Finding Pain Relief In Cannabis

This last weekend was supposed to be a mini-vacation while I Christmas shopped.  I was to stay the night in a hotel and I envisioned a fun day looking at all the Christmas displays.  In reality I was in so much pain all week I was just hoping I would be able to make it to a few stores.  My entire body was in pain with a horrible headache that radiated through my upper body.  It was hard to be in the Christmas spirit.

Fortunately by Friday I had the opportunity to visit a dispensary and picked up a new strain I had only heard about.  When I got home I was able to use some of my medicine.  I have been testing out different strains for awhile now and most I have found will give me some pain relief or complete pain relief but only briefly.  When I used the new strain I got complete pain relief for hours.  I wanted to cry.

I realized that it has been the entire year that I have spent in pain.  The year has seem to fly by and I can not believe that it is December.  It feel like it should still be early fall and I have more time left in the year.  Each month I would research more medical studies, strain lists, talk with dispensary owners, read books and test out the strains myself in search of pain relief.  Some I found would give me the giggles, make me tired, make me sick, ease anxiety, help with insomnia and now finally give me full pain relief.

It was such a strange feeling being able to enjoy the moment without trying to ignore pain.I realized how long it had been since I felt this way.  Each day I get up feeling nauseous and then a headache will set in.  Sometimes they are dull and sometimes the pain is so bad its like seeing stars before you black out.  I have not found a prescription that fully takes away the pain, doesn’t give me horrible side effects or turns me into a zombie.  I have only found that in cannabis.

This year has been a long journey that I know is just begining.  I have learned so much about cannabis and have met so many wonderful people that are doing great things for the community.  Looking back over this year I am amazed at how much I know now.  All the reading and learning that I have done has ignited a fire in me that gives me passion about this subject.  I see so many people that are suffering, that like myself, have found pain relief in cannabis.  After getting a taste of what life without pain feels like I was suddenly brought back down to earth with the realization that it could all be taken away.

Currently in California, city by city, government is banning cannabis dispensaries because of the federal crackdown that happened this year.  Real people experiencing real pain not only have to brace themselves for daily life but for the realization that they very well could be without their pain relief.  They also must face the fact that their option may be going to the corner drug dealer where no questions are asked and its a gamble of what you are actually getting.

In the country we have a very heated debate on the size of the government. We have the federal government that is imposing its view on the states.  The citizens of California voted to allow for cannabis use by patients.  In 1996 most knew of cannabis use for cancer but at that time it was not publically known to help with many other illnesses.

Now in 2011, with ABC, NBC, CNN, FOX and many other mainstream media outlets as well as organizations like NORML speaking out about the many benefits of cannabis we have a more educated public.  We still hear how California is a joke because anyone can get a recommendation for cannabis.  The truth is that many people benefit from cannabis beyond those with cancer and AIDS.

Cannabis can help from a headache, to nausea, to body aches.  It can help with many different illnesses and modern science is confirming on a continual basis the new uses for cannabis.  Many different diseases that plague millions of Americans are being treated in labs around the world with cannabis.  Scientists are hard at work to unlock the cure for cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, obesity, migraines, to name a few and many are finding that it may be cannabis.

Many people are starting to see the harm that prescriptions are starting to have on our bodies, our society and our government.  When looking at the side effects and the drug recalls that are regulated through the FDA we wonder why a natural plant is so evil.  We are now dealing with big drug companies controlling legislation and officials in our government.  We see users of a natural plant in its natural form imprisoned.   We see families broken up and tax payer money used against them.  We also see a rise in over use of prescription drugs and addiction and what that is doing to society.

We see what the War on Drugs has done to our society as well.  Not only has it broken families, forced those arrested to a lower standard of life but also burdened the American people with a costly system of punishment for use of a natural plant. With the raids in California we saw stories of children being awakened by DEA agents busting through their front doors and shoving a gun in their parent’s face.

We also see the black market side of things heating up.  There needs to be a balance and restoring of order.  Responsible adults should be allowed to make their own medical decisions for themselves and their family.  We should not have the federal government or any government dictating how to treat our illnesses or our bodies.  We need the black market taken down and cleaned up and the legitimate legal market allowed to flourish.

The cannabis community wants to be out in the open legally operating and paying taxes.  We want a system that supports responsible use and regulation.  We want to know that we can have safe access to safe medicine.  We want to know that we have a reliable legitimate source of pain relief.  Every citizen has the right to treat their body as they see fit. They also should have the option to treat their body with natural herbs.  As a human on this Earth we have the right to use what the planet gives us.  We have the right to use nature responsibly.

It is time that we start being a more courageous nation and stand up for what is right.  We need to voice our opinions and start working together to solve these issues.  Turn off the TV, look away from the IPhone and start talking to one another to begin the repair work for this country.  We need responsibility put back on the shoulders of the American people.  We need to roll up our sleeves and get the job done.  The government is not the answer, we are.  2012 is only weeks away how will you make a difference?

Prohibition: Then and Now, History Repeating Itself?

We see Hollywood glamorizing the roaring 20’s, Prohibition Era, with the speakeasies and flapper girls. Then there was Al Capone and the mob’s criminal activities. Today, with the Drug Prohibition, we have stories of bodies being dumped in the streets and heads being found on school playgrounds. Can we not learn from history?

During the Prohibition Era which lasted from 1920 to 1933, people truly thought that passing more laws would make things safer and better.  They felt that alcohol was the cause of many social issues and if it were illegal things would improve.  Unfortunately it had the opposite affect.

Suddenly with liquor being available only through the black markets, criminals organized and gangs were created.  What were once legally run production, importation and distribution businesses were now taken over by gangs.

As a result of the prohibition prices went up further fueling more attraction to gangs who became rich.  Once gangs took hold of the industry fights broke out over territory and connections, spilling crime into the streets including mass murder.

A Bill was created in Congress that celebrated the Repeal day which notes that “throughout American history, alcohol has been consumed by its citizens”;that prohibition resulted in “abuses” and the “irresponsible over consumption of alcohol”; and that the ban on “‘intoxicating liquors’ in the United States, resulted in a dramatic increase in illegal activity, including unsafe black market alcohol production, organized crime, and noncompliance with alcohol laws…”

While prohibition was a complete failure one thing we can learn from them is that they did go through the proper processes.  With prohibition activists worked their way from the local level to the federal level eventually amending the constitution. When America repealed prohibition with a constitutional amendment it explicitly gave the power to regulate alcohol to the states.

In contrast to the drug prohibition, Congress as well as the Supreme court, was not Constitutional when it passed the Controlled Substances Act of 1970 which started the modern day Drug War.

Crime was not the only factor in the failure of prohibition.  The lack of regulation was also a problem.  Unlike the regulated liquor, black market liquor was more potent and more harmful.  Today we have unregulated marijuana that is available to the public causing concerns.  Harmful chemicals, mold and many other issues can have serious effects on the end user as well as the enviroment. Without proper regulation patients can find it hard to get safe, quality marijuana.

During the Prohibition Era doctors were still able to prescribe it to their patients unlike today where dispensaries, doctors and patients  are being terrorized by raids. After almost 40 years since the Controlled Substance Act passed there are hundreds of thousands of people in prison for nonviolent drug crimes. We have federal and local  police forces that all too often acts like an military force with nearly a trillion dollars spent on enforcement. All the while the street prices of drugs like cocaine and marijuana has dramatically dropped since the government began keeping track in the early 1980s.

H.R. 2306, entitled the ‘Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act of 2011,’ prohibits the federal government from prosecuting adults who use or possess marijuana by removing the plant, and its primary psychoactive constituent, THC, from the five schedules of the federal Controlled Substances Act of 1970.  It is currently being cosponsored by 16 Congresspeople.

There are plenty of lessons to learn from the Prohibition Era as well as the Drug War thus far.  As they always say history will repeat itself if you never learn from it.  Prohibition does not work, as proven, it has the opposite effect. Now is the time to stop the corruption and end Prohibition against marijuana.