Medical Marijuana: Why I Support It
Medical marijuana is something I have personally seen, and seen succeed. I know a man who used to be in the timber industry. At one point, a tree collapsed as he was cutting it down and landed on him, causing massive injuries including a broken back. He barely survived, and barely escaped paralysis, but suffers from intense pain from the lingering damage to his ribs and the section of crushed vertebrae in his back.
Now, he could be reliant on strong pain medications, narcotics like hydrocodone (commonly known as Vicodin) or oxycontin. His doctors are very willing to prescribe these for him. But these drugs court cases can cause a lot of problems, especially when they are used for every-day pain management. They can cause digestive problems, such as nausea, vomiting, and constipation. They are addictive, and an overdose can be fatal. They can also heighten anxiety.
Instead, he has a medical marijuana permit for the state of Washington. I’ve spent a good deal of time looking for studies that show the benefits of marijuana leagl hiers. Instead I mostly encountered media reporting that such studies are generally blocked by the FDA and Federal drug law enforcement, such as in the New York Times. However, according to Wikipedia there are a good number of well-known and respected organizations that support medical marijuana use, including the American Medical Association, the American College of Physicians, the British Medical Association, Health Canada, and many more.
Instead of the side effects of pain pills, I see this man get significant pain relief. He tells me the marijuana eases the inflammation and the pain with far better results than narcotic pain killers. It allows him to function at a level he otherwise couldn’t. Personally, I would much rather see someone using a substance like marijuana than taking narcotic pain killers on a daily basis. It’s my experience that narcotics are far more addictive (if marijuana is even addictive at all, I don’t believe it’s addictive, just potentially habit forming like anything else people might really enjoy), and far more harsh on the body. When this man has no access to marijuana, he has no problem waiting until he does, except for the pain. He’ll simply spend a lot more time sitting still and schedule additional acupuncture appointments.
To me, it seems sad that the American government is not more tolerant of using marijuana medicinally. Cancer, AIDS, painful permanent injuries, these are all very real things that thousands of people suffer from every day. Why not use every tool available? It is my feeling, that the Federal issue with medical marijuana has more to do with the fact that people can grow it themselves. The government can’t tax it, the big drug companies can’t patent it, and it can more easily get into the hands of recreational users. However, recreational users already have no problems accessing marijuana. Worse, the marijuana they are buying now is often from Mexico, where drug cartels are causing chaos and carnage to get it to them. Wouldn’t home grown relief for cancer patients, chronic pain suffers, and others, be better?
As someone who has trained for various sports and with a personal trainer certification, I still prefer marijuana over narcotics. I can easily imagine people using it medicinally as much better able to digest and ingest a proper diet, without such interruptions as nausea and vomiting. I can also easily imagine them still being able to be active to the extent that their illness or injury will let them. Whereas, as someone very familiar with the effects of narcotic pain killers from previous surgeries and injuries, narcotics really throw you for such a loop, between messing with your stomach (after a few days of use, in my experience) and making your mind truly cloudy and drowsy, not much activity is accomplished.
Overall, I think it is far and away an excellent alternative to harsh narcotics. I look forward to a day when society and the federal government realize they have much more to worry about than the stigma, the difficulty of regulation, and the possibility for abuse, such as the health and well-being of it’s citizens.
Researches Find Study of Medical Marijuana Discourages – NYTimes.com, Gardiner Harris
Medical cannabis – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Wikipedia