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Medical Marijuana

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Biology 103
2001 Third Web Report
On Serendip

Medical Marijuana

Rebecca Roth

Marijuana has been hailed as a prescription for many ills and physicians once used it to stimulate appetite, relieve chronic pain, and treat asthma and migraines. But is marijuana really a medical miracle? If so, do its clinical benefits outweigh its drawbacks? Should we legalize marijuana? Is medical marijuana really worth the risks? These are the issues one needs to think about before making the decision to legalize marijuana.

Marijuana is a drug that is derived from the dried and cut leaves of the hemp plant known as "cannabis sativa". Marijuana has a variety of street names such as "grass", "Mary Jane", "pot", "smoke", "reefer", "herb", and "weed". The active ingredient in marijuana is delta tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) (3). . Marijuana has been used throughout history and in many different cultures to change mood, perception, and consciousness (to get "high"). Its effects range from increasing creativity to provoking mystical experiences, to heightening the capacity to feel, sense and share. After alcohol, it is the most popular of what are called "recreational drugs." It has been used around the world for other purposes. In some primitive tribes of South America, Africa, and India, "cannabis" is used in religious ceremonies and for medical purposes. African mine workers have used it to ease the drudgery of their work and many Jamaicans use it at the end of the day to relieve fatigue. It has been used as an intoxicant in various parts of the world for centuries and in the United States, for the most part the 20th century. Marijuana was first described in print in a Chinese book of medicine, "Herbal," in the 2nd century B.C., and was used in China as an anesthetic 5,000 years ago. The ancient Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Romans, and East Indians used the drug to control muscle spasms, reduce pain, and to treat indigestion. It was commonly used in folk medicines in Africa and Asia. As early as 1611, marijuana was cultivated for its fiber in Jamestown, Virginia. In 19th century America, marijuana was used by the medical profession for treating spastic conditions, headaches, labor pains, insomnia, and menstrual cramps. It is still used as a medicine in the Middle East and in Asia (9).

The controversy dealing with marijuana stems from the legalization of the drug for medical use. The written record on medicinal marijuana stretches back over 2,000 years. Yet after hundreds of studies, experiments and reports, there is still no consensus about its effects. Wildly emotional arguments rage about whether or not marijuana should be considered a legitimate medicine (2). Can marijuana relieve health problems? Is it safe for medical use? Scientific data on controversial subjects are commonly misinterpreted, overinterpreted, and misrepresented (1). Marijuana plants have been used for both herbal medication and intoxication. The current debate over the medical use of marijuana is essentially a debate over the value of its medicinal properties relative to the risk posed by its use (1). Is there a possibility that the dying may be able to use marijuana as a form of pain relief? The controversy still reigns on within congress and the medical community.

"There is not a shred of scientific evidence that smoked marijuana is useful or needed." -- U.S. Drug Czar, Gen. Barry McCaffrey, Aug. 16, 1996

"Marijuana is the safest therapeutically active substance known to man... safer than many foods we commonly consume." -- DEA Judge Francis L. Young, Sept. 6, 1988

To date, marijuana is still classified as an illegal Schedule 1 drug by the Controlled Substances Act. It is defined as having "no accepted medical use in treatment in the United States." However, many states have recognized that medical marijuana does have medicinal uses. According to the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics, thirty- four states have recognized the value of marijuana for medical conditions (4).

What is the supporting evidence that marijuana can be used for pain relief? Advocates contend that marijuana can alleviate symptoms of AIDS, cancer and other illnesses, but opponents maintain that patients have other alternatives and that legalizing drugs sets a dangerous precedent.

Proponents of legalizing medical marijuana contend that it is wrong to deny patients relief from the pain of debilitating disease. A study by the Institute of Medicine released in March of 1999 found that marijuana:

* Holds particular promise for alleviating nausea and vomiting in people undergoing chemotherapy.

* Shows potential for improving severe weight loss (wasting) caused by AIDS.

* Holds usefulness for chronic pain that does not respond to traditional opoids (Morphine, etc.).

Scientists at the University of California at San Francisco found that a marijuana-like drug deadens pain in rats by interacting with the same pain modulating area of the brain activated by morphine. The findings may show that cannabinoids, which include marijuana's active ingredient THC, are potent analgesics that deliver true pain relief (5). Recently, new information has emerged from studies by federal researchers at the National Institutes of Mental Health. Their reports have stated that THC and cannabidiol (CBD), a nonpsychoactive component, both appear to protect brain cells from the damage that often occurs during a stroke. When the brain's blood supply is cut, as occurs during a stroke, THC and CBD act as powerful antioxidants, protecting the brain cells from exposure to toxic levels of the brain chemical called glutamate. This finding also indicates that marijuana may hold medical value in the treatment of brain injuries and diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's (11).

Research on the medical uses of marijuana is scheduled to begin early next year. For the first time in nearly two decades, the government has approved new experiments to test whether smoking it can help patients who have multiple sclerosis or who suffer from pain in their limbs as a result of AIDS. The new approvals, granted on Nov. 28, 2001 by the Drug Enforcement Administration, do not make it legal for doctors to give their patients marijuana as treatment. They merely provide for limited use in scientific experiments. In some states, state law allows doctors to prescribe or recommend marijuana; federal law prohibits the practice, however, even in those states (8). After the passage of these proposals, scientific committees at the government-chartered Institute of Medicine and at the National Institutes of Health reported that there was little evidence that marijuana had medical usefulness, but that rigorous studies would be worthwhile. The coming experiments will compare the effects of marijuana cigarettes with the effects of placebo cigarettes (those with the active ingredients of marijuana removed).

Experiments using marijuana to stimulate appetite and prevent nausea were conducted in the United States until the early 1980's. After that, disapproving attitudes in the federal government and among research agencies led scientists to believe that financing of medical marijuana studies would be difficult to find. But after the referendums in California and Arizona in 1996, the focus shifted to the question of whether such medical use could be supported by scientific evidence (8).

There are many people who do not want the legalization of marijuana. They point to the drawbacks that marijuana has. There are the concerns that legalization can make marijuana more available for abuse, especially by children. In addition, many feel that there is still little proof that marijuana has any medicinal value. Two adequate and well-controlled studies in cancer pain compared graded doses of oral 9-THC to placebo, and one of these included graded doses of codeine as a control. Although there was evidence of analgesic efficacy, the studies indicate there is a narrow therapeutic margin between the doses that produce useful analgesia and those producing unacceptable adverse CNS effects. Many believe that there is little future for or benefit from smoked marijuana as a medically approved medication (6).

In Amsterdam, Holland, where marijuana is legal, crime and hard drug use remains a problem (7). Marijuana has serious harmful effects on the skills required to drive safely: alertness, the ability to concentrate, coordination, and the ability to react quickly. These effects can last up to 24 hours after smoking marijuana. Marijuana use can make it difficult to judge distances and react to signals and sounds on the road. While not everyone who uses marijuana becomes addicted, when a user begins to seek out and take the drug compulsively, that person is said to be dependent or addicted to the drug. In 1995, 165,000 people entering drug treatment programs reported marijuana as their primary drug of abuse, showing they need help to stop using the drug (10).

As one can see, there have been many debates over the legalization of marijuana. These debates are likely to continue. In many different cultures, marijuana has been used through the years to treat various medical conditions. Even in 19th century America, marijuana was used by doctors to treat pain. Sometimes we can learn from the past. Not all of our new drugs are better than the old. Some have proven to be quite toxic. At the very least, marijuana should be moved to a Schedule II drug (a useful drug that can be prescribed by a doctor). If marijuana can bring any amount of relief to the sick or dying, it should be given to them. We need further studies to determine if marijuana has any medicinal value. The legalization of marijuana would make it easier to fund and conduct these studies. Science and medicine should determine the question of whether marijuana has any legitimate medical purpose. The United States should do more to encourage legal and open exploration of marijuana's potential, at least among physicians and researchers.


WWW Sources

1)Institute of Medicine, Marijuana and Medicine

2)The Science of Medical Marijuana, Why is there so much controversy?

3)Pros and Cons of Marijuana Use ,

4)Medical Marijuana , Pain Management for the Dying

5)Medical Marijuana , The Pros

6)Medical Marijuana, The Cons

7)Schaffer Library of Drug Policy ,

8)Marijuana Research is Set After Two Decade Halt, New York Times Article, Nov. 28th, 2001

9)History of Marijuana,

10)Marijuana Facts for Teens , Drug Information

11)New Emerging Evidence of Marijuana's Medical Efficacy, The Science of Medical Marijuana


An Interesting Link

12)Marijuana , Materials Related to Marijuana



Comments made prior to 2007

My name is Charles Kwiatkowski, I am 36 years old,with Multiple Sclerosis and disabled for the past 7+ years from work. I live in New Jersey all my life and I need help. After having many problems from using my doctors Rx's of Oxy Cottin, Vikeden, Oxy Codone, or Roxxicette. etc.etc, I must now only use Marijuana for MS Pain, Spasms, etc just to stay actively alive. I have had more then my share of problems with Pharmaceutical Drugs (narcotics) and refuse to use any in the future. So I must bite my lip each and everyday when pain or spasms begin. I am tired of risking my life to purchase Marijuana on the streets of NJ or NY. And besides, I have 3 daughters 7, 5, and 2 yrs old and they really need for me to make it home, safe and alive. Can you please direct me to any possible way I can use marijuana without risking my life with street drug dealers, that I am not even sure the quality of marijuana is even authentic or safe to use.


I have been through many, many doctors in NJ, this is my fourth neurologist along with a list of other types, they all say the exact same crap. Currently, my doctor Alan Pertchick (neurologist) expects me to use Oxy Codone (Gov't Heroin) for pain which is very addicting, prevents me from having any normal erections, and prevents any sleep at all, so then he then offers Viagra for ED and Ambien for sleep, "MORE DRUGS." For spasms, I must also take Baclofen (muscle relaxer) which does not work orally after 10 years of use but I could then get it in a stronger Baclofen version "The Baclofen Pump IV" form (sound's fun, it is a hockey puck they sew underneath a persons skin--more drugs). After taking so many of these over time, I still want my liver/kidneys to function normal, which this will only damage my organs far more then marijuana ever would have. All of this is very expensive with my current insurance and I sometimes have to not buy food which is a requirement for my wife and 3 children's lives. I am lucky enough to catch a lot of fish and my family loves to eat it, thank God for that.


If I just smoke 1 or 2 joints of marijuana each day, I am totally able, and sane enough to live somewhat of a normal life (maybe even get a job again? I do have a college degree with honors). I don't have any pain, spasms, my appetite is normal, and I also have normal erections when using marijuana. Comparing this cost to the above Rx way, 2 joints of marijuana costs me $10-$15 per day on the streets and the Rx way is $75 per day at the Pharmacy. I only use marijuana 100% responsibly, far away from any children, and I would never even think of trying to operate any machine while using it.


After living this way for nearly 10 years, I can understand why so many innocent patients wind up taking their own life. Which is not what I want to happen to me. Simply because I live in The Divided States of America (every state is different). Why is there no Federal laws to justify the same policies in each and every state? Making marijuana legal in all 52 states.


Currently I can obtain/use marijuana in 14 states but not in NJ. But if I were an dope addict in NJ, I could easily go to a methadone clinic in South Plainfield and obtain free heroin to ease my pocket expense. Also not what I, or my kids want me to be, or become.


Marijuana really does work well for Multiple Sclerosis and after using it for the past 5 years I would recommend it be used for any nerve damaging or painful diseases or disabilities. I do use it safely, responsibly and far away from my children and totally out of reach of anyone other then myself.


I am begging you for help, please let me have even the slightest positive outcome from this Gov't Nightmare. In my state of New Jersey, the Gov't currently allows real heroin addicts to attend methadone clinics to obtain Gov't Heroin (aka methadone kool-aide drinks or biscuits), and I cant even smoke a joint of marijuana privately alone. Where is the democracy of this United States? I am 6th generation American Citizen and I deserve better. Many of my fore-father's and relatives have died for this great nation. Or not so great, if you are ill? ... Charles, 19 June 2007


ARun Kumar's picture

Herbal Cigerette

I want to market herbal cigetrette in Tamil Nadu. Tobacco free and Nicotine free products. It should cause any disease to human health.

Mechlion's picture


Weed is the best i smoke 2 blunts every hour with my friend. I don't go to school so i'm good.

RAS MOSEES's picture




cassidie winston 's picture

i smoke everyday

i have glaucoma and i smoke everyday.. there aint a day that goes by that i got too stoned... i think that they should legalize pot in every state for medical reasons. i have been smoking since i was 13 years old... you dont hear of any one over dosing or getting killed while on it.. so i dont see whats so bad about it

jerricho_cothery's picture

Pain Relief

I have been dxd with CFS for over a year, but have had it for much longer than that. I am a 29 yo Mother of 2 boys, I am also a full time nursing student. That, most people say, can cause CFS. I take methlyfenidate ER once daily in the am and it lasts about 8 hours. I do, however, work at 5am so that wears off about 1pm for me. Besides using the drug to help me with energy, I have found that a diet rich in fruits and veggies really helps me to feel good. Getting out for a good walk to help me sleep good at night is also a great help. The WORST thing that I can do is sit around and think about how I really feel. If I do start feeling this way, I try to get up and go for a walk or play with my kids. Hope this helps.

Jerricho Cothery

AndrewMouse's picture

my friend told me that using

my friend told me that using marijuana can help him in his eating hobbies, because he wants to have a healthy body. he added, every day he was taking of it.. then, now, i was in responsible service of alcohol course online. sharing..

JA in KY's picture

No insurance, chronic pain, of the age group where no one cares.

Folks, I'm 28 years of age, male, and much like the other millions of Americans in this country, I don't have health insurance.

More than a year ago today, I damaged my knee while hiking and had no where to turn. All of the hospitals I went to would do nothing more than hand me some crutches and send me on my way. Saying "Just stay off of it and it'll get better with time." After 8 months of severe pain, preventing me from working, my knee did not get better with time. Next step? Seek out local and government programs to help those in my position. Well, as I would learn, at least in the State of Kentucky, there are no programs to help people in my position. If I were married with kids, sure, there's a program for that. If I were a few years younger, or older, female, illegal immigrant, then yes, there's a program for that. 28 year old male, no children, legal, tax paying, US resident, I'm on my own. To be fair, KY does have a program that will cover a normal doctors visit, but nothing else. I sought out that program, say a doctor, and was told that he couldn't help me any further and that I needed a MRI and to see a orthopedic surgeon. Not having well over 10k of cash on hand, it was the end of the road for me. My only option was to find a, somewhat, loop hole in the insurance system, the pre-existing injury clause. So basically for me to get health insurance and to hopefully get my knee fixed so I could have my life back, I would have to wait a full 6 months since my last attempt of trying to get help, so that I could be illegible for health insurance. Like I said, it's been 412 days since I tore up my knee, and I'm a week away from being within the 6 month pre-existing injury clause. I don't know for sure if this plan is going to work but I have had to sell my truck, and most of my valuable possessions in order to pay for the monthly premium and deductible. Wish me luck.

So why am I telling you this story on a marijuana pain discussion board? Well after being shunned away from the hospitals, and even on one occasion being labeled as a drug seeking addict, I have not had any help prescription wise when dealing with my pain, which is severe. Bone on bone pain is not a walk in the park. It has single handedly ruined my life. I've become depressed, have had all my normal activities stripped away from me, and since it's unbearable to even walk, I am unable to walk. Thank God I have great parents whom have taken me in.

Anyways, the point of this whole rant is that, although illegal in my state, marijuana has helped greatly in many ways. While I'm unsure as to whether marijuana has a direct affect on my pain, it is great at distracting my attention away from the pain, which is a blessing. Another thing I failed to mention, and others experiencing chronic pain can probably all agree on, is that the constant pain has really affected my appetite, in some cases I've gone days with out eating. Since I've started smoking marijuana my appetite has come back and I'm now back to my normal weight once again. Truth be told, I don't know where I would be right now had I not started smoking marijuana. It has somewhat brought back the quality of life that I once had before my injury. There is a negative though, and that is the added stress I have now trying to obtain marijuana. I suppose it's a catch 22. I'm a logical person, college educated, and I can't even begin to grasp why this so called harmful drug, that has saved my life, is still illegal? It makes about just as much sense as our own country's current healthcare situation, NONE!

Lovesky's picture

School on Marijuana as Medicine.

I was looking up Marijuana and i foudn your comment about it.
Thankyou so much for helping me and good luck, iam sorry about your knee that must suck.
And yes be greatful to your parents! Just saying i know what your going through and good luck.
Thankyou again for this!!!!

Serendip Visitor's picture

Legal Weed

I guess it boils down to having the right to choose. I mean who the hell does the government thing they are? claiming that they are are doing it for our best interests.. Thats the biggest BS ever, if they were really concerned about whats best for the people then marijuana would have been legalized decades ago. Check out some of the stuff on this site, definitely an eye opener:

FourTwenty's picture

Drug of Choice

The author here seems to have copied and pasted alot of "facts", many of which are not facts at all. I wont point them all out, just the one that really bugs me the most. The artical claims that the millions of people who have undergone drug treatment for pot is due to addiction. The reality is, that these people are given a choice of entering a classroom for a short amount of time OR a jail cell and a fine. Most of these people need no help at all, just to be left the **** alone. And the ones that find help in that mandantory treatment, the whopping 3% make this claim, likely have problems well beyond pot smoking to start with.

Serendip Visitor's picture

Medical Marijuana

I agree with the author of this article. There are lots of instances in which marijuana have shown positive medical effects. The psychoactive compounds in cannabis need to be significantly studied.

Serendip Visitor's picture

psychoactive compounds in cannabis

If the psychoactive compounds in cannabis need to be significantly studied then so should they in alcohol, vicodin, tobacco, caffeine, sugar. hmmm. those items are already legal and pushed upon the public...were they significantly studied before becoming legal?
We have been living and learning the psychoactive compounds in cannabis for over a 1000 years. That's pretty significant if you ask me. I've heard of vicodin users becoming homicidal; alcohol users driving drunk(inability to know right from wrong?), sugar addicts continuing to consume large quantities of the deadly white knowing that their bodies can no longer process it.

lexie watts's picture

i love u all everybody go

i love u all everybody go smoke a blunt

Serendip Visitor's picture


joints only blunts are bad for you

Serendip Visitor's picture

my uncle took it and it

my uncle took it and it helped him. but after some time of taking it it did miss with his insides but when he did take it it did help him.

Anonymous's picture

Medical Marijuana in Sacramento

In Sacramento, there is a new law that affects medical marijuana use. Although in many parts of the country all use of marijuana is illegal, in Sacramento and other parts of California it is legal to use marijuana for medical reasons. This means that if you have a painful medical condition such as AIDS, or a condition that requires painful treatments, such as cancer, you can legally use marijuana to get relief from the associated pain and nausea. Of course, you will need to go through the proper channels to make sure that you are within the scope of the law. Following the proper guidelines ensures that you will be able to use marijuana medically in Sacramento without having to worry about getting into trouble with the police.
In 1996, Californians voted to pass Proposition 215. This proposition is also known as The Compassionate Use Act. It allows people to use, cultivate, and transport marijuana for medical uses. It also exempts people who do so and doctors who prescribe medical marijuana from any legal repercussions related to their actions. This is relevant because the federal government still considers marijuana use to be a crime. There have been several cases where the US government chose to prosecute individuals using medical marijuana in Sacramento (mostly growers of marijuana) who believed that they were acting within the scope of the Compassionate Use Act. If you choose to grow marijuana for medical purposes you will want to be aware that the federal government may choose to pursue you even though the state laws in Sacramento and other parts of California are on your side.
Following the passage of Proposition 215, marijuana dispensaries started springing up around Sacramento. In order to clarify some questions that came up, the California Senate passed Bill 420. This bill paved the way for a registration program for individuals who wanted to use marijuana for medical purposes. People who want to get a Medical Marijuana ID card (MMID) need to have a note from a doctor saying that their condition would benefit from the use of marijuana. Once a person has that he or she will need to go to the Sacramento County Office of Vital Statistics to pick up an application. The application asks about medical history and whether the applicant believes that marijuana use will help their medical condition. In addition to the doctor’s notes, applicants are required to provide proof of residency, a photo identification, their doctor’s name and contact information, and a non-refundable application fee of $166. Applications can only be turned in with a prior appointment. Appointments are scheduled on Wednesdays or Fridays, and applicants can call 916-875-0994 to schedule one.
Since the passage of Proposition 215 and Senate Bill 420, the use of medical marijuana in Sacramento has become much more commonplace. There are websites dedicated to maintaining a directory of doctors who are willing to write letters of recommendation, and of dispensaries where those possessing an MMID can purchase marijuana for medical use. Overall, surveys show that many citizens of Sacramento favor medical marijuana use so long as there are programs in place to keep people from abusing the system. For those who use medical marijuana for pain relief, these laws have enabled them to find their product in Sacramento without fear of legal repercussions.

Anonymous's picture

Medical Marijuana

The cannabinoids in marijuana are wonderful pain relievers. There is a new synthetic cannabinoid on the internet at a place called herbavigor.
which apparently kills pain 5 times as much as THC and it is still legal, but now they are trying to ban it in a few states. It is too bad, because it too, being a cannabinoid is gentle on the body and works well. I hope the right researchers end up getting it instead of the center for drug abuse.

Dr. B Manzitto's picture

the TRUTH about marijuana

Marijuana is proven to relive pain. the main chemical in marijuana THC relaxes the body therefor taking away pain. it also helps many other medical problems like anirexia, Aids, Cancer, and the list goes on. since marijuana helps out so much, we should take a stand and help make marijuana legal. we should be able to have whatever medicine we need for what illness we need. and for those saying we would abuse marijuana, then your wrong because you can not overdose from the use of marijuana. it is imossible and there for so what if we abuse it. aslong as it doesnt take live than thats fine. you can overdose on alcohal and thats illegal so why cant people use marijuana

JohnnyBoy's picture

Its going to suck for me when

Its going to suck for me when pot is legalized in Ohio because no one will buy it from me anymore. I guess I will have to sell coke, crack and extasey or some other drugs that I dont even like. Its a 90 to 150 dollar ticket for possesion of weed in ohio now why would they legalize it theyre makin so much money off the busts then turn around and prolly sell it back on the streets.

Anonymous's picture

everybody go smoke a blunt

everybody go smoke a blunt

Anonymous's picture

Hell yeah! and remember, man

Hell yeah! and remember, man made beer, God made weed. Who would you trust?

Dizzle's picture

Sensible Washington

Please, support I-1068 to remove all penalties for possession, cultivation, and sale of marijuana in Washington State. We need 241,153 valid voter signatures by July 2, 2010

Sensible Washington

rebeca valois's picture

i don't get this whole story

i don't get this whole story but i do it's just that it's confusing.Cause when people smoke marijuana when they're not even sick.People smoke it to get problems out of they're mind

Anonymous's picture

lol point proven its also a

lol point proven its also a great alternative to pills in treating depression!

Anonymous's picture

you obviously have never had

you obviously have never had chronic pain, or any other debilitating illness, if you did you would know how very helpful this medicine, (which is a natural substance) helps, not only with the mental anguish but for the physical help as well. There are lots of folks out there that wish to take their minds off their problems who many use alcohol, drugs and marijuana. Those people want to change their reality for other reasons, people who are sick feel differently and are chastized for it. It does help! Tremendously. I go to a pain mgmt Dr. all he wants to do is give me drugs that have nothing but side effects, I can't use marijuana or else he will make me go to an addiction assessment Dr. what does he think he's doing to me? Is a narcotic something that causes addiction? Physical? Absolutely but not mentally, the only reason I take them is so I can walk without assistance. Marijuana does not cause addiction, you can stop and not have the shakes or vomit or have chills for two or three weeks. It's just plain stupid and you obviously haven't educated yourself before making a comment.

Anonymous's picture


its very wrong yu abuse it

Anonymous's picture

you can abuse anything.. you

you can abuse anything..
you can abuse chocolate..

Anonymous's picture

you never know cannabis could

you never know cannabis could be used fr good reasons too

Anonymous's picture

marijuana pain killer

There is no doubt about the fact that marijuana mitigates pain. It is so sad that the goverment is so bent on keeping it illegal. There should be more research on all cannabinoids. There are now synthetic cannabinoids that do the same job or are even more potent such as this:

My friend who has cancer is taking it and says nothing else gives him the same relief.

Legalize all cannabinoids and cannabis products!

Anonymous's picture

get it right

It is not made from the leaves of the plant... FGS...If you are going to pretend to be an authority on the information, please get it right. it is made from the flowers of female plants.

Alice Watson's picture

I take medial marijuana

I take medial marijuana myself and find it to help me a lot, much more than other drugs the doctors gave me.

Robin Spake's picture

Stone is not a drug - Safe Medical Marijuana

Marijuana has many medicinal properties. Not all marijuana is medical marijuana. Most marijuana is unsafe. Marijuana is highly subject to mold. The mold on marijuana kills the plants, forcing growers to spray the plant with fungicides. They also spray the plants with insecticides. These toxic chemicals are poisonous when burnt or if eaten. Not all mold is killed when smoked. Mold spores are tiny. The heat of burning cause a heat plume. Some mold spores rise up and are inhaled.
Marijuana grown outside is also subject to bird feces. If the plant is grown "organically", it readily uptakes the heavy metals found in the soil.
Insects, insect parts, and larvae, and mold may pose a serious a life - threatening risk to anyone with a compromised immune system. Medical marijuana patients who have compromised immune systems avoid most unsafe medical marijuana.
Most of the strains of marijuana sold today is high in THC, and low in CBD. CBD mitigates the high from THC. Medical marijuana is either equal THC / CBD, or high in CBD and low in THC.
In epilepsy, THC TRIGGERS SEIZURES. Medical marijuana has indication-specific strains.
Being high is a bad side effect in medical marijuana. People using marijuana are using it as a medicine to treat a condition. They want relief. I had been a medical marijuana patient (about 3 years ago). If I noticed that I was feeling high, I knew that I was using too much medicine.
When I had met other medical marijuana patients, we all had the same concerns about being impaired by the psychotropic effects of the drug. One woman that I knew has M.S.. She is the mother of 2 small children. She does not want to be stoned, she wants to be a mom. She needs marijuana because it is the only drug that works.
There are medical marijuana strains available. Anyone considering using medical marijuana should obtain marijuana which is certified free of insects, bird feces, heavy metals, chemicals, and mold. For more information on medical marijuana, see Americans for Safe Access.

Timothy Jamison's picture

Medical Weed here i come !!

Brilliant article!! and as such there isn't a need for any addiction treatment since it's actually healthy to smoke weed.Cure for migraines & asthma!!! here i come :-)

OnlyTheTruth's picture

The Evil Truth of the conglomerate Drug Companies.....

Its so sadistic and evil of these Drug companies making their billions off the suffering of others! I find it hard to believe that we still can't discover a cure for diseases like cancer, aids, Alzheimers, etc....

As a matter of fact I refuse to believe it. I'm of the opinion that there are many powerful and wealthy people who would stand to lose everything if a cure was developed for some of these diseases. Why would the head of the American Cancer Society or some other organization or drug company want to find a permanent cure for any of these diseases when it would bankrupt them? Wouldn't they rather find "discover" a pill that would alleviate the pain or disease temporarily and have these poor people be dependent on their drugs for relief and have them coming back for more and more?

If a Drug CEO whose companies are paying these senators on both sides of the isle (it really doesn't matter folks, Republicans and Democrats alike) are getting "campaign contributions) to make sure that policies are passed which aid in drug companies doing things benefit their practices. Whatever it may be, whether it's influencing the FDA to shutdown "alternative medical clinics" if it's discovered that they are close in discovering a cure for some "incurable disease" like cancer, MS, Alzheimers, Aids, etc. Just call the head of the FDA to issue a "stop" on a potential cure for these diseases in the name of "protecting the public from potentially dangerous herbs" when the truth of the matter is, natural herbs and plants are far more effective in curing some diseases than a synthetic strand made in the laboratories of Pfizer or Bayer or some other Pharmaceutical giant!

They are all in bed together, our government, FDA, giant drug companies and the american media who get paid billions each year for advertising from these drug companies!! Its a vicious cycle folks! And in the meanwhile the poor public who are oblivious to most of these facts, are herded like sheeps, stuffed with various pills and socialized into believing that western medicine with all its pills and other synthetic garbage is the way to treat incurable diseases! The only thing it cures is the already heavy profit margins of these damn Drug Company CEO's and Pharmaceuticals!!!!

Anonymous's picture

This was an amazing speech,

This was an amazing speech, i'm doing a research paper on weed, and you just helped alot, thanks! :)

Steve the Party Sloth's picture

you don't have to smoke it to feel it...

First of all, the legalization of marijuana can help us in more ways than just medically, but I digress. The main point of this comment is to let alot of you know that smoking is not the only way to feel the effects of marijuana and also, certainly, not the most efficient way of using it. There are three other effective and "healthier" alternatives for using marijuana. You could soak it in food grade glycerin for 90 days and basically make liquid THC and either put it on your food/ingest it or you could use it as eye drops, considering your eyeball has a permeable surface. You could cook it in with your food, for example brownies or cookies. Lastly, the most efficient usage of marijuana would be with a vaporizer, which allows 97% THC received and there's little or no harm done to your lungs because it's just water vapor that contains THC... Just sayin'.

rebeca valois's picture


but why does people smoke it and get al they're feeling like they're on cloud nine...thats what people say...when they're smoking on marijuana

Serendip Visitor's picture

it helps them get things of

it helps them get things of there mid. mii boyfriend says it just in his head to do it, but i told him to pick tht or me and he has cut down a lot and alomst all the way off now,.. but he says its justa fillin you get in your head tth u want it. it nuthin like ciggs. but idk ive only done one time my slf didnt like the filin but i kinda did .

keeeks's picture

pot = medicine

marijuana is MEDICINE!!! im an 18 year old girl living in sacramento, california and i suffer from chronic anxiety and severe mentrual cramps. my anxiety is so severe it makes me nauseus (sorry idk how to spell lol), i cant sit still for ver ylong at all and i always have a feeling of restlessness and tiredness and just prolonged uncomfort. my cramps are just... debilitating... im sure a lot of girls reading this know what i mean. i've found that smoking weed literally eliminates my anxiety and relieves my cramps just a little bit to where theyre at least tolerable (i still pop a few ibuprofen for those cuz its just sickening pain haha). so i got my cannabis card from MediCann (i recommend medicann to anyone looking to get their card because theyre really cool people and understanding... and cuz my doctors last name was Toke :) now my life rulessss. i get to smoke to make me feel better adn its LEGAL. at least in californiaaaa. :/ lets make this shit legal throughout the united states! its what america needs to calm the fuck down and remove the stick that has been shoved so far up our metaphorical anus.

David Feingold's picture

How Time Flies!

Good 'ol Steven Stills didn't sing "For What it's Worth" in 1996-- it was 1966. But what's 30 years in the scheme of things?

David Feingold's picture

right and wrong

Not wanting to get into the fray yet still voice an opinion, in 1996, Steven Stills sang a line in the song, "For What it's Worth" that still rings true--in this case for medical marijuana: "Nobody's right if everybody's wrong." Although some may feel that marijuana isn't healthy, I have to say, this discussion truly is.

Back Pain and Ulcers's picture

Medical use for chronic pain

Medical conglomerates cannot make a profit from a crop thats easily grown in a backyard. They're studies are exposed as slanted to favor their profit motives time and again even to the point of hiding studies that contradict their stated goals.

Fortunately I'm in a position to move to Michigan or California if it came to that. Currently my back pain requires vicodin and skelaxin daily - which I and my DR monitor and dole out cautiously and religously. AS MOST PAIN SUFFERES ALSO DO! We don't need our lives disrupted any further than they already are. If there's another tool in the warchest against chronic pain eventually we'll get it. So many tools I get asked about help only marginally and against DAILY pain they begin to damage the digestive tract, liver and kidneys. Ive already had 3 ulcers.

PS I'm a very very functioning well paid software engineer - my case shows you can manage opiates over 9 years and still function very well. I'm sure it happens all the time, and it would also happen with cannibis in our toolkit.

Legal Marijuana's picture

Legal marijuana

This article presents very clearly and on topic, what medical marijuana does and how it helps. All politicians or people crying out their opinion that not even medical marijuana should be legalized should read this article and become informed.

adam's picture

help find a caregiver

i need a caregiver to grow my medical marijuana where or how do i find one.

Serendip Visitor's picture

how much money do you make

how much money do you make growing the marijuana?

Terri and Rod's picture

Legalization of Medical Marijuana would be a MIRACLE for many!

Our 26 yr. old daughter had Anterior Lumbar (front, on 3 levels), her first surgery on Feb. 26, 2007, they went in on the front side... it was a 3 level (S1-L5, L5-L4,L4-L3) Anterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion (ALIF) & bone taken from right hip to graft.

Her second surgery was 4 days later on March 2, 2007, they went in on the back side... it was a 3 level (S1-L5, L5-L4,L4-L3) Posterior lumbar interbody fusion (PLIF) and transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion (TLIF) , with rods, plates and screws.

She was on high doses of oxicodone & morophine for 3 years waiting for her insurance company to approve the surgery.

Now almost 2 yrs. after the surgery she has been prescribed a tremendous amount of narcotics...she is trying to only take the meds when she is REALLY in EXCRUCIATING pain. She also has been diaginosed with fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease. She is in constant pain, even when on the narcotics.

Her father and I feel she should be able, legally, to see if Medical Marijuana would help her. She would like to lead as normal of a life as possible and feels that the leglization of Medical Marijuana is probably her only hope.

AJ's picture

Being througt treatment for

Being througt treatment for pain over 10 years suffering
from chronic pains, neckinjury L-5, L-6 daily I need
morphine oxycontin for neuropatic pains muscular pains,
Morphine does little for my fibromyalgia and neuropatic pains though oxycontin helps fairly good..
people living in severe chronicpains suffer in so many many ways..
fattigue mental focus tiredness cause of all the pains draining all energy.. depression,
i would recommend medical weed..after 8 years journey in
n trough painclinics rehab multi dic. i can say weed
is excellent and improves lifequality by far better than
morphine..the benefits would be able cutting down morphine
which causes tiredness,, about medical weed is finding those
strains sativa/indica that helps best.. giving energy
, releive of pain.. help her find those specific strains that will do best for might
take some time find but check out i would
recommend strawberry cough n cindy99.
People with chronic pain suffer so much and should have the right try every way to find a life worth only
options to have a worthy life is taking oxycontin daily
and medical weed...weed being the superior help.

Never give up, theres a way...God bless AJ

Brian's picture

My hope is Obama and his

My hope is Obama and his "transperancy" will see through this senseless issue of offering relief. Why is something natural and held in your hand illegal while pills in the hand are? Because of the cost and who the Government needs to get the money. I grew up in Alaska while it was legal to grow it and smoke it, just a state of mellow people, we had one State trooper for our burough, 1200 square miles, and it worked. I am a 5-kinds of cancer survivor who lived through the "we will have to kill you to save you". Marijuana was the true pain medication, the meds they used were acid to my body. My journey has taken 19 years and the biggest differance of it all was the natural grown, I hate pills and needles. Illegal is immoral. Synthetic is sinful. Natural has always been in our history, it's a plant folks. Medicinal-yes but I believe it's far safer than alchohol or tobaccco, both government "enhanced". Wish we had a government that was really truthful to it's citizens, and worked for the benefits thereof. Come on Obama for once and forever admit it's medicinal value and get rid of it's street credentials.

Anon's picture

Common Sense for Drug policy

Common Sense for Drug policy CSDP

Statement made by Obama himself

As for medical marijuana ... I'm not familiar with all the details of the initiative that was passed, but I think the basic concept of using medical marijuana for the same purposes and with the same controls as other drugs prescribed by doctors, I think that's entirely appropriate. ...

Anonymous's picture

I was seriously burned in an

I was seriously burned in an accident years back so i have horrible pain in my neck,shoulders,back,knees. My shoulder and neck have contracted so tightly together from scar tissue it basically makes it impossible to function,move,turn even sit still, even smile it eventually turns into a migraine headache.i have smoked marijuana to relieve this pain and it works well.marijuana clearly isnt going to make my scars stop contracting but it makes me able to function and handle it better.I also have sleeping problems because of the pain and PTSD so marijuana makes it possible to relax enough to fall asleep.I have serious problems with temperture both hot and cold make me sweat the summer is my enemy once it hits around 70 degrees the sweat/water pours from my burned scarred face uncontrolably to the point that it makes me light headed and sometimes pass out.which makes it impossible to go outside. I wear a ton of makeup concealer to feel confortable in public the 70 + degree temp makes the makup slide\ melt right off which makes me look ridicules.After I smoke Marijuana i noticed I am able to better handle hot temperatures,shockingly my face would be less likely to profusely sweat so i wouldnt feel like i was going to pass out and my makeup would stay in place better so in return i would panic less about my appearance thus being able to focus on doing things.Did I mention Marijuana makes it easier to be a burn survivor!!!Now Im have always smoked marijuana since even before my accident yet i didnt know the positive effects it would later have in my day to day manage ment of pain.Also the Rage I feel from beening a horrible burned monster is seriously lessened since smoking marijuana which i feel is very important for my emotional well being.I have never heard of marijuana ruining anyones life! I do however have personal knoledge of how alcohol can ruin lives if not kill people.You see I was burned 33 % of my body third degree. I was burned when a junior in highschool 17 year old decided to buy grain alcohol illegally from a liquor store.Than that 17 year old gave that plastic bottle of 190 proof Grain alcohol to a group of 17 year olds up in a barn then she left for Italy.That group of 17 year olds were first at a keg party for underage kids were there was no supervision they got drunk and headed back to the barn.where they started to play with the grain alcohol by pouring it on a flaming candle in a bowl and watching it explode.hours later I show up after work unaware of what they had been doing earlier, within less than 20 minutes of me being there 2 of the underage drunk boys decided to begin playing there earlier game of playing with fire and alcohol.Within a moments notice they poured the plastic bottle of 190 proof grain alcohol on a lit candle that was in a bowl on a coffee table as we sat infront of it on an L shaped couch.. it exploded and engulfed me with flames for what seemed like minutes they put me out with a blanket.It horribly burned me and another girl.since everyone was underage no one was punished for our injuries it became a civil suit.I guess drinking under age is not a big deal to RI authorities.I guess selling alcohol to minors isnt punished either since the liquor company wasnt fined for the underage sale to minors!!plus I lost the part of my lawsuit against the liquor company because its not foreseable to a liquor company that if you sell liquor to underage kids the will set it on fire? go figure.So thats how alcohol ruined my life!! i would rather have all forms of alcohol be illegal since RI has the worst druck driving rate of all the states it shows you how Much Ri depends on Liquor sales tax.since many people die from alcohol related problems why isnt it illegal??? maybe because the government thinks its an even trade alcohol tax for lives???how about cigerettes their legal explain that bullshit.ummm can you say 3.75 tax a pack and they will continue to raise it thats Rhode Islands way of making money.. billions!!!If the government wants out of this recession they need to legalize marijuana!!! treat it like cigerettes tax the shit out of it!!! for everyone! except people who get it for medical reasons dont tax them. Make it illegal for anyone under 18 to be in possesion of it or on it.make it illegal to allow anyone over 18 to use it around anyone under 18.make it illegal to drive around while smoking.for home use only.license everyone who wants to grow it tax that too. Maybe control the amount no more then a QP or so at once unless you have a growers license no more than 50 plants in so many square feet.Its a gold mine for the Government they just need to swallow their pride and justifiy it inteligently to the public.Have Obama speak to the world about it only the republicans will have a problem with it. When i was first burned i was offered a morphine drip which i declined to use. I was given vicoden in the hospital only to have the nurses change it to oxycontin because they didnt want me addicted to vicoden? explain that one to me.Why would oxycontin be safer that vicoden?anyway I hated the oxycontin it made me itchy and since i was burned i was extremly itchy so i didnt need anymore itchyness. so I threw out a huge container of oxycontin and decided even though i was horribly scared of fire,flames i still decided to medicate myself with Marijuana even then to stop the horrible pain of freshly burned skin, skingrafts plastic surgeries and PTSD.Since I was force fed so many pills in the hospital you can imagine what going to the bathroom was like so i refuse to take any more pills in my life.I dont need to be a guinne pig for the pill companies.I think the government is selfish to get people strung out on oxycontin ect.Marijuana gets me through the day can you imagine waking up everyday horribly scarred by burns and having to see your face hardly resemble your old self.I keep to myself because of my situation and issues with groups of people.Marijuana is the only thing that relaxes me and stops me from playing my horrible accident over and over in my mind again PTSD.I did try differnt pills for depression ,anxiety,anger,you name it they made me more crazy! taking pills and talking to a counsler about my accident only made me more enraged and having to drive by the idiot that burned my daily in such a small town would send me into a Bipolar type rage nearly sending me to retaliate against this idiot!! luckly Marijuana has relaxed my rage enough to keep me away from him and everyone that reacts negatively about how i look.It seems a little silly to hear critics say if you legalize medical marijuana or just legalize it period than what message does this send our kids.Since alcohol is legal once it was legal to drink at 18 now its changed to 21. cigerettes are legal the governtment doesnt see that as what message are we sending our kids?Prozac,lexapro,depacoat all given to kids even though they are known to make you act on suicide thoughts.all of this legal and pumped into society.Did I mention My boyfriend of almost 8 years devloped an illegal oxycontin habbit that ruined his life for like 4 years hes finally off of them only to be given Suboxen to get him off of the oxycontin,oh yea hes addicted to that now Way to go Doc thanks for not taking control and weening him off!! he will be addicted to that instead for life.Its almost like the drug-pill companies are scared that medical marijuana will make it harder for them to push their pills on society!!!thanks drug companies!!! ok this is getting a little long and my neck\back is acting up again time to go self medicate =)