A Toke a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Alone in her Birmingham, England home, a woman stirs a half teaspoon of cannabis into her hot tea. By seeking relief from pain and spasms caused by multiple sclerosis in this way she is, in the eyes of the law, a criminal.

She doesn’t take this action lightly and is not out for a recreational high. She simply wants a reprieve from the relentless pain that plagues her and, after sipping her tea, generally experiences about three hours of relief. Only those who live in chronic pain can fully understand her anguish.

Speaking of her predicament she says, “I want politicians to be nice to me… I’m sick.” One cannot put it more simply than that. (You can read the rest of her story and view the heartbreaking video on BBC News.)

Medical marijuana enjoys legal status in many parts of the world, where it’s recognized as an effective treatment for chronic pain or nausea caused by conditions like multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, arthritis and cancer. Canada, Chile, the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and 24 U.S. states have decriminalized or legalized it.

Patients report that use of medical marijuana provides relief from spasticity, nerve pain, tremors, sleeping disorders, nausea and depression, greatly improving quality of life.

In the United States and some other countries, social stigma and stereotypes twist the issue into a moral argument rather than a medical one.

Ironically, if you watch television for a few hours, you’ll be bombarded with ads for powerful prescription medications with lengthy lists of potential side-effects up to and including death, but they are perfectly legal… and encouraged.

The side-effects associated with cannabis are mild in comparison. Long-term smoking of marijuana has some of the same negative effects as smoking tobacco (a legal substance) and is associated with some short-term cognitive problems. For those living life in chronic pain, it is a fair trade for improved quality of life. It is a very personal decision, one that should not be criminal.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) insists that legal medical marijuana already exists, in the form of a prescription drug called Marinol.

According to some patients who have tried Marinol, it is much more expensive than traditional marijuana and does not effectively relieve their symptoms. “If I smoke a joint, the tremors go away most times before the joint is gone,” says one man with multiple sclerosis. “It makes my life a little easier.” Marinol, by contrast, “didn’t really do much of anything for me,” he said.

It is time for the United States let go of antiquated notions of marijuana and recognize its legitimate medical use. Stop penalizing the ill… please sign the petition to tell the DEA to stop ignoring the countless lives that have been destroyed by the War on Drugs.

Related:
Studies Show: Marijuana Does Not Make You Stupid
Does Marijuana Make You Thin?
10 Health Benefits of Marijuana

511 comments

Vivian B.
Vivian B.5 days ago

The side effects of ANY prescription drug for pain or any of the other ailments are SO MUCH WORSE than if they had just used marijuana!!! At least it is a natural medication! No death warnings or any of the terrifying warnings from the Rd meds! That should make the FDA HAPPY! At least people wouldn't be dying from side effects from the drugs they want everyone to be stuck with if they want relief!!!
Re-schedule Cannabis to where there could be experiments on it to prove the uses for it! At the VERY LEAST, allow experiments on it!!! What are they afraid of? That marijuana, something you can grow in your back yard, would be the answer for SO MANY problems with health that Big Pharma would lose SOME MONEY??? Yeah, that's what I thought!!!

Tia T.
Tia T.5 days ago

Marijuana should be legal for medical AND recreational use. If something should have been illegal its alcohol. I have never heard of anyone becoming addicted to marijuana, causing a traffic fatality or getting liver disease from smoking marijuauna. It amazes me that something like alcohol which can destroy lives is legal and a huge money maker is legal and something like marijuana which is not as nearly as dangerous is illegal. I firmly believe that many years from now people will be scratching their heads, laughing at us and thinking why was it ever illegal.

Tia T.
Tia T.5 days ago

Marijuana should be legal for medical AND recreational use. If something should have been illegal its alcohol. I have never heard of anyone becoming addicted to marijuana, causing a traffic fatality or getting liver disease from smoking marijuauna. It amazes me that something like alcohol which can destroy lives is legal and a huge money maker is legal and something like marijuana which is not as nearly as dangerous is illegal. I firmly believe that many years from now people will be scratching their heads, laughing at us and thinking why was it ever illegal.

Susan T.
Susan T.6 days ago

Just shows how stupid the DEA is, and how they don't even bother to read any of the research on effectiveness of drug components! Marion has synthetic THC but no CBDs, which most people recognize as the primary "medical" part of marijuana. DUH!

Pot is a mild drug, with almost no side effects or danger of overdose. It has been used successfully by people working with cancer patients, elderly arthritis patients, dementia patients (it is an anti-psychotic), patients suffering from seizures etc etc. It reduces pain, is calming, stimulates the appetite, reduces seizure frequency and reduces inflammation.

Tinctures are a great way to use it medicinally as quantities can be controlled more easily.

Lolly D.
Lolly D.9 days ago

"...social stigma and stereotypes twist the issue into a moral argument rather than a medical one." I see this all the time, and really don't understand it. Yes, there are risks as well as benefits to using marijuana, as there are with any drug, natural or not. But people get so emotional and judgemental when it comes to pot! I don't see you shouting warnings about how a person can ruin lives every time someone takes a Xanax!

Scott S.
Scott S.9 days ago

Thanks!

Randy Q.
Randy Q.9 days ago

Thanks!

Philip Watling
Philip Watling10 days ago

My wife has a mental disorder and cannabis works wonders in making her feel normal. Shame it's illegal! Oh, Carol, your THC receptor argument... We also have an appendix, which has no use whatsoever!

carol smith
carol smith10 days ago

We have THC (tetra hydra cannabinoids) receptors in our body so why would we have these if we're not meant to have it?

Janet B.
Janet B.10 days ago

Thanks