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Monday, January 07, 2013

Cannabis in Canaan

My daughter, known to you as Rambo, has a debilitating disease.  She developed this disease as a complication of a car accident, hit in her left leg by a poor--and typical, I might add--Israeli driver.  She has RSD/CRPS (Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy, or Complex Regional Pain Syndrome), a neuropathic condition for which there is yet no known cure.  RSD is a chronic pain condition: she is in constant pain, which she tries to control by taking daily medications. In addition to her other meds she is also on a transdermal Fentanyl patch which she places on her arm and changes every three days.

Our daughter generally is not able to eat much, as there are gastronomic side effects to her disease.  She never knows what each day will bring: often, she is nauseous for no apparent reason (the reason is RSD), and without having eaten anything, she will vomit up stomach bile.

Marijuana would probably help my daughter control her pain. Marijuana could give her energy, and appetite as well.  I truly believe she needs it, medically.  She has not yet been able to get it legally in Israel.  My sources (my D. H., et al) have just alerted me to an article in The New York Times about medical Marijuana in Israel. In a government-sanctioned plant in the Galil (Galilee), called, ironically, Tikkun Olam, different strains of Marijuana are being grown and researched.  From the article:

Israelis have been at the vanguard of research into the medicinal properties of cannabis for decades.
In the 1960s, Prof. Raphael Mechoulam and his colleague Yechiel Gaoni at the Weizmann Institute of Science isolated, analyzed and synthesized the main psychoactive ingredient in the cannabis plant, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. Later, Professor Mechoulam deciphered the cannabinoids native to the brain. Ruth Gallily, a professor emerita of immunology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, has studied another main constituent of cannabis — cannabidiol, or CBD — considered a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety agent.
 I am hard-pressed to know that Israel "has been at the vanguard of research into the medicinal properties of cannabis for decades." My daughter, to date, has not been able to get it legally, period.  No doctor she has seen, except for one, understands her disease--and no one, including the one so-called "expert" in RSD/CRPS, has been willing to give her a prescription for it. Then again, he was the one who basically dismissed her as a patient in his hospital, because she showed 'very little to no improvement.'  He also refused her outpatient care.  Apparently she contributed nothing to his list of successes (and his ego) in not being able to "enter the hospital in a wheelchair and come out walking."  In addition to refusing her outpatient therapies, including group and individual counseling, physical and occupational, he refused her request for Marijuana.  You might say, he refused her TLC, and THC. 

Between 2009, when a documentary on medical Marijuana was broadcast on Israel TV, and now, licensed medical Marijuana users rose from 400 to 11,000.  From The Algemeiner, in another piece about Israel being in the forefront of Marijuana research:
Israel has been at the forefront of research into marijuana for decades. In 1964, Israeli scientists were the first to isolate THC as the key psychoactive component of cannabis that produces the “high” feeling. Today, Israeli scientists are working to develop strains of marijuana with high qualities of another compound, CBD, which is believed to an anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps alleviate pain. 
Israeli scientists see medical marijuana as a safer alternative to morphine and other dangerous drugs for chronically ill patients...“Cannabis meets this need. Almost all our patients are eating again, and their moods have improved tremendously.”
 Did I just read, "anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps alleviate pain?"  Did I just read, "Almost all our patients are eating again, and their moods have improved?"  I guess the doctors in Israel (and even here, a doctor who saw her distanced himself from the idea) haven't read that yet, because so far, it hasn't translated into help for my daughter.  One of the drugs she takes but tries to avoid if she thinks she can handle her pain without it, is morphine.  How is Marijuana worse than morphine?  The scientists themselves do not think so!

 We've learned over the years that regulating a drug can be better and wiser (and more profitable) than outlawing it.  We've learned that prohibition didn't work. Amendment 64 recently became the law in Colorado*, permitting, in addition to medical, the recreational use of Marijuana by persons over 21 years of age.  A great idea-I voted for it.   It can now be taxed and regulated,


and programs can be instituted for parents and in schools,  to educate youth about the drug, and possibly change the 'titillating' culture about it as well.  It would put a big damper on the illegal drug trade, too.  And people who need it for medical reasons, although it was legal medically before, will not have to be stigmatized.  I am hoping that Israel, so far ahead in the area of research into the medicinal properties of cannabis, will step into the twenty-first century to a new cultural view of this drug as well, and legalize it.  Until then, I'm praying that an open-minded doctor will give my daughter a prescription.


*unfortunately, Marijuana is still an illegal drug under Federal law.  This should prove interesting...



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4 comments:

Borghese said...

She should move to Canada. It's legal for pain relief there.

Lady-Light said...

Firstly, she can't. She has to be in Israel for a medical review board every 6 months for her disability payments--for now; and there is also a lawsuit pending. Besides, if she were to move, she would probably move back to the States where her family is.
But thank you sir for visiting my blog.

Anonymous said...

Actually, marijuana can often increase the sensation of pain. Not sure why you think it would help. It could improve appetite though. Hatzlacha and bracha.

Garry Minor said...

I'm so sorry about your daughter, Lady-Light! However, anonymous is wrong!
Different strains for different pains! You may be aware of this, but, if not, you may find some help here? Regardless, help is on the way!
http://www.npr.org/2012/07/04/156219412/medical-marijuana-use-sprouting-in-israel

Kaneh bosm!

 
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