We have a pain problem in the United States which is contributing to an opioid epidemic. At last count, two million Americans, have been prescribed opioids for pain relief which has lead to dependency and abuse of these drugs.
Opioids are potent drugs that have been synthetically created to mimic the properties of the natural painkiller opium. They are classified into two categories: legal and illegal or street drugs. The legal ones often prescribed by a doctor include: morphine, oxycodone or hydrocodone. The illegal drugs are: heroin and street made fentanyl. Historically doctors have been very conservative about prescribing these drugs. One of the main reasons for this stance is they generally are reserved for the most painful and terminal conditions as they are also aware of their addictive properties. If a patient has a chronic but not a terminal condition then they will most certainly develop a tolerance and will continue to need higher and higher dosages to keep the pain under control.
Opioids work in concert with the brain and spinal cord to block pain signals. These medications are very desirable for another non pain relieving quality. They activate the dopamine in your brain which triggers a feeling of euphoria or “high” which is precisely why they have become so hard to resist.
Western medicine has created a culture of physicians taught to deal with chronic pain through prescribing pills. Those same doctors are now putting the brakes on many getting their meds because they have awakened to the realization of what a mess they have created. Unfortunately the damage has been done and the short term answer is not just cutting people off cold turkey Their lives would be in jeopardy as they will go into withdrawal and need to be carefully managed.
It’s time to get out of the comfort zone created by Big Pharma and stir the “pot” so to speak. It’s high time to bang the drum for legalizing cannabis nationwide. As of right now twenty three states have approved cannabis for medical usage. This issue used to be a political hot potato but it seems more and more politicians are willing to run with it. It’s getting on the ballots and it’s winning approval.
Let’s talk about why this needs to happen. First, it could make a huge dent in helping reduce the number of individuals dependent on opioids. If you take one pain pill it creates a side effect which prompts you to take another pill. Pretty soon you are up to multiple pills to counteract all the side effects of the pain medications. If you take cannabis for your pain management you will have one medication and avoid all the detrimental side effects.
Cannabis helps fight cancer cells. There have been over 100 peer reviewed studies showing that cannabis kills cancer cells in a couple of ways. First it halts cells from metastasizing and it triggers cancer cells to die out.
Keeping it illegal is doing NOTHING to deter people from using it. In fact according to a new survey use of weed has gone up 45% which is more 112 million people. It doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Legalizing it would also help regulate the supply and help keep it safe. Imagine a day where lighting up a joint would be like having a glass of wine and as mainstream.
Let’s talk about revenue. Living in the completely broke state of Illinois and the city of Chicago where newly invented taxes are an everyday thing. If you don’t live here I invite you to look at the soda tax, that is the latest in fake taxes. It really was a tax designed to gouge you but wrapping itself in a healthy claim to prevent our kids from overdosing in those nasty sugary drinks. Legalizing cannabis would provide a well needed boost in revenue that would be statewide. For example if you take a close look at Colorado they took in 750 million in total earnings – in tax revenue and licensing fees $116 million. Let’s add into that how the schools and property values in the state would benefit from this influx of cash. Property values in Colorado are at an all time high no pun intended. Not to mention the creation of jobs relating to the cannabis industry as well.
Cannabis being legalized nationwide could also help to take a major hit out of the International drug trade. American cannabis growers are very enterprising and have been known to introduce and create hybrid strains. This could put their foreign counterparts at an extreme disadvantage. A legal cannabis market will negatively impact the Mexican drug cartels market much the way bootleggers disappeared after prohibition fell. It is very possible Mexican cartels could see the cannabis market as non viable. This could impact money spent on the drug war and easily could add another influx of billions of dollars to the federal government in tax revenue.
Cannabis helps greatly with a variety of medical conditions from Cancer to Parkinson’s to PTSD to Glaucoma to chronic pain to depression. There was a video recently circulating on Facebook that was just completely mind blowing. A gentlemen that had a severe case of Parkinson’s disease and had the severe shaking/tremors associated with the condition, was shown before he smoked cannabis and 15 minutes after smoking. It was something anyone would call short of miraculous. He stopped shaking and was significantly calmer and more coordinated. Now it’s not a cure but it had significant impact on his quality of life.
The two pioneering states that led the way in legalizing cannabis are Colorado and Washington. As of today twenty nine states have laws legalizing cannabis. States that soon will be added to the mix due to passing ballot measures legalizing marijuana for recreational or medical use are: California, Massachusetts, Maine, Nevada, Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota. Cannabis continues to be studied extensively and daily they are finding more and more medical conditions that can be successfully treated and even cured. The overwhelming majority of people support legalizing this drug. One day smoking a joint will be as natural albeit healthier then having a margarita. We owe it to ourselves to seriously think how beneficial legalizing cannabis would be for our future as a society. No matter how far we have come in terms medical advances it seems the solution of cannabis as a medical alternative has been under our nose the whole time.
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