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Insurance companies offering coverage to marijuana smokers.
Posted: 06 April 2010 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Write4U - 06 April 2010 04:36 PM

Anecdotal evidence works both ways. If the anecdotal evidence was that marijuana is harmful (as it is with many other drugs such as meth), I am sure the medical profession would cite that as a form of proof that it is in fact harmful.

Oh, right, and everyone STOPPED using meth right away! LOL  Ephedra was banned after it was found to have caused deaths and heart attacks, and people started buying it on the black market… I don’t have a problem with people using marijuana recreationally, under the same laws as alcohol (driving under the influence), but most of the people who show up in the media have a deep distrust of ‘drugs’ by ‘big pharma’ and smoke to self medicate for chronic conditions, when there is no proof of marijuana’s effectiveness or efficacy as treatment. Most of the people I see would be better off with adjunct medical treatment from their physician, many of them do not. The ban on marijuana research should by lifted,it is ridiculous, but I do not foresee any changes in the minds of those who see it as the one true cure to everything should it be found ineffective. Anecdote is NOT proof. Correlation is NOT causation. If I started to visit my doctor and asked for penicillin for every aliment such as headache, joint pain, stomach ache, people would think me delusional. Substitute marijuana, and the same people think I am being perfectly reasonable.

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Posted: 06 April 2010 06:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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I agree about the extremely likely carcinogenic components in the smoke, since they occur whenever one chars organic materials, even charbroiled steak.

From my few uses of it I find that it’s somewhat similar to alcohol, with the differences being: 1) a bit more hallucinogenic; 2) a bit more of an upper; 3) causing one to be much more focused on oneself rather than on those around you.  This third is what I didn’t care for.  Although it was over 40 years ago, I really hated it when, later, I realized that I was totally engrossed with myself, and not at all interested in my partner’s pleasure during sex.

As far as addiction goes, I felt real withdrawal pain, but then that might have been because it was in brownies and I’m severely addicted to chocolate. LOL

Occam

No, I didn’t have any withdrawal, but I couldn’t help making that comment. smile

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Posted: 06 April 2010 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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dougsmith - 06 April 2010 06:43 PM
Write4U - 06 April 2010 04:25 PM
dougsmith - 06 April 2010 04:08 PM

Be all that as it may, I seriously doubt that inhaling any sort of smoke into the lungs over a prolonged period is going to be at all good for one’s health.  (Of course, as a palliative for terminal illness or in pill form it may be a different issue).

Point well taken. In fact, inhalation of superheated smoke may also contribute to mouth and lung cancer, in addition to clogging up the lungs. But then this is why the Bong has become the delivery system of choice, because it minimizes the harmful effects of direct smoke inhalation.
But if there was only one recreational drug allowed, I would choose marijuana over all others as being the most effective, yet least harmful to the heart, liver, kidneys, or brain.

FWIW, I don’t think the issue has to do with the heat. It has to do with the fine particulate matter that gets lodged in the alveoli of the lungs. These cause physical damage and apparently have carcinogenic properties. (As it seems all burned matter does to some extent).

We just need to have proofs that show a significant spike in these dangerous particulates in relation to the everyday background particulates that are present in many areas of the world. Carcinogenic particulates which are released from factories, autos, powerplants etc. I have a feeling that the spike in particulates is not meaningful in relation to other background particulates which are being inhaled 24/7. Unless the marijuana smoker was engaging in dramatically chronic use.
In any event even the “legitimate” drugs all have disclaimers on their TV and magazine ads which tell of any number of undesirable side-effects, unintended side-effects.

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Posted: 06 April 2010 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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The main problem is that when one chars carbohydrates (the cellulose in all plant materials) it forms polycyclic phenols which are carcinogenic.  That happens if one smokes tobacco, oregano, pot, or any other kind of plant.  That’s why brownies or electric lasagna would be preferable (they’d also help satisfy the munchies.)

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Posted: 06 April 2010 07:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Sorry Write4U, but I call BS on the “used for thousands of years” argument. This is often applied to folk remedies, and it is not reliable. Several reasons why:

1. Adverse reactions to a medicine that are not very common or delayed in time after the treatment are impossible to reliably identify with haphazard, anecdotal data. Even with the extensive pre-market testing pharmaceutical go through, rigorous post-marketing surveillance is needed because rare but important side effects or interactions with other therapies are often found. The idea that we would know if there was a risk because somebody would have noticed just doesn’t hold water. We didn’t know bloodletting was actually killing more people than it was helping despite thousands of years of widespread use of it. It took decades to figure out smoking caused lung cancer.  Sure, if half the people who lit up dropped dead the next day, we’d notice. But the absence of such obvious problems doesn’t mean there aren’t real and improtant but more subtle problems.

2. Confirmation bias leads us to selectively notice the things that support our beliefs and ignore things that undermine them. We literally have a hard time seeing and remember evidence that we are wrong. Cognitive dissoanance also makes it really hard for us to admit we’ve done something stupid or useless or made a mistake. People often try untested treatments because they at least hope they will work, and they frequently have a preconception based on anecdotes or theporetical/philosophical concepts that the thing they are trying will help. These people are much more likely to believe such treatments do help, whether they do or not, because of these psychological factors.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not claiming marijuana is a significant drug of abuse or that it has no physiological effects. I just think we don’t know enough about how it works with specific conditions to rationally decide it is safe or effective, and I think the tendancy people have to feel positive about it has more to do with politics and ideology than evidence.

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Posted: 06 April 2010 08:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Occam - 06 April 2010 07:18 PM

The main problem is that when one chars carbohydrates (the cellulose in all plant materials) it forms polycyclic phenols which are carcinogenic.  That happens if one smokes tobacco, oregano, pot, or any other kind of plant.  That’s why brownies or electric lasagna would be preferable (they’d also help satisfy the munchies.)

Occam

Yes, of course one could devise a safer and less harmful delivery system. In fact, the medical dispenseries in CA offer marijuana in many different forms such as brownies, cookies, ice cream, tea bags, flour, etc.
But, the delivery system does not negate the properties of the drug, which by all accounts are pleasant, temporary, and without withdrawal or “hang-over” effects.
Compared to all other psychotropic drugs, marijuana must rank among the most effective, with the least adverse effects.
If the medical profession would do their due dilligence and actually undertook a comprehensive study of the effects of marijuana, we would have an overwhelming data base in a few short months. People would line up by the hundreds if not thousands to be test subjects. No one who uses marijuana responsibly is afraid of what the tests would reveal, they know! Ask Bill Maher.

[ Edited: 06 April 2010 08:35 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 06 April 2010 08:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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asanta - 06 April 2010 06:55 PM
Write4U - 06 April 2010 04:36 PM

Anecdotal evidence works both ways. If the anecdotal evidence was that marijuana is harmful (as it is with many other drugs such as meth), I am sure the medical profession would cite that as a form of proof that it is in fact harmful.

Oh, right, and everyone STOPPED using meth right away! LOL  Ephedra was banned after it was found to have caused deaths and heart attacks, and people started buying it on the black market… I don’t have a problem with people using marijuana recreationally, under the same laws as alcohol (driving under the influence), but most of the people who show up in the media have a deep distrust of ‘drugs’ by ‘big pharma’ and smoke to self medicate for chronic conditions, when there is no proof of marijuana’s effectiveness or efficacy as treatment. Most of the people I see would be better off with adjunct medical treatment from their physician, many of them do not. The ban on marijuana research should by lifted,it is ridiculous, but I do not foresee any changes in the minds of those who see it as the one true cure to everything should it be found ineffective. Anecdote is NOT proof. Correlation is NOT causation. If I started to visit my doctor and asked for penicillin for every aliment such as headache, joint pain, stomach ache, people would think me delusional. Substitute marijuana, and the same people think I am being perfectly reasonable.

Why do people stick HIV infected needles in their arms in a back alley? Those examples do not belong in a discussion of the medical use or the moderate recreational use of a relatively benign drug by well adjusted people. I hope reasonable and well adjusted people are still in the majority. When you look under a rock, you can always find a creepy crawly.
No one claims marijuana is a cure for anything, like penicillin. But marijuana is perfectly suited to treat the symptoms you described in your example.
And as long as it remains illegal, patients will never discuss their experience with marijuana with their doctor and continue to self medicate. They have no choice.

[ Edited: 06 April 2010 08:26 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 06 April 2010 08:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Occam - 06 April 2010 06:56 PM

I agree about the extremely likely carcinogenic components in the smoke, since they occur whenever one chars organic materials, even charbroiled steak.

From my few uses of it I find that it’s somewhat similar to alcohol, with the differences being: 1) a bit more hallucinogenic; 2) a bit more of an upper; 3) causing one to be much more focused on oneself rather than on those around you.  This third is what I didn’t care for.  Although it was over 40 years ago, I really hated it when, later, I realized that I was totally engrossed with myself, and not at all interested in my partner’s pleasure during sex.
As far as addiction goes, I felt real withdrawal pain, but then that might have been because it was in brownies and I’m severely addicted to chocolate. LOL
Occam

Hehe, if your partner also ate the brownies, what makes you think your partner cared? tongue rolleye

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Posted: 06 April 2010 10:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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The following is not so much a statement as it is a question.
Assuming that all (or most) medical doctors adhere to the Hippocratic Oath and maintain medical records on patients, there must now already be a reliable database of conditions, treatment, result and “effectiveness”, if any. How does one medically test something without the presence of a doctor? The diagnosis of a condition and the medically considered best treatment available for the patient can and must be performed by doctors. It is legally assumed that these doctors followed the tenet of “first do no harm”.
To describe this as some doctors scripting marijuana “on demand”, is really an ad hominem attack on the doctor’s ethics. What are the facts which contraindicate the diagnoses and prescribed treatment by licensed doctors? Medically, we began the qualifying process a long time ago, with the first script for the “medical use” of marijuana. Give the pioneer doctors their due.
I submit that the participation by more and more doctors indicates a greater acceptance in the medical world, which in turn provides pertinent and relevant data in consideration of the expanded use of marijuana for medical purposes and the legalized (taxed) use for recreational purposes.
Recreationally (as well as Spiritually)? Well its a longggggggggggg story spanning thousands of years.

[ Edited: 06 April 2010 10:32 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 06 April 2010 10:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Write4U - 06 April 2010 08:00 PM

If the medical profession would do their due dilligence and actually undertook a comprehensive study of the effects of marijuana, we would have an overwhelming data base in a few short months. People would line up by the hundreds if not thousands to be test subjects. No one who uses marijuana responsibly is afraid of what the tests would reveal, they know! Ask Bill Maher.

Did you miss my post about the legality of such a study. No doctor or researcher is going to risk losing his/her hard earned license to do something that may well get it revoked.

[ Edited: 07 April 2010 12:13 AM by asanta ]
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Posted: 06 April 2010 10:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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mckenzievmd - 06 April 2010 07:59 PM

Sorry Write4U, but I call BS on the “used for thousands of years” argument.

I missed the ‘thousands of years’ argument..darn!

[ Edited: 07 April 2010 12:13 AM by asanta ]
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Posted: 06 April 2010 10:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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asanta - 06 April 2010 10:32 PM
Write4U - 06 April 2010 08:00 PM

If the medical profession would do their due dilligence and actually undertook a comprehensive study of the effects of marijuana, we would have an overwhelming data base in a few short months. People would line up by the hundreds if not thousands to be test subjects. No one who uses marijuana responsibly is afraid of what the tests would reveal, they know! Ask Bill Maher.

Did you miss my post about the legality of such a study. No doctor or researcher is going to risk losing his/her hard earned license to do something that may well get it revoked.

No, and I agree totally.
But as I described above, the process of medically evaluating the medical use of marijuana has already begun. There is no reason to reject the findings of those doctors with actual patient experience. I am saying that medically one is no longer required to profess scepticism, when presented with medically verifiable data. There is already an extensive data base.

[ Edited: 06 April 2010 10:41 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 06 April 2010 10:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Write4U - 06 April 2010 10:11 PM

The following is not so much a statement as it is a question.
Assuming that all (or most) medical doctors adhere to the Hippocratic Oath and maintain medical records on patients, there must now already be a reliable database of conditions, treatment, result and “effectiveness”, if any. How does one medically test something without the presence of a doctor? The diagnosis of a condition and the medically considered best treatment available for the patient can and must be performed by doctors. It is legally assumed that these doctors followed the tenet of “first do no harm”.
To describe this as some doctors scripting marijuana “on demand”, is really an ad hominem attack on the doctor’s ethics. What are the facts which contraindicate the diagnoses and prescribed treatment by licensed doctors? Medically, we began the qualifying process a long time ago, with the first script for the “medical use” of marijuana. Give the pioneer doctors their due.
I submit that the participation by more and more doctors indicates a greater acceptance in the medical world, which in turn provides pertinent and relevant data in consideration of the expanded use of marijuana for medical purposes and the legalized (taxed) use for recreational purposes.
Recreationally (as well as Spiritually)? Well its a longggggggggggg story spanning thousands of years.

It takes a little more than just culling medical records for people who admit to marijuana use, that is NOT good NOR a reliable study. A study needs to be double blinded and repeatable. Anecdote and conformation bias does NOT a good study make. The scripting of marijuana on demand is NOT an ad hominum. It was proved here in the Bay Area when people went into the clinics to ask for prescriptions for the most bogus reasons they could think of, and ALL of them came out with a prescription, including the chief of police, who was part of the sting.

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Posted: 06 April 2010 10:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Turn over a rock .........
I hope it is not an indication of the general professional ethics in medicine. Were there records, have you seen them? Were they medically fraudulent? Was it even a licensed doctor? What were the patient’s options. Drink himself into oblivion?
I have a problem with the thought that doctors do not act in their patient’s best interest.

[ Edited: 06 April 2010 11:17 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 07 April 2010 12:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Write4U - 06 April 2010 10:46 PM

Turn over a rock .........
I hope it is not an indication of the general professional ethics in medicine. Were there records, have you seen them? Were they medically fraudulent? Was it even a licensed doctor? What were the patient’s options. Drink himself into oblivion?
I have a problem with the thought that doctors do not act in their patient’s best interest.

I’m talking about medical dispensaries in the CA bay area. I do not know who these ‘doctors’ are, I have no reason to see the charts, I only know what was reported by the news media in an effort to clamp down on the proliferation of these clinics which drew an unsavory criminal element, who targeted them for easy cash. Why would you jump to ‘drink himself into oblivion’ as the only other option? That is the equivalent argument to the theist’s ‘we don’t know, so goddidit.’ No the prescriptions were legal, but the ethics of the prescribers were questionable. As for doctors acting in the patient’s best interest..come on, doctors are human too. The majority are excellent to competent, and then you have the others, just like any other occupation.

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