermainStairway in Symi, 1998 by marcelgermainGreek Minimalism (III) by marcelgermainI saw the sun bathing in endless blue by marcelgermainAmmoudi by marcelgermain

Afterglow by marcelgermainLet's just sit down and watch the sunset by marcelgermain