Vol. 2, Number 1
January 1, 2010
cheryl riley, editor & writer
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Who in their right mind would give marijuana to a child?

Who in their right mind would give dangerous chemicals to a child? Millions of parents do this every day, often at the behest of their children’s school officials, when they give strong pharmaceutical drugs to their children with ADHD, ADD and other psychiatric disorders.

Who in their right mind would give marijuana to a child? If those same parents gave their children controlled doses of cannabis they would likely be arrested if found out, but a recent article from the New York Times suggests that medical cannabis can be quite helpful in the treatment of people who suffer with autism, ADD, ADHD and similar conditions. The most commonly-prescribed pharmaceuticals: methylphenidate (Ritalin), amphetamine and dextroamphetamine (Adderall), and pemoline (Cylert) are known to produce serious side effects including, but not limited to, nervousness, headache, depression, rapid heartbeat, blood pressure instability, abdominal pain, cardiac arrhythmia and even stunted growth. Moreover, these substances can lead to dependency and addiction. Ritalin is very similar to cocaine. Cases in which the use of Ritalin has led to death have been recorded.

Why would parents do this to their kids? The answer can only be that they are desperate for help for their children who are struggling with the distressing symptoms of their emotional disorders. The child with the condition is not the only family member who suffers from his ADD/ADHD, autism, or other psychiatric affliction. The stress of living with such a child can negatively affect the entire family.

Mounting anecdotal evidence appears to verify that cannabis produces beneficial results in the treatment of certain mental health disorders, while scientific reports of positive results are emerging from studies conducted abroad. As a “Schedule One” substance, cannabis is illegal in the U.S. even when used as medicine, so medical research may not be carried out on it. Previous research in the U.S. has been done primarily to illustrate the “harmfulness” of the substance.

Certainly, marijuana—like other mind-altering substances—is not without its drawbacks. It must not be ignored that some research results hint at the potential for negative outcomes among young, chronic users, emphasizing the need to proceed with caution when working with younger subjects. Still, the early consensus seems to be that the potential therapeutic benefits of cannabis outweigh the potential risks for most patients. For example, in a recent case in Berkeley, Dr. Frank Lucido authorized marijuana use for a 16-year-old patient with ADHD for whom Ritalin was not effective. The patient just could not seem to stay out of trouble. Aware of cannabis’s safety record and certain that he would be doing his young patient no harm, Dr. Lucido decided to try the patient on cannabis to see whether it might help him.

Dr. Lucido reported that within a year of beginning treatment not only had his patient improved his grades, he was elected president of his class. The patient stated that his brain had started working and, for the first time, he was able to think.

The Medical Board of California questioned Dr. Lucido about his decision to try his patient on cannabis but in the end decided against disciplining him for it. Another doctor, Dr. Edward M. Hallowell, a psychiatrist and author of several books on these behavioral disorders goes so far as to say that marijuana can be a “godsend” for certain patients with ADHD, but he goes on to say that because of the legal issue he discourages his patients from using it. Dr. Hallowell also reports that in some people he has observed a loss of initiative to do anything but get stoned. There is no question that much more research needs to be done before the therapeutic benefit of cannabis treatment for behavior disorders can be established beyond all doubt, but with the major policy reversal announced in November by the American Medical Association, calling for the reclassification of cannabis so that studies on it may commence, it is likely only a matter of time until the medicinal usefulness of the cannabis plant becomes apparent to all.

One thing on which we can all agree is that there needs to be much more medical research into this issue. We encourage Congress and the President to take the advice of the AMA from two weeks ago which urged that “the Schedule I status of marijuana be reviewed with the goal of facilitating clinical research and development of cannabinoid-based medicines, and alternate delivery methods.” Another point of agreement: arresting, fining, and imprisoning parents and doctors who are agonizing over health care decisions involving cannabis therapies for their children is unnecessary and cruel.

Dr Claudia Jenson, who is a consultant pediatrician from USC, has come up with a novel way of treating ADD/ADHD, WITHOUT any of the unwanted side effects which can result from using popularly prescribed medicines.

Attention deficit disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) is a biological, brain based condition that is characterized by poor attention and distractibility and/or hyperactive and impulsive behaviors. It is one of the most common mental disorders that develop in children. Symptoms can continue into adolescence and adulthood. If left untreated, ADHD can lead to poor school/work performance, poor social relationships and a general feeling of low self esteem.

Who's Who in Medical Cannabis - Dr. David Bearman

After working for nearly forty years in substance and drug abuse treatment and prevention programs, Dr. David Bearman has a few questions, including: “Why should the government stand in the way of an individual to take responsibility for their health?” And, “Why should cannabis be in a separate category from other herbal remedies?” Dr. Bearman believes that “it is clear to all but the most scientifically illiterate that cannabis and cannabinoids are medicine.”

A pioneer in free and community clinic activities, Dr. Bearman is one of the leading physicians in the U.S. in the field of medical cannabis. His decades of work in substance abuse treatment and prevention qualify him as an expert, not only in conventional treatment and prevention, but in the therapeutic use of cannabis as well.

In his essay, The Tipping Point, this Santa Barbara physician and surgeon asks another, intriguing question, “Are we finally nearing the end to a long pointless war of hysteria?” Bearman continues, “We may have finally reached a tipping point in this long war on our sanity,” and cites several indicators that the war against cannabis might soon be over:

  • In December, 2005, the FDA finally approved phase III clinical studies for tincture of cannabis, to be conducted by GW Pharmaceuticals (more info here)
  • Two of the most ferocious former federal drug warriors, Congressman Bob Barr and Dr. Andrea Barthwell, Deputy Drug Czar under President George W. Bush, have seen the light and switched sides, now working as spokespeople for the Marijuana Policy Project and GW Pharmaceuticals, respectively.
  • The Hinchey – Rohrbacher Amendment continues to slowly gain support, and that support is expected to increase dramatically in the near future. (No documentation available.)
  • In June 2001, Professor Lyle Craker applied to the DEA for a license to grow and study cannabis at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. A recent ruling in the case seems to finally point toward approval.
  • Americans for Safe Access, or ASA, has filed a suit against the Department of Health and Human Services for violating the Data Quality Control Act of 2002. (The Data Quality Act (DQA) is a measure enacted by Congress to ensure that federal agencies use and disseminate accurate information.) A decision in this case is expected this year.
  • Democratic presidential candidate, Governor William Richardson signed New Mexico’s medical cannabis bill into law and sustained no discernable political ramifications.
  • Growing numbers of U.S. physicians, at least 5,000 documented, are openly supporting medical cannabis.

Dr. Bearman believes that these indicators are undeniable proof of Americans’ collective change of mind about the worth of cannabis as medicine, and that the real issues raised by medical cannabis are Constitutional and philosophical.

Bearman and other informed observers believe that, with the great interest shown by the pharmaceutical industry in the development of new cannabis-based drugs and synthetic cannabinoids, we will benefit from a better understanding of brain chemistry, and that different strains of condition-specific cannabis will continue to be developed, along with similar synthetics, making the future of medicinal cannabis look promising indeed.

Learn more about Dr.David Bearman and his outstanding accomplishments for medical cannabis patients. See http://www.davidbearmanmd.com

What's New

Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Connecticut: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Delaware: Considering a medical marijuana law.

District of Columbia: Congress Lifts Ban on Medical Marijuana.

Florida: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Illinois: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Kansas: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Massachusetts: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Minnesota: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.

New Hampshire: Considering a medical marijuana law.

New Jersey: Considering a medical marijuana law.

New York: Considering a medical marijuana law.

North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.

South Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.

South Dakota: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Tennessee: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Texas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Wisconsin: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Featured Recipe - Patty Pot Peanut Butter Canny Cookies: A Delightful Snack from the Canny Bus Trip Kit by Jay R. Cavanaugh, PhD

All right. No excuses now. Here’s a recipe that’s so easy, so cheap, and so potent that you have to try it. Nancy Wife and I love peanut butter cookies. For us, the chewier and more peanut buttery the cookie, the better they are. This recipe is simple but there are some tricks.

Trick One: Make your cannabutter with unsalted (sweet) butter. Remember, low and slow for that emerald green butter. Check out “Better Bud Butter” for cannabutter preparation tips. Our cannabutter is derived from California Orange from the Western Sierra slopes. Obviously, our butter mentor was named Patty. Either that or we just love alliteration.

Trick Two: Cannabutter does not bake the same way as dairy butter. The melting point and other physical characteristics are different. You can use all cannabutter or use a 75/25 mix of cannabutter and sweet dairy butter. If you dilute the cannabutter you obviously will have less potent cookies. Instead of diluting try adding a bit of Crisco and/or extra peanut butter.

Trick Three: Depending on just how your cannabutter was made, the cookies will cook differently. Remember to check your cookies every couple of minutes after the initial nine minutes. Canny cookies generally cook in about 2/3 thirds of the time as normal. Baking temperatures should be lower.


¾ cup Better Bud Butter (room temperature)
¾ cup cane sugar
1 ¼ cup dark brown sugar
2 eggs
20 oz creamy peanut butter (Nancy only uses Jif)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (oh, use the good stuff)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda (fresh-not the one open in the fridge)
3 to 3 ½ cups of sifted flour


Preheat your oven to 300 degrees and grease up or butter a nonstick cookie sheet (I like the PAM no stick spray of canola oil)

In a large bowl beat the butter until soft (or use a double boiler). Add both sugars and mix until smooth. Mix in the egg and vanilla extract. We use a bowl and large rubber spatula for this. Avoid electric mixers as you may end up with paste instead of cookie dough (Nancy Wife is expert with mixers and can get away with it). A range of flour is given as sometimes you just have to eyeball the amount and use just enough flour to keep the dough from being runny. Sift together all of the dry ingredients and then mix into the butter/egg mixture. Add peanut butter to taste. We use about 20 ounces.

Important Tip: Refrigerate the dough for at least three hours.

Roll the dough into rounded teaspoon sized balls and arrange on the cookie sheet. Press down on each ball with a fork making a crisscross pattern. Bake for 9-12 minutes until light brown. The American Peanut Butter Cookie Association (APBCA) informs me that cookies without the traditional crisscross do not count.

Optional: Add some chocolate bits to the dough when ready or place on the tops of the cookie.

Warning! Depending upon the potency of your cannabutter, these little cookies can be very strong. Do not eat them like you would a bag of Chip Ahoys. One is great. Two is wonderful. Any consumption over two is strictly recreational not medical. Remember cannabis medicine is only illegal for those who enjoy it.

Recommended beverage: Got milk?

Patty Pot Peanut Butter Canny Cookies

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Don't miss the
6th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics
April 15-17, 2010
Providence, RI USA

Medical Marijuana States

District of Columbia
New Mexico
Rhode Island