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Nevada lawmakers back blood-only detection of marijuana DUIs
Marijuana is also known as pot, grass and weed but its formal name is actually cannabis. It comes from the leaves and flowers of the plant Cannabis sativa. It is considered an illegal substance in the US and many countries and possession of marijuana is a crime punishable by law. The FDA classifies marijuana as Schedule I, substances which have a very high potential for abuse and have no proven medical use. Over the years several studies claim that some substances found in marijuana have medicinal use, especially in terminal diseases such as cancer and AIDS. This started a fierce debate over the pros and cons of the use of medical marijuana. To settle this debate, the Institute of Medicine published the famous 1999 IOM report entitled Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. The report was comprehensive but did not give a clear cut yes or no answer. The opposite camps of the medical marijuana issue often cite part of the report in their advocacy arguments. However, although the report clarified many things, it never settled the controversy once and for all.
Let's look at the issues that support why medical marijuana should be legalized.
(1) Marijuana is a naturally occurring herb and has been used from South America to Asia as an herbal medicine for millennia. In this day and age when the all natural and organic are important health buzzwords, a naturally occurring herb like marijuana might be more appealing to and safer for consumers than synthetic drugs.
(2) Marijuana has strong therapeutic potential. Several studies, as summarized in the IOM report, have observed that cannabis can be used as analgesic, e.g. to treat pain. A few studies showed that THC, a marijuana component is effective in treating chronic pain experienced by cancer patients. However, studies on acute pain such as those experienced during surgery and trauma have inconclusive reports. A few studies, also summarized in the IOM report, have demonstrated that some marijuana components have antiemetic properties and are, therefore, effective against nausea and vomiting, which are common side effects of cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Some researchers are convinced that cannabis has some therapeutic potential against neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Specific compounds extracted from marijuana have strong therapeutic potential. Cannobidiol (CBD), a major component of marijuana, has been shown to have antipsychotic, anticancer and antioxidant properties. Other cannabinoids have been shown to prevent high intraocular pressure (IOP), a major risk factor for glaucoma. Drugs that contain active ingredients present in marijuana but have been synthetically produced in the laboratory have been approved by the US FDA. One example is Marinol, an antiemetic agent indicated for nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. Its active ingredient is dronabinol, a synthetic delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
(3) One of the major proponents of medical marijuana is the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), a US-based organization. Many medical professional societies and organizations have expressed their support. As an example, The American College of Physicians, recommended a re-evaluation of the Schedule I classification of marijuana in their 2008 position paper. ACP also expresses its strong support for research into the therapeutic role of marijuana as well as exemption from federal criminal prosecution; civil liability; or professional sanctioning for physicians who prescribe or dispense medical marijuana in accordance with state law. Similarly, protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical marijuana as permitted under state laws.
(4) Medical marijuana is legally used in many developed countries The argument of if they can do it, why not us? is another strong point. Some countries, including Canada, Belgium, Austria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain, Israel, and Finland have legalized the therapeutic use of marijuana under strict prescription control. Some states in the US are also allowing exemptions.
Huge Increase in Requests For Medical Wacky Weed
If a patient has a health condition that would benefit from the use of cannabis, where would he or she find a list of medical marijuana doctors? There are thirteen states that have legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.
These states are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington. These states have voted in laws that make the plant use legal with certain guidelines and restrictions. If a person lives in one of these states, searching the internet for physicians who practice in their locale would be a good place to start.
A patient would first need to obtain an evaluation from a participating doctor to see if it is a good option for their health difficulties. The physician and/or clinic would write a recommendation, a treatment plan with details specific to the patient, provide an identification card and offer support. A physician's recommendation usually lasts for one year.
A patient would need an evaluation of their medical history in order to obtain a physician's recommendation. It is helpful to provide the doctor with all records, healthy history and prescriptions at the consultation appointment.
Medical cannabis has been shown to help with anxiety, HIV/AIDS, arthritis, discomfort related to cancer treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation, fibromyalgia, migraine headaches and more. Recent studies have shown it to help with Alzheimer's disease, intestinal problems and to slow tumor growth in brain and lung cancers.
It may be taken in various forms, including being smoked, eaten, taken in THC pill or liquid form and vaporized into a spray application. It may be obtained from dispensaries, collectives and cooperatives. The exact locations can be found on the internet or from organizations within each state.
There is still quite a bit of controversy within the medical community regarding the legalization of medical marijuana. Many physicians are in favor of it and are strong proponents of the drug's efficacy while others are on the other side of the fence. If you live in a state or country where the drug has been legalized, it becomes an individual choice to be made with the help of a physician.
If a person with health concerns lives in Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont or Washington, he or she should seek the consultation of one of the region's reputable doctors to see if cannabis and its chemical ingredient of THC is the proper course of action for them.