By Clark French and Gemma Phelan
From the numerous case studies and public admissions there is no doubt that the amount of medicinal cannabis users is growing daily. Frustrated by the medical establishment’s refusal to acknowledge the healing power of the hemp plant, people are taking it upon themselves to self-medicate and in doing so are prioritising their own wellbeing.
The use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is nothing new. Prior to the infamous ‘war on drugs’, hemp was grown extensively, as its uses are many and varied, one of which being as a cure for particular illnesses. Indeed, it is no coincidence that in tandem to the criminalisation of the plant went the growth of the pharmaceutical empire which has only ever been concerned with the treatment of symptoms rather than finding a cure for the illness. Subsequently, after only a few decades the possibility that an illness could be completely cured had been abandoned in favour of a system that offered the patient little more than the empty promises of the snake oil salesmen of the Wilde West. In light of which, we can only wonder at how many lives could have been saved and others prolonged were the hemp plant prescribed. To the reasonable and compassionate individual it is almost unthinkable, but one thing is for sure, the criminalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes could be seen as one of the greatest crimes against humanity.
“Since hemp has such an extensive history of medicinal use and safety record that is beyond compare, this in itself should prove just how much we are all being manipulated by our governments and doctors who we have been taught to put our trust in. Extracts produced from medicinal varieties of cannabis hemp are the most medicinally active substances known to man and to even try to practice medicine without their use defies all forms of rational thinking.” (Rick Simpson : The Rick Simpson Story).
In recent years however there has been a significant backlash, as the pro-cannabis movement has taken on new momentum and found its way into mainstream, primarily driven by those for whom the prospect of long term meditation is worse than the symptoms of the illness itself. In some cases, patients have completely riled against the medical establishment and turned toward plants and herbs to combat their illness. Sadly, in spite of positive results and possibly due to the fear of prison or ridicule, many have chosen to stay quiet and just be content with healing themselves rather than sharing their story with others, that is, until actor, comedian and co-star of the hit stoner movie series “Cheech and Chong” won his battle against prostate cancer and decided to tell the world all about it.
As well as enjoying success in the US album chart, Chong, together with Cheech Marin starred in eight movies, including the classic ‘up in smoke’, a film well known by many a cannabis user, so it is quite fitting that Tommy Chong should be the first person to publicly announce the part played by hemp oil in the treatment of his illness.
Although diagnosed as recently as June 2012, Chong’s team of doctors has since confirmed that he is now free of the disease. Coupled with a strict diet, Chong proudly attributes the healing power of cannabis oil to his good health which further supports the anecdotal and scientific evidence that cannabis could be an effective treatment for cancer. “That’s right, I kicked cancer’s ass! he wrote on the web site Celebrity Stoner. “So the magic plant does cure cancer with the right diet and supplements. I’m due for another blood test, MRI, etc., but I feel the best I’ve felt in years. And now for a celebration joint of the finest Kush …”
We are all relieved that Tommy has won his battle with cancer and equally grateful for his openness about such a personal issue, especially for other cancer sufferers to whom it brings much hope. For as the scientific evidence comes to support Tommy’s claims, the eyes of the world are opening to the medicinal properties of the cannabis plant. May the ganja goddess long protect him and bring good health for many years to come.
In light of the evidence, it appears that there is no stopping the pro-cannabis movement, supported by the fact that no one has ever died from using cannabis, a truth that sadly cannot be claimed by mainstream medicine. As patients begin to make informed decisions about their health based on research, their confidence grows in knowing what is best for their own particular situation. It is these people who will bring the cause further into the mainstream until the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is mainstream and I am sure I speak for many of us when I say that this time cannot come soon enough.