It's A Little Easier For Some Families To Get Marijuana

Here's why that's a good thing.

Some of the families of people suffering from severe illnesses can sleep a little easier tonight for two reasons. First, their loved ones may finally be able to get some of the relief they desperately need. Second, they don’t have to worry about getting punished with jail time for getting that help.

On Monday, the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug Epidiolex. It is the first drug derived from a marijuana plant to win FDA approval. It is designed to treat severe forms of childhood epilepsy.

The drug contains highly purified cannabidiol, commonly referred to as CBD. It’s one of the many elements that make up the marijuana plant. THC is another of those elements. It’s the one known for its psychoactive and euphoric side effects. Epidiolex contains only trace amounts of THC.

Some see this move as the first step in legalizing marijuana, at least for medicinal purposes. As they understand it, the legalization of marijuana for any purpose is the beginning of the end for a civilized society. Those suffering from severe illnesses beg to differ. They see it as easier access to the only thing that seems to offer them any relief.

There are many layers to the marijuana discussion. I’ll save the debate for the legalization of the plant for recreational use for another time. But for now, we have to come to grips with how to get families help.

One of the many consequences of big government is that good people often get caught up in sweepingly generalized laws. Can marijuana do harm? Most definitely. But so can alcohol and you might remember what happened when that was outlawed.

The recreational use of marijuana is unwise. So too is the recreational use of morphine. But we should not let that distract us from the ways that both can be used to help those in need. Just because something can be abused is no reason that it should not be used in specific situations to help specific people with specific needs.

But once again, the government is getting in the way and making it harder for families to get the help that they need. Much of the opposition from elected government officials to the medical use of cannabis oil has more to do with the threat of losing the support of the pharmaceutical industry than it does morality. It’s hard to make money off of a drug once people figure out that a better remedy can be grown on a farm.

I’m sure you’ve seen some of the hundreds of commercials for perfectly legal drugs that spend more time telling you how the drug could kill you than they do telling you how it will help you. I’d rather my neighbor have a doctor’s prescription for oil from a plant that will help his little girl to stop having seizures than I would him feeding his kid the psychotropic drugs that some doctors pass out like candy.

The real moral thing to do here is to help families in need. You don’t have to become a Rastafarian to do that. All that’s really needed is the government to get out of the way.

Comments
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Swan
Swan

And - I must add - conservatives who cling to conventional thought about marijuana are impeding medical progress. Humanity would never have made progress in fighting disease if some physicians and researchers and scientists had refused to break convention and shock the establishment thinkers of their day, by what they were willing to do and try in order to help patients. Keep your mind closed when it comes to absolute truths, but open about everything else, and you won't get in the way of GOOD progress. Tradition is not your friend if it doesn't align with actual universal absolutes.

Swan
Swan

We've got a number of legal seizure medications that are routinely prescribed, such as barbiturates and benzodiazepines, that can be addictive and have been known to create addicts (just google barbiturate or benzodiazepine addiction, if you need proof). Then we've got the new kid on the seizure-treatment block, cannabis, over here - and lots of people are afraid of it because it is addictive. Why is a different standard being applied to cannabis than to other seizure medications?

Clearly, there is a bias against cannabis because many (understandably) believe it to be a gateway drug. However, the reality is that a lot of legal drugs are gateway drugs. I'm not just talking about high-level painkillers, here.

If we're going to ban any drug that can be habit-forming, because it could create an addict, that would eliminate a lot of drugs commonly prescribed not just for seizures or severe pain, but also for ADHD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, narcolepsy, and migraines.

Addiction is a serious risk that must be addressed, yes. But an argument that a drug should be illegal because it is habit-forming becomes invalid if the same 'it can't be habit forming if it is to be legal' standard is not applied to ALL drugs.

One must also consider a common medical dilemma, here. If you were faced with a choice between your child possibly dying from a seizure that couldn't be stopped, or your child taking a habit-forming medication, which one would YOU choose? Medical science often faces this dilemma: shall we do medical harm in order to save a life? The answer medical professionals usually choose in such emergency cases is "yes." For instance, they may do serious damage to people's bodies while they are trying to eradicate cancer. Chemotherapy poses known risks to the body, and sometimes causes serious long-term damage. But it can save lives, so it is used - because survival takes precedence over other health concerns. You have to ask yourself: which is worse - potential addiction, or death? The answer then becomes obvious.

I agree with this article. Medical cannabis should really be legal for seizure treatment. And medical issues such as this should really be decided by people trained in medicine, not by politicians.

AKARP
AKARP

CBD is a non-psychoactive derivative of the hemp plant. I guess it’s good for more than just making rope. It can be extracted from cannabis as well and purified away from THC. CBD is used to help children suffering from seizures. I use it to treat knee and foot pain. Curiously, the feds treat CBD as a controlled substance. I smell BS.

doodlebuggy
doodlebuggy

California, Washington, Nevada, and Oregon all have recreational MJ. That's an enormous number of people, so many it effectively IS legal in the US. It's too late for any ground work.

I live in a non-legal state but it is so easy to get it and we all feel fairly comfortable using it in our homes now. IN Missouri if you're caught we less than 10 grams it effectively is a ticket.

cynicalnerd
cynicalnerd

This is a half-decent first step. A better one would be the Feds changing its classification of MJ from Schedule 1 (Purely illegal like crystal meth) to 3N (drug like ketamine). Legalization for recreational use isn't in the cards until a considerable amount of ground work is performed. (At what level of MJ intoxication is the legal limit? Do we have a reliable and fast way to test for it at the side of the road? etc.)