31 October 2010

Medical Marijuana: still a VERY hot topic!!

The medical use of marijuana has been a hot topic especially in the last decade. Recently, South Park (Comedy Central) did a segment on what lengths some people will go to in order to get a prescription for medical marijuana. In the last few years, many marijuana dispensing sites have opened up throughout the country.

I live in Michigan which is one of 13 states where "medicinal marijuana" is legal and many of these dispensing sites have had to withstand picketing, harassment and now several are closed. No one wants these dispensing clinics in their neighborhood due to the "low element" that might infiltrate their area even though the "Michigan Medical Marijuana Act" was approved 11/4/08 and went into effect 12/4/08. This is not a "problem" that seemed to appear out of no where but an issue that has been around for a long time.

Marijuana, the most commonly used illegal drug in the US is taken from the leaves and flowering tops of the Cannabis Saliva plant. It first became popular in the United States in the 1920's and can also come in a concentrated, resinous form called hashish and a sticky black liquid called hash oil. The average potency has increased over the past 20 years.

Marijuana can be smoked in many ways:

  • Rolled into joints (marijuana cigarettes)
  • Blunts (marijuana rolled into the leaf wrap of a hallowed-out cigar)
  • Use of a vaporizer
One of the dangers of smoking marijuana is the possibility that it has been laced with other, more dangerous substances such as crack, cocaine PCP or even embalming fluid. With unregulated drugs such as marijuana, the user has no way of knowing what has been added.

Doctors in Michigan approve the medical use of marijuana for treatment of chronic/debilitating medical conditions such as: cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn's Disease, agitation of Alzheimer's disease, severe nausea ( especially as a result of chemotherapy), and seizures.

I feel the option of medical marijuana should be available to people who have conditions where their pain can be eased and the quality of their life (especially for those who are terminally ill) can be improved or at least maintained.