Terry Fox died at 22 - of cancer that could have been treated and even cured by cannabis - before completing his Marathon of Hope. He ran a marathon every day during the summer of 1980, starting in Eastern Canada, headed West to Vancouver. As a young boy in Fox's hometown of Vancouver, I remember my father being excited and supportive of the cause, and then saddened when Terry died. Indeed, Canada mourned our courageous young man who gave his all trying to help others.
Tragically, though, this is only part of the story. The rest of the story isn't told in mainstream circles, for obvious reasons, which will become apparent.
- In 1974, US President Nixon had scientists study the effects of cannabinoids (the active compounds in the cannabis plant) on various cancers. He hoped to use the results in his "War on Drugs" by claiming that "marijuana causes cancer".
- In 1975/6, the study showed that cannabinoids actually CURE most cancers. Nixon had the results hushed, and went on with his War on Drugs anyway. Most people didn't hear about the study, including many in the medical field.
- In 1977, a teenaged Terry Fox was diagnosed with cancer in his leg, which had to be removed, because current known treatments offered no other option. He learned to walk with a prosthetic leg. His survival impressed on him the need for further cancer research.
- As the War on Drugs waged across America, Canada also adopted a very harsh anti-drug stance, including stricter-than-ever cannabis prohibition. In April 1980, Terry began his run across Canada to raise awareness and money for cancer research.
- In September, the cancer had returned and spread to Terry's lungs, and he ended the run to seek treatment in Vancouver.
- Chemotherapy brutalized his body and failed to control the cancer. Terry died in 1981, just a block from where I lived, in Royal Columbian Hospital, where my mother was working as a nurse.
- Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau said "It occurs very rarely in the life of a nation that the courageous spirit of one person unites all people in the celebration of his life and in the mourning of his death."
- For 40 years, Terry's family and various groups have been collecting money in Terry's name to be put toward finding a cure for cancer.
- This morning, Adidas sold out in minutes of their limited-edition Terry Fox commemorative running shoe, with a portion of proceeds going toward cancer research.
But how could things have been different, if Nixon hadn't hushed the 1975 study?
- In 1977, Terry Fox could have been given full-spectrum cannabis oil (now sometimes called Rick Simpson's oil) orally with meals, and topically on his leg to be absorbed through the skin. Osteosarcoma is extremely treatable with cannabinoids. His leg wouldn't have been amputated, and he probably wouldn't have required any chemo or radiation.
- He could have done the Marathon of Hope in 1978 instead of 1980, on 2 legs instead of 1. And the money raised could have gone specifically toward cannabinoid-for-cancer research, which didn't end up happening until the late 1990s.
- The War on Drugs would have destroyed far fewer lives and wasted far fewer resources/money.
- Millions fewer would have died of cancers that are easily treated with oil from a plant that can be grown at home.
- Big Pharma wouldn't even be half the size it is today.
- Instead of stopping half way and dying, Terry would have run right across Canada, ending in Vancouver. My Dad and I would have been watching him reach the Pacific Ocean, where he planned to dump a jar of water he had brought from the Atlantic.
- Instead of speaking fondly of Terry after he died, Trudeau could have put that time into ensuring his son Justin didn't end up growing into a socialist tyrant who would go on to fake "legalize" cannabis in 2018.
- The tens of millions of dollars raised by Terry's successful run would have funded and spurred cannabinoid-for-cancer research for years.
- In the 1990s, @MediKatie (who would later become my wife) would have been treated with cannabinoids instead of surgery and radiation for her childhood spinal cancer. Instead of being physically crippled and suffering lifetime nerve damage from the radiation, she would be a completely different person.
I could go on. We can imagine a myriad of ways the world (and each of our lives) would be better, without cannabis prohibition. The "legalization" we got in 2018 here in Canada only made prohibition worse, not better. Now, the government is the dealer, and anyone who tries to compete with them ends up in prison for 14 years.
If people only knew that cannabis safely and quickly cures most cancers, this world would be a different place. A better place. That's why MediKatie and I dedicated ourselves, years ago, to spreading this knowledge.
But it feels like we're running across Canada in our effort to spread this life-saving and simple information. Prohibition, stigma, and ignorance keep people from being able to hear and accept it, while media lies and government propaganda spin a false narrative - that surgery, pharmaceutical drugs, and radiation are the only options against the vast disease known as cancer. Cannabinoids, like all medicines, don't work 100% of the time, and aren't for every patient, but the research that should have been done in the late '70s needs to be done NOW, and prohibition of cannabis must also end NOW.
As a Canadian, it's hard not to cherish that vision of Terry Fox, a wholesome local young man who fought cancer with everything he had.
But once you know that he didn't have to die, or even lose that leg, the story becomes dark, sinister, and tragic.
Half of us will get cancer, and half of those - like Terry - will die from it. But it doesn't have to be that way. Cannabis CURES cancer.