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Puffing the Pain Away or Just Puffing… Legally

Puffing the Pain Away or Just Puffing… Legally

Marijuana, legally sold and taxed, might soon be reality in California — and we’re not talking strictly about medical marijuana.

The L.A. Times reports that an initiative to legalize marijuana will appear on the November ballot. The initiative calls for allowing adults 21 or older to possess up to one ounce for personal use, or to grow up to 25 square feet of marijuana per residence or parcel, and allows cities and counties to raise revenue through taxation of cultivation, transportation, and sale of marijuana. Budgetary concerns in California make this particularly appealing, but it is certainly not without opposition. Between now and November we can expect to hear interesting cases made both pro and con.

While it remains a federal crime to possess or sell marijuana, last year the Obama administration set new policy guidelines to cease action against medical marijuana users and suppliers who conform to state laws. This proposed legislation, should it pass, opens up a whole new can of worms in state law versus federal law.

In many other states around the country, the case for medical marijuana is still being debated.

Imagine living in chronic, severe pain, or with a debilitating condition that seriously impacted your quality of life. What if there was a source of temporary relief for your symptoms, but it was denied to you. Until you walk in those shoes, it is difficult to pass judgement on those who do.

The law, however, does pass judgement. Although marijuana has been reported to help people cope with a variety of chronic medical conditions, including multiple sclerosis, AIDS, cancer, and glaucoma, it is still illegal in many states in the U.S. and in many countries around the world, even for medical use.

Social stigma and stereotypes twist the issue into a moral argument rather than a purely medical one. Watch an evening of television and you’ll be bombarded with ads for powerful prescription medications with lengthy lists of potential side effects, including addiction and death, but they are not only legal… they are strongly encouraged by physicians, through advertising and celebrity endorsements, and often paid for by health insurers.

Patients report that use of medical marijuana provides relief from spasticity, nerve pain, tremors, sleeping disorders, nausea, and depression, greatly improving quality of life. For people living in chronic pain and discomfort, whether or not to use marijuana as medical treatment is a very personal decision, or at least it should be, and one that should not be criminal.

The United States is hanging on to antiquated notions of marijuana, steadfastly refusing to recognize its legitimate medical use… please sign the petition asking the U.S. Congress to recognize the benefits of medicinal cannabis.

As a person who has relapsing/remitting MS, I am very fortunate to still enjoy periods of remission that provide relief from symptoms. I have no need for marijuana or the regular use of any type of pain medication. However, having experienced extended periods of pain, discomfort, and a fair amount of disability, I have an inkling of how life might change should my MS run amok and become more aggressive, or if some other condition should rear its ugly head. It is a possibility I cannot dismiss.

When you discard the hypothetical exercise and think about it in terms of your own quality of life, your own day-to-day existence, marijuana, like any other prescribed medication, could be one more option for those who have few, if any. It’s a choice I hope I never have to make, but I’d sure like to know it’s there.

Care2 Action Item

Sign the petition asking the U.S. Congress to recognize the benefits of medicinal cannabis.

National MS Education & Awareness Month

Coping with MS: Breaking the Cycle of Defeat Life isn’t fair. Much like a board game, we pick a card… roll the dice… spin the spinner… and we get what we get. Unlike a simple child’s game, though, there are a myriad of choices to be made that directly affect the outcome of those random events.

Your Choice: Exist with It or Live with It What wife asks her husband to stop doing the dishes? I can almost hear the collective groan from wives the world over, but there was a method to my madness.

Longing for Liberation All around the world people with multiple sclerosis have been clamoring for action, ever since cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Paolo Zamboni released his controversial findings, challenging everything we thought we knew about MS.

Diagnosis, Denial, Due Diligence What do you do when everything you know about yourself changes just as you are hitting midlife? How do you plan for life’s second half with a body you’ve never met before?

MS: Who Gets It and Why The who, what, where, when, why, and how of multiple sclerosis.

A Diagnosis Odyssey It began with a seemingly benign but persistent tingly feeling in my upper right arm. It was the kind of thing you tend to dismiss and certainly not the kind of thing that makes you rush out to see a doctor… but there was more to come.

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Photo: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1206038

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148 comments

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3:20PM PDT on Sep 24, 2013

Interesting. Like most comments I agree we should legalize pot.

11:14AM PDT on Jul 16, 2010

I love my marijuana!!!! I suffer from severe arthritis and tendonitis. Marijuana is the ONLY thing that has helped and does not give me any side-effects that your so called legal medications do.

11:31AM PDT on May 16, 2010

PAIN IS A DREADFUL THING AND I AM ON MORPHINE BUT I AM HAVE HEALING TOO BY MY ANGELS AND I KNOW SOME OF YOU MIGHT THINK I AM DAFT BUT IT DOES WORK. I HAVE SEVERAL ILLNESSES AND I AM IN BED MOST OF THE TIME. IF THIS DRUG WOULD HELP ME TO HAVE A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE THEN I WOULD GO FOR IT. HOWEVER, MY HEALING IS WORKING AND I AM OUT OF BED NOW AND BEEN IN BED MOSTLY FROM OCTOBER TO MAY. WE NEED TO STOP THE CRIMINAL SIDE TO DRUGS FIRST. DRUGS ARE ABUSED NO MATTER WHAT THEY ARE REALLY IN SOME RESPECT. DRUGS ARE BAD FOR YOU AND I JUST WISH THE BAD DRUGS WERE FORGOTTEN AS THEY HAVE DESTROYED SO MANY LIVES AND ITS FRIGHTENING WHAT HUMANS DO TO EACH OTHER. I HOPE WE FIND A DIFFERENT SOLUTION TO PAIN INSTEAD OF TAKING DRUGS ALL THE TIME.

11:28AM PDT on Apr 7, 2010

What amazes me, is all the Legal drugs prescribed by physicians. There are 30+ side effects when the drug is suppose to help only 1 ailment. Look at all the Legal drugs that causes heart attacks, strokes and in some cases have led to death. I've never heard of Marijuana killing anyone.

9:34AM PDT on Apr 5, 2010

As a person with lupus who is in constant pain, it would be nice to have something available that would make it possible for me to get a decent night's sleep.

8:18AM PDT on Apr 5, 2010

Be away from ilegal things, be away from any thing causes harm.
Satisfy yourself and relieve pain by natural things.

3:21AM PDT on Apr 2, 2010

Yes lets pump men full of viagra to give them heart attacks and stick all women on diet pills to give them heart attacks but keep a drug that has never killed anyone illegal. . . . ridiculous.

1:32PM PDT on Mar 31, 2010

Definately think it should be legal, petition already signed.

9:42AM PDT on Mar 31, 2010

Go ahead and legalize it for ALL reasons. It should be up to the individual. Taxing it as much as they now tax tobacco would greatly help improve California's budget crisis. And if it really helps those who are ill, there is absolutely NO reason to continue prohibition. I used to smoke and eat brownies, but these days I am quite sure I could not afford it. I am more interested in my health than when I was younger, so I would have to research the negative side effects more before I would smoke again-even IF I could afford it. But I would not deny others the right, especially when I consider tobacco's second-hand smoke all around me so much worse. As a pain reliever this is a definite reason to legalize it. As long as one does not drive or operate heavy machinery when stoned... One should also learn to smoke weed responsibly if it is legalized. Look to Amsterdam for how they handle this.

8:01AM PDT on Mar 31, 2010

a druq, regardless the kind, is always a drug!!!!!

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