MJ Consulting LLC | 928-772-2011 | 8540 E. State Route 69, Prescott Valley, AZ
Ask M.A. at MJ Consulting LLC
I wear green for my son!
This question & answer column is intended to provide information about the Arizona Medical Marijuana Program, not legal or medical advice. We are not affiliated with the AZDHS who administers the program.
Is Medical Marijuana Compassionate Medicine
for the seriously ill and chronically injured or are 63,000+ registered patients in Arizona drug addicts and criminal, as suggested in a recent article in the Daily Courier?
The views on this topic are the opinion of the writer.
It depends on who you ask! Those People who have not tried marijuana as a medicine and have not looked at the science will say addicts and criminals verse those patients and professionals who have done both call it compassionate medicine. 2012, Dr. Sanjay Gupta Neurosurgeon at Emory University and Chief Medical Correspondent for CNN National News said it best, “As a society we have been systematically mentally manipulated into believing there is no therapeutic value to cannabis as a medicine. Just prior to that comment Dr. Gupta apologized to the public for speaking against marijuana before he did the research. 1988 DEA Law Judge Francis Young said, “Marijuana is the safest substance known to man” and ordered it off schedule one. Unjustly disregarded to this day.
Read about the endocannabinoid system, endocannabinoids and phytocannabinoids to understand how the human body works synergistically with the marijuana plant components. Our body does not know if it is producing endocannabinoids or being supplemented with phytocannabinoids (from the plant). All our body knows is the levels are filled up in our CB1 receptor in our brain, controlling brain function and the central nervous system and the CB2 receptor in our blood, controlling our organs and immune system creating a healing environment. When the CB1 and CB2 receptors are happy they treat our symptoms and the root cause of our medical and mental condition. Medical marijuana makes a person feel better and perhaps addicted to FEELING WELL not addicted to the drug or a replacement to the pleasure centers as suggested in recent news articles.
Reefer Madness, Cheech & Chong, even the 70’s show all give a false illusion of how marijuana is to be used as a medicine. As a medicine it is about using a small amount and increasing in small amounts until the desired relief is felt. Medicine is about making you feel better. If it doesn’t make you feel better you alter the dose or/and try others just like pharmaceutical medications, only you get to monitor your dose, decide what works for you and the methods you choose to use and how often you use it. You cannot over dose because your receptors only hold so much but you can over medicate and that is not much fun. The worst side effects are feeling like you had too much alcohol, anxious feeling like something is wrong, or sedated to sleep. In all cases you remain calm, lie down, and rest while it passes.
With 1400 patient testimonies over the four years of the Arizona Medical Marijuana program, many who have returned each year for a patient registration card renewal – proof is in the medical records.
Keep in mind our oldest patient is 94 and average age is 63 years young.
If only Oncology, Pain Management, Mental Health, and physicians treating the 14 Arizona medical qualifying conditions (and the 487 known conditions and symptoms known to be treated by marijuana) could study our file drawers the medical records would speak for them self. Remember the 14 Arizona medical qualifying conditions: Aids, ALS, Crones disease, HIV, Alzheimer’s, Glaucoma, Cancer, Hep C, PTSD, Severe muscle spasm such as MS, Seizure disorder, cachexia/wasting syndrome, severe nausea, and severe and chronic pain.
We do have patients who have cured and/or have better quality of life using medical marijuana as a medicine. Patients with breast, prostrate, colon, pancreatic, lung, lymphoma, skin, mouth, liver, throat cancer and brain tumors, all alive treating with marijuana. We see marijuana successfully treating all 14 qualifying conditions approved by voters and so much more!
My personal experience is what keeps me assisting patients at MJ Consulting LLC as a volunteer for 4 ½ years, since the beginning of Arizona’s Medical Marijuana Act.
Year one patients arrived in electric scooters, walkers, crutches, canes, braces on various parts of their bodies, many in acute-severe and chronic pain from old injuries, no insurance for medical care, and surgeries gone wrong. Many mentally impaired by mental illness or mediation side effects. Every patient was on more than a dozen prescription medications and some on as many as 32 daily with multiple doses. Their entire day evolved around doses, doctor appointments, and their illness.
I try to teach everyone, “Your doctor is responsible for treating your illness you are responsible for your health and wellness”. Dr. Murray Lawson taught his patient, “If illness and wellness are opposite sides of a coin and you put all your resources (time, money, and energy) into your illness. How can you possibly expect to get well? At least half of your resources need to go to your health and wellness”.
Year two patients returned with not so much hardware, fewer medications, some nonsmokers, claiming fewer doctor visits, talk of quality of day and life. Many talked of the difficulty of kicking the alcohol, narcotic, and opiate addiction and how they felt much better having control mentally and physically.
Year three was such a surprise! Many patients walked in on their own two feet without scooter, walkers, assistive devices, many had lost their excessive weight while others who previously were gaunt from cancer treatments had gained weight, had good color, and felt well for the first time in a long time. Most of these patients were growing their own marijuana medicine at home providing activity, relaxation, mental stimulation; there were no open dispensaries in our area. Wellness changed when patents had to shut down their home gardens as dispensaries came on line 22 months after the program began, some still have not opened.
Year four the biggest complaint is, “I never see my doctor any more so how do I get medical records to renew my card?” My response is to have your annual physical and ask your doctor to document the ailments managed or cured and the medications you have stopped. When I asked my sons’ former doctor to document he said,” I don’t prescribe it to him so I do not need to document it. A good doctor will document so we found a good doctor.
One patient decided after renewing his medical marijuana card for four years he would finally tell his medical doctor at his next physical exam. His doctor asked him,” What do you use marijuana for?” The patient replied, “Pain, sleep, and to stay calm. The doctor handed the patient three prescriptions and said take these so you can get off that stuff”. The patient threw up his hands and said,” You just don’t get it. I use marijuana to stay off that stuff”!
No one in the newspapers is talking about the great things occurring with the medical marijuana program patients. Sick people do not document very well, they do not attend public meetings, health is a very private thing to people much like money, religion, and political affiliations.
Thousands of patients have decreased the medication burden for patients on Medicaid, Medicare, and the VA saving tax payers millions, people are getting healthier, many able to hold a job again or stay employed longer with opiate and narcotic reduction and elimination. Patients with regular use of marijuana have kicked much worse addictions to pills, methadone, heroin, morphine, OxyContin, valium, people are healing and surviving diseases that historically have little success rate in conventional medicine.
As the parents of five, grandparents to eight, and great grandparents to three, 12 generations of our family have called Arizona home. We see what marijuana has done in our family. We became involved in Arizona’s Medical Marijuana program to assist our youngest son who has a brain injury and brain disease. His deceased father had the same brain disease. Eighteen years in the mental health systems has failed him and he kept telling us all he needed or wanted was marijuana. We have complied with mental health and removed his marijuana several times turning all of our lives upside down. At times he was on up to 13 medications most for side effects of the one he needed for brain function.
May 1, 2015 will be 12 months without any medication and just his marijuana. Along with his vitamin D and fish oil for brain swelling our son is managing his disability better off mental health medications. All the medications have taken their toll on his brain function as he comes out of the sedative slumber he has been in for most of 18 years. His tremors and twitches are gone, involuntary eye movements are gone, he sleeps better, is able to do art on some days, has some days where he can stay on task where on his meds could not. He is 35 and still makes decisions and manages money like a 17 year old most of the time. Prior to age 16 he was an honor roll student, a four year member of the competitive dive team, four year wood working and commercial art student, assistant coach of his church basketball and volley ball team, being a good teenager. Life changed when he became ill shortly after his 16th birthday. Our son states he is a better driver after using marijuana. He is more focused, aware, and alert. As his passenger we see he is once again correct.
We have three grandchildren who graduated high school last May 2014. One grandchild graduated six months earlier than her class with 9 college credits. In May when her class graduated she had finished online classes and had her two year degree and attending college for her four year degree. This grandchild had sleep issues and pain from a cheerleading injury. We took her to physical therapy, the sleep disorder center, tried counseling several times, she tried natural sleep aids, then as a last resort sleeping pills and pain pills. The pills worked but left her in a daze and caused digestive issues affecting her school work in her sophomore year and ability to attend school. She started medicating with marijuana and stopped all the other prescribed drugs. Once again she excelled in school and in the Future Business Leaders of America, and graduating six months ahead of her class and her cousins.
Myself, I treat an autoimmune and disease labeled, “Environmental Illness. People like me are reactive to chemicals, fragrance, electronics, and mold. Most people with my diagnosis are confined to their homes the rest of their life. I do many things to stay well including to juice fresh marijuana leaves to treat my autoimmune disease and symptoms. I have been medication free for 14 years using vitamins, minerals, and herbs, no prescriptions or OTC medications.
The Medical Marijuana community is aware of the newest slogan, “If you think marijuana is harmless-Think again. As with all previous slogans that have failed to save our children, in 1970 the youth use rate of marijuana was 49% and in 2014 it is 50%. In my 58 years not once have drugs or even just marijuana been eradicated from our High Schools. Everyone knows if you want good drugs ask a high school student. It has never changed in my 58 Years or my husband’s 71 years.
In my opinion the war on drugs has funded the one sided studies and false data fed to Americans. No money was allowed to study the medical value of marijuana being a Federal schedule one drug but plenty was provided to make us belief it was bad. Remember the brain MRI of this is your brain when you do not use marijuana and this is your brain after using marijuana. I believe the 2nd picture are neurotransmitters that did not previously work restoring brain functions. Science is stating that also but medical science is seriously behind.
Marijuana users are not addicts and criminals. Those are words the judicial system pins on anyone who tries marijuana even once. Marijuana is not a gate way drug having to buy it on the street at any age is the gate way to other opportunities like dealers who have available also, meth, cocaine, heroin, pills, anything. A person rarely has a beer then needs a shot of whiskey. The gateway is the unjust judicial system whom put children, youth, young adults, and parents in the justice system with violent offenders, serious drug users and addicts. Either in treatment programs, jail, or prison every person associated with the judicial system will obtain new connection wanted or not.
George Washington raised tobacco, distilled whisky, brewed beer, and grew hemp according to Syndicated Columnist, Angus Hamilton. No one looks at George Washington as an addict and criminal. Now we imprison nonviolent offenders in the name of justice? Look what we are doing to American citizens who need safe alternative.
Stop addicts and criminals. Decriminalize marijuana and stop arresting American citizens for nonviolent crimes. We have a patient who spent two years in prison for six pills that she had no prescription in her name for. What a waste of our resources and tax dollars. Once a person gets a criminal history it follows them for life in America. No student grants, auto loans, high risk insurance, no home loans or small business loans, no legal, political, or professional future, little college funding and employment opportunity, and much more. The Justice system destroys lives not the marijuana plant and its ability to end human suffering. It should be a no thing like coffee or tea is nothing.
Decriminalize marijuana and our State could create badly needed jobs and make a great deal of revenue by issuing industrial hemp licenses, collect tax on hemp export, hemp manufacturing licenses, license medical patients, issue patients a separate license to grow, issue participant cards to anyone wishing to use recreational marijuana, issue licenses to a second set of dispensaries for recreational use, issue the recreational dispensaries a separate license to grow, to have a kitchen, and for delivery. The high price of medical marijuana dispensaries really cannot handle a $50 tax or people will go back to the black market.
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