Medical Marijuana Update

Medical Marijuana Update

If you are a chronic pain patient, you can be excused for saying, “Well, how about that!”

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency has granted approval for a nonprofit to study marijuana’s medical benefits on military veterans suffering from combat-related psychological disorders.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a California-based nonprofit that studies medical uses of psychotropic drugs, will conduct the clinical trial, which will be a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial using the whole plant (not an extract or pill version). The trial is the first in U.S. history to receive full approval from the DEA and FDA.

The study will examine whether medical marijuana can treat Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in 76 U.S. military veterans. The veterans have treatment-resistant PTSD and haven’t found relief from other medications. The study will look into how different strains and doses of marijuana can benefit the veterans and look into potential side effects, a press release from MAPS says.

(Here’s a link to a story)

Meantime, a U.S. Senate Committee has passed an amendment to protect state medical marijuana laws from federal interference. (Here’s a story on it)

“We should respect the rights of the states who are going through this process,” Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski said in a brief debate prior to the vote. “The DEA has enough to do keeping illegal drugs out of our country at the border, rather than interfering where a state has determined through an open process that it wants to do these sales.”

The Mikulski amendment is expected to pass both in the full Senate as well as in the House of Representatives.

The amendment has been included previous funding bills, both of which were passed by Congress and signed by President Obama.  The amendment is essentially identical to the Rohrabacher-Farr Amendment, named after its House sponsors Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) and Sam Farr (D-CA).  The amendment must be voted on each year to remain in effect, but has not had a vote in the House yet this year.

Since first being included in the 2015 budget, the amendment has already had some impact on the medical marijuana community.  In October 2015, a federal judge in California ruled that the amendment prevents the DEA from bringing legal action against medical marijuana providers and others participating in the program if they are acting in compliance with state medical marijuana laws.

Is the use of medical marijuana approved in your state?

Have you tried it.

Does it help?

For other stories the National Pain Report has done on medical marijuana, click here.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

There are 11 comments for this article
  1. Stephen at 11:23 am

    Lisa,

    “my last ditch of hope is medical cannibas , which I never tried”

    There are other ways to treat pain that do not require any medication. Don’t get me wrong, I love pot and consider her my friend. I tend to be a different person on pot. Much more confident and happier. Be careful, try it with a friend with some experience. Pot can be just horrible if you start hard. Very low dose at first. My first choice is to eat it (most dangerous too). In the state of CA you can grow and it’s much cheaper. Sorry about NY laws.

    Think hard about meditation and Yoga. It’s hard work but managing the mind is your best hope. You might enjoy feeling powerful and calm when you are in pain. There is always a future, need to find it. Massage works and having the right mind framework is so so important (they call it mindfulness, I think). I would also consider moving your body as much you can. Exercise is one of the best pain relievers.

  2. Lisa at 1:03 pm

    My best regards to everyone who is dealing with chronic pain . I believe all of us are suffering from ptsd from the hell our government and medical community are putting us through for no good reason , but to stop addiction , I don’t see them taking away everyone’s license to protect us from people who drive under the influence . DEA arrested one of the biggest pain managements in NY the other day , my pain management is closing their doors this month , when they just opened the new office 3 months ago ! My fate will be determined next week ! Which I’m sure it won’t be a good outcome . In the new world cannibas patient are Protected when it’s still federally illegal ? And not all states have jumped on board , NY state is the worst state for any laws being passed and it’s only allowed for certain condtion and chronic pain is not one of them . And antidepressants is not in the cards for me due to many complication of being hospitalized due to the horrible life threating effects it has on me , I’ve tried most of the off label drugs to no avail . My home and car are at risk because I will no longer be able to work , I already had a back surgery, and won’t chance a second one as it won’t guarantee a success , my last ditch of hope is medical cannibas , which I never tried . Which means I will have to move to a state with cannibas that treats chronic pain! I’m basically fighting for my right to live , shaking my head as I write this ! I see angel has had success with it , and I’ve been searching for opinions on cannibas ! As the research is almost non exist . Thank you and I’m hoping more doctors will come forward to help us advocate on our behalf .

  3. Daniel Hartsgrove at 6:55 am

    NJ on medical marijuana the cost to register was 200.00 it’s 500.00 a half ounce. I have stage 4 cancer and does nothing for me. The low dose of opoids and xanax I was on helped a lot. At least I could get up and around and eat now I am withering away. I was allowed to pump all the poison of chemo and radiation into me but am not allowed any relief of this constant daily pain. I have given up the fight for any hope of relief. I thought cancer patients were left out of the opioid war… I like many others who suffer pain are just pushed aside. I personally know of 3 people in NJ who have committed suicide due to unbearable pain from cancer. Give us a break DEA I never abused any medication and have been with the same pharmacy for 35 years. The government left so many of us pain patients with no alternative but suicide. …INSANE

  4. Bob Schubring at 4:26 pm

    Excellent news, Angel! Cannabis halts seizures. Opioids reduce pain. They have different effects.

    What you just described, sounds like you’ve suffered muscle spasms that you didn’t realize you had. The cannabis stopped the spasms and the muscles stopped hurting so much.

    When you read about Mindfulness techniques in pain care, this is exactly what the term means. You can have pains you don’t understand, so you don’t know what else to do about them. Finally noticing how they start, empowers you to stop doing things that make you start hurting. In your case, you just found a big thing to change: Muscles that get twitchy, make your pain worse. Relaxing them with cannabis, allows you to go further through your day before the pain gets bad.

    Glad to hear it!

  5. Amy Frank at 1:43 pm

    Pamela Richards,
    I’ve just gotten off the phone with the “National Pain Report”. Do you know there is a place for people like us that suffer from severe chronic pain. It is called livesupportgroup.com and they meet a couple of times a week and you will not be left so alone. I was going to give you my email to email you but I know they probably would not have let me do so on the forum but there at least you will have understanding people who care. And I care too.

  6. Josephine Young at 1:28 pm

    Of course they would approve this. We know military personnel are not the only ones that suffer from ptsd. Unfortunately, if studies show it works for ptsd the powers that be will be behind studies on veterans before they get behind the general public suffering from ptsd. Now the catch, no veteran that has combat related ptsd is likely to partake in the trials. Why? Because if they participate in any marijuana studies, or even marijuana prescribed by a physician for any kind of medical treatment they automatically will lose any combat pay, retirement pay, service pay, and any and all military benefits including their medical veterans benefits the same as any veteran that committed a drug crime. Combat veterans and their families depend on those benefits for medical, housing, even schooling. They would lose their discharge status and rank which leaves them nothing not even resume and references. Regardless that just about all veterans believe marijuana treatment could help most of their conditions and make life with ptsd bearable, they aren’t going to give away the benefits that they earned from combat.

  7. Amy Frank at 1:27 pm

    Dear Pamela Richards,
    I read your post and it breaks my heart. I understand being in severe pain all the time. I think most people now in America just don’t want to be bothered with anything any more especially a sick person. I am very lucky these days. I have lost lots of family and friends but God sent me others that were kind and loving. I pray that God will send some really loving and kind people your way too that will love you know matter how much you suffer from pain.

  8. Pamela Richards at 10:39 am

    I really love my military that protects us, but people need to understand that the military is not the only people who suffer from PTSD. As I write this I am on tears. I am a chronic pain + more. My family and children walked out on me because I looked good on the outside. When my family convinced my kids I was lying they took my grandkids and left. I lost it. I needed all of then to support me and they turned on me. I was determined with PTSD cause it was so very traumatic. I have my husband and I will soon lose him too. He is tired of being the one that deals with me. I wonder sometimes if they all would be happier if I was dead. My doctors think I will die from a broken heart and yes there is prof that people do that. I just want my kids back but my family has made sure it will never happen. I wonder sometimes if there really is a god and if there is why would he do this. I am a kind person. I hide my pain cause people don’t understand. I am alone most of the time and I hate it. I am sorry I wrote this I didn’t mean to up sent anyone.

  9. Angel at 8:13 am

    Just an experienced tip for anyone trying med marijuana for the first time, there’s a huge overwhelming difference between delivery methods and strains of MJ. You’re going to have to find the strain and method that works best for you

  10. Angel at 8:11 am

    After over half of my life on opioid therapy for chronic leukemia, I’ve finally tried medical marijuana. My doctor finally persuaded me to try. As bazaar as it is that legally prescribed opioids are under attack and federally illegal marijuana is recommended, I tried with outstanding results. My seizure activity has lessened and I dropped my 2 100mcg fetanyl patches. I just don’t need them anymore just my breakthrough pain meds. I’m beyond pleased! I’m now no longer worried if I lose my doctor or pharmacy, I have the marijuana to keep me out of the hospital and out of bed.

  11. Joan at 5:39 am

    I suffer with Fibro, with Ostioathritis DDD bulging and herniated disc was diagnosed back in 2003 was prescribed many different types of medicine the best management for me was Cymbalta with OxyContin and Percocet for break through pain. Then was taken off Oxy (Medicare stopped paying) and put on Morphine and have been sick since. I tried marijuana it helped me to relax so I could sleep, then was kicked out of P.C. I’ve been without pain meds since Jan of this year and while I have been looking for another P.C. have been smoking it. Now two days in without (because I have found another doctor to take me in) I am in so much pain. Yes it works for me, but I’m in TN and it’s illegal and it saddens me. I just may have to move.