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Nov-04-2013 14:24printcomments

Marijuana Replaces Opiates and Opioids for Chronic Pain

The DEA really screwed this up. Cannabis is better and safer than alcohol!

medical marijuana
Medical marijuana on the shelves of a Salem dispensary.
Photo by Bonnie King

(PORTLAND, Ore.) - How and why the DEA is now practicing medicine is really a sick problem. I don’t think any of the research physicians are taking care of any chronic pain patients.

The New York Times articles (Oct 25 & 28, 2013) indicate that they may be illegally practicing medicine or, worse yet, pontificating about how the rest of us doctors should be treating chronic pain patients.

One of the chief tenants of medical practice is to adequately treat pain. It is the main reason patients go to see a doctor. There must be at least 30 million severe chronic pain patients in the U.S. and now the DEA “endorses tighter control for pain killers”. (Oct 23 2013: NYT)

Very bad backs and inadequately treated arthritis are a plague to us all. For the patients with adequate money or good insurance, oxycodone and hydrocodone (Vicadin) are completely accessible. Unfortunately they are very addicting and lethal in overdoses.

Lower strength opiates and opioids just do not relieve serious chronic pain. Examples of this are: the opiate Codeine which causes severe allergic reactions and usually severe constipation; the opioid Darvon (Propoxyphene) which mostly has been thrown to the sidelines. It usually contains asprin or Tylenol and together they are only good for minimal pain.

Please understand, I am talking about severe chronic pain, severe means severe; chronic means long term- usually life long. For these patients to have anything like a normal, productive life, they must have some medicine which will give them relief long term.

Methodone, the leading opioid pain killer, was mostly used to get patients off Heroin, is reasonably good for pain and probably millions of patients are on it. It does cause death by accident or suicide, mostly because it is not strong enough and patients take too much; Phentanyl another opioid, by a patch, is usually not adequate for pain either; Vicodin or hydrocodone which represents about 70% of pain prescriptions is just about as lethal as oxycontin, the absolute worst pain killer. It is the strongest, and therefore the most lethal.

There are a whole bunch of minor pain killers such as aspirin and acetaminophen (Tylenol) and ibuprofen (Advil/Motrin) for severe chronic pain are not worth discussing.

Other drugs used for pain are muscle relaxants, valium derivatives, anti-depressants, sleeping pills, and anti-seizure medications such as Neurontin. Other non-medical treatments include acupuncture, exercise, physical therapy and massage.

None of the drugs in the last paragraph will help anyone who has severe, chronic pain, but if used exclusively, will turn the victims into severely-pained vegetables.

The suggestion by the DEA to force pain patients to see their doctors more often will provide no relief but will make pain and the apprehension of pain, much worse.

You have noticed that I have been bitching about the opiates and the opioids, O.K.

Do I have a suggested alternative?

As a matter of fact, Yes, I do!

Oregon, my home state, has legalized medical marijuana, and about 60,000 patients have legal permits for its use. 90% of them use marijuana for severe, chronic pain and have been able to strongly reduce and/or eliminate the use of even the strongest of the opiate and opioid pain killers.

My extremely injured poster boy was a Vietnam Marine Captain helicopter pilot who was shot down seven times. The last time, he was injured so badly, he was in the military hospital 31 months, and at the peak he was given up to 480 mg of Morphine a day. With the use of marijuana, he was able to cut his Morphine to 60 mg. That’s a case study with undeniable proof positive.


For more information, SEARCH "Marijuana Leveque Cannabis", &/or see this article: Dr Phil Leveque: The Coolest 90-Year Old on Planet Earth


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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.