What Kind Of Conditions Can Medical Marijuana Treat?

Maybe it was fate that medical marijuana would precede recreational marijuana; after all, medical marijuana has a purpose with which few can argue. The medicinal properties of the plant can work wonders for people when no other drug will alleviate the symptoms. Even though that’s the case, there are some states that haven’t legalized medical marijuana yet — angering proponents and victims of these diseases both. So what kind of symptoms and diseases can we use marijuana to treat?

Basically if you’ve got it, marijuana can help (if you believe the advocates). Here are some of the symptoms it can alleviate:

  • Cancer.
  • Loss of appetite. 
  • Alzheimer’s.
  • Epilepsy. 
  • Glaucoma.
  • Eating disorders.
  • Crohn’s disease.
  • Chronic pain.
  • Spasms. 
  • Multiple sclerosis.
  • Nausea.

The list goes on and on. It can even be used to treat a few mental health conditions (such as PTSD or schizophrenia). According to opponents of legalization, there’s no proof that marijuana helps remove any of these symptoms or that it can be used to treat any of these diseases. In other words, while certain compounds within marijuana can be activated to reduce stress or pain, the drug can’t be used as a cure. Not really the best argument, since most American medicine is based on relieving symptoms anyway.

Although government regulations have resulted in limited research being done on the drug, much of the research that does exist suggests it can help reduce anxiety, nausea, vomiting, inflammation, relax muscles, or increase appetite. These properties make it ideal for treating chemotherapy, cancer (the cells of which it might even kill or slow down) and AIDS.

One of the examples proponents of marijuana most often use when attempting to overcome legalization laws is that the drug can help eliminate seizures in small children prone to epilepsy. A new drug made from CBD oil was recently approved by the FDA to help people with these and similar diseases, but it’s still not legal everywhere in the United States.

Currently medical marijuana is legal in 33 states with legislation pending in many more that would both legalize medical and recreational marijuana in one fell swoop. The wave is coming, and it seems opponents of legalization can do very little to stop it.

Medical marijuana is prescribed orally, through inhalation, or as a skin lotion or spray. Potential side effects include low blood pressure, depression, rapid heartbeat, and dizziness.

Illinois Legalized Recreational Marijuana, But That Isn’t Stopping The Arrests

Lawmakers from the state of Illinois voted to approve recreational marijuana earlier this month, but the moment failed to arrive without the expected obnoxious resistance from opposing lawmakers. One even cooked up some eggs in a frying pan to “scientifically” represent how the brain appears when introduced to oh-so-dangerous drugs like marijuana. When the Illinois House of Representatives voted 66-47 contrary to that belief, he probably went home and knocked a few stiff ones back.

The Illinois Senate approved the measure and Governor J.B. Pritzker acknowledged his intent to sign the bill into law, which will pave the way for the legalized possession and sale of recreational marijuana on the first day of January next year. Although ten other states have so far approved similar measures to legalize the drug, Illinois is the first to approve the commercial sale of marijuana through legislative efforts alone.

The law won’t come soon enough to help Thomas J. Franzen, 37, of Chicago, though. He was recently sentenced to a whopping four years in prison after postal workers obtained a warrant to search suspicious packages arriving on his doorstep. Subsequent investigative efforts discovered he ordered 42 pounds of chocolate edibles from the great state of California, where apparently you can do anything.

The Kane County State Attorney’s office provided a statement acknowledging that Franzen had been accused of intending to sell or distribute the marijuana-laced chocolate goodies.

Will the new legislation affect this ruling, possibly overturning it sometime in the future? Probably not.

In addition to the 42 pounds of chocolate heaven, authorities found other “evidence of drug dealing” including over $2,000 in bills, postal receipts for packages he’d sent out both in the United States and abroad, and a digital scale. Oh, and cocaine. If that state decides to overturn prior marijuana-related convictions, it’s the cocaine that’ll end up keeping Franzen in prison.

Ouch. That’s got to sting.

Franzen’s attorney had previously failed to argue that he needed the 42 pounds of marijuana (and a smattering of cocaine dressing) for treatment of testicular cancer. The Kane County State’s Attorney Joe McMahon actually took it easy on Franzen, who could have been sentenced to what would have been a mandatory 12-year minimum in accordance with the sentencing standards bound to the aforementioned crimes.

“In recognition of the seriousness of Mr. Franzen’s medical condition,” (and probably because they maybe thought Franzen had been running through an intense Breaking Bad marathon at the time), “our office reduced a 12-year mandatory minimum sentence to four years, of which he is required to serve only two years.”

Prosecutors also dropped more serious trafficking charges. All said, Franzen got off a lot easier than most would have.

Can I Travel With Medical Marijuana?

Medical Marijuana is prescribed to patients who are suffering from chronic pain, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, glaucoma, and other medical conditions.  Even if you have a Medical Marijuana card that was issued by your state, it is highly advised that you do not travel with any amount of Medical Marijuana in your possession.

Currently, 29 out of the 50 states have some sort of legalized form of Marijuana but that means that 21 states do not. If you have a Medical Marijuana card it is only valid for that state. It is not valid for any other state. Regardless, Marijuana is still technically illegal under Federal United States Law even if it has been legalized in your state. Interstate travel is considered a federal jurisdiction so if you drive to another state while in possession of Medical Marijuana and get pulled over for an unrelated charge – you could be arrested for Marijuana possession, even if you have your card and show it to the officer.

If you live in a state where Medical Marijuana is legal, you cannot get on an airplane with it even if you are travelling between airports within your own state (for example from Los Angeles to San Diego). The airports are regulated by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) which is an arm of the federal government. If you are caught by the TSA with any form of Marijuana, even if you have your Medical Marijuana card, you will be arrested for possession of Marijuana.

Our advice is that if you plan on traveling, do not bring Medical Marijuana with you. If you need Medical Marijuana to live, then perhaps traveling isn’t the best option for you to begin with. Hawaii just announced that it will be honoring other state’s Medical Marijuana cards at their dispensaries. So if you must travel – go to Hawaii.

Does Marijuana Affect Cognition In Adolescents?

There is a constant influx of information about marijuana recently, especially as the elder law governing its use are being loosened around the country. Most of these studies seek to determine marijuana’s effect on younger minds.

Cognition is a word we use all the time, but how many of us could accurately define it? Cognition is the collection of all the processes we use to procure knowledge in conjunction with how we understand by thinking or experiencing various stimuli. Because we have cognition, we can perceive or sense, and even use intuition to acquire knowledge. When experts say that marijuana reduces mental cognition, it means that our ability to think, understand, or learn isn’t what it should be.

So does marijuana actually reduce cognition?

If you ask users, then sure it does. Although marijuana affects people differently (and specific pot strains make a big difference!), many users indicate increased cognition due to use. Their capacity for creativity is greatly increased, and suddenly everything just makes sense. All of life’s mysteries are finally answered. If only.

The science is much less certain. According to a recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, adolescents who take marijuana routinely but then stop will notice their capacity for learning and memory heightened. The scientific body of evidence that marijuana hinders growth in the mind of the adolescent is nigh incontrovertible. The study used 88 smokers to conduct its research. Some of the users smoked as often as every day or as little as once a week.

This is especially concerning because, according to the National Institutes of Health, almost fifteen percent of students in middle school and high school use marijuana at least once a month.

The number of children who believe marijuana is a health risk has declined in the last two decades, and it probably doesn’t help that legalization has opened the floodgates of misinformation. THC in general is known to primarily affect brain functions that develop during the teenage years. This development commonly continues until the early twenties.

There’s nothing wrong with recreational or medical marijuana–but it is important to have all the information about the drug before one makes the decision whether or not to partake, and children seem especially vulnerable to both the drug’s effects and the social forces which help govern its use.

History of Cannabis Use

Cannabis is a plant that is mostly known for its use as the drug marijuana. However, Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years before it turned into a recreational drug.

The first known use of cannabis dates all the way back to ancient times as far back as 8,000 BCE. In what is now modern-day Taiwan, hemp cord was found in pottery. Discovering hemp being used this early in civilization can be used as an argument for the cannabis plant is one of the first agricultural crops. From 6,000 BCE to 4,000 BCE records show that Cannabis seeds were used in food in China and hemp were being used as textiles.

Medical marijuana is also not a new concept. As early as 2,737 BCE, Emperor Shen Neng of China recorded the first use of cannabis as a medicine. Also during this time in the Ancient Hindu texts, Bhang (dried cannabis leaves, stems, and seeds) is mentioned as a form of medicine and offering to the divine figure Shiva.

In 500 BCE, we see the cannabis plant spreading throughout the world making appearances in Russia and Europe by a nomadic tribe called the Scythians from Siberia. Herodotus in his The Histories written in 430 BC writes how Cannabis was introduced by the Sycthians. Cannabis plants were still being used as a medicine and hemp was still being used as a textile and to make rope. And around 100 BCE, hemp paper was being produced in China.

The first instance of cannabis as a drug or psychotropic came between 100 – 0 BCE in China from Pen Ts’ao Ching. Once we enter the common era, cannabis is mentioned much frequently in written texts about its medical and drug properties. Pliny the Elder’s The Natural History mentions marijuana’s analgesic effects around 23 CE. Plutarch mentions how the Thracians are using marijuana has an intoxicant in 47 CE. Discorides listed marijuana in his book Pharmacopoeia in 70CE. The Greek physician Galen prescribes marijuana in 130 CE.

Around 1000 CE, hashish or cannabis resin grows in popularity throughout Asia as an edible. Meanwhile during this time hemp rope was making its way through Europe and up to the Vikings in Iceland and onto Italian Ships in Italy.

And while this is just from 10,000 BCE to 1,000 CE the use of cannabis grows tremendously.  For more information, we encourage you to visit our website.

Where Will Recreational Marijuana Be Legalized Next?

The wave is upon us for better or worse. Recreational marijuana is now legalized in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, and D.C. That’s nine states and the District of Columbia. In addition to recreational marijuana, the states slower to the party have been legalizing medical weed as well. Twenty have legalized. It seems people are picking up on the fact that they want this, and so it seems only a matter of time until they get it–regardless of what the federal government thinks.

So, where will recreational weed be legalized next? It’s hard to say with any certainty, but trends point to a number of possibilities (if we discount any states at all). There are those who suggest that Jeff Sessions’ decision to roll back Obama-era mandates regarding enforcement of marijuana laws in states where the drug has been legalized might slow the momentum, but we think otherwise. This is about the will of the people, not about the will of our federal puppet masters.

64 percent of U.S. citizens support the legalization of recreational marijuana, a record high. The numbers can only continue to grow as one generation compels the next to ease up on archaic values.

Proponents of legalization point to the shockingly high tax revenue brought in by states who have already legalized, and the benefits that that could have for hurting communities across the country are hard to miss. In addition, it might help keep our prison population down since there is a growing wealth of evidence that drug users should be treated as if they were suffering with a medical condition (since they are) and not treated as if they were hardened criminals (since they aren’t).

Delaware seems poised to legalize. Pot possession in Delaware is decriminalized even though marijuana usage rates in the state aren’t so high. What makes Delaware interesting apart from other states is that it might not be the residents who choose to pass the law. House Bill 110 is sponsored by lawmakers and, when it was subsequently approved in the state House, it ultimately failed because it required a supermajority to pass. Even so, it’s a step in the right direction.

Other states that seem like dominoes waiting to fall are: Michigan, New Jersey, North Dakota, New York, and Oklahoma. Really, though–it could be anywhere.

Potential Consequences Of Legalizing Marijuana

Legalizing marijuana has become a major political issue in many states. In fact, a lot of states have already begun to legalize marijuana. However, there are arguments against legalizing it. After talking with NJ Employment Attorneys, there are several reasons as to why the federal legalization of marijuana can be dangerous.

Potential Consequences Of Legalizing Marijuana:

1. Increased Use Among Adolescents.

While there are no inherent studies that indicate legalizing the drug will lead to more widespread usage, that is likely due to the fact that the drug is already heavily used among adolescents, to begin with. In fact, more teens now smoke marijuana than they smoke traditional cigarettes. Because of this, legalizing it can only lead to increased usage due to the drug being easier to obtain. Making marijuana legal would essentially provide much easier access to teenagers which is likely to increase the use among the group as a whole.

2. Negative Effects On Brain Development.

One of the major issues associated with legalizing pot stems from the changes that it causes in the user’s brain. While in full-grown adults, this change is temporary, for those that are still in their growth stages, this change could be permanent. There are still additional studies being done to fully grasp the long-term effects on the brain in adolescents, but there are initial results that have shown that marijuana abusers experience significantly decreased dopamine in the brain [1].

3. It’s Addictive.

While many proponents of the legalization of marijuana continue to spew the false narrative that marijuana is not addictive, the facts dispute them entirely. The brain regularly adapts to any sort of drug. Thus, it does so with marijuana as well. Because of the neural adjustments that occur when someone smokes marijuana regularly, it can lead to tolerance of the said drug. Along with tolerance comes both craving and dependence on the drug. Thus, someone can become addicted to THC and marijuana.

4. Negative Health Effects.

There is a lot of evidence that supports that heavy marijuana use can be associated with an increased risk of mental issues such as developing psychosis.

Overall, there are a lot of different consequences that you can expect with the legalization of pot. While there are benefits that have to be considered, the legalization of the drug does not come without its own share of consequences. These consequences must be fully understood in order to weigh the risk and reward associated with it. A lot of the risks associated with the legalization of the drug are health-related risks. Whereas, a lot of the benefits of legalizing it are economic. However, there is also growing evidence that the states that have legalized it thus far have experienced a significant drop in opioid dependence and use [2]. The subject of legal marijuana is expected to continue to be a hot topic among political parties and the public continues to weigh in on the subject. Ultimately, if you want to fully weigh in on the topic, you will want to do so on your state’s ballot.

References:

[1] www.pnas.org/content/111/30/E3149

[2] www.npr.org/opioid-use-lower-in-states-that-eased-marijuana-laws

Congress To Vote on Marijuana Bill This Week

Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) and 40 bipartisan cosponsors are scheduled to vote on the Medical Cannabis Research Act, a bill that will create more opportunities for medical marijuana benefits. The act would issue more licenses for marijuana growth that would be used in scientific studies.

For the past 50 years, a small farm at the University of Mississippi has been the only legal way of getting cannabis for scientific research. Researches have been complaining that the University only has a small amount and it is low quality compared to some of the other strands that are being used illegally.

Gaetz is supporting this bill because he feels that the federal government should not interfere with the prospect of people living better lives. He continues to state that the bill will increase the availability of research-grade cannabis in the effort to find more cures for diseases (read our recent post about Marijuana and Parkison’s here).

While this a bipartisan bill, this is the first time that there’s been a push for marijuana reform during a Republican Congress. Drug reform advocates do have some issues with the bill but Gaetz calls these things technical and doesn’t expect much pushback. Reformers have concerns with provisions such as people with “a conviction of a felony or drug-related misdemeanor” are not allowed to participate in research. Also, they do not like the clause that says newly licenses manufacturers have to get a letter of good standing from their local law enforcement.

While on the surface this might seem harmless, civil rights and social justice activists marijuana charges are disproportionately against African Americans and other people of color. Therefore, this bill prohibits racial equality when it comes to marijuana research.

But Gaetz believes without these inclusions GOP lawmakers would not be on board with the bill. However, those on the opposing side are worried that if the Act passes Attorney General Sessions would be responsible for handing out these new licenses. He already has blocked the new permits filed during the Obama Administration.

One important aspect of the bill to note is that the legislation allows for the Department of Veteran Affairs doctors are invited to join in the scientific research to see how medical marijuana can be used in the military.

How Does Marijuana Impact Parkinson’s?

Is Mary Jane the hottest girl at the party just by reputation, and not by actual looks?

She has certainly become the belle of the ball in the medical and therapeutic world. She comes in as the savior to all that ails us, making her eye candy for many.

Perhaps she might just have a nice personality.

Much has been made in the last 20 years about the therapeutic effects of marijuana and its ability to treat many diseases. The hysteria and hype has grown to the point what although it is a federal crime to possess and use it, 60 percent of the U.S. has passed state laws allowing for marijuana use for medical and medicinal purposes.

Much has been made about marijuana in its use as a treatment for neurological disorders, including Parkinson’s. Anecdotal stories emerged that marijuana has been effective in reducing the noted tremors which are the hallmark sign of Parkinson’s.

It was supposed to be so encouraging, that marijuana was a wonder drug for so many ailments.

However, it seems that much of the hype was covered in a cannabis cloud, so to speak.

Some clinical research has been conducted to gauge the effectiveness of cannabis (marijuana) in the wake of these anecdotes. It turns out that after all the research and the smoke had cleared (pun intended), marijuana was found to have inconclusive effect on the symptoms of Parkinson’s.

While marijuana directly impacts the brain in the area thinking and some motor skills are centered – this is where there are cannabinoid receptors, which receive cannabinoid molecules such as from cannabis – there was a belief that some of those motor functions that are hindered or are involuntary because of Parkinson’s, would be relieved when cannabis was actually introduced into the system.

What is official is that there is no unified theory about cannabis and Parkinson’s because the data does not show a consistent trend, and cannabis is difficult to study because of conflicting chemicals and their reactions to the cannabinoid receptors known as CB1 and CB2. The difficulty in establishing clear results is that cannabis has conflicting chemicals knowns as agonists and antagonists – and each plant species and each form of administering the cannabis develops different numbers of the agonists and antagonists to where there is no control available – making the data sketchy and hard to quantify.

This is not to suggest that the anecdotes are illegitimate, or that cannabis is completely ineffective – it is just that the generalized data isn’t conclusive one way or another, which means there is enough doubt that medical professionals may not have any credence to prescribing marijuana as a treatment for Parkinson’s symptoms.

Is It Possible To Buy Recreational Marijuana With A Credit Card?

If you use marijuana recreationally, you may not want to have to scrounge up cash every time you want to buy some weed. You may be wondering if it’s possible to buy your marijuana with a credit card. Your payment options will vary based on a number of factors. Here’s how you can figure out whether or not you can use a credit card to pay for your weed.

Is Marijuana Legal In Your State?

If weed is legal in your state, you should be able to buy the marijuana you want with a credit or debit card. Most places that sell marijuana will accept a credit card as a valid form of payment.

With that said, you’ll need to make sure that recreational weed is legal in your state. If your laws only allow for the purchase of medical marijuana, you probably won’t be able to purchase marijuana with cash or a credit card.

Is Withdrawing Cash Using Your Credit Card An Option?

If you are buying marijuana illegally, and you want to use cash, you do have the option of withdrawing some money using your credit card. It’s common for credit card companies to allow you to withdraw a small amount of cash from ATMs.

With that said, obtaining cash in this way isn’t something that is recommended. If you do withdraw cash from your credit card, you’ll have to pay interest on the cash you take out. You’ll also have to pay ATM fees. You’ll wind up spending a lot more if you obtain cash in this way.

What To Do If Marijuana Is Illegal In Your State

If recreational marijuana is illegal in your state, you may want to avoid purchasing it, even if you want to use it recreationally, regardless of whether or not you pay with a credit card. Take a close look at your local laws. Is marijuana decriminalized in your state, or are you facing fines and other penalties for purchasing marijuana?

Make sure you know what the laws in your state are so that you can avoid running afoul of those laws. Being familiar with the laws in your state can save you a lot of problems.

It is possible to buy recreational marijuana with a credit card. With that said, this isn’t going to be an option for all people. Look at the laws in your state and figure out what sort of options you have. You can decide what to do from there.