The pharmaceutical myth; More than marijuana, part three

pharmaceuticalSocietally we have an ingrained trust in the medical profession. Prior to the technological era, the doctor was often the most wise, educated, and trustworthy person within the community, relied upon not only for medical treatment, but for advice, counseling, and direction.

Rather unfortunately, the same cannot necessarily be said of today’s doctors who are so intrenched in the health care system dictated by the wiles of insurance companies. This combined with ever present pressure from pharmaceutical and medical technology companies to prescribe and employ their latest and greatest treatments, produces doctors who reflect their environment.

That’s not to say doctors aren’t well educated and trustworthy, but they become part of a monstrous system they are largely powerless to affect.

Somewhere along the way profit motive and hospital bureaucracy usurped the freedom of most doctors to use their best judgement. Instead the status quo is to trust the judgement of the FDA, and of companies who profit from sick people and those who are made to believe they are sick.

Advertisements tell you to ask your doctor about an anti-depressant because you feel sad like the cartoon. The doctor is encouraged to prescribe anti-depressants by pharmaceutical sales representatives and soon enough there is a rash of depressed people being treated with anti-depressants.

More than 10% of Americans take anti-depressants each year many without ever visiting a psychiatrist. Adolescents are given pills instead of being allowed to go through one of life’s periods of angst and self-doubt without medication.

While it may be easy for opponents of medical marijuana to attempt to castigate the system by claiming that it is abused by young people just looking to get high, the argument seems to  assume that prescription pharmaceuticals are not subject to the same type of abuse.

Oddly, some opponents of the marijuana movement use prescription drug abuse to argue against making cannabis legally available. This article written by a deputy director in the Office of National Drug Control Policy falsely asserts the dangers of marijuana legalization, yet the sentiment isn’t uncommon.

These opponents in fact highlight a major issue in our society today: the abuse of doctor-prescribed opiode pain killers and smuggled foreign generic analogs.

DJ Short Flo Medical Marijuana DispensaryWhile casting the same light on cannabis such opponents blindly ignore the wealth of scientific evidence showing the many therapeutic effects of cannabis including direct anti-cancer properties.  Because cannabinoids in marijuana link up with the human endocannabinoid system so well, cannabis can help to restore homeostasis (balance) to the human brain. Moreover, cannabis has been shown to reduce and prevent the spread of multiple sclerosis and other neurological disorders. The list goes on and new studies reveal additional benefits frequently.

Cannabis use is proven again and again to be exceptionally safe. It has very little chance of negatively interacting with other drugs and there is no dose of cannabis high enough to be lethal, unlike prescription and even common over-the-counter drugs.

Additionally alcohol and tobacco are drugs that are far more dangerous than cannabis, have no medical value, and yet are legally available to adults who choose to use them.

The issue isn’t really about the abuse of drugs. Drug abuse is serious and should be dealt with therapeutically, but should not factor into the availability of cannabis as it doesn’t with alcohol of tobacco.

It is a great misfortune our culture believes pills produced by pharmaceutical companies to be a panacea for any of life’s ills, while at the same time rejecting another form of medication because of the stigma it has been given by anti-drug campaigns and media.

When you are with your doctor who is about to prescribe something, ask if there are any alternative treatments or holistic solutions. Find a doctor who is interested in using more than just his/her prescription pad, and one who is aware of the healing benefits of cannabis.

While many drugs produced by pharmaceutical companies may save lives and are indeed valuable, more often than not there may be a safe, natural alternative.

After all, you want to feel healthy and happy, so don’t leave your health in the hands of those who profit from sickness.

More than Marijuana Series:
Prejudicial penal system and the war on drugs; More than marijuana, part one
Medical marijuana and the Tenth Amendment; More than marijuana, part two


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