Medical marijuana laws, CAM push

A drug company is pursuing MJ research; CAM is urged as part of health reform.

I have helped at least one California client with a medical marijuana (MMJ) project.  Here is news of pharamaceutical developments on the MJ front:

Cannabis Science Inc. (NASD OTCBB: CBIS) an emerging pharmaceutical cannabis company, is honored to announce that Dr. Ben Johnson, Dr. Allan Shackleford and Dr. William Courtney have accepted its request to become members of its recently formed Scientific Advisory Board. The formation of the Scientific Advisory Board was announced on August 6th with the appointment of Dr. Mitch Earlywine Ph. D. as its first member, and the appointment Dr. Ritchard L. Fishman M.D. was announced on August 18th. Given the addition of several prominent scientists and physicians with their knowledge base, the company’s clinical trials focus, product development, and design procedures for submitting products to the FDA can be advanced much faster.

Dr. Ben Johnson is a complementary and alternative medicine physician. After earning a degree in Osteopathy from the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, he has since earned an M.D. degree and an N.M.D as well. He resigned as a founder and director of the Immune Recovery Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia after working there for several years to devote full time to The Healing Codes (A stress healing program that he uses to cure himself of Lou Gehbrig’s disease). In addition, Dr. Johnson served in the armed forces during Vietnam and was a flight surgeon in the army reserve for many years. He was a Senior Aviation Medical Examiner for the FAA for 12 years.

Currently, Dr. Johnson is owner of Dr. Ben Johnson Services, LLC, a business that promotes products for natural health care. He consults regularly with patients and health care professionals across the world, and his expertise is centered in the field of complimentary oncology.

Dr. Alan Shackleford, a Denver physician, is a graduate of University of Heidelburg School of Medicine. He has an extensive background in clinical medicine, nutrition support, metabolism analysis, micro vascular surgical techniques and stress management techniques in the treatment of obesity and performance anxiety. Aside from his clinical work, he was also an instructor in German and in genetics at the University of Maryland, and he was also a lecturer at Harvard medical school in clinical training for behavioral medicine.

Dr. William L. Courtney has an extensive medical education that began with a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Michigan. He also received his Doctor of Medicine from Wayne State University, and Interned for Residency in Psychiatry at California Pacific Medical Center and went on to earned his Post Doctorate in Forensic Examination and Forensic Medicine. Dr. Courtney is currently a member of International Cannabinoid Research Society, the International Association of Cannabis as Medicine, and the Society of Clinical Cannabis. Dr. Courtney has also been teaching Continuing Medical Education (CME) courses in clinical cannabis. He also hosted the 2nd International CB2 Conference in Ft Bragg, California, and teaches a Survey Course on Endogenous Cannabinoid System for College of the Redwoods. He also works with dispensaries interested in providing medical marijuana to patients.

Dr. Robert Melamede, Ph. D., Cannabis Science Inc., President & CEO said, “We have been enormously gratified by the very positive reaction to the company’s plans by those who are most familiar with the need for medical cannabis products. The fact that so many prominent experts understand the importance of what we are doing and support our efforts shows that we are on the right path. We are putting together a very powerful team and with their help we will successfully blend the revolutionary power of capitalism with activism moving the company forward.”

About Cannabis Science, Inc.

Cannabis Science, Inc. is at the forefront of 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.

The Integrative Health Care Consortium seeks more CAM in health care reform:

According to the Integrated Health Care Consortium, 47 members of Congress submitted a letter to house speaker Pelosi urging any final health care reform bill to include a provision preventing discrimination against complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) providers. Currently, many insurance companies do not cover care by this large section of the health care community which includes massage therapists, naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists, and much more.

The Integrated Health Care Consortium says that many in Congress want “to ensure that the final health care reform bill reflects the importance of preserving patients’ access to providers of their choice, and to preventing discrimination by insurance companies against entire classes of health care providers like CAM professionals.”

Research reports Gingko does not help with CVD:

The assessment of the popular complementary medicine was made in a new study published in the journal of the American Heart Association, Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Researchers analysed a trial of 3,069 participants older than 75 years who either took 120mg of ginkgo biloba twice daily or a placebo, concluding that there was no evidence that it reduced CVD mortality or CVD events.

"There were 355 deaths in the study, 87 due to coronary heart disease with no differences between G biloba and placebo," the study's authors wrote.

"There were no differences in incident myocardial infarction, angina pectoris or stroke between G biloba and placebo."

Canadian docs are urged to avoid work if they have swine flu symptoms:

Since therapists in complementary medicine are not considered as persons at risk by our Health Ministers, even with the proximity of treatments, therapists have no other choice but to wait their turn along with everyone else.  However, there are some steps they can take in this situation to protect themselves and their clients.

 If you cannot as yet have your vaccination, prevention is the best medicine.  This is why we are inviting therapists to inform their clients and to post on their office doors, a notice, which clearly advises their clients that they MUST cancel their appointment (not come in):

  • if they have a fever or

  • had a fever in the past 24 hours and

    • if they have a cough

    • if they have a sore throat or

    • if they are achy and sore for no apparent reason.

Therapists must also inform their clients to immediately wash their hands upon arrival for their treatment.  Although a 70% alcoholic gel is efficient, soap and water remains the best solution.   With this in mind, we also suggest disinfecting on a regular basis the most frequently touched objects by clients, i.e. door knobs, etc.

These policies help protect the health of your clients and by the same token, to protect yourself.

To know more, please go to the following two Websites made available to the public by the Government of Quebec

Insofar as massages are concerned, it is important to note that fever has always been a contra indication to massages.  In fact, massages can increase temperature without taking into consideration the risks of infectiousness  regardless of the source of infection.

Pranic healing is given a good report in this narrative:

What's so special about pranic healing? Refai says it's simple, yet powerful and effective system of no-touch energy healing originated and developed by Choa Kok Sui of Philippines. It's one of the premium energy healing systems in the world and is instrumental in shifting a vast number of people towards spiritual perception of the universe as an 'ananta urja' (sea of energy). The therapy works on the principle that increasing life force or vital energy of the affected part of the physical body accelerates the healing process.

On its application, Refai explains research has proved that there are two bodies of humans - one energy body what we call as aura and another physical body. Pranic healing works at the auric level because disease first manifests at this level and, if detected, can be healed much faster than if treated at the physical stage. Healers are trained to discern auras by activating the 'chakras' on their palms, and at more advanced level on their fingertips.

The senior trainer who was in was in the city recently for a three-day training workshop in the city is candid in admitting that the therapy doesn't intend to replace any type of medicine. It is applied with a technique without touching the body on the aura or energy body, which is blueprint that surrounds and interpenetrates the physical body. This energy body absorbs life energy and distributed throughout the physical body. Pranic healing is not only capable of addressing simple ailments such as headaches, cold, cough, but equally capable of curing diseases like cancer, heart ailments, strokes, arthritis among other complications.

Refai cited many success stories of pranic healing, but said patients' recovery depends on age, health and of course severity of the disease. "In Nagpur, although the therapy has not been popularized the way it should have been, in Mumbai it is gaining ground and people are aware so much so that even allopaths also recognize it. In Apollo hospitals, there is special section for pranic healing and every patient has to go through it," said Refai.

In Nagpur, Refai's trainees included patients, medical students and doctors too. There are 35 centres in Maharashtra affiliated to the Yog Vidya Pranic Healing Foundation, Matunga in Mumbai, through which pranic healing is being promoted. There are 15 such foundations in India popularizing pranic healing. Two more foundations are in pipeline to promote the therapy. On December 13, Refai said he will be organizing a 'soul realization' class in Nagpur in which 100 participants will take part. He disclosed his students included even professional doctors.

Kshitij Nadkarni of Vashi in Mumbai said, he learnt pranic healing from Refai. Nadkarni works as a surgeon with a private super speciality hospital in Bangalore. He admits role of pranic healing is similar to that of physiotherapy.

A nurse is on charges for relying on her "inner being" instead of getting her friend treatment for gangrene:

Both listened to their “inner being”, and she had “respected his wishes” when she did not call for an ambulance or a doctor as the gangrene progressively got worse.

Mr Butler said: “Mr Jenkins took a different path from most people and relied on his ’inner being’ in a different form of therapy.”

The court heard Mr Jenkins, a diabetic, first injured his foot in spring 2005 while digging a grave for cats and a blister turned into a sore.In December 2006, he stepped on a plug attached to the lead of an iron and the foot began to swell.


Mr Birch told the court Ms Cameron looked at the foot frequently and, being a trained nurse, realised the injury was diabetic neuropathy, which was a serious condition.

He said she was fully aware that antibiotics "would knock it on its head".

Mr Jenkins, who was not opposed to conventional medicine in principle, was considering going to a doctor – but his "inner being" said "no".

Alternative advice was obtained from homeopath Susan Finn, who suggested treating the foot, which was changing colour and swollen, with Manuka honey.

The honey was put on the wound and magnesium sulphate on the dressing covering it.

On April 9 2007, a week before he died, Mr Jenkins experienced flu-like symptoms that suggested he was suffering from septicaemia.

When Ms Finn visited him on April 14 she found his foot to be swollen, discoloured and the ulcer was bleeding intermittently.

Miss Finn had told the inquest the foot was smelling, he was feverish and there was blood on the sheets.

Mr Birch said: "Ms Finn offered the deceased three homeopathic remedies knowing that they would have no effect and she was in fact offering him a placebo."

When Ms Finn visited on April 16, Mr Jenkins’s condition was much worse and she had stated she thought he would end up in hospital because it was that serious.

Ms Finn had said in a police statement that she asked Ms Cameron "how long can you cope with this?", and Ms Cameron replied she had "total faith in following her ’being’, or something along those lines".

Mr Birch argued it had been Ms Cameron’s "overriding duty" to seek conventional medical treatment as her partner’s condition worsened and he could no longer consult his own ’inner being’.

Defending the coroner’s verdict, Mr Butler said Ms Cameron was not guilty of any breach of duty.

The verdict should stand because the coroner had been entitled to conclude that Mr Jenkins had not received timely, life-saving treatment because of "his lifestyle, beliefs and philosophy".

Free CAM being offered somewhere in the UK:

A campaign has been launched that could lead to patients in Brighton and Hove being given free complementary medicine on the NHS.

John Kapp has helped create the Social Enterprise Alternative Treatment Company and drawn up a business plan offering patients the chance to have treatments worth up to £50 a time.

The company has around 100 members around the city, including chiropractors and acupuncturists.

Mr Kapp, 74, from Hove, wants Brighton and Hove Primary Care Trust (PCT) to consider directing NHS cash to the company, which would then distribute the £50 vouchers to GP practices around the city.

Patients wanting to get access to alternative treatment would be able to use one of the vouchers.

Mr Kapp is hoping the PCT will incorporate his proposals into its long term plans for commissioning health services.

He is planning to put up an online petition on the Brighton and Hove City Council website to gauge people's views about the plans.

NPS pushes for CAM everywhere:

Push for complementary medicines to be in all medical, pharmacy curricula


The National Prescribing Service (NPS) welcomes calls for improved complementary and alternate medicine training in universities and says all health professionals have a responsibility to ensure these products are used safely.

Speaking at the annual scientific meeting of the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine in Melbourne, Dr Lesley Braun said health professionals need better training at university about complementary medicines and their interactions with conventional drugs, and to make an effort to stay informed.

Research conducted by NPS last year into the complementary medicine information needs and uses found a number of issues relating to the transfer of information between health professionals and consumers.

“Most complementary medicine users are self-prescribing without understanding the implications of what they are taking, and in a number of cases, they aren’t using the products in the way they are intended,” NPS CEO, Dr Lynn Weekes said.

“At best, this may mean consumers aren’t getting the maximum benefit from the complementary medicine. At worst, they may be putting their health at risk.”

While half the consumers surveyed admitted to not telling their doctor or pharmacist they were taking complementary medicines, many health professionals said they often didn’t ask because they weren’t confident discussing these medicines with patients.

“A number of practising health professionals may not have received formal training about these medicines at university but the information is continuously changing so it’s up to each individual to keep informed.”

A second piece of research conducted by NPS, Mater Health Services Brisbane, Bond University and the University of Queensland between June and November 2008 identified and ranked the most useful complementary medicine information sources available to health professionals.

Both studies noted the need for a centralised data point that includes accurate, independent information about adverse effects, interactions with other medicines, contraindications and clinical evidence.

“Between the growing rate of complementary medicine use, the prevalence of chronic diseases and the rising number of people being hospitalised for adverse events, it’s vital today’s medical and pharmacy students gain a comprehensive understanding of safe medicines use and have ongoing access to accurate information,” Dr Weekes said.


The National Prescribing Service Limited (NPS) is an independent, not-for-profit organisation for quality use of medicines funded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing.


Michael H CohenMichael H Cohen
The Los Angeles / San Francisco / Bay Area-based Michael H Cohen Law Group provides healthcare legal and FDA legal & regulatory counsel to health & wellness practices and ventures, including health technology companies (medical devices to wearable health and nanotech), healthcare facilities (from medical centers to medical spas), and healthcare service providers (from physicians to psychologists).Our legal team offers expertise in corporate & transactional, healthcare regulatory & compliance, and healthcare litigation and dispute resolution, in cutting-edge areas such as anti-aging and functional medicine, telemedicine and m-health, and concierge medicine.Our Founder, attorney Michael H. Cohen, is an author, speaker on healthcare law and FDA law, and internationally-recognized thought leader in the trillion-dollar health & wellness industry.