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Cannabis And The United States Government

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uncle sam drug warThe United States Government Needs To Respect Science And The Will Of The People

By Daniel Bauer, Oregon State University SSDP

The United States government needs to reevaluate the place of independent science in all policy-making decisions, and current drug policies are the perfect place to start. Under the Controlled Substances Act passed by Congress in 1970, signed into law by President Richard Nixon, Cannabis is classified as a Schedule 1 drug. “Substances in this schedule have a high potential for abuse, have no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and there is a lack of accepted safety for use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.” [1]

Cannabis shares this classification with drugs such as heroin and methamphetamine. Cocaine is even deemed less harmful, classified under Schedule II. Cannabis is classified as such despite the numerous studies that have been performed on its medicinal applications, many finding it extremely useful.

Under United States Patent: 6630507, the Department of Health and Human Services has this to say on the matter: “Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties… This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and HIV dementia.” [2] If not regulated properly, oxidative stress can induce a variety of chronic and degenerative diseases–exactly what this patent claims cannabinoids can be used as preventative care for. [3]

Another case for the medicinal values of cannabis come in the form of its incredible ability to inhibit tumor growth, migration, angiogenesis and metastasis, and even to initiate programmed cell death, or PCD, in cancer cells. [4] This is critical, as one of the ways in which a cancer cell survives in the body is by overriding the cell’s encoded checkpoints that would normally trigger PCD in the event of a cell malfunction. A study conducted by the University of Palermo in Italy on cannabinoid-associated cell death mechanisms in tumor models, came to this conclusion: “Overall, the results reported here suggest that the exploration of molecular mechanisms induced by cannabinoids in cancer cells can contribute to the development of safe and effective treatments in cancer therapy.” [4]

What’s more, a study performed by the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology at Virginia Commonwealth University found that THC (?9-tetrahydrocannabinol), the main psychoactive chemical found in cannabis, induced PCD of leukemia T cells. [5]

Not only have cannabinoids been found to suppress tumor growth, but there have also been studies using them to treat patients with multiple sclerosis. The University of Aberdeen in Scotland has found there is a growing amount of evidence that cannabis is effective in suppressing symptoms of multiple sclerosis as well as spinal cord injuries. [6]

These are only recent studies, cannabis has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, and there are multitudes of medicinal applications. How the United States government can claim that cannabis has no accepted medical value is beyond comprehension. The science speaks for itself.

Our government needs to listen to the science as well as the American public on the issue. Public opinion has shifted in recent years and there have been multiple polls showing that the legalization of cannabis is now an opinion of the majority. In 2011 a Gallup poll found 50% were supportive [7], in May of this year a Rasmussen poll found it was favored by 56% [8], and earlier this month an Angus Reid Public Opinion poll found 52% supported legalization. [9]

Which part of the overwhelming science and public support, doesn’t translate into federal legislation? Seventeen states now have medical marijuana programs, with seven more states voting on the issue this November. There are also legalization measures on the ballot in Washington and Colorado this November, with Oregon poised to join them soon. The science has spoken and public opinion supports it. The federal government is behind the times, and it’s time they fall in line with the facts.

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  • JG

    They will not legalize cannabis because they can not control it.They only want too pick individual cannabinoid compounds out of the plant and patent them and continue the pharma scam. Super elite the real puppet masters of`U.S. government and the rest of the world realize that too say its Medicinal is in turn also saying it can it can be utilized for industrial purposes witch is what they are truly afraid of.If cannabis is used for everything it is good for then many industries such as Logging,Crude oil,Textiles,Pharma Drugs,Building materials,Plastics,Nutrition will all be either made obsolete or or integrated using the plant causing these super elite too lose billions upon billions in profits for much more environmentally safe ways too get the same products their corporations pruduce. Not too mention the major decreases in Alcohol and tobacco legalisation will cause as well as the void that will be created in the Courts and prisons and bureaucracies like Police, FBI and DEA when they could no longer justify their budgets as people steer away from the hard drugs and crime prohibition causes.

  • Crystal meth is different, my friend. Crystal meth makes you horny as hell. Among many other things. Desoxyn has the same kind of *speed* effect, but trust me, it is not like crystal meth.

  • Aka th Floridabadger

    Facts are facts to ALL the negative people! Sit down n smoke a bowl 2 or 3! Then u can decide!

  • mark

    I like what is said here. I do see a forward change comming, though it is slow due to the ignorance on many political personel. That is changing basically as seeing cannabus hemp as an agracultural commodity.
    The problem is education, Cannabus – Hemp, and cannabus – medical, are apples and oranges. and there in lies the hurdle we have to get the population to understand.

  • Duncan20903

    Meth is schedule II, on the shelves of your local pharmacy and available for prescription.

    http://www.rxlist.com/desoxyn-drug.htm

    It’s FDA approved for school children older than age 6 and has a target
    patient between 8 and 12 years old, for the ADHD you know. Why, just
    look at that young boy in the medicinal methamphetamine ad I’ve linked above. Isn’t he just as cute as a button? It’s easy to tell just by looking at him that he’s beside himself with joy and knows that he is indeed one lucky little boy to have a prescription for medicinal meth.
    http://www.justice.gov/dea/pubs/scheduling.html

  • malcolmkyle

    Talk to your children!

    Kids can ask some tough questions but those concerning prohibition are actually fairly easy to answer. Be straightforward. Explain concisely how the unconscionable acts of parasitic prohibitionists (at all levels of our bi-partisan police-state) have raised gang warfare to a level not seen since the days of alcohol bootleggin­g; ­how these despicable monsters have creating a prison-for­-profit synergy with evil drug lords and terrorists; how they were able to remove many of our cherished and important civil liberties, putting many previously unknown and contaminate­d drugs on our streets; how they’ve overcrowd­ing the courts and prisons, making it increasing­ly impossible to curtail the people who are really hurting and terrorizing­ others; and how they’ve helped to evolve local street gangs into transnatio­nal enterprise­s, with intricate power structures that reach into every corner of society, and with significant social and military resources at their disposal.

    Then read them the following quote from Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”

    “The State must declare the child to be the most precious treasure of the people. As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.”

    Finally, preparing for the worst can be difficult but helpful, and as parents, it is our duty to prevent it from happening. Our children need to know that It’s always possible to prevent a dire situation turning into an irreversible and very bleak one; explain to them what our very wise forefathers did in 1933!

  • jontomas

    Good position statement and demand. – Unfortunately, it will continue to be met by our “leaders'” stone wall of silence. Our government has become increasingly disfunctional due to the growing inequality and allowing money to subvert the system.

    It responds only to money now, and the marijuana-prohibition-industrial-complex has so much to throw, almost all politicians are in their pocket.

    If only the people could wake up in time to see Governor Gary Johnson is the only capable, honest presidential candidate.