Europe: Finnish Left Party's Youth Organization Calls for Marijuana Legalization

The Left Youth of Finland, the youth organization of the Left Alliance Party (link to official web site in Finnish here) narrowly approved a resolution calling for the legalization of marijuana use and home cultivation. The resolution passed by a two-vote margin at the group's annual convention last weekend, according to Finnish media reports.

While a four-year-old Left Youth drug policy statement said there should be no punishment for personal marijuana use or growing, the group had previously hesitated to call for legalization. In fact, the same policy statement that said marijuana use should not be punished also said that "Cannabis should not be legalized in Finland."

Passage of the resolution comes some six months after Left Youth's Satakunta area chairman was sentenced to a fine for growing and smoking marijuana.

Among those opposing the resolution was new Left Youth president Jussi Saramo. He said the matter needed more consideration and should have been debated in the broader context of overall policy toward intoxicants. "However, as chairman, I stand behind the decision," he added. "We don't need any more drugs, but victimizing the users does not help," Saramo added.

Passage of the resolution puts the Left Youth at odds with its parent organization, the Left Alliance. Party chairman Matti Korhonen criticized the youth group, saying holding a vote at a convention is not the proper way to decide important issues. "The party's starting point is one of zero tolerance," he added.

The Left Alliance, formed in 1990 from former socialist and communist parties, receives around 10% of the vote in Finnish elections. With three strong parties, Finnish governments typically involve multi-party coalitions. The Left Alliance joined coalition governments led by the left-leaning Social Democrats in 1995 and 1999, but it is not part of the current coalition government led by the conservative National Coalition Party.

Under current Finnish drug laws, which changed two years ago to include the offense of "drug use," possession of up to 10 grams of hashish or 15 grams of marijuana is typically punished by a small fine. Growing marijuana plants, however, is still considered a "drug production" offense and is punished more severely.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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THC is a very potent

THC is a very potent chemical compared to other psychoactive drugs.
An intravenous (IV) dose of only one milligram (mg) can produce serious mental and psychological effects. Once in your bloodstream, THC typically reaches the brain within seconds after it is inhaled and begins to go to work. Neurons are the cells that process information in the brain.
Chemicals called neurotransmitters allow neurons to communicate with each other.
Neurotransmitters fill the gap, or synapse, between two neurons and bind to protein receptors, which enable various functions and allow the brain and body to be turned on and off.
Foreign chemicals, like THC, can mimic or block actions of neurotransmitters and interfere with normal functions.
In your brain, there are groups of cannabinoid receptors concentrated in several different places. These cannabinoid receptors have an effect on several mental and physical activities, including:
Short-term memory
Coordination
Learning
Problem solving

Cannabinoid receptors are activated by a neurotransmitter called anandamide. Anandamide belongs to a group of chemicals called cannabinoids. THC is also a cannabinoid chemical.
THC mimics the actions of anandamide, meaning that THC binds with cannabinoid receptors and activates neurons, which causes adverse effects on the mind and body.
High concentrations of cannabinoid receptors exist in the hippocampus, cerebellum and basal ganglia. The hippocampus is located within the temporal lobe and is important for short-term memory.
When the THC binds with the cannabinoid receptors inside the hippocampus, it interferes with the recollection of recent events.
THC also affects coordination, which is controlled by the cerebellum.
The basal ganglia controls unconscious muscle movements, which is another reason why motor coordination is impaired when under the influence of marijuana.
Marijuana is filled with hundreds of chemicals, and when it is burned, hundreds of additional compounds are produced.
When marijuana is inhaled or ingested in some other form, several short-term effects occur. Some of the marijuana's side effects are:
Problems with memory and learning
Distorted perception
Difficulty with thinking and problem solving
Loss of coordination
Increased heart rate
Anxiety, paranoia and panic attacks
The initial effects created by the THC in marijuana wear off after an hour or two, but the chemicals stay in your body for much longer.
The terminal half-life of THC is from about 20 hours to 10 days, depending on the amount and potency of the marijuana used.
This means that if you take one milligram of THC that has a half-life of 20 hours, you will still have 0.031 mg of THC in your body more than four days later.
Ongoing studies now show a number of possible symptoms associated with the cessation of marijuana use. These symptoms most commonly include: irritability, nervousness, depression, anxiety and even anger.
Other symptoms are restlessness, severe changes in appetite, violent outbursts, interrupted sleep or even insomnia.
In addition to these possible physical effects, psychological dependence usually develops because a person's mind craves the high that it gets when using the drug.

KINDA LIKE CRACK COCAINE EVEN THOUGH POT IS NOT A STIMULANT
Beyond these effects that marijuana has, marijuana smokers are susceptible to the same health problems as tobacco smokers, such as bronchitis, emphysema and bronchial asthma. Other effects include dry-mouth, red eyes, impaired motor skills and impaired concentration.
Long-term use of the drug can increase the risk of damaging the lungs and reproductive system, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). It has also been linked to heart attacks.

Typical THC levels, which determines marijuana potency, range from 0.3 to 4 percent. However, some specially grown plants can contain THC levels as high as 15 percent
During early development, cannabidiolic acid is the most prevalent chemical. Later, cannabidiolic acid is converted to cannabidiol, which is later converted to THC
In 2003, drug law enforcement authorities seized 2.7 million pounds (1.2 million kg)of marijuana from illegal operations. Marijuana is also smuggled into the United States from Mexico, Cambodia and Thailand, among other countries.
Approximately 10 percent to 20 percent of the THC is transferred into the body when smoking a joint
About 40 percent to 50 percent of the THC is transferred into the body when using a pipe.

Tens of thousands of people are now in prison for marijuana offenses. An even greater number are punished with probation, fines, and civil sanctions, including having their property seized, their driver's license revoked, and their employment terminated.
People who are intoxicated constantly, regardless of the drug, are unlikely to be productive members of society.

Among high school students, heavy use is associated with school failure, but school failure usually comes first.
The cognitive process most clearly affected by marijuana is short-term memory.
However, they display diminished capacity to learn and recall new information.

NOW ITS YOUR CHOICE
1 JOINT MIGHT NOT KILL YOU OR ANYONE
BUT ITS NEVER 1 JOINT
ITS NEVER 1 DRINK
ITS NEVER 1 SNORT

AND LOOK AT ALL THE FACTS AT WHAT THEY CAN DO
RESEARCH WHAT ALCOHOL AND SMOKING CIGARETTES DO TO THE BODY AND YOU WILL SEE SIMILARITIES AS WELL AS OTHER DRUGS AND YOU BEGIN TO SEE THE ALTERNATIVES THAT ADDICTS TURN TO WHEN LEAVING 1 DRUG FOR ANOTHER

Kaiser Health researchers have published a study showing that marijuana use is correlated with a significant increase in the risk of hospitalization due to injuries. The study, published in the April 2003 edition of the Annals of Epidemiology, covered 64,657 subjects from Northern California, of whom 13,971 were current marijuana users. Researchers found that among men, current marijuana users had a 28% higher rate of hospitalization due to injuries than non-users; among women, the increase was 37%; namely that accidents are the number one health hazard from marijuana use.

Curiously, men who used marijuana more frequently (>1x per week) had a lower injury rate than those who used it only occasionally (risk ratios 1.36 and 2.00 respectively). For women, risks increased with frequency of use. However, in the case of motor vehicle accidents, frequent use of marijuana (>1x per week) was associated with a greater than two-fold increase in injuries in both men and women (2.47 and 2.18 respectively).

The Kaiser study also found a significantly higher rate of injuries due to assaults in males (risk ratio 1.90), a result which is difficult to explain as due to marijuana impairment. Like other drug users, marijuana users are known to have a higher risk preference than the general population, and may therefore be more likely to find themselves in dangerous situations.

Sure its not a big amount but what if its your friend or neighbor who was the one high while driving that night that hurt or killed one of your family members ?

But if you're behind the wheel and you kill or paralyze my family and I find you

Theres gonna be hell to pay

http://www.iamthewitness.com/DarylBr...eenUpdate.html
STOP THE VIOLENCE FOR THE KIDS

prescription drugs

Wow all that histeria!
Maybe you should check out the legal drugs.

As bad as you make marjuana sounds please remember that marijuana is safer than alcohol and tobacco.

Drug elitism?

Its only wrong if congress doesn't like your drug.
Why don't you stop teaching that to kids.

Yes, THC is Very Potent!! =-)

The active ingredient of marijuana could be considerably better at suppressing the abnormal clumping of malformed proteins that is a hallmark of Alzheimer's disease than any currently approved prescription drugs.

Scientists report the finding in the Oct. 2 issue of the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics.

About 4.5 million Americans suffer from Alzheimer's disease, which gradually destroys memory. As more people survive into old age, cases of Alzheimer’s disease are expected to triple over the next 50 years. There is no known cure.
The researchers looked at THC, the compound inside marijuana responsible for its action on the brain.

Computer models suggested THC might inhibit an enzyme with the tongue-twisting name of acetylcholinesterase (also called AChE) that is linked to Alzheimer's.

AChE is known to help accelerate the formation of abnormal protein clumps in the brain, known as amyloid plaques, during Alzheimer's.

This enzyme also helps break down the brain chemical acetylcholine, which is linked to memory and learning. Acetylcholine levels are reduced during Alzheimer's.

In lab experiments, the scientists found THC was significantly better at disrupting the abnormal clumping of malformed proteins.

THC could completely prevent AChE from forming amyloid plaques, while two drugs approved for use against Alzheimer's, donepezil and tacrine, reduced clumping by only 22 and 7 percent, respectively, at twice the concentration of THC used in the tests.

"We're not advocating smoking dope, but if we can make analogues of THC, it could play a role in treating Alzheimer's," researcher Kim Janda, a chemist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., told LiveScience. "It would be nice to do more animal studies along these lines."

Past research on human brain tissues and experiments with rats have suggested that synthetic analogues of THC can reduce the inflammation and prevent the mental decline associated with Alzheimer's disease.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
http://www.webmd.com/alzheimers/news/20061006/marijuana-may-slow-alzheimers

Oct. 6, 2006 -- THC, the key compound in marijuana, may also be the key to new drugs for Alzheimer's disease.

That's because the marijuana compound blocks the formation of brain-clogging Alzheimer's plaques better than current Alzheimer's drugs.

The finding -- in test-tube studies -- comes from the lab of Kim Janda, PhD, director of the Worm Institute of Research and Medicine at Scripps Research Institute.

"While we are certainly not advocating the use of illegal drugs, these findings offer convincing evidence that THC possesses remarkable inhibitory qualities, especially when compared to [Alzheimer's drugs] currently available to patients," Janda says in a news release.

"Although our study is far from final, it does show that there is a previously unrecognized molecular mechanism through which THC may directly affect the progression of Alzheimer's disease."

Janda's team found that THC blocks an enzyme called acetylcholinesterase, which speeds the formation of amyloid plaque in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease.

The Alzheimer's drugs Aricept and Cognex work by blocking acetylcholinesterase. When tested at double the concentration of THC, Aricept blocked plaque formation only 22% as well as THC, and Cognex blocked plaque formation only 7% as well as THC.

"THC and its analogs may provide an improved [treatment for] both the symptoms and progression of Alzheimer's disease," the researchers conclude.

The findings appear in the Aug. 9, 2006 online edition of the journal Molecular Pharmaceutics, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Marijuana Compound May Fight Lung Cancer
04.17.07, 12:00 AM ET

TUESDAY, April 17 (HealthDay News) -- While smoking marijuana is never good for the lungs, the active ingredient in pot may help fight lung cancer, new research shows.
Harvard University researchers have found that, in both laboratory and mouse studies, delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) cuts tumor growth in half in common lung cancer while impeding the cancer's ability to spread.

The compound "seems to have a suppressive effect on certain lines of cancer cells," explained Dr. Len Horovitz, a pulmonary specialist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.

According to the researchers, THC fights lung cancer by curbing epidermal growth factor (EGF), a molecule that promotes the growth and spread of particularly aggressive non-small cell lung cancers. "It seems to go to (EGF) receptor sites on cells and inhibit growth," said Horovitz, who was not involved in the study.

The findings are preliminary, however, and other outside experts urged caution.

"It's an interesting laboratory study (but) you have to have enough additional animal studies to make sure the effect is reproducible and to make sure that there are no overt toxic effects," said Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association. "It's a little more than tantalizing because it's a compound that we know has been in humans and has not caused major problems."

The findings were to be presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Los Angeles.

Lung cancer is the number one cancer killer in the world. Lung tumors that over-produce the EGF receptor tend to be extra-aggressive and don't respond well to chemotherapy.

THC is the main active ingredient of Cannabis sativa --marijuana. It has been shown to inhibit tumor growth in cancer, but specific information on its action against lung cancer has so far been limited.

In the new study, the researchers first showed that two different lung cancer lines, as well as samples from patient lung tumors, produced the cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2.

Endocannabinoids -- cannabinoids produced naturally in the body -- are thought to have an effect on pain, anxiety and inflammation when they bind to cannabinoid receptors.

Next, the researchers injected standard doses of THC into mice implanted with human lung cancer cells. After three weeks of treatment, tumors shrank by about 50 percent in animals treated with THC, compared to those in an untreated control group, the researchers reported.

The findings may shed light on a question that has been puzzling Horovitz: Why hasn't there been a spike in lung cancer in the generation that smoked a lot of marijuana in the 1960s.

"I find it fascinating, wondering if the reasons we're not seeing this spike is that THC inhibits lung cancer cells," he said. "It would be very ironic, although you certainly wouldn't tell somebody who smoked cigarettes to add marijuana."

A second set of findings presented at AACR suggested that a viral-based gene therapy could target both primary and distant tumors, while ignoring healthy cells.

When injected into 15 mice with prostate cancer, this "smart bomb" therapy eliminated all signs of cancer -- effectively curing the rodents. Researchers at Columbia University, in New York City, said the therapy also worked in animals with breast cancer and melanomas.

And in a third hopeful trial reported at the meeting, German researchers at University Children's Hospital, in Ulm, said they've used measles viruses to treat brain tumors. In mouse experiments, the virus attached to the tumor from the inside out, the team said.

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