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The Post-Mortem Crucifixion of Michelle Rainey by CTV

By David Malmo-Levine

"Cowards die many times before their deaths: the valiant never taste of death but once." - Shakespeare

My good friend Michelle Rainey died on Oct.20th, 2010. Everyone is taking their turn sharing their Michelle Rainey memories in honor of her amazing and wonderful life and her significant contributions to the medical marijuana movement. I have my own memories to share …

I remember the day I met Michelle. It was the spring of 2000. I was relaxing at Marc Emery’s sunshine coast abode, watching some of his porn tapes after a long night of working on a Pot TV show. She glanced at the TV screen for a second and then introduced herself. Good, I thought, she’s not put off by frank depictions of sexuality – this will come in handy if she’s to be Marc Emery’s assistant. Marc has always been very frank and full of depictions of his sexuality with me since I met him in 1995, so I figured that prudes would not work well along side him.

I remember how she looked after everyone in the organization, taking on the role of mother. I remember all the “booby hugs” she provided to her clan. I remember her generous nature – she seemed to use the responsibility Marc had given her to make sure everyone was taken care of, that everyone got paid, that everyone was high. Be it her looking after each judge and all the little details of every “Toker’s Bowl” cannabis tasting contest or mentoring some of the younger women in the movement, Michelle truly treated everyone as part of a family, and helped us all get along. She sometimes acted as mediator between the pot block and some of the other businesses in the ‘hood – she seemed comfortable in all worlds and was afraid of nobody.

Michelle’s activism went beyond drug peace – she also spoke out about the criminalization of sex trade workers. I encourage anyone who wishes to understand Michelle better to visit her website at and also check out all her many videos on YouTube.

Michelle had lived with Crohn’s disease since she was a teenager. In the last few years she began her battle with cancer. There was a lot of cancer in Michelle’s family – her Dad and her oldest half-brother both died of the same type of cancer Michelle did, and two other family members also contracted cancer. This March a PET scan detected a few lumps in her lungs and liver. In June a CAT scan confirmed stage 4 melanoma – non-aggressive lumps in her lungs and liver. But strangely, her Crohn’s was in virtual remission. Michelle believed that cannabis was responsible for that. But it was hard to celebrate that fact as stage 4 metastasized melanoma only has an 8 to 12 % survival rate. Chemo does not treat it. Michelle was not using cannabis in lieu of something more conventional.

One of my most recent memories of Michelle involves sitting next to her on a plane heading for the “Treating Yourself Medical Marijuana and Hemp Expo” in Toronto this past July. On the plane she showed me her anti-cancer medicine. In addition to using the “Rick Simpson oil” – 4 oz in 60 days - she began using Afghani Bull Rider powdered hashish in a capsule. She was using twelve capsules per day – according to Michelle just one capsule was enough to put any normal chronic marijuana junky on the couch for hours. She was also using synthetic THC pills – up to 8 per day. Perhaps the tumors were attracting all the medicine away from altering her perceptions. Perhaps her tolerance was simply at “heroic dose” levels.

On the last occasion she and her partner Jef came to visit with me, for the purpose of showing me all the little black tumors that were being pushed out of her body – apparently a result of her treatment with the oil and hash capsules. She insisted on me touching them – they were hard and round and black. There were a few dozen of them around her neck and she told me they were being pushed out everywhere. I figure she made sure I saw them because she knew I was completely and totally unable to sit on an important truth when it needed to be said. She knew I would do my best to let everyone know that there WAS an anti-cancer effect that the hash-capsules was having. She also mentioned an MRI she just had done – her liver was ravaged but her kidneys, lungs and spleen were clean! Michelle smoked non-stop so this alone was news-worthy. Had the cannabis cured SOME of Michelle’s cancer?

I wish I could interview her doctor and get an official response to counter-act the spin regarding Michelle on CTV on Oct. 23rd:

The CTV video makes no mention of the success she was having with some of her cancer – only that she stated she was going to prove that cannabis cured cancer and that she died of cancer. It was either sloppy journalism or an effort to leave the most important element of the story out on purpose. It made Michelle – and everyone else who believes that cannabis may be a cure for some forms of cancer – look foolish.

Cancer treatment is a multi-billion dollar industry, and CTV takes money from advertisers who make money in that industry. Pharmaceutical companies such as GW Pharmaceuticals and their partner Bayer are fully aware of cannabis’s tumor-shrinking abilities, as is evident from the cursory mention of some of the research found on page 240 of GW’s 488 page hard-cover book “The Medicinal Uses of Cannabis and Cannabinoids” 2004 … but instead of pouring money into research and issuing press releases, GW and Bayer are – I suspect – waiting to figure out which specific ratios of cannabinoids and turpenes work best for tumor shrinking so that it can patent those ratios and or register the strains and clean up, as they are currently doing with “Sativex”, their medicine for MS and cancer pain.

According to their website, “As soon as Dr Guy's clinical research indicates the exact desired composition our scientists can breed and register new medicinal varieties".

Translation? “Once we’re figured out a cure for cancer we’re gonna make sure only we can sell it.”

I just wish the reporter who reported on Michelle Rainey’s death looked into her death a little more closely – perhaps interviewed her doctor, or perhaps took five minutes to Google “cannabis” and “shrinks tumors” … she would have found two movies – “What if Cannabis Cured Cancer” and “Run From The Cure” – and loads of links – that indicated that Michelle Rainey was right.

Even if Michelle didn’t survive, she proved that cannabis was effective in treating some forms of cancer. If the evidence of what Michelle experienced from her cannabis treatment became common knowledge, it could not only help to speed up the end of the war on pot but could also save many, many lives from a horrible, untimely and painful cancer death – two things I know Michelle would have wanted her life to result in.

Below are the links for videos and written research material on cannabis and tumor-shrinking, just in case anyone out there cares to learn for themselves … or take it upon themselves to look into it further and perhaps even teach others.

Info regarding cannabis shrinking tumors:

Video evidence of cannabis killing tumor cells while leaving normal cells alone:

Cannabis Cures Cancer - "Run From The Cure" The Rick Simpson Story


News report on "What if Cannabis Cured Cancer" from Cannabis Planet.TV:

Cannabis and Cancer - Studies Showing an Anti-Cancer Effect:

A population-based case-control study of marijuana use and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Liang C, McClean MD, Marsit C, Christensen B, Peters E, Nelson HH, Kelsey KT. 2009 Cannabis Survey Subjects who used cannabis had a reduced cancer risk.

Researchers learned that cannabinoids have been associated with anti-carcinogenic effects, which are responsible in preventing or delaying the development of cancer:

Pot Slows Cancer in Test Tube
Marijuana Ingredients Slow Invasion by Cervical and Lung Cancer Cells:

Pot Shrinks Tumors; Government Knew in '74:

Info regarding the fact that cannabis does not cause cancer:

US: Study Finds No Cancer, Marijuana Connection:

Cannabis and Cancer - the latest debate:



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