Jessica Haney

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Jessica Haney

ENG W233

Professor Worth Weller

Annotated Bibliography

February 29, 2004

                        Medicinal Marijuana for Oncology Patients


       With my research, I hope to gain an understanding of how marijuana affects the

human body. I want to discover its potential benefits outweigh the risks involved with

rescheduling the substance. I feel this is a very controversial topic, and want to present it

in a non-threatening manner so that readers can make an informed decision concerning

whether or not they agree with the rescheduling of marijuana that would make it available

for medical use.

                                  Annotated bibliography

American Cancer Society. Making treatment decisions: Side effects of radiation therapy.

       Retrieved March 24, 2004, from

       This essay from the American Cancer Society website describes how radiation

therapy effects patients with cancer. I intend to use it as part of my discussion of how

having cancer and the related treatments make a patient feel.

American Cancer Society. Making treatment decisions: Surgery. Retrieved March 24,

       2004, from

       This essay discusses the types of surgery associated with cancer and how patients

can prepare for surgery. Most importantly, it contains details concerning the pain nearly
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all patients experience post-operatively. Because marijuana has analgesic properties, this

will be important to emphasize.

American Cancer Society. Making treatment decisions: What are the side effects of

       chemotherapy? Retrieved March 24, 2004, from

       This essay really spells out what chemotherapy does to the body both directly and

indirectly. It describes the loss of appetite and body weight, changes in one’s sense of

taste, and nausea and vomiting that are very common with chemotherapy. These are

important factors to consider because marijuana could play a major role in counteracting

weight loss in cancer patients as a result of chemotherapy. This source also lists several

chemotherapeutic agents that cause nausea, as well as a list of common antiemetics. I

plan to research the most common side effects of these medications to dispute the use of

an antiemetic over marijuana. Finally, the essay includes a clause about constipation that

occurs with chemotherapy and opioid analgesic use that I might use in a discussion of

why traditional analgesics are not always ideal for cancer patients receiving or post-


Becker, J. (2003). Residents speak out for medicinal marijuana. The Washington Post.

       Retrieved March 24, 2004, from Newspaper Source database.

       This author relays the testimony of a 35-year-old woman who has found

marijuana to be more effective as a painkiller than various powerful narcotics that she has

been prescribed in the past. I feel this personal testimony would be a good way to

support the argument that marijuana has analgesic properties.
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Commentary calls for study of marijuana as medicine. (1995). Alcoholism and Drug

       Abuse Weekly, 7(26), 7-8. Retrieved March 25, 2004, from Academic Search

       Premier database.

       This short article contains a quote from two physicians from the Massachusetts

Mental Health Center in Boston that praises the safetiness of marijuana. According to

these physicians, there have been no known lethal overdoses of marijuana and it is less

addictive and less likely to be abused than many legally used substances, such as muscle

relaxants, hypnotics, and analgesics. I hope to point out these important issues in order to

support the argument that marijuana has medically useful properties and could be a better

therapeutic agent than some traditional drugs in certain circumstances if it were

successfully rescheduled.

Deglin, J.H. & Vallerand, A.H. (2003). Davis’s drug guide for nurses. (8th ed.).

       Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.

       This is a great source for finding information regarding specific drugs, their

therapeutic classes, intended actions, common adverse reactions, drug interactions, and

much more. It will be a good reference for finding out more about chemotherapeutic

agents, analgesics, and antiemetics.

Gettman, J. Personal communication. March 24, 2004.

       Jon Gettman is the person I interviewed for my research paper.     He is a public

policy Ph.D. and has knowledge of the federal regulatory process and the scientific

criteria used to schedule controlled substances. Gettman provided me with an abundance

of data concerning how drugs are scheduled, what has to be done to reschedule a drug,

ideas of how legal marijuana could be produced and distributed, and much more. I found
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it very interesting that when marijuana was originally scheduled in 1970 as a schedule I

controlled substance, it was placed there pending scientific evidence that it did not have a

high potential for abuse and had medical applications. In fact, some people believe

marijuana is best suited as a schedule III controlled substance, because it does not fit the

criteria for either schedules I or II. Do not be surprised if Gettman’s name appears

several times in my research paper. This interview could not have elicited better results.

Kalb, C., Wingert, P., Rosenburg, D., Underwood, A., & Hammer, J. (1999). No green

       light yet. Newsweek, 133(13), 35. Retrieved March 25, 2004, from Academic

       Search Premier database.

       This article discusses the Institute of Medicine report concerning research of

marijuana’s therapeutic uses by cancer patients. It also provides a clause to dispel the

fears that marijuana use leads to the use of other illicit drugs or that the medical use of

marijuana would increase general use. Along with information obtained from an

interview, I hope to emphasize these two points, because they are very common concerns

for those against the rescheduling of the drug.

Laszi, J. (1979). Tetrahydrocannabinol: From pot to prescription? Annals of Internal

       Medicine, 91(6), 916-919. Retrieved March 24, 2004, from Academic Search

       Premier database.

       This article defines several therapeutic properties of marijuana. It describes a

study that showed marijuana can reduce nausea and vomiting, improve appetite, and

work as an antidepressant. Although the article is a little outdated, it proves that we have

been studying the effects of marijuana for many years and continue to find similar

beneficial properties in case after case. In addition, the article describes a study in which
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cancer patients preferred marijuana over conventional antiemetics to control their nausea

and vomiting.

Legal pot. (1980). Science News, 118(12), 182. Retrieved March 24, 2004, from

       Academic Search Premier database.

       This article provides claims that marijuana smoked in cigarettes is more effective

than oral THC in counteracting side effects of chemotherapy. It explains that smoked

THC has been found to be more reliable at reaching therapeutic blood levels than oral

preparations. This could be related to variations in gastrointestinal absorption of oral

THC. Finally, this author provides a useful statistic that the success rates for controlling

nausea is 90 percent for smoked THC and 60 percent for oral THC.

Lehne, R.A. (2001). Pharmacology for nursing care. (4th ed.). New York, NY: W.B.

       Saunders Company.

       This is the textbook that was required for a pharmacology class I took last

semester. It is a good source that contains information about drug scheduling, pain

management in patients with cancer, basic marijuana information, and facts about a

variety of other drugs. I intend to use this book as a primary resource for my discussion

concerning typical analgesics and antiemetics and how marijuana could be a better

therapeutic agent for some patients.

Wis. rep. supports medical marijuana bill. (1/02/2004). Healthcare CustomWire.

       Retrieved March 25, 2004, from MasterFILE Premier database.

       This article discusses how a state representative who once opposed the

rescheduling of marijuana changed his view after undergoing cancer treatment. I feel his

testimony would work well after a discussion of the legalities of scheduling drugs to
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demonstrate that even some government officials agree that marijuana has therapeutic


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