Rx for THC

Marijuana has been cultivated and used by humans for thousands of years. Evidence suggesting its use more than 5,000 years ago in what is now Romania has been described extensively.[1] Burned cannabis seeds have been found in the graves of shamans in China and Siberia from 500 BC.[2] People across the earth have used cannabis to create textiles such as rope and fabric, and for its medicinal and psychoactive properties. It is a recent phenomenon that marijuana has been socially decried as a substance akin to drugs such as heroin, ecstasy, and methamphetamine.[3]

            In fact, marijuana is often prescribed to help people control pain, bring back their appetite as a result of chemotherapy or other treatments, treat insomnia, and lessen tremors for people suffering from Parkinson’s disease.[4] It is proven to be safer than other psychoactive substances, particularly opiates that are prescribed to people suffering from diseases such as cancer, epilepsy, or Parkinson’s.[5] Time and time again science has proven that the negative effects of marijuana are merely a result of the social conditioning carried out by governments across the world.  Every day people successfully use marijuana in a medical context to assist them in healing or managing their diseases or conditions.

            Social stigma continues to deprive sick people of medical marijuana. Currently in Minnesota, the conditions that qualify for prescribed marijuana include cancer, HIV/AIDS, terminal illness with a prognosis of less than one year, PTSD, and autism, to name a few.[6] Minnesota should expand the list of qualifying conditions based on the research that shows there are countless other conditions that should qualify persons for medical marijuana.  Other states are already moving in the right direction with respect to this topic. In Illinois, for example, the state legislature voted in 2019 to expand the list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana to include anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, and anorexia nervosa.[7] Minnesota should follow suit because the evidence shows that these conditions are managed by marijuana either more effectively or equally as effectively when compared with traditional medicinal drugs.[8] The science shows that what we consider modern traditional medicine can be assisted or even replaced by old-school traditional medicine, marijuana.

[1] Mary Barna Bridgeman, PharmD, BCPS, BCGP and Daniel T. Abazia, PharmD, BCPS, CPE, Medicinal Cannabis: History, Pharmacology, And Implications for the Acute Care Setting, US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (Last visited November 19th, 2020) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5312634/.

[1] Marijuana, History.com (Last visited November 19, 2020) https://www.history.com/topics/crime/history-of-marijuana.

[1] Drug Schedules, United States Drug Enforcement Administration (Last visited November 19, 2020) https://www.dea.gov/drug-scheduling.

[1] Peter Grinspoon, MD, Marijuana, Harvard Health Publishing Harvard Medical School (Last visited November 19, 2020) https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/medical-marijuana-2018011513085.

[1] Id.

[1] Medical Cannabis Qualifying Conditions, Minnesota Department of Health (Last visited November 19, 2020) https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/cannabis/patients/conditions.html.

[1] Illinois medical marijuana: New qualifying conditions added as program becomes permanent, ABC 7 Eyewitness News (Last visited November 19, 2020) https://abc7chicago.com/medical-marijuana-illinois-card-dispensary/5373720/.

[1] Supra, fn 1.

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