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Larry Blustein


Larry Blustein

The Medical Marijuana Era


By Larry Blustein
sfsuntimes@aol.com

Though It Has Its Many Skeptics, Some Patients Are Finding Life Easier To Live

It seems like it’s been decades since the topic of “Medical Marijuana” was introduced to the state of Florida.

You remember the debate with Central Florida attorney John Morgan and a Pinellas County Sheriff who almost single-handedly set the issue back decades - if not almost took it out of the voter’s hands?

But thank goodness the issue reached people who knew about medical marijuana - and not some attorney who was trying to win your favor by backing something that he had no clue about.

While many still believe that Florida is way behind the times, not legalizing for “recreational” usage - those who needed this for their many illnesses - are grateful that we have come to this point.

Eileen Mueller has suffered from painful arthritis for 11 years - and while some days are almost too much to face - this North Miami Beach mother of three teens embraced the fact that she has gotten some relief, and to those who have backed it for so long, this is indeed the news they have been searching for.

Because of the many principles of cannabis, which many in the medical field are still researching to ensure they have enough proof to be able to tell their patients to try it, a new world now exists for those patients who have battled everything form cancer to several other diseases that have been easier to live with.

“I know that many who do not have debilitating problems in their lives think that using marijuana is garbage and a reason to get high, but you know, I do not care,” Mueller said. “I am 43 and face every day with pain in my joints, and have tried everything from pain killers to remedies that friends and physicians have recommended.”

The very fact that acceptance of medical marijuana has taken so much time, it is something that patients have learned to live with - and many with diseases and ailments have gotten to the point that just getting some relief is more important than pleasing the masses of uniformed people who are living in the past.

Medical marijuana uses the marijuana plant or chemicals in it to treat diseases or conditions. It's basically the same product as recreational marijuana, but it's taken for medical purposes.

The marijuana plant contains more than 100 different chemicals called cannabinoids. Each one has a different effect on the body. Delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) are the main chemicals used in medicine. THC also produces the "high" people feel when they smoke marijuana or eat foods containing it.

Known to treat such conditions as: Alzheimer's disease, appetite loss, cancer, crohn's disease, eating disorders such as anorexia, epilepsy, glaucoma - as well as mental health conditions like schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

While patients who have Multiple Sclerosis, muscle spasms, nausea and general aches and pains have started to use this treatment, there are many doctors who believe that it is just another way to separate you from your money.

"The greatest amount of evidence for the therapeutic effects of cannabis relate to its ability to reduce chronic pain, nausea and vomiting due to chemotherapy, and spasticity [tight or stiff muscles] from MS,” Andrew Qualls explained. “I have been using marijuana for 15 years - and while I will admit to it being for recreation, you tend to see what it does to the body - and that is something that NO doctor that I have ever come across will ever be able to tell you.”

Doctors are human - and while they can tell you what marijuana is good for - it is just like you, me or anyone else who has never used it before. While anyone will say just about anything to put money in their pockets, there are very few people, who now have the power to assess, issue you a MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD or write that prescription that can definitely tell you that by smoking or ingesting the product, positive results are certain.

To get medical marijuana, you need a written recommendation from a licensed doctor in states where that is legal. (Not every doctor is willing to recommend medical marijuana for their patients.) You must have a condition that qualifies for medical marijuana use. Once you have that card, you can buy medical marijuana at a store called a dispensary.

For fast & easy medical cannabis certification, Miracle Leaf Medical Health Center has certified medical cannabis physicians on staff, who will help to diagnose your ailment.

Located at 600 W Hallandale Beach Blvd unit # 5, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009, call today for information on qualifying conditions at: 954-589-0159 or 954-589-0163.

After receiving your recommendation and card, the next step is to visit one of Florida’s professional dispensaries that provide medical marijuana in a number of innovative and all-inclusive varieties.

With 33 states and the District of Columbia now being able to write those prescriptions, patients always have to remember that the drug can also affect judgment and coordination, which could lead to accidents and injuries.

Because marijuana contains some of the same chemicals found in tobacco, there have been concerns that smoking it could harm the lungs. The effects of inhaled marijuana on lung health aren't clear, but there's some evidence it might increase the risk for bronchitis and other lung problems.

TAKING THAT IMPORTANT STEP
Once you’ve made a decision about which doctor to approach about obtaining your recommendation, you’ll want to think about how to effectively communicate your interest in medical marijuana treatment.

Be Honest: It’s important to speak frankly about your health situation and explain why you feel this treatment option makes sense for you. If you’ve had previous positive experiences using marijuana to treat your symptoms, it’s appropriate to share this information.

Be Thorough: If you’re already undergoing treatment for your condition, it’s helpful to explain what’s worked for you and what has not. By assessing your treatment needs, progress, and long-term goals, they’ll be better able to understand why this additional therapy interests you and how it may be able to help.

Be Well-informed: While taking classes and reading books will educate you - just the way medical school did for doctors - if your physician never used marijuana, they will just be going off the information provided too them an thousands and thousands of others.

“The problem is - with using physicians who have only experience with traditional medicines - is they really cannot tell you what can, and what can’t work,” Qualls pointed out. “Sharing your findings with the medical community is so vital - and if they can put their egos in check, good doctors will listen to exactly what your experiences have brought and not play the know-it-all role.”

Remember - we are in 2019 - and some topics which were taboo in the past - such as using marijuana - are now of great interest.

KNOWLEDGE IS VITAL
Doctors must advocate together to remove barriers to marijuana research, create a national strategy and fund those efforts. Researchers need to track the benefits and harms through public health surveillance methods and educate the public to eliminate the differences between what patients believe and what physicians know about the drug.


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