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Feds Ignore Their Own Agency’s Findings Around Medical Benefits Of Marijuana

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barack obama medical marijuanaBy Amanda Reiman, Drug Policy Alliance

In this week’s “hypocrisy news,” the federal government continues to deny the medical value of cannabis even in light of contrary claims by its own agency, the National Institute of Health.

According to an article on NBC News.com, the Advocates for the Disabled and Seriously Ill (ADSI) took issue with the fact that in a National Cancer Institute (NCI) report, cannabis is hailed as a medicine that “inhibited the survival of both estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cell lines, and may provide risk reduction and treatment of colorectal cancer.” Further, the report states that cannabis does not cause lung cancer, and might have a protective effect against its formation.

The hypocrisy is in the fact that the NCI is part of the National Institute of Health, an agency of the federal government – the same government that claims cannabis has no accepted medical use. Apparently curing cancer does not fit the definition of “medical.”

This is not the first time we have heard claims of the anti-cancer effects of cannabis. In 2006, Dr. Donald Tashkin at UCLA conducted a study to determine if there was a link between lung cancer and cannabis. Even Tashkin was surprised by the outcome stating, “we hypothesized that there would be a positive association between marijuana use and lung cancer, and that the association would be more positive with heavier use. What we found instead was no association at all, and even a suggestion of some protective effect.”

But there’s more.

In the mid 1990’s, Cristina Sanchez, a scientist in Madrid found that THC, one of the active ingredients in cannabis kills brain cancer cells. This effect was replicated by Manuel Guzman and his team of researchers in Spain in the mid 2000’s. Guzman administered THC via catheter to nine patients with brain cancer who had been resistant to other medications. Tumor growth was reduced in every single subject. Guzman published his study in the British Journal of Pharmacology in 2006.

Also in the mid 2000’s, scientists from Harvard found that administering THC slowed the growth of lung cancer cells. The Harvard study made the important discovery that cannabis can kill the affected cells while leaving healthy cells alone, something that makes chemotherapy take such a toll on the body.

So, why would our government, in light of scientific evidence that cannabis kills cancer cells continue their party line of “no medical value?” Is it to save face? To not have to admit how wrong they are?

Last night, I gave a talk about medical cannabis at the Women’s Cancer Resource Center in Oakland, CA. The room was packed with women (and some of their husbands) who have (or had) cancer. These women are brave, they are fighters and they would do anything in their power to take back control of their health. All they want is a level playing field.

When I told them about the ADSI article, the NCI report and the research, they were angry. They wanted to know why their government had been keeping this from them and their doctors. They wanted to know why they were steered towards chemotherapy and prescription pills that took away any quality of life they had.

They were angry, but then they become hopeful. They live in California, and cannabis is available to them. They felt empowered when we spoke of going to a dispensary and making choices about their health and their treatment. They lamented their sisters in non-medical cannabis states who were still in the dark and considered criminals.

Most of all, they just asked why? Why would our government deny this information to the millions of people who could be helped by it?

I wish I had an answer for them, but, I didn’t, and I’m not the one who needs to answer to them, their government does.

Source: Drug Policy Alliancemake a donation

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26 Comments

  1. FEDS JUST LEGALIZE IT WITH ALCOHOL IT’S WHAT THE PEOPLE WANT> IT HAS A PLACE IN MEDICINE>> QUIT BEING SO CLOSED MINDED WE COME SO FAR OVER THE YEARS BUT THE IGNORANCE IS STILL THERE…….

  2. When I think about cancer, I think about the people in the world who have done the most innovative things to treat it and succeeded at it, then I look at what they’re up to nowadays. Follow the doctors who succeed. No need to play guessing games. My top following is the guy who built a cancer treatment and sold it for $6.5 BILLION (Erbitux, one of the top head and neck cancer treatments today). I think he’s one of the people everyone should be following when it comes to the ultimate cure for cancer. This article was very informative for me in terms of figuring out where real scientists with hundreds of millions in personal wealth are putting their time, even when they don’t need to work: http://www.trefis.com/stock/snti/articles/168060/could-dr-harlan-waksals-final-gift-to-the-world-be-the-cure-for-cancer/2013-02-11
    Follow the money, right? Why would someone with almost a billion dollars in personal wealth be working on this new cancer treatment? I bet this Erbitux guys believes he has found it…

  3. Yeah, they might have to do a job that actually produces something beneficial to others…Like growing Cannabis!

    -Oz

  4. The research is spurious. That’s why the government does not share your view. Even if it wasn’t why should it be legal apart from medical reasons?

  5. Yes, to save face. To do an “about face” now would mean that all the last 7 presidents (from Nixon) were completely and utterly wrong – and knew it (from at least 74). So tradition keeps us sick and without help. Only Carter has come forward and changed his tone regarding prohibition. Yes, follow the money.

  6. WanderingChild on

    OUR government? You’ve got to be kidding! BIG PHARMA bought and paid for that government, and now it obviously belongs to them. Pleas see and recommend to all of your friends Michael Moore’s film (DVD) “SICKO”. It explains what’s happened to medical care in this country.

  7. The answer to why is money. Cancer is big business, ask the Komen center and big pharma. And until Monsanato(sp?) Can figure out how to corner the seed on pot then no one with money will advocate it thru legislature.

  8. As far as I’m concerned, The federal government has knowingly murdered millions of innocent sick people, their citizens, including my aunt and two uncles, and including taking away my mother’s father in her teens, since the time of Anslinger and his ilk.

  9. Call it a conspiracy by “will work for bribes” politicians who have infiltrated the Whte House, Congress, and the Supreme Court, supported by all the special interests who profit from marijuana prohibition: drug cartels, tobacco, pharmaceutical, medical, textile, law enforcement, and prison industries. In this new, offensive to GOD age, it is governments duty to scrifice some of its citizens and make them “criminals” for the comfort and pleasure of its rich benefactors.

  10. So, why would our government, in light of scientific evidence that cannabis kills cancer cells continue their party line of “no medical value?” Is it to save face? To not have to admit how wrong they are?

    No, all you need to do is follow the money to find their agenda.

  11. I think you should be made aware that the URL for the libertarian website you just posted is registered and owned by a man named Eric Scheie, a registered Republican, who has a very well-documented bias against the President. I’m still shocked by his article suggesting that white people only voted for Obama to alleviate racial guilt. So forgive me if I can’t take anything from the website owned by “doth protest too much” Eric Scheie too seriously.

  12. “When I told them about the ADSI article, the NCI report and the research, they were angry.”

    That’s exactly what it will take! When people become angry they talk to others about their experience and their voice is spread across the social construct via word of mouth or the internet. The federal government can drag its feet and keep the current scheduling, it is not going to matter. The people with cancer without cannabis therapy will suffer or die and it will be said that the federal government was to blame, more people will become angry and this anger will influence their vote.

    The federal government is suppose to protect and serve the people. They cannot do that if they are protecting and serving the success of the booming medical industry by prohibiting inexpensive natural substances (compared to chemo and radiation) that cure diseases and promote well-being.

    You have to wonder if cannabis is fueling this new era of awareness and change, bringing the people into the light so they can see what’s being done to them. If this is true, we will then know why those elements within the federal government fought to keep it illegal.

    Sow it, smoke it, share it…

    :reddit

  13. Absolutely right – in fact I’ll bet it would be a matter of national security – average cost of treatment for cancer $300,000.00 – live or die 300k – per person. US medical economy would collapse overnight if we tried to change the course of an entire economic base like healthcare. Even at 3k a pound for RSO treatment. Can you imagine all the people out of a job?!

  14. Amazing! A very powerful article. I will be forwarding it to family and friends. Hope others do the same.

  15. Rabbi Jeffrey Kahn who is opening a dispensary in DC will be speaking at Temple Beth El in Rockford. April 11-12. He will be giving talks on Med Cannabis.

    There are more endocannabinoid receptors in the body than any other receptor type.

    The endocannabinoid system is a major regulator in the body implicated in almost all diseases including cancer.

    Medical Marijuana prohibition is a crime against humanity and a violation of the religious precept – heal the sick.