Cannabis has been a popular pain reliever for thousands of years, treating many kinds of illnesses, but research suggests that these illnesses can include an endocannabinoid deficiency. The different compounds found in marijuana are showing more and more medicinal benefits, but cannabis is the only drug shown to replenish the endocannabinoid receptors. Further investigation suggests this deficiency can block communication in the spine and peripheral/gastroinstestinal mechanisms causing conditions like headache pains, fibromyalgia, IBS, and muscle spasms. Subsequent research has confirmed that underlying endocannabinoid deficiencies indeed play a role in migraine, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome and a growing list of other medical conditions. Clinical experience is bearing this out. Further research and especially, clinical trials will further demonstrate the usefulness of medical cannabis. As legal barriers fall and scientific bias fades this will become more apparent.
Once again, medical marijuana has been life changing for a youg child who has found relief from the seizures controlling him. Tyler is a 14 year old boy who has been having seizures his whole life, sometimes small, sometimes terrifyingly big, and his mom was running out of options as she saw the little life he had left start to disappear. In his lifetime, Tyler has slept through the night, maybe 50 times, says his mother, causing her to also lose sleep daily. After doing her research and getting the support from a few local doctors, she decided to try medical marijuana with her son. Not only did he sleep through the night on his first treatment, but with a daily dose of his medication, he has yet to have another seizure. But she said it helps to have three UCSF doctors and one local pediatrician backing her decision to give her son medical marijuana. As dispensaries continue to open in Northern Nevada, Richard expects things to get easier for parents. "It will become more talked about," she said. "It should be easier for parents to get information."
New York's medical marijuana program has been in the works for some time now and is expected to be up and running by January 2016. The state just finished licensing it's 25 dispensaries, but it seems that although Queens and Manhattan will have two, Brooklyn and Staten Island residents will be forced to travel for their medication. Though the bill has brought progress to the state, some advocates still call it too restricive as qualifying conditions are still limited, smoking the plant matter is prohibited, and no growers or dispensaries can be located within 1000ft of a church or school. Despite it's flaws, the bill leaves room for those in need to have cannabis delivered to them by a licensed caregiver. Advocates of the marijuana program have called the bill, which only allows for five manufacturers and 20 dispensaries and prohibits smoking, “too restrictive.” The requirements also include a prohibition against dispensing the drug within 1,000 feet of a school or church, a difficult criteria to meet in most parts of Brooklyn. In addition, the marijuana can only be approved for relief from 10 specific illnesses, including cancer, AIDS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, Parkinson’s, and epilepsy.
Massachusetts voters passed a medical marijuana bill in 2012, but new regulations make signing up for your medical marijuana card much more thorough. On June 1st, a new medical practice opened in Brockton, MA with a doctor focusing on chronic pain and rehabilitation. He is also one of the dozens of doctors in the state registered to certify patients for medical marijuana use. Doctor Walker said he does not use marijuana in any form, though he knows some friends and family do. Since his new practice, he has only worked with about 50 patients with conditions ranging from cancer and Crohn’s disease to anxiety and insomnia. "I understand the need. I understand the treatment.” “We’re trying to see as many patients as possible who want to use medical marijuana for their medical conditions,” Walker said. “It’s very natural, it’s very safe.”
Veterans who have experienced traumatic events overseas often develop PTSD. Once these soldiers come home, they should be welcomed with whatever can help them adjust back to a normal life, however so many veterans are in a battle in their homeland over the right to use a medicine that works. More and more research is coming out suggesting that marijuana can not only treats PTSD, but possible cure it, yet only 5 of the 23 states with medical marijuana allow PTSD as a qualifying condition. Some states that do allow PTSD patients have specialized products to help replenish the cannabinoids that they no longer produce naturally. “I suffered for many years not knowing there was plant medicine without side effects. I’m very sensitive to chemicals so when I tried CBD spray it was like I found the missing link that my body/mind needed to achieve balance." “I use Care By Design for PTSD and arthritis and the oil has been beneficial for both. I haven’t taken anxiety meds in months,” said AY from Los Angeles, CA.
One of the biggest arguments ever from marijuana opponents is that legalizing marijuana, and even the discussions of legalizing marijuana, will undoubtedly lead to increased use in minors. Parents who may not have much information on the subject may side with that logic since there has been nothing saying otherwise, and they fear for their children's safety. Since the legalization of medical marijuana around the country, a few different studies have been keeping tabs, and the results are different than many would expect. A 2013 report from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment shows that since marijuana law reform in the state, teen use of marijuana has actually gone down, which agrees with the drug use questionaire of about 500,000 teens resulting in similar data. Driving the point even further, the study supports the 2013 report from the Colorado Department of Health and Environment finding that high school marijuana use decreased since the Centennial State became the first to legalize marijuana. This data was collected before recreational marijuana sales to adults started, but it demonstrates that medical marijuana laws and openly discussing full legalization did not send the message that it was okay for young people to use it.
Since Maryland approved of medical marijuana in the state last week, one county with a proposed growing operation is showing mixed feelings. Opposers seem to be concerned about the intention of recreational legalization, which they don't approve of in fear of the federal government shutting their businesses down. Despite legislation protecting individual states from interference of the federal government, some officials are not convinced. Most legislators agree that more research should be done on the drug, though the local universities that could do so recieve too much federal money to risk involvement. "I have supported (medical marijuana) in the past and still do," said Sen. Andrew A. Serafini, R-Washington, because of families who are impacted by illnesses marijuana could be used to relieve. "Here's my concern — it's still illegal under federal law. What happens when somebody enforces federal law?" he asked.
State representatives in Pennsylvania have been hard at work devising a medical marijuana bill they feel will pass the House and give the patients long awaited relief. One state rep says he doesn't think the bill will be ready by this fall, meaning patients could be waiting another year or two for the first access to safe and legal medicine. Some are hoping amendments will be made allowing those in need access to other state's medical marijuana as soon as Pennsylvania's governor signs the bill. "At this point, it's more important to get a good bill that helps a lot of people," said Bentch, whose daughter suffers from seizures which aren't controlled with approved drugs, and who believes a marijuana-derived medication offers the best hope.
Twenty22Many is a group of advocates for allowing medical marijuana to veterans in the fight against PTSD and suicide. A recent estimate from the Department of Veteran Affairs said 22 veterans commit suicide everyday. Washington state just added PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana joining 10 other states. Twenty22Many wants to inform all veterans that this medicine can help their condition other than addictive and side-effect filled pills. Washington law now allows any adult 21 or older to buy marijuana in state-licensed stores. But a medical authorization for PTSD is the right approach, said Cammarata, who hopes the VA will one day use marijuana as part of a treatment plan. “Cannabis by itself can be abused, just like anything,” he said. “It needs to be recognized as the medicine it is.”
Since the legalization of marijuana in Washington D.C. it has only been legal to grow your own buds or have them given to you as a gift. An important bill passed a key committee in the Senate this week that would allow the regulation and sale of marijuana, as well as allowing those legal marijuana businesses safe access to banks without consequence. This coming year poses to bring major change to marijuana policy as the presidential election approaches and the new head of the DEA is rumored to be deephmasizing marijuana enforcement. The U.S. House voted four times this year to let states set their own marijuana policies (twice on medical marijuana, twice on hemp). Another amendment allowing states to legalize marijuana like alcohol without federal interference failed by only nine votes, a stunning outcome considering it was the first time Congress has ever voted on outright repealing marijuana prohibition.
Retirement is something on every adult/seniors mind; will I have enough to live off of, where will I spend my golden years, do I have access to ample healthcare? Many medical marijuana dispensaries experience about 50% of seniors as their customer base, and with medical marijuana becoming more and more popular within the senior community, places like California and Oregon, with extensive marijuana programs, are growing to be the best places to retire. But “there is anecdotal evidence that people with health conditions which medical marijuana could help treat, are relocating to states with legalized marijuana,” said Michael Stoll, a professor of public policy at University of California, Los Angeles who studies retiree migration trends.
Medical marijuana is sweeping the nation with 23 states having legalized and many more with legislation in the works, but some potential patients are still skeptical of the newly legalized drug. To help make things more simple and familiar for certain users, a company in Boulder, CO has developed the benefits of marijuana into an extended release pill. The capsule is designed to release on dose immediately, and another dose 4 hours later, giving the user about 12 hours of relief. Multiple sclerosis patient Hoot Gibson said the pills were the “most helpful things” he can take for his symptoms. “This lets you get the relief you need without hitting such a high level,” said Gibson.”You don’t have to worry being seen medicating in the ‘old fashioned’ ways,” he said.