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Government Study Explores New Pharmaceutical Drug for Cannabis Addiction

daily alternative | alternative news - Government Study Explores New Pharmaceutical Drug for ‘Cannabis Addiction’

Just last month, news hit the alternative media that the National Institute of Drug Abuse was shelling out roughly $2 million to attempt to link marijuana use to domestic violence. The Weed Blog bet the study would backfire and that researchers (if they were honest, of course and not paid for by Big Pharma interests) would find cannabis use actually reduces violence between partners, citing another study which recently found marijuana reduces aggression.

In the same month, the National Institutes of Health funneled another half a million dollars into the third year of a now $2.2 million research project “Candidate Medications for Cannabis Addiction: FAAH Inhibitors.” The study’s Public Health Relevance Statement reads, “There is a clear medical need for new candidate medications for the management of cannabis dependence and addiction,” and the outline goes on to describe how researchers are going to use their chemistry program to synthesize molecules that inhibit the enzyme fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH). Science been therapeutically targeting FAAH for over a decade now to artificially increase anandamide levels in the brain.

Those last two sentences may sound like a bunch of scientific gobbledy gook and this writer is no biochemist to be sure, but logic says these enzymes are produced by our bodies for a reason, so creating synthetic drugs to force our bodies to stop producing what they are naturally designed to and creating an artificial chemical imbalance in the brain just seems like a really bad idea (although it is bound to get someone in the pharmaceutical industry fat paid, of course).

Is cannabis even addictive?

The case is unconvincing and it’s debatable even in the scientific community, but we know Reefer Madness is completely unfounded. Because THC is stored in the lipids and slowly released back into the bloodstream after use is stopped, some researchers have concluded marijuana lacks the kind of withdrawal symptoms that, say, crack or meth induce. Last year’s heavily publicized study (cited all over the mainstream media even though it only looked at a total of only 49 test subjects for two weeks) claims marijuana withdrawal could negatively affect 10% of those smokers who have been heavy users for long periods of time.

Reality says that everything we ingest in large amounts has an effect on us one way or another, however; drink too much water and you could cause a potentially fatal disturbance in brain function. Ever been around a heavy coffee drinker who decides to quit cold turkey? It can be downright painful to them (and painful to watch).

The truth is, study after study has shown marijuana has an abundance of beneficial health properties that clearly outweigh any negative ones that have ever been found. It has been shown to kill pain and alleviate the awful symptoms associated with a multitude of horrible diseases including cancer and AIDS. That’s why twenty states across the country have now passed medical marijuana laws.

According to Drug Policy Alliance, the majority of people who smoke marijuana have been found to do so only on occasion; marijuana has not been found to be a gateway drug to ‘bigger and badder’ drugs (despite those nifty public service announcements from the 90s); and there is no compelling evidence to show that marijuana use causes long-term impairment or leads to an increase in traffic accidents (the way alcohol, which is legal everywhere, totally does).

Over three quarters of a million people a year are arrested for simple marijuana possession in America, while in other places like the Netherlands, it is perfectly legal (which has not led to a statistical increase in use and has actually led to a decrease in use by the younger crowd, likely through the psychology of taking the taboo out of it).

Polls show that half of Americans think marijuana should just be legalized already. The U.S. government, however, wants people to believe that marijuana is a horribly addictive, evil substance that is out to corrupt the nation’s youth into a bunch of wasteoids, fostering hardcore drug addiction, and subsequently, criminal activity. The White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy has a webpage on marijuana that begins with this:

Marijuana places a significant strain on our health care system, and poses considerable danger to the health and safety of the users themselves, their families, and our communities. We know that marijuana use, particularly long-term, chronic use that began at a young age, can lead to dependence and addiction. Marijuana is not a benign drug.

This stance is why stories continue to come out of parents with valid medical marijuana licenses getting their infants taken away by child protective services.

In reality, the government has had a disastrous track record of funding studies that attempt to make marijuana look like a terrible substance with no real useful properties, but they end up proving the opposite instead:

In addition to mitigating bad side effects from the disease, four government-funded studies showed marijuana may actually prevent cancer and shrink tumor growth.

One study proved marijuana use has no effect on mortality, i.e. — it won’t shorten your life.

Another study found even heavy adolescent marijuana use had no significant sociological or healthcare-related impacts (mental, physical or otherwise); in other words, heavy pot use didn’t ‘ruin a teenager’s life’.

Again, it has been proven that, when it comes to pot, that whole ‘gateway drug’ thing is a myth.

A lot of that kind of information gets buried, or at the very least, skewed. The war on drugs is big government business, so it has to be justified somehow. Even CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who spent a year researching medical marijuana for the documentary “Weed,” publicly apologized recently for misleading people about the supposed danger of it.

“I have apologized for some of the earlier reporting because I think, you know, we’ve been terribly and systematically misled in this country for some time and I did part of that misleading,” Gupta told TV host Piers Morgan.

Would it surprise you to learn there’s a very extensive case for the theory that, like many other illegal drugs in this country, marijuana prohibition is firmly and deeply rooted in age-old cultural wars, baseless racist beliefs and the general public’s ignorance matched with the ever-present fear of crime? Research racist former Federal Bureau of Narcotics head Harry Anslinger for more on that.

That one didn’t surprise us here at Truthstream Media; we were more surprised to learn that the United States government — you know, the one that just got done saying a few paragraphs ago that marijuana “poses considerable danger to the health and safety of the users themselves, their families, and our communities” — actually OWNS THE PATENT on cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants!

Yep. It’s patent #6630507. Here’s an excerpt:

Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties… This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases… The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and HIV dementia.

And now, some subject-related memes at Obama’s expense. (Just because the guy who has made it a point to go after licensed medical marijuana dispensaries as president was actually nicknamed “Barack Oganja” in his teens and early 20s for heavy pot use, so the hypocrite has totally earned it.)

 

daily alternative | alternative news – Government Study Explores New Pharmaceutical Drug for ‘Cannabis Addiction’

via Activist Post: Government Study Explores New Pharmaceutical Drug for ‘Cannabis Addiction’.

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Health & Science

Google Now Has Access To Millions of Patients’ Medical Records

A controversial deal between tech giant Google and the National Health Service (NHS) will allow artificial intelligence units access to 1.6 million confidential medical records. Since 2014, Google has partnered with several scientists in an attempt to understand human health, but a new report reveals the data gathering goes far beyond what was originally anticipated.

According to documents obtained by the New Scientist, the data sharing agreement between Google-owned artificial intelligence company DeepMind and the Royal Free NHS Trust gives access to the sensitive healthcare data of millions of NHS patients. The chilling and wide-reaching deal allows DeepMind access to the medical records of the 1.6 million people passing annually through the three London hospitals owned by the Trust — Barnet, Chase Farm, and the Royal Free.

The Google-owned A.I. firm announced in February it was working with the NHS to build an app called Streams — intended to help hospitals monitor patients with kidney disease. However, the new information has revealed that the extent of the data being shared goes much further and includes logs of day-to-day hospital activity, records of the location and status of patients, and even logs of who visits them and when.

Results of pathology and radiology tests are also shared, as is information from critical care and accident and emergency departments. In addition, DeepMind’s access to the centralised records of all NHS hospital treatments in the U.K. means the tech company can access historical data from the last five years, all while receiving a continuous stream of new data.

At the same time, DeepMind is developing a platform called Patient Rescue, which uses hospital data streams to build tools to carry out analysis and support diagnostic decisions. The New Scientist explained how it works:

Comparing a new patient’s information with millions of other cases, Patient Rescue might be able to predict that they are in the early stages of a disease that has not yet become symptomatic, for example. Doctors could then run tests to see if the prediction is correct.

While the Royal Free has not yet responded to the question of what — if any — opt-out mechanisms are available to patients, the New Scientist suggests this is unlikely to be a straightforward process. Despite the agreement stating Google cannot use the data in any other part of the company’s business, many will be seriously wary of the access the online tech giant now has to the confidential data of millions of people.

As the New Scientist wrote:

Data mining is the name of the game in the burgeoning field of machine learning and artificial intelligence, and there’s no company in the world better at that than Google.

 

daily alternative | alternative news – Google Now Has Access To Millions of Patients’ Medical Records

via Google Now Has Access To Millions of Patients’ Medical Records.

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