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Miracle Marijuana? 4 Instances Where Pot May Have Helped Cure Disease

From tumors to seizure to hate, the healing powers of marijuana are gaining acceptance in the medical community.
 
 
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Now that marijuana has been legalized in Colorado and Washington state, a growing number of doctors and patients are paying attention to stories of medical marijuana being used to help in the treatment of everything from tumors to seizures. There is no conclusive research, but these anecdotal examples open up a host of possibities that can and should be explored as the stigma surrounding marijuana continues to fade. Here are four of the most recent stories of so-called “marijuana miracles.”

 
1. Seizures
 
For six-year-old Jayden David, nothing was working. Not the 22 pills he took each day. Not the love and care of his parents. Not the more than 40 hospitalization he’s undergone during his short life. The California boy has a rare form of epilepsy called Dravet’s syndrome, which inflicted daily seizures on him that left him unable to eat solid food or even to walk around.
 
This debilitating condition changed, however, one year ago when his parents began to treat their son with a liquid form of medical marijuana, which so dramatically reduced the seizures that David can now run and swim.
 
"Instead of medical marijuana, this is miracle marijuana," said Jason David, Jayden’s dad.
 
Steven DeAngelo, the executive director of an Oakland medical marijuana clinic called Harborside Health Clinic, agreed with Jason David.
 
"What I worry about are the thousands and thousands of children like Jayden who are suffering unnecessarily, who I know we could help," he said. "The only thing separating them from help are outdated rules that need to be changed."
 
2. Tumors
 
Only a few years ago, California-based Dr. William Courtney didn’t used to believe in medical marijuana as a cure. But after witnessing its effects time after time, he changed his mind. Recently, he has been treating an 8-month-old baby with a brain tumor. Because its position meant it couldn’t be operated on, the parents had two choices: harmful chemotherapy and/or radiation treatment, or an alternative course. The parents pushed to try medical marijuana before subjecting the child to radiation, administering the cannabinoid oil by rubbing it onto the baby’s pacifier. After two months, Dr. William Courtney said that the reduction in tumor size was so substantial that the parents and pediatric oncologist decided to continue with the marijuana-based treatment.
 
The child's being called a miracle baby,” Courtney said. “I would have to agree that this is the perfect response that we should be insisting is frontline therapy for all children before they launch off on all medications that have horrific long term side effects.”
 
This eight-month-old isn’t the only tumor patient who has allegedly recovered after taking medical marijuana. In Montana, the father of a two-year-old son who was undergoing painful chemotherapy for his brain tumor gave his son some marijuana oil through the boy’s feeding tube. The chemotherapy had made the boy temporarily blind and too sick to eat, yet after two weeks with the oil the boy was able to eat again.
 
In the 16 states where medical marijuana is legal, it is used to ease the side effects of painful chemotherapy for cancer patients.
 
3. HIV
 
According to a study at the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, cannabinoid drugs--compounds that are similar to marijuana--may actually help stop or reduce the spreading of HIV throughout the body. Medical marijuana has long been used as a treatment for people suffering from the weight loss, nausea and pain associated with AIDs, yet this study also suggests that medical marijuana can help deter the HIV virus from turning into AIDs to begin with.
 
The study was published in the  medical journal PLoS One.
 
4. Hate
 
American twins Lamb and Lynx Gaede grew up being spoon-fed their mother’s Neo-Nazi ideology. As young teenagers, their mother encouraged them to form a pop band called Prussian Blue, and the two took the Nazi ideology on the road, performing for other young racists and Nazis all over the world. 
 
All that changed, however, when the two girls were each diagnosed with illnesses: Lynx with cancer and Lamb with scoliosis. The cocktail of medicines they were prescribed included medical marijuana, which--the girls say--gave them an entirely new life outlook. Rather than continuing the crusade for white power, the girls have quit the band. They say they now want to work to help legalize marijuana.
 
 

Laura Gottesdiener is a freelance journalist and the author of "A Dream Foreclosed: Black America and the Fight for a Place to Call Home," forthcoming from Zuccotti Park Press.

 
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