Lets start with the basics.
What is marijuana?
The common name for the plant cannabis. There are hundreds of different strains, all having a different medicinal qualities. This allows the plant to treat a multitude of conditions. Some have no mind altering side effects and others have many. Different diseases need different treatment.
Why is it needed?
Too many reasons to list here but it works like no other drug. No pharmaceutical compound can imitate it’s healing properties. The most recent studies indicate that marijuana can stop cancer from spreading. It actually has properties that protect the brain. For example, in M.S. patients, plaque stops accumulating on the brain.
Will this lead to full legalization of marijuana? There is no place in the world where marijuana is fully legalized.
What illnesses is it prescribed for currently?
Cancer, Parkinson’s, Huntington's Disease, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis, AIDs, chronic pain, glaucoma, hepatitis C, rheumatoid arthritis, HIV, epilepsy, Crohn's disease, anorexia, nail patella, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease), chronic nervous system disorders, cachexia or wasting syndrome, chronic or intractable pain, severe nausea, seizures, severe or persistent muscle spasms, diabetes mellitus, dystonia, fibromyalgia, gastrointestinal disorders, gliomas, hypertension, incontinence, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphyloccus aureus), osteoporosis, pruritus, sleep apnea, Tourette's syndrome, migraine headaches, depression, post traumatic stress disorder, attention deficit disorder, bipolar disorder, menstrual cramps and excessive bleeding, diarrhea, tuberculosis, elephantiasis, asthma, hemorrhoids, anemia, rabies, insomnia, Autism.
How is it administered?
It can be smoked, vaporized, or ingested. The required dosage is small enough to fit in a capsule. It can also be made into teas, tinctures, and edibles. Topical lotions can be used for treatment of headaches, muscle and joint pains.
Is it safe?
Yes. There has never been a known case of overdose. The lethal-to-effective ratio is 40,000 to 1. That of aspirin is 10 to 1.
Is marijuana addictive?
Marijuana has a 9% addiction rate, making it the least addictive pain medication available.
Is it a gateway drug?
There is no evidence supporting this claim. In fact, people start drinking caffeine, smoking cigarettes, and drinking alcohol years before they ever use marijuana.
Why is marijuana illegal?
Historically, cannabis (Hemp) has been used as a textile, fuel source, and medicine for thousands of years. Hearst and Dupont joined forces to eliminate the cannabis plant, therefore increasing the demand for paper and nylon.
Cannabis was prescribed as pills, extracts, and whole plant tinctures available over the counter until it was removed from the US Pharmacopeia in 1942.
In fact, many medicines of the time included cannabis, including Bromidia, Dakata, Doctor Macalister’s Cough Mixture, Cannabis, U.S.P., Menovarian, Gano-dyne, and Mientholated Cough Balsam and were manufactured by pharmaceutical companies such as Lilly.
What is the position of the Federal Government on Medical Marijuana?
Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 substance, defined as having "no medicinal qualities". However, for 30 years, the Federal government has been growing and distributing marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Each member of the Compassionate Investigational New Drug Program receives between 5 and 20 joints a day for their conditions. The Federal government, through the Department of Health and Human Services, holds the patent for cannabinoids as antioxidants and neuroprotectants.
(Photo; Irv Rosenfeld. The longest surviving Federal Medical Cannabis Patient in the United States. Learn more about Irv at his website http://mymedicinethebook.com
80% of Americans say I DO - *ABC NEWS-Jan. 18, 2010 - Eight in 10 Americans support legalizing marijuana for medical use and nearly half favor decriminalizing the drug more generally, both far higher than a decade ago.