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From: andersom@spot.Colorado.EDU (Marc Anderson)
Subject: Lester Grinspoon at Colo
Message-ID: <1993Jul28.004812.4401@ucsu.Colorado.EDU>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1993 00:48:12 GMT


Dr. Grinspoon gave a speech last Friday in Denver about his new book
_Forbidden Medicine_ and medical marijuana in general.  I got there
late but enjoyed a good deal of his talk, including a panel discussion
with a doctor from the Colorado Health Sciences Center (Colorado's Med
School) -- uhm, Dr. Robinson(?), I think it was...  The talk was very
un-technical, and a lot of the data was anecdotal (Grinspoon acknowledged
this, and it's understandable due to the target audience).  He really
did impress me as being someone who knew what he was talking about, though.
I hooked up with him after and asked him a few questions on his opinions
about the ultimate dangers of cannabis (respiratory system, and its
carcinogenicity), and his basic response was that, once we can get it
legalized, this problem would be solved very quickly.  (i.e., with vaporizers,

The doctor from CHSC was an oncologist, and he was fairly critical of
Grinspoon, although, Grinspoon held his ground well.  However, Dr. Robinson 
did seem in favor of making cannabis available for medical purposes.  I
asked Dr. Robinson what his opinion is on the possible significance of
Po 210 in tobacco carcinogenicity, and he said that the other agents in
tobacco probably override this danger...

Dr. Grinspoon's book seems cool, although, again, much of it is based
on anecdotal evidence he has received from personal connections.  It still
appeared to have a good number of references. I'm probably gonna pick
it up in a few weeks when I get some money.

One of the interesting things Grinspoon talked about is cannabis' use in
treating multiple sclerosis, of which, he mostly talked about anecdotal
results reported in his book.  I cross-ref'd cannabis and multiple 
sclerosis through paperchase and came up with a few refs which I'll attach
to this post.  

oh, and btw:  Dr. Grinspoon's fax # is 617-277-8423, for anyone interested
in getting in touch with him.

- -marc

AU  - Petro DJ
AU  - Ellenberger C Jr
TI  - Treatment of human spasticity with delta 9-tetrahydrocannabinol.
AB  - Spasticity is a common neurologic condition in patients with multiple
      sclerosis, stroke, cerebral palsy or an injured spinal cord. Animal
      studies suggest that THC has an inhibitory effect on polysynaptic
      reflexes. Some spastic patients claim improvement after inhaling
      cannabis. We tested muscle tone, reflexes, strength and performed
      EMGs before and after double-blinded oral administration of either 10
      or 5 mg THC or placebo. The blinded examiner correctly identified the
      trials in which the patients received THC in seven of nine cases. For
      the group, 10 mg THC significantly reduced spasticity by clinical
      measurement (P less than 0.01). Quadriceps EMG interference pattern
      was reduced in those four patients with primarily extensor
      spasticity. THC was administered to eight other patients with
      spasticity and other CNS lesions. Responses varied, but benefit was
      seen in three of three patients with "tonic spasms." No benefit was
      noted in patients with cerebellar disease.
SO  - J Clin Pharmacol 1981 Aug-Sep;21(8-9 Suppl):413S-416S
DP  - 1981 Aug-Sep
TA  - J Clin Pharmacol
PG  - 413S-416S
IP  - 8-9 Suppl
VI  - 21
IS  - 0091-2700
UI  - 82053565
AU  - Ungerleider JT
AU  - Andyrsiak T
AU  - Fairbanks L
AU  - Ellison GW
AU  - Myers LW
TI  - Delta-9-THC in the treatment of spasticity associated with multiple
AB  - Marijuana is reported to decrease spasticity in patients with
      multiple sclerosis. This is a double blind, placebo controlled,
      crossover clinical trial of delta-9-THC in 13 subjects with clinical
      multiple sclerosis and spasticity. Subjects received escalating doses
      of THC in the range of 2.5-15 mg., five days of THC and five days of
      placebo in randomized order, divided by a two-day washout period.
      Subjective ratings of spasticity and side effects were completed and
      semiquantitative neurological examinations were performed. At doses
      greater than 7.5 mg there was significant improvement in patient
      ratings of spasticity compared to placebo. These positive findings in
      a treatment failure population suggest a role for THC in the
      treatment of spasticity in multiple sclerosis.
AD  - Department of Psychiatry
AD  - U.C.L.A. School of Medicine 90024.
SO  - Adv Alcohol Subst Abuse 1987;7(1):39-50
DP  - 1987
TA  - Adv Alcohol Subst Abuse
PG  - 39-50
IP  - 1
VI  - 7
IS  - 0270-3106
UI  - 88160795
AU  - Clifford DB
TI  - Tetrahydrocannabinol for tremor in multiple sclerosis.
AB  - Based on one patient's enthusiastic report, eight patients with
      multiple sclerosis, seriously disabled with tremor and ataxia, were
      given oral tetrahydrocannabinol. Two demonstrated improved motor
SO  - Ann Neurol 1983 Jun;13(6):669-71
DP  - 1983 Jun
TA  - Ann Neurol
PG  - 669-71
IP  - 6
VI  - 13
UI  - 83281524