What if there was a medicine that could help millions of people, but doctors refused to or couldn’t prescribe the drug—you’d be furious, right? Well, that’s exactly what we’re fighting when it comes to cannabis.
Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable medicine that can be used in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications, including pain relief, nausea, glaucoma and movement disorders. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, recent animal studies have shown that marijuana extracts may help kill certain cancer cells and reduce the size of others. And evidence from one study indicates that purified, whole-plant cannabis can slow the growth of a serious type of brain tumor. It’s also been shown to ease symptoms for patients suffering from HIV, AIDS, dementia and cancer.
There’s just one problem, according to Sanjay Gupta’s documentary, WEED: only six percent of medical studies have investigated the potential benefits of cannabis, rather than its harms. This has made the legalization of medicinal cannabis an uphill battle, one that Evan Christenson, an oncology nurse with twelve years of experience, knows intimately.