Marijuana is Good Medicine


Fifth Estate # 99, February 19-March 4, 1970

WASHINGTON (LNS)—Marijuana may well be very good medicine for victims of tetanus, migraine, high blood pressure, and sunstroke, according to long-secret medical research just made public.

Encouraging studies, done ten years ago at the Army chemical warfare laboratory at the Edgewood Arsenal in Maryland, were disclosed when proceedings of a 1969 National Institute of Mental Health conference were published, according to a February 2 Washington Post dispatch.

At that scientific meeting, Dr. Van Sim of the Edgewood Arsenal called both natural marijuana and its synthetic “interesting from a medical standpoint.”

“There are three areas where they can be of definite use in medicine,” he asserted, having investigated two of them himself.

Marijuana, the scientist noted, lowers blood pressure for as long as 36 hours—an effect that may be helpful in treating patients with high blood pressure. Pot also quickly lowers the body temperature of experimental subjects by as much as three degrees—a possible cure for extreme cases of sunstroke. Sunstroke currently kills a large number of its victims when it is severe enough to render them unconscious. An injection of marijuana serum might save those lives.

Sim also cited the work done in the 1940s by the late Dr. Walter Siegfried Loewe of the University of Utah, who found a tetrahydrocannabinol (THC, or synthetic marijuana), “very effective” in preventing epileptic seizures when given in small doses.

Sim’s work at the Army Chemical Corps Medical Research Laboratory turned up more evidence of marijuana’s positive effects besides its useful medical characteristics. When Sim took some marijuana-equivalent himself he found, according to the transcript of the medical conference: “Colors were intensified and landscapes especially delightful. Occasional visual hallucinations of brilliantly colored geometrical designs were experienced. Although aware of all surrounding events, I preferred to be left alone…even the most bland and unappetizing food was very delightful.”

The research disclosed in the newly published proceedings of the 1969 meeting join the overwhelming body of past work in substantiating the claim that marijuana is far superior to alcohol. No solid research has documented claims that marijuana hurts people. And there is evidence to the contrary: for example, unfinished work in Boston reportedly indicates that motor control of experienced users improves when they smoke.