Medical Marijuana is illegal in America.
Because of the position of the Federal Government, this is the bottom line despite Medical Marijuana laws that continue to be adopted by more and more states.
Pharmacists attempt to stay in line with the laws of the land, and always comply with the most restrictive interpretation of State and Federal law.
So – I am going to make sure that I state this clearly. I do not encourage the use of Marijuana in violation of Federal Law. I do not use Marijuana. I have never used Marijuana – and don’t intend to.
Having said this, I also want to tell you that I strongly believe that Marijuana (aka ‘hemp’) is a plant that has many medicinal and economic benefits – and the Federal government will undoubtedly be forced into changing its rules in response to the legislative tsunami that is sweeping across the states that make up the United States of America.
I am not going to debate the social and moral implications of casual marijuana use. I am agnostic on this topic. I am completely uninterested in the debate over whether people should be able to get ‘stoned’. Whatever society decides is ok with me, with the caveat that we’re spending a damned lot of money chasing people down and putting them into jails.
I am also not going to address the many industrial applications of the hemp plant other than to direct you to your local health food store and the many products that are being sold there after being imported from Canada and other countries around the world. It angers me to have to import these products and to sacrifice the money our farmers and factories could be making if they could produce and use hemp fiber, oils, seeds, and other products. It should anger you too. Obviously, I am not agnostic in this area.
OK, so now let’s talk about Medical Marijuana.
No one who has objectively studied the issue can deny that Medical Marijuana is effective, and in many cases as effective or more effective than what we presently offer through our medical system. Despite efforts from anti-marijuana entities, there is simply too much evidence coming to light around the world to be able to continue to deny the efficacy of Marijuana for the treatment of a multitude of medical conditions.
I first became really aware of Medical Marijuana in pharmacy school. We were given the task of designing a transdermal ‘marijuana’ patch. You know, kind of a ‘Pot’ version of the nicotine patch. It was kind of a joke project, but as I researched the topic I found that research into the use of marijuana compounds was progressing around the world, except in America. I also found that some of the most significant research was being done in Israel.
In fact, I found that an Israeli researcher had already figured out a way to make a Delta- 9-THC patch. As you might imagine, this made completion of my project easy. But, on my way to finding the researcher’s data I learned a lot about marijuana and its constituents’ chemical and medical properties – the most significant of which was the knowledge that delivering pure Delta-9-THC by mouth is a bad idea. Many people experience anxiety side effects when this drug is delivered through the gastrointestinal tract and the liver’s metabolism without the balancing effects of the rest of the chemicals that exist in natural marijuana extracts.
Then I forgot about the topic.
Until I had to research cancer therapies and alternative medicine approaches to cancer treatment.
By that time a marijuana extract inhaler had been approved in the United Kingdom and Canada for use in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis and neuropathic cancer pain. (At this time it is also undergoing clinical trials in the USA, and other countries around the world. Amazing what the involvement of major pharmaceutical companies can catalyze, eh?)
I also stumbled across a video that was made by what appears to be an extremely dedicated and well meaning group of Canadians who are led by a man named Rick Simpson.
It’s titled ‘Run From The Cure‘, and it documents the use of an extremely concentrated hemp extract for the treatment of a multitude of illnesses, the most significant of which is cancer.
‘Run From The Cure‘ presents an extremely interesting account of this group’s discoveries and the obstacles they ran into when trying to publicize them.
I want to emphasize this point – as far as I can tell, these folk are NOT hippies or drug addicts. They appear to be of the most sincere and down to earth persuasion you could find.
Although I continue to monitor the stories and information that is posted at their website(www.phoenixtears.ca), I do not know if their claims are true.
But I will tell you this, they make darned persuasive advocates for what they’re claiming – and I read their posts with great interest.
I will not bore you with the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamic information that I’ve factored into my assessment of their info right now. I’ll simply say that what they claim warrants serious consideration. If you are involved with a cancer patient I think you should also listen to what they have to say with an open mind.
You can find two of the most interesting videos that they’ve produced at these two web addresses.
(the Run From The Cure video and several others are available here)
(this seminar recording is broken up into several parts – i think there are 8 of them – increasingly interesting as you get further into them)
Watch them with an open mind, and don’t get bogged down in the politics, etc… These people have been forced to do battle with Goliath, and that will cause you to get really opinionated and bitter. Stay focused on whether there might be something useful for treating cancer and other diseases. That’s the issue we’re wanting to investigate.
I am just a messenger delivering information in this posting. I am not advocating for your use of Medical Marijuana. I remind you that it is illegal – REALLY illegal – because the Federal Government says it is.
Put aside the reactions that you’ve been programmed to have to this topic. Watch the videos and read the information that is available with an open mind. Talk it over with your physicians
Remember, I’m CRAZY.
Pharmacists Pharmacist, Physicians Physician… as it should be.