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Archive for November 2010

Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, causes nerve cells to waste away and eventually die, causing the body to no longer be able to send messages to muscles. Naturally, this leads to extreme muscle degradation, twitching and an inability to move certain body parts. ALS progresses slowly, to the point where chest muscles being to fail, making it extremely difficult or impossible to breathe.

According to a study by Carter and Rosen in 2001,  “marijuana should be considered in the pharmacological management of ALS.” Marijuana has been shown to possess strong neuroprotective and antioxidative effects which can extend the life of the neuronal cells. It can induce sleep which many ALS patients have a hard time achieving.

Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease

Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of post-senile dementia that often occurs later in life as natural brain degradation occurs. Common side effects of this disease include depression, paranoia, wandering, hallucinations, restlessness, irritability, uncharacteristic cursing, threatening language, and confusion. These can bear a heavy burden on the patient and those taking care of them. The effects can become so extreme that they interfere with normal daily functions and sleep. Marijuana has been proven to create anti-depressant like effects that help tremendously with many of these side effects.

What is Proposition 203?

There’s a ton of talk lately around the polls regarding the controversial Prop. 203 that would allow Arizona citizens who are registered with the Arizona Department of Health Services to obtain up to two-and-a-half ounces of medical marijuana every two weeks. The new proposition will also allow patients who live more than 25 miles from a dispensary to grow up to 12 plants of their own. The marijuana is only to be used to treat or alleviate symptoms associated with a “debilitating medical condition.” The list of conditions includes, but is not limited to: Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease, Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis, Cancer, Crohn’s Disease, Glaucoma, Hepatitis C, HIV/AIDS, Nail Patella, Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome, Severe Nausea, Severe & Chronic Pain, Seizures and Severe Muscle Spasms.

Although it is likely we will not be seeing dispensaries around Arizona until then end of summer, 2011,  the vote allowing patients with debilitating medical conditions to finally medicate in peace is a huge success for the state of Arizona. Many criticize the passing of this proposition, accusing it of being a loophole for people to obtain marijuana who do not really need it. The truth is, these people already obtain marijuana through other illegal methods that only contribute to the survival of the marijuana ‘black market’. People view other states that have similar laws in place, such as California, as a foreshadowing of what will become of Arizona. The problem in these states is not with the marijuana laws, more so it has to do with the loose reigns set around physicians who are allowed to recommend marijuana to any patient who has $150 to shell out. Arizona’s law is subject to rigorous review and re-writing which will make it much more difficult for people who do not really need marijuana to obtain it.

All in all, this is a giant leap forward for Arizona and should provide an interesting change in the coming months.