As youths, of course, we all encountered “MJ” even if we didn’t inhale. Most folks had forgotten about it years ago.
With the advent of medical marijuana, it became permissible in California even if not entirely legal under federal law. Suddenly it became fashionable to explore potential beneficial effects of the drug. Even for older folks, such as a one of our relatives, who would never have even allowed it in the house at one time.
This 87-year-old was and is afflicted with the health issues of the elderly, including severe nausea preventing much activity and even making meals a tortuous experience. Insomnia tortured her; but the succession of drugs provided, at a very high cost, by the standard medical establishment not only had no helpful effect, but put her on a drug-powered roller-coaster and made her miserable, intensely anti-social and irritable.
On the brink of death, when provided with “magic cookies”, her health and disposition dramatically improved; she ate, became more mobile and calm, stopped taking the panoply of useless drugs, and morbid weight-loss stopped. This literally saved her life, or at least extended it, and certainly improved her quality of life.
Why should this be denied older folks? After seeing this visible proof of therapeutic value for “pot”, it seemed doubly cruel for the medical establishment to deny the palliative effects of this drug and prescribe harmful, heavier drugs which had in her case no medical value. One is tempted to believe that the opposition to marijuana might be fueled by the profit motive.
In my case, I’ve got severe breathing problems which recur from time to time. These are so severe as to put me into a paroxysm of coughing, unable to draw a breath. When it struck recently, I was unable to sleep through the night and my own quality of life became tenuous.
Night became a dreaded torture, lying down a test of when the lungs would fill with fluid and breathing would stop.
Years ago, doctors prescribed an inexpensive drug, MARAX, which I later found out contained mainly Ephedra sinica plus buffering. Ephedra is an extract of ancient Chinese herbal grass, ma huang, used to alleviate Asthma. MARAX, which contained a beneficial dose of 35 mg, magically relieved the deadly symptoms. For years, I fondly remembered the name as of a savior.
Now, in my time of need, after so many years, it was desperately needed. But it turns out that doctors had outlawed MARAX due to some sort of abuse of its active ingredient in diet pills. In vain I sought a prescription, old supplies of MARAX, “Mormon tea” extract of ma huang, even seeds to grow my own. Not even Chinese herbalists were willing to sell me the medication I needed, not at any price.
Medical doctors, it turns out, now supply cans of steroid spray for this problem, at a cost about a hundred times higher. The steroids carry a warning that they might cause fungal growth in the mouth; even worse, they don’t relieve the problem, they just mask the symptoms. Not one doctor was willing to prescribe therapeutic ma huang, let alone MARAX.
One must believe that the profit in selling cans of steroid spray might tempt or even suborn the doctors to violate their oaths.
Unable to make it though the night, and unable to find help from any medical practitioner, even a succession of oddball herbalists and quacks, I resorted to trying Marijuana. I can’t smoke it, of course, but was able to take pills or cookies.
Amazingly, surprisingly, it worked. Not only did it work, allowing me to sleep through the night and stay awake in the day, but the need for it passed. It’s now phased out. In total, I took 4 cookies and about 6 pills over 3 weeks.
It’s a lesson for all that doctors made an excuse about the “abuse” of ma huang in order to sell the drugs they wanted. This is no surprise to me, as I once worked closely with pharmacists, who receive enormous “gifts” from friendly drug sales persons seeking to maximize drug sales revenue.
While not needing MJ right now, I welcome the possibility of having the plant grown locally. Any drug is capable of abuse; we’ve pretty much been convinced that “MJ” is not only helpful in certain cases, but pretty harmless overall. Definitely better than steroids, and a workaround until ma huang is decriminalized.