Sunday, February 22, 2015

NIDA Created the Frankenstein of Synthetic Cannabis


John Huffman is the unwitting inventor of the first synthetic marijuana, which he never intended on inventing. Huffman is a professor of organic chemistry at Clemson University, and it's his intials JWH that are used to name chemicals such as JWH-073 and JWH-018, since he is the one who first synthesized them.

Around twenty-five years ago with funding by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, John Huffman began researching a class of compounds known as cannabinoids. Cannabinoids bind to receptors in the brain, in the same way that the THC in real marijuana does. In the summer of 1995, the first one hundred milligrams of JWH-018, a synthetic cannabinoid, was manufactured by Huffman's students, tested on laboratory mice, and a report was written.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

The AMA Needs To be Sued For Criminal Racketeering- Ripping Off The Public

Supports the 'drug war' perversion of useful natural substances into concentrated poisons, lying through their teeth about Cannabis, and the massive violations of human rights for its criminal mercantilism on behalf of synthetic patentable chemical quackery

Medical Control, Medical Corruption
By Llewellyn H. Rockwell Jr.

This article appeared in the June 1994 issue of Chronicles.

The vested interests are sick over it: Americans are beginning, just slightly, to take charge of their own health care. Such best-sellers as the Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies, the Physician’s Desk Reference, and the Merck Manual can keep you out of the doctor’s appropriately named waiting room, or at least help you understand what is being done to you, when an apple a day does not work.

Who is unhappy with this increased knowledge? The American Medical Association, which for almost 150 years has sought to institutionalize a rip-off and to keep sick people and their families oblivious to it. Thanks to this central committee of the medical cartel, the number of medical schools and medical students is drastically restricted, state licensure further obstructs the supply of doctors, fees are largely secret and controlled across the industry, alternative treatments and practitioners are outlawed, pharmacists and nurses are hamstrung, and the mystique of the profession rivals the priesthood, although priests have a somewhat lower income. Meanwhile, the customer pays through the nose, even if he does not go to an otolaryngologist.

Medicaid and Medicare have contributed to the problem, but the medical cartel is the original sin. Through its ability to keep incomes high by limiting supply and outlawing competition, organized medicine has punished its customers, although the word is never used so as to disguise what is, after all, an economic relationship.

Hillary Clinton’s proposed merger of the medical cartel and the state seems like a radical move, and it is. It is also the logical next step in the partnership of government and medicine. That is why, in addition to opposing Hillary hammer and tongs, we should reexamine the AMA’s distortion of the medical marketplace and the very idea of medical licensure.

Competition among providers — as with any service in a market economy — leads to rational pricing and maximum consumer choice. But this is exactly what the AMA has always sought to prevent. The American Medical Association, organized in New York in 1848, advanced two seemingly innocent propositions in its early days: that all doctors should have a “suitable education” and that a “uniform elevated standard of requirements for the degree of M.D. should be adopted by all medical schools in the U.S.” These were part of the AMA’s real program, which was openly discussed at its conventions and in the medical journals: to secure a government-enforced medical monopoly and high incomes for mainstream doctors.

Membership in the new organization was open only to “regular” physicians, whose therapies were based on the “best system of physiology and pathology, as taught in the best schools in Europe and America.” The public had a different view, however. Official treatments of the time, such as bloodletting and mercury poisoning, harmed and sometimes murdered patients, causing mass outrage.

Emphatically not included among the “best” were the homeopaths. Homeopathy, a less invasive system that still thrives in Britain and Europe, may have done no good, but that was the worst charge lodged against it. Homeopathy did not kill people, as Orthodox medicine did. The homeopaths actually followed the Hippocratic injunction “First, do not harm” and refused to worship abstract Science. As a result, the clergy — an important interest group in 19th-century America — sympathized with them. As the president of the New York State Medical Society noted in 1844, “We feel severely the influence of the clergy as operating against our collective interest.” One prominent pastor, for example, had called the medical establishment “an expensive vampire upon society.”
How the “regulars” came to crush the homeopaths and other competitors, and penalize patients in the process, is a story of deception and manipulation, of industry self-interest and state power. The organized regulars or allopaths first set out to demonstrate that the homeopaths were ill-educated and therefore should be shunned, but that was difficult to substantiate because most of them were converts from orthodox medicine.

One was William H. Holcombe. When he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, he worried, as he wrote in his memoirs, that physicians “were blind men, striking in the dark at the disease or the patient-lucky if [we] killed the malady [instead of] the man.” One day Holcombe was called by the parents of a seriously ill child, whom Holcombe subsequently set about to bleed. Bloodletting was considered especially important for children, and the younger the child, the more blood was to be drawn. But the mother clutched the baby to her breast and cried, “The blood is the life — it shall not be taken away.” When the benighted father agreed, Holcombe “explained to him candidly, and with some display of professional dignity, that my opinion was worth more than his or his wife’s.”

Holcombe left and returned the next day, expecting to find a dead baby. Instead, the child — who had been treated by a homeopath — was playing in the yard. Holcombe later wrote that “after having blistered, bled, and drugged my patients for twenty-seven years, I determined to find some more humane mode.” He was charged with violating “medical ethics,” whose first principle was: “A physician … should cautiously guard against whatever may injure the general respectability of his profession.”

Eventually, homeopathy became almost as popular as allopathy, especially in the Northeast and Midwest. Many business leaders favored it and funded free dispensaries for the poor. This was made possible by the free market. From the early part of the century until 1850, state laws interfering in medical practice were gradually repealed. The AMA was founded to reverse the trend.

New York, for example, got rid of nearly all of its criminal legislation regarding medicine, forbidding only malpractice and immoral conduct by physicians. As one state senator said, “The people of this state have been bled long enough in their bodies and pockets.” He called on them to demand medical freedom, in the tradition of “the men of the Revolution.”

Most Americans were interested in non-orthodox treatments and believed they should be allowed to compete in the marketplace. Organized medicine claimed people were being fooled. But as Harris Livermore Coulter explains in his extraordinary 1969 study of the AMA’s founding, “People were deserting orthodox medicine … not out of ignorance, but out of knowledge of regular practice and consequent dislike of it.”

An 1848 AMA convention speaker laughed at the “mass of the community” who thought there was “a wide difference” between a physician’s “Apothecary Medicine and our native medical plants.” The first “they regard as almost uniformly poisonous — the other, as harmless and healthful.” He called this “an absurd idea,” although virtually none of the official treatments of the time is still In use and many drugs from our “native medical plants” have proven to be effective.

Worse than absurd was the effect on doctors’ incomes. “Quackery [i.e., unofficial treatments by unofficial practitioners] occasions a large pecuniary loss to us,” lamented an 1846 editorial in the New York Journal of Medicine. Quacks “too frequently triumph and grow rich, where wiser and better men scarcely escape starvation.” To the medical dean at the University of Michigan, the specter of free competition was a “discouragement” to “graduates in scientific medicine,” rendering their work “arduous and unremunerative.”

In the golden age, “the doctor could tell his patient” anything, including, “‘gape, sinner, and swallow,”‘ wrote J.H. Nutting in 1853. Then, with his “grave look of profound wisdom,” the doctor had a “reputation for almost superhuman skill.” Doctors, wrote the journal of the Massachusetts Medical Society in 1848, should be “looked upon by the mass of mankind with a veneration almost superstitious.” Instead, there was public contempt.

A Michigan physician reported that the profession had “fallen so low that there are few to do it reverence. Quackery and empiricism in diverse forms like the locusts and lice of Egypt, swarm over our state and are eating out the very vitals and sucking the life blood” of doctors, some of whom said they were denounced on the street for bumping off their patients.

Organized physicians argued that popular reputation meant nothing. In fact, claimed the journals, a good standing in the profession usually meant a bad one with the public. At the same time there was the complaint — echoed by cartelizers to this day — that there were simply too many doctors. “The profession” is “crowded,” argued one journal, with “unworthy and ignorant men” who ought to be prohibited from practicing. The regulars also villified their opponents with such works as Oliver Wendell Holmes’ Homeopathy and Its Kindred Delusions (1842).

In 1849, the AMA worried that simply outlawing competition would not override the public’s perversity. The only long-term “remedy against Quackery, is medical Reform, by which a higher standard of medical education shall be secured.” As part of this drive, homeopathic physicians were expelled from state and local medical societies, even if they were trained in official schools. The AMA claimed that the public did not know what was good for it and that the medical establishment must have total control.

The organization knew it needed more than persuasion to secure a monopoly, so it also called for a national bureau of medicine to oversee state licensing and other regulations. In those limited-government days, however, the idea went nowhere. But in the statist Progressive Era after the turn of the century, anticompetitive measures became respectable, and the AMA renewed its drive for a cartel, spurred on by the popularity of self-medication and the increasing number of medical schools and doctors. (In 1902, an AMA study decried the competition that had lowered physicians’ incomes.)

The number of medical schools had increased from 90 in 1880 to 154 in 1903. As an official AMA history by James Gordon Burrow puts it, the “frightening competition” showed a need for “education reform,” i.e., cartelization. The state legislatures showed little interest in more restrictionist laws, so the AMA appointed the secretary of the Kentucky State Board of Health to rouse the profession to lobby.

Joseph N. McCormack spent a decade in agitprop among the doctors of more than 2,000 cities and towns, inspiring them with such speeches as “The Danger to the Public From an Unorganized and Underpaid Medical Profession.” Like medical ethicists before and since, he denounced advertising (letting customers know services and prices in advance) and quackery (unapproved competition). Join our union, he said, and we will raise your pay. By 1910, about 70,000 doctors belonged to the AMA, an eight-fold increase over the previous decade.

To help bring about a higher-paid profession, the AMA in 1904 created the Council on Medical Education, which sought to shut down more than half the existing medical schools by rating them on a scale of A to C. In cooperation with state medical boards composed of what Arthur Dean Boran, head of the council, called the “right sort of men,” the AMA succeeded in cutting the number of schools to 131 by 1910, from a high of 166.

Then the council’s secretary N.P. Colwell helped plan (and some say write) the famous 1910 report by Abraham Flexner. Flexner, the owner of a bankrupt prep school, had the good fortune to have a brother, Simon, who was director of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. At his brother’s suggestion, Abraham Flexner was hired by the Rockefeller-allied Carnegie Foundation so that the report would not be seen as a Rockefeller initiative. And Carnegie, whose main goal was to “rationalize” higher education, that is, replace religion with science, saw the AMA cartelization drive as useful. Claiming to have investigated nearly every school in the country, Flexner rated them on suitability. Schools he praised received lush grants from the Rockefeller and associated foundations, and almost all the medical schools he condemned were shut down, especially the “commercial” institutions. AMA-dominated state medical boards ruled that in order to practice medicine, a doctor had to graduate from an approved school. Post-Flexner, a school could not be approved if it taught alternative therapies, didn’t restrict the number of students, or made profits based on student fees.

Why the opposition to for-profit schools? If an institution were supported by student fees rather than philanthropic donations, it could be independent of the foundations. The Rockefeller family had invested heavily in allopathic drug companies and wanted doctors to use their products.

The Flexner Report was more than an attack on free competition funded by special interests. It was also a fraud. For example, Flexner claimed to have thoroughly investigated 69 schools in 90 days, and he sent prepublication copies of his report to the favored schools for their revisions. Homeopaths noted that his authority derived solely “from an unlimited access to the pocketbook of a millionaire.” Homeopaths did not use synthetic drugs, of course. John E. Churchill, president of the Board of Education of New York, called the report a “menace to the freedom of teaching.” Years later, Flexner admitted that he knew nothing about medical education. But he did not need to in order to serve his employers’ purposes.

Flexner’s attack, stepped up by the AMA’s Council on Medical Education and its state medical boards, closed 25 schools in three years, with more over the years to come, and cut the number of students attending the remaining schools in half. All non-mainstream practitioners were targeted. For example, from the early part of the century, consumers preferred optometrists to ophthalmologists on grounds of both service and price. Yet the AMA derided the optometrists as quacks, and in every state, the AMA-dominated medical boards imposed restrictions on these and other “sectarian” practitioners when they could not outlaw them entirely.

Homeopathy still had a remnant of about 13,000 practitioners, supported by a fiercely loyal customer base, but decades of well-financed attacks had taken their toll. The battle-weary homeopaths eventually gave in, conceding major parts of their doctrine, but the AMA was not satisfied with anything less than total victory, and today, American homeopaths practice mostly underground.

With its monopoly, the AMA sought to fix prices. Early on, the AMA had come to the conclusion that it was “unethical” for the consumer to have any say over what he paid. Common prices were transmuted into professional “fees,” and the AMA sought to make them uniform across the profession. Lowering fees and advertising them were the worst violations of medical ethics and were made illegal. When fees were raised across the board, as they frequently could be with decreased competition, it was done in secret.

But organized medicine still feared reporters. In Illinois in 1906, the publication of secret fee increases nearly incited public violence. The secretary of the Illinois Medical Society, N.L. Barker, admonished his fellow physicians to keep their higher “fee-bills” secret, “for the people will not appreciate what was intended for kindness and justice.” To collect the higher fees, the AMA recommended that state-level medical societies develop formal systems. If a patient had not paid the full amount, especially out of dissatisfaction with the treatment, his name would go on a blacklist and he would be forbidden all future treatment by doctors until he had paid up and shut up.

The AMA, in its constant quest for higher incomes through lower competition, also battled churches and other charities that gave free medical care to the poor. Through lobbying, it attempted to stamp out what it called “indiscriminate medical charity.” A model 1899 law in New York put the control of all free health care under a State Board of Charities dominated by the AMA. To diminish the amount of free care, the board imposed fines and even jail terms on anyone giving treatment without first getting the patient’s address and checking on his financial status. Then there was the problem of pharmacists selling drugs without a doctor’s prescription. This was denounced as “therapeutic nihilism” and the American Pharmaceutical Association, controlled by the AMA, tried to stamp out the low-cost, in-demand practice. In nearly every state, the AMA secured laws that made it illegal for patients to seek treatment from a pharmacist. But still common were pharmacists who refilled prescriptions at customer request. The AMA lobbied to make this illegal, too, but most state legislatures wouldn’t go along with this because of constituent pressure. The AMA got its way through the federal government, of course.

There were other threats that also had to be put down: “nostrums,treatments that did not require a visit to the doctor, and midwives, who had better results than doctors. Also a danger was “contracting out,” a company practice of employing physicians to provide care for its workers. This was “unethical,” said the AMA, and should be illegal. Fraternal organizations that contracted out for their members were put out of business with legislated price controls, and hospitals — whose accreditation the AMA controlled — were pressured to refuse admittance to patients of contracting-out doctors.

By the end of the Progressive Era, the orthodox profession as led by the AMA had triumphed over all of its competitors. Through the use of government power, it had come to control education, licensure, treatment, and price. Later it out-competed fraternal medical insurance with the state-privileged and subsidized Blue Cross and Blue Shield. The AMA-dominated Blues, in addition to other benefits, gave us the egalitarian notion of “community rating,” under which everyone pays the same price no matter what his condition.

AMA control remains much the same, and as a result, even incompetent doctors are guaranteed high incomes. In law, a profession with much freer entry, some lawyers get rich, others make middle incomes, and others have to go into another line of work. But thanks to almost a century and a half of AMA statism, even terrible doctors get lavish incomes.

The monopoly also allows anti-customer practices to go unpunished. For example, doctors routinely schedule appointments too closely together so as to keep their waiting rooms full, for prestige and marketing reasons. With little competition, they can get away with it, and advertising on-time service would be “unethical.” The next time you have to wait 45 minutes amid six-month-old People magazines, thank the AMA.

Now, if Hillary gets her way, licensing will become even more abusive. Her Health Security Act mandates racial quotas for medical students and faculties, as well as for practicing physicians in the health alliances. This is the wits’ end of licensing, which began as an effort by the regulars to weed out the competition and will now force on us the spectacularly inept, scalpels in hand.

Real reform would remove the AMA’s grip on the marketplace and subject the entire industry to competition. Until then, stock up on home medical books.


 Has Hillary Clinton or any other major name politician ever questioned the AMA?

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Washington Post Fraudulent Spin on Herbal Supplements

Deliberately Confuses Issues of Adulteration and Misbranding
With Using Non Patentable Naturally Based Ingredients

The Washington Post article:
opening quote:
Dietary supplement fans got a big "buyer beware" warning this week when the New York attorney general's office ordered GNC, Target, Walgreens and Wal-Mart to pull a number of store-brand products from their shelves, following an investigation that found most didn't contain herbs listed on their labels. In some cases, the attorney general said the supplements didn't even identify potentially dangerous allergens.

It was the latest in a series of studies and investigations that have cast serious doubt on the safety and reliability of these products, which face laxer regulatory scrutiny compared to prescription drugs.

The first paragraph concerns mislabeling as to the ingredients- fine.

The second is the spin to cast doubt upon using alternatives to patent drugs.

Some useful comments:

Mark Glazier
2/6/2015 6:08 PM EST

To say that the industry is completely unregulated is blatantly false and the media has it completely wrong. Every aspect of manufacturing dietary supplements is strictly regulated by the FDA under the CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS Title 21 PART 111 CURRENT GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICE IN MANUFACTURING, PACKAGING, LABELING, OR HOLDING OPERATIONS FOR DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS. The regulations for manufacturing dietary supplements were adopted from CFR Part 211 which are pharmaceutical regulation and make the manufacturing process and controls of a dietary supplement almost as strict as a pharmaceutical drug. These regulations require that raw materials meet specifications for purity, strength, composition and identity before being released into production. CFR21 Part 111 also requires that that all finished products be tested to prove out label claim before being released to the public.

In the last two days I have either read or watched 50 or more articles, opinions, entire news segments devoted to this scandal and not one of the so called experts has even mentioned CFR 111. It’s as if the regulations for manufacturing dietary supplements do not exist. All the media, wants to talk about is the lack of regulation or the unrelated DSHEA act and by doing so they never address the real problem. 
2/5/2015 4:21 PM EST 
The title of this article has nothing to do with the article. The article is about mislabeling, contamination, and fraud -- and that perhaps FDA testing would be a good thing. The title suggests that it's going to be about how Americans are ignoring studies that show that supplements are ineffective. The article is itself mislabeled.
2/6/2015 11:05 AM EST [Edited]

There are hundreds of herbs used for medicinal purposes Wolf. As I have stated before, big Pharm. does not fund research on herbals unless they think they can come up with a similar synthetic compound, as there is no money in it otherwise. Some herbs have indeed been proven to work, if you have bothered to review the literature. In most cases, they have not even been properly research to see if they work or not, so the jury in out on most of them. Also to be definitive, a study must be well designed, and that is not always the case as there are so many complicating factors. You may be surprised to find out that may conventional medicinal studies have found out not to be valid when examined at a later date.
2/5/2015 3:45 PM EST

Europeans are ahead of Americans in their studies of herbal medicines. Just because we haven't studied herbal medicine very thoroughly l (there is no money in herbs for the Pharm. companies), does not mean that herbal medicines are ineffective. In fact, there are some studies that do support the usage of herbal medicines. 
2/5/2015 3:37 PM EST

At one point, there were not scientific studies proving *anything*. That's not the same as saying something doesn't work. 

While I'm a fan of quackwatch, they don't always get it right either, nor are patients the only ones with false negative biases ( Look, quite a few herbal "supplements" have measurable effects, as any diabetic who takes bitter melon extract and has a meter can tell you. 

As far as supplements go, I suggest you forget the skeptic web sites and review It's not fun, or easy, but you're more likely to get accurate information as far as it can be found.
2/5/2015 12:23 PM EST
It's pretty straightforward. For most of the things I have, for instance (i.e. restless legs, minor depression, fibromyalgia), modern western medicine has next to nothing to offer that isn't expensive, addicting, or with a side effect profile that's worse than most illegal drugs.  

So I take supplements, which are cheap, effective and most importantly, keep me off of the medical system radar, so I can avoid the insurance company scam called "pre-existing conditions."  

Moreover, the current drug development and approval system is beyond idiotic. The FDA just recently approved a "fast-acting" antidepressant like it's some kind of new miracle. Indian herbs like Shankhpushi and Tulsi, both fast acting antidepressants, are cheap, available online or in many health food stores, and have been in use for the last millennium or so. 

So while FDA wonks spin in their own hall of mirrors, we at ground level have real health problems to solve, and we do with real, available tools.
2/5/2015 12:35 PM EST
Are you serious? None of that crap works. Because if it did the big pharma would jump all over it.

2/5/2015 12:54 PM EST

you can't patent natural things. that's why big pharma is not interested.
2/5/2015 2:03 PM EST

Holla26, why don't you just buy a bottle of Holy Basil (i.e. Tulsi) at the local health food store and try it. If you know a diabetic, ask them to try bitter melon and start measuring their blood sugar.

You can't patent an herb. Drug companies don't care at about cheap herbs. You'll never see a drug company study that confirms their effect. 

2/5/2015 2:29 PM EST [Edited]

Only if they can find a way to patent a refined version of it.

Otherwise they're paying megabucks to get it FDA tested just so that other companies can sell it out from under them.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Crowd Thwarts Kidnapping

Preventing police from arresting-kidnapping man for smoking Marijuana- 
this needs to be standard procedure- 
likewise with juries which should never convict for adult possession-sales drug statute violations

DELRAY BEACH, Florida – Around twenty people spontaneously formed a “human shield” to protect a Florida man from police who wanted to arrest him for smoking marijuana.
Last Saturday, at around 7:30 at night, Delray Beach police say they witnessed a man smoking what they smelled was marijuana.

When they moved to arrest him, he allegedly fled into a nearby home where a birthday party was being held.

Delray Beach Police Sgt. Nicole Guerriero said the party-goers “formed this shield” to block police and “started getting aggressive.”

“Someone hit [an] officer and pushed him away, they were throwing bottles, they were cursing and screaming at them.”

“The next thing they know, there’s 70 to 75 people out there. The officers had to use pepper spray to get people back.”

During the standoff, references to the police shooting of Eric Garner and Michael Brown were mentioned, and an object was thrown at a police cruiser, shattering it’s windshield. Four men were arrested on charges ranging from obstruction to assault on a police officer.

Video showing part of the heated incident was uploaded to YouTube by Cory Provost.

You can watch one of the more heated segments from the confrontation below:


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Nebraska Alcohol Protectionists Seek to Abuse Constitution

Scalia: an alcohol protectionist that favors abusing the 'supremacy clause' 
to support pharmacratic inquisition junk statutes against Marijuana

What a HUGE hypocrite Nebraska is! - From Russ Belville:

"The tiny town of Whiteclay, Nebraska, population 10, holds the distinction of being the US town with the greatest beer sales per capita of any American town. This town of 10 has four licensed off-sale beer stores that sold 3.6 million cans of beer in 2013, or almost 10,000 cans of beer per day.

How is that possible? Well, Whiteclay, you see, lies on the northern Nebraska border with South Dakota, where it directly abuts the Oglala Sioux (Lakota) Indian Nation on the Pine Ridge Reservation. And Pine Ridge has maintained absolute alcohol prohibition... [where]alcoholism affects an estimated 80 percent of their households, 60 percent of individuals, and nearly one quarter of babies born suffer from fetal alcohol syndrome.

Nebraska can’t complain that Colorado is messing up their marijuana prohibition while Nebraska is openly flouting the Lakota Nation’s alcohol prohibition. Besides, unlike a beer store in Whiteclay, some pot shop selling on the Colorado / Nebraska border isn’t fostering domestic violence, dangerous roads, cirrhosis of the liver, and birth defects." 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

The AMA and The New England Journal of Medicine Owe The World an Apology

The New England Medical Journal and organizations as the American Medical Association propagandize for the perversion of a profession that has largely relied upon illegal and immoral tactics to confuse the public about herbal based medicine, particularly confusing dilute and ultra concentrated forms of cocaine use, while shilling for tobacco cigarettes.  This has resulted in a market distortion that killed over 100 million people during the last century with the suppression of Coca, which the USDA recognized as a market threat to Tobacco, while harming health with petrochemical patent medicines known today as pharmaceuticals to say nothing about the harms of drug prohibition and the miseries caused by its enforcement.  It epitomizes a bloated profession that has bilked the public out of billions of dollars that should be sued for medical fraud and human rights violations.

From The New England Journal of Medicine review of the book Quack, Quack, Quack: The Sellers of Nostrums in Prints, Posters, Ephemera and Books by William Helfand
The popular circus showman P.T. Barnum once warned that "humbug" was everywhere in the medical profession. In Quack, Quack, Quack, William Helfand, a historian of pharmacy, proves Barnum right. A chronicle of quackery in picture and prose, Helfand's book examines the depths of medical chicanery in Western culture over the past 400 years. 
 "Quacks have been with us forever," explains Helfand. Never "static," quackery has "modified its offering to adjust to new therapeutic discoveries and new means of communication," as well as "to almost any prevailing political and regulatory system." Helfand demonstrates the adaptability of quackery with 183 fascinating images of promotional material, along with the popular and professional reactions they inspired. Mined from various archives and libraries, the images depict nostrum peddlers ranging from those found at French country fairs to those involved in the popular Indian medicine shows inspired by the North American frontier. There are quack products for addiction, such as No-To-Bac for smokers, as well as addiction-causing products such as Vin Mariani, a cocaine-based panacea. Readers will enjoy learning about Samuel Solomon's Balm of Gilead that targeted "masturbation, scrofula, and related ills" and the "Health Jolting Chair," which was advertised as a convenient exercise to preserve "the most highly prized feminine attractions." Helfand also includes musical scores such as those for the "Water Cure Polka" and "Blue Glass Gallop," which illustrate the popularity of hydropathic and light-ray treatments during the Gilded Age. Other paintings, illustrations, and title pages lampoon quacks and their "cures." One satirical cartoon from mid-19th-century England depicts a victim of an overdose of James Morison's vegetable pills with carrots, cabbage, and corn sprouting from his limbs. Although the images are instructive on their own, Helfand adds insightful commentary and, when necessary, English translations.

Within the book's brief 50 pages of text, Helfand defines "quack" as "a pejorative term" used by members of the established medical community to disparage "irregulars" who ignore or reject medical orthodoxy. Along with their status as outsiders, quacks, Helfand explains, possess certain characteristics that signify their trade. These often undereducated and itinerant doctors and druggists engage in aggressive advertising, exaggerating the effectiveness of their abilities or products.

Perhaps most important, quacks have proved themselves to be talented entertainers capable of wowing audiences with enthralling theatrics and bombastic rhetoric. Yet Helfand concedes that although regular and irregular doctors differ in style, they share many similarities, particularly since irregulars frequently imitate certain features of orthodoxy, such as medical jargon, in order to establish legitimacy or respectability. The boundary between regulars and irregulars was never clear. In fact, "in unsophisticated times," says Helfand, "the results of treatment might well have ended the same." Helfand's suggestion that quackery and irregular medicine were synonymous represents one shortcoming of the book. Were all irregulars quacks? Certainly not. For example, aspects of hydropathic and homeopathic medicine, both featured in the book, gained greater acceptance among mainstream physicians in the 20th century. Helfand ignores the emergence of osteopathic and chiropractic medicine, both of which the American Medical Association dismissed as quackery for decades. Had Helfand accepted conscious deceit as the essence of quackery, his definition would have been tighter. However, as he correctly points out, conscious deceit is difficult to prove. Overall, Quack, Quack, Quack is an enlightening and enjoyable book suitable for academics, health care professionals, and the general public alike. The images, many of which are in color, reveal in an entertaining format the long-standing tradition of quackery in Western medicine. "Despite what we do," concludes Helfand, "the quacks and their nostrums will be with us forever." I hope that there will be more books like this one to chart their development as we go. Eric Juhnke, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2003 Massachusetts Medical Society. All rights reserved. The New England Journal of Medicine is a registered trademark of the MMS.
About The New England Medical Journal's advertisements for Tobacco cigarettes:
More Doctors Smoke Camels
Posted on February 21, 2014 by nyamhistorymed       

By Johanna Goldberg, Information Services Librarian, with Andrew Gordon, Systems Librarian

This is part of an intermittent series of blogs featuring advertisements from medical journals. You can find the entire series here.

From the 1930s into the 1950s, medical journals—including the Journal of the American Medical Association and the New England Journal of Medicine—ran advertisements for cigarettes.1,2 The New York State Journal of Medicine alone published 600 pages of cigarette advertisements spanning more than two decades, starting in 1933.3 Around the same time, advertising agencies created campaigns featuring physicians; these continued until 1954, as concerns about the negative health effects of smoking grew.

Presented chronologically below are some of the cigarette advertisements—and one cigarette paraphernalia‎ ad—that appeared in medical journals during the 20-year period. Note especially the 1945 series of ads that ran in several medical journals, including the Medical Woman’s Journal, celebrating the work of war doctors and suggesting that a Camel cigarette could be a welcome break.

Notable, too, is that the earliest ad shown here—printed in Preventive Medicine in 1937—comes from a New York Academy of Medicine publication.

For more information on the history of cigarette advertising, including the use of medical professionals in ads, visit SRITA, Stanford Research into the Impact of Tobacco Advertising.
The New England Medical Journal articles mentioning Vin Mariani
Original Article Digital Archive
Original ArticleDigital Archive
…closed.) Evening pulse 108, temperature 100°. Tsvo semi-solid movements of the bosvels in the afternoon. Midnight pulse 98, temperature 99.(1°. Vin Mariani in half-ounce doses was given instead of whiskey. March 11th. Pulse 104, temperature 99.8°. Vomited two ounces of flaxseed tea as soon as it svas…
  • May 5, 1898
  • Boston Med Surg J 1898; 138:415-419
  • Original ArticleDigital Archive
    …two months since the operation upon the mastoid. The patient is taking nourishment every three hours, and is retaining it. She takes coca wine, Vin Mariani, two-ounces three times a day. She continues to improve, to take solid food and to go about the hospital. Her weight increased. In a few weeks after…
    • November 17, 1892
    • Boston Med Surg J 1892; 127:470-473
  • Medical ProgressDigital Archive
    …affections. Drs. Colin, Fauvel, Gazeau, Rabuteau, and CintrĂ¢t bear witness to the value of this medicinal agent, especially in the form of vin de coca Mariani, in tonsillitis, albuminuria, and diabetes. Dr. Fauvel especially speaks of its beneficial effect in a peculiar form of rebellious granular pharyngitis…
    • September 26, 1878
    • AMORY R.
    • Boston Med Surg J 1878; 99:397-402
Book Review
…the North American frontier. There are quack products for addiction, such as No-To-Bac for smokers, as well as addiction-causing products such as Vin Mariani, a cocaine-based panacea. Readers will enjoy learning about Samuel Solomon's Balm of Gilead that targeted "masturbation, scrofula, and related ills…
  • October 16, 2003
  • Juhnke E.
  • N Engl J Med 2003; 349:1580
  • Free Full Text

Book Review
…many ailments and for the treatment of alcoholics and opium addicts. Cocaine made its appearance in the patent medicines of the time, including Vin Mariani and Coca Cola. During this time, many reports were published in the medical literature describing the untoward effects of cocaine. Many physicians…
  • June 7, 1990
  • Swift R.M.
  • N Engl J Med 1990; 322:1677
  • Free Full Text

Vin Mariani was created in 1863 and first sold by 1865.  It was made with an alcohol based infusion of Coca leaves dissolved in French red wine, and contained about 6 milligrams of cocaine alkaloid per fluid ounce.  A version called Elixir Mariani was fortified with small amounts of added isolated cocaine alkaloid.

The New England Medical Journal was first published in  1812.  The above three articles, published in 1878, 1892 and 1898 are the only mentions of Vin Mariani in their articles prior to the 1914 Harrison 'Narcotics' Act that show in a search of their web site archive.

The subsequent two articles published in 1990 and 2003 are the only ones likewise found to mention Vin Mariani after 1914.

After several decades of use, Vin Mariani was so described in Paris, by Mesureur, the French Ex-Minister of Commerce, and the current (in 1910) Director of Hygiene and Public Health, who approved and signed the French government's radical poster campaign against alcoholism:

“The dangers of alcoholism would be avoided if no other stimulant were taken for mental or physical trials than that offered by the generous."
The over lap in the popular use of opiates and alcohol, and that of opiates, alcohol and tobacco, brought about situations where coca’s use in combating the use of the first two led to the discovery of its efficacy in combating use of the third, with these being regarded favorably according to the account by Dr. Liberman and Villeneuve
“I have also employed it in cases, happily rare in our army, of chronic alcoholism resulting from the abuse of brandy, absinthe or strong liquors. The produced all the excitement sought by drinkers, but had at the same time a sedative influence on their nervous systems. I have frequently seen hardened drinkers renounce their fatal habit and return to a healthy condition." "I have also used to save smokers of exaggerated habits, from nicotinism. A few glasses of taken in small doses, either pure or mixed with water, acted as a substitute for pipes and cigars, because the smokers found in it the cerebral excitement which they sought in tobacco, wholly preserving their intellectual faculties."

This is owing to the DILUTE concentration of the cocaine within a fluid base, with cocaine absorbed relatively slowly.  Also, with cocaine as not only a CNS stimulant but as well an anesthetic, so drinking such a cocaine containing fluid would provide an anesthetic inhabiter effect numbing appetite and hence appetite for more, thus guarding against excessive drinking by providing a strong feeling of fullness from within the GI tract.  Such an anesthetic inhibitor effect of course would be absent with any of the other means of taking cocaine, particularly the more concentrated modes of sniffed cocaine hci, let along injecting it or smoking it in concentrated form as 'crack'.

Nonetheless, rather than explain any of this to its readers, The New England Medical Journal simply follows AMA derived patent medicine propaganda to smear Vin Mariani as somehow 'addictive' and curiously does so in the same breath as smearing the idea of a product for curing Tobacco addiction as so-called 'quackery'.

Such a juxtaposition of smearing reeks as a 'Freudian slip' in light of The New England Medical Journal's longstanding enshrinement of Tobacco cigarette advertisements, and the USDA-AMA circular 1910 'concern' over the use of Coca products as a 'Tobacco habit cure'.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Today Is the 100th Anniversary of Woodrow Wilson Signing the Harrison 'Narcotics' Act

to pervert opiates and cocaine into concentrated drugs via a criminal scheme to protect synthetic patent - pharmaceutical - medications and Virginia Bright leaf cigarettes

Woodrow Wilson signing Federal Reserve Act
(no picture on the Internet of him signing the Harrison 'Narcotics' Act)

Virginia Bright Leaf cigarette ad in medical journal highlighting the despicable alliance between big pharma and big tobacco