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      New Study of Medical Cannabis Shows 
   Scientific Value for Patients with Neuropathic Pain


       National HIV/AIDS and Advocacy Groups, Experts and 
      Study Participant Join to Call For Congressional Hearings


                     Mon, 12 Feb 2007

                       Return Back To Main Medical Reports Page

(Washington)-February 12- National HIV/AIDS and advocacy groups
including the National Association of People With AIDS (NAPWA) today
called for congressional hearings in response to a new study from the
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) on medical cannabis and
neuropathic pain, published in the peer reviewed journal Neurology. 
The study is the first of its kind in the U.S. in nearly 20 years to
indicate the medical efficacy of cannabis.

"This study validates the experience people living with HIV/AIDS and
their doctors have reported for years--- medical cannabis provides
much-needed relief from pain and suffering." said NAPWA Executive
Director Frank Oldham Jr. "That is why we are joining Americans for
Safe Access to call on Congress to address cannabis for its medicinal

An estimated 3-4 million people in the U.S. suffer from neuropathic
pain and as many as 37% of people living with HIV/AIDS use cannabis to treat
neuropathy and other symptoms associated with the disease.

The UCSF study was a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of
50 patients who had an average of six years of neuropathic pain. The pain
reduction in the group receiving the medical cannabis was twice that of
the placebo group.

"I have been living with HIV/AIDS for 21 years and owe my life to the
benefits of medical cannabis," said UCSF study participant Diana
Dodson. "It reduces the pain and side-effects such as nausea and stomach pains
that are caused by the drugs I need to take in order to stay alive. But
I need the government to grant me safe access to my medicine."

The study builds on other international evidence and a 1999 Institute
of Medicine (IOM) report Marijuana and Medicine, Assessing the Science

"This study demonstrates the potential effectiveness of medical
cannabis to treat the chronic pain of people living with HIV/AIDS," said Dr.
Barbara T. Roberts, Director of Medical and Scientific Affairs for
Americans for Safe Access and former Senior Policy Analyst at the White
House Office of National Drug Control Policy. "In addition to people
living with HIV/AIDS, there are thousands of vets returning from Iraq
who will spend decades coping with neurological pain. By implementing
the recommendations of the IOM report, the federal government would be
exploring more options for their long-term treatment of neuropathic

The groups are calling on Congress to hold hearings on the IOM report
to adopt its recommendations to allow patients and researchers to have
access to medical cannabis.

"It's time for Washington to stop playing politics with patients' lives
and advance this important scientific discovery," said Steph Sherer,
Executive Director of Americans for Safe Access. "The study is a
wake-up call for Congress to hold hearings to investigate therapeutic use and
encourage research."


  The study is the first of a dozen clinical studies sponsored
  by California's Center for Medical Cannabis Research
  http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu to reach publication.  Others are in the
final stages of completion.  The CMCR was founded in 2000, and it has
taken 7 years to reach this point.  Much credit goes to the foresight
of Sen. John Vasconcellos for sponsoring the legislation establishing
the CMCR.

4 More Info: Abstract of Study Published in Journal "Neurology"

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