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June 19, 2013


NH soon to become the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana use with Governor Hassan's public statement she now approves of the changes to HB 573.

Let us pause to pray.

I am not one to pray, but I do so for two reasons. 1) there are those in NH who desperately benefit from this new law.  2) The new law, although desperately needed, is a farce.

Still, the governor's decision is leap-years ahead of former governor Lynch's attitude towards cannabis. But that's like saying, "the earth is flat, but it has mountains and valleys, so we the state of NH recognize there are now mountains and valleys and the earth is simply flat.

Omitted from HB 573 is the option for patients to grow there own; legal protection for possession for at least 19 months until the state has established 4 dispensaries, and inclusion of individuals suffering PTSD and other debilitating symptoms that respond well to cannabis therapy/medication use.

Many of the patients in need may not be around 19 months from now, and many of those excluded will not have an opportunity to experience life as a freedom.

However I can't fault governor Hassan completely as I've read the state laws in neighboring New England states and they are at best daunting to understand. The most notable fault with the laws are the exclusion of psychiatrists and psychologists. In the majority of cases, a patient must have been a patient of an MD for a period of a year, of which in general patients see a psychiatrist for far less than a year, and psychologists don't appear to factor into a medical decision.

MD's or Physician's assistants are not well versed on psychological needs of a patient, and that appears to be intentional in most states with regards to medical marijuana laws. MD's also have a general stricter sense of medicine and are more likely to prescribe a pharmaceutical, meaning a pill, rather than a plant, whatever it's called. Granted, rumor has it that in states like CA there are plenty of MD's willing to "prescribe" marijuana to patients for everything from a sprained finger to cancer. However the truth is, most MD's take their job seriously, and if they prescribe cannabis it's from a medical standpoint that it benefits the patient, not that is provides what in street-terms is "a fix".

Expecting my doctor for example to approve medical cannabis for approved use is like expecting him to approve green tea or apple juice to prevent illness. Doctors these days simply don't deal well with alternative medicines or, aside from general terms, nutrition, they deal with diagnostics and pharmaceutical drugs.

Case in point... for PTSD I took Prozac for over a year, but the side effects were worst than the benefits , so I attempted to wean myself off from the Prozac per my doctors recommendations. Unfortunately I had become addicted, and I was unable to wean myself off from the Prozac without disturbing withdrawal symptoms that were quite uncomfortable, similar to sand-paper/head-rushes rubbing against my brain that left me reeling.

I read where a plant called kanna acted naturally as an SSRI, asked my doctor if I could try it and he said sure. He didn't know anything about it, which isn't unexpected, didn't document my use of kanna to relieve the withdrawal symptoms - it was a plant, and doctors don't as a whole concern themselves with plants, they prescribe pills. As a side-note, he had nothing in the way of a pill to alleviate my withdrawal symptoms. If the kanna didn't work, I was basically screwed. But it did work. It proved to be my way out of my addiction to Prozac which he also didn't document.

Essentially, he was powerless from a pharmaceutical point of view to alleviate my dependence on Prozac, and was simply happy to hear when I told him that the kanna worked. Over the next couple of moths I weaned myself off daily use of the kanna.

If kanna had been illegal, or required state approval he would not have approved. Simply because physicians today are not educated in herbal medicines. Had a psychiatrist or or psychologist considered my problem, they would most likely have approved of it, haven't met one yet opposed to cannabis or other medicinal plants.

For the patient it creates a dilemma... one called lying to your doctor.

The vast majority of people I have known would never admit to their doctor they used illegal drugs. They would be more likely to admit it to their therapist. Considering the medical profession, when a patient feels the need to lie a victim is created.

I drink a lot of beer... well, not a lot, but a lot... the amount I admit I drink is different if I'm talking to my MD compared to my therapist. Considering I have PTSD, anxiety, and other past experiences that affect me my therapist feels cannabis would be better for me than alcohol. My MD believes cannabis is out of the question, and that a pill to curb my alcohol dependence is preferable. I feel more comfortable with cannabis, as I know from experience it lacks serious side effects and it was effective for 35 years, when I didn't drink more than a beer or two a day. And pills scare me. Pot doesn't.

While using cannabis daily for 35 years I thrived... I was very social, earned three degrees and my gpa increased. I excelled at whatever job I had. For the past 8 years, cannabis free, it's been all down-hill. During those 8 years I tried Prozac... I tried Stratera, and other drugs prescribed by MD's. All were a disaster.

Cannabis works for me, but it's against the law, and in many of the now 19 states legalizing cannabis for medical use I would not be eligible. The primary reason is my MD would prefer to try me on another pharmaceutical. Against my wishes. But they don't prescribe plants, nor recognize them as medicine.

So as much as I'm happy to see NH become the 19th state to legalize medical "marijuana", I'm extremely disappointed.

What the state of NH and other states fails to recognize is the rights of the individual to use plants as they prefer. I don't mean derivatives or synthetics as in heroin, meth or crack; I mean as in an herbal alternative of which cannabis is a definite example.

No one dies from cannabis use, moderation is easy to somewhat difficult depending on the individual, but compared to alcohol, tobacco, and pharmaceutics it's a slam dunk... cannabis is more like coffee... some drink a cup a day where others drink several, but at the end of the day, the worst one experiences is the jitters.

In my next post... creating a criminal... or should I say "growing one"?

1 comment:

  1. I like this post because it basically drives home the point that herbal treatments are preferred by many people. Big pharma has many side effects, some lethal like heart attack, blood clots, etc. Tobacco and alcohol kill. Cannabis is a safe herbal alternative for medical treatment and for recreation.