(NaturalHealth365) A Pennsylvania man braved the public spotlight to add his personal story to his state’s debate over legalizing medical marijuana. Given just 9 to 11 months to live, Randal Ray Robertson said he felt left with the choice of either breaking the law or letting his life slip quickly away.
His decision to incorporate cannabis into his cancer treatment regimen, despite its illegal status, is being credited by his family for giving him back his life. After being diagnosed with a rare bile duct cancer that spread to his lungs and liver, Randal’s recent CT scans show the cancer nearly gone.
Despite evidence of its advantages: Cannabis legalization remains ‘controversial’
Randal’s CT scans now show his lungs are free of nodules and only a few very small lesions remain in one area on his liver, while the rest of his liver looks fine, according to his doctor. The latest scans confirmed previous ones which had shown the lungs clear and that the tumors in his liver had shrunk.
Meanwhile, Pennsylvania continues to grapple with the medical marijuana legalization issue, which has passed both houses of the Legislature there, but remains in committee as the Senate considers changes made by the House. Currently, 23 states, along with Washington, D.C., have legalized marijuana in some form.
Several other states are expected to jump on the bandwagon before the year is out. The strongest arguments come from cancer patients like Randal who have seen their cancer diminish or disappear entirely. As Randal told a local ABC News affiliate, his scan results could not be explained away by chemotherapy alone.
His wife, Molly, says that while they understood they risked a jail sentence while he used medical marijuana, the results were so earth-shaking, they simply could not imagine having him stop. She credits cannabis for allowing her husband to eat, sleep and digest food properly, a key to healing that wasn’t being accomplished with pharmaceuticals.
Randal used oil from marijuana, made in his kitchen. He also vaporized some of it to draw it into his lungs. Asked if the medical marijuana made him high, Randal was quick to point out that the side effects are much more tolerable than those of the prescription painkillers, which left him completely zoned out and unable to function.
Research suggests cannabis may help prevent cancer
Laboratory and clinical studies have shown cannabis and cannabinoids to be beneficial for the relief of pain, nausea, vomiting, anxiety, and loss of appetite – many of the symptoms commonly encountered during conventional cancer treatments. It has also been linked to improved heart health.
But according to the National Cancer Institute, cannabis has also been shown to kill cancer cells in laboratory studies. The next steps will be to gather additional evidence through more in-depth studies, but patients like Randal are living proof of the effectiveness of cannabis in slowing the growth of cancerous tumors.
Bureaucratic hurdles stand in way of additional research
Ask someone why they are against the legalization of medical marijuana, and they’re likely to reply that they believe more research needs to be done. Even proponents of legalization for medical purposes would like to see additional research conducted. This is often the refrain of physicians as well.
But there is a challenge not faced by most other drug trials. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) already classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, making it difficult to perform substantial amounts of research.
Cancer & Heart Disease
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