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Are Feds Really Covering Up Health Benefits of Cannabis?

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Are Feds Really Covering Up Health Benefits of Cannabis?
Comments made by Belita Nelson, a former Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) employee, before doctors and nurses at the Marijuana for Medical Professionals Conference in Denver, Colorado started a firestorm. Nelson told conference attendees that the US government (DEA) knows that cannabis is safe. (1).

In December 2016, HERB reported Nelson stated that when she was hired, the DEA education coordinator Paul Villaescusa explained to her the DEA’s mindset. Nelson told the audience that mindset says, “Marijuana is safe, we know it is safe. It’s our cash cow and we will never give up.” (2)

LIWTS (Legalize It. We Think So.) writes that Nelson told the crowd of medical professionals, “I was having fun, I was very good at my propagandist job — I was the chief propagandist for the DEA.” LIWTS states Nelson went on to claim that she quickly learned that the DEA relies upon cannabis for its funding (3).

Bloomberg lists Nelson as “a former spokeswoman for the DEA (1998-2004) and was on every major talk show for years representing the Starfish Foundation in the national crusade against drug abuse.” (4)

Nelson’s Journey to becoming a Cannabis Advocate

Nelson explains that in 2000 her close friend became sick and in late-stage cancer, he’d dropped over half his normal weight. Her friend’s health continued to decline and he could no longer eat or sleep. To ease his symptoms, she bought some cannabis and eventually grew her own stating she was fearful of black market cannabis that is often unsafe. She established a healthy diet for her friend, who went on to live for nine more years.

Nelson related that in 2004 she discovered heroin addicts in Plano, Texas kicked their addiction by using cannabis. The revelation of this investigation into the heroin epidemic sweeping the town that appeared to have a simple treatment was the last straw for Nelson. She became convinced that cannabis is a life-saving plant and resigned from the DEA.

She told the audience that, “They forgot to get me to sign a confidentiality agreement — and boy did I know the dirt. They called me in and said ‘name your price, $10,000 a month? $20,000? What do you want Belita?'”

According to Activist Post, “Nelson left the office screaming, ‘You know this is safe and you are keeping it from people who are sick! I am not taking your money and you better worry about what I am going to say!'”

In 2014, Nelson founded The Gridiron Cannabis Foundation and advocates cannabis treatment for Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE), a common injury among professional football players.

Science behind Cannabis

In a dramatic YouTube video, ex-cop Larry Smith undergoes his first treatment for Parkinson’s disease with Cannabis oil. The video reveals a before and after of his condition and his reaction to the treatment is astounding. Within only 3-4 minutes Smith’s extreme symptoms are alleviated.

At the end of the video, Dr Piomelli Director of Pharmacology UC Irvine (CA) explains that the number one frustration in researching cannabis is how politics and money bar the potential medicinal uses of marijuana that could generate new medicines.

In June 2016, the Salk Institute published its preliminary lab studies on cannabinoids for removing plaque-forming Alzheimer’s proteins from brain cells. The studies revealed that THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) and other naturally occurring compounds found in marijuana reduced the beta amyloid proteins (toxic proteins). (5)

Salk Professor David Schubert, senior author of the paper, stated that other studies had presented evidence that, “cannabinoids might be neuroprotective against the symptoms of Alzheimer’s.” He added, “…we believe our study is the first to demonstrate that cannabinoids affect both inflammation and amyloid beta accumulation in nerve cells.” website states, “Chemical components of Cannabis, called cannabinoids, activate specific receptors throughout the body to produce pharmacologic effects, particularly in the central nervous system and the immune system.”

Cannabinoids (dronabinol and nabilone) are currently used to treat the side-effects of cancer treatments, such as chemo-therapy (6).

The Leafly website, the “The world’s largest cannabis information resource” references one of Madrid’s Complutense University studies of rats with malignant brain tumors. The website states that the rats were injected with synthetic THC. Brain tumors in one-third of rats were “eliminated” while another third had their lives extended thanks to the THC treatment (7).

1975 Cannabis Study of Successful Cancer Treatment

The National Institutes of Health published a paper dated September 1975 that describes, “Lewis lung adenocarcinoma growth was retarded by the oral administration of delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta9-THC), delta8-tetrahydrocannabinol (delta8-THC), and cannabinol (CBN), but not cannabidiol (CBD).” (8)

The day the tumors were implanted, the animals were treated with delta9-THC for 10 consecutive days. The tumors stopped growing.

The scientists treated mice for “20 consecutive days with delta8-THC and CBN.” The tumors in the mice reduced in size.

The study also showed that:

“Delta9-THC, delta8-THC, and CBN” increased the survival time by 36% when administered 100 mg/kg, 25% at 200 mg/kg, and 27% at 50 mg/kg. Daily oral doses (50, 100, or 200 mg/kg) of Delta9-THC increased life-spans in mice with L1210 murine leukemia. Daily doses of delta9-THC given for 10 days “significantly inhibited Friend leukemia virus-induced splenomegaly by 71% (200 mg/kg) compared to 90.2% for actinomycin D.”

Bone marrow and isolated Lewis lung cell experiments treated with delta9-THC and delta8-THC showed a dose-dependent inhibition of 80% (bone marrow) and 20% (Lewis lung cells).

The CBD didn’t have any effect on inhibiting the tumor growth at 14, 21, or 28 days.

Cancer Fighting Cannabis UK Study

In July 2014, the Independent published an article on a new study in the Journal of Biological Chemistry on the effects of THC and how it “could slow cancer tumour growth.”

The article centered around a University of East Anglia (UEA) study on marijuana’s anti-cancer properties (9).

Scientists injected THC into lab mice that were infected with human cancer cells. For the first time, two receptors responsible for cannabis anti-cancer fighting properties were identified.

UEA’s Dr Peter McCormick warned that the team’s research focused on the “isolated chemical compound and using the correct concentration”. This data was vital and cancer patients shouldn’t take their research as a green flag to self-medicate.

Medicinal Cannabis versus Big Pharma

Supporters of the medicinal values of cannabis claim that a wide range of diseases and conditions can be successfully treated with cannabis. They also point to the Big Pharma industry as the main reason cannabis research and its use in treatment of diseases has been thwarted.

Many believe that the silver bullet treatment cannabis might offer threatens the pharmaceutical industry’s billions of dollars empire. They feel that if Big Pharma can somehow be side-stepped, then cannabis treatments for cancers and other diseases may one day become commonplace.

Of course, that is a big if and others feel that for now, states that allow the use of marijuana may be as close as patients will get.

References & Image Credits:
(1) Activist Post
(4) Bloomberg
(8) National Institutes of Health
(9) Independent
(10) photo credit: 420life Pineapple Express via photopin (license)
(11) photo credit: UsualRedAnt Jack Herer via photopin (license)

Originally published on

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