Green for Your Health

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Christin Neisler

Did you know that St. Lu­cia has the high­est per­cent­age of mar­i­juana smok­ers per capita in the en­tire Caribbean? Sorry Ja­maica! This record ex­tends glob­ally to 7th high­est in the world! Yet mar­i­juana re­mains il­le­gal here, de­spite moves by the cannabis move­ment to have it de­crim­i­nal­ized and by Rasta­far­i­ans for its use to be rec­og­nized as their holy sacra­ment.

In the U.S. med­i­cal mar­i­juana is now legally sold in over 20 states and the move to­wards to­tal le­gal­iza­tion is soar­ing rapidly and spread­ing glob­ally. Last year alone, U.S. med­i­cal mar­i­juana re­tail­ers, pro­ces­sors, and dis­pen­saries raked in $1.43 bil­lion dol­lars in sales. A 64% in­crease is re­ported this year alone. Out­stand­ing statis­tics con­sid­er­ing that in 2012 - 2013 the smart­phone showed a sales in­crease of only 46%!

Statis­tics aside, cen­turies of cannabis cul­ti­va­tion (dat­ing back to the Stone Age . . . not “stoner age”) proves its long­stand­ing value. Re­ports from the med­i­cal world of the plant’s amaz­ing health ben­e­fits are turn­ing heads too.

On Oc­to­ber 31st, a press con­fer­ence was held here dis­cussing the po­ten­tial grow­ing and ex­por­ta­tion of med­i­cal mar­i­juana from St. Lu­cia to Canada and the eco­nomic ben­e­fits of de­crim­i­nal­iza­tion. Head of the Bri­tish Columbia med­i­cal cannabis move­ment and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Van­cou­ver’s largest dispensary, Philip McAlary, met with head of the Green Party, An­dre de Caires, dis­cussing trade re­la­tions of cre­at­ing an in­dus­try that sup­plies med­i­cal grade mar­i­juana for dis­tri­bu­tion in Canada. Canada’s multi­bil­lion dol­lar in­dus­try mir­rors a promis­ing re­flec­tion of the in­her­ent eco­nomic stim­u­lus for St. Lu­cia.

Mom al­ways said, “Eat your vegetables!” So for­get about smoking the sticky-icky, and eat it- well, drink it. The cannabis sativa strand in its raw form is said to boast a bold ar­ray of health ben­e­fits when con­sumed raw, and can eas­ily be in­cor­po­rated into any diet by sim­ple blend­ing or juic­ing or mak­ing into tea or tinc­tures. Fear not, cannabis’s raw con­sump­tion doesn’t ac­ti­vate the plant’s psy­choac­tive com­po­nent, mean­ing - you won’t get high. This at­tribute is only ac­ti­vated when burned or va­por­ized.

Health nuts are not the only ones in­clined to press this friendly grass along­side their wheat­grass boost; doc­tors are ad­min­is­ter­ing it to pa­tients and hav­ing out­stand­ing re­sults with can­cer pa­tients. In med­i­cal terms the rea­son cannabis is so af­fec­tive is that one of its main con­stituents CBD (Cannabid­iol), has been med­i­cally proven to re­lieve dis­eases - most as­tound­ingly, the in­hi­bi­tion of can­cer cell growth! This proven, anti-can­cer, mir­a­cle su­per­food, ca­pa­ble of pre­vent­ing and rev­ers­ing a host of chronic ill­nesses, has unique im­mune-reg­u­lat­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties, and since the hu­man body al­ready con­tains a built-in en­doge­nous cannabi­noid sys­tem, com­plete with cannabi­noid re­cep­tors, in­putting CBD from this highly medic­i­nal veg­etable can help nor­mal­ize the body’s func­tional sys­tems, in­clud­ing cell com­mu­ni­ca­tion and proper im­mune func­tion.

I was es­pe­cially moved by Philip’s per­sonal story about over­com­ing can­cer with the aid of cannabis. He tells of be­ing on his death-bed, the dra­matic pain that ac­com­pa­nied the can­cer, and be­ing given two months to live. Prepa­ra­tions for his will and fu­neral had been fin­ished and friends and fam­ily from all over the world had flown in and said their good­byes. Then, he re­ceived a call from a friend who, un­aware to his con­di­tion, had called to hire him for a health com­mer­cial. After hear­ing his tragic news, she went pre­pared right away and con­fi­dently be­gan to work her magic. Three times a day, she fed him fresh pressed or­ganic juices which in­cluded help­ings of cannabis leaves. Within 48 hours he was out of bed. Con­tin­u­a­tion of this diet, plus herbal lax­a­tives meant that within 4 months he was cured!

So then is cannabis safe? If the only rea­son that mar­i­juana be­came il­le­gal was due to so­ci­etal fears and prej­u­dices, as well as the gov­ern­ment’s in­volve­ment to con­trol and reg­u­late its tax­a­tion, then why should it still be thought of as “bad”? No deaths have ever been re­ported from mar­i­juana, while sadly, in the U.S., The Cen­ter for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion, re­port that drug over­dose was the lead­ing cause of in­jury death last year.

Philip and many other can­cer pa­tients have used mar­i­juana to ease off drugs like mor­phine, given for pain dur­ing can­cer. Many par­ents use the plant in pill form to give to their chil­dren with can­cer and other dis­eases; even Time mag­a­zine con­firms its safety and ef­fi­cacy in an ar­ti­cle about a 7 year old girl with leukemia who went into re­mis­sion through the aid of the CBD pills.

De­crim­i­nal­iz­ing mar­i­juana for med­i­cal use is a re­al­ity mov­ing for­ward to ben­e­fit so­ci­eties glob­ally, through both health and eco­nomics. With the soil and cli­mate, and its unique na­tive cannabis strands (so I hear), the right en­vi­ron­ment for grow­ing is at our feet. De­crim­i­nal­iza­tion, in­ter­na­tional fund­ing, proper reg­u­la­tion and qual­ity as­sur­ance, equals jobs for many and a stim­u­lat­ing step for­ward in tran­scend­ing eco­nomic and psy­cho­log­i­cal stag­na­tion. And re­mem­ber, one green juice a day . . . keeps the doc­tor away!

An­dre de Caires met with the head of the Bri­tish Columbia med­i­cal cannabis move­ment and Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of Van­cou­ver’s largest dispensary, Philip McAlary

last week.

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