More MS news articles for Aug 2001

Medicinal pot in the Garden City

Issue Date 8/9/01
Vol.   12     No.   32
by Independent Staff

Never let it be said that Missoula is not at the epicenter of budding science.

The August issue of High Times magazine reports on a new study conducted right here in the Garden City, which examined the long-term health effects of chronic cannabis use.

The first-of-it-kind study looked at four recipients of federally-provided medical marijuana and found that—surprise, surprise!— none of the four exhibited any serious adverse health effects whatsoever.

The Missoula Chronic Clinical Cannabis Use Study, headed by Missoula neurologist Dr. Ethan Russo and Virginia nurse Mary Lynn Mathre, were conducted at St. Patrick Hospital and sponsored by Patients Out of Time, and investigated the long-term health effects of pot smoking on patients who used “ a known dosage of a standardized, heat sterilized, quality controlled supply of low-grade marijuana for 10-19 years.”

The patients, whose prior medical conditions ranged from glaucoma to multiple sclerosis, were run through a battery of tests, including chest X-rays, magnetic-resonance-imaging brain scans, neurophysical, immunological and pulmonary function tests.

The results, due to be published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics in January, 2002, showed “all four patients are stable with respect to their chronic conditions, and are taking many fewer standard pharmaceuticals than previously.”

Although some minor changes in pulmonary function were found in two of the four patients, no cancer cells were detected, and no other negative functions were discovered.

The study comes on the heels of growing public pressure in the United States to ease federal drug laws for medical marijuana, as well as last month’s policy change by the Canadian government to allow more patients access to such herbal remedies.

High time we just say know.