Medical

Is Cannabis Medicine?

By David Jenison

Chuck Rosenberg, the acting chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), told CBS News in November 2015 that cannabis is “bad and dangerous” and that medical cannabis is “a joke.” Around the exact same time, Rosenberg praised the FBI Director’s “Ferguson effect”—the idea that looking into these police shootings has a chilling effect on law enforcement—as “spot on.” Where the fuck did the Obama Administration find this guy? Two months after his “joke” comment, a Change.org petition topped 150,000 signatures calling for Rosenberg to resign. Rosenberg studied law—not science, medicine or history—so he naturally has no idea that cannabis was one of the first plants ever used as medicine.

Is cannabis medicine? Cultures around the world treated it as such for millennia, and pharmaceutical companies like Eli Lilly, Pfizer, Merck, Bristol Myers Squibb, American Home Products and Upjohn (sometimes under previous company names) all sold medical cannabis pre-prohibition. Today, clinical studies around the world suggest potential therapeutic applications for cancer, inflammation, chronic pain, epilepsy, Alzheimer's, Parkinson’s, HIV, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and several other conditions. At this point, cannabis-as-medicine deniers are largely limited to antiquated prohibitionists like Rosenberg, and the real question is the extent of its medical applications and efficacy.

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