Photo credit shuttestock image

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

The use of medical marijuana by cancer patients has greatly improved the lives of many. It has helped with pain management, nausea, depression and other symptoms. But in California, smoking medical marijuana may have killed a man and served as a warning to other people smoking high-grade marijuana.

A northern California man died from a rare fungal infection that has been linked to his use of medical marijuana. He was part of a group of patients struggling in a “winnable”  fight against cancer. The patients were undergoing intense chemotherapy and stem cell therapy at UC Davis Medical Center. According to the family, every time the victim smoked the marijuana he became sick. Soon he was in the hospital diagnosed with a serious fungal infection. Because of his compromised immune system, he died from the infection. One other patient also had the same infection, which caused the medical team to look for a link. That link was the use of contaminated medical marijuana.

The doctors had to go to a commercial laboratory to conduct the research and found startling results. The team included Dr. Donald Land, who has been studying marijuana pathogens for more than a decade. The team took 20 samples of marijuana from across the state and analyzed these samples down to the DNA. They discovered that 100 percent of the samples came back with mold and pathogens that included Klebsiella, E.coli, Pseudomonas, and Acinetobacter. “We were a little bit startled that 90 percent of those samples had something on them. Some DNA of some pathogen,” said Dr. Land.

These containments were found in many of the patients, according to the doctors, and are dangerous to persons with weakened immune systems. The general public, which includes the recreational smoker, is now also at risk because of the widespread pro-marijuana laws across the country. According to Governing.com, “Twenty-six states and the District of Columbia currently, have laws legalizing marijuana in some form. Three other states will soon join them after recently passing measures permitting the use of medical marijuana.”

The problem is very few if any of these states have quality control regulations regarding marijuana production. Some of the samples studied in California had pesticides as well as other potentially harmful pathogens. Smoking marijuana allows the pathogens to enter a person’s bloodstream in a quicker fashion.

 

Mo Barnes

“Mo Betta”
Maurice “Mo” Barnes is a graduate of Morehouse College and Political Scientist based in Atlanta. Mo is also a Blues musician.