High Times interview with Todd McCormick, December 1995. Peter Gorman, author.
I had read about Todd McCormick in High Times. This Rhode Island native was born with a rare form of bone cancer, contracted at age two. From age two until about age eleven, Todd was diagnosed as "terminal". During this period, he underwent every trick and treatment that modern medicine could conjure up.
At age nine, after a nasty bout of cancer resulting in hospitalization, surgery, and radiation, he was loosing weight and stamina after discharge from the hospital. According to the High Times article, his mother asked the doctor if anything would help the awful nausea caused by chemotherapy. He wasn't eating enough, had no appetite.
The doctor said that marijuana would not hurt him. It might reduce his nausea so that he ate more.
The story goes, that Todd began smoking pot at that time. A few years later, he was diagnosed as being in remission. No cancer.
In Amsterdam during Fall 1996, I asked Todd once if he thought that marijuana had actually healed his cancer. He told me that no, he did not see it that way.
Todd said something to the effect, "My body healed itself. Marijuana may have helped put me in the right state of mind, but I would not go so far as to call it a cause and effect relationship."
It is possible that Todd can get cancer again at any moment ; it has returned many times in the past. He tries to stick to an extremely healthful diet as a hedge against cancer. In prison, he had to eat whatever they dished out.
It is probable that anything which relaxes the body and calms the mind would have a good effect on any illness. Most illness can be handled by the body, given enough rest. Marijuana is probably beneficial to many stress or fatigue related sicknesses for many patients.
No wild claims. There is also the possibility that marijuana contains substances which directly influence cancer and other diseases, but that will have to be determined by research before any wild claims can be made. This possibility was mentioneded in Jack Herer's famous book, The Emperor Wears No Clothes, when commenting on published research.
Todd could be observed by all the visitors to Positronics, always busy, editing at least one or two magazines. I wonder where he ever got the time to smoke weed ? Now, out on bail after Federal DEA arrest, drug tested twice weekly, he is prohibited from using marijuana, and possibly prohibited from using the legal prescription, Marinol as of last report.
At least he's out of jail. Not so !
NOTE : McCormick was arrested in January 2000 by California Highway Patrol while out of jail on bail after pleading guilty to Federal charges. The cops claimed they smelled pot in his car ! He is currently serving a five year sentence. For more information, go to this website.
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