Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Revelation 22:1–2

In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. For example, eating 10 raw potatoes can result in a toxic response. By comparison, it is physically impossible to eat enough marijuana to induce death. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.”

[DEA Administrative Law Judge – 1988]” 
Francis Young

Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction.” 
Bob Marley

The illegality of cannabis is outrageous, an impediment to full utilization of a drug which helps produce the serenity and insight, sensitivity and fellowship so desperately needed in this increasingly mad and dangerous world.”
Carl Sagan

Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?”
Bill Hicks

Federal and state laws (should) be changed to no longer make it a crime to possess marijuana for private use.”
Richard M. Nixon

Since announcing my campaign for Governor I have lost count of the people that have messaged me with questions about marijuana. I have gone on programs ranging from the far left to the far right and I have been routinely asked about marijuana. During my last campaign for Governor I was the only candidate running on a platform of an end to prohibition of medicinal plants. This time around I know that Jon Neiderbach is another candidate that is calling for an end to marijuana prohibition. I, like many of us, am cautious to talk about cannabis without medical science to back me up. Well, you hear stories, you hear some more stories, and then you hear some more and you start to wonder if maybe there is more to the story. I saw Beth Dennis messaging other journalists from around Iowa trying to share her story and few were responsive so I thought I would have a chat with her over the phone.

Beth Dennis is from Indianola, Iowa. Beth was fired from a job directly after reporting a highly respected member of her company and community, for sexual harassment. Beth has a child that was dealing with bullying in school. She looked for help high and low in her community and instead was threatened, ridiculed, and shamed. She is a mother and a grandmother and she was asking for help from her neighbors and found none. In 2013 Beth had a stroke believed to be caused by all of this stress. She lost a dangerous amount of weight. Just when it seemed like things could not go any worse Beth was diagnosed with Small-Cell Carcinoma. Small-cell carcinoma (also known as “small-cell lung cancer“, or “oat-cell carcinoma“) is a type of highly malignant cancer that most commonly arises within the lung, although it can occasionally arise in other body sites, such as the cervix, prostate,and gastrointestinal tract. Compared to non-small cell carcinoma, small cell carcinoma has a shorter doubling time, higher growth fraction, and earlier development of metastases. Median survival is low. In limited-stage disease, median survival with treatment is 14–20 months, and about 20% of patients with limited-stage small-cell lung carcinoma live 5 years or longer. Because of its predisposition for early metastasis, the prognosis of SCLC is poor, with only 10% to 15% of patients surviving 3 years. The prognosis is far more grim in extensive-stage small-cell lung carcinoma; with treatment, median survival is 8–13 months; only 1–5% of patients with extensive-stage small-cell lung carcinoma treated with chemotherapy live 5 years or longer. Basically it quickly spreads to other parts of the body and by the time it has spread to other parts of the body it is often hard to treat. This is similar to the type of cancer that got some tough mother f’ers. John Wayne, Warren Zevon, Vincent Price, to name a few.


Beth’s doctor, Matt Hill, said that he could find 3 cases similar to hers specifically in the last 20 years. Her doctors suggested chemotherapy and radiation however having seen her mother die of cancer, Beth was willing to try anything that she could to fight to survive. After Beth’s stroke she wanted to gain weight in a healthy manner and she discovered medical cannabis to help with appetite and her weight. She found this to be effective. Beth regularly used CBD Oil, which is now legal to possess in Iowa. Because of the nature of the bill people like Beth that want to try this still have to have even legal CBD oil shipped to them. Beth got hers from a company in Colorado that was willing to ship the oil after it became legal in Iowa. Beth discovered a social media group on facebook called, “Clinical Cannabis Care”. Members there talk about a lot of things that they had success treating with cannabis, some include cancers, COPD, fibromaglia, addiction, and PTSD. The facebook group helped her figure out how to acquire high thc cbd oil derived from whole medical cannabis plants. This is still illegal in Iowa as of press time. Beth began taking high thc cannabis oil three times a day, at about ½ a gram each dose, as the group recommended she get up to 30 grams in 90 days. Cannabis oil can come in a syringe and you just take a dose on your tongue and swallow it. She says that this was easy to do. Cannabis oil does not cause the feeling known as a high, that comes along with smoking or otherwise eating the cannabis plant. In addition to this the group told her that she needed to have a low sugar diet and cut out processed foods. After 3 months on this dosage and diet Beth went to see her Oncologist and he said that he had some news for her. Beth was prepared for the worst and very scared. Beth’s doctor told her that her cancer was gone, that he could find no evidence of disease. He even said that he could no longer easily find evidence that she had suffered a stroke. Prior to these events Beth was on different kinds of medicine, including opioids like hydrocodine. She was on tramadol, aspirin, and antidepressants. Now after these events she only uses cannabis oil from time to time. She was glad to find something to use for pain relief besides opioids or aspirin as she had even previously suffered an aspirin overdose. Beth says the biggest issue with treating an illness this way is the fact that it is illegal. She says that this makes it dangerous to acquire and much more expensive than it should be. Beth is raising money to start a clinic, where she can help other people fight cancer the way that she did. If you would like to keep in touch on or help support this project please let me know.


“Burke said that there were Three Estates in Parliament; but, in the Reporters’ Gallery yonder, there sat a Fourth Estate, more important far than they all.“ Thomas Carlyle

Marco Battaglia writes for the Iowa Free Press and is a proud member of The Fourth Estate. Marco Battaglia is running to be Iowa’s 44th Governor, and the first since James W. Grimes not to be from the Democratic or Republican parties. Marco Battaglia firmly believes that Iowans deserve the freedom to choose for themselves what they put into their bodies.


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