Could Legalizing Marijuana in California Help Cure Breast

Newshawk: Medical Marijuana
Pubdate: Tue, 26 Oct 2010
Source: AlterNet (US Web)
Author: Mary Jane Borden

For 70 years, we’ve been taught that marijuana has no accepted
medical use and that its high potential for abuse demands absolute
prohibition. Medical research has been nearly impossible since
obtaining the substance for legitimate studies is restricted by the
federal government.

But for a moment, forget the anti-drug ads of stoned teenagers
passing the bong and click instead on the National Library of
Medicine’s website, “” Look under “breast cancer and
cannabinoid” and you will find studies in scientific journals like
Breast Cancer Research and Treatment that should warrant immediate
action: “Our data demonstrate the efficacy of CBD in pre-clinical
models of breast cancer. The results have the potential to lead to
the development of novel non-toxic compounds for the treatment of
breast cancer metastasis…”

A study in Molecular Cancer Therapeutics says, “These results
indicate that CB1 and CB2 receptors could be used to develop novel
therapeutic strategies against breast cancer growth and metastasis.”
And this from the journal Molecular Cancer: “these results provide a
strong preclinical evidence for the use of cannabinoid-based
therapies for the management of ErbB2-positive breast cancer.” What’s
more, this basic research also extols the safety of potential
cannabinoid therapies.

The science behind these studies finds that the human body contains
its own internal system interrelated with molecules in the cannabis
plant–AKA marijuana. A neurological signaling structure called the
endocannabinoid system is now known to govern numerous bodily
processes like appetite, pain, and even the birth of new brain cells.
Cannabinoid receptors, called CB1 and CB2, are located in various
cell membranes and activated by the body’s own cannabinoid molecules
(endocannabinoids), as well as those unique to the cannabis plant
(THC, CBD) and synthetically-derived cannabinoids like MarinolRegistered .

And now, the latest research is proving that cannabinoids, as part of
this bodily system, play a mitigating role in breast cancer.

Breast cancer is a frightening diagnosis that will confront about 1
in 8 American women this year. Some 40,000 will die from it. An
unusual lump in a breast can grow through four increasingly incurable
stages and sometimes into other tissue. Therapies involve invasive
surgery, heavy radiation, and toxic chemotherapy. Current anti-cancer
drugs may kill cancer cells, but they also destroy non-cancerous
tissue and damage heart muscle. Intractable nausea and vomiting
comprise just one side effect. The disease may be worse than the cure
but the cure can also kill.

But suppose some scientist has just come out of the jungle with an
unknown plant that holds this much promise. It would be featured in
the nightly news and on the front page of every newspaper. Well, we
now have before us scientific clues that seem to point toward a
revolution in breast cancer treatment, yet the government still
manages to bury this amazing discovery.

Why? Politics. The “Devil Weed” has always been a favorite target for
tough-on-crime politicians. Over the decades, they have assembled a
labyrinth of governmental agencies with multi-billion dollar budgets
that enforce marijuana laws, ignore the science, thwart clinical
research–and constantly reinforce anti-pot stereotypes.