Illinois has recently passed a bill allowing the use of medical marijuana for very specific conditions. And, unlike other states with similar bills, registered users may not grow their own plants. They must buy their supply from a designated dispensary and that dispensary only.
Marijuana or Cannabis, is still on the DEA schedule as a schedule 1 drug. This classification is for substances with no medical uses. This could not be farther from the truth.
Cannabis has an abundant amount of compounds which have amazing and beneficial effects. Some of the most amazing effects include reduction of microglial activation and tightening of the blood brain barrier. Microglia are immune cells in the brain, which when activated, are equivalent to inflammation and set up a bad domino affect in terms of oxidative damage. Chronic microglial activation has been implicated in a number of neurodegenerative diseases.
In addition, Cannabis helps reduce insulin requirements and can help maintain healthy blood sugar levels. This is a real boost for most. Cannabis has positive affects on the mitochondria by the way it shifts metabolism from using glucose as fuel to a shift into ketosis. This benefits most cancer patients as well as diabetes type 2 patients.
There have been no known deaths attributed to Cannabis and yet, with these positive effects and almost zero risks, our own government is keeping this powerful plant designated as a schedule 1 drug. Many patients ask why and I believe the answer is obvious: big pharma has big power in DC and does not want to lose their market share competing with this miracle drug. Just as in every other aspect of academic medicine, academic authors are being paid big bucks to write what big pharma wants you to believe. Outspoken anti-marijuana academics like Dr. Kelber (Columbia university), Dr. Evans (Harvard) and Dr. Mark Kraus (Society of Addiction Medicine), all have financial relationships with pharmaceutical companies which make pain killers.. The real irony here is this same group of doctors promote drugs which present real danger and in the case of opiates, are responsible for countless deaths.
In Illinois, large medical conglomerates like Advocate, have informed their physicians, they don’t want their doctors registering patients with the state as legal users Medical Cannabis.
One would have to bet, Advocate would be at risk from losing pharma dollars if they did not comply.
If Cannabis only helped reduce microglial activation, it would be amazing, but is also helps the blood brain barrier as well as reduce insulin requirements, reduce seizures, reduce inflammation and so much more.
I look forward to the day the dispensaries in Illinois open and all the patients I’ve registered as qualified patients, are able to enjoy the benefits of this miraculous herb without the fear of being arrested.