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UK: Cannabis info website not worth a 'FRANK'

Canna Zine

Sunday 30 Mar 2008

Source: CannaZine
Date: March 30 2008

Graham Brady, who is the MP for Altrincham and Sale in the Manchester
area of the UK, is celebrating this week after forcing the Home Office
to rethink the advice given on their "FRANK", anti-drugs website.

Mr Brady, who is chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on
Cannabis and Children, challenged the Home Office over what he calls
"inadequate advice" it passes regarding the link between cannabis and
mental health problems.

He said the advice on the 'Talk to Frank' website, which only stated
that people with existing mental health problems should avoid cannabis,
failed to point out that there is a risk to everyone.

But in light of evidence coming from mainland Europe and the United
States recently, most noteably from the former Surgeon General of the US
Dr Jocelyn Elders, who stated "Mainstream Medicine Endorses Medical
Marijuana ", we must ask ourselves if the information regarding
cannabis, which is given to the public in the UK, goes far enough?

Not even nearly!

Its a one-sided government propaganda document designed only to back up
government policy and at face value, building a drug awareness program
around it is less than worthless.

Anti-Cannabis Diatribe

At best the FRANK website can be described as giving only a "worst case
scenario", with absolutely no thought given to the thousands of people
who use cannabis regularly as a result of a plethora of medical conditions.

Around the world, evidence is mounting daily to the efficacy of cannabis
as living medicine, and one cancer sufferer from the US is thought to
have lived as long as he has, as a direct result of the cannabis he
consumed to combat nausea brought about by the aggressive chemotherapy
treatment used to combat his condition.

Scott Paplowski:

Scott Paplowski is the oldest known survivor of a rare form of childhood
cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma. Both Scott, and his medical team, put
this down to using cannabis to combat nausea and vomiting, which makes
it otherwise impossible to rebuild the immune system damaged by
aggressive chemotherapy drugs.

Scott was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer when he was 16.

After eight months of treatment his weight dropped from 220 pounds to 86
pounds. Medical marijuana eased the nausea, diarrhea and stomach pain
enough to restore his appetite and probably save his life. He currently
weighs 193 pounds and at 39 is believed to be the oldest survivor of
"Rhabdomyosarcoma", his form of cancer. A fact which can be directly
attributed to the cannabis he used which made it possible to keep food
down, and thus help rebuild his body's immune system.

The FRANK website has no mention of such cases and with cancer said to
directly affect 1 in 3 British citizens, any suspicion of hiding this
information from the public, is simply inhumane.

Surgeon General

According to Dr Jocelyn Elders, there is absolutely no ambiguity
regarding the medical worth of cannabis.

Speaking in support of the American College of Physicians, a 124,000
member strong group of doctors specializing in internal medicine and
related subspecialties, including cardiology, neurology, pulmonary
disease, oncology and infectious diseases, and who have overtly given
their support to the use of marijuana as medicine, Dr Elders has called
for more research, but she also added a critical point, "The efficacy of
medical marijuana has already been established, and it's time for
studies designed to determine the best dose and route of delivery."

Doctor Elder also goes on to demolish several myths, starting with the
notion still proclaimed by some politicians that marijuana is unsafe for
medical use. The College notes that the most serious objection to
medical marijuana -- potential harm to the lungs from smoking -- has
largely been solved by a technology called vaporization, already proven
in scientific studies.

On the "Gateway Theory" Dr Elder is sure of her facts too, when she says
"There is no reason to believe that protecting medical marijuana
patients leads to increased drug abuse. "Marijuana has not been proven
to be the cause or even the most significant predictor of serious drug
abuse," the doctor writes. "Opiates are highly addictive, yet medically
effective ... There is no evidence to suggest that medical use of
opiates has increased perception that their illicit use is safe or

The ACP's position paper, published in February, is a document of note.
History in the writing.

Large medical associations are by their nature slow, cautious creatures
that move only when the evidence is overwhelming. T

In this instance the evidence is indeed overwhelming that, as ACP put
it, there is "a clear discord" between what research tells us and what
our laws say about medical marijuana.

And if that is the case in the United States, how then, can it NOT be
the case here in the United Kingdom?

There are 10's of thousands of people just like you and me, who could
benefit from the use of cannabis, but for their own reasons the
government simply refuses to be drawn into conversation about the
legitimate use of cannabis. But this can't carry on any longer, can it?

Lobby your MP today !




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