Setting the Record Straight

HumboldtOne of NORML’s primary missions is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults. One of the ways we successfully achieve this goal is by debunking marijuana myths and half-truths via the publication of timely op-eds in online and print media. Since the mainstream media seldom casts a critical eye toward many of the more over-the-top claims about cannabis, we take it upon ourselves to set the record straight.

The majority of NORML’s rebuttals are penned by Deputy Director Paul Armentano. In the past few weeks, he has published numerous op-eds rebuking a litany of popular, but altogether specious claims about the cannabis plant – including the contentions that cannabis consumption is linked to heart attacks, psychosis, violence, and a rise in emergency room visits and traffic fatalities, among other allegations.

Below are links to a sampling of his recent columns.:

Blowing up the big marijuana IQ myth — The science points to zero effect on your smarts

Blowing the lid off the ‘marijuana treatment’ racket

The five biggest marijuana myths and how to debunk them

It took just one distorted study for the media to freak out over health risks marijuana

Cannabis mitigates opioid abuse — the science says so

Three new marijuana myth-busting studies that the mainstream media isn’t picking up on

For a broader sampling of NORML-centric columns and media hits, please visit NORML’s ‘In the Media’ archive here.

If you see the importance of NORML’s educational and media outreach efforts, please feel free to show your support by making a contribution here.

Study: History Of Marijuana Use Associated With Decreased In-Hospital Mortality In Trauma Patients

thumbs_upTrauma patients who test positive for marijuana upon their admission to the intensive care unit are less likely to die during hospitalization than are age-matched controls, according to data published online ahead of print in The Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery.

A team of researchers from the University of Arizona analyzed the in-hospital mortality rates of adults admitted into the ICU over a five-year period, of which 2,678 were matched (1,339: marijuana positive, 1,339 marijuana negative).

Authors concluded: “Patients with a positive marijuana screen had a lower mortality rate (5.3 percent versus 8.9 percent) compared to patients with a negative marijuana screen. … Prospective studies with long-term follow up will be useful in answering many of the remaining questions surrounding the specific impact of marijuana on outcomes after trauma.”

Prior studies have similarly reported greater survival rates among marijuana-positive patients hospitalized for traumatic brain injuries and heart attacks as compared to matched controls.

An abstract of the study, “How does marijuana effect outcomes after trauma in ICU patients? A propensity matched analysis,” appears online here.

Study: CBD Administration Reduces Blood Pressure

oil_bottlesOral CBD administration is associated with reduced blood pressure in healthy volunteers, according to clinical trial data published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

Investigators from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom assessed the effects of a single oral dose of 600 mg of CBD extract versus placebo in nine male subjects.

Cannabidiol administration reduced resting systolic blood pressure and stroke volume (the amount of blood pumped by the left ventricle of the heart in one contraction). Compared to placebo, CBD intake was associated with reduced BP levels following exercise and in response to stress. Increased heart rate was observed following CBD administration, but no “adverse events” were reported by participants either during or following the study sessions.

Authors concluded: “Our data show that a single dose of CBD reduces resting blood pressure and the blood pressure response to stress, particularly cold stress, and especially in the post-test periods. This may reflect the anxiolytic and analgesic effects of CBD, as well as any potential direct cardiovascular effects. … Further research is also required to establish whether CBD has any role in the treatment of cardiovascular disorders such as a hypertension.”

Full text of the study, “A single dose of cannabisiol reduces blood pressure in healthy volunteers in a randomized crossover study,” is online here.

Setting The Record Straight


One of NORML’s primary missions is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults. One of the ways we successfully achieve this goal is by debunking marijuana myths and half-truths via the publication of timely op-eds in online and print media. Since the mainstream media seldom casts a critical eye toward many of the more over-the-top claims about cannabis, we take it upon ourselves to set the record straight.

The majority of NORML’s rebuttals are penned by Deputy Director Paul Armentano. In the past few weeks, he has published numerous op-eds rebuking a litany of popular, but altogether specious claims about the cannabis plant – including the contentions that cannabis consumption is linked to heart attacks, psychosis, violence, and a rise in emergency room visits and traffic fatalities, among other allegations.

Below are links to a sampling of his recent columns.:

Major ‘drugged driving’ report’s findings prove overblown

Attorney General Jeff Sessions thinks legalizing pot increases violent crime – he’s wrong

The evidence is overwhelming; cannabis is an exit drug fro major addictions, not a gateway to new ones

Pot, heart attacks, and the media hype cycle

The five biggest lies about pot – and how to rebut them

Trump administration’s dubious claims about pot and opioids are dead wrong

Debunking the latest viral pot paranoid theory

Three new scientific studies that debunk conventional marijuana myths

You’d be crazy to believe the ‘reefer madness’ study

For a broader sampling of NORML-centric columns and media hits, please visit NORML’s ‘In the Media’ archive here.

If you see the importance of NORML’s educational and media outreach efforts, please feel free to show your support by making a contribution here.

Marijuana use associated with increased risk of stroke, heart failure

Using marijuana raises the risk of stroke and heart failure even after accounting for demographic factors, other health conditions and lifestyle risk factors such as smoking and alcohol use, according to new research.

Jack Cole, Founder of LEAP, Testifies at HB1393 Medical Marijuana Hearing 8/19/2010 (Part 1 of 2)

Jack Cole, founder of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, testifies at HB1393 Medical Marijuana Hearing on 8/19/2010 in Pittsburgh about his experience as an undercover cop busting kids for smoking a joint, and how pointless and counterproductive the war on drugs is.
Video Rating: 5 / 5

Video in the public domain. Q. Does marijuana have any medical value? Any determination of a drug’s valid medical use must be based on the best available science undertaken by medical professionals. The Institute of Medicine conducted a comprehensive study in 1999 to assess the potential health benefits of marijuana and its constituent cannabinoids. The study concluded that smoking marijuana is not recommended for the treatment of any disease condition. In addition, there are more effective medications currently available. For those reasons, the Institute of Medicine concluded that there is little future in smoked marijuana as a medically approved medication. Advocates have promoted the use of marijuana to treat medical conditions such as glaucoma. However, this is a good example of more effective medicines already available. According to the Institute of Medicine, there are six classes of drugs and multiple surgical techniques that are available to treat glaucoma that effectively slow the progression of this disease by reducing high intraocular pressure. In other studies, smoked marijuana has been shown to cause a variety of health problems, including cancer, respiratory problems, increased heart rate, loss of motor skills, and increased heart rate. Furthermore, marijuana can affect the immune system by impairing the ability of T-cells to fight off infections, demonstrating that marijuana can do more harm than good in people with already compromised immune systems. In

San Francisco Medical Marijuana Doctor Offers Three Rules of Medical Cannabis Use

San Francisco, CA (Vocus/PRWEB) January 08, 2011

Greenway Medical Marijuana Physicians Evaluations? Medical Director, Dr. Arif Khan advises his patients to follow three rules in order to benefit from medical cannabis. Dr. Khan, a cannabis-knowledgeable physician, works with Greenway patients to find the right combination and method of medical marijuana use to address their specific symptoms.

?Cannabis is a complex medication with a spectrum of benefits, and safe therapeutic use requires selecting strains (Indica v. Sativa) and moderating dosage, depending on each patient?s medical condition,? said Khan.

Dr. Khan?s Three Rules of Medical Cannabis Use are:

Rule #1: Question the Dispensary

Patients need to question their dispensary about the various types of medical marijuana and the elements of each strain. The characteristics of cannabis vary depending on where it was grown, and how it was grown (indoor or outdoor / in hydro, soil, or organic). The dispensaries should know the answers.

Rule #2: Make it Personal

Patients need to use the appropriate strain of cannabis for the medical condition. What friends or family are using may not be effective for the patient. For instance, Sativa is generally not a good choice for patients suffering from insomnia, high blood pressure, heart disease, or anxiety. For these conditions, Indica is typically a better choice.

If a patient is suffering from depression, Indica strains could potentially bring on more severe symptoms. Patients should discuss Indica-Sativa hybrids with Dr. Khan and their local dispensary provider.

Rule #3 Timing and Dosage

The type of cannabis patients need in the morning may be completely different from what they need in the evening. For instance, patients suffering from morning nausea, midday stress, or evening relaxation require different delivery methods and strains of medicinal marijuana.

Medical marijuana can be ingested, smoked, vaporized, drank, taken in a capsule, and applied topically as a salve or ointment. Patients suffering from localized pain may benefit more from applying cannabis salves and other topical treatments rather than ingesting or smoking cannabis.

For asthma sufferers, smoking is out of the question, so they should try taking their medication in the form of a drink, tea, tincture, or other edible form.

For more information about effective medical cannabis use, contact Greenway Medical Marijuana Physicians Evaluations at (415) 777-0157, visit their website at, or drop by the clinic located at 393 Tehama Street in San Francisco. Greenway?s fax number is (415) 777-0153.

About Greenway Medical Marijuana Physicians Evaluations

Greenway Medical Marijuana Physicians Evaluations is a downtown San Francisco medical marijuana clinic. Greenway provides efficient, low cost medical evaluations to the qualifying public for medicinal marijuana accessibility. Medical Director, Dr. Arif Khan believes in providing a compassionate, non-judgmental and a detailed evaluation of each patient?s medical problem. Based on his shared experience at Greenway, he formulates an individualized treatment plan which incorporates the different strains of cannabis, guiding the patient through an otherwise confusing initial experience.

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Study: Cannabis Associated With Lower Diabetes Risk

Adults with a history of marijuana use have a lower prevalence of type 2 diabetes and possess a lower risk of contracting the disease than those with no history of cannabis consumption, according to clinical trial data published in the British Medical Journal.

Investigators at the University of California, Los Angeles assessed the association between diabetes mellitus (DM) and marijuana use among adults aged 20 to 59 in a nationally representative sample of the US population of 10,896 adults. The study included four groups: non-marijuana users (61.0%), past marijuana users (30.7%), light (one to four times/month) (5.0%) and heavy (more than five times/month) current marijuana users (3.3%). Diabetes was defined based on self-report or abnormal glycaemic parameters.

Researchers hypothesized that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes would be reduced in marijuana users because of the presence of various cannabinoids that possess immunomodulatory and anti-inflammatory properties.

Investigators reported that past and present cannabis consumers possessed a lower prevalence of adult onset diabetes, even after authors adjusted for social variables (ethnicity, level of physical activity, etc.), despite all groups possessing a similar family history of DM. Researchers did not find an association between cannabis use and other chronic diseases, including hypertension, stroke, myocradial infarction, or heart failure compared to nonusers.

Past and current cannabis users did report engaging in more frequent physical activity than nonusers, but also possessed higher overall levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides. By contrast, the highest prevalence of marijuana consumers were found among those with the lowest glucose levels.

Investigators concluded, “Our analysis of adults aged 20-59 years … Showed that participants who used marijuana had a lower prevalence of DM and lower odds of DM relative to non-marijuana users.” They caution, however: “Prospective studies in rodents and humans are needed to determine a potential causal relationship between cannabinoid receptor activation and DM. Until those studies are performed, we do not advocate the use of marijuana in patients at risk for DM.”

Previous studies in animals have indicated that certain cannabinoids possess anti-diabetic properties. In particular, a preclinical trial published in the journal Autoimmunity reported that injections of 5 mg per day of the non-psychoactive cannabinoid CBD significantly reduced the incidence of diabetes in mice compared to placebo. Investigators reported that control mice all developed adult onset diabetes at a median of 17 weeks (range 15-20 weeks), while a majority (60 percent) of CBD-treated mice remained diabetes-free at 26 weeks.

Full text of the study, “Decreased prevalence of diabetes in marijuana users: cross-sectional data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III,” appears online here.

Dr. Wagoner speaks from the heart: Yes on Prop 1

After watching Dr. Wagoner’s account of his wife’s difficult final days, please forward this video to everyone you know and ask them to do the same. Vote “yes” on Proposal 1, the Michigan medical marijuana initiative. (Music by Daniel Cripps:
Video Rating: 4 / 5

What Are the Health Benefits of Medical Marijuana Capsules?

San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) September 01, 2011

Due to recent changes in the laws and public opinion, people are increasingly turning to medical marijuana for relief from their ailments. But because smoking marijuana can irritate the lungs, and may pose additional health risks, many patients who could benefit from the all-natural drug don’t use it. Those patients now have alternatives, says leading medical marijuana capsule producer GodMed.

Medical marijuana has been shown to not only treat the symptoms of serious illnesses, such as cancer and HIV/AIDS, but also to slows and may even prevent the onset of Alzheimer?s disease. Unlike many prescription drugs, medical marijuana is completely natural and has few or no negative side effects, says GodMed. As the list of proven benefits continues to grow, innovations in technology have been made to maximize the potency and safety of the wonder drug. So far, marijuana capsules are leading the pack in both regards.

Those who don’t have access to capsules have to resort to other mean like vaping with a vaporizer. This can be difficult if you have to travel. Portable vaporizers have help ease this burden for some. The firefly 2 has been getting some decent reviews and may be worth checking out(

Steve Casebeer, founder of GodMed, is a firm believer in the superiority of medical marijuana pills. ?The capsules are slightly refined and activated for the body’s immediate absorption,? explains the health-minded entrepreneur. ?They treat a myriad of conditions and diseases without the side effects that normal prescription pharmaceuticals have.?

Prescription drugs used to treat many ailments can have serious negative side effects?from dizziness to rashes to digestive problems to increased risk of heart attacks or stroke. Some prescription drugs are approved as safe for use, only to be recalled when they are later found to be harmful. Marijuana has been used for thousands of years to treat hundreds of ailments, and multiple studies have shown that users experience almost no adverse reactions. GodMed marijuana capsules are taken like a prescription pill, but have none of the nasty side effects of prescription medications.

Medical cannabis pills are also the best choice for patients who wish to avoid the health risks associated with inhaling the cannabis through smoking. The debate is still on as to whether smoking marijuana causes lung cancer or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), but in an effort to improve a client?s condition without the possibility of causing additional damage, medical professionals recommend ingestion of the medicine.

In the rapidly evolving medical marijuana industry, marijuana edibles are quickly gaining popularity, and GodMed cannabis capsules are one of the most innovative edible products on the market. GodMed capsules are made from the finest cannabis flowers and kif with a non-genetically modified soy lecithin emulsifier all in a veg capsule?nothing else. They are easy to digest, and convenient and discrete to carry.

GodMed capsules safely and quickly deliver the beneficial effects of medical marijuana without the perhaps unwanted consequences that are associated with some other modes of medicating, such as the smell of smoke or calories from baked goods.

Another benefit of these marijuana pills is that each batch is tested for the percentage of THC, CBD, and CBN content, information that is later displayed on each label. There is no risk of the over- or under-medicating that can come with smoking cannabis; marijuana capsules effectively take guesswork out of the equation.

Of course, medical marijuana is only available to patients with verification from a certified doctor of their need for the treatment.

For more information about cannabis capsules or any of GodMed?s services, view them on the web at

About GodMed

GodMed is a California medical marijuana company that specializes in the production of medical cannabis capsules. GodMed capsules are made from nothing but Emerald Triangle cannabis buds and kif inside non-GMO soy lecithin skin. These medical marijuana pills deliver the full spectrum of components of medical marijuana flowers in a convenient, discrete, easy-to-swallow veg capsule. Patients have used the medicine to naturally treat hundreds of ailments from headaches to depression to cancer without the sometimes debilitating side effects of prescription medications.

GodMed capsules are available at a number of California medical marijuana dispensaries and online at GodMed also offers revolutionary health enhancement products at

The Oregonian: Medical Marijuana is Big Business

Click here for more coverage of OregonVoters in Oregon have twice (2004, 2010) struck down attempts to create dispensaries – a legal, regulated, tax-paying industry to supply medical marijuana to sick and disabled patients.  So the law of supply and demand, being the unimpeachable reality that it is, has led to “patient clubs” and “farmers markets” and “cooperatives”, all euphemisms for “money walks in, marijuana walks out”, or what most of us would calldispensaries”.

See, Oregon’s medical marijuana law allows patients and caregivers to freely exchange medicine and plants.  So, in one novel interpretation of the law, caregivers are merely “donating” their medicine and plants to a patient.  Then, in a completely separate and uncoordinated transaction, the patient, out of the goodness of his or her heart, merely “donates” some cash to the caregiver, which randomly happens to always be $10/gram or $200/ounce.  It’s kind of like now under Citizens United, Super PACs can run attack ads for a candidate, but they are completely separate and uncoordinated activities (*wink*).

In another creative reading of the statutes, some places charge a “membership fee” or an “entry fee” to enter a club designed for patients to medicate within.  It’s explained that shut-in patients need a place to recreate where they can medicate.  Never mind that anyone with a card can come in: patients, caregivers, and growers, and nobody bothers to determine which of those cards are held by the people smoking the bongs and hitting the vaporizers.  Inside, one can visit the various growers who pay a “vendor fee” to rent a cubicle there within the club.

The growers in the club, as well as growers throughout the state, make use of another flexible part of the Oregon Medical Marijuana Law that states a patient can reimburse a caregiver/grower for the expenses incurred in growing marijuana, but not for labor.  The key words there are “a patient” and “a grower”, which is notably not “the patient” and “the grower”.  The latter (“the”) would mean the patient could only reimburse the person they had specifically designated to be their grower when they filled out their Oregon Medical Marijuana Program paperwork.  The former (“a”) means any patient can reimburse any grower.  So the electricity, soil, lights, ballasts, water, nutrients, etc. incurred during this harvest are all tallied up by the grower, then that figure is divided by the total yield, and the patient reimburses the grower that amount based on how much weight of medicine is dispensed… or, at least, that’s how you’d think the law’s dictates would force you to figure reimbursement.

Yet whether you grow two plants hydroponically under a single 600W lamp in Portland, or you grow 24 plants under massive indoor soil grows with thousands of watts of lights in Eugene, or you grow 96 plants outdoors in the ideal weather of Medford, somehow everybody’s expense reimbursements with no labor costs always tally up to $10 / gram and $200 / ounce.  And nobody bothers to check any grower’s power or water bills or garden supply receipts.  Weird, huh?  Where in the world do people like Dwight Holton get off calling this program a “train wreck”?  How in the world do opponents of medical marijuana come up with this meme of “abuse”?

So the dispensaries voters shot down twice are here, as we all knew they would be eventually, because you cannot have 60,000 legal consumers and 0 legal retail suppliers.  The voters mistakenly thought it was a vote between “dispensaries” or “no dispensaries”; in reality it was a vote between “regulated taxpaying dispensaries” and “unregulated gray-market dispensaries” and we chose the latter.  It would be nice if the “Mother Teresa” model worked and every patient could be matched with an altruistic caregiver and grower, but it just ain’t so.  So people who have always made money growing and selling marijuana continue to do so and the state continues to miss out on huge economic opportunities.  A state, by the way, with no sales tax and brutal property taxes to make up for it, where revenues are short, and there is one growing (pardon the pun) industry begging to be legal and taxed.

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