A Harvard study released on April 17, 2007 shows that the active ingredient in marijuana, THC, cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread!
Researchers at Harvard tested the chemical THC in both lab and mouse studies. They say this is the first set of experiments to show that the compound, THC actually activates naturally produced receptors to fight off lung cancer. The researchers suggest that THC or other designer agents that activate these receptors might be used in a targeted fashion to treat lung cancer.
Although a medical substitute of THC, known as Marinol, has been used as an appetite stimulant for cancer patients and other similar treatments, few studies have shown that THC might have anti-tumor activity.
Stubbornly denying the medical benefits of marijuana – and thus treating it differently than more serious drugs subject to extreme abuse – is scientifically unsound and deprives seriously ill patients of much-needed pain relief.
The federal government should make clear that it will not prosecute patients, doctors or dispensary operators for complying with state medical marijuana laws. Patients, providers and legislatures need assurance that they can proceed in confidence that state laws will be respected.
Through advocacy and litigation, the ACLU Criminal Law Reform Project is working to increase the number of states that have authorized the use of medical marijuana, and to dissuade the federal government from prosecuting people for using medical marijuana in compliance with state laws.