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Dr. Andrew Weil: Cannabis “May Have a Primary Role in Cancer Treatment and Prevention”

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director September 14, 2010

    For nearly a decade now myself and others have been highlighting the potent anti-cancer and potentially cancer preventive properties of cannabinoids.

    Now Dr. Andrew Weil, a best-selling author and world-renowned leader and pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, has lent his powerful voice to this discussion.

    Cannabis Rx: Cutting Through the Misinformation
    via Huffington Post

    [Excerpt below; read the full commentary here.] Research into possible medical uses of cannabis is enjoying a renaissance. In recent years, studies have shown potential for treating nausea, vomiting, premenstrual syndrome, insomnia, migraines, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, alcohol abuse, collagen-induced arthritis, asthma, atherosclerosis, bipolar disorder, depression, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, sickle-cell disease, sleep apnea, Alzheimer’s disease and anorexia nervosa.

    But perhaps most exciting, cannabinoids (chemical constituents of Cannabis, the best known being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) may have a primary role in cancer treatment and prevention. A number of studies have shown that these compounds can inhibit tumor growth in laboratory animal models. In part, this is achieved by inhibiting angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels that tumors need in order to grow. What’s more, cannabinoids seem to kill tumor cells without affecting surrounding normal cells. If these findings hold true as research progresses, cannabinoids would demonstrate a huge advantage over conventional chemotherapy agents, which too often destroy normal cells as well as cancer cells.

    As long ago as 1975, researchers reported that cannabinoids inhibited the growth of a certain type of lung cancer cell in test tubes and in mice. Since then, laboratory studies have shown that cannabinoids have effects against tumor cells from glioblastoma (a deadly type of brain cancer) as well as those from thyroid cancer¸ leukemia/lymphoma, and skin, uterus, breast, stomach, colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers.

    … If you want to learn more about this subject, I recommend an excellent documentary film, “What If Cannabis Cured Cancer,” by Len Richmond, which summarizes the remarkable research findings of recent years. Most medical doctors are not aware of this information and its implications for cancer prevention and treatment. The film presents compelling evidence that our current policy on cannabis is counterproductive.

    At this past weekend’s national NORML Conference, several panelists — myself included — discussed the use of cannabinoids as selective anti-cancer agents. We also screened Len Richmond’s excellent documentary (in which I’m briefly interviewed) “What If Cannabis Cured Cancer?” (Watch the movie trailer here.)

    Fortunately, this important discussion is just now finally making its way into the mainstream. Unfortunately, it’s taken 30+ years to get the MSM to notice.

    What possible advancements in the treatment of cancer may have been achieved over the past three decades had U.S. government officials chosen to advance — rather than suppress — clinical research into the anti-cancer effects of cannabis? It’s time for the public and the media to demand an answer.

    43 Responses to “Dr. Andrew Weil: Cannabis “May Have a Primary Role in Cancer Treatment and Prevention””

    1. Helen says:

      Note that he very specifically talks about the chemical eliments, not about smoked pot. Just as with other ailments that may show promise from treatment from ELEMENTS found in cannibis, you people have propagandized it once again to make people believe that smoking pot is healthy.

    2. Helen says:

      This is truly great PR on your part. You left out the part in Dr. Weil’s article that says, “It is not clear that smoking marijuana achieves blood levels high enough to have these anticancer effects. We need more human research, including well-designed studies to find the best mode of administration.”

      Caught you!

      [Paul Armentano responds: Helen, I’ve responded to your drivel before. With your notable animus, why do you post here at all? Caught what? I linked to the article you quoted from, yet you imply I’m somehow trying to hide the ball? FYI: I never talked about inhaling marijuana. All of my statements were about the anti-cancer properties of the cannabinoids (which you refer to as the ‘elements’) themselves. As in, “For nearly a decade now myself and others have been highlighting the potent anti-cancer and potentially cancer preventive properties of cannabinoids.” Or, “At this past weekend’s national NORML Conference, several panelists — myself included — discussed the use of cannabinoids as selective anti-cancer agents.” Hmmm, do you find any references to smoking? I don’t. I’m well aware of the Spanish study Dr. Weil summarized, and would concur with his assessment of it. Geez, it’s summarized on NORML’s website for crying out loud and you act like you discovered some sort of smoking gun. Get a life. The ultimate point of my post is here, “What possible advancements in the treatment of cancer may have been achieved over the past three decades had U.S. government officials chosen to advance — rather than suppress — clinical research into the anti-cancer effects of cannabis?” What’s yours?

    3. levelnext- says:

      The time has come, to say fair’s fair

    4. Stephanie Wallcott says:

      It is good know that still there are places I eat findrxonline that shows us that the health care is the main, they can interchange ideas in his forum and learn a lot of his articles.

    5. Los Angeles — A ballot measure to make California the first state to legalize the sale and use of marijuana has won the support of one of the state’s most powerful union, officials said Monday, offering the proposition a shot of mainstream legitimacy as well as a potential financial and organizational lift.

      The decision by the executive board of the Service Employees International Union of California will be announced in the next few days, according to officials who have been briefed about it but were not allowed to speak publicly before it was announced.

      The measure has faced strong opposition from law enforcement groups, including Sheriff Lee Baca of Los Angeles County, who said he would lead a campaign against it as a threat to public safety.

      But the proposal also won support on Monday from some former law enforcement officials, including police officers, judges and prosecutors.

      The measure, known as Proposition, 19 would legalize, regulate and tax the sale of marijuana. It has been promoted as a way to raise money for the financially beleaguered state, while dealing a setback to Mexican drug cartels.

      The measure is quickly emerging as one of the top — and most contentious — ballot issues in the nation this November. Polls show that it has the support of a slight majority of voters. But political analysts said that this kind of measure, given the social stigma that comes with illicit drug use, could prove difficult to poll.

      At the very least, the support by the S.E.I.U., which claims over 700,000 members in the state, could make it easier for other groups to rally around the measure. More practically, it means access to the union’s considerable campaign apparatus, which could finance mailings, telephone calls and leaflets

    6. Bongstar420 says:

      I actually found a report that showed that THC increased cancer cell proliferation. The report is supposed to discuss anandamide, ?9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), HU-210, and Win55,212-2, however the abstract only makes statments about THC. I’m not going to discuss the technical flaws of the structure of the abstract, but I will note that one should refrence the source of this papers financial support.

      The abstract is located at: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/64/6/1943.abstract

      The grant source is at the bottom of the abstract. The information that is relavent to the source of funding for the grant is located at: http://www.bifonds.de/cgi-bin/show.pl/about_us/donors.html?sid=7mvmh2cniv1cyq0j853fd39oeq68qs86

      It is worth considering the grant’s sole finincial contributor is a pharmaceutical company who’s interest is profits. While I do not consider cannabinoids to be cures in themselves generally, they do present the opportunity for a relatively cheap and more decentralized source of conjunctive or sole source thearpies for a great deal of conditions.

      Now, to broaden the focus of the discussion for a more accurate perspective of the issue; a single document does justice to a proper introductory perspective on the topic: http://www.bifonds.de/cgi-bin/show.pl/about_us/donors.html?sid=7mvmh2cniv1cyq0j853fd39oeq68qs86

      This document is from Nature Publishing Group, which has a very large source of contribution, mainly subscribers and publishee regristrants. While I cannot determine any clear unitary or primary financial contribuitons aside from publishing revenue, Nature is a subsidary of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.. This company has different interests then what a pharmaceutical company has, though they are likely profits at the bottom line.

      I find it suspicious, however, that the first statement in NPS’s Mission Statement is to publish articles written by men prominent in….I do not believe it to be healthy to use the language of the patriarchy. http://www.nature.com/npg_/company_info/mission.html

      These are only two documents. I am only trying to make the point that one can make nearly any conclusion if one is to restrict ones focus. The reality is that things are complicated, and effects can contradict each other depending on conditions and focus.

    7. Paul Revere says:

      “But perhaps most exciting, cannabinoids (chemical constituents of Cannabis, the best known being tetrahydrocannabinol or THC) may have a primary role in cancer treatment and prevention.”

      And there you have it.

      IF cannabis was legal and every person in the USA read that cannabis use would PREVENT cancer. EVERYONE would do it and thats just not part of the prohibitionist or BigPharma agenda.

      I have said it before and I will say it again, only I will add on to my previous statement. If it could ever be broven that cannabis prohibition and the sharp rise in cancer which both came into being in the early 1900′s there should be a class action lawsuit against those that have cause what, for a lack of a better term, is a damb near haulocost of the industrialized worlds popultation with a most agonizing and drawn out painful death due to the bodies milenia old symiotic relationship with cannabis.

    8. Ron Combs says:

      In light of the fact that cannabis may cure cancer. We can expect the Pharmacutical Coorperations to increase their bribes to our corrupt politicians. The last thing they want is to cure cancer.They make far too much money treating the symtoms. The way i see it. Our government has got 30yrs worth of blood on their hands.They best hope that God does’nt exist.

    9. freedom says:

      Humanity has a right to know all possiblities concerning cannabis and cancer..not to mention the many many other uses for cannabis. To do other wise is to a crime .

    10. Jenny says:

      I have cancer and it makes me sick the my government is killing me by restricting cannabis anti-cancer research! All to feed their wallets! Help me live!

    11. [...] 2010 at 1:11 pm and is filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 [...]

    12. David762 says:

      Well, surprise surprise surprise! Or not! A simple Google search will reveal hundreds of studies on the medical applications for cannabis, including USA Patent 6630507 issued to a US government agency for CBD, in 2003.

      Between the La Guardia Commission and the Shafer Commission Reports, both government financed scientific studies, it was already determined that cannabis was essentially harmless to society and its users. Two generations plus of government propaganda and outright lies have largely erased the cultural knowledge of cannabis as a medical marvel, as well as its myriad commercial applications.

      Unfortunately, most modern medical studies regarding the cannabis plant have been conducted overseas. The USA government’s 73 year war against cannabis, largely in support of short-term crony corporatist special interests, will put USA’s economic interests behind the proverbial “8 ball” when the legal logjam for re-legalization eventually breaks free.

    13. William Pow says:

      If a successful, widely used treatment for cancer is developed from cannabinoids, I am just going to laugh at anti weed people for the rest of eternity. However, it seems rather clear already that something like that is definitely possible. I mean, what a perfect rebuttal when discussing the “evils” of marijuana. On another note, I have a friend with a malignant brain tumor who smokes a lot of cannabis; I wonder if it would be best for him to just keep it up.

    14. Theo says:

      Back to back posts from Paul and Ron restating what I’ve been complaining about in my posts for the past ten years. It’s been 22 years since Judge FRANCIS L. YOUNG’s ruling. Our government leaders are guilty of 22 years of crimes against humanity for the millions who died from Prohibition (directly from the violence and indirectly by withholding medical treatment). These leaders should not have anything (buildings, Airports, parks) named after them (just garbage dumps). Medical Marijuana should not be taxed. Only recreational users should pay a pot taxes.

      I remember reading a college study done in the mid 1970s showing Cannabis effective in curing cancer (can someone post a line to this?).

    15. Mark says:

      All my life my family has been telling me I am WRONG. So many tobacco smokers in my family died of cancer. I had 3 uncles who died of SIDS, caused by all the people smoking tobacco around their cribs. Yet I have smoked pot all my life and am healthy. cancer free. I have small tumors on my arm and back – been there for decades – never turned into cancer!!!!!

    16. Mooky says:

      Every day that cannabis remains illegal, I feel less american.

      This BS needs to stop. ANYTHING should be able to be studied regardless.

    17. cherryl says:

      To all who think cannibas is bad i have cancer i suffer a great deal of pain and depression insomnia
      when i use THC it helps with the pain and the depression then i can sleep the people who dont want this for medical use for those of us who suffer are the ones who like to see the suffering in the world and those who say it leads to strong more illicit drugs are wrong i have been using this for many years and i have never had the urge or desire to do any thing else not even alcohol i have a college degree and a career i say allow this for all and then as much as the cartel try to get their money we the people will have it for our country legally besides it is grown from nature it is an herb

    18. Blakmagik says:

      I am in very poor health in many areas, 3 months out of back fusion, bi-polar, nausea, migraines, diabetes, sleep apnea,and I know one thing for sure. All the meds that have been prescribed, (yes I am taking them properly),do very little to relieve my pain, and actually CAUSE the nausea. I have done my own personal studies on myself and have found that skipping out on the meds and smoking one bowl is as, if not more, effective at reliving the pain, and it completely takes away any nausea that I have. As compared to taking that drug cocktail every morning, and there aren’t nearly as many side effects. Smoke two and I’m almost pain free. Now I’m not saying smoking pot is the one save-all cure-all, and it does have drawbacks, such as legality, smell, and lung health, but like Jenny above, it makes me sick as well to know that the Government would be against research into helping the people of this country just to ensure that they can save face. Say it, its not that hard, “We were wrong. We apologize for the many that have died because we followed an over-zealous drug czar.”, and instead of reparations to the families of the lost police, CIA, FBI, DEA, and everyone else involved in this drug war, legalize it, research it, make it a positive thing. It’s irresponsible, and inhumane to know that there is a possible way to fight cancer and suppress the research into it. God doesn’t care if your rich or poor, he takes you as you come. So forget about your bottom lines just for a minute and take care of your fellow man.

    19. Beth says:

      rhode island is really really dropping the ball on dispensaries. give us your two cents on this at

      http://www.beyondmytwocents.com/for-now-patients-must-buy-pot-from-drug-dealers/

    20. John says:

      Put “‘Cannabis… Cure for Cancer’ check it out at http://www.norml.org” as your Facebook status

      Spread the WORD

    21. Rebel with a Cause says:

      Prohibs Say the Darndest Things – 46.

    22. Jesse James says:

      We should be grateful to blogs that try to deliver the appropriate information for people looking for a suitable treatment against cancer and different diseases and stages.

      Jesse James
      Findrxonline

    23. mike says:

      With all the positive potential for cannabis in terms of products, literally thousands of uses industrially, medically, jobs, where does the government get off on leaving it schedule 1. How can ANYONE sleep knowing that! FREE THE WEED

    24. Rebel with a Cause says:

      They – the pot-phobic prohibs – are pushing us – the anti-prohibs – to the brink. It’s called brinksmanship! It’s only because they have guns – that their asses are saved – and – because we are law abiding citizens. But – what’s going through our minds is not so law abiding.

    25. freedom says:

      1.Helen Says:
      September 14th, 2010 at 1:22 pm
      Note that he very specifically talks about the chemical eliments, not about smoked pot. Just as with other ailments that may show promise from treatment from ELEMENTS found in cannibis, you people have propagandized it once again to make people believe that smoking pot is healthy.

      2.Helen Says:
      September 14th, 2010 at 1:26 pm
      This is truly great PR on your part. You left out the part in Dr. Weil’s article that says, “It is not clear that smoking marijuana achieves blood levels high enough to have these anticancer effects. We need more human research, including well-designed studies to find the best mode of administration.”

      Helen, no ones saying smoking anything is good for your lungs but, smoking cannabis is certainly better for you than tobacco.This isnt the point however , the point most of you opposed fail to recognize(Purposely or not)…. This is about controlling your own life, freedom, restoration of our country and others , ending the suffering , finding treatments for ailments that cause pain and misery ,ending corruption,.

      Oh thats right..prohibitionist care nothing for these things. cause it will end thier carrers.
      You should really not post if your arguments are so easily shot down.

    26. stompedonmyrights says:

      We know that smoke, any smoke is not good for our lungs. That being said, Cannabis is a herb that benefits the human race, evidence is clear the mud in the water here is placed by those in charge, they have created the health issue out of their behavior not mine. My government has unlawfully aborgated my god given rights and I refuse to comply, I wil not comply, I will not surrender what God has given, what this Planet, our planet! has to offer.
      I am going to be about my liberty and if my wayward government wishes to unlawfully take my liberty again they will face a courtroom battle from hell like never before.
      Anyone worth a shit knows we now have more evidence of this constructive fraud then ever before to bring before a Jury. It is equally clear that cannabis is unjustly and illegally placed on the Control Substance Law, evidence is claer we have been abused by those in charge for nothing more than increasing their profits.

    27. stompedonmyrights says:

      So our Government will not allow cannabis to cure cancer. That makes them murders and me an outlaw.
      It also means I have a criminal government not a Constitutional Government.
      Does this mean we are in a state of War in this country and just don’t know it yet.
      Don’t forget to vote in Nov. Send these old farts home. 40 year in Congress! Time to put an end to this crap.
      Let vote these criminal out of office this Nov. Kick them all out of our Congress and hire new young folks with real solution and not government pocket filling solution which are no real solution for us people.

    28. Caby Smith says:

      In response to Helen’s posts, and specifically Paul Armentano’s response to her.

      I see nothing in Helen’s posts that are anything but productive pro-legalization. IMHO, and after reading many articles (much of it over my head), her comment is quite accurate. She is not denying that Cannabinoids are a promising part of cancer research, she’s just pointing out that NORML (and many others) are using the studies to suggest that smoking pot cures cancer. As she stated, it’s great PR, but it’s just not accurate. I suggest that her motivations are the same as mine, which is to keep us from sounding like the idiots who wander around spouting things like “you can make a car out of hemp”. Making “implied” claims like “smoking pot cures cancer” is great for stirring up support from all the 22 yr. old pot heads out there, but in the end, exaggerated claims will come back and bite us all.

      My understanding of the research (I’m admittedly a layman) is that THC and Cannabinoids (in a much more distilled & purified form) doesn’t kill cancer cells, however, the research is very promising that the Cannabinoids “Block” the receptors that allow cancer cell to talk to each other… and this prevents a cancer cell from “telling” the other cells to multiply, hence, stopping the spread of the disease.

      The studies also specify that it’s only effective (so far) in specific kinds of cancer, and at specific stages, and is not a “cure-all” for all kinds of cancer. (again, so far)

      All this said, it is still very promising that Cannabinoids have this potential, and can lead to some revolutionary breakthroughs…

      What I object to (and I think Helen as well), is NORML pulling our strings like we are fodder for their PR/funding campaigns, and trying to send us out into the world deliberately with misinformation… they are trying to further the cause of smoking pot by riding the coat tails of relatively unrelated (and exciting) research.

      Claims/PR like this just make us sound like the “you can build a car out of hemp” crowd, just on a more carefully disguised level… It will still make us look stupid to all the people who would like to keep pot illegal… and they won’t hesitate to point it out.

      Thank you Helen, and Paul… you sure did sound defensive??? Did she strike a nerve???

      [Paul Armentano responds: ‘Defensive?’ No. Exasperated? Yes. Exasperated when folks like you and Helen deliberately try to put words in my mouth. To repeat, NORML did not — and has not stated — that ‘smoking pot cures cancer.’ NORML has, more so than any other entity I’m aware of, reported on the science demonstrating the anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids, which kill cancer cells via apoptosis (cell suicide) and halt their proliferation in preclinical trials via inhibiting angiogenesis. (BTW, your theory re: the mechanism of action was incorrect.) NORML has also reported on science indicating that certain long-term users of cannabis have shown an inverse relationship with certain types of cancer (e.g., head and neck cancer). Rather than posting unsubstantiated and inflammatory comments on NORML’s blog, I’d suggest you educate yourself by reading the many many pages of materials on NORML’s website pertaining to this subject. You can start here: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=7008

    29. Caby Smith says:

      @ Blakmagik: Very well said… I wish you all the best.

    30. Helen says:

      My argument holds up just fine. I am fully supportive of getting whatever research needs to be done completed so that appropriate uses of cannabinoids can be made. What I don’t like are the headlines that lead people to assume that smoking pot is a healthy thing or that pot in general is medicinal. Good for you if your true intent is to get the research done so that cannabinoids can be used in a safe way for medical use. But let’s face it, your ultimate goal is to fully legalize pot so anyone can get high. You may think that’s exercising your personal rights, but when it harms others overall, then you tread on the rights of the rest of us. Yes, I know, you will claim you getting high in your house doesn’t hurt anyone else. But again, we all know that once pot is legalized we’re going to have major problems with those who will abuse it, just as alcohol and cigarettes are major health problems. Let’s learn from the tragedy of those substances and not add one more. But let’s also get the government to get moving on finding ways to safely use the good stuff from cannabis. I know my viewpoint isn’t welcome here, but just as you expect to have the freedom to express your views, I’m expressing mine.

      [Editor's note: OK...so you're a prohibitionist and in the minority of Americans who do not support cannabis law reforms. What do you want, a medal?

      No one on NORML's webpage is much interested in hearing your support for a clearly failed, expensive and unconstitutional public policy.

      Get ready for cannabis legalization regardless of your illogical rants against it.]

    31. Res-Ball says:

      Thank you normal!This is some serious stuff.A lot more serious than……Everything?

    32. CB says:

      Appartently Helan has not had anyone around her who has suffered from Cancer and all the ill efects of ALL the drugs they give for pain, etc. My husband suffered for three years with pain, discomofrt and had to live on a feeding tube the last year of his life. Marijuana was the ONLY thing that helped him, with NO side effects, unlike the pains meds that would make him so out of it he couldn’t function. Helen, get a life. We ALL want to smoke pot yes, it certainly is better that the drugs out there, and I repeat, WITHOUT ALL THE SIDE EFFECTS. Show me ONE person who has overdosed on MArijuana, ONE!!! What do you have against it anways???? You must have grown up with the “REFER Madness” movie, give me a break!

    33. CB says:

      by the way, my husband had throat cancer, and the doctors ALL said his smoking pot befroe he got sick had NOTHING to do with his cancer, more likely from the same virus that causes cervical cancer… lighten up…

    34. David Campbell says:

      There is a small grain of truth in the objections. It is not made crystal-clear in the blog post that it’s referring to refined cannabinoids administered other than by smoking, and the picture of a medical bottle of buds spilling over an Rx form could be taken to imply that “smoking cures cancer” even though that isn’t what the post actually says. A lot of the comments reflect that potential misunderstanding. The post would be improved, imho, if it were clearer on that point.

      That said, the objections fail to take into account that prohibition – particularly, the status of cannabis as a Schedule I Narcotic – while primarily directed at smoking, also makes the scientific study, development and use of cannabinoids for medical purposes, whatever the method of delivery, difficult if not outright illegal under federal law.

      Helen really gives the game away at the end, though, when she comes right out with her prohibitionist talking points. The obvious counter to which, of course, is to point out that alcohol prohibition did not end alcohol abuse. Prohibition made it worse in that all control over manufacture, distribution, quality control, and sales were surrendered to those with no regard for the health and safety of their consumers or the general public, and whose business practices were (and are) the very definition of “predatory”. And Prohibition added another class of problems on top, in the enormous expense of enforcement, the diversion of public safety resources away from other areas, and the trampling of civil liberties for the sake of “getting the bad guys”.

      Sound familiar?

    35. Brittney says:

      I find it hilarious that people are so against marijuana, but these same people you can usually find drinking themselves to death. Who are they to say it’s ok to have a drink but using marijuana is “evil”. I have never seen any of my friends smoke a joint and crash into innocent people’s cars or get into fights. So many of these things have occured thoughunder the influence of alcohol. Then there are people in pain prescriped highly addictive pain killers when THC is a natural pain killer. Or how about all those side effects that occur with most prescription pills? People have been brain washed into thinking something that is no harm to the world is going evil. How about everyone stop wasting their time putting us peaceful stoners down

    36. LDude says:

      Our “leaders” have really done U.S. an injustice by not rescheduling Cannabis so that research centers and Universities could have had open access to Cannabis. And the insanity continues to this day.

    37. Bryan says:

      Hello. Cannabis, yes .. will be the basis Proposition 19
      will want new accord with California property allotted ,
      and begin actual cannabis legality .. not {m word} and !
      not the Mary Jane Weil apparently smoked when he became:
      a naturopathic druidic helpful herbal activist liked by:
      all who respect Andrew Weil with his happy philosophy on
      promise he will help with cannabis healthy regard manna:
      known as cannabis manna pot so you may improve health OK
      begin new regard cannabis manna as your _\|/_ benefit. .
      I smoke tobacco and I don’t have uh cancer.. Cancerian:)
      I see Weil as the Herba Druid I want to be Peace with .!

    38. Helen says:

      If you read your history you will find that rates of alcoholism and the accidents, violence, etc. that go with it dropped by HALF and actually stayed low for about 20 years after prohibition ended because there was an entire generation of youth who grew up without it. It wasn’t until clever marketers made it chic for housewives to serve alcohol for entertaining that it made a comeback. Much less damage was done by bootleggers and criminals than the thousands who were spared becoming alcoholics and the thousands more who had to live and work with them.

      Yes, I am prohibitionist when it comes to availability of drugs for getting high. But I do agree that our government must make marijuana available for medical research study so that the elements that could be helpful to people can be made safely available.

      I have to laugh at all the people who use the argument that alcohol is much more damaging – yes, it is because it’s legal and available! Guess what will happen to pot abuse if it’s legal and available? It will be as big, if not a bigger, problem than alcohol and cigarettes because all of you are telling kids how safe and healthy it is!

      [Editor's note: The social data you claim supported the justification for another failed government prohibition of an otherwise popularly consumed product--alcohol--does not exist. Who gathered it? What social science did they employ? Demographers? Statisticians? Government Prohibition agents?

      Face it, you're not going to make a cogent case on NORML's webpage that Alcohol Prohibition was some how an unheralded success when it failed the same way cannabis has failed.

      And you must be quite a fool to write that alcohol is more dangerous than cannabis only because it is legal.

      How about you go and drink one or two pints of distilled spirits over 80 proof and a cannabis consumer can smoke every nanogram of cannabis in your city...they'll have a Bill Clinton-size case of the munchies, maybe get some red eyes and sleep like a baby...and you'll be dead and six feet under.

      Take your ill-informed and dangerous prohibitionist nitwittery somewhere else!]

    39. fairplay says:

      The fed government”s own study (do your own research, no link provided) to link cannabis smoking with increased risk of lung cancer backfired and the data strongly suggested that cannabis smokers who also smoked tobacco had a statistically significant reduction in lung cancer risk as compared to tobacco smokers who did not use cannabis. DOCTORS expert in medical cannabis research suggest vaporization or ingestion to reduce any risk of pulmonary problems associated with any kind of combustion/smoking. The Spanish research on glioma cancer is revealing. The use of cannabis oil in skin cancer treatment is revealing. Toxicity in the GI tract and cannabis role in not only treating lower GI tract disease, but in fact restoring intestines damaged by years of disease (cannabinoid receptors in gut lining) and or poor digestive function has relevance to preventing cancer and many other diseases that start in this all important area of the body.

      Teenagers and children using cannabis for sport is not the issue. Deadly “legal” narcotics that often do not work and have without question killed millions are relevant to this discussion. Science and compassion must rule here, not the Roman Catholic Church and other fanatical institutions that lobby to assure unneeded suffering and death due to cannabis 20′th century prohibition.

      There simply is no more rational or scientific argument left negating the properties of the cannabis plant in medicine, there never was in the first place, considering it is the oldest and most revered medicinal plant in the history of human civilization. Reasonable, intelligent and informed people not ruled by religious bigotry will carry the day on this, one hopes, so that countless millions may be treated effectively and, INEXPENSIVELY. Go ask an MS or MD sufferer what they think, bow down to the Pope if you must, in your ignorance and pass that bottle of holy war juice that has killed countless millions and destroyed millions of lives prematurely with absolutely no medical benefit.

      Cops arguing with MD’s and bio-medical experts is absurd. They must be on Prozac and beer to exhibit such moronic chutzpah. Many honorable police with bad backs know differently, of course.

    40. nancy says:

      As I read thru all the info above, I feel I must share:

      A. Cannabis is an herb with medicinal values. As many other herbs are processed into FDA approved drugs, cannabis is still what it has always been a medicinal Herb, not an herb processed into a drug!

      B. Many years ago I received a diagnosis that said my body was shutting down rapidly from large pitituary tumor.

      Although surgeries and meds helped, the tumor was still there and many Drs. tried to tell me it would never go away. Yes,

      Life went on, and yes I had headaches almost daily. But smoking pot immediately relieved the pain and my surgeon knew this. Afterall a part of the benefits is that cannabis is a natural anti-inflamation agent.

      8 years later, that tumor was gone, shrunken to forevermore I hope. When my surgeon confirmed that yes it gone, I asked if the pot may have helped.

      His response was It Couldn’t Have Hurt! Overall, it helped me to release the pain of headaches, which came often. Did as use it as a medication—yes. Did I use it for fun—-no.

    41. Helen says:

      Like I have said many times before, let’s get this through the FDA R&D process and end all the fighting. I am not opposed to the idea of marijuana as medicine. I am opposed to VOTING on what is medicine and how it is distributed. And I think we are all wasting our time arguing back and forth about all of these conflicting medical reports. To fairplay: I’m an Atheist, so please don’t bash religious people. This isn’t a religious issue. It’s a social issue. I wish that NORML would spend it’s energy and dollars lobbying the FDA instead of individual states. That’s all.

      [Editor's note: Lobby the FDA rather than states? Why? The feds don't move an inch and will not absent political pressure from Congress and the Executive branch. Where do they get pressure from? Their own technocrats and agency heads? No. They get political pressure from the states that are forcing the fed's hand on changing the legal status for cannabis--be it for medical or non-medical purposes.

      States, counties and cities is where the real reform action is, not the FDA in Washington, D.C.]

    42. A mind mapper, and at the same time an easy-to-operate hierarchical editor with strong emphasis on folding.
      These two are not really two different things, just two different descriptions of a single application.
      Often used for knowledge and content mgmt.

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