Cannabis has been used in medicine for centuries in numerous cultures around the world. It wasn’t until more recently, within the last 100 years, that people and governments really started to look down upon and limit the herb. The fact of the matter is that it has healing factors locked within its delicious buds that carry the potential to disrupt the way modern medicine is used and viewed by the populace. Eventually, cannabis could permanently transform the practice of medicine worldwide.
Change isn’t always a bad thing, although it can seem uncomfortable at first. It’s often a necessary step in the natural progression to a better life experience. To be sure, there are still those who detest cannabis on a personal level and feel that it offends their existence. But many more are coming to light who attest to how cannabinoids have enhanced their overall health and happiness or, in some cases, even saved their life or that of a loved one.
Loving grandparents wanted to help
Four-year-old Katelyn Lambert can be seen above holding hands with her grandparents, enjoying a walk among a forest of lush cannabis plants. This is a fairly new experience for the Australian family, as Katelyn is afflicted with a debilitating form of childhood epilepsy known as Dravet syndrome. “It’s like watching your child being electrocuted to death,” said her father, Michael, who was horrified to watch from the sidelines with his wife, Saowalak, as their daughter suffered violent seizures.
For years the family struggled to get Katelyn’s seizures under control, but it seemed nothing produced the results they needed to see. The pharmaceutical medications drugged Katelyn up and robbed her of the childhood that the epilepsy hadn’t already taken from her. According to Financial Review, “Katelyn was admitted tens of times to Gosford Hospital and treated with a cocktail of dangerous drugs such as Klonopin (clonazepam), a depressant similar to Valium (diazepam). At one point, so desperate were doctors to get a large dose into the tiny child that they drilled into her bones. But the seizures kept coming.”
After all these failures, the Lamberts decided to look toward cannabis, which they had heard was working for other families around the world in similar circumstances. Then, grandparents Barry and Joy Lambert did something unexpected.
Family is everything
After learning about how cannabidiol (CBD), the non-psychoactive agent in cannabis, could relieve their granddaughter’s seizures, Barry—an already accomplished businessman—decided to donate $34 MILLION to cannabis research at the University of Sydney. This incredibly generous gift is huge in so many ways. In one regard it reflected his love for his family. Second, it was a huge testament to the world and the people of Australia that cannabis is worth fighting for. And third, it backed the underdogs in science who were scrapping for needed funds to advance their pro-cannabis research.
Barry said in the same FR interview, “The ills of the world are going to be cured by science rather than governments handing out money. I’m a great believer that if you just give money to buy a wheelchair, you aren’t solving the big problems of the world.”
You can’t make a father watch his daughter die
Michael Lambert is currently facing drug charges for helping his daughter get well with CBD oil. At one point he wrote numerous letters to the NSW Minister for Medical Research, Pru Goward. In one heartfelt letter he wrote “HELP HELP HELP (my daughter doesn’t speak much but she can say HELP). Children like my daughter desperately need your help. I know I am going to jail but if I don’t want to see my daughter grow up with half a brain I have no choice.”
Michael was reported to the police.
She’s just as a child should be
Since Katelyn started taking cannabis therapy, her parents say they have witnessed immediate results. The life is back in her eyes, she is able to go to school, she can speak, and is starting to be as a child should be at her age. The Lambert Initiative may not be able to help Katelyn and her family at this moment in time, especially during these trying times with law enforcement attempting to crack down, but there is definite hope for future patients and families. For now, the next step for the family is going to be court, where Michael is standing steadfast in his belief that his actions were based on a “medical necessity”, according to 9 News.
The underlying takeaway from this story is the critical need for more research on the potential health benefits of cannabis. Unfortunately, due to the plant’s legal status and a lack of funding, many scientists are left without the resources to produce the credible evidence needed to get the ball rolling much faster.
Often, the argument is that cannabis “may be dangerous”. That sounds sensible yet is illogical in the context of the thousands of bars, liquor stores, and grocery stores across the land, selling things like alcohol and tobacco. Those are both KNOWN to be dangerous, which in itself makes cannabis a smarter choice: Even after thousands of years, it still hasn’t proven to be dangerous. The former chief legal counsel of the DEA called it one of the safest drugs known. Opioid addicts even use cannabis as a substitute to wean themselves off their drug abuse. In this sense, the herb is indeed a “gateway”—a gateway OUT of dependency and into a more uplifting, healthier way of life.
So, alcohol and tobacco are fully legal while being ruinously physically addictive and lethal, while cannabis is not. If “danger” were the only concern, logically, we should start locking people up for being caught with a carton of cigarettes or a case of vodka. But, as a free people, personal liberty trumps danger to ourselves (real or imaginary) as our overriding concern.
People like to put things inside their bodies; it’s their human right and their choice as free adults. At least, those using cannabis as a substitute for smoking tobacco or drinking should have access to this non-toxic alternative that doesn’t run their lives or kill them. And, they should have access to cannabinoid medicine for their children, if needed.
If governments all around the globe loosened up their “vice” grip just enough for science to be able to play its proper role in creating a foundation for change, people might be pleasantly surprised with the outcome. Otherwise, we will continue to have families making the hard decision to do something illegal, although their moral compass is pointing them in the right direction; or having to flee to an area of the world where saner heads prevail, and cannabis medicine is more accepted.
If the goal is to heal people, shouldn’t every option should be on the table?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Garyn Angel is an inventor, award-winning financial consultant, and CEO of MagicalButter.com, maker of the botanical extractor he invented for infusing cannabis into foods. Firmly committed to needed legal reform, Angel was named to the exclusive CNBC NEXT List of visionary global business leaders for his work on legal marijuana. He is also founder of the Cheers to Goodness Foundation, a charity that helps “medical refugees”—mainly veterans and children—who need herbal therapy when traditional treatment options have failed.