March 13, 2011

Medical Mary Jane - Cure-all for what ails ya?

Marc Comtois

I'm sympathetic to those who believe and have experienced the benefits of medical marijuana. Yet, I still have serious reservations about the way the law was rushed into being here in Rhode Island. There still seem to be a lot of gray areas. And the examples put forth by the ProJo's in-depth look at Colorado's medical marijuana landscape don't do much to alleviate some of my suspicions regarding those who actually, really do need it and those who are, well, taking advantage of the seemingly inherent benevolence of the new system. For instance, the piece opens with a sympathetic look at 67 year old Richard Collins, who we're informed was a "Marine Corps veteran" who "never had a brush with the law."

But you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who smokes more marijuana than this Montana native. He tokes “all day, every day,” to ease a host of ailments including depression, back pain, headaches and arthritis.
Then there's young Steve Horowitz, owner of the Ganja Gourmet who:
grew up on Long Island, started smoking pot at age 17. He said it helped him cope with attention deficit disorder.
First we heard of the benefits of marijuana when it came to helping alleviate the nausea associated with chemotherapy and the like. Then we heard of its benefits regarding the mitigation of severe pain. Well, I can believe that. But now, we learn that it is being prescribed to help with arthritis, depression and ADD. I wonder what is more dangerous: a person with ADD driving a car who is taking his regular medicine or one who smoked a little pot to, you know, get more focused. Regardless, it seems like we have a genuine wonder-drug here, folks. Either that, or people might, just might, be abusing the system.

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I prefer a good right wing drug: Bourbon. Try Makers or Red Stag on the rocks or in a Manhattan.

Posted by: Tommy Cranston at March 13, 2011 1:24 PM

Careful Marc, you're risking an attack from Gang Ganga. This topic creates as much vitriol as illegal immigration or gay marriage. I suspect the future will create even more controversy when because of a lack of accountability, it becomes prevalent in the workplace.

Posted by: Max Diesel at March 13, 2011 1:54 PM

I have no idea why marijuana is illegal for any adult when cigarettes and alcohol are legal. Completely legalize it!

Posted by: Patrick at March 13, 2011 4:55 PM

Roger that, Patrick, it's a weed for goodness sake, albeit, a weed that packs a whallop when cultivated properly, but I wouldn't know about that.

Posted by: michael at March 13, 2011 5:52 PM

I never thought I would, but I agree with legalization. By some of the projected revenue of the applicants for licenses, we could create a lot of jobs. Agricultural, processing, wholesale and retail, for a start. Why let a few people make all the money - legalize it for all, open it up for all, and make it affordable while we're at it. If kids get into it early,what's the difference, they are all drinking and having sex qand babies as "tweens", and those whose parents from the 60s and 70s never stopped smoking it learned it was ok to break the law. Let's just do it now and give the economy a boost.

Posted by: riborn at March 13, 2011 7:04 PM

My 90+ year old grandmother who goes to church everyday just tried her first brownie last week.
She has stomach pain and nausea. She had a half brownie, and for the first time in years although she still has the pain she doesn't feel like she is out at sea.
She can't believe how good she feels. This woman has been on all sorts of meds since having a cancer 15 years ago and a tumor removed from her throat.
She doesn't have a card, but is getting it from my brother who has a card for something like back pain or whatever he said when he went to the doctor.

Posted by: Swazool at March 13, 2011 7:10 PM

With the new tax on barbers people may grow their hair longer and get with the green. Now let's get back to some of the music of the 60's and 70's. Can I get an Amen.

Posted by: Phil at March 13, 2011 7:32 PM

I have never smoked marijuana, and it is insane for any state to keep it illegal. Colossal waste of tax dollars both in enforcement and foregone revenue.

From everything I've read and every doctor I know, it is a by-and-large harmless substance with a number of legitimate medical benefits.

Posted by: Dan at March 13, 2011 8:13 PM

Amen, Brother Phil, Amen.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at March 13, 2011 8:27 PM

Funny this article should come up. I'm not a pot smoker, but I've been known to drop my guard on occasion.

Anyway, I -do- have a chronic pain issue with a slipped disc. It's usually fine, but I need to take a few Advil before I go to bed just to keep from waking up from pain.

So a few weeks ago, I took a tumble off a hill at the dog park (my dog is better at king-of-the-hill than I). By the time I got home, things had tensed-up to the point where I couldn't turn my head and my hands were numb (yay, pinched nerves).

Normally in this situation, I'd call out of work the next day, and immediately start a regimen of bed rest, prescription muscle relaxers, and pain killers. Anyone who's taken those know that the knock-on effects last for a few days, and involve nasty gut-related issues ('relaxed' muscles don't move food).

On the advice of a friend, I walked to her house and took, literally, a pencil's eraser-sized bit of pot (market value $3). I smoked it, drank a glass of water, and went to bed. Eight hours later I woke up bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, and feeling like nothing had happened at all. The only side effect was that 'brushing my teeth felt really cool' and I had a few vivid dreams.

So for some things, I have to say, the MJ might actually be the best solution. Is the medical marijuana system going to be abused? Sure, but no more than the current prescription system is (ever wonder how many prescription painkillers end up on the black market or are prescribed directly to addicts?). Overall, I think the whole medical marijuana issue is sort of stupid anyway, the stuff is more ubiquitous than decent beer. We may as well decriminalize the possession and production of it, slap a tax on it, and issue fines for selling it without a tax stamp.

Posted by: mangeek at March 14, 2011 11:46 AM
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