Canadians love their buds. And pro-cannabis Americans have always had a special place in their heart for Canada. Canada’s marijuana legalities are traditionally more lenient than America’s (although they are also a bit hazy at times), and the country’s citizens certainly have a pro-marijuana legalization stance. Canada is essentially Europe for many Americans–the drinking age is 19, buds are plentiful, and strip joints are, well, looser. It’s also long been a refuge for fugitives in the cannabis industry.
But it’s also worth pointing out that Canada isn’t all just fun and games–they do have a burgeoning medicinal marijuana community and a “Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids” which has been conducting some very thorough research on the medicinal benefits of cannabinoids. The results, as Sharon Kirkey details in yesterday’s Vancouver Sun are extremely thorough. While a lot of their conclusions confirm what supporters of medical cannabis may already know, there are some particularly interesting results with regards to HIV and Cancer, specifically.
Four small but scientifically controlled experiments in recent years have concluded that smoked cannabis can provide moderate relief from chronic, severe non-cancer pain – including HIV-related nerve pain and post-traumatic neuropathy, a dreaded condition that can follow an injury or medical procedure. Both are notoriously resistant to conventional treatments.
Scientists are only beginning to tease out the possible anti-cancer properties of pot. Early experiments in animals suggest that purified forms of THC and can-nabidiol – two major constituents of marijuana – can induce certain cancer cells, including breast cancer cells, to essentially kill themselves off – a process known as apoptosis. The cells self-destruct; they stop dividing and spreading. Cannabi-noids also seem to shut down a tumour’s life-giving blood supply.
Meanwhile, researchers across Canada are testing cannabinoids against arthritis, glaucoma and gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s.
Well, I think most people would agree that if it can help patients deal with the symptom’s of HIV and Cancer, than maybe marijuana isn’t exactly “The Devil’s Lettuce.” The piece is full of all sorts of medical jargon and terminology that help make a pretty logical, scientific argument for why marijuana being illegal is all sorts of absurd. It also discusses the negative side affects of bud (such as “sedation and foggy thinking”).
The crusade for the legalization of marijuana continues to blossom nationally and any awareness brought to the overall cause north of the border (or across the pond or anywhere, really) is worth noting. While, the future medicinal cannabis still has some legal and moral hurdles to overcome, the more empirical results and in-depth pieces like this only add to the credibility of the cause.