Medical Marijuana – The Debate Rages On

Dope is also known as pot, turf and dope but its formal name is actually cannabis. It comes from the leaves and flowers of the plant Cannabis sativa. It is considered an illegal substance in the us alone and many countries and property of dope is a crime punishable by law. The FDA classifies dope as Schedule I, substances which employ a high potential for abuse and have no proven medical use. Over the buy weed online uk years several studies claim that some substances found in dope have healing use, especially in airport terminal diseases such as cancer and AIDS. This started a fierce debate over the pros and cons of the use of medical dope. To settle this debate, the Institute of Medicine published the famous 1999 IOM report entitled Dope and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base. The report was comprehensive but did not give a clear cut yes or no answer. The contrary camps of the medical dope issue often tell of perhaps the report in their advocacy arguments. However, although the report clarified many things, it never settled the controversy finally.

Let’s look at the conditions that support why medical dope should be legalized.

(1) Dope is a naturally occurring herb and has been used from South america to Asia as an herbal medicine for millennia. In nowadays when the all pure, organic are important health buzzwords, a naturally occurring herb like dope might be more inviting to and safer for consumers than unnatural drugs.

(2) Dope has strong therapeutic potential. Several studies, as summarized in the IOM report, have observed that cannabis can be used as analgesic, e. h. to treat pain. A few studies showed that THC, a dope component works in treating chronic pain experienced by cancer patients. However, studies on good pain such as those experienced during surgery and strain have undetermined reports. A few studies, also summarized in the IOM report, have demonstrated that some dope components have antiemetic properties and are, therefore, effective against nausea and vomiting, which are common side effects of cancer chemotherapy and rays therapy. Some researchers suspect that cannabis has some therapeutic potential against neurological diseases such as multiple sclerosis. Specific compounds extracted from dope have strong therapeutic potential. Cannobidiol (CBD), a major part of dope, has been shown to have antipsychotic, anticancer and antioxidant properties. Other cannabinoids have been shown to prevent high intraocular pressure (IOP), a major risk factor for glaucoma. Drugs that include active ingredients present in dope but have been synthetically produced in the laboratory have been approved by the US FDA. An example is Marinol, an antiemetic agent indicated for nausea and vomiting associated with cancer chemotherapy. Its ingredient is dronabinol, a unnatural delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).

(3) One of the major proponents of medical dope is the Dope Policy Project (MPP), a US-based organization. Many medical professional organizations and organizations have expressed their support. As an example, The American College of Medical practitioners, recommended a re-evaluation of the Schedule I classification of dope in their 2008 position paper. ACP also bespeaks its strong support for research into the therapeutic role of dope as well as exemption from federal criminal justice; civil liability; or professional sanctioning for medical practitioners who suggest or dispense medical dope as outlined by state law. Similarly, protection from criminal or civil penalties for patients who use medical dope as permitted under state laws.

(4) Medical dope is legally used in many developed countries The argument of if they can do it, why not us? is another strong point. Some countries, including Canada, Belgium, Austria, the netherlands, britain, Italy, Israel, and Finland have legalized the therapeutic use of dope under strict prescription control. Some states in the us alone are also allowing exemptions.

Now here are the arguments against medical dope.

(1) Lack of data on safety and efficacy. Drug regulation is based on safety first. The safety of dope and its components still has to first be established. Efficacy only comes second. Even if dope has some beneficial health effects, the benefits should outweigh the risks for it to be considered for medical use. Unless dope is been shown to be better (safer and more effective) than drugs currently you can purchase, its approval for medical use may be a long shot. According to the testimony of Robert J. Meyer of the Department of Health and Human Services access a drug or medical treatment, without focusing on how to use it or even if it is effective, does not benefit anyone. Simply having access, without having safety, efficacy, and adequate use information does not help patients.

(2) Unknown chemical components. Medical dope can only be easy to get at and affordable in herbal form. Like other herbs, dope falls under the category of botanical products. Unpurified botanical products, however, face many problems including lot-to-lot consistency, dosage determination, effectiveness, shelf-life, and toxicity. According to the IOM report if there is any future of dope as a medicine, it lies in its separated components, the cannabinoids and their unnatural derivatives. To fully characterize the different components of dope would cost so much time and money that the costs of the medications that will come out of it would be too much. Currently, no pharmaceutical company seems interested in investing money to isolate more therapeutic components from dope beyond what is already you can purchase.

(3) Potential for abuse. Dope or cannabis is habit forming. It may not be as habit forming as hard drugs such as cocaine; nevertheless it cannot be waived that there is a potential for substance abuse associated with dope. This has been demonstrated by a few studies as summarized in the IOM report.

(4) Lack of a safe delivery system. The most common form of delivery of dope is through smoking. Considering the current trends in anti-smoking legislations, this form of delivery will never be approved by health authorities. Reliable and safe delivery systems in the form of vaporizers, nebulizers, or inhalers are still at the testing stage.

(5) Symptom comfort, not cure. Even if dope has therapeutic effects, it is only addressing the symptoms of certain diseases. It does not treat or cure these illnesses. Given that it is effective against these symptoms, there are already medications available which work as well or even better, without the side effects and risk of abuse associated with dope.

The 1999 IOM report could not settle the debate about medical dope with scientific evidence available at that time. The report definitely distressed the use of reviewed dope but gave a nod towards dope use by having a medical inhaler or vaporizer. In addition, the report also recommended the thoughtful use of dope under strict medical administration. Furthermore, it exhorted more funding in the research of the safety and efficacy of cannabinoids.

So what stands in the form of clarifying the questions brought up by the IOM report? The health authorities do not seem to be interested in having another review. There is limited data available and whatever is available is biased towards safety issues on the adverse effects of reviewed dope. Data available on efficacy mainly come from studies on unnatural cannabinoids (e. h. THC). This variation in data makes a target risk-benefit assessment difficult.

Clinical studies on dope are few and difficult to conduct due to limited funding and strict regulations. Because of the complicated legalities involved, very few pharmaceutical companies are investing in cannabinoid research. In many cases, it is not clear how to define medical dope as advocated and opposed by many groups. Does it only refer to the use of the botanical product dope or does it include unnatural cannabinoid components (e. h. THC and derivatives) as well? Unnatural cannabinoids (e. h. Marinol) you can purchase are extremely expensive, pushing people towards the more affordable cannabinoid in the form of dope. Of course, the issue is further clouded by conspiracy possibilities involving the pharmaceutical industry and drug regulators.

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