For Patients Like Me, Marijuana is a Necessity
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For Patients Like Me, Marijuana is a Necessity
Posted by CN Staff on July 08, 2013 at 17:22:38 PT
By Kathryn Petrides
Source: Washington Post
Washington, D.C. --  My breast cancer diagnosis at age 26 was an unwelcome and at times harrowing experience. What allowed me to endure the darkest days was the hope that my rigorous treatment — chemotherapy, surgeries and radiotherapy among them — would allow me to once again live a full and healthy life. It’s what propelled me to walk back into the hospital for more treatments.But then came A/C: The “A” stands for Adriamycin, a drug neon red in color and injected via large syringes by oncology nurses; its apt nicknames are “red devil” and “red death.” That probably should have been the red flag that I wasn’t going to escape without being slightly worse for wear.
After each of my four biweekly infusions, I lay bedridden for four days, debilitated by severe nausea, heartburn and overall discomfort. I also suffered deep bone pain, a consequence of the Neulasta shot given to keep my white blood cell counts up. I acutely felt all of these side effects, despite being given an intravenous anti-nausea medication, taking anti-nausea tablets every few hours and heartburn medicine and a low-dose prescription narcotic for the bone pain. None of this provided me with the relief for which I longed.Eventually, though, I was lucky enough to take a medicine that did alleviate my suffering. Not so fortunate was the fact that it came in the form of a drug illegal under federal law: cannabis.Though cannabis for medical purposes became legal in the District (where I live) in 2010, the city-sanctioned dispensaries that can supply it are only now inching closer to opening their doors.Nevertheless, marijuana is still banned under the Controlled Substances Act — meaning it continues to be a federal crime to possess or grow marijuana, even in the 18 states plus the District that permit it for medicinal purposes. As a Schedule I drug, cannabis is deemed to have no “accepted medical use” and to lack “safety for use under medical supervision.”Yet marijuana was the only thing that truly quelled my stomach, provided for restful sleep and allowed me to eat and drink. I was not a cannabis smoker prior to my diagnosis, and I am not one now. I used it only during my chemotherapy treatments, which ended a few months ago. I am willing to go public with my experience because, while the tide may now be turning, there remains a stigma — and many stumbling blocks for patients who would benefit from marijuana — where there should be none. Legal efforts to shift marijuana to a different schedule under the Controlled Substances Act, thereby loosening restrictions on access to and research on the plant, have failed. The Drug Enforcement Administration’s refusal to change the drug’s classification because of a lack of “adequate and well-controlled studies proving efficacy” has been upheld. No studies of the drug have met the DEA’s criteria to prove that marijuana has an “accepted medical use.”But a complicated process hinders marijuana studies. With cannabis on Schedule I, investigators interested in researching it must apply for a special license from the DEA and have their study approved by the Food and Drug Administration. To actually obtain the plant, researchers must then apply for access to the National Institute of Drug Abuse’s research-grade supply of the drug.NIDA is known to refuse requests. When an agency whose mission is to bring “the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction” is charged with regulating who conducts research on cannabis, it’s easy to see why this is so. In a 2010 New York Times article, a spokeswoman for NIDA said that the group’s “focus is primarily on the negative consequences of marijuana use,” adding, “we generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”Prominent medical associations such as the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians have called for a review of marijuana’s Schedule I status. Others, such as the Institute of Medicine, have recognized cannabis’s potential and determined that it should be further researched. Yet, the DEA’s stance remains that “smoked marijuana has not withstood the rigors of science — it is not medicine, and it is not safe.”I tell my story to illustrate the contrary: It was the safest medicine I took over the course of my cancer treatments. Only with further research can we better understand the palliative effects of cannabis — and perhaps finally make it more accessible to the many of us who suffer chronic pain and discomfort. For us, quality of life has special meaning.Petrides works in an administrative position at the Peace Corps. This is the second article in a series on living with cancer.Source: Washington Post (DC) Author:  Kathryn PetridesPublished: July 8, 2013Copyright: 2013 Washington Post CompanyContact: letters Website: URL: Medical Marijuana Archives 
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on July 10, 2013 at 10:42:50 PT
Prohibitionist "Drug Warriors"
gave birth to policing for profit. They gave birth to the cartels and the gangbangers. They made invasive internal searches something for Americans to be subject to almost constantly. They couldn't have been wrong. They couldn't have made an error of judgement. Not them. No way. No namby pamby back peddling, wishy washiness, or flip flopping on their watch. They will NEVER change their minds. No way. They've persecuted people mercilessly and they don't intend to stop. No. Never. 
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on July 09, 2013 at 22:23:16 PT
Purposely blind. Purposely deaf. 
They've thought cannabis use worthy to kill and destroy over. They've killed and they've backed killers. They've thought drug "crime" tantamount to murder. Drug crimes are not tantamount to rape or child molestation or endangerment. They are wrong. They've killed people, even children in the name of the drug war and destroying "weed/marijuana" and "Protecting children". They cannot abandon the cause they were willing to kill and support killers for. They killed, stole, spied, lied, and murdered for their belief in the pursuit of the drug free world. They turned neighbor against neighbor. They turned children against their parents, and parents against their children. They blew gazillions for prisons, propaganda, and lies. They can't have been wrong though. It's incomprehensible to them, I think, for the most part. Some of them will go to their graves believing in all that's been done in the name of overreaching government and industry interference in the private lives of people. There seems to be an overbearing "ruling" class. If that's the case, I think the "ruling" class needs to back off and let people live with some dignity about what herbs, medicines, and foods they use. Most people don't want to ruin their lives. Don't ruin it for them just because you dislike them and substances they consume or care about. Don't "save" them to death.Drug Warriors and their followers ravaged many children and their families lives to save that "one child". They scared people to death sometimes. Drove others to suicide. They showboated about what they were doing. It's been awful. A long, long, long hard story.Just a few of the reasons why they can't believe they are wrong.
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Comment #3 posted by museman on July 09, 2013 at 11:17:04 PT
Gary #2
"It's as if they enjoy being slaves to the system?
What we are fighting is much greater than flesh and blood, including, ....... rocky!
It's as if "people have eyes but can't see, ears but cannot hear, and, hearts that don't understand!"
We're at war with the beast of ignorance!"All true. The "war" is between the "powers and principalities" that rule with fear, temp with greed, and enforce with violence and the 'children of Light'. Cannabis is just a crux issue, an identifiable chink in the rusting armor of ancient evil parading around as 'good' 'righteous' and 'proper.' The materialistic carrot on the stick of the so-called 'american dream'is also a power in that war, as it has so many enthralled to its false value and false intention."When the Lamb broke the third seal, I heard the third living being say, ‘Come!’ And I looked up and saw a black horse, and its rider was holding a pair of scales in his hand. And a voice from among the four living beings said, ‘A loaf of wheat bread or three loaves of barley for a day’s pay. And don’t waste the olive oil and wine.’” I have seen and heard many interpretations over the years as to what this actually means and how it applies to us. It is only now that reality begins to dawn that some are beginning to realize.The scales are of economics -or materialism- and of LAW. The 3rd horse is part of a series that starts with conquest and ends with pestilence and death.' The "oil and wine" represents the wealth and 'entertainment' put forth to keep the people occupied with distraction and a false sense of 'wealth.'Law and economics. Anybody think that quote inappropriate?Yes the people over all are stiff necked and TV zombies, entertained by human suffering passed off as 'humor' or just simply passed off as entertainment -like the ignorant citizens of ancient Rome who would walk miles to watch slaves be butchered by beasts and gladiators in the arena, munching on the free bread provided by the Roman Elite.The people in general don't think that their government is the corrupt mass of excrement that it is. They still believe that there actually are human beings that will represent their interests in some form of oversight of their actions -called 'government.'Who is on the forefront of change and yes, revelation? Not one elected rep. I assure you. You, me, many of the posters here, and many more who aren't on facebook, -we are on the forefront of change. But if one swears to uphold the interests of the wealthy -an implied if not actual part of the BAR- over all the rest, and then proves it by continually acting for their interests at the extreme detriment to the non-wealthy -whom I believe represent more than 99.5% of the world population - then why should that population continue to support their shenanigans?Why? Because as you put it, they are ignoids. Totally programmed by the schools, media, and religions, they are the perfect slaves. They believe they are free!Oh contrare' mon-ami~!The stupidity makes me angry sometimes.LEGALIZE FREEDOM
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Comment #2 posted by Garry Minor on July 09, 2013 at 08:32:33 PT:
No mention that Cannabis Shrinks Tumors?
Once again, another story about the wonderful benefits of Cannabis for cancer, but, nothing about its tumor destroying abilities! 
I find it amazing now that we have the science on our sides that Norml, MPP, ASA, etc., etc., aren't driving it home?However, sadly, people don't seem to grasp it even when told! Right here in my home town of Columbus Indiana, I've walked the information into the newspaper, mayors office, police station, churches, the hospital, given it to my representatives, and e-mailed half the town and state, and it's like they are afraid to acknowledge it! Why?Then, we have the nutritional benefits of Hemp Seed and juiced Cannabis that can alleviate most diseases before they occur! And the thousands of earth friendly products and jobs we could create utilizing industrial Hemp! 
They don't seem interested in those either?I guess affordable health care, saving childrens lives, creating jobs and saving our environment for our kids aren't important issues?And finally, they don't seem to care about the fact that historically, all major religions have used Cannabis as a sacrament, including the Holy Oil that God instructed Moses to prepare for anointing His priests, kings, prophets, and, of course, His Anointed Ones-Christians! Kaneh bosm!It's as if they enjoy being slaves to the system?What we are fighting is much greater than flesh and blood, including, ....... rocky!It's as if "people have eyes but can't see, ears but cannot hear, and, hearts that don't understand!"We're at war with the beast of ignorance!Pot Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew in '74án_m031000.pdf
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Comment #1 posted by HempWorld on July 08, 2013 at 17:49:10 PT
Thank you Kathryn Petrides!
I feel your pain!And, I've put my actions where my mouth (or keyboard) is.However, the only person to ask is Rocky!He is probably reading your article right now...Rocky says, "no" "no can do."And Dear Kathryn Petrides, if the cancer comes back, please do the Gerson therapy, that is the one that will cure you and cannabis, of course!
Rocky! Please give it up!
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