10 BASIC FACTS - MEDICAL MARIJUANA
10 Medical Marijuana Industry Facts
Number 10: What Is Medical Marijuana?
The term medical marijuana refers to the treatment of medical issues through the use of marijuana. Marijuana is derived from the Cannabis plant, which produces tetrahydrocannabinol and cannabidiol, the main chemicals with psychoactive properties. Dating back 10,000 years, the cannabis plant was originally used in Taiwan for its fiber. This naturally led to the discovery of its medicinal purposes and it was soon used in traditional Chinese medicine to treat various ailments.
Introduced as a therapy to western society, by Irish physician William Brooke O’Shaughnessy, the use of medical marijuana has since become a hot topic issue, and by early 2015, it was only legal in a few American states.
Number 9: Could Medical Marijuana Help Treat Patients?
There has been a limited amount of research in relation to the effects of marijuana and its varied uses in treating patients suffering from cancer, HIV, dementia, diabetes, epilepsy and more. This is in large part due to the Schedule I classification of cannabis in the United States, meaning it’s not currently accepted for medical use in the country.
As a controlled substance, it shares its classification with drugs like heroin, LSD, MDMA, ecstasy and so forth. For the most part, both patient trials and long-term research into the topic have been limited, as the American government refuses to reclassify marijuana. That being said, a study released in 2014 found that in states where medical marijuana is legal, there was a 25% decrease in deaths related to prescription pain medication.
Potential medical benefits of consuming marijuana include a reduction of nausea and vomiting in those going through chemotherapy and those with complications related to AIDS. As the United States begins to loosen the collar on research permissions, however, more longer term studies and conclusive evidence should accumulate.
Number 8: What Happens to Your Body When You Use It?
The two main chemicals in cannabis, along with the almost 500 compounds found in the plant, work in tandem to release tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD). These chemicals interact with the brain cells called cannabinoid receptors, releasing dopamine into the body. Dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter and is a part of the brain’s reward system, essentially leading to a feel good sensation.
Once this process is complete, a person will typically feel giddy, sleepy and/or relaxed, have an increased appetite and feel light-headed. However, research has suggested that these positive benefits of marijuana consumption are offset by more negative effects, such as a decrease in balance, a blockage in memory formation, and an addiction to the substance.
Number 7: What Forms Do the Plant Take?
There are several methods by which one can consume marijuana. In the United States, as of 2013, the most common form was through smoke inhalation. Cannabis vaporizers have since gained popularity as an alternative to smoke inhalation, because many believe that fewer harmful toxins are inhaled via vaporizers. Marijuana can also be consumed in other forms, such as hash oil, baked goods, lotions, salves, sprays, tea, chocolate bars, and even in pill format.
Number 6: What Is the Medical Community’s Opinion?
CNN’s chief medical correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta called for a “medical marijuana revolution.” A year before that, health website WebMD surveyed over 1,500 American doctors about medical marijuana. The results stated that 67% of respondents claimed it should be a medical option for patients and 56% supported making it legal nationwide.
In areas where medical marijuana is currently available, such as Canada, doctors are calling for the launch of clinical trials, which would study the ever-growing base of marijuana users and the risks and benefits of consumption. Dr. Mark Ware, the executive director of the Canadian Consortium for the Investigation of Cannabinoids, believes that the world would benefit from such “real world evidence.”
Number 5: Where Is It Legal in the United States?
According various research polls in 2017, 59-68% of the Americans were in favor of legalizing marijuana. This is in sharp contrast to almost 50 years ago when less than 15% of the population was in favor. As of early April 2017, over 30 states plus the District of Columbia have either tried to decriminalize the possession of marijuana or legalized some medical use of marijuana, for example through the use of dispensaries, which are offices that distribute medication.
And this, despite the fact that possession of marijuana remains a felony. Furthermore, the tally of states supporting decriminalization and/or legalization may soon grow, as there are seven states pending legislation, including Florida, Texas and Missouri. Furthermore, the 2015 appropriations bill passed in December 2014 saw Congress ban the American Justice Department from interfering with each state’s activities regarding their own marijuana laws.
Number 4: Have Other Countries Legalized or Decriminalized Marijuana?
Medical marijuana has only been widely decriminalized in a small number of countries, including over 20 states of the U.S., Canada, Belgium, Australia, the Netherlands, and Spain have varying laws concerning the distribution and regulation of the drug.
For example, in Canada, marijuana is illegal, though it has been available since 2001 for medical purposes through what is called the ‘Marihuana Medical Access Regulations’ – now ‘Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations’.
By contrast, the personal use of marijuana is decriminalized only in certain states of Australia. That being said, many countries around the world, including Argentina, Colombia, Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Portugal and more, have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana for personal use or simply do not prosecute on a law enforcement level.
Number 3: How Does Legalization Affect the Economy?
Depending on the state in which you live, there are high taxes on the marijuana for sale at the dispensaries and stores in the United States. In Colorado, the state will likely accrue more than $250 million dollars in taxes from the sale of marijuana in 2017. It should be noted that Colorado has a little more than 5 million people and consumption is about $130 million dollars per month. Should marijuana consumption be proportionately the same across the US, this means the potential marijuana sales would be roughly $6.5 billion dollars per month, or $78 billion.
The revenue acquired in taxes, combined with the funding that was previously accorded to law enforcement in fighting the use, possession and sale of marijuana, has left the state with a large cash windfall.
The Drug Policy Alliance, an organization promoting drug policies, also points to declining levels of crime and traffic fatalities in Denver since the first retail marijuana stores opened in early 2014. Furthermore, a portion of these taxes can be distributed to fund various state budgets, such as the school boards, and youth drug prevention programs.
Number 2: Who Is Against Legalizing Marijuana?
Many who oppose the decriminalization of marijuana, including the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, believe that it is a gateway drug, leading to an increased vulnerability to the abuse of other drugs and addiction in young marijuana users. The main argument cites research, which shows that lab rats introduced to THC, one of the main chemicals in marijuana, show a stronger sensitivity to harder drugs when exposed to them later on in life.
Law enforcement opponents believe there is a lack of proper regulation of the drug in regards to underage use and health code violations like homegrown plants. Furthermore, certain medical officials, such as Dr. Eric Voth (voe-th), chairman of the Institute on Global Drug Policy, believes that allowing medical marijuana to bypass the U.S. Food and Drug Administration sets a terrible medical precedent.
Number 1: Will the Senate Bill Pass?
In March 2015, republican and democratic senators alike, namely Rand Paul, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand, introduced a sweeping bipartisan bill to the Senate titled the Compassionate Access, Research Expansion and Respect States Act. Under the proposed bill, certain restrictions would be eased concerning marijuana, allowing greater access to the drug for research in treating various ailments, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Alzheimer’s, cancer, epilepsy and multiple sclerosis.
Countless bills have been introduced in the past with minimal effect, yet it seems that the majority of the American public and political opinions are shifting in favor of legalizing medical marijuana for the first time in history.
MMJDOCTORONLINE Notes: Even though the recreational use of marijuana is now legal, until 2018, there is no legal way to buy it in California and Nevada, that is, without a licensed medical doctor's recommendation. Fortunately, the California Board of Medicine endorses Telemedicine, which allows patients to get their 420 evaluation, Cannabis ID Cards and cultivation permits over the internet. Our process takes only a few minutes and a doctor will evaluate your file shortly thereafter. Patients don't pay unless they are approved. Documents are used to purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries, delivery services, cannabis clubs, compassion clubs and clinics.
In this installment, we’re counting down 10 crucial facts you should know about the medical marijuana industry.
In the coming years, there seems to be little doubt that the marijuana industry in California will grow into a $10 billion dollar plus industry. Medical Marijuana is already legal in California, but the passage of Proposition 64 means that California is now poised to become the World’s largest legal weed marketplace, but the marketplace has rules.
A resource for Patients, Doctors, Growers, Dispensary Workers, Scientists and Cannabis Affectionados, Lawmen, Legislators, Politicians. If you want to work, play or medicate with marijuana, there will be words that you won't know. Wikipedia and Google won't always have handy and concise explanations, so we put together a comprehensive list, a one stop shop, where you can look up anything and everything in the way of cannabis terminology, from scientific to medical to cultivation to slang and more
"Believing in the fallacy that the people who smoke marijuana become useless, hippie, losers is not only just plain ignorant, it's an evil concept."
Therapist: A patient came to me and asked about medical marijuana. She currently has hyperthyroid and also had breast cancer in the past.
Patient: I hold a big grudge and prejudice against weed. My husband and his deadbeat loser friends were into drugs and smoked a marijuana.
Therapist: Think back. Did your husband mix weed with alcohol and other drugs ???....