Cannabis, Politics, and Scientific Revisionism

It seems like it was just yesterday that I wrote an article on The 420 Times about how great it was that the U.S. Government was starting to publicly acknowledge some of the benefits of cannabis (a.k.a. medical marijuana). Oh, wait…it was just yesterday.

In an amazing, almost real-time drama, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), mentioned prominently in the article, has now removed some content from their own website, replacing it with less-controversial language. This might be understandable if we were talking about an embarrassing goof on a government political website, but NCI is a leading resource for physicians, patients, researchers, and other scientists.

“I was so excited, but also surprised, that the government was finally telling the truth about the many anti-tumor effects of marijuana that I outlined in my film, What if Cannabis Cured Cancer“. I was angry, but not surprised, that the National Cancer Institute took their own quote off their official website within hours of it appearing. The truth slipped out, oops, somebody’s going to get fired. I guess big pharma got to them. The pharmaceutical industry funds most cancer websites in this country. Profits come first in the war on cancer as it’s fought in the United States of Corporations”. — Len Richmond, filmmaker

So what was so controversial? Very simple, and simply chilling in its implications.

The first version mentioned that doctors were using cannabis with their cancer patients for a number of reasons, including anti-nausea, pain relief, and antitumor effects.

The second “sanitized” version not only left out the bit about fighting tumors, but also changed the entire tone of the paragraph to imply that cannabis is only useful for comforting cancer patients, and nothing else.

Here’s The Smoking Gun

Original Version:

“The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. In the practice of integrative oncology, the health care provider may recommend medicinal Cannabis not only for symptom management but also for its possible direct antitumor effect.”

Today’s Version:

“The potential benefits of medicinal Cannabis for people living with cancer include antiemetic effects, appetite stimulation, pain relief, and improved sleep. Though no relevant surveys of practice patterns exist, it appears that physicians caring for cancer patients who prescribe medicinal Cannabis predominantly do so for symptom management.”

What Does This Mean?

Back in the 1960s, Americans reveled in our freedoms and made fun of the poor Soviet people, who were insulated from the outside world by a government who controlled all media and was known for changing its official version of history. Politicians who fell out of favor with the government leaders, or the prevailing political mood at the time, were erased from official photographs and sent off to Siberia. We thanked our lucky stars that we lived in a free, open society where those sorts of things didn’t happen.

But we were wrong…we just didn’t know it.

Now, apparently, we live in a country which is approaching, in some ways, the dystopia described in George Orwell’s Nineteen-Eighty-Four, in which Winston Smith, working at the Ministry Of Truth, would change the content of old newspapers to reflect the official government position on any particular subject. In effect, though the Internet wasn’t dreamed of in Orwell’s day, he was doing the equivalent of changing the content of what had already been written…a textbook example of (literal) revisionism.

The Original Ministry Of Truth
The Original Ministry Of Truth (George worked here)

When scientists are forced to change the truth (as published, anyway), it means that we’re now living in a world much like Soviet Russia, where Pravda is the only allowed newspaper, so that what it says must be right. It means we’re stuck in the 1984 of Orwell’s fears…where some anonymous person in an anonymous office is told to rewrite the facts, because the facts conflict with what Big Brother wants you to know.

And Big Brother does not want you to know about cannabis. Big Brother wants you to keep thinking that cannabis is dangerous and will lead your children to perdition…just like the way they lied in 1937 to make it illegal in the first place. Big Brother does not want you to know about the medical research done since then, proving that cannabis alleviates or outright cures literally dozens of diseases, ailments, and mental and emotional conditions. Big Brother does not want you to know about Granny Storm Crow’s list comprising hundreds of pages of links to this proven medical research. Big Brother does not want you to know how Rick Simpson cured cancer using nothing but cannabis oil. Big Brother does not want you to know about Len Richmond’s film about curing cancer with cannabis.

And most of all, Big Brother does not want you to know that Big Brother knows that cannabis can cure cancer, and that Big Brother himself suppressed the news, sentencing untold millions of people to an early and painful death.

And now Big Brother is controlling scientists and telling them what to say and what not to say.

The 420 Times would like to thank Len Richmond for supplying the before-and-after and personal quotes.

About Old Hippie Old Hippie is a father of two boys and thankfully living in California where all this kind of thing is legal. He started smoking marijuana in 1967 in high school, experimented with mind-expanding drugs of all kinds, and then straightened out 15 or so years later to become an airplane pilot. After being diagnosed with depression in 2000, he lost his job and most of the following decade to prescription medications (such as antidepressants) which sapped his energy and will. Finally, a chance conversation with a friend led to a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana (MMJ). This changed his entire life, health, and outlook for the better. is his continuing story. It’s also his way to provide experienced advice on using medical marijuana effectively and responsibly, as well as advocacy, activism, and support for others. Old Hippie teaches about safe use of cannabis edibles, Canna Caps, vaporizers, dosing, and even microdosing.


We caught the Smithsonian redacting references to Hemp in paper (USD bills are 24%). When we called them on the Hemp (missing), information they replied they “didn’t want to send conflicting messages”. Regarding the war on drugs in general, and the war on American Hemp crops in particular I presume.
I have begun referring our epoch as “The Dark Age”.

In the fight over cannabis and the making of it illegal, in the first place,it is listed as a class one drug,that is where you all need to start your fight,in court,proving it as been mislabled and have it relabled,in court by law as a class 3or4 class drug. like cigs or beer.after all Im not sick, I don;t need medical cannabis i don;t want to brake the law even if i thank its wrong! I just want to go to the store and buy som weed and beer and go home and get high is that realy so bad?

I have to admit that I am sometimes disturbed by the alarmist type of publicity that emanates from the Cannabis community at large. As a scientist, my observation is that change in policy often comes slowly, and with adequate evidence. The NCI has made a bold move to acknowledge Cannabis as a CAM (complementary alternative medicine)! From a clinical perspective, while there may be an abundance of anecdotal evidence from patients and doctors regarding ‘cure’, the gold standard for science is the randomized controlled clinical trial. There are none of these that exist for Cannabis as a treatment for cancer. Maybe by acknowledging the forward strides by government agencies and making informed and rational comments regarding inconsistencies or errors, these agencies that fund the very studies that many of us would like to conduct will be persuaded. Maybe those who are publishing this type of rhetoric will actually sign their name to it, as I sign mine.
Michelle Sexton ND

I’ll sign my real name and note that researchers complain that randomized controlled clinical trials using cannabis are stymied unless the study seeks to find harmful effects.

Here is one that was allowed:

The facts are that federal law claims cannabis and cannabinoids are classified in Schedule I with drugs that have “no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision”, yet the Department of Health and Human Services was assigned a patent entitled “Cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.”

That the National Cancer Institute should admit, then retract a statement of “possible direct antitumor effect” while millions have been arrested on the false grounds that cannabis has no medical effect is more evidence that policy is driven by ideology, not science.

Rhetoric? Please. Marijuana prohibition is clearly illegal, and anyone who was ever arrested for it ought to sue.

Actually, Michelle, you need to spend some time with PubMed before making such a blanket and ill-informed statement. The research on the use of cannabinoids in treating gliomas and glioblastomas coming out of Spain for the past decade is quite compelling. In addition, cannabinoids have shown potent anti-tumor effects on at least another half dozen cancer cell lines in vitro. Almost all of this research is being conducted overseas but it is still readily available at PubMed.

We have now had two peer-reviewed scientific journal articles published PER DAY for the past 20 years on the beneficial medical uses of cannabis and cannabinoids and yet we still have people saying there’s not been enough research. (Reminds me of the arguments the tobacco industry used to make about their product having not been proven scientifically to cause cancer.) If the “drug worriers” were to step aside and allow science, common sense and compassion to regain their rightful positions within the practice of medicine and medical research, we would all be better off.

For the betterment of man (and woman) kind, I hope we transition all DEA agents into grade school crossing guards as soon as possible (but not before disarming them first).

Well said Bernie Ellis. Michelle’s thought process on paper is vague and misleading. Apparently Big Brother has already gotten to her. If we leave it up to Govt or Pharmas to actually fund research on cannabis, we will never know the truth because the only thing they truly want is any and all harmful affects of cannabis. With that ideology in mind, research will continually appear weak on theories because they have yet to show any harmful affects. If there are no harmful affects, the results will be few in number. If science were able to be funded to do the full spectrum of analyses, good and bad, we would then be able to piece together the truth, good or bad, about cannabis. So far, it appears that type of research is only approved overseas and look at the results they are publicizing. I have yet to read any nonfavorable results and the true medicinal value is creating a wealth of information to be viewed by all. It’s a shame our own government is so corrupted by greed and power that they willingly bury the scientific evidence that would assist millions who are in need of one proven medicine, cannabis, vs. many synthetic pills that only cover up the symptoms and create other, more dangerous ailments. I personally do not have a need for medicinal marijuana but I do have stress, back pain from scoliosis and have difficulty sleeping. With the use of marijuana, my stress is never an issue. The scoliosis is barely noticeable and I sleep like a baby. This is, of couse, self prescribed but I feel millions more who wouldn’t qualify for medicinal marijuana could definitely benefit from the soothing affects of marijuana. In my opinion, legalizing medical marijuana doesn’t go far enough to aid people of the world. Total legalization for all is the only approach that will help everyone except Big Brother and the Big Pharmas. I can live with that.
And Bernie, as funny as your statement is about the DEA, I totally agree. I’ve been pushing for total disbanding of the DEA for years now. And, as a personal note, any DEA agent who goes after pot smokers with the intent to hurt or kill should be sentenced to life in prison with no hope of parole. They are just using the law as a means to eradicate pot smokers. I consider them to be nothing more than murderers. We don’t need them in society.

While I’m surely not against you, John, I couldn’t help thinking after reading your comment…nobody should have to “qualify” for medical marijuana. It’s an herb that anyone should be able to grow in their own garden without fuss…like chamomile, catnip, and other medicinals that people have been using for thousands of years to improve their health or help calm themselves down.

Old Hippie, I’m right there with you. I hate to even think about having to qualify to partake of an herb that grows wild around the world. If I think too hard about it, I start to stress. But then I just nip it in the BUD.

If cannabis was truly healing then people would use it, heal, and not need to use it anymore. The fact is that cannabis only partially relieves some symptoms, and they come back once people stop using. If that is what people want so be it, use it. However, enough with the “healing” aspect of cannabis.

Can we call a horse a horse? Healing is not the same as curing an illness or relieving symptoms. The medical profession have no idea what true healing means, nor does the misinformed public. Healing is connected to consciousness, which influences thoughts and ultimately life style. Lack of perspective and conscious awareness leads people to sabotage their lives and health; they have become out of sync with Creation/Nature/Source/God –call it what you will, but don’t negate it’s presence.

Artificial ways of modern civilization (i.e. most things of human culture you love so much) wreak havoc of the maturing process of humans, including their spiritual growth. I’m not talking about religion here… People are stuck in a reality, given to them through conditioning and social engineering, that makes them suffer at the deepest levels of their souls. Perhaps this is why so many people smoke cannabis; the plant releases them from the straitjacket of their mental and emotional conditioning and the suffering. However, this is not a healing process. The only advantage, if one can move past the addiction, is the cannabis can expand someones consciousness long enough for them to remember important spiritual affairs and how they need to change their perspective on everything they have been taught by a perverted system.

Perhaps people need the plant world to help them get “un-stuck” from the artificial human ways, but ultimately people need to move past the need to get high and learn how to heal themselves from within.

Smoking cannabis is a spiritual cul-de-sac and your government knows this! Don’t go thinking for one second that the governments around the world are legalizing cannabis because they lost the battle to a bush of pot smoking hippies. It is being legalized because they will make money from sell, the tax, and will corral an entire generation into learned helplessness, perpetual adolescence, and a spiritual cul-de-sac. In other words, government has one more tool to prevent humans from become truly free mature spiritual spirit living in harmony with Source inside their physical human bodies.

Smoke it, gain the perspective, learn your lesson, but then move on to greater things. Don’t get stuck and don’t try to justify your misguided attempts of “healing” with a temporary “fix”, and your enjoyment of being high and temporarily free from the insanity that has crept in your life. You can’t lie to your true self…

I know from experience. I used to be unhealthy and smoke and drink everyday. When I gave it up it gave me the possibility to acknowledge my suffering and to find the root cause of my dis-ease. I won’t lie to you, it was very difficult. I had become accustomed to running away from the spiritual pain in my life by consuming drugs. I had to learn how to welcome the pain and suffering and live with it on a daily basis. But let me tell you this; I became better at living with it and finding way to stop sabotaging my live. Much of the guilt and anxiety left and live became sweeter and more regular. I gained perspective and learned I could self-determine and reverse the perverted effects of years of social engineering/brainwashing. I know for a fact that while alcohol and cannabis were “fun” they had prevented me from accessing another reality, one where I had the will to co-create and not be a victim.

One truly has to become a spiritual warrior to take back ones life on ones own hands. It requires the will to fight for something that has been purposely been taken from you, something so beautiful and amazing that will blow your mind once you get it back. Something that is mush mush more healing and pleasurable that getting drunk or high on weed.

You are much more beautiful than you have been told.

Take care

First of all, you’re falling into the usual trap of conflating “smoking pot, man” with medicinal cannabis use, in spite of the fact that I’ve written many times here about how getting high is not the goal, nor does it generally help medical conditions.

But you also managed to sound quite erudite for an entire page without actually saying much of anything of actual use to anyone, which bothers me on some level, because you do sound like a thoughtful person.

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