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Arguments Over The “High” Of Cannabis Are Half-Baked

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2013 marijuana victoriesBy Jane Hash

Over half of the US population has some type of documented disability.  This umbrella term describes unapparent conditions like Dyslexia, as well as more obvious diagnosis’ including Dwarfism.  Many who fall under the classification of “disabled” are unable to work because of their disability and the extra health issues that come with the territory.  Luckily, the pharmaceutical industry is prepared with an arsenal of medications, approved by the FDA, to help manage these issues.

Many of these approved medications have proven to cause further disabling conditions though, including death.  For example, those who have paralysis or muscular dystrophy are prone to muscle spasms, which can cause physical discomfort and disrupt basic daily living activities.  A group of drugs known as muscle relaxers are generally prescribed for this.  Some of the side effects of these drugs include rashes, vomiting and heartburn.  So, quadriplegics get to trade in their muscle spasms for a rash and a few vomiting spells?  Doesn’t this seem a bit counterproductive?

Wouldn’t it be amazing if there were one medication that would relieve symptoms of multiple disabilities including, depression, cerebral palsy, lupus, HIV and even cancer?  What if the potential side effects of such a medication was, increased appetite, restful sleep and elevated mood?  If this medicine existed, imagine the positive transformation that would take place in the lives of people who not only have to deal with their disability but also suffer the consequences of their prescribed treatments.

This medicine does exist. It’s called cannabis.  The medicinal and nutritional use of cannabis can be traced back to 6000 BC.  It was first listed in the US Pharmacopeia in 1851, as a safe and effective remedy for a wide variety of health problems including morning sickness.  In 1937 however, The Marihuana Tax Act was set in motion.  This tax posed an extreme financial hardship on doctors, which made it nearly impossible for them to continue to provide cannabis to their patients.  Then the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which classified cannabis as “having high potential for abuse, no medical use and not safe to use without medical supervision” was passed.  Even if a doctor could afford to prescribe cannabis, it was now illegal to do so.

Coincidentally, during this very same era, new pharmaceutical drugs like antibiotics became available to patients across the US.  While a popular antibiotic known as “Penicillin” has proven useful in combating diseases such as syphilis, it comes with a long list of frightening possible side effects and it is no match for the ‘super bugs’ of today like MRSA.   Giovanni Appendino of the Piemonte Orientale University, in Italy, and Simon Gibbons of the School of Pharmacy at the University of London, U.K., have been studying the antibacterial properties of Cannabis.  Gibbons claims, “The cannabinoids (chemical compounds found in Cannabis) even showed exceptional activity against the MRSA strain that makes extra amounts of proteins that give the bugs resistance against many antibiotics.”

The cannabinoids which proved the most effective in combating this resistant bacteria are the ones which do not contain psychoactive properties, so using Cannabis in this medicinal fashion will not get a patient ‘high.’  “What this means is, we could use fiber hemp plants that have no use as recreational drugs to cheaply and easily produce potent antibiotics,” Appendino reports.

Dr. William Courtney, M.D., and his patient and fellow researcher Kristen Peskuski claim there are other ways of using cannabis for medical purposes without getting ‘high.’  In their documentary, “Leaf” they illustrate how Peskuski attempted to manage her lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and other disabling conditions with a cocktail of over 40 prescribed medications.  The side effects of these medications overcame her.  By the age of 16, Peskuski could no longer get out of bed and her mother feared she would die.  After spending several years in this condition, a friend introduced her to Dr. Courtney who educated her on the benefits of juicing fresh, raw Cannabis.  Within four weeks of juicing Cannabis, she was pain-free and was able to start enjoying life again.

SEE ALSO: Supreme Court Rules in Genetics Patent Case: Victory for People with Genetic Disorders 

Opponents of the legalization of cannabis argue that ‘getting high’ is dangerous.  Statistics show in 2010, 100,000 American’s died from prescription drugs, yet there are zero recorded fatalities attributed to the medical or recreational use of Cannabis-ever.  Another weak argument against the legalization of Cannabis is, its supposedly addictive.

According to the CDC though, over 40 million Americans are currently addicted to cigarettes.  It is a well-known fact that cigarette smoking and second-hand cigarette smoke causes a list of fatal conditions.

Health oriented organizations which endorse the legalization of medical cannabis include the AIDS Action Counsil, Lymphoma Foundation of America, Multiple Sclerosis Society (UK) and many others.  Approximately 19 US states have some type of Compassionate Care Initiative, which give patients limited access to Cannabis and six other states are working toward establishing similar initiatives. Are we to conclude that the FDA and other legislative branches of the US government only approve of drugs and addictions that will keep us sick to support the growing pharmaceutical industry?

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Johnny Green

4 Comments

  1. Pitchman101 on

    I was just wondering. If the Federal government were to reclasify MJ, Could that open up pandora’s box in the form of lawsuits against the government pertaining to its blatant willfull ignorant irresposible handling of Marijuana over the past 70 years?

    Is there any legal presedence in that a government caused so much damage to so many people by its pathetic policy’s that they were held morally ethically and criminaly accountable?

    If Marijuana is found to offer all the releif that is being documented in this internet age, and it truely can be shown that U.S Policy blocked access to legitimate treatment that directly or potentaly led to so many false imprisonments and deaths, Then wouldn’t our government need to first document something that said in affect, We the U.S governemnt cannot be held responsible for our blatant ignorant irresponsible actions of the past 70 years as it pertains to Marijuana?. Make it legal?

    If so, Could that be a reason for the current administrations complete lack of willingness to right this Wrong?

    By doing so, the U.S government would be openly admiting its policy’s were flaud. Pandora’s box would then be open.

    Just Saying!

  2. Wayne Phillips on

    ‘getting high’ is dangerous . . . as opposed to what? Those that would deny the medicinal benefits of cannabis because it gets one “high” miss the point entirely. It is a bonus to be able to elevate oneself out of the grip of debilitating pain and to do so in a way that takes a minimum of toll on the human mind, body and spirit, not a
    detriment. This is especially true when it can be achieved via an “illegal” plant in its’ natural state, even as hundreds of thousands,if not millions die every year from approved legal pharmaceuticals. Moreover, this does not factor in the death rates, etc of other licit commodities – those, in all fairness, are separate issues.

    There is, however, something drastically abnormal, and therefore dysfunctional, about a society that purports to be a conscientious democracy and champion of human rights, then goes out of its way to entrench, as national policy, ways and means both contentious and unrepresentative of either fact, common sense or a modicum of
    decency. Yet in 2013 that describes North America, in general; this is certainly the case where cannabis is concerned. It is like the elephant in the room that no-one in government wants to deal with.

    To criminalize those that use cannabis medicinally recreationally or spiritually should rightly be considered a crime against humanity. Government needs to stop conspiring to concoct a scape-goat out of those that use cannabis and to stop turning that into a “rationale” for incarcerating users while organized crime, police forces and prisons continue to grow expeditiously with every passing year.

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