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By Dan McBride

From Summer 2013 Forum

Just days after the last issue of The National Forum was finalized, the National Institute of Health's (NIH) own National Cancer Institute (NCI) stated that marijuana "inhibited the survival of both estrogen receptor-positive and estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer cell lines." In that very same report from the NCI, they admitted that marijuana slows or actually stops the growth of lung cancer cells and even suggested that marijuana may very well reverse colorectal cancer.

The NCI also looked into whether inhaling (smoking) marijuana rather than ingesting it orally exposes a person to a higher risk of lung and certain digestive system cancer and our own government "failed to demonstrate statistically significant associations between marijuana inhalation and lung cancer." They also identified a separate study of 611 lung cancer or other cancers related to the upper aerodigestive tract that showed no positive association with any cancer type. Looking at prostate cancer, another common entity of CFIDS/ME, their report was "inconclusive" and suggested that more study was needed.

In addition to the report on anti-cancer properties, a separate research project found that marijuana demonstrated "profound nerve-protective and brain-enhancing properties that could potentially treat many neurodegenerative disorders." The NCI also found that marijuana could be effective for increasing the quality of one's sleep and relaxation when treated with tetrahydrocannabinol which is an active component found in marijuana. It helps people who have insomnia even if their insomnia is unrelated to a neurological disease such as CFIDS/ME. So why is the current administration so much against continuing research and continuing to attack people that are prescribed medical marijuana by their physicians? Cities and towns have banned dispensaries of marijuana in states that approve medical marijuana. Last March, several towns and cities banned dispensaries in Massachusetts after a high majority of voters approved it for medical purposes. The state's Attorney General Martha Coakley ruled that no town or city would be allowed to ban dispensaries! But the present federal administration along with the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Office of National Drug Control Policy still described medical marijuana as a "myth" that has "troubling misconceptions" in documents that can be found right on their website. They encourage prejudice along with misconceptions about the legitimate use of cannabis as a treatment for the seriously ill patient.

Marijuana isn't helpful just for cancer or AIDS patients but for all neurodegenerative diseases which includes CFIDS/ME. The federal government's prejudicial attack on those who are prescribed it by their physicians is hypocritical, especially in view of our own federal NCI proving it's helpfulness. There's no reason for it not be prescribed for those with just insomnia since the NCI proved that tetrahydrocannabinol, an active component of marijuana, increases their quality of sleep. There are, of course, some side effects of marijuana yet there has never been a confirmed death seen in overuse medicinally in its history of thousands of years! Those PWC/MEs who use it for nausea do not have to inhale very much to have the nausea subside. The White House has said that medical marijuana should remain criminally illegal yet that statement is irresponsible and shameful. One attorney who specializes in patient's rights, Mathew Pappas, Esq, explained that so many prescription drugs have far more serious negative side effects and mentioned, as just as examples, zolpidem (Ambien™) and eszopiciione (Lunesta™) that can cause aggressiveness, hallucinations and even suicidal thoughts by patients using it for insomnia.

Recently, Los Angeles repealed a ban on medical marijuana after a member of their city council, Bill Rosendahl, spoke to his fellow council members and asked them, "You want to kill me? You want to throw me under the bus?" Bill has been diagnosed with cancer and prescribed medical marijuana. Marijuana has been prescribed for a multitude of things including glaucoma and multiple sclerosis. This newsletter reported that the fist patient to be prescribed medical marijuana in Bangor, Maine was a PWC/ME.

Thank you, NCF, for helping with the approval in Massachusetts. Now help another state close by, please!

[Ed. Note: In May, a study was presented at the annual meeting of the Society of Biological Psychiatry that found cannabinoid receptors were linked to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The study, done at New York University’s Langone School of Medicine, would bring the first real treatment for these sufferers.]

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