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 multi-billion 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 super-food, 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!