We are going into the Doctors past this week with CANNABIS: GOD’S MEDICINE
David originally wrote this article during his incarceration of 2010, he was spared jail due to jury nullification
I write this from a prison bed (rack) in Mississippi. I am a prisoner of war. I am a retired cardiac surgeon who has never been arrested in all my 58 years on earth. I am a prisoner of a failed yet highly functional drug war on our citizens. The reasons for this war are not clear, nor are the reasons based on scientific fact. As is the case with most wars, the true motives are hidden agendas and ulterior motives.
Previous California Governor (and now California State Attorney General) Jerry Brown was once quoted by Joe Garofoli of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Here’s the real scam the drug war is one of the games to get more convictions and prisoners.” At last, someone of authority is stating what most of us already know. The motivation for most human endeavors is money. Prisons and the “justice” system are merely businesses. For everyone involved, more prisoners is more business is more money, from the bondsmen to the drug-testing facilities. The prison industry is the single largest generator of revenue for some states, out-earning all other enterprises.
Harry Anslinger, head of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) in 1937, had a personal motive for making cannabis (marijuana) illegal to possess, sell, or transfer. At the time, cannabis was a well-known medicine. Every major pharmaceutical manufacturer in the United States had tinctures or extracts of cannabis for medicinal use. During Congressional hearings, the American Medical Association (AMA) strongly argued that cannabis prohibition would make a highly beneficial medication unavailable. No popular democratic vote was held on this matter. Federal bureaucracy, guided by special interests, ruled on the issue. The AMA’s objection and scientific knowledge of the day were ignored. All reference to cannabis as medicine was removed from the pharmacopoeia. Government censorship suppressed freedom of speech, scientific research and knowledge, and became law.
The next major blow to scientific research of cannabis occurred with a battle between Harry Anslinger and New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. Mayor La Guardia tricked Anslinger into providing government-grown marijuana samples for a team of scientists and doctors to study this reportedly harmful substance. This two year study, called the La Guardia Report, found no harmful effects of this medication. This so angered Anslinger that he denounced and suppressed the study. He had learned his lesson and made government cannabis (the only legal source) unavailable for scientific study from that day forward. Currently, it is almost impossible for any scientist or physician, regardless of training or qualifications, to obtain samples of government marijuana for study. Essentially, no person can obtain or handle this so-called “dangerous narcotic.” It is easier to obtain and study virtually any other hazardous substance than it is to obtain and study cannabis. This includes biological agents like anthrax, explosives, radioactive materials and addictive pharmaceuticals.
Drugs are currently grouped into five classes called “schedules.” Schedule I is the most dangerous and has the following criteria:
- These drugs have a high potential for abuse
- There is no currently accepted medical usefor these drugs in the United States
- These drugs are not safe, even under aphysician’s direction
Drugs classified as Schedule I include heroin, LSD, PCP, MDMA (ecstasy), DMT, STP, hashish and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in cannabis). Interestingly, Marinol (a man-made synthetic form of THC) is classified as a Schedule III substance, which has medicinal value and a low potential for abuse. Additionally, morphine, cocaine, Dilaudid, Lortab and a host of other potentially hazardous drugs are Schedule II. These are all considered by the government to be less dangerous than marijuana. Current scientific evidence clearly shows that cannabis is non addictive and has far less addictive potential than coffee. Over twenty five per cent of the United States (fourteen states) have medical cannabis laws. California has had safe, physician-directed med- ical use of marijuana since 1996. Therefore, cannabis does not fit any of the aforementioned criteria for classification as a Schedule I dangerous narcotic.
In 1978 the government started treating patients with medical marijuana. The program was called the Investigational New Drug (IND) Program and still has patients who receive marijuana under physician supervision. The program required yearly physical exams from participating physicians who prescribed this medicine. Each patient was evaluated yearly and had laboratory exams submitted to the federal government. The patients had the prescriptions of medical marijuana filled from government marijuana grown in Oxford, Mississippi. The program is still active today and patients receive large tins of pre rolled marijuana cigarettes. These patients can fly anywhere in the United States legally with this medicine. The IND program is proof that cannabis is not Schedule I. Please Google search ‘Elvy Musikka federal IND patient.’
Even the term “dangerous narcotic” is a misnomer. Cannabis is not a narcotic drug, but a very different class of drugs termed “cannabinoids.” Cannabinoids include more than sixty compounds, the most widely known of which is THC. Cannabinoids stimulate receptors in the human body termed “cannabinoid receptors,” which have physiologic function when stimulated. Are these receptors part of an intelligent design for deriving maximum benefit from cannabis? Apparently God, in his infinite wisdom, made receptors in all vertebrate animals that respond to cannabinoid stimulation. The human body has two types of cannabinoid receptors. Type I is found in the brain and nerve tissues. Type II is found in the gut (intestine), lymphatics and joints. Multiple physiologic (and thus medicinal) effects of cannabinoids, which stimulate these receptors, have been demonstrated scientifically by world- wide research.
The human body produces the chemical anandamide, which is a hormone commonly referred to as the “bliss molecule.” This naturally-occurring endogenous cannabinoid causes a feeling of well-being and numer- ous other physiologic effects. These medicinal effects include, but are not limited to: relief of pain, satiety and hunger, decreased spasticity and greater control of seizure activity, migraine control and relief of fibromyalgia, insomnia, anxiety and a host of other functions. Anandamide levels may explain different pain thresholds in humans. Some scientists theorize that a deficiency of anandamide, the endogenous cannabinoid, can lead to a broad range of disease processes.
Safety and Effects of Cannabinoids
As it turns out, no documented deaths have ever been reported from the use of cannabis. The lethal dose (LD50) of cannabis is so large as to be physically impossible for anyone to ingest or consume enough to cause death. Additionally, no man-made medicine — none — can come close to the safety margin cannabis affords. Even aspirin kills 1200 people each year in the United States alone (not including world- wide figures). What this means is that cannabis is the safest medication in the treatment of a variety of ill- nesses and medical problems. These include: insom- nia, anxiety, anorexia, asthma, depression, attention deficiency hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), menstrual cramps, migraines, spastic disorders including cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, bowel disorders like irritable bowel syndrome, glaucoma, psoriasis, dysphonias, arthritis, and a host of other uses. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that cannabinoids even have anti- tumor properties. Lack of cannabinoid receptors in the intestines is associated with an increased frequen- cy of bowel cancers. Certain brain tumors, specifically gliomas, shrink with the stimulation by suppression of Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF). VEGF causes vascular proliferation and ingrowth of feeder vessels, which causes these tumors to grow. THC stops this vascular ingrowth and thus diminishes the size of gliomas clinically. No other drug or chemotherapeutic agent has this effect. In the future, THC suppression of VEGF may be responsible for keeping coronary artery stents open and free of vas- cular endothelial regrowth. Grandma could keep her coronary stents open by smoking pot. Obviously, the potential for safe medical use of cannabis is more important than any other medicine.
THC (delta 9 – tetrahydrocannabinol) is the agent that actually causes the “high” effect. Even the term “high” is a derogatory description of the effects of cannabis, and more properly should be termed an anxiolytic (decreasing anxiety) or medicated effect. California patients properly describe getting medicated in the usage of cannabis. “High,” “doped-up,” “hopped-up,” “drugged-out” and “spacey” are all derogatory terms used to describe the effects of cannabis. This is a clear example of the inexperienced and uneducated masses attempting to demonize this divine salve. This same tactic of using derogatory terms was employed against the black man to incite fear of a people the massive majority didn’t want to understand. If you still doubt the medicinal effects and speed of the onset of cannabis’s effects, I challenge you to look up “Jacqueline Patterson” on YouTube. She is seen in a segment of a video called “In Pot We Trust.” Ms. Patterson has a severe speech impediment from cerebral palsy. Her speech is so abnormal that it is hard to listen to and quite obviously affects her life. She is seen purchasing a small amount of pot in downtown Kansas City. Ms Patterson is shown before and after medicating with pot just a couple puffs of cannabis and almost instantaneously, her speech is normalized and the spasticity is relieved. No person viewing this video can deny the immediate medicinal effect and subsequent improvement in her life.
I am presently incarcerated at the George County Regional Correctional Facility in Lucedale, Mississippi. On February 19, 2009, Jackson County drug task force agents raided my 48-acre lake property called the Blue Hole. Their main objective was to seize my property and profit from their actions. At that time, I was a legal resident of Berkeley, California. My sister and her husband were caretakers of the Blue Hole. Police found four grams of cannabis and a small amount of hash in my brother- in-law’s possession. There was a room found with lights and fans, but no plants were found by drug task force agents. This room was being used as storage space and contained several large boxes, in addition to my musical equipment. My sister and brother-in-law were arrested and charged with possession and cultivation of marijuana. I was contacted by my sister and informed that a warrant had been issued for my arrest. I decided to surrender myself to the authorities at the downtown Oakland, California office of Americans for Safe Access (ASA).
The police were contacted and I was subsequently taken to the Santa Rita prison, where I was held for two weeks. I was then extradited from California to Mississippi in handcuffs and leg irons in the trunk (cargo hold) of a minivan, curled in the fetal position. All of this occurred prior to my indictment, and was a nightmare for a heart surgeon not accustomed to running afoul of the law. Immediately upon my arrival in Mississippi, I began to suffer mistreatment by the legal system. I made a court appearance without being allowed to shower, shave, or even comb my hair. I was released on a “murderer’s bond” of $100,000 and told I was facing a 35-year prison term for my “crime.” It should be noted that the physician involved with Michael Jackson’s death is facing only four years if he is convicted on all charges.
Over the next few months, I hired and fired a series of attorneys who had political impetus to assist the local drug task force. Since I had worked at the local hospital, I had previously performed cardiac surgery on the mothers of two of the attorneys I had asked to help me. I then paid $25,000 cash to two other Jackson, Mississippi attorneys, and they were even worse. These four attorneys had ample motivation to assist me. I firmly suspect legal pressure by law enforcement was exerted in an attempt to convict me and profit from the seizure of my lake estate, the Blue Hole.
After my release on bond, I returned to Sacramento, California, and set up a medical practice there. I also hired a private investigator, who was a Hell’s Angel, to fly to Mississippi and gather information on my case. He told me he had never before been intimidated like he was in Mississippi. Even with the proper releases, calls and emails from my legal counsel in Sacramento, he was unable to get any information or copies of my files from my Mississippi attorney. After a week of failed daily attempt to glean any information, he returned empty-handed. All my property, family videos, family photographs and legal paper work were unavailable.
In December, I foolishly returned to Mississippi with an employee to gather information on my charges. I was quickly re-arrested and charged with witness tampering after talking to my sister (This was prior to indictment). My bond was revoked and I have been incarcerated for four months now. In Mississippi, you lose your Constitutional right to bond if you get charged with a second offense while out on bond. After about a month of incarceration, I was blessed with a King James Version of the holy scriptures. I read the bible daily and pray incessantly for divine intervention. For the first time in my 58 years of life, I have read the complete bible. I was sur- prised to find a few passages I had never been taught before. The following scriptures are paraphrased – please refer to the original King James Version for their entirety.
On the very first page of the bible, in Genesis 1:29, we read:
“And God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is on the face of all the earth; to you it shall be for meat.’”
Genesis 1:30 reiterates:
“I have given you every green herb for meat.”
These two scriptures I had heard quoted before, but it all became clear when I came across Romans 14:2, which says: “For one believeth that he may eat all things. Another, who is weak, eateth herbs.” We come to read the following in Romans 14:3: “Let him that eateth (herbs) not despise him that doesn’t, and let him that doesn’t eat (herbs) not judge him that does.” I personally encourage you to examine the exact modern wording. Newer versions of the bible substi- tute the word “vegetables” for “herbs” and prove the danger of modern translations of the holy scriptures. Obviously, one would not despise vegetarians or even judge them. These passages can only mean that herbs are used by the weak, infirm and the sick for medical reasons.
It’s true the bible doesn’t say “smoke pot,” but eating it is a legitimate use of cannabis. Actually, oral consumption of cannabis is used frequently by medical patients, and “edibles” are available in California cannabis dispensaries (There are nearly 45 dispensaries in the city of Sacramento alone.). You can purchase edibles in the form of cookies, brownies, cakes, popcorn, milkshakes, suckers, chocolates and butter, as well as a healthy variety of other food products. Eating cannabis is stronger and a little harder to control for some patients because of a delay of onset of the effects. The medicine is absorbed in the gastro- intestinal tract and filtered by the liver. This method of ingestion alters the delta-9 THC to delta-11 THC, which is stronger and lasts longer. Due to this fact, most patients find it more suitable to adjust their dose by smoking it, which delivers an immediate effect. Also, a patient can stop once they have achieved their desired dosage, a state difficult to reach by oral consumption.
Negative Effects of Cannabis
Fortunately, all of the government’s claims against marijuana have been proven false. I’m sure you can name a few. Recently, a single report (which is not substantiated by any other scientific study) links cannabis use to schizophrenia. I have even heard that the recent Pentagon “pot shooter” is proof that mar- ijuana makes all of its users deranged. Since 70 per cent of all citizens in industrialized nations have tried cannabis and as many as 40 per cent use it on a reg- ular basis, we would be a world of schizophrenics if these reports were true. Harry Anslinger used this as a scare tactic way back in 1937. A schizophrenic who murdered his family using an axe, was the case offered as evidence to Congress that pot drives you “crazy.” The reality is that pot makes a person calm and sedate. Other drugs (or even alcohol) tend to amplify a person’s violent tendencies.
In Romans 13:13, God tells us:
“Let us walk honestly, as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness.”
I believe this passage, which immediately precedes Romans 14:2-3, indicates God’s intention of medical use of cannabis for the weak and not to use it for drunkenness and inebriation.
As a cardiac surgeon, I performed delicate operations requiring concentration and a steady hand. I did this while maintaining the best mortality and morbidity statistics in Mississippi. I still admit that I am human with human faults. I suffered anxiety with the responsibility of ensuring absolute perfection in my results. I carried this substantial burden of keeping very old patients alive to the best of my human abilities. I could never have treated my anxiety, insomnia, depression, ADHD or PTSD with any other man-made drugs or alcohol with the same results. I never not even once was medicated while operat- ing on my patients. I used cannabis late at night before retiring. I believe the issue of overuse or even misuse of cannabis (or any other medication) is a valid one. There is no evidence that misuse is harmful to anyone other than that person. I believe I now have proof that jail is much more harmful than smoking pot.
As a responsible society, we need to weigh the risks and benefits of this medicine. Should we be forced to demonstrate the harm to others by one’s personal use of pot prior to sending them to prison? Should cannabis be used to jail citizens and seize legally purchased property? Should police make these decisions prior to a court appearance? When private corporations called “drug task forces” profit from property seizures, will this lead to the end of the “right to own property” without fear of illegal search and seizure?
I believe I am currently in prison for higher reasons than the so called “crimes” I was charged with. I also firmly believe God Himself placed me here to slow me down long enough to stop sinning and start get- ting to know Him. The true challenge shall present itself when I get out, set free by God, my savior. I will be tested by the world with the devil’s distractions. Obviously, the passages I have quoted here are not the most important part of the testament. The most important things are the admission and repentance of your sins, and the belief that Christ Jesus died and shed his perfect life’s blood for you. He was resurrected from death for your salvation. Your simple, yet powerful, belief in the gospel will save you for all eternity. It is time you slow down and read.
Credit (2010 ~ treating yourself magazine)