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.
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.
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!