Community of Reason screens pro-marijuana legalization documentary

Samuel Towns

On Sunday, March 6, The Community of Reason, a community of persons based in Kansas City that has skeptical religious studies on Sundays and supports the legalization of marijuana, screened a documentary titled, “What if Cannabis Cured Cancer?”

The film covered the issue of medicinal marijuana, discussing the restorative properties associated with the chemical compounds of the drug.

After the film screening, a group who use marijuana to mitigate symptoms of their chronic illnesses spoke to the audience.

First was Mark Pedersen, who grew up in a town known for its ore refinery.

Due to exposure to harmful carcinogens expelled from the refinery, Pedersen contracted cadmium lead poisoning and became very ill. Later, he was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a neurological disorder causing long-term, body-wide pain.

Pedersen’s daughter, Emily Pedersen, also has fibromyalgia. In addition, Emily suffers from anxiety, among other things. She recalled a time when she was having a violent panic attack.

In haste, she loaded a bowl of marijuana and inhaled deeply. Pedersen said the drug worked instantly to squelch the attack.

Richard Amerine, who has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, also relies on the drug to lead a life resembling normalcy.

Greg Terry suffers from a form of inflammatory bowel disease called Crohn’s diease.

He told the group about the first time he medicated with cannabis. A patient handed him a joint while he was in his hospital bed, and after smoking it, he found his pain subsided and other side effects related to his condition lessened as well.

Greg Preuss was the last to speak at the table. He confessed that due to harmful effects of previous medications prescribed to him by doctors, he lost 10 years of his life. For 10 years, Preuss’ wife had no husband. And for 10 years, Preuss’ children had no father.

For Preuss, cannabis became the antithesis of what some make it out to be. While the drug is thought to debilitate, Pedersen said it has enabled him to lead a normal life in numerous ways.

All this is not proof that cannibas can “cure” cancer, but it has been shown to ease the pain associated with the disease, as well as calm the nerves of those dealing with anxiety disorders. For more information, visit

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