I gave up smoking pot regularly almost ten years ago, but if cannabis were legal and easily available today and I wanted a little recreation I would probably either use a vaporizer (smoking without the smoke) or buy edible baked goods containing marijuana.
What I’d really like though, is to be able to legally grow my own and eat most of the harvest as a dietary supplement. Eating the raw plant, unheated, doesn’t get people high because psychoactive cannabinoids, the ingredients in cannabis that make it work on our heads are only activated by heat, which is why smoking the stuff gives us a buzz.
The human body contains millions of cells called cannabinoid receptors. We’re all just loaded with them, and we generate our own chemicals similar to those found in the cannabis plant, called endocannabinoids. Among other things, endocannabinoids appear to play an important role in our immune systems.
Cannabinoid research is still a very young field, but around the world scientists are making promising discoveries almost every week. One exciting discovery is that smoking pot typically gives us a small dose of cannabinoids, but consuming the raw plant provides up to sixty times as much of these helpful little compounds, some of which, the evidence suggests, are powerful immune system boosters that may even cause cancer cells to die, without harming nearby healthy cells.
The industrialized world we live in today is extremely toxic. We are bombarded from before we’re born by toxins both natural and man-made; even treated drinking water and mother’s milk have been found to be polluted with every thing from heavy metals to pharmaceuticals. All of this eventually results in our immune systems becoming damaged or simply overwhelmed.
Over fifteen years ago I was diagnosed with a nasty little autoimmune disease called lupus that can cause a variety of symptoms up to and including death. Our bodies need all the help they can get today, and some evidence points to cannabis being one of our best helpers if utilized properly.
In the United States, our own government has spent billions of dollars and most of the last century working to bury any and all evidence of the health benefits of cannabis to justify prohibition laws enacted to eliminate hemp (yet another name for cannabis) from competition with petroleum and forest products.
Unlike petroleum derivatives or making paper from wood pulp, hemp is a cheap, clean, sustainable resource, and men like Hearst, DuPont, and others with deep investments in timber and oil knew that hemp would eventually win in a truly free competitive market. A capitalist hates nothing more than than they do free markets and fair competition, so cannabis had to go away; thus ‘reefer madness’ came to be.
Today, in addition to the industrial interests already listed above many in law enforcement, drug testing, prison building, and even the military hardware industries depend on cannabis prohibition for such a large percentage of their livelihoods (never mind the huge profits) that they are willing to destroy not just the families and careers, but the very lives of their neighbors.
I have seen testimonials from people all over the world who have successfully treated their own cancers of the breast, prostate, colon, lungs, brain, and skin, to name but a few. Both of my grandfathers had cancer before they died, and while both would probably be gone today anyway, we will never know how much longer or better their lives might have been with cannabis therapy. A woman I graduated from high school with died a few years ago, from breast cancer that might have been cured by extracts from cannabis. She left behind a husband, a child, and siblings who miss her to this day. Another friend suffered through chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery to treat her breast cancer a couple of years ago. Thankfully she’s still alive, but when I posted one of the first links I found about treating cancer with cannabis oil her comment was, “I wish I’d have known this before I had surgery.”
There aren’t many peer reviewed studies of the relationship or efficacy of treating cancer with cannabis, at least not in the U.S., but it’s not because nobody wants to try. It’s because our own federal government stands in the way. Between spreading lies and prohibiting even the most basic research, our government has contributed to more deaths, more pain, more financial ruin, and more injustice in the last thirty years alone than every pot farmer, dealer, and user in the last hundred years could have caused if they all conspired to do so, and they (the feds) continue to obstruct progress every step of the way, despite massive support for reforms on almost every front.
National polls taken by reputable organizations in the last few years have shown that more than half our population now support ending marijuana prohibition one way or another, yet our president and congress refuse to even take up the idea. In my home state, North Carolina, a bill to legalize medical marijuana, for only a few specific conditions, was summarily killed in committee just last month, despite overwhelming support. Reputable polls, one taken in January of this year, and another just days after the bill was quashed showed support for marijuana reforms anywhere from 58% to 76% across the state.
People are waking up. The truth cannot be suppressed any longer in this age of information and inter-connectivity, yet our so-called leaders refuse to hear, much less to lead.
How many more have to die for the sake of Big Pharma’s profits? How many families have to be torn apart to fulfill contracts with a for-profit prison operator or supply cheap labor to our cash strapped government? How many more reliable skilled workers need have their careers ruined to prop up institutions that long ago outlived their usefulness? How many more children need to grow up without parents, grandparents, or siblings simply because the cure for most cancers might be found in a plant we could all grow in our backyards instead of a for-profit lab?
Even one is too many and I will never stop saying so until the immoral laws that make such horrors a possibility are overturned.