The Great Pot Experiment
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The Great Pot Experiment
Posted by CN Staff on May 14, 2015 at 13:27:43 PT
By Bruce Barcott and Michael Scherer
Source: Time
USA -- Yasmin Hurd raises rats on the Upper East Side of Manhattan that will blow your mind.Though they look normal, their lives are anything but, and not just because of the pricey real estate they call home on the 10th floor of a research building near Mount Sinai Hospital. For skeptics of the movement to legalize marijuana, the rodents are canaries in the drug-policy coal mine. For defenders of legalization, they are curiosities. But no one doubts that something is happening in the creatures’ trippy little brains.
In one experiment, Hurd’s rats spent their adolescence getting high, on regular doses of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive compound in marijuana. In the past, scientists have found that rats exposed to THC in their youth will show changes in their brain in adulthood. But Hurd asked a different question: Could parental marijuana exposure pass on changes to the next generation, even to offspring who had never been exposed to the drug?So she mated her rats, but only after she had waited a month to make sure the drug was no longer in their system. She raised the offspring, along with another group of rats that shared the same life experiences except for the THC. She then trained the children to play a game alone in a box. The prize: heroin.Press one lever to get a shot of saline into the jugular vein. Press the other to get a rush of opiates. Initially, the rats with THC-exposed parents performed about the same as the rats with sober parents. But when Hurd’s team changed the rules, requiring the rats to work harder for the drug, differences emerged. The rats with drug-using parents pushed the lever more than twice as much. They wanted the heroin more.When she analyzed the brains of the rats, she also found differences in the neural circuitry of the ones with drug-using parents. Even the grandkids have begun to show behavioral differences in how they seek out rewards. “This data tells us we are passing on more things that happen during our lifetimes to our kids and grandkids,” Hurd explains, though it remains unclear how those changes manifest in humans. “I wasn’t expecting these results, and it’s fascinating.”Welcome to the encouraging, troubling and strangely divided frontier of marijuana science. The most common illicit drug on the planet and one of the fastest-growing industries in America, pot remains–surprisingly–something of a medical mystery, thanks in part to decades of obstruction and misinformation by the federal government. Potentially groundbreaking studies on the drug’s healing powers are being done to find treatments for conditions like epilepsy, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, sickle-cell disease and multiple sclerosis. But there are also new discoveries about the drug’s impact on recreational users.The effects are generally less severe than those of tobacco and alcohol, which together cause more than 560,000 American deaths annually. Unlike booze, marijuana isn’t a neurotoxin, and unlike cigarettes, it has an uncertain connection to lung cancer. Unlike heroin, pot brings almost no risk of sudden death without a secondary factor like a car crash. But science has also found clear indications that in addition to short-term effects on cognition, pot can change developing brains, possibly affecting mental abilities and dispositions, especially for certain populations. The same drug that seems relatively harmless in moderation for adults appears to be risky for people under age 21, whose brains are still developing. “It has a whole host of effects on learning and cognition that other drugs don’t have,” says Jodi Gilman, a Harvard Medical School researcher who has been studying the brains of human marijuana users. “It looks like the earlier you start, the bigger the effects.”Beyond Reefer MadnessThat relatively measured tone is a far cry from the shrill warnings of Harry J. Anslinger, the first commissioner of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics, who in the 1930s set the standard for America’s fraught debate over marijuana with wild exaggerations. “How many murders, suicides, robberies, criminal assaults, holdups, burglaries and deeds of maniacal insanity it causes each year, especially among the young, can only be conjectured,” he wrote as part of a campaign to terrify the country. As recently as the 1970s, President Richard Nixon talked about the drug as a weapon of the nation’s enemies. “That’s why the communists and the left-wingers are pushing the stuff,” he was recorded saying in private. “They’re trying to destroy us.”The official line today is better grounded in data and research. And the new focus is squarely on brain development. “I am most concerned about possibly harming the potential of our young people,” says Dr. Nora Volkow, the head of the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), which funds Hurd’s and Gilman’s work. “That could be disastrous for our country.”But decades of prohibition and official misinformation continue to shape public views. “The government did not spend as much effort in finding out the facts about marijuana,” says Hurd. “That strategy of scaring people rather than provide knowledge has made people skeptical now when they hear anything negative.”As states now rush to legalize pot and unwind a massive criminalization effort, the federal government is trying to play catch-up on the science, with mixed success. The only federal marijuana farm, at the University of Mississippi, has recently expanded production with a $69 million grant in March, and Volkow has expressed a new openness to studies of marijuana’s healing potential. In the coming months, Uncle Sam will begin a 10-year, $300 million study with thousands of adolescents to track the harm that marijuana, alcohol and other drugs do to the developing brain. High-tech imaging will allow researchers for the first time to map the effects of marijuana on the brain as humans age.But scientists and others point out that a shift to fund the real science of pot still has a long way to go. The legacy of the war on drugs haunts the medical establishment, and federal rules still put onerous restrictions on the labs around the country that seek to work with marijuana, which remains classified among the most dangerous and least valuable drugs. “We can do studies on cocaine and morphine without a problem, because they are Schedule II,” explains Fair Vassoler, a researcher at Tufts University who has replicated Hurd’s rat experiment with synthetic pot. “But marijuana is Schedule I.”That means that under the law, marijuana has “no medical benefit,” even though 23 states have legalized pot as medicine and NIDA acknowledges that “recent animal studies have shown that marijuana can kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others.” And marijuana researchers face barriers even higher than those faced by scientists studying other Schedule I drugs, like heroin and LSD. Pot studies must pass intensive review by the U.S. Public Health Service, a process that has delayed and thwarted much research for more than 15 years. The result is sometimes a catch-22 for scientists seeking to understand the drug. “The government’s research restrictions are so severe that it’s difficult to find and show the medical benefit,” says neurobiologist R. Douglas Fields, the chief of the nervous-system-development section at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).That all may change soon. On Capitol Hill, a left-right coalition of Senators Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Cory Booker of New Jersey introduced a bill in March to federally legalize medical marijuana in states that have already approved it. “For far too long,” said Paul, a Republican candidate for President, “the government has enforced unnecessary laws that have restricted the ability of the medical community to determine the medicinal value of marijuana.” The Cannabinoid SystemHarm researchers and neuroscientists aren’t completely deadlocked. They agree on at least one thing. Marijuana’s positive and negative effects both spring from the same source: the body’s endocannabinoid system. First discovered in the late 1990s, it’s a complex neural system that researchers are only beginning to fully comprehend.A little Brain Science 101: Human gray matter contains around 86 billion neurons, a type of cell that essentially talks to other cells in the brain through electrochemical processes. Neurons talk to each other through chemical messengers known as neurotransmitters–including dopamine, serotonin, glutamate and compounds called endocannabinoids–which in turn send instructions to your body about what to do.Researchers now know the body produces endocannabinoids, which activate cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Interestingly, one plant on earth produces a similar compound that hits those same receptors: marijuana. Just as poppy-derived morphine mimics endorphins, marijuana-derived cannabinoids like THC and cannabidiol (CBD) mimic endocannabinoids, which impact feelings of hunger and pleasure. Cannabinoid receptors are especially widespread in the brain, where they play a key role in regulating the actions of other neurotransmitters.“The more we investigate the hidden recesses of the brain, the more it seems like practically every neuron either releases endocannabinoids or can sense them using cannabinoid receptors,” explains Gregory Gerdeman, a neuroscientist and endocannabinoid researcher at Florida’s Eckerd College. Neurotransmitters carry out brain communication through synapses. “But too much synaptic excitation is poisonous–it damages cells,” says Gerdeman. “Endocannabinoids are a mechanism for putting on the brakes when that toxic level of excitation is approached.”Cannabinoids like CBD may be thought of as neuroprotectants–that is, brain protectors. In fact, the NIH actually owns a patent (No. 6630507) on cannabinoids as neuroprotectants, based on the work of researcher Aiden Hampson and his mentor, Nobel Prize–winning neuroscientist Julius Axelrod. They found that CBD showed particular promise in limiting neurological damage in patients with Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease and in those who have suffered a stroke or head trauma.Endocannabinoids also play a role in the regulation of pain, mood, appetite, memory and even the life and death of individual cells. Curiously, cannabinoid receptors aren’t densely packed in the medulla (within the brain stem), which controls breathing and the cardiovascular system. That’s why a heroin overdose can be fatal–the drug shuts down the respiratory control center–but a marijuana overdose generally can’t. PTSD researchers are keen to crack the cannabinoid code because the compounds appear to play a role in extinguishing unpleasant memories. “Part of what happens with PTSD is that the brain’s stress buffers have been blown out by trauma,” says Gerdeman. “Endocannabinoids within the amygdala”–the brain region important for emotional learning and memory–“act as a key mechanism for what we call memory extinction.”But what accounts for the potentially healing effects of pot in some can cause harm in others. That’s because endocannabinoids appear to play a critical role in the development of the adolescent brain. If the brain were a house, the childhood years would be spent pouring the foundation and framing up the walls. Adolescence is when the wiring and plumbing get finished. Neural networks are refined and strengthened through pruning. The strong synapses, axons and dendrites are preserved, the weak culled.Researchers now believe the cannabinoid system plays a critical role in this neural fine-tuning. This is where the worries about teenage pot use come to the fore. At the precise moment when the brain relies on a finely calibrated dose of endocannabinoids, the adolescent weed smoker floods the system. “If you actively and repeatedly overload the endogenous cannabinoid system,” says Volkow, “you are going to disrupt that very well-orchestrated system.”That disruption may lie at the heart of still inconclusive science about marijuana’s impact on human behavior, especially among younger users. Early studies suggest that there may be long-lasting impacts on mental acuity, higher brain function and impulse control for younger users. There is also a well-documented connection between pot smoking and schizophrenia, a condition that affects about 1% of the U.S. population. Scientists have been aware of the link since the 1970s. Among those with a family history of mental illness, marijuana can hasten the emergence of schizophrenia.Researchers are trying to identify the mechanisms in play. “Many genes are undoubtedly involved in risk for schizophrenia,” says Dr. Michael Compton, a professor at Hofstra North Shore–LIJ School of Medicine and the head of psychiatry at New York City’s Lenox Hill Hospital. “But there are also a host of social or environmental influences at work.” For a subset of the population, the earlier the initiation of marijuana use, the earlier the onset of psychosis.Here’s why that matters: The later schizophrenia emerges, the greater the likelihood of recovery. Schizophrenia onset in a 15-year-old is often permanently life-altering. In a 24-year-old, it can be less damaging, because the person has had the chance to accomplish more psychological and social-developmental milestones. But that doesn’t mean all teenage pot users are smoking themselves into mental illness. Darold Treffert, the Wisconsin psychiatrist who first documented the marijuana-schizophrenia link in the 1970s, puts it this way: “Perhaps some persons can safely use marijuana, but schizophrenics cannot.” A test or a clear genetic marker to identify kids who are vulnerable to schizophrenia is likely years away.The Healing PossibilitiesWhile American research on the potential harms from marijuana is booming, the U.S. continues to lag in funding investigations into the possible benefits. In the late 1990s, the U.S. and British governments commissioned separate studies of medical marijuana. The U.K. study was spurred by multiple-sclerosis patients’ using pot to calm spasticity. The U.S. study, done by the Institute of Medicine, was in response to California’s 1996 legalization of medical marijuana.Both studies reached a similar conclusion: medical pot wasn’t a hippie’s delusion. The research showed that the stuff held real therapeutic potential for specific conditions, including epilepsy, chronic pain and glaucoma. The British responded by treating marijuana as a plant with biotech prospects. U.K. officials licensed GW Pharmaceuticals, a startup lab in Salisbury, England, to grow weed and develop cannabinoid drugs, some of which U.S. scientists like Hurd use in their research.The Americans, meanwhile, doubled down on the war on drugs. Barry McCaffrey, Bill Clinton’s drug czar, was outraged at the Institute of Medicine’s results. “I think what the IOM report said is that smoked marijuana is harmful, particularly for those with chronic conditions,” he said–pretty much the opposite of the report’s conclusions. Nonetheless, he and then Attorney General Janet Reno vowed to prosecute medical-marijuana patients and doctors who prescribed the drug. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services adopted even tougher strictures against the study of marijuana as a medicine.The federal antipot policies resulted in a strange kind of scientific trade deficit. The U.S. leads the world in studies of marijuana’s harm, but we’re net importers of data dealing with its healing potential. THC discoverer Raphael Mechoulam runs the world’s leading cannabinoid lab at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Spanish biologist Manuel Guzmán is doing cutting-edge work on the potential of cannabinoids to retard the growth of glioblastoma, one of the deadliest forms of brain cancer. Canada’s health agency may soon approve the world’s first clinical trial to test medical marijuana on military and police veterans with PTSD.There are signs of change at home, though. This year, the Colorado department of public health awarded $9 million in grants for medical-marijuana research, funded with tax revenue from state-licensed pot stores. They will be among the first U.S. clinical trials to look into the effectiveness of marijuana for childhood epilepsy, irritable-bowel disease, cancer pain, PTSD and Parkinson’s disease. Dr. Kelly Knupp, a pediatric-epilepsy specialist at Children’s Hospital in Denver, will track children using high-CBD marijuana strains to calm seizures. “Some of these children can have 100 to 200 seizures a day,” Knupp says. “We’re hoping we can measure seizure frequency to see if there’s any improvement” among kids trying the cannabinoid medicine.This Is a Rat on DrugsBack at Hurd’s Upper East Side lab, the rats have begun to show the way. In a separate experiment, she gave heroin-addicted rats doses of CBD and found that it decreased their willingness to work hard for more heroin, suggesting that parts of marijuana could help human drug addicts stay clean. She is now testing that hypothesis by giving CBD tablets, made in England, to recovering human addicts in New York City.She is also continuing to study the behavior of rats whose only exposure to marijuana’s active ingredients came through the DNA passed on to them from their parents or grandparents. That research suggests that THC may have epigenetic effects, which have been found in other drugs like cocaine and heroin, changing the way genes express themselves in the brains of offspring. This doesn’t necessarily mean that parents who smoked weed in high school have damaged their kids, because those changes may be overrun by other behaviors. The science is too new to know for sure. “It’s not a given that this is going to happen,” Hurd explains of her rats. “They tell us the potential.”That word–potential–still qualifies much of what is known about pot, but it won’t be that way for long. The science of pot is likely to expand in the coming years, and it could boom if federal restrictions are lifted. What the government once dismissed as a communist plot that prompted murderous rages has turned out to be a window into the very workings of the human mind. In the years to come, researchers may yet find genetic markers that predispose people to pot-induced psychotic reactions, map out the specific ways in which THC changes the brain and find new medicines for some of the most intractable illnesses. Until then, the great marijuana experiment will continue in a country where 1 in 10 adults–and 35% of high school seniors–admit to conducting their own, mostly recreational, research.Barcott is a journalist who has contributed to the New York Times, National Geographic and other publications. Scherer is TIME’s Washington bureau chief. Portions of this article were adapted from Barcott’s new book Weed the People: The Future of Legal Marijuana in America, published by TIME Books.Note: Legalization keeps rolling ahead. But because of years of government roadblocks on research, we don’t know nearly enough about the dangers of marijuana—or the benefits.Barcott is a journalist who has contributed to the New York Times, National Geographic and other publications. Scherer is TIME’s Washington bureau chief. Portions of this article were adapted from Barcott’s new book “Weed the People, the Future of Legal Marijuana in America,” from TIME Books, is now available wherever books are sold, including, Barnes & Noble and Indiebound.This appears in the May 25, 2015 issue of TIME.Source: Time Magazine (US)Author: Bruce Barcott and Michael SchererPublished: May 25, 2015Copyright: 2015 Time Inc.Contact: letters time.comWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help 

Comment #32 posted by runruff on May 20, 2015 at 07:04:27 PT
To answer your question.How difficult is it to remove a pork chop from the mouth of a starving rottweiler? 
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Comment #31 posted by afterburner on May 19, 2015 at 21:39:54 PT
Hope #30
States Where Marijuana Is Legal, Decriminalized or Medicalized MMJ states + 14 CBD-only states = 37 of the 50 states recognize medical properties of the cannabis plant. That's 74%. How much more does the US federal government need to remove cannabis from schedule one?
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Comment #30 posted by Hope on May 18, 2015 at 21:20:38 PT
Flawed, indeed.
Texas House Approves Flawed Medical Marijuana Bill; Measure Goes To Gov. Abbott
May 18, 2015 7:52 PM
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Comment #29 posted by FoM on May 18, 2015 at 18:15:28 PT
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Comment #28 posted by Hope on May 18, 2015 at 16:05:17 PT
 :( Well... maybe not. Not many, anyway.
I hadn't got to the ten dollars a pod part.
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Comment #27 posted by Hope on May 18, 2015 at 16:01:41 PT
Oh my! Oh my! Oh my!
I wish this was legal in my beloved home state. I'd love to have some of this. Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! Soon! Soon! Soon! Marijuana-infused coffee pods hit store shelves*sigh* Oh... it looks so good. What a grand idea.Legal. Like coffee and tea. Like herbs! Legal! Legal! Legal!
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on May 18, 2015 at 09:45:39 PT
Sam Adams
Twenty years! Congratulations to you, too, my friend!It's just crazy that the powers that were tried to keep that study from the public. Arrgh.It was greed. Pure greed! They were protecting their jobs, their careers within the monster that we've been trying to put down for years. The Prohibition/Drug War Industrial Complex! It's been a monster. The sooner it's gone, the better.
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Comment #25 posted by Sam Adams on May 17, 2015 at 15:42:21 PT
1974 study
Hope, that's great to hear, hopefully the cannabis combined with the usual western medicine treatments to defeat the cancer. My 90 year old neighbor defeated breast cancer like 20 years ago and she's very healthy and going strong.  I am actually having a 20-year milestone this year of being cancer-free, although I am missing an crucial organ after the experience. the usually slash-and-burn US medical philosophy leaves a mark, to put it mildly.Here's an article about Jack Herer and the cancer study - in his book I think he claims that the study was removed from the Library of Congress and other libraries by the feds:
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on May 17, 2015 at 13:54:03 PT
Thank you, Sam.
I'm glad to be alive. I appreciate all the help, love, prayers, doctoring, medicine, and caregivers that helped me get rid of the cancer. Doc says with this milestone my chances appear to be vastly increased that it won't come back. Like, if it didn't come back in the first five years, it was likely not to come back, or recur, at all.I haven't read anything current about that old report... but I remember reading in the late nineties that it was the World Health Organization that was stopped from releasing the report by our government. Or maybe they put the lid on it. But really, I think, the World Health Organization was the entity forbidden to release it.It would have been wonderful if Mr. Herrer could see the progress being made these days. Maybe he can see it all happening. I hope so. He was a hero. Always will be.
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Comment #23 posted by Sam Adams on May 17, 2015 at 10:48:39 PT
congratulations to you on the 5 year milestone! Glad you are doing well. You can imagine how Jack Herer must have felt when he discovered the 1974 study and then went to look for it and found that the govt. had removed it from the libraries.
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Comment #22 posted by Hope on May 17, 2015 at 09:33:07 PT
That Vitamin D I was prescribed.
I'm pretty sure it was D3 but I could be wrong. But it was an intense amount, more than over the counter available at that time.
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Comment #21 posted by Hope on May 17, 2015 at 09:30:27 PT
Vitamin D
Doctors made me aware of the vitamin D situation when I was being treated for cancer about five years ago. They tested my blood for it regularly during chemotherapy and at one point it dropped so low that they prescribed me extra, a lot extra, beyond the over the counter vitamins I was already taking.That cover up about the amazing help and cure that cannabis can be concerning cancer had something to do with the World Health Organization. WHO. I haven't read about that debacle in a long time, but, as I remember, it was the World Health Organization that was not allowed to release the positive report... or it was people within it that wouldn't allow the report to be published.Five years. I'm five years cancer free! Whoo hoo! That's a good thing. I don't really think of it as cancer free until the surgery time, which is in December, but the Docs count me cancer free from the moment I first met with them... which is this month, I'm told, five years ago. I think that was in June, too. Lol! Maybe the chemo scattered a few brain cells. But someone is counting it five years! So whoo hoo for that!
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Comment #20 posted by Sam Adams on May 16, 2015 at 18:33:04 PT
vit. D
Ken - I am aware of that - my doctor prescribed Vit. D from the pharmacy for my deficiency and it was D2, I replaced it with some D3 from the health food store. it's amazing, it's like they throw every rock in the path of alternative medicine they can!  Oh yes, it's going to be satisfying to see cannabis integrated into western medicine the way acupuncture and meditation have been in the last 10-15 years.I go right on telling people about medical MJ, maybe they'll be convinced later if they're skeptical at first! Most people with serious health issues tend to become open minded.
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Comment #19 posted by keninsj on May 16, 2015 at 17:47:30 PT:
Sam Adams Vitamin D
Interestingly enough, the vitamin D that doctors prescribe for D deficiency is vitamin D2 which is less effective. We need to make sure we are taking vitamin D3 which is what our bodies produce when exposed to the sun.
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on May 16, 2015 at 14:03:54 PT
I remember being scolded by someone
many years ago when they were telling me about a friend, newly diagnosed with MS. I mentioned that I had heard from other people that cannabis could be helpful with some aspects of the condition. They scolded me. "Oh good grief! You think it's good for anything.""Pearls before swine." I learned to beware of those situations.But it is an amazingingly helpful plant. "An embarrassment of riches." It is hard to believe just how amazing are it's embarrassment of riches. We are just beginning to comprehend it. 
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Comment #17 posted by Hope on May 16, 2015 at 13:24:44 PT
"An embarrassment of riches."
I love the very last line in this article in National Geographic.Cannabis truly is "An embarrassment of riches."Science Seeks to Unlock Marijuana’s Secrets
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Comment #16 posted by The GCW on May 16, 2015 at 12:40:28 PT
To add to kaptinemo's
Ending cannabis prohibition is one of the most important issues of Our time.The cancer issue alone makes that statement true.Cannabis prohibition is related to so many problems humans face that it would be difficult to come up with a more important issue that negatively effects humans.
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Comment #15 posted by Richard Zuckerman on May 16, 2015 at 10:13:06 PT:
Article by Dr. Joseph Mercola, M.D.:
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Comment #14 posted by Sam Adams on May 16, 2015 at 09:47:05 PT
Vitamin D
Cannabis isn't the only *verboten* anti-cancer miracle drug.Don't forget that the feds waged a war against Vitamin D for decades, replete with SWAT-style raids on providers and advertisers of Vitamin D. The medical establishment has finally - grudgingly - acknowledged that Vitamin D is indeed a highly effective preventer of cancer. The rise of non-traditional "functional" medicine has started to take the market share of the toxic model and forced them to acknowledge this, much the way we've used the political process to force acceptance of the medical benefits of cannabis.
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Comment #13 posted by Sam Adams on May 16, 2015 at 09:43:54 PT
The cancer/cannabis issue reveals the dark heart of our Empire. The controlling elite LOVE cancer among the masses. Oncology has the highest profit margin of all specialties in US health care. They don't want us healthy! They want us sick and dying until we can be replaced by illegal immigrants. The drug companies and medical industry are gorging themselves on cancer profits from expensive treatments, surgeries, and testing.You realize that we are merely feudal peons - serfs - to the overlords of Wall Street and Big Pharma. They pass various laws and policies to sell us out to the special interests that pay the most. We are in the midst of cancer epidemic that exploded out of the gate after WWII. Cannabis and hemp were banned and our society was converted to run entirely on toxic petrochemicals. Leaded gas was made standard with full knowledge of it toxic health effects. There are hundreds of examples of decisions that led us to our current epidemic of cancer and neurological diseases like autism and ADD.
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Comment #12 posted by kaptinemo on May 16, 2015 at 07:34:59 PT:
One very major omission
"Spanish biologist Manuel Guzmán is doing cutting-edge work on the potential of cannabinoids to retard the growth of glioblastoma, one of the deadliest forms of brain cancer.Just about everyone here knows the US discovered the anti-neoplstic properties of cannabis in 1974. same work which Dr. Guzman replicated in 2000.If the author knew of Dr. Guzman's work, then the author had to have known about the 1974 study, due to the controversy about the earlier study being validated by Guzman's later work. Guzman himself was shocked to learn that he had only verified an earlier process, not discovered have to ask, why no mention of this fact of he anti-cancer properties of cannabis being discovered courtesy of an NIDA grant issued to find only negative effects of exposure to cannabis, in a vain attempt to scientifically justify cannabis prohibition?Imagine: possibly the greatest medical discovery of the 20th Century, a cure for cancer, found in the lowly cannabis plant, a weed subjected to an officially sanctioned chemical pogrom by the very government that made the discovery. Which must now admit to all the world that not only was it wrong about cannabis, but it has the blood of tens of millions of cancer victims on its hands thanks to its pig-headed recalcitrance to objectively view the data and pursue the necessary research.Any wonder why the author left out the earlier study? 40 years after the fact, this is still a political nuke, because the fact remains: someone gave the order to deep-six that 1974 study, and the 1994 HHS study that confirmed the 1974 study..One of the greatest real-life political thrillers about how this happened, and most importantly, why, has yet to be written. I hope somebody does so I can read it before I die, as that will be the final proof of malevolent government collusion against the citizens...and of their need to take politics seriously. 
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Comment #11 posted by Hope on May 15, 2015 at 13:20:23 PT
Jacob Sullum
Marijuana Prohibition Is Unscientific, Unconstitutional And Unjust
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Comment #10 posted by Hope on May 15, 2015 at 13:16:34 PT
When I say, "Like this"...
I mean that is one of the statements that makes me uneasy about this article. Maybe because it's more of an opinion, which I disagree with, than just information, which a lot of the rest of the article is.
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Comment #9 posted by Hope on May 15, 2015 at 13:13:10 PT
"Know nothings" didn't get that way
by accident. They've worked at it. "There is none so deaf as he who will not hear". While there is a lot of good information here, most prohibitionists won't make it through an article this long, much less the author's book.Like this: "As states now rush to legalize pot and unwind a massive criminalization effort..."Is that true? I wish it was?It's more like they're being dragged, pushed, pulled, and prodded forward. It's tediously slow and hard, seems to me. But then again, maybe I've been watching, and pushing and prodding too long, but that looks rather like one of those, "Born yesterday" type statements.
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Comment #8 posted by Hope on May 15, 2015 at 13:02:47 PT
This article, while having a lot of truth
sort of makes me uneasy somehow. There are things that are wrong, I think. It's uncle Sam and aunt "Somebody's got to die" Nora. Some of it's got to be off key, I guess. It is mostly a good education for the infamous "Know-nothing". I'm not crazy about these animal experiments. I don't know if it's called for. And of course, we don't trust them. My Lord! They've lied like scoundrels for years. Decades,even. 
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Comment #7 posted by Hope on May 15, 2015 at 09:00:39 PT
I woke up this morning...
and he was gone.B. B. King
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Comment #6 posted by runruff on May 15, 2015 at 08:06:19 PT
I too say yes 90.04% of the time.
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Comment #5 posted by The GCW on May 15, 2015 at 04:37:27 PT
90.04% say YES.
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Comment #4 posted by Hope on May 14, 2015 at 20:37:57 PT
Comment 1
It's hard to comprehend that 104 people (?) so far have voted no.A hundred and four. Unbelievable.
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 14, 2015 at 20:15:03 PT
I thought stoned rats were stock brokers.Love it!
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Comment #2 posted by MikeEEEEE on May 14, 2015 at 16:58:17 PT
Stoner Rats
I thought stoned rats were stock brokers.On a more serious note: the science is there, cannabis is not a neuro-toxin, and it stops seizures.Alcohol is a toxin to the whole body, does not go with most medicines, causes cirrhosis of the liver, and death. Heroin during an overdose causes respiratory depression, then cardiac arrest/death.Over the years, the stalling tactic was to suggest more study. I believe the scientific evidence relating to cannabis is already there, many times over. 
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on May 14, 2015 at 15:24:18 PT
POLL: Do you support federal legislation to allow children with seizures and adults with intractable epilepsy to have access to medical marijuana?YesNo
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