Browse Month

September 2018

Marijuana Legalization in Canada – Things you need to know

Dating back to ancient times, marijuana has been used to aid associated discomfort of medical ailments. Until the invention of aspirin in 1897, people used medical marijuana to relieve body pain in adults as well as alleviate nausea, depression, hemorrhoids and to treat women after they gave birth. Nowadays, it is considered a natural alternative in the treatment of certain cancers, neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s’ disease and dementia, AIDS/HIV and chronic pain associated with arthritis, injuries and premenstrual syndrome.

In the United States it is against the law to possess, sell or buy it, as it is narcotic like cocaine and heroin; thirteen states allow the sale of this with the written consent of a physician. Without a doctor’s approval, a person cannot legally receive a card issued by their state which allows them to buy it at a dispensary.

Dispensaries sell this in many forms such as growing seeds, food and drink products, liquid form and as a concentrated pill to be swallowed. Some of these even have a special area to consume the product or offer child care during a patient visit. Patients who buy it for legitimate health reasons can get it at any legal dispensary or clinic permitted by their state to sell only to those with a medical card.

Recently President Obama passed a policy to not charge patients who comply with state laws. In a recent interview, he stated that health care reform and other issues were of greater priority.

For nausea and pain control, some people have been able to use self-hypnosis successfully to help mitigate symptoms. It is best to study with a trained and certified professional if you decide to go this route.

Marijuana Legalization in Canada – Chronicles

Whether it’s to be called a psychoactive, dangerous drug or a medically effective pain reliever and anti-nausea miracle drug, marijuana is still considered an illegal drug throughout most of the world.

History:

First occurring as far back as the third millennium, B.C., the Cannabis plant has been used for spiritual, religious, and recreational activities, and more recently discovered to have medicinal purpose as well. According to figures presented by the U.N. (United Nations), approximately four percent (one hundred sixty million) of the population of the world use marijuana each year. About twenty two and a half million people world wide use it on a daily basis, even though it is considered to be an illegal psychoactive drug. Cannabis seems to have originated in south and central Asia and charred seeds from the cannabis plant have been found in ancient burial sites. Hindus from Nepal and India were known to use it thousands of years back.

Chemically speaking:

Most drugs can be classified as depressants, stimulants, or hallucinogens, but cannabis seems to be a mixture of all those properties, and in particular the hallucinogenic nature of it.

THC or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (the active ingredient in cannabis or marijuana), along with over four hundred other chemicals, affect nerve cell receptors, influencing their activity. Some areas of the brain have cannabinoid receptors while others have either few or none at all. These cannabinoid receptors appear to influence parts of the brain effecting memory, pleasure, thought, sensory perception, and concentration. Scientific studies point to cannabinoids such as CBD that seem to produce psychoactive effects as well. Various parts of the plant are used, especially the buds and leaves. Marijuana may be either smoked or used as an ingredient in various food products (cookies and brownies).

My new nurse, Mary Jane?

For the past few decades Marijuana has become popular as an analgesic remedy for pain in cancer patients as well as many other medicinal purposes. Although it is still up for debate, many have found relief from cancer pain and even the nausea and vomiting that result from chemotherapy drugs. AIDS patients have found it helps their pain as well. The intraocular eye pressure that is brought on by glaucoma is greatly lessened by use of medicinal marijuana.

Synthesized cannabinoids, sold as prescription drugs are becoming common place in brand names such as Marinol (dronabinol) and Cesamet (nabilone).

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved the smoking of marijuana for any disease or condition. However, there are thirteen states which have legalized it only for medical use. A few other countries (Spain, Canada, Austria, and the Netherlands) have also legalized cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The Legalization of Marijuana – Part 2 of 2

A very influential factor regarding the legalization of marijuana, is the cost implications of maintaining cannabis prohibition to the federal and provincial governments, and in turn the average Canadian taxpayer. According to the Auditor General of Canada, it is projected that approximately $450 million was spent on drug control, enforcement, and education in the year 2000.

Since ¾ of drug offences are marijuana related, the majority of the $450 million spent across Canada was due to cannabis prohibition laws. This expenditure also does not include funding for marijuana related court hearings, or incarcerations, as over 300 000 people are arrested for simple marijuana possession every year (Cohen et al. 2). Another issue to consider is that the amount of cannabis users continues to rise across Canada, up from 6.5% in 1989, to 12.2% in 2000 (Nabalamba, 1).

This will only increase the amount of funding the federal government is forced to contribute to drug control and enforcement, further charging the taxpayer. A more cost efficient way to regulate marijuana is to set an age limit through provincial regulation, permitting for adult use of a substance less harmful than both alcohol and tobacco. Otherwise, it is left in the hands of organized crime, with the government continuing to spend millions on its prohibition, and not profiting from its continuous increase in use. In this situation, the regulation of marijuana should not only be allowed, but would financially benefit the country. Read more about the Buy Weed Online.

Even after thousands of years of people using marijuana to treat a variety of medical conditions, many still believe marijuana is a drug without therapeutic value. Patients undergoing cancer chemotherapy, or AIDS related AZT therapy, found smoking marijuana to be an effective way to curb nausea (Health Canada, “Medical Marijuana”). Often it is more effective than available prescribed medications. “44% of oncologists responding to a questionnaire said they had recommended marijuana to their cancer patients; others said they would recommend it if it were legal” (Zimmer et al. 87). Other uses include control for muscle spasms associated with spinal cord injury/disease, and multiple sclerosis and pain/ weight loss associated with cancer, HIV, and arthritis patients.

Cannabis also lessens the frequency of seizures in epilepsy, and controls eye pressure in glaucoma patients (National Institute on Drug Abuse, “Drug Policy Information Sheet”). Although medical marijuana has been approved for use under certain circumstances, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain cannabis for treatment purposes in Ontario. This is because the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario issued a warning in October 2002, cautioning that the “clinical efficacy of the drug has not been entirely established” and to “proceed with caution” when prescribing cannabis (The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, “Prescribing Medical Marijuana”). Due to this, a physician cannot make a proper declaration of the risks and benefits; therefore, they can not fully inform the patient of the drugs possible effects.

Fortunately, since the legalization of marijuana for medical use occurred almost 5 years ago, one could assume a proper risk assessment of the drug will soon be completed through Health Canada. Through marijuana’s apparent medical usages, it becomes clear that it should be regulated across the country.

The implication of marijuana’s prohibition is financially devastating to the federal government. As false social perceptions are the only grounds for this ban to be upheld, and the medical sciences continue to find new usages for cannabis as therapeutic treatment, it remains unfounded to continue its outlaw. Through government enforced regulation, it becomes obvious that the benefits of marijuana legalization outweigh the disadvantages.