Something To Think About: Medical Marijuana? REALLY?

By Harvey Greene
 
We all know about the upcoming vote: Medical Marijuana.
I’ve been asked over and over and over, by people on both sides of the MaryJane fence, to write something about it. I assume because each of them thought I would be on their side.
I suppose it is my time.
Most law enforcement tell you that this amendment is bad. To them, all legalization of marijuana is bad. Why? Because to law enforcement all laws are good laws. All people who break laws are law breakers. I am not saying this is a bad thing; that is their job after all. But to them there is no grey area; all things are either good or bad. And this is bad.
However this is not about legalizing marijuana. No matter what you hear, or what you read, this law does not legalize marijuana. This is about legalizing MEDICAL marijuana. This is about allowing a medical substance to be given to people who truly need it and can be helped by it.
If you were to come to me in my medical clinic and ask me about whether something or the other was against the law, I would tell you to go ask the legal people. You don’t go to a doctor and ask them legal questions. Don’t go to the legal people and ask them about medical treatment. Next month we are not legalizing marijuana. We are talking about allowing a medical treatment plan.
My problem with all the hype is that there are so many myths about it, and so many “reasons” you should be voting a particular way.
People who read my babbling on even a semi-regular basis will know that there is one ideal which I hold above all else, and that is to treat your neighbor as yourself. Our prime directive, if you will, is to help your fellow man.
So where in this does MEDICAL marijuana fall?
The way I see it, we have two things to consider. First is the medical/legal aspects. Next is the spiritual ones. I will apologize in advance for the length of this column, but it needs to be said. And if you find yourself bored with the technical aspects, PLEASE scroll down to the spiritual point at the bottom of the column.
After reading all the myth and hype, I decided it is time to put some of that to bed. Please remember my comments on reading things for yourself and not merely judging by the comments of others. If you are confused, read the amendment yourself.
Some of the things you hear:

Myth 1: There is no medical evidence to prove effectiveness – FALSE.

The truth is that there is no evidence put out by a pharmaceutical company. In the US, the only people that do the research are the people that can make money off of it. The drug companies cannot make money off of marijuana, and therefore have not studied it. This has been researched in all the other first world countries, and it is a proven fact that marijuana can improve or reduce the symptoms of glaucoma, seizures, chronic pain, insomnia, disease-induced anorexia, PTSD, some mental disorders, and many other problems. There are even studies that point to it retarding the growth and progression of some cancers and other nerve disorders like Parkinson’s, ALS, and others. Yes, it is slowing the growth of cancer.

Myth 2: They say Charlotte’s Web law makes this one inappropriate – Not Really.

Charlotte’s Web affects a single, particular type of marijuana byproduct, and targets only certain diseases. This type of law will create drug company products which will not work (they already tried that with Marinol). Oh, and because these products will come from some pharmaceutical company, the prices will be astronomical and not paid for my most insurance companies. We already have products that you can’t afford and don’t really work anyway. Why do we need more?

Myth 3: This will put too much of the drug on the street – I hate to break this to you, but your children already know where to get it.

If your kids or grandkids are not smoking pot, it is because they don’t want to, and because you taught them better. It is NOT because it is not available. If tomorrow we legalized heroin would you start shooting up? No. Do you currently use legal pain killers illegally? No. Then why do you think your children, who learned their morals from you, will immediately start smoking, simply because you helped a cancer patient ease their pain?

Myth 4: It’s a health hazard – FALSE.

Marijuana is less hazardous and less addictive than alcohol, nicotine, caffeine, and certainly less harmful than the current legal pain and sedative medications we use. Oh, yeah, and it’s natural. Don’t ask lawyers and legal people about health hazards. (By the way, it does not have to be smoked. It can be taken orally and still be effective.)

Myth 5: It will allow people to drive stoned. – No it won’t.

The law does not allow someone with a prescription to drive intoxicated any more than they can drive taking hydrocodone or Lortab.

Myth 6: There are already plenty of medicines out there that do everything that marijuana can do – Not true.

There are plenty of medicines out there. Most of these can carry horrendous side effects and allergies. I am not saying it is a wonder drug to end all suffering. But I am saying that there are people who cannot benefit from the current medications that could be helped with this. I am saying that it is less harmful than most of what we prescribe now.

Myth 7: Doctors are for it because it will make them money – FALSE.

I personally won’t even be able to prescribe it; neither will most local practitioners. And even the ones that do will not see a revenue increase because they are prescribing one medication over another.
Remember that most of the negative press on this issue is coming from the drug companies. These are the people that invented heroin for the purpose of getting people un-hooked from Morphine and Codeine. At least half of our pain meds were invented as a “safe” alternative to the last safe alternative they invented. Yes, true statement; look it up. Is that who you want to trust?
The two biggest groups that are against any legal use of marijuana are the drug companies and the mob. Why? Because they lose money. It may just be me, but if the biggest supporters of my position on anything are drug companies and the mafia, it would make me want to rethink why I support it.
Will there be people who abuse it? Assuredly. There always will be with anything. But I guarantee you that those abusers are already abusing something if not this. Medical use of marijuana is legal in 23 states. Three more are voting in November. That’s half of the country people.

The real issue: 

To me, beyond all the hype and stuff above, it all really comes down to helping other people. We go around calling ourselves Christian and talking of Christian Love. The child whose seizures cannot be stopped by conventional means…is it Christian to deprive her of the one drug that could help her? Your friend’s wife that has breast cancer, or your neighbor with colon or prostate cancer…is it Christian to deny them a pain remedy that will not tear up the little bit of a liver that the chemo did not destroy? The disabled vet with debilitating pain from the war wound he received defending you…is it Christian to tell him to stay in pain because you’ve heard bad things about medical marijuana?
Why are we turning our backs on the sick and the needful?
In November you are not voting on the legalization of marijuana. You are voting on allowing the sick and needful to have an alternate form of healing.
“And that which you have done unto these, the least of My children, you have done as much unto Me also.” Jesus, Matthew 25.
Think About it.
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