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Newsletters - 2010
Saturday, June 12 2010 17:19

Hi, Fellow Texan!

July 2010
Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care Newsletter

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July Meeting is in Austin, TX

July, 27 2010

Evening Session
7:30 - 9 PM
5555 N. Lamar
Suite L137
Austin TX 78751

(Suite L137 in PSBusiness Parks complex (shown as Commerce Park on many maps) near the intersection of Lamar and Koenig. The entrance is from Guadalupe street, near 55th  )*

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Fort Worth, TX
... Mark your calendars! The next meeting will be on August 24, 2010. Locations TBA.

In this issue
Message from the Director: Compassionate Care for Patients and Veterans
TEXAS: who supports medical cannabis?
TEXAS Poll: majority of Texans favor medical marijuana treatment
WHY? Cannabis Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew in '74
Cannabinoid Medicine
About Us
Contact Us

In the News...

TEXAS: Statements on  medical cannabis?

Texas Medical Association

"The Texas Medical Association supports (1) the physician's right to discuss with his/her patients any and all possible treatment options related to the patients' health and clinical care, including the use of marijuana, without the threat to the physician or patient of regulatory, disciplinary, or criminal sanctions; and (2) further well-controlled studies of the use of marijuana with seriously ill patients who may benefit from such alternative treatment."

Reference: Resolution adopted by the TMA Council on Scientific Affairs: April 29, 2004

The Texas Nurses Association (TNA)

Licensed health care providers should not be punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subjected to criminal sanctions for using medical marijuana if their health care provider has told the patient that such use is likely to be beneficial.

The Texas Nurses Association (TNA): 2005


75 Percent Of Texans Favor Legalizing Medicinal Pot, Poll Says

Todd Ackerman | Houston Chronicle | 11/18/2004

HOUSTON - A strong majority of Texans favor legalizing the medical use of Marijuana, according to a new poll.

Seventy-five percent said people with cancer and other serious illnesses should be allowed to use their own Marijuana for medical purposes as long as their doctor approves, according to a Scripps Howard Texas poll question commissioned by Texans for Medical Marijuana. Nineteen percent said they would oppose such a bill.

"I'm surprised support is that high," said Dr. Richard Evans, president of the Texas Cancer Center and medical adviser to Texans for Medical Marijuana. "That should help when we next testify before the Legislature."

Bills that would have legalized the medical use of Marijuana have been introduced in the last four sessions of the Texas Legislature but have never passed. Evans said he expects legislation again will be introduced in 2005.

Marijuana is considered to have some therapeutic uses, particularly the relief of nausea suffered by cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy. As a result, nine states, most of them in the West, have legalized its medical use.

In a report on the medical use of Marijuana earlier this year, a committee of the Texas Medical Association called for more research into whether seriously ill patients would benefit from Marijuana. It also said doctors should have the freedom to discuss with patients all treatment options, including Marijuana, without fear of regulatory or criminal sanctions. It did not take a position on whether Texas should legalize Marijuana's medical use.

The chairman of the TMA committee could not be reached for his reaction to the poll.

The telephone poll found Democrats were more supportive of medical Marijuana than Republicans - 81 percent to 67 percent; and adults age 18 to 29 favored it the most, at 81 percent, while those in their 40s favored it the least, at 70 percent. Seventy-two percent of those 60 and older favored it.

The Marijuana question was asked as part of the fall 2004 Texas Poll and was asked of 900 adult Texans by telephone Oct. 11 to 28. The margin of error is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.

It is not uncommon for special-interest groups to commission questions, said Ty Meighan, director of the Texas Poll.


Safe Access in 2011
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Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care

"By compassion we make others’ misery our own, and so, by relieving them, we relieve ourselves also."

Thomas Browne, Sr

Compassionate Care for Patients and Veterans

ATTENTION: July presentation and meeting in Austin

As I speak with patients across the state of Texas they share with me their stories. Our patients and veterans have taken the time to learn about the studies that support them, the statistics, and what major medical organizations have stated on the use of medical marijuana. Much of this information is available on our website (click here) and it is important that we educate ourselves on these issues...

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Texas patients and war veterans need your leadership!


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Do you have a story about medical cannabis?

Your personal story can be a powerful inspiration to others. Write an encouraging article/story about your experiences with medical marijuana or about your local efforts working for safe access, we just may include it in a future issue! We'll use first name only, unless you give us permission to use your full name.

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Message From the Director

Compassionate Care for Patients and Veterans

ATTENTION: July presentation and meeting in Austin

As I speak with patients across the state of Texas they share with me their stories. Our patients and veterans have taken the time to learn about the studies that support them, the statistics, and what major medical organizations have stated on the use of medical marijuana. Much of this information is available on our website (click here) and it is important that we educate ourselves on these issues.

However, it is when a patient gives me a glimpse into the reality and of his or her daily life and the struggles of their illness, that I am most deeply moved. I can relate to them on that emotional level, I empathize with them, and move into compassion by remembering these patients as I work for them.

We gave our first public presentations last month in Houston on “What makes a Good Medical Marijuana Bill”. We've gotten much feedback from legislators and community leaders on the bill we are working on. We are continuing to contact Texas state senators to dialougue on this issue and are looking for a champion in the Senate to carry this next session.

Please attend our next presentation and organizing meeting if you are in the Austin area this month. We need your support and feedback. We need to know your questions and gather community input as we move forward. As I speak I remember the faces of those we are working for. I see our patients gripped with spasticy, those cringing through their pain, our cancer and AIDS patients wasting, and our veterans struggling to re-integrate as they come home with the war still inside them.

We need to help others see the faces and hear the stories of patients as well. We need a high definition video camera so that as we travel we can also record the stories and naratives of patients loved ones and communities. The transportation cost are being donated already and we will be able to sucessfully make all of our stops in this campaign. Thank you for all those who gave already but now every bit of giving make us more effective on each stop. We are already paying the travel expenses, we already have a projector donated, and we have a VERY hardworking media director and team of active volunteers.

Each stop we grow our coalition and make connections that will help us in our mission for patients and Veterans. Your donations of time and money make this all possible.

Help Texas patients pass safe access in 2011.


Stephen Betzen, director



Cannabis Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew in '74

* Medical Research Journals & Articles

Monday, May 18, 2009

By Raymond Cushing, AlterNet

The term medical marijuana took on dramatic new meaning in February, 2000 when researchers in Madrid announced they had destroyed incurable brain tumors in rats by injecting them with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.

The Madrid study marks only the second time that THC has been administered to tumor-bearing animals; the first was a Virginia investigation 26 years ago. In both studies, the THC shrank or destroyed tumors in a majority of the test subjects.

Most Americans don't know anything about the Madrid discovery. Virtually no major U.S. newspapers carried the story, which ran only once on the AP and UPI news wires, on Feb. 29, 2000.

The ominous part is that this isn't the first time scientists have discovered that THC shrinks tumors. In 1974 researchers at the Medical College of Virginia, who had been funded by the National Institute of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice - lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia.

The DEA quickly shut down the Virginia study and all further cannabis/tumor research, according to Jack Herer, who reports on the events in his book, "The Emperor Wears No Clothes." In 1976 President Gerald Ford put an end to all public cannabis research and granted exclusive research rights to major pharmaceutical companies, who set out - unsuccessfully - to develop synthetic forms of THC that would deliver all the medical benefits without the "high."

The Madrid researchers reported in the March issue of "Nature Medicine" that they injected the brains of 45 rats with cancer cells, producing tumors whose presence they confirmed through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). On the 12th day they injected 15 of the rats with THC and 15 with Win-55,212-2 a synthetic compound similar to THC. "All the rats left untreated uniformly died 12-18 days after glioma (brain cancer) cell inoculation ... Cannabinoid (THC)-treated rats survived significantly longer than control rats. THC administration was ineffective in three rats, which died by days 16-18. Nine of the THC-treated rats surpassed the time of death of untreated rats, and survived up to 19-35 days. Moreover, the tumor was completely eradicated in three of the treated rats." The rats treated with Win-55,212-2 showed similar results.

The Spanish researchers, led by Dr. Manuel Guzman of Complutense University, also irrigated healthy rats' brains with large doses of THC for seven days, to test for harmful biochemical or neurological effects. They found none.

"Careful MRI analysis of all those tumor-free rats showed no sign of damage related to necrosis, edema, infection or trauma ... We also examined other potential side effects of cannabinoid administration. In both tumor-free and tumor-bearing rats, cannabinoid administration induced no substantial change in behavioral parameters such as motor coordination or physical activity. Food and water intake as well as body weight gain were unaffected during and after cannabinoid delivery. Likewise, the general hematological profiles of cannabinoid-treated rats were normal. Thus, neither biochemical parameters nor markers of tissue damage changed substantially during the 7-day delivery period or for at least 2 months after cannabinoid treatment ended."

Guzman's investigation is the only time since the 1974 Virginia study that THC has been administered to live tumor-bearing animals. (The Spanish researchers cite a 1998 study in which cannabinoids inhibited breast cancer cell proliferation, but that was a "petri dish" experiment that didn't involve live subjects.)

In an email interview for this story, the Madrid researcher said he had heard of the Virginia study, but had never been able to locate literature on it. Hence, the Nature Medicine article characterizes the new study as the first on tumor-laden animals and doesn't cite the 1974 Virginia investigation.

"I am aware of the existence of that research. In fact I have attempted many times to obtain the journal article on the original investigation by these people, but it has proven impossible." Guzman said.

In 1983 the Reagan/Bush Administration tried to persuade American universities and researchers to destroy all 1966-76 cannabis research work, including compendiums in libraries, reports Jack Herer, who states, "We know that large amounts of information have since disappeared."

Guzman provided the title of the work - "Antineoplastic activity of cannabinoids," an article in a 1975 Journal of the National Cancer Institute - and this writer obtained a copy at the University of California medical school library in Davis and faxed it to Madrid.

The summary of the Virginia study begins, "Lewis lung adenocarcinoma growth was retarded by the oral administration of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabinol (CBN)" - two types of cannabinoids, a family of active components in marijuana. "Mice treated for 20 consecutive days with THC and CBN had reduced primary tumor size."

The 1975 journal article doesn't mention breast cancer tumors, which featured in the only newspaper story ever to appear about the 1974 study - in the Local section of the Washington Post on August 18, 1974. Under the headline, "Cancer Curb Is Studied," it read in part:

"The active chemical agent in marijuana curbs the growth of three kinds of cancer in mice and may also suppress the immunity reaction that causes rejection of organ transplants, a Medical College of Virginia team has discovered." The researchers "found that THC slowed the growth of lung cancers, breast cancers and a virus-induced leukemia in laboratory mice, and prolonged their lives by as much as 36 percent."

Guzman, writing from Madrid, was eloquent in his response after this writer faxed him the clipping from the Washington Post of a quarter century ago. In translation, he wrote:

"It is extremely interesting to me, the hope that the project seemed to awaken at that moment, and the sad evolution of events during the years following the discovery, until now we once again Îdraw back the veilâ over the anti-tumoral power of THC, twenty-five years later. Unfortunately, the world bumps along between such moments of hope and long periods of intellectual castration."

News coverage of the Madrid discovery has been virtually nonexistent in this country. The news broke quietly on Feb. 29, 2000 with a story that ran once on the UPI wire about the Nature Medicine article. This writer stumbled on it through a link that appeared briefly on the Drudge Report web page. The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times all ignored the story, even though its newsworthiness is indisputable: a benign substance occurring in nature destroys deadly brain tumors.

Raymond Cushing is a journalist, musician and filmmaker. This article was named by Project Censored as a "Top Censored Story of 2000."




Cannabinoid medicines

Chinese and Hindu pharmacopoeia and Near Eastern cuneiform tablets, and continuing all the way into this century, including the 1966-76 U.S. renaissance of cannabis studies—some 10,000 separate studies on medicines and effects from the hemp plant.

Affordable, Available Herbal Health Care

For more than 3,500 years, cannabis/hemp/marijuana has been, depending on the culture or nation, either the most used or one of the most widely used plants for medicines. This includes: China, India, the Middle and Near East, Africa, and pre-Roman Catholic Europe (prior to 476 A.D.).

Dr. Raphael Mechoulam and Omni magazine (September 1982) indicate that, if marijuana were legal it would immediately replace 10-20% of all pharmaceutical prescription medicines (based on research through 1976). And probably, Mechoulam estimates, 40-50% of all medicines, including patent medicines, could contain some extract from the cannabis plant when fully researched.

(Read the U.S. government-sponsored research as outlined by Cohen & Stillman, Therapeutic Potential of Marijuana, 1976; Roffman, Roger, Marijuana as Medicine, 1980; Mikuriya, Tod, M.D., Marijuana Medical Papers, 1972; also, the work of Dr. Norman Zinberg; Dr. Andrew Weil; Dr. Lester Grinspoon; and the U.S. Government’s Presidential Commission reports [Shafer Commission] from 1969 through 1972; Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, Tel Aviv/ Jerusalem Univ., 1964-97; W.B. O’Shaugnessy monograph, 1839; and the long-term Jamaican studies I & II, 1968-74; Costa Rican studies through 1982; U.S. Coptic studies, 1981; Ungerlieder; U.S. military studies since the 1950s and ‘60s.)

Superstar of the 19TH Century

Marijuana was America’s number-one analgesic for 60 years before the rediscovery of aspirin around 1900. From 1842 to 1900, cannabis made up half of all medicine sold, with virtually no fear of its high.

The 1839 report on the uses of cannabis by Dr. W.B. O’Shaugnessy, one of the most respected members of the Royal Academy of Science, was just as important to mid-19th century Western medicine as the discoveries of antibiotics (like penicillin and Terramycin) were to mid-20th century medicine.

In fact, the Committee on Cannabis Indica for the Ohio State Medical Society concluded that “High Biblical commentators [scholars]” believe “that the gall and vinegar, or myrrhed wine, offered to our Saviour immediately before his crucifixion was, in all probability, a preparation of Indian hemp.”

(Transcripts, Ohio State Medical Society 15th annual meeting, June 12-14, 1860, pg. 75-100.)

From 1850 to 1937, the U. S. Pharmacopoeia listed cannabis as the primary medicine for more than 100 separate illnesses or diseases.

During all this time (pre-1000 B.C. to 1940s A.D.), researchers, doctors and drug manufacturers (Eli Lilly, Parke-Davis, Squibb, etc.) had no idea what the active ingredients of cannabis were until Dr. Mechoulam discovered THC in 1964.

20th & 21st Century Research

As outlined in the previous chapters, the American Medical Association (AMA) and drug companies testified against the l937 Marijuana Tax Act because cannabis was known to have so much medical potential and had never caused any observable addictions or death by overdose.

The possibility existed, they argued, that once the active ingredients in cannabis (such as THC Delta-9) were isolated and correct dosages established, cannabis could become a miracle drug.

Twenty-nine years would pass, however, before American scientists could begin to even look into cannabis medicine again.

THC Delta-9 was isolated by Dr. Raphael Mechoulam at the University of Tel Aviv in 1964. His work confirmed that of Professor Taylor of Princeton, who had lead the research and identification of natural THC Delta-9 precursors in the 1930s. Kahn, Adams and Loewe also worked with the structure of cannabis’ active ingredientsin1944.

Since 1964, more than 400 separate compounds have been isolated in cannabis from over a thousand suspected compounds. At least 60 of the isolated compounds are therapeutic. The United States, however, forbade this type of research through the bureaucratic authority of Harry Anslinger until 1962, when he was forced to retire. (Omni magazine, Sept. 1982.)

Growing Acceptance

By 1966, millions of young Americans had begun using marijuana. Concerned parents and government, wanting to know the dangers their children were risking, started funding dozens and later hundreds of marijuana health studies.

Entrenched in the older generation’s minds were 30 years of Anslinger/Hearst scare stories of murder, atrocity, rape, and even zombie pacifism.

Federally sponsored research results began to ease Americans’ fears of cannabis causing violence or zombie pacifism, and hundreds of new studies suggested that hidden inside the hemp plant’s chemistry lay a medicinal array of incredible therapeutic potential. The government funded more and more studies.

Soon, legions of American researchers had positive indications using cannabis for asthma, glaucoma, nausea from chemotherapy, anorexia, tumors and epilepsy, as well as for a general-use antibiotic. Cumulative findings showed evidence of favorable results occurring in cases of Alzheimer’s disease, Sickle Cell Anemia, Parkinson’s disease, anorexia, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy; plus thousands of anecdotal stories, all merited further clinical study.

Prior to 1976, reports of positive effects and new therapeutic indications for cannabis were almost a weekly occurrence in medical journals and the national press.

National Conference Praised Cannabis Therapy Potential

In November1975, virtually all of America’s leading researchers on marijuana met at Asilomar Conference Center, Pacific Grove, California. Seminars were sponsored by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to address a compendium of studies from their earliest to most recent findings.

When the seminars were over, practically all the scientists concluded that the federal government, with the hard evidence collected so far on the therapeutic potential of marijuana, should be rushing to invest tax money into more research.

They felt the taxpayers should be informed that there was every legitimate reason for the field of public health to continue large scale research on cannabis medicine and therapies. All the participants, it seems, believed this. Many of them (such as Mechoulam) believed that cannabis would be one of the world’s major medicines by the mid-1980s. In March 1997, Mechoulam, in a speech at the Bio-Fach in Frankfurt, Germany, still believed that cannabis is the world’s best overall medicine. In 2006 Mechoulam started using cannabis to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)



About TCCC

About TCCC: We are an open group of compassionate Texas residents, from all walks of life, who advocate for communities, families, clinicians, and caregivers who daily care for our sick, pained, and dying, the safe access to physician recommended medical marijuana.

Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care has no other interest, nor does the organization have any opinion, stated or unstated, about any issue other than therapeutic cannabis. All educating, lobbying, communication, and any other endeavors of Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care are limited to the sole issue of Marijuana as Medicine!

TCCC is a non-profit organization and our policy does not permit endorsement of any political party or candidate.

Texas Coalition for Compassionate Care

P.O. Box 35269,
5910 Cedar Springs,
Dallas, Texas 75235

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Director: Stephen Betzen
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Press Inquiries:
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