Reefer Sadness

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Cannabis has changed immeasurably; today’s drug, grown in carefully controlled hot-house conditions, is far more potent than the grass or hash that was common a few decades ago. The dangers associated with it have grown apace, but corresponding awareness does not seem to have penetrated the public consciousness.

What debate there has been has focused on the medicinal uses of the plant. The research base on cannabis is skimpy, largely due to its illegal status, but there is some evidence of its usefulness for treating a limited number of ailments. Parents of children with severe epilepsy, for example, have spoken of the huge difference medicinal cannabis has made in reducing seizures and improving quality of life. Other claims – for example, its ability to “cure” cancer – are simply without foundation.

Campaigners for medical cannabis have taken offence at the implication that their work is a “Trojan horse” for wider legalisation of the drug. Yet the favourable attention paid to their cause cast the drug in a softer light. The result was an imbalance in public debate, one that is now being corrected by the willingness of frontline doctors to talk about the cannabis-related problems they are encountering in their practice.

In this regard, it would be helpful to hear more from the chief medical officer in the Department of Health.

The State has moved slowly to provide an access scheme for medicinal cannabis, which is now likely to start in the coming months. This will allow for the drug, supplied by quality assured and approved suppliers only, to be prescribed for patients for a limited number of conditions, where they have no other treatment options.

Today’s Irish Times editorial.

Danny the Dealer writes:

A ‘nodge’ of Lebanon’s finest to the first person to explain the inherent contradiction in this fairly tragic editorial.

Anyone?

A Debate Long Overdue (The Irish Times)

21 thoughts on “Reefer Sadness

  1. Riz

    The usual circular argument that it’s becoming so potent and dangerous it should be illegal to get your hands on it but if it was legal it would be of much higher quality and not as dangerous but it’s so very potent and dangerous it should be illegal but wouldn’t it be great it was legal because then it would be of a much higher quality and not as dangerous but it’s so potent and dangerous it should be illegal so its……..

  2. curmudgeon

    Remember folks we are to listen to the medical experts that have for some reason formed an alliance to rally against all attepmts to decriminalise this. But also we must not question how the same experts are legally allowed (and regularily do) to go off on all exepenses paid “conferences” at fancy hotels with free bars paid for by the massive Pharmaceutical compaines, eager for those good doctors to prescribe their latest and greatest patented drugs, which are far more addicitive than cannabis.

    Pay no attention to companies getting raided by Garda for selling legal THC free cannabis, Im sure it has nothing to do with the worlds largest corporate Pharmaceutical giants being located in this country and bringing all their fancy jobs here. Not to mention the exports “Dublin, 21 February 2018 – The biopharmachem sector maintained its position as the largest exporter of goods from Ireland in 2017 with record total exports of €67.8 billion” – https://www.ipha.ie/news-events/latest-news/news/ipha-guidance-on-direct-healthcare-profession-(7)

    1. Elizabeth Mainwaring

      “……eager for those good doctors to prescribe their latest and greatest patented drugs, which are far more addicitive than cannabis…..”

      Can you give us a few examples please?

      1. curmudgeon

        “Prescriptions for antidepressants and anxiety medications up by two thirds since 2009
        In one case, prescriptions of an antidepressant rose by 512% for children under 18 over a ten-year period”
        https://www.thejournal.ie/ireland-antidepressant-anxiety-medicine-prescriptions-4157452-Aug2018/

        I’ll use Venlafaxine (marketed as Effexor, released 2008) as an example. Its prescribed in this country and classed as a non addictive anti-depressant. However as many many who use it state they simply cannot stop using the drug even though they want to because of the extreme withdrawal effects.

        Back to the utter corruption and amoral antics of Irish doctors,the IMO and the Big Parma firms here – “Millions of euro in payments by drugs companies to doctors are taking place in secret because medics will not give consent for disclosure of the transactions.” This should be flat out illegal.

        https://www.irishexaminer.com/breakingnews/ireland/millions-of-euro-paid-in-secret-to-doctors-by-firms-895946.html

        1. Elizabeth Mainwaring

          Venlafaxine is off patent and costs about 5 euros a month.

          I doubt “big pharma” are subverting the coordinated drive to legalize cannabis to preserve the monstrous profit they’re making on it.

          1. curmudgeon

            Just about ever single drug (including name brands) you can think of is cheaper outside our borders – why do you think that is?

            Why do you think the HSE pays higher prices for its drugs than other counties?

            Care to address the points I’ve made regarding Irish doctors (includes HSE employees) going on an all expenses paid trips by big pharma, and receiving kick-backs to the tune of literally millions?

          2. johnny

            “ALBANY, N.Y. (June 18, 2018) – The New York State Department of Health today announced it will develop a regulatory amendment to add opioid use as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana.

            “The opioid epidemic in New York State is an unprecedented crisis, and it is critical to ensure that providers have as many options as possible to treat patients in the most effective way,” said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker. “As research indicates that marijuana can reduce the use of opioids, adding opioid use as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana has the potential to help save countless lives across the state.”

            Opioid use joins 12 other qualifying conditions under the state’s Medical Marijuana Program. Currently, patients can be eligible if they have been diagnosed with one or more of the following severe debilitating or life-threatening conditions: cancer; HIV infection or AIDS; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS); Parkinson’s disease; multiple sclerosis; spinal cord injury with spasticity; epilepsy; inflammatory bowel disease; neuropathy; Huntington’s disease; post-traumatic stress disorder; or chronic pain.

            In New York State, overdose deaths involving opioids increased by about 180 percent from 2010 (over 1,000 deaths) to 2016 (over 3,000 deaths). While in 2002, it was still relatively rare to have an opioid overdose in most communities, it is now commonplace throughout the state. In addition to the dramatic increase in the number of deaths in the past few years, the opioid epidemic has devastated the lives of those with opioid use disorder, along with their families and friends. Those with opioid use disorder are at higher risk for HIV, Hepatitis C and chronic diseases.

            Marijuana can be an effective treatment for pain, greatly reduces the chances of dependence and eliminates the risk of fatal overdose compared to opioid-based medications. Studies of some states with medical marijuana programs have found notable associations of reductions in opioid deaths and opioid prescribing with the availability of cannabis products. States with medical cannabis programs have been found to have lower rates of opioid overdose deaths than other states, perhaps by as much as 25 percent. Studies on opioid prescribing in some states with medical marijuana laws have noted a 5.88 percent lower rate of opioid prescribing. Adding prescribed opioid use as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana will allow individuals who use opioids to instead use medical marijuana for pain relief.”

            https://www.health.ny.gov/press/releases/2018/2018-06-18_opioid_use.htm

            These are the 12 other medical conditions that patients in NY can access the med weed prog n NY state for-or are qualifying conditions.

            3 ways grow it:
            -outdoors-still extremely popular with lots people preferring it.
            -greenhouses-mainly for extracting,lower quality bulk grows.
            -indoor-high quality niche strains/grows.

            The article is rubbish, not worth reading commenting on it.

        2. Cian

          I agree with most of your post, I’d just flag that if “prescriptions of an antidepressant rose by 512% for children under 18 over a ten-year period” then this is most likely because the numbers were small to begin with.

  3. Kolmo

    It’s like arguing that vodka is now stronger than beer…just smoke less of it..or not at all, it’s not compulsory. I can now freely walk into Lidl and buy enough cheap whiskey to kill an elephant, but very few people do that because of the known lethality of consuming stupid amounts of anything.

  4. johnny

    Its akin to arguing with climate change deniers or anti-vaxers the science is long settled on the effectiveness of medical marijuanna,come join us in 2019,the IT board is outdated,illinformed and badly advised-stop fighting the war on drugs its over you lost-we won:)

  5. realPolithicks

    This is a lot of conservative nonsense, marijuana has been legal here in Massachusetts for about a year and a half and there have been no issues as of yet. It is sold in registered “dispensaries” to adults over the age of 21 with limits on how much can be purchased daily. It seems so simple to me that I just find this kind of editorial hard to understand and would love to know what the “real” reasons for objecting to legalization is.

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