As soon as President Trump announced his Attorney General (AG) appointee as Senator Jeff Sessions from Alabama, there was tension among medical cannabis advocates. Would Trump honor his campaign comments about state’s rights regarding medical marijuana, or would his new Attorney General be unleashed to increase the war on drugs using cannabis as his first target? Unfortunately, Trump’s Attorney General appointee Jeff Sessions has been quoted as saying heroin is only slightly worse than marijuana and "good people don’t smoke marijuana." And as the United States Attorney General, he is head of the Department of Justice (DOJ), which houses the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). News reports this week revealed a letter Sessions sent to Congress last month seeking funding to go after medical cannabis operations in states where medical marijuana is legal. “I believe it would be unwise for Congress to restrict the discretion of the Department to fund particular prosecutions, particularly in the midst of an historic drug epidemic and potentially long-term uptick in violent crime,” Sessions wrote in a letter to Republican and Democratic House and Senate leadership. “The Department must be in a position to use all laws available to combat the transnational drug organizations and dangerous drug traffickers who threaten American lives.” Sessions reasons for going after medical cannabis were quickly exposed as false by many in the media. Washington Post’s Christopher Ingraham wrote: Sessions’s citing of a “historic drug epidemic” to justify a crackdown on medical marijuana is at odds with what researchers know about current drug use and abuse in the United States. The epidemic Sessions refers to involves deadly opiate drugs, not marijuana. A growing body of research (acknowledged by the National Institute on Drug Abuse) has shown that opiate deaths and overdoses actually decrease in states with medical marijuana laws on the books. With the well-known national epidemic of opioid prescription drug abuse spiraling out of control, and medical marijuana's documented evidence of reducing opioid addiction, one has to wonder if the pharmaceutical drug manufacturers are behind this new emphasis to go after medical marijuana? Is medical marijuana a threat to their legal opioid drug sales?
Opioid painkiller addiction is the fastest growing drug addiction in the United States today, and it was recently featured on the popular Dr. Oz TV show. Dr. Oz pointed out the astonishing statistics that 48 million Americans, one out of every 5, have reported that they have abused prescription drugs. 12 states have more opioid pain pill prescriptions than people. In states where marijuana is legal, however, opioid prescriptions are declining. Dr. Oz looks at the question: Is marijuana the new gateway drug OUT of opioid addiction?
How counter-intuitive can one get? Everybody knows marijuana users get the “munchies,” which are usually satisfied with high calorie low nutrient foods. It's also somewhat accepted by mainstream oncology that cannabis curbs chemo patients' nausea and boosts their appetites. Yet studies demonstrate that even recreational pot users have a considerably lower incidence of obesity and metabolic syndrome, which often leads to diabetes 2. These published peer reviewed studies are a small sampling of international studies from Israel, Spain, Italy, and the USA among others that have looked into various applications of cannabis for treatments for other diseases with positive results. Yet, the DEA Controlled Substance Schedule 1 rating for cannabis of dangerous, addictive, and without medical merit stands as of this writing. Apparently, the Justice Department that governs the DEA is trying to protect the pharmaceutical industry, not ordinary citizens.
How People are Healing Serious Gut Disease with Cannabis That Mainstream Medicine Has Nothing to Offer
There have been several anecdotal reports of cannabis curing cancer. But less discussion has been publicized about cannabis curing Crohn's disease and other inflammatory bowel and gut diseases that are considered incurable by mainstream medicine. Perhaps the most dramatic story has a woman named Shona Banda at its center. Shona was severely stricken with Crohn's. She was bedridden, and whatever she managed to eat didn’t provide nutrition because her gastrointestinal tract simply wouldn’t absorb nutrients
Among all the health professionals, M.D.s, herbalists, osteopaths, chiropractors, legal advisers as well as grass roots activists promoting medical cannabis for various applications interviewed on the Holistic Cannabis Summit, the interview of Dennis Hill is unique because he self-medicated with cannabis and cured his prostate cancer in six months. Dennis Hill is a biochemist who worked in the research department of the prestigious MD Anderson Cancer Institute in Houston for several years. Decades later in 2010, he was diagnosed with aggressive Stage III adenocarcinoma of the prostate. Not wanting to endure the harmful side effects of conventional cancer treatment that he saw while working at the MD Anderson Cancer Institute, he took a friend's advice and began to look at cannabis as a possible alternative treatment. After only three months, the main tumor was gone, but a few metastatic lesions remained. In another three months, all traces of cancer were gone.
As with numerous holistic or so-called complementary and alternative medicine modalities, there is nothing new about healing with cannabis! Cannabis is an herb that has had a place in traditional — meaning ancient — medicine for thousands of years, dating back as far as 2637 B.C. in China. How is it possible that cannabis, which has documented efficacy in a host of medical conditions, is illegal according to the federal government and classified as a schedule 1 substance “with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse,” and at the same time the government holds a patent on cannabis?
A recently published study in the Drug and Alcohol Review examined 473 adults who substituted cannabis (marijuana) for "alcohol, illicit substances and prescription drugs." The subjects were using cannabis for therapeutic purposes (as opposed to the recreational use of marijuana). The study found that: "Substituting cannabis for one or more of alcohol, illicit drugs or prescription drugs was reported by 87% (n = 410) of respondents, with 80.3% reporting substitution for prescription drugs, 51.7% for alcohol, and 32.6% for illicit substances." Given the relative safety of cannabis (no recorded deaths from side effects of cannabis), and the tens of thousands of people who die every year from prescription drugs, cannabis should be looked at as a viable treatment for a variety of illnesses, as well as a substitute for "other psychoactive substances" that cause great harm through addiction and multiple side effects.
With the rapidly changing of state laws nationwide regarding access to cannabis (marijuana), there is renewed interest in research and use of cannabis for non-recreational health benefits. Prior to 1937 and the Marijuana Tax Act, which began the process of making cannabis illegal in the United States, cannabis was part of the American Medical Association’s prescribed pharmacopoeia for a variety of ailments, and doctors routinely wrote prescriptions for it. Today, researchers are looking at various varieties of cannabis to combat many illnesses where pharmaceutical products have largely failed, from cancer to Alzheimer's disease to epilepsy and many others. Because of out-dated federal laws still in place against cannabis, much of this research in the past has been hard to find, and non-mainstream. So even today, if one were to search for information on different varieties or how to treat illness with cannabis, that information is sorely lacking. Much of the online information is targeting the recreational use of marijuana. To address this need, the first ever HolisticCannabis Summit was organized by the HolisticCannabis Network for April 4-7, 2016. It features an all-star lineup of speakers that include medical doctors and other holistic health professionals knowledgeable in the area of cannabis or "medical marijuana."
As news about the disease-fighting abilities of medical cannabis (or medical marijuana) become more known, making cannabis a legitimate healing product rather than just a recreational drug, many consumers are beginning to research how one can avail of these curative natural medicines, and where to go to find them. Almost like dominoes falling against each other beginning with California, states have adopted medical marijuana laws to allow qualified patients access to home grown and locally dispensed cannabis products. California, Oregon, Washington State, and Colorado are the most well known. There are 19 other states plus the District of Columbia, bringing the total to 24 independent medical cannabis regions in the United States. There are a few additional states that allow cannabis without THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the compound that has psychoactive effects. The result is an oil or tincture that produces medicinal effects without the "high." These formulas have shown to be effective for children who suffer chronic epileptic seizures, for example. The CBD (cannabidiol) strain is initially what impressed CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta to reverse his negative stand on medical marijuana applications and declare his positive opinion openly on TV, endorsing medical cannabis.
The US government has confirmed that cannabis can kill cancer cells after the drug did so in tests on mice and rats, according to the National Cancer Institute. On its website The National Cancer Institute, part of the US department of health, said: "Laboratory and animal studies have shown that cannabinoids (the active ingredient in cannabis) may be able to kill cancer cells while protecting normal cells. They may inhibit tumour growth by causing cell death, blocking cell growth, and blocking the development of blood vessels needed by tumours to grow."