The Many Deceptions of Medical Marijuana
Irresponsible and unethical doctors in California are making medical marijuana available to all comers not just the chronically ill. Any health excuse will do, pain, headaches, ebola, you name it. Your self diagnosis is all that is required to get a medi-pot card. So, medical marijuana in California creates de facto legalization for those who just want to get high.
As other states legalize the drug, we see medical ‘practices’ springing up just to issue marijuana cards. No appointment necessary says one such practice operating in several states. The company’s website says their doctors do not prescribe marijuana. “Our doctors are trained to evaluate patients and authorize a certification which verifies that a patient may benefit from the use of medical marijuana.”
Slick Marketing Causes Consumer Confusion
Consumers think medical marijuana is a real thing, but are often confused about what is marijuana for medicinal purposes. It is the CBD oil only? Or is it marijuana in all forms? In theory, medical marijuana should not get you high. In practice, all forms of marijuana, smoked, psychoactive, hallucinogenic, high THC, high CBD, edibles in the form of candy, pizza, sodas are ALL being touted for their healing power and often portrayed as being for any and all ailments. See the website of a typical California marijuana dispensary.
If the hype were to be believed, cannabis cures cancer, keeps epilepsy at bay, and makes PTSD go away. One stop shopping for all sick people. Very convenient indeed for these profiteers.
Aggressive Marketing & Druggies on Staff
Dispensaries are giving free samples to promote new products, to encourage larger orders or as a thank you for referring a new ‘customer.’ Payment is taken in the form of cash because banking laws prevent these businesses from depositing their proceeds. Some dispensaries are even operating as nonprofits, and the product is traded for “donations.”
An undercover activist visited 20 pot shops in the Western U.S. (otherwise known as dispensaries, a more ‘medical’ sounding term) and was shocked to discover drug users behind the counter selling the drugs. The only requirement is that the staff be 21 years of age or older. These stores require no medical training of their staff, they apparently give no warnings about addiction or side effects of these drugs. Well known side effects of marijuana include but are not limited to: risk of addiction/dependence, paranoia, depression, psychosis, hallucinations. Read Medical Marijuana Dispensaries Investigated.
Higher Potency and Higher Highs
Marijuana effects do plateau after long term use. For those who use medical need as their excuse to get high (or ostensibly for the super ill), the industry sells concentrates, which go by the names of kief, hash and hash oil, BHO, wax, budder, shatter. These can be upwards of 70- 90% THC. So this is potent medicine, where the patient is choosing their own dosage with no medical supervision. This is all available in the typical dispensary or online retailer as over the counter ‘meds’.
Does this Sound Like Medicine?
Catchy names for smoking marijuana, like “Gorilla Glue,” “Super Lemon Haze,” “White Widow,” “SinMint Cookies,” “3X Crazy,” “Madman OG,” are among the medical marijuana product offerings.
Edible marijuana sports names like: “Cheeba Chews,” “Kurupt’s Moonwalk Syrup,” “WeEdibles’ Medicated Teas,. Other edible offerings look like the classic candy shop treats which tempt small children. They are on the medical cannabis “menus” with generic candy names like sour drops, rainbow worms, sour apple drops and lemon drops.
Abuses of Medi-pot are Going Unchecked
Other edible products include popcorn, pizza, brownies, even the common honey bear shaped bottle containing honey laced with cannabis. All of which appeal to very young children and adolescents.
Vaporizers or vape pens sold by dispensaries are a way to consume marijuana unbeknownst to employers, parents or the general public, because the concentrated THC oils used to fill them are odorless and undetectable by smell. One can only imagine the aid to the student who wants to smoke on the playground and return to class zoned out or the construction worker trying to maintain his high on the job. God forbid an airline pilot decides to avail himself of this sneaky form of ‘medicine!’
Cannabis Scofflaws Skirting the Law
From one online website: “Medical Marijuana shipped to your door, no medical card needed, it doesn’t matter if medical marijuana is legal in your state or not…Stealth double vacuum sealed shipping… We make packages that blend in with the rest of the mail… A number of different anonymous cash payments offered.”
Sounds a little sketchy, doesn’t it? Other websites warn of online scams that look like marijuana stores, and caution against ever buying pot through online classifieds.
What Do the Doctors Say?
Physicians associations are firmly on the side of prevention activists when it comes to marijuana as medicine. First, the American College of Pediatricians issued a position statement in September 2015, Marijuana Use Detrimental to Youth.
“Marijuana is addicting, has adverse effects upon the adolescent brain, is a risk for both cardio-respiratory disease and testicular cancer, and is associated with both psychiatric illness and negative social outcomes. Evidence indicates limited legalization of marijuana has already raised rates of unintended marijuana exposure among young children, and may increase adolescent use.”—American College of Pediatricians
The American Medical Association (AMA) takes a similar stand. In an article, Problems with the Medicalization of Marijuana the AMA says “the current system for dispensing marijuana does not safeguard adequately against the potential for diversion and abuse.” The article also says “Evidence supporting its efficacy varies substantially and in general falls short of the standards required for approval of other drugs by the US Food and Drug Administration.”