This review was published in the Dec. 2011 issue of HIGH TIMES.
Marijuana: Gateway to Health by Clint Werner
This timely book delves into the ongoing quagmire between the scientific community and the federal government concerning the medicinal properties of marijuana. While the Feds continue to insist that marijuana has no accepted medical value and is too dangerous to use, this ignorant statement blatantly contradicts the results of many promising studies. Author Clint Werner has examined the current research, and summarized it in "Marijuana: Gateway to Health." The book's subtitle "How Cannabis Protects Us from Cancer and Alzheimer's Disease," evokes a new era of understanding about our human relationship to the cannabis plant. Not only can marijuana help treat many serious diseases, it also demonstrates remarkable effectiveness as a preventative medicine.
"Marijuana: Gateway to Health" is divided into two parts; Part One details the science of cannabis' healing properties and Part Two addresses the history of medical marijuana and the political battles being fought to legitimize this helpful plant. Written for the layman, Werner does an excellent job of engaging the reader and making scientific concepts clear and easy to understand. He explains the endocannabinoid system that regulates many aspects of human health, and proceeds to outline many fascinating facts about the cancer-fighting properties of cannabinoids. It seems that THC can prevent aggressive cancers from spreading, making it an effective treatment for lung, breast, brain and pancreatic cancers, along others. Werner writes "... we can see that regular, long-term marijuana use may be powerfully protective against developing ... cancer."
Also, it seems that cannabis can protect the brain against the ravages of Alzheimer's disease with such astonishing success that "An urgent move to develop cannabis therapies for Alzheimer's patients should be underway, especially because of the complete lack of effective conventional treatments." Citing research from the Guzman team in Madrid, we learn that "`cannabinoids succeed in preventing the neurodegenerative process occurring in the disease.'" Werner also covers other cannabinoids such as CBD, the benefits of the various terpenes, and cannabinoid deprivation syndrome. Loaded with footnotes and packed with information, "Marijuana: Gateway to Health" will teach any skeptic how medical marijuana heals people and why the continuing prohibition against it is immoral and illogical.
When our opponents in the debate over medical marijuana insist that not enough research has been done, as in the recent LA Times editorial that opines "The DEA is right in saying there's not enough scientific evidence about the medical uses of cannabis," you can be glad that in "Marijuana: Gateway to Health," Clint Werner has provided the ammo to fire back in the form of facts and scientific findings. We must demand that the federal government acknowledge this evidence, reschedule cannabis, and make this healing herb part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone.