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James and Linda Burton at Work at the SIMM in Rotterdam, Holland. (2003)
"There's something wrong if I can't use an herb for my health, grown in my own garden, which is proven medicine for my illness." James Burton ; Founder, Stichting Institute of Medical Marijuana ; Rotterdam, Netherlands.
MAIN MENU =PATIENTS =SUPPLIERS =STUDIES =MISC.
Various Patients Using Marijuana effectively.
- Summary of various medical marijuana cases in Canada, including Terry Parker, Jim Wakeford, Chris Clay, and Lynn Harichy ; by Nate Hendley, of www.eye.net, in Aug. 1998.
- (7 October 2003) The Oct. 7 Ontario Court of Appeal Ruling was favorable for Terry Parker and others who are approved to use marijuana for medical reasons already. For recreational users in Ontario, it was a setback. NOTE: for the latest on Terry Parker, please go to headlines and look for articles about recent appeals in Ontario and at the Supreme Court level already in process.
- Terry Parker Wins for Ontario ; Medical Use Approved.
- NOTE : Terry Parker Prevails Again. Ontario Judge Sheppard rules Parker, and all others in his jurisdiction who are medically approved, may continue using marijuana as medicine : Click Here .
- Special Article by Umberto Iorfida.
- Early work with NORML Canada.
- Submission to DEA Judge Francis Young decision in U.S.
- Collection of Terry Parker victory articles from December '97 : Click Here .
- The Lancet, prestigiouis British medical journal, reports on Terry's success : Lancet , (as archived by "marijuana news" site)., as archived by druglibrary.org .
- Things moving backwards in 2001 article by ENZO Di MATTEO. (But the Senate Committee report on Sept. 4, 2002, may trump all obstacles.)
- Another article from www.eye.net by Nate Hendley in Dec. 1997.
- Sign of the Times mention by Jill Bora, July 1996. Another article by Bora in Aug. 1996.
- Umberto Iorfida ; N.O.R.M.L. Canada president.
- James Burton : Founder ; Institute of Medical Marijuana ; Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Other Patients External WWW Sites. Press "BACK" to return here.
- (from Fall '97) An article about Lynn Harichy , M.S. patient.
- Todd McCormick : Did Marijuana Heal Your Cancer ? Click here .
- Iowa Man , injured in numerous car / motorcycle accidents, faces prison for marijuana when prescriptions failed to provide relief. Another good article on same subject.
- America's first legal marijuana patient, and others (link to High Times).
- Short list of various ailments generally thought to be benefited from medicinal marijuana usage : click here.
- Marijuana and Driving. (various)
- Melatonin and Marijuana. 1986
- NOTE: 2003 list probably incomplete. Check at NORML U.S. website for more studies from 2003 or more recent.
- (16 June 2003 various sources) U.K. Studies: Cannabis Helps Reverse Aging , Protect Brain Cells.
- (16 June 2003 www.expatica.com) Famous Hawaiian Medical Doctor Used Marijuana Successfully for Alcoholism, Hard-drug Addiction. Is pot the genuine "anti-drug"?
- (10 October 2002 NORML U.S.) Inhaled Cannabis Drastically Reduces Pain And Dystonia, Case Study Reports.
- (7 October 2002 CC/MAP/Evening News (U.K.)) For Pain Relief, Cannabis Medicines Excel in British Trials.
- (3 October 2002 NORML U.S.) Pot's Ingredients Significantly Reduce Pain in MS, Spinal Cord Patients, Study Says
- (22 August 2002 NORML U.S.) Nearly Half Of MS Patients Using Medicinal Pot , Study Says.
- (20 August 2002 NORML U.S.) Special Release: Regulation Of Marijuana Would Likely Result In Reduced Teen Use, Columbia University Survey Says.
- (18 July 2002 NORML U.S.) Zogby Poll: Pot's Less Dangerous Than Alcohol Or Tobacco. (This isn't a study, but it is relevant.)
- (27 June 2002 NORML U.S.) Pot Constituents Dramatically Reduce Sleep Apnea , Study Says.
- (31 May 2002 NORML U.S.) Prenatal Marijuana Use Not Associated With Neurobehavioral Deficits , Study Finds.
- (16 May 2002 NORML U.S.) Unintended Consequences! Drug Czar Admits Federal Anti-Drug Ads Having Opposite Effect On Teens.
- (9 May 2002 NORML U.S.) Canada: Government Study Blows Lid Off U.S. Pot Propaganda.
- (4 April 2002 NORML U.S.) Pot Ingredient Eases Tourette's Symptoms , Study Says.
- (4 April 2002 NORML U.S.) Past Pot Use Has No Negative Impact On Intelligence, Canadian IQ Study Says.
- (4 April 2002 NORML U.S.) Over One In Five State Nursing Associations Say Medical Pot Should Be Legal.
- (28 March 2002 NORML U.S.) Casual Drug Use Seldom Harmful, British Study Says.
- (28 March 2002 NORML U.S.) Pot's Impact on Driving Negligible, Two More Studies Say.
- (5 March 2002 NORML U.S.) Science Challenges JAMA Report Linking Pot To Cognitive Decline ; Cognition Unaffected by Long-Term Marijuana Use, Previous Studies Show.
- (28 February 2002 NORML U.S.) Study Shows Pot's Therapeutic Benefits, Few Adverse Effects in Long-Term, Daily Marijuana Smokers ; Results Support Expanding Feds' Medical Pot Program.
- (27 November 2001 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Remains European Illicit Drug of Choice, Report Says Despite Relaxed Laws, Pot's Popularity in EU Still Lower Than in US.
- (15 November 2001 NORML U.S.) Abstracts Available From Conference held by The International Association for Cannabis as Medicine (IACM).
- (8 November 2001 NORML U.S.) Cognitive Performance Unaffected After Marijuana Smoking ; Pot "Has No Effect on Accuracy," Study Reveals.
- (18 October 2001 NORML U.S.) No Difference in Cognition Among Long-Term Pot Smokers, Control Group, Study Finds.
- (18 October 2001 NORML U.S.) Drug Testing Should Focus on Chronic, Not Casua l Drug Users, Study Says.
- (27 September 2001 NORML U.S.) Pot Prohibition Not Strong Deterrent, Study Says ; Personal Preference and Health Concerns - Not the Law, Primary Reasons for Abstention.
- (20 September 2001 NORML U.S.) Medical Pot Spray Shows 80 Percent Success Rate in Clinical Trials.
- (6 September 2001 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Is Neuroprotective , Journal Says.
- (6 September 2001 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Spray Arrests Pain in MS, Spinal Cord Patients, Study Says.
- (30 August 2001 NORML U.S.) Pot Violators Comprise Largest Percentage of Federal Drug Offenders, Department of Justice Study Shows.
- (30 August 2001 NORML U.S.) Eliminating Pot Penalties Doesn't Violate International Treaties , Study Says.
- (9 August 2001 NORML U.S.) Study Shows Therapeutic Benefits, No Adverse Effects in Long-Term Marijuana Users.
- (5 July 2001 NORML U.S.) Study : Body's Natural 'Cannabis' May Play Role in Lowering Blood Pressure.
- (14 June 2001 NORML U.S.) Marijuana's Safety Unchallenged By New Studies ; Food, Heart Attack Studies Find Health Risks Inconsequential.
- (2 May 2001 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Spray Reduces MS Patients' Pain, Spasms , Study Finds.
- (22 February 2001 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Has Less Adverse Effect on Driving Than Alcohol, Tiredness, U.K. Study Says.
- (11 January 2001 NORML U.S.) NORML/MAPS Study Shows Vaporizers Reduce Toxins In Marijuana Smoke.
- (19 October 2000 NORML U.S.) NIDA Monkey Study Claims Marijuana Is Addictive.
- (20 July 2000 NORML U.S.) Research Demonstrates Marijuana Is Safe For HIV Patients.
- (6 July 2000 NORML U.S.) Naturally Occurring Cannabinoids Trigger Feeding In New Born Mice.
- (25 May 2000 NORML U.S.) Researcher Finds No Link Between Marijuana And Head, Neck or Lung Cancer.
- (9 March 2000 NORML U.S.) Researchers Link Marijuana And The Suppression Of Multiple Sclerosis.
- (2 March 2000 NORML U.S.) Study Indicates THC May Eradicate Brain Tumors.
- (9 April 1999 email to NORML Canada by researcher ) Marinol and Marijuana ; new study released by author.
- (9 September 1999 NORML U.S.) Seventy percent of the nation's drug users are also part of the full-time workforce.
- (20 May 1999 NORML U.S.) Marijuana-Like Drugs Could Treat Schizophrenia , Study Suggests.
- (13 May 1999 NORML U.S.) Long-Term Marijuana Smoking Doesn't Impact Cognition, Study Says.
- (6 May 1999 NORML U.S.) Medical Marijuana Patients Open With Their Doctors, Survey Shows.
- (15 April 1999 NORML U.S.) NORML Foundation Family Custody Project Victorious In New Jersey Parenting Rights Case.
- (8 April 1999 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Like Chemical Could Hold Key To Treating Movement Disorders.
- (1 April 1999 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Induces Minimum Driving Impairment Compared to Alcohol, Toronto Study Says.
- (23 March 1999 NORML U.S.) Marijuana-Like Drug To Receive Patent For Use Treating Multiple Sclerosis.
- (11 March 1999 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Successfully Treats Tourette's Syndrome, Study Shows
- (11 February 1999 NORML U.S.) No Link Between Miscarriages And Marijuana Use, Study Says.
- (14 January 1999 NORML U.S.) Body's Own Marijuana-Like Agents Holds Hope For High Blood Pressure Patients.
- (31 December 1998 NORML U.S.) Marijuana May Offer Protection Against Tumors, Research Shows.
- (22 October 1998 from www.marijuananews.com ) Australian researchers say Marijuana stoned drivers slightly safer than average : click here . Same NORML U.S. item.
- (8 October 1998 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Derivative Benefits Head Trauma Victims, Human Trials Show.
- (20 August 1998 NORML U.S.) Relative Safety Of Moderate Marijuana Smoking Not Challenged By New Study.
- (6 August 1998 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Poses Few Health Risks, New Zealand Health Ministry Says.
- (12 July 1998 email from Dr. Russo) Marijuana and Migraines, New Research : HEADACHE.
- (9 July 1998 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Appears To Protect Against Brain Injuries, Federal Researchers Find.
- (18 June 1998 NORML U.S.) French Government Report Says Marijuana Poses Less Dangers Than Alcohol.
- (4 June 1998 NORML U.S.) Early Studies Show Marijuana Derivative Prevents Brain Injuries.
- (Summer '98 misc. sources)Marijuana Probably Prevents Brain Damage in Stroke Victims . Click Here.
- (11 December 1997 NORML U.S.) Marijuana Users Report Few Health, Social, Or Legal Problems, Study Shows.
- (3 July 1997 NORML U.S.) NORML Responds To Recent Marijuana And Brain Studies.
- (15 May 1997 NORML U.S.) (Meanwhile) New "Study" Rejecting Medical Marijuana Not Really A Study At All.
- (15 May 1997 NORML U.S.) Regular Marijuana Users Have No Higher Rates Of Mortality, Long-Term Study Concludes.
- (1 May 1997 NORML U.S.) Government Report From The Netherlands Criticizes Marijuana's Label As A "Gateway" Drug.
- (3 April 1997 NORML U.S.) Heavy Long-Term Marijuana Use Does Not Impair Lung Function , Says New Study.
- (20 March 1997 NORML U.S.) Long-Term Marijuana Users Suffer Few Health Problems, Australian Study Indicates.
- (30 January 1997 NORML U.S.) Federal Study Concludes That Marijuana's Main Active Ingredient Does Not Cause Cancer.
- (12 June 1996 NORML U.S.) University Of Mississippi Denies Assertion Of California Narcotics Officers ; Researcher Calls Claim Of Over 10,000 Studies Documenting The Harmful Effects Of Marijuana Groundless.
- (16 May 1996 NORML U.S.) Railroad Accident Data Shows Few Benefits From Random Drug Testing.
- (10 June 1995 Carl Olsen archives-Iowa NORML/NORML U.S.) Univ. Of Amsterdam Study Concludes That "Tolerant" Cannabis Laws Do Not Lead To More Use.
- (5 January 1995 Carl Olsen archives-Iowa NORML/NORML U.S.) LaGuardia Report Turns 50: ; Massive Marijuana Study Found ; Dangers Highly Exaggerated.
- (28 August 2008 www.hightimes.com) Medical Marijuana Endorsed by Lymphoma and Leukemia Societies.
- (20 May 2004 ) Pain Relief from Marijuana and/or Narcotics Discussed.
- (14 May 2004 www.stopthedrugwar.com) Marijuana-Stoned Drivers As Safe as Drug Free Say Dutch Researchers. But watch out for this one, that one, that one, and that one. ( archive copy)
- (posted 4 May '04 www.google.com search for "herbalist charter") Here's an April 28, 2004 New Zealand message from 1776 incorporated societies OPPOSING ANY GOVERNMENT REGULATION OF HERBAL MEDICINE PRACTITIONERS! And they base their opposition partly upon Henry VIII's charter of 1542 and the Magna Carta of 1215! Major Revolt! (Nothing in this says anything about pot, but I think it's implicit that it is included. King Henry spoke of "sorcery", and "witches", the very devilish type things which pot-haters like to claim. In the scientific age of today, which was just beginning when Henry VIII made his decree, there's no room for silly supersticious beliefs, so "sorcery" may have referred to the amazingly curative powers of various herbs like pot.)
- (9 April NORML Canada Institute of Psychiatric Research and Rehabilitation; Montreal; Trimbos Institute, Holland (supposedly)) Are you psychotic when stoned? If so, then we recommend that you cease this masochistic behavior. Those who do not have positive experiences from pot are kindly requested to refrain from using the "devil weed". If it isn't enjoyable, then don't use pot, we say.
- (7 April 2004 SIMM, Cannabisnews.com) Medical Marijuana in Holland is in a crisis since the government took over the production (licensed) and distribution of medical-grade pot in the past 2 years. Luckily, the cannabis coffee-shop industry began a popular drive to lower the retail price of pot all over Holland in the past 18 months or so. The result is that more and more medical users have started buying it from cannabis coffee shops apparently rather than "legally" through their local pharmacy, and a small minority probably grow their own since 4 plants are allowed. Eventually, I hope the government would allow small outdoor organic plots which would have to be guarded or fenced heavily, even at current lower prices.
Only the Rich... Pot is still a "luxury" item in Holland that only the rich or lucky can easily afford. For the poor, there's always good Dutch and Belgian beer.
- (16 March 2003 MPP/SIMM) Prescription Pot Available March 17 in Dutch Pharmacies, just like any other prescription.
- (21 Feb. 2003 UNODCCP ) The Use of Opium and Cannabis in the Traditional Systems of Medicine in India. Document from 1965. When I first began looking for information on Indian traditional medicinal uses of marijuana, the search engines yielded very little or nothing. Then I substituted one of the sanskrit words for pot , vijaya, which means "invincible", and this document came up
(((Ed. Note : Some translators say that "vijaya" means "feeling of invincibility" rather than "invincible". But users of marijuana don't feel invincible. Marijuana actually creates a feeling of vulnerability and sensitivity, certainly not a "feeling of invincibility". Marijuana users who are driving cars under the influence of marijuana by itself, according to researchers, tend to be "overly cautious". Alcohol users who drive cars under the influence of alcohol by itself, feel invincible ; but unfortunately they, and their victims, are not invincible. Only a fool would think that marijuana users feel invincible! Therefore, we can infer that "vijaya" could not possibly mean "feeling of invinciblity". It must mean "invincible". For a taste of scientific reality concerning the actual effects of marijuana and/or alcohol, or both together, go to this page with links to government sponsored research on marijuana and driving. (click here)) But what about the effects of morphine, Heroin, Seconol and other "downers" on driving abillity ?)))
During my first google searches, some people had deliberately misspelled cannabis so that search engines couldn't find the documents, spelling it as "cannabnis", or some such melarchy. Why is it that prohibitionists lean toward illiteracy ?
NOTE : It seems that opium and marijuana were not mentioned in the oldest classical Ayurvedic texts, having entered Ayurveda around 900 A.D., and that opium was (is) used primaily to alleviate the symptoms of dysentery and diarrhea. In the modern age, with clean water and food generally available, I don't think opium is indicated anymore.
Elsewhere, we find that although cannabis sativa was not originally used as a medicine in Ayurveda, it was already one of the five sacred plants of Atharva Veda. From this, we can infer that cannabis is a wellness promoting herb. Its use for specific ailments or diseases is actually less traditional in India than its use as a general sacrament.
- (23 Sept. '02 NORML Canada web maint.) James and Linda Burton, of the Dutch Stichting Institute of Medical Marijuana (SIMM), Announce 100% Organic, Greenhouse Grown, Toxin Tested, Government Licensed Production .
- (14 August 2002 NORML Canada) Who First Supplied Medical Marijuana Legally in the Netherlands ?
- (12 July 2001 NORML U.S.) HMO Says Docs Free to Recommend Marijuana.
- (date unimportant - email from Umberto Iorfida) FREEDOM DEFINED : timeless definitions from Canada and the Founding Fathers of the United States.
- (20 December '99 NORML Canada) Non-prescription, liberal, medical marijuana policies for all adults, with prescriptions available for children who would benefit, would be equivalent to full legality : click here .
- (2 June '99 USA Today (European Edition, page 8b)) Heart Attack Danger Explodes With Cocaine !
- (3 February, '99 web maint.) Attention All Medical Marijuana Users ! Help Eliminate "Sick Brick" ,aka "Sting Weed", or aka "Mold-Weed". Don't Smoke It, Touch It, or even Think About It. If you have any, why not put it in your compost heap. Never buy it again ! If you've never heard stories about the high quality marijuana available in Amsterdam and Vancouver, you cannot know what we're talking about. OK, OK. If that's all you can get, then keep using it.
- (28 October '98 from marijuananews.com ) Judge in Australia rules that Marijuana not the cause of fatal accident, contrary to allegations : click here .
- Marijuana and Driving. (various)
- Marijuana and Flying.
- James Dawson's Freedom Page, an excellent hard hitting site : click here .
- Excellent site about Ibogaine, Medical Marijuana, at Cures - Not - Wars .
- Risks associated with all drug use, whether legal or illegal !
- Medical Versus Non - Medical Use of Marijuana.
- An official drug policy site in the Netherlands : Click Here.
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Case one - James Burton , Founder ; Institute of Medical Marijuana
Rotterdam, NetherlandsMore patients
Native Wisconsan, born only a few hours from Canada, Sought Refuge in the Netherlands after the U. S. Government seized his 90 acre farm.
So, you thought that medical marijuana was just an excuse for "pot heads" to justify their own selfish desire to get high, without the usual restraints or apologies ?
This worn out myth is shattered when one peruses the case histories of medical marijuana patients, many of whom are continually risking imprisonment by telling their stories publicly.
Take the case of the American, James Burton who was born and educated in a small Wisconsin town within hours of the Canadian border. Convicted in America's first medical marijuana jury trial on a misdemeanor charge of simple possession, he spent a year in maximum security federal prison. In addition, his 90 acre farm was confiscated. After his prison experience, James and his wife Linda relocated to the Netherlands, a nation with fairly high unemployment.
In Holland, James recently became a full time legal resident with full work privileges. He had the skills and good fortune to find and hold a full time job over the last 5 years. He and Linda also continue to operate the Institute of Medical Marijuana.
It is absolutely true that when he first smoked marijuana in the 60's, it was probably just for off duty relaxation. He had joined the United States Armed Services, and was introduced to marijuana by some of his shipmates. After enlisting in the U. S. Coast Guard, James was sent to Vietnam to serve on one of the gunboats which operated on the rivers there.
James had (and still has) the eye disease glaucoma, which he inherited from a parent. In fact, all the males on one side of his family tree have this disease, one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Some of his less adventurous relatives who followed conventional treatment, have already gone blind. (Using conventional legal treatment is also how Elvy Musikka, one of America's legal medical marijuana patients, lost the sight of one of her eyes. She smokes U. S. Government supplied marijuana diligently now ; she doesn't want to loose her remaining eyesight.)
As James was partaking of the "forbidden weed" in the 1960's with his buddies in the service and "getting high", he noticed that his blurred and distorted vision , which he was quite familiar with, seemed to be more normal. He was taking the medication prescribed for glaucoma already, which worked only partially in alleviating the pressure build up of excess fluid in the eye. But the marijuana seemed to help a bit more, for him.
Was he deluding himself ?
The "redness" of his eyes produced by smoking marijuana was an indication that something interesting was happening. The pressure in his eyes was reduced by marijuana more effectively than the medications which had been previously supplied to him.Note : Because marijuana use may benefit the symptoms of glaucoma in a large number of cases, does not mean that it is good for all cases. Further medical research on this subject is recommended.Years later, James became one of the original research subjects at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical School, where his type of glaucoma, "Acute Open Angle Glaucoma", was being studied by Dr. John Merritt in relation to therapeutic use of marijuana.
It should be noted that many research subjects who tried marijuana accidentally, as unwitting research "animals", may have had very unpleasant experiences just due to their inexperience. It may be true that some persons should not use marijuana, even as an experiment. (We wonder how much of the negative reactions are caused psychologically by the 100 year old "reefer madness" campaign. Some people actually believe that marijuana is evil.)
Many recreational users in Holland have also reported to me that they stopped using marijuana due to unpleasant experiences with it.
Marijuana, as commonly consumed recreationally in Europe, is usually used with tobacco, although there is a growing trend of using it in pure form.
James was advised that he should continue using marijuana if he wanted to keep his vision. What began as an occasional diversion has became a life long prescription.
James continued to make a good living, legally of course, and his career advanced. James is a specialist in installing and debugging automated factory equipment, especially in the food processing industry.
In October 1993, with the help of his documented medical history and research background, he founded the Dutch Stichting Institute of Medical Marijuana. This was the first organization authorized in Holland and Europe, to begin educating the public on the legitimate medical uses of cannabis sativa.
Contrary to previous reports, the Stichting Institute of Medical Marijuana is still in operation. For more information, Click Here .
Other organizations have started recently which also supply medical marijuana by prescription only.
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Case Two - Umberto Iorfida - N.O.R.M.L. Canada President (1991-present)
More in-depth biographical information on Umberto Iorfida.More patients
Umberto, well known in NORML circles since 1974, used marijuana less often than most prior to his accident. He admits frankly to having been a very occasional recreational user from the early 1970's.
"At most, in those days, I used it about 5 or 6 times per year."
"I moved to Vancouver in mid-winter 1972, shortly after the downtown Vancouver Gastown (sometimes referred to as "Grasstown") police riot of late 1971. My primary concern was my job, and improving my economic condition. I've been told I am a "type A" personality. I push myself quite hard, and those around me. Like hundreds of thousands of other young people in those years, I discovered marijuana. I used it once per month at most, usually during a weekend. I was working full time, and attending night school. I didn't have the time to smoke pot very often. I had no criminal record, and still have no criminal record, unless you count 4 arrests and convictions for simple possession of pot." Umberto was first trying marijuana at about the same time that certain Senators in the Canadian Parliament, and U.S. President Clinton have admitted to it. His first job in British Columbia was with finance companies, but he then switched to a garment manufacturing concern.
"I was daily involved in middle management duties, and was earning the equivalent of $3000 - $4000 a month in today's dollars, right out of high school. I have never had to look hard for a job. My resume' speaks for itself".
"I'm from an Italian Catholic background, and believe me, the guilt was already there, even before I smoked pot ! But compared to the occasional beer, I truly felt that marijuana was the lesser vice. Now I have no guilt about marijuana. I joined Canada's first NORML chapter under George Baker who at that time was an M.P. in B.C. in Broadview riding (voting district). I was an early NORML rank and file member. The laws against pot were obviously wrong to practically everybody then. In the early 1970's, the three dominant political parties on the Canadian west coast, and the B.C. Bar Association, were all unanimously in favor of decriminalizing marijuana. NORML was definitely not a "fringe" group. Everybody wanted to get on the bus ."
Did marijuana cause his life to spiral downwards into "self-hate", hard drugs, and moral decay ? Hardly. He worked full time, and earned certificates in "industrial supervision" and "human relations" at night school, then relocated back to the Toronto area in 1977, where he found work at a metal fabrication factory. His hard work and drive got him promoted to foreman in short order. He held this job until his jaw injury in 1979.
When having his wisdom teeth pulled by his dentist, an accident occurred. His jaw bone was cracked, and his Temporal Mandibular Joint (or "TM J") permanently damaged. This is the main "jaw bone joint" near the temples. TMJ problems are usually either inherited, or caused by faulty orthodontics, or damaged or ground down teeth. Umberto's disability was caused by a severe focused blow, which broke bone and dislocated his jaw, which never healed properly. The lower jaw is permanently out of socket. Umberto has no real teeth now, only dentures.
"At about the same time, I had begun to participate more in NORML legalization activities. Terry Parker and I had helped organize the most successful marijuana legalization rally for some time in Toronto in 1979, and I had been nominated to become National Director of NORML Canada. I accepted the position. Terry became assistant National Director of NORML." (More on Terry Parker in the following paragraphs. Keep reading.)
But severe pain began to make his life nearly unbearable. "The doctor prescribed the strongest pain killers available, morphine and Demorol. All my teeth were eventually pulled and replaced with complicated dentures. I began to have difficulty driving my car. Work at the factory was out of the question. My vision would blur and I would experience dizziness just due to the continuous unrelenting pain, and the effects of the prescriptions. I turned in my driver's license in 1981."
"I resigned from NORML in 1981, had no job, and was living on welfare. This was a difficult period. The dentists and doctors were still trying to wire my mouth back together."
"After the accident, I didn't touch marijuana for about 4 months. I had no access to it anyway ! I was completely doped up on morphine from the doctor. The pain was under control, but my jaw was becoming locked in the closed position. I couldn't eat regular food. I could barely even drink a McDonald's milkshake through a straw. I never dreamed that marijuana would help my jaw muscles relax."
"About 4 months after the accident, a friend stopped by to visit. He was very curious as to what had happened to me. I told him about my jaw, and that I could barely eat. The muscles had atrophied. As I spoke to him, I could feel the muscles tightening up in my face."
"My friend said, 'try this',and handed me a joint."
"That afternoon, I realized to my surprise that there was sensation returning to my jaw. I thought it might be my imagination, but I could definitely eat again ; and with much less pain. Thank God. I was getting sick of milkshakes, if you can believe that. My sleep quality also improved tremendously. And I didn't feel "doped up" or numb such as from morphine."
"I don't believe that marijuana is really a "pain killer" like morphine or heroin. It simply bypasses the pain and relaxes the muscles. The pain is still there. I think marijuana has some sort of aromatic properties similar to herbs like camphor. What's the big deal with it ? Put it in the drug stores with warning labels and a scientific name, and nobody would bother with it much. Who is abusing "morphine" these days ? Heroin is a form of morphine. Go look it up in your dictionary. And morphine is prescribed daily to millions of legal patients in legal hospitals and emergency rooms all over the world. Let the same happen with marijuana". (Ed. note : Drug use is risky , more or less, depending on circumstances. The Lancet, Britain's journal of medicine, has stated, just like U.S. DEA Judge Francis Young stated, after consulting with medical experts , that marijuana, even when smoked, is among the safest therapeutic substances available to mankind, especially when compared with all the other tens of thousands of synthetic pharmaceuticals routinely dosed daily by children and adults alike. This does not mean that marijuana is safer than all other drugs. All drugs have side effects and risks than may vary from individual to individual. Any drug can be misused.)
From 1979 until 1986, Umberto continued to live on minimal welfare. His doctors continued to prescribe different pain killers , (Demorol, morphine, Percodans, Meprobate, Lorzepam, Chloropromazine, Stellizine, Diazapam, Talwin, Seconol, and others.) which did not relax the jaw muscles very effectively. Due to his marginal economic condition, he could not afford marijuana very often. The government supplied painkillers were free, since all Canadians have government health insurance.
In 1986, Umberto was given full disability status. This was also when he became convinced that marijuana was definitely helping him. He began to seek information about the medical use of marijuana. When he tried to contact NORML Canada for information, he discovered that the organization was no longer functioning.
In 1988, Umberto decided to try and get off the painkillers he had become addicted to. Although his doctor refused to work with him on his marijuana usage, he agreed to supervise his withdrawal from all legal prescriptions. It took months of medical supervision for Umberto to get off of morphine and the other "accepted" pain killers. The process was completed in 1990.
In looking for contacts for medical marijuana information, he located Terry Parker again who had noticed that he no longer had such bad or frequent epileptic seizures under the influence of marijuana. Modern medicine had done little for him. During epileptic seizures in public places, Terry has unfortunately been perceived on too many occasions as a "belligerent troublemaker", and the police have arrested him on numerous occasions. In jail, without any medicine at all, he has had frequent seizures, and sustained head injuries.
In 1986, Umberto Iorfida and Terry Parker began to work together to reactivate NORML Canada.
In 1988, Terry Parker, with Umberto's help, became Canada's first and only "provisionally" legal marijuana user.
Medical Use versus Recreational Use of MarijuanaSo, Can we assume that everybody using marijuana is using it for therapeutic purposes ? Of course not. But absent any behavioral problems, as with accepted alcohol use, the moderate use, and small scale personal cultivation of marijuana, by adults, should not be placed in the "criminal'" category. Nor should society make young persons into permanent "criminals" by their temporal youthful marijuana usage.
Society today has had its value structure warped by the "drug war" mentality. We are faced with the horrible truth that our children, and many of our citizens, have been taught that surveillance, blackmail, and routine cruelty, are normal activities for citizens and governments to pursue. The "drug war'" philosophy is a diversion from real moral values. This is why it has not been successful.
Telling people to "don't do drugs" does not give them any comprehensive moral foundation. The general moral value of "respect life and health" would be far more constructive.
The tendency of blaming all problems in society on drug abuse, is as mistaken as blaming all problems on a specific race, such as the Jews, and leads to the same insanities of genocide.
Since practically any substance, from common glue, to rubbing alcohol, to gasoline and solvents, to wild mushrooms, can be used as a "drug", what is the point of focusing on marijuana and the other 4 or 5 "illegal drugs" to the exclusion of the preferred underlying principle ; that unwise drug use, even legal drugs, can lead to unfortunate results ?
But to say that all drug use is equally damaging simply does not make sense. Marijuana is not Heroin, so it should not be treated the same. Those who drink one or two beers per week, with no problems, should not be imprisoned because some beer drinkers become alcoholics and beat their wives. Why not punish the wife beater for beating his wife, and leave alone the beer drinker who behaves ? Likewise, let's leave in peace the marijuana smoker who is not engaged in crime.
Non - criminal drug users, especially those who are otherwise law abiding and constructive citizens should be given the same respect and rights as any other citizen.
Considering that most of the discoveries of marijuana's medical value in modern times was accomplished accidentally by recreational marijuana users, we should ask ourselves to what extent we wish to punish such activities ?
We should also acknowledge that the human tendency to seek the occasional relaxation through a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, a beer, or a joint, should not be equated with crime. Taking a moment to relax, while using such things, may have positive results in the right context. Some research has shown that marijuana smokers in Jamaica were more productive, and lived longer, than their non pot - using counterparts.
Top of page.
Groups Supplying Marijuana for Medical Purposes Only:
(Warning : these may not be legal sources. You are on your own.)
- Vancouver's Compassion Club has been openly selling cannabis for several years, and now has about 700 members. Our website is at : http://www.thecompassionclub.org
- Altavista Search for Toronto Medical Marijuana Clubs on the internet.
- (6 December via marijuananews.com) Canadian Medical Marijuana Clubs.
- NEW, London Cannabis Compassion Center , click here .
- New Toronto Area Medical Marijuana project : click . Associated site : click .
- Stichting Institute of Medical Marijuana ; contrary to previous reports, the original semilegal source of medical marijuana in Holland is still in operation. tel. 011 - 31 -10 - 479 - 2850 ; Stichting Institute of Medical Marijuana (SIMM) ; Postbus 2008 ; 3000CA Rotterdam, Netherlands. Email firstname.lastname@example.org . For information packet, please send at least U.S. (or equivalent) $10.00 for airmail delivery.
- (June 1998)Stichting Institute of Medical Marijuana Reports Mid Year Finances .
- James Burton's new site for Medical Marijuana in the Netherlands (and Belgium) : click here . If nothing there, try SIMM .
- Maripharm ; P O Box 63047 ; 3002JA Rotterdam Netherlands ; tel 011-31-10-42-52-513.
- Stichting Medi-Wiet. Postbus 51200, 1007 EE , Amsterdam. Connected with Positronics in Amsterdam, the main Dutch proponent of "non commercial" marijuana culture. (Email email@example.com). Netherlands ; 011-31-(0)-20-6797790
The only legal marijuana, in one sense, is that licensed by a government. There is also the possibility of totally unregulated, and not-illegal, marijuana being used medically in nations where marijuana is not prohibited by treaty obligations or laws. pay.
Latest prices quoted by the Stichting are about NL 6 guilders per gram. If James can obtain a greenhouse, he hopes to reduce the price even further, though quality will suffer compared to lamp-only-grown weed.
Copyright 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 NORML Canada.
Marijuana, or Compounds Contained in Marijuana including THC, May Be Effective in Treating Alzheimer's Disease:
- (24 Sept. '07 NORML U.S./British Journal of Pharmacology) Irish Study: Cannabis May Offer Alzheimers Hope.
- (26 October '06 NORML U.S.) Cannabis Agonist Slows Alzheimer's Progression, Study Says (Warning: preclinical research data on animals only.)
- (21 October NORML U.S./Counterpunch) CORPORATE DRUGS USELESS AGAINST ALZHEIMER'S, (Careful analysis of effectiveness of various legal drugs routinely used to treat Alzheimer's disease. Also has a synopsis written by Paul Armentano of NORML U.S. about most recent studies on marijuana compounds in treating Alzheimer's disease. Article written by the editor of the journal of the California Cannabis Research Medical Group.)
- (18 October '06 NORML U.S./Vue Weekly (Alberta, Canada)) Pot about 5 to 10 times more effective than the other "best choice" and legal drugs in halting Alzheimer's Disease according to science according to this article. (I finally find that it's the Scripps Study, same as the next link. This lady also switches THC for pot in her reasoning, but there's a huge amount of HIGH THC POT in Canada!!! And you smoke less pot if you smoke HIGH THC pot. So maybe she's not wrong after all. I do warn you that it's from Canada, a foreign country, and the author doesn't talk like a doctor. WARNING: article written by a MERE CITIZEN of Canada, presumably, not a practicing or licensed doctor.)
- (16 October '06 NORML U.S./Iowa State University Hornet) Scripps Research Institute study of THC, from La Jolla, California. (Mice were studied with good results.)
- (17 August '06 NORML U.S.) Cannabinoid May Halt Alzheimer's Progression, Study Says. (Warning: clinical trial research only.)
- (24 Feb. '05 NORML U.S.) Cannabinoids Stave Off Alzheimer's Decline, Study Says (Warning: clinical trial research only.)
- (21 August '03 NORML U.S.) Pot Compound Reduces Agitation, Improves Appetite In Alzheimer's Patients, Study Says. (Warning: clinical trial research only.)
- (29 May '03 NORML U.S.) Pot Compound Effective In Alzheimer's Treatment, Study Says. (Warning: clinical trial research only.)