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Medical delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol

(It is also known as cannabis, marijuana, pot, reefer, buds, grass, weed, dope, ganja, herb, boom, gangster, Mary Jane, sinsemilla, shit, joint, hash, hash oil, blow, blunt, green, kilobricks, Thai sticks, and finally the FDA approved pill Marinol®.) 

Copyright 2010

      It is a scientific fact that if you suffer from multiple sclerosis and you smoke pot you will feel good.

      It is also true that if you have a plantar wart on your left big toe and you smoke a little loco weed you will feel good.

      Of course, if you suffer from severe anxiety or paranoia then a little dope may make you feel bad but for most people in most circumstances it makes you feel pretty good.

      So, if you feel bad and something makes you feel good then that is a medical benefit...right?

      There was this 56 year old man named Bob who came to me for treatment of his prostate cancer. I prescribed a bottle of Don Julio 1942 Tequila at $150.00 per bottle ($80.00 per bottle at Costco). I'm pretty sure that he felt that I didn't give a rat's ass about him?

      Why didn't he think I was giving him something medicinal?

      I bet if I gave him a $20.00 bottle of Americanized Jose Cuervo made from sugar cane he would think it was medicine. What do you think?

      I guarantee, from personal experience, that sipping a little 1942 makes one feel better than does smoking a doobie. But I still got that wart on my big toe.

      Coach Wilson always used to say, "I'm going to punch you in the face and then you will forget all about that pain in your leg."

      Obviously, misdirection is not medicine.

      So, why is everyone saying that Mary Jane should be legalized for medical benefit?

      First, there are very few conditions for which a reefer is the best treatment. In fact, among the myriad of conditions it is being touted to help with there is no condition for which it is even the second best treatment. Although, it does rank pretty high on the making you feel good scale. But again, not as high as Don Julio 1942. No pun intended on the word "high."

      Second, kilobricks (my personal favorite cannabis nickname) should be legalized and regulated for recreational use. It is not dangerous and its addiction potential is low. It does not cause liver disease, heart disease, birth defects, black outs, malnutrition, anemia, or pancreatitis. It's effect on driving ability when used at the usual dosages is similar in severity to many over-the-counter drugs such as cough medicine. It does not have a potentially fatal withdrawal syndrome. Also, it does not cause one to stand at their niece's wedding reception and proclaim, "I farted!" Don Julio is clearly the culprit in all the aforementioned conditions. 

      Third, cannabis is not a homeopathic, holistic, or naturopathic remedy. It is a real pharmacologically active herbal product. However, like all herbal products it contains over one hundred chemicals and you can't be sure of the quality of the particular joint you are smoking. One advantage of Don Julio is that it has only one ingredient and you know exactly how much is in it.

      Finally, there is a large and well funded political group in America whose goal is full legalization of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol. They could not achieve their goal directly but they think that if they can convince people it is a good medicine then they will have a better chance of getting support for full legalization. The idea is to get people to stop thinking the idiotic idea that grass is a dangerous controlled substance of abuse and to get them thinking the equally idiotic idea that it is a vital medicine for millions of sick people.

      I live in Denver and we have a new law that will likely be challenged in court. It allows for the legal growing and distribution of a few buds that can be purchased in a dispensary with a prescription. It seems to me that buying ganja (another particularly amusing cannabis nickname) legally from a respectable Colorado farmer is much better than getting it from Julio who got it from Carlos who killed Jaun to get it. So, I guess that I actually support this dispensary thing.

      I don't know, can you support something on the one hand and, yet, think it is really, really dumb at the same time? Go figure, but I think that I can.



post script

On November 6, 2012, it became legal to possess up to one ounce of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in the state of Colorado and Washington. In 16 other states it is legal for medicinal purposes.  It is on the ballot in six other states.  The federal government does not have the resources to enforce the national laws with regard to marijuana in states that have made it legal.  Therefore, it seems reasonable that the law of the land in the near future will be full legalization of marijuana. 

Many people have voiced intensely negative opinions about marijuana becoming legal.  However, I have not heard a reasonable or logical reason as to why they feel this way.  Some people say that it will lead to more people doing heroin and cocaine.  That is a classic slippery slope logical fallacy.  The only reason that marijuana leads to heroin and cocaine is that you are buying it from people and organizations that either sell these other drugs or know people that do.  If you purchase marijuana legally at a regular store in a similar manner to cigarettes or alcohol there will be no opportunity to advance to heroin or cocaine.  Do cigarettes or alcohol lead to heroin and cocaine?

Others say that it will cause a major increase in health related problems.  While there are some health issues associated with long term cannabis use, it does not cause heart attacks, emphysema, life threatening withdrawal, vitamin B-1 deficiency, liver disease, malnutrition, car wrecks, black outs, or gastritis.  Although I don't want to put anything in my lungs other than fresh air, marijuana is relatively low on the negative health consequences scale.  

It probably is associated with testicular cancer and maybe lung cancer but nothing like tobacco.  A number of studies suggest it is beneficial for treatment of prostate cancer.

A few people suggest that it will cause a lack of motivation that will be detrimental in the work place.  Well, being drunk would be detrimental in the work place but that does not happen very much because most employers will fire someone who is drunk in the workplace.  I would assume that they would fire people who were high in the workplace as well.  Wouldn't you think?

I am pretty sure that fear of marijuana is irrational.  I think that once it is legal everyone will accept it and become familiar with it and everything will be fine. 

Plus, there are lots of benefits.  Tax revenue, cops can focus on other things, lots of jail cells will open up, good kids won't have lifelong bad marks on their records, criminal activity associated with marijuana will end, tainted marijuana will be significantly less, and tons of people can enjoy the recreational use of marijuana.