Denver Post does (medicinal) dope



Patient Deana Martinez
  • Joe Amon/The Denver Post
  • Patient Deana Martinez

Catching up on the weekend's medical marijuana news brings me to the Denver Post, which went a little reefer mad with three MMJ-themed stories in three days, one regarding Colorado Springs' own Cannabis Therapeutics and Cannabis Science, which we covered here.

"Medical-marijuana advocates seek society's approval":

The ultimate goal? Find out how good it is.

"We're not going to be taken seriously unless we have proof," said Michael Lee, the owner of the lab and its adjacent medical-marijuana dispensary, Cannabis Therapeutics.

This is the new science of pot, part of a fresh wave of study and innovation among scientists and cannabis advocates all seeking to solve a central dilemma: In Colorado and other states, first came the approval of marijuana as medicine. Next comes the challenge of proving its effectiveness.

Cannabis Science recently hired a company to help it negotiate the Food and Drug Administration approval process, and [Dr. Bob] Melamede said he is hopeful it won't be long before the company can begin clinical trials targeting veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain patients.

But Melamede knows he is already behind in the race. GW Pharmaceuticals, a British firm, is currently preparing for its final clinical trials in the United States on a drug called Sativex, a marijuana-derived mouth spray the company intends as a treatment for cancer pain. The drug has already won approval in Canada and Great Britain and is in the last stages of approval in Spain.

"Medical-marijuana: Patients clouded in controversy":

The feeling begins as a ripple, nothing more, somewhere deep in her stomach. Quickly, though, comes another. Then another. Soon Deana Martinez's stomach is convulsing, and the whole of her day now hinges on the next moments.

If she vomits, she might not eat for the next 24 hours. She might not even leave the bathroom for much of it. She's 119 pounds. The medications she's taking — 15 different kinds, 25 pills a day to treat her advanced AIDS, her intestinal tie-ups, her constant pain after 21 surgeries — don't work if she can't keep them down.

So she reaches for a glass pipe packed with marijuana, flicks a lighter and inhales deeply.

"Injured vets want battle over pot to end":

Consider the case of Kevin Grimsinger.

The 42-year-old former special-forces medic had served in Kosovo and Desert Storm before stepping on a land mine in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2001. He lost parts of both legs, broke his back in 13 places, shattered a shoulder and ribs and suffered injuries to several internal organs. ...

After two years in hospitals, Grimsinger was released addicted "to every pain medication known to man," he tells me. It wasn't until turning to therapeutic cannabis, along with other prescriptions, that he says he has been able to function. Medical marijuana doesn't take away his trauma. But it gives him a break long enough to sleep.

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