November 27, 2009 – Europe has yet to come up with a unified approach to medical marijuana. The Dutch will tell you it is legal to use the drug to treat certain illnesses; while the Swedish don’t recognize any medical use for cannabis at all.

“European policy is not really changing at all and I don’t think this issue is even on the European agenda. The topic is too controversial and too political,” said Catherine Sandvos, a legal expert for the Hague-based Cannabis Bureau, a Dutch national agency aimed at providing high-quality cannabis for medical purposes.

Ms. Sandvos’s native Netherlands has led Europe when it comes to legalizing medical marijuana, which it treats separately from marijuana legally available at one of Amsterdam’s famous coffee shops. The Dutch police stopped enforcing laws against marijuana in 1976 following an overall tolerance policy in the country. “It’s hard when you try to explain to outsiders that it is illegal to grow cannabis in the Netherlands, but that it is tolerated to buy it,” she says.

But those who buy the drug on the streets are not getting the quality severely ill patients would need. The Dutch government set up the Cannabis Bureau — the only institution of its kind in the continent — in September 2003.

“The state realized that so many people wanted to use cannabis, so it said ‘why not give it to them via prescription instead of them accessing the drug illegally,’ ” Ms. Sandvos added.

The Cannabis Bureau ensures that patients who have a prescription from a doctor are getting marijuana that has been tested to make sure it doesn’t contain any pesticides or bacteria. Not only does the Cannabis Bureau sell cannabis across all pharmacies in the Netherlands through a prescription, but it also distributes the drug to Italy, Finland and Germany through the Ministry of Health of each country. According to the agency’s data, it sells around 100 kilos of cannabis every year.

The situation couldn’t be more different in the U.K., where it is unlawful to self-medicate cannabis regardless of the disease people suffer from. In 2005, Barry Quayle and Reay Wales, who were both afflicted by serious and chronic conditions, found no relief in prescription drugs and turned to cannabis to alleviate their pain. But a U.K. court ruled against them.

“The whole debate in relation to the use of cannabis for medical purposes is highly politicized,” said Daniel Godden, an associate solicitor for Hodge Jones & Allen LLP in London. Those who say marijuana is relatively safe can face severe political consequences. Last month, Professor David Nutt, the British government’s chief drug adviser, was removed from his post after he said the drug was less harmful than alcohol.

Favorable views toward cannabis face opposition from some local politicians and international lobbying groups. Jorgen Sviden, director of Stockholm-based European Cities Against Drugs, which represents 261 cities in 30 countries, isn’t convinced of the drug’s medical qualities.

“In principle, we don’t have an argument against cannabis as a treatment, but we haven’t seen any scientific evidence that provides a convincing argument for its medical use,” he said. “If in the future we come across proof that cannabis is a good treatment, then this is good.”

Some initiatives have managed to stay away from the political debate, however. The U.K. happens to be home to GW Pharmaceuticals PLC, which manufactures a drug based on marijuana extract — Sativex. Although it has some ingredients that derived from the actual drug, it has been treated by the U.K.’s regulators as a medicine like any other as it doesn’t contain the psychotropic substances marijuana does. The company is preparing to launch the drug into other parts of Europe, in partnership with Germany’s Bayer AG and Spain’s Almirall SA.

GW is hoping to sell its product, which will treat the symptoms of multiple sclerosis, across all countries in Europe but has initially filed for a license in the U.K. and Spain so far. Paul Cuddon, an analyst with KBC Peel Hunt in London, says he expects the drug to win approval in both countries in the first half of 2010 and then the firm will file for individual approval in each country.

“I’m not anticipating any legal problems in the rest of Europe at all,” Mr. Cuddon added. “This is a treatment that is highly different from raw cannabis and it has undergone rigorous chemical trials.”

Other countries have tough stances, however. Ireland, for example, doesn’t recognize marijuana as a drug with medical benefits. This means that manufacturing, producing, selling or possessing cannabis is unlawful for any purpose. The Ministry of Health is the only government branch that can grant an exception, but a spokesman said it never has.

Noel McCullagh, 34, has learned this the hard way. An Irish citizen, Mr. McCullagh lives in the Netherlands, where he uses cannabis medication to treat the severe effects of his muscular dystrophy. However, Irish authorities have warned him that he will be arrested if he enters his native country in possession if cannabis-based treatment.

In Sweden, the law doesn’t recognize the cannabis to have any medical use.

Beyond the debate of marijuana’s use, Dr. Willem Scholten, of the World Health Organization, believes patients should have access to high-quality medicine. So if cannabis has medical attributions, “there needs to be a system in place to ensure that patients get their medicine without any contamination and that they get the same content every time.”

Despite the radically different approaches in Europe, some believe the continent will eventually adopt it as a medical treatment.

“I can imagine European citizens will eventually think cannabis is a good medicine and that it should be accessible to people who suffer from serious pain as a result of HIV, multiple sclerosis or other grave illnesses,” said Brendan Hughes, senior legal analyst of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction in Lisbon. By JAVIER ESPINOZA. Source.

September 22, 2009 – The healing properties of cannabis have long been touted amongst the British cannabis community, who have done everything in their power to bring word of the cancer curing Picture 4properties of cannabis to a wider audience. And at face value it would be fair to expect the worlds press to get pretty excited over even ‘a suspicion’ of a cure for cancer, a disease which will strike down almost 1 in every 2 people.

Cannabis can cure certain types of cancer. So why are we not researching it further? Because the pharma industry cannot get a patent on a plant so law enforcement holds the patent whilst the pharma’s try to build a chemical version..and that’s no longer good enough to keep it outlawed.

Unfortunately that’s not the case. Cancer is on the rise statistically, yet the people who control health issues at a national and international level (the pharmaceutical industry), are simply not prepared to let it be known that people can cure their own ailments, as it would cost them trillions of dollars in over-the-counter pain-relief sales, amongst a great many other products which cannabis has been proven as a safe, natural alternative.

Indeed Canadian Rick Simpson went one further. Instead of telling people about it, he started to use a cannabis-derived oil to cure his own skin-cancer. A cancer his doctor had attempted (and failed) to cure using more mainstream methods like strong drugs and surgery.

Its a truly mind-blowing story which explains in laymans terms the lengths which the establishment surrounding pharmaceutical drugs, will go to stop news of this getting out. Even going so far as to close down a Canadian Legion office and sacking the entire management team for promoting Rick Simpsons marijuana based hemp-oil.

Rumour has it the pharmaceutical industry is attempting to synthesise the active ingredients in cannabis so they may make use of its healing properties whilst at the same time, keeping it firmly outlawed, to stop people treating themselves. Just another conspiracy theory?

Remember Spice artificial cannabis? Which got banned recently?

JWH-018
Inhibition of human tumour prostate PC-3 cell growth by cannabinoids R(+)-Methanandamide and JWH-015 (a close relation to the now banned JWH-018)

According to Christopher P Evans M.D, who is a Contributing Editor with UroToday.Com, “Investigators have found that JWH-015 inhibited human prostate cancer cell xenograft growth in mice. The study’s conclusion is that CB2 receptor agonists have potential therapeutic application in the treatment of human prostate cancer.

So it turns out the active ingredient in Spice artificial cannabis could have cancer curing properties as a result of its ability to ‘tweak’ our in built CB1 and CB2 receptors. A tweak which is necessary to shut down the processes cancer cells need to multiply and grow. And this is the key issue.

“Cancer occurs because cells become immortalized; they fail to heed normal signals to turn off growth. A normal function of remodelling in the body requires that cells die on cue. This is called apoptosis, or programmed cell death”, says Manuel Guzman of Madrid University.

He Continued, “That process fails to work in tumors. But THC promotes its reappearance so that gliomas, leukemias, melanomas and other cell types will in fact heed the signals, stop dividing, and die.”

Dr. Ethan Russo , a neurologist, concurs.

“And, that is not all,” explains Dr. Russo: “The other way that tumors grow is by ensuring that they are nourished: they send out signals to promote angiogenesis, the growth of new blood vessels. Cannabinoids turn off these signals as well. It is truly incredible, and elegant.”

Which brings us back to Rick simpson’s hemp oil. A concoction which would see you facing a 5 year prison term in the United Kingdom, and 14 years if you decided to share your oil with a relative who may be dying of cancer.

Simpsons Hemp Oil has cleared a skin cancer re-occurrence after only 4 days, on his own cancer. A cancer which his doctor could not cure. Simpson also has a whole video-library of statements recorded by people who say they have been cured of cancer by Rick Simpson’s hemp oil.

So if you or a loved one are suffering with any form of cancer please please PLEASE write to your elected representative and ask why we are not supporting research into cannabis and its medical applications.

The clock is ticking for many people. Source.

Please also see: Hemp Prohibition – A Crime Against Humanity

1) Hemp is among the oldest industries on the planet, going back more than 10,000 years to the beginnings of pottery. The Columbia History of the World photostates that the oldest relic of human industry is a bit of hemp fabric dating back to approximately 8,000 BC.

2) Presidents Washington and Jefferson both grew hemp. Americans were legally bound to grow hemp during the Colonial Era and Early Republic. The federal government subsidized hemp during the Second World War and US farmers grew about a million acres of hemp as part of that program.

3) Hemp Seed is far more nutritious than even soybean, contains more essential fatty acids than any other source, is second only to soybeans in complete protein (but is more digestible by humans), is high in B-vitamins, and is 35% dietary fiber. Hemp seed is not psychoactive and cannot be used as a drug. See TestPledge.com

4) The bark of the hemp stalk contains bast fibers which are among the Earth’s longest natural soft fibers and are also rich in cellulose; the cellulose and hemi-cellulose in its inner woody core are called hurds. Hemp stalk is not psychoactive. Hemp fiber is longer, stronger, more absorbent and more insulative than cotton fiber.

5) According to the Department of Energy, hemp as a biomass fuel producer requires the least specialized growing and processing procedures of all hemp products. The hydrocarbons in hemp can be processed into a wide range of biomass energy sources, from fuel pellets to liquid fuels and gas. Development of biofuels could significantly reduce our consumption of fossil fuels and nuclear power.

6) Hemp grows well without herbicides, fungicides, or pesticides. Almost half of the agricultural chemicals used on US crops are applied to cotton.

7) Hemp produces more pulp per acre than timber on a sustainable basis, and can be used for every quality of paper. Hemp paper manufacturing can reduce wastewater contamination. Hemp’s low lignin content reduces the need for acids used in pulping, and it’s creamy color lends itself to environmentally friendly bleaching instead of harsh chlorine compounds. Less bleaching results in less dioxin and fewer chemical byproducts.

8) Hemp fiber paper resists decomposition, and does not yellow with age when an acid-free process is used. Hemp paper more than 1,500 years old has been found. It can also be recycled more times.

9) Hemp fiberboard produced by Washington State University was found to be twice as strong as wood-based fiberboard.

10) Eco-friendly hemp can replace most toxic petrochemical products. Research is being done to use hemp in manufacturing biodegradable plastic products: plant-based cellophane, recycled plastic mixed with hemp for injection-molded products, and resins made from the oil, to name just a very few examples.

TODAY’S HEMP INDUSTRY

AUSTRALIA – Tasmania research trials began in 1995. Victoria commercial production since1998. New South Wales has research. In 2002 Queensland began production.

AUSTRIA has a hemp industry including production of hempseed oil, medicinals and Hanf magazine.

CANADA started to license research crops in 1994 on an experimental basis. In addition to crops for fibre, one seed crop was experimentally licensed in 1995. Many acres were planted in 1997. Licenses for commercial agriculture saw thousands of acres planted in 1998. 30,000 acres planted in 1999. In 2000, due to speculative investing,12,250 acres were sown. In 2001 ninety-two farmers grew 3,250 acres. A number of Canadian farmers are now growing organically certified hemp crops.

CHILE has grown hemp in the recent past for seed oil production.

CHINA is the largest exporter of hemp paper and textiles. The fabrics are of excellent quality. (ma)

DENMARK planted its first modern hemp trials in 1997. Committed to utilizing organic methods.

FINLAND had a resurgence of hemp in 1995 with several small test plots. A seed variety for northern climates was developed: Finola, previously know by the breeder code ‘FIN-314′. In 2003, Finola was accepted to the EU list of subsidized hemp cultivars. (hamppu)

FRANCE harvested 10,000 tons in 1994. France is the main source of low-thc producing hempseed. (chanvre)

GERMANY only banned hemp in 1982, but research began in 1992 and many technologies and products are being developed. Clothes and paper are being made from imported raw materials. Germany lifted the ban on growing hemp November, 1995. Mercedes and BMW use hemp fiber for composites. (hanf)

GREAT BRITAIN lifted hemp prohibition in 1993. Animal bedding, paper and textiles have been developed. A government grant was given to develop new markets for natural fibers. 4,000 acres were grown in 1994. Subsidies of $230 Eng. pounds per acre are given by the govt. for growing.

HUNGARY is rebuilding their hemp industry, and is one of the biggest exporters of hemp cordage, rugs and hemp fabric to the U.S. They also export hemp seed and hemp paper. Fiberboard is also made. (kender)

INDIA has large stands of naturalized Cannabis and uses it for cordage, textiles, and seed oil.

JAPAN has a religious tradition requiring the Emperor wear hemp garments, so there is a small plot maintained for the imperial family only. They have a thriving retail market selling a variety of hemp products. (asa)

NETHERLANDS is conducting a four year study to evaluate and test hemp for paper, and is developing processing equipment. Seed breeders are developing new strains of low-thc varieties. (hennep)

NEW ZEALAND started hemp trials in 2001. Various cultivars are being planted in the North and South.

POLAND currently grows hemp for fabric and cordage and manufactures hemp particle board. They have demonstrated the benefits of using hemp to cleanse soils contaminated by heavy metals. (konopij)

ROMANIA was the largest commercial producer of hemp in Europe in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Total acreage in 1993 was 40,000 acres. Some of it is exported to Hungary for processing. They also export to Western Europe and the United States. (cinepa)

RUSSIA maintains the largest hemp germ plasm collection in the world at the N.I. Vavilov Scientific Research Institute of Plant Industry (VIR) in Saint Petersburg. They are in need of funds. (konoplya)

SLOVENIA grows hemp and manufactures currency paper.

SPAIN grows and exports hemp pulp for paper and produces rope and textiles. (cañamo)

SWITZERLAND is a producer of hemp and hosts one of the largest hemp events: Cannatrade.

EGYPT, KOREA, PORTUGAL, THAILAND, and the UKRAINE also produce hemp.

USA – The United States granted the first hemp permit in over 40 years to Hawaii for an experimental quarter acre plot in 1999. The license has been renewed since. Importers and manufacturers have thrived using imported raw materials. Twenty-two states in the United States have introduced legislation. VT, HI, ND, MT, MN, IL, VA, NM, CA, AR, KY, MD, WV have passed legislation for support, research, or cultivation. The National Conference of State Legislators has endorsed industrial hemp for years.

Source.