So What If Pot Can Cure Cancer; That’s No Reason For You To Use It

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director July 17, 2008

    Now this really is a mixed blessing.

    On the one hand, I’m thrilled to see that a study documenting the anti-cancer properties of cannabinoids is finally receiving some mainstream media attention.

    On the other hand, I’m disappointed that its coverage is limited to a British tabloid that is better known for running anti-pot propaganda like this:

    Cannabis killer knifed neighbour 100 times
    via Metro.co.uk

    A mentally ill man driven to violent frenzies by cannabis was sentenced to life yesterday for stabbing a man 100 times.

    … Kashmiri, 50, of Tooting, south London, sexually assaulted the woman at her south London home in June, 2006, and returned five nights later to attack her.

    … Kashmiri, whose violent episodes are triggered by cannabis, denied murder but admitted manslaughter due to diminished responsibility.  

    Of course, I’m accustomed to reading “Reefer Madness” in the British press.

    But I’m less accustomed to reading “Reefer Madness” when it comes from the mouth of an established medi-pot researcher like Dr. Wai Man Liu.

    Cannabis may help the war on cancer
    via Metro.co.uk

    Cannabis could be used to treat many forms of cancer, new research suggests.

    The drug contains an ingredient which slows tumour growth and prevents the reproduction of cancer cells, doctors say.

    Its effects are seen in all cancers but particularly in those of the lung and brain, and leukaemia, it is claimed.

    But scientists warned against smoking the drug, saying the only safe version was that created in the lab.

    Researcher Dr Wai Man Liu said: ‘I’m in no way encouraging people to take up smoking the ganja – there would be more harm than good.’

    Previous research has shown cannabis-based medicines can help cancer patients as a painkiller, appetite stimulant and in reducing nausea.

    The drug has also long been used by multiple sclerosis and arthritis sufferers to reduce pain.

    Its medicinal benefits come from the main active ingredient, THC. The latest research, by St George’s University of London, shows that THC can weaken cancer cells to make traditional chemotherapy more effective.

    Dr Liu said: ‘It’s another weapon against the armour of cancer. We are quite close but need to jump through certain hoops. I believe it could be used in two to three years.’

    Dr Joanna Owens, from Cancer Research UK, said the latest studies were encouraging but needed to be followed up with more trials. She added: ‘Making cancer cells more vulnerable to chemotherapy or radiotherapy is a great concept but it is still early days.’  

    Having recently lost friends and family members to cancer, including one to leukemia, I can inform Dr. Liu that such a diagnosis — even when treated with standard radiation and chemotherapy — is a death sentence. For Dr. Liu to advise, with a straight face no less, that these patients would do “more harm than good” by smoking cannabis is a disgrace. Not only can cannabis alleviate cancer patients’ nausea and pain, elevate their mood, and increase their appetite, but also — as Dr. Liu’s own data demonstrates — it may help to alleviate the very disease that’s ravaging their bodies. Nevertheless, I suppose that Dr. Liu would rather have these patients shut up and die than expose the political hypocrisy surrounding criminalizing a plant.

    Finally, as for Dr. Liu’s idyllic estimate that his pharmaceutically-approved pot-based anti-cancer drugs will be available in “two to three years,” don’t hold your breath (or, if you already have cancer, try not to die in the interim). I’m sure that these investigators made similar proclamations when they documented pot’s anti-cancer properties — in 1975!

    Yet here we are 38 years later and the only ‘progress’ we’ve made on this issue is in the wrong direction — having moved from investigating the plant’s anti-cancer potential in animals to cells in vitro in a petri dish! Thank you Dr. Liu; now kindly get out of my sight.

    27 responses to “So What If Pot Can Cure Cancer; That’s No Reason For You To Use It”

    1. Alex says:

      Mr. Armentano, if only the nation could hear you clearly as I do. I look forward to one day fighting alongside you and the rest of the organization.

    2. Wow… You really seem to be getting irritated. I don’t blame you, for we are heading in the wrong direction, especially in the U.S.

      I hope that the plant can be used sooner than later, for it’s rather pointless to suppress the use of this wonder-plant, and quite possibly wonder-cure!

    3. David says:

      “You really seem to be getting irritated”

      You’re right. He is irritated. I wish everyone were this irritated. Thousands of people are dying of a disease that could be treated by this drug, and the government won’t recognize the value so they can save face. In other words, their arrogance is litterally killing people. I think everyone has a right to be a little more than irritated. I think we should be outraged at our government. That’s the first step towards change: anger. And this country definitely needs change.

    4. David W. says:

      I agree with David. Maybe anger is what people need to get excited about trying to take an active role in achieving progress. I feel proud to be part of a group at NORML that takes such an active and informed role. I call on everyone to send letters as much and often as possible (the pre-written ones from norml are great) to their local and state reps and senators to let them know these issues are of real and grave concern. Don’t feel discouraged if they don’t write back, or even if they disagree. The more they hear from us the better. I again commend Mr. Armentano on his passion and ability to address the issue at hand.

    5. bahh says:

      Irritated is an understatement I’m sure. Ive watched countless family members die of cancer, most times fighting in vain as doctors pump them full of medicine trying to slow the spread. If this would have been availible I personally wouldn’t have so many tattoos in honor of my fallen loved ones, they could still be here carrying on a conversation with me. The reluctance of the US government to actually accept the medicinal purposes of the cannibis plant is inane to say the least. They have allowed the use of opiates, for medicinal uses. Why won’t they do the same for cannibis?

      I think this issue needs to hit mainstream airwaves, news, talk radio, newspapers, tv, ect… Maybe if mainstream society seen the medicinal uses of this plant they would change their mind, but with the KGB of a government we have, it will never make the air waves because if it does I’m sure the station or the paper that publishes it will receive hefty fines.

    6. […] NORML’s blog notes that British researchers have found that cannabis may slow tumor growth and “inhibit the growth of cancer cells.” […]

    7. Joseph "Ironman" Siler says:

      This makes me sick. I HAVE, and am willing to do it again under strict medical supervision, CURED BASAL CELL CARCINOMA,(SKIN CANCER). Basal Cell Carcinoma does not usualy KILL, it is annoying, being as it bleeds a lot, and hurts. I used Cannabis Oil to CURE two lesions on my head, CURE. If anyone knows of an organization willing to supervise me as I CURE other Basal Cell lesions send me an E-Mail

    8. […] though the State of Washington has made medical marijuana legal and even though marijuana is continually proving to be a successful medicine the Seattle police department decided to raid a medical marijuana […]

    9. Andrew says:

      I think Dr Wai Man Liu HAS to say that smoking cannabis will do more harm than good because of his reputation, as well as the reputation of all doctors. Of course, on the side he would probably tell you that he himself smokes but can’t admit it professionally.

    10. Kelli says:

      I have done a lot of research on this subject as I have a family member with cancer. Take a look at the “Run from the Cure” documentary on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/chrychek for a sort of simply overview of the use of thc to cure cancer. If you want to get into more detail, do a google search for “cannabinoids and cancer” to turn up hundreds of scientific articles on the subject.

      I think its crazy that there is a natural remedy that harmlessly treats cancer and its illegal. Ridiculous.