Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ALERT: Treating Swine and Avian Flu by Down-Regulating the Inflammatory Response

by Robert Melamede, PhD, CSI Chief Science Officer

The problem with current approaches to defeating Swine Flu, is we have not been able to beat the virus, because it's too good at mutating. Although it might be possible to use different antigenic targets to create a vaccine that would be more universal and effective in the future, we need something now to defend against Swine Flu. We believe the solution is to change how our bodies deal with the virus. Recent discoveries about the anti-inflammatory properties of cannabinoids can provide us with new medicines, which can modify how we respond to these viruses and provide us with effective, non-toxic therapies. This paper provides a theory, with peer reviewed references, that supports the use of cannabinoids to prevent deaths associated with avian flu infections. If the lethality caused by the current swine flu can also be attributed to ARDS, then our proposal can be extended to the current problem.

1.0 Introduction: The Endocannabinoid System
Far-from-equilibrium thermodynamics as pioneered by Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine, provides a physical underpinning for all biological processes 1,2. An intrinsic characteristic that emerges, and permeates all organizational levels of life, is oscillations of opposing biochemical phenomena, often linked with inflammatory anti-inflammatory processes. In the same manner that temperature in a house varies around the set point determined by a thermostat, countless interacting reactions in human biochemistry oscillate around set points that turn up or down inflammatory responses and associated free radical production 3. Evolution has selected the endocannabinoid system as a critical modulator of inflammatory biochemical pathways 4.

Essentially, inflammation-generated free radicals may be thought of as biochemical friction, and endocannabinoids as the oil of life 5 in that they reduce this friction. From this perspective, it is easy to understand why the endocannabinoids system has life promoting activities 6, and why phytocannabinoids (plant derived cannabinoids), by virtue of their ability to mimic endocannabinoids, have therapeutic benefits for such wide range of illnesses, including cardiovascular 7,8, neurological 9,10, immunological 11-14, skeletal 15,16, diseases and cancers 17-24. They in fact appear to function as anti-aging compounds as indicated by the increased lifespan observed when mice were treated with THC for extended periods of time 25. In contrast, knockout mice that lacked the CB1 receptor die prematurely and CB2 knockout mice appear to have a number of associated phenotypes relating to the immune system, cardiovascular system, nervous system, digestive system, and reproductive system 26-29. The bird flu is one of the most critical viral diseases to threaten mankind today. Influenza viruses have already killed millions of individuals around the world. The following sections on the bird flu are a logical synthesis of existing knowledge that dramatically shows how important cannabis-based research can be for mankind, and why we have chosen influenza as an early focus of our research efforts. We feel that the evidence below sufficiently supports the possibility that cannabinoids may save millions of lives that would otherwise be lost due to influenza and HIV infections, and it would be immoral and irresponsible not to determine if our hypothesis is correct.

2.0 A Brief Introduction Into the Immune System
In order to appreciate the hypothesized life-saving possibilities offered by cannabinoids with respect to the bird flu and HIV, a limited understanding of how the immune system works is necessary. Upon infection, the infectious agent and damaged host tissue release chemical signals that serve as markers so that neutrophils, the foot soldiers of the immune system, can find their way to the invading pathogens. These specialized white blood cells bring with them a formidable array of biochemical weaponry including specialized receptors (TLRs), known as toll receptors that recognize molecular patterns on various pathogens. Bound TLRs activate neutrophils to produce highly inflammatory bacteriocidal chemicals such as hydrogen peroxide and sodium perchlorate. Additionally, neutrophils phagocytize the invaders. The neutrophils die young, lasting only a few days. The debris field is subsequently cleaned up by additional, late to arrive, phagocytic cells, monocytes and macrophage. The immune process thus far described is known as the innate immune system. We inherit it and are born with it functioning. The high levels of free radicals and other cytotoxic agents produced during the innate response create a lot of collateral damage. To overcome this damage problem, evolution has selected an additional more targeted, less inflammatory immune process known as the acquired response.

The acquired immune response takes pieces of the phagocytized pathogens and presents them on the surface of phagocytic cells in order to generate a specific response via the collaborative action of T and B cells that ideally kill pathogens and pathogen infected cells with a more specific targeted, less inflammatory response directed by B and T cell receptors.

2.1 Pathology associated with an Excessive Inflammatory Response
Today, most people in first world countries die from age-related illnesses 30. One hundred years ago, people in the same countries died predominantly of infectious diseases. The proinflammatory arm of the human immune system has evolved to play a critical role in fighting many infectious diseases. However, the inflammatory responses and associated free radical production appear to be at the heart of age-related illnesses including neurological disorders, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune diseases, and cancers 31.

Man has changed the world in which we live in a manner that – for now – has greatly increased our lifespan. Improvements in public health, for example, have resulted in dramatic increases in the health of the human population. However, these changes have occurred too rapidly for the evolution of our immune system to keep pace with changing environmental demands. We live cleaner today, and in general appear to need lower levels of inflammation for control of most infections. Since the endocannabinoid system plays a critical role in up-regulating the anti-inflammatory arm of the immune system, phytocannabinoids can play a natural role in bringing man's immune system up-to-date by reducing the levels of immune generated inflammation, i.e. resetting the inflammatory thermostat.

It is important to keep in mind that different infections elicit different types of immune responses. There is an ongoing evolutionary battle between our immune system and pathogens. While many illnesses are exacerbated by an excessive inflammatory immune response, this type of response is required to control infection of tuberculosis, Legionella pneumophila, and Leishmania. The use of cannabis for these types of infections could be lethal as indicated by animal models 32, because some types of infections actually require the pro-inflammatory response for their survival as most recent studies indicate is the case with HIV.

2.2 Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

The Problem: The bird flu is one of the most dangerous viral diseases to threaten mankind today 33. The main source of fear is that mutated viruses will be acquire the capacity to transfer not only from wild birds to domestic birds and then to people, from man to man 34 and result in a worldwide pandemic. North Americans may be particularly vulnerable to this threat as a result of the migratory route over Canada taken by many wild birds 35.

This danger is underscored by the recent outbreak of the avian flu on the Canadian turkey farms that resulted in the killing of thousands of birds 36. The Canadian press recently reported that Baxter International’s European facility in Austria mistakenly provided materials that were contaminated with the deadly avian H5N1 strain of influenza to a research company that subsequently sent samples to other European countries 37. When samples were injected into animals, the unexpected death that resulted led to investigations that identified the deadly strain as the problem.

This error could easily have resulted in a pandemic that would have killed millions. The magnitude of the threat posed by the avian flu to humanity was recently further emphasized by studies showing an unexpected rise in resistance to currently used antiviral medications 33. The bird flu, should it mutate to efficiently infect humans, will kill many millions in one season.

The Solution: The lethality associated with bird flu infections in humans is very high (63%) 38. Based on animal studies, it appears that the bird flu elicits a proinflammatory immune response that is many times greater than that which results from infections by other influenza strains both in the lungs 39 and the brain 40. The apparently excessive proinflammatory immune response results in the lethal development of adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and multiple organ failure 41. We hypothesize that a life-saving down-regulation of the excessively high proinflammatory response to the bird flu may be accomplished by orally ingesting an appropriate dose of phytocannabinoids without impairing immune control of the virus (resetting the inflammatory thermostat). Smoking or vaporizing cannabis will not work, and in fact could make things worse since using the pulmonary route will promote an added degree of inflammation.

There are typically two phases to any immune response. Initially, the innate arm of the immune system responds by initiating acute inflammation and free radical-induced cell killing. This general, non-specific response is then turned down as the more targeted acquired immune response kicks in. A successful immune response is characterized by the control of infection in a manner that minimizes harm to the infected organism. This goal is difficult and complex to accomplish. Both genetic and environmental factors, as well as chance, determine the outcome of a given infection.

The immune-cell-driven functions of the innate immune system are very inflammation dependant, and as a consequence produce collateral damage to surrounding tissue. Neutrophils, monocytes and macrophage are migratory cells that travel to the site of infection and initiate an innate immune response. Ultimately, these same cell types are also responsible for the transition to the acquired response as a result of antigen uptake and presentation. Current thinking suggests that the monocytes release MCL-1 attractant protein that binds the chemokine receptor CCR2 on a novel dendritic cell subset that produces TNF and iNOS (Tip) 42, which during later stages of infection promote antigen specific T cell responses 43.

There are numerous studies that demonstrate the capacity of cannabinoids to down regulate the cascade of pro-inflammatory immune responses. Neutrophil 44 and monocyte migration in inhibited by activating CB2 receptor 45 Similarly, cannabinoids reduce the response to pro-inflammatory chemokines and cytokines 46 including TNF 47-49. Most relevant to our proposal, the effect of THC on influenza induced lung inflammation has been examined 50,51. These studies demonstrated that THC could prevent influenza induced lung epithelial cell death even though there was an increase in viral load.

In order to appreciate the significance of these findings the thermostat model is helpful. The inflammatory thermostat of Homo sapiens was set over the past hundreds of thousands of years. Humans lived short dirty lives. A strong inflammatory response was essential. Under some circumstances, such as occurs with influenza infection in a cleaner modern world, the inflammatory thermostat may be set too high. As a result, rather than protecting us, our immune system is killing us. Biology is never simple. The influenza virus is itself cytolytic and therefore destructive of respiratory epithelial cells, and our defenses are complicated 52. The question therefore becomes what kills first the virus or the immune system? The probable, but complex answer is that the outcome will depend the idiosyncratic biochemical balances of an individual, past exposures, and their genetics.

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30 Walczak, J. S., Price, T. J. & Cervero, F. Cannabinoid CB(1) receptors are expressed in the mouse urinary bladder and their activation modulates afferent bladder activity. Neuroscience 159, 1154-1163 (2009).

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32 Newton, C. A., Klein, T. W. & Friedman, H. Secondary immunity to Legionella pneumophila and Th1 activity are suppressed by delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol injection. Infect. Immun. 62, 4015-4020 (1994).

33 Khanna, M., Kumar, P., Choudhary, K., Kumar, B. & Vijayan, V. K. Emerging influenza virus: a global threat. J Biosci 33, 475-482 (2008).

34 Jeong, O. M. et al. Experimental infection of chickens, ducks and quails with the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza virus. J Vet Sci 10, 53-60 (2009).

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51 Buchweitz, J. P., Karmaus, P. W., Harkema, J. R., Williams, K. J. & Kaminski, N. E. Modulation Of Airway Responses To Influenza A/PR/8/34 By Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol In C57BL/6 Mice. J Pharmacol Exp Ther (2007).

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

How to make wicked hash

By Liza Scammel and Bianca Sind - Wednesday, May 22 2002

Making hash is easier than you think!

Nederhash: pressed from trichomes harvested in Holland.Making hash is an ancient art. The first proto-human who rubbed her fingers together after handling a mature cannabis bud was making hash in much the same way it is made today. Although the process of removing the resins from cannabis have become more refined, the essence has remained unchanged for millennia.

Making hash is the process of extracting and preserving the psychoactive resins from the cannabis plant. These resins are found primarily on tiny glands called trichomes, which under a magnifying glass look like mushrooms ? a head on top of a stalk. These trichomes are part of what gives cannabis buds their "frosty" appearance.

Trichomes are most heavily concentrated in the flowering buds of mature female cannabis, but smaller amounts can be found in the leaves and trim of both male and female plants. The leaves and trim are usually unpleasant to smoke and therefore discarded, but they contain upwards of 10% of the plant's total resin production, and throwing this away is a waste of potentially potent plant material.

Home-made hash is becoming an increasingly popular way for ganja gardeners to maximize their harvest, and produce something a little different and special compared to the same old big bags of bud! This article outlines some of the most popular and easy ways to make hash. We have not included techniques that would require solvents like alcohol or isopropynol.

There are many ways to make hash. Flat screening and blender hash are relatively easy and inexpensive, but the final product will contain more contaminates than drum machine and bubble bag hash, which require some financial investment. No matter the method, hash makes great use of scraps.

THC levels vary in different plant strains, but the most potent hash is one made entirely of gland heads. Most hash contains gland heads and stalk as well as contaminates. Contaminates, whether vegetable matter or otherwise, lower the potency.

super Skuff

The leaves, trim and other plant material that is often thrown away is called "skuff." Your finished product is only as good as the raw materials you start with, so take the time to inspect your skuff. Frost on your leaves is not proof enough that it contains THC, get a magnifying glass and look for that mushroom-like gland. If trichomes are not present, discard the leaf as it will only add contaminates to your hash.

Don't alter your skuff in any way, if possible. Crushing or grinding it in advance will only damage the trichomes and increase contaminates. Generally skuff should be dry, but not too crumbly. The texture of the skuff is more important when using flat screen or drum machine methods.

Flat Screening

Flat screening removes the trichomes by rubbing the skuff over a fine steel or silk screen. This is a very simple process but the quality of hash is very dependent on the skill and patience of the maker. The principle behind this method is that the trichome heads are of a fairly consistent size, so that when applied to a mesh of the appropriate size, the trichome heads will pass through but other plant matter will be left behind.

You'll need a flat screen. Screens can be bought from printing supply shops for $10 to $30, depending on size, or you can make your own. To make your own, fasten four pieces of wood together to form a frame, then glue screening to the bottom. Small hole screens are best, between 125-137 lines per inch.

You'll also need a piece of glass or a mirror to collect trichomes, a credit card or something similar for pushing, and of course skuff.

Skuff used for flat screening should be dry, but not too dry. If your skuff is really crumbly, too much vegetable matter will pass through the screen.

Put the screen on top of the mirror or piece of glass and place the skuff on the screen. Using the card, gently push your skuff back and forth across the screen. Using minimal pressure on the skuff produces the best hash. The first layer of powder that comes through will be the most pure and potent.

Because the skuff must be in contact with the screen to remove the glands, it is almost impossible to get a pure hash through flat screening. For this reason, some people choose to pass their skuff through an old pair of panty hose or a screen with slightly larger holes first. This produces a mixture of trichomes and small bits of plant material, which is then transferred onto the small holed screen. The screen then only needs to be tapped to let the glands fall through and be separated from the vegetation.

Flat screen hash generally contains more contaminates than any other method. However, it is the simplest and cheapest way for the home gardener to make use of scraps.

Drum machines

A drum machine is cylindrical, like the inside of a clothes dryer, and is electrically powered. Inside the drum is a screen which the skuff is slowly tumbled against. It's much the same principal as flat screening, except the drum machine tumbles the skuff instead of rubbing it. Drum machines can be bought, or if you are handy, plans can be found to build your own.

The most popular drum machine is the Pollinator, developed by Mila, a pioneer of Amsterdam's hashmaking community. She has developed machines in a variety of sizes to handle different quantities of product.

The drum screen should be 125-137 lines per inch like the flat screen. Lightly fill the drum with dry skuff (remember not too dry) and turn machine on low. Let it run from a few minutes for up to one hour ? the shorter the time, the more likely you are to get only gland heads. You can collect the hash-powder and then run the machine again to produce a lower grade of hash. Depending on the quality and quantity of original material, you can do this a few times, with each grade containing more contaminates.

If your skuff contains a lot of larger leaves, you may want to put a rubber ball into the drum after the first collection to help rub the surface against the screen.


Unlike the previous methods which use screens to filter the trichomes, the blender method uses the principle that the resin glands are heavier than water, while other plant material is not.
The blender method uses water, ice and agitation to dislodge the trichomes. Ice-water makes the trichomes brittle, causing the resin glands to solidify and become easy to snap off. The glands are heavier than water so they sink to the bottom when separated, while the plant material floats.

To make hash this way you'll need a blender, ice cubes, a reusable metal coffee filter or silk screening, a large glass jar and paper coffee filters.

Fill the blender about half-way with skuff, then cover with cold water and add a tray of ice cubes. Blend for 45 seconds to a minute ? the mixture will become green and frothy, like a smoothie. Pour this mix through the metal coffee filter into your glass jar. Run more water through the filter to make sure you haven't missed any trichomes.

Once your jar is full, put it in the fridge to settle for a minimum of 30 minutes. You 0should be able to see a white or blonde coloured substance settling on the bottom of your container ? those are the trichomes. Carefully, so you do not disturb the trichomes, pour off or siphon off about two-thirds of the green water.

If you have more skuff to process, do it now and filter into the container you just drained. Return to the fridge, allow to settle and siphon again. When you have processed all your skuff, add a few ice cubes to the container and let settle one last time.

If you want to increase the purity of your product you can carefully put this settled mixture back into the blender for a final mix and separation. This may or may not be necessary depending on your preference.

Pour the final mix of water and trichomes through a paper coffee filter. The water will pass through the paper but the glands will not. Drain well and allow to dry. You now have dried resin glands ready to be pressed into hash.

Bubble hash

The ice-water filtration technique has quickly become a very popular way to make hash. This method combines the best of the screen and blender methods, using ice-water to make the trichomes brittle and agitation to knock the heads off, then straining the mix through filters for increased purity.

Hash made in this fashion is sometimes called "bubble hash" - because it is so pure that it bubbles when heated! Well-made bubble hash is a very potent product ? a tiny piece will produce enough billows of smoke to get a small crowd high.

The two main commercial ice-water filtration systems available are "Bubble Bags" from Fresh Headies and the Ice-o-lator, another product developed by Mila. Both operate on the same principle of using cold water and filtering bags to isolate trichomes. You can also make your own kit by acquiring mesh of the appropriate sizes and carefully sowing it into bags of strong material.

In order to make bubble hash you'll need a kit with filtering bags, two impeccably clean five gallon pails and a hand mixer. The exact method can vary depending on which system you're using, but the essentials are the same. The Ice-o-lator uses two filters to screen out contaminates, leaving the trichomes caught in the second filter. The bubble bag kits from Fresh Headies contain either three or six colour?coded bags, and allow you to simultaneously make different grades of hash.

To start with a bubblebag kit, place your skuff into one of your five gallon buckets. Use up to 100 grams of dry skuff, or double that weight if it's fresh or wet.

Because ice makes the trichomes brittle, add plenty - at least six ice cube trays. Then fill up the bucket with cold water. Leave a few inches at the top so you don't splash too much when mixing.

Use the hand mixer to blend continuously for 15 minutes to one hour or more. Mixing longer will produce a higher yield that will be slightly less potent. The mixture will become green and frothy. You should take breaks every so often to let the mixture settle.

When done mixing, allow the mixture to settle for at least 30 minutes. If the ice has melted, add more. If possible, put the pail in the freezer, or outside if you live in a cold climate ? you want that water to stay cold!

Now put your "work bag" into your second bucket. This bag should have a screen size between 200 and 250 microns, the one from Fresh Headies is 220. Pour your frothy green mix into the work bag in the second bucket. Slowly lift out the bag and squeeze out the water. Set aside the work bag with the green matter for a second rinse.

Now you have a bucket full of green water which contains many trichomes, as well as other contaminants. Everything that was smaller than 220 microns is in that water.

Arrange the other bags inside of the now empty bucket. Put the bag with the finest mesh in the bucket first, then place the bags with larger screen sizes inside the first one. With the Fresh Headies three bag kit you put the 25 micron bag in first and the 73 micron bag inside of it. You'll get fine hash if you just use one bag with a screen size around 73 microns.

Now you carefully pour the green water into the bucket with the bags. Then you slowly lift out each bag in succession, being sure to give them time to drain. If you're using a 25 micron bag it will drain very slowly ? be patient. Squeeze out the excess water from each bag after it is drained.

You will now have a brownish sludge at the bottom of the bags. Remove it with a credit card or spoon to a plastic bag. Blot the sludge with a towel to remove excess moisture, and let it dry out for at least 12 hours. You might want to wait up to a week for it to fully dry and cure, if you are that patient! Be sure that your product is entirely dried so as to avoid mold problems later on.

You'll get less product from the 25 micron bag, but it will have a unique and potent affect when consumed. Bubble bag creator "Bubble Man" speculates that these are the smaller trichome heads ? not immature, but simply the smaller heads associated with Sativa strains. He argues that Indica strains have larger trichome heads, and that Sativa strains have smaller heads on longer stalks. Crosses between these two types doesn't produce medium sized trichomes, but rather a mix of the large and small. This theory seems to be borne out by results, but much more research needs to be done.

Now go back and give the green matter in the work bag a second rinse, to be sure that you get out every last trichome!

The yield from 200 grams of skuff is around 6 to 20 grams, with an average yield around 10 grams. The quantity of hash produced depends in large part upon the quality of your original material.


The previous four techniques leave you with a product that, once dried, resembles sand. This "sand" is actually a collection of trichome heads and stalks. In Holland, these heads are referred to as "pollen" or "polm," which can create confusion as the trichomes are clearly not a "pollen" as defined by the english use of the word. Because it is a powder and a potent cannabis extract, this raw product is also sometimes jokingly referred to as "hippy crack."

The final step to making hash is to turn this powder into a solid mass. This can be as simple as rubbing small quantities between your hands to produce a ball of resin, as our ancestors did thousands of years ago. (Unlike our ancient ancestors, you should wash your hands first!)

Another way is to press this powder into a bar or cake. The powder should be completely dry before pressing. If it stored damp it can become moldy, ruining your precious product. So be sure it is totally dry! If you put it into the freezer for a while the water inside will coagulate on the surface as ice and can then be blotted off.

To press you'll need heavy plastic wrap, cardboard, newspaper, a frying pan, a heavy rolling pin and a tile or marble surface for rolling.

Cut the cardboard to the size you would like your finished bar to be. Make a bag around the cardboard, then remove cardboard. Fill the bag with dry trichomes, seal and wrap in several layers of wet newspaper. Place bundle in frying pan on very low setting. Turn your bar often and unwrap to check if all the trichomes are melted. Don't let the newspapers dry out or catch on fire!

Once melted, remove from frying pan, leave wrapped in newspaper, and transfer to the rolling surface. Using the rolling pin, press and roll from the center out. Continue doing this all the way around your bar for 30 to 45 minutes.

Unwrap newspaper and allow to cool in freezer for at least one hour. Then unwrap from your plastic. You now have some awesome hash!

Hash bash

Hash can be smoked, eaten and even taken as a suppository if you are so inclined. If your pot products are intended for cross-border travel then turning your buds into hash is a smart way to maximize your smuggling efforts.

By making fine hash you have become part of a tradition that dates back into pre-history. Take pride in your work, and you will be rewarded with the head-stash of the gods!

Timeline History of Cannabis/Hemp/Marijuana

2737 BC: Cannabis referred to as a "superior" herb in the world's first medical text, or pharmacopoeia, Shen Nung's Pen Ts'ao, in China

1500 BC : Cannabis-smoking Scythians sweep through Europe and Asia, settling and inventing the scythe.

1400 BC : Cultural and religious use of ganga or cannabis, and charas or hashish (resin) recorded used by Hindus in India.

c.600 BC : Zend-Avesta, Indian scripture, speaks of hemp's intoxicating resin.

c.500 BC : Gautama Buddha said to have survived by eating hempseed. Cannabis used in Germany (Hochdorf Hallstatt D wagon burial site). First botanical drawings of cannabis in Constantinopolitaus.

450 BC : Herodotus records Scythians and Thracians as consuming cannabis and making fine linens of hemp.

300 BC : Carthage and Rome struggle for political and commercial power over hemp and spice trade routes in the Mediterranean.

100 BC : Chinese make paper from hemp and mulberry.

70 BC : Roman Emperor Nero's surgeon, Dioscorides, praises cannabis for making the stoutest cords and for its medicinal properties.

c.30 AD : Jesus teaches: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man (Matthew 15:11). The Gospels refer to the New Wine and declare that it is best when the clusters are ripe.

100 AD : Roman surgeon Dioscorides names the plant cannabis sativa and describes various medicinal uses. Pliny reported of industrial uses and wrote a manual on farming hemp.

400 AD : Cannabis cultivated for the first time in the UK at Old Buckenham Mere

500 AD : First botanical drawing of hemp in Constantinopolitanus

600 AD : Germans, Franks, Vikings etc all use hemp fibre.

800 AD : Mohammed allows cannabis but forbids the use of alcohol.

1000 AD : The English word "hempe" first listed in a dictionary. Moslems produce hashish medicine and social use.

1150 AD : Moslems use hemp to start Europe's first paper mill. Most of the paper is made from hemp for the next 750 years, including Bibles.

1379 AD : Emir Soudon Sheikhouni of Joneima prohibits cannabis consumption amongst the poor, destroys the crops, and punishes offenders by pulling out their teeth.

1484 AD : Inquisitor Pope Innocent VIII outlaws hashish.

1494 AD : Hemp paper industry starts in England.

1545 AD : Hemp agriculture arrives in China.

1554 AD : The Spanish grow hemp in Peru.

1563 AD : English Queen Elizabeth I decrees that land owners with more than 60 acres must grow hemp or be fined 5 pounds.

1564 AD : King Philip of Spain orders hemp grown throughout his empire from modern Arhentina to Oregon.

1600 AD : Dutch achieve the "Golden Age" through hemp commerce. Explorers find "wilde hempe" in North America.

1606 AD : The British take cannabis to Canada for maritime uses.

1611 AD : The British start growing cannabis in Virginia.

1619 AD : Virginia colony makes hemp cultivation mandatory, followed by most other colonies. Europe pays hemp bounties.

1621 AD : Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy claims cannabis is a treatment for depression.

1631 AD : Hemp used as money throughout American colonies.

1632 AD : The Pilgrims take cannabis to New England.

1637 AD : The General Court at Hartford, Connecticut , orders that all families plant one teaspoon of cannabis seeds.

1639 AD : Massachusetts Courts follow Hartford.

1753 AD : Cannabis Sativa classified by Linneaus.

1763 AD : New English Dictionary says cannabis root applied to skin eases inflammation.

1776 AD : Declaration of Independence drafted on hemp paper.

1791 AD : President Washington sets duties on hemp to encourage domestic industry. "Make the most of the Indian Hemp Seed" ........President George Washington. (Library of USA Congress 1794 vol. 33 p.270). President Jefferson calls hemp a necessity and urges farmers to grow hemp instead of tobacco.

1800 AD : Cotton gins make cheaper fibre than hemp. Napoleon prohibits his men in Egypt from using cannabis, but to little effect.

1835 AD : The Club de Hashichines is founded.

1839 AD : Homeopathy journal 'American Provers' Union' publishes first report on effects of cannabis.

1840 AD : "Prohibition... goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control mans' appetite through legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not even crimes... A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our Government was founded"...........Abraham Lincoln (December 1840)

1841 AD : Dr. W.B.O'Shaughnessy, "On the Preparation of the Indian Hemp or Ganja" introduces cannabis to western science.

1845 AD : Psychologist and inventor of modern psychopharmacology and psychotomimetric drug treatment, Jacques-Joseph Moreau de Tours documents physical and mental benefits of cannabis.

1850 AD : Petrochemical age begins. Toxic sulphite and chlorine processes make paper from trees: steamships replace (hemp) sails; tropical fibres introduced.. USA census records 8327 hemp plantations of over 2000 acres each.

1854 AD : Bayard Taylor essay Visions of Hashish.

1857 AD : Fitz Hugh Ludlow publishes The Hasheesh Eater;

1857 AD : Smith Brothers of Edinburgh market cannabis indica extracts.

1860 AD : First governmental commission study of cannabis and hashish conducted by Ohio State Medical Society. It catalogues the conditions for which cannabis is beneficial: neuralgia, nervous rheumatism, mania, whooping cough, asthma, chronic bronchitis, muscular spasms, epilepsy, infantile convulsions, palsy, uterine haemorrhage, dysmenorrhea, hysteria, alcohol withdrawal and loss of appetite.

1868 AD : The Emir of Egypt makes the possession of cannabis a capital offence.

1869 AD : Tales of Hashish by A.C. Kimmens

1870 AD : Cannabis listed in US Pharmacopoeia as a medicine.

1870 AD : South Africa worried about cannabis use among Indian workers, passes a law forbidding the smoking, use or possession of hemp by Indians.

1876 AD : Hashish served at American Centennial Exposition.

1877 AD : The Sultan of Turkey makes cannabis illegal, to little effect.

1894 AD : British Indian Hemp Drugs Commission studies social use of cannabis and comes out firmly against its prohibition.

1895 AD : First known use of the name "marijuana" for smoking, by Pancho Villa's supporters in Sonora, Mexico.

1909 AD : Shanghai Conference: first international meeting on drugs is held to discuss opium. The USA passes an act to prohibit the buying or selling of opium for non-medicinal purposes.

1910 AD : African-American "reefer" use reported in Jazz Clubs in New Orleans, said to be influencing white people. Mexicans smoking marijuana in Texas. South Africa prohibits cannabis.

1911 AD : Hindus reported to be using ganja in San Francisco.

1911 AD : South Africa bans cannabis.

1912 AD : "Essay on Hasheesh" by Victor Rolson. Possibilities of putting controls on cannabis use is first raised.

1912 AD : Hague Conference; second international meeting on drugs. 46 nations discuss opium, morphine, cocaine, heroin and cannabis. The Hague Convention for the Suppression of Opium and Other Drugs, was drawn up, requiring parties to confine to medical and legitimate purposes the manufacture, sale and use of opium, heroin, morphine and cocaine; Cannabis was not included. (From Mandeson, D. From Mr Sin to Mr Big, A history of Australian Drug Laws, Oxford University Press Melbourne 1995)

1912 AD : First suggestions that cannabis should be banned internationally, at the First Opium Conference.

1915 AD : Utah State, then California and Texas outlaw cannabis. Cocaine banned in the USA.

1916 AD : USDA Bulletin 404 calls for a new program of expansion of hemp to replace uses of timber by industry.

1919 AD : Texas outlaws cannabis. Alcohol is prohibited throughout the USA. Cannabis is still legal in most States.

1920 AD : DuPont experiments with petrochemicals. Gang war takes over the alcohol industry, homicides increase drastically.

1923 AD : South African delegate at League of Nations calls for international controls on cannabis, claiming that it makes mine workers less active. Britain insists on further research.

1923 AD : Louisiana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington outlaw cannabis.

1924 AD : At the Second International Opiates conference Egyptian delegate claims serious problems are associated with hashish use and calls for immediate international controls. Sub-committee listens to Egypt and Turkey. Cannabis declared a narcotic. Cannabis Ruderalis identified by Lamarck.

1927 AD : New York outlaws cannabis.

1928 AD : UK Dangerous Drugs Act (September 28th) 1925 becomes law and makes cannabis illegal.

1929 AD : The Panama Canal Zone Report concludes that there is no evidence that cannabis use is habit-forming or deleterious, recommending no action be taken against cannabis use or sale.

1929 AD : South West states make cannabis illegal as part of a move to oust Mexican immigrants.

1930 AD : Henry Ford makes his motor cars out of hemp with hemp paint and hemp fuel. New machines invented to break hemp, process the fibre and convert the pulp or hurds into paper, plastics etc. 1200 hash bars in New York City. Racist fears of Mexicans, Asians and African-Americans lead the cry for cannabis to be outlawed.

1930's AD New mechanised hemp harvesting methods invented

1930 AD : Louis Armstrong arrested in Los Angeles for possession of cannabis.

1931 AD : Federal Bureau of Narcotics formed with Anslinger at the head. By now 29 US states have banned non-prescription cannabis

1934 AD : Anslinger refers to "ginger-haired niggers" in FBI official circulars.

1936 AD : South Western states call for FBI to ban cannabis.

1937 AD : Marijuana Tax Act forbids hemp farming. The Act was based on the Machine Gun Transfer Act which made it illegal to pass on machine guns without a government stamp - there being no such stamps available. By applying this strategy to marijuana, Anslinger was able to effectively ban hemp without contravening constitutional rights.

1937 AD : DuPont files patents for nylon, plastics and a new bleaching process for paper. Anslinger testifies to congress that Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug known to man. The objections of the American Medical Association are ignored. The Marijuana Transfer Tax Bill (14th April) introduced to US House, Ways and Means Committee, passed December, prohibits industrial and medical uses and calls flowering tops a narcotic. Violations attract 200 dollar fines. Birdseed, rope and cordage are exempted from tax.

1937 AD : DuPont patents plastics, seizing the opportunity created by cannabis hemp prohibition

1939 AD : LaGuardia Report started

1941 AD : Cannabis dropped from USA Pharmacopoeia

1941 AD : Henry Ford's car is made from and runs on cannabis.

1943 AD : Hemp for Victory program urges farmers to grow hemp to help war effort.

1943 AD : US Military Surgeon magazine declares that smoking cannabis is no more harmful than smoking tobacco.

1944 AD : New York Academy of Medicine reports marijuana use does not cause violent behaviour, provoke insanity, lead to addiction or promote opiate usage. Anslinger describes the authors as dangerous and strange.

1944 AD : New York Mayor's La Guardia Report "The Marijuana problem in the City of New York" concludes that smoking marijuana does not lead to addiction in the medical sense of the word, that juvenile delinquency is not associated with marijuana smoking and that the publicity concerning the catastrophic effects of marijuana smoking in New York is unfounded.

1944 AD : Anslinger threatens doctors who carry out cannabis research with imprisonment.

1945 AD : USA 'Newsweek' reports over 100,000 Americans use cannabis.

1948 AD : Anslinger now says cannabis users are peaceful and that cannabis could be used during a communist invasion, to weaken American will to fight.

1948 AD : United Nation's Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948 AD : Hollywood star Robert Mitchum arrested for cannabis.

1951 AD : UN Bulletin of Narcotic Drugs states over 200 million cannabis users in the world.

1952 AD : First UK cannabis arrest at Number 11 Club, Soho, London.

1955 AD : Hemp farming outlawed again.

1960 AD : Hippies, Vietnam Veterans, pop fans adopt cannabis.

1961 AD : UN Treaty 406 Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs seeks to outlaw cannabis use and cannabis cultivation worldwide and eradicate cannabis smoking within 30 years (by 1991). USA representative is Anslinger.

1962 AD : President Kennedy sacks Anslinger. Kennedy using cannabis as a pain relief.

1963 AD : Kennedy assassinated.

1964 AD : Thelin Brothers open first US 'Head Shop'.

1964 AD : THC, tetrahydracannabinol, first isolated

1966 AD : Donovan becomes first UK celebrity to be busted for cannabis.

1967 AD : SOMA Times Petition in the UK urges legalisation of cannabis. The Beatles sign it. 3,000 people hold a 'smoke-in' in Hyde Park.. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones are arrested and imprisoned for cannabis. This prompts a Times editorial 'Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?'. The convictions are quashed on appeal.. In the UK 2,393 persons arrested for cannabis offences.. In the USA over 3,000 joints mailed to addresses at random by Abbie Hoffman and the Yippies.

1968 AD : John Lennon arrested for cannabis possession.

1968 AD : 1 November : UK Government Wootton Report recommends cannabis possession should not be an offence. "Having reviewed all the material available to us we find ourselves in agreement with the conclusion reached by the Indian Hemp Drugs Commission appointed by the Government of India (1893-94) and the New York Mayor's Committee (1944 - LaGuardia) that the long-term consumption of cannabis in moderate doses has no harmful effects."

1968 AD : Campaign to stop US soldiers in Vietnam from taking cannabis - they switch to heroin.

1969 AD : James Callaghan, UK Labour Prime Minister, rejects the findings of the Wootton Report.

1969 AD : George Harrison arrested for cannabis.

1970 AD : Social use of cannabis receives widespread acceptance despite illegality; policy of decriminalisation sweeps across USA and Britain.

1970 AD : LeDain Report (Canada) recommended that serious consideration be given to the legalisation of personal possession of marijuana. It finds that cannabis use increases self-confidence, feelings of creativity and sensual awareness, facilitates concentration and self-acceptance, reduces tension, hostility and aggression and may produce psychological but not physical dependence. The report recommends that possession laws be repealed

1970 AD : R. Keith Stroup founds NORML 'National Organisation for Reform of Marijuana Laws', in UDSA.

1970 AD : USA Marijuana Transfer Tax declared unconstitutional.

1971 AD : British Misuse of Drugs Act classifies cannabis as a Class B drug with stiff sentencing. This bans the medical use of cannabis, ignoring the Wootton Report.

1971 AD : UN Convention on Psychotopic Substances

1972 AD : US President Richard Nixon says 'I am against legalising marijuana'.

1972 AD : Baan Commission presents report to Dutch Minister of Health and suggests that cannabis trade below a quarter of a kilo ought to be considered as a misdemeanour only.

1973 AD : Oregon considering legalisation

1973 AD : US Shafer Commission, appointed by Nixon, declares that personal use of marijuana should be decriminalised as should casual distribution of small amounts for no or insignificant renumeration

1973 AD : UN Convention of Psychotropic Substances: cannabis is a narcotic.

1974 AD : US Senate report on Marijuana-Hashish Epidemic and its Impact on US Security claims that cannabis use cause brain damage, a-motivation and genetic and reproductive defects

1975 AD : Hundreds of US doctors call for more research on cannabis.

1975 AD : Alaska legalises cannabis for personal use. Limit on amount is one ounce.

1975 AD : After 3 years of campaigning to abolish penal sanctions for the consumption of drugs, Pannella forces the police to arrest him, by smoking a joint in public.

1975 AD : Jamaica Studies reveal good health amongst prolific cannabis users. "No impairment of physiological, sensory and perceptual performance, tests of concept formation, abstracting ability, and cognitive style, and tests of memory."

1976 AD : Holland adopts tolerant attitude to cannabis and many coffee shops and youth centres allowed to sell cannabis.

1976 AD : USA New York Times (Jan 5) declares 'Scientists find nothing really harmful about pot'.

1976 AD : Ford administration bans medical research on cannabis. Research on synthetic cannabis analogues allowed to continue. Robert Randal is the first US citizen to receive cannabis from Federal supplies made under the Investigational New Drug (IND) Program.

1976 AD : DuPont declares cannabis is less harmful than alcohol or tobacco and calls for its decriminalisation.

1976 AD : USA President Ford bans medical research on cannabis.

1977 AD : President Carter thinks cannabis should be legalised.

1977 AD : The Australian Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare (the Baume Committee) recommends treating drug use as a social / medical rather than legal problem. Also that criminal sanction of possession of cannabis be replaced by fines while retaining penalties for possession of hashish, oil and purified THC.

1978 AD : New Mexico allows cannabis sale for medical use.

1978 AD : The New South Wales Joint Parliamentary Committee upon Drugs recommends eliminating criminal sanctions for personal use of cannabis, implementing bond and probation penalties for first offenders and expunging records upon successful completion of these punishments. Also suggest retaining penalties for trafficking in cannabis.

1980 AD : Paul McCartney arrested for cannabis and spends 10 days in prison in Japan.

1980 AD : Costa Rica study reports good health in cannabis users.

1980 AD : May 10 : Smokey Bears in Hyde Park

1981 AD : The Coptic Study claims 'No harm to human brain or intelligence' through cannabis use.

1982 AD : An Analysis of Marijuana Policy, National Research Council of the National Academy of Science, concludes that "a policy of prohibition of supply is preferable only to a policy of complete prohibition of supply and use"

1983 AD : In the UK over 20,000 convictions for possession.

1983 AD : The USA government (Reagan / Bush)orders American Universities to destroy all 1966-76 research work on cannabis.

1985 AD : Winters and DiFranza reveal radioactive material in tobacco may account for half the lung cancer deaths; no radioactive material in cannabis.

1986 AD : 8 July : UK Drug Trafficking Offences Act introduced to enable confiscation of assets from drug dealers

1987 AD : The USA Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy says: "Cannabis can be used on an episodic but continual basis without evidence of social or psychic dysfunction. In many users the term dependence with its obvious connotations, probably is mis-applied... The chief opposition to the drug rests on a moral and political, and not toxicologic, foundation".

1988 AD : 6 September : DEA chief administrative judge, Judge Young, rules the US government should allow the medicinal use of cannabis. He says "Marijuana in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substance known to man". DEA rejects report.

1988 AD : 20 December : UN Convention against illicit traffic in narcotic and psychotropic substances, Vienna, includes cannabis

1988 AD : UK 23,229 people arrested for cannabis offences.

1989 AD : Presidents Reagan and Bush declare war on cannabis; shops selling smoking apparatus outlawed. Urine testing introduced. Recriminalisation, asset and property seizure, armed forces, prison camps, 'Just Say No' campaign, PFDA, DARE, tobacco and nuclear subsidies. Price - per - ounce cannabis worth more than gold. Worldwide prohibition entices organised crime to take control of the cannabis market and make huge profits. Reagan declares victory in War on Drugs. Secretary of State James A Baker reports global war on narcotic production is 'clearly not being won'.

1990 AD : Jack Herer, in his book 'The Emperor Wears No Clothes' offers $10,000 reward to anyone who can disprove his assertion that hemp can 'save the planet'.

1990 AD : Alaska recriminalises cannabis possession

1990's AD :USA voters pass regional measures to allow medicinal use of cannabis. Interest in this and other uses of hemp add new support to campaign for the legal right to social / recreational use of cannabis.

1991 AD : THC receptors found in the brain.

1991 AD : UK 40,000 people arrested for cannabis.

1991 AD : 'Mr. Marijuana', Howard Marks, arrested, taken from Spain to USA, and given 25 years imprisonment for trafficking in cannabis.

1991 AD : UK Judge Pickles advocates legalisation of drugs..

1991 AD : UK MP Tony Banks (labour) advocates legalisation of cannabis.

1991 AD : IND program dropped in USA.

1992 AD : January 22 :California Research Advisory Panel reports that prohibition has a more harmful effect on society and the individual than illegal drugs themselves.

1992 AD : February 19 : UK Government issue licenses to grow cannabis for industrial uses or scientific research

1992 AD : "Medicines often produce side effects. Sometimes they are physically unpleasant. Cannabis too has discomforting side effects, but these are not physical they are political"... The Economist March 28th 1992

1992 AD : USA over 340,000 arrests for cannabis.

1992 AD : Australia licenses hemp farm.

1992 AD : US Investigational New Drug (IND) Program dropped.

1992 AD : USA President Clinton admits he smoked cannabis but did not inhale. Howard Marks admits that he smoked cannabis but never exhaled.

1992 AD : 17 European Cities sign Frankfurt Charter agreeing to tolerate social use of cannabis.

1992 AD : USA Jim Montgomery, a paraplegic who smoked cannabis to relieve muscle spasm, busted for two ounces of marijuana in Oklahoma, arrested and sentenced to life plus 16 years.

1993 AD : Britain eases restrictions on hemp farming. Hempcore is first British company to get a license. Hemp clothes sold in High Street shops. February 19th.

1993 AD : Commander John Grieve of the Metropolitan Police calls for decriminalisation of cannabis.

1993 AD : Raymond Kendall, Head of Interpol, calls for decriminalisation of cannabis.

1993 AD : British Law Lord, Lord Woolf calls for legalisation of cannabis

1993 AD : 22 British MP's call for the establishment of a Royal Commission.

1993 AD : 44 British MP's call for a Royal Commission.

1993 AD : German High Court in Kruhe rules that cannabis prohibition is unconstitutional.

1993 AD : 19 British MP's 'welcome' the German court ruling.

1993 AD : 55 British MP's call for cannabis to be recognised and allowed for treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.

1993 AD : British Home Secretary Michael Howard declares 'War on drugs' and increases maximum fine for possession of cannabis to £2,500.

1993 AD : Over 72,000 UK citizens arrested for cannabis offences.

1993 AD : Canada permits a hemp farm in Ontario province.

1995 AD : Holland lowers the amount one can possess without prosecution to 5 grams (from 30) as a result of powerful international pressures from neighboring countries.

1995 AD : UK Channel 4 Pot Night (March) and BBC Panorama's High Risk (April).

1995 AD : UK Home secretary Michael Howard increases penalties for cannabis offenses.

1995 AD : Clare Short MP (Labour) calls for a Royal Commission on Cannabis and is reprimanded by her party bosses. (October)

1995 AD : European Cannabis Consumers' Union founded in Amsterdam.

1995 AD : USA Dan Perron forms Cannabis Buyers Club to distribute cannabis to the sick.

1995 AD : The European Council which defines political guidelines, orders a study of drug legislation and practice in the Union.

1995 AD : September 16 : First CHIC (Cannabis Hemp Information Club) conference in London.

1995 AD : Under the Clinton administration 1,450,751 people had been arrested for cannabis, 86% being for possession only

1995 AD : November 11 : British journal of the medical profession, The Lancet, states that "The smoking of cannabis, even long term, is not harmful to health".

1995 AD : Dutch Policy in the Netherlands Studies

1995 AD : Henrion Commission Report, the official French State Commission in charge of drug policy supports decriminalisation of cannabis and calls for a two-year trial period of regulated retail trade in cannabis. The French Government reject these proposals.

1996 AD : Victoria (Australia) State Council urge decriminalisation of cannabis.

1996 AD : May 17 : Sow the Seeds Day, London. 1996 AD : CLCIA announce parliamentary candidates in forthcoming General Election

1996 AD : UK Liberal Democrats Party calls for a Royal Commission on cannabis.

1996 AD ; Lord McCluskey calls for consideration of decriminalisation in UK.

1996 AD : The Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence - Drug Notes - Cannabis 1996, p.8 says:

"All that can be said definitely is that 1) Cannabis use generally precedes the use of other illegal drugs. 2) Cannabis use does not necessarily (or even usually) lead to the use of other illicit drugs."

1996 AD : UK Janet Paraskeno, magistrate and director of National Youth Agency calls for 'legalisation and not decriminalisation'.

1996 AD : George Howarth MP (Labour) says his party do not want a Royal Commission because it might conclude that cannabis should be legalised which a Labour Government would not do anyway.

1996 AD : The Parliament of Luxembourg passes a motion calling for a program 'of common measures for the liberalization of cannabis and its derivatives' along with Belgium and the Netherlands, and the harmonisation of drug laws in Benelux countries.

1996 AD : UK Cannabis Awareness Month (September) on 68th anniversary of the law.

1996 AD : Ireland announces their plans to use cannabis as fuel to replace the use of the dwindling supplies of peat

1996 AD : Dutch town council at Delfzij decides to sell cannabis through their own coffee shop. They name the shop 'Paradox'. Profits used to provide information campaigns against 'soft drugs' in Dutch schools. Meanwhile the Dutch close many coffee shops, bowing to pressures from Germany and France.,br 1996 AD : The Canton of Zurich calls for legalisation of cannabis.

1996 AD : UK Crown Prosecution Service dropping cases of possession and cultivation against some ill people (MS) as 'not in the public interest to proceed'.

1996 AD : California and Arizona pass Propositions allowing the use of cannabis in the treatment of certain illnesses, Clinton is re-elected and the FBI threaten Doctors with prosecution.

1996 AD : A Swiss man, Zimmermann, is given a life sentence in the Maldives, for importing three cannabis seeds, found in his luggage as he flew in from India.

1996 AD : Legalise Ganja Jamaica formed.

1996 AD : In the New Zealand general election the legalise cannabis candidate in Mittertond received 30% of the vote. Overall they received 1.4% of the votes, insufficient to gain a seat under proportional representation.

1996 AD : 100 Italian MP's call for legalisation of cannabis in Italy.

1996 AD : The Sunday Times, 1 Dec, says that out of 45 UK judges questioned 16 wanted to see cannabis legalised.

1996 AD : CLCIA offices are destroyed by fire

1996 AD : June : Scottish Nationalist conference votes to allow cultivation for personal use and research into medical uses of cannabis

Sates "Relatively few adverse clinical effects from the chronic use of marijuana have been documented in humans. However, the criminalization of marijuana use may itself be a health hazard, since it may expose the users to violence and criminal activity."

1997 AD : An 8-year study at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Medicine, concluded that long-term smokers of cannabis do not experience a greater annual decline in lung functions than non-smokers.

Researchers said: "Findings from the present long-term follow-up study of heavy, habitual marijuana smokers argue against the concept that the continuing heavy use of marijuana is a significant factor for the development of [chronic lung disease]"

"No difference were noted between even quite heavy marijuana smoking and non-smoking of marijuana."

Volume 155 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Clinical Care Medicine 1997

1997 AD : January16 : A court in Texas, USA, sentences medical marijuana user, William J. Foster to 93 years imprisonment for cultivation of one plant.

1997 AD : Two Swiss Cantons decide to legalise possession of cannabis in small amounts and ask the national Government to do the same.

1997 AD : The German State of Schlewig-Holstein legalise possession of up to 5 grams of cannabis.

1997 AD : After appeals for clemency from the Swiss Government and letters from CLCIA supporters, the Maldives releases Zimmermann, the man given life for three seeds.

1997 AD : Norwich City Council ban the CLCIA from more stalls because seeds had been given out at previous stalls, the seed being fishing bait. After a letter campaign the council agree that CLCIA can have the stall provided they agree not to give out 'anything which can be used to grow or take an illegal substance'.

1997 AD : In the USA a $2 million study to prove cannabis smoking can cause cancer fails and announces that it does not. The release of the report is delayed due to 'lack of supplies'.

1997 AD : Paul Flynn MP introduces an early Day Motion calling on the Government to recognise the medicinal uses of cannabis and to make it available in tablet form, also congratulating the citizens of California and Arizona.

1997 AD : February 11 : USA Federal Government Authorities, led by Barry R. McCaffrey, Director of National Drug Control Policy, resists the medical supply or cannabis in California and Arizona, threatening to prosecute Doctor's who prescribe or supply it.

1997 AD : UK Legalise Cannabis Party, sponsored by the CLCIA, nominates Howard Marks as Parliamentary Candidate for Legalising Cannabis in the General Election. He receives an average 1.3% of the vote over the four constituencies where he stands.

1997 AD : The UK elects a new Labour Government and the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, says he will not legalise cannabis.

1997 AD : Scottish Kirk (Church) comes out in favour of legalising cannabis

1997 AD : Rob Christopher, founder of CHIC - the Cannabis Hemp Information Club - in London, changes his name to Free Rob Cannabis and invites arrest by distributing cannabis cookies on the steps of the Department of Heath in London. He is not arrested.

1997 AD : USA marines use helicopters to destroy marijuana crops in Hawaii despite objections from the people.

1997 AD : The Kaiser Permanente Study (USA) - "Marijuana Use and Mortality" April 1997 American Journal of Public Health concludes "Relatively few adverse clinical effects from the chronic use of marijuana have been documented in humans. However, the criminalization of marijuana use may itself be a health hazard, since it may expose the users to violence and criminal activity."

1997 AD : Researchers at the University of California (UCLA) School of Medicine announced the results of an 8 - year study into the effects of long-term cannabis smoking on the lungs. In Volume 155 of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Dr. D.P. Tashkin reported: "Findings from the present long-term, follow-up study of heavy, habitual marijuana smokers argue against the concept that continuing heavy use of marijuana is a significant risk factor for the development of [chronic lung disease. ..Neither the continuing nor the intermittent marijuana smokers exhibited any significantly different rates of decline in [lung function] " as compared with those individuals who never smoked marijuana. Researchers added: "No differences were noted between even quite heavy marijuana smoking and nonsmoking of marijuana."

1997 AD : June : A plaque placed on a park bench in Chapelfield Gardens in Norwich, commemorates Howard Marks stand as a Legalise Cannabis Candidate

1997 AD : July: The British Medical Association (BMA) recommends the provision of medicinal cannabis in the UK.

1997 AD : July: The Attorney General and Minister for Industrial Relations, Australia, JW Shaw QC MLC, announced the end of prison sentences for young cannabis offenders, saying that "I believe many parents would see the imprisonment of their son or daughter for using cannabis as particularly harmful."

1997 AD : July: SYDNEY MORNING HERALD July 21 1997 p5 reports "A survey of a traditionally conservative NSW electorate has shown overwhelming community support for the decriminalisation of cannabis." New South Wales then decriminalises possession of cannabis - up to 5 plants, 30 grams of leaf, 3 grms of resin and 2 grams of oil.

1997 AD : August: UK. After the shooting of a five-year old boy in Bolton in a drug-related attack, Labour MP Brian Iddon calls for a Royal Commission on drugs with a view to decriminalisation. The Sun conducts a poll that showed that over 40% of its readers are in favour of decriminalisation. Labour Home Office spokesman George Howarth says on Radio 4 News that cannabis causes harm and that Labour will never have dialogue on legalisation and that the only solution is to stamp it out.

1997 AD : On September 19th, Marco Pannella is sentenced by the Rome Court to 4 months imprisonment commuted to 8 months on probation, for distributing hashish at the Porta Portese.

1997 AD : September : Sir Paul McCartney, ex-Beatle, reconfirms his call to decriminalise cannabis.

1997 AD : September 28th : UK newspaper The Independent on Sunday, starts their committed campaign to decriminalise cannabis backed by over 100 names of celebrities, doctors, academics etc.

1997 AD : September 28th : A picnic in Chapelfield Gardens, Norwich, to commemorate the sad prohibition laws is attended by over 100 people and cannabis is openly smoked on film by TV cameras. On this the 69th anniversary of the Dangerous Drugs Act, Rob Christopher and some 300 others gather in Hyde Park, London, to distribute cannabis cakes free to medical users. Rob then unsuccessfully attempted to turn himself in to the police.

1997 AD : October 8: Lord Bingham of Cornhill, the most senior judge in England and Wales backed calls for a public debate on the legalisation of cannabis. Just days after Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, ruled out moves to legalise cannabis

1997 AD : November 5 : EU Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties suggests that soft drugs should be legalised

1997 AD : December 3: The French secretary of State for Public Health, Bernard Kouchner, in favor of the supply of heroin to people suffering from severe heroin addiction. He also supports the medical application of cannabis, according to an interview with Dr Kouchner MD in the newspaper Liberation.

1997 AD : December 11 : Independent on Sunday hold their "Should cannabis be decriminalised?" conference in Westminster, London. Although all the MPs have been invited only 5 turn up. The conference was overwhelmingly in favour of legalisation

1997 AD : December 19th : DEA formally asked the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct "a scientific and medical evaluation of the available data and provide a scheduling recommendation" for marijuana and other cannabinoid drugs. This DEA request of HHS means that the DEA has for the first time made its own determination that sufficient grounds exist to remove marijuana from Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA). Schedule I is supposed to be limited to hard drugs with addictive propensities and with no legitimate medical usage.

1997 AD : December 20 : British Home Secretary, Jack Straw (Labour) is told by the Daily Mirror that his son, William, sold 10 pounds worth of cannabis to a reporter Dawn Alford. Straw immediately escorts his own son to a police station to turn himself in. The lad is cautioned several weeks later.

1998 AD : March: Madrid - European and American scientists defended medical marihuana at an International Symposium on Cannabis and the Brain held at the Fundacion Ramon Areces. According to them, the plant is effective in treating people with cancer and multiple sclerosis, but is not addictive.

1998 AD : Australia : March : Victoria's police commissioner, Mr Neil Comrie, has admitted the fight against drugs has failed and is set to introduce a radical statewide plan to keep drug users out of courts.

1998 AD : Conservative MP David Prior becomes the third British MP to publicly admit having smoked cannabis. He is against legalisation.

1998 AD : MORE than 100 French artists and intellectuals signed a petition admitting to taking soft drugs and offering themselves for prosecution.

1998 AD : March 28: About 20,000 people marched from Hyde Park to Trafalgar Square in the Decriminalise Cannabis March organised by the Independent on Sunday, CLCIA and others. Speakers in the Square included Howard Marks, Rosie Boycott, Paul Flynn MP and Caroline Coon. The new UK Anti-Drugs Coordinator, Keith Hallawell, arrogantly stated that the march was a Red Herring (irrelevant).

1998 AD : UK : Times 24 March 1998 : A judge allowed a liver transplant patient to go free after he admitted growing and using cannabis to ease his pain. Sympathising with him, Judge John Hopkin said: "I accept that's why you were growing it; to relieve the considerable pain you must suffer. That is against the law as it stands at the present time, but there is very substantial mitigation in your case." Richard Gifford, 49, a father of 6 was given a two year conditional discharge at Nottingham crown court after pleading guilty to producing and possessing cannabis. The judge said "Whether this substance should be obtained by prescription is a matter for parliament, but it does seem from a number of cases that appear before me that it is benefit to a number of persons." Paddy Tipping, PPS to Jack Straw, the Home secretary said the government has no plans to decriminalise cannabis "People like Judge Hopkin say the acknowledge there is a valuable medical effect, but there has been no compelling research done to suggest that".

1998 AD : April: Czech Republic - President Vaclav Havel vetoes a law banning possession of drugs for personal use and sent it back to Parliament, citing human rights concerns. "The President reached the opinion that the law would lead to the prosecution of victims rather than culprits," said spokesman Ladislav Spacek. Drug experts have warned that the legislation could lead to an increase in crime and drug prices and a decline in the willingness of addicts to be cured. - Reuters

1998 AD : 4 April: A man accused of growing and giving cannabis to his wife, a multiple sclerosis sufferer, was cleared by a jury's majority verdict of cultivating, cultivating with intent to supply, and supplying cannabis. Cab driver Alan Blythe, 52, of Runcorn, Cheshire, had used the defence of duress of circumstances, which the jury at Warrington Crown Court accepted. He claimed he had grown the cannabis and supplied it to his wife Judith, 48, because he was afraid that without it the acute symptoms of MS could trigger her suicide. The jury ignored the judge's suggestion that Mr Blythe had failed to prove duress of circumstances for the charge of cultivation. But they followed this advice in relation to possession, for which Mr Blythe was fined £100.

1998 AD : 21 April Belgium officially decriminalises cannabis after a decision by Minister de Clerck of Justice. That is you will not be prosecuted for possession for personal consumption.

1998 AD : SAN FRANCISCO April 22, 1998 -- A San Francisco marijuana club reopened under another name just a day after a court order shut down its predecessor.

1998 AD : Italy decriminalises possession of drugs and permits small scale cultivation of cannabis for own use.

1998 AD : Danny Tungate polled 7.6% of the vote as a Legalise Cannabis Candidate in the UK local elections, Catton Grove ward, Norwich

1998 AD : June 12: The UK Government has granted a license to grow and possess cannabis for the purposes of medical trials, to Dr Geoffrey Guy of GW Pharmaceuticals. The crop at a secret location in south-east England, is guarded by electrified razor-wire fences, security cameras and guard dogs.

1998 AD : Whilst US Federal Authorities make threats and arrests of Californian doctors who recommend cannabis and force the closure of most medical marijuana clubs in the state, Oakland by-pass federal law by appointing medical marijuana suppliers as deputies thereby making them immune from arrest.

1998 AD : Germany: A petition of 30 thousand signatures organised by the "Selbsthilfegruppe Cannabis als Medizin" in Berlin was handed in to the Senat of Berlin in March 1998. All governing parties (CDU, SPD, PDS and Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen) discussed the issue and unanimously support it!

The signaturess being collected currently, will be handed to the "Petitionsausschuss des Deutschen Bundestages" together with the 30 thousand from Berlin.. ACM, Arbeitsgemeinschaft Cannabis als Medizin (Association for Cannabis as Medicine ) 1998 AD : June 5; Colin Davies acquitted of cultivation in the UK after informing the jury of his medical need and despite instructions from the judge that they had to rule on law and evidence alone. See Rights of Jurors.

1998 AD : A group of Welsh Cannabis Smokers headed by Chris Rawley lays prosecution papers upon Jack Straw, Tony Blair, Lord Bingham, a Crown Court Judge and Tenby Magistrates, in the process of a public prosecution for crimes against humanity and peace, and crimes against children, for upholding an illegal prohibition of cannabis.

1998 AD : September 5: Release and The Lindesmith Institute organise the symposium "Options for Control in the 21st Century", with experts from around the world gathering in London.

1998 AD : October: CLCIA Chairman challenges local Judge on cannabis safety

1998 AD : November 11: UK. The House of Lords rule that based upon the evidence presented for them the Government should make cannabis available to the sick without further delay, but that they are against legalisation for recreational use. Jack Straw, Home Secretary, immediately rejects the House of Lord's Report saying that cannabis will not be made available until a suitable pharmaceutical standard preparation has been thoroughly tested.

1998 AD : November: "We.. say that on the medical evidence available, moderate indulgence in cannabis has little ill-effect on health, and that decisions to ban or legalise cannabis should be based on other considerations.": The Lancet, vol 352, number 9140, November 14 1998

1998 AD : December 24: Prince Charles tells a sufferer of Multiple Sclerosis that he has heard that cannabis can help.

1999 AD : January 21 : USA: Medicinal Marijuana Advocate, Steve Kubby and Wife Busted

1999 AD : February 23: UK: 55-year-old arthritis sufferer jailed for one year for using cannabis to relieve his pain

1999 AD : March 4 : ALASKA: Medical Marijuana Law Starts

1999 AD : March 15: USA: Federal Judge Gives OK to Pot Case

1999 AD : March 21: USA: Government Study Labels Marijuana A Useful Medicine

1999 AD : March 21: Only 8 People Can Legally Use Pot As MedicineA

1999 AD : March 23: GERMANY: Health Minister Supports Medical Marihuana

1999 AD : March 30: CANADA: Pot Users Take Fewer Road Risks Than Drunks Study Says

1999 AD : April 1: USA: Farmers Lobby to Legalize the Growing of Hemp

1999 AD : April 7: USA: Florida Supreme Court Hears Medical Marijuana Case

1999 AD : March: The LEGALISE CANNABIS ALLIANCE becomes an official political party in the UK. 1999 AD : April 9: UK: Pro-Cannabis Lobby To Stand in Norwich

1999 AD : April 23: SWITZERLAND: Legalising Cannabis

1999 AD : May 1 : Many thousands march for legalisation around the world

1999 AD : May 6 : UK: Local Election Results, May 6 1999: Legalise Cannabis Alliance candidates poll average 3.5%.

1999 AD : May 10: USA: NV Assembly Bill Eases Marijuana Penalties

1999 AD : May 20: UK Government objects to cannabis bill 95 MPs support MM bill. Eric Mann's parole revoked to silence him.

1999 AD : June 9 : CANADA: Two Patients Get Federal Go-Ahead To Smoke Pot

1999 AD : June 11: US Kentucky: Hemp Museum Opens Doors To History Of Versatile Plant

1999 AD : June 11: NEW ZEALAND: Advice To Review Dope Law Repeated

1999 AD : June 13: UK: Cannabis Inhalers In First Legal Health Test

1999 AD : June 21: CANADA: Compassion Club To Grow Pot In Homes Of Members

1999 AD : June 21: SCOTLAND: Doctors Back Legalising Cannabis:

1999 AD : June 24: JAMAICA: Official Encourages Cultivation Of Hemp

1999 AD : June 30: UK: Jails Chief Says Drug Test Regime Is Useless

1999 AD: September 6: UK: MS Patients Recruited To Test Cannabis Pill 1999 AD : Oct. 14: Kingston, Jamaica: The Jamaican Senate has unanimously approved a resolution establishing a commission to explore the decriminalisation of marijuana.

1999 AD : Nov 25: The Legalise Cannabis Alliance candidate in the Kensington and Chelsea By-election, Colin Paisley gained 141 votes, 8th out of 18 candidates.

2000 AD : Jan 12: CANADA: Hepatitis C Patient Wins Right To Smoke Pot

2000 AD : March 6: UK: First Conference Of The Legalise Cannabis Alliance

2000 AD : March 25: UK: Inquiry Calls For Softer Line On Hard Drugs - But Blair Says No

2000 AD : March 29: SWITZERLAND: Swiss Parliament Legalises Cannabis

2000 AD : March 30: Malaysian Gets Life For Growing Cannabis Plant

2000 AD: April 4: MALAWI: Minister Steps Up Campaign To Legalise Marijuana

2000 AD: May 4: The Legalise Cannabis Alliance fields 5 candidates in Norwich local elections (Sarah Homes, Mick Pryce, Hugh Robertson, Trevor Smith, Tina Smith), one in Peterborough (Marcus Davies). Derrick Large receives over 400 votes in the Romsey by-election won by a Liberal Democrat.

2000 AD: May 6: Hundreds of thousands of people march for the end of the War on Cannabis

2000 AD: June 28: CANADA: Medical Pot Grower Cleared

2000 AD: June 28: NETHERLANDS: Dutch cannabis vote irks cabinet

2000 AD: July 17: USA CA: Federal Judge Clears Way for Oakland Club to Distribute Pot to Seriously Ill Patients

2000 AD: July 31: CANADA: Pot Prohibition Unconstitutional, Rules Court Of Appeals

2000 AD: August 1: UK: Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment From Cannabis

2000 AD: August 15: USA CA: Appeals Court Approves Marijuana As Medicine

2000 AD: September 6: EUROPE: Dutch, Swiss and German Governments To Act on Marijuana

2000 AD: September 8: USA CA: Doctors' Rights Backed Under Pot Law

2000 AD: September 9: GUAM: High Court Ruling Backs Rastafarian's Sacrament - Cannabis:

2000 AD: September 14: USA CA: Feds Rule Doctors May Recommend Pot

2000 AD: September 28: UK: MS Sufferer Cleared Of Cannabis Charge

2000 AD: October: Canadian Government Will Legalize Medical Marijuana Use

2000 AD: October 20: UK: Cannabis Less Harmful Than Aspirin, Says Scientist

2000 AD: November 24: USA: CA: Study Of Pot's Benefits To AIDS Patients Gets DEA's Blessing

2000 AD: December 22: CANADA: Legal Marijuana Operation Opens

2001 AD: 4 January: CANADA: Firm Grows Medical Pot In Mine Shaft

2001 AD: 19 January: BELGIUM: Seen Decriminalising Cannabis Use

2001 AD: 10 March: SWITZERLAND: Move To Legalise Cannabis

2001 AD: 21 March: MEXICO: Leader Backs Call To Legalize Drugs

2001 AD: 22 March: UK: Lords Urge Legal Use Of Cannabis

2001 AD: 7 April: CANADA: Gravely Ill To Get Medical Pot

2001 AD: 26 April: USA: Legalize Marijuana, New Mexico Governor Urges

2001 AD: 11 June: Pot Smokers Just As Healthy - Study

2001 AD: 25 June: UK: Home Secretary Praises Cannabis Scheme

2001 AD: 1 July: UK: Drug Czar Recants: Cannabis Use Does Not Lead To Heroin

2001 AD: 4 July: CANADA: Legal-Marijuana Users To Get Photo Id Cards

2001 AD: 5 July: UK: In One Part Of London, Police Turn Blind Eye To Marijuana To Target Harder Crime

2001 AD: 19 August: FIJI: Marijuana a Fiji Election Issue: A Fijian high chief has said his people should be shot dead if found planting marijuana

2001 AD: 13 September: FRANCE: Koucher Opposes Drugs Law

2001 AD: 20 October: THE NETHERLANDS: Dutch Government Plans To Put Cannabis On Prescription

2001 AD: 14 December: INDONESIA: Marijuana Trafficker Gets Death Sentence

2001 AD: 16 December: UK: Study Finds No Cannabis Link To Hard Drugs

2002 AD: 25 January: NORWAY: Commission Set To Call For Decriminalization

2002 AD: 16 February: KENYA: Hashish Traffickers Jailed For 45 Years

2002 AD: 9 March: UK: Lib Dems back radical drug reforms

2002 AD: 12 March: CANADA: Doctors Want Marijuana Decriminalized

2002 AD: 14 March: UK: Reclassify Cannabis, Says Official Report

2002 AD: 1 June: MEXICO: Chihuahua Considers Legalizing Pot

2002 AD: 29 June: PHILIPPINES: Death For Marijuana

2002 AD: 10 July: David Blunkett's Announcement of reclassification of Cannabis, and Oliver Letwin's reply in Parliament

2002 AD: July: Australian Police Close Cannabis Cafe.

2002 AD: July: UK Drugs Tsar Halliwell Resigns Over Plans To Reclassify Cannabis Possession.

2002 AD: July: Canadian Judge Says Medical Cannabis Is Not Illegal.

2002 AD: August: Israeli Government Approves Use Of Cannabis By Terminally Ill.

2002 AD: October: Colin Davies Who Opened The Dutch Experience Cannabis Cafe In Stockport, UK, Is Sentenced To Three Years In Prison For Cannabis Offences.

2002 AD: November: Kenya Considers Legalising Bhang.

2002 AD: November: UK Doctors Announce Cannabis Extracts Used In Trials On MS And Pain Patients Proving Effective.

2002 AD: November: Czech Doctors Claim Cannabis Helps Sufferers Of Parkinson's Disease.

2002 AD: December: US Study Defies Gateway Theory That Cannabis Use Leads To Use Of Hard Drugs.

2002 AD: December: Canadian Judge Orders Police To Return Medical Cannabis.

2002 AD: December UK: Oakland, US, City Authorities Deputise Medical Marijuana Club Founders.

2003 AD: February: US Jurors Become Angry That Trial Judge Had Not Informed Them That Ed Rosenthal Was Deputised by City Authorities in Oakland, after they convicted him of cultivation.

2003 AD: February: UN Narcotics Control Board Questions Canada's Policy On Use Of Marijuana

2003 AD: February: US Police Arrest 55 Suppliers Of Cannabis Paraphernalia.

2003 AD: March: Pharmacies in The Netherlands Sell Medical Cannabis Which Is More Expensive Than Many Coffeeshops.

2003 AD: March: Danish Drug Dealers Go On Strike

2003 AD: March: JAMAICA: Bill To Legalise Ganja For Private Use

2003 AD: April: RUSSIA: Nostalgic Small Town Puts Cannabis On Its Flag

2006 AD: April: "Marijuana is the equivalent of heroin and cocaine". FDA issues statement denying that marijuana has
any medical benefits at all

2006 AD: May: Mexican Congress passes bill legalising all drugs for private personal use. The officially permitted quantities: up to five grams of marijuana; five grams of opium; 25 milligrams of heroin; 500 milligrams of cocaine; a few tabs of Ecstasy; small quantities of amphetamines and magic mushrooms; and up to a kilo of the sacred cactus peyote. Vicente Fox, Mexico’s president, pledges to sign the Bill - but capitulates to US government pressure 24 hours later. The bill is returned to Congress for revision.

2006 AD: October: CNN reports that Canadian troops "...battle 10-foot Afghan marijuana plants".

2006 AD: October: Medical marijuana advocate Ed Rosenthal, "the guru of ganja",is indicted on new criminal charges.

2006 AD: December: A UK court rules that chocolate bars laced with cannabis for multiple sclerosis sufferers are unlawful. The owners of “Canna-Biz” posted some 36,000 cannabis-laced chocolate bars to more than 1,800 multiple sclerosis victims

2006 AD: December: official US statistics suggests that marijuana is America's leading cash crop

2007 AD: April: Harvard university study shows that Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the active ingredient in marijuana, cuts tumour growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread

2008 AD: Medical marijuana vending machines take root in Los Angeles. The DEA is not amused.

2008 AD: May : UK government announces cannabis will be upgraded from class C to Class B. Its scientific experts, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs, recommend cannabis should remain class C.

2009 AD: May : Marijuana in California is now "available as a medical treatment in California to almost anyone who tells a willing physician he would feel better if he smoked." (Washington Post)

(to be continued.....)

Top 10 Cannabis Studies the Government Wished it Had Never Funded

A massive study of California HMO members funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) found marijuana use caused no significant increase in mortality. Tobacco use was associated with increased risk of death. Sidney, S et al. Marijuana Use and Mortality. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 87 No. 4, April 1997. p. 585-590. Sept. 2002.

Veterans Affairs scientists looked at whether heavy marijuana use as a young adult caused long-term problems later, studying identical twins in which one twin had been a heavy marijuana user for a year or longer but had stopped at least one month before the study, while the second twin had used marijuana no more than five times ever. Marijuana use had no significant impact on physical or mental health care utilization, health-related quality of life, or current socio-demographic characteristics. Eisen SE et al. Does Marijuana Use Have Residual Adverse Effects on Self-Reported Health Measures, Socio-Demographics or Quality of Life? A Monozygotic Co-Twin Control Study in Men. Addiction. Vol. 97 No. 9. p.1083-1086. Sept.

Marijuana is often called a "gateway drug" by supporters of prohibition, who point to statistical "associations" indicating that persons who use marijuana are more likely to eventually try hard drugs than those who never use marijuana - implying that marijuana use somehow causes hard drug use. But a model developed by RAND Corp. researcher Andrew Morral demonstrates that these associations can be explained "without requiring a gateway effect." More likely, this federally funded study suggests, some people simply have an underlying propensity to try drugs, and start with what's most readily available. Morral AR, McCaffrey D and Paddock S. Reassessing the Marijuana Gateway Effect. Addiction. December 2002. p. 1493-1504.

The White House had the National Research Council examine the data being gathered about drug use and the effects of U.S. drug policies. NRC concluded, "the nation possesses little information about the effectiveness of current drug policy, especially of drug law enforcement." And what data exist show "little apparent relationship between severity of sanctions prescribed for drug use and prevalence or frequency of use." In other words, there is no proof that prohibition - the cornerstone of U.S. drug policy for a century - reduces drug use. National Research Council. Informing America's Policy on Illegal Drugs: What We Don't Know Keeps Hurting Us. National Academy Press, 2001. p. 193.

DOES PROHIBITION CAUSE THE "GATEWAY EFFECT"?): U.S. and Dutch researchers, supported in part by NIDA, compared marijuana users in San Francisco, where non-medical use remains illegal, to Amsterdam, where adults may possess and purchase small amounts of marijuana from regulated businesses. Looking at such parameters as frequency and quantity of use and age at onset of use, they found no differences except one: Lifetime use of hard drugs was significantly lower in Amsterdam, with its "tolerant" marijuana policies. For example, lifetime crack cocaine use was 4.5 times higher in San Francisco than Amsterdam. Reinarman, C, Cohen, PDA, and Kaal, HL. The Limited Relevance of Drug Policy: Cannabis in Amsterdam and San Francisco. American Journal of Public Health. Vol. 94, No. 5. May 2004. p. 836-842.

Federal researchers implanted several types of cancer, including leukemia and lung cancers, in mice, then treated them with cannabinoids (unique, active components found in marijuana). THC and other cannabinoids shrank tumors and increased the mice's lifespans. Munson, AE et al. Antineoplastic Activity of Cannabinoids. Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Sept. 1975. p. 597-602.

In a 1994 study the government tried to suppress, federal researchers gave mice and rats massive doses of THC, looking for cancers or other signs of toxicity. The rodents given THC lived longer and had fewer cancers, "in a dose-dependent manner" (i.e. the more THC they got, the fewer tumors). NTP Technical Report On The Toxicology And Carcinogenesis Studies Of 1-Trans- Delta-9-Tetrahydrocannabinol, CAS No. 1972-08-3, In F344/N Rats And B6C3F Mice, Gavage Studies. See also, "Medical Marijuana: Unpublished Federal Study Found THC-Treated Rats Lived Longer, Had Less Cancer," AIDS Treatment News no. 263, Jan. 17, 1997.

Researchers at the Kaiser-Permanente HMO, funded by NIDA, followed 65,000 patients for nearly a decade, comparing cancer rates among non-smokers, tobacco smokers, and marijuana smokers. Tobacco smokers had massively higher rates of lung cancer and other cancers. Marijuana smokers who didn't also use tobacco had no increase in risk of tobacco-related cancers or of cancer risk overall. In fact their rates of lung and most other cancers were slightly lower than non-smokers, though the difference did not reach statistical significance. Sidney, S. et al. Marijuana Use and Cancer Incidence (California, United States). Cancer Causes and Control. Vol. 8. Sept. 1997, p. 722-728.

Donald Tashkin, a UCLA researcher whose work is funded by NIDA, did a case-control study comparing 1,200 patients with lung, head and neck cancers to a matched group with no cancer. Even the heaviest marijuana smokers had no increased risk of cancer, and had somewhat lower cancer risk than non-smokers (tobacco smokers had a 20-fold increased lung cancer risk). Tashkin D. Marijuana Use and Lung Cancer: Results of a Case-Control Study. American Thoracic Society International Conference. May 23, 2006.

In response to passage of California's medical marijuana law, the White House had the Institute of Medicine (IOM) review the data on marijuana's medical benefits and risks. The IOM concluded, "Nausea, appetite loss, pain and anxiety are all afflictions of wasting, and all can be mitigated by marijuana." While noting potential risks of smoking, the report added, "we acknowledge that there is no clear alternative for people suffering from chronic conditions that might be relieved by smoking marijuana, such as pain or AIDS wasting." The government's refusal to acknowledge this finding caused co-author John A. Benson to tell the New York Times that the government "loves to ignore our report … they would rather it never happened." Joy, JE, Watson, SJ, and Benson, JA. Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. National Academy Press. 1999. p. 159. See also, Harris, G. FDA Dismisses Medical Benefit From Marijuana. New York Times. Apr.
21, 2006
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