Vol. 3, Number 4
April 1, 2011
cheryl riley, editor & writer
Dr. David Bearman, writer
Gradi Jordan, writer
Who's Who
What's New
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AAMC California
AAMC El Dorado County CA
AAMC Idaho
AAMC Kansas
AAMC Oregon
AAMC Washington

Roger Egeberg, MD – (Who?) On Rescheduling Marijuana - by David Bearman, MD

The Controlled Substances Act
This Controlled Substances Act divided drugs up into five schedules allegedly going from least medically useful and most susceptible to abuse, to more medically valuable with less abuse potential. Cannabis was placed in the most restrictive category, Schedule I. It appears that the Department of Health, Education and Welfare did not believe that cannabis should permanently be a Schedule I drug. In fact, this designation was just supposed to be a temporary place holder until certain studies, most notable the Nixon Marijuana Commission (aka the Shaeffer Commission) were completed and the Commission had made its recommendations.

Who Was Egeberg?
Roger O. Egeberg, M.D. was a reasonable bureaucrat. He was Assistant Secretary of Health in the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (now the United States Department of Health and Human Services) during the Richard Nixon administration, and former Dean of the University of Southern California’s Medical School. He spoke at the 1972 National Free Clinic Conference at the Shoreham Hotel in Washington.

What Advice Did Dr. Egeberg Give Congress?
In 1970, the committee reviewing the Controlled Substances Act requested Dr. Egeberg’s advice on how marijuana should be regulated. His letter to Harley O. Staggers, Chairman of the House Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce, suggested that he seriously questioned if cannabis should be either schedule I or II. Sadly waiting for the funding of the Nixon Marijuana Commission led to marijuana being “temporarily” placed in Schedule I, which is where cannabis still resides.

    “Dear Mr. Chairman:

    “In a prior communication, comments requested by your committee on the scientific aspects of the drug classification scheme incorporated in H.R. 18583 were provided. This communication is concerned with the proposed classification of marihuana.

    “...it is presently classed in schedule I (C) along with its active constituents, the tetrahydrocannabinols and other psychotropic drugs.

    “Some questions have been raised whether the use of the plant itself produces “severe psychological or physical dependence” as required by a schedule I or even schedule II criterion. Since there is still a considerable void in our knowledge of the plant and effects of the active drug contained in it, our recommendation is that marihuana be retained with schedule I at least until the completion of certain studies now underway to resolve the issue. If those studies make it appropriate for the Attorney General to change the placement of marihuana to a different schedule, he may do so in accordance with the authority provided under section 201 of the bill…

    “Sincerely yours,
    (signed) Roger O. Egeberg, M.D.”

Egeberg was satisfied to move marijuana out of Schedule I after we learned a bit more about the plant. The National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse reviewed all the research available at the time and concluded that the science dictated that marijuana be legalized. That did not happen.

The decision regarding marijuana’s legal status in response to recommendations of the federally appointed Nixon Marijuana Commission became a political one, not a scientific one. In the end Nixon did not follow the recommendation of the blue ribbon panel to legalize recreational use of marijuana. Had this occurred there would be no “War on Drugs.”

Now in the twenty-first century over 20,000 studies have been done on cannabis and cannabinoids. The California Marijuana Research Center has done more than 18 FDA approved smoked cannabis medical studies at four UC Medical Schools. Fifteen states have legalized cannabis for medical purposes. At this writing four countries have approved Sativex, tincture of cannabis (called liquid marijuana by Rob Kampia of MPP) to be sold as a medicine. So if we were to follow Dr. Egeberg’s advice, cannabis would likely be no more than a schedule III drug as Marinol is today but even reschedule IV or V or unscheduled (as was recommended by Nixon’s Commission).

This is consistent with the findings of fact by Administrative Law Judge Francis L. Young in September 1988, after reviewing all the evidence on rescheduling cannabis. He recommended it be moved from Schedule I to Schedule II. He wrote,
    “In strict medical terms, marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating ten raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.”

Who's Who in Medical Cannabis - Donald I. Abrams, MD - by c.a. riley

Dr Donald Abrams, professor of Clinical Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, has been on the cutting edge of HIV/AIDS research and treatment for many years, beginning with his treatment of AIDS patients in San Francisco shortly after the disease was first identified in the United States.

Dr Abrams was involved in many of the initial trials of immune modulators and antiretroviral agents conducted by the AIDS Program at San Francisco General Hospital. He was one of the original investigators in the San Francisco AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and was one of the first doctors to treat AIDS patients with cannabis. He received a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to conduct clinical studies on cannabis therapy in HIV patients and has been a charter member of the Antiviral Advisory Committee of the Food and Drug Administration.

Abrams has studied several alternative therapies, including other botanical therapies, in addition to his work with medical cannabis. These treatments include traditional Chinese herbal medicine interventions, therapeutic massage and mind-body treatments.

In December 2004, Dr Abrams completed a two-year Fellowship in the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, during which time he focused his studies on the role of nutrition in the treatment of cancer. He worked with Doctor Harold Varmus during this time, studying for eight months in Varmus’s retrovirology lab before resuming clinical work.

Dr Abrams enjoys designing clinical studies and sponsored the first analytical human study on the effects of vaporizers.

Donald Abrams’ medical career began with his extensive education. In 1972 he received his Molecular Biology Artium Baccalaureatus (AB) degree from Brown University. (An AB is the equivalent of a BA, or Bachelor of Arts degree.) Abrams graduated from the Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977 and fulfilled his Internal Medicine residency with the Kaiser Foundation Hospital in San Francisco. Three years later, he became a fellow in Hematology/Oncology at the Cancer Research Institute of the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr Abrams has served as chairman and principal investigator of an association of Bay Area HIV Health Care Providers, the Community Consortium. This community-based clinical trials group, one of the first of its kind, was established in 1985.

A former member of various Education sub-committees of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Dr Abrams has written numerous manuscripts on clinical aspects and treatments of HIV infection. In 1990 he received the Assistant Secretary of Health’s Award for Outstanding Accomplishment.

With Dr Andrew Weil, Dr Abrams co-edited an Oxford University Press textbook in Integrative Oncology and he has served as Assistant Director of the Positive Health Program at San Francisco General Hospital. He is a member of the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center Executive Committee, and co-chairs the Center's developing program in Symptom Management, Palliative Care and Survivorship.

Like many medical cannabis pioneers, Dr Abrams remains in the San Francisco/Oakland area. In 2006 he resigned from the HIV Clinic at San Francisco General Hospital to turn his attention to integrative medicine and oncology and now provides Integrative Oncology consultations at the UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine. Abrams is Past-President of the Society for Integrative Oncology. It is difficult to imagine much advancement in the management of cannabis therapy without the innovative work of Dr Donald Abrams.

What's New

Alabama: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB642 - The Michael Phillips Compassionate Care Act of Alabama

Arkansas: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Connecticut: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Delaware: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   Senate Bill 17 passed March 31, 2011

Florida: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.

Idaho: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Illinois: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   Bill Status of SB1381

Indiana: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Iowa: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Kansas: Medical marijuana petition drive underway.
   Marijuana Bill Reaches House
   Cannabis Compassion and Care Act

Maryland: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   Bill Status of SB 627

Massachusetts: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Minnesota: Considering a medical marijuana law.

Missouri: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HOUSE BILL NO. 1670 - An Act relating to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes
   Cottleville Mayor Don Yarber hopes Missouri legislature passes medical marijuana law

New Hampshire: Considering a medical marijuana law.

New York: Considering a medical marijuana law.

North Carolina: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   North Carolina Medical Cannabis Act

Ohio: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB 214

Pennsylvania: Considering a medical marijuana law.
   HB 1393

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.
   The Jacki Rickert Medical Marijuana Act

Featured Recipe - Ginger Snap Heaven

Contributed by Ms. BuB

We are fortunate indeed to be receiving some wonderful recipes from friends and readers. This cookie treat recipe was provided by a very cool lady who knows how to cook. She uses the "Hacksaw" crock pot method of making cannabutter. I've tried it and it works great.

If you're like me you're not an immediate fan of ginger snaps. These, though, are great. Ms. BuB has come up with a recipe that is scrumptious without any canny aftertaste.


½ cup Better Bud Butter or Hacksaw butter
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp each: ground nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, and ground cloves
1 ½ cups of flour


Melt the butter over low heat and mix in molasses then sugar. Stir well. Sift together all of the dry ingredients (sifting both mixes and adds air) then gradually add to butter/molasses/sugar mixture with constant stirring and heat turned off.

Roll the cookie dough into a log, wrap in wax paper, and refrigerate until firm.

Remove from refrigerator, unwrap, and slice thin, placing the cookies on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Cookies will plump up. Cool on a rack and enjoy!

Warning from Ms. BuB: Do not eat too many cookies! These are very potent and sneaky cookies.


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Follow AAMC on:
7th National Clinical Conference on Cannabis Therapeutics
April 26-28, 2012
Tucson, AZ USA

Medical Marijuana States

Arizona *
District of Columbia
Maine *
Michigan *
Montana *
New Jersey
New Mexico
Rhode Island *

* States with reciprocity law