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Marijuana may be effective in fight against HIV/AIDS

GLENN TOWNES Special to the AmNews | 5/30/2013, 4:46 p.m.
States spend $3.6 billion on racially biased marijuana arrests

A joint a day will keep the cancer away? It may be crass to promote grass, but a new study released by officials at Harvard University revealed that weed appears to destroy or inhibit the growth of malignant cells associated with Kaposi's sarcoma, a condition common in patients with HIV/AIDS.

"The Harvard study demonstrates the ability of phytocannabinoids to inhibit Kaposi's cells," said Robert Melamede, president and CEO of Cannabis Science, a Colorado-based biotechnology company. Melamede made his comments in a release shortly after the findings were made public. He added that the company is in the process of submitting requests to various research programs in an effort to move into the clinical trials phase.

And David Purdy, president of the World AIDS Institute, which held its annual international conference in Washington, D.C., this past summer, lauded the new study as a major breakthrough in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

"The investigation of the effects on KS by cannabinoids is a fundamental game-changer in the treatment of AIDS-related deaths in the world," Purdy said. In a media release, he added that worldwide there had been a drop in KS treatment research.

Finally, in a related matter, the first medical marijuana facility in New Jersey has hit yet another bump in the road and will not open as quickly as expected. On Friday, state officials announced the Greenleaf Compassion Center in Montclair would not open for a few more weeks. The most recent delay centers around whether the nonprofit facility will pay sales taxes.

For more details on the Harvard/Cannabis Science study, visit www.cannabisscience.com.