Your Healthcare is Not Your Own (Cannabis Edition)

As the medical marijuana program expands, it attracts more attention. Sometimes, that attention draws to contrast the divide between knowledgeable policy expansion (CARERS act) and unfounded, damaging, policy changes (see attached). Recently, Arizona lawmakers added their hat to the comparison columns.

Medical Marijuana Under Fire

You heard about marijuana from a friend or a colleague. Perhaps you tried all the other options out there and found that canabis was the only remedy for a chronic illness. For several years, you’ve used cannabis to live healthier.  Or maybe, you’re experiencing side effects from your pregnancy that only cannabis has been able to control.

Representatives in Arizona want to take away your right to choose your own healthcare. Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa and Rep. Jay Lawrence, R-Scottsdale have put forth separate proposals that would severely limit personal choice to medicate with cannabis as well as limit recommendations to patients.

There’s a few problems with these proposals. First, it’s probably illegal, especially when the barrier is named the Voter’s Protection Act.  The Supreme Court would ultimately be called on to settle the matter.

The Voter’s Protection Act states that lawmakers are severely restricted in adjusting measures approved at the ballot. If lawmakers could adjust voter-approved measures, the political system becomes a cluttered stack of filings equating to “they said/but I said.”

Secondly, our infamously backed-up medical system is already stressed at the seams accommodating the ever-growing medical community.

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Gelato Girl Scout Cookies at Herbal Wellness Center

Lawrence’s proposal would restrict medical marijuana recommendations to only allopathic or osteopathic physicians. Naturopaths and homeopaths would have their rights removed. Hypocritical, no? Consider the mountain of evidence supporting natural medicine.

Also, consider that doctors issued 77,639 certifications for patients last year. More than 87 percent of those were issued by naturopathic physicians. Your representatives want to increase the workload at your doctor’s office by 87%. How do you feel that may impact your ability to get an appointment next time?

Science and Cannabis meet in the middle

The primary function of health care is to promote healthy living through preventative care. Marijuana, as science discovers daily, is a multi-purpose ingredient for longevity. Researchers have even found that cannabinoid receptors play a crucial role in reproduction.

Rep. Kelly Townsend says that science is irrelevant to a mother’s right to choose how to manage her healthcare. With his proposal, Townsend would remove the right/choice for a mother to medicate with cannabis during her pregnancy. Even further, she would immediately be a criminal in the eyes of the law for merely possessing the flower.

According to the American Pregnancy Association, some common issues during pregnancy include hives, infections, dizziness, vertigo, back pain, headaches, and more. Cannabis has research supporting its use for each individual symptom. Personally, I’ve known several nurses that only used cannabis during their pregnancy to treat the various side effects of creating a human.

Every one of them had a healthy baby.

Cannabis patient or not every pregnant woman consumes terpenes and cannabinoids.

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Cannabinoids are naturally occurring substances in the body

Cannabis and You

These proposals are based on misguided intentions. What does science actually say on the matter?

Using the latest imaging techniques to define the link between cannabis and brain development, researchers are reversing the stereotype that cannabis slows mental function. In contrast, cannabis simply shifts electrical activity between the grey and white matter of your brain.

There’s so much we don’t know about cannabis yet research continues to enlighten its audience. The endocannabinoid system is present inside fetal cells before implantation has occurred. This lock and key system inherent to every mammal is a crucial piece to our physiology. So much so, that every living being on this planet regularly consumes terpenes.

Chris Lindsey, an attorney with the Medical Marijuana Project, said,”These actions are offensive to the voters who supported Proposition 203 and to the patients for whom the measure was designed to help.”