Sunday, June 29, 2008

Why isn't it legalized for medical treatment?

ScienceDaily brings the news about how marijuana has been show to be effective against neuropathic pain.

Researchers at University of California Davis examined whether marijuana produces analgesia for patients with neuropathic pain. Thirty-eight patients were examined. They were given either high-dose (7%), low-dose (3.5%) or placebo cannabis.

The authors reported that identical levels of analgesia were produced at each cumulative dose level by both concentrations of the agent. As with opioids, cannabis does not rely on a relaxing or tranquilizing effect, but reduces the core component of nociception and the emotional aspect of the pain experience to an equal degree. There were undesirable consequences observed from cannabis smoking, such as feeing high or impaired, but they did not inhibit tolerability or cause anyone to withdraw from the study. In general, side effects and mood changes were inconsequential.


I am not a great fan of people smoking weed, and especially not of those who claims that it has no ill effect, or even worse, that it's not addictive. Have gone to school with kids who were hooked on the stuff (and I don't care if it was a mental or physical addiction, addiction is addiction), I don't have any romantic notions about it.

However, the same can be said of alcohol, which is legal to consume in most of the world.

So, why can't marijuana be legalized for medical use (or in general)? Yes, there are ill effects of it, but less so than there is of legal things like cigarettes and alcohol. And when we talk about people with the sort of pain treated in this experiment, I think the benefits clearly out weights the costs.

I can't seem to find the study in the current issue of >The Journal of Pain1, but I'm sure it will show up within the next few days. It will appear under the title A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Trial of Cannibis Cigarettes in Neuropathic Pain by Barth Wilsey et al.

1Am I the only one who thinks this sounds like the trade magazine for torturers?

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1 Comments:

Blogger Kaethe said...

It's not legalized because there is a War on Drugs, of course. The beneficial effects of cannabis use can't possibly outweigh all the grievous harm done by admitting that we've been lying about drugs for all this time.

And I agree with you about the trade magazine.

June 30, 2008 6:37 PM  

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