Only Six Days After Starting Cannabis Oil, This Little Girl’s Leukemia Went Into Remission

Originally published on August 4, 2015, at TheFreeThoughtProject.com

Diagnosed with cancer at the age of seven, Mykayla Comstock was declared in remission of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia three years ago yesterday. Although her family credits cannabis for saving Mykayla’s life and cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory, the FDA still refuses to approve cannabis as a cancer treatment.

Three years ago, Mykayla began showing symptoms, including a hacking cough, body aches, fever, night sweats, and a rash across her legs. Suspecting Mykayla had strep throat, her doctor placed her on antibiotics, but her health continued to deteriorate. A second doctor found a large mass in her chest pressing against her internal organs. After enduring spinal taps and bone marrow biopsies, she was diagnosed with aggressive T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.

To treat the symptoms of her daughter’s chemotherapy, such as nausea, loss of appetite, and restlessness, Mykayla’s mother, Erin Purchase, started giving her a gram of cannabis oil each day. Mykayla usually ingests the cannabis either in a pill form or a brownie baked with marijuana-laced butter.

Under Oregon law, pediatric cancer patients are allowed to treat the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of chemotherapy with medical marijuana if the children have parental consent and a doctor’s approval. Although her father, Jesse Comstock, is concerned about the long-term effects of cannabis on his daughter, Mykayla’s mother credits the plant for helping to save her daughter’s life.

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), cannabis has been studied in the clinic and found that it may have benefits in treating the symptoms of cancer and the side effects of cancer therapies. Cannabis has also been shown to kill cancer cells in the laboratory. Although the FDA has approved two cannabinoids (dronabinol and nabilone) for the prevention and treatment of chemotherapy-related nausea and vomiting, the FDA still has not approved cannabis as a cancer treatment.

While supporting the need for more scientific research on cannabinoids, the American Cancer Society recognizes the necessity “for better and more effective therapies that can overcome the often debilitating side effects of cancer and its treatment. The Society also believes that the classification of marijuana as a Schedule I controlled substance by the US Drug Enforcement Administration imposes numerous conditions on researchers and deters scientific study of cannabinoids. Federal officials should examine options consistent with federal law for enabling more scientific study on marijuana.”

Whether or not cannabis was directly responsible for Mykayla’s remission, the treatment does ease the physical and psychological pain caused by her chemotherapy. Although more studies are required before the FDA considers approving cannabis as a cancer treatment, at least in Oregon a brave young girl is celebrating three years of remission.

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NY Attorney General Investigating Death of Woman in Police Custody

Originally published on August 4, 2015, at NationofChange.org

After signing an executive order to investigate and prosecute the deaths of civilians caused by law enforcement officers, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered his attorney general to launch a probe into the death of a woman recently found dead in her holding cell. Although the Westchester District Attorney’s Office was initially handling the investigation, Gov. Cuomo assigned the state’s attorney general to take over in order to ensure an investigation and prosecution without conflict or bias at the local level.

Arrested on July 25 for allegedly stealing a box of crab legs from a Restaurant Depot in Westchester, Raynette Turner, 42, was taken to jail and charged with shoplifting. The next evening, Turner told the guards that she felt ill and was taken to Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital. After receiving treatment for hypertension, Turner was returned to her cell to await her arraignment the following day.

On July 27, Turner was transferred to a holding area at the courthouse when she reportedly vomited while awaiting her arraignment. Instead of taking Turner back to the hospital, officers moved her to a cell downstairs and reported last seeing her alive between noon and 1 p.m. Although the guards are supposed to check the cells every 15 minutes, Turner was found dead in her cell around 2 p.m.

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US Marshal Found Guilty of Obstruction in Drunken Shooting

U.S. Marshal Brandon Taylor leads away Tesa Kebreau after arresting her during the Urban Shield operation. Kebreau was arrested on a warrant for assaulting a government officer. CIABP

Originally published on August 1, 2015, at NationofChange.org

An off-duty deputy U.S. marshal was found guilty of obstruction of justice on Thursday for lying to LAPD homicide detectives in order to justify killing a man. After striking his wife in public and gunning down a stranger who defended her, U.S. Marshal Matthew Itkowitz provided misleading statements to his superior and the homicide detectives investigating the shooting. Unbeknownst to the drunken deputy marshal, a nearby surveillance camera recorded the incident and discredited his lies.

After dining at a Mexican restaurant with his wife and drinking too many shots of tequila on the evening of March 5, 2008, off-duty U.S. Marshal Matthew Itkowitz and his wife were walking home discussing marital problems when he began physically abusing her. According to a district attorney report, Itkowitz struck his wife and pushed her before she ran toward a nearby tattoo parlor and asked for help. Ryan Gonzalez, the manager of the tattoo parlor, confronted Itkowitz and asked, “Why are you yelling at the lady? Why are you treating the lady like that?”

Although the surveillance video does not capture the beginning of the fight, the footage does show Gonzalez knocking down Itkowitz twice before motioning for him to leave. When Itkowitz refuses to leave, Gonzalez follows him into the alley and appears to pull a gun out of his pocket. After briefly pointing the gun at Itkowitz, Gonzalez places the pistol back into his pocket while ordering Itkowitz to leave again.

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Body Cam Video Released After Cop Indicted for Murder

Originally published on July 30, 2015, at NationofChange.org

A University of Cincinnati police officer was indicted on Wednesday on murder charges for shooting an unarmed motorist in the head during a traffic stop. Although Officer Ray Tensing and another officer claimed that Tensing was being dragged by the suspect’s car and nearly run over by the driver, newly released body cam footage revealed the officers allegedly lied in order to justify the shooting. After releasing the footage, the county prosecutor admitted that he would have continued believing the officers’ version of events if not for the existence of the body cam video.

According to Officer Ray Tensing’s body camera footage on July 19, the officer pulls over Samuel DuBose a few blocks from the campus for driving without a front license plate. When Officer Tensing asks DuBose why he doesn’t have his front plate, DuBose opens his glove compartment to show his license plate to Tensing. After directing DuBose to close the glove compartment, Tensing notices a bottle on the floor of the car.

When asked about the bottle, DuBose hands the officer a closed bottle of gin. After checking the bottle to see if it has been opened, Tensing asks to see DuBose’s driver’s license. DuBose tells the officer that he has a license, but that he does not have it on him and apologizes.

After Tensing asks why he doesn’t have his license on him, DuBose responds, “I just don’t. I’m sorry. I’m just going to go in my house.”

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11 People Dead in Police Custody This Month

Originally published on July 29, 2015, at NationofChange.org

At least eleven people have been killed or found dead while in police custody this month. According to autopsy reports, their deaths have been ruled homicides, suicides, and in some cases remain medically inconclusive. Several investigative agencies have launched probes to determine whether any officers will face criminal charges for these deaths.

After engaging in a violent altercation with her ex-husband, Ralkina Jones, 37, was arrested on July 24 and taken to the Cleveland Heights City Jail in Ohio. Cleveland Heights Police Chief Jeffrey Robertson claims that Jones was being treated for several medical conditions and received her prescription medications as directed. But on the following day, a jail administrator noticed that Jones appeared lethargic and transferred her to a hospital.

Jones remained in the hospital for roughly three hours while receiving treatment for possible blood sugar and blood pressure conditions. At 10:40 p.m. on July 25, Jones returned to her jail cell with reportedly normal vital signs. The next morning, guards found her dead inside her cell. After performing her autopsy, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner found no suspicious injuries to Jones’ body but admitted that further studies were required to determine a cause of death.

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