Affidavit of Bryan A. Krumm RN

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Bryan Krumm RN
New Mexicans for Compassioante Use

Affidavit of Bryan A. Krumm RN


My name is Bryan Alan Krumm. I live in Edgewood, N.M. I am 37 years
old. I am a registered nurse at the University of New Mexico Mental
Health Center and I am working with New Mexicans for Compassionate Use to
end the damage caused to our society by the "war on drugs". I am
recognized by the New Mexico court system as an expert on the medical uses
of marijuana and the history of medical marijuana. I have been studying
the history, effects, and uses of marijuana for over 15 years. I am the
chief researcher for the Cannabis Research Library, the largest online
collection of cannabis research in the world <www.druglibrary.org/crl>.

I use marijuana for the treatment of depression and knee pain, and my
primary care physician has referred me to the Lynn Pierson Therapeutic
Research Program. This program was established under the Controlled
Substances Therapeutic Research Act in 1978, and allows the medical use of
marijuana in New Mexico. Under this program, research was conducted which
proved the safety and efficacy of smoked marijuana for the treatment of
multiple sclerosis and for treating the nausea and vomiting associated
with cancer chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the unreasonable, arbitrary and
capricious actions of the US government led to closure of the program when
they refused to approve further research protocols and then cut off our
supply of marijuana entirely. Therefore, I have three choices. I can
turn to an unreliable and dangerous "black market". I can risk losing
everything I have by cultivating my own medicine. Or, I can go without a
needed medication that has unique pharmacological properties, which can
not be mimicked by any other known class of drug.

The human body contains a complex system of cannabinoid receptors and
produces its own cannabinoids (1,2,3,4), forming an endogenous cannabinoid
system that is involved in normal homeostasis of the immune system
(5,6,7,8), transmission of pain responses (9,10.11,12,13), perception, and
mood (1,8). It has been shown that dysfunction of the endogenous
cannabinoid system is involved in certain disease states (14,15,16,17,18).
It has also been shown that the use of cannabinoids, such as those found
in marijuana, may be effective in treating many of those diseases
(15,19,20,21,22,23). It has been shown that different cannabinoids act
synergistically to produce greater therapeutic effect than single
cannabinoid therapy. When the CB1 receptor agonist, anandamide, is given
at the same time as the CB2 receptor agonist, palmitoylethanolamide, they
produce an analgesic effect one hundred times greater than either
substance when administered by itself (22).

The reason for this synergistic effect is that the human body
contains different types of cannabinoid receptors, which react differently
to different cannabinoids, and are involved in different aspects of the
disease process. For instance, THC is available legally in the United
States as a Schedule III drug. THC is a strong CB1 receptor agonist but
has minimal activity at the CB2 receptor and may actually act as an
antagonist at the CB2 receptor (14). CB2 receptor agonists may prove to
be an important class of medications for the treatment of autoimmune
diseases (7, 24) and are found in whole marijuana but not in THC capsules.

Cannabinoids have been shown to protect the brain against damage from
stroke and trauma (25,26,27) and may protect against neurodegenerative
disorders such as alzheimers and multiple sclerosis (26, 27, 28).
Cannabinoids may also protect against certain types of cancer (29) and
have been shown to inhibit proliferation of certain types of tumor cells
(30, 31, 32) and reduce tumor size. (31) They are effective in treating
various movement disorders (33, 34, 35, 36) and hold potential for
treatment of various psychiatric disorders (37, 38, 39, 40).

Marijuana is far safer than most medications available to us.
Inquiries into the health effects of cannabis has found it to be an
incredibly safe drug (41). In over 5,000 years of use, there has never
been a recorded fatal overdose. An individual would have to smoke over a
thousand high potency cannabis cigarettes in order to have a toxic
reaction, making it impossible to have a fatal overdose (42). The low
density of receptors in medullary nuclei is consistent with the lack of
lethal effects in humans (43). The studies on chronic marijuana use that
have been conducted suggest that tolerance rapidly develops to many of the
effects of cannabis use and field studies have failed to find any major
consequences from chronic heavy use of cannabis (44). No clinical
evidence has been discovered suggesting increased prevalence of
opportunistic infection or malignancy among cannabis users (45). A study
of 65,171 individuals found that marijuana use has little effect in
non-AIDS mortality in men and total mortality in women. The effect on
AIDS related mortality in men was probably not causal but rather
represented an uncontrolled confounding factor associated with male
homosexual behavior (46).

Although the federal government is aware of the therapeutic potential
of marijuana, they have routinely suppressed scientific findings. For
example, a two-year study of THC was conducted on rats and mice that found
THC treated animals had significantly lower rates of many types of cancer.
This report was shelved for over two years until a copy was leaked to AIDS
Treatment News, stamped on every page "NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION OR
ATTRIBUTION" (47). Health and Human Services quickly made a version
available to the public after being confronted with the leaked copy (29).

Another example is the 1997 NIH Workshop on the Medical Utility of
Marijuana. The transcripts from the workshop show that the panel of
experts agreed marijuana has medical value (48). It was even found that
"the evidence is perfectly clear that smoking is an outstanding route of
administration....it's a very safe drug and therefore it would be
perfectly safe medically to let the patient determine their own dose
through the smoking route" (ibid p.28-29). The Executive Summary that was
issued to the public by NIH was far less enthusiastic than the group of
experts. It recommended further research and no smoking (49).

This comes as little surprise. For over a century, every serious
scientific inquiry into the effects of marijuana have found it to be an
incredibly safe drug that causes little harm to society. It has routinely
been found that marijuana prohibition, causes more harm to society than
marijuana use (41). The US Government has routinely ignored science, as
well as the will of The People, who have passed medical marijuana
measures. They continue to persecute all marijuana users, including those
who need its important healing properties. After all, marijuana
prohibition is founded in racism and intolerance, not science. At a
luncheon, October 7'th, in Albuquerque, I had the opportunity to ask
General Barry McCaffrey, Director of the Office of National Drug Control
Policy, why he still supports persecuting medical marijuana users such as
myself. I pointed out that the report he commissioned from the Institute
of Medicine recommended allowing smoked marijuana for medical use under
certain circumstances (50). He responded to a room full of people that
the report was available on his web site and that it did not recommend
smoked marijuana under any circumstances. Then he called medical marijuana
a crock.

When the Mexican American War was ended by the Treaty of Guadalupe
Hidalgo, it did not end the hostile feelings many Americans harbored
towards Mexicans. As Mexicans immigrated to the western states and took
scarce jobs, it created more tension. These immigrants also brought their
cultural and religious traditions, one of which was the use of "marijuana"
for medical, religious, and recreational purposes.

Within the traditions of Curanderismo, marijuana is called La Santa
Rosa, or the sacred rose. It is used as part of a religious healing
ceremony and is considered to be a piece of the heart of God (51,52).
When passing its first anti-marijuana laws in 1929, the Montana
Legislature, described such a ceremony as an "imaginary bullfight for the
favor of Spanish Rose" and went on to say it deplores these "international
complications" (53).

When passing early marijuana laws, numerous state legislatures
described marijuana as a drug that causes Mexicans to go insane . The
attitudes and intent of the people of Colorado are illustrated in a letter
from Floyd K. Baskette, City Editor of The Alamosa Daily Courier of
Alamosa, Colorado, which was read into the record of the hearings on the
1937 Marihuana Tax Act (the first federal law regulating marijuana) by
Harry J. Anslinger, Commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. This
letter stated in part:

I wish I could show you what a small marihuana cigarette can do to
one of our degenerate Spanish-speaking residents. That's
why our problem is so great; the greatest percentage of our
population is composed of Spanish-speaking persons, most of
who are low mentally, because of social and racial conditions (54).

While this was considered in passing federal anti-marijuana
legislation, the opinion of the American Medical Association was ignored.
Dr. William C. Woodward was Chief Counsel to the American Medical
Association. The AMA was aware of the therapeutic potential of marijuana
(or as they knew it, cannabis) and did not want it to be removed from
medical use. Dr. Woodward came to testify for the AMA testifying that,
"The American Medical Association knows of no evidence that marihuana is a
dangerous drug." One of the Congressmen said in response, "Doctor, if
you can't say something good about what we are trying to do, why don't you
go home?" The next Congressman said, "Doctor, if you haven't got
something better to say than that, we are sick of hearing you." (55)

Early marijuana laws were intended not only to oppress Mexican
immigrants, but to prevent them from the free practice of religion. Today
these laws not only prevent millions of Americans from freely practicing
religion but millions more suffer from lack of needed medication under
these oppressive policies. Millions of others have suffered the severe
legal and social consequences associated with being arrested for marijuana
use. There is no scientific rationale to justify the demonization,
criminalization and persecution of millions of otherwise law-abiding
citizens.

Prohibition serves to protect the financial interests of industries
that would have to compete with marijuana in a free market. It assures
the financial success of those responsible for waging this war on the
American People. It strips us of our inalienable rights to life, liberty,
and the pursuit of happiness. I live in fear that a small army of masked
gunmen may come bursting through my door at 3 am and shoot me in the back
while I'm lying in bed, simply for being a medical marijuana user. In
view of the number of deaths by drug warrior our society has suffered,
it's a very real fear for medical marijuana patients living in the United
States.