Sunday, May 31, 2009
Scientists have isolated and identified nine new cannabinoids that have antifungal, anibacterial, and a variety of other biological activities.
By Yun Xie
Humans have been using cannabis for thousands of years for medical treatments, spiritual purposes, textile manufacturing, and other reasons. In recent history, chemists have isolated many cannabinoids, the metabolites in cannabis sativa, and have described some of their biological activities. For example, somecannabinoids have potent effects on multidrug resistant bacteriaand others are effective against pain.
The structures of known cannabinoids also inspire chemists to create synthetic chemicals to mimic certain aspects of their function, like pain reduction, while providing a powerful medical effect and avoiding negative side effects.
Although a lot of work that has been done on cannabis, scientists have not identified every cannabinoid, so many research groups are continuing to identify and categorize the chemicals in cannabis. Samir Ross from the University of Mississippi led one such group in the discovery of nine new cannabinoids, and they published the structures and biological activities of these chemicals in an advanced article in the Journal of Natural Products.
The researchers grew plants from high-potency MexicanC. sativa seeds and harvested the whole buds of mature female plants. They performed chemical extraction and purification procedures on the plant material to isolate the nine cannabinoids. They then determined the molecular structures of these new chemicals using a variety of techniques, including 1D and 2D NMR, UV, and HRESIMS (high resolution electron spray ionization mass spectra).
After figuring out the chemical structures, it was crucial to know how useful these molecules might be in terms of medicinal properties. The first good news was that none of the cannabinoids were toxic to cells extracted from African green monkey kidneys, which meant that they have potential as drugs. Upon closer inspection, several of the compounds had respectable biological activities, as well.
Compound 5 had potent antileishmanial activity, which makes it a possible candidate against leishmaniasis, a parasitic disease that is spread by the bite of the sandfly. Compound 8 was effective at killing Staphylococcus aureus, a frequent cause of staph infections, and compound 7 had good activity against Candida albicans, a fungus that gives people oral and genital infections. The other cannabinoids weren’t as biologically active, but they all had some drug potential. For insistence, compounds 2 and 6 were mildly affective against MRSA, and compound 1 had some antimalarial activity.
The identification of these biologically relevant cannabinoids will give natural product chemists new ideas for future drugs. Even the less active ones can turn out to be useful, as chemists can make modifications of the structures that are more potent.
Journal of Natural Products, 2009. DOI: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/np900067k
Friday, May 29, 2009
Last night the Pacific Beach Planning Board placed Marijuana Dispensaries as an item on their agenda. According to Planning Board member Scott Chipman the issue was placed on the agenda due to concerned calls he had received from locals. However, no concerned citizens actually presented themselves at the meeting. Instead there was a scheduled presentation from Rebecca Hernandez.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
For more details, videos, and articles pertaining to my case please visit: http://sites.google.com/site/peoplevdavidovich/
The Tyranny of San Diego’s Operation GreenRX
By Rocky Neptun
In his brief 28 years, Eugene has followed all the rules, adhered to the law and lived an exemplary life. Yet, today, he stands broken, alone, homeless, persecuted and in daily pain.
Caught up in an out of control San Diego Police Department’s actions and the apparent machinations of an ambitious, power hungry District Attorney; Eugene Davidovich and several dozen other ill San Diegans, including many LGBT community members, have had their lives torn apart and careers ruined.
Davidovich, clean-cut, honest spoken, go-getting; was a child of the American dream, going from good son to impressive student to serving his country in the military. Afterward there came a fine loving marriage, a young son and a promising career in the software development field.
When the anxiety and migraines came several years ago, he followed convention; visiting his doctor, prescription after prescription, with debilitating side-effects resulting in loss of work– until a friend turned him on to the benefits of medical cannabis.
Again, following all the rules; Davidovich joined a medical marijuana collective, got a doctor’s recommendation and a city issued patient card. Self-medicating, effectively and cheaply, he continued his family’s support, confident that he was a law-abiding citizen following the guidelines issued by the California Attorney General as outlined in Proposition 215 and adhering to the city codes and ordinances that legalized and regulated medical marijuana use.
Early this year, along with other legal patients of citywide medical collectives and cooperatives, he was swept up in what appears to be an illicit conspiracy by the Police Chief, William Lansdowne and the ambitious Bonnie Dumanis, to use the power of the badge and the prosecutional muscle of the D.A.’s office to overturn and nullify city ordinances adopted by our elected officials.
Representative democracy appears to be under attack in San Diego as the Police Department, under the apparent orders of the D.A., has broadened a legitimate campaign against drug use on military bases and our campuses called Operation Endless Summer into a witch hunt against medical marijuana users, particularly in our LGBT community.
Dumanis, a Lesbian Republican, is reportedly considering running for the U.S. Senate if Diane Feinstein decides to run for Governor, and according to several insiders needs “body count” to boost her tough, drug-busting image. San Diego’s Police Chief has always detested working under a “liberal” city council. From the harassment and beatings of the homeless and their supporters, to the high profile police shootings of innocent youth, to the continued abuse of police power to persecute legal protected patients; his office schemes with a succession of ideologically driven, Republican mayors rather than work with the council.
Yet, week after week, Davidovich and other legal cannabis users, trudge down to City Council meetings, hoping for fairness and justice, using the open forum period to plead their case. And week after week; eight sphinxes sit, roll their eyes, study reports and continue to ignore the persecution of San Diego citizens or the usurpation of the representative process in San Diego by dictatorial powers.
If the Police Chief can attack legally protected patients, as he is doing in Operation GreenRX; if the District Attorney ‘s office can tell a judge that they have arbitrarily and tyrannically decided that San Diego’s ordinances and laws are invalid [which they did at the preliminary trial of Donna Lambert] without ever informing the City Council or using the legal process to go to a Superior Court or Federal judge to get them overturned: then we have moved ever closer to an Orwellian state.
Davidovich, who followed the rules, yet ended in this Kafka-like nightmare, and all the other ill San Diegans, who thought they were protected by law, only to be attacked and prosecuted by those very authoritarian forces that should be protecting their legal rights, need our help.
Show your support. Join him at his preliminary hearing June 8, 2009 at 8:15am in the San Diego Superior Court (220 W. Broadway, San Diego CA) in Department 11. Send him a few bucks to help him survive [he has lost his job and family because of the publicity]. He can be reached at http://sites.google.com/site/peoplevdavidovich/
“I believe in our justice system, in the rule of law,” Davidovich told me over coffee last week,. “If I had done anything wrong, if I had broke the law, then I would simply plead guilty, accept a plea bargain and end this nightmare.” His fight back, is, indeed, our struggle. If his rights, his legal protections are not valid and can be withdrawn on a prosecutor’s whim or ambition; then, are any of us safe?
[I have secured appointments with Steve Walter, the assistant chief of the narcotics office in the D.A.’s office and with Captain Rosales at Ft. Lansdowne as well as administrative assistants to several city council persons to try and piece together why legally protected citizens are being busted and prosecuted.] More to follow…..
Rocky Neptun is a former elected member of San Diego city government – the mid-city planning board – and served on the city’s needle exchange task force. He is director of the San Diego Renters Union and writes for the MediaLeft website.
This is the video of the delivery of medicine to the undercover officer posing as a patient.
(Courtesy of San Diego District Attorney's Office)
My name is Eugene Davidovich and I have lived in San Diego for over 20 years, four of which I was in the Navy. My service included two gulf deployments and numerous campaigns for which I was awarded medals and letters of commendation from my superiors. After being honorably discharged I completed my education earning an MBA. In addition for the last five years I have been building a successful career in software development.
After the service I developed several conditions. The symptoms I experienced as a result were unbearable, and prevented me from being able to function day to day. My ability to work, live a productive life, and complete my education, was seriously affected. I first turned to my regular doctors, who prescribed multiple pharmaceutical drugs, from which the side effects overpowered the benefits. With the use of medical cannabis I was able to find relief from my symptoms, maintain a normal life, and stay off the doctor prescribed drugs. I used cannabis to relieve the symptoms and was able to complete a Bachelors Degree in Business Management, a Masters in Business Administration, all while working full time on my career as a Software Development Project Manager for an IT company here in town.
When I began to seek access to medical cannabis in San Diego, I first found out that I had to either cultivate it myself, or go to one of three collectives/dispensaries that I found locally. At first I had no knowledge or the ability to cultivate, so I joined one of the collectives and obtained medication from there. In August of 2008 all the collectives that dispensed medication in San Diego were shut down by Local Law Enforcement. This left Orange County as the closest place for safe access. The August 2008 raids effectively eliminated all safe access in San Diego County. At this point I decided to form a collective, cultivate, and collectively distribute medical cannabis to other members of the collective at no profit.
In November of last year I received a call from a patient referring to himself as Jamie Conlan asking to join the collective in order to obtain medical cannabis. He said he suffered from multiple conditions for which his doctor recommended the use of cannabis. After calling his doctor, and verifying that he was in fact a real patient, as well as verifying that his doctor was legally licensed to practice medicine in CA, I called this patient back and explained how the collective works. He joined my collective, and I agreed to meet with him and provide him with medication. I met this patient and provided seven grams of medical cannabis to him at his house in Pacific Beach, a suburb of San Diego.
When I arrived at the house, I first verified that all the information he had provided to me over the phone matched his CA Drivers License by physically inspecting his Driver’s License. I then checked that the same information matched his Recommendation Letter and that the letter appeared to be authentic, and it did. Once I was certain all the information was correct, and that this was the same person who joined the collective over the phone, I went back to my car, got the medicine, went into the house and gave him 7 grams (1/4 of an ounce) of medical cannabis. After a brief conversation I left the house and did not hear from him again.
Three months later, on a Tuesday morning at 7am as I was getting ready for work my house was raided by an armed narcotics team from the San Diego Police Department. After being detained in handcuffs at my house in front of my wife, child, and neighbors for about seven hours, I was hauled off to jail, slapped with four felony charges and $65,000 bail related to the distribution, sales, and possession of marijuana.
The day of my arraignment, the DA’s office held a press conference where they touted the success of operation Endless Summer. (http://www.sdcda.org/files/Operation%20Endless%20Summer%202-13-09.pdf) They proclaimed that they cleaned up the streets of Navy Housing from dangerous drug dealers and seized a large amount of heroin, meth, marijuana, as well as other illegal drugs off the streets of navy housing. During the press conference, there was no mention of medical marijuana or Operation GreenRx.
The evening news quickly picked up the story and that night showed video of me at the arraignment hearing, painting me as the poster child of this operation both mentioning my name and showing my picture following the description of the total number of illegal drugs seized during Operation Endless Summer. (http://www.sandiego6.com/mostpopular/story/Undercover-Drug-Sting-Targets-San-Diego-Military/oQ_CL4MEc0WE5HqZMoELNQ.cspx?articleID=575525)
I am not a dangerous drug dealer, I did not possess any illegal drugs and I was operating the collective under what I truly believed was the guidance of California State Law. As a result of this press conference and charges, my personal and professional life has been permanently damaged.
Two weeks ago I witnessed Jamie Conlan testify against another medical cannabis collective that he had entrapped during this operation. He said in court that he lied to the doctor about his condition and symptoms and that he was able to obtain an authentic recommendation letter using an authentic CA Drivers license with the fake name of Jamie Conlan. He then testified that he targeted the entire medical marijuana community in an operation which at first was called GreenRx and then later renamed to Endless Summer.
A lack of regulations and inconsistencies between city and state laws has resulted in an environment of fear where collectives are raided, patients are prosecuted and safe access to medication without fear simply does not exist. Since medical marijuana is an official legal medication in the state of California, approved by the state senate, there should be no reason for a patient to hide and be afraid of getting the medications they need. The city should re-convene the Medical Marijuana Task Force that has never officially been dissolved, and start seriously considering regulations for the establishment of dispensing collectives and coops here in San Diego.
It is also critical that patients remain at the center of any adopted policy. As such, the leadership of our Department of Health should be at the helm of developing such policies not the local law enforcement. The scarce economic resources we have in this city would be much better spent on working with medical cannabis patients to establish a sanctioned source of medication rather than investigate, prosecute, and damage people’s lives.
The preliminary hearing in my case will be held on June 8, 2009 @ 8:15am in the San Diego
Superior Court (220 W. Broadway, San Diego CA) in Department 11.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org / T: 619-206-9256
My attorney can be contacted at: Michael McCabe 619-231-3958
1/20 San Diego City Planning Commission Meeting
To see all the San Diego ASA News Briefs visit: YouTube.com/SafeAccessSD