Metro Times (MT) is Detroit's premiere weekly periodical featuring news, music, art and events. Larry Gabriel writes a column called 'Higher Ground' that discusses in depth some of the issues facing the medical marijuana community in Wayne County, in Michigan, and federally.
This week's issue features a long-awaited article about the healing powers of cannabis; specifically, cannabis oil and cancer.
MT is not the first to take up this discussion. Cannabis oil pioneer Rick Simpson lives in exile from his homeland of Canada for fear of arrest, but his formula for making oil has been spread around the world. In February the latest stop on the Cannabis Oil Cures Cancer concert tour visited The Ritz in Warren; local cancer survivors and oil producers spoke to the crowd and told their stories. One of the most touching was the story of a 16-year old Michigan girl who took the microphone and told the crowd that cannabis had saved her life.
In late 2012 a child who captured the attention of medical marijuana activists from across the nation passed away. Cash Hyde had cancer; his parents used cannabis in raw juice and the treatments made the national press. In 2011 Montana rolled back some of the freedoms the electorate had allowed patients, creating a hardship for the Hyde family and complicating the little boy's treatment.
Cash endured brain surgery, chemotherapy and radiation treatments but it was the cannabis juice that got him well enough to eat and to live a semblance of a normal life. Just a few weeks after his first and only Halloween evening of trick-or-treating little Cash died in his father's arms. He was four short years old.
A Metro Detroit resident is featured in the MT column. Michael McShane is a Ferndale activist whose outspoken take on cannabis treatments has put him in the news many times. I publishedphotos of McShane's receding cancer in the Michigan Medical Marijuana Magazine in 2010 and 2011. Midwest Cultivator put his story on the cover of the magazine in 2011; he's been on the Detroit Free Press, the Oakland Press and many other publications across the state and the nation.
McShane is more than just a patient- he's a fighter. McShane is known as Reddog in the medical marijuana community and he is as tenacious as a pit bull on a pork chop when it comes to explaining to non-believers the medical benefits of the various forms of cannabis medicines. He has addressed the crowd at Hash Bash, where he famously tossed a jar full of cannabis into the audience; he told his story to the audience during the Fashion Show For A Roof fundraiser at the Masonic Temple's Crystal Ballroom; and he's had the microphone on the steps of the Capitol Building in Lansing more than once.
McShane did all of this despite having both cancer and HIV. His doctors predicted death, then projected disbelief, then tried to ignore his explanation for the disappearance of his squamous cell carcinoma. None of them will go on camera to testify to the progress he has experienced through cannabis treatments. "The real world is ahead of the science on this," he said, referring to the evidence-based approach to cannatreatments instead of the laboratory-based approach.
Metro Times, while stopping short of advocating for cannabis oil treatments, seems to agree. Gabriel mentions traditional medical evidence alongside the YouTube-style testimonials patients are posting each and every day. The article includes citations from NORML deputy director Paul Armentano and from a University of Wisconsin study but also embraces personal experience by telling the story of three patients who had positive results with the oil.
"(More studies are) a possibility in the future, but people are dying out here right now and they don't have several years for this to play out. They seek hope now. If people can find some way to get the concentration of THC and CBD necessary to affect their cancer, they're willing to take the chance and use it along with their conventional therapy; others are dropping conventional therapy altogether in favor of cannabis preparations."- Larry Gabriel
Like Cash Hyde, McShane has tried all the traditional medical solutions. Radiation, surgery, treatments- "over a million dollars" has been spent in his fight to combat cancer and HIV. "The doctors told me I was going to die," McShane told Gabriel. "I'm not dead. I don't feel bad. I look good. It's a night and day difference. I'm just not paying attention to those guys."
That sentiment is echoed by another of the Higher Ground article's patients, Diane Buck of Ypsilanti. "When I found out about the cancer I started on that Simpson oil (as a parallel treatment with the chemo)," she told MT. "From a medical point of view all they could do was make me comfortable. Without it I wouldn't be here now. A recent CT scan shows the tumor is shrinking. They said they never had a patient with this type of tumor shrink. They said they couldn't explain that. I could, but I couldn't tell them. I told them I have a secret weapon. I have two; it's God and something else. They just looked at me. I said, 'I have angels' and left it at that."
Angels is a good way to describe those that help to manufacture and spread the cannabis oil treatments to registered patients in Michigan. Although the recent Michigan Supreme Court decision in the McQueen case may have put a damper on the effort to assist those near death (and those trying to avoid that stage of life) it is not illegal to teach about the treatments- not yet, anyway. McShane and others across the state feel an obligation to step in and help in ways 'modern medicine' seems to have left behind.
Angels do live among us, and many of them are registered with the state of Michigan as medical marijuana patients. Let's hope they keep doing God's healing work despite the very real threat of wicked consequences from that very same State.
For more information about Cannabis and Cancer, see the Encyclopaedia Cannis page containing an index of scientific articles on the subject. The Encyclopaedia contains pages for breast, bladder, colorectal and many other forms of cancer. See the complete listing HERE.
For a more detailed account of McShane's personal struggles and triumphs see the Midwest Cultivator'sarticle.
Rick Simpson's website detailing his advocacy of cannabis oil is the Phoenix Tears Foundation.
Source: The Compassion Chronicles