Opponents of Medical Marijuana Get Humiliated in New York Times

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Last week's NYT editorial from fanatical anti-pot crusader David Evans generated some powerful responses from readers. Here's my favorite.

Mr. Evans, who is not a doctor and doesn’t specialize in any of the illnesses he cites, overextends his expertise when he advises me and other readers that medical marijuana does not help me and others like me.

I have Parkinson’s disease, and I have used marijuana on occasion to relieve the uncomfortable stiffness that I suffer from time to time. It works.

Mr. Evans insists that “numerous safe and effective F.D.A.-approved medications are available for these conditions.” He’s right; I’m on several of them. But these drugs have unpleasant and, in one case, potentially debilitating side effects when used on a long-term basis. How easy it is for an anti-marijuana crusader to dismiss its medical benefits; how wrong he is to advocate denying me something that eases my suffering.

ED SIKOV
New York, Dec. 14, 2011

For me, this point really cuts directly through all the distracting nonsense people like David Evans keep peddling. Leaving aside the disingenuous arguments that the science doesn't confirm marijuana's medical efficacy (it does), that prominent medical associations don't support it (they do), that the drug's availability will cause crime (it doesn't), or that compassionate laws send the wrong message to children (they don't), the medical marijuana debate really comes down to a decision about how to deal with sick people who choose this drug as part of their treatment.

Does anyone think that this Parkinson's patient, Ed Sikov, should be put in handcuffs, dragged down to the police station and charged with a crime because he finds marijuana helpful for mitigating his stiffness? 

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Paraplegia

A paraplegic man has chronic severe spasms in his lower extremities.  It's so bad they implant a pump into his right buttock that releases a chemical muscle relaxant called Baclofen constantly into his body.  This happens quite often.

Extreme?  Seems so, and Baclofen pumps are actually LESS effective for many patients than cannabis is.  

FDA does not approve all drugs

Up to 2% of legal prescriptions are unapproved drugs. They are considered "grandfathered" because they were on the market prior to the establishment of the FDA in 1938 and are GRAS - Generally Recognized As Safe evidenced by a "substantial history of use" by a "significant number of consumers." Were this interpreted faithfully, cannabis would be a grandfathered (unapproved, yet legal) drug as soon as it was descheduled. Of course, the FDA will almost surely twist interpretation to declare cannabis not GRAS for one flimsy reason or another.

The Government doesn`t spend

The Government doesn`t spend a $Trillion waging a war against a Plant that has no value . It does so to protect the Patents of Corporations that Fund it . Learn Cannabis prohibition history . Don`t be a sucker .

Not so sure

Well, being handcuffed might be fun. But the rest of it would be a drag.

Cheers!

--Ed Sikov

Cheers to you, Ed

Thanks for stopping by.

McD's picture

S&M with Those Who Know What's Best For US

Fun for them, I'm sure they'd find a way to make it, playing macho zoom-man world protector superhero prohibitionist, all the while collecting nice salary for doing so. For you, however... Let's hope it never happens. Fingers crossed for you, Ed!

Marijuana and the effects

Ed,

I applaud the fact that you use cannabis as a medical alternative to pharmaceutical medication. I broke my back in 3 places about 6 years back and fall back on the plant as an alternative myself. It does relieve pain and allows me more freedom to continue on with my life. The Social Security office has turned me down on getting my disability for this saying that I just need to find another line of work!!!! I live in a poverty stricken county in Missouri where it is still quite illegal to possess or use. I know that I am running the gauntlet by using this medication! The citizens of the United States need to stand up against the government and the corporations that are trying to keep this "medication" from becoming legal. The government doesn't realize how much tax revenue will come from the legalization of cannabis. And, corporations need to acknowledge that they are fighting a losing fight. It isn't a matter of if, but when. They don't want it to become legal due to the drop that it would create in the medicine that they peddle.

What works?

Once a doctor prescribed for me medication "X" and told to come back in four weeks.  Upon my return appointment he asked me, "how are you doing on X?"  Doctors are often dependent on feedback from patients.  What makes Prohibitionists think they know whether a marijuana user is doing it for recreational purposes (illegal) or for treatment of an medical malady (presumably 'legal' in some states)?

I remember visiting the SF Market Street Cannabis Cooperative, early on.  I didn't have a prescription and didn't try to obtain any of its product.  A number of clients were there talking, laughing and joking; it was hardly apparent that they were, for the most part, AIDs patients who were under what was then a death sentence.

Regulating the medical use of marijuana is an impossible task and government needs to quit trying.

ChronicCondition

I am a certified alcohol and substance abuse and mental health counselor who is living with a chronic health condition. I have only found relief when I've used marijuana, but because of the legal ramifications and potential fall-out I would face in my career and occupation, I have discontinued using weed and I continue to suffer. NY State needs to do the right thing a legalize it for medicinal purposes

Quack Quack Doctor

Doctors don't want it to be legal because it would mean that they lose out on the commissions they receive from pushing pharmaceutical drugs. I say if it works, use it. I am a patient as well. But, I live in a state that still says cannabis is illegal. But, I will continue using this "medication" because it works and doesn't have any side effects worth noting. I feel that the government should legalize it, even if it is strictly medicinally.

Hah...

I also suffer from a few ailments that make life difficult. Whether they are life threatening or not, will never know. I owe Ellis hospital money, which I cannot pay, they might sue for it. I can't get insurance because of these bills(wtf, right?). What are my options? Self medicate.

I have anxiety pretty badly, social anxiety as well.. my hands shake, I have chest pains, heart murmurs, and spikes in my emotion that would leave most to believe I'm bi-polar. Depression, anger.. it's daily. 
My joints are always in pain, mainly my knees and hands/fingers, my back is shot.. "specialists" told me it was herniated disks.. I doubt it. I have no quality in life whatsoever.. my moods, random pain.. and here is the most interesting part.. I'm only nineteen. Which makes me think is a number one reason why doctors won't really listen.. I always get the whole "your too young for that" deal. 
But when you look at me.. sober.. I'm miserable.. angry.. snippy.. secluded from everyone.. in a bunch of pain.. and when I smoke.. it all goes away.. You tell me that doesn't work. I know it works. And whether the dumb bastards in office legalize for recreational, medical, or whatever use, or make it completely illegal again.. I will STILL continue to use the only thing that lets me enjoy life the way everyone else gets to. 

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