Like Me — More Experts Are Changing Their Mind About Medicinal Marijuana


Alright, so I am a cynic.  It seems like the very public change of position of Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a mainstream doctor who presents  mainstream medicine in the media is on the level with religious conversion among the missionaries.

Then, only today, I saw an article by the chief and deputy chief of NORML — an organization I am also blogging for.  Most folks seem to think marijuana should be freely available.

I empathize with Dr. Gupta.  I used to be anti-marijuana, too — medicinally.  I’ve always been a civil-rights activist and supported the right of people to use marijuana recreationally. I thought the medical marijuana movement was just some kids who wanted an excuse to get high.

I changed from “against” to “for”  because of the same reason that Dr. Gupta talks about.

Research.  Research done and published worldwide.

When I was living abroad, I was convinced that the best (and the best  funded) research came from the United States, and I was excited about  returning.

Now there is no doubt in my mind that the good and valid research  that shows the merits of cannabinoids in the treatment of myriad diseases are coming from Israel, Spain, and other non-American shores.

Perhaps because of my own multi-country background (France and Canada as well as my native USA), I have always been open to research coming  from other countries.  They certainly are not stupider than us by any means. Quite the contrary — They are more open-minded.

Oh, how I have always believed that freedom of thought was a hallmark of being American.  My grandmother of blessed  memory always told me people did not have the freedom to worship in  Judaism in the then U.S.S.R. and she felt she had to come stateside.

Could it be now that scientific freedom of thought is actually easier to come by in other countries?

There is something eerily simplistic about politics and its dominion over  science in these United States.  The knee jerk right and left have a horrible track record of being wrong and wronger.  Decisions have been made about marijuana  because of politics while other countries have been heroically  proclaiming the abilities of marijuana to heal ailing mice and cells and by inference now and by human research soon, to heal people.

Human  sufferings are the reason young and idealistic  folks choose to go into medicine in the first place.  The opposition can always block progress by crying “There isn’t enough research!  There isn’t enough data!”  Although I enjoy  experiments and data, I have always told everyone I am a doctor first,  wanting to relieve suffering first, before I look at data.

It is time for American medicine to hang its head in shame.   The government persists in classifying marijuana as having no medical  utility, while every day I see people who thank it for their ability to  function, even their ability to be alive.

There are none so blind as those who are paid NOT to see — if I may paraphrase a scripture.

I am proud, really proud, that I am affiliated, by virtue of my blog, with NORML, as cited in the CNN release.

The truth is that marijuana is beneficial to many; a truth that the United  States government has been systematically blocking without data by  claiming it is of no medical use.

I believe in scientific research as a way of accessing the  truth.  This is being done with cannabis research every day.  Cannabis  is helpful and it helps many.

I think the major block in accepting this truth is that the United States has to admit it has made a grievous error.  This kind of admission is difficult for the United  States.

Capitalism, that lofty ideal, has degenerated into knee-jerk politics that seems dominated by greed.  I have no other diagnosis.

Can we get the United States back on track?  Can we enjoy anything like a  shadow of the supremacy in science that I longed to return to when I  lived and worked in Europe, so many years ago?

I believe the United States can.  We have honest idealists.   We have people who care for what should be available, what is justified, and what is just plain right.

People like the fine folks at NORML.

Marijuana is good medicine for lots of folks.

Accepting this truth will make the United States stronger.

We may be finally moving toward Thomas Jefferson’s ideal of an informed populace.

We may be moving towards a medicine that actually relieves suffering.

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