Mary Jane

“Mary Jane”

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“… Marijuana is one of the safest, therapeutically active substances known to man.” -DEA Judge Francis Young

Truth be told, I have been against smoking weed my entire life. If you smoke it, I don’t really care. If you offer, I will take a pass. The fact that it was illegal, the fact that it could lead to using “harder” drugs, the fact that the smoke filled your lungs… YUCK! I have never wanted to experience the feeling of getting high. But, like everyone in the world, I had family and friends that smoked (sometimes right next to me), and never felt ostracized by not partaking. Live and let live.

Some History

Cannabis has several names: Pot, weed, Mary Jane, CBD (cannabidiol), THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), hemp, doobie, Maria, 420, blunt, reefer, roach, hashish, and the list goes on.

How long has cannabis been around? I’ve learned quite a bit since going to Amsterdam recently. Cannabis has been around for thousands of years. From as early as 2737 BC, Chinese Emperor Shen Neng prescribed marijuana tea as a remedy to treat gout, rheumatism, malaria and inflammation. India has also been using marijuana medicinally, religiously, spiritually and recreationally for centuries. In 200 AD, the Chinese were using cannabis resin and wine as an anesthetic for performing surgeries. Presidents George Washington and Thomas Jefferson both grew Hemp crops. In 1840, Queen Elizabeth used it to take away painful menstrual cramps. In 1850, marijuana finally made it into the United States Pharmacopeia as a treatment for cholera, rabies, dysentery, alcoholism, opiate addiction, anthrax, leprosy, incontinence, gout, tonsillitis and menstrual bleeding, to name a few.

Countries with Legalized Marijuana

Cannabis.net reports, “[g]radually, over the last couple of decades, global attitudes towards cannabis have begun to shift. The plant remains classified as a psychotropic drug by the United Nations and remains illegal at the federal level in the United States, perhaps the most visible country currently moving towards more relaxed laws. As such, it has been a long and hard-fought battle to get the medical community, and world governments, to begrudgingly accept that cannabis is, in fact, a valid medicine for a range of different conditions.”

There are several countries where cannabis is completely, in all forms, legal. Netherlands, Uruguay, North Korea (although some say no), Jamaica, Portugal, Argentina, Colombia, Spain, Belgium if you are 18+ or older, and Switzerland. Canada was supposed to be fully legal on October 17, 2018, the date I finished writing this article.

From what I’ve read, it seems that most countries allow for medical marijuana licenses or prescriptions for patients. However, these are some countries that absolutely have zero tolerance for cannabis: Ireland, Malaysia, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

And to be completely honest, everywhere I researched, it seemed that there were many split hairs about what forms of cannabis were legal in which country.

A Daughter’s Story

“My Dad is 76 and he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease four years ago. After a few years of taking prescribed Parkinson’s medications, he didn’t show any improvement, much less feel better. He finally decided to try marijuana. My parents were always old school, and didn’t want to use it if it was considered illegal. But now, he uses it as a means of medication and even acquired his medical marijuana license. Since using marijuana, in less than a year, it has helped him tremendously, his appetite improved, does not have the shakes as much, and has much more energy. We all know there is no cure for Parkinson’s disease, but we also know that the THC/ CBD is making it easier for him to live with the illness. When he finds out I posted this he’ll be pissed at me cause he’s very private. But I wanted to share my Dad’s experience because many of you with older parents or relatives (that may feel the same way my dad did about marijuana) may be more open-minded to give medical marijuana a try. Also, this goes to show that not all users are “potheads.” It is a natural medication that gives relief to many illnesses!” -Jenni H.

Medical Opinions

“Cannabis is the single most versatile herbal remedy, and the most useful plant on Earth. No other single plant contains as wide a range of medically active herbal constituents.” -Dr. Ethan Russo, Cannabinoid Research Institute

“Cannabis is becoming increasingly understood that it is a very interesting and versatile medicine with much less toxicity than some of the pharmaceutical products it replaces.” -Dr. Lester Grinspoon, Associate Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School

“Cannabinoids help to remove excess amyloid plaques from the brain by escorting them through the blood-brain barrier, thereby reducing the progression of Alzheimers.” -Cresco Labs

“Indeed marijuana is less toxic than many of the drugs that physicians prescribe every day.” -Joycelyn Elders, former Surgeon General

“I am more convinced than ever that it is irresponsible to not provide the best care we can, care the often may involve marijuana. I am not backing down on medical marijuana; I am doubling down.” -Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

Best Ways to Consume

That all depends on what’s going on with you. Best for your illness, or disease, or maybe you are in the middle of chemotherapy. It’s somewhat of a personal decision, but at the same time you really have to do what is best for your situation. What’s the most effective relief? If you go onto www.unitedpatientsgroup.com/resources/methods-of-consumption they will tell you the pros and cons to smoking, vaping, edibles, tinctures or sub-lingual sprays, a patch, and even suppositories.

My Dear Friend

In May 2014, one of my very close friends (a neighbor) was diagnosed with stage 3 HER-2 (estrogen-fed) breast cancer. She was 47 years old. She had a bilateral mastectomy, several lymph nodes removed, decided to do chemotherapy and radiation, and has been cancer free ever since.

During her rounds of chemotherapy, she was nauseous and found it extremely difficult to keep any food in her stomach. She also felt fatigue and anxiety. Back in 2014, Florida had not yet passed Amendment 2 (Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative) as it was not up for vote until the 2016 Election. I voted FOR Amendment 2 after seeing what medical marijuana did for my dear friend.

Lastly…

I hear from so many women who have fibromyalgia, spine nerve damage, macular degeneration, inflammation, and some still suffering with long-term effects from chemotherapy. There are so many of us suffering every single day. To be completely honest here, if God put it on the planet – He put it here for a reason.

I really hope that within 10-years there are cannabis pharmacies all over the world. I wonder what the drug companies would do about that?!!  How do you feel about medical marijuana?

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