Meidcal Cannabis and HIV-AIDS

THC, the main chemical component in marijuana, is a natural antiemetic and can help battle chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting (CINV). CINV can cause patients to stop much needed treatment due to the intolerable side effects. Although recent advances have resulted in new medications to fight CINV, some patients prefer using a more natural way to treat these symptoms. Many MMEC patients report improvement in their quality of life with less CINV when they use medical marijuana before, during, and after their chemotherapy treatments.

On the heels of the recent legalization of medicinal marijuana use for sick patients, Washington state is reevaluating how much pot a person can have in their possession, according to the Associated Press.

This fall, Washington state officials will be meeting to discuss exactly how much marijuana makes up a two-month supply for people whom doctors have given their permission to smoke the otherwise illegal drug.

Legalized medicinal marijuana has been around in Washington since 1998 when 60 percent of votes went in support of the drug, however, up until now; there has never been a set amount on how much patients can have on hand at any given time.

The issue has been brought up by police officers and prosecutors who say it will make it easier to determine who to arrest for possessing the controlled substance.

What makes Washington different from the other 11 states that have legalized marijuana is that the northwestern state has never set a limit for how much of the substance a patient can have.

New Mexico allows patients to have up to six ounces of pot along with four mature plants and three immature seedlings. Oregon is the most lenient state by allowing patients to possess up to 24 ounces and two dozen plants at various stages of growth.

This issue isn't without its controversy. Some patients believe that with this reformation will come too many restrictions, severely limiting those who truly need it.

Another aspect that officials must consider is that marijuana affects different people in different ways, which can determine the amount a patient should have at any given time. Some people may need more than the future determined amount while other may need less.

“We can't have an outside health authority dictate to our doctors how much a patient should use,” Dale Rogers, head of Seattle's Compassion in Action Patient Network, which distributes medical marijuana told the Associated Press.

Some patients believe it should be up to the doctor to dictate the amount of pot a person medically needs.

The Washington marijuana law requires doctors to recommend the drug for people suffering from very painful diseases like multiple sclerosis, HIV/AIDs and cancer.

What makes legalized marijuana especially interesting is that even though a patient may be prescribed it by a doctor, legally, that patient can be prosecuted for having the controlled substance. Though most likely the patient will not be sent to jail if it can be proven that is was medically prescribed, no state law can shield someone from a federal law.

Medicinal marijuana is not part of approved federal legislation.

Source: Curt Woodward, “Wash. to set medical marijuana limits.” Yahoo.com/Associated Press. URL: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070705/ap_on_he_me/medical_marijuana

[flickr(medical Marijuana}]

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