so for those of you whose states (or countries) have legalized the use of medical marijuana...are you using it? i have heard of lupus patients getting prescriptions for marijuana to deal with pain, insomnia, and lack of appetite (<--which is a big one for me lately, but somehow the freshman 15 persists! haha)
ok just wondering about opinions/experiences
i feel weird bringing it up to my dr, i dont want to come off like some pothead college student! im just freaked by the side effects of all the pills im on, im looking for something more natural (and more effective...this pill [ok so apparently i cant spell coctail with a k because the forum sees it as an innapropriate word and changes it to one eyed bishop, whats that about?] seems like a waste of co-pay some days)
I would suggest looking at all other options before you bring this up to your doctor for this reason - even though many states have legalized, or more technically, "decriminalized" medical marijuana, it is still illegal under federal law. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Congress had the power to outlaw medical marijuana, so patients are subject to arrest and federal prosecution even in states with "medical marijuana" laws. Possession of any amount of marijuana under federal law can subject you to a year in federal prison and a $2,500 fine. Even in California where you live, there have been a number of arrests and successful prosecutions of patients and marijuana providers.
Almost all states restrict medical use of marijuana to certain medical conditions - most states include glaucoma, nausea/vomiting from chemotherapy, AIDs "wasting" syndrome, and some neurological disorders - some include arthritis and pain relief.
If you are caught in possession of even "legal" marijuana in a state where possession is illegal, you can face arrest and imprisonment. In Kentucky where I live, possession of more than 8 ounces is a felony. In all 50 states, driving while the influence of marijuana can be prosecuted as a DUI offense. So it's complicated because every state is different, and many doctors don't want to come under DEA scrutiny for "recommending" marijuana to their patients. Since marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, doctors even in medical marijuana states can't legally prescribe it, all they can do is "recommend" it.
There is a synthetic version of the active ingredient in marijuana - a prescription drug called marinol. It's prescribed sometimes to increase appetite in AIDS and cancer patients and sometimes for anorexia. So if loss of appetite is a problem for you with the lupus, you might want to talk to your doctor about this drug first before asking about medical marijuana.
I'm all for it!
I somtimes use it when I feel sick or nauseated. Since I live in San Francisco we have stores where you can buy it. Even if you get it outside of the normal way, I think if it helps you go for it. I'm a huge believer in holistic care and smoking herbal plants is much more gentle on your system than the horrible medicines they give us. I think the doctor's are trying really hard to help us, but herbs are definately the way to go. I've been in remission for years now. I see an acupuncturist who gives me herbs, I do yoga and or just stretching and I try to practice meditation or just relax when I can. Resting is HUGE for me, I get tired so much. Do what works for you and don't let politics get in the way of what works for your health care.
Well, I never used medical marijuana....and yes I DID inhale..back in the day. A LOOOOONG time ago. I haven't even considered it, because the last time I tried it (having a stupid party night) I got paranoid and hated how it made me feel. If it works for you, fine, but I'd pursue other more "PC" meds first...because of all the legal ins and outs.
Being legal a godsend
I am fortunate to live in a state that has added an amendment to our state constitution to allow for medical marijuana (MMJ). I have been a marijuana user for many years and hate the demonizing that continues to be directed toward marijuana. I lived with paranoia for many years just to put an herb in my body that is less dangerous than sugar, caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, and most of the prescriptions we here take. Finally a couple years ago I realized I could proceed with the states officers being unable to arrest me if I play within the guidelines set out in our amendment. I was weary at first of putting myself on a list belonging to the govt., but I am so glad I decided to bring it up with my Dr. He signed immediately, and I have been legal and paranoia free for about 2 1/2 years.
I beleive marijuana to be a very safe, healing herb that could benefit many more people if they could just put all the propaganda aside and try if for themselves. I have not been prescribed pain killers in years due to using marijuana to alleviate pain. I was also able to face paraplegia and Lupus without having to resort to anti-depressants to help me through those incredibly tough realizations. I also don't take plaquenil, as it is just to help with the joint pains and such, and I am able to deal with that in a totally natural, organic way with my MMJ. It is also a wonderful sleep aid, and allows me the ability to get the rest that my body demands of me. I would like to transition to using a vaporizer so that it will be even healthier, but I beleive it to be well documented that not a single person has ever died from marijuana. One would pass out far before they could ingest a lethal dose. But I also realize the effects of the tars and such in marijuana and believe that vaporizing is a nice healthier option.
Now about your California laws. The MMJ scene there is sort of crazy right now with dispensaries and cooperatives getting busted now and then, but dispensaries like these are not provided for in your law and they are often buying medicine from illegal growers making incredible profits. Most if not almost all of these busts have been on people who are challenging or outright cheating the system. The individual user will never draw the attention of federal officers, and if you live within the law state officers simply dont have the right to charge you with anything. There have been patients that have had their MMJ returned to them by the police here in Denver, and I would assume the same in Cali. Bottom line, play by the rules, and the worst that will happen is losing some plants or medicine, but most of the time law enforcement is being held accountable for reaching beyond their rights. There are also many clinics in Cali which you can go to specifically for a MMJ recommendation. Bring your medical records, as this is serious and legitimate, and they will assess your situation and likely sign your recommendation (not prescription). Also, the Supreme Court has specifically said that Dr.s absolutely cannot face sanctions for discussing and recommending MMJ for a patient.
I think Marycain had some good advice and insight, but one thing I would contradict is her mention of Marinol. I have had friends with cancer try it and had bad reactions. The effects come on all at once and make the user quite nauseous and often discontinue usage. He was a marijuana user in college and knew that Marinol was a far cry from the same effects. Plus, I would much rather take a natural herb that has been used for centuries, that trusting a lab to mimic it properly. There is no way they could!
Of course you have to find out if it works for you, and decide if you are willing to stand up for something you genuinely beleive in, that is if you do find it therapeutic. I have done much research into MMJ, but also about the history of prohibition of cannibis. MMJ was actually outlawed under pressure from Dupont and William Randolph Hearst due to the economic disater Hemp would be for them, as dupont had a new bleaching process for paper, and had many ideas for the plastics they were developing. I also beleive there was a strong racial prejudice leading to this act of 1937, as it seemed to mostly be immigrant latinos and "black" people using it according to govt information.
Anyway, I have been long winded as spreading the positive message of medical marijuana is important to me. If you have any questions, dont hesitate to message me. Hope this helps.
I'd have to agree with you 100%. You said a mouthful, but it was all very informative. I've been using for many years and I too stopped using Plaquenil and other meds because I replaced them with herbs and got better effects and didn't feel so sick as I did w/the other meds I was taking. Sleeping is so much better and now I can exercise w/out pain. It's not a replacement, but I believe it can help many people, if discussed w/a doctor.
thanks so much for your responses--very helpful!