(MOLALLA, Ore.) – The people who know the most and best about the benefits of marijuana as medicine are certainly not the physicians nor the pharmacologists such as myself. Frequently I get letters like this one I am responding to.
David is a Marine Combat Veteran/Victim of two extensive combat tours in Iraq. He definitely has PTSD with depression, pain and social and family problems. This is a sterling example of been there, seen that, done that.
He has been given pain pills by the VA which don’t work for PTSD and just cause addiction. Anti-depressants don’t work either, they just make most people dopey!
His pleas like many others is this, “please help other Vets like me and myself in trying to reason with these Govt. officials that used us and now that we are out (of the service) they just want to shove pills down our throats to medically drug us to keep our mouths shut.”
He pleads through me that I appeal to our 3 million or so Veterans and organizations for help in alerting and advising Congress to please do something for the Veterans.
Numerous stories are in newspapers and television about the miserable medical malpractice of the VA for these Veterans.
Apparently ONLY Congress can do something about it. A couple of years ago, senior generals running Walter Reed Army Hospital were FIRED. Has the situation improved?
David’s final plea is, “give us something that works”.
According to David and hundreds of other Vets, marijuana/cannabis is that drug.
For every pain, there is a way to Manage it, ignoring it, telling your mind it doesn’t hurt, or you can spend the rest of your life at the doctors office, taking one pill or another; not much of a life, it will be spent on Pain Management and not on living.
Medical Cannabis can help you forget you have pain.
After watching this video, I decided to get on board and change the name from Medical Marijuana to Medical Cannabis.
If you look at what California did, you can be ashamed to be a human; these dirt bags took a law that was meant to help the sick and turned it into a joke; its now just a money making scam for the Pot smokers to get high legally. This is why Marijuana has a bad name; you have bad people abusing it. You want to smoke Marijuana; do it; but don’t use laws that were designed for the sick who don’t want to get high; they need this drug to feel better so they can deal with their illness.
I think California should shut down all its so called Medical Marijuana Grow Facilities and go with a system proposed by Hawaii, a Medical Cannabis Secure Grow Facility; in fact, I think every state in the world should go to this system. It should be up to the people who run this facility to ensure that the people using it, are not abusing it; they can do this with the help of local and state law enforcement.
If they legalize Marijuana; this should not effect the Medical Cannabis laws and intent; nor change the Medical Cannabis Secure Grow Facility intent. The patients that need this drug should not have to go to a drug supplier to get Medical Cannabis; and that is what has happened in California since the drug cartel has taken over its program in disguise of a “Medical” program and giving out permits like they were tickets to a concert; you pay for them you get them.
I see the issue about Medical Cannabis and Marijuana use as two separate issues. Medical Cannabis patients have an option of being on this drug or some dangerous pharmaceutical medication, thus they have to choose the lessor of two evils; where as Marijuana users just want to get high and have no medical condition that they need to treat with this drug. I do not have a problem with Marijuana use; I think Alcohol use is much more of a problem; and believe that the only reason one is legal and the other is not; is due to the control of the substance; which is the distribution of it; thus the Alcohol and Drug cartels, wanting to have full control over the sale and distribution over these drugs.
As soon as we can agree that there is no profit in curing illness, we can agree that the Pharmaceutical companies have no incentive to do so; this is why they use Poison as a preservative in all of there products and if they are allowed to control the distribution of Medical Cannabis, they will add this preservative to it also. Alcohol is Poison, that is why its legal, just like Cigarettes; big business for Hospitals and the Drug cartels AKA Pharmaceutical companies. The Doctors are trained by Pharmaceutical companies and they work at Hospitals that are funded by them; do you really think they want to cure you? They would be out of a job.
The idea of taxing Medical Cannabis is very offensive to me; getting rich off the sick; you should be ashamed at even suggesting it.
You want a New Drug? One that will not leave you bored or having any feelings? One that will leave you helpless wondering what to do? Then try Fukitol.
The truth about Marijuana is that it has been used as a drug for over 5 thousand years and people have used it with little to no side effects, you can not over dose on it and it is safe to use while pregnant, yes, I said it is safe, the babies do better, not worse in fact, I am talking about the use of Medical Marijuana and not smoking pot and there is a big difference, let me explain.
Medical Cannabis use is not the same as smoking pot, nor can the studies on smoking pot be used for talking about the use of Medical Cannabis.
Medical Cannabis use should be a controlled and metered use, only using the bare minimum to get the effects of the drug without the intoxicating effect or what they call high, or minimal intoxicating effect. This is accomplished by use of a Vaporizer or eating of a prepared dosage of the drug.
The VA can not talk about any Alternative health care of any kind what so ever and Medical Cannabis is no exception, but now that the VA has been told to allow Vets to use Medical Cannabis is states that its legal, things are changing.
The VA will not allow Vets to be on Narcotics and Medical Cannabis at the same time, in fact you might find yourself cut off from many more
drugs if Marijuana shows up in a blood test.
Civilian doctors are not much better; very few advocate Alternative health care, and fewer advocate Medical Cannabis use.
The VA has just issued a new directive that loosens the restrictions in states that Medical Marijuana is legal, but it will be some time before doctors change their attitude about it.
There are more and more web sites dedicated to the use of Medical Marijuana as time goes on; but currently I’m not all that happy with most of them; so I decided to take on this issue myself.
We will be posting video’s, books and articles on how to build grow rooms and cultivate Medical Marijuana. We will be posting links very soon so stay tuned.
This site only advocates the use of Medical Cannabis in two forms, Butter and Oil. It is our opinion that smoking it, even Vaporizing it, does not give the patent the full benefit of the Medicine; some of the Cannabinoids may not survive the process of Burning, or being supper heated to a temperature of over 300 degrees. Many people will disagree, but that does not change our view; Smoking Marijuana, is also associated with getting hight, a stigma that we would like to avoid, a lot of people will use the Medical Marijuana law, to legalize the Recreational use of the drug, we are also against such practice, even if Marijuana is legalized, it should not effect the laws for Medical Marijuana use, which should be different then those laws for Recreational Use; Medical Cannabis replaces other drugs that a patient would normally be taken, as such, it might be present in the blood stream 24/7, if this was the case for a Recreational users, we could say they are abusing it.
It is best to make butter, we call it Medical Cannabis Butter or MC Butter, or simply MC-Butter, the Dash is silent. Put a little MC-Butter on your Eggs, and Green Eggs and Ham, will have a new meaning.
You can then measure it and make dosages that you can take, as you would any other Drug.
It has be brought to my attention that other Vets, may have a problem with Medical Marijuana use for Vets, as much as I would like to dismiss this, they are entitled to their opinion, since it was one that I once had, only a few years ago, I did not think that Medical Marijuana could be used as a useful medicine for the treatment of Gulf War Syndrome, or any other Disease, that it would only be used to get high, but, I was wrong, and I can admit that, and move on.
To shield the usage of Medical Marijuana from the stigma, we ask all Vets to use the Term: Medical Cannabis, and the Term: MC-Butter, and MC-Oil, we also recognize that some will still want to Vaporize it, so we will use the Term: MC-Vape, and those that want to smoke it, MC-Burn.
We will work with people that still have problems with these terms; to try to educate them in its usage and benefits to Vets, that do not have any other choice, since main stream medicine, does not help.
Switching from marijuana to legal “prescribed” drugs can be a killer
For one Vietnam Veteran in Illinois, a substance many call dangerous, medical marijuana, meant life. When Lynn Morse used it he could function and cope, when he abandoned marijuana in order to “comply” with the VA and go on prescription drugs, he died.
Lynn Morse served his country His partner of three decades, a pilot named Susan Tackitt from Marion Illinois, is also a VA volunteer who spends countless hours at the side of disabled and sick veterans. She has a few things to say about medical marijuana.
“My companion of 30 years, a Vietnam Combat Veteran from the 101st Airborne 2nd brigade was introduced to marijuana while serving his country between 1967 and 1968.”
She says it was given him as a stress reliever after a firefight. He was given the marijuana by people in his command, and many Vietnam Veterans experienced the same thing.
“My companion Lynn Morse continued to use it stateside to subdue the demons of war. He was a productive self supporting citizen as many Vietnam Veterans using marijuana for medical purposes are.”
But she says there was a big drug bust in Franklin County, Illinois where he lived. The incident exposed improprieties in the local police force and many were fired because of their involvement. Some twenty year sentences were handed out to pot growers.
“This made Lynn’s paranoia from PTSD even worse and he decided to seek help at the VA in Marion Illinois. He stopped smoking marijuana and started taking their psyc. drugs and that is when I lost the man I loved.”
She says Lynn lost his “drive” and was determined to be disabled from PTSD.
“Our daughter has a bone deformity which the VA never acknowledged as being related to Agent Orange. She lost her dad a year ago on October 19th 2006 at the VA intensive care unit. He would have been 60 his next birthday.”
So what was gained by the country’s archaic drug laws in this case? A man who was able to be productive watched that inner drive vanish. Marijuana is natural, drugs made in laboratories are not. It’s as if nobody can figure out that everything synthetic has roots in natural substance. Why spend millions replicating the effects of a treatment that is already useful and available in a garden?
Susan contends that marijuana still helps many Vietnam Veterans and they are reaching the age to retire. If steps to change existing laws are not taken, there will be many more like Lynn.
“We need to make medical marijuana legal for them because I see them enter the VA hospital and they are heavily sedated to calm them. I realize this cannot be proven but i am very thankful the American Psychiatric Association is backing medical marijuana. Now I pray the vote in December sways in favor of it.”
Susan Tackitt, unlike most of society, is willing to put her butt on the line she says, “not only because they served our country but because they got a raw deal.”
In spite of losing her life partner, she has remained in her volunteer role at the VA. She had a good reason too, her dad, another veteran, was living at the Marion, Illinois VA nursing home.
Susan Tackitt says she`ll keep fighting for Vet’s rights”My dad was in there but he passed away October 5th 2007.” She still volunteers there after losing her father too, it is a dedication that is rare in this day and age.
“I am very active in trying to get medical marijuana passed. I am pushing to get it all passed for the Vietnam Vets who still use marijuana and also for it to be an option to all veterans with PTSD. The government is who introduced to to our military and should be accountable for those veterans still using it today.”
She decries the use of deadly drugs so easily embraced by this society, and says marijuana is the happy medium for millions who suffer from PTSD.
“If these guys are given the drugs the government wants to shove down their throat to keep them from going off will put them on the couch in their own little world and some not able to function on their own. It tears my heart out when I hear a combat veteran with PTSD end his life because he didn’t get the treatment he deserved.”Visit Susan Tactitt’s MySpace page: myspace.com/shawneewinetrailcrashpad
I have Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) AKA Gulf War Illness (GWI); I only distinguish between them as a time reference or Political Statement: that said a lot of people still don’t understand that; the cause is not what I want to discus here, but its Genetic Damage that I am talking about, but its dealing with it that I want to talk about: so let me tell you what it means to me.
First off, the VA defines Gulf War Illness to effect some Military personal during the Gulf War from 1990 to 1991 and to includes these symptoms:
Neuropsychological symptoms (such as memory loss)
Respiratory system symptoms
I’ll address the things that I have problems with the most: Sleep Disorder, Chronic Fatigue, Headaches, Gastrointestinal, Respiratory, Neurological problems, Muscle and Joint Pain; well that covers most of the symptoms of Gulf War Illness; so it is safe to say that what I want a new drug for is related to GWS.
I have tired about every Pain Medication I know of; like: Morphine, MS Contin, Codeine, Napproxen, Naprozyn, Idocin, Percocet and Demerol, including off brand use of Psychiatric medication like: Lyrica, Gabapentin, Effexor, Elavil, Flexairil, Prozac, Zoloft, Pamelar,Temazepam, Klopin, Trazodone, Depakote, Serzone, Paxil, Robaxin, Valium, Wellbutrin, Citaopram, Luvox, Ludiomil, Nardil, Parnate, Asendin, Anfranil, Norpramin, Sinequan, Tripramine, Triptil, Surmontil, Cyclobenzapppine, Lansopprazole, Clarithomycn, Remeron, Zanax, Ambian, Quietipine Fumarate, Rabeprazole sodium, Methyphenidate, Ranitidine, Prednisone and Lorazepam just to name a few; none of them helped all that much if at all.
I have a rare sleep disorder called sleep misperception; basically it comes down to Lucid Dreaming that I am awake; since my REM sleep is interrupted by involuntary muscle movement; I do not get much REM sleep; nor do I have normal dreams. Its incurable and it affects people with GWS more then people without it; why is that? Maybe the type of Brain Damage that GWS caused to create so many ill affects on people; at least this is my theory. The damage started when the Military forced us (armed guards and threats of court Marshall) to get the Anthrax Vaccine; then they sent us to Kuwait during Desert Storm; where we were subjected to Depleted Uranium, Oil fires, MUD (a chemical used in oil production, it is a Bio-Chemical), Chemical Warfare, contaminated water supplies and things we don’t even know about. Then we got sick and became lab rats to test some of the drugs listed above. Its no wonder I have Chronic Fatigue; you don’t sleep good for the last 20 years; you’d have it too. My headaches are in the cluster headache group; like a lightning bolt shooting through my brain. Muscle and Joint Pain are all from all the chemicals that are now part of my body or damage from them passing through my body, and the Genetic Damage, which destroyed our 14th Chromosome and attached itself to the 6th and 7th, destroying them as well.
I remember feeling good; back before 1990; then I remember feeling bad; since 1990; like time is drawn into two lines; those before 1990 and those after 1990. Feeling bad to me is hard to define; like having the flu and a very bad hangover after running a 100 mile marathon with full gear and falling down a mountain for the last 5 miles hitting every rock on the way down. My back hurts, my hands hurt, my feet hurt, my jaw hurts and every joint in my body hurts. Hurt is not a strong enough word for it sometimes; they call it Neuropathy; its when all the nerves fire off for some unknown reason; it can feel like a burning sensation like its on fire or like its gone to sleep and you feel like thousands of needles are being stuck in you. I ca not begin to describe how much it hurts at times. As a result I suffer from Major Depression. I will go days without any good sleep and the pain will become overwhelming and I will start having anxiety attacks; this is a cycle I go through. I have a very bad ringing in my head; I use to think it was in my ears; but its not; its in my head; it drives me crazy; some days its louder than others; sometimes its so load its painful at times. My threshold for pain is lower than it should be; just a small cut or bump from falling down can be a major problem (as is falling down since I feel dizzy at lot); just little pains can become overwhelming at times. I smell things that no one else can spell; sometimes a smoky smell like rubber is on fire, other times it smells like something died. Emotionally I am a wreck; everything upsets me; I’m sensitive to everything; I ca not stand to be around a lot of people; sometimes I do not want to be around anyone. I get paranoid and feel claustrophobic at times. I do not have any good days; just days I do not feel as bad.
I want a drug that will make me feel good or at least better. I want a drug that will not make me tired, drugged out or strange. I would like to be able to think while I am taking this drug; most drugs make it hard to think. I hate drugs that make everything look like I am looking through a view finder; I do not like feeling like I am walking on sponge rubber floors either. I want a drug that I can sleep well on; not be so out of it that my body skips the REM state all together; not that this part of my sleep is all that good anyway since it always wakes me up. I do not want a drug that will make me not care about anything; most anti-depressants work like that. I do not want a drug that makes me feel drugged.
Problems with Narcotics and any Drug “God” did not make is that our bodies reject it; by God I mean Nature, when I say man I mean Human. Nature made Opium and Marijuana, man made Morphine and Marinol, Opium and Marijuana are easy on man and have little to no side effects; Morphine and Marinol have many side effects; they are known to cause panic attacks, depression and shut down your immune system and digestive process; thus making you sick or sicker than you should be. Morphine makes me shit a brick; its a figure of speech that best describes the full effect I get when on Morphine. I have more panic attacks, more depression and feel like I am dying; overall you feel like you need more so you increase your dosage; which makes things much worse. My body started to shut down; I would start having bowel movements once a month and it was literally like shitting a brick; I now have Diverticulitis as a result of that experience and that hurts so the doctors prescribe more pain medication. You see the cycle here; its ground hog day; you wake up every morning and Deja Vu, didn’t I go through this yesterday. Man made drugs have not helped me at all; in fact they have made things worse; yet if I do not take them the doctors want to tag you with words like “Malingering:, faking an illness; you will never convince them that the medication does not work; its like if you have this disease take this; if that does not work then you do not have that disease. Doctors are not that smart, in fact all they know is what they were taught and that is a bunch of shit and since its was taught in a brick building, you can say they are shitting bricks also, their Practice is just that, which Doctors am I talking about, you got it, Witch Doctors, that is what they all are.
Pain is a pain; dealing with it is a pain; living with it is a pain; living with someone who has it is a bigger pain. I say that pain causes depression and depression can cause pain; but which comes first? Once you are in the cycle it is endless; like a dog chasing its tail. People always want to compare their pain to yours; like it will make you feel better; its a slap in the face so do not do it to others; my first reaction is to kick them and ask if that hurts, its that irritating to me, when someone wants to share their pain with you just listen; their pain is theirs and yours is yours. If your pain makes it hard to sleep at night and makes you wish you were dead and all you can do is cry, then its a pain I am talking about. Doctors want to know on a scale of 1-10 how much it hurts; if you crying when you tell them; then its a 10; if you feeling like grabbing them somewhere it will hurt and asking them the same question its a 9. No one has the right to judge how much your pain is; only you know; and you have to know how much pain you can live with or how much of your pain people around you can live with. Pain is like a face; everyone has one; some are uglier than others; but everyone has pain.
Is Opium or Marijuana going to be that drug? I doubt it; but it has to be better than all these other drugs. It might help me sleep so I do not need to take drugs during the day; that would be my biggest hope for this drug. In some states you can get a license for Marijuana, I doubt if they will be giving out licenses to grow Opium any time soon. God gave us a drug to help; the Government took it away; what gives them the right to do this?
Legality has been one of my biggest concerns; I do not want to get into trouble by the Law, State or Federal Government or the VA. Although you can get a Medical Marijuana Card; it gives you very little protection at all. The cost varies from state to state, I have seen some states that have a reduced cost if you are on food stamps; but not if your on Disability, go figure that one out, this is nothing more then the states way of making money and nothing to do with helping people. In fact I would say a great deal of people in this program are using the drug for recreational use only; which is why no one takes Medical Marijuana as being a drug seriously. If you use just the right amount you can get pain relief without getting high; you can do the same thing with narcotics or alcohol; you take too much and you feel drugged; there is a fine line between taking a drug and abusing a drug; if you take it just to get high; your abusing it. This is why the laws were invented to begin with, at least that is what they want you to believe; besides the fact that the Federal Government was not making any money selling it; besides the CIA and DEA that is; now that the State found a way to make money off it again, the laws are changing again. But will the VA see Marijuana as a legal drug to take? The VA screens us for illegal drug use all the time; what will happen if Marijuana starts showing up in those test? The VA makes you sign a contract stating you will not take any illegal drugs (as if the legal ones are any better); but if Medical Marijuana is legal in your state does the VA consider it legal? Recently the VA directives have changed to allow Medical Marijuana in states where its legal.
For Marijuana to be made into a drug; it would have to be processed into a pill form; smoking it will do more long term damage then the benefits could out way, not that it causes cancer, but all that tar can not be good for you; it has more tar in it than cigarettes; but its not as harmful, nor does it seem to cause long term health problems, as cigarettes do, and I do not want to smoke pot, there are vaporizers that work better. I want a drug that will help me deal with pain; to be at ease, with the dis-ease; I do not care what people think, smoking pot is always going to be just that; getting high; for some that is OK; to each their own. Now the law steps in again; if I get a permit to grow it; then I process it into a usable form like a pill; that I can take in a more controlled fashion; like knowing how strong it will be; how much I need to take; will the Feds look at it as a new drug? Will the laws allow me to process the Marijuana into a usable drug? I have come up with one solution; Medical Cannabis Butter, or MC-Butter, its easy to make and works great.
Note about Marinol and products like it: They can cause Panic Attacks; its not the same as Medical Marijuana; it has THC but none of the other 60 compounds. A pharmaceutical product, Marinol, is widely available through prescription. It comes in the form of a pill and is also being studied by researchers for suitability via other delivery methods, such as an inhaler or patch. The active ingredient of Marinol is synthetic THC, which has been found to relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy for cancer patients and to assist with loss of appetite with AIDS patients. Morphine, for example, has proven to be a medically valuable drug, but the FDA does not endorse the smoking of opium or use of heroin. Instead, scientists have extracted active ingredients from opium, which are sold as pharmaceutical products like morphine, codeine, Hydrocodone or Oxycodone. In a similar vein, the FDA has not approved smoking marijuana for medicinal purposes, but has approved the active ingredient-THC-in the form of scientifically regulated Marinol; so its clear that as long as a Pharmaceutical Company is making it; then it does not matter, it can be poison as long as its a prescription based poison.
There’s a great article on the Web from the Salem (Oregon) News-Record of June 11, 2007, called “Marine Combat Vet Discusses Iraq, PTSD and Medical Marijuana,” linked here. The former Marine in question is Nicholas Burgin, and the subhead to the article is, “The courage of an Iraq War veteran continues in his honesty about PTSD.”
In the tradition of Tony Neff’s story, “All I Want is What I Deserve,” about getting his veterans benefts for a service-connected disability, linked here, Nicholas Burgin’s story is another great, first person narrative account of his experience, and what actually happened to him. (We’re in the process of seeing if we can get Burgin’s permission to reprint his story in full, here, because it would help so many readers.)
In the meantime, read his story, while it’s still up on the Web, or save yourself a copy of it, for future reference. It’s powerful. And don’t neglect reading the comments section, either, that follows the article. A whole lot of people checked in and said they knew what he was talking about, and they agreed, from Vietnam vets through other OIF/OEF combat vets.
Burgin is a young Marine who, like a highly decorated Marine with PTSD we’ve blogged about here, Daniel Cotnoir, worked in mortuary affairs for the Marines in Iraq – a more gruesome job hardly exists — and saw enough stuff to last a thousand lifetimes. Later on, of course, Burgin had trouble with the memories, and despite trying everything recommended to him, found one and one thing only that helped him ease the pain. He details his struggles, and his victories, in the excellent, first person narrative, and closes with the line, “Take what you will from this story, but I know for a fact marijuana has saved my life numerous times.” Good for him.
In the 60s, draft dodgers and anti-war types in the U.S. made their way to Canada to ride out the Vietnam war. Many stayed for years. Today, with an all-volunteer military, “escaping” to Canada isn’t nearly so popular; but if anyone compares the drug laws in the U.S. and Canada re: marijuana use, and finds themselves overly hassled by the perspective in the U.S. that it’s still a criminal offense, they might start to find Canada more attractive again. Depending on whether the party in power is liberal or conservative, their drug policy waxes and wanes, but more than 51% of Canadians are in favor of decriminalizing marijuna use, says the BBC, and using is often treated differently there than selling (possession v. intent to distribute).