Cannabis has been cultivated and used by humans since history was recorded. The flowering tops of the female plant have many medicinal and social uses. In Central Asia, archaeologists even found over 2 pounds of cannabis in a 2,700 year-old grave of a shaman priest.
Congress first imposed Federal prohibitions outlawing the therapeutic and recreational use of cannabis with the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937. The plant’s organic compounds (cannabinoids) were later classified as a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970.
The federal classification puts cannabis in the same pool as heroin and states that cannabis possesses “a high potential for abuse … no currently accepted medical use … [and] a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug … under medical supervision.”
Cocaine and methamphetamine however, both illegal for recreational use, may be prescribed and consumed under a doctors supervision and are classified as ‘Schedule II’ drugs. Examples of Schedule III and IV drugs include anabolic steroids and Valium. Analgesics that contain codeine are defined by law as Schedule V drugs which the most lenient classification.
The Support of Therapeutic Use
There are now more than 22,000 published reviews and studies conclude that the cannabis plant and its cannabinoids have a positive medical effect on a vast array of illnesses and disease. Almost one-third of these have been published in the last 4 years. A keyword search on PubMed Central (the US government library of peer-reviewed scientific research) shows 2,100 studies alone since 2011.
Today’s culture is now re-discovering what our ancestors innately knew. Public opinion and the relaxing of the rules are leading the way for more people to use medicinal marijuana for a wide number of medical conditions. Cannabis for medical purposes at present, is legal in 20 states and the District of Columbia.
The debate will always continues to boil at both state and federal levels however there has been a strong and growing trend of acceptance related to the growing mound of scientific evidence that indicates cannabis may contain some powerful medicinal properties that we would be naive and stupid to overlook.
Joycelyn Elders, MD, former US Surgeon General, wrote the following in a Mar. 26, 2004 article titled “Myths About Medical Marijuana,” published in the Providence Journal:
While many remain suspicious of the therapeutic benefits of cannabis, Stan and Barb Rutner are convinced of its efficacy. This couple has stood in the face of cancer a number of times and survived to learn from their experiences.
Barb had two bouts of breast cancer and Stan was diagnosed 20 years ago with non-Hodgkin lymphoma which, after treatment, disappeared. However, in 2011, it returned. Cancerous nodes in his lungs were diagnosed and later he was told that the cancer was in his brain. The outlook was grim indeed.
As he went through the harsh treatment of chemotherapy and radiation, Stan and his family wanted to find a natural solution that would help improve his quality of life and even prolong it. Hearing that cannabis was effective in helping with the pain and other effects of chemotherapy for cancer patients they were more than open to give it a try. According to Stan and Barb, medical cannabis was the golden ticket.
Corinne, the Rutners daughter and her husband dived into hours of research and it was decided that the cannabis capsule infused with coconut oil for the daytime would be a good choice. After two weeks of medicating with the capsule, Stan was able to give up his oxygen tank that he was tied to all day long. He began to gain weight, sleep better and get stronger overall. After several months, a brain scan revealed that Stan was completely cancer free.
The Rutners are convinced that cannabis works as an anti-cancer medicine. John, the Rutners son-in-law boldly states, “There is no doubt in my mind that cannabis pulled my father-in-law out of the wasting stages of cancer and enabled him to gain strength and in turn fight this horrible cell malfunction with success. While many would say that the chemo and radiation could have played apart, he would never have lived long enough to find out without cannabis oil.”