Cannabis and ALS: The Cathy Jordan Story

ALS sufferer Cathy Jordan medicates with marijuana: "No pharmaceutical company has made a drug to help." (

The ice-bucket challenge for ALS awareness is fun and all. However, more importantly, did you know that marijuana can counter the symptoms and effects of Lou Gehrig's Disease?

Research has shown that THC delays "disease progression by seven days and extends survival by six days in the mouse model. This corresponds to three years in human terms.”

Florida resident and ALS sufferer Cathy Jordan has worked harder than anyone to convince the medical establishment that amyotrophic lateral sclerosis can be controlled by marijuana. “I never wanted to tell ALS patients to smoke marijuana as medicine," she said in 1999. "But after fighting the drug war for 10 years, and having it fall on deaf ears and cold hearts, no pharmaceutical company has made a drug to help."

Enter cannabis. Since 1989 Jordan has been using marijuana to combat the damaging effects of ALS. The disease, which afflicts 5,600 Americans each year, causes progressive muscle degeneration (movement, speech, swallowing, breathing).

“I asked my docs if they would take a drug if it was neuroprotective, an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory. They say ‘yes’ and ask me if I know of one. Cannabis, I tell them," Jordan explains.

Perhaps the best take on the ice-bucket challenge comes from Cypress Hill's B-Real...

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.