Monday, February 16, 2015

Medical Marijuana

For the past 75 years in Canada, the possession of marijuana is considered to be a crime, and people found possessing marijuana can be punished by the Canadian Justice System. Despite the fact that marijuana in generally is illegal, over 80% of Canadians in 2009 were in favour of the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes. Due to this high demand, Canada became the first country to create a federal policy to regulate the use of medical marijuana. This policy allowed individuals who were suffering from different illnesses such as chronic pain, nausea from chemotherapy, and seizure disorders to access medical marijuana. In order for someone to access medicinal marijuana, they must submit a request to the Canadian Health Minister, as well as obtain a prescription from a physician.

Although the Government of Canada has created this policy, the health care system fails to cover the costs of medicinal marijuana. Medicinal marijuana is not a cheap treatment, it costs approximately $5/gram, and the average dose ranges from 3 grams-100 grams a day.... those costs add up quickly! Also, provinces such as British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and the Yukon charge a 5% tax on each gram of medicinal marijuana sold. 

Something important to know about medicinal marijuana to know is that it is not the same kind of marijuana that you can buy on the streets. Medicinal marijuana is a completely natural compound, and is grown by licensed producers across the country. 

So, now that you all have an idea of what the legal aspects of medical marijuana are, lets discuss how medicinal marijuana actually works! There is a chemical in medicinal marijuana called THC, which is what causes people to feel "high" and what gives marijuana some of its medicinal properties. There are receptors throughout the body, and the chemicals in medicinal marijuana (such as THC) bind to these receptors produce various effects, such as reducing pain or anxiety and acting as an anti-inflammatory agent 

Medical marijuana can be consumed in the following ways: 
1. Smoked 
2. Vaporized 
3. Eaten (usually in the form of cookies or candy)
4. Taken as a liquid extract 

Since medical marijuana is a natural compound, there are very few side effects. It can cause problems with memory, pleasure, coordination, and time perception. In rare cases it can cause paranoia and hallucinations.

Something else that I think is important to discuss are the social implications of medicinal marijuana. When I was 15 I had a physician recommend it to me (it's important to know that medicinal marijuana is typically used as a last resort when "traditional" interventions haven't provided the patient with any sort of relief), as I had not been able to find any kind of treatment that would decrease the pain I was experiencing with chronic headaches. My first instinct was to say no, because I was worried that people were going to think I was a drug addict and all of those horrible stereotypes. I was worried I was going to become addicted to it and that it was going to significantly impact my day to day life. I refused the prescription, but I think that if I had been properly educated on it before I refused it, I may have given it a try!

If you guys are interested in learning more about medicinal marijuana, click on the links below! Thanks for reading!

Courtney 



Resources Used 
http://www.webmd.com/pain-management/features/medical-marijuana-uses 
http://science.howstuffworks.com/medical-marijuana1.htm
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2009/08/14/f-medical-marijuana.html 
http://lois-laws.justice.gc.ca/eng/regulations/SOR-2001-227/page-2.html#h-2 
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/ahc-asc/media/nr-cp/_2012/2012-193-eng.php 

1 comment:

  1. Another excellent post. I think the medical community and society are a way behind on this one.

    ReplyDelete