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posted by mrpg on Sunday April 08 2018, @11:46AM   Printer-friendly
from the king-of-pain dept.

Medical Marijuana's 'Catch-22': Limits On Research Hinders Patient Relief

By the time Ann Marie Owen, 61, turned to marijuana to treat her pain, she was struggling to walk and talk. She was also hallucinating. For four years, her doctor prescribed a wide range of opioids for transverse myelitis, a debilitating disease that caused pain, muscle weakness and paralysis. The drugs not only failed to ease her symptoms, they hooked her.

When her home state of New York legalized marijuana for the treatment of select medical ailments, Owens decided it was time to swap pills for pot. But her doctors refused to help. "Even though medical marijuana is legal, none of my doctors were willing to talk to me about it," she says. "They just kept telling me to take opioids."

Although 29 states have legalized marijuana to treat pain and other ailments, the growing number of Americans like Owen who use marijuana and the doctors who treat them are caught in the middle of a conflict in federal and state laws — a predicament that is only worsened by thin scientific data.

Because the federal government considers marijuana a Schedule 1 drug, research on marijuana or its active ingredients is highly restricted and even discouraged in some cases. Underscoring the federal government's position, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar recently pronounced that there was "no such thing as medical marijuana."


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  • (Score: 2) by Runaway1956 on Sunday April 08 2018, @03:15PM (1 child)

    by Runaway1956 (2926) Subscriber Badge on Sunday April 08 2018, @03:15PM (#663956) Homepage Journal

    It seems necessary to point out that there are millenia old recipes for various treatments, using cannabis. Many of them, especially in the US, were nothing but snake oil. But, there were preparations made and used even here, that were credibly decent pain relief medications.

    While Jack Herer exaggerated the benefits of cannabis sometimes, he mostly got it more accurate than government, or even most hemp activists. Among the displays on his site, were empty bottles of various preparations for toothache, headache, indigestion, lack of appetite - I can't even begin to remember everything he had. All of them produced prior to the 1930's when the US decided that "hemp is evil".

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Emperor_of_Hemp [wikipedia.org]
    https://www.erowid.org/culture/characters/herer_jack/herer_jack.shtml [erowid.org]

    Meanwhile - the rest of the world has "research" on hemp. It would make a lot of sense to collect the wisdom of the dozens of other countries, then do specific research to verify or to repudiate the various claims.

    Cannabis in medicine is a very, very old concept. We are like the backward children who need to re-discover what our elders have known all along.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09 2018, @03:32AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 09 2018, @03:32AM (#664171)

    The elders also know that a population with access to cannabis is difficult to interest in wars.