There are so many harmful consequences to cannabis prohibition, that it is impossible to list all of them. Prohibition needlessly costs us money and lives. Many people understand the costs associated with prohibition and the fact that we could be generating revenue instead of wasting money. When innocent people are killed in marijuana raids, Americans certainly know that tragedy has occurred (although I am amazed that their isn’t more outrage.) A hidden cost of cannabis prohibition, that many people may be unaware of, is the lack of scientific research that can be conducted do to the restraints and restrictions the federal government places on medical cannabis research.
Despite the obstacles placed in the way of cannabis researchers, it is exciting to hear about ground-breaking research into cannabis and all of its compounds. Studies have shown the benefits of cannabis in helping fight nausea and chronic pain. Possibly most exciting is discovering how cannabis compounds can help combat cancer. From the San Francisco Chronicle online:
Two scientists at San Francisco’s California Pacific Medical Center Research Institute first released data five years ago that showed how this compound – called cannabidiol – reduced the aggressiveness of human breast cancer cells in the lab.
Last year, they published a small study that showed it had a similar effect on mice. Now, the researchers are on the cusp of releasing data, also on animals, that expands upon these results, and hope to move forward as soon as possible with human clinical trials.
“The preclinical trial data is very strong, and there’s no toxicity. There’s really a lot of research to move ahead with and to get people excited,” said Sean McAllister, who along with scientist Pierre Desprez, has been studying the active molecules in marijuana – called cannabinoids – as potent inhibitors of metastatic disease for the past decade.
Cancer kills over 500,000 Americans every year (more than 1,500 people a day!) and is now the number one killer of Hispanics in the United States. It is a shame that a government will enact policies and regulations that hinder research into a plant and its compounds that can benefit so many citizens. Cancer inflicts so many people across all demographics, certainly not just “stoners” and “hippies,” so hopefully more and more Americans will demand a change in our laws so that restrictions against medical marijuana research will be lessened. Of course, the best thing for medical patients and medical research is an end to the harmful policy of cannabis prohibition.
Published with special permission from the National Cannabis Coalition