Legalization of Marijuana, comment

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As a hospice nurse, I learn something new everyday. My patients are the most incredible teachers. The use of medications to manage the symptoms of the dying process can be very effective when administered in the appropriate dose dose at the appropriate interval. There are those time, however, when even extremely large doses of opiods and adjuvant analgesics seem to fail. It is disconcerting, to say the least, to witness a traumatic death. It leaves a scar on all who witness it, and brings to mind the ever unanswerable question, "WHY?". Legalization of medical marijuana is yet another mechanism and medication to be utilized to provide comfort to the dying. We are a culture that does not embrace death as part of living. We do not encourage open discussion of the dying process for it places us outside our comfort zone. Consequently, when faced with a difficult death, that is, a death where symptoms are difficult to manage, families of course want everything done to make their loved one’s passing a comfortable one. Morphine carries a stigma that is at times insurmountable to make patients and their families understand its efficacy. I daresay that "smoking a joint" to provide pain relief will be readily embraced by the general populace or on hospice units even as legalization of marijuana occurs. Marinol is already being utilized to stimulate appetite, and has gained acceptance within the medical community. However, I believe that unless an alternative formulation of marijuana is found, resistance will be met and, sadly, the drug will be underutilized; despite the fact that it has proven to be effective when other drugs have failed.

Original Post
November 6, 2009
Title: Legalization of Marijuana, comment
The debate over the legalization of marijuana has been a heated one for decades. Most recently a ski town in Colorado – Breckenridge – voted to legalize marijuana by a greater than 72% majority rule. The ruling will allow adults 21 years and older to have in their possession up to one ounce of marijuana. While this is a symbolic triumph for advocates of legalized marijuana – possession of pot in the state of Colorado remains a crime for individuals without medical clearance. Although there are many credible resources, outlining the scientific research detailing the pro’s of medical cannabis – I think there has to remain stringent government regulations allowing it’s use. It may not be as addicting as alcohol – but as I think back about 20 years to a college dorm room…can we really argue that someone under the influence of such a substance would make a good school bus driver, medical practitioner, teacher, truck driver? Medical use is one aspect – recreational use is quite another.

Original Post
November 2, 2009
Title: Legalization of marijuana
I was reading my local paper today and there was an article about the legalization of marijuana written by a former police officer. He was fully supportive of such an endeavor. He made great points about how difficult it is to close down an illegal drug dealer but how much easier it would be if we made them legal dealers and had some control over their operations. The government could make billions off of legalization of marijuana. If we take the power of money away from the illegal dealers it will not hold the same draw for them. Alcohol, which is legal and a billion dollar industry, causes many problems for those who use it. Marijuana is not physically addicting like alcohol but it is still illegal. I used to be surprised at the extensive use of marijuana in our society. If we know it is not physically addicting and no worse than alcohol why is it taking our society so long to decide that it is helping a lot of people.

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One Response to “Legalization of Marijuana, comment”

  1. Legalization of Marijuana, comment « Forensic Nursing Chronicles Says:

    […] Legalization of Marijuana, comment; February 15, 2010 […]

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