By M. L. Simon
This week I want to honor my mother, who is visiting, and my father, who cant be here because of a chronic illness.
It is my fathers condition that relates my mothers visit to marijuana.
The reason my father cant visit is because he has lost too much of his brain to function independently or even with my mothers help. He has had a series of brain losses due to strokes. What are strokes? They are clots of blood that clog up the arteries of the brain and stop the flow of oxygen to the part of the brain where the artery is clogged. The clots can be large, in which case massive function is lost at once, or they can be as they are in my fathers case, small, where a little section goes out with each stroke. Kind of like Dave turning off the HAL 9000 in the movie 2001. My Dads body lives on, but his mind is going one small random section at a time.
What does this have to do with marijuana, you ask? Researchers have found that certain components in marijuana ameliorate the damage caused by stroke. Aidan Hampson, a pharmacologist at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), believes that by damping down the production of glutimate which spurs the production of dangerous free radicals in ischemic strokes (which constitute 80 percent of all strokes), he can reduce the death of brain cells. Hampson found that extremely low doses of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, protected brain cells. The researchers were also surprised to find that CBD, another component of marijuana, gave as much protection without the high. Hampson has found that CBD quickly penetrates the brain, works in low doses, and the body can tolerate high doses, making it a nearly ideal drug.
Human clinical trials on this promising line of research are under way at Pharmos, a pharmaceutical company, in Rehovot, Israel, using Dexanabinol, a synthetic marijuana derivative.
All this research might have come years earlier (in time to help my father) if not for the prohibitionist lie that marijuana had no medical use.
Our former Drug Czar Barry McCaffrey called marijuana Cheech and Chong medicine. It turns out the Emperor of Drugs was a Cheech and Chong doctor. But what can you expect when the government practices medicine?
Which brings me to my friend E.J., who, knowing the facts, responded to a medical call from those he thought were suffering. It turns out the only suffering really taking place was the desire of the prison industrial complex for one more prisoner.
You can help free a prisoner by visiting the Free E.J. www site at: http://sites.netscape.net/ejpagel/freeej
Send an e-mail to the governor.
M. L. Simon is an industrial controls designer and Libertarian activist.