cannabis and cancer

Will Benton Mackenzie, a 48-year-old cancer patient on trial for marijuana manufacturing and conspiracy sadly go down in history as the man who underwent a criminal trial instead of being on a medical trial?

Medical Daily brings news on Mackenzie, his wife, Loretta, and his 22-year-old son, all facing charges of marijuana possession.  A judge ruled that he couldn’t use his terminal cancer as a defense in his trial. It could end up with them serving up to five years in prison. “If I’m found guilty, I’m a dead man,” Mackenzie said.

He was arrested in 2013 when 71 plants were found in his possession, which he used to produce CBD or cannabidiol, the non-psychoactive compound in cannabis. It is widely accepted as a medical cannabis use, and it has been shown that CBD has anti-inflammatory properties as well as analgesic (pain-relieving) effects.

Cannabis has many unresolved issues criminal cancer trial reveals

Mackenzie’s trial is bringing many unresolved issues to the fore. One such issue worthy of debate is weather CBD, having proven health benefits, should be treated with the same prohibition as THC, which alters the mind when smoked recreationally.

Many states can see and acknowledge the absurdity of treating these two cannabis cousins as equal, and allow the “good” guy while prohibiting the “bad” guy, but unfortunately for the Mackenzie family, Iowa has not made the connection yet.

Many states decriminalized medical marijuana

23 U.S. states, as well as Washington, D.C. have “decriminalized” medical marijuana, which means the medical use of marijuana was removed from criminal law. In other words people can’t be arrested and jailed for growing marijuana for of its use in treating medical conditions.

Preliminary studies have shown that cannabis may have anti-tumor effects, and the National Cancer Institute accepts a study in mice and rats that showed cannabis could help against tumor development. It is also widely accepted that cannabinoids can reduce pain. The evidence is not yet conclusive and could take many, many years while patients are waiting.

cannabis and cancer

Cannabis increases melatonin production

The best-known active ingredients in cannabis are THC and Cannabidiol CBD. One of the major medicinal benefits reported is that cannabis increases the body’s own melatonin production. The most powerful health promoting hormone in our bodies, it is an antioxidant five times more powerful than Vitamin C. It increases the effectiveness of lymphocytes, the soldier cells fighting off foreign invaders and mutated cells. Most importantly it increases Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) and Glutathione activity, which are antioxidants, detoxifiers, and help repair damaged cells.

Eating raw cannabis is the same as eating a leafy green vegetable; it is not psychoactive, and won’t make you “high” unless you heat it to convert THCA to THC. Heat also destroys many of the medicinal properties of cannabis; therefore, there is a big difference when smoked to get high, or used cold as a medicine.

Conscience vs. a clear conscience

While states like Iowa battle with their lack of understanding or conscience, others show they have a conscience in creating laws such as the Compassionate Care Act in New York. This law treats medical marijuana like any other medicine.

Dr. Steven Patierno, a professor at the Duke University School of Medicine and deputy director of the Duke Cancer Institute, wrote in The Wall Street Journal: “New York shifted the debate into the mainstream of modern medicine, and set a much-needed national standard of care.”

Cannabis and cancer has a long way to go on the long walk to freedom

We can only hope with all the compassion we can summon that Benton Mackenzie survives this ordeal.

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