No substance on earth is as hotly debated as marijuana. Opponents claim it's addictive, carcinogenic, and a gateway to drug abuse. Fans claim it as a wonder drug, treating cancer, AIDS, chronic pain, glaucoma, arthritis, migraines, PTSD, and insomnia. Physician David Casarett joined Richard Syrett to discuss his research into cannabis, including experimenting on himself to find evidence of marijuana's medical potential. Casarett explained how cannabis was made illegal in United States in 1937 for risks of addiction and abuse with no medical benefit. It has been difficult ever since to evaluate potential benefits because marijuana is an illegal substance, he noted.
Casarett, who works in palliative care, suggested marijuana has a legitimate use in medicine. The best mechanisms for getting cannabinoids (THC and CBD) into body are via edibles and smoking/vaporizing. Cannabinoids can effectively treat pain (especially neuropathic), nausea, anxiety, and to some degree insomnia, he revealed. There is also considerable anecdotal evidence that marijuana can help children suffering with seizure syndrome, he added. According to Casarett, THC (the primary ingredient in marijuana responsible for the high) may not be necessary for cannabis to effectively manage symptoms. "Given the medical risks and benefits that I've seen, I think you can make a pretty strong case for legalizing medical marijuana," he said.
In the first hour, Canadian cannabis advocate Marc Emery talked about his recent jail sentence for distribution of marijuana seeds into the United States, and why he believes the DEA actually sentenced him for his political activism. Emery admitted he was responsible for producing more marijuana than law enforcement could ever destroy. "My three million seeds... was enough to undo the work of several thousand evil DEA and government officials/policemen who are trying to eradicate marijuana," he said. Emery suggested his punishment had nothing to do with selling mail-order cannabis seeds but was instead government retribution for his propaganda publication, Cannabis Culture Magazine, and the millions of dollars he had given to various legalization groups. "It wasn't about seeds, it was about political persecution and payback," he declared.