Saturday, February 20, 2010

Medical Marijuana Works

Finally, some real science to back up what many of us already knew; yes, medical marijuana really does work:

With the results of a medical study summarized by a new report delivered to the California state legislature, the California Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research (CMCR) claims it has established scientific proof that inhaled cannabis holds medical value at or above the level of conventional prescription medicines used for a variety of ailments.

"As a result of the vision and foresight of the California State Legislature Medical Marijuana Research Act(SB847), the CMCR has successfully conducted the first clinical trials of smoked cannabis in the United States in more than 20 years," the group said in the study's conclusion summary. "As a result of this program of systematic research, we now have reasonable evidence that cannabis is a promising treatment in selected pain syndromes caused by injury or diseases of the nervous system, and possibly for painful muscle spasticity due to multiple sclerosis."

"'There is good evidence now that cannabinoids (the active compounds in the marijuana plant) may be either an adjunct or a first-line treatment for … neuropathy,' said Dr. Igor Grant, Director of the CMCR, at a news conference at the state Capitol,'" according to Salem-News. "He added that the efficacy of smoked marijuana was 'very consistent,' and that its pain-relieving effects were 'comparable to the better existing treatments' presently available by prescription."

One of the most infuriating parts of the whole medical marijuana debate was that opponents could argue that "there's no scientific evidence", because of the reality that almost no research had been conducted. The political and legal restrictions prohibited it. So the evidence for the efficacy of medical marijuana was purely "anecdotal", even though there were many thousands of people reporting relief for a variety of symptoms. As more states have legalized medical marijuana, more and more patients have found it effective. Funny how that works.
I've said many times that while you could have a reasonable debate about recreational marijuana (though I'm for legalization), but that human compassion dictates that medical marijuana should be legal. I know that it works for me.

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