August 8, 2009 – Melissa Etheridge took medical marijuana while undergoing chemotherapy during her fight with breast cancer. Patrick Swayze reportedly takes medicalMedical-Marijuana marijuana during his chemotherapy treatments and daily fight with pancreatic cancer. Both Etheridge and Swayze have reported immense benefits from taking medical marijuana, with Etheridge even declaring that she believes it should be legalized in all 50 states and recognized by the federal government.

Is medical marijuana all that proponents claim it to be for patients who suffer from cancer, auto-immune diseases, HIV & AIDS and other life-threatening ailments?

The answer is yes.

According to the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), medical marijuana is appropriate and safe for patients to use:

“Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications…These include pain relief — particularly of neuropathic pain (pain from nerve damage) — nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders…Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant, specifically for patients suffering from HIV, the AIDS wasting syndrome, or dementia…Emerging research suggests that marijuana’s medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors…and are neuroprotective.”

NORML goes on to state: “Currently, more than 60 U.S. and international health organizations support granting patients immediate legal access to medicinal marijuana under a physician’s supervision…
Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. Around 50,000 people die each year from alcohol poisoning. Similarly, more than 400,000 deaths each year are attributed to tobacco smoking. By comparison, marijuana is non-toxic and cannot cause death by overdose. According to the prestigious European medical journal, The Lancet, ‘The smoking of cannabis, even long-term, is not harmful to health. … It would be reasonable to judge cannabis as less of a threat … than alcohol or tobacco.’ ”

This reporter herself suffers from Crohn’s disease, an incurable auto-immune disease that causes inflammation and infection in the intestines, often accompanied by pain, nausea and other GI symptoms. I struggle daily with pain, nausea, and fatigue and have battled with my primary care and GI doctors for appropriate pain medication, often to no avail.

I personally believe that medical doctors who have the power to alleviate the pain and suffering of their patients and yet refuse to do so, are inhumane and medically negligent. Why were pain medications created if they were not to be utilized? A rhetorical question, perhaps…

So, is medical marijuana something that would work for me? I believe that it would, but there are a few roadblocks in my way of trying this natural pain relief.

Although California is one of 13 states that have enacted Medical Marijuana laws, these laws are not recognized by the federal government. (The 13 states with Medical Marijuana laws passed in-state are: Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.)

This federal and state discrepancy leaves Medical Marijuana patients at risk for arrest and other legal nightmares. As a mother of two and the wife of a federal employee, these are risks that I cannot afford to take at this time. This is an infuriating situation–I have medical doctors who almost never prescribe pain relief medication and refuse to refer me to a Pain Management Doctor, and because Medical Marijuana is not federally legal, I cannot take advantage of its natural and safe pain relief.

What is a responsible patient with an incurable disease to do?

Perhaps if I was a celebrity like Melissa Etheridge or Patrick Swayze, I wouldn’t be so afraid. Until I either find more compassionate doctors or Medical Marijuana is legal and legitimate patients are not subject to arrest and prosecution, I will have to live my life in pain on an almost daily basis. Source.

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