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Did Marijuana Prohibition Cause The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article solely belong to the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Fresh Toast.

Real research into the medical uses of cannabis is finally getting underway, and researchers are finding several ways it may help with treating COVID-19. Why wasn’t this done sooner?

Have I “jumped the shark” polemically? It is true that 95% of the American people are in favor of medical marijuana, and we know that cannabis can help with a variety of medical problems, including:

  1. The extreme nausea caused by cancer chemotherapy
  2. Epilepsy in children
  3. Crohn’s Disease and other autoimmune problems
  4. Wasting syndrome for people with AIDS, and many more

And all that has been known for decades, so consider the history.

In 1972, the Shafer Commission, the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse, recommended that marijuana be decriminalized, and that we should take a different approach to dealing with “drugs.”

President Richard Nixon immediately rejected the report and in 1974, the Senate Internal Security SubCommittee, chaired by Senator James Eastland (D. Miss.), one of the most vicious racists ever to be in the Senate, claimed that marijuana was “a threat to the internal security of these United States.” Really.

Meanwhile in Canada, also in 1972, the Le Dain “Commission of Inquiry into the Non-Medical Use of Drugs” arrived at essentially the same conclusion. But, PM Pierre Trudeau, the “Progressive” father of the current Prime Minister, rejected it as cravenly as Nixon.

Theoretically, that should not have stopped research into the medical uses of cannabis, but in the real world, it was very difficult to get approval or even get access to cannabis for the research. Why? Because “medical marijuana” was seen as a threat to the Drug War.

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Now, almost fifty years later, real research into the medical uses of cannabis is finally getting underway, and researchers are finding several ways it may help with treating COVID-19.

According to Forbes, a new terpene study “is being performed by two Israeli research and development companies, Eybna which specializes in terpene based medicines, and CannaSoul Analytics which is led by Prof. David “Dedi” Meiri, PhD a well known cannabis researcher and biochemist who has studied cannabis’ use for conditions like cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.”

FDA Steps Up In Ongoing Coronavirus Health Crisis
Photo by sinology/Getty Images

Previously, the same reporter, Emily Earlenbaugh, explained, “There have been several different ways researchers have suggested CBD might help, including its ability to reduce ACE2 expression and pro-inflammatory cytokine production to fight lung inflammation, and it’s potential as an antiviral. But few studies have tested these theories with actual experimentation.”

The latest Israeli report said that the combined CBD and terpene formula inhibited about 90% of cytokines, while Dexamethasone inhibited cytokine activity by about 30%. 

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All of the publicity about the search for a vaccine tends to obscure the fact that an effective treatment that could make the virus much less dangerous could be much faster and safer than a vaccine. 

Now consider what it would mean to have a very cheap and easy treatment like medical cannabis available immediately. It has been said, “Vaccines don’t save lives. Vaccinations save lives.” If any of the vaccines now being tested are found to be safe and effective, it will still be many months before they can be mass produced even in advanced countries. Meanwhile, the world economy is being devastated, impacting even countries where the virus seems to be under control.

As I always try to make clear, I am not a doctor and my point is political not medical, but the suppression of medical marijuana has caused enormous human suffering, so we owe it to ourselves to take these latest reports seriously.

Richard Cowan is a former NORML National Director and co-founder of Best CBD Planet.

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