You are probably familiar with the old story of the three little pigs and a certain sleazy wolf who wanted to huff and puff and blow the house down. For decades, marijuana has been characterized as the wolf. But did you know that over 22,000 medical studies have referenced cannabis in their papers – and not one house has been blown down?
Where is the Big Bad Wolf?
There is no proof that marijuana is addictive, yet the United States federal government still lists it as a Schedule 1 drug “with a high potential for abuse and no recognized medical benefits.”
Even though the vast majority of studies focused on trying to highlight the dangers of cannabis, the results have unearthed far more positive attributes than negative. There are certainly negatives to everything in the world and marijuana is no exception. However, the benefits of the plant are proving to drastically outweigh the consequences.
Wonder Drug or Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?
The potential benefits of medical cannabis go far beyond treating a single disease. Between 1990 and 2014 alone, sixty peer-reviewed studies demonstrated an overwhelming amount of evidence that cannabis may be effective in the treatment of disorders such as joint pain, fibromyalgia, nausea, lower back pain, ALS, HIV, Huntington’s disease, Crohn’s disease, Tourette’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia, arthritis, spinal cord injuries, glaucoma, and dozens of other diseases. On the MassRoots blog alone, we’ve written about cannabis helping people with autism, lupus, PTSD, cancer treatment, epilepsy, and opioid addiction.
In fact, if there had never been restrictions placed on cannabis, it is likely that it would have been hailed as a wonder drug rather than a dangerous substance worthy of criminal prosecution. The evidence of potential therapeutic uses has become so abundant that even hardline critics and Washington politicians have taken notice in spite of decades of propaganda and dire warnings.
For example, the Open Neurology Journal published a study in 2012 that concluded that “Evidence is accumulating that cannabinoids may be useful medicine for certain indications … The classification of marijuana as a Schedule I drug as well as the continuing controversy as to whether or not cannabis is of medical value are obstacles to medical progress in this area. Based on evidence currently available, the Schedule I classification is not tenable; it is not accurate that cannabis has no medical value, or that information on safety is lacking.”
Furthermore, the current Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, stated that “My position is that we have to see what the science tells us about the efficacy of marijuana and I think we’re going to get a lot more data on that. We have some preliminary data showing that for certain medical conditions and symptoms, marijuana can be helpful. So I think we have to use that data to drive policymaking, and I’m very interested to see where that data takes us.”
Bottom line: the evidence is growing so rapidly that far from being scared of the wolf at the door, the proverbial little porkers might be better off inviting him in for tea and cookies.