A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Monday, July 14, 2014

Why Pot Should Be Legal

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DID THAT TITLE GET YOUR ATTENTION?

Warning: I am not a doctor, nor a writer of scholarly articles. I did research everything I included in this post and list my sources. If something is my opinion or anecdotal evidence, I state it as such.


Truth: I think pot should be legal for medicinal purposes.

Truth: I do not smoke/vaporize/consume edibles.

Truth: Most medical doctors support medicinal marijuana. (Source)

Truth: 23 states and D.C. have already legalized it's use for medicinal purposes. (Source)

Truth: This post is about why I believe medicinal marijuana should be legalized in the ENTIRE country and it should be legalized YESTERDAY.


"The idea that people are able to get their cannabis medicine in one state, but not another, defies some of the core principles of our medical system, which strives for an equality of health care in terms of options," -Dr. Sanjay Gupta




DON'T SKIP THE VIDEO!

The following video from CNN is 1 minute and 44 seconds long. It clearly and concisely explains why marijuana can be effective in treating and managing symptoms of epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, nausea, and all sorts of different things. It explains why you need the whole plant, not just certain, extracted chemicals. Watch the video. (If it doesn't load on your screen or you want to open a new window to view it, click here.)




I have found conflicting reports about the research done on marijuana. Some articles state that there is a lot of research on medical marijuana and some say there is not. (Shocker: The articles against it say there is not enough research and the articles for it say there is enough.) But if the data on marijuana's benefits is lacking, it is because federally it is categorized as a "Schedule 1" substance, which is given to drugs with "no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse." This label was given in 1970, before we knew of the medicinal benefits of the drug. I think a tremendous step would be to remove the "Schedule 1" label from medical marijuana so it can be properly and legally researched even more so maybe it can help more people.

Marijuana has such a stigma attached it it. It's time to get rid of the stigma and accept what we know to be true about this natural plant and spend the time and money to learn more about what we don't know. This is not about getting high. This is about changing people's lives and their quality of life.



SOME THOUGHTS ON SIDE EFFECTS...

Here are some of the side effects marijuana can have on the body and brain: (I am not even going to mention the lungs because there are other ways to use marijuana besides smoking it.)

Slowed coordination
Trouble with memory and attention
Bloodshot eyes
Increased appetite
Fast heart rate
Dry Mouth
Trouble concentrating


Here are some of the side effects listed on my husband's 3 different anti seizure medicines- Keppra, Ativan, and Lamictal:

skin rashes
blood dyscrasias (what he hell is that?)
organ failure (lovely.)
suicidal behavior
aseptic meningitis
withdrawal seizures
status epilepticus (happened already)
sudden unexplained death
confusion
hyperactivity
depression
agitation
hallucinations
drowsiness
blurred vision
insomnia
lack of coordination (same as weed!)
forgetfulness and trouble concentrating (same as weed!)
nausea
vomiting
constipation
fever, chills, body aches
increasing or worsening seizures
jaundice
itching
dark urine
headache
runny nose
neck pain


Yeah, that's a lot. Now, one could argue that marijuana may have more serious side effects than what we know of. Well, don't you think we should research that? Maybe there are certain strains that are helpful, yet carry less side effects.

Hypothetical Situation: Say after years of use, there is some horrible, life ending side effect of marijuana. (I made his up for the hypothetical.) What if someone who suffers from epilepsy could live 30 years seizure free.... be able to run, lift weights, play basketball, work, go to Vegas (helloooooooo bright lights!)... and then maybe have to deal with a horrible side effect later on in life. Shouldn't that be their choice? And wouldn't it be an easy choice? I know I would rather have 30 quality years left of my life than 50 years not being able to do the things I loved. Just as my husband was allowed to say, "Sure, I'll take lamictal, even though it may cause organ failure," he should have that same choice with other drugs (such as marijuana).



SOME ARGUMENTS THAT ARE A CROCK OF SHIT


Argument: "Marijuana is a gateway drug! If people are allowed to start using marijuana, they will go on to using harder substances!"

Truth: Marijuana is not a gateway drug. Studies that show people who try marijuana go on to harder substances is correlation, not causation. Almost half the country has tried pot. Half the country is not addicted to harder drugs. (Source) Just think of the many people reading this right now. A LOT of you have probably tried pot. Are you now using heroin and crack? Probably not. 

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Argument: "But if we allow marijuana for medicinal use, it will make it more accessible for children and teenagers to get their hands on it!"

Truth: Legalizing medical marijuana has no effect on teen use. (Source)

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Argument: "But people will get addicted!"

Truth: 9-10% of adult users develop a dependence on marijuana. For cigarettes, it's 30%. (Source)

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Argument: "What if someone OVERDOSES!!!!!?????"

Truth: No one has ever died from a marijuana overdose. (Source) But every 19 minutes, someone in our country dies from a prescription drug overdose. (Source)



STUFF ABOUT THE WAY SOME PEOPLE TALK ABOUT LEGALIZATION THAT GETS MY PANTIES IN A BUNCH


I hate when it's called "the compassionate use of marijuana". We don't say "compassionate" for other drugs. When I had knee surgery, I wasn't given Vicodin for the "compassionate" use of it. Doctors don't prescribe antibiotics "compassionately" for someone who has strep throat. Why does weed have to be "compassionate". If it works for someone, they should be able to use it without fancy terminology. I think some people just use the word compassionate to show that they still think pot is bad, but if someone is really suffering, then they should be able to use it. It's a cop out. And it aggravates me.

I hate how it's all about the children. Everyone jumps on children with epilepsy and how marijuana can stop their seizures. Yes, it is wonderful that it helps children, but I hate when people say they support it "for the children". What about the adults who are suffering? It shouldn't matter the age of the person suffering. If you're for it, you should be for it for everyone. What about soldiers who served our country and are now suffering from PTSD? What about fathers and mothers who want to be able to care for their children? What about my husband, who would be able to go back to work if his seizures were managed?


Here are some documentaries you may enjoy watching:




IN CONCLUSION

If all the evidence I have listed here isn't enough to convince you, let me tell you a little story. Someone who I love dearly suffers from seizures. This person can't do any of the physical activities he used to enjoy doing because it causes symptoms- small seizures as well as grand mal. One night, after doing the laundry, the two of us went for a low key walk around our neighborhood. He had a grand mal seizure on the curb in front of our neighbor's house.

This same person and I traveled to Colorado this summer. We never stopped moving. We went on two and a half hour hikes- up and down hills in a city that is a mile above sea level. He was able to legally use marijuana to medicate himself during this trip. Guess what? He had not one single seizure, aura, or any symptom at all. He could do whatever he wanted and not worry about having a seizure. He played a 23 hole disc golf course in the blazing sun at an altitude of 8,200 feet. This wasn't to "get high". It was to have a freaking nice 6 day vacation and feel normal again.
No questions, feel free to leave any and all comments/thoughts below.

28 comments:

  1. Yes to everything you said. I couldn't agree more - a close friend of mine is dying from a severe form of epilepsy known as Lafora disease. Watching her rapid decline has been absolutely heart-breaking, and I firmly believe that marijuana (while it obviously wouldn't cure her) could have at least alleviated some of her suffering.
    I'm so glad you did a post on this; it's such an important topic, and I think a lot of people shy away from talking about it.

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    1. I am so sorry about your friend. It is sick that something that could alleviate her suffering and give her the best quality of life she could have for the time she has left is not legal. I feel like in 5 years we're going to look back on this issue and be appalled.

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  2. Thank you so much for posting this. Just like Lisa, I couldn't agree with you more, and I stand totally with you on this important issue!

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  3. Amen. You know I love it. I think it's also safe enough for recreational use. I love that the stigma is vanishing here so quickly that no one cares WHY you use it. No one even cares that you do use it. :D

    As for me, I've been using it recreationally. I have noticed a few things, though. First, it doesn't eff with my vestibular issues like alcohol does. I was able to enjoy it on Thursday night, then get up early on Friday and run 14 miles. I didn't get a single wave of vertigo on that run and lately, at altitude, I've been fighting it every step of the way. I sort of wonder what it's doing to me, but if it keeps the vertigo gone? I'll do it until the day I die.

    And like you said, the side effects are less than even Lamictal. Which is the choice drug to treat my bipolar II. Now, I'm going to go giving up the clinically proven shit, until more research is done (I am in the camp that knows we have a LONG way to go in the research). All in all, I have hope. It slows my thoughts the way Lamictal does, so the "stupids" aren't really all that different. For someone like me, whose mind gives her no peace, it's a miracle that it gets my brain to slow its roll.

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    1. I also think people should be able to use it recreationally. If I can drink alcohol (which is way more dangerous than pot), then I think people should be able to be high if they want to. And everything you said about side effects... I am sure it affects everyone differently, but if it is a legitimate option, patients should be able to decide what works best for them.

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  4. That must be so frustrating for you seeing how beneficial it actually is to your man. I didn't realize that seizures could be induced from physical activity. I know very little about this topic so I won't pretend I do. But you have clearly done your research!

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    1. I don't know if everyone's seizures can be, but Paul's are induced by physical activity, head movement, lights, and anxiety.

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  5. I am just taking that all in, I may have to read it a few times, but anything that helps Paul to feel good should be on that table as treatment! My mom has seizures also, not grand mal ever, but if docs could find something to help I wouldn't care what it was I would want her to have it. Great post Megan

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    1. I am so sorry your mom has to deal with seizures :( And I am the same way- whatever would help Paul live a more normal life, I am FOR.

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  6. Preach!

    I am 110% supportive of legalization for medicinal and recreational purposes. I don't even really understand what is holding this up at all. In Florida I know we're preparing for legalization. At the marketing agency I work for we've been contacted by several companies looking to break into the Fl market as soon as its legalized ... people feel it will happen very soon here (although I think it will come with tons of stipulations as we're a very dumb and conservative state as a whole). For Paul's sake I really hope PA gets its act together soon!

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    1. lol I am also supportive of it for recreational use. Alcohol has ruined way more lives than pot. That is fascinating that companies are already ready to get into the market in FL. It is pretty regulated in CO but still accessible for those who need it.

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  7. Yup couldn't agree more and have nothing to add. My hunband and I have argued over this and his arguments are all the crock of shit ones you mentioned but he doesn't budge. I honestly don't see why it hasn't been legalized yet all over. I think it will be in time.

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    1. Really, he doesn't budge???? Did you ever pull the, "What if I, YOUR WIFE were having seizures and pot was the only thing that stopped them???"

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  8. I totally agree and I have always thought this. I don't think it will happen in the UK though.

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  9. I live in the pot growing capital of the country, so my views on marijuana is probably pretty skewed. I know many, many people who live regular lives who also smoke marijuana. I actually prefer to hang out with stoners than with people who drink regularly. I know so many people who use marijuana to heal their ailments and it truly does help them. Plus it's all natural!

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    1. Well now you understand why we were thinking of either going to Washington or CO!!!! ;) Hmmmm what could those two places have in common????

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  10. I've never used marijuana in any way, but I totally agree with you. I don't think it is dangerous at all and if it could help someone then why not?

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    1. It is definitely not dangerous. I think it is much like alcohol. Alcohol can ruin lives, but when used responsibly, it can just be fun. I feel the same way about pot.

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  11. I used to smoke a bit of pot when I was younger, and now on the odd occasion (i.e. when I'm in Amsterdam!). I think if it can alleviate any symptoms, then it should be legalized. I think it's ridiculous to call it a gateway drug. It must be so hard for you to see Paul benefit from it but not be able to use it at home - are you considering moving to Colorado by any chance?

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    1. We would definitely move to a state where it is medicinally legal (there are several close by) if we didn't think our state was going to legalize it soon. Apparently the senate is going to vote on it at some point when the reconvene in the fall. Our governor said if it came across his desk, he would sign it. So that is good news. It just sucks that Paul can't benefit from it now. And it needs to be federal. That way people can travel with it and not have it be a federal crime.

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  12. I always am for more natural solutions. Aspirin came from nature, you know? Why not use pot in the same way? If it works, USE it! I totally agree about legalizing it...not just for medicinal purposes. I think it's less dangerous that alcohol and Colorado and California have the right idea.

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    1. Very good point Ali, and that is one reason why I also support it for recreational use- it is waaaaaaay less dangerous than alcohol. And since there are other ways to use it besides smoking it, it is less dangerous than cigarettes.

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  13. Thank you for sharing this - I knew you were planning to post and am glad I didn't totally miss it. I agree with much of what you said even though at this point I've never had a need for marijuana.

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    1. I have never had the need either and I hope I never do. :)

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  14. Yes, yes, yes! Agreed. Thank you for laying it out so nicely--the argument FOR marijuana legalization. We just found out in Arkansas that it unfortunately did not make it on the ballet this time around (2014) to allow legalization in the voting for marijuana. Which sucks...but we have next year! And we will keep trying.

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    1. That is horrible for Arkansas :( It looks like PA's senate will vote on it in the fall term, hopefully! They could have voted this spring but they did not.

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