By Rick Fuentes
Anecdote and science often go at odds when assessing marijuana’s therapeutic effectiveness upon a whole host of disorders ranging from cancer and multiple sclerosis to headaches, muscle aches and worry.
In the April 2015 issue of Prevention Magazine, there were mixed reviews from top doctors when medical marijuana was graded as a treatment for 14 common and serious disorders. Smoking or eating marijuana to alleviate chronic pain, anxiety, weight loss, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, lupus, glaucoma and PTSD got low scores, while relief from nausea, nerve pain, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy and Crohn’s disease got higher marks.
Scholarly squabbles over marijuana’s medical value highlight the need for more aggressive and federally-sanctioned medical research. If one is to harvest the medical value from the more than 100 organic cannabinoids identified in the source plant, those particular compounds need to be isolated, put to the rigor and scrutiny of laboratory testing and clinical trials, receive FDA approval and scheduled by the DEA for medical use.
Contradictions among medical evaluations and assured outcomes should not be ignored as we begin to deliberate a number of bills in the New Jersey Legislature that hail marijuana as our deliverance from all economic, social and physiological anguish. Nor should we fall prey to the predilections of a national marijuana lobby and its state political arm.
Credible state medical marijuana programs can destroy their own legitimacy by expanding into ubiquitous complaints that end up as crafty schemes to license larger and larger populations to smoke marijuana. After California markedly expanded its medical marijuana program in 1996 to include a broad list of superficial afflictions, the average patient was a male who hailed from a very healthy age group under the age of 30. Eighty percent of marijuana scripts were written for pain, with other reasons being sleep