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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: 3, Informative) by Whoever on Sunday April 08 2018, @04:00PM (3 children)

    by Whoever (4524) on Sunday April 08 2018, @04:00PM (#663968) Journal

    The is a huge dose of racism in the motivation to make cannabis illegal.

    Cannabis is traditionally the drug of choice for many non-white communities, while alcohol is traditionally the drug of choice for white communities. Cannabis legislation causes blacks to be jailed in disproportional numbers.

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Sunday April 08 2018, @04:03PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <{takyon} {at} {soylentnews.org}> on Sunday April 08 2018, @04:03PM (#663971) Journal

    Cannabis is traditionally the drug of choice for many non-white communities, while alcohol is traditionally the drug of choice for white communities. Cannabis legislation causes blacks to be jailed in disproportional numbers.

    Close, but it's a bit different:

    https://www.aclu.org/gallery/marijuana-arrests-numbers [aclu.org]

    Despite roughly equal usage rates, Blacks are 3.73 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana.

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    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 2) by Whoever on Sunday April 08 2018, @06:59PM

      by Whoever (4524) on Sunday April 08 2018, @06:59PM (#664024) Journal

      Apparently, you missed the use of "traditionally" in my post. Perhaps "historically" would have been better?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08 2018, @07:01PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08 2018, @07:01PM (#664026)

    race has little to do with it these days. it's more about hooverin' up the poor to make room for condos and to further shrink the middle class by making them pay for it all. most of the masters care not for the color of the slave.