US International Socialist Organisation member Brian Jones, speaking at the opening night of Marxism 2013. This snippet from his speech deals with the hypocrisy and current contradictions in US capitalism including the fights by teachers for justice in education. Take a listen, it’s only a little over five minutes long.
… the same government that claims cannabis has no medical value provides cannabis, for medicinal purposes, to several US citizens (at one time fifteen of them), free of charge. There’s no hypocrisy here, none what so ever. Move along citizen.
I won’t pretend to be educated enough to understand everything in the article excerpted below, but I am smart enough to see the connection between cancer research, cannabis prohibition, and the prison-law enforcement industrial complex.
The World Health Organization estimates that the number of women living with breast cancer globally will rise to 15 million by the year 2020 with a significant portion of these patients in advanced stages of the disease. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death in women, with nearly 200,000 diagnoses each year in the United States alone. As a cancer that most commonly metastasizes to bone, breast cancer cells in the bone microenvironment cause bone loss, fractures, anemia, and severe pain. Despite marked advances in chemotherapeutics for early-stage breast cancers, few new therapies are effective in slowing disease progression and increasing survival in advanced disease.
Neither palliative care nor therapeutics approved for use in advanced stages of breast cancer have improved in the last 30 years despite the persistence of the disease; for these reasons, alternative therapies must be developed.
One possible alternative includes the agonism of cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), which has previously shown analgesic activity in acute, chronic, inflammatory, and neuropathic pain without producing psychoactive or rewarding behavior. Additionally, CB2 receptors are integral components of normal bone metabolism. Activation of CB2 receptors improves bone integrity by stimulating the proliferation of osteoblasts and inhibiting the proliferation and activation of osteoclasts. Recently, CB2 agonists have also been shown to have antitumor potential in the MMTV-neu mouse, ErbB2-driven breast cancer model in an protein kinase B (AKT) pathway-dependent fashion. The specific mechanism(s) of antiproliferation by CB2 agonists is understudied and unclear. However, it is evident that CB2 agonists suppress the release of cytokines and chemokines from immune cells and some types of cancer cells, molecules that are well known to promote breast cancer proliferation, migration, pain, and bone resorption.
In conclusion, advanced-stage cancer demands novel drugs for the treatment of bone metastasis. Our most recent data suggests that nonpsychotropic CB2 agonists may serve as a disease-modifying treatment for metastatic breast cancer patients, with the potential to increase the survival rate, relieve pain, improve bone structure, and inhibit tumor cell growth. As demonstrated by the recent discovery of the B-RAF inhibitor for advanced melanoma, drugs that increase the survival time and quality of life greatly benefit patients, family, doctors, and the community. (Emphasis mine, source)
There’s a great deal more technical information and research for those with the training or the inclination to delve deeper, and I encourage you to click the source link and check it out.
For those of you who don’t yet know this, cannabinoids are chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant. They are also produced within the human body. Our bodies are literally riddled with cannabinoid receptors. Many have theorized, and anecdotal evidence seems to confirm, that the intake of cannabinoids from the cannabis plant offers many health benefits, especially with regards to the treatment and curing of many cancers.
Unfortunately the research needed to confirm these theories has been blocked in the US for many years by agencies such as DEA, FDA, and private sector entities with a vested interest in either the continued prohibition of cannabis, the suppression of potential cures for cancer, or both.
Why would our government, or anyone else for that matter, not want to find a cure for cancer, or refuse to relax enough regulation to allow such research to move forward? That’s a damned good question, and from my perspective, the answer is quite simple and obvious.
Cancer research is a very lucrative business, and it is much more profitable to extend a cancer patient’s life, and milk their insurance policy or bank account dry, and then let them die than it is to actually offer a cure. Cannabis is a prolific annual herb that even people with the blackest of thumbs could grow for themselves. If consumption of cannabis truly offers a cure for as many different diseases as the evidence suggests, there’s no profit to be made and much to be lost by those in the cancer research business.
If that weren’t enough motive to keep cannabis outlawed, here’s another angle on it. Cannabis prohibition creates millions of jobs for prison operators and builders, police officers, guards, judges, lawyers, drug testing companies, and more; powerful industries with very deep pockets and tremendous political influence. Ending cannabis prohibition would mean releasing many prisoners, would probably result in a rash of wrongful imprisonment lawsuits, and most important of all, would result in far less need for cops, jailers, and jails.
Never mind the fact that such a change would free up scarce resources we need to catch, prosecute, and jail the true criminals among us, and keep them off the street for much longer periods of time. I’d rest a lot easier knowing that once a child molester, rapist, murderer, or thief is caught they’ll be locked away for many many years, than I do now with knowing that thousands of peaceful, productive people languish in prison for growing, selling, or simply possessing a harmless flower.
Pay no attention to the potential good legal cannabis offers our nation and the world; our leaders have made it abundantly clear that the profits of a few are far more important than justice or decency.
It is far more important to the United States government, and most state governments as well, to preserve the livelihoods of cops, drug testers, lawyers, judges, and jailers, no matter how unjust doing so is. The proof is in the pudding, and the more I eat that pudding the more it tastes like shit.