Several thousand people came out in Canada's biggest cities to call for the legalization of marijuana -- a yearly protest that happens internationally on April 20.
The demonstrations -- dubbed the "420" rallies after the date, 4/20 in North American style, and the code-term popularly used to refer to pot consumption -- took place in Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa.
Medical cannabis (or medical marijuana) refers to the use of cannabis and its constituent cannabinoids, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), as medical therapy to treat disease or alleviate symptoms. The Cannabis plant has a history of medicinal use dating back thousands of years across many cultures.
Cannabis has been used to reduce nausea and vomiting in chemotherapy and people with AIDS, and to treat pain and muscle spasticity; its use for other medical applications has been studied but there is insufficient data for conclusions about safety and efficacy. Short-term use increases minor adverse effects, but does not appear to increase major adverse effects. Long-term effects are not clear, and there are safety concerns including memory and cognition problems, risk for dependence and the risk of children taking it by accident.
Many studies have looked at the effects of smoking cannabis on the respiratory system. Cannabis smoke contains thousands of organic and inorganic chemical compounds. This tar is chemically similar to that found in tobacco smoke, and over fifty known carcinogens have been identified in cannabis smoke, including; nitrosamines, reactive aldehydes, and polycylic hydrocarbons, including benz[a]pyrene.
Now please notice the similarities between cannabis and another helpful drug, aspirin.
Aspirin (USAN), also known as acetylsalicylic acid (/əˌsɛtəlˌsælɨˈsɪlɨk/ ə-set-əl-sal-i-sil-ik) [ASA], is a salicylate drug, often used as an analgesic to relieve minor aches and pains, as an antipyretic to reduce fever, and as an anti-inflammatory medication. The active ingredient of Aspirin was first discovered from the bark of the willow tree in 1763 by Edward Stone of Wadham College, Oxford University. He had discovered salicylic acid, the active metabolite of aspirin. Aspirin was first synthesized by Felix Hoffmann, a chemist with the German company Bayer in 1897.
So why is it that doctors today never prescribe willow tree bark for headaches or heart conditions? Is it because we possess the technological know-how to extract the useful components therefore eliminating the need to eat or, God forbid, burn the bark and inhale the smoke? Of course it is.
People the world over want us to believe that there is undeniable benefit to burning parts of the marijuana plant, inhaling thousands of chemicals, more than fifty of which are known to cause cancer when the same technology exists to extract the useful components (CBD et al) which are shown to help people without getting high by inhaling poison.
From a powerful testimony published on CNN:
Paige found a Denver dispensary that had a small amount of a type of marijuana called R4, said to be low in THC and high in CBD. She paid about $800 for 2 ounces -- all that was available -- and had a friend extract the oil.
She had the oil tested at a lab and started Charlotte out on a small dose.
"We were pioneering the whole thing; we were guinea pigging Charlotte," Paige said. "This is a federally illegal substance. I was terrified to be honest with you."
But the results were stunning.
"When she didn't have those three, four seizures that first hour, that was the first sign," Paige recalled. "And I thought well, 'Let's go another hour, this has got to be a fluke.' "
The seizures stopped for another hour. And for the following seven days.
"The biggest misconception about treating a child like little Charlotte is most people think that we're getting her high, most people think she's getting stoned," Josh Stanley said, stressing his plant's low THC levels. "Charlotte is the most precious little girl in the world to me. I will do anything for her."The facts are clear. Smoking marijuana poses a huge health risk while extracting the useful components is helpful. The law of diminished returns clearly applies here. I propose we allow for the extraction of the useful components and stop kidding ourselves. Governments are only interested in the tax revenue just as they are with tobacco, no matter how many people it hurts. And more and more studies are confirming the negative affects of smoking marijuana. Legal or not - smoking pot is moronic.
The brothers started the Realm of Caring Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides cannabis to adults and children suffering from a host of diseases, including epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's, who cannot afford this treatment.
People have called them the Robin Hoods of marijuana. Josh Stanley said it's their calling. They use the money they make from medical marijuana patients and get donations from sponsors who believe in their cause. They only ask patients such as the Figis to donate what they can.
"We give (cannabis) away for next to free," Stanley said. "The state won't allow us to actually give it away, so we give it away for pennies really."
Charlotte gets a dose of the cannabis oil twice a day in her food.
Gedde found three to four milligrams of oil per pound of the girl's body weight stopped the seizures.
Today, Charlotte, 6, is thriving. Her seizures only happen two to three times per month, almost solely in her sleep. Not only is she walking, she can ride her bicycle. She feeds herself and is talking more and more each day.
"I literally see Charlotte's brain making connections that haven't been made in years," Matt said. "My thought now is, why were we the ones that had to go out and find this cure? This natural cure? How come a doctor didn't know about this? How come they didn't make me aware of this?"
The marijuana strain Charlotte and now 41 other patients use to ease painful symptoms of diseases such as epilepsy and cancer has been named after the little girl who is getting her life back one day at a time.
It's called Charlotte's Web.