The term medical marijuana took on dramatic new meaning in February 2000, when researchers in Madrid announced they had destroyed incurable brain tumors in rats by injecting them with THC, the active ingredient in cannabis.
The Madrid study marks only the second time that THC has been
administered to tumor-bearing animals. In 1974, researchers at the
Medical College of Virginia, who had been funded by the National
Institutes of Health to find evidence that marijuana damages the
immune system, found instead that THC slowed the growth of three kinds
of cancer in mice — lung and breast cancer, and a virus-induced leukemia.
News coverage of the Madrid discovery has been virtually nonexistent in this country. The news broke quietly on Feb. 29, 2000 with a story that ran once on the UPI wire about the Nature Medicine article. This writer stumbled on it through a link that appeared briefly on the Drudge Report Web page. The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times all ignored the story, even though its newsworthiness is indisputable: a benign substance occurring in nature destroys deadly brain tumors.