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How to Save Money and Fight Cancer, Drug Abuse and Terrorism

March 6, 2011

I just have to share this article by Bruce Mirken with you. He writes on AlterNet of President Richard Nixon’s two big wars in the 1970s. No, not Vietnam, his other two big wars: The War on Cancer and the War on Drugs. Both have been colossal wastes of time and money, for various reasons, but the point Mirken makes is that the so-called War on Drugs actually inhibited progress in the War on Cancer.

A”war” on disease, drugs, or tactics such as terrorism usually turns out to be a way to misdirect a lot of public funds and sacrifice civil rights for no appreciable gain while distracting attention for real solutions for the very real underlying problems of cancer, drug abuse and terrorists at large.

In 1975 the National Cancer Institute published a study showing that compounds taken from cannabis shrank large tumors in mice, prolonging their lived. Yet the newly established NCI didn’t push for further testing that could have built on those early results to potentially find a cancer cure in a readily available (albeit illegal) herb. (Many studies from the 1990s on have confirmed the anti-tumor effects of various cannabinoids in lab and animal tests.) What got in the way, as Mirkin points out, was the politics of Nixon’ war on drugs. Only on human trial has been conducted to date, by Dr. Manuel Guzman of Madrid’s Complutense University. There is great potential here.

Much of Mirkin’s article cautions against proclaiming that it has been proven than cannabis is a cure for cancer. It’s much too preliminary for that, but this is an obvious area crying out for further research. If only the Federal Government didn’t make it so difficult to conduct marijuana studies.

I was very interested to see that Joseph Mercola has changed his stance on medical marijuana, and published an excellent overview of all the pertinent issues surrounding it: the science behind it, the government’s resistance to accepting it, the civil rights violations committed in the name of attacking it. I love his provocative title, The Medical Miracle You’ll Be Arrested for Using. I have mixed feelings about Mercola—I used to read his newsletter regularly, but have been dismayed by his emphasis on marketing his products—but I have to applaud the great job he (or a ghost writer) did on the subject.

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