Medical Marijuana History
The history of medical marijuana usage can be traced throughout medical literature for its use as an analgesic, anticonvulsant, appetite stimulator, anti-depressant, tranquilizer, anti-tussive, antibiotic and more. Currently, 55 drug companies have petitioned the FDA to grow marijuana to be synthesized into pills, a much more expensive method of delivery.
Medical Marijuana Uses
Marijuana can lower intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients and has been found useful as an anticonvulsant, muscle relaxer in spastic disorders, an appetite stimulant in wasting syndrome of HIV infection, reliever of limb and back pain severe menstrual cramps, PTSD, ALS, fibromyalgia Crohn’s disease, migraines and other severe and chronic pain.
Medical Marijuana Safety
Medical marijuana is remarkably safe as it has little effect on major physiological functions. There is no known case of lethal overdose from its use. Medical marijuana is far less addictive and subject to abuse than many drugs now in use as muscle relaxants, hypnotics and analgesics. The chief concern about marijuana is the effect of smoking it on the lungs. Marijuana smoke contains more particulate matter and tar than tobacco smoke; however, the amount of marijuana smoked by patients is much less than that of tobacco. Alternative methods of consumption such as vaporization, tinctures, edibles, extracts and oil eliminate the effects of smoking.
Medical Marijuana Laws, Doctors, and the FDA
Until medical marijuana usage was made legal in the State of Arizona, many physicians quietly encouraged their patients with cancer, AIDS, multiple sclerosis, asthma and severe migraines to use medical marijuana to relieve their symptoms. Now that it is legal, physicians no longer need to fear retribution from their peers for doing so. Perhaps now, we can participate in clinical trials to document the effects medical marijuana has on symptoms and the relief it offers patients, furthering the path to making medical marijuana a legitimate medicine for treating the above illnesses.
If medical marijuana was unsafe for use, even under medical supervision, as its Schedule I status denotes (highly addictive; no medicinal value), physicians recommending its use would constitute medical malpractice. Also, the FDA would not be approving the petitions to grow filed by the pharmaceutical industry. It is time for physicians to openly acknowledge that the DEA Schedule I classification is scientifically, legally and morally wrong.
Medical Marijuana and the Federal Government
The Federal Government, as well as the medical community, needs to recognize that medical marijuana is a natural medicinal plant that helps specific symptoms associated with medical conditions and it needs to be made readily available for public medical use in its natural form. Medical marijuana will continue to be used as an effective medicine for a wide range of medical conditions.