A forbidden resource: marijuana
The war on marijuana is indeed a strange one, considering the legality of cigarettes and alcohol — products that have vastly greater potential to harm public health, without any of the medicinal benefits. Not to mention that the FDA approves drugs, prescribed by doctors every day, that kill over 100,000 Americans a year.
Feds Attempt to Force Medical Marijuana Industry Out of Business
In recent months there have been several blows to the various industries who support the medical marijuana market. Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, reported in U.S. News & World Report Opinion, these disturbing changes:
- “The Department of Justice sent letters this past spring to state lawmakers that were debating legislation to allow for the licensed distribution of medical cannabis, threatening prosecution of those involved with said efforts if the measures went forward;
- The IRS has assessed crippling penalties on taxpaying medical cannabis facilities in California by denying these operations the right to file standard expense deductions;
- The Department of Treasury has strong-armed local banks and other financial institutions into closing their accounts with medicinal cannabis operators;
- The Drug Enforcement Administration has rejected a nine-year-old administrative petition that called for hearings regarding the federal rescheduling of cannabis for medical use, ignoring extensive scientific evidence of its medical efficacy;
- The National Institute on Drug Abuse rejected an FDA-approved protocol to allow for clinical research assessing the use of cannabis to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, stating, “We generally do not fund research focused on the potential beneficial medical effects of marijuana.”
- Most recently, Deputy Attorney General James Cole, along with the four U.S. attorneys from California, announced plans for a coordinated effort against operations in California that provide above-ground access to cannabis for those patients qualified to use the substance in accordance with state law.”
Moreover, by shutting down reputable marijuana dispensaries, it will only force those who legitimately depend upon it to alleviate their suffering to enter the (sometimes dangerous) black market.
Of principal interest about cannibis is:
Your Body is Hard-Wired to Respond to Cannabinoids in the Marijuana Plant
There are more than 60 chemical compounds known as cannabinoids in the marijuana plant. Cannabinoids interact with your body by way of naturally occurring cannabinoid receptors embedded in cell membranes throughout your body. There are cannabinoid receptors in your brain, lungs, liver, kidneys, immune system and more; both the therapeutic and psychoactive properties of marijuana occur when a cannabinoid (such as the THC produced by the cannabis plant) activates a cannabinoid receptor.
Your body also has naturally occurring endocannabinoids that stimulate your cannabinoid receptors and produce a variety of important physiologic processes, far beyond that of the traditional “highs” associated with THC.
What is amazing is that your body is actually hard-wired to respond to cannabinoids through this unique cannabinoid receptor system; research is still ongoing on just how extensive their impact is on our health, but to date it’s known that cannabinoid receptors play an important role in many body processes, including metabolic regulation, cravings, pain, anxiety, bone growth, and immune function.
A report by Dr. Manuel Guzman in the journal of Nature Reviews suggests that these active components of cannabis and their derivatives are potential anti-cancer agents:
” … these compounds [cannabinoids] have been shown to inhibit the growth of tumour cells in culture and animal models by modulating key cell-signaling pathways. Cannabinoids are usually well tolerated, and do not produce the generalized toxic effects of conventional chemotherapies.”
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