How Marijuana Became Legal..Medically

The news that the Obama administration will not seek to arrest marijuana users and suppliers as long as they conform to US state laws on its use for medical purposes must have raised quite a number of eyebrows(see here). In the first place, not many are aware that pot is legal, within restrictions, that is. Secondly, the new policy is a significant departure from the Bush administration, which had insisted it would continue to enforce federal anti-pot laws regardless of state codes.

marijuana dispensary

Patients wait for assistance at a marijuana dispensary,Oakland,Ca. There are more dispensaries in Los Angeles than Starbuck or McDonalds outlets!

Currently, 14 states in the US allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. If Obama has his way, Federal anti-narcotic agents cannot prosecute outlets selling large amounts of marijuana as long as it is for medical use.

marijuana_Irvin Rosenfeld

Irvin Rosenfeld, who suffers from painful bone disease, gets his legal pot from the US government

In the US, 4 citizens actually obtain their marijuana from the federal government, with FDA approval. One of them takes it to relieve chronic pain and muscle spasms caused by a rare bone disease, invariably fatal, called multiple congenital cartilaginous exostosis.(see pic)

Typically, the medical use of marijuana is for patients with:

chronic pain (particularly nerve pain caused by diabetes, AIDS, and hepatitis);

– movement disorders and muscle spasticity (especially for multiple sclerosis patients);

-“drug sickness'”, as an anti-nausea and anti-vomiting agent (for those, say, undergoing chemotherapy);

-poor appetite, as an appetite stimulant for those with wasting diseases like AIDS and cancer.

Marijuana, whose botanical name is cannabis, has been used medicinally — and as an intoxicant, of course — for thousands of years in Eastern culture. In Western medicine, several well-known pharmaceutical companies, including Eli Lilly , sold cannabis in powdered or tincture forms in the early 20th century as a painkiller, antispasmodic, sedative, and “exhilarant.” Since then, its use declined because more effective drugs became available.

The question now is that, with medical marijuana being legalised, what constitutes medical use? The potential of abuse is apparent – just look at California, where doctors are authorizing patients to take marijuana to relieve such minor ailments as anxiety, headache, premenstrual syndrome, and trouble sleeping. There are about 700 medical marijuana dispensaries now operating in California openly distributing the drug :- narcotics trafficking done legally!

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5 responses

  1. Legalizing it to ease the pain in terminal diseases is of great benefits to patients-by the way, is it addictive?

    Doctor2008 says: Marijuana is less addictive than tobacco or Valium but the dangers are that it is a form of smoking (the usual way of taking it) and it also impairs reaction time (like alcohol) and therefore dangerous when driving.

  2. Medicinal and recreational use should both be allowed. Alcohol is far more more damaging to both the body and society.

  3. Joe Piervincenti | Reply

    I feel that a person’s relationship with their doctor and the treatment for a given condition are between the doctor and the individual. If marijuana as a treatment is indicated and the patient receives a benefit from it’s use, then I feel that it should be permitted. In cases where there is no other available medicine or treatment especially so. It’s very easy for the authorities with political agendas and judgmental and hysterical and fanatical people to condemn it’s use but if they’re not a party to the medical relationship then they have no say in the matter or to decide policy for those they don’t even know. We’ve had right to die, right to pull the plug, right to choose and many other sorts of debates by people not even involved in the situation. Live and let live. If I want to grind up sea shells and mix them as a drink for my arthritis or to eat leaves from vegetables for their properties who is anyone to say otherwise? Therefore, I endorse the use of any substance or product that offers an individual relief from pain and distress regardless of whether a pharmaceutical company produces it making billions in the process, or any industry that is also making billions of dollars in profits just because the government sees it suitable to make their activities legal but not others. That is pure politics and favoritism in it’s most glaring form.

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