Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Case for Marijuana Legalization: Food & Medicine*

Research conducted between 1966 and 1976, by American and Canadian universities—some 10,000 studies in all—proved unequivocally that cannabis has well defined medicinal properties. Of the handful of studies (about a dozen) that failed to return a positive finding of medicinal benefits, none could be replicated in subsequent studies using the same test criteria.

Indeed, cannabis was one of the best known and most widely used medicinal plants, in many parts of the world, for more than 3500 years. In U.S. pharmacopoeia, cannabis was the primary medicine prescribed to treat more than 100 illnesses or diseases until 1937, when growing hemp in the U.S. was effectively banned.

Among the therapeutic uses of cannabis are treatments for asthma, glaucoma, epilepsy, nausea, multiple sclerosis, tumors, arthritis, rheumatism, cystic fibrosis, herpes, back pain, muscle spasms, insomnia, stress, migraine headaches, anorexia, depression, and many others.

A healthy diet equates to a healthy immune system. Were hemp seed, a highly nutritious and easily digestible source of protein, essential amino acids and omega-3 fatty acids incorporated into the typical diet, the number of occurrences of the aforementioned illnesses and diseases would plummet.

Be advised that cannabis is not a panacea. Different people sometimes obtain different results and a small percentage experience allergic reactions. People who experience adverse reactions shouldn't use cannabis, but that's not to say that no one should use it. Lots of people are allergic to some things, some people are allergic to lots of things, but it just doesn't follow that because a small percentage of people are allergic to peanuts or hemp, peanuts and hemp should be off-limits to everyone.

It's worth noting that adverse reactions to cannabis are generally mild and no known deaths have occurred due to liver or kidney failure, or to overdose. If only the same could be said for aspirin and Tylenol.

The U.S. Government continues to spread misinformation, disinformation, negative propaganda and outright undisguised lies about cannabis hemp to the citizens it governs. It's a thinly veiled ploy to maintain hemp's illegal status for the benefit of vested pharmaceutical interests at the expense of the people who could most benefit from easy access to legalized hemp and its many medicinal and nutritional properties.

In 1937, the year that cannabis became illegal, one ounce of medicinal cannabis sold for $1 at local pharmacies all across the nation. Today, one ounce of kick-ass bud typically sells for $300 – $400 on the black market, no prescription needed. Obviously, legalized hemp would lower the cost of most other therapeutic drugs, and go a long way toward making healthcare affordable for everyone.

Anti-marijuana forces have used specious, disingenuous arguments to make their case against marijuana since day one. When one weighs all the facts about cannabis honestly, the moral and ethical concerns of marijuana legalization line up on the side of legalization.

When people finally shed their fear and ignorance of cannabis, they will vote to legalize it. When they finally see and experience the benefits to be had, they will wonder why it took so long.

Why, indeed!

When the people lead, politicians will follow.

*This brief article originally appeared in Petey's Pipeline E-zine, Issue #34, July 3, 2006

Register your vote for cannabis legalization, today. Visit Change.org/ for more information.


Midlife, menopause, mistakes and random stuff... said...

Okay, I'm going to have to follow your blog on what few principles that I have left. Please visit me at mine when you come away from the light ;=)
Righteous dude......

Steady On
Reggie Girl

FredMars said...

The Marijuana Stamp Act needs to be repealed. I support you in achieving that goal.

Anonymous said...

Well I acquiesce in but I contemplate the collection should have more info then it has.

Chuck Butcher said...

Multiple rudenesses or apam?

Funny how much more successful the propaganda campaign against reefer was then the reality of alcohol.

Chuck Butcher said...

wow, I guess I can't read dates.

Phil said...

All the deleted comments were spam, Chuck. I let all respectful comments--whether pro or con--stand, even when their authors hide behind the cloak of anonymity.

Cannabis legalization would step on more than a few corporate toes, but if there's a populist backlash because of the recent Supreme Court ruling, it may happen sooner than anyone expected.

Phil said...

Oh, and don't worry about the dates; substantial comments relevant to the subject of the blog post will be responded to (thanks to e-mail notifications). When I started Frieddogleg, my intention was to keep both blogs current, but that's not the way it worked out. My bad.

週休 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
ChickenHammer said...

I doubt I'll live long enough to see it happen but ending the prohibition on marijuana in this country would be great.

There are some who are afraid it would bring some negative consequences with it and it will. However, for every negative consequence it bring us it will bring us thousands of positive consequences.

It is very difficult for me to understand how they can justify the prohibition of marijuana when alcohol and tobacco are legal.

Phil said...

True on all points, C.H. Overcoming decades of negative government propaganda is never an easy thing, but it's getting done, one mind at a time. I hope we both live long enough to see legalization become a reality.

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mahakal said...

Thank you Petey, we have medical cannabis in California now and we will legalize it for adults 21 over in November. Hope this helps. :)

mahakal said...

Thank you Phil, I mean.

Phil said...

Thanks for your comment(s), mahakal; I sincerely hope that the ballot measure for cannabis legalization in California passes in November.

Only last week Oregon, which also has legal medical marijuana, became the first state in the Union to reclassify marijuana from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2. It's a good second step, but more needs to be done. None of us who favor marijuana legalization should rest--or grow complacent--until marijuana achieves full legal status across the board and across the nation. I just don't see economic (or environmental) recovery happening until cannabis can be exploited to its full potential.