Connecticut, USA – Sally has a ‘card’ allowing her to purchase medical marijuana at an authorised dispensary. Her health insurance pays 80% of the prescription fee and she pays the additional 20% out of her own pocket. After buying the amount allotted to her for a given 30 day period, Sally visits Joan’s home for coffee, a chat and to sell her one third of this marijuana. Sally also sells one third to another friend, reaping enough cash to pay her $500 monthly rent. In the USA, this activity is known as, “gaming the system.”
Sally was given her marijuana prescription by a licensed medical doctor for her debilitating migraine headaches. She uses a vaporiser (a small electric machine that releases active ingredients in a mist rather than a smoke form) and finding that a bit of marijuana goes a long way and that this smaller amount is sufficient for her pain relief, Sally experiences no qualms about making money through her illegal sales.
Many ancient cultures touted the benefits of hemp. Ten thousand years ago, cannabis was first used by the Chinese as a natural source of fibre. Constipation, gout, rheumatism, and ‘absent-mindedness’ were the prevailing symptoms that ‘ma’ (meaning “hemp: cannabis; numbness) treated. The ancient Greeks used cannabis to stop nose bleeds and cannabis seeds to rid one of tapeworms. They also used this dried plant to heal wounds on horses.
Today, marijuana has reached significant popularity worldwide as a relatively easy way to obtain a ‘high.’ This high is described as a pleasant sensation that leaves the user feeling happy, often silly and less tensed by daily stresses. The dried marijuana can enter the human systems by being smoked, eaten, vaporised, in pill form or as a skin cream. It seems understandable that a leap from recreational to medicinal use would occur. Dronabinol, (a synthetic cannabinoid) is a legal prescription in the United States and Canada. Nabilone is available in Mexico, Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. Interestingly, the many studies of this plant have not shown conclusively that the benefits out way the adverse effects.
Cannabis is being used to reduce symptoms for those suffering from HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, nausea and vomiting (effects of chemotherapy) and muscle spasticity. Proponents of the use of marijuana for dementia, Tourette’s syndrome, diabetes, epilepsy, and glaucoma to list a few others, are growing rapidly. Exposure to marijuana has been found to have biological, psychological, behavioural and social health adverse effects. A few studies have shown that liver diseases, lung, heart and vasculature changes and psychosis are possible. It appears that further research needs to be conducted… marijuana for use as a medicinal aid is still in its infancy.
“More than 16 million Americans use cannabis on a regular basis, typically beginning in adolescence. Notably, it is estimated that approximately 4% of the population have a diagnosis of either cannabis abuse or dependence. A history of cannabis misuse is even more common in patients who are schizophrenic than in the general population; 25% of patients with schizophrenia have a comorbid cannabis use disorder. Cannabis use disorders are especially common in younger and first-episode patient samples and in samples with high proportions of males.” – [Psychiatric Times]
Conducting a Straw Poll, I found that the vast majority were in favor of marijuana’s use as a medication. One person, who is a mental health clinician, cited ‘drug-induced psychoses and an increase of social use’ as reasons to explain why she is “on the fence.” Only one gentleman objected, stating that this concept would, “be as bad for humans as scratching an open wound.” Finally, several people could see benefits to a country, financially, and also a decrease in drug related crime.
[Author’s note; As a sober person, I am not sure as to whether or not I would utilise such a prescription. My history includes over use of chemicals that numb my emotional conflicts. As part of my addictive personality, I must be ever vigilant about what I ingest. It has been suggested to me, by medical personnel, that the use of opiates, for example, should be used only as an in-patient after a surgical procedure. I would not, however, be opposed to others taking marijuana when prescribed by a physician.]
“Why is marijuana against the law? It grows naturally upon our planet. Doesn’t the idea of making nature against the law seem to you a bit . . . unnatural?” – Bill Hick
“I now have absolute proof that smoking even one marijuana cigarette is equal in brain damage to being on Bikini Island during an H-bomb blast.”- Ronald Reagan
“Weed is made on the Earth. God made this plant for a reason. So we can feel good and take the pain away.”- Anonymous