“Medical” Marijuana

That’s a misnomer, man. In my opinion there aint no such thing.
Now, before you go getting your panties all in a bunch, bear me out here.

Yes, cannabis can most definitely be used medicinally. I’ve no qualms about that. Hell, I do so myself. But it aint “medical” marijuana. The strain I’m currently boiling down and capping isn’t any different from the one a person across town might be smoking out of a bong before settling in to watch a movie.

If their pot aint “medical” then why would mine be?

Cannabis is cannabis. Some folks use it to treat maladies, some to catch a buzz and others even make stuff out of it. It’s all just marijuana*. I suppose a possible exception could be strains that carry a heavy cannabidiol load, thus mitigating the psychoactive effect of tetrahydrocannabinol, but still … you can see my point, can’t you?

Which brings me to:

I was reading an NBC News article the other day about a cat who runs a lab and does what those types of labs do, test cannabis. I wasn’t happy to read about all of the contaminates that were turning up, molds, fungus, butane… Nasty stuff, man. Heck, here in Washington State a lab owner testified before a legislative committee they had found vaginal fluid on a sample. Caveat emptor, eh?

One comment the cat made really caught my attention though. He was talking about the THC content and how little CBD was turning up. The author of the article wrote something like,”The samples carried little to no CBD — the compound that makes medical marijuana “medical.”

Now, I’ve done told you I believe “medical” marijuana to be a misnomer, with a possible exception (“possible,” I’m still rolling that around). Howsomever, does this mean Marinol isn’t a medicine? I mean gosh, it’s prescribed and everything! Aint no CBD in Marinol, man.

As the synthetic pharmaceutical version of THC would imply, tetrahydrocannabinol does have medicinal utility.

So, does this muddy the “medical” waters even further?

Which brings me to:

The United States Congress and the CARERS Act. Your reading this so I’m guessing you’re aware a proposal has been made changing cannabis from a schedule I drug to a schedule II. There are several ramifications.

One being, taking cannabis from a I gives credence to its medicinal utility. According to the DEA schedule II drugs have accepted medical use though a high potential for abuse. They are the most regulated pharmaceuticals.

Hold that thought while I cover a couple of other effects this legislation would have.

The rescheduling opens up research. I’m a big proponent of examining the potential in both phytocannabinoids (from the plant) and synthetics. I’m of the opinion there’s a treasure trove there waiting to be “discovered.” Let the studies begin!

The bill would open up the Veterans’ Administration to allowing its medical professionals to prescribe cannabis. Again (being a vet myself), I’m thinking this would be a very, very good thing.

The CARERS would also allow states to (legally) set their own policies on medicinal marijuana.

Currently there are twelve sponsors of CARERS, six from each side of the aisle. More than half recently got onboard.

It sounds good, doesn’t it!

Maybe not.

Currently cannabis is federally illegal. What that means is, other than locking people up for fooling with it, there’s absolutely no regulation. It can’t be prescribed. Only medicines can be, and schedule I drugs aren’t.

Sure, there’s something like 23 states with medicinal cannabis laws, but these are all state/fed wink and a nod agreements.

What will the landscape look like should cannabis become a schedule II “medicine”?

That scares me.

*I normally try to refrain from using the word “marijuana.” I feel it’s a pejorative, in a sense. The subject matter kind of left me no choice however.



  1. gepr said,

    April 3, 2015 at 9:40 am

    So, just to push back a tiny bit, do you believe there is such a thing as non-medical oxycodone? My rhetoric being that the term “medical” addresses the use of a thing, not the properties of the thing. Another example might be, say, a cotton swab. The ones you get at the hospital are no different than the ones you buy at the grocery store. But they are billed and used very differently, making one medical and one … uh, recreational. Another example might be things like hospital beds. Are there medical beds? Is an adjustable bed a “medical bed” because it can help alleviate snoring and acid reflux?

    A “drug abuse/addiction counselor” I had the opportunity to argue with made his case that there is no such thing as medical marijuana simply because there is no dosage standard, which is quite similar to your point, I think. His argument is wrong, as well, I think because this is always the case when the medicine (which includes behaviors/processes like physical therapy as well as substances and tools) is “young”. It’s much like any young discipline. You know it sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. You know it’s sometimes safe and sometimes dangerous. Etc. But things like precise dosages, strains, delivery paths, timing, extraction profiles, demographics, etc. only arrive as the discipline ages.

    There is definitely medical marijuana. It’s just that our boundaries defining medical vs. non-medical usage are still very fuzzy.

  2. capndrift said,

    April 4, 2015 at 7:14 am

    Oxycodone is a semi-synthetic opioid formulated to treat pain. There’s no such thing as recreational oxycodone. That isn’t to say, it isn’t used recreationally, but that was never its purpose.

    I state above cannabis can be used medicinally, but I maintain there’s no such thing as “medical marijuana.” Marinol is synthetic THC and is as closely related to cannabis as aspirin is to white willow bark, so let’s not go there.

    Cannabis has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, so have a lot of plants. Is mustard medicine? No, but a mustard poultice can have medicinal applications. During prohibition one means to obtain alcohol was through a pharmacy. Is whiskey medicine?

    I suppose we could split hairs down to molecules if we got hung up on what constitutes a medicine. I suppose we would have had to have been there thousands of years ago when the first individual used cannabis. Was it to get high, cure a stomach ache or get closer to some deity? There’s no way to know.

    I think cannabis is a bit unique in that it is used religiously, medicinally and recreationally, and ALL are accepted uses (legalities aside).

    Other than in rather unique circumstances alcohol has no medicinal use.
    Eating opiates for fun isn’t socially acceptable (as having a drink is).
    Yet the same strain of cannabis can be used as a sacrament, to ease pain (and other “stuff”) and just to have a good time.

    I stand firm. Unless, until the various cannabinoid compounds (including terpenes) are isolated, recombined, synthasized, researched, trialed (etc., etc.) and prescribed for specific uses, cannabis is no more than a unique mutipurpose plant.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: