As the US gets ever closer to their 2012 Presidential election, medical marijuana coverage seems to be increasing over there. With medical marijuana dispensaries getting closed down in certain states it would appear that the pro-cannabis movement is cranking up the volume.
So while I was rummaging through the Stateside news this week I came across this statistic:
Deaths from Cannabis = 0 (ever)
Deaths from Alcohol = 2,000,000 (every year)
You would think that the more dangerous drug, ie alcohol, would be the illegal product. So with a zero death toll I can see why the pro-cannabis lobbyists are trying so hard to fight for the cannabis corner, and ultimately the decriminalisation of this fabulous herb as well as better medical research into the benefits it can bring.
Cannabis as a treatment has been controversial as there is conflicting research about whether medical cannabis is or is not addictive. Many studies have found that cannabis is not addictive, or as harmful, as other drugs such as alcohol, tobacco, and opiates.
There has been a few medical studies peformed over the last few years to ascertain whether the herb has a solid medical application, and three of the most compelling studies I’ve found are below:
1) A 2009 study found that injections of THC, the primary active chemical in cannabis, helped eliminate dependence on opiates such as morphine and heroin in test animals.
2) A survey on addiction treatment and relapse rates amongst substance users found that respondents used cannabis to curb their alcohol cravings, and as an alternative to previous use of prescription drugs, and even as a substitute for more potent drugs such as cocaine.
3) Another study published in the Harm Reduction Journal over in the US found that medical cannabis users were much less likely to use more potent drugs, and even reported less tobacco use than non-cannabis users.
To me, it couldn’t be clearer that more effective research is needed; not just in the US, but on a global scale. Since withdrawal from alcohol and serious drug use often prompts the same symptoms as other medical conditions that cannabis is used to treat (anxiety, depression, pain, nausea, and sleeplessness), it seems logical that responsible use of cannabis could also help with addiction recovery.
Just to round off this post, I’ve pasted below a beautiful illustration depicting several cannabis vs alcohol statistics.
Makes you wonder why cannabis is so vilified, doesn’t it?
…I’m also thinking of moving to Oregon, where apparently you are allowed to legally possess 24 ounces of the green gold, according to the chart above!