Pen Truth

Christopher Saikes



I do contend that the War On Drugs has been a long and ongoing crime against humanity.  These might be harsh words, but this is an appropriate stance in light of the available evidence that has come forward in recent years.


In the face of so much Anti-Cannabis Propaganda, I have to ask these questions.  How can any nation, any government, any individual withhold life-saving, or simply life improving medications?  How is it that ideology has trumped human compassion?  How is it that people, who are the result of millions of years of evolved intelligence should rely on nonsense propaganda, rather than on the intellect of science to guide their opinions?  Yes, many Cannabis claims have risen to the level of hype. However, the hype should simply be considered the noise in the data that provides us with the truth.  Truth should never be disregarded over political or religious ideology.  Truth should never be Trumped by personal opinion.

Cannabis, Too Good To Be True?

Many claims have come out of the Marijuana community regarding the beneficial effects of cannabis.  Such claims have been around for decades and even been the inspiration of jokes such “Yeah, I smoke marijuana for my glaucoma.”  The reality is that Glaucoma is one of the many traditional applications for Cannabis listed in the U.S. Pharmacopoeia before decriminalization of the medicine.

Traditional uses include:

  1.   Cannabis as a analgesic
  2.   Cannabis for  asthma relief
  3.   Cannabis to treat bronchitis
  4.   Cannabis as a diabetes remedy
  5.   Cannabis as a headache suppressant
  6.   Cannabis for appetite inducement
  7.   Cannabis to provide a sleep aid
  8.   Cannabis to control opiate addiction and symptoms
  9.   Cannabis to relieve anxiety attacks

among many other claimed beneficial uses for cannabis.  The greater reality is that the many compounds found in the Cannabis plant “Do” have health and medical benefits.  Almost weekly major studies come forward announcing amazing benefits available to persons with cancer, diabetes, neuropathic pain, Post Traumatic Distress, Traumatic Brain Injury, macular degeneration, Alzheimer and stroke.

So why do government officials keep making false, misleading statements regarding the medical benefits of Cannabis.  “What really bothers me is the notion that marijuana is also medicinal, because it’s not…” – Chuck Rosenberg, DEA Chief.

The Death Of Medical Marijuana In The US

By 1918 Pharmaceutical Farms in the US were growing 60,000 pounds of Cannabis annually.  Then in Feb. 19, 1925,  the League of Nations sign a multilateral treaty restricting cannabis use to scientific and medical use only.  When the “Marijuana Tax Act” was passed in Oct. of 1937, the American Medical Association opposed the Proposed Tax Act and Supported continued research into the medical uses for cannabis. The effects of the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act lead to a decline in marijuana prescriptions. Then in 1942, Marijuana was removed from the US Pharmacopoeia.

The Prohibition On Marijuana Also A Prohibition On Truth

For generations now the public has been told by their governments that Cannabis is dangerous and has no proven medical benefits.  Not only was this a lie perpetrated on an unsuspecting population but also the Mantra of the disastrous, ineffective and costly “War On Drugs.”  Millions of patients suffered needlessly when either potential cures or effective life enhancing treatments were denied them in their time of need.  Now we see a growing epidemic of Opiate Addiction in the face pain medication over-prescription.  Cannabis is known to reduces the reliance on dangerous and addictive pain medication, many Opiate based and should be considered nothing less that alternate Heroin formulations.

The medical benefits of Cannabis was known well enough by the U.S. government that they patented several of the medical uses of compounds found in the Cannabis plant.  Patents restrict how a patented item can be used or researched through the application or denial of licensing under the patent.  In other words, when you own a patent you control that item.   By Patent right, the U.S. governments claim can restrict application and research.

Mandatory Sentencing Is Born

In 1951 congress passed the Boggs Act, establishing minimum prison terms for convicted offenders.  Originally these measures were established not as punishment but as a form of “Quarantine.”  Addiction was at the time considered to be contagious so addicts were to be isolated from the general population.  In 1956, Marijuana was included in the Narcotics Control Act which lead to stricter penalties for those convicted.  From this point in time we begin seeing the escalation of the War On Drugs into the monstrosity that we see today.

Can The True Cost Of The War On Drugs Be Calculated?

Four Decades Long.  One Trillion Dollars In Tax Dollars Lost That Could Have Created Economic Wealth.  Five Hundred Thousand Drug Offenders In Prison. Drug Lords Terrorizing Towns And Cities.  Prison Industry Hauling In Billions In Profits.

The government has been locking up people who should be in treatment centers.  Families have been destroyed.  Children, whose parents are imprisoned destined to living in loveless facilities.  And then the crime against our own military, the men and women who “Volunteered” to fight and die for our nation left broken and in many cases addicted.  The veteran suicide rate is running at about 22 a day, or about 8000 a year. –  U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs statistic.

Three online articles outline the problem in more exact terms.

“Nearly one in 10 inmates have served in the military….. When soldiers come back from war, part of the war comes back with them. For many veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, the return home is not a postscript to the war so much as another chapter. In these conflicts, mental wounds have outnumbered physical ones.”  – The Daily Beast, “From PTSD to Prison: Why Veterans Become Criminals”

“Over the past four decades, the nation’s get-tough-on-crime policies have packed prisons and jails to the bursting point, largely with poor, uneducated people of color, about half of whom suffer from mental health problems.” – American Psychological Society, “Incarceration Nation”

“Today, some 80% of vets labeled with PTSD receive psychotropic drugs; 89% of these are given antidepressants, with 34% treated with antipsychotics – drugs so powerful they were intended only for the most seriously disturbed. Since 2001, there have been more than 150 worldwide drug regulatory warnings and studies issued about the dangerous—often lethal effects—of psychotropic drugs such as these.” – CCHR, Citizens Commission on Human Rights, “PTSD: Pathologizing War To Sell Drugs”

Rebirth Of Sanity

Many states now allow for some form of Medical Marijuana for their citizens, (California has a Medical Marijuana law on the books since 1996,) and congress recently relaxed laws regarding Medical Marijuana, so progress is being made.  Twenty three states and Washington DC allow for Medical Marijuana.  Three states have outright legalized Recreational Marijuana use with eleven more that may in 2016.

A Voice From The Past

The following is a reconstruction of a news article which appeared in the Salt Lake Telegraph on May 20th, 1949, as provided by the Utah Digital Newspapers Program.

Isolates Drug Principles From Leaves

Dr. Jean P. Davis, University of Utah medical college, finds drug principles isolated from marijuana effective in curing epilepsy.

U. Researcher Reports

Marijuana Leaf Plays Epilepsy Cure Role

Drug principles isolated from leaves of marijuana, an innocent-looking plant that grows wild in different parts of the world, are playing an important role in ,research on a cure for epilepsy.  This is the same marijuana which so many people fear as a habit-forming drug and which is noted for the opium-like dreams it produces in those who partake of it.  The drugs being used are synthetic substances related to Cannabinol, which is contained tn marijuana, but does not produce the same effects.  Dr. Jean P. Davis, faculty researcher at the University of Utah medical college, has done considerable research with the drugs in treatment of minor and convulsive epilepsy.  She reports that the drugs nave been found effective about 50% of the time. Future for epileptics appears “very bright,” she said, “because of not only one new drug, but a whole field of new compounds to combat epileptic seizures.”

Helps Minor Seizures

One of these new drugs, Trimethadione, is most effective in petit mal epilepsy, minor seizures common in younger patients.  Another, Paramethadione, a sort of second cousin to the first, is useful in such spells.  A third compound, called phenerone, [phenerine?] is effective in psycho-motor seizures, sudden episodes of unusual behavior, accompanied by amnesia.  Epilepsy comes in four degrees: grand mal, marked by loss of consciousness, muscle tightening and twitching; petit mal or Pyknoepilepsy, with brief staring spells; psycho-motor, accompanied by amnesia and unusual behavior, and Jacksonian, identified by retention of consciousness with progressive twitching and numbness of one leg or arm.  Mr. Davis is in charge of a section of the psychiatric clinic at Salt Lake General hospital, where she does some clinical work.  She also instructs advanced courses in the departments of pharmacology and ,physiology at the university.

Began In 1929

According to Dr. Davis, actual valuable research with modern methods of fighting epilepsy came into their own in 1929 with the invention of the Electra-electroencephalograph, an instrument for recording brain activity.  And the latest of the compounds used in treatment of the affliction was developed in 1918.  Meanwhile, research is advancing at a rapid pace, Dr. Davis said.  She studied for three years under Dr. William Lennox, one of the top U. S. experts on epilepsy.  She received her doctor of medicine degree at Yale university in 1943.  Most of her clinical work has been confined to children, with whom she “likes to work.”

Links And References for information found in this blog: History of Marijuana as Medicine – 2900 BC to Present.

Utah Digital Newspapers: Marijuana Leaf Plays Epilepsy Cure Role

University of California San Diego Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research

Marijuana: The next diabetes drug?

The National Academies Press: Marijuana And Glaucoma

Cronkite News: Trend of over-prescribing painkillers a path to heroin addiction

American Enterprise Institute: Increased marijuana use for chronic pain reduces addictions and deaths related to opioid pain killers

American Cancer Society: Marijuana and Cancer

Patent US6630507 B1: Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants. The United States Of America As Represented By The Department Of Health And Human Services

From PTSD to Prison: Why Veterans Become Criminals – The Daily Beast

Incarceration Nation – The American Psychological Society

“PTSD”: PATHOLOGIZING WAR TO SELL DRUGS – CCHR, Citizens Commission on Human Rights

Don’t forget my favorite saying; “Google Is Your Friend.”  Do your own research.  As Mulder in The X-Files would say,  “The truth Is Out There.”

“When even one American who has done nothing wrong is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth, then all Americans are in peril.” – Harry S. Truman

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