The Facts on Marijuana: 5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Marijuana That Should Change Your Opinion Forever
I have been involved in the medical cannabis and alternative health industry for four years as a patient educator and advocate, working alongside conventional doctors, naturopaths, spiritual counselors, Reiki healers, and natural health experts in three different states. I was also a medical cannabis patient myself for five years.
My first-hand experience with a broad spectrum of patients, growers and political advocates, combined with my own personal experiences has given me a unique perspective on the subject of legalization in our country.
Marijuana prohibition is blatant infringement upon our constitutional freedom to have access to medicine that cures what ails us. Especially when nearly all of the major health concerns gripping the nation are ones with environmental roots and are largely within the confines of government regulation.
The real message I hope to convey with this article is the importance of the legalization issue as one of global proportions. This is not a matter of people wanting to get high without being arrested, although that may be on some people's agendas and I do not deny that. Prohibition of hemp has had nothing to do with fighting some high-profile war on drugs. This is a matter of international healing; physically, environmentally and economically. We are talking about a human rights issue – whether or not free citizens of a so-called democratic nation have the right of unimpeded access to a plant that has proven medicinal value.
5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Marijuana That Should Change Your Opinion Forever
1.There have been zero instances of death due to marijuana use.
"Tetrahydrocannabinol is a very safe drug. Laboratory animals (rats, mice, dogs, monkeys) can tolerate doses of up to 1,000 mg/kg (milligrams per kilogram). This would be equivalent to a 70 kg person swallowing 70 grams of the drug—about 5,000 times more than is required to produce a high."
- Leslie L. Iversen, "The Science of Marijuana."
2. The federal government owns the patent on cannabis for medicinal use.
The Department of Health and Human Services filed U.S. Patent #6630507 in 2001, which states,
"Cannabinoids have been found to have antioxidant properties, unrelated to NMDA receptor antagonism. This new found property makes cannabinoids useful in the treatment and prophylaxis of wide variety of oxidation associated diseases, such as ischemic, age-related, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. The cannabinoids are found to have particular application as neuroprotectants, for example in limiting neurological damage following ischemic insults, such as stroke and trauma, or in the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and HIV dementia. Nonpsychoactive cannabinoids, such as cannabidoil, are particularly advantageous to use because they avoid toxicity that is encountered with psychoactive cannabinoids at high doses useful in the method of the present invention..."
Wait a minute...according to the federal government marijuana is labeled as a Schedule I narcotic, alongside heroin (which caused over 10,000 deaths in 2014 alone according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse); citing marijuana as having "a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medicinal use in the U.S. and a lack of accepted safety under medical supervision". Are you feeling duped right now? Join the club. If marijuana has NO KNOWN MEDICAL use, why does the United States government own the patent on cannabis for medicinal use?
3. A staggering amount of scientific research has been conducted on the use of marijuana for the treatment of a variety of diseases, giving us substantial evidence to directly rebuke the U.S. government's stance on marijuana as a Schedule I drug.
Not to mention that marijuana was one of the most commonly prescribed drugs in the U.S. Pharmacopia from 1851 to 1942. Cannabis was later reclassified under the Controlled Substances Act. Still donating $1 to help find a cure? There already is a cure! Substantial evidence exists to support cannabis as a potent cancer treatment. The National Cancer Institute, a government-run organization, has acknowledged the many medicinal uses of marijuana to treat cancer.
"Cannabinoids are a class of pharmacologic compounds that offer potential applications as antitumor drugs, based on the ability of some members of this class to limit inflammation, cell proliferation, and cell survival. In particular, emerging evidence suggests that agonists of cannabinoid receptors expressed by tumor cells may offer a novel strategy to treat cancer."
- Sami Sarfaraz, Vaqar M. Adhami, Deeba N. Syed, Farrukh Afaq, Hasan Mukhtar
Article accepted by the American Institute for Cancer Research in 2007
4. Hemp is the one of the most renewable and versatile resources on the planet. It has literally thousands of practical applications; renewable fuel, paper, textiles, building materials, food, etc.
"Hemp is an extremely hearty, soil-building plant with strong roots that help control erosion. Furthermore, hemp is a drought-resistant alternative that is perfect in crop rotation. ...the number one biomass producer on Earth: ten tons/acre in approximately four months. Averaged over a 20-year period, one acre of hemp produces as much usable pulp as 4.1 acres of forest. Thus, hemp farming could reduce deforestation by 50% or more worldwide. Hemp oil, which is extracted from hemp seed, is considered one of the most nutritious oils for humans as it contains the essential fatty acids Omega-3 and Omega-6 that the human body does not synthesize by itself, as well as amino acids and antioxidants."
Hemp is also being used to help heal the nuclear explosion site at Chernobyl and reduce radiation in the soil through a process called phytoremediation.
"In 1998, Phytotech, along with Consolidated Growers and Processors (CGP) and the Ukraine's Institute of Bast Crops, planted industrial hemp, Cannabis sp., for the purpose of removing contaminants near the Chernobyl site. Cannabis is in the Cannabidaceae family and is valuable for its fiber, which is used in ropes and other products. This industrial variety of hemp, incidentally, has only trace amounts of THC, the chemical that produces the "high" in a plant of the same genus commonly known as marijuana."
5. Marijuana is a multi-billion dollar industry, taxable by the U.S government. And guess what? Business is booming.
States like Colorado, Washington and Oregon are generating millions in tax revenue to fund schools, roads and community outreach. Oregon is projecting taking in a whopping $43 million dollars in tax revenue from marijuana in 2016 alone.
"Economists expect about $12 million in tax revenue will go toward the cost of regulating marijuana, which Mazen Malik, a state economist, estimates will cost about $25 million overall in the current budget cycle. The rest of those expenses will be covered by licensing fees, he said. The rest will be distributed according to a formula spelled out by law: 40 percent to the state's Common School Fund, 20 percent to mental health, alcoholism and drug services, 15 percent to Oregon State Police, 10 percent for city law enforcement, 10 percent for county law enforcement and 5 percent to the Oregon Health Authority for alcohol and drug abuse prevention, early intervention and treatment services."
-- The Oregonian
All of this information is mind-blowing, isn't it? I bet you're feeling so inspired by the miracle of marijuana right now that you're wondering how you can help get it legalized. Or maybe you're just sitting there wondering how the hell you never heard about these things before. It's called propaganda. We were all convinced as a nation, nay, as a collective world, that marijuana was a terrible thing. Turns out it's a miracle plant and it might save our planet.
If you enjoyed this article or have questions for me, please feel free to comment below.
Please keep comments focused on the topic at hand and be respectful to all.
Thank you and have a blessed day.
Kaylyn Hansen has worked in the alternative medicine field for over four years as a patient liaison, educator, and physician's assistant.