Medical Marijuana (9): DEA & Me

Several readers have pointed out that my series on Medical Marijuana lacks a final report. Sorry, you're right, here we go. I want to deal briefly with the politics of pot and then I will summarize my own experience with using marijuana to control my chronic back pain.

First the legal/political issues. Marijuana prohibition is bigotry. Bigotry against people in pain, patients recovering from chemotherapy, those suffering from arthritis, glaucoma and literally scores of other illnesses and medical conditions. Such prohibition is also contrary to the expressed views of freedoms we allegedly hold to be self evident in this country. Both politically as well as scientifically we know this to be true:

"In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume. Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care."
US Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Agency, "In the Matter of Marijuana Rescheduling Petition," (September 6, 1988)

The prison overcrowding problems in this country would disappear tomorrow if we released those persons who are serving time for simple possession of marijuana. The war on drugs is a failure for its inclusion of marijuana as a drug. There simply is no scientific evidence to prohibit the sale and use of cannabis; there is only fear and that fear is destroying lives unnecessarily.

As to the results of my own experiment with marijuana as a pain reduction tool, I must admit to negative results. You see using cannabis alters perception in a variety of ways. For those who do find relief from pain the use of marijuana often provides pain free or pain reduced responses that cannot be obtained from other pain relievers including narcotics.

On the other hand, marijuana does make some individuals more physically sensitive. Unfortunately I fall into that category. Marijuana heightens my sensitivity to all somatic stimuli including pain. I do not experience more pain with pot but I am more aware of the pain I have. Not a good outcome in my case.

So for me, the medical marijuana experiment has had an negative outcome. I will be sticking with other forms of pain intervention both pharmaceutical and other non-traditional interventions.

Previous posts in this series:

Medical Marijuana (4): Botanical Chemistry
Medical Marijuana (3): Human Experimentation
Medical Marijuana (2): The Dispensary