I think it’s fair to say that by now, most people who are interested in natural medicine know of the benefits of cannabis in treating cancer, and as a treatment for a variety of other ailments. This is not news to us anymore.
Finally, though, this knowledge is going mainstream. When CNN start reporting on the matter in a favourable light (http://edition.cnn.com/2015/04/15/health/marijuana-medical-advances/), I think we can safely say that anyone who doesn’t live under a rock is aware of it now.
Government vs Research
Anyone who lives under a rock – and government, of course. Same thing really, I guess. Cannabis is still classed as a Schedule-1 drug and therefore is considered to have no medical uses. This means that research is virtually impossible. Scientists would need to obtain approval from a whole raft of government agencies, and approval is very rare indeed.
So, despite the wide availability of medical marijuana, not nearly enough is known in a scientific sense about how it works in the body, how it attacks cancer cells, and so many other questions that beg to be answered. Personally, I wonder if there are other countries where research could be done and where funding would be obtainable. I haven’t been able to find anything on this, so if you, dear reader, know of any then please post it in the comments section below.
The way that regulations are structured ensures that physicians, even if they know that it works, cannot be reasonably expected to treat their patients with it, because they stand to lose their licence if they do get caught. A ridiculous situation indeed!
Some light at the end of the tunnel
Currently there is a bipartisan bill in the Senate in the USA, titled the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act of 2015. It is authored by Rand Paul (R-Kentucky), Cory Brooker (D-New Jersey) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York). Kudos to these individuals, whatever their political leanings may be. This act would ease many of the current restrictions, which would simplify the study of cannabis for research.
As Dr Sanjay Gupta puts it: “We should legalize medical marijuana. We should do it nationally. And, we should do it now.”
It’s high time this prohibition ended.