New Hampshire Medicinal Marijuana Prospects Get Boost

The state of New Hampshire gets a much better chance to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana today than at any time in its history. This is because, for the first time, both major political parties have nominated a candidate – Republican Ovide Lamontagne, of Manchester, and Democrat Maggie Hassan, of Exeter – who endorse the change. In addition to this, three-time Libertarian candidate John Babiarz, of Grafton, likewise has supported the claim of New Hampshire to become the 18th state to make marijuana available to chronically ill patients.

Republican Ovide Lamontagne extended support to medicinal marijuana if it is properly prescribed by a physician for the right reasons and if it is dispensed safely by a pharmacist.

A four-term Democrat, outgoing Gov. John Lynch, recently remarked that conceptually he was not opposed to the idea but he vetoed two attempts by the Legislature to make it happen. The first time was when Democrats were in power in 2009 and when Republicans held the power again in June. The outgoing governor however raised concerns about lack of oversight and risk of proliferation.

The Senate’s 13-10 vote fell shy of the two-thirds majority in late June that was needed to override Lynch’s veto.

Rep. Cindy Rosenwald, D-Nashua, said it is pleasing as this would not be a divisive issue in this campaign and there would be a governor who can help us make this happen. To become law, the governor would however have to overcome strong opposition from law enforcement and perhaps from the attorney general.

It was maintained by State Police Maj. Russell Conte that medical marijuana laws in other states of the United States have either failed to restrict who can receive it legally or have led to abuses by unscrupulous residents. Medical marijuana law opponents pointed out that one in 33 residents qualified for an identification card to make them eligible for medical marijuana that would mean about 40,000 residents.

Assistant Attorney General Karin Eckel said most states have failed to keep the recreational use of marijuana out of the medical marijuana equation.

Medically prescribed painkillers might induce heroin addiction

New findings in a recent study reveal that abuse-proof medically prescribed painkillers might inadvertently induce heroin addiction among people using them. This has come out as a result of a research carried out on 2500 people dependent on opioid. These people showed a 17 percent drop in abuse of OxyContin with the emergence of a formal in 2010 which has been found much harder to inhale or administer in the body. Simultaneously it was found that during the very same period, the user of heroin has doubled.

It came to be studied that unlike its antecedent, the abuse-preventing version of OxyContin turned into gel when crushed and so it became very difficult for people to snort it with an intent of getting a rapid high. However, 66 percent of the study participants were found to introduce an alternative way considering the hitch. They diverted themselves into administering another opioid, the most common being heroin.

When asked the professor of psychiatry at Washington University in St. Louis, Theodore Cicero asserted that, “The only message that can be taken from it is that there are anticipated as well as unanticipated consequences to these formulae. Drug abuse is similar to playing with a balloon. If one spot is pressed, it bulges from the other.”

One of the comments received from the study participants revealed that most of the people he knew no longer use OxyContin to get high anymore. Rather they have shifted to using heroin as it is cheaper, easily available and much easy to use. According to the details divulged by U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, it was found that a small quantity of heroin, enough to give a high costs around $5 whereas amount needed to buy 80 milligram of OxyContin cost as much as $80 on the  street.

Cicero also pointed out that ideally if the supply is reduced, the demand would consequently decrease. However the reality is demand is high and even if national authorities reduce the access to prescription painkillers with the intention to control incidence of abuse, people are moving towards procurement of other drugs, predominately heroin. This is indeed potentially more dangerous and the purity of the power cannot be determined as it is cut along with other chemicals.  This not only boosts the dealers’ profits but also paves the way for intake of overdoses of heroin. In comparison, the benefit with OxyContin is that its dose is mainly limited to the pill. Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, H.Westley Clark also marked that this shift to heroin use among patients with opioid dependence is a big challenge when it comes to obtaining prescription painkillers.

On the other hand, Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin suggested in a statement that instead of expecting one pharmaceutical company to reformulate medication to cause reduction of opioid abuse, all opioid medications should be reformulated so that overall abuse of these drugs can be reduced.

16 states to legalize Medical Marijuana

The usefulness of medical marijuana for treating health complications has been realized by 16 states in the United States of America and DC that have enacted laws for legalizing medical marijuana. It is important to note that fourteen out of the sixteen states need residency proof before application from a qualifying patient can be considered for the use of medical marijuana. Oregon is the only state in the United States that accepts out-of-state applications while Delaware has not revealed till now whether it will be accepting applications from non-state residents or not.

1.    Alaska: Medical marijuana can be availed for the treatment of health complications such as cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures, Cachexia, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other disorders featured by nausea and muscle spasticity while the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes may be approved by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services for other health conditions. It has removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by patients having a written physician documentation that they may benefit from medicinal marijuana use.

2.    Arizona: The state allows patients having a written physician documentation that they may benefit from medicinal marijuana use and health conditions that are approved for use of medical marijuana are ALS, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, severe or persistent muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis), and seizures (including epilepsy).

3.    California: The state has removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by patients having a written or oral physician recommendation that they may benefit from medicinal marijuana use. The health conditions for which marijuana is approved are anorexia, arthritis, cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, migraine, persistent muscle spasms, AIDS, severe nausea, and other chronic or persistent medical symptoms.

4.    Colorado: The state allows patients having a written physician documentation that they may benefit from medicinal marijuana use and health conditions that are approved for use of medical marijuana are glaucoma, HIV/AIDS positive, cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, cancer, and other conditions are subject to approval by the Colorado Board of Health.

5.    District of Columbia (DC): The approved health conditions for use of medicinal marijuana are HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and other chronic, long-lasting, or debilitating conditions that interfere with the basic functions of life or conditions for which marijuana may be beneficial such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

6.    Delaware: A patient can buy or posses marijuana in Delaware only if he or she has a written physician documentation that he or she may benefit from medicinal marijuana use and suffering from a specified debilitating medical condition (cancer, HIV/AIDS, decompensated cirrhosis, ALS, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, or a condition producing wasting syndrome, or severe debilitating pain that has not responded to other treatments for more than three months, or if other forms of treatment have produced serious side effects) but a patient or caregiver cannot grow marijuana at home.

7.    Hawaii: The state has removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by patients having a written physician recommendation that potential benefits of medicinal marijuana use would likely outweigh the health risks and the patient is suffering from a debilitating condition. The approved medical conditions are Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that may lead to cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, and other conditions that may be subjected to the approval by the Hawaii Department of Health.

8.    Maine: The state has removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by patients having a written or oral physician recommendation that they may benefit from medicinal marijuana use and the approved health conditions for which medicinal marijuana may be used are glaucoma; multiple sclerosis, other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity, epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures, and nausea or vomiting due to AIDS or cancer chemotherapy.

9.    Michigan: Medicinal marijuana is legal for the treatment of health conditions, including cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, nail patella, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, epilepsy, muscle spasms, and multiple sclerosis.

10.    Montana: The state has legalized medical marijuana for the treatment of cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, or a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment producing cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, or any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition adopted by the department by rule.

11.    Nevada: The state has removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by patients having a written physician recommendation that they may benefit from medicinal marijuana use and the approved health conditions are AIDS, glaucoma, cancer, or any medical condition or treatment to a medical condition producing cachexia, persistent muscle spasms or seizures, severe nausea or pain, or any other condition that may be subjected to approval by the health division of the state Department of Human Resources.

12.    New Jersey: The state has legalized medical marijuana for the treatment of seizure disorder, including epilepsy, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia, or wasting syndrome resulting from HIV/AIDS or cancer, severe or chronic pain, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, muscular dystrophy, or inflammatory bowel disease, or terminal illness.

13.    New Mexico: The state has removed state-level criminal penalties on the use and possession of marijuana for conditions, including severe chronic pain, painful peripheral neuropathy, intractable nausea/vomiting, severe anorexia/cachexia, Crohn’s disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C infection, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with intractable spasticity, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, and hospice patients.

14.    Oregon: The state has removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by patients having a written physician recommendation that they may benefit from medicinal marijuana use when it comes to mitigating of debilitating symptoms. The approved conditions are cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, or a medical condition producing cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, or other conditions are subject to approval by the Health Division of the Oregon Department of Human Resources.

15.    Rhode Island: The approved conditions for use of medicinal marijuana in the state are cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, or treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment producing cachexia or wasting syndrome, or any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the state Department of Health.

16.    Vermont: The approved conditions for use of medicinal marijuana in the state are cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, or treatment of a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment producing cachexia or wasting syndrome or severe pain or nausea or seizures.

Washington: The state has removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession, and cultivation of marijuana by patients having a written physician recommendation that potential benefits of medicinal marijuana use would likely outweigh the health risks and the patient is suffering from a debilitating condition. The approved health conditions are Cachexia, cancer, HIV or AIDS, glaucoma, epilepsy, intractable pain, multiple sclerosis, or other conditions that are subjected to approval by the Washington Board of Health.

Marijuana & Our Brain

The effects of marijuana reach different parts of the body along with the brain, irrespective of how it is used.

Since marijuana includes hundreds of chemicals, it leads to hundreds of additional compounds when burned. When abused or used indiscriminately, marijuana use may lead to side effects such as memory and learning problems, loss of coordination, paranoia, panic attacks, problem solving difficulties, and distorted perception. It is important to note that marijuana use is not lethal when compared to alcohol. Since the initial effects of marijuana wear off on their own after an hour or two, the use of marijuana is relatively safer than of other drugs.

But, marijuana chemicals remain in the body for much longer and this may mean that marijuana may still be present in your body after four days if you had taken one milligram of THC, the primary ingredient of marijuana.

However, medicinal marijuana has been found to be great value for stopping convulsions, reducing muscle spasms, eliminating menstrual pain, stimulating appetite, and to treat health complications such as HIV, AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. This is just one of the reasons why marijuana has been considered as the best and safest drug known to the mankind as the drug has never taken a life on its own in the history of human beings.