The Ottawa Herald reports on a cancer patient facing felony charges in Franklin County. A status conference was set for September to provide prosecutors time to get information from medical providers.
A retired science teacher Terry Lynn Rugg (64) from Ottawa, struggling with more than one type of cancer, was arrested in October last year. He is charged with felonies of cultivating marijuana, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and possession of drug paraphernalia.
John Boyd, Terry’s attorney says he was diagnosed with thyroid, bladder and urethral cancer. Marijuana is illegal in Kansas for both medicinal and recreational purposes.
Rugg admitted he has been growing and using marijuana for 15 years. Boyd explained his client uses it to combat the effects of chemotherapy as well as a recent relapse and to relieve pain after surgery. He said his client does not sell cannabis and only grows it for his own use.
On the day of the arrest a dozen firearms were also confiscated along side the marijuana. Boyd asked that these firearms be released to a third party, as his client needs to sell them to help cover the costs incurred by the case. Boyd argued the firearms seized during arrest had no relation to the charges his client faced.
Judge Taylor Wine, District Magistrate set a status conference for Rugg at which he will also take up the motion filed for the dozen firearms to be released.
The National Cancer Institute states that the potential benefits of medicinal cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep.
Cannabis used for cancer
The anti- carcinogenic properties of THC tetrahydrocannabinol, the hallucinogenic component of cannabis have been under scrutiny for many years. But research into the component of cannabis called cannabinoids has been limited.
A study done by a team from St George’s, University of London under leadership of Dr Wai Liu was published in the journal Anticancer Research.
The team carried out laboratory investigations using a number of cannabinoids, either alone, or in combination with each other, to measure the effect on leukaemia.
The six cannabinoids studied demonstrated anti-cancer properties equally as effective as THC. What was important was that the cannabinoids had an increased effect on cancer cells when combined with each other.
Dr Liu said: “This study is a critical step in unpicking the mysteries of cannabis as a source of medicine. The cannabinoids examined have minimal, if any, hallucinogenic side effects, and their properties as anti-cancer agents are promising.”
The agents interfere with the development of cancerous cells, preventing cell growth. In some cases, by using specific dosage patterns, they can destroy cancer cells says Dr Liu.
When cannabinoids are used in combination with conventional treatment, Dr Liu says we could discover some highly effective strategies for tackling cancer. These compounds are inexpensive to produce, and making better use of their unique properties could result in much more cost-effective anti-cancer drugs in future.
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CBD or cannabinoids for combination treatment of cancer
Until such time as Dr Liu and his team has convinced the rest of the scientific world of the value of cannabis used for cancer, people like Terry Rugg will be considered a criminal. But as Dr Liu says, cannabinoids are underestimated and CBD oil (Hemp) is non-psychoactive. It is possible that if Terry had been growing hemp, his offense may have been considered milder. However, cancer patients should be warned not to self-medicate without consulting a physician.