Wednesday, September 28, 2011

National Cancer Institute endorses medicinal marijuana

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National Cancer Institute logo

Anti-marijuana activists have never had much of a case. After all, despite their frenzied (if not outright hysterical) fear-mongering to the contrary, the facts remain that pot is non-addictive, is not a gateway drug, has never directly caused a death, and even has a few scientifically established health benefits to its credit. And that’s not to mention its equally well-established medicinal properties that enable multitudes of people suffering from chronic pain or terminal illnesses to obtain quick and effective relief. (Oh, and there’s the whole “consenting adults should have the right to put whatever they want into their own bodies on their own time and dime” bit, but seeing as you can’t so much as whisper that without making prohibitionists’ heads explode, we might as well not go down that personal-freedoms road just yet.)

And now, as if to further nail the lid onto the coffin of anti-pot fervor (at least in the U.S.), a federal agency has come out and now openly advocates for cannabis’s medicinal properties, becoming the first government-affiliated entity to do so:

The National Cancer Institute (NCI), a division of the National Institute of Health, which itself is part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, added to its cancer treatment database an entry on the benefits of medicinal marijuana. Not only does the NCI recognize cannabis as a palliative remedy, it also went so far as to say there may be a “direct antitumor effect” from using the drug. Here is an excerpt:

The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal Cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct antitumor effect.

Now, this development is already several months old, and although the Obama administration has not yet shown the slightest inclination to take the rational road and recognize that medicinal cannabis isn’t the devil, we can always bide our time and hope that mounting evidence will finally sway the bullheaded functionaries in power to finally accept reality and follow the will of the majority of the American people.

Even while they’re having their cancer treatments stolen and destroyed.

(via @todayspolitics and @radleybalko)