Pot Versus The ‘Superbug’

  • by Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director August 25, 2008


    You can also comment on this story at the Huffington Post by clicking here. Help spread the truth about medicinal cannabis by commenting, ‘Digging,’ and passing this story on to others.

    According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, colloquially known as MRSA or ‘the superbug,’ is now responsible for more annual US deaths than AIDS. Yet despite this sobering statistic, it’s unlikely that either JAMA or anyone in the mainstream US media will report on the findings of a forthcoming Italian study — you didn’t actually think I was going to say that this took place in America did you? — demonstrating that compounds in cannabis possess “exceptional antibacterial activity” against multi-drug resistant pathogens, including MRSA.

    “Although the use of cannabinoids as systemic antibacterial agents awaits rigorous clinical trials, … their topical application to reduce skin colonization by MRSA seems promising,” the study’s authors write. “Cannabis sativa … represents an interesting source of antibacterial agents to address the problem of multidrug resistance in MRSA and other pathogenic bacteria.”

    (You can read the full text ahead of publication here.)

    Ironically, the study notes that preparations from cannabis were “investigated extensively in the 1950s as highly active topical antiseptic agents.” Predictably — in yet another ‘victory’ for prohibition — authors declare that little, if any, research into this potential clinical application has taken place since.

    Several years ago, when I first began writing the booklet Emerging Clinical Applications for Cannabis and Cannabinoids, I mused about what sort of advancements in the treatment of disease may have been achieved over the past 70+ years had U.S. government chosen to advance — rather than stifle — clinical research into the therapeutic effects of cannabis.

    Now, more than ever, this is a question that our elected officials — both Republican and Democrat — must answer.

    21 responses to “Pot Versus The ‘Superbug’”

    1. Lolli says:

      Awesome! Hopefully some one (government wise) will start listening to this so the sick can get help and we can stop killing our planet.

    2. Paul Csuhta says:

      Lack of handwashing has epidemic conconsequences. Door knobs are a greater danger than a knife but yet millions of dollars a year are spent on antibiotics with long lasting effects on the kidneys and other vital organs because of MRSA. The drug companies want nothing to do with this report, would cost them money and profit!!! People are dying and they could careless.

    3. chris says:

      all the legal scripts out there claim to heal your pain. but ever notice how the commercial always seems to list the possible side effects, which are generally 5 fold for the initial reason for taking it. would you rather have R.L.S. for your life and live, or take a pill that could cause, stroke, heart attack, blood clots, dizzieness, hunger.. etc.etc.
      The F.D.A has nothing to do with protecting the citizens who use the meds, they just protect the companies who make them so that they arent causeing mass murder with whatthey put in the pills. You know, im only 21 and im already thinking ” when are the people going to get protected from our own gov’t” when are they going to stop protecting their retirements and actually start listening to what the country has to say. i understand the election processes, and voting the people into office. but what i dont understand is that how can a group of people sit around and say what they think is best for our people when the people are at the point of yelling at them what is needed. its kind of like having the school hall monitor holding your baby and telling you(the parent) how to raise your child and what it needs.

    4. Eric Johnson says:

      Excellent that it was acknowledged here that Democrats are just as responsible for the continuation of prohibition and the intransigence on research.


    5. Jim says:

      Given the recent research findings and the Govt. patent on cannabinoids, isn’t it time for some group to legally challenge the Schedule I status of mj AGAIN ? How can they call the whole plant a drug anyway? Is the opium poppy a schedule I drug?

    6. They have to start listening to the results

      PHOENIXTEARS.CA Rick Simpson has been curing people of all cancers and practicly EVERYTHING else.

    7. BusGreg says:

      This is just one more example (as if we needed more proof) that our selected government does not care, manipulates science and panders to special interests. Cannabis has been around for thousands of years, yet lies and fear mongering over the past 94 years have prevailed.
      The number of posts here at the NORML web site, as well as those comments to Allen’s blog on “The Hill Blog” are proof that we have the numbers, yet the special interest lackeys in Washington DC hold the truth hostage and dictate policy, regardless of the people’s will.
      Our Nation’s treasury is being depleted by wasting OUR tax money on an un-winnable “war” on drugs and other atrocities perpetrated by those in office. We can only hope that there are enough of us “pot heads” who vote and educate ourselves on where the candidates stand and support those who are willing to end the futility of trying to regulate a harmless plant. Grandpa Munster (McBush) certainly does not qualify as one of those who will put an end to the insanity, and unfortunately Obama / Biden can’t be counted on either. Sen Biden’s stand on ending the ridiculous drug war leaves a lot to be desired. While Obama / Biden are the lesser of two evils I put little faith in them doing the right thing.
      One way of getting things done is to push Congress to do the right thing. With many of the congressional seats opening up for election / reelection, here is where we can achieve results. It is time to force the issue to the front and demand of the candidates for House and Senate to address the subject. As far as my own district is concerned — 11th congressional, Western NC — the republican candidate, Carl Mumpower, certainly will do anything to perpetuate the travesty of the war on drugs. Freshman Heath Shuler who is up for reelection has so far refused to answer any of the correspondence with regards to cannabis. Elizabeth Dole, repug. Senator, up for reelection has answered (finally) one of my many inquiries with platitudes and vagueness. She, too, deserves to be sent into retirement, as her pious posturing won’t help our cause. That unfortunately leaves the third party candidates and independents, yet their silence is deafening, as the main stream media won’t give them the time of day here in WNC.
      If any visitors to this site want to contact me with candidate’s names who are pro cannabis, feel free to e-mail me at: greg@busgreg.info with their info or click on my name and join my blog.

    8. Mikmo6 says:

      wooo-wooo-wooo, weeew, weeew, weeew, waaaaaahh, waaaaaaah (simulating the sound of a police siren). I’m sorry, I was busy making too much noise to hear what you were saying …

      a prohibitionist

    9. Will says:

      In 1930, a new division in the Treasury Department was established — the Federal Bureau of Narcotics — and Harry J. Anslinger was named director. This, if anything, marked the beginning of the all-out war against marijuana.

      Harry J. Anslinger

      Anslinger was an extremely ambitious man, and he recognized the Bureau of Narcotics as an amazing career opportunity — a new government agency with the opportunity to define both the problem and the solution. He immediately realized that opiates and cocaine wouldn’t be enough to help build his agency, so he latched on to marijuana and started to work on making it illegal at the federal level.

      Anslinger immediately drew upon the themes of racism and violence to draw national attention to the problem he wanted to create. He also promoted and frequently read from “Gore Files” — wild reefer-madness-style exploitation tales of ax murderers on marijuana and sex and… Negroes. Here are some quotes that have been widely attributed to Anslinger and his Gore Files:

      “There are 100,000 total marijuana smokers in the US, and most are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos, and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz, and swing, result from marijuana use. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes, entertainers, and any others.”

      “…the primary reason to outlaw marijuana is its effect on the degenerate races.”

      “Marijuana is an addictive drug which produces in its users insanity, criminality, and death.”

      “Reefer makes darkies think they’re as good as white men.”

      “Marihuana leads to pacifism and communist brainwashing”

      “You smoke a joint and you’re likely to kill your brother.”

      “Marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”
      And he loved to pull out his own version of the “assassin” definition:

      “In the year 1090, there was founded in Persia the religious and military order of the Assassins, whose history is one of cruelty, barbarity, and murder, and for good reason: the members were confirmed users of hashish, or marihuana, and it is from the Arabs’ ‘hashashin’ that we have the English word ‘assassin.'”

      THE GOVERNMENT STILL LIVES IN THE 1930’s!!!! Can we please come to grips with our country and pull our Govt. into the 21st Century!!!

      OBAMA ’08!

    10. Dustin says:

      Legalalization of marijuana should have been done a long time ago and It is a medical herb that has no dangerous side effects. The government just wants the people to think it does so they can be so crooked as to shit on the American people. This country was founded under the right to be free and our freedom is being tok away. We need to get together as a nation and stand up to the government and put and end to thier lies and stop being so chicken shit and take back our freedom that was once given to us.Are we just going to sit on our asses and let the government try to fuck us any way they can by keeping the legalization of marijuana and raing gas prices or are we going to join together and fight for our freedom. Well I choose to fight. I don’t care if any one joins the fight with me but Im gonna stand up for my freedom.