Medical Marijuana…Not such a great thing for those in need

If you’ve heard me speaking on the issue of cannabis and legalizing this plant the produces food, fiber, fuel, and medicine, you may have heard a little bit about why the “medical” initiatives are actually not a wonderful deal. Usually you have to exhaust all pharmaceutical attempts at addressing your issue. Then have a special doctor recommend medical cannabis for you or your loved one’s issue, then you have to get approved by the state for it, and then you have to get to an approved dispensary that sells it. In effect, it can be “legal” in name only and if you are found to have it without all the hoops being properly jumped through, you could be a felon.

Putting sick people through the meat grinder of the medical industrial complex with all the negative effects of pharmaceuticals doesn’t seem compassionate to me at all. Below is an article on this issue in New Jersey:

Medical marijuana patients still face hurdles in New Jersey

– Associated Press – Saturday, October 31, 2015

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (AP) – Michelle Teel sees a pain specialist to help her manage the devastation that five years of breast cancer treatment has wreaked on her body. The 35-year-old Deptford woman suffers from bone pain and a stubborn six-inch leaking wound on her chest that won’t heal.

Oxycodone does little to ease her discomfort.

“I’m in pain every day,” the former reporter said.

“If I come up with the money, I want to try the (medicinal) marijuana,” Teel said. “I want to be on something that works.”

Though five alternative treatment centers are now open across the state, including two in South Jersey, patients still face hurdles accessing legal cannabis. Widely praised by doctors for its strict regulations, the state’s marijuana program faces bitter criticism from patients and their advocates.

“The program is so artificially restrictive, the vast majority of people who can benefit from medical marijuana therapy can’t access it in New Jersey,” said Ken Wolski, who leads the Coalition for Medical Marijuana New Jersey.

Since New Jersey launched its patient registry three years ago, about 5,600 people have enrolled in the medicinal marijuana program. In the three weeks since Compassionate Sciences, Inc., opened its dispensary in Bellmawr, it has served more than 460 patients, most commonly for intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, inflammatory bowel disease and multiple sclerosis.

Doctors have been slower to sign on.

Currently, 354 physicians in New Jersey can write prescriptions for marijuana, 29 more than last year. Another 79 doctors are registered, but inactive. New Jersey is the only state that requires doctors to register in the program before they can write prescriptions for cannabis, Wolski said.

The state limits marijuana prescriptions to patients with certain qualifying conditions, including glaucoma; inflammatory bowel disease; intractable skeletal spasticity; lateral sclerosis; muscular dystrophy; multiple sclerosis; seizure disorder; severe or chronic pain due to cancer and HIV/AIDS; terminal cancer; and terminal illness.

Psychiatric conditions, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome, depression and anxiety, are not included. More debilitating conditions could be added to the state’s list, if they are approved by a review panel.

Though the state Department of Health must convene the review panel at least once a year, it hasn’t done so yet, according to Donna Leusner, a department spokeswoman.

“The Department is in the process of contacting individuals that were recommended to gather more information on their background and expertise,” Leusner said in an email.

Even if a review panel agrees more conditions should be approved, its decision can be overruled by the state health commissioner, Wolski said.

“It seems like an exercise in futility,” Wolksi said. “We’re not really hopeful there’s going to be meaningful expansion” of the medical marijuana program.

Parents of children with epilepsy have urged the state for years to permit the sale of edible marijuana products. For now, they brew marijuana-infused oil in their home kitchens, unable to test their homemade concoctions for potency.

The state hasn’t yet permitted dispensaries to manufacture other forms of the herb, such as topical ointments, lozenges or oils. Compassionate Sciences, Inc., in Bellmawr submitted an application earlier this year to produce two topical treatments and a lozenge. Leusner said it was still under review.

The program also requires a doctor’s approval before patients can get a marijuana card.

Physicians can only prescribe marijuana to patients they’ve seen at least four times. Typically, doctors only accept direct payment for such visits, Wolski explained.

Once approved by a doctor, patients are charged $200 to register in the state’s medicinal marijuana program for two years. Nearly half of those registered in the program last year qualified for a reduced $20 charge to register.

Patients must pay out of pocket for marijuana, which costs $480 an ounce at the Bellmawr dispensary. The marijuana is taxed at 7 percent.

New Jersey’s legal marijuana is “the most expensive” in the country,” Wolski said.

“Anybody whose been impoverished by their illness or marginally employed, they can’t afford this program,” Wolski said. “It’s a shell of what it could have been.”

Even so, patient demand is high, said Dr. Andrew Medvedovsky, a neurologist and pain specialist with RA Pain Services in Washington Township.

“Over the 2½ years I’ve been in practice, many, many patients have asked me about medical marijuana,” said Medvedovsky, who referred patients elsewhere before he joined the state’s program in July.

Since then, he has prescribed cannabis to about 50 patients, including children with severe epilepsy. He sees patients with complex conditions that can be difficult to treat with conventional pharmaceutical drugs.

Some of his patients take four pills at night to ease painful spasms, “and they still can’t fall asleep.” He’s also concerned about the side effects and addictive nature of powerful opioids and benzodiazepines.

“They don’t provide relief,” Medvedovsky said. “They don’t really help a large population of patients.”

Marijuana offers another option for patients who have hit the limits of conventional medicine, he explained. Still, some of his patients don’t qualify for the program, because they don’t have one of the approved conditions.

“Many patients told me if they could smoke marijuana legally,” Medvedovsky said, “they would be so happy to get off their other medications.”

But it’s not easy, even for those who clearly qualify. The program permits terminally ill people to receive medicinal marijuana, for example. Just over 300 of them were enrolled in the program last year, according to state records.

Wolski pins the blame on the state’s restrictions and its lack of outreach about marijuana’s therapeutic benefits. Besides controlling pain, the herb improves appetite, helps with bladder control, and raises the spirits of those facing a terminal prognosis, he said.

“It really helps people who are elderly and dying in so many ways,” Wolski said. “It’s a sin, really, to keep it from these people.”

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. InalienableWrights
    Nov 01, 2015 @ 10:50:21

    Every “medical marijuana” law passed so far in this country belongs in the garbage can…… Legislators have no legitimate authority to infringe upon the rights of citizens to choose what foods, and or medicines that they ingest. There is absolutely nothing in the Federal Constitution that authorizes the Federal government in this regard, and the simple premise that government should protect rights, not trample them, should be enough reason to get the states out of the business of trampling it’s citizens rights.

    If there are any criminals involved here, it is the legislators, the courts, and the police that commit the crime of kidnapping, and locking into cages at gun point, citizens that have harmed no one, and committed no crime..

    In a fair world these minions of the system that are “just following orders” should be treated just like the Nazi’s that we tried at Nuremberg. Trampling the rights of others human beings is not acceptable even if you are following orders or it is the “law.” The people in the system that have waged the war on drugs should be hunted down and prosecuted just like we have done with Nazi war criminals. They are no less than the Nazi’s real criminals that have committed real criminal acts.

    It might help some of those reading this that are too ignorant to know what agenda that they are dealing with, that the the war on drugs is a globalist United nations Agenda that went into high gear in the US in 1961. The prohibition has allowed those behind the treaty, to have the very governments that prohibit drugs, to actively be the ones that bring in the majority of illegal drugs , thus profiting directly from the artificially high prices. They are also the same people that are behind the private prisons, so after they make criminally high profits on the sale of the drugs, they pay your cousin that got locked up, 25 cents an hour in one of their private prisons and make even a lot more profit on “the war on drugs”.

    The war on drugs is a war on your rights, and it never as been nor will it ever be anything else.

    Reply

  2. Trackback: Medical Marijuana…Not such a great thing for those in need | Truth … | MJ News Report
  3. R.Duncan
    Nov 01, 2015 @ 16:33:20

    InalienableWrights, I believe you just posted what a lot of people would love to say but are scared to for fear of persecution. Thank you for a great reply & i do totally agree with you !!! Keep up the good work Doreen, I believe you have your touch back !!!!!!!

    Reply

    • InalienableWrights
      Nov 01, 2015 @ 16:42:20

      The only reason, the world is so screwed up is because people will not speak the truth, instead they choose to fear, when they could have just as easily chosen getting pissed off at the tyranny, and spoken up.

      If everyone does their part the world will become a different place.

      Reply

  4. truthfarmer
    Nov 01, 2015 @ 23:10:40

    There’s a quote about speaking the truth being a revolutionary act in times of great tyranny- or something to that effect. I’ve always been against the war on drugs because it’s exactly as you said IW, but when I studied out cannabis and learned the astonishing benefits available to humanity through that plant, I had no choice but to become an advocate for complete removal from control. No equivocations.
    Every single idiotic thing that the US federal government has declared a “war” upon has been destructive to the inalienable rights AND duties of the people. The war on poverty, illiteracy, drugs and terror are all fronts for destroying the very fabric of a free society. Unfortunately, the programming is so pervasive and deeply engrained that it is difficult to break through. The programmed will interpret what I have stated to mean that I want people to be poor, unable to read, hopped up on meth and subjected to suicide bombers at any trip to the grocery store, but that isn’t so.
    The truth is that governments can’t give things to someone without first taking from someone else. There will always be poor people. There will always be people who are addicted to some things. There will always be people who have a hard time learning. And an armed society is always a polite society…We just need to be decent with each other and conduct ourselves with integrity and then we are self-governing. If there is no victim, there is no crime.

    Reply

  5. Angalee Jones
    Nov 03, 2015 @ 11:41:52

    People are buying marijuana seeds as hemp seeds are marijuana ….farmers have merely been forced to breed out the THC….THC that is like reversatrol from grapes….grapes are food like cannabis/hemp/marijuana/ganja we can ferment any fruit to get a buzz or high or whatever one calls it…cannabis is not like alcohol…alcohol is deadly hemp is not…cannabis is not….marijuana is not. CBD is not illegal so why is high CBD being prohibited in any state…a plant with zero deaths ever in history is not a dangerous drug by no far stretch of the imagination. THC is given to the weakest, sickest children and seniors and it only helps them….so why is THC vilified? SIMPLE CONTROL & PROFITS ONLY !

    Reply

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