Rev. Mark H. Creech
Narconon Ojai, a center located in California which helps people overcome their addiction to alcohol and other drugs, tells Andy's story on their website.
Andy was a young man who was "a bright spot" among his friends and family because of his great sense of humor. But marijuana use would eventually eclipse his bright side with suicidal thoughts and repeated trips to treatment centers. Andy told his family that if he couldn't stop using marijuana, he wouldn't live. At 31, he took his own life one day by hanging himself. His suicide note read, "I want to die. My soul is already dead. Marijuana killed my soul + ruined my brain." Andy's mother found a medical marijuana card in his wallet.
One Colorado study showed nearly 74% of teenagers receiving addiction treatment in that state said they used medical marijuana, which was recommended by someone else.
Senate Bill 711 – N.C. Compassionate Care Act is the latest legislative proposal in the Tar Heel state to approve marijuana as a medicine.
Medical marijuana? Compassion? No one who has thoroughly studied this issue and understands it believes such balderdash.
Peter Hurst in Weeding Out the Cannabis Myths rightly charges:
Medical marijuana is medical in name only, but nevertheless it has served a useful purpose for the pro-Cannabis cause by helping to launder the image of a drug linked to a range of differing harms…The very existence of 'medical marijuana' (whether it is clinically efficacious as a therapeutic or not) has helped to create the impression that Cannabis is a benign drug & in conjunction with a number of other factors – including the cultural lag in the realization that the rise in Cannabis potency over the last few decades has considerably increased the range/severity of harms associated with Cannabis use, not to mention widespread marketing, advertising & also the spread of deliberate misinformation – makes warnings of the dangers of Cannabis legislation seem less believable to many. Simply put, the mythic halo surrounding Cannabis, which creates the impression that it is benign (or at least non-malign,) obscures and obfuscates the reality that Cannabis is a potentially dangerous drug linked to a range of different harms….
Back in August of last year, when SB 711 was considered by the Senate Healthcare Committee, Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Madison) astutely pointed out:
This is not about patients and receiving treatment. This is about placing North Carolina on a path that will make it more acceptable to legalize marijuana.
Hise suggested that once the measure was passed, the list of qualifying illnesses would ultimately be broadened to the point almost everyone would be eligible.
Hise questioned the wisdom of the state embracing marijuana after years of trying to eradicate tobacco use, when both are harmful carcinogens, and he pointed out the double standard of endorsing the use of a substance that doesn't have FDA approval while at the same time touting the need for the FDA to approve the Covid vaccines.
Hise was right, and it’s not only the Covid situation that shows us something about the way things can go south when politics and medicine aren't kept separate. We’ve seen it even before.
In his book, Going to Pot, America's first drug czar under President H.W. Bush, William J. Bennet, warns about the serious dangers of "medicine by vote." Bennet says that in the 70s, Laetrile, which was made from apricot and peach pits, was promoted as a cure for cancer. The FDA never approved Laetrile, yet it was sought by many. In fact, some 20 U.S. states voted to approve its use, but to no real therapeutic avail, and several people died of cyanide poisoning as a result of its use.
What was done with Laetrile was undoubtedly done with good intentions, argues Bennet, just as many so-called medical marijuana proponents' intentions are also good. Nevertheless, what happened was still a terrible injustice because it gave people false hope. Furthermore, it created a distraction from pursuing scientifically researched standardized approved drugs to treat cancer.
Most are probably unaware that this author did some short-term missionary work in India during the 80s and 90s. It was a surprise for me to learn that an alternative medicine promoted in that country is touted for helping with as many as 70 to 80 incurable diseases, including cancer and diabetes. The people of India swear by it. Its use there has a long history of more than 5,000 years.
Limited research indicates this natural substance may have a limited positive effect on diabetes. Still, overall, health experts are not enthusiastic about its alleged curative properties for many diseases. In fact, a couple of years ago, 500 Indian scientists asked the Indian government to withdraw a call for research proposals on its efficacy as medicine, arguing that it was "unscientific."
The parallels are striking. The North Carolina medical marijuana bill still waiting for consideration by the full Senate lists several debilitating illnesses and conditions for which marijuana supposedly works as a treatment. Proponents zealously argue Cannabis has been positively used for thousands of years. The anecdotal evidence for its alleged curative properties is seemingly countless. Yet, the official positions of the nation's top medical associations and science community say smoked marijuana is not medicine, and its use can harm one's health.
So, declaring smoked marijuana to be medicine by legislative fiat, based on limited research and anecdotal evidence (as is the case with medical marijuana) while ignoring the experts' official statements, legitimizes marijuana use for similar reasons my friends in India give for drinking cow urine.
There is one significant difference, however. Drinking cow urine as a treatment for some ailment is not likely to destroy someone's life. On the other hand, marijuana masquerading as medicine and its ultimate legalization for recreational use, over time, will undoubtedly destroy much of our nation's youth, as well as many other lives.© Rev. Mark H. Creech
The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.