• Thoughts on medical or recreational marijuana?

    Asked by Bengal on Sunday, January 12, 2020

    Thoughts on medical or recreational marijuana?

    I was just reading the comments on alcohol consumption and that started me thinking about mj. Medical is very difficult to get in Northern New York. There's, like, one dispensary up here and it's miles and miles and no doctors are authorized to prescribe. I personally think every oncology unit should have someone in staff with that authorization. I hoped New York state would legalize last year but fell just short. Maybe this will be the year. I suffer from severe joint pain and anxiety and have actually been told by doctors I might benefit from cannabis but they can't prescribe.

    7 Answers from the Community

    7 answers
    • ChicagoSandy's Avatar

      IL has had medical MJ since 2017, and recreational since Jan. 1 of this year. It was my experience that when I first wanted to apply, none of my treating physicians' hospital systems would allow them to participate, not even to sign a form stating I had a qualifying condition (cancer). I had to go to an outside doctor for that (and pay her out of pocket). Now, since early 2019, there is a second medical mj program called "opioid alternative" that will issue an expedited cannabis card if one is transitioning from using opioids (even anyone who's had an opioid Rx w/in the past 6 mos.).

      I can tell you, however, that even in IL with its two medical and one recreational use programs, the only way hospitals/health systems will allow their doctors to certify an ID card application is the opioid alternative program. And doctors can't "prescribe" cannabis, not even CBD (except for Marinol or Sativex synthetic THC for cancer patients with cachexia and anorexia, or Epidiolex high-strength CBD for intractible Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndrome forms of juvenile epilepsy). They can't prescribe marijuana because it's still Federally illegal (which is also why dispensaries are cash-only--banks & credit card systems operate under Federal law).

      And they can't prescribe CBD--which is legal to purchase OTC in all 50 states--because the FDA considers it a drug, and requires double-blind studies before allowing it to be prescribed (the exception being Epidiolex for those two rare forms of childhood epilepsy. Epidiolex is the only standardized Federally-regulated form of CBD currently on the market--and not only does it cost an arm and a leg and is up to 100 times as potent as OTC CBD products, it cannot be prescribed to adults. There are stiff penalties for doctors, patients and pharmacists who write or fill a prescription for anyone without those rare childhood epilepsies. But if and when a double-blind study of consumer-grade CBD for general adult use (for pain, anxiety, insomnia or ADHD) is completed by a pharmaceutical company and FDA-approved, the price will skyrocket--because it'll be the only form of CBD available to be prescribed for adult non-epilepsy patients, and the company in question will seek to patent some aspect of it (usually delivery system or tweaking a molecule or two) and advertise the heck out of it.

      **Here's a dirty little secret about doctors and CBD: they can't prescribe it, but if you ask "what about CBD?", listen carefully to their answer. If they say "some of my patients report good results," that's code-speak for "I can't write you a prescription for it or even advise you to take it, but I have no reason to advise you not to."**

      Finally, as to broader legalization--especially recreational use--be careful what you wish for. IL's dispensaries were overwhelmed by would-be stoners and those who wanted to use it medically but for whatever reason couldn't get certified. The IL mj law gives priority to medical and opioid-alternative ID patients--dispensaries must maintain a sufficient supply for their registered medical patients before they can sell to the general public (and in order to get an ID you have to register at ONE dispensary and get all your medical cannabis from them). And the law requires all cannabis sold in dispensaries--medical or recreational--be grown in IL and all cannabis products be made in IL from IL-grown weed. There are only 7 licensed growers in the state. And a plant takes many weeks to flower. Do the math. Many dispensaries couldn't even meet the required medical mj inventory and had to close temporarily until new stock arrived; others had to halt recreational sales (I passed quite a few p***ed-off stoners in my dispensary's lobby the other day, who never got the e-mail notice nor checked the dispensary's social media, and ended up having to cruise endlessly & then pay for a useless parking meter space). And there were very slim pickings even for us medical mj customers. (I can't smoke or vape because I'm a singer and have asthma, and I have to restrict my sugar intake, so I am even limited as to the edibles I can use).

      11 months ago
    • beachbum5817's Avatar

      I live in PA and got my medical marijuana card in Sept. 2018. Yes, it was a pain to get it. I had to find a certified doctor in my area. I had to pay the state $50 to apply for my card I had to pay the doctor $200 in cash. I also had to have my oncologist send in information stating that I had one of the covered illnesses. This routine has to be done every year. That is when the card expires. Is it worth it? I am not 100% sure. Most nights, it does help me sleep. So, that is a plus. Does it take away my pain? Not completely. I do not smoke or vape. I am a former cigarette smoker, and I am afraid that it would get me back to smoking cigarettes. I use tinctures and topical creams. There are are varying ratios of CBD and HTC. I have tried different ratios and different brands. I did not have the money to renew my card, but I did stock up on some of the products that I think help the most before it expired. In PA, you can spend up to $1000 per day at the dispensary. What? My mouth feel open when they told me that. The products are not cheap. I spent at least $120 per month. PA does not sell edibles. I will probably renew my card sometime in the Spring. I see my oncologist then, and hopefully I can get the paperwork I need from her at that time. My husband got his card while being treated for pancreatic cancer. He vaped. That is supposed to bring the quickest relief. It did absolutely nothing for his pain. Oxy was the only thing that offered him a bit of relief. So, I guess medical marijuana is kind hit or miss.

      11 months ago
    • Jouska's Avatar

      Can't you just buy CBD oil and try that to start? If legal and non-prescription, it would be pretty easy to see if it is helpful at all. Fortunately here in Colorado it is all legal and pretty easy to get. And I agree, it works for some and not others.

      11 months ago
    • Bengal's Avatar

      I have tried CBS oils. I know people who swear by it but I couldn't see that it did anything for my joint pain or helped me sleep.

      11 months ago
    • gpgirl70's Avatar

      I live in Southern Oregon and we’ve had quite the situation here. Us in the west have been the test case. Anyway, I’ve used cannabis at various times since my cancer diagnosis. We have the opposite problem here. There is a dispensary on every corner. Many farmers have switched to hemp or cannabis. Right now hemp is in higher demand because of the CBD craze. Oregon’s medical program is basically defunct because it’s costly to get a prescribing doctor and pay the license fee. The only benefit for having a card is avoiding the tax; however, most dispensaries offer discounts. I have not renewed my medical card since rec was legal. Another factor was most medical growers either switched to rec or stopped growing altogether. Oregon is still trying to figure out all the problems with legal mj but it has settled down. The problems really arise when states legalize and can’t fill demand. We have way more mj grown than demand within the state so it would be great if Oregon growers could legally ship to other states.

      Anyway, I can’t take opioids because they make me so nauseous. I have found relief using cbd and thc products for pain and insomnia. With ibuprofen and cannabis, I have been able to avoid opioids even after breaking 3 ribs in a fall.

      11 months ago
    • Bengal's Avatar

      Hopefully New York will legalize this year and we can start purchasing some of Oregon's overproduction. That would be great for both our states

      11 months ago
    • Maryflier's Avatar

      My husband has pain from a craniotomy ( he developed a brain bleed from Xarelto), and has anxiety. He is having a difficult time trying to find a dr in NY also.

      11 months ago

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