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Jun-27-2007 11:47TweetFollow @OregonNews
Medical Marijuana: Sleeping MedicineDr. Phillip Leveque Salem-News.com
Phillip Leveque has spent his life as a Combat Infantryman, Physician and Toxicologist.
(MOLALLA, Ore.) - The most frequent comment by those ignorant of the medical properties of cannabis or those believing the U.S. Government's propaganda, is that marijuana patients use it only to get “high” which incidentally can be somewhat like a Starbucks espresso jolt or maybe two or three martinis.
Anybody who knows anything at all about marijuana knows that it causes euphoria or a feeling of well being. After all, isn’t that why we take medicine when we are sick—to feel better?
At any rate, marijuana users, as medical patients of which there are at least 400,000 with legal permits, or as many as ten million “illegal” users who use it instead of alcohol, tobacco, prescription tranquilizers or antidepressants, have found it beneficial for a wide variety of illnesses and diseases.
It is certain that the euphoria or feeling of comfort is very important for all these conditions. If some ignorant people consider that to be getting high, no users will disagree.
Many medical patients use it only in the evening to enable them to sleep. This is true especially with those in chronic pain, which represents about 70 percent of patients. Pain frequently or even most usually prevents sleep and some patients tell me, “if I can get a decent night’s sleep, I can fight alligators all day”.
Sleeping pills are prescribed mostly for those in pain who cannot sleep without those pills. The crazy thing about this is that many or maybe most sleeping pills are as addicting as heroin. Valium, the most prescribed sleeping pill for many years, produced millions of addicts, and there are many valium-like drugs with similar problems.
In my experience with 4,000 plus patients, I was told by hundreds that by using marijuana they were able to cut down or eliminate completely most prescription sleeping pills.
The U.S. Government purports that marijuana is addicting. This is not so. If a person uses it frequently to relieve or control pain, the patient wants relief. Does that mean he is addicted to relief? If one takes aspirin everyday, is he addicted to aspirin? To me, the comparison is valid.
One of the critical signs of addiction is uncomfortable withdrawal symptoms. Most marijuana users will run out of their medicine once in a while. Do they get withdrawal symptoms? If so, they are very minor, like running out of aspirin.
It is known that very heavy marijuana use (which is uncommon because it costs more than gold) can cause mild withdrawal symptoms, such as disrupted sleep and nervousness (from Merck Manual).
I think the final coup de grace is also given by the Merck Manual “any drug which causes euphoria and diminishes anxiety can cause dependence” (not addiction—my comment).
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