Saturday, December 27, 2014

Entheogenic Freedom for Personal Liberty

Illuminatinizing Links (Note: This is not an endorsement of the information contained at any of the following links. be cautious for the sake of mind, and body, and the transparency of the internet.)
* MAPS []
* Entheology []
* Entheogen Network forums []

Daily Chronic []

Thursday, August 7, 2014

"Scientifically-Proven Religious Experiences?"

by Keith Edley []:
“Using unusually rigorous scientific conditions and measures, Johns Hopkins researchers have shown that the active agent in ‘sacred mushrooms’ can induce mystical/spiritual experiences descriptively identical to spontaneous ones people have reported for centuries.” – John Hopkins Press Release

Practically blasphemy to mainstream religions, world governments, and the mainstream population is the idea that psychedelics could have the undeniably and scientifically-measurable effect of inducing religious experiences. This revelation is undoubtedly many people’s worst nightmare: How can such “dangerous” and “demonic” hallucinogens that countless people have literally been killed or put into prison for growing, exploring, or ingesting be capable of providing any one of us with what could amount to a direct and very personal pathway to God?
According to a rigorous scientific study at John Hopkins University and carefully-controlled follow-ups, the proverbial hallucinogenic cat is out of the bag.
These are the same hallucinogens that have systematically been demonized in world culture, that world governments have poured untold billions of our tax dollars into a flawed and failed Drug War to fight against. The opening line of the 2011 report from the Global Commission on Drug Policy says it all: “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world” (Global Commission on Drug Policy 2011).
Please, take a moment to read the opening quote again and let it really sink in; it’s still sinking in for me. Do I mean to say that, according to this study, none of us need middlemen like priests and deacons and rabbis, and that we don’t actually need to step into or pour our hard-earned money into places such as churches, temples, or synagogues to find or commune with God?
As loudly as I’ve ever been able to scream something out; “Yes!”
This study unquestionably and undeniably validates what shamans and spiritual explorers throughout history have known, what they’ve often shared at the risk of incarceration or death, but have painstakingly documented throughout history: The Psilocybe mushroom, a hallucinogen, can provide any one of us with an extraordinary, life-changing mystical experience that is indistinguishable from any other religious experience reported in our mutual human history.  What is perhaps more extraordinary is that the participants in this study didn’t just have a spiritual experience; the ingestion of these hallucinogenic mushrooms “produced substantial spiritual effects” and “those beneficial effects appear to last more than a year” (Griffiths et. al., 2008). In other words, here we have an example of scientifically proven religion, a spirituality that, rather than being in conflict with the rational, is supported by it.
To me, that’s where this changes from an interesting and validating experiment, to something that has far-reaching ramifications for the health and well-being of the world population. Those therapeutic possibilities are now, once again being explored and curiously enough; funded by the United States government as we speak. Look to M.A.P.S. for information on Psychedelic Research Around the World []. The results of their research have been nothing short of incredible, yet I rarely meet anyone “on the street” who has heard of any of these studies or their results.

THE 2006 STUDY -
A groundbreaking, world-changing experiment was undertaken by a research team John Hopkins University and was published in Psychopharmacology in July of 2006 with the headline; “Hopkins Scientists Show Hallucinogen in Mushrooms Creates Universal Mystical Experience" []. Psychopharmacology is a highly-respected, peer-reviewed journal. Peer-reviewed means that experts in the field of Psychopharmacology get to decide whether or not the article, its methods, and the findings are worthy of being published, which means rarely, if ever, do poorly-conducted or false studies ever appear in such a publication.
The participants in the study were screened by several mental health professionals and were “naive” to hallucinogens. (That simply means that none of the participants were familiar with the classification of substances known as hallucinogens, nor had they ever used them.) Then, to satisfy the harshest critics, the administration of the psilocybin-containing capsules was conducted under triple-blind clinical conditions. This means is that no one present for a session knew whether or not the participant was receiving a placebo (as required by clinical trials) or the actual hallucinogen. This ensured a completely unbiased outcome, with the anticipation of the participants being the only possible slight biasing factor (Griffiths et. al., 2006).
The results were so astonishing that they may re-define our mutual human history as it’s been indoctrinated into billions of humans across the planet. Not just one or two participants spoke of having an ineffable mystical experience; it was 79% of the 36 participants who underwent the study (Griffiths et. al., 2006). That’s truly an astounding and inarguable number. To me, just a couple of people having a religious experience from a hallucinogenic fungi would have been extraordinary. But it was far more than that. Something so groundbreaking, so universally applicable to re-defining our mutual human history and evolution as well as our understanding of religion and the spiritual experience itself would have been the headline of every newspaper in the world, right?
Nope. (A list of coverage has been nicely documented at an inconspicuous website called Yoism.) How can this be? This wasn’t a study conducted by amateur random spiritual explorers sitting around a campfire casually ingesting magic mushrooms they had gathered earlier that day; this was a study conducted in clinical conditions at John Hopkins University. The was a rigorous study with clearly explicated methods that were, as stated in the opening quote; “unusually rigorous” (Griffiths et. al., 2006)
Were people simply unable to wrap their heads around what an extraordinary discovery this was?  Or, is there something else at work here.
Not enough people noticed, and worse; few seemed to care beyond a passing news headline. If denial is the cause, I can certainly understand that. Born and raised a strict Catholic, I know the feeling of having my entire belief system crumble from underneath me. It happened the moment I started to research the history of my own religion. I made the decision to read the entire Bible (unlike 90% of the 2 billion Christians that exist in the world according to independent statistics). I was shocked at what I found, and briefly wrote about it in “Be a Good Christian: Kill Your Children?” on my personal blog []. All those years spent in Catholic Schools, as an altar boy, going through to “Confirmation” when I was 16 years old…all seemingly for nothing?
I, too, might need to sink into denial in order to prevent the spiritual aspect of my life from becoming a meaningless lie; a sham that began before I was able to speak when I was cleansed of my “original sin” during my baptism as a baby. If I had devoted my life to a church, if I had believed that we need the Bible to dictate our morality, if I had believed that my only pathway to mystical experience and connection to the Divine was through someone else…I might not be able to hear the results of this study either. But when I realized that I have the power to speak with the Divine within myself, it was perhaps the most meaningful and liberating experience of my life. And, to this day, I’ve devoted my life to helping, in some small way, to spread the word about the ancient and sacred plants known as entheogens.
Politically, there certainly wasn’t any evidence that ANY consideration whatsoever was given to changing obviously flawed laws that have made the ingestion of this sacred fungi (and most other hallucinogens) highly illegal, often carrying mandatory jail terms for the simple possession of them. To me, this is a continuing and conscious travesty that began long ago.  Truly, the last thing any of those in power want is to see us empower ourselves, especially en masse.  We might realize that God truly does live inside each one of us and that we actually do have the power to change the world.

The “active agent” in the Psilocybe mushroom is psilocybin; a powerful hallucinogen that is as old as human history (Akers & Ruck 2011). So, before I proceed, I’d like to offer a loose definition for clarity:
Hallucinogens such as “magic” mushrooms fit into a category of substances that are commonly referred to as “entheogens.” The term entheogens means to “reveal the Divine within,” and this can apply to any psychedelic, hallucinogen, or psychoactive substance that has been used for Divinatory purposes. Entheogens include things such as Psilocybe mushrooms (which were used for the John Hopkins study), LSD, Cannabis, and even those “poisonous” plants that grow all around us such as Morning Glory, Datura and Brugmansia, the San Pedro cactus at Home Depot, the Phalaris Grass growing in Mid-Western yards, the Wormwood anyone can buy just about anywhere herbal products are sold, or even the FDA-protected Kava Kava Root.
In fact, according to researchers such as Chris Bennet, David Hillman, Jean Clottes, and a growing chorus of others, the use of entheogens used to be so widespread, and such an accepted form of divination, that Christianity, Hinduism, and other major religious systems may have been founded on, guided by, and further shaped by them. Chris Bennet, author of “Cannabis and the Soma Solution” and “Sex, Drugs, and Violence” within the Bible is becoming a well-known and well-respected researcher who has provided more than ample evidence that proves, beyond any shadow of a doubt, that entheogen use exists within the pages of the Bible itself (Read his books or see my “Revelations: A Psychedelic Vision?” for more on this []).
Undeniably, there are ‘hard’ drugs such as cocaine and heroin that I’ve found no reports of mystical experiences with. Entheogens have conveniently been placed into the same category as these highly addictive and dangerous manufactured drugs that truly have ruined countless peoples lives and have been responsible for intense violence. Psychedelics and hallucinogens truly are in a separate category, and are at the core of our mutual human evolution, as briefly discussed in my “Shamanism: Spirituality’s True Roots” article [].
Also, if you only follow one link from this article, let me suggest this one:  it’s my “Entheogens Are NOT Drugs” article which explains the stark difference between dangerous drugs and entheogens, which, unlike, say, cocaine and heroin, have never been linked directly to a single death [].
In a interesting side note, in a talk given by Dennis McKenna at the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference in 2011, he stated that DMT (another potent hallucinogen) not only exists within our own bodies, but may be found in trace amounts within every living thing in nature! Surely denial can only last so long in a culture where information overload reigns supreme, where world libraries are accessible to children before they even learn to read…right?

In July of 2008, John Hopkins University released a follow-up report titled; “Spiritual Effects of Hallucinogens Persist []. This report showed that the subjects of the experiment who had reported spiritual experiences while working with psilocybin continued to experience greater spirituality in their lives up to 14 months afterwards!
O.K., surely now there’d be worldwide coverage on this extraordinary, life-changing finding: John Hopkins University not only revealed that we all have the power to universally experience the mystical, to touch perhaps even the hand of God, but that these spiritual experiences can also produce spiritual lives.  Wow! Wait a second. If the initial study wasn’t extraordinary enough in its findings, researchers have now shown that not only can the ingestion of a hallucinogenic mushroom trigger a mystical experience, but the beneficial effects of that experience were found to last as well!
Surely THIS finding would be headline news, right?
Well, actually…no again. There was coverage, but not the kind of coverage that one might expect for a rigorous scientific study that completely redefined our mutual understand of religion and the religious experience itself. This is evidenced in the small wave of articles that has appeared and once again quietly disappeared without any noticeable change in public opinion or policy.

Not to worry: Let’s fast forward to John Hopkins University’s most recent seventeen page article that appeared in the June 2011 issue of Psychopharmacology entitled; “Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects" []. Personally, I feel it’s one of the most incredible things I’ve ever read.  How often do any of us get to read something that speaks directly to the human psyche in relation of our experience of the mystical in such a scientific and clinical environment, but while recounting it in such personally spiritual terms?
This is a wildly personal opinion, but I can’t help feeling that the results of this and other similar studies (Such as the “Good Friday” experiment by Pahnke in 1962) is simply more evidence that we are all connected, that Mother Nature may even be desperately trying to reach out to us, to find a way to get us to reconnect with our past, with each other, and to remember who we were before the indoctrination of mainstream religion touched billions of our lives, separating us from God, from each other, and from the living, breathing organism of planet Earth. Entheogens have historically been referred to as “Teacher Plants” or “Plant Teachers” by mystics, curanderos, shamans, and medicine men across cultures, and despite efforts to stamp out the very knowledge of these sacred plants, they persist in a significant way within the mass consciousness.
In fact, plant teachers such as Ayahuasca (a South American hallucinogenic drink) have not only hit the mainstream, Ayahuasca is now legal for consumption in the United States for members of the Santo Daime Church [] and the Uno de Vegetal Church.  I firmly believe that the more people disconnect from their true nature, the more hungry we become for honest, true, and real experiences that can help give meaning to our lives. This is why I am convinced that studies like the John Hopkins University study will become more relevant to ordinary people like ourselves as time goes on, and that we’ll all eventually become intrinsically aware that entheogens are not drugs in the way most presently think of them.  We may find that some of the spiritual answers we seek may have been inside and around us the whole time.  Researchers have clearly shown that this experience can be just a magic mushroom away.
So, for the third time since 2006, this study is struggling for some air time, reiterating and re-proving itself. The internet has permeated far more households. The sharing of information on places like Facebook and Wikipedia in proportions unheard of in history. Surely, the news of this astounding research that has the potential to drastically alter our views and beliefs in relation to hallucinogens and psychedelics will get out, right? Surely, we all can’t pretend this study wasn’t done or that it’s just some passing news like yet another senseless death in Iraq, right?  Surely, someone of political importance will read the results and be brave enough to effect some change, and we won’t all just put our heads back into the sand and pretend this article was never written.
No, yet again. Although coverage of the 2011 article has been far more plentiful than the other two groundbreaking, history-making articles, as of this writing, coverage has still been quite anemic considering how relevant this finding is to all inhabitants of this wondrous planet of ours. But, I continue to have faith that the truth will eventually win out in the end, and that word of these truths will eventually spread to the mass consciousness.
Either way, the stated rationale of the 2011 study was quite simple: “This dose-effect study extends previous observations showing that psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having persisting positive effects on attitudes, mood, and behavior” (Griffiths 2011). This time around, the study was double-blind and researchers seemed to be trying to “fine-tune” the dosages to see if the mystical experience would occur at specific levels of the hallucinogenic dose. For reference; Princeton University’s definition of double blind is that it’s “an experimental procedure in which neither the subjects of the experiment nor the persons administering the experiment know the critical aspects of the experiment.”

With the varying dosages administered, there was no shortage of “Psilocybin-induced fear/anxiety or delusions” as well as mystical experience. But the researchers freely included every detail of those experiences in their report. In fact, there was one participant’s experience that I found particularly interesting for many reasons:
“The volunteer who had the most sustained anxiety during the 30 mg/70 kg dose session provides an interesting case example. Likely as a consequence of the sustained psychological struggle during the session, this volunteer also had the lowest mystical experience rating immediately after the session of all 18 volunteers studied. Immediately after the session, this volunteer, who for decades had held reincarnation as part of her worldview, reported that it was the worst experience of her life and that she would rather spend three lifetimes on a mountaintop meditating than repeat what she had just experienced during the session. Although she considered dropping out of the study after this first session and she remained hesitant to receive psilocybin again, over the next several weeks she increasingly felt that she had learned something useful from the experience. At 1 month, she rated the experience as having slight spiritual significance and as having slightly increased her sense of well-being or life satisfaction. Because she remained curious about the effects of psilocybin, she decided to continue to participate in the study. She received 20 mg/70 kg psilocybin on the second session. In contrast to her first session, her post- session ratings fulfilled criteria for a “complete” mystical experience and, at 1 month, she retrospectively rated this experience as the single most personally meaningful and spiritually significant of her life” (Griffiths 2011).
Someone who didn’t simply abandon the study and kept to her original commitment went from rating this experience as the worst of her entire lifetime to calling it the “single most personally meaningful and spiritually significant of her life.” This speaks volumes of exactly what shamans and mystics throughout history have described: entheogens are “Teacher Plants” that require our patience, our steadfast determination, and often the building of a personal relationship with them in order for them to reveal all that they have to offer.
But what’s most significant to me is what exists between the lines of this woman’s experience and everyone else’s in the study who reported spiritual experiences: no one had to explain that this was a religious experience to this woman. No one needed to tell her what it might be like, how she should feel, or what she needed to do in order to have this “most personally meaningful and spiritually significant” experience of her life. It simply unfolded before her. There were no Bibles or dogma or churches or priests. It was simply her and the mushroom, engaged in a most intimate experience, where she was in direct connection with the Divine. Wow.
What would happen if none of us needed mainstream religion in order to connect and commune with God? What if the power of connection to perhaps even our Creator exists within each one of us? What if each of us is Divine, if each of us is part of that greater consciousness we refer to as God? What would happen to everything we’ve been taught was true? How would we respond or exist in a world where so much of what we thought was true was suddenly turned upside down and revealed for the lies it truly is? Regardless of our answer to any of those questions, aren’t we almost obligated to find out more for ourselves?
For me, my experience with entheogens has resulted in my devoting myself to shining as brightly as I can, in repeatedly setting out this beacon; this drop in mass consciousness’ bucket, with the hope of helping to start a ripple, to help be the straw that breaks the camel’s back, so we can all exist in a world where we realize our own Divinity, where we realize that the power of that Divinity isn’t in some cement and stained glass building, but within each one of us, always.

There’s no question that those who conducted this study (Roland R. Griffiths, Matthew W. Johnson, William A. Richards, Brian D. Richards, Una McCann, Robert Jesse) wanted to ensure unbiased scientific results. In fact, they seemed so determined to make this as scientific a study as possible, that they opened the results of the 2006 study to commentaries by a highly-respected few, two of whom they may have felt could be the harshest critics of this study. You can read these commentaries for yourself at Griffiths Commentaries, just to be sure that I’m not taking any quotes out of context in order to “spin” the commentaries in a favorable light for my personal, but clearly-stated bias. Until then, I’ll offer a couple quick quotes from that paper that I found of particular importance.
Charles R. Schuster, Ph.D. a Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience at Wayne State University School of Medicine and was the former Director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse (he was the “drug czar” for the United States government) had this to say:
“The study by Griffiths et al. is noteworthy both for the rigorousness of its design and execution, as well as the clarity of its results. It demonstrates that psilocybin can be safely studied in normal human beings…”
“It is especially notable that participants reported that the drug produced positive changes in attitudes and behaviors well after the sessions, and these self-observations were consistent with ratings by friends and relatives” (Griffiths 2011).
Herbert D. Kleber, M.D. Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and former Deputy Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy had equal praise for the results:
“As far as positive effects were concerned, psilocybin increased measures relating to mystical experiences: 22 of the 36 volunteers had a “complete” mystical experience after psilocybin…”
“At the 2-month follow-up, 67% rated the psilocybin experience to be either ‘The single most meaningful experience” of their lives or among the top five most meaningful experiences” (Griffiths 2011).

It seems that just as responsible consumption of alcohol doesn’t result in deaths out on the road, the responsible consumption of psychedelics doesn’t result in people leaping from the tops of tall buildings (this was never the case and is a prime example of blatant propaganda, fear-mongering, and media hype). What’s even more amazing to me, is that the gaping hole many of us feel in our lives; that unnameable disconnect with Mother Nature as we get shoved into cement boxes masquerading as houses in our cliché concrete jungles…we can not only reconnect with Mother Nature and the living, breathing planet Earth itself; we can connect ourselves with a mystical experience as well, anytime, anywhere, and all on our own.
The religious rapture many of of spend our entire lives looking for is within reach. Well, at least it would be if virtually every major government in the world hadn’t made most entheogens so illegal that the simple possession of some of these sacred plants or fungi can carry mandatory jail time. Think about it for a second: A world with no indoctrination, false hopes or hypocritical dogma. Just a simple, personal experience with the Divine from using a gift from Mother Nature herself provides. What could be more simple, beautiful, and pure than that?
So, let’s recap, at the risk of repeatedly repeating myself: all of the rigorous John Hopkins Medical University studies reveal that we all possess the power to experience first-hand a classic mystical experience which, for many, includes a personal connection and interaction with God. This experience transcends ANY religious dogma or boundary, and provided a “full-blown” and uniformly religious experience for 72% of those who ingested psilocybin mushrooms in this study. The present study extends previous observations showing that psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences which have sustained personal and spiritual significance (Pahnke 1963; Doblin 1991; Griffiths et al. 2006, 2008).
These scientific studies corroborate millennia of experiences that have been documented, charted out, and reported throughout history, preserved in writing and art by mystics, shaman, medicine men, and even “amateur” spiritual explorers throughout history and through to the present day. Warriors of Christianity fought to obliterate all evidence of entheogen use from the planet as best they could (See my “Early Christian Crimes Against the Mayans” article for just one explicit example of hundreds), but evidence not only survived; it’s now been repeatedly revealed and re-tested via rigorous scientific study by some of the world’s top researchers and corroborated by some of the world’s harshest critics.
Those in power are grateful that we’ve been so quietly removed from our own spirituality, that we’ve been so indoctrinated that we believe that we need the eternal “them” in order to have a conversation with God. This simply isn’t true, and the evidence to support that fact is beyond overwhelming even in this present moment. I suggest that we all take back our own spiritual lives and investigate the real truth instead of simply accepting what we’ve been told is the truth. It really is up to every one of us to do the research, to not allow those in power to dictate our history from the narrow and biased perspective it’s typically been offered to us. We can read the books, visit the sites, engage in the discussions that empower us all to see our true history, to find the true roots of who we are in relation to planet Earth, and to reclaim our own mutual history, especially in relation to our own spirituality and connection with God.

** Brian P. Akers, Carl A. P. Ruck. 2011. A Prehistoric Mural in Spain Depicting Neurotropic Psilocybe Mushrooms? Economic Botany (June 2011)
** Global Commission on Drug Policy. 2011. REPORT OF THE GLOBAL COMMISSION ON DRUG POLICY. (June 2011).
** Griffiths, B.D. 2008. Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later. Journal of Psychopharmacology: 621-632. (June 2008).
** Griffiths, R. 2006. Psilocybin can occasion mystical experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance. Psychopharmacology (June 2006).
Griffiths, Robert Jesse. 2011. Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects. Psychopharmacology (June 2011).
** Griffiths, Roland R. 2006. Griffiths Commentary. Psychopharmacology (June 2011).
Johnson, R.R. 2008. Human hallucinogen research: guidelines for safety. Journal of Psychopharmacology: 603-620.
** Pahnke, Walter N. 1963. Drugs and Mysticism: An Analysis of the Relationship between Psychedelic Drugs and the Mystical Consciousness. Unpublished Dissertation.
** R. Doblin. 1991. Pahnkeʼs “Good Friday experiment”: a long-term follow-up and methodological critique. Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 23: 1-28.
** Additional Info: The God Chemical: Brain Chemistry And Mysticism []

"Cannabis Science Inc. In Final Negotiations To Establish Its First Medical Cannabis Facilities In Canada"

2014-08-07 from []:
Cannabis Science, Inc. (CBIS), a U.S. company specializing in cannabis formulation-based drug development and related consulting, is in the final stages of launching a new joint venture company for the purpose of acquiring, financing, building, owning and operating medical cannabis facilities, including dispensaries and growing operations, throughout Canada.
The Company believes that this joint venture has the potential to expand the Company's operations outside of the United States and to allow the Company's entry and expansion into Canada's marketplace.
"Acquiring cannabis facilities in Canada represents a compelling business opportunity developed through our focus on collaborative innovation and takes one of our international initiatives to the next level," said Chad S. Johnson, Director, COO and General Counsel of the Company. "We are excited to be working jointly with our partners, which allows us to leverage our respective global research knowledge and resources to facilitate the Canadian operations. The Company also intends to use these facilities for research and development purposes in addition to the selling of the cannabis products under relevant laws and regulations.  More to come."
While the Company is optimistic about the potential for commercialization of cannabis products, it recognizes that, as with the acquisition and development cannabis facilities, the process can be lengthy and without assurances.

About Cannabis Science, Inc.
Cannabis Science, Inc., takes advantage of its unique understanding of metabolic processes to provide novel treatment approaches to a number of illnesses for which current treatments and understanding remain unsatisfactory. The Company works with leading experts in drug development, medicinal characterization, and clinical research to develop, produce, and commercialize novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment for illnesses caused by infections as well as for age-related illness. Our initial focus is on skin cancers and neurological conditions.

Forward Looking Statements -
This Press Release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, that are not historical facts, and involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expected and projected.  A statement containing words such as "anticipate," "seek," intend," "believe," "estimate," "expect," "project," "plan," or similar phrases may be deemed "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance, but reflect CBIS management's current beliefs, based on information currently available. Some or all of the events or results anticipated by these forward-looking statements may not occur. A number of factors could cause actual events, performance or results to differ materially from the events, performance and results discussed in the forward-looking statements.
Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include the future U.S. and global economies, the impact of competition, and the Company's reliance on existing regulations regarding the use and development of cannabis-based drugs. Cannabis Science, Inc., does not undertake any duty nor does it intend to update the results of these forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

"Cannabis Science Announces Critical Cancer Patient Dr. Lynnice Wedewer, Ph.D., Cured Seven Times By Medical Cannabis"

"The Company Plans A Documentary Featuring Dr. Lynnice Wedewer, Ph.D., And Other Cancer Patients Being Treated with Medical Cannabis"
2011-06-29 from []:
Cannabis Science Inc. (NASD OTCBB: CBIS) a pioneering US biotech company developing pharmaceutical cannabis products, is pleased to announce that it has been contacted by Lynnice Wedewer, Ph.D. who is a 34 year multiple cancer patient survivor who has been cured of 7 of her 8 cancers in a major part because of medical cannabis. Dr. Wedewer wishes to share her story through Cannabis Science and help our case and education towards general acceptance of medical cannabis as a natural and viable treatment for cancer.
In 1979, Iowa passed a medical marijuana law which impacted five children suffering from cancer and who were placed into a cancer treatment program using medical cannabis under the supervision of the University of Iowa. Dr. Wedewer was one of those children and only 1 1/2 years ago did the law in Iowa finally change to allow these patients to finally speak out about their treatment and success stories in battling cancer with medical cannabis.
The Company is excited to feature Dr. Lynnice Wedewer’s cancer success story and testimonial in its upcoming documentary, along with other cancer survivors who were cured through the use of medical cannabis.
Dr. Wedewer runs a website where she provides her testimony, speeches, educational material, marijuana facts, interviews and documentaries, and other informational links regarding marijuana.
Dr. Robert Melamede, Ph. D., Cannabis Science Inc., President & CEO said, “These are exciting times to be part of a burgeoning medical marijuana movement and shedding light on patients who are telling their stories and opening up medical files to demonstrate the cancer curing power of medical cannabis. We are enthusiastic and hopefully that Dr. Lynnice Wedewer’s testimonial and cancer success along with other patient success stories, including profound medical evidence, will help to educate and finally open up the eyes of federal regulators to decriminalize medical cannabis; so more people’s lives can be saved by this natural herbal remedy and stop killing people with man-made pharmaceuticals."

About Cannabis Science, Inc.
Cannabis Science, Inc. is at the forefront of pharmaceutical grade medical marijuana research and development. The Company works with world authorities on phytocannabinoid science targeting critical illnesses, and adheres to scientific methodologies to develop, produce and commercialize phytocannabinoid-based pharmaceutical products. In sum, we are dedicated to the creation of cannabis-based medicines, both with and without psychoactive properties, to treat disease and the symptoms of disease, as well as for general health maintenance.
This Press Release includes forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Act of 1934. A statement containing works such as "anticipate," "seek," intend," "believe," "plan," "estimate," "expect," "project," "plan," or similar phrases may be deemed "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Some or all of the events or results anticipated by these forward-looking statements may not occur. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include the future U.S. and global economies, the impact of competition, and the Company's reliance on existing regulations regarding the use and development of cannabis-based drugs. Cannabis Science, Inc. does not undertake any duty nor does it intend to update the results of these forward-looking statements.
[end article]

The following is in contrast to the research in (inexpensive) cannabinoid extracts as treatment for cancer, and the following does not mention cannabinoids being utilized for research...
"Drugmakers taking a shot at cancer with vaccines"
2014-07-01 by Stephanie M. Lee from the "San Francisco Chronicle" []:
In the fight against cancer, biopharmaceutical companies are seeing new promise in weapons that could be more powerful and safer than many existing treatments: vaccines.
Cancer vaccines and other emerging cancer immunotherapies make up one of medicine's most active and best-funded areas right now. These treatments, which harness the immune system in various ways to fight or prevent tumors, could generate $35 billion within a decade, analysts say.
Scientists see vaccines as promising because, compared with invasive surgery and toxic chemotherapy, they could prompt the body to attack the disease with impressive results and minimal side effects.
Drugmakers have tried to develop cancer vaccines in the past, but most have failed in clinical trials.
Nonetheless, vaccine makers like Aduro BioTech in Berkeley are forging ahead and earning support from big pharmaceutical companies. In a deal that could be worth up to $365 million, Aduro recently licensed a vaccine for prostate cancer to Janssen Biotech, the pharmaceutical arm of Johnson & Johnson. In a separate agreement, Aduro granted Janssen rights to yet another vaccine technology for prostate cancer. In June, Johnson & Johnson and other investors poured $55 million into privately held Aduro, which has raised $84 million in total.
"We think it's a very promising field, particularly because some of the newer therapeutics, like Aduro's therapeutics, are demonstrating very impressive immune responses," said Dr. Arturo Molina, vice president of oncology scientific innovation at Janssen. "We can characterize the immune responses and see that these are very specific for tumor cells."

Boost prostate therapy -
Johnson & Johnson already has a drug for prostate cancer, Zytiga, and is committed to paying up to $1 billion for Aragon Pharmaceuticals' experimental prostate cancer drugs. But Molina thinks these therapies could be even more powerful against prostate cancer if combined with Aduro's immune treatments.
Johnson & Johnson isn't alone in its enthusiasm for the general field of immuno-oncology. Last year, Citi estimated that such drugs would be a $35 billion market by 2023.
"There is a lot of excitement, and I would say it's sort of unprecedented what's happening in the cancer immunotherapy arena now," said Dr. Lynn Schuchter, an oncologist at the University of Pennsylvania and chair of the cancer research committee for the American Society of Clinical Oncology. "Many people thought it was a dead field, but it is alive."
What is driving the investment, she said, is scientists' increasingly deeper knowledge of how the immune system works.
"In the past, we just targeted things that were sort of a red flag but maybe irrelevant to the actual function of the cancer cell," Schuchter said. "What you're seeing are more approaches that attack the Achilles' heel of a cancer cell or combine different types of immunotherapies with a vaccine."
There are already some well-known vaccines that help prevent cancer, called prophylactic vaccines. Gardasil and Cervarix protect people against the human papilloma virus, which is linked to cervical cancer. Most children are vaccinated against hepatitis B, which can lead to liver cancer.

Vaccines' tricky design -
But scientists have had a trickier time designing therapeutic vaccines, or vaccines that treat existing cancers. Cancer cells often don't "look" dangerous or foreign to the body, so vaccines must be powerful enough to make the immune system attack them. At the same time, vaccines must prompt the immune system to go after specific targets without damaging "good" cells.
Just one cancer treatment vaccine is currently available: Dendreon's Provenge, which is for some men with metastatic prostate cancer.
On the other hand, promising vaccines from Amgen, GlaxoSmithKline, Oncothyreon, Ziopharm and Keryx have all failed to hold up in clinical trials. Other companies have instead pursued different immunotherapies that boost the immune system in general or attack specific parts of cancer cells.

Germ made safe -
One of Aduro's types of vaccines involves Listeria monocytogenes, a germ that's best-known for contaminating food but has been engineered to be safe in humans. Listeria has been shown to activate the immune system, and it also boosts the effectiveness of other vaccines and treatments, Aduro says.
Another type of vaccine involves tumor cell lines that have been irradiated and engineered to prompt the immune system to go after tumor cells.
Aduro is testing its vaccines on several cancers besides prostate cancer, including pancreatic cancer, mesothelioma, glioblastoma and ovarian cancer. Some are being tested in combination with chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
The flu-like symptoms patients have reported so far suggest the treatments are less toxic than chemotherapy or radiation alone, said Stephen Isaacs, Aduro's president and CEO.
"It's a much more holistic way to address the disease - using the power of the body to fight the cancer instead of chemicals," he said.

Friday, May 9, 2014

"Marijuana Refugees: Virginia Family Moves to Colorado to Treat Epileptic Child with Cannabis Oil"

2014-05-09 from "Democracy Now!" []:
Last year, Dara Lightle and her nine-year-old daughter, Madeleine, became "marijuana refugees" when they moved from Virginia to Colorado. At the time, Madeleine was suffering from hundreds of seizures a day. Her doctors in Virginia recommended brain surgery. Then Dara heard how cannabis oil had treated children suffering from similar conditions. The oil worked. But since the oil was considered an illegal drug in much of the country, they had to move to Colorado, where it is legal, to continue treatment. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, at least 115 "marijuana refugee families" from 43 states have left jobs, homes and family so they could obtain the cannabis oil to treat a variety of ailments. We speak to Dara and Madeleine in Denver.

TRANSCRIPT (This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form) -
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Today we look at marijuana refugees—people and families who have uprooted their lives and moved to Colorado with the hope of obtaining medical marijuana to treat various illnesses. Many are families with young children who suffer from epilepsy and relentless seizures. According to the Colorado Springs Gazette, at least 115 marijuana refugee families from 43 states have left jobs, homes and the rest of their family so they could obtain oil made from a special strain of cannabis that have repeatedly quelled the seizures in a handful of kids in Colorado Springs.

AMY GOODMAN: The Colorado Springs Gazette recently published a piece about nine-year-old Madeleine Lightle and her mother Dara, who moved from Virginia to Colorado. In a moment, Madeleine and her mother will join us, but first let’s turn to this video about their story produced by the Colorado Springs Gazette.

MADELEINE LIGHTLE: Hi. My name is Madeleine.
DARA LIGHTLE: When I think of a child who has seizures, I think of a very low-functioning child. So, to see my high-functioning child and imagine her losing function was very scary. There was hope that she wouldn’t have any more, that that would be it, she would just have one. And then she had another one about a month later. And then it’s like you go through all those emotions again. You don’t know what’s going to happen. And, you know, earlier that year, I’d been wondering: Why can’t she do math anymore? You know, I’m trying to teach her the same grade over and over again, and nothing is sticking.
So, that’s when they told us that she was a candidate for brain surgery. What we didn’t know is that what they wanted to do was take out the entire left side of her brain. And to look at your daughter and imagine half of her brain being taken out, it was probably the hardest point in my life. It could make her better, or it could not. It could take away seizures, or it could not. Still, again, it was our only hope. It was our only hope.
This is when I saw a video about medical cannabis and how it could help with seizures. And it was about two weeks after that, that it was like: I think we need to move to Colorado; I think I need to bring Madeleine to Colorado. And then, within the next week, it was like: We’re moving, and we’re not coming back. It’s been six months. She began reading, she began writing, she began doing math—and remembering.
Yeah? Two plus two is?
DARA LIGHTLE: You got them all right, Madeleine!
Some days I just feel like: What a blessing that we were given this opportunity! I don’t feel worthy, but I do believe my daughter is worthy to have a chance at life and to live, and I’m so grateful that this simple oil from a plant is giving her that.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Dara Lightle in a video produced by the Colorado Springs Gazette. For more, we go to Denver, where we’re joined by Dara and her daughter Madeleine, or Maddy.
Thanks so much for driving in a couple hours from Colorado Springs to Denver for this conversation. Dara, why don’t you start off by talking about where Madeleine was born and when she had her first seizure?

DARA LIGHTLE: Well, Madeleine was born in 2004, and she actually was born prematurely and had a stroke in utero. And then, actually, we did not see any seizures until she was five years old. She had her first seizure when she—in 2010, in the summer of 2010. And we were actually not expecting it, even though she did have brain damage on the left side of her brain due to the stroke in utero. We thought, by that age, we would not see any seizures.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And once those initial seizures began, what kind of medications did you use at that point?

DARA LIGHTLE: We used pharmaceutical medications—Trileptal, I think, was one of the first, and Vimpat—started with, you know, low dosages, but she continued to have seizures. More were added on. Some were taken away because they were—had adverse effects, such as anger. We saw a lot of—she’s actually very—normally very calm and very sweet. We saw things in her like personality changes. And so they would take some away and add some more. And we would still continue to see issues, but we would have to deal with them because sometimes her seizures would stop for a time, and then her seizures would come back, and they would have to keep adding more medication on.

AMY GOODMAN: Maddy, thank you for coming in with your mother. It’s good to have you with us. Hi.




AMY GOODMAN: Madeleine, Maddy, can you talk about how a seizure feels for you?

MADELEINE LIGHTLE: It feels, um, pretty not good, but I have—but I usually tell my mom that I’m having a seizure and that I have—that I have a good life with seizures and that this medication is helping me.

AMY GOODMAN: So, Dara, can you talk about what the—what that trajectory is from having gone through the seizures and then ultimately coming to Colorado, the drugs you used before and what you’re using now?

DARA LIGHTLE: Well, basically, last summer, the medications she was on, by the end of last summer, she was on three medications. Her emotions and—she was kind of like what I would call a zombie. She was a shell of a person. There were times where she couldn’t even find the bathroom in the house that she grew up in. And that’s how bad things were during that time. Whether that was from pharmaceuticals or seizures, we’re still unsure. I think that the pharmaceuticals actually exasperated her condition and made her worse. We decided—when we saw this video about medical marijuana and how it was helping children with seizures, we decided the best thing for Madeleine was that we needed to move out to Colorado. And my mother joined me out here in Colorado.
When we came out here and Madeleine started the medical cannabis, it was—as you heard in that video, it was—our only hope before was brain surgery, taking out the whole left side of her brain. And to look at my child and imagine taking out the left side of her brain is very difficult for any mother, for any parent to see that. So, when we heard that medical cannabis could help, at first it was scary, because you’re like, "Well, I don’t want my child getting stoned. I don’t want my child smoking pot." But once we realized that it really was an oil that is given—you know, was given to her at first three times a day sublingually, in her mouth, and that it wouldn’t get her high or anything like that, we slowly started to realize that actually the pharmaceuticals were making her high and that the cannabis was helping her get better. And she was off of all pharma—we started the cannabis oil in October, and she was off of all pharmaceuticals by the end of December.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And could you talk about the change, the frequency of the seizures previously, before you started this treatment, and what life is now like for your daughter and your family?

DARA LIGHTLE: Yeah. She had three days of video monitoring and testing at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the summer. During that time, we were actually told—and we didn’t know this—that 80 percent of her sleep was seizure activity. She was having so many seizures that she could not learn. She could not add. The neurologist put two fingers up and said, "What’s one plus one?" And she said, "Three." She couldn’t even add. And at this point she was eight years old. And she couldn’t read. She couldn’t do anything.
And so, basically, when she started the cannabis, it took some time. It was a little roller coaster. You know, there was periods of time where she would have more seizures, and there were periods of time where she was very cognitively clear, is the best way to show it. She was coming out of her shell. She had—starting to have a quality of life. It wasn’t until she was totally off the pharmaceuticals. Now she sleeps through the night. Her EEGs have drastically changed. From what they were to what they are now, it’s miraculous, because, like I said, she’s on no pharmaceuticals. She’s only on cannabis oil, and her EEGs have drastically changed. She reads now for the first time. She is able to add simple addition and subtraction for the first time. She wants to learn, and that’s huge, as well. So there’s a lot of positive changes, that we weren’t expecting. We were just expecting a decrease in seizures. We had no idea that we would see all the things that we’re seeing with her now.

AMY GOODMAN: Maddy, what does your medicine taste like?


DARA LIGHTLE: What does it taste like?


AMY GOODMAN: It just tastes like oil? And how do you feel living in Colorado? Have you made new friends? Do you miss your friends from home?

MADELEINE LIGHTLE: I made new friends. I miss my friends in Virginia where I used to live. And—but I also like my friends in Colorado.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And, Dara, this whole issue of having basically to uproot yourselves to go to another state to be able to have access to this kind of treatment, your thoughts on that?

DARA LIGHTLE: Not everybody can get up and just leave like we did. We were blessed to be able to do so, but there are so many families who can’t just get up and go. And we are happy to be here. We feel blessed that we are one of these pilot families to be able to be trying this out to show the world that this works. At the same time, the fact that we had to leave everything that we know, and people are stripped from their families in order to do this, is ridiculous. It’s ridiculous.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank—Maddy, I want to thank you for coming on. And, Dara, I’d like to ask you to stay when we bring Dave Philipps on, as well—


AMY GOODMAN: —the reporter who’s been following you and Maddy and other families who are doing—who have come to Colorado. How does it feel to be called a "marijuana refugee," Dara?

DARA LIGHTLE: In some ways it’s painful, and in some ways it’s a blessing. So it’s painful that we have—are stuck here, and we can’t go to Disneyland, we can’t go to a funeral, we can’t go to a wedding, if it’s out of state. But at the same time, it’s a blessing that we are able to do this oil, and it’s doing great things for our child.

AMY GOODMAN: Could you take the oil with you?

DARA LIGHTLE: No, it’s a Schedule I drug. It’s federally illegal. It’s legal here in Colorado, but we can’t leave the state.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, Dara, stay with us. And, Maddy, thank you so much for coming on Democracy Now!


AMY GOODMAN: Dara and Maddy Lightle are with us in Denver, Colorado. They can’t leave the state, because if they took the drug that Maddy is using now to prevent her seizures, marijuana, they would be arrested. This is Democracy Now!,, The War and Peace Report. We’ll continue with marijuana refugees in a moment.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top 10 Pot Studies Government Wished it Had Never Funded

2006-08-31 from "":

10) MARIJUANA USE HAS NO EFFECT ON MORTALITY: 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.

9) HEAVY MARIJUANA USE AS A YOUNG ADULT WON’T RUIN YOUR LIFE: 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. 1997

8) THE "GATEWAY EFFECT" MAY BE A MIRAGE: 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.

7) PROHIBITION DOESN’T WORK (PART I): 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.

6) PROHIBITION DOESN’T WORK (PART II: 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.

5) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART I): 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.

4) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER, (PART II): 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(1) 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.

3) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART III): 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.

2) OOPS, MARIJUANA MAY PREVENT CANCER (PART IV): 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.

1) MARIJUANA DOES HAVE MEDICAL VALUE: 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