Monday, 3 November 2014

We don't want to be criminals, We want to be patients.

Drugs! It is a word that has dark connotations for many if not all. Medicine as a word, equates with Health and have positive connotations as a whole. But drugs and medicine, are in many cases one and the same. What creates the different meaning of the word drug is when a drug is abused or misused. A person who is dependent on substances is labelled a drug addict or abuser but not a medicine addict! The language that surrounds the use of drugs in today's society, shapes the opinion of the people in it. About a decade ago I did a literature at Canterbury university on The Public health Message on Cannabis. I researched all articles that the Ministry of health produced and I then broadened my search to new paper articles and also medical journals and some magazines. The consistent message I obtained was there were very few articles. some were not made public. Some were not released and most were negative. There was no articles suggesting that cannabis had beneficial properties. In 1996 The state of California legalised cannabis for medical use under the supervision of a medical doctor and on obtaining a card stating your eligibility to purchase and use medicial marijuana. I went to see this system in action by visiting an amazing generous man called Doctor David Bearman. He is one of the founders of a local youth health services at the university in Santa Barbara called Isla Vista and is a crusader for better public health . I think he is a super star and was friends with the legend the late Jake Herer. Doctor Bearman cited the research of Tod Mikuraya another pioneer in prescribing cannabis for Vietnam war veterans. Cannabis was effective in reducing the reliance on alcohol. Many of the veterans returned with PTSD or shell shock and many self medicated with alcohol. excessive drinking by many soldiers had a damaging effect of their lives and health. Cannabis was a useful tool in reducing the amount the former soldiers drank. it is no secret that cannabis and other drugs are banned in the military but the drinking culture of the enlisted has been a problem. The drinking culture of the Army has resulted in a change. Less drinking is now the norm. Cannabis is a relaxant for many. It can even be a sedative and is very useful for sleep problems. People suffering from over use of amphetamines , speed , cocaine or P have all been treated successfully in reducing the withdrawal symptoms by using cannabis. The people I meet and talk to on a daily basis are in pain. They suffer from mental health issues like depression and anxiety. some are insomninac's who can't sleep. others are reducing their reliance on opioids as inevitably depence and misuse are a common factor in certain types of medication. If someone rolls a herbs and has a few puffs for their fibromyalgia should they be arrested or supported? If some eats a cannabis cookie to help them sleep through the night is that wrong/ If an adult chooses to use a cannabis derived oil for epilepsy is that wrong when it is far more effective than the prescribed meds and without half the side effects? When are people going to get a fair deal on medications from marijuana? Cannabis was a commonly used and available medicine from Chemists last century. It was available as a tincture and for coughs. No one has ever died from cannabis as there is no effective lethal dose known or recorded. But despite all the evidence and all the people in countries around the world New Zealand is in the last century with its stance on the medicinal herb.

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