Time for Some #ReeferSanity

Time for Some #ReeferSanity

“You just want to get high!” This is what I hear when I attempt to have a discussion about Medical Marijuana.

Couldn’t be further from the truth. I have been a nurse since 1978 and most of those years I have been drug tested. Even if it was not an issue I still would not want to get high. (I do love the smell! ) I have a difficult time taking any medication.  My drugs of choice are Advil Gel tabs and Ice.

A while back when I lived in Boca there were brownies in my fridge. I have no idea how they got there. Friends in and out of the house so it could have been anyone. I don’t do pot but I do love chocolate. I went into the freezer and it was not labeled “Pot Brownies.” and I ate a bunch. Surprise! Much to the chagrin of my family who thought it was funny I got really upset. I spent the next 3 months freaking out about a possible drug test at work. (Yes, still not funny you guys)

A note to you all: If you make Pot brownies and put them in your mom’s fridge-label them. “Skulls and crossbones!” or “Not for Mom!”

Over my years as a nurse I have seen patients on Marijuana. Back in the day, when I first moved to Florida. I worked at the Cancer Center (Now the Sylvester) as a research nurse. This was the early 80’s. We did a marijuana study and I really can’t remember a lot about it but I do remember there was a huge amount of red tape.

I have always been true believer in taking care of the patient. When you see cancer patients one of the biggest concerns is when they do not tolerate the chemo, have terrible nausea and will not eat. I’ve had MS patients tell me for years that it helps their spasticity. Many patients over the years have confided they just get it from their friends.

Here are a few symptoms that Medicinal Marijuana will relieve:

 

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Anorexia
  • AIDS
  • Arthritis
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV
  • Migraine
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Nausea
  • Pain
  • Spasticity
  • Wasting Syndrome”

Here is some info regarding research from those stoners at the National Institute of Health (the mothership)

NIH Research on Marijuana and Cannabinoids

Let’s stop here for a moment and take this in. Doctors write a lot of prescriptions.A study published by Mayo Clinic a few years back reveals that 70% of Americans take at least one prescription medication. The same study shows that 20% of Americans are on five or more medications. It was also revealed that prescription drug use among Americans has steadily increased over the past 10 years.

It is a lot of prescriptions. I think this is a discussion for another day. The point I want to bring home is “Medicinal Marijuana” is by prescription. Just like any other medication.

A bottle of Marinol can cost up to 1500 bucks. For a few hundred you can go to your approved marijuana doctor and get the real thing. Just in case you have no idea what Marinol (Dronabinol) is used to treat nausea and vomiting caused by cancer chemotherapy. It is usually used when other drugs to control nausea and vomiting have not been successful. Dronabinol is also used to treat loss of appetite and weight loss in patients with HIV infection. Megace is used to stimulate the appetite. A bottle of suspension can cost upwards to 500 dollars and is not covered by insurance.

Yes, this represents your usual group of stoners. Cancer and HIV patients.

I’ll just say it. Denying these people their medicinal marijuana should be criminal.

Pain

Developing the Therapeutic Potential of the Endocannabinoid System for Pain Treatment 

Lets talk about Pain. I’ve been a nurse for a long long time so I’ve seen people in various settings in terrible pain (Eye and Ear ER, Medical Surgical Floor, Home Health, Pharmacy owner). I have also seen many people trying to stop their pain medications. I’ve seen people ask their doctors for assistance to stop their pain medication they refused. True Story. That I have on video somewhere.

I have had the opportunity to ask people in detox how did this happen to them?

Mostly, I heard the same story over and over. “I was in a car accident.” “I fell.” People just got addicted. No physical therapy. No acupuncture. Just a bunch of prescriptions written but no actual pain management.

Now we have a new industry of doctors. Pain management. In the 8 years up here I’ve not really see them managing pain.  I see contracts being written. I see patients getting kicked out if they don’t obey the rules. Ten minute appointments. But no actual management of pain.

Just the attitude of medical professionals up here. Four years ago I had shingles around my eye. It was terribly painful. My brain was literally on fire. If I was in Boca where I worked with all my doctors at the hospital it would not have been an issue. Yes please I’d like ten vicodan because I know it work for me.

I know I can take those ten vicodan  1 every six  hours for two days then split them up take a half then a quarter with my drug of choice Advil Gel tabs and by the time the antibiotics and everything I’m doing (like supplements and acupuncture)kicks in I’m pain free and back on the highway of wellness. People reacted in a negative way. How dare I even ask?  Doctors are afraid. I could hear the staff in the urgent care criticizing me. (judgy medical professionals -another blog for another day.)

Patients tell me they smoked some pot and not only did it help with pain (via pain scale) but it helped their appetite and it helped them sleep. This is a good thing. Eating, sleeping and pain management all go together.

I find watching the news hard regarding in opioid crisis because most are clueless. The people making the laws. The people on the news. In their defense how would they know?

Under the issues with law enforcement. This is a difficult time for them. We need to differentiate a substance that is used for medicinal purposes as opposed to people that want to get high.

Think of all the money saved. Insurance companies won’t pay for it. We” ll save a bundle in pain medication prescriptions.

The goal is when someone is ill to help them achieve wellness.  When people are in pain you treat the pain so the person can heal. When someone is dying our goal is to make them comfortable. I have no idea what goes in the brain of people in our government when they think about medical marijuana use.

Jeff Sessions rescinded Obama-era directive that eased federal enforcement.

Marijuana already was illegal under federal law, the Justice Department during the Obama administration had issued guidance — which Sessions revoked — discouraging enforcement of the law in states where it was legal.

I’m not sure why anyone would be against people in pain using medicinal marijuana. I’m not sure why we can’t encourage people on opioids to try medicinal marijuana. I think it would end the opioid crisis if we gave people the option to have mm and other pain management products.

Here is what our Representative Brian Mast had to say at  a town meeting. He seemed to be ok with states rights but thought it should go though the FDA process. Brian is a veteran who went thru a horrific explosion and lost his legs. I think in this case he is being sincere. He spends a lot of time on Veterans which is natural.

What he probably does not know is doctors have the right to prescribe off label to begin with so drugs do not necessarily have to go thru a gazillion dollar study to do so. There is more to this that I would have to look up. I do not think that anyone owns a patent on marijuana.

Recently one of our readers chimed in a discussion regarding the one clinic that will open up in Vero Beach and the rest are banned. This was a choice given to them by the State of Florida to either treat them as pharmacies or ban them. (Seriously Florida Dept of Health?)

Anyway this reader bravely came forward and discussed how how he felt like he could not even try Medical Marijuana because his VA benefits would be taken away. I did tag Brian Mast and the reader told me he dropped off information. So Brian you can get back to us anytime.

I do not know a lot about PTSD and medical marijuana. I’m planning on contacting some friends who are experts to get some info. I do know locally some people are being referred to certified medical marijuana doctors for pain and also for PTSD.

I did find this article in Psychology Today.

“A recent study published in Molecular Psychiatry showed that treatment using particular compounds found in marijuana may benefit those with PTSD, and that “plant-derived cannabinoids [psychoactive chemicals] such as marijuana may possess some benefits in individuals with PTSD by helping relieve haunting nightmares and other symptoms of PTSD.”

Research published on Science Daily also looked at symptom reduction in patients with PTSD. As a result of taking medical marijuana, participants reported a decrease in re-experiencing the trauma, less avoidance of situations that reminded them of the trauma, and a decline in hyper-arousal.”

Obviously there is there is a lot to to talk about and do.

Samantha Bee/Full Frontal have did a great piece on the issue with the VA. I’m not sure you will ever get the VA to hand out marijuana but can we at least make sure people will not loose their benefits.

She is starting a #ReeferSanity campaign.

Here is the segment.

You can click here to Join the #ReeferSanity Army

Empower Veterans Who Want to Use Medical Cannabis

Lets get this done for our veterans!

More to come.

Contact me at Clenz@mac.com  

or leave a comment.

 

 

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