Saturday, March 17, 2007

The right thing to do

I'm waiting to leave, and reading the news. This caught my eye:

Democratic Gov. Bill Richardson, poised to sign a bill making New Mexico the 12th state to legalize medical marijuana, said Thursday that he realizes his action could become an issue in the presidential race.

"So what if it's risky? It's the right thing to do," said Richardson, one of the candidates in the crowded 2008 field.

While the issue of recreational marijuana can be debated, the issue of medical marijuana is crystal clear. It works. It alleviates pain and suffering for many people. Denying those people relief is cruel and inhumane. Mr. Richardson, well done.


Anonymous said...

What surprises me is that the drug cos haven't extracted the THC and produced it in tablet form, but I guess as it's still illegal on the federal level they can't do it.

SweaterMan said...

Demeur -

THC has been synthesized for years ( and is, in fact, the choice of drug given to cancer patients undergoing therapy (either chemo or radiation) or for AIDS-or other-related eating problems.

Here's the problem: both forms of the drug are by oral ingestion, and, for some odd physiological reaction, are not absorbed as beneficially/quickly as "natural" THC through the stomach and intestinal walls versus the lungs -- EVEN AS COMPARED TO THC BAKED IN A BROWNIE!! This may be due to the myriad other substances in "natural" marijuana (and, yes, there are zillions), the synthetic drug, or it may be due to some other factor, or it may be due to the fact that lung-to-blood transmission of a drug is quicker, easier and one of the fastest/non-invasive ways to impart a drug into the body.

The biggest thing is the cost. If you look at this table:
you can see what the difference is.

Now, as I can claim, and, as others that run this blog can tell you, I am not a dope smoker. I was born and raised to be a swimmer, and therefore, my lungs were sacrosanct. However, I have "partaken" and consider myself open-minded enough that if a joint came my way (in what to me, was a casual time), I'd take a hit. BFD. As I'm sure, everyone else would say. And yes, marijuana does give you a good buzz, and, just because of that, it probably has the same effects as aspirin in terms of numbing/reducing pain, but I'm not a licensed doctor, I've done no tests, and any tests that have been done have been completely discredited by the government (through stupid-ass means, I'm the first to admit).

However, I would never, never, never, never DENY a patient to take whatever medication they thought would help them (although I would, of course, caution them against heroin for a paper cut - DUH!). Hey, let's face it, Newton - yeah, that Newton, imbibed arsenic - back then, TASTE was a common "test" for chemical variance. (So, hey, close your eyes and let me put this clump of dog poop in your mouth).

I do, however, believe that much more research should be put into the pain-relieving/nausea-inhibiting effects of such a simple drug, especially, when it come from a naturally growing plant. If the drug companies can produce something like the effects of marijuana on the timescale of marijuana ingestion (with no side effects WORSE than marijuana), than why shouldn’t it be available to doctors and their patients.

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