Medical marijuana may help fibromyalgia pain

By Anne Harding, CNN
February 22, 2010 5:22 p.m. EST

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/02/22/medical.marijuana/

Lynda, a 48-year-old mother of three who lives in upstate New York, got a diagnosis of fibromyalgia in 2000. While there are prescription medications for fibromyalgia, she’s found one unconventional drug — marijuana — that really does the trick.

“I would use [marijuana] when the burning pains started down my spine or my right arm, and shortly after, I found I could continue with housework and actually get more done,” says Lynda.

Fibromyalgia is notoriously difficult to treat and only 35 percent – 40 percent of people with the chronic pain condition get relief from the available medications. Although there are strong opinions surrounding its use, some patients are trying marijuana — legally or illegally — and finding it can help fibromyalgia pain.

“My patients are asking me all the time about it,” says Stuart Silverman, M.D., a rheumatologist at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, in Los Angeles. “Historically and anecdotally, marijuana has been used as a painkiller.”

Why marijuana sometimes helps

Our bodies naturally make pain relievers called endorphins, but they also make other substances that can trigger pain relief in the so-called endocannabinoid system. This system seems to play a key role in many processes in the body, including modulating how we feel pain. Marijuana contains cannabinoids very similar to those that occur in the body
naturally.

Fibromyalgia patients typically experience bodywide pain, but they must often take multiple drugs for other symptoms, which can include difficulty sleeping, restless legs syndrome, depression, and anxiety. However, marijuana may treat multiple symptoms, and some patients are seeing results.

It seems logical — why shouldn’t fibromyalgia sufferers try marijuana for their symptoms, if they live in a state where medical marijuana is legal?

But there are two problems with herbal cannabis, Silverman and other critics say: It’s a complex natural substance that contains about 60 different compounds with potentially medicinal effects, some of which may interact with one another. The other problem is that the amount of these various compounds may vary by batch, as marijuana is not synthesized but grown.

While Silverman says he has great hopes that synthetic medicines based on individual compounds in cannabis may one day help fibromyalgia patients (after appropriate randomized controlled clinical trials have been done), he argues that the real thing today is just too inconsistent.

“We think that there’s probably a role for that class of compounds, the cannabinoids in general, and it’s just a question of working out how that’s going to be put into practice,” says Mark Ware, M.D., an assistant professor in family medicine and anesthesia at McGill University, in Montreal, and the executive director of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids.

Drugs derived from marijuana

Ware recently published a study showing that one such compound, nabilone (Cesamet), helped fibromyalgia patients sleep better. It was more effective than amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressant often prescribed to fibromyalgia patients to ease pain and improve sleep. And a study published a couple of years ago found nabilone helped lessen pain and anxiety in fibromyalgia patients.

Nabilone is a synthetic analog of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol — THC for short — often thought of as the active ingredient of cannabis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the drug back in 1985 for treating nausea in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.

The only other cannabis-based drug now on the market in the U.S. is dronabinol, which is sold as Marinol in the U.S. and is FDA-approved for treating chemo-related nausea and vomiting. It hasn’t been tested formally in fibromyalgia patients, although Lynda received a prescription for Marinol in 2006.

“The drug makes me more tired and doesn’t last long enough in my system, but I’ve stuck with it since then for two basic reasons — I do supplement with marijuana, just not as many times per day,” she says. “There are times that I don’t use all day or week or month.”

A third cannabis-based medicine, Sativex, is now in clinical trials in the United States for treating cancer pain.

The drug is sprayed under the tongue or into the cheek, and contains THC and cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis that eases inflammation and pain and may also reduce the side effects of THC (like anxiety, hunger production, and some of the intoxicating properties), as well as a number of other compounds (other cannabinoids and terpenoids, which are analgesics in their own rights).

But do they help?

“It is quite possible that cannabis-based medicines could be helpful for sufferers of fibromyalgia based on available science,” says Ethan Russo, M.D., who is senior medical advisor to GW Pharmaceuticals, which makes Sativex, and a study physician for the U.S. clinical trials now underway for cancer treatment.

Russo says he’s hopeful Sativex will get FDA approval for treating cancer pain in 2013. “While a theoretical basis for Sativex potentially helping benefit fibromyalgia symptoms is quite strong, and we know it has been very helpful with neuropathic pain and sleep disturbance in many other conditions,” he adds, “it’s ultimate utility in fibromyalgia can only be proven in a meaningful, practical fashion through formal randomized clinical
trials.”

For now, Ware says, patients with fibromyalgia who aren’t being helped by their existing treatment might want to discuss nabilone with their physician. “A lot of doctors just don’t know that these prescription cannabinoids exist,” he says.

However, these drugs have side effects too. “The most typical side effects are what I call the three D’s: drowsiness, dizziness, and dry mouth. It’s not euphoria as such,” he adds.

In Canada, federal law allows patients to use medical marijuana with a doctor’s support (they can’t prescribe marijuana because it’s not approved as a drug in Canada) of the patient’s application to possess; the drug is delivered directly to the patient, and grown under controlled conditions by the government.

“I have patients with a range of pain syndromes who have failed all their other treatments and for whom herbal cannabis has been the only reasonable option that they have that controls their symptoms,” Ware says. In such cases, he adds, he will help the patient obtain the card they need to authorize them to possess the drug.

But in the U.S., the legality of medical marijuana is determined state-by-state (it’s now legal in 14 states), and rules and regulations vary widely.

And while Attorney General Eric Holder said last year that he would no longer go after people who were selling or using medical marijuana legally, many users — and potential users — are fearful of the legal risks they may be taking.

“Licensed for use or not, it’s still a federal crime, says Dee, a 52-year-old medical assistant with fibromyalgia, who lives in Colorado, which passed a law allowing medical marijuana in 2000. While visiting a wellness center for therapeutic massages, staffers suggested she try marijuana for her symptoms.

After getting her doctor’s approval, “I tried a little of this and a little of that. I would say that most of the time my pain was not relieved,” although she did sleep better and had a better appetite. “I did find one plant that really did help, but it was hard to get, and you only get so much grown per plant for year.”

So when the time came for Dee to get her state license to use medical marijuana (Colorado gives people 90 days), at a cost of $90 every year, “I let the ball drop.”

While Dee says she has no problem with medical marijuana, she is concerned about the increase of dispensaries across the state. “There are more places to purchase medical marijuana than banks or Mexican restaurants now,” she says.

In New York, the state assembly has approved medical marijuana legislation, and Lynda says she is working to support legalization efforts there. For now, legal or not, she is continuing to use marijuana.

“I would suggest to any ‘fibromyalgiac’ to try marijuana if they are open to it,” says Lynda.

“I swore when I became a parent I would not touch weed again (ah, youth), but times have changed, and I was desperate to find something for the burning pain so I could function. I’m glad that I made this decision because it works for me.”

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/02/22/medical.marijuana/

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UC Studies Show Marijuana Has Therapeutic Value, Reports to Legislature

http://health.ucsd.edu/news/2010/2-17-medical-marijuana.htm
CMCR News Release

Date:  February 17, 2010

UC Studies Show Marijuana Has Therapeutic Value, Reports to Legislature

First results in United States in 20 years from clinical trials of smoked cannabis

Researchers from the University of Californiaís Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) have found ìreasonable evidence that cannabis is a promising treatmentî for some specific, pain-related medical conditions. Their findings, presented today to the California legislature and public, are included in a report available on the CMCR web site at
http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu.

“We focused on illnesses where current medical treatment does not provide adequate relief or coverage of symptoms,” explained CMCR director, Igor Grant, MD, Executive Vice-Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the UCSD School of Medicine.  “These findings provide a strong, science-based context in which policy makers and the public can begin discussing the place of cannabis in medical care.”

Researchers have completed five scientific clinical trials, with more in progress.  These studies showed that cannabis can be helpful in easing pain in selected syndromes caused by injury or diseases of the nervous system and possibly for painful muscle spasms due to multiple sclerosis.

“These scientists created an unparalleled program of systematic research, focused on science-based answers rather than political or social beliefs,” said Senator John Vasconcellos, original author of The Medical Marijuana Research Act of 1999 (SB847) which led to the creation of the CMCR.

Study results have been published in high-impact medical journals, garnering national and international attention which prompted leading experts to come together and foster scientific dialog on the possible uses of cannabis as a therapeutic agent.  More study will be necessary to figure out the mechanisms of action and the full therapeutic potential of cannabinoid compounds, according to the UC researchers.

About The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research:

The CMCR was created in 2000 (through the passage of SB847) to conduct clinical and pre-clinical trials of cannabinoids, including smoked marijuana, to provide evidence, one way or the other, to answer the question “Does marijuana have therapeutic value?”  The program’s purpose is to oversee objective, high-quality, medical research that would enhance understanding of the efficacy and adverse effects of marijuana as a
pharmacological agent.  The project was never to be construed as encouraging or sanctioning the social or recreational use of marijuana.
http://www.cmcr.ucsd.edu

Combining Components of Marijuana Enhances Inhibitory Effects on Brain Cancer

Combining Components of Marijuana Enhances Inhibitory Effects on Brain Cancer

Released: 1/6/2010 3:00 PM EST

Embargo expired: 1/11/2010 12:05 AM EST

Source: California Pacific Medical Center

Newswise — Combining the two most common cannabinoid compounds in Cannabis may boost the effectiveness of treatments to inhibit the growth of brain cancer cells and increase the number of brain cancer cells that die off. That’s the finding of a new study published in the latest issue of the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics.

Researchers at the California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute (CPMCRI) combined the non-psychoactive Cannabis compound, cannabidiol (CBD), with Δ9-tetrahyrdocannabinol (Δ9-THC), the primary psychoactive active ingredient in Cannabis. They found the combination boosts the inhibitory effects of Δ9-THC on glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain tumor and the cancer that claimed the life of Sen. Ted Kennedy last year.

“Our study not only suggests that combining these two compounds creates a synergistic effect,” says Sean McAllister, Ph.D., a scientist at CPMCRI and the lead author of the study. “but it also helps identify molecular mechanisms at work here, and that may lead to more effective treatments for glioblastoma and potentially other aggressive cancers.”

Previous studies had shown that Δ9-THC was effective in inhibiting brain cancer growth in cell cultures and in animal models and prompted a small clinical trial in Spain. There is also evidence that other compounds in Cannabis might prove effective against tumors, but limited scientific evidence is available. The CPMCRI researchers screened a number of different cannabis-based compounds before settling on CBD as the most active one.

“Compared to using Δ9-THC alone against glioblastoma cell lines, the combination therapy of Δ9-THC and CBD showed a significant improvement in activity, both in slowing down the growth of those cells and also, and perhaps more importantly, in doubling the number of cancer cells which underwent apoptosis or programmed cell death,” says Dr. McAllister.

The next step in the research is to carry out similar studies in animal models of aggressive brain cancer. Even if the synergistic effect is not evident in those studies, the combination treatments may allow for stronger doses to be given to patients due to non-overlapping toxicities and decrease development of resistance to the activity of Δ9-THC or CBD alone.

Despite the promising findings of the study the researchers point out that they are not a recommendation for people with brain cancer to smoke marijuana. They say it is highly unlikely that effective concentrations of either Δ9-THC or CBD could be reached by smoking cannabis.

The study was funded by the National Institute of Health and the SETH group.

California Pacific Medical Center. Beyond Medicine.

At San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center, we believe in the power of medicine. We research the most up-to-date treatments, hire the most qualified individuals, and practice the most modern, innovative medicine available. We deliver the highest quality expert care, with kindness and compassion, in acute, post-acute and outpatient services, as well as preventive and complementary medicine. But we also believe that medicine
alone is only part of the solution. That’s why we look intently at each individual case and treat the whole person, not just the illness. It’s why we go beyond medical care and provide our patients with things like disease counseling, family support and wellness treatments. As one of California’s largest private, community-based, not-for-profit, teaching medical centers, and a Sutter Health affiliate, we are able to reach deep into our community
to provide education, screening and financial support in some of the city’s most underserved neighborhoods. Medicine can transform a body. But going beyond medicine can transform a life. www.cpmc.org

http://www.newswise.com/articles/combining-components-of-marijuana-enhances-inhibitory-effects-on-brain-cancer

Cannabis Hope for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Cannabis Hope for Inflammatory Bowel Disease

ScienceDaily (Dec. 21, 2009) — Chemicals found in cannabis could prove an effective treatment for the inflammatory bowel diseases Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, say scientists.

Laboratory tests have shown that two compounds found in the cannabis plant — the cannabinoids THC and cannabidiol — interact with the body’s system that controls gut function.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, which affect about one in every 250 people in Northern Europe, are caused by both genetic and environmental factors. The researchers believe that a genetic susceptibility coupled with other triggers, such as diet, stress or bacterial imbalance, leads to a defective immune response.

Dr Karen Wright, Peel Trust Lecturer in Biomedicine at Lancaster University, presented her soon-to-be published work at The British Pharmacological Society’s Winter Meeting in London.

She said: “The lining of the intestines provides a barrier against the contents of the gut but in people with Crohn’s Disease this barrier leaks and bacteria can escape into the intestinal tissue leading to an inappropriate immune response.

“If we could find a way to restore barrier integrity in patients we may be able to curb the inflammatory immune response that causes these chronic conditions.”

Dr Wright, working with colleagues at the School of Graduate Entry Medicine and Health in Derby, has shown that cells that react to cannabinoid compounds play an important role in normal gut function as well as the immune system’s inflammatory response.

“The body produces its own cannabinoid molecules, called endocannabinoids, which we have shown increase the permeability of the epithelium during inflammation, implying that overproduction may be detrimental,” said Dr Wright.

“However, we were able to reverse this process using plant-derived cannabinoids, which appeared to allow the epithelial cells to form tighter bonds with each other and restore the membrane barrier.”

The research was carried out using cell cultures in a dish but, interestingly, when the team attempted to mimic the conditions of the gut by reducing the amount of oxygen in the cells’ environment, much lower concentrations of cannabinoid were needed to produce the same effect.

Dr Wright added: “What is also encouraging is that while THC has psychoactive properties and is responsible for the ‘high’ people experience when using cannabis, cannabidiol, which has also proved effective in restoring membrane integrity, does not possess such properties.”

Story Source:

Adapted from materials provided by British Pharmacological Society, via AlphaGalileo.

Need to cite this story in your essay, paper, or report? Use one of the following formats:

APA – British Pharmacological Society (2009, December 21). Cannabis hope for inflammatory bowel disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 21, 2009, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/12/091220175502.htm

MLA – British Pharmacological Society. “Cannabis Hope for Inflammatory Bowel
Disease.” ScienceDaily 21 December 2009. 21 December 2009 <
http://www.sciencedaily.com­ /releases/2009/12/091220175502.htm>.

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091220175502.htm

Pot shows promise for reducing multiple sclerosis patients’ symptoms

Pot shows promise for reducing multiple sclerosis patients’ symptoms

By Katherine Harmon
Dec 2, 2009 07:01 PM

Doses of cannabis might help multiple sclerosis (MS) patients subdue their body spasms and move about more easily, according to a new review of recent studies. However, the authors of the paper note, the patients’ apparent relief could also be a matter of perception.

After reviewing six trials that tested the effects of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) extracts on muscle spasms in a total of 481 MS patients, the authors found “evidence that combined THC and CBD extracts may provide therapeutic benefit.”

In five of the six double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trials the researchers analyzed, cannabis-taking patients reported decreases in their spasms. “The subjective experience of symptom reduction was generally found to be significant,” wrote the authors, based at the Global Neuroscience Initiative Foundation in Los Angeles. However, the authors conceded, “participants of both active and placebo trials may not be entirely blind to their treatment status, and this may affect subjective analysis.”

So despite the promising patient reports, MS patients might not get a green light for this treatment just yet. “Objective measures of spasticity failed to provide significant changes,” the authors concluded in the paper, published online Wednesday in the journal BMC Neurology.

Cannabinoids have, however, been shown to offer neuro-protective benefits for MS patients by quelling inflammation through regulation of microglial cells’ cytokine levels, and animal studies have revealed antispastic effects of the chemicals.

One MS patient in New Jersey has been using the drug to treat his symptoms. “It definitely helps for the pain,” John Ray Wilson told The Wall Street Journal on Monday. Wilson, however, is facing felony drug charges for growing pot plants because the state does not currently permit the use of medicinal marijuana. State lawmakers are close to changing that, which would make New Jersey residents—like those of more than a dozen other
states off limits to federal prosecution if they follow local medical marijuana laws (per a U.S. Deputy Attorney General announcement in October). Both the New Jersey Academy of Family Physicians and the New Jersey State Nurses Association have announced support for the bill, which outgoing Governor Jon Corzine has promised to sign if it passes, the Journal reported.

The obvious intoxicating side effects of THC treatment have been a concern for both regulators and researchers. The authors of the recent paper, however, noted that a mixture of THC and CBD can limit psychotropic effects. In any case, they found that for the MS patients in the studies at least, “side effects from combined extracts of THC and CBD were generally well tolerated.”

http://www.scientificamerican.com/blog/post.cfm?id=pot-shows-promise-for-reducing-mult-2009-12-02

Cannabinoids play an important role in stress-related disorders

Study: Cannabinoids play an important role in stress-related disorders

November 2009 04:38

Use of cannabinoids (marijuana) could assist in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder patients. This is exposed in a new study carried out at the Learning and Memory Lab in the University of Haifa’s Department of Psychology. The study, carried out by research student Eti Ganon-Elazar under the supervision of Dr. Irit Akirav, was published in the prestigious Journal of Neuroscience.

In most cases, the result of experiencing a traumatic event – a car accident or terror attack – is the appearance of medical and psychological symptoms that affect various functions, but which pass. However, some 10%-30% of people who experience a traumatic event develop post-traumatic stress disorder, in which the patient continues to suffer stress symptoms for months and even years after the traumatic event. Symptoms include reawakened trauma, avoidance of anything that could recall the trauma, and
psychological and physiological disturbances. One of the problems in the course of treating trauma patients is that a person is frequently exposed to additional stress, which hinders the patient’s overcoming the trauma.

The present study, carried out by Dr. Akirav and research student Eti Ganon-Elazar, aimed to examine the efficiency of cannabinoids as a medical treatment for coping with post-traumatic stress. The researchers used a synthetic form of marijuana, which has similar properties to the natural plant, and they chose to use a rat model, which presents similar physiological responses to stress to that of humans.

The first stage of the research examined how long it took for the rats to overcome a traumatic experience, without any intervention. A cell colored white on one side and black on the other was prepared. The rats were placed in the white area, and as soon as they moved over to the black area, which they prefer, they received a light electric shock. Each day they were brought to the cell and placed back in the white area. Immediately following
exposure to the traumatic experience, the rats would not move to the black area voluntarily, but a few days later after not receiving further electric shocks in the black area, they learned that it is safe again and moved there without hesitation.

Next, the researchers introduced an element of stress. A second group of rats were placed on a small, elevated platform after receiving the electric shock, which added stress to the traumatic experience. These rats abstained from returning to the black area in the cell for much longer, which shows that the exposure to additional stress does indeed hinder the process of overcoming trauma.

The third stage of the research examined yet another group of rats. These were exposed to the traumatic and additional stress events, but just before being elevated on the platform received an injection of synthetic marijuana in the amygdala area of the brain – a specific area known to be connected to emotive memory. These rats agreed to enter the black area after the same amount of time as the first group – showing that the synthetic marijuana
cancelled out the symptoms of stress. Refining the results of this study, the researchers then administered marijuana injections at different points in time on additional groups of rats, and found that regardless of when exactly the injection was administered, it prevented the surfacing of stress symptoms.

Dr. Akirav and Ganon-Elazar also examined hormonal changes in the course of the experiment and found that synthetic marijuana prevents increased release of the stress hormone that the body produces in response to stress.

According to Dr. Akirav, the results of this study show that cannabinoids can play an important role in stress-related disorders. “The results of our research should encourage psychiatric investigation into the use of cannabinoids in post-traumatic stress patients,” she concludes.

SOURCE University of Haifa

http://www.news-medical.net/news/20091104/Cannabinoids-play-an-important-role-in-stress-related-disorders-Study.aspx

Marijuana proven effective in treating different types of cancers

Marijuana proven effective in treating different types of cancers

Dave Stancliff
For the Times-Standard
Posted: 10/18/2009 01:27:25 AM PDT

Marijuana opponents in the federal government are up against the wall and the wall is crumbling. The feds have fought marijuana use for decades, disregarding its medicinal applications, in a senseless war against the herb.

The demonized killer weed is turning out to be anything but that. As myths about this ancient herb are dispelled, scientists are using it to treat everything from chemotherapy-induced nausea to different cancers.

In August, The British Journal of Cancer published the results of a study that found THC (the main active component in marijuana) is effective in fighting prostate cancer.

Reportedly, pot attacks prostate cancer cell types that do not respond to the usual hormone treatments.

A recent study by a team of Spanish researchers discovered THC kills various brain cancer cells by a process known as autophagy. Michigan’s new law regarding marijuana use went into effect in April. Patients, with doctor’s prescriptions, get a state-issued ID Card (a lot like California’s) which allows them to grow and use marijuana to treat pain and other symptoms of cancer and multiple sclerosis.

In October 2003, the University of California, San Francisco, released the results of a study that said pot was effective when used in combination with opiate pain medications. Dr. Donald Abrams, MD, UCSF professor of Clinical Medicine and chief of the Hematology-Oncology Division at SF General Hospital Medical Center, told the press, “Marijuana uses a different mechanism than opiates and could augment the pain relief of opiate analgesics.”

The Marijuana Policy Project recently reported on a study that suggests moderate amounts of marijuana use reduces risk of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). This study suggests cannabinoids have potential anti-tumor properties.

A study released in July, “White matter in adolescents with history of marijuana use and binge drinking,” says marijuana use actually protects brain cells. The study involved adolescents with alcohol use disorders.

One group had just alcohol-drinking teens. The other group drank alcohol and used marijuana. The report said that binge drinkers who used marijuana retained more white matter than the other group. In other words, alcohol destroyed more brain cells when a person didn’t use marijuana.

How many times have you heard someone say, “Pot destroys your brain cells”?
If that’s true, what about this study? Why do doctors use marijuana to fight brain cancer if it destroys brain cells? Remember the Spanish study?

In April of 2007, Harvard University researchers released the results of a study that concluded THC cuts tumor growth in common lung cancers and reduces the ability of the cancer to spread.

A study conducted by UCLA’s medical school in June 2005 concluded smoking marijuana did not cause lung cancer. That impressive piece of news, along with the Harvard study, seems to have been ignored by most mass media outlets.

Fred Gardner, editor of the medical marijuana research journal, O’Shaughnessy’s, recently wrote an article, “Smoking Marijuana Does Not Cause Cancer,” about this groundbreaking UCLA study that barely made
headlines.

Gardner reported that an investigative team was contracted with the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in 2002 “to conduct a large, population-based, case-controlled study that would prove definitively that heavy, long-term marijuana use increases the risk of lung and upper-airway cancers.”

Guess what? This study backfired! It turned out that increased marijuana use did not result in higher rates of lung and pharyngeal cancer. The study also concluded that tobacco smokers who also puffed on pot were at a slightly lower risk of getting lung cancer than those who didn’t!

Perhaps the icing on the cake is the fact that UCLA Medical professor Donald Tashkin led the investigation. Tashkin has led government studies on marijuana since the 1970s and is well known for his belief that heavy marijuana use causes lung and upper-airway cancers. To his credit as a professional, he ended up disproving his own original hypothesis.

Despite the government’s efforts to keep it illegal, it’s apparent that marijuana does offer help in the battle to treat cancer. The facts about marijuana’s medical potentials are finally causing cracks in the government’s wall of lies built up over the years.

As It Stands, it’s time to bring down that wall.

—–
Dave Stancliff is a columnist for The Times-Standard. He is a former newspaper editor and publisher. Comments can be sent to
richstan1@suddenlink.net or www.davesblogcentral.com.

http://www.times-standard.com/othervoices/ci_13588713