Monday, November 3, 2014

Medical Marijuana

Tomorrow is Election Day here in Pennsylvania, and I’ll be doing my part to oust current Republican Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett out of office for, among other things, his not-over-my-dead-body’s approach to the legalization of medical marijuana.  After pressure was applied on Corbett last spring—80 percent of Pennsylvanians support legalized medical marijuana—he grudgingly partially reversed his opinion on the subject—but only for severe childhood epilepsy.

A friend of mine’s 16-year-old is daughter is plagued with severe epilepsy—and anticonvulsant meds and the Johns Hopkins high-fat ketogenic diet haven’t worked: The young woman has tried multiple drugs and multiple combinations, and still she experiences multiple seizures daily.  Whether pot can reduce her seizures is anybody’s guess, but she should have the right to try it now and not wait for the grindingly slow wheels of Pennsylvania politics to make it possible.  How many more seizures will she have before medical marijuana is approved here?  

The marijuana that’s effective for seizures has little to no THC, the chemical that makes you high. Instead, marijuana with anti-seizure activity is high in another chemical called CBD, which doesn’t make you high but can control or eliminate seizures. Marijuana high in CBD can be taken orally as an oil. 

CBD is also great at reducing pain and helping sleep, so it’s not surprising that CBD also helps fibromyalgia, ME and Lyme patients.  Several ME patients have reported that marijuana helps diminish nerve, muscle and joint pain and improves sleep. Shouldn’t fibro, Lyme and ME patients, and other patient with other diseases have the right to medical marijuana as well, Governor Corbett?

The good news is he probably won’t be governor for long. Democratic candidate Tom Wolf, still leading in the polls, supports medical marijuana.  In a recent debate with Corbett, Wolf said:  “We need to legalize medical marijuana immediately. We need to work quickly on that. We need to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. We put too many people in prison. We break up families and destroy too many lives.”

Amen to that. 


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