There is a hurricane wind of change around the subject of drugs, especially marijuana in recent years, yet in July of 2016 the U.S. government announced that marijuana would continue to be classified as a Schedule 1 drug, meaning it has a high potential for abuse even though there is a rising tide of humanitarianism screaming for full legalization. Then in August, a federal court ruled that the Department of Justice could not spend money to prosecute people who violate federal drug laws but comply with state medical marijuana laws.
The ruling prevents federal law enforcement from prosecution of anyone who obeys a state’s medical marijuana laws yet congress could change that. The “war on drugs” is one of the most irrational, idiotic and destructive public policy failures in American history that has police officers arresting more than 1.2 million people a year in the United States on charges of illegal drug possession.
More Americans are using marijuana, and fewer people think that regularly doing so is harmful. A new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry shows that from 2002 to 2014, the number of American adults who used marijuana in the last year increased by 10 million and the number of people who used it daily increased by more than four million. More adults also started using marijuana for the first time. Yet there was not an increase in reported marijuana abuse or dependence. The researchers observed a drop—50% to 33%—in the number of people who thought that smoking marijuana once or twice a week was harmful.
Federal Judges Know
Federal Judge Nancy Gertner was appointed to the federal bench by Bill Clinton in 1994. She presided over trials for 17 years. She recently stood before a crowd to denounce most punishments that she imposed. Among 500 sanctions that she handed down, “80 percent I believe were unfair and disproportionate,” she said. Gertner compares the damage done by the “War on Drugs” to Destruction of World War II. She is not the first judge to decry the war against the American people.
Does not take an overly large brain to understand that whenever an irrational and inhumane law remains on the books far longer than any thinking person would consider appropriate, there is usually one reason behind it: money. Not difficult to follow this money trail. The legalization of medical marijuana has led to an overall reduction of the use of prescription drugs. In the 17 states with medical-marijuana laws in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply.
The drops were quite significant: In medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication. However, most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year.
Now only a few years later half of the states and Washington, D.C. have legalized medical marijuana to treat certain health problems, including painful nerve conditions and depression.
Marijuana Cures Cancer?
There are now unlimited anecdotal patient reports, increasing numbers of legitimate clinical case studies, and large amounts of preclinical studies that all indicate tumor-fighting activities of cannabinoids. Medical marijuana in concentrated form is a natural form of chemotherapy—it cures cancer! It might not cure everyone’s cancer, and it does not address every cause—for that one needs a full cancer protocol. However, no cancer patient should do without it and that importantly includes the children who have cancer.
Unlimited Ability to Calm Human Suffering
The greatest story to tell about marijuana is that it has an almost unlimited ability to calm human suffering and because of this people are turning to medical marijuana as a preferred treatment to their pain and depression. There is more than enough evidence to suggest that marijuana could help people with anxiety and singlehandedly help end the opioid epidemic that is killing increasing amounts of people.
The United States Army top doctor though doubts the use of medical marijuana for PTSD cases and is more concerned with its downsides, of which there are little compared to pharmaceuticals. Many veterans say smoking marijuana has eased their symptoms of PTSD yet the Department of Veterans Affairs does not listen to them also maintaining doubts about its effectiveness. Yet we here reports from some of the worst hit veterans, “I started taking so many prescription pills. I was numb to the world.” Over time, he ended up replacing those pills—up to 150 a day, he says—with marijuana.
Medical scientists are studying whether marijuana can stave off Alzheimer’s disease or even mitigate brain damage from stroke or concussions. A 2014 study suggested a compound in marijuana could slow the production of proteins that accumulate when a person has Alzheimer’s.
Cannabis helps cancer and HIV patients and others who suffer from the most severe cases of chronic pain. While some people cannot walk without experiencing severe pain, others are unable to eat regularly due to a decreased appetite from other prescribed medications. Marijuana is the best medicine for pain. Peripheral nerves that detect pain are abundant in cannabinoids receptors, and cannabinoids found in marijuana seem to be able to block or at least ease peripheral nerve pain.
This year JAMA Psychiatry found that using marijuana, as an adult actually is not associated with an increase in mood and anxiety disorders, including depression and bipolar disorder, the opposite of what experts have believed for decades.
Helpmate for Humans
The wind has changed in terms of marijuana and its ancient use as a helpmate to humans. The press is even reporting on positive uses for heroin (that is how far the paradigm shift is going) when it too is used as a medicine. The western medical paradigm has always maintained that the ‘dose makes the poison,’ meaning it is acceptable to use poisons as medicines.
The misuse of drugs should never have been made into a criminal situation. Drugs should be seen and treated as health problems, as they have been in Portugal for the last ten years. Fortunately, that is the direction drugs policies are going in countries that are sensitive to the real needs of their people.
Allison could not get out of bed most mornings. She contemplated suicide. She saw herself as “a shitty lazy person who felt like crap all the time”. She was deeply depressed, and no wonder. As she explained in an interview with NPR last month, in slow, halting sentences, she’d been molested by three family members by the age of 15. One of the three was her father. Heroin, Allison explained, “made me feel as if I could get up and do something”. She could function. “I was great at my job … and I was doing art on the side. I had energy for the first time in I don’t know how long.” In other words, she had vanquished her depression – with an illegal, highly addictive, “recreational” drug that she bought off the street.
It should not be surprising that a powerful opiate can help people overcome psychological pain. Opioids are critical neurochemicals, helping mammals to function in spite of pain, stress and panic. Opioids are even present in mother’s milk: they are nature’s way of ensuring an emotional bond between infant and mother.
Marijuana of course is infinitely safer than heroin but has been classified in the same group of drugs. Doctors and other health professions are the ones who need to help people who are suffering. They are the ones who need to find the best drugs for their patients and presently some of the illegal ones are the ones that work the best on the most difficult medical cases.
The pragmatic Chinese would be the first to teach that if it works use it. It is wrong to classify strong opioid drugs, and other substances currently disparaged by our society, as intrinsically “bad” or “evil.” This is especially important for what politicians have done is label the good as bad, which has lead us away from understanding and seeing what the truly bad people and organizations are doing.
The fact is that marijuana helps people relax, enjoy music and philosophize. Marijuana is far safer than booze in every respect. It might make a person silly but not aggressive; it has none of the well-documented health risks of alcohol and it is far less likely to lead to accidents.
One of my favorite forms of taking marijuana is CBD. CBD can also be derived from hemp, which happens to be legal to consume and ship most anywhere in the world. Unlike its cousin marijuana, hemp does not contain THC so it is non-psychoactive but the CBD still maintains most of the health benefits.
One of the products I use, Aceso, comes in the form of a drink mix powder or a tincture and contains hemp-derived cannabinoids designed for specific uses: calming anxiety and stress, soothing pain and aches and boosting overall wellness, immunity and mood stability. I was recently fasting and found the drink powder made my fasting easier.
CBD salves are incredible for any problem having to do with the skin including skin cancer and burns. Every medical cabinet should have a jar.
The amount of healing benefits that come along with the various applications of marijuana is undeniable. The hope is that sometime in the near future, there will be widespread access to not only hemp health products but marijuana for medical and recreational purposes as well.
No matter how much good there is to be found in the marijuana plant there will always be people who are against its legalization. Pharmaceutical giant Insys Therapeutics Inc., a manufacturer of fentanyl, just contributed $500,000 in the fight against marijuana legalization. This is one of the clearest examples of pharmaceutical terrorism that we can see. The company markets only this one product — a spray version of fentanyl, a powerful opiate.
Fentanyl is more potent than traditional addictive opiates, which already claim thousands of lives every year and drive addicts to graduate to heroin use. It is 50 times stronger than heroin and has been linked to a growing number of deaths in the United States. It is particularly dangerous when sold on the street and cut with other drugs. Fentanyl has been blamed for worsening the sharp rise in heroin overdoses as dealers across the country have begun adding it to heroin to make it stronger.
Yet Insys and opponents of legalization are more concerned about a plant. According to Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy, “four states and the District of Columbia have already legalized [cannabis] and are seeing disastrous repercussions for their youth, workplaces and communities.” The drug war on people is alive and well even as legalization efforts continue to go through.
This EBook, soon to be published in New York in paperback, recognizes the “War on Drugs” as an act of terror on good people as well as a war on a natural substance (God made it) that is widely understood to be valuable, safe and even a miraculous palliative medicine. Dr. David Brownstein reviewed this book thanking me personally for the education it gave him. We would gain a victory against terrorism if we ended internationally the war against people who use drugs. If we ever want to be ‘human beings,’ compassionate ones with a sense of heart and justice, we will look at drug abuse as a health problem not a criminal one.
I think it an important point to associate marijuana as a gift that God has given, it is natural, useful, extremely so. To be against Nature is to be against God. Unfortunately, too many are on this road though they fool themselves into believing otherwise. That said caution and prudence should still apply when using any medicine natural or pharmaceutical.