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Cannabis: Public Enemy #1

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness

It's ironic a plant that has never killed anyone can be the topic of conversation filled with so much controversy, but it's true. Cannabis has been named public enemy number one by the federal government and every conservative American from North to South, but why? 

Since the recent boom of medical marijuana, advocates and physicians are speaking out about the positive effects of cannabis use for cancer, Epilepsy, MS, PTSD, and anxiety patients, yet there is so much resistance and red tape involved in the further research of cannabis and cannabinoid treatment. 

In 2001, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued US Patent 6,630,507 which states:

“Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants 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 cannabid oil, 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. A particular disclosed class of cannabinoids useful as neuroprotective antioxidants is formula (I) wherein the R group is independently selected from the group consisting of H, CH.sub.3, and COCH.sub.3. ##STR1##”

It is illegal to patent a plant, which is why they patented an aspect they could modify instead of the actual plant. So, if the U.S. government patented cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants, why are so many states opposed to its medicinal qualities? 

In the United States from 1999 to 2015, more than 183,000 people have died from overdoses related to prescription opioids and a more recent analysis has estimated that over 128,000 Americans die each year as a result of taking medications as prescribed. 

Due to the high number of prescription drug related deaths, many have chosen to take a more holistic approach to medicine, arguing that many doctors experiment or prescribe more for profit than for treatment. It’s hard to believe that with so many innovations in technology many diseases don’t yet have cures, but is it slow progress or something more sinister. It’s hard to swallow, but there is no profit in curing a disease. 

You are made to believe that the government wouldn’t allow anyone to deny access of life-saving cures to American citizens, when in actuality the people in government work for the pharmaceutical, oil and gas, and food industries. Our elected officials receive money from companies in exchange for their loyalty. 

Finding a politician in government that hasn’t worked for or doesn’t have ties with one of the multibillion dollar conglomerates in the U.S. is like looking for the Arc of the Covenant.

 I understand that in order for our economy to prosper big business and our governments must work together to ensure that we as a nation are moving in the right direction, but that’s not what’s happening. Millionaires are becoming billionaires and paying very little into the system, while the people who are doing the work aren’t being paid a livable wage and are paying more money in taxes per year than people with multimillion dollar homes. So, what does this have to do with marijuana? 

Everything, the government has been making money off the distribution of drugs in America for decades. Millions have been incarcerated over drug related crimes and then work in prisons for companies like AT&T, Verizon, and even McDonalds for reduced sentences and or privileges within the prison system. 

Politicians have been pumping drugs into low-income communities to pay for assets acquired by the government, and then we have guns. From 2001 to 2014, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found that over 440,000 people have been fatally wounded by firearms and just this year alone there have been 41,268 gun related incidents, over 10,267 deaths, and over 244 mass shootings. All of which are being supported by the “War on Drugs.”

So, how can legalizing Cannabis help? Cannabis has been proven to help cure ailments and reduce pain in diseases without cures. Hundreds who have tried everything with no luck or hope are flocking to states where marijuana is legal to find relief or a way to manage their health that most take for granted.

Many people have already benefited from the medicinal properties of cannabis and the feedback on the use of cannabinoid oils in people and children with epilepsy has been astounding, but there is more research on how to cut into a child’s brain and surgically remove a tumor, then how to cure cancer without poisoning the body with overly expensive radiation treatments. 

Many will argue that cannabis is dangerous and should be banned, while they smoke cigarettes, drink alcohol, and eat fast food. The products that we use, the clothes that we wear, and the food that we eat is what’s making us sick as a nation. 

Majority of what we use and consume are made with materials that are harmful to our bodies and are illegal in most of the rest of the world. Priority number one should be to create legislation to stop these companies from slowly killing us for profit. 

Not demonizing people with pain and mental health issues from consuming a plant they patented as safe, just because they refuse to take prescription pills with side effects worse than the ailment they are trying to cure. Yet again, there is no profit in a cure — only dependency. 

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