Medical Marijuana Continues Growth

A topic which continues to build in momentum is medical marijuana. In the US, twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for at least medical purposes. And, Canada just passed a law effective in October allowing the legal personal use of marijuana by those over age 18,

Time Magazine has issued a Special Edition called “Marijuana – The Medical Movement.” It is an excellent summary of its history and current uses. It notes the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine published their findings in January, 2017 citing marijuana is a therapy for a number of ailments, but especially pain.

Yet, this is not new, as history reveals marijuana showing up as a treatment in China 4,000 years ago, India and Greece around 50 AD and in England and Ireland in the 1600s. It was prescribed in the US until the movie “Reefer Madness” focused on its psychotic influence in the 1930s.

Today, the tide has turned in its favor with over 90% of Americans supporting it for medical purposes. From epileptic seizures to CTE to Crohn’s to Chemotherapy to MS, people have indicated how it has helped them with their issues. But, its main benefit has been with pain as a replacement for or in lieu of opioids.

I have a relative who has been able to get off all pain medication by using a cannabis oil from which he creates a salve. Rubbing it directly into the skin has helped him not only with the pain, but regaining his ability to speak and think more lucidly sans opioids. Suffice it to say, after several car accidents, he was in a bad way. The impact is quite noticeable.

This topic is worthy of serious discussion. The opioid epidemic is truly a national crisis. Medical marijuana is not a panacea, but it will help with this and other issues. It has already passed a tipping point. We just need to check previous conceptions and look at it with both new and much older lenses.

6 thoughts on “Medical Marijuana Continues Growth

  1. Now that I’ve reached my “Golden Years” I no longer believe in banning substances and the war on drugs. Our societies have spent billions of dollars over the years in this fruitless enforcement of drug laws and all we have to show for it is the enrichment of organized crime. I’m not a proponent of cannabis because I’ve never tried it in any form but I am in favor of its legalization under government control. Thanks for a thoughtful post, Keith.

    • John, I agree. My usage was quite slim over the years, almost nonexistent. But, if I had a medical issue which could be aided, it would frustrate me if my access was denied by my state. Keith

  2. Dear Keith and John,

    I have not been a smoker nor have I used cannabis until lately. While visiting my son in the Denver area, I purchased these gummy bears with cannabis that has mostly medical value. I can tell you that as I approach 70 years, I suffer from aches and pains. These gummy bears cured all of that. I can’t help but wonder if they wouldn’t have helped my Mom who suffered from arthritis.

    Hugs, Gronda

    • Gronda, very interesting. It may have helped your mother. In reading this Time special edition, it is fascinating and not surprising how something can be stigmatized. I would add there are a very few things in America that have 90% support. Keith

  3. There are so many bigger issues to worry about. It seems almost spiteful to continue the war on cannabis. It will be interesting to see what statistics and longitudinal studies bear out after enough time has passed in those 29 sane states.

    • Linda, you raise an excellent point. Maybe we do more of this than publicized, but when a number of states do something and a similar number do not, what does the data tell us? The Commonwealth Fund does a great job on healthcare data by state. This will be worth looking into. Keith

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