Pubdate: Sun, 06 Sep 2015
Source: Olympian, The (WA)
Copyright: 2015 The Olympian
Author: Michael H. Wilson


Medical marijuana patients were generally ignored when the Cannabis 
Patient Protection Act was up for debate this year. Instead 
legislators pushing this bill were more concerned with those who 
would benefit from restrictions on cannabis such as the 
pharmaceutical industry. The shortsightedness shown by those pushing 
this legislation may end up costing patients and others, including 
the state, in the long run.

In 1974, medical researchers in Virginia discovered that the compound 
THC in marijuana killed cancerous tumors in lab animals. That 
research was reportedly withheld from the American public on orders 
of the DEA. However change is happening. Recently the National Cancer 
Institute reported, "Cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in 
the laboratory." Just imagine the benefits to patients and society if 
that research from 1974 had not been withheld from the public.

Today 14 percent of the population is over age 65. By 2050 the number 
of those over 65 will double to 30 percent of the population. Many of 
those people will be on state funded Medicaid. Recent research has 
shown that cannabis has potential medical benefits in treating 
diseases such as ALS, or Lou Gehrig 's disease, PTSD, epilepsy, 
Alzheimer's and others that the elderly deal with.

In the future Washington might save a significant amount of funds by 
using cannabis to replace today's pharmaceutical drugs. Unfortunately 
the Cannabis Patient Protection Act doesn't offer much hope.

Michael H. Wilson, Olympia
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