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A Cure to Die For: A Medical Thriller by Stephen G. Mitchell

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My review:

It was action-packed  -  definitely what you could call a page turner! The synopsis hooks you immediately and the plot isn’t entirely obvious. Unfortunately, I think that this kind of story could actually happen in the USA  - a company more focused on profits than anything else, corrupt Senators taking huge "bribes" from lobbyists, etc.

The plot - Maury a brilliant, botanist which try to find a cure to the flue for a pharmaceutical company, accidentally discover the ultimate cure. By genetically engineering marijuana and the poisonous Death Star plant.  

In order to be cured -  you dry the leaves then boil them in water (like tea), But in order to remain cured, you have to keep drinking the tea forever. The company sponsoring Maury's work,is  Rxon. The pharmaceutical company that funded the research seeing losing huge amount of profits, as people will stop to consume the regular drugs and other medical services,  will stops at nothing to eliminate the miracle cure, (including murder). As a sponsors of politicians the companies, will recruit an evil senator and mercenary thugs to get rid from all the proofs.

Here I  started to see the holes in the plot-  if Cannastar is able to cure everything why would you have to continue to take it for the rest of your life? and why would Rxcon did not realize that they could still make tons of money if people have to consume it all the time? 

Alex Farmer, an ER doctor and veteran, got a strange letter from his friend Maury and was on way to visit him. When he arrives he finds that Maury has been killed. and that Maury and his graduate assistant Cyd have genetically engineered a plant, called Cannastar, that can cure anything. Otis is the one who helped them to grow it as he has a real talent for gardening. The ironic is that Otis grew the "Canastar" in his Funeral home.

From the moment of the arrival of Alex, the action pickup its pace, and our characters -  Cyd, Otis, and Alex continuously find themselves in arduous, situations, only to escape at the last moment.

The other flaw in the plot arethe female characters:

Cyd  has a habit of flying off the handle without warning and is in Alex's face. While Cyd is perfectly okay with being addicted to Cannastar-  it really is basically an addiction if you have to keep taking it to keep pain/disease at bay. Yet Cyd completely flips out on Alex when he takes a pain pill. Okay, her mom ODed – but I couldn’t even feel bad for Cyd because that seemed to have just been thrown in there isn't much difference between the  Cannastar and the pain pills. Beside she could shown some empathy to his sever back pain, as she saw that he couldn't walk straight.

Betty,  alternates from being a tough, riding & roping-type gal to emotionally weepy.    People abuse them and suffer the consequences. Can one OD on Cannastar? How much is too much? As with anything, there would be a limit to how much Cannaster the human body would be able to handle. What would happen when this limit is reached?Cyd decided she needed a vacation and that’s when the trouble started.” I feel like it was an attempt at a cliff-hanger

Alex wife - His marriage break-up really came off as extremely pathetic, childlike and amusing in how his wife behaved.

The female that I could like was Eloise. I could understand her motives and beside this, the secondary love story of her and Otis and was really touching.

The Cannastar seeds: Rainbow color, precious and must be protected at all costs. Obviously, when you have bags of the stuff, you keep all the bags together so that if someone finds one they find them all. Anyone else see a problem with this? The whole time they just blundered through and they never seemed to learn that there's no such thing as being too cautious . The other problem is -  Interspecific hybrids (two species), are normally from within the same genus and the offsprings will display traits and characteristics of both parents. But often this offspring themselves will be sterile. This hybrid sterility prevents the movement of genes from one species to the other, keeping both species distinct. Sterility is often attributed to the different number of chromosomes the two species have.

The author got here an internal joke - one of the Cannabises strain is called-  Death Star ;) - and here is one of the description that I found-

Death-Star' was originally bred around 2001-2002, by 'Team Death Star' who started revealing it to more elite growers in 2004 and enjoyed much attention from smokers throughout the American-Midwest and along the East Coast. It gained and attracted a lot of attention in 2010 when High Times wrote an article about the tightly-held strain.

Genetics: Sensi Star x Sour Diesel
Type: Indica/sativa hybrid
Looks: This bud is gorgeous..with dark and vibrant lite greens..and covered in stacked trichomes..it looks amazing when she glistens..and dark vibrant orange hairs make this a truly beautiful strain.
Smell:Wow…this is a stinky strain.this had a very pungent sweet skunky fragrance mixed with fuel that you can smell from miles away..there no sneaking around with this stinky girl.

 or  the aroma was very pungent, both pre and post-grind.  The sour fuel stank carried notes of rubber, menthol, and lemon but also had a strange sweetness lingering in the background.  The combination of those smells made this one really noteworthy and impressive to our staff — great choice for Diesel-lovers.

Taste:Has a brilliant flavor..its very sweet skunky on the inhale and this carries over with a fuel flavor in the back of you mouth on the exhale..so amazing its hard to put down.

or Very much like the smell, the taste was a slight sweet Diesel-dominant flavor with hints of citrus and soil.  The sweetness was elusive and seemed to come and go, but when the whole package was present, it was top-notch.  The smoke was smooth and easy to consume, only getting a little rough at the very end – the near-white ash it left behind showed that it had a very good flush

Effects:2-3 hours - building pressure in the eyes and around the back of the head and temples started things off, with an increase in heart rate and some perspiration happening at times.  The body started buzzing early on and that kept up throughout the experience, though it turned to more of a warming feeling as it went on.  The Indica side of this cross showed up almost out of nowhere, with a couchlocked yet mentally clear and social effect coupled with the warm and relaxed body.  This one seemed to depend on mood and time of day a bit, as a  large dosage in the evening sent one reviewer to bed unexpectedly, but most daytime reviews were very relaxed but not narcotic or sleep-inducing.

Good Strain For: This one was great for a daytime smoke for me..also helped with anxiety, appetite, nausea, relaxing, pain relief…great medicine..and a fist with this strain..but not my last. 'It is trademarked for it's 'hashy' Sour Diesel taste and it's compact growth structure influenced by the Sensi Star father, that made it very popular for Midwest growers. It produces rock-hard buds that are covered in trichromes to the point that the final cured buds appear to be an almost gray color, often times with light purple streaks when temps are dropped. It's high is both mind-numbing Sour Diesel twist and narcotic body effects from the Sensi Star. It has the ability to still be an all-day smoke for high tolerance smokers and a knockout for those with lower tolerance.

20.23% THC/ 0.43% CBD/ 0.63% CBN


The other suitable candidate is - Echium candicans 'Starburst'- Large stalks of small clear blue flowers bloom in the spring and into the summer. This is a good plant for seaside gardens. Plant in full sun.

It is drought tolerant and often seeds itself out. Hardy to about 25 degrees F. This plant is a spontaneous mutation that burst forth at San Marcos Growers from Echium 'Star of Madeira', a plant introduced by Paintbox Plantsman.. It appears similar to another sport from 'Star of Madeira' that was named 'Death Star'. The genus name is from an ancient Greek word for the plant. It is derived from 'echion' with the root word 'echis' meaning "viper" but the reason for this has several interpretations. Included among these are the shape of the seed resembling that of a viper's head and from the age-old belief that Echium vulgare, a plant called Viper's Bugloss, was a remedy for the adder's bite. 

Medical treatment of cannabis -Research shows that marijuana may relieve symptoms of certain chronic illnesses. It is most commonly used to (1) combat nausea from chemotherapy; (2) to lower eye pressure in patients with glaucoma; (3) to treat AIDS-related wasting syndrome in order to stimulate appetite; (4) and to a lesser degree to combat pain and muscle spasms in patients with diseases such as multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and Huntingtonís disease. It is also used to treat patients with HIV, migraines, seizures, insomnia, depression, anorexia nervosa, arthritis, asthma, etc.It has been proven to treat nausea, vomiting, and lack of appetite, and it may also ease pain. http://www.letfreedomgrow.com/cmu/

The solution :

The cartel of organized crime in Mexico and in the USA. Apparently Alex Farmer and Maury Bernstein had another friend - Joe Angolia. All of them grew up together and cherished a deep friendship since their childhood in New Jersey. Maury was the scientific nerd, Alex a wanderer until he turned to medicine, and Joe was the most intelligent one who found shady ways of making a fortune in a hedge fund career . When Joe heard about the Cannistar, he already suffer from Terminal illness and this hybrid was his last chance. For the other criminals the Cannastar supply Redemption. Once in their life they could bring salvation to people instead of distraction.



Source: http://sarityahalomi.blogspot.com/2013/12/a-cure-to-die-for-medical-thriller-by.html