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Patients Out of Time
Please attend the Clinical Conference April 26-28 2012 in Tucson, AZ
Welcome to Patients Out of Time – the most credible source of information for medical cannabis in the Nation.
Please be sure to visit their site at www.medicalcannabis.com
Here is their history – I hope you will choose to be part of their future with us!
We will have a feature story every issue from a Patients Out of Time contributor.
History of Patients Out of Time
The first five patients in the US who received their cannabis medicine from the federal government were featured speakers at the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) annual conference held in Washington, DC in 1990. The prime movers of that conference were two members of its Board of Directors, Al Byrne and Mary Lynn Mathre, RN. A fellow member of the Board made a call to a friend at C-Span, the local civic orientated TV channel that is broadcast nationwide, suggesting this conference was worthy of its attention. They agreed and broadcast the entire conference live and repeated the entire program on several occasions.
Forty thousand phone calls poured into the NORML offices that month. The patients had put a new face on marijuana. These were not the stoner hippies so often portrayed in the press, but men and women with gray hair, soft words and serious illnesses. They were everybody’s dad, grandmother or son and the US government provided them with their medicine. The callers were from all over the country, supportive, and wanted to know more about “medical marijuana.”
To maximize our educational effort we created tools for other patient advocates to utilize. Our first project was to produce, Marijuana as Medicine, an award winning video (US and Canada) that has been viewed thousand of times in over 20 countries. This video again reinforced the true image of the patients as everyday folks who were ill and used cannabis successfully as medicine. In their own words they told their stories of sickness, prescription drugs, operations, depression, oncoming blindness, and then the reversal of all those negatives when they started on a protocol of therapeutic cannabis.
After working together informally for a few years, three federal patients and health care professionals with expertise in clinical cannabis applications, formalized their work by incorporating as Patients Out of Time, co-founded by Mathre and Byrne, in the spring of 1995. The organization’s mission was and is to educate health care professionals and the public about therapeutic cannabis. Patients Out of Time worked with the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics (ACT) , an organization created and led by the first U.S. federal medical marijuana patient, Robert Randall and his wife Alice O’Leary as they gradually eased out of the movement due to Bob’s failing health.
To execute its mission, Patients Out of Time decided to approach national professional organizations that were health care focused or had national significance in related fields. Individual MD’s, RN’s and other professionals we had all dealt with over the years were almost universally supportive of medical cannabis but only in private. To overcome the obvious intimidation that had infiltrated medical conversation of individuals publicly, we concluded that a professional organization, taking a supportive stand, would offer personal protection to each member and grant the issue the prestige of the organization.
Mary Lynn Mathre, “ML”, had made the first such presentation to the Virginia Nurses Association in 1994 and they passed a Resolution in support of medical cannabis, the first nursing organization to do so. Over the years the list of support groups has grown to dozens. By 2005 this list included the oldest and largest health care organization in the US, The American Public Health Association; the American Nurses Association; fourteen state nursing associations; and the Institute of Medicine.
Cannabis in Medical Practice: A Legal, Historical and Pharmacological Overview of the Therapeutic Use of Marijuana, edited by Mathre and contributed to by seventeen experts from Brazil, The Netherlands, Jamaica and the United States was published in 1997. This book was created to answer the questions that were being asked by hundreds of patients, to assist their caregivers in understanding the full spectrum of therapeutic cannabis use and to provide hundreds of references should the reader wish to learn more. It has become a classic in its field and continues to be referenced.
By the end of the nineties the awakening provided by C-Span had blossomed into a full-scale awareness that the US government policy on medical cannabis was at best, misguided. To us it seemed just plain mean, based on a relentless propaganda machine that just lied about the issue. The public seemed to agree. Over the decade polls about medical cannabis efficacy and medical necessity climbed from the low 40’s to the mid 70’s, even into the 80 percentile in some states.
In the spring of 2001 in Missoula, MT, four of the federal medical marijuana patients underwent an extensive three-day examination of every system in their body to determine the long term effects of cannabis. The result was the Chronic Cannabis Use in the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program: An Examination of Benefits and Adverse Effects of Legal Clinical Cannabis. Also known widely as The Missoula Chronic Use Study, the investigators concluded that after using cannabis therapeutically for a range of 11 to 27 years, with a dose of nine cured ounces per month for Barbara and others, and eleven cured ounces every 26 days for Irv, they were all in fine condition exempting their original illness and the wear and tear of age. We assume that the federal government never bothered to conduct such long-term studies because it did not want to scientifically validate the efficacy of cannabis. A thorough review of the study, Chronic Cannabis Use in the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program: An Examination of Benefits and Adverse Effects of Legal Clinical Cannabis was published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics and is available for review here: PDF File. The results of the study were presented by Dr. Ethan Russo at the Second Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics in Portland, Oregon in 2002.
By 2008 our Board of Directors includes the four U.S. federal cannabis patients left alive. They are Irv Rosenfeld, Elvy Musikka, George Mcmahon, and Barbara Douglass. Corinne Millet, a founding board member and glaucoma patient from Nebraska, died in December 2007.
An ongoing action of which we play a part is the Petition to Reschedule Cannabis that has been submitted to and forwarded by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The petition, presented as required by government regulations, requests a complete review of all existing literature and research by HHS concerning medical cannabis with the purpose of having cannabis removed from Schedule I (the forbidden category)and rescheduled to a minimum of Schedule III (“off label” prescription level) or less restrictive schedule. The complete document is available at http://www.drugscience.org. The review was to be completed by 2008 according to DHHS rules. Under US law a finding by DHHS that cannabis has medical use would require the DEA to reschedule cannabis. The war on cannabis in the US for medical use would be over. Advocates for medical cannabis in the US are being asked to request their elected representatives to press for an expedited review.
Patients Out of Time is not a membership organization. We are a volunteer cabal of patients, clinicians and scientists who work in the cannabis arena. We depend upon donations from individuals and grants from companies and foundations for our financing. These have included GW Pharmaceuticals of the UK, Advanced Nutrients of Canada, and the Marijuana Policy Project and Solvay Pharmaceuticals of the US. One hundred percent of the donations are expensed for education. No one takes a wage and no speaker has ever asked for an honorarium. We strive to present ourselves as pure to the issue.
We think that purity is very important and our official policy statement is clear: “Patients Out of Time has no other interest, nor does the organization have any opinion, stated or unstated, about any issue other than therapeutic cannabis.” No one is confused about whom we represent or what we want and the federal government has found that disarming. No member of the federal government has ever risen to our call to debate us. The reason is obvious. They can call us no name except “patient advocates” and we would win.
In order for research to be considered of merit it must be replicated and peer reviewed. The results must be made public, scrutinized, and validated. To overcome any federal government dialog that indicated that such research did not exist we started a series of Clinical Conferences on Cannabis Therapeutics beginning in 2000.
Science-Based Clincal Applications, April 2000 - The First National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, held in April 2000 and co-sponsored by Patients Out of Time and the College of Medicine and the College of Nursing of the University of Iowa was the first accredited therapeutic cannabis education program held in the US since 1860. It was real time satellite transmitted to remote sites in the US and Canada.
The Iowa conference began a series of biennial conferences – bringing together leading researchers, doctors, patients, policy makers, lawyers and journalists to share peer-reviewed science and on-going research into medical Cannabis and the Endo-Cannabinoid system.
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Analgesia and other Indications – May, 2002 – The Second Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics was held in Portland, OR and was co-sponsored by the Oregon Department of Human Services, Health Services; Oregon Nurses Association; Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse; and the Portland Community College Institute of Health Professionals. This conference featured the results of “The Missoula Chronic Use Study” – the only evaluation of how over twenty years of federally supplied smoked marijuana affected four US legal patients.
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Cannabis Use Throughout the Lifespan – May, 2004 – The Third National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics was held in Charlottesville, VA, co-sponsored by the Virginia Nurses Association, the Pain Management Center and the Medical, Law and Nursing Schools of the University of Virginia, known in the US for its conservative ways. The faculty included the world’s finest cannabis researchers, clinicians, patients and caregivers from the US, England, Israel, and Canada. At this venue cannabis use as medicine ranged from the therapeutic use by infants and children to use with Hospice patients.
2004 Conference Agenda; Synopses; DVDs and On-Line Videos
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The Mind-Body Connection – April, 2006 – The Fourth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics was held in Santa Barbara, California, hosted by City College of that location and accredited by California health organizations. While various aspects of clinical use were covered, the core of the forum involved both physical cannabis treatment and the use of cannabis for PTSD, ADD, depression and other emotional or psychological problems.
2006 Conference Agenda; Synopses; DVDs and On-Line Videos
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Re-Entering Mainstream Medicine – April, 2008 – The Fifth National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics, held in Pacific Grove, California, was co-sponsored and accredited by the University of California, San Francisco’s School of Medicine. Supporting organizations included the California Nurses Association, Mothers Against Misuse and Abuse (MAMA), and the Compassion Center of Santa Barbara County. The conference faculty included researchers from the U.S., Canada, Israel and The Netherlands. Our theme served to remind attendees that cannabis was a mainstream medicine prior to its wrongful prohibition based on reefer madness and to announce its re-introduction to mainstream medicine based on the booming research in the cannabinoid field today.
2008 Conference Agenda; Synopses; DVDs and On-Line Videos
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We have changed the media face of a cannabis patient in the US forever by presenting a dignified, composed and articulate cast of patients. We have elevated the level of discourse about therapeutic cannabis through the education of health care professionals and their organizations and associations. We will not give up or grow weary of making therapeutic cannabis available for all patients. We can’t - we are Patients Out of Time.