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Medical Marijuana: Is it About Getting High or Getting Well?

medical marijuana

Medical marijuana can be used to treat (or reduce the symptoms of) several ailments.  Whether you suffer from anxiety, migraines, ADHD, glaucoma, or more serious illnesses like bipolar disorder, various cancers, or AIDS, your doctor may choose to prescribe medical cannabis as a part of your treatment.  And in many cases, legally sanctioned marijuana use has been shown to significantly reduce both pain and other symptoms.  Although opponents have disputed its value as a valid form of medicinal therapy, studies have shown that it is effective at reducing nausea and stimulating hunger (no surprise there), relieving eye pressure, and generally diminishing pain.  However, there are quite a few people who have elected to exploit the legal sale of this otherwise controlled substance by complaining to doctors about false ailments so that their penchant for puffing on a stash of recreational weed won’t land them in the slammer.  And this abuse of the system has only served to bring more attention to an already controversial topic.  So is medical marijuana serving its purpose, or merely paving the way for a nation of potheads?

When you walk into a medical marijuana dispensary, you may be surprised by what you find.  They are certainly not set up like the shady, back-alley dope-dealers you might expect.  They aren’t shy, retiring, or fearful.  But they also don’t look like any other pharmacy you’ve ever visited.  Their storefronts are clean, well-lit and often look like a swank coffee shop or bakery.  They proudly display a diverse menu that features a variety of leafy options (that can be smoked up old-school or vaporized for no smoke and no smell) with fun and funky names like Bubblegum, AK-47, Hindu Kush, Mr. Nice,  Strawberry Cough, and White Widow, just to name a few.  There are dozens of strains and each one is indicated for the treatment of certain symptoms or ailments.  You will also see an assortment of “edibles” that includes cookies, brownies, muffins, candy, soda, ice cream, and pretty much any sweet treat you can imagine.  But you have to wonder, who are these shops really catering to?  Would a grandfather with glaucoma or a middle-aged woman with breast cancer prefer an upbeat setting like Starbucks when purchasing their medication or the more clinical atmosphere of a respectable pharmacy?  It seems pretty clear that these cannabis clubs are targeting a hipper demographic.

And yet, there are people who swear by the effects of medical marijuana as an alternative to other drug therapies and claim is as the only treatment that works.  If all cannabis is once again made illegal, these people will be forced to suffer or become criminals in order to obtain relief. Hence, the public must have the knowledge as to what cannabis really is, (refer to www.WhatsYourVapeTemp.com for more information about cannabis). It hardly seems fair to punish the sufferers for the indiscretions of the abusers.

In addition, it should be noted that every prescription drug has the potential for misuse.  Remember a few years back when pharmacies began putting Sudafed behind the counter because people were buying in bulk and using it to produce meth amphetamines?  Or how about drug seekers who target multiple pharmacies for addictive prescription medications like Vicodin and OxyContin?  Most drugs carry a potential for addiction and abuse, and marijuana is no different.  However, you don’t see politicians lining up to stop drug companies from producing these medications (which are probably more harmful).  Likely the debate over medical cannabis will continue until it’s either made entirely legal or banned altogether.  Until then, patients who need it to cope with their maladies will continue to enjoy the benefits it brings to their lives (as will the hoople heads who are savvy enough to score a prescription).

{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Jeff July 31, 2010, 12:13 pm

    Very well written article, and factual. In years to come people will look back on this time and say, “What were they thinking?” Marijuana was very common place even in pharmacies prior to Harry Anslinger & his partner in crime William Randolf Hearst. Together they successfully instilled the Fear & Smear Campaign called Reefer Madness. Today we have to work very hard to educate the people s to the facts of marijuana, its therapeutic value and its safety. All of us, even me, suffer from some sort of Reefer Madness. We can’t help it for the gov’t has banged it into our parents head and they tried to bang it into mine but it didn’t work. I am a 57 year old man, by the way. Legalize marijuana before the rush. Get in on the ground floor of the next multi-billion dollar crop for every state that legalizes marijuana & Hemp. Henry Ford built a car where the interioir cloth is Hemp, the bumpers and door panels were resin stiffened Hemp fibers and it was fueled on Ethanol from cannabis seeds. What’s the problem remove it from Federal Schedule I and the rest of the world will find out that Rewefer Madness is exactly that, “MADNESS.” Reefer Madness is not rational thinking.

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