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Date: Fri, 17 Jul 1998 06:32:18 -0600
To: carl-olsen@home.com
From: Ethan Russo ptm5739@montana.com
Subject: Addition of my study?

Dear Carl,
        I appreciate the great work you have done on the WWW.  Would you consider adding my study?:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Cannabis for Migraine Treatment   July 12, 1998

        An authoritative review article on "medical marijuana" that examines its long history of use in treating migraine and its underlying scientific basis has just been released in the peer-reviewed journal, Pain, the official journal of the International Association for the Study of Pain, published by Elsevier Science:

Russo, E.B., "Cannabis for Migraine Treatment: The Once and Future Prescription?: An Historical and Scientific Review" Pain 76(1-2):3-8, 1998.

        The article is the most comprehensive review of the topic in the medical literature in over a century, a time when Cannabis was a favored mainstream medicine for migraine and other indications.
        The formatted article is available to those with a pdf viewer at the following URL:

http://www.elsevier.com:80/cas/tree/store/pain/sub/1998/76/1-2/3632.pdf or 3632.pdf

        The pdf viewer may be downloaded, and the article viewed at the following URL:


acrobat.gif (712 bytes)

        An unformatted version of the article will be available shortly at:


and another has been made available by Oregonians for Medical Rights at the following URL:


        Dr. Ethan Russo has been trying since 1996 to obtain official clearance to conduct an FDA approved clinical trial evaluating marijuana's safety and efficacy in a sub-population of patients who have not found relief from other "standard" migraine medications.  In 1997, Dr. Russo's first application to the National Institutes of Health for permission to conduct his study was rejected:


        On June 10, 1998, Dr. Russo submitted a revised double-blind crossover study protocol to the NIH to examine the safety and efficacy of smoked Cannabis as compared to oral dronabinol (synthetic THC- an active ingredient of marijuana) and injected sumatriptan (Imitrex- the current gold standard) in acute migraine treatment.
        Dr. Russo is a clinical neurologist at the Western Montana Clinic in Missoula, MT, Clinical Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Washington, Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Montana, and Medical Director of the Inpatient Pain Treatment Program, St. Patrick Hospital, Missoula, MT.
        Despite the publicity surrounding "medical marijuana," the federal government has approved only one clinical study in the last fifteen years, that of Dr. Donald Abrams of the University of California, San Francisco, to examine its safety in the treatment of AIDS wasting syndrome. Dr. Abrams worked through various channels and federal agencies for six years before he was able to begin his study in May 1998.  Other than Dr. Abrams, Dr. Russo remains the only other researcher seeking permission to study any clinical application of medical marijuana in a patient population.  As a result of his experiences Dr. Russo has been outspoken concerning the hurdles the federal government has erected with regard to Cannabis research.
        Dr. Russo has recently been quoted or provided expert testimony in legal cases in three Western states on clinical applications of Cannabis in neurological disorders and chronic pain conditions.  The issue of "medical marijuana" remains highly charged politically, and debate rages both in Congress and in several statewide ballot measures.  Multiple polls indicate that a majority of the public supports the legalization and availability of Cannabis use by patients to treat a variety of medical conditions.

For further information:

Ethan Russo, M.D.
Department of Neurosciences
Western Montana Clinic
515 West Front St.
Missoula, MT 59807

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