Speak Out on Medical Marijuana and SCI

April 27, 2016   Opinion

New Mobility Magazine | Source


Mark Braunstein uses marijuana to help his spasticity.

I whanna, U whanna, Mary whanna …

Pain is not fun. Way back in 1973 I was laid up in an LA hospital recovering from surgery, zoning out on Valium. A friend smuggled some marijuana brownies into my room. When the Valium wore off, I ate a couple brownies, took a relaxing vacation from pain and discomfort, and then ate a couple more about six hours later. The relief was far better than Valium, plus it was not addicting, but it did make me crave more brownies, pot or not. That could be a win-win, especially if you have cancer and no appetite.

Medical marijuana is riding a wave of popularity, but each state has its own laws, attitudes, restrictions, and designer strains of high-potency weed. It is an important new industry in the making, now that it is sanctioned, and it has the potential to be a great success or a disaster. Problem is, all kinds of candies and pot-laced products are confusing the issue. Young children and dogs are at risk of accidental overdosing, and it may just bring the whole experiment crashing down.

What we need are lab procedures that can accurately measure potency and separate out those strains which excel at relieving pain — and leave the mind-blowing highs in a category of their own. Then we need well-designed clinical trials to make certain we know which medicinal strains work most effectively so people in need can use it responsibly.

And what New Mobility needs are voices from our community to speak out about their personal experiences with pain and spasm relief, or other beneficial uses. We are currently in the midst of researching the topic for a story that will run in our June issue. This is a topic where we can bring our personal expertise into the discussion and benefit not only ourselves, but others as well. We are experts in the business of managing pain.

This is where to begin. Let your voice be heard. Tell us about your experience. If you are willing to be interviewed for an upcoming story in New Mobility magazine, please contact Tim Gilmer right away at TGilmer@Unitedspinal.org. Anonymity is guaranteed if requested.