There are more than 60 therapeutic compounds in cannabis that are healing agents in medical and herbal treatments. The primary one is THC, and the effectiveness of therapy is directly proportionate to the herb’s potency or concentration of THC. Recent DEA reports of increasingly potent marijuana therefore represent a major medical advance; but, incredibly, the government uses these very numbers to solicit bigger budgets and harsher penalties.
On November 5, 1996, 56% of California citizens voted for the California Compassionate Use Act (medical marijuana initiative) ending all legal state efforts to keep marijuana from being used as medicine by California citizens.
Arizona citizens, in November 1996, also passed, by an even greater margin — 65%—a drug declassification initiative that included medical marijuana, backed by, among others, the late U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater.
Arizona’s governor and legislature, exercising their veto override ability on their state initiative laws for the first time in 90 years, struck down this popular initiative passed by the people. Arizona citizens angrily responded by recollecting more than 150,000 signatures in a 90-day referendum period and promptly returned the medical marijuana initiative to the ballot for November 1998.
The following explains how people will benefit when the freedom of choice of doctors and patients is once again respected.
This Writer, Responsible Scientists and Doctors Advise:
There is no pharmacological free lunch in cannabis or any drug. Negative reactions can result. A small percentage of people have negative or allergic reactions to marijuana. Heart patients could have problems, even though cannabis generally relieves stress, dilates the arteries, and in general lowers the diastolic pressure. A small percentage of people get especially high heart rates and anxieties with cannabis. These persons should not use it. Some bronchial asthma sufferers benefit from cannabis; however, for others it may serve as an additional irritant.
For the overwhelming majority of people, cannabis has demonstrated literally hundreds of therapeutic uses. Among them:
More than 15 million Americans are affected by asthma. Smoking cannabis (the “raw drug” as the AMA called it) would be beneficial for 80% of them and add 30-60 million person-years in the aggregate of extended life to current asthmatics over presently legal toxic medicines such as the Theophylline prescribed to children.
“Taking a hit of marijuana has been known to stop a full blown asthma attack.” (Personal communication with Dr. Donald Tashkin, December 12, 1989 and December 1, 1997.) The use of cannabis for asthmatics goes back thousands of years in literature. American doctors of the last century wrote glowing reports in medical papers that asthma sufferers of the world would ”bless” Indian hemp (cannabis) all their lives.